I’ve written a few blogs about all the typical things that happen with fan films, things I had to deal with during the development of INTERLUDE. But now it’s time for something that I don’t think has ever happened in any of the Star Trek fan films!

Someone on our team asked (demanded, even) that his footage be completely removed from the fan film Interlude….. This forced us to redo some scenes with the help of another actor and to transfer these scenes to the new version.

The actor in question is Paul Jenkins. I won’t go into detail, but only say what is already common knowledge: that Paul and ALEC PETERS are embroiled in a lawsuit after Paul parted ways with the AXANAR episodes early last summer. From what I understand, Paul is concerned that his appearance in a fan film with Alec Peters in the Axanar continuity would imply some sort of endorsement of Alec, Axanar, Ares Studios and/or Axanar Productions by Paul.

Paul’s request to remove all images of him from Interlude came to me via a Facebook message I received just under 24 hours before the big premiere on the 5th. April received. Obviously, we didn’t have time to make such big changes and didn’t want to delay the release on such short notice. I have the whole movie fan community and my friends and family already talking about it. My parents told all their friends.

So, as expected, we released the version of Interlude (with Paul in it) that we worked so hard on, but at the request of Paul and his CEO META Studios, a disclaimer was included as the main comment on the YouTube video page that clearly states that META Studios and its employees, including founder and creative director Paul Jenkins, may NOT authorize the use of the Axanar logo and fundraising to make fan films that reference CBS’ intellectual property.

So, yes, it happened.

We also agreed to their restriction that Interlude may only be shown on the AVALON UNIVERSE YouTube channel and not Axanar’s, which will probably cost us a few hundred thousand views during our opening week. The video still got 50,000 views in 12 days, with over 97% upvotes and downvotes, which didn’t keep me awake at night.

Meanwhile, our director of photography/editor, JOSHUA IRWIN, stepped in to grant Paul’s main request: to be completely removed from Interlude, and two weeks later Josh proved himself.

This was no small feat, folks… !

The first challenge was finding Ares Studios for recording and finding a time when Joshua could make the 12 hour trip (round trip!) from Arkansas to Georgia for the recordings. Fortunately, unlike last year when the pandemic made indoor filming extremely problematic, the recent vaccination against COVIDS in the United States has alleviated most concerns about working in a confined studio space.

The second challenge was to find an actor to re-voice Paul’s parts… and agree to do it for free. Although the American chief engineer Artemis only has three sentences, these sentences come at an emotional moment in the film. It was not something we could pass on to any Trek volunteer in the Atlanta area. We needed someone who could handle the drama of the moment and, more importantly, TIME! Since the score already exists and is timed, the new versions of the engineer’s lines should perfectly match the timing of Paul’s original performance. A trained actor can do it.

Fortunately for Interlude, Tyler Dunivan, a very good friend of Josh’s, was available and willing to help us out for free. For those who don’t know the name: Tyler starred in the first two films of the Avalon Universe, GHOST SHIP and AVALON LOST. He will also be featured in a new Avalon Universe fan film called COSMIC STREAM, coming soon! (Oh, and Tyler does a great impersonation of Michael J. Fox’s Back to the Future movies).

Tyler Dunivan on the deck of the American Excalibur in the Avalon universe.

Tyler joined Josh for a tour of four states, all for a one-day shoot at Ares Studios. Fortunately, the recordings allowed them to spend the night at Alec’s house (who was going back to Arkansas the next night!) and saved on hotel costs… because all the money the public spent on Interlude was spent.

Josh managed to turn lemons into lemonade during this trip. He used his time on the Ares bridge to shoot some footage to entice viewers to watch a new Avalon universe fan film that will traverse the Aksanar universe and focus on the return of Captain Imari Jakande, played by new fan favorite WARREN HAWK! (Jakand may not be dead in the Avalon universe, folks).

Guess who dropped by the Ares studio to shoot some clips for the new video request… ?

Warren Hawk returns to Ares Studios in 2019 for the first time since making Interlude.

Yes, people, Jakand is coming back!

I want to thank Josh and Tyler from the bottom of my heart for doing this shootout so quickly (less than a week after Paul asked us to replace him)….. And to make this ridiculously long trip so quickly. Tyler was able to match Paul’s timing and deliver a fantastic performance.

Also many thanks to Alec, who made the studio and his home available. And another big thanks to our composer KEVIN CROXTON, who interrupted his work on his latest James Bond fan film to take new recordings of Tyler and remix them with ambient engine room sounds and other sound effects, as well as the music itself.

You’d think Pau’s shots would be easy to replace. But not at all. In addition to Kevin’s work on the sound and music levels, Josh had to adjust the lighting and framing for the shoot itself, then take the shots and adjust the balance, color and black level to match the other shots. He then had to paste some of the images into the screen frame of Jakande’s control chair arm, and then cut the whole thing so that it matched the timing of the original exactly. And this was all done by Josh, Tyler and Kevin, plus other Ares Studio people like DANA WAGNER and PAUL OSBORNE – within two weeks of Paul’s last-minute request to be removed.

And now that Interlude 100% Jenkins is free, a new version can be released, and on both Axanar’s and Avalon Universe’s YouTube channel. View….

 

And the best news is that now that Interlude is apparently back on the Axanar channel, Alec may also re-release the Axanar Confidential episode that originally aired on Interlude, in which seven cast and crew members discuss it. So watch it, even if you haven’t seen it yet. ….

 

Finally, in New Axanar Confidential, Josh and Tyler talk about preparing for Interlude 2.0, which also just aired. So today, you can watch…

 

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