Although POTEMKIN PICTURES has been around for over a decade, the members of the STARSHIP WEBSTER creative team are certainly new to the fan film scene. Their predecessors include PROJECT : Potemkin, SCHIP DEIMOS, SCHIP ALEXANDER, SCHIP TRISTAN, HOSPITAL SCHIP MARIE CURIE, BATTLECRUISER KUPOK, SCHIP TRITON, SCHIP ENDEAVOUR.
When presenter Randy Landers and his wife moved from Alabama to Lexington, Kentucky in 2019, it was a chance to find a whole new group of local Trekkies and invite them into the fan-film family. Although Pandemic has complicated things a bit, Webster’s new band still managed to get their first fan film LAUNCHED on the 9th. October, which was followed just two weeks later by their second work A VOICE IN THE DARK. This one had one of their actors, BILLY SWANSON, play the lead role and wrote, directed and starred, essentially, in one person in the show.
Two months later, on Christmas Day, another member of the team, JERRY WILLIAMS, wrote the episode and it appeared on ….. This time, however, the director was Randy Landers, and the cast consisted of more than one actor (seven, in the third fact, in leading roles).
I want to highlight these wonderful fan films here on the blog, to welcome the community and also to thank them for their quick acceptance of this subgenre and their dedication to the creation and distribution of their first fan films.
With that in mind, I asked Randy who he thought would be the best person to interview for this third outing, and he was quick to tell me it had to be Jerry Williams himself. Jerry is a local legend, Randy told me.
Let’s watch Jerry’s first Star Trek fan film, Tombstone, and then we can talk ….
And now, heeeeeeerrrrrreeeeeee is Jerry (do my young readers understand this reference?)….
Jonathan – Congratulations on writing your first fan film. So what was the inspiration for the headstone?
GERRY – I was inspired by the original Star Trek series. I love that wild, chaotic, crazy energy of TOS – Spectre of the Gun of Catspaw – where a superior alien species could test humanity with a psychological test of our darkest fears. When I wrote it, we didn’t know which actors we were going to get, so I kept the script very simple …. on the assumption that it would be an actor-focused episode. Billy Swanson and ALISSA Rice did a fantastic job. Billy has a slow, burning discomfort that reminded me of how Kirk dealt with irritation in Trouble with Tribbles. LOL.
Jonathan – How did you manage to run this project safely during the pandemic?
JERRY – Production has done a fantastic job with the challenges of the COVID era. Randy has done an excellent job with leadership and safety protocols. I must say that Laura Johnson of the Starship Webster production company did a fantastic job of keeping the equipment moving. I was very lucky because I was doing Randy and Laura at the same time in my movies, so it was cool to just…. play Or in Girl/Girl – The Scene by Taki Williams, which is a movie that sounds like a place.
Jonathan – Oh, I didn’t know you were still making movies! Are you currently working on any other projects and, if so, in what capacity?
GERRY – I’m currently working on my half-hour show on Roku B-zone called Galaxy Drive-In Theater, which focuses on weird and fancy fare. I perform as my alter ego, Astrospacehero (a parody of the 1950s space patrol that ran for 11 seasons on Amazon before being discontinued due to stiff competition between corporate and consumer content).
I also produce and edit Dr. Tyranny Horror TV for INC Roku and B-Zone Roku with Todd Burroughs as Dr. Tyranny, Taki Williams as Queen Galactica and Mark Holmberg as Java Jones.
And finally, I’m working on music now, and my musical project is called Magicians of the Cookie. I have a couple of albums from boot camp. My latest EP is called Devil Girl Dice…. A kind of dungeon synth meets ’80s pop. LOL.
Jonathan – Speaking of music, this is the second time you’ve done a score for a Starship Webster movie. Is there a common theme you work on, or does each film inspire you differently?
GERRY – I’ve been making my own films for a while now…. So I was surprised that I could make music for Webster. Basically, I tried to give the first three Star Trek films – Goldstone and Horner did a fantastic job there – almost operatic music as a counterpoint to the film, while James Horner’s score, Wrath of Khan, was subdued and let emotion take over.
Jerry Williams as Director of Testing.
Not only did you write the article, but you also took on the role of test leader. What source(s) inspired you to paint the portrait of this unique character, and how much of that was done by Randy Landers, and how many choices did you make?
GERRY – It was very nice working with Randy…. Mainly to get what he was looking for as a director. But I definitely had my own approach to playing the character. I’m a big fan of old school Doctor Who. I like new stuff too, but my favorite at the time was a swing between William Hartnell’s first doc or Colin Baker’s sixth doc. I followed the first Doctor because he had that crazy energy that was perfect for an alien.
Jonathan – Congratulations again, Jerry, and welcome to the Star Trek fan community. We hope you and the Webster team will tell us more soon!
Thank you, Jonathan.