I’m proud to relay that “Power Source” is completed! Below are the links on YouTube for viewing the third and final act:
Act 3 – Part 1:
Act 3 – Part 2:
You can also view them on the official website – www.farragut-animated.com. For the release of Act 3, which completes the animated episode, I conducted an interview with Michael Struck, Manager of NEO f/x who has spearheaded STARSHIP FARRAGUT: The Animated Episodes project.
* Michael, you and the rest of the NEO f/x team have completed, “Power Source” – the first ever, full-length animated episode of Starship Farragut. How do you feel about the completed product?
I feel like a very proud parent…It was quite an accomplishment and something new from a ‘fan production’. Unlike the live-versions, a lot more of the burden of this production was in-house at NEO f/x. Of course, we didn’t have to deal with lighting, costumes, weather, and other issues that plague live-action shoots; however, we had our own challenges unique to the format in which we were working in. Most of these issues consisted of finding artists willing to put a LOT of time and effort into drawing characters and their movements. Much of this was accomplished very similarly to how they did it with the original Filmation episodes….A process of ‘rotoscoping’ or basically tracing the characters’ likenesses off of stills. This allowed us to capture the essence of the character.
However, now that we have one episode under our belt, I have had an opportunity to look back at what I got to do to get this episode out the door. First there was working with former Trek alumni like Chase Masterson and Tim Russ, and becoming friends with Chris Doohan. Then, there was meeting Lou Scheimer, which to an animated fan is like a Trek fan meeting Gene Roddenberry. And then, finally, there is getting the fan reaction to what we have done…which is always interesting to say the least :). However, I am rather happy with how the last year of the production went.
Well, unlike a television production, we didn’t conceive this project to sell Frosted Flakes or Mattel toys….to us, it was just a natural extension of the live-action Farragut episodes. As such, we have a very narrow audience target…Basically, if you are a Farragut fan you will enjoy seeing the characters you have become familiar with in a new and exciting episode. If you are a fan of the original Filmation Trek, I think you will appreciate how we captured the look and feel of the original, but I would still recommend becoming familiar with the live-action series first so you get to know the characters. However, if you a Star Trek purist and have no tolerance of fan-produced films, this probably isn’t for you. And that is fine…the original animated episodes were not for everyone either..and the only difference is that we don’t lose advertising dollars if you don’t care for it. God Bless the internet!!
Prescott on the Bridge
* In essence, “Power Source” is the first animated episode of Star Trek since Filmation first did it 35 years ago. I’ve received several emails and read numerous postings of folks’ reaction to Acts 1 and 2 of “Power Source” and my take is that some either get it or don’t. What is your thoughts to most folks’ reaction to seeing “Star Trek” in animation?
* I know that Lou Scheimer, Co-Founder and President of Filmation has given his blessings to the project. Has he seen it and what was his reaction to it?
Lou, who is 80, had an opportunity to see various clips of the episode last year, and he indeed was very pleased to give his blessing. His only criticism to me was that I wasn’t making any money off of it :) I plan to make arrangements to see him very soon and give him a personal screening. It should be interesting to note that Lou, himself, isn’t what he would call a Star Trek fan. However, the man knows his animation and storytelling, so I will be taking notes on what his feedback is. While I liken myself being the parent of these episodes, Lou could be the grandfather, or better yet, the Godparent of these episodes. No matter what they look like, he is happy someone got something out of HIS original work and was inspired to create something on their own.
* Now that “Power Source” is done, the second Starship Farragut: The Animated Episodes project, “The Needs of the Many” is in the works. How is this coming along?
Surprising, it is coming along very well. Anyone familiar with Filmation knows that most the poses and background (and music) were reused…almost to the point of being a parody of itself. We have found that with the main characters having already been rendered for ‘Power Source’ that creating future episodes becomes easier and easier. In fact, we already have a trailer prepared for the next episode, and we will be premiering it at DragonCon, and then subsequently on the internet.
I expect the full episode to be released by the end of the year, giving Starship Farragut the distinction of releasing something every year since they were conceived.
* As I recall, you wrote the script for the second episode and proposed to use it for live action filming. How does it make you feel to see it materialize finally? Does it really matter that it went from live action to animation?
Well, since I am one of the artists for both the episodes, along with being the director, editor, and executive producer, having one more credit to my name isn’t that big a deal. And to be clear, the story concept was mine, but the majority of the screenplay credit goes to Jack Trevino of Deep Space Nine fame. He basically took the concept I had and fleshed out a rather decent animated story from it.
The problem with the treatment I proposed for the live action was similar to the struggles the original, live-action Trek of the 1960’s had. The vision proposed was a bit too aggressive for the limited budget of a fan-production. Being in animation, it is actually MORE satisfying to see it onscreen as it more closely matches the original intention of the treatment.
It WILL be a different story than Power Source; however, just like any parent of multiple children, I can’t find myself being more proud of one episode more than the other. Each fits into Trek-lore nicely… and will allow NEO f/x to leave their mark in the fan-film world.
Thanks Michael for your time and congratulations to you and the NEO f/x team for completing, “Power Source.” The Farragut team stands ready to do voicework on the next animated adventure of the Starship Farragut!
The "Three Amigos" Looking Out into Space