From Fan to Film Participant

On October 17th and 18th, Starship Farragut re-filmed it’s fourth adventure, “JUST PASSING THROUGH.”  This film was initially filmed in August 2007 and released last November to limited viewings.  Although completed, the Producers felt that it lacked the charm and vision that was initially scoped.  As part of that re-filming, Starship Farragut’s Casting and HR Director, Holly Bednar opened the door to fans of our project to become background actors.  Farragut fans Kevin Palm, Allan Batson, and others attended the re-filming event.  Below is an interview I had with Kevin Palm. 

KevinPalm_2

Re-filming of JPT

How did you go from being a longtime fan and supporter of Starship Farragut to being a background actor in “Just Passing Through?”

One day back in September, I received an email from Holly Bednar asking me if I’d be interested in being a background character for the reshoot of “Just Passing Through.” You could’ve knocked me over with a feather! JPT has a special place in my heart, not only because I associate it with the first time I met all of you in person, but because it’s a story that really needs to be seen. I was thrilled when I found out that it was being reshot, but I had no idea that I’d actually have the chance to be in it! With Starship Farragut’s move to the studio in St. Mary’s, I figured that a visit to the set was something that would be out of my reach for quite some time. How incredibly cool was it then that JPT was being filmed in Maryland! To make it even better, my work had me in training at the FAA Technical Center in Atlantic City for three weeks in October, and that put me only 3 ½ hours away from the filming location! I didn’t hesitate for a nanosecond before saying “Yes!”

How did it feel to actually be on the set?

It was an incredible feeling that I’m still not sure I can adequately put into words. I’ve maintained regular contact with most of the Starship Farragut’s cast and crew since attending the Crew Logs premiere last November, so being on the set was a combination of meeting up with old friends, making new ones, and seeing those friends in a totally different light once the uniforms went on. This may seem silly, but it was amazing to see you, Michael and Holly transform into Carter, Tacket, and Smithfield almost literally before my eyes! Your costumes are nothing short of fantastic in their craftsmanship and authenticity, and it was a thrill to finally get to see them up close. It was doubly amazing to see the hard work that went into converting a nondescript government conference room into a Starbase Officer’s Club in the span of time it took me to cut out a window opening and get into costume! Everyone pitches in to help, and everyone’s a professional. It’s a great combination, and it sure shows in the finished product. That set had it all, complete with tricorders, a signature Saurian Brandy bottle (Richard Sprague kept swiping it from our table to do his walkarounds), a handmade three-dimensional chess set and, yes, even a tribble!I’d like to take this opportunity to thank you and Cheryl Thomas-Smith once again for designing my costume. What started out as an Ohio Highway Patrolman’s motorcycle jumpsuit turned into a pretty nifty freighter captain’s uniform, complete with epaulettes and other bling! It looked very cool and was a nice, dark contrast to all the bright Starfleet uniforms in the club! Mark Hildebrand kept the atmosphere light, but still got 110% from all of the actors. I got to witness the filming of several key scenes, and I was in awe of the actors being able to deliver their lines, take after take, with the same intensity (especially after several takes were ended by the lights shutting off!). I’ve said before that the level of acting in Starship Farragut has improved in leaps and bounds since “The Captaincy,” and I got to see several examples live that day! I also got to see some things that I desperately hope will go into a blooper reel at some point!

Yes, the “Cargo Ship Captain’s Uniform” as I’d like to call it turned out really well and was a nice break from the usual Classic Trek uniforms. I was able to use some creativity; Cheryl was very helpful as usual on the costume front!

Any anecdotes you’d like to share?

I shared a table with Rob Turner, who played a Starfleet Commander, and Dean Rogers, who played 2nd year Starfleet Cadet Morris.  We were instructed to have conversations that wouldn’t specifically be heard in the episode, but would add to the general “hubbub” of conversation in a busy Officer’s Club.  My character was supposed to be the captain of a freighter in the Merchant Service, so I decided that my part of the conversation would be me attempting to convince Cadet Morris to leave Starfleet Academy and join the Merchant Service, where he was guaranteed to have his own ship in three years!  To his credit, though, he wouldn’t budge, so Farragut is in no danger of losing her future helmsman!!

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Kevin Palm in Costume

Too funny!  A little trivia for folks, Rob Turner was the “original” First Officer for the Farragut.  For those that have seen our SERIES TRAILER released in late 2005/early 2006 timeframe, Rob Turner played the trusty First Officer “RT.”   

 
 

2-RTs

The 2 "RT's"

What memories will you take away from this experience?

 

The most emotional part of the experience for me was that I got to play the “Starship Farragut March” on my bagpipes for most of the cast and crew at the end of the day. I’ve wanted to do that for quite a while, but the timing was never in the cards until now. They sounded pretty good considering that I didn’t have much time to get them warmed up and tuned (I tried warming them up in a restroom at the other side of the building, but someone who works in an office nearby apparently isn’t a big bagpipe fan.
I’m honored to have been able to participate in the filming, and I really appreciate you, Holly, and Michael giving me the opportunity to contribute to the Starship Farragut saga!

We were honored to have you involved.  I have to admit that the idea of you initially playing the bagpipes sounded a bit hokey, but after listening to you – I was truly overwhelmed and impressed.  It was a great moment after a hard day of work to listen to you bring the Starship Farragut theme to life. 

By the way, The Capital (a local newspaper covering the the Annapolis and Baltimore area) featured a segment on Starship Farragut and the re-filming of “Just Passing Through” – check it out: 

http://www.hometownannapolis.com/news/lif/2009/11/01-12/To-boldly-go-wh

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3 Responses to “From Fan to Film Participant”

  1. Kevin Palm Says:

    LOVE the picture of Rob and Mike together!!

  2. Sean Says:

    Now I really can’t wait to see this.

  3. Losira Says:

    Truely amazing! It seems you all are again blasting me into space! Your authenticity in your uniforms,I realy liked that cargo getup! Very professional to say the least.and I have to say that in regard to all that I have seen in your stories or should I say series.who knows paramount may aproach you..contract in hand! Better still syfy needs your help in as far as a quality star trek series.you all would be a godsend! Keep o. Trekkin!

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