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Creator's Corner » Voyage Trekkers - Nathan Blackwell
Tell us about your sci-fi web series.
Voyage Trekkers is a sci-fi comedy that drops in on a starship Captain and his crew during the worst moments of their galactic adventures. Much in the vein of Star Trek, the show is a love letter to sci-fi situations and genre conventions as we see them faced by the worst crew in the galaxy.
Where did the idea/concept for your web series come from?
I've been wanting to do sci-fi for the longest time; it's absolutely one of my favorite genres. Also, I just wanted to do a show that was 100% about the comedy. There's just so much fun to be had with science fiction, I just love it.
Name some of your sci-fi influences. Any favorite movies, TV shows, novels?
As I said before, Voyage Trekkers is a love letter to science fiction, but most obviously to Star Trek. It's interesting, I'm really more of a Star Wars geek than Star Trek, but Star Wars isn't as funny. Maybe it's Star Trek's larger body of work, or the lower budgets they had get by on with the TV shows, but there's much more comedic gold to be had with it. For this show, however, I didn't want to do a one-for-one parody of Star Trek. I wanted the freedom to sprinkle in dashes of Star Wars, or even the old Flash Gordon serials into the show, so we had the freedom to really make it about sci-fi in general.
Tell us about the technical production of your show. What camera & equipment did you use? Editing software & hardware? For visual effects, etc?
We shot Voyage Trekkers on a DSLR camera, the Canon 7D. We used a Canon T2i as our B Camera, which worked great since it has the same sensor as the 7D, we were able to intercut between the two. I'm editing the episodes on Final Cut Pro. Our visual effects are being created by a band of talented students from the Art Institute of Phoenix, lead by Keirsten Van Hoek and teacher David Stipes acting as consultant. David Stipes did visual effects for Star Trek: The Next Generation, V, and the original Battlestar Galactica. He's also the father of our production designer, Nathan Stipes.
We had a crazy shooting schedule. The episodes are just two to three minutes long each, and we were shooting three episodes in one day. Probably not the best idea. Luckily we still kept the days at about twelve hours long.
Can you tell us any interesting facts or trivia about your show? Any funny stories?
One of the most rewarding parts of the shoot was making the alien lizard mask. We weren't happy with the masks we found online so we bit the bullet pretty late in the game and decided to create one ourselves. It was a more expensive route to go and we were hurtling closer and closer to our production date. We sculpted it out of clay, created a plaster mold, made the latex head, and then painted it. We were so down to the wire we were painting it the night before shooting. The actor inside the mask, James Hoenscheidt, was completely blind inside the mask. He was a real trooper. We had to lead him around the rocky desert location, angle his hands and head in the directions we need. You can read more about the process of making the mask at our Squishy Studios Blog.
Voyage Trekkers - SciFinal Page
More behind the scenes from Voyage Trekkers below:
Commander Powell (Logan Blackwell) and Dr. Rena (Gabrielle Van Buren).
The set of Voyage Trekkers.
Director Nathan Blackwell sets up a green screen shot with actors Logan Blackwell, Adam Rini and
Gabrielle Van Buren.
A Voyage Trekkers retro production still.
Captain Sunstrike (Adam Rini) impresses Princess Alana (Michelle Burchfield) with his gun.