Fan-produced films are a great way to keep the franchise alive after years of disappointing 'Star Trek' movies and shows, says David O'Neill
As reported by Trekweb, working on Star Trek: Hidden Frontier and Star Trek: Odyssey was both challenging and enjoyable according to O'Neill. "Directing was great," he said. "I was the new guy, handling the penultimate episode of this phenomenal series. It was complex episode to boot, setting everything that would lead into the finale. The cast was a delight to work with, giving me help and advice where needed."
Once Hidden Frontier ended, O'Neill moved on to Odyssey. "I was fortunate to be able to join 'Hidden Frontier' when its production values were on an exponential role," said O'Neill. "The green halo effect was now gone, the virtual sets looked sharper, and with the new lighting effects, we're able to give the episodes a more subtle, shadowy look of real life."
O'Neill directed the third season The Lotus Eaters episode of Odyssey. Shooting was a challenge. "As the song goes, 'It never rains in Southern California,' but during the production of this episode we had our wettest January in like five years," he explained. "The camera cannot move filming in virtual sets, so I was looking forward to filming outside. But rain, mud and some cool weather prevented us from filming all the Achlys, Panos, Ro and T'Lorra scenes outside. And on the one night we did get to film outside, it was very chilly and damp, along with barking dogs."
Fan-produced films give the opportunity to tell unique stories that might be too controversial for the traditional studios and also help to keep the franchise alive, according to O'Neill. "I think fans films such as ours, along with 'Star Trek: Intrepid', 'Star Trek: Phase II' and others, is a great way keep the franchise alive, especially over these lean years of disappointing movies and TV shows," he explained. "One of the best reasons to do something like this, I think, is to present stories that have yet to be seen, even on the studio backed Star Trek. Obviously, the gay storylines that were introduced in Hidden Frontier is one area CBS/Paramount has decided is far too dangerous to explore in their corporate strategy to appeal to every demographic on the planet. But with the fan produced shows, it gave voice to a base that has been ignored over the years. That's what online shows and movies have given us: a chance to explore these new avenues of story telling."
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