G & T Show SL – Star Trek Horizon with Tommy Kraft
G & T Show SL – Star Trek Horizon with Tommy Kraft is now available to download. Check it out here. Nick, Terry, and Mike are joined by the renaissance man behind Star Trek Horizon, Tommy Kraft, to discuss his work on this impressive fan film among other topics, such as music, television, and more. You don’t want to miss this informative and fun interview.
After this week’s introductions and warm greetings for their guest, Terry reminds them of the last time they had spoken with Tommy during Horizon’s Kickstarter campaign, nearly two years ago. They congratulate him for the release of the film. A lot of hard work, dedication, and love for Trek went into the creation of Horizons and it shows. Nicks starts off with the first question. To Tommy, the film doesn’t feel done since he’s still working on the donor rewards, which includes two Admiral’s jackets, DVDs, and Blu-Rays. He learned to how to sew to create the required costumes and thought offering custom jackets would be something people would want, but failed to predict that he would come to hate sewing. He will rest once the perks are all done. He created all of the costumes in the film. He created between 12 and 15 jumpsuits, the Admiral’s and Romulan’s jackets. He talks about some of the issues he experienced creating the jumpsuits and is pleased no one donated at that level.
Since sewing was his least favorite part of this experience, Mike asks about his favorite part of the production. He loves making movies and overall enjoys the overall process, but his favorites have to be writing, directing, and cinematography. He learned a lot about visual effects. He had studied music in school and enjoyed the process of writing the film’s score.
When the film went live, Nick asks what that moment was like for him. Tommy pushed the button and got to work on the perks. He doesn’t get excited over meeting celebrities or anything like that. He was just glad that it was done. He’s pleased that people like it and the view count keeps climbing.
Terry asks about the scene with the shuttle flying in to meet the crew. Mike imagined that he had climbed the highest antennae he could find in order to get that shot. Tommy actually used and modified some stock footage to create that scene. He talks about some of the other stock footage clips he used and how he had modified them. He had used stock footage from Video Blocks and Video Hive. He’s pleased that it all came out the he wanted.
Nick asks about the camera he used. It was a BlackMagic Cinema 2.5k. He talks about the camera and where he got it. He had spent $5k to $6k before the Kickstarter and shot the majority of the film with Green Screen. Mike says he had heard that the majority of Horizon was filmed in his parent’s basement. Tommy confirms it and talks about some of the things he and his brother had done in preparation. He did spend 2 days at a photography studio in Detroit, but almost everything else was shot in the basement. For Mike, that fact gives it some authentic fan film cred and makes what he has done just that much more amazing.
People are able to make films using their phones, the most fun experience he had making the film was the entire process. He had made several shorts, but his was his first full length feature and he had learned so much from the experience from visual effects to scheduling and everything in between. In the future, when he’s working with a crew, he now knows how to talk to those people in ways that other people without that experience can not. By doing everything and understanding how it all works. Another thing that he’s learned is that the little details often don’t matter and uses Man of Steel and their creation of the Kryptonian language as a detail that doesn’t matter. Know when to call it quits. He knows where his attention needs to go, rather than by sweating the small details that may not even be visible. He has learned how to be more efficient when dealing with limited resources.
Tommy talks about Movie Magic. Nick discusses his reaction to watching Aliens for the first time. Tommy only saw it recently and wasn’t scared because he had seen the troupes it used. Nick asks what changes he went through from the time when he started writing the story and to what ended up on the screen. The hanging threads from Enterprise were his starting point and overall, the final product does match pretty closely to originally envisioned. He does talk about some of the differences from the first draft and what he had trimmed from it, which included Sargon from TOS. He also spoke about some of the things he had trimmed from the film because it slowed it down the pacing or was cut for time. Roughly 10 to 15 minutes of material was cut from the finished film. He tells us what happened to Marie at the end of the film, since it was one of the scenes that was cut from the film because he had lost the footage.
It was filmed in Michigan. Several shooting days had to be cancelled because of snow, because the actors couldn’t make the 2 hour drive down. During the downtime, he sewed and worked on other aspects of the film, such as effects. It took them a year to film the equivalent of 18 filming days because of the weather. Mark had lost some weight and the everyone’s hair seemed different from one scene to the next, because so much time had passed between shooting days.
Some technical difficulties and skyping interrupts the interview momentarily. But, after getting them worked out, the interview resumes.
Nick discusses the crowdfunding and its impact on his film. He didn’t think he would have gotten any funding from it, which is why he spent his own money initially to begin the film. He even spent some of his student loans buying equipment for the film instead of school books. He studied music in school. It came easy for him, just as moving making does. He struggled with some of the other classes, including the Psychology class. He saves his thoughts on teaching for another time. Tommy plays guitar, piano, and can sing. He loves performing.
They talk about John Mayer, Pete Townsend, Paul McCarthney, and music. Tommy spent 2 to 4 weeks creating the score. He is scick of watching his film. He has seen the entire film over 15 times and that’s not counting the number of times he had to watch each of the scenes while he was working on it. He doesn’t mind watching his own work but at this point, he is tired of it. They talk about the scoring process. It doesn’t begin until the edit is locked. He already knew what he wanted going in to scoring. He considered the music while he was originally writing the script. With him doing it all himself, he knew exactly what he wanted by the time he was ready to begin. He also talks about the composers that inspired him with his soundtrack. There’s an hour and twenty minutes of music in Horizon and he likes impactful moments.
Mike asked what is next for him. The answer comes later in the show. Tommy talks about some of the first fan films and points out how far hardware and software has come since those days. The availability of technology is directly responsible for him getting into filming. They talk about the use of 3D printing and how it will be used in the future of film making. He talks about how he used 3D printed objects for props in his film. He mentions some of the areas that still need advancement.
They talk about Mad Max before moving onto their Lipton Questions. They want to know if his answers had changed since the last time these questions were asked of Tommy. His favorite Trek series is still Enterprise. If he could be any species in Trek, he’d Cardassian. If he could create an open-ended series using a Trek series, it would have to be Garek. The name of his Starship would be the USS Discovery, but it could also be Jackman. They squirrel off onto Barrowman and some of the characters from The Flash, Arrow, and Legends of Tomorrow for a few moments. Returning to the questions, if were given permission to kill off a major Star Trek canon character, he would want it to be done in a good way so that it makes sense. They talk about Generations and Nemesis and compare the deaths of Kirk and Data. He takes a pass on the answer, stating that it would depend on the story. They added a new question to their Lipton questions. Tommy’s bridge crew would consist of Enterprise crewmen, but after some thought, he decided to go with Chief O’Brien, Data, Malcolm, Hoshi, Kira, and Paris. Travis and Tasha Yar would be on the Beta shift.
Tommy responds to Mike’s earlier question about what is next. He has written several shorts and an original feature and has ideas for another original feature. But, he hasn’t decided what he wants to spend the next several years doing. He knows what he would do if he ever decided to do a Star Trek Horizon sequel, but he has to establish his career before he could even consider pursuing another fan film project. He’s confident that it’ll either be an original feature or a short that will use everything that he’s learned with this project.
They go over where people can find his film. They thank him for joining them for the interview and his wonderful work creating Horizon.
G & T Show Supplemental Log – Star Trek: Horizon – http://www.gandtshow.com/g-t-show-supplemental-log-star-trek-horizon/
Star Trek Horizons Website – http://www.startrekhorizon.com/
Star Trek Horizon On YouTube – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l94v4YOqxOc
Star Trek Horizon Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/sthorizon/
Video Blocks – https://www.videoblocks.com/
Video Hive – http://videohive.net/
But, wait. There’s more.
He is the co-owner of Busy Little Beaver Productions and is the producer and co-host for G & T Show and Gates of Sto’vo’kor. He’s directed voice actors, and produced and edited audio podcasts and dramas because he doesn’t have the face for video. He plays well with others and is always on the look out for the next project, the next thing, the next next. If he wasn’t working on something with a half dozen other projects waiting in the wings, somebody please check to make sure he’s still breathing.
During the day, he’s a mild-mannered computer repair man who dabbles in web design in his small, rural, Central California community. He lives with his lovingly dysfunctional family and loyal canine companion and spends most of his time in the closet concocting some hair-brained scheme or another. He’s got an unhealthy obsession with Lego video games, Klingons, and Star Trek Online that borders on the neurotic.
Despite all this, he still finds the time to write the words. Find out what he's doing here.