U.S.S. Potemkin - NCC-1711
Our episodes will focus on science fiction as well as action-adventure, humor, drama. Each production varies in its length; we're not restricting ourselves by following a typical four-act television format. Instead, writers are encouraged to think outside the box. We've produced short vignettes, half-hour episodes, and even a much longer episode currently in post-production. Filming takes place in various locations in Southwest Georgia in order to take advantage of the wide variety of unique locations throughout the region. In addition to the sets we've built in Albany, we've filmed on a river front in Lee County, in the historic Radium Springs in Dougherty County, and we're looking at other exciting, unique locations throughout the region.
All of this helps make Project: Potemkin a unique Star Trek fan film series!
Never Judge a Vignette By Its Cover
For over forty years I have wondered who that guy was and why he was being left behind on that craggy red world. Now I know (or like to think I do).
Lou Feck (1925-1981) painted the covers for three of James Blish's collections of Star Trek episode adaptations (numbers 4, 6, and 8). His iconic painting of the Enterprise dangling over a barren moon-like world for Star Trek 4 is probably his most famous; 6 ain't bad either; but it is his Godforsaken, red-hued, rocky... LONELY... planet- scape and solitary Starfleet officer (with a belt not seen on the series), holding a glass helmet and a 1972 GI Joe Walkie-Talkie, that has always left me with that sense of wonder so often ballyhooed but seldom achieved.
Who is that guy?
Well, let's be honest, I'm sure Feck meant for it to be Captain Kirk. Doesn't really look like him, but perhaps Bantam didn't have clearances to use William Shatner's likeness. Hell, it may have been an idealization of Feck, himself. Not that he needed it. So often, the writers and artists whose books and canvases give us "mightily thewed" heroic men and outlandishly beautiful, but always demure, women look like... well, me. But not Lou Feck.
Was he really being left behind?
Probably not. It just looks that way to my eye. The starship (improbably appearing to be maybe two hundred feet overhead) is moving away from him; his back is turned to it, making him appear unconcerned that he is being left behind.
Why is he there?
To strike a pose. To make all Trekkies buy the book. Who knows. The illustration really does not fit with any of the six stories in this volume (Spock's Brain, The Enemy Within, Catspaw, Where No Man Has Gone Before, Wolf in The Fold, For The World is Hollow and I Have Touched The Sky). It simply appears that Lou Feck took inspiration from Trek's somewhat limited stage-bound planet sets, and drew a cyclorama sky and a few stalagmites and called it a planet.
It's late-60s, early 70s evocative. I don't know if it is good art, but I do like it. A lot. Enough to occasionally try a piece of fan fiction to tell the story of why this guy is being left behind.
When "Red Sky at Night" (the title is somewhat ham-handedly lifted from the old sailor's ditty, I'll be the first to admit) premieres on the internet in 2014, I'll offer my explanation (aided by all the good folks at Project: Potemkin and by artist Sean Mulkey, who really captured the essence of Feck's painting without slavishly copying it). I hope you might like my take on it. I'd love to hear yours.
FOOTNOTE: Lou Feck painted a number of paperback covers from about 1969 until his death at age 56. A Google search will show the many genres he worked in. Of particular interest might be his cover for the 1971 paperback edition of Fredric Brown's Rogue in Space -- dude loved his ill-fitting "space helmets" and swirling galactic backdrops. So do I.
A nice appreciation of Feck's work can be found here.
Bringing the World of Skidola to Life
My first thought was to wonder what kind of help an established artist be? And then cam scri[t from David Eversole. David has been inspired by many things in his writing, and this time he had been inspired by Lou Feck, cover artist extraordinaire. My first thought as a producer is always: is this filmable? And reading through the script, I knew that it was. But how could we achieve the background required for the key scene of the story? The obvious answer is always "green screen," but this time I wanted to try something different. I took out the card Sean had left me, and made a phone call.
Some time later, Sean was at Fast Copy, and I described what I needed, and showed him an enlargement of the Star Trek 8 cover. I told him I didn't want to reproduce a copy of the cover; I wanted a a piece that would be evocative of the image. Sean agreed, and a short time, began to work.
Sean did a terrific job capturing the feel of the original, and the vignette written by David Eversole really was solid and appealing. Look for this vignette to appear in 2014!