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Fan Film Friday – A first look at the upcoming SQUADRON fan film from the CZECH REPUBLIC

By February 7, 2020 Fan Films

SPECIAL PROGRAMMING NOTE: A live interview with JAKUB HOLÝ will air tonight (Friday, February 7, 2020) at 9:00 pm Eastern Time on Axanar Confidential.

Holy Eastern European Star Trek fan film blockbusters! Have you seen all of the early hype about SQUADRON yet??? If you haven’t, you will…I can assure you! And the main reason is a fellow named JAKUB HOLÝ from the city of Prague in the Czech Republic. Bordering Germany, Austria, Poland, and Slovakia, the Czech Republic is about as big as the U.S. state of Louisiana. But what the country lacks in size, it more than makes up for in Star Trek fanaticism and ingenuity!

Jakub contacted me recently to see if I’d be willing to interview him prior to the launch of their new Indiegogo campaign later in February with a goal of about $15K (not sure what that is in Euros at the moment) to fund post-production on Squadron. Jakub had photos, videos, and even a press kit! So I took a look…

WOW!

Even though I don’t speak Czech, there were versions of everything in English, as well…

What I quickly discovered is that these guys have what could very well be one of the coolest-looking 24th century-era Star Trek fan films that we’ve seen yet. I’ll include some photos at the end of this blog, but a few things in particular stood out for me.

First, look at that make-up in the image at the top of this blog. Those Jem’Hadar and that Vorta are amazing!! (Further down this page, you’ll see photos of the Vorta from the side, which look even more impressive.) The Dominion War has gotten little attention in Star Trek fan films…for the obvious reason of make-up challenges for the many alien races involved. The few fan productions that have tackled that period, like some of the recent CONSTAR CHRONICLES episodes, have mainly limited their stories and visuals to space battles without showing actual Vorta or Jem’Hadar characters. In fact, I don’t recall ever seeing either alien in a Trek fan film up until now (feel free to correct me if I’m missing something).

Second, the production quality looks spectacular, from the aforementioned make-up to lighting—and especially those meticulously-crafted uniforms…

But by far, the most intriguing and exciting aspect to this brand new fan film is their magnificent 360-degree bridge set. It’s not the Enterprise-D or E or the Defiant or Voyager, but it is still a visually stunning 360-degree set that offers an amazing flexibility to the director and actors for getting dynamic and complex shots.

Of course, Squadron is not the first or only Star Trek fan film to have a practical bridge set. There have been many over the last two decades. And heck, if you want TOS or earlier, there are bridge sets a’plenty across the United States. But if you’re doing TNG/DS9/Voyager era—well, that’s another matter entirely. A couple of folks like LEO TIERNEY of STAR TREK: DECEPTION II and GARY O’BRIEN of THE HOLY CORE managed to construct partial 24th century bridges (and did quite well). But the folks doing Squadron have a large, totally enclosed set to play around in.

Prior to Squadron, a few other fan films were also shot on this amazing bridge set, which was first constructed (or parts of it were) back in 2015. The bridge was added to and expanded in 2016, becoming a full 360-degree set for the first time. They also built a ready room/briefing room. After that, various fan groups filmed DIPLOMACYPATRIOTGAMBIT OF THE ANCIENT ONES, and most recently A TASTE OF APOCALYPSE and the upcoming MYSTERIOUS ODYSSEY there…all in Czech but also with English subtitles.

What will make the upcoming Squadron unique is that the crowd-funding money will be used, in part, to bring on English-speaking voice-over actors to dub the lines in order to create an English version of Squadron that doesn’t require reading subtitles for ten, fifteen, or thirty minutes. Squadron has already been shot, but the post-production still needs to be done, and that will require an Indiegogo campaign. Some of that money will also go toward the creation of an additional brand new set for their next fan film.

When Jakub reached out to me asking for coverage of Squadron‘s upcoming Indiegogo campaign, I thought, “YES! Exactly what they should be doing!” All too often, fan filmmakers looking for crowd-funding launch their campaigns with little build-up or fanfare. One day, without warning, up goes a Kickstarter or Indiegogo or GoFundMe, and then there’s a few posts on Facebook asking for donations. Big mistake. One of my first rules of crowd-funding: Your campaign should never be a “surprise” when it launches. Always try to let people know it’s coming and get them excited.

Squadron‘s Indiegogo will kick off later in February with a solid head start. They were already advertising before Christmas…

That’s JAKUB HOLÝ on the left.

And since then, they’ve been teasing their campaign with ads like this on social media…

Yes, they already have an Indiego pre-launch page where you can sign up for the latest news and updates about the project (which, of course, I’ve done). The page also features this enticing 30-second teaser video…

And speaking of social media, these folks already have a very impressive website (in English), a Facebook group, and an Instragram account set up showing a plethora of production and behind-the-scenes photos. Here’s just a small sample…

Jakub and I scheduled an interview, and he showed me some of the items he has in store to show to fans and hopefully get them really excited…including one of the most spectacularly-done “ask” videos that I’ve seen for a Star Trek fan film in a very long time!

This might be the first time you’ve heard of Squadron, but trust me, it won’t be the last. And in a few short weeks, I’m confident that you’re going to want to donate—either with a credit card or just taking out your Czech book. (Ouch, I am soooo sorry for that one…but I needed to get it out of my system before the campaign launches.)

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