Here’s what they had to say… (click below for the entire interview)
Nerd Nation: First off, tell us a bit about yourself, how did you first get into filmmaking?
David R Wrenn: “I was about 14 years old when TOS (Star Trek: The Original Series) premiered. I watched it, the movies, and all the other series. I was a fan but I never considered myself to be a trekker. I had never been to a convention, or gotten into any of the other media like books or magazines. I met frank parker jr. In 2011. We were both attending community college. He invited me to go with him and help build the amazing Starship Farragut sets in Kingsland Georgia. On one of our visits to the sets he said that he was going to create a show of his own and offered to let me write the script for the first episode. It was to be an adaptation of a short story by Gary Davis. Soon afterwards, he asked if I would like to play the part of Commander Denson, and I eagerly accepted.”
NN: How did the idea for Dreadnought Dominion come about?
Gary Davis: “Frank Parker Jr. was an extra and set builder for the web series, Starship Farragut. It got a lot of folks, and him, REAL excited about The Original Series.”
DRW: “Both Frank and Gary Davis were also members of a Star Trek fan club, Starfleet International. Chapters were formed into ships and were mainly Star Trek: The Next Generation themed. Frank petitioned the club to change eras and reform as a The Original Series chapter. He wanted something different for the Dominion fan club, so we chose the Franz Joseph design for the Dreadnought Class for the chapter. After that, he then took it a step further, and asked the producers of Starship Farragut if we could use the Farragut Studios sets in Kingsland, GA to bring the adventures of the Dominion to life.”
NN: You do have some very impressive, and very accurate sets, care to elaborate on this at all?
DRW: “We are honored to have been able to shoot on those sets. The sets are in Kingsland Georgia and were built for the web series, Starship Farragut. At one point there were four series being shot there. Starship Farragut, Star Trek Continues, Dreadnought Dominion, and Exeter Trek. The sets were built to reproduce the original Desilu Studios Star Trek sets to within a fraction of an inch. Since the sets were built to represent a TOS era Constitution Class ship, there are a few things that are not totally correct for our Dreadnought class ship. For instance the lack of a second turbo-lift on the bridge. But to add a second turbo-lift would have been cost prohibitive and we hope the fans can forgive us our sins.”
NN: How about the Starfleet uniforms, can you tell us a bit about what went into to their creation?
DRW: “A lot of people were involved in our costumes in one way or another. Some were by John Broughton, the creator of Starship Farragut and some were made by Donna Smith Parker, the wife of Dreadnought Dominion creator, Frank Parker Jr. Ginger Holley and Victoria Griffin were our Costume assistants during the second shoot for ‘Haunted’. The tunics and the women’s costumes were very well made and most – if not all – were made from authentic materials.”
NN: Who does your digital F/X?
DRW: “Our CGI effects were created and animated by the very talented Kenneth Thomson Jr. You can find his name in a vast list of productions. We are super proud to have him aboard.”
NN: Does Dreadnought Dominion exist within the original Star Trek canon, or is it something different?
DRW: “I’m sure someone will correct me if I’m wrong, but the Dreadnought class was ever shown in the original series. It was designed later by Franz Joseph Schnaubelt and is generally accepted as canon. In everything we do we stay within the canon created in the original series to the best of our abilities. Especially when we reference other ships, planets, Captains, and events.”
NN: What would you estimate is your overall production budget for this project?
DRW: “Gary Davis and I were not involved in this production from the very beginning, so I would probably get some people upset with me if I were to hazard a guess, but I do know that all of us paid for our own transportation and lodging during the shoots, and 100% of our work was for no pay. We built no sets of our own, and we hired no guest stars so the budget was very small compared to many fan films.”
NN: Doing fan films can be tough, especially considering you’re not legally allowed to profit from it. What steps have you taken to overcome this?
DRW: “We are doing this because we all love either Star Trek, filmmaking, acting, or all of the above. Our first two shoots were done entirely out-of-pocket. We plan to do a kickstarter campaign soon and hope that our fans and Star Trek fans in general will support us and help us get next one done for them. We accept donations on our web site and we also appreciate assistance of any other kind.”
NN: How far do you plan to take the Dreadnought Dominion series? How many episodes?
DRW: “We presently have a second episode which is a short vignette which takes place a few days before the events of “Haunted” We are absolutely loving doing this show. As long as we can find a way to make it happen, we have no plans of stopping. But at the very least we want desperately to produce our third episode called “Redemption at Red Medusa”. It wraps up the story arc that was begun in our first two episodes. At this point we have scripts for three more episodes. Our next episode, is much more ambitious. It will be longer, and have more of everything. More action, more adventure, more special effects, and maybe even a little romance.”
NN: We met at a convention, which of course is the bread and butter of fan films. Do you plan to attend any more? If so, which ones?
DRW: “We have plans to show ‘Haunted’ and host a panel at the Atomacom Convention in Charleston SC in November 2015. We sure hope to see you and as many Trek fans as possible there!”
NN: Speaking of cons, a lot of the larger ones have closed circuit con-exclusive TV channels, such as DragonCon TV, ConNooga TV, and others. Have you given any thought to submitting an episode to any of these outlets?
DRW: “We hadn’t before, but we sure will now. Thanks for the heads up!”
NN: Finally, where can people find out more about Dreadnought Dominion? Feel free to plug anything you’d like.
DRW: “You can visit our website at http://www.dreadnoughtdominion.com and learn about the production, the cast and any news that we have forthcoming. Also, if I may, I would like to add one last thing. We, at DD, are extremely proud that our show represents the original spirit of fan films. We’re not here to get rich, or to get famous. We’re just a group of friends who wanted to make some magic. And with a little luck and the help of a lot of generous and talented people, we did. Oh, and stay tuned for episode 2, ‘Anchors Aweigh’, hopefully within a few weeks.”
For more information on David R. Wrenn, Gary Davis, and all things Dreadnought Dominion, including other great Star Trek inspired fan films, please visit their official website at: www.dreadnoughtdominion.com and like them on facebook at: www.facebook.com/dreadnoughtdominion.
Editor: Nerd Nation Magazine