BACKERS UPDATE 2/6/13
Sorry to be so long in checking in with a new backers update, but I’ve been busy busy BUSY on SPACE COMMAND!
(And by the way, if you’d like almost daily SPACE COMMAND updates, be sure to sign up for our SPACE COMMAND Movie Facebook Page at http://www.facebook.com/spacecommandmovie
and don’t forget to check out www.spacecommandmovie.com too.)
My gosh, where to start? There’s so much to talk about!
(And forgive if this update is a tad long, but I want to clue you in, my dear Backers, without whom none of this would be possible, on a good deal of what we’re up to…)
First off, I’m now busy at work writing the FIVE SPACE COMMAND features, which we’re planning to shoot back to back starting in July in our magnificent studio space, which includes green screen stage, Red cameras, camera cranes, prop department, makeup department, costume department, set construction facility, virtual scoring stage and so much more.
The SPACE COMMAND Universe I’ve been creating is a grand canvas that stretches over ninety years across two centuries. It focuses on the destinies of four generations of three families as they cross paths, aid and conflict with each other – the KEMMERS, SEKANDERS and ODARAS.
Our first two films, “How the Solar System Was Won” (which I’ve just finished writing) and “Forgiveness” (which I’m co-writing now with talented young writer Richard Kim) take place approximately sixty years from now in 2075, when SPACE COMMAND and the United Planets oversee the safety of those colonizing, exploring and commercially exploiting the planets, moons and other bodies of our solar system. Our ships at this stage are slower-than-light fusion drives.
Captain Jack Kemmer commands the Paladin and Captain Lorraine Essex commands the sister ship Templar.
And a word about Captains Kemmer and Essex – as you know, we’ve been conducting the world-wide Talent Searches for Captain Kemmer and Cadet Bradbury. Well, one actress sent in an audition for Kemmer – Sara Maraffino – and we were so impressed we created the role of Captain Essex just for her!
Here’s the video of some of the callbacks we’ve been having for Captain Kemmer. We haven’t made our final decision on who’ll play Kemmer yet – there are so many talented candidates to choose from!
And here’s the audition of Sara Maraffino. (Please note: the special effects and sets are just place holders and don’t reflect what our films will look like – it was just fun to have them here. The score is authentic Space Command.)
Our third SPACE COMMAND feature, “The Great Solar War” (which I’m now co-writing with Emmy-winner and Star Wars novelist Michael Reaves), takes place thirty years after the first two films and features an older Jack Kemmer, now a General in SPACE COMMAND, and his son Ed Kemmer, Captain of a considerably beefed-up Paladin, now a warship. In this film, we develop faster-than-light capability and leap to the stars.
Our fourth and fifth SPACE COMMAND films, “Empire” (which I’ve completed writing) and “Harvester,” take place sixty years after the Great Solar War. By now, SPACE COMMAND and the United Planets have extended their reach to other systems and sentient species.
I’ve been in close communication with our brilliant actors about the roles I’m intending them to play, and have just sent Doug Jones, Mira Furlan and Bob Picardo the draft of “How the Solar System Was Won.”
As you know, Mira Furlan and I first met when we worked on BABYLON 5 (where she played Delenn, years before playing Danielle on LOST). Here we are recently over lunch, talking about her SPACE COMMAND role of Dr. Evelyn “Vonn” Odara:
And here I am with Doug Jones – for whom I’ve crafted the role of Dor Neven, a Synthetic -- two weeks ago at the screening of his new film JOHN DIES AT THE END:
And with Bob Picardo, for whom I’ve created the character of Yusef Sekander:
Other friends I’m crafting roles for include Armin Shimerman, Ethan Phillips, Dean Haglund of X-FILES, Sybil Danning, Bill Mumy and many others.
Additionally, we’ve narrowed down our finalists for Cadet Bradbury and will be shooting callbacks with them in the next few weeks, as they fly in from across the nation.
On the art and design front, my dear friend STAR WARS character designer Iain McCaig has been drawing up a storm, designing our lead characters, uniforms, spacesuits and aliens.
Here’s a remarkable illustration of Jack Kemmer he just did:
And Doug Jones as the Synthetic, Dor Neven:
And an alien ship of an ancient race called the Y’maa, which features prominently in “How the Solar System Was Won”:
Iain, of course, has also designed the remarkable aliens, the Cerberons, who will feature in “The Great Solar War.” Here’s his initial illustration them:
Together with gifted CG artist Diego Gonzalez, Iain’s created this animation test of the Cerberons, a work-in-progress.
Meanwhile, famed STAR WARS and MAGIC illustrator Dave Dorman’s been working on spaceship designs and starting to head up our art department.
Here’s a marvelous image Dave just did of one of the generations of our flagship, the Paladin:
In terms of our special effects team, as many of you know, our talented friend Doug Drexler had to head off to work on SyFy Channel’s upcoming show DEFIANCE, which was developed by my old pal Rockne O’Bannon and is being directed and produced by another dear friend Michael Nankin (of BATTLESTAR GALACTICA fame).
To take over his workload on SPACE COMMAND, Doug highly recommended another FX genius, Tobias Richter, who’s done phenomenal work on both STAR TREK and Ray Bradbury projects.
Beyond this, we’re bringing aboard many other top special effects wizards to generate what will ultimately be thousands of shots.
Among those already busy at work on SPACE COMMAND designs are Jonathan Feldman (SERENITY) and Zareh Gorjian, who does AMAZING planetary landscapes for JPL. I feel so honored to be working with such remarkable people.
(And by the way, if YOU would like to be part of our design, effects, storyboard or pre-viz team, send us some samples. The address is firstname.lastname@example.org. We’re looking for talented folks who want to be part of something amazing… and are willing to work for the love of it – and a share in what we ultimately create.)
Zareh, by the way, has an astronomer brother who also works at JPL, Varoujan Gorjian, and Varoujan has agreed to be one of our science advisors. My NASA friend Geoffrey Landis (who drove the Mars rover and is a Hugo-winning science fiction writer to boot) is also going to be advising us. Then there's Michael Interbartolo from NASA human exploration, who's worked on the Space Shuttle and now is designing water and power technology to field test on Mars. Plus many other scientists and engineers from top aerospace agencies and companies including SpaceX.
Another film legend who’s been advising us (and we hope will do even more) is my old friend Greg Jein, who built the mothership in CLOSE ENCOUNTERS and the cityscape in BLADE RUNER.
Here I am years ago with Greg at his workshop, when I dropped by to pick up the Star Trek VI phaser he made for me, which was actually used in the film!
But wait, there’s more! We’re currently getting approved by the REAL Space Command, a branch of the United States Air Force, so they’ll be able to advise us and provide access to equipment and sites.
I’ve also been in talks with renowned costumer Liz Nankin (Michael Nankin’s delightful spouse) to help us with Space Command. Her ideas and suggestions have already proved invaluable.
Beyond this, we’ve just approved Anthony Burt, the famed British writer for Doctor Who, Nickelodeon, Macmillan, Harpercollins, Disney and The Wrap, to write the first Space Command young adult novel, which will be an adventure that takes place fifteen years after the Great Solar War and focus on teenager Frank Kemmer, as he comes to learn his place in the universe.
As for adult Space Command novels, we’re hot at work with STAR WARS novelists Michael Reaves and Maya Bohnhoff (with whom I wrote the second MAGIC TIME novel) crafting a storyline dealing with Captain Jack Kemmer and Captain Lorrain Essex, set shortly after our first two films. Beyond this, we’re planning on further novels that will focus on the history of the Paladin over the two centuries of Space Command, our long-lived Synthetic Dor Neven and world conqueror Odin Sekander and his family.
Wait, you want even more? We’re working on a role-playing card game with Dave Dorman of MAGIC fame and an interactive role-playing web platform with Bob Gebert, the creator of the incredible BECKINFIELD site.
Additionally, you can now buy Space Command t-shirts and posters at http://spacecommandmovie.com/store/ More merchandise will be available soon.
Beyond this, we’re in the works on SPACE COMMAND ADVENTURES, a magazine that will include novellas and stories set in the Space Command universe, other new science fiction stories, classic SF stories by the greats of the genre, music, audio plays, plus non-fiction pieces on science, movies, TV shows and more.
I’ll soon be reaching out to friends such as Joe Haldeman (one of my teachers at Clarion), Kim Stanley Robinson, Brandon Sanderson, Kevin J. Anderson, Barbara Hambly, Garfield and Judith Reeves-Stevens and others to see if they’d like to contribute.
This is just a temp of the cover – we won’t use this image – but it gives a feel of what we have in mind:
And so it continues. Every morning, I’m up at 5 AM spinning my tales of SPACE COMMAND… and the universe continues to grow.
Next week, Neil Johnson and I fly to Europe for meeting with our special effects team and writers in London and Cologne, Germany. It’s going to be a stone cold gas (as Don Cornelius used to say on SOUL TRAIN).
Feel free to contact me with questions, offers of help, suggestions and encouragement. As ever, the more important person in Space Command is YOU.
All good thoughts your way,