The great and powerful RANDY LANDERS has been gracious enough to come on the show. In this episode, we discuss cryptocurrency in Hollywood, blockchain gaming v0.5 (and why it’s still a pipe dream), his love of Scrooge McDuck comics from way back when he was a child, and what it means that Australia is taking off again as an entertainment hub after decades of being largely ignored by American culture.
Randy Landers is an Emmy-Award winning puppeteer and writer for TV shows on FOX, ABC, and HBO. His first feature film as a director was the 2016 hit “You Get Me.” He also wrote and directed “The Breadwinner,” which won the 2018 Academy Award for Best Animated Feature Film.
POTEMKIN PICTURES has released another fan film, the sixth in little over a year for the STARSHIP WEBSTER Creative Group. The Lexington, Kentucky-based cast is the eighth to come together for a Potemkin release, and they won’t be the last, as you’ll learn in today’s chat with showrunner RANDY LANDERS.
Their most recent release is a lighthearted adventure that features a slew of Gorn, a landing party, and fewer than five minutes of real video taken on location at Lexington’s Belleau Woods Park. Who says you can’t produce a fan video that’s under 15 minutes long???
But it was the employment of “breather masks” by the Webster planetary reconnaissance crew that piqued my interest. Masking up is an effective strategy to be safe during COVID, but it doesn’t necessarily make for fantastic movie. After all, unless you’re Darth Vader or Spider-Man, you can’t act or display emotions without your face. When masks are used well in a plot, they may serve a variety of functions in addition to keeping the cast COVID-free.
First and foremost, they inject a dash of “real science” into your science fiction, since the chances of any alien planet you visit having a class-M breathing oxygen/nitrogen atmosphere are quite remote. Second, if you’re shooting outside and don’t have excellent microphones or sound equipment, masks enable you to record dialog afterwards (a process known as ADR) without tearing your hair out attempting to match the dubbed speech to the original lip movements.
The fan series DREADNOUGHT DOMINION utilized “breather masks” for the first time during the epidemic in their film “We Are Many” around a year ago. They’re now included in Starship Webster’s newest album, “Landing Party.” Have a peek…
Many fan filmmakers have returned to shooting sans masks—at least while the cameras are rolling—now that 58.5 percent of the country’s populace has been completely immunized. (I’m aware of a few that still require staff members on set to be masked, as well as actors who aren’t actively shooting a scene.) So I was puzzled as to what drove the Webster crew to disguise themselves in front of the camera. And, as is customary, I contacted Randy Landers…
JONATHAN – Why the masks, Randy? Was there anybody with COVID symptoms on the day you were filming?
RANDY – Oh no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no However, a few of cast members were afraid that COVID-19 was so infectious that we needed to wear masks even though we were shooting outdoors.
DAVID EVERSOLE, the creator of several Potemkin Pictures screenplays, including “The Night the Stars Fell from the Sky,” came up with this hilarious “Landing Party” script starring the Gorn, who have appeared in many of our productions, most recently in STARSHIP ALEXANDER’s “Crystal Eyes.”
As a result, we provided masks to the landing party in “Landing Party.” Of course, the Gorn performers could use their own face masks beneath the ones supplied, so it was a win-win-win situation for everyone.
JONATHAN – I’m Jonathan, and I’m here to tell you So the Webster team is still quite concerned about the pandemic? That, in my opinion, is a good thing, since the global crisis is far from done.
RANDY – I’m RANDY. Some of the Webster cast members were (and still are) quite anxious (we haven’t filmed with the Webster group since we shot “Snowbound” (now in post) in one park and “Landing Party” at another park, both wearing masks).
Miriam Rhodes, a new cast member, sits in the command chair of a Klingon bridge being built in Lexington, Kentucky.
The group’s leadership has decided to start building a Klingon bridge for the next film, but I don’t know when Webster’s next shot will take place. The Deimos organization, ever the opportunists, has a shoot scheduled to utilize the sets for their next film, “Prime Directive.” I’ll be curious to see who is the first to use the Klingon bridge set!
JONATHAN – A space race, to be sure!
RANDY – That’s right.
JONATHAN – I’m Jonathan, and I’m here to tell you Those masks concealing the actors’ lips must make it incredibly simple for you to edit and put in the dubbed ADR audio during post-production, huh? It’s not necessary to lip sync the dialogue.
RANDY – Without a doubt. Even so, you can tell when individuals are reciting their lines by the subtle head bobbles.
JONATHAN – I’m Jonathan, and I’m here to tell you So, as I usually do, let me conclude by asking you what else Potemkin Pictures has planned for the rest of the year.
RANDY – I’m RANDY. Next, we’ll look at Webster’s “Opportunity.” We’re presently working on the soundtrack and music for it. Deimos has a short Christmas film ready to go for its followers, but we’re delaying its distribution until after Thanksgiving. “Snowbound” is deep in post for Webster, while “Prime Directive” is set to enter post for Deimos. At this point, I’m not going to make any guarantees concerning release dates. Before the end of the year, “Opportunity” should be available. “Snowbound” was a great opportunity to practice masking and 3D modeling.
JONATHAN – I’m Jonathan, and I’m here to tell you Are you referring about digital video masks that are used to hide up part of the footage while doing digital compositing in post-production instead of the masks you wear on your face?
RANDY – I’m referring to post-production. Because it wasn’t snowing on the day we shot “Snowbound,” I’m using a lot of digital masking to compensate for our weather management department’s negligence.
When you watch the finished clip with the digital snow, you’ll realize how much labor went into it… is why it’s been eight months since we started shooting and I’m just halfway done!
JONATHAN – I’m Jonathan, and I’m here to tell you I’m looking forward to seeing the final result! Is there any further Potemkin news?
Randy Landers works on a set piece for the new Klingon bridge in his garage.
RANDY – I’m RANDY. STARSHIP CALIBORN is a new creative group that is a different ship with a different mission: they are a battle vessel. The actors and crew will subsequently become I.K.S. QAB’ELTH (Ragged Blade), which has featured in a handful of Deimos movies, after the Klingon shoot for Deimos is over. It will also be included in other works.
So we’ve got our hands busy, and we’re still on the lookout for VFX and MUSIC volunteers. Please email me if you are interested and realize that this is unpaid volunteer labor.
Jonathan, thank you for reaching out to us. We appreciate the way you take care of our tiny ones!
JONATHAN – Randy, all fan films, big and little, are part of the work! (I only wish I was compensated…)