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Later this month the new fan series Star Trek Continues will debut its premiere episode at Phoenix Comicon, and today TrekMovie has exclusively learned that Emmy-winning visual effects artist (and Star Trek vet) Doug Drexler is providing all the shots of the USS Enterprise for the show. More details below, plus the first look at Doug’s Enterprise for Star Trek Continues.
Doug Drexler’s Enterprise To Fly In Star Trek Continues
Star Trek Continues is a new fan series which aims to continue the mission of the original Star Trek series as if it had a fourth season (and beyond). As TrekMovie reported in April, the new show starring (and produced by) Vic Mignogna will launch its inaugural episode, “Pilgrim of Eternity” at Phoenix Comicon on May 24th, 2013 (6PM), followed by a release online.
And today TrekMovie multiple award-winning visual effects veteran Doug Drexler will be providing the effects shots featuring the USS Enterprise. As a makeup artist, scenic artist, graphic designer, illustrator, and visual effects artist, designing for such shows as Star Trek: The Next Generation, Deep Space Nine, Voyager, Enterprise, and four Star Trek feature films, Drexler knows his Star Trek, including designing the last TV ship, the NX-01 for Star Trek: Enterprise. And he has a brand new digital model of the Enterprise which is debuting with Star Trek Continues. Drexler and Mignogna have shared with TrekMovie the first look at the ship (below) in a couple of shots made to replicate original series publicity images.
Drexler also happens to have a cameo appearance in the premiere episode of Star Trek Continues, and in fact that was originally going to be the extent of his involvement with the show. Since Enterprise Doug has remained very busy including work on Battlestar Galactica and the new Syfy series Defiance, so to date he hasn’t had much time for other projects, especially fan projects. However, according to Drexler, there was something different about Star Trek Continues. The artist and life-long Star Trek fan tells TrekMovie.
Truth be told, I haven’t seen anything since the original series that felt as much like TOS as this does. Vic makes an awesome Captain Kirk, and manages to evoke Shatner without feeling slavish. If you squint just a little, there are times you would swear it was Shatner.
But even that wasn’t enough alone to convince Drexler to join the series. What put him over the top was the inclusion of actor Michael Forest, reprising his role as Apollo. Drexler tells TrekMovie that after he viewed a scene on the bridge he was "hooked like a big-mouthed bass….I knew I had to do this show.
However, Drexler did have some conditions. Doug was determined to have the effects work match that which could be done in 1970. That mean "no motion control-style shots, no wild maneuvers, no enhancing the ship with surface detail (aztec’ing) that was never there, no raking light, lots of fill, grain, and etc." So Drexler has done his digital work as if it were being done on stage half a century ago, down to duplicating the lenses and lighting setups of the era. Drexler even made his CG model of the Enterprise 11.5 feet long. The artist explains "Everybody builds their ship at 947′. At that gigantor size it’s never going to behave like it did when we first fell in love with it. The difference in the lens distortion alone makes it a non-starter."
While Drexler is providing all the shots of the Enterprise, a number of other digital artists are also involved in Star Trek Continues, providing the remainder of visual effects, including Gabriel Koerner (from Trekkies and artist for Star Trek Enterprise) and Matt Boardman (who has worked with Drexler on Battlestar and Defiance).
Star Trek Continues Debuts at PHXCC
Many of Star Trek Continues cast and crew will be attending Phoenix Comicon 2013 on May 24th, including Michael Forest and Doug Drexler.
An autograph session will be held after the premiere screening and panel.
Following the screening the debut episode “Pilgrim of Eternity” will be made available online. For more details on the show visit startrekcontinues.com.