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Friday, October 16, 2015

October 2015 - From the Captain’s Chair

We are honored with the overwhelming reaction to our latest STAR TREK CONTINUES episode, “Divided We Stand.”  If you’ve watched the episode on YouTube or at, then you know some exceptional effort went into the first “outside the studio” shoot.  Read more about how we delivered on Civil War authenticity this month, as well as a question-and-answer interview with Chuck “Dr. McCoy” Huber.

Farscape’s Gigi Edgley to Guest Star in Episode VI

When Episode VI of STAR TREK CONTINUES goes into production, a familiar face will be on board.  “While details of the shoot and the script will be kept under wraps until that episode premieres, we’re very excited to announce that the amazing Gigi Edgley will join the cast as our guest star,” says STAR TREK CONTINUES executive producer Vic Mignogna.

A Chat with the Good Doctor: Actor and Producer Chuck Huber brings Dr. McCoy to Life

With more than 75 anime episodes on his resume, Chuck Huber is best known in that genre for his work as Android 17 on Dragon Ball Z and for his role on anime’s Soul Eater.  Huber’s work can be seen on network television, but he is probably best known for playing Dr. Leonard McCoy on STAR TREK CONTINUES.

Civil War Reenactors Add Authentic Touch to Episode V

When Kirk and McCoy are transported to the battlefields of Maryland in “Divided We Stand,” the latest episode from STAR TREK CONTINUES, they emerge in a distant time and very real gunfire.

In fact, the use of uniformed reenactors proved to be a masterstroke.

“Reenactors come with wardrobe, weapons, tents and other camping gear, and a wealth of knowledge on the subject matter. They are also already quite used to roughing it, and doing it authentically--they never had any need to get into costume or into character--they could be put on camera at any time. They're the next best thing to time travel,” said Jay Pennington, wore multiple hats in Episode V as Second Assistant Director, Location Coordinator, and Set Dresser.

Friday, September 25, 2015


We’re now just a few hours away from the debut screening of Episode V of STAR TREK CONTINUES, with fans assembled for the Salt Lake City Comicon.  Several of our cast and crew have made the trip to Utah, and we can’t wait to hear the reaction to our first “off the ship” episode.

Your chance to see Episode V comes tomorrow morning, September 26, starting at 8:00am Pacific time.  Just navigate to to see for yourself what our team has spent months putting together.  I don’t want to spoil any of the surprises, and we’d love to hear your feedback on Facebook!

Several of the people who make STAR TREK CONTINUES possible converged on Las Vegas for Creation’s annual STAR TREK VEGAS event.  It was truly monumental and a great prelude to next year’s 50th anniversary celebrations for The Original Series.

More than 200 people packed the theater our late-night screening of Episode IV, “The White Iris,” and we took questions for more than an hour after running the episode on the big screen at the AMC Town Square theatre.

We were also humbled and honored that both Rod Roddenberry and Marina Sirtis from STAR TREK: The Next Generation publicly praised STAR TREK CONTINUES during their sessions in Vegas.

As you’ll read below, the final work is now underway on Scotty’s Engineering Room at our own Stage Nine in southern Georgia, as we prepare to shoot more episodes this fall.  We want to make sure we celebrate 50 years of STAR TREK with our best salute to the spirit of Gene Roddenberry and the team that brought The Original Series to life.

Our fifth episode, which premieres this weekend, is dedicated in loving memory to Grace Lee Whitney.  Her star shines brightly.

Vic Mignogna

Executive Producer and “Captain Kirk”


With just a few weeks to go until another shoot at the Stage Nine studio, STAR TREK CONTINUES volunteers are working to finish a breathtaking addition to the Enterprise – a full-scale replica of the Engineering Room that’s been under construction since May.

Will Smith is the mastermind behind, the definitive source for information about The Original Series and the Matt Jefferies designs brought to life by studio carpenters.  Smith is also the Art Director and Property Master of STAR TREK CONTINUES, working almost non-stop this summer to finish the mammoth undertaking.

Tuesday, May 19, 2015


With just two weeks to go until Episode Four of STAR TREK CONTINUES enjoys a debut screening at Phoenix COMICON, we’re excited to see your reaction to our fourth full-length episode.  We can’t wait to meet our fans, answer questions, sign autographs, and celebrate what so many of you have made possible. 

Earlier this year, our cast and crew gathered to shoot Episodes IV and V at the same time.  We have a strong commitment to proper stewardship of the funds that fans have contributed.  It’s far less expensive to shoot two episodes in the same period, saving on travel and hotel costs as well as rentals and other expenses.  Later this year, we’re planning to release our fifth episode (which will also be the first episode of STAR TREK CONTINUES to feature many scenes shot on location).

Our friends and fans contributed more than $200,000 through the very successful “Kirkstarter 2.0” STAR TREK CONTINUES crowdfunding campaign.  We not only reached our “Kirkstarter” goal, we reached a “stretch” goal to Build Scotty an Engine Room!  Work began on that massive project a few weeks ago and you’ll find an update in this issue of Subspace Chatter.

STAR TREK CONTINUES also now completely owns our shooting sets in south Georgia. We have taken over the remainder of the building that has now been christened as “Stage Nine,” – in honor of Desilu Stage Nine (where the Enterprise sets for the first season took shape nearly 50 years ago).  At 18,500 square feet, our facilities are by far the largest of any STAR TREK web series – and nobody has ever built the Engine Room!  We salute the team at Farragut Films who did much of the actual construction on the current sets and wish them well as they turn to new Trek endeavors.

In addition to a place for Chris Doohan’s “Scotty” to hang out when not on the Bridge, we’re also making several improvements to the standing sets – rounding out the Bridge to make it a full 360-degree set.  As my friend and set designer Will Smith frequently says, “we’re making STAR TREK!”  And Will has a three-page list of enhancements to the Enterprise sets that are also on the docket.

One of the most endearing things about the Original Series was the variety of stories that they told.  Continuing in that spirit, our Episode IV will be a much more personal, dramatic story than our previous outing.  It’s called “The White Iris,” and it features a special guest appearance by Colin Baker (“Dr. Who” from 1984 to 1986). 

Tune in online starting May 29 to see our next big adventure as STAR TREK CONTINUES.

-Vic Mignogna

Executive Producer and “Captain Kirk”


Engineering Room Taking Shape at Stage Nine

As a child, Will Smith devoted hours watching re-runs of STAR TREK before home video made it easy to replay favorite episodes.  He sketched the control panels on the bridge, recording the changes that happened from season to season in a notebook that he still has in his collection.

Fast forward 40 years, and Smith is putting his background in construction management and design to work on a massive undertaking – recreating Scotty’s Engine Room, which is a first for a STAR TREK web series.

In the newly-christened Stage Nine in south Georgia, volunteers have removed walls and tons of debris from the other half of the 18,500 ft building that used to house a church! With the church’s former classroom walls demolished, a large space between the existing sets and wardrobe and makeup areas is being filled with an exact replica of the Engine Room that once stood in Desilu’s Stage Nine in California.

The Engine Room recreation is being funded by the recent “Kirkstarter 2.0” that reached a stretch goal to “give Scotty and Engine Room,” and Will Smith is in his element as designer and starship builder.

“Once it was greenlighted, we did extensive research and drew detailed plans covering every aspect of the engine room.  While a floor plan for the Engineering Room does exist from the Desilu days, there are no blueprints or measurements that include elevations of the space showing the heights of the various elements.  So a lot of what I’ve designed comes from painstaking extrapolation of measurements based on the heights and shapes of certain known objects,” explains Smith, whose website is a virtual cornucopia of details about panels, buttons, and graphics used on The Original Series. 

“I’ve spent a lot of time developing plans that show the proper placement and shape of things like the beams over the top of the Engine Room and the ‘warp core’ area that is a study in forced perspective.  The warp core itself proved to be very challenging because of the limited views that we see it from (only from the front).”

The Room’s far left side consoles are being framed just like work done on a house with a sturdy skeleton that will hold plywood eventually finished just like other corridors throughout the Enterprise sets.

But how does one recreate the look of such an iconic space?

“It’s really not very easy to do and get it right.  You have to take into account the lenses that they used, since things at different angles look different heights.  I’ve compared dozens upon dozens of screen captures.  I already know the length of certain things, so you can estimate certain measurements.  Most of the time you know when you are getting it right because the numbers start all lining up into logical increments.”

“The first season (1966) Engine Room was much different in configuration and size than the revamped set used in season two and three on STAR TREK.  Of course, we’re building a season three Engine Room that was actually shortened a bit from 1966.  One of three consoles was eliminated and the room was cut back from 24 feet to 20 feet.  We’ll have the central floor piece that includes a ‘dilithium chamber.’  One of the most effective ‘tricks of the trade’ is the forced perspective in the warp core that is only about 15 feet deep.  But it’s built in such a way that it looks much bigger and much longer.”

Smith’s project was almost a perfect fit for the available space at the studio. “It was as if the space was preordained for this project,” Smith says with a wry smile and nod to the building’s former use as a church.

“Parts of Scotty’s Engine Room are very similar to the wall corridors throughout the Enterprise.  But in Engineering, the walls are over 20 feet tall.  So we’ve framed it out carefully to make sure it’s structurally sound and proportionally correct.”

In addition to the Engine Room, which will be completed later this summer, a long list of other set improvements is being started. 

“We’ve begun constructing additional pie-shaped segments to the Enterprise Bridge, so that we can eventually have a full 360-degree set.  We’re changing out overhead displays at each console along with many other improvements to the Bridge and have some changes planned in the Transporter Room as well,” Smith says.

Smith has other projects on his three-page work plan, including the relocation of Auxiliary Control and completion of additional Sickbay sets.

“Honestly, it’s really quite a fulfillment of a dream as a young boy watching that show to now as I’m able to design and physically build the Enterprise.  It’s a wonderful thing to be able to recreate something you’ve studied for years.”


Mixing skill, patience, imagination

Outfitting an entire starship and visiting aliens can be a daunting task, but the wardrobe team at STAR TREK CONTINUES employs sleuthing skills and huge doses of creativity and patience to meet the demands of each episode.

The costuming process starts even before a script is finished, with Executive Producer Vic Mignogna sharing details with the costume designer months before filming begins.  The collaborative process of identifying costuming needs, designing for specific actors, and accommodating a dizzying array of last-minute requests takes a team of experts to make sure that filming can be accomplished on schedule with “just the right look” to emulate 1960’s TV.

For Ginger Holley, who started as a wardrobe assistant on STC Episode II “Lolani” and managed costuming for Episode III “The Fairest of them All,” a passion for costuming began in the Renaissance period.   

“I got into costuming in 2006.  My friend had a Renaissance wedding and it was so much cheaper to make the pieces she wanted rather than buy them. That led to Renaissance Faires and then anime and sci-fi conventions, and then cosplay (costuming play.)  I wanted to do it for a living, so I pursued a bachelor’s degree in Fashion Design.  That training has proved to be invaluable, because for STAR TREK CONTINUES I frequently have to draft patterns and grade costumes into different sizes.  It’s all very technical and those are things are very difficult to teach yourself,” Holley says.  She graduated the week after filming wrapped on “Lolani” and she started working almost immediately with Executive Producer Vic Mignogna on what would be needed for the ambitious “mirror episode” shoot that started a few short months later.

Mirror Mechanics

“Since most of what we do on STAR TREK CONTINUES takes place in the third season, we’ve been grateful for the support of uniform licensee Anovos.  They’ve supplied Starfleet uniforms for our principals and extra players,” Holley explains.  But mirror episode “Fairest of Them All” required both a return to second season velour uniforms and the additional adornments that clearly mark them as part of the “Terran Empire.”

“We worked from November through March to bring that episode together from a costuming standpoint. One of the biggest challenges was pulling it together over the holiday season.  We were sourcing fabrics from what felt like every website on the planet!”

Holley picked up a new skill while preparing for the mirror episode shoot – learning how to dye large quantities of fabric just the right shades of STAR TREK gold and blue. 

“We finally found the right cotton velour about two weeks before filming began, and so all of the dyed tunics for the main cast and for extras had to be cut and assembled very quickly.  I had never dyed anything before, so I watched a lot of YouTube videos.  I ended up dyeing the fabrics in my bathtub. It was a lot of trial and error.

"The gold mix I can now dye with three different recipes.  Blue was a little trickier because it’s hard to accurately photograph the blue.  When you look at the original reference photos, the color looks different from photo to photo.  But we ended up very pleased with our choices.  Onscreen and under studio lights, those velour tunics look just like the originals,” said Holley.

The most difficult vintage piece to construct was the sleeveless gold vest worn by Kirk in the mirror episode.  Holley found vintage mid-century woven gold metal lurex fabric for Kirk’s sparkly vest, building two identical versions so that the production wouldn’t be slowed if one was damaged during fight scenes.

“The way the light hits this 60 year old fabric is magnificent.  It sparkles just like the original. Vic had photos of the actual vest for reference purposes, and we spent a lot of time researching the fabric properties.  A lot of the stitching was done by hand so that the metal fibers weren’t damaged,” she explains. 

Episode IV Challenges

Holley manufactured 12 new costumes for the upcoming Episode IV, including a few original designs, recruiting friends to finish the projects in time for filming. 

“Throughout the year I source, run the budget, research, order, maintain the inventory, and design for upcoming scripts pretty much on my own,” she said. “When it comes to crunch time, I call in my pre-production team. They are vital to the success of each episode. For Episode IV I was thrilled to have several fellow graduates from my school’s fashion program come on board to help with all the new costume builds.”

For Dorothy Booraem, serving as Wardrobe Supervisor for Episode IV meant keeping track of myriad details.

“The most difficult thing about being a wardrobe supervisor is experiencing the difference between your carefully organized plans for changes and upkeep to costumes and the beautiful chaos of actual production,” Dorothy explains.  The role of wardrobe supervisor is primarily one of organization, time management and problem solving.  “You'll face challenges like how to costume four extras with three costumes, how to dress 15 actors while prepping the costumes for another scene, and how to clean makeup off of a Starfleet uniform when you can't take it off of the actor!”

Dorothy, Ginger, and Hannah ham it up

The costuming team needs to make sure that the costumes are clean, in good repair and in the costumer's desired shooting condition - free of wrinkles - exactly when they are needed. 

“In the sci-fi genre actors may have to get into costume first and THEN go to makeup. Depending on their makeup call time, which is often very early, you and the costumes will need to be ready beforehand. So it helps to be an early riser as well,” Dorothy explains.

“I was fortunate enough to have Ginger Holley and Hannah Barucky on the STAR TREK CONTINUES wardrobe team. They are experts in Starfleet uniforms, Starfleet casual wear and alien sportswear of all kinds. The system we used to costume big groups was to schedule the actor times, make a lot of lists, organize the costumes and then be motivated, optimistic problem solvers.”

Episode IV wardrobe assistant Hannah Barucky has worn many hats for STAR TREK CONTINUES, including general production assistant and Uhura’s wig stylist. 

“We had quite a few new pieces that needed to be created for Episode IV, including a Cage-era uniform and some other very specific costuming.  I studied a lot of screen captures to get things just right,” said Barucky, who is studying fashion design at Ohio’s Ursuline College.  “My drapery teacher helped me with patterns and things we haven’t even done in school yet,” she explains.  “I’m excited to help with costuming for STAR TREK CONTINUES because that’s exactly what I want to do in my career.”

“It’s interesting that the uniforms in STAR TREK are so varied.  You’d think that they would be a lot more ‘uniform,’ but when you go back and look at old episodes you can see how things were assembled and finished.  A lot of things were stitched just for a particular scene, and we end up doing a lot of those same things in our productions,” Barucky says.

STAR TREK CONTINUES’ wardrobe team feels that they are doing the same kind of frenetic work as Bill Theiss, the original STAR TREK costume designer. 

“It’s such a big responsibility to follow in his footsteps.  Obviously, there’s a specific look and feel that we’re working hard to emulate.  My goal as the designer is that I never want to distract from the story.  We just want it to look ‘right’ like STAR TREK should.  You have to get into that ‘retro’ mindset, even though it’s now 2015.  We take a lot of care to use the same methods and materials that Theiss would have used in the late 1960’s,” said Holley. “It’s a challenge, but we love it. TOS was very special, and we hope that everyone watching STC can see how much we all appreciate that.”

Fans interested in pursuing costuming as a career need to focus on organization and “people skills.” 

“Both are absolutely necessary in any kind of production - stage, TV or film.  As far as where to find wardrobe work, depending on where you live, a community theater is a great place to start or on local independent film where you are likely to be the costume designer as well.  You won't get paid, but you will get experience and will probably have a great time,” says Booraem.