STARSHIP VALIANT: LEGACY THE SPECIAL EDITION (Henry Howell)

On June 26th, 2015 fans of Starship Valiant will be treated to an unexpected surprise. Thanks to executive producer Michael L. King and director/photographer Brady Foster, a special edition of Starship Valiant will premiere at Soonercon sci-fi and fantasy convention. How did this come into being, you may wonder? Well Michael L. King was contacted by convention organizer Aislinn Burrows and she asked him if he would like to show Legacy again this year at the convention. King was thrilled to present the film again and after that conversation, he immediately thought that this would be a great opportunity to add an additional scene to the film that he had always wanted to show but at the time the sickbay set was not available at Starbase Studios.

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But all this changed when Richard Wells, creator of Starship Grissom, began construction on a partial sickbay set for his series. One bio-bed, a partial wall and medical monitor was created and once filming on that set wrapped for Grissom, King put into play his thoughts on the additional scene he had in mind for Starship Valiant. The next step was to approach series director Brady Foster and pass along his ideas to him. Brady was enthusiastic and asked to see a script. King then wrote a draft for the 3 minute scene in 30 minutes and shot it off to Brady. Brady loved the scene and a filming date was selected.

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Fresh off of a production stint on his good friend Ben Richards film Repercussion, King felt assured that he could pull everything together in a months’ time for filming. He once again produced the segment by selecting all the actors and behind-the-scenes people, he secured the studio and even helped with the construction of another bio-bed, monitor and wall, despite a tremendous flood that hit the city a week before filming. When the flood poured through and damaged parts of the studio sets, he thought that filming would have to be put on hold but Richard Wells and Scott Johnson both got behind the project and worked tirelessly to get the extra additions to the sickbay built in a weeks’ time which would allow Valiant to film its extra scene. It took several volunteers including King himself, Macsemius Lahar, John Hughes, Randy Betterton, Vance Major, Kalan Threlkeld and a few others to complete the set but when construction was complete, behold the sickbay was a wonder to look at. King had to keep his emotions in check as he almost became teary-eyed looking at it.

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With everything now set, the actors and behind-the-scenes folks gathered along with director Brady Foster and 6 hours later, three minutes of footage was filmed and the scene wrapped without a hitch. The raw footage would now be ushered to Brady’s officer for assemblage and with VFX artist Craig Frey working as fast as possible to deliver the new effects, the new footage was being interwoven with the old but there was a new challenge. Since the original footage for Legacy had been lost due to a computer hard drive crash, the new material had to be edited in at the exact same time and place as the original shots so not to disrupt the flow of the story itself. It was a challenge that editor Brady Foster overcame and at this writing the film has gone through two “rough” edits with executive producer Michael L. King and associate producer Scott Johnson assisting to make the cut as good as it can be.

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But why a special edition? Michael L. King answers that very question below: “…When the opportunity arose and I had access to the sickbay set, I just felt that I had to go back and film a scene that I had always wanted to do but couldn’t at the time. In my original draft of Legacy, I had written a scene where Bishop would converse with his injured captain and friend in sickbay but I soon realized that a sickbay set would not be available for shooting when we filmed Legacy so I had to drop that scene. It was a hard…dare I say, a hurtful fact to lose that scene but that’s the nature of filmmaking. There’s a lot of sacrifice involved in filmmaking especially a low budget production. So many constrictions due to budgetary restraints. You have to limit your imagination. You have to write based solely on what you have access to and that puts a damper on your creativity. However, the set became available and I fulfilled a desire. We filmed the scene and it turned out very well and true to what I had originally envisioned. I am happy with the scene and hope that it will not be viewed as just another indulgent play but instead a smaller part of a larger story meant to add additional depth to the story and characters. I know that 3 minutes isn’t a lot of time but it’s all devoted to the characters, as it should be. We see just a hint of their personalities and we see the devotion of a man to his captain and how in a tough situation he is just as fallible as everyone around him. He knows the crew is looking to him for strength but he wonders if that strength is inside him.”

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And just what will we be seeing in the special addition of Legacy? Well there are 3 minutes of totally new footage and a few new visual effects shots that were conceived early on but never done until now. We’ll see the ships Senior Medical Doctor, Roger Floyd as well as Chief Engineer Erick Minard. These brief glimpses of the characters will serve to introduce the audience to the supporting cast of episode #2. Fans can see the film at soonercon at the premiere and those who helped to back the series second episode by donating to the GOFUNDME fundraiser will see it a full two weeks before it is released online. In either case, I have seen the rough edit and I think the new scene adds even more layers to the Bishop character and just a bit more into what he’s going through in the overall scheme of the story. So set phasers to stun for the special edition of Starship Valiant: Legacy.

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