Landers Boldly Goes Where No Business Man Has Gone Before

Barbara Kieker

Wednesday, July 25th, 2012

Managing Fast Copy, Inc., a digital copy service provider, doesn't keep Randy Landers from spending time on his passion – creating Star Trek fan films.  Landers and about 36 other Star Trek hobbyists debuted their sixth short film on YouTube this past month.

"We created a set for the bridge of a starship called the U.S.S. Potemkin.  Using local actors from Theatre Albany, Darton College, Georgia Southwestern and as far away as Savannah, we've filmed a total of 12 short films," Landers said.  " The five films posted online have received more than 14,000 views."

Landers has been a fan of Star Trek since the 1970s.  He created Orion Press – an Internet-based collection of Star Trek fiction created by fans.  Landers himself has written more than 300 online Star Trek publications or zines, which have been viewed by more than 5,000 readers over 30 years.  In 2009, Landers decided to begin producing fan films, calling the effort Project: Potemkin.

"It takes about a year to complete a film including the special effects.  We have volunteers from all over and it is awesomely fun," Landers said.

The global production team for the U.S.S. Potemkin films includes: Jon Carling, a visual effects technician from Germany, Rick Foxx, a film editor from Phoenix, Steve Gallant, a freelance composer and sound editor from England, David Eversole, a writer from Ohio, and Bob Reed, a web designer and computer consultant from western New York.

The Albany-based team includes Landers, J.T. Ealum, director and production manager, Jeffrey Green, Chair of the Georgia Southwestern State University Dramatic Arts Department, director of photography and cast member, Deborah Liss-Green, instructor of theatre at Darton College, casting consultant and make-up artist, Tony Lunn, musician and composer, and Carolyn Kaberline, creative and story consultant.  In addition, Bill MacKenzie directs and acts in the productions and his wife Sara Higgins-MacKenzie is in charge of costuming and wardrobe as well as operating the camera and acting.

Landers and his co-creators have screened their films at the Project: Potemkin Film Expo in Albany, the Phoenix Comic-Con in Phoenix and the Alabama-based Phoenix Festival.  The team also attended TrekTrax, a Star Trek convention held in Atlanta this past April.

"It's going to be a busy summer for us.  We shooting Season 2 episodes, writing scripts that we will shoot this fall and finishing up production on five films that we've already shot," Landers said.  

Project: Potemkin accepts submissions for stories and scripts from anyone.  More information on Project: Potemkin is available at projectpotemkin.com.  Project: Potemkin films can be viewed on the YouTube Potemkin1711 channel at www.youtube.com/user/Potemkin1711.

If you are a business owner or know of a business owner with an interesting hobby we can spotlight - please contact Matt Reed at matt.reed@ceonews.com.

About Barbara Kieker

Barbara Kieker is a freelance writer who writes on business-related topics for a number of web-based properties. She also provides communications services to Fortune 500 corporations, small businesses and nonprofit organizations.