Tuesday, 25 December 2007

Dispatches From The Romulan War – The Audio Dispatches

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to listen to the news reports as they happened during the Romulan War?

These are a series of six 'podbooks', as they were called at the time, produced as a "Save Enterprise" project for TrekUnited as our contribution to the first "Twelve Trek Days of Christmas in 2007". The text was taken almost verbatim from a fan fiction serialisation submitted by members to the TrekUnited forums to maintain the fan media profile of Star Trek: Enterprise in the hope that it could be returned to the screen.

Download the audio dramas from here ...
1. BREAKING NEWS; Salem One Station lost
2. New Details Emerge About Salem One Attack
3. Salem One Attack Creates Doubt Among Coalition Worlds
4. The Human Cost
5. Tragedy Strikes Starfleet Command
6. Confrontation With The Romulans Leaves Columbia Badly Damaged

The term podbook was a contraction of Podiobook, a word coined by Evo Terra of The Dragon Page and Slice of Scifi to describe serialized audio books in podcast formatWe changed the term slightly because we wanted to make the distinction that, unlike the system at Podiobooks.com, these were not set up to be sent out automatically. The term audio drama is used for these now although, stylistically, these could be termed 'full cast audio books" since they were the the text of written works which were spoken by a different voice actor for each character, unlike most audio books which are narrated by one voice actor. As such it places us in an enviable position, halfway between an audio book and an audio drama. An audio book is a narration which is produced to convey the authors written text as if you had the book in your hands - it takes the place of the internal voice you hear when reading. Audio drama, on the other hand, is the "theatre of the mind"- a drama that you experience blindfolded! The script is written as a dramatic production with the cast and crew working to bring the writer's work to life with the help of sound effects and music.

Because of the nature of the texts - media reports - we have read them as narrations and yet, by careful choice of voice actors who have given dramatic deliveries and clever use of music and ambient sound, they can be listened to as a dramatic representation of the news reports!

The players, in this series are (alphabetically) :
  • David Ault - Jasim Khatami; Ensign, Columbia NX-02
  • Thomas Frazier - Juan Ramirez; Reporter, Earth News Network
  • Kim Gianopoulos - Rebeca Sanborn; Lieutenant, Starfleet News Feed
  • Larry Nemecek - James L. Anderson; Editor, Santa Rosa Chronicle, Santa Rosa, New Mexico
  • C. Eleiece Krawiec - T'sel; Reporter, Vulcan Information Directorate
  • David Maciver - Rek Tson; Andorian chancellor
  • Jeff Robinson - Admiral Garrett Black; Commander, Starfleet
  • Alasdair Stuart - Charles Carmen; Reporter, Earth News Network
As a rookie director/producer I was blessed with a cast that did some excellent work, especially considering the short lead time and the time of the year. I would like to make special mention of my two emergency recastings ...
I would also like to thank Larry Nemecek for fitting us into his busy schedule. Most people know Larry as an author and the editor of Star Trek: Communicator however his major in college was theater. This has shown in the professionalism that he has applied to his rehearsal and delivery - this was definitely not stunt casting! But then all those convention appearances wouldn't be far from theatre sports, would they?

I also want to highlight the contributions of Tyler Edwards, as project manager, and Derek Kessler as editor of the TrekUnited fan fiction project, "Dispatches From the Romulan War", for their patience and their dogged determination to see this production through.

One of our biggest breaks was being able to link up with Aric Hutfles, an up-and-coming young comic book artist, who gave us our superlative covers which can be seen above! Aric showed fantastic commitment to provide us with two covers in a comic book style that absolutely blew us away with his talent and work ethic. Check out Aric's ten page comic, "TNG: Damaged" which he contributed as Day 10 of the 2007 Twelve Trek Days of Christmas.

However by far the biggest contribution, the person without whom this series would have been a total loss, was our Sound Editor, Cathy Rinella, 'Merodi' of Merodi Media, who had recently produced The Adventures of Radioman for the WCBE 90.5 FM, Columbus Green Fundraiser. She totally threw herself into this project, producing draft after draft during late night sessions that brought the writer's and directors ideas into "the theatre of the mind". Her technical ability and aesthetic choices have been impeccable and she has gone on to a professional career in audio.

The free downloads linked from here are all fan productions.  The trademarks and copyrights of Star Trek lie with CBS / Paramount and no profit can be directly or indirectly made from fan productions.  Any attempt to sell, rent or otherwise make a profit from any of these projects will be reported to the copyright owners or their licensees for their action.

EDIT Jan 25, 2018 - All links have been updated and are live except for The Twelve Trek Days of Christmas 2007 which seems to have succumbed to internet entropy and disappeared. 

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