Tommy Kraft Producing Independent Star Trek film in Jackson
Tommy Kraft is putting his passion and talent together in an interesting way. Star Trek: Horizon is a feature-length film set during the time of Enterprise (the fifth Star Trek series). The cast and crew have begun filming this feature-length cinematic extension of the Star Trek Enterprise series at various location around michigan and at their green screen studio in Jackson.
The Coalition of Planets, a young alliance of worlds led by Earth, is at war with the Romulan Empire. Desperate for a chance to gain the upper hand in the war, the Coalition forms an alliance with T’mar, a Romulan deserter, in the hopes that she can provide valuable intelligence on her former masters.
About the Kickstarter:
“Anything worth doing, is worth doing well.” These words by author Hunter S. Thompson perfectly capture the spirit behind the creative process of this film.
While it would be entirely possible to create a low-quality, second-rate version of this film on an extremely limited budget, we want to go above and beyond the mediocre to produce a visually stunning, artistically engaging story worthy of its place in the Star Trek canon. Fans of the Star Trek universe deserve nothing less. But in order to do this, there needs to be an availability of funds to cover the cost of production goods and services, all of which are necessary to complete the film without compromising its value or integrity along the way.
Q and A with the filmmaker.
Q. When did you start making films?
I’ve been “making” films for about as long as I can remember. I was very young, probably no older than ten or so, when I first started experimenting with editing in Adobe Premiere. I was very lucky because my mom worked at Albion College, and knowing how much I loved movies, was able to introduce me to Adobe Premiere and it all grew from there.
Q. Where are you from?
I’m a native Michigander, having lived in the Jackson area my whole life thus far.
Q. What style of films do you make?
My favorite genres are sci-fi, action, and drama, though usually my favorite type of movie is a good combination of all three. If you watch any of my past films, you’ll see they range from drama, to comedy, to sci-fi, and action. Basically, I’ll make anything with a story I’m passionate about, it just usually happens to be sci-fi.
Q. What types of stories do you like to tell with films?
I like a thought-provoking story with a lot of subtext. I’ll openly admit that all of my short films do this well or even at all, but over the years it’s what I’ve grown to enjoy the most. I love a story that will leave you thinking days later about what it meant and was trying to say. It’s not enough for me to just have cool explosions and space battles, they have to have a real purpose to tell a great story.
Q. What kind of gear do you use in the filmmaking process?
A little bit of everything! Over the years since I started actively making short films, my gearlust has certainly come down to a much more manageable level. Though, it’s come back a bit with some of the announcements at NAB this year. The lighting gear I use now is three 300 watt tungsten lights and three LED lights (equivalent 500 watts and 1,000 watts). I also occasionally will throw in some gels for the lights, flags, scrims, some haze-in-a-can, etc. The basics! For camera gear, it depends on the gig. For cinema I mainly use the Black Magic Cinema Camera, but for anything else (or if I know I’m going to need a lot of disk space or long battery life) I’ll use the Panasonic AF-100 with the GH1 as my B-cam.
Software-wise, I’m a big Adobe guy. Premiere Pro CC (Creative Cloud), After Effects CC, and Photoshop CC. For 3D modeling and such I mainly work in 3DS Max 2012 with V-Ray 2.4 for my rendering engine. I’ll also occasionally pop into Maya 2012 to do some work as well.
Q. Who inspires you to make films?
Just for all the Trekkies out there: JJ Abrams. Seriously, though. JJ is a huge inspiration to me. Here we’re talking about a guy who’s been very successful in both TV and film and (in my opinion) tells a lot of great stories. His take on Star Trek is different, but I like it. But in general, most of my inspirations come from all sorts of places, including everyday life! I’m often saying to my friends “that’d make a great short (or feature)!” Science is also a HUGE inspiration to me, I love science and just wondering about the fantastic nature of the universe inspires me endlessly.
Q. Are you looking for people to work with you in the filmmaking process (crew or talent)?
Sure thing! I love working with people and collaboration is one of my favorite parts of the process. I don’t always have spots open on any given production, but if that’s the case and someone wants to work together, I do definitely keep them in mind for future projects.
Q. Where would you like your career to take you and what kind of projects would you like to work on in the future?
A little bit of everything, ideally! One of my biggest goals and dreams is to direct major motion pictures, especially sci-fi and space epics! I’d also love to direct a super hero movie. Other than film, I also have many ambitions including pursuing interests in astrophysics and promoting science and (healthy) skepticism.