Fan Film, Fan Films

DAVE School: The CGI Secret of Star Trek: Phase II

star-trek-phase-ii-dave-schoolIf you’ve ever watched an episode of the fan film series Star Trek: New Voyages/Phase II, there was probably a point where you used any one of Christian Bale’s favorite expletives, followed by “will ya look at those effects?” They’re impressive alright—and often, they’re courtesy of DAVE School: The Digital Animation and Visual Effects School in Orlando, Florida.

A one-year program for those who want to enter the professional field of effects for film, TV and video games, DAVE School has become the secret weapon for many high-end fan films, providing productions with awesome visuals that would otherwise be impossible for hobbyists to achieve on their own.

The school’s work can also be found in a variety of fan films, from the Pink Five trilogy to a few DAVE students’ own efforts, like Kill Vader, Batman: New Times, and the Star Wars: Tales of the New Republic pseudo-trailer that many people thought was a teaser leaked by George Lucas for The Clone Wars TV series. Many of these fan productions have become final projects for graduating classes, helping students learn to work in teams, meet deadlines and turn out high-end work. Meanwhile, the fan filmmakers get incredible work created for them by the pros of tomorrow.

Currently, one of the classes, Block 4, is hard at work on its final project: visual effects for an upcoming Star Trek: New Voyages/Phase II episode, “Enemy: Starfleet,” due out some time after the current two-parter, “Blood & Fire,” concludes. It’s not the first time they’ve gone to bat for James Cawley and his crew; previously, in 2007, a class completed the visual effects for the “World Enough and Time” episode, which featured original Trek actor, George Takei.

According to the school:

The DAVE School’s involvement with the production stems from contacts School Owner Jeff Scheetz made while working for Foundation Imaging on the television series Star Trek: Voyager. “I saw a parallel between how [the studio] Foundation supplied the effects for Paramount and how the school could supply the effects for Phase II,” said Scheetz.

Principal photography for the episode was completed over a period of two weeks in June 2008. In total, students have 103 shots with visual effects to complete. When finished, the episode will have a runtime of about an hour and will be available for viewing at Star Trek: Phase II. Scheetz thinks this production will prepare the students for the reality of current jobs in the industry. “Many of our graduates go on to work at VFX studios where their job is to fill in gaps in television episodes with effects,” he said.

To learn more about the DAVE School, check out
For enrollment information, call Josh at (407) 224-3283.

For more info on Star Trek: Phase II, however, I’d suggest checking out their website, or naturally, reading up on them in my book about fan films, Homemade Hollywood, which also namedrops DAVE School a few times.

Like this story? Tell the world:

Comments are closed.

RSS for Posts RSS for Comments