Filmmakers Steven and Angelique Fawcette and producer Paul Lisak joined me to talk about their upcoming film Unbelievable!!!! The film stars an historic 42 actors from the Star Trek series spanning all the way back to the original series. You can check out my interview below and the trailer here.
Could you tell me how the film came about?
Steven — The film was not going to be a Star Trek related film at first. It was going to be like Airplane and Naked Gun. It’s kind of a silly comedy. Michael Dorn, who played on Star Trek TNG had read the script and committed to playing it. At that point in time we thought we needed to change up the script and make it a madman kind of world for Star Trek. That’s how it all started.
Was it difficult to get other Star Trek alums to commit?
Angelique — I wouldn’t say it was difficult. At first it was challenging because we are new to the business and agents and managers wouldn’t even accept our calls. They were like ‘who the hell are you and why are you calling us?’ And then we brought people on set and they worked for us and the word got out. We also went to conventions and met different actors. We showed them our script and asked would you like to do this and they said yes. We branded our company to take care of people and give them a different experience than what they would get on another set. By the end, we had people asking us to be a part of the film. We ended up getting an historic 42 Star Trek stars, along with Gerald Fried, the last living Star Trek TOS composer. We were lucky and worked hard.
Was it difficult to transition being in front of the camera to being behind the scenes as a producer?
Angelique — No. You have to know what you want to do in life and what needs to get done. As a producer, I knew that stuff had to get done so I had to get my work done as a producer and I knew I had to separate when I was an actress. I just did it. My filming was only a couple of days and I could just go back to producing
Is it hard to work with your husband as a colleague and be married?
Angelique — Yes. Can I curse? F*** yes. It’s challenging to work together because you’re trying to have a relationship, but you also have a goal t0 reach. It’s tough but you make it work.
Steven — I’ll go on record and say I do love my wife. I’m hoping that once we get this thing distributed and out there we could have nice vacation in Maui somewhere and get reconnected.
Paul — No comment. I saw nothing.
You worked with so many people on this film, are there any stories that stand out?
Paul — One of the exciting high points for people was when we brought in Nichelle Nichols. A lot of people really wanted to come meet her and most of the actors had never met her. She really turned out to be a really close friend.
Angelique — She gave me away to my husband in marriage. Even Michael Madsen was so excited to meet Nichelle Nichols. I’m going on the record now, Michael Madsen is a huge trekkie. No one knew. He blushed when he met her and then hunted me down for the pictures afterward.
Paul — You will be surprised at how many people were secretly trekkies and hiding it. They all came out of the woodwork.
Steven — The one iconic figure in the film was our lead character, which is a little puppet made by the same guys who did Team America (Chiodo brothers). He looks like Captain Kirk.
Angelique — But that’s not infringing on Paramount’s copyright, we were very careful about that.
Steven — All of the actors wanted a scene with the puppet. It became our cute little thing.
Paul — Except for me. He was too close to my height.
Steven — We were hoping to get William Shatner to play that role, but his price was just way out of whack with our budget. But I came up with the idea for this puppet and I told it to Nichelle (Nichols) and she laughed for twenty minutes. She said that was way funnier than having some 80 year-old running around trying to do some stunts.
Angelique — The Chiodo brothers used one of their old Team America puppets and retooled him to fit our character. They sent us pictures of them reforming his skull, painting the eyes and laying in the hair. We watched it grow. And it was really cool.
Steven — There are a lot of Easter eggs in the film for Star Trek fans and fans of other genre shows like this one. I think the fans will love it, especially here at Dragon Con where there are more than just Star Trek fans.
What do you guys nerd out about?
Angelique — I love Lord of the Rings and Star Trek TOS. I just took a picture with one of the elves. The Two Towers DVD is broken because I watched it so much.
Paul — I started watching Star Trek when I was in the Marines and I continued to watch in college. We gave up drinking just so we could see the show and that was a real sacrifice.
Steven — Did you give up on women?
Paul — We never gave up on women. Another thing we were wishing for was for one the phaser’s instead of using the rifles we had. It would have been so much easier.
What are your upcoming projects?
Steven — I’m a novelist. I wrote this book back in 2007 called The Archangels of Dreamland. That’s why we have the company, Archangel Films. I want to do a film within the next three to five years.
Paul — He owes me two nights of sleep because I read both books nonstop.
Angelique — We also just shot a pilot called Perfect Citizens. It’s a sci-fi horror story about a boy’s school and what happens at that school; just don’t eat the food there.