Project Defiant – Interview Part One

PROJECT DEFIANT is a fan film set in the TOS era of Star Trek. Based on the U.S.S. Defiant NCC 1764, “THE VINTAAK CODE,” written by Adam Mullen and produced by Vance Major, is going to be a part of a planned “Trilogy” of fan films.

The cast of Project Defiant is going made up of some well-recognized names from the fan film world, like Mark Bennett (Starship Republic), John Snow (Melbourne, Starship Grissom) and Krystal Willis (Starship Grissom, Starship Valiant).

Back in June, Vance reached out to me and asked if I would be interested in talking to Adam about the new fan film project, I was more than happy to talk to Adam as after Vance explained to me what “Project Defiant” was it peeked my interest and I wanted to know more, as the Defiant from TOS is one really well-known starship from Trek Canon that has not been explored.

After agreeing to be interviewed for Trekfanproductions, about this project, Adam and I have kept up the communication and as a result we’ve become good friends, Adam really is so easy to discuss anything with we have had some long conversations ranging from politics to just random chit-chat, I am so glad Vance introduced me to him.

In part one of his interview with Trekfanproductions, Adam tells me where he is from, what he loves about Star Trek and what his hopes are from the new Star Trek series.

“We have big plans for the Defiant and its crew. Stick around and you’ll be blown away with what it is!”

James ) Hey Adam, thank you so much for sitting down with me and not only talking about your production “Project Defiant” but also allowing me to get to know more about you.

SO I guess the first question, tell me a bit about yourself. What you do in life, likes, dislikes, introduce yourself to anyone who hasn’t had the chance to get to know you?

Adam) My name is Adam Mullen and I live in Portland, Oregon. I’m a huge Trekkie, a musician, and educator.

James) Other than Trek, what other TV shows you watch like B5, Walking Dead, and The Flash?

Adam) I enjoy watching shows like Arrow, The Flash, Legends of Tomorrow, Supergirl, The Walking Dead, Doctor Who, Stargate, and Farscape.

James) As a big Trekkie, do you play any Trek games, if not Trek Games then what ones do you play?

Adam) I played Star Trek Online a lot back when it first came out. Every once in awhile I’ll play it, I love playing Star Trek Armada II, but unfortunately, my game disc broke a couple of years ago, and I can’t install it on my computer! Lots of hours spent on that game back when it came out.

James)I have them all on disc hehe, the only one I have never unwrapped is Final Unity, I got it for Christmas two years ago and it is still sat in the packaging, and STO well I was so into that I subbed not long ago then… I stopped playing lol oops.

So tell me about your day job, what is it you do?

Adam) I work in Special Education as an Instructional Assistant and love it. I also teach private brass lessons to students and community members in the Portland area.

James) Now we know the basics, tell me a bit about your history with Star Trek what does Trek mean to you

What Trek Actors have you met in real life if any?

Adam) I have not met any.

James) Lol, no worries, neither have I, Have you been to any Star Trek Conventions?

Adam) None. I claim to be a huge Trekkie but have yet to go to any!

James) I would not worry about that I have not been to one, well I did but when I was a kid and then it was more like a small set tour type thing. I have to admit I am not one for large crowds I find the kinda off-putting.

I ask these next questions a lot, but I find you can tell what type of Trek fan someone is by these questions LOL. What is your favourite Star Trek episode?

Adam) My favourite episode in all of Star Trek would be “The Inner Light.” It’s a very powerful episode and a life changer for Picard.

James) Favourite Star Trek Film?

Adam) My favourite Star Trek film would have to be “The Wrath of Khan,” though “First Contact” is a close second! Khaaaaaaaaaan!

James) Favourite Trek Actor/Actress?

Adam) This is a difficult question! If I had to pick one, I would say Jonathan Frakes since he plays the trombone.

James) Worst Trek Episode Why?

Adam) There are several in the whole franchise, but if I would have to pick the worst, it would have to be “Masks” from TNG. It’s the only episode I’ve only seen a few times. I can’t figure out exactly why I think it’s the worst. I’m sure most people would disagree with me (There are a couple in TOS that are complete YIKES).

James) Masks in TNG season 7 SUCKS! Yes, Brent Spiner’ acting is really good in it, that said, there is something about that episode I just cannot stand, a bit like the episodes “Shade of Gray” TNG and “Whom Gods Destroy” TOS that episode OH MY GOD it’s awful, What about a favourite Series?

Adam) My favourite series is TNG, It’s what I grew up with. The characters are fun to watch the progress and the stories have a lot of great things to say about the here and now.

James) I am the same TNG is my go to series, I cannot remember a number of times I have binged that series, I have to admit though my least fave is TOS, I get why so many people love it but I just cannot watch it unless it’s on TV, although I have watched the films god knows how many times.

So with TNG being you fave series what about the series you like the least?

Adam) I don’t have a worst series. All of them have both great and not so great moments. I know a lot of people would probably say Enterprise, but I actually like the last season just as much as TNG! It deserved another season (EARTH-ROMULAN WAR!!!!)

James) I agree Enterprise is sooo! Underrated, yes like all Trek series’ it has the OMG episodes, but for the most part it is one of my fave series and really needed a 5th season, oh well that is what happens when the fans become their own worst enemies, this is one thing I am so worried about with Discovery, so many are crying about it being so different, I guess time will tell if the curse of the spoilt fan strikes again.

With you producing your own fan film, do you watch any other the others?

Adam) I enjoy watching anything that involves Vance Major or Michael King. These guys put out some great stories and I’m excited to see what else they do!

I used to watch Hidden Frontier back when it was being first made. It’s what introduced me to Fan Films.

James) I remember coming across Hidden Frontier many moons ago, it was one of the first fan films I ever saw, it is funny now that I know some of the people who were involved in its production I look at it in a different light than I did back then.

We are now less than two weeks away from Discovery, are you looking forward to it?

Adam) I am looking forward to Discovery! I’ve been waiting since Enterprise ended for a new show. I was so excited when it was first announced. Star Trek has always been a big part of my life and will continue to be.

James) When you first saw the trailer for Discovery were you worried at all?

Adam) I was not too worried. Yes, it looks very different than TOS, but I think that’s okay. Star Trek was meant to adapt (no Borg pun intended!) and change with the times. It’s meant to stay relevant to each generation of fan. I think that’s something to celebrate rather than get angry about. It’s a television show after all…

James) So many people hate the idea of so much change, and I have to admit I was worried about it being a Kelvin based show as, although I kinda like the films, I am more of a prime junkie.

What do you think about the casting choices thus far?

Adam) I really like Sonequa Martin-Green being cast as the main character. She was great in The Walking Dead and I’m excited to see her in Discovery.  

James) She ROCKED! In TWD and from the snippets I have seen I think she is going to make this show something really worth watching, she seems to have gravitas in this role. Yes I know I am only basing that upon the trailers and snippets we have seen but she is a strong actor.

What are your hopes for Discovery?

Adam) I hope it will be successful and give us new stories that will be relevant to what’s going on in the world today. That has always been Trek’s job.

James) With the departure of Brian Fuller are you concerned at all?

Adam) I was a little concerned initially, but I will just wait and see how it all plays out come this fall.

James) What look do you hope they go for, we know its prime timeline but do you hope it’s more prime than Kelvin or vice versa?

Adam) Since it’s in the Prime Timeline, it should have elements from TOS in it but it should also innovate to show our technological achievements since the 60s, very much like what Enterprise did.

James) What do you hope they do not do with Discovery, as in PLEASE DO NOT GO THERE lol

Adam) I hope it’s not so action heavy since Trek doesn’t need to have that to be relevant. To me, it’s the story that’s the most important.

James) As I am sure you are aware the whole All Access thing is causing a LOT of anger and debate, do you think the move to put it on All Access is a good or bad idea?

Adam) I’m not sure yet. That is something that I will know when it comes this fall, but personally, I don’t want to pay a fee for another streaming service. That’s not to say I won’t pay the fee to watch it, it’s just that I won’t be watching anything else on the service to make the fee worth it to me.

James) Do you think online streaming is the future of televised series and films, just as you use YouTube etc now, is TV on its way out?

Adam) It’s interesting to note that Star Trek foretold the end of the TV (even though there are several times where we see TV being enjoyed in Trek). I think streaming services do challenge the TV as a viable service for entertainment and news, but I think it may be a while before it does out.

James) What did you think of the Trailer?

Adam) I loved it! I think it was exactly what we needed and a great taste of what’s in store for us this fall! I’ve spent lots of time analyzing the trailer, watching it frame by frame.

In part two, Adam and I talk about “Project Defiant”, His new Audio Drama “A Call to Unity” and his take on other aspects of the Fan Film world he has now become a part of.