Disunity, Part 2 – Mission Accomplished

I’ve mentioned here on my blog how the last couple of months has seen my free-time being more and more consumed with completing work on the “Disunity, Part 2” episode and consequently, having the time to write and post new entries here has suffered. Fortunately, that situation has now been rectified with the release of “Disunity, Part 2” on Christmas Day and with the episode now out for public consumption, I think you can understand why I prioritized work on the episode at the expense of keeping this blog up to date.

Granted, it was never my intention to put writing for my blog on hold in favour of completing post-production work on this episode. But unfortunately, production on this episode simply took far longer than it should have and that ate up a fair amount of the time that was meant to be used for post-production. And as I wanted to have this episode released this year, there really wasn’t much choice but to use most of my free time exclusively to work on completing this episode. Now it might sound a little silly to hold yourself against a deadline for a creative work that you will end up giving away for free, but there are very tangible, practical reasons for doing such. To start off with the most obvious, in regards to this particular episode, “Disunity, Part 2” – as the name implies – is the second part of a two-part story, the first episode having been released last December. In terms of story-telling, it really doesn’t serve your audience to have them wait more than a year to find out the conclusion to a storyline. It’s also important to demonstrate to your audience that the series you’re creating can be relied on to provide semi-regular releases so that you create the understanding that it’s a viable, enduring concept and not merely a flash in the pan.

Second, while working on a dramatic or artistic work is creatively stimulating, after a certain point, the creativity and interest starts to wane if you’re not making enough progress in completing your work. Of course, that’s true of anything in life – when you buy a new car, you take very good care of it, making sure no one drops crumbs all over the place, emptying out any trash regularly, and so forth. But then after a few months, the honeymoon period has faded and if someone accidentally drops some coffee on the carpet, eh, it happens. The same reality impacts the process of creating some form of artistic expression – it doesn’t help to have the time period for completing that work prolonged over an extended period of time, or worse, without any definitive time frame for when it might be completed. So that’s why it was important for me to set a time frame of when I could expect to have this all completed, even if that time frame is known only by me and not the general public. Having that expectation that you should have everything finished by a set date gives you that push to not only get the work done, but to also not get bogged down in the details and to focus instead on the overall picture.

In any case, the point is that “Disunity, Part 2” is now a finished product available for download via both the Unity project website and the project’s podcast feed (a link for which can also be found in the left hand column of this blog). I have to say I’m extremely proud of the final result, especially considering how this episode represents the first time I ever attempted to write an orchestral score – quite the learning experience I can tell you. And as was the case with “Disunity”, there were some valuable lessons learned through the process of taking this story from the page and bringing it to life. Those lessons help me to appreciate both what worked well this time and what needs to be changed to make the process go more smoothly the next time round. Indeed, I’ve already begun making plans and mapping out changes on how things are done so that for the next episode – which I will once again direct, though it will be written just by me – there won’t be a repetition of some of the headaches and delays experienced during production which lead to the backlog I had to contend with during post-production on this latest episode.

In the meantime, I invite all of you to check out the episode, “Disunity, Part 2”. I truly believe that it demonstrates that “Star Trek” is not supposed to be exclusively a ‘family show’; rather it should be a show that features stories that challenge our understanding of the world around us. Better still is if the story forces us to acknowledge that we do live in an imperfect world and the only way it will improve is if we all get off our collective rears and get out there and start helping to fix the problems our society faces.

For me, that is not only science fiction at its best, it’s just good story-telling in general.