LIEF Productions

Thursday, February 09, 2006

Pioneers in 2005

Location: Naples, Florida, USA

Kevin Cho, who brought Pioneers back from the brink of extinction at the end of last year, has settled into a new cooperative relationship with "Star Trek: The Section 31 Files". Kevin is an amazing talent, a Trek fan since he was four, who started this project in 2003, at the tender age of 14! A young man with boundless energy, talent and perseverance, his audio productions are constantly developing as he gains more experience. He is one of the group of fans who are exercising their audio and video creation skills in fan films as a way of adding to their "portfolio" or demo reel on the assumption that it might help them ease their way into the professional entertainment media.

He started off as part of "Starship Independence Audio Studios", in conjunction with Chris Edmund who developed his "ST: Morning Star" from the same group. Kevin changed the name of his production to "Star Trek: The Audio Frontier" under the banner of "Starship Napoli Audio Studios" (since he lives in Naples, Florida) which later, rejoining with Chris, became "Independence Audio Productions" and finally in Jan. '04 "Pioneer Audio Productions" as "ST: Pioneers".

Although he has had various websites of his own, his "home-away-from-home" has always been the Hidden Frontier Forum, who have constantly supported and encouraged him. One of his earliest voice actors was Lee Andrew, the British head of the German fan film group "ST: Andromeda".

Perhaps because Kevin and his production group are learning the ropes as they go, the pace of production might appear slow compared to, say, Section 31 Files. The first script of their pilot episode, a three parter named "New Frontiers", was sent out to the actors on Dec 16, 2003. However it was not to be concluded until April 9th 2005 as a crossover with a "Star Trek: The Section 31 Files" episode called "Bold Venture".

Part of the problem has been that Kevin has lost everything to do with Pioneers at least twice! Kevin and his family have been hit by hurricanes Charley, Dennis, and this year, Wilma. Wilma destroyed 1/4 of the roof of their house, and Dennis caused a loss of power in July '04, which made his system files corrupt. The cast, crew and supporters rallied around to help him put the pieces back together by supplying him with copies of the lost material.

A little thing like a hurricane can't keep a good man down though! Less than a week after losing everything to hurricane Dennis and without a website online, Kevin still posted a trailer for the next episode of Pioneers!

Perhaps as a result of their joint project, "Bold Venture", Kevin was invited by Eric Busby, the head of "Darker Projects" the makers of "ST: The Section 31 Files", to join their group. As Kevin put it, "The series [ST: Pioneers] will continue under the direction of Darker Projects. While the staff will stay about the same, Eric Busby and his diligent cast and crew will be able to offer more assistance to the Pioneers group here in Darker Projects."

Such seems to have been case for since the merger on Aug 27, Kevin has skipped episode 5, to come back to it after resolving some continuity issues, and released episodes 6 & 7. These are two parts of what will probably be another trilogy, "The Forgotten War", which unless I miss my guess, is shaping up to be a hard-hitting social commentary in the best tradition of cutting edge Trek!

"The Federation continues its expedition into the far reaches of the Beta and Delta quadrants, however a conflict looms over the horizon. With Starfleet already spread thin to protect against the Tholians, Breen, and other aggressors including a rebel group of the Federation, they are hardly in a position to fight on another battle front."

Kevin is a proud Asian American and this storyline explores his feelings about the Korean socio-political problem: a race divided by politics and manipulated by a foreign power. Thought provoking, this type of thing is not easy to pull off.

I'm confident Kevin can do it!

Episodes are available as a Podcast from dozens of Podcast directories like Loomia or Odeo. Alternatively you can add them to your RSS Feed reader. You don't even need to lift a finger to get the latest episodes - it's like having a Radio station tailored to your needs!


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