Space – the final frontier has inspired sci-fi fans to venture into the world of film-making.
But anyone thinking of a big-budget production in a Hollywood studio is from a different planet as this intergalactic adventure cost around £500 and was filmed in a kitchen in Chesterfield.
The Amazing Adventures of Captain Quasar is the brainchild of graphic design graduate Andy Buckland, whose degree course at Sheffield Hallam University specialised in motion and animation.
Andy, 33, plays the title role and is the film’s director, designer, set builder, writer and editor.
He said: “I’ve always been a sci-fi buff, as well as a huge comedy fan. The idea for Captain Quasar came about from watching old vintage sci-fi and I thought that what they achieved back then in terms of big budget effects, was what could equally be achieved, if not bettered, on a very low budget today, such has film making evolved and improved in both convenience and accessibility.
“Through careful planning and designing, I was able to turn my kitchen into a spaceship. It was tight, confined, cheap and cheerful, exactly what I wanted for the show, harking back to the golden days of TV where science fiction was all about cardboard sets, rubber masks and bad acting!”
Andy’s vision was shared by 20 friends who jumped on board to play spaceship officers, a robot and an alien. Principals include Emily Upton, 31, from Castleton, a member of Hathersage Players; John Rimmington, 29, from Whittington Moor, part of Chesterfield Operatic Society; and Ellie Fearn, 23, from Matlock, whose dad Jim was the former head of Spotlight Theatre company.
Andy added: “Captain Quasar is a retro-themed. B-movie style, spoof science fiction series, that draws influence on both the very best and tragically worst sci-fi from yesteryear, while blending it with today’s adult and surreal, slapstick humour.
“Star Trek is easily it’s biggest influence. As a self-confessed Trekkie, Captain Quasar serves as a tribute to both the finest and most embarrassing moments in Trek history! While revolutionary at the time, watching Captain Kirk’s adventures in today’s digital age is often laughable, and that’s the angle we’re taking with Captain Quasar, poking fun at just how bad science fiction can truly be sometimes, yet at the same time paying sincere homage to what got us here.”
A pilot episode of The Amazing Adventures of Captain Quasar premieres to the public at Chesterfield’s Winding Wheel on Friday, October 4 at 8pm. Admission is free.
Champagne corks won’t be popping at the premiere for film hero Andy. He is flying off on a new adventure the next day – not by space-age rocket, but by 21st century jet plane – to study at the prestigious New York Film Academy.