|Jennifer Cole, one of HF's directors, producers, and fan favorite characters recently sat down with me to talk about life, death (for her character...), and everything in-between - including some long-awaited commentary about the first show, Voyages of the Angeles.|
Wow! 7 years, and it's coming to a close this May. After all this time, how does it feel to be a part of the longest running internet fan film series ever created?
Surreal! Honest! No, never did I imagine being a part of such a terrific group of fans - both Trek and HF; never did I think I'd ever get to play Trek and have so many people see it, like it or just enjoy it so much. No, can't believe it's ending, but, worry not friends, you have not heard or seen the last of the people who've brought you HF...
What have you done for the show over the years (IE: what posts have you held?)?
We'd like to thank Jenn for taking the time to answer some questions for us, and for being so open with us.
Hmmm, what haven't I done is probably the better question... That would be makeup! With the small exception of buying "left over Halloween" makeup, that's one area I never got involved in. And we're all better off for that! :) I've certainly done a lot of jobs over the years - obviously direct and act, a little bit of writing too, lately I've been showing up to run tape operations and just be there to see and hang out with my friends.
Many fans have reacted strongly to what they feel is the untimely death of the Admiral Cole character. How did you feel when you learned that your character was going to make the ultimate sacrifice?
Sad. Angry. Confused... but, that could just have been a tiny bit of ego rearing its ugly head. :) But, I think, in the end it probably made the most sense, not to mention it added some good drama (I hope!) to the over all story arc. I guess, I want to believe that the passing of Admiral Cole helped to prove the seriousness and scope of the 'war' the Excelsior and the Federation are in. That not every story has a happy ending and that not everyone survives. Of course, a part of me wishes I was still 'alive' and kicking butt!
As a director, you've been at the helm of some of our most popular episodes. Out of all the episodes you've done, which one is your stand-out favorite, and why?
Just one...? Uh, yeah, sorry, can't pick just one... They are all terrific! So, I'll choose two! Heroes and Grave Matters - they both had great story lines, the actors each did such marvelous jobs that it made my 'job' so much easier. Never mind the fact that Heroes is the one episode I got a writing credit on - that was never my intention, but, when I first read that script, I saw so much more that we could do, that Rob said I could help change things. I sincerely hope they were all for the better. For Grave Matters - that story touched me in such a way that I knew I had to direct it! I loved the whole arc that Ro's character took in that one episode, of course, it helped that Arthur took it so seriously and I believe that that was his best acting he did in the whole series.
You've also been part of the producer staff since the series inception. What are part of your responsibilities as a producer?
I've always just wanted to be as involved as I possibly could be, so I guess my duties have always been (at least in my mind) to read all the scripts, make suggestions (and at times, I know I've annoyed some of the writers!) :) I also felt that my job included helping with the snacks, drinks, etc. Of course, only getting a Credit or two along the way.. :D I'd like to think that I've always contributed to the betterment of the HF production team.
What was your favorite moment throughout the series as a director, and an actor, and as a participant in general?
As a Director: Working with, learning from and just getting to know such terrific people, whom I call friends.
As a Actor: Not having any formal training, it's been a great learning experience being able to work along side some really terrific actors. I guess the best part overall is knowing that there are people out there who like what I've contributed to the Hidden Frontier production. I guess the one real 'surreal' moment, came a few years ago, when I was a slave, er, I mean volunteer at the Las Vegas Creation Convention, and a couple of people came up to me, when I thought they were going to ask about who was up on stage or signing autographs, but, no, they recoginzed me from Hidden Frontier! That was truly a "Wow moment" for me!
Overall: I feel so darn lucky! Lucky to have had all these really fantastic experiences! Lucky to have met and gotten to know some really terrific, kind, gentle, friendly and just plain NICE people over the years! I feel truly blessed to know so many more people in my life, and it all has to do with Star Trek!
If you could, what would you change about your character, and why?
Here's that ego rearing up again... To have been a more central character! :D Ok, ok, in all seriousness, maybe just have had a little more time to explore her background, what she may have lost in her past, what she might have yearned for... Gee, that's really not an easy question to answer. Without that little ego coming back... I know! Not giving up DS12! I so wish that could have remained Cole's mission - command that station, not to have given it up Knapp or Nechayev! :D
What were your most challenging moments while working on HF?
Learning to direct people, trying to express how I envisioned a scene playing out and giving them proper directions; of course, learning to act and not feel scared, uncomfortable or not take things seriously (laughing or flubbing lines, getting the giggles, etc.) Of course, learning big speeches!!! Carlos! Dan! :}
I have to ask? ?can you tell us more about the Angeles? After all, lots of fans have plenty of questions about the series.
The "Angeles Series" as so many of you have only read about, was a short, short-lived series about the Los Angeles Star Trek club. It starred it's club members and was supposed to be about the fictional USS Angeles and her adventures. It didn't last long, and there were many reasons why, but in the end it's not that important any more why we stopped. Suffice to say, that as a result of the Angeles series ending, Hidden Frontier was born, and I think a much, much better series and outcome for all of us - and while several actors from the Angeles series came over to HF, some are playing different characters now.
Is there any future for the Angeles in fan film lore, or has she drydocked for certain?
Well, one never knows. At this moment in time we have nothing planned, but that doesn't mean it might never happen. So, I'll just say, that it's possible and leave it at that...
Any final words to say to the fans?
Thank you! Honestly, thank you all! You have made this journey so incredible. You're honest, and sometimes frank, feedback has made our job easy, and sometimes hard. For those of you who've been with us since the beginning - I hope you've enjoyed the ride just as much as we have. And as I said in the beginning, just because Hidden Frontier is ending, doesn't mean that you've seen the last of us...
Live long and prosper!
Look for more interviews with the cast and crew featuring your questions in future editions of the newsletter, and in future updates on the site!
--Jonathan Connor-Foertsch, Website Content Administrator
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