Quite a while back Frank Fradella had the idea to do a film inspired by Firefly. He posted a Q&A back on the Firefly Fan Films site about his future short ‘A Faithful Companion’. I’ve gone back and dusted off the Q&A, adding a few updates as we look forward to filming it in the coming months.
WHAT IS “A FAITHFUL COMPANION?”
That’s the name of our short film, which sets out to answer the question, “What happens when a Companion falls in love?”
WHAT’S A COMPANION?
Okay, so we’re not going to assume that everyone who finds their way here is going to be the most die-hard Firefly fan ever, so here’s a quick breakdown for you: This is set in the future. Earth got used up, so we expanded out to other planets. The core worlds are very technologically advanced. The worlds on the outer rim are more like frontier worlds. So you end up with a kind of “space western.” Shadow is one of the planets on the rim. A Companion is the future’s answer to a geisha. Yes, they have sex for money, but in that society, they are given the same respect as a diplomat or an ambassador. They are highly intelligent, very well-educated, and they choose their clients. Their clients don’t choose them.
HOW LONG IS THIS SHORT FILM?
Current estimated running time is about 25 minutes.
DOES THIS FEATURE ANY OF THE CHARACTERS FROM THE SHOW?
Not a single one. This is an all-original story with all original characters. The ‘Verse is a pretty big place. Serenity wasn’t the only ship flying, and as much as we loved her crew, those were some pretty singular people who made those characters come alive. We’re aiming to tell a story of other people, but you might see some similarities here and there.
WHERE AND WHEN WILL YOU BE FILMING THIS?
We’re aiming for a shoot date in the spring, sometime in late April or early May, if all goes well. Our operations are based out of Port Saint Lucie, FL, and we’ll be filming in Parrish, FL for part of the shoot, and in the Morikami Japanese Gardens for another bit.
HOW ARE YOU FUNDING THIS?
We’ll be running a crowdfunding campaign and asking folks to donate a few bucks to help us out. A lot of us will be working for free, but some things — like hiring actors and paying for craft services— costs a few pennies. Luckily, we’re working with a well-respected charitable organization who has approached us about being our fiscal sponsor (details to come). That’s a fancy way of saying you’ll make your payments to them and they’ll dispense to us the funds we need. Everything else goes to charity, and your whole donation is tax deductible. How’s that for shiny?
HOW AND WHEN WILL THE FILM BE RELEASED?
Our film will be available online. For free.
ARE YOU SELLING DVDS OR T-SHIRTS OR ANYTHING?
Any merchandise we sell will be strictly during the fundraising portion of our process, and will go directly toward the production costs. Even then, we won’t be selling anything with FOX’s copyrighted material on it. It’ll be original t-shirt designs or behind-the-scenes DVD shenanigans or some such tomfoolery. Once the film is made, we won’t be able to take any more funds unless we’re specifically asking folks to send our little film to a festival somewhere.
WHAT’S THE NAME OF YOUR SHIP?
This story doesn’t have one. This is a story about people. Not everybody spends their lives in the black.
WHY THIS STORY?
For me — Hi, I’m Frank Fradella, the writer/director — the greatest unfulfilled promise of the entire Firefly TV show was the relationship between Mal and Inara. I can’t say this film is what would have happened — our characters are different from Joss’ characters — but it’s a concept I wanted to explore. I believe in love. I just think some people are stubborn and stupid, is all. They don’t always know how to love someone back. Sometimes they do.
THERE HAVE BEEN A LOT OF FIREFLY FAN FILMS THAT MADE BIG PROMISES AND NEVER DELIVERED! I’M STILL WAITING FOR MY [FILL IN THE BLANK] FROM THE LAST FILM I FUNDED!
Hey, I get it. You’ve been burned. We were warned going into this that the Browncoats are a little gun shy about these fan film productions. But what makes us different is very simple and very important: We specifically wrote a story containing only props and locations that we already had access to (that means no space ships, no blasters, no holographic pool tables) and was something we could shoot in three days. We’re not aiming for a feature film here. We wanted to tell a simple story and tell it well. Most importantly, we wanted to make sure that we could keep whatever promise we made about delivering that film.
SO HOW CAN I STAY IN THE LOOP ON THIS THING?
You can return to this site for frequent updates, or you can follow us on Facebook at “A Faithful Companion.”
That’s it. Did I miss anything? Ask me in the comments below and I’ll do my best to answer or update this post!