Space Rangers is the creation of Director Douglas Monce. An adventure following Captain Andromeda Jones (Amanda Lee) and her crew Deni Fletcher (Veronica Kelly) and Audrey Wild (Lana Flynn) as the futuristic version of the Rangers of the old west. We got a chance to catch up with him recently after the release of the first episode of the series.
Space Rangers tells the story of an all female crew protecting the rights of the private citizen in the wild vastness of space in the future. It’s filmed in a retro style reminiscent of serials of the 40s and 50s. Why did you choose that style and overall concept?
Space Rangers started out as a still photo shoot that I did with Retro Pinup Model and Actress Amanda Lee. I’m a huge fan of the 1956 classic “Forbidden Planet” and I wanted to do a very 1950’s retro vision of the future. When people started seeing the photos, they kept asking, “when is the video coming out?” So that got me to thinking.
In 1950’s sci-fi the women are often the girlfriend or just the object to be rescued. But often the actresses playing these parts were far more interesting than the leading men. So I thought, why not just make the women the heroes. Far more interesting.
How many episodes will we eventually see?
There are 7 episodes all together in Space Rangers. Each episode is about 15 min long.
So it’s a complete story arc or an open ended serial?
Each of the 7 episodes have a cliff hanger ending, and the story continues in the next. This story wraps up in the 7th episode, but we could make more adventures with the same characters.
How far along is the production of the series as a whole?
Episode 1 is finished and on YouTube for all to see. We are working on completing visual effects and music for episode 2. The other episodes are in various states of completion.
The first episode of Space Rangers was recently released, how was the reception to the show and was it all you had hoped it would be?
We have been getting quite a following on social media. We have released stills and some behind the scenes videos, so there are a number of people who have been chomping at the bit to see something. So as Episode 1 was finished, I put out a message asking if everyone wanted to see it, knowing that it could be 8 or 9 months before episode 2 was ready. The vote was overwhelmingly “yes lets see it”.
The response was startling to me. I was amazed at how much people liked it, and are asking for more. Its been very energizing to those of use working to finish the other episodes that we are going in the right direction.
The sets look amazing! Tell us a bit about building them. The challenges and any ‘aha’ moments?
I had an amazing team of people helping me. Honestly they did most of the work, I just waited for them to ask me stuff like “what color do you want this”. Kenneth Backer was our production designer, Leroy Timblin was our set designer, and both worked on building it, along with a crew they put together that included Abigail Schultz, Miranda Lempitsky, JJ Hansen, among others. They just did an amazing job getting the retro look I wanted with literally no money!
I see you used a lot of colored lights in your lighting which reminds me of a Classic Star Trek episode. Tell us about your lighting inspiration and why use that approach?
Classic Star Trek was a big influence on the lighting of Space Rangers. Gerald Perry Finnerman was the director of photography for Star Trek, and he really gave it a classic movie look, with lots of unusual colors added in. I also looked at a lot of the CinemaScope movies of the 50’s to get a handle on how they were composing for the wide screen “scope” ratio. “Bad Day at Black Rock” was one I looked at a lot. No one knew better than director John Sturgeshow to place actors in the widescreen.
Any ETA on episode 2?
Not at the moment. We still have a number of visual effects shots left to finish before we can release it. They are getting there, slow but sure.
What else would you like the fans to know about Space Rangers?