5/16/2017-ACTING-Recap of Filming on “Walking Bear, Running Wolf” (The Federation Files)

-Towards the end of 2016, I was contacted by the director of THE FEDERATION FILES-a Star Trek Fan Film production based in Arkansas. I’d worked with Glen on a few episodes of the STAR TREK NEW VOYAGES-where I first played the role of Ensign Dawson Walking Bear (created by Russell Bates) -a character from Star Trek The Animated Series (TV Show) from the 1970’s. This was for a short film and, while previous I’d played Walking Bear in minor roles, in this episode, I was the main lead-with the story centered on him. The episode is called “Walking Bear, Running Wolf.” After we talked about some arrangements (like how I needed a rub down in a hot tub after every scene I’m in as per Actors Suave Society rules (A.S.S. for short-HA!) πŸ™‚ , I agreed to reprise my role as Walking Bear (who, I would later find out, had been promoted to Lieutenant at this point). Producer / editor Dan Reynolds-who I also met previously on NV, also contacted me about various things.

-Fast forward to May. With travel and lodging arrangements done, I stepped on-board a Delta flight on the way to Atlanta, then a connecting flight to Springfield, Missouri-where Glen would pick me up to take to the base camp. Right from the start, there was a delay with leaving Syracuse (mechanical issue). I was told I’d have about ten minutes to make the connecting flight. The airport in Atlanta is quite big, but luckily the connecting flight was in the same terminal. I did arrange it so that if I did miss it, I’d get shuttled to and from a hotel to an airplane the next day-all at Delta’s expense, so off I went. The flight hit a lot of turbulence, but overall went by quick-about an hour and a half.

-There were three interesting incidents. One was that, my first though upon sitting down was that planes have gotten a lot smaller since the last time I was in a plane (circa 2000). Then reality hit me that I was bigger-and this wasn’t the only time this would happen-more later πŸ™‚ The second came quickly after that-I was between two others who were around the same size as me-so my arms were scrunched towards my chest the entire flight. The third came later when drinks were being served. I was asked if I wanted some coffee and I said yes. So I got a stirrer, a thing of creamer, two containers of sugar and….that’s it. The attendant just took of without giving me the coffee. Was it something said? πŸ™‚ Oh well, no biggie….

-I got the connecting flight to Springfield-where the seats were shorter, but the two ladies I was between were much thinner so I had a little more room. In addition, I ended up talking to one of them the entire trip, which was nice. her name is Savannah and she started asking me a few questions and things took off from there. Time flew by while we talked-literally πŸ™‚ . It was also cool that we both love cats πŸ™‚

-So we land and, to my surprise, my luggage was there-woo to da hoo! πŸ™‚ Glen was here-along with two others he had to pick up; Stephanie Masco-who was the make up artist- and Kearstin Nicholson-who played a role which, unfortunately, I can’t say (or show pics yet) cause she’s a “secret” character. I can related cause I’ve been in that position in previous films. By the time we got to the lodge it was around 12:30-1 AM-and call was at 9 PM. Breakfast was at 7:30 AM. I’m currently a night person so it took me awhile to go to sleep.

-The next day I was up and at breakfast with the rest of the cast and crew. Saw some familiar faces from the New Voyages days, but most were new. To sum this up, they had a great cast and crew here and it was great working with everyone involved on this shoot. It didn’t take long for me to be in makeup (I think Kearstin was in the make up chair for a good chunk of the afternoon for her role), but the first shot was delayed by three hours cause a braid had to be made initially. To my knowledge, the only time Walking Bear has a braid in his hair is when I play him-I know of no other media where he does. We definitely needed it for this episode-due to an idea I had on what to do with it towards the end (thanks to Glen for incorporating it into the script. πŸ™‚ ) For whatever reason, the braid I used during New Voyages couldn’t be used, but Brian Holloway (from NV) made me a new one and sent it. By early Sat. it hadn’t arrived so the decision was to make a new temp. one hoping that Brian’s would arrive soon. It did later on in the afternoon, but some shots were done while I was wearing the temp. The first braid were pretty much covered by my hair (so I was told) during those shots so…

-As with New Voyages, those costumes are nice and warm and it didn’t take long for me to become “Sweaty Bear.” πŸ™‚ It wasn’t as intense though-I’m not under a dozen hot lights for one thing (as when I was on the bridge of NV). In fact, I wasn’t on the bridge at all this time. I even had my own room πŸ™‚ . The first day filming was done around 1 AM. I actually had a costume change and had to switch back and forth a couple of times. I was also barefoot-and Dan killed a spider the size of my thumb in sickbay-where I was barefoot. I was also told this studio was haunted and -at one point, we were have several equipment problems one after the other. For the most part, though, things ran smoothly. The only real problem was outside noise. In the afternoon, it seemed like it was thing to do for a motorcycle to drive by, turn and drive by again. It was all fun though. I was told I make some great expressions πŸ™‚

-Also on the first day was the introduction of a real wolf on the set (see pics). A female wolf named Dia (I think) and her trainer Bud. She did very well-as you’ll see when this episode is released. In a lot of ways, it was like being with a big puppy πŸ™‚

-The second day call was even earlier 7:30-cause we had to make up time for Saturday. It wasn’t long before we were at Mystic Caverns to film a very intense scene for me. I don’t say that cause I bumped my head a few times on the caverns (a lot of things on this trip seem to be made for people 5’6″ or shorter) πŸ™‚ Worse-we were on a time crunch which made it much harder for me to “prime” myself for this. I can’t say what it was I had to do, but it was something I’d never done before with acting-and in one way, I failed to do it. In another way, I was told by a few people that what I did do caused, in part, the same reaction I was trying to provoke anyways (at least in part). Besides, Dan told me my hair (which is down the entire episode) blocked what I was trying to attempt anyways. Perhaps down the line I’ll be able to do this “on command.” One funny moment was towards the end of one scene here where I’m talking to Running Wolf, played by Dana Owen O’quin. The scene was to fade with her talking. We just kept going, cause Dan didn’t stop filming, with both of us in total improv mode for at least a few minutes. It’s always great to work with someone that you have that kind of chemistry with.

-Then we went to the last location for me-which was this cave / pit entrance in the middle of a forest that I have no idea how Dan was able to navigate to reach / leave there. I would’ve been lost in a hot minute πŸ™‚ I had to climb down the hole, to a degree, on a ladder-which I found was harder to do when wearing “bozo boots” (my boots were size 12-13 so…). No mishaps at all though. However, the dreaded “noise interference hit us again-via a dog barking, distance voices and some guy deciding it was a good time to do some mowing. I might have to ADR a line, but other than that, I was wrapped. It wasn’t long before I found myself in a car with Glen, Step & Kearstin heading back to the airport in Springfield. The weekend flew by so fast…

-The trip to Atlanta was on a smaller plane, but I was in a two seat row this time so a little more room. I got a little lost in the Atlanta airport due to my connecting flight being in another terminal and having to take a subway to it. Made it towards the end and was lucky, I had the only seat in the row so I had a basically comfortable ride back to Syracuse, which was cold and drizzling-what a surprise right? πŸ™‚

-I had a great time and a lot of fun on this shoot. Looking forward to seeing this, which I’m told might be out in as little as 2-3 months (no pressure) πŸ™‚ One “meh” thing for me-and this is on me mind you-is I should have chosen a shirt that was one size smaller. In most of the pics I’ve seen so far from others, I kinda look too big. The shirt-which was a XXL-fit my shoulders and not much else. Of course, in most of the episodes I was in with New Voyages, I had a similar problem until my top there was custom fitted. I was offered a shirt one size lower, but that would have caused another problem-albeit a funny one, which did “pop up” this time too. I’m not sure why-or even why I’m saying it here, but for some reason my nipples tend to make their presence known-making me, in this case Nippin Bear (HA!). The first day I caught it (even with the larger shirt and had to have duct tape over them under the top shirt, but I forgot to do this on the second day so… Such glamour huh?

-I want to thank everyone involved on this shoot-it was a pleasure to work with you all and hopefully we can all do so again on future projects.

-Pics can be seen on my acting page on Facebook via the link below.


About Wayne W. Johnson

Hiya-this is Wayne W. Johnson (WWJ) & thanks for dropping by to my site! I hope you enjoy your visit to my home away from home online. If you have any questions, comments and /or concerns about this site, please let me know via the CONTACT page. Thanks & best wishes to you & yours!
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