Trancers 6 Production Notes
Full Moon kept to its word to us for surviving Demonicus, and offered this film to me as director and Johnnie Young as producer. We formed our own company YOUNG WOLF PRODUCTIONS to make this film. We were actually on board before even a script was fully in place and were involved in that development as well. Having done the Battlestar Galactica trailer we hoped to pull off a revival effort to this series as well. We’d already worked with Tim Thomerson on a film and getting him back was something we very much wanted, even though the film was mandated as being a passing of the torch to a female lead character movie.
We set out to shoot on film, unlike most of Full Moon’s recent “films” and used crew we’d worked with since Unseen. We also shot for almost twice as long as was usual then, or now at Full Moon.
Production was slated to begin right around September 11, 2001. For reasons that are obvious from even mentioning that date, we found ourselves shooting a film that involved people with guns out in the open during a very understandably paranoid time. That did not make things easier. We shot off a fire extinguisher for one scene and shortly afterwards one of the building guards saw the powdery residue in a stairwell and was panicked that it might be Anthrax.
Despite all efforts and eventually getting deals set in place, ultimately Thomerson did not return to the film, dooming it in the eyes of many fans right then and there. Efforts to get other actors to return also met with the same fate; the days of larger budgets for those actors were over at Full Moon. Neither of the lead actresses in the final film were my first choice for their roles but I enjoyed working with both of them. A side note maybe worth mentioning for those who like what-ifs: I wanted Maggie Grace (from LOST and the remake of THE FOG) to play the lead, and she wanted to do it. She is also from Columbus, Ohio and had been recommended to me by Nick Baldasare who was the lead in my first film Beyond Dreams Door. When she first moved to here I met with her to tell her whatever I could about surviving in LA. Unfortunately, the problem was that Trancers 6 was being done non-union, also something that kept Thomerson out of the film. If it had been up to Young Wolf…but it wasn’t…
Regardless the shoot went relatively well. Every member of the crew appears as an extra in the film at one time or another, including myself and producer Johnnie Young. Paul Deng the DP even plays a corpse in one scene, because we felt he shouldn't escape being in front of the camera as well. The trouble came in postproduction. There was no postproduction, well two weeks if you want to call it that. What happened was that Blockbuster Video, the all-important video store in the United States at the time, (now it’s Blockbuster and Wal-mart) passed on the film without seeing it, on the grounds that they didn’t want Science Fiction films. How do I know they didn’t watch the film? The screener DVDs sent to them were defective and the film wasn’t even on them.
Full Moon told us, “If Blockbuster had told us that up front we never would have made the film.” So post was stopped, more than finished, and a cut of the film that was not mine went out with rushed sound and Fx work and no extras.
Not long after that there were regime changes at both Blockbuster and Full Moon in regards to buying and selling films.
Still some fans appreciated what we all tried to do and it has been released twice on DVD. I think the humor and the final fight scene probably work best and it was fun making a Trancers film just as it had been fun working on Battlestar Galactica for a time. These are the types of series you think of growing up as a fan, not as being something you’ll actually get to be a part of one day.