The universe of Polaris

  • The Transhuman Authority a warring empire spawned in the pitiless wastes of interstellar space, determined to rule the human race - or destroy it.
  • Polaris a starship of the United Worlds Navy, pursued by the Authority and lost in the uncharted reaches beyond the Milky Way.
  • Phaidros a planet that cannot exist…yet does. To find their way home again, Captain Sam Fredericks, scientist Valerie Young and the crew of Polaris must decipher its mysteries.
  • Their discovery will forever change humanity - if they live to tell about it!

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“That tree is in frame. Can we trim it back?”
“No, that’s against park regs.”
“Romel, just use your heat vision. No one’s going to see.”

Susan Cirrincione as "Howie," getting the drop on a baddy.

Susan Cirrincione as "Howie," getting the drop on a baddy.

We did our first day of location shooting for Polaris on Saturday, March 5 at Great Falls, Virginia. The executive producer fretted for weeks about weather, logistics etc. Two weeks before our scheduled shoot Dennis, Director of Photography Alex Ibrahim and Associate Producer Douglas Caprette selected and scouted a site for this pivotal scene and recorded video to determine the best camera angles. Alex and his crew arrived on schedule late Saturday morning. The weather was perfect - mid 60s and overcast, giving us a nice diffuse light and minimizing the need for silks and reflectors.

We would get in fast, shoot what we needed fast and get out fast. What could go wrong?

“Boss, our location is underwater.”
“You’re kidding.”
“Guys, is the location underwater?”
“It’s underwater.”

Early spring flooding had turned the intended surface of our desolate alien planet into Waterworld. Within half an hour Alex and his crew - Cynthia Lin, Romel Punsel, Paula Bailey and Carl Leonard - checked out a back-up location, worked out new camera angles and were ready to set up equipment. Best crew ever.


Because of the high, rocky terrain we were working in and in order to comply with park regulations we had to limit the number of cast and crew actively involved in a shot at any given time to five people. We managed that…well, more or less. Coordinated by walkie-talke, actors and crew trekked - uh, hiked - back and forth between a parking lot and the location. We were recording sound on our “desert world” right next to the flood-fed rapids of the Potomac river (“we’ll fix it in post”), a challenge that Chris Hart handled with his customary aplomb. Despite all complexities and complications we were able to set up, shoot and wrap in three hours - testimony to the focus and professionalism of our crew and of actors Susan Cirrincione (”Howard”) and Garrett L. Melich (”Gaitanis”).

Kneel before Zod (Garrett L. Melich)

Kneel before Zod (Garrett L. Melich)

On Monday, March 7th we were joined by cast members Paul R. Sieber, Gina Hernandez, Frank Hernandez and John Broughton as well as additional crew Tonya Dobbs, Nick Gilbert and Morgan Bailey for another green screen shoot at R&R Lighting in Silver Spring, Maryland. Working from full storyboards prepared by our First Assistant Director Maurice Molyneaux, we shot four pages in an eight-hour day. Garrett wrapped his final work on Polaris about 3:30 PM. Garrett is a joy to work with - relaxed, funny, patient and immensely talented. We’ll miss him a lot on the remaining and hopefully final production dates in May, and I’m especially honored that he agreed to participate in Polaris. Thanks, Garrett, and I hope we can work together again.

Flooding notwithstanding, our first experience on location couldn’t have been more successful or much more fun…and we’d have gotten away with it scott free, too, if it weren’t for those pesky kids and their dog!

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Polaris will be making a presentation at the Farpoint science fiction media convention at 11:00 AM on Sunday, February 14, in the Dulaney 1 Room. We plan to show a short scene from the movie, currently in production.

We’ll also be participating in filmmaking panels throughout the weekend, including (as of the latest revised convention schedule):


5:00 PM - Lighting On a Budget (Dulaney 1)
6:00 PM - Writing For Small-Budget Films (Chesapeake 2)
7:00 PM - Building Sets On a Budget (Dulaney 1)


11:00 AM - Starship Polaris (Dulaney 1)
2:00 PM - Deciding On Your Fan Film Business Model (aka How to Pay For All This Stuff!) (Chesapeake 2)
3:00 PM - How to Find Good Actors & Directors (Chesapeake 2)

If you’re following us online and you see us at the con, please say “hi!”

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autographsWe wrapped at the stage somewhere around 2:00 AM this morning, and locked up at around 4:00. It’s already gone.

To the magicians, mind-readers and muses of Polaris:

Maurice - I could never do your job. You saved this ship.

Paul - the leader of the cast. Entered as Chaney and wrapped as Bogey. And I so touched your ass.

Gina - you gave voice and a human heart to a silly tale of rayguns and rocket ships. Save for you, my words are sand.

Nick Cook - I think it was a half apple. What’re you all looking at?

Susan C - She walks in beauty…

Case - it’s been a privilege, sir.

Garrett - it is very cold, in space…

Lucie - you sure Nick’s console isn’t booby-trapped?

Susan H - that was one of the bravest things I’ve seen with my own eyes.

John B - Dying is fun, ain’t it?

Alex - Okay, now I know the difference between God and a Director of Photography. I’m still not clear on the 85 and 50 mm, though. Dolly moves.

Chris - A-Team, all the way.

Cynthia - Lord of Chaos. Bring the rage.

Paula - the clapboard art goes on the DVD, for sure.

Doug - you, me and Brad Naylor. This is fun!

Romel - Krypton wants their rocket back. Dude, can you jump back in time five minutes and take care of that?

Carol - You gave Beauty her face. Hanging with you was lovely. And I swear I thought it was a toy.

Mike B - master of 26th century bling.

Nick G - looking forward to three-hour coffee breaks on Ellsworth, again.

Thank you. As I said to several of you over the week:

You never gave me what I wanted.

You gave me what I never imagined, what I wouldn’t dare to ask for, and all I could ever need.

I love you all.

Heartfelt thanks to Richard, Rick, Carl, Nick, Fred and all the other folks who came, saw, worked with us and contributed so much.

Alex has to keep correcting my quote, as he does so many other things, so I’ll reset and go again: We done the impossible, and that makes us mighty!

Cut. Moving on.


- Dennis

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Gina Hernandez

Gina Hernandez

Gina Hernandez will play Doctor Valerie Young in Polaris.

Although Gina has been an actor since playing Molly Pitcher for a school project in the fourth grade, it was her starring role as Taryn Anwar in the independent film “Star Wars: Revelations” that challenged her to pursue acting as a profession. Her recent work has included stints on “Ugly Betty,” “Law & Order” and feature films “Precious,” “It’s Complicated,” “Wall Street 2″ and “American Gangster.”

Gina currently appears as a nurse on the Showtime hit “Nurse Jackie” and an FBI agent on USA Network’s “White Collar.”

About the character

In Polaris’s era, the deck of a starship is the last place you’d expect to find a citizen of Earth. As Earth’s interstellar empire has disintegrated and many of her settlement worlds have formed the nascent United Worlds, most of “Old Blue’s” dwindling population has turned its back to the universe beyond the Solar System.

This makes Valerie Young an eccentric from a world of eccentrics, and a puzzle to most of her crew mates. Having abandoned hereditary political power and social privilege for the life of an explorer and scientist, she now oversees Polaris’s civilian science staff. She’s served aboard the ship longer than anyone save Fredericks himself and, allowing for required military courtesy, they regard one another as equals and as friends.

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Susan Cirrincione

Susan Cirrincione

Susan Cirrincione will play Lieutenant Commander January Howard in Polaris.

Susan has combined a career as a model with acting assignments that include television dramas “The Kill Point” and the pilot for “Three Rivers” as well as upcoming features “She’s Out of My League” (Dreamworks) and “Love and Other Drugs” (20th Century Fox). Other recent appearances include national commercials for brands like Mercedes-Benz and participation in the “Visit Pittsburgh” tourism campaign for her home town.

About the character

The outbreak of galactic war a decade ago transformed the loose trade confederacy of the United Worlds into a military alliance with what remains of Earth’s once vast empire. Most officers serving aboard Polaris are either recruits from local planetary fleets or graduates of officer training programs established in the first years of the war.

“Howie” Howard is the exception. A top graduate of the Royal Naval Academy on Meridian and scion of a noted military family, she serves as Polaris’s intelligence officer.

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Garrett Melich

Garrett Melich

Garrett Melich will play the enemy military leader Andros Gaitanis, in the independent science fiction film Polaris for United Worlds Entertainment.

If Garrett looks familiar, you may remember him in the closing scene of the 2007 movie “Rescue Dawn” with Christian Bale and Steve Zahn. Currently, he’s completed work as a Secret Service agent in the comedy “Law and Disorder” (where he also faces off against Polaris cast mate Paul R. Sieber) for Beaver Dam Productions. Garrett has done work as a fight choreographer and heavy in the upcoming Roman Pictures production “Signals” and is slated to play the character of “Grayson” in Roman’s “Time Refugees.”

Garrett will be featured as an FBI investigator (and in a separate segment, as an accomplice in a 1983 murder enactment) in the Investigation Discovery series “Prison Wives.”


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Nick Cook

Nick Cook

Nick Cook has accepted the role of Commander Paul Duncan, the executive officer aboard the eponymous starship in the independent film Polaris which begins lensing September 2009.

Nick is best known for the role of Captain Daniel Hunter in Starship Intrepid, the Internet fan film series which he helped create and also serves as lead writer and producer. He’s most recently been seen as the character of Hodel in Star Trek: Phase II’s episode “Blood And Fire.”

Nick resides in Dundee, Scotland and describes himself thusly:

When not earning a slightly moldy crust as a theatre nurse, Cook wiles away what little free time has writing, acting, annoying his wife…In a marginally successful attempt to add a few crumbs to his crust, he has also produced several educational videos on anaesthesia.

As an actor, he is especially proud of his voice work on Martin Lejeune’s ‘Making Kelham Famous‘ his onscreen flirting with the delightful Risha Denney in Hidden Frontier’s ‘Operation Beta Shield’, and his wonderfully gory demise in Star Trek: Phase II’s ‘Blood and Fire’.


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Paul R. Sieber

Paul R. Sieber

Paul R. Sieber will play Captain Sam Fredericks in the independent science fiction film “Polaris” for United Worlds Entertainment.

Paul has been seen in Washington/Baltimore area film and tv productions ranging from HBO’s award-winning urban drama “The Wire,” to playing police captain Gary Houston in DC TV’s “CLOSE,” to portraying a crazed football fan in PSAs for the Combined Federal Campaign. He’s best known to the Internet audience for a variety of character roles in fan films including “Star Trek: New Voyages/Phase II” and “Starship Farragut.” One of the creative minds behind “Farragut”, Paul played security chief Henry Prescott in two episodes of the series as well as writing and directing several segments. He continues to provide the voice of Prescott and other characters for “Starship Farragut – The Animated Episodes.”

Paul is currently portraying unethical lawyer “Sooner Fairbanks” in the comedy film “Law and Disorder” for BeaverDamProductions.


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