You awaken inside a cryogenic sleep chamber aboard a drifting starship. You experience most of the drama "first person", through the eyes of Captain John O’Neil. You are physically unharmed, but you suffer from a complete and permanent loss of memory.
You explore the starship to find clues as to who you are and what your mission is. A beautiful woman is still in hibernation. One sleep chamber is empty. A corpse lies with its left hand severed and missing in the final chamber, glass shattered. The ship's computer, Westwick Main assists you, but much of her memory has been deleted by someone unknown.
Your wits are your greatest weapon in this story of suspense and interplanetary intrigue.
Live-action Actors in an Animated World.
One of the many things that makes Darkstar a unique entertainment experience is the large cast of talented actors that bring the story to life. Blending the live action, filmed people with a fully animated world creates a look unlike anything you've seen before.
Best known for his role on Arron Spelling's "Sunset Beach", Clive is a versatile British actor whose striking looks and accent have put him on the list for consideration to be the next James Bond post Pierce Brosnan. Clive also appeared as the main character (opposite Michael Pare) in a Canadian produced series, STARHUNTER. Clive hails from London and currently lives in the Hollywood Hills.
Trace co-created the cult classic television series, Mystery Science Theater 3000. For six seasons he also starred in the show in dual roles, one as the mad Dr. Clayton Forrester and also as the wisecracking robot Crow. Trace produced a comic in 2000 title "Here Come The Big People", and co-wrote "America's Funniest Home Videos" with fellow MST3K and Darkstar cast member J. Elvis Weinstein. Trace has since returned to Minneapolis and tours regularly with the original cast of MST3K performing live shows and promoting DVD releases of CINEMATIC TITANIC.
Beez spent several seasons on staff at Best Brains, Inc. in Minneapolis as "prop diva", creating props and costumes for MST-3K with Patrick Bransteg. She also appeared in several episodes. Beez lives in Minnesota.
Standup comic, writer and producer, Conniff is known to most as "TV's Frank" on the Peabody Award Winning MST-3K. his credits are too many to mention, from writer on the Drew Cary Show to Nickelodeon's Invader Zim to MTV's Tom Green Show. Frank lives and works in Los Angeles and tours live with the CINEMATIC TITANIC troupe.
The Crew of the Northstar
Actors (Left to Right) Valli Dawn Florez, Michael Borich and Phil Secca portray the crew of the doomed Northstar, sister ship to the Westwick. Valli Dawn Florez plays Zoe Palmer, sister to Paige on the Westwick, and her counterpart as pilot of the Northstar. Messages from Zoe recorded before the Armada captures and destroys them prove to be valuable in overcoming the evil plotters seeking to take over the Westwick.
The B-170 Squadron.
Actors (Left to Right) Bill Brown, Todd Smith and a cameo by director J. Allen Williams are featured in the "Mercenaries" chapter of the Darkstar movie. These three pilots are civilian owners of antique B-170 Starships equipped with archaic but effective firepower that puts a surprising dent in the Armada's ability to quickly overcome Earth's forces. These enthusiastic, semi-fanatic soldiers of fortune show the military what "loose cannons" are all about. Bill Brown is best known as the lead guitarist of A&M recording artists "The Ozark Mountain Daredevils" for over 15 years, and founder of the "almost famous" band the Misstakes. Bill died in a tragic fire shortly after filming of his scenes in June of 2004. Todd Smith is a veteran actor performing in countless stage musicals and television commercials. His portrayal of Rock Carnage (his real name Francis Lieberwitz) adds dry, dark humor to the Apocalyptic ending of the film.
The Starship Bridgebuilder.
Actors (Left to Right) Yuji Kainuma, John McElroy, Koji Uetake, Mary Jo Pehl, Brad Hedrick and Andrew Jared are the crew of the Starship Bridgebuilder. Ship's Captain Beth Ingram (played by Pehl) attempts to negotiate with the Imperial Armada, and learns quickly the vicious, brutal nature of the offworlders.
Mary Jo Pehl is well known for her contributions to the series Mystery Science Theater 3000. For Ironminds, she wrote A Guide to Guided Tours and Crossing Bridges, her work has appeared in the Minnesota Women's Press, Funny Times, and has been a commentator on National Public Radio and Public Radio International, and on KTCA-TV's Almanac. She also has been as a consultant for the PBS show Mental Engineering. She's done some work on several independent film projects and is hard at work on two books, a collection of essays and a novel. Mary Jo tours with the original cast of MST performing live shows and promoting DVD releases of "CINEMATIC TITANIC".
The F88 Squadron.
Actors (left to right) Brian McElroy, Aaron Wahlquist and Libbia Chappell play (respectively) Wing Commander Brian Mitchell, Captain Earl Stewart, and Captain Lisa Hicks, pilots of silvery starfighters called F88's. They serve as Earth's main defense against the invasion to come.
Purgatory II, New Australia.
Actors (left to right) Brandon Linnebur, Paul Oakley, Nick Sibley, Ruell Chappell, and (back) Aaron Borich play prisoners and guard staff at the doomed prison facility on Mars. Paul Oakley plays Warden Tom Carlson, and tells the tale of a violent revolt that eventually leaves the red planet in the hands of the criminals who create their own renegade society.
Kane Cooper, Scythe Captain of the Imperial Armada.
Joel Hodgson plays Kane Cooper, the rogue Captain of the Imperial Armada who has broken from the Imperial Armada and stalks the Westwick for his own purposes. He is in league with one traitorous Westwick crewmember...who could it be?
Joel is the creator of Comedy Central's "Mystery Science Theater 3000", he helped write the Disney movie "Honey, We Shrunk Ourselves", and was also one of the writers for the comedy game show "You Don't Know Jack". In 2001, Joel began a movie project with Sam Simon of The Simpsons, and operates a production company, Visual Story Tools, with his brother Jim. Most recently, Joel and Jim joined the staff of the Jimmy Kimmel TV series, and have produced many innovative projects over the years together. Joel masterminded CINEMATIC TITANIC and tours regularly with the original cast of MST3K performing live shows and promoting DVD releases for the artist-owned franchise.
Sir Timothy Brisbane.
Alan Bryce plays Sir Timothy Brisbane, President of the United Nations of the Earth. His story of Earth's fate captured in a documentary hidden aboard the Westwick is humanity's only hope for survival. Alan is the Director of one of Seattle's Community Theaters, and continues to perform on stage, most recently in "Much Ado About Nothing". He also appeared in a Charles Bronson movie in the 70's, getting shot dead by Bronson.
Jacob Petefish plays the main Scorpion pilot, an elite group of attack pilots that swarm the Earth defensive forces with deadly precision. Though Jake's actual face is only seen in one short elevator sequence, his performance buried in the Scorpion costume gave a sinister "body language" to the emotionless killers."
The Galactic Discovery II.
Actors (Left to Right) Chris Perry, Bill Thomas, Josh Elvis Weinstein, David Devol and David Logan play the crew of the Galactic Discovery II, a ship that is pulled into Darkstar and thrown backwards in time. Josh Weinstein (Captain Cedrick Stone of the Galactic Discovery II) became a producer for ABC's revamped America's Funniest Home Videos in 1997 where one of his first acts was to hire Trace Beaulieu as a writer. Josh was a producer on the NBC series Freaks and Geeks, and then moved to the WB series Dead Last and My Guide to Being a Rock Star. For a decade Josh was head writer and contributing Producer at "America's Funniest Home Videos" and brought on fellow MST3K and Darkstar cast member Trace Beaulieu to co-write. He has his own off-beat website at www.stinkburger.com and is married to blues-rock singer Allison MacLeod. Josh currently tours regularly with the original cast of MST3K performing live shows and promoting DVD releases for the artist-owned franchise CINEMATIC TITANIC.
The Solar Patrol.
Actors (left to right) Robert McElroy, Ned Wilkinson, Lisa Hamaker, Obie Harrup III, Justin Clay Amant, and Glen McElroy are the crew of the Solar Patrol Scout Ship that encounters the Galactic Discovery II as it is hurled from Darkstar into the past.
Actors (left to right) Matt Miles, Woody P. Snow and a cameo by DS Cinematographer Roger Jared. These high tech ships were built and designed in just a few months specifically to hold off the Mars Armada. Though low in numbers, their powerful energy dampening bolts can disable entire groupings of attacking Scorpion fighters.
Matt Miles is a talented producer and sound engineer, most notably produced Mickey Gilley's most recent album, and directs all aspects of Gilley's live shows in Branson, MO. Woody P. Snow is a well known radio personality in the Midwest US, and is best known for penning the 70's top 40 hit "Rocky". He has directed and produced several independent films, appeared in a Showtime movie "A Place to Grow", and on one episode of "Babylon 5" as an alien extra.
Peter Graves' Final Performance.
Peter is an actor who needs no introduction. His performances on the classic TV series "Mission: Impossible" as the lead character Jim Phelps and countless motion pictures including Billy Wilder's "Stalag 13" and the 80's classic "Airplane!" have cemented him as a versatile, talented icon atop the Hollywood echelon of legendary performers. His haunting reads in his final performance of DARKSTAR add a grim, ironic dimension to the tale with a sensibility reminiscent of Rod Serling or Orson Welles. Peter passed away at the age of 83 on March 14th, 2010 just four days short of his birthday of an apparent Heart Attack just outside his home. "I am so sad that Peter is gone" said Darkstar Producer J. Allen Williams. "It was too soon, he had a lot more to show us, he was still actively seeking acting work when he died. I am particularly sad he didn't get to see DS released, I really think he would have liked it and been proud of his performance. I'm so honored to have met the man, he was loyal, kind, professional, and oh so talented. I'll never forget the experience of knowing this amazing human being."
Bruce & Pitts penned the ambient tracks with the contributions of bassist J. Allen Williams (writer/director/producer of DARKSTAR) to help set an ominous mood in this tale of murder, deceit, and apocalypse.
Fully instrumented rockers were also scored for action sequences, 12 of them featuring guest players Brent Frazier (guitars) & James Lee Dillard (percussion). These blazing instrumental compositions span the musical spectrum from guitar-oriented, flesh-ripping power tunes to passionate neo-classical piano pieces. The DARKSTAR score is simultaneously haunting and exhilarating. Check out the sound bytes below for samples of this amazing progressive rock collection of songs specially crafted for DARKSTAR.
Includes a two-disk set featuring the following tracks:Buy the Soundtrack Now!
Listen to Samples at DarkstarStore.com
- CD 1
- Surfing the Velvet Abyss
- Mirrors Tell a Different Tale
- Systematic Overload
- Solar Wind Chimes
- Lost in Eternity (Paige's Theme)
- An Insignificant, Distant Nova
- Dementia in Absentia
- Deceptive & Dangerous
- Noir in A Minor
- Considered Gone
- Light Years of Darkness
- Requiem for a Blue Dot
- Winds of Fate
- Theoretical Paranoia
- Falling Down Stairs
- A Little Dream All My Own
- Winds of Fate (Reprise)
- Light Years of Darkness (Reprise)
- Another Time and Place
- CD 2
- Eternal Twilight
- Day of Darkness
- Tomorrows Children
- Corridors of Time
- The Edge of Insanity
- Knights of Vengeance
- One Two One
- A Trinity of Sons
- The Edge of Nowhere
- Holy Wars
- The Secret Sign
- Psychic Pilgrims
- Lasting Memory
We are friends first. We’ve been in bands together. We’re godfather’s to some of each other’s kids. We laugh together and cry together. And we each bring a unique passion to what we do.
Parallax Studio has no employees; just friends and partners.
Between us all, we mix and match each other’s talents to fulfill the needs of the project. We don’t worry about the money or the market trends. We go for the dream.
Darkstar is one of those dreams.
J. Allen Williams
Writer, Director, Producer, and lead Animator of Darkstar, Williams is the creator and driving force behind Darkstar. He has meticulously created the storyline, the architecture, and the unique look of the project drawing from his experiences directing music videos, short industrial films and television commercials. Jeff graduated from the Kansas City Art Institute.
Most of the animated models and scenes were created by Williams himself, as well as Directing the many location shoots done both in Hollywood and in the Parallax Studio in Missouri.
Roger wears many hats in the production of Darkstar, including those of cinematographer, still photographer, animator, compositing editor, and custom builder of the dozen or so computers used to create the animations for the project.
Roger has been involved with DS since very near the beginning, and has been a vital source of talent and technical resources. Roger's past projects include countless animated pieces, editing for motion pictures, television commercials and industrial videos for broadcast and CDRom presentations.
An avid gamer, Roger is always the go to guy when it comes to what's out there, what's been done, and what gamers want. If there's a game out there, chances are, he's played it and beat it. His sensabilities from his experiences editing motion pictures and television also gives an additional perspective to any given part of the project.
Roger is the devoted single father of four great kids.
Comics, animated feature films, and one of the most famous rock album covers in history. He's a legend by anyone's standards. As a young boy, Darkstar creator J. Allen Williams looked up to Corben as an idol, and faithfully collected anything with his art on it. In 1983 Williams was thrilled when one of Corben's characters from Heavy Metal magazine, Den, hit the silver screen in a hit animated Sci-Fi epic of the same name. Even today, Heavy Metal is a cult classic, and has sold millions of copies. Williams and Corben began working together on various projects in the late 90's, from album covers to animated commercials. Rich is arguably one of the most famous comic artists of all time, with extensive work with Warren Publishing, DC Comics, and his own underground comics under the Fantagor monicker originating back in the 70's.
Rich is responsible for creating some of the "horror" related animations and models needed for Darkstar, including CG characters that are living and some that are in various stages of decomposition. He has also created the fantastic monster on the alien planet that the gamer will encounter towards the end of the game. He has also submitted storyboards for the alien temple sequence that is vaguely remenicent of those seen in the Den sequence of HM. Corben's look and inspiration is imbedded deeply throughout Darkstar, even in the parts he has not directly designed, due to his influence on the Director as a child. "Rich is a kind, soft spoken and humble man...and responsible for my goriest, scariest childhood nightmares. His horrific imagery helped kindle a fire in me that blazes fiercely today." commented Williams.
Richard illustrates and writes comics to this day, and is a staple artist for DC comics and many others. He's also working on a feature length animated film based on Edgar Allen Poe's "The Usher". Enter "Corben" on Ebay as a search, and you'll find hundreds of comics, art-prints, posters, bubblegum card sets on sale every day. Richard lives in Kansas City, MO with his wonderful wife and partner Donna.
Brad is the tech genius behind Darkstar, authoring the entire project from literally thousands of animations, QTVR panoramics, and graphics. His architecture will marry all the movies, sound effects and music into an interactive experience like nothing to precede it.
Brad, like nearly everyone else who worked on DS, was also forced to pull "extras" duty. Pictured right, he is having his uniform adjusted before playing McIntyre, First Officer aboard the doomed "Bridgebuilder" ambassador frigate.
"Jeff killed us all." Brad quips. "Nearly every one of us dies a flaming death in Darkstar, with armageddon and all that. The only one of us who doesn't die in the story is Beez. Poor Clive dies like fourteen different ways. I wanted to scream like a little girl when I died, but Jeff wouldn't let me."
Not using any existing gaming engine, Brad decided to build Darkstar from the ground up using many panoramic softwares and Quicktime technologies as building blocks, and common DVD-CDrom authoring softwares as the foundation to house the massive project. When Darkstar was first concepted, it was as a short film or movie. While Director Williams and Brad worked together on some interactive CDR's for pharmaceutical giant Glaxow Wellcome in 1999, the idea to create this more interactive product was born.
Brad is married and the father of a beautiful daughter.
Before Beez was signed as Westwick Pilot Paige Palmer, she was recommended for prop and wardrobe duty by actor/writer Trace Beaulieu. Beez had extensive experience on the hit cable TV series Mystery Science Theater 3000, and has since offered her talents on diverse projects such as music video for Prince and on cable shows like Tipical Mary Ellen.
After being contracted by Parallax to create costumes for Darkstar, Beez said she'd heard about a "juicy little female role" starship pilot, and wanted to know if it had been cast. Indeed it had, but Beez submitted a photo of herself in wardrobe that couldn't be ignored. A nervous phonecall to the actress previously awarded the part went better than expected. A new, smaller role was written for her, and McKeever landed the part. "The whole thing was very scary for a few days." recalls Darkstar's Director. "I'd only seen her act in a few episodes of MST3K, and when I picked her up at the airport expecting this Barbarella sexpot, here stepped off Opie Taylor's sister. But she disappears into the dressing room, and minutes later emerges Paige Palmer, sexy and ready to pilot a starship." "She's a real pro. Great actor...she's the only one who had to cry...and she was hilarious off-camera. She is a very funny girl."
Beez is currently single and living in Minneapolis.
Dahlia's experience is deeply ingrained in cutting edge, new media development, with a long history of pushing the limits of new media in education and training. She has extensive experience creating database driven applications, and implementing and troubleshooting advanced programming solutions such as the huge endeavor that Darkstar has become. Her projects have won top awards from the SIIA, the Society for Technical Communication, and the United Nations World Summit, among others. Dahlia and her husband Simon also run their own Media Development company, Zebra Spot Design and Programming out of Ontario Canada. Their affiliation with Matt Veenstra's Tribal Media has been a long-term relationship, and together they produce many high quality, national level multi-media projects. "The amazing thing about Dahlia", says Producer/Director J. Allen Williams, "is her ability to troubleshoot and solve problems that come up when producing a large multi-media production like this. She finds bugs and squashes them quickly by rewriting our core software (iShell) to fit the needs of our studio. Likewise, iShell users should see a few benefits as the software is improved during this process." He continues, "Dahlia is a dream to work with, and during our two to four hour Skype calls she has to be to put up with me in such large doses. Finding Dahlia has been one of the most important steps in seeing our product to market." See Zebra Spot's website at www.zebraspot.com.
Jimmy Pitts faced a daunting task scoring Darkstar. According to Bill Bruce, "Creating an ambient musical environment of this scale was a job that required a special talent. Jimmy was definitely our man."
Pitts performs live and records with many progressive rock acts, including instrumental recording artists Super String Theory and neo-classical goth band S.K. Krow. He is also on task composing a highly complex modern classical/fusion project entitled The Fractured Dimension. He has recorded with Spastic Ink (featuring Ron and Bobby Jarzombek, Pete Perez, Sean Malone, Marty Friedman, Jens Johannsen, Michael Manring, David Bagsby, and several other progressive well-knowns) and recorded two extreme progressive metal Scholomance albums with The End Records: which were distributed worldwide, garnering international critical acclaim.
Jimmy is also an author, with his book "The Conscience Market" recently released, and another book in the works. Jimmy is 31 and married with a daughter.
An accomplished guitar player touring with national acts like Shotgun Messiah and Hellion, Bill has done session work with greats like John Cougar Mellencamp's drummer Kenny Aronoff, Elton John's Band (Guitarist Davey Johnstone, Drummer Nigel Ollsen and Producer Guy Babylon), and more. His work has been reviewed positively in Guitar Player Magazine, Recording Magazine, Screamer and many more.
Bill has the final mix authority on Darkstar's audio, mastering all the dialogue, foley, sound effects, and music into one, cohesive wall of sound in glorious Dolby Digital 5:1 Surround. Working closely with Dolby Laboratories in California, Bill has perfected the system required to supply the finished product with crystal clear audio mixed with dynamic stereo effects.
"I mix things the old fashioned way...I check it out on all different types of systems. Back in the analog days when we'd mix for radio, we'd always run a cassette and check it out on a crappy stock car radio. Then we'd trust the studio monitors. That's especially true here, because the gamers will vary from having a crapola computer speaker all the way up to 5:1 surround cards. We even check it out on movie theater THX systems. It has to sound good everywhere."
Dan and Jeff met in the mid 90's working together at an advertising agency in Springfield, MO, becoming fast friends due to mutual interests in Sci-fi, music and general wierdness.
Dan now lives in Chandler, AZ and owns his own web development company, Fusion Web Development. He is responsible for all the DARKSTAR website production, including Darkstar.gs and DarkstarStore.com. Dan is married to his wife, Tiffany.