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Friday, March 10, 2017

To Go Boldly

     To give you an Idea of my age my first Sci Fi passion was Star Wars. When the first movie came out I was a young teenager. The scope and the drama of it made me fall in love with it. I still to this day have a passion for it. But with age and experience I fell in love with Star Trek.

     Mostly I really fell for it after my time in active service.  I could identify better with it's expression of a regimented life. Yes, the military undertones. Weaving in the moral messages made those military lives no longer military but more so reflections of real life and the problems we all face day to day.

     So much I identified with it that I held it to a higher esteem then I did Star Wars. I was also one of those fans that was somewhat critical of the direction the new Star Trek movies were going (until "Beyond"). And because of that I was pleased to discover the fan film productions (all of them). They gave us Trekkies an outlet for what we saw as the true Star Trek. It was through the online fan films that I was introduced to "Axanar."

     At first sight of the blogs about it and the small video clips I ate it up. I could not afford to be a Donor (literally living paycheck to paycheck), but I wished them well in producing the movie. When the 21 minute "Prelude to Axanar" came out I knew it was the best out there for Trek, but I also knew the great risk of producing something this good. Those who have followed them know what came next, the lawsuit. And for 15 months we all hung on by our fingernails.

     In the end the lawsuit was settled - with some big concessions on both sides. But now the hard work of Ares Studios is beginning - to produce a convincing 30 min movie (the concession). Now, many months ago I - for the fun of it and for practice - created a pencil portrait of JG Hertzler, one of the actors in this production. I've been drawn to him since he played a Klingon in Star Trek Deep Space Nine for several seasons and, in this movie, he plays a Human captain fighting the Klingon's. It was a double portrait of him as the Klingon and as the Human. I titled it "Conflicted." It was done simply because I knew he was coming to our local Sci Fi convention and wanted to have him sign it.

     Well, he did not make it. So, in frustration I scanned it onto my computer and shared the image and my frustration in Facebook.  I was touched that JG saw that image and apologized to me for that. But, it did not stop there. The other fans of Axanar (hundreds of them) kept saying how great the piece was and wished it was a print they could buy, including JG. That brought me to the attention of the producer of the movie. We chatted online which led to talking over the phone to a proposal to reproduce the image as a print to help raise more money for the movie after the settlement. We often chat - sometimes just a word of encouragement - what with all the headache of being sued, but have discussed the movie and the production. And, No I will not discuss that stuff. As an artist I do understand the need for some legal and creative privacy. But, it has all put me a a unique position I could never have dreamed of being in. That being, someone who has become a part of the history of Star Trek (all be it a small one).

     I look at the Axanar Art that I have and am creating as my "Donation" to the production of this film. Just as equal to the Donors who believed enough in this production to give them their money. Since doing that portrait I have started also creating comic book style artwork for their use as well. I will be producing several pieces for them and the fans of this film.