AVALON Indiegogo surges past its $8K goal to $11.5K and announces stretch goal!

A friend is someone who will lend you his lawnmower. But a GOOD friend is someone who will lend you his 18,000 donor e-mailing list!

Early this past Wednesday morning, ALEC PETERS sent out an e-mail request to all previous Axanar donors to please help JOSHUA IRWIN and TEAM AVALON raise the last 20% of their $8K goal to fund their ambitious multiversal crossover fan film CRISIS ON INFINITE EXCALIBURS that’s scheduled to go into production early next year. Within a few hours, the Avalon Indiegogo had crossed the $8K level thanks to about ten new donors, including one $1,500 executive producer package donor (who has asked to remain anonymous). And then yesterday, another executive producer-level donation came in, bringing the total number of highest-tier supporters to FOUR and a staggering $6K donated just from them!

There’s also been a $1,000 donation for a producer level (they get to do a voice-over of background bridge chatter in the episode), as well as a $700 associate producer donation…all since Wednesday’s e-mail blast. So never underestimate the value of e-mailing potential donors, folks!

As it happens, the e-mail blast couldn’t have come at a better time, as the Avalon campaign had essentially slowed to a trickle over the previous week or so, and some of Josh’s plans to promote the campaign had failed to materialize…including a series of Avalon videos that were supposed to post on the 115K-subscriber Lore Reloaded YouTube channel, as well as an interview with Star Trek podcaster LARRY NEMECEK.

But now that the campaign has surpassed its $8K goal, it is now eligible to enter Indiegogo’s “In Demand” status, meaning this specific crowd0funder can remain active beyond its original deadline. Other fan film campaigns have also gone into “In Demand” status, including THE ROMULAN WAR, which managed to get a couple thousand dollars extra after the initial deadline of the campaign.

For this reason, Josh has announced his intention to set a stretch goal at $14,000. He hasn’t yet revealed what the perk will be—only that it will be a downloadable digital file that every backer will be able to access. He also mentioned that that last sentence contains a hidden clue to what the perk will be.

Josh explained where the extra money would be going…

Continue reading “AVALON Indiegogo surges past its $8K goal to $11.5K and announces stretch goal!”

What’s in “BOTTLES OF ALE” from STARSHIP WEBSTER?

STARSHIP WEBSTER launched back in October of 2020 shortly after showrunner RANDY LANDERS and his wife moved from Birmingham, Alabama to Lexington, Kentucky the previous year and assembled the eighth creative group from POTEMKIN PICTURES. Since then, the Webster crew has been on a tear, completing EIGHT fan films in less than two years!

Their latest release, “BOTTLES OF ALE,” made its debut in mid-July and featured a lot more than meets the eye. Randy gave me some interesting behind-the-scenes tidbits about this production. But before I tell you about all of the things you might not notice, take a look at the finished fan film…

Potemkin Pictures has always presented a wide variety of story genres: action and suspense, quiet and contemplative, sad and tragic, mysterious, etc. This episode was obviously intended primarily to be a comedy. The writer, LIZ KNAUEL, has penned a number of Potemkin scripts over the years, but what few people know is that Liz used to write for Randy Landers’ fanzine group, Orion Press, a full decade ago. So their collaboration goes back a long way!

A Bottle of Ale” features three actors who might look familiar to viewers of Potemkin’s most recent releases: BILLY SWANSON (who plays the lead Romulan “Crocutus”), MAT ACRA (who plays “Rifkin” in the red jumpsuit), and CLINTON RIDDLE (who plays the “Adjutant” in blue). All three are local to the Lexington, KY area and have collectively appeared in more Potemkin fan films as more different characters than all of the other local actors combined! Part of the reason for their being able to do this is because three different Lexington creative groups are currently producing films. In addition to Webster, there is also STARSHIP CALIBORN (where Billy Swanson plays Captain Hawkins) and the recently-premiered KLINGON SCOUTSHIP QAB’ELTH (where Billy played the first officer Commander Kodai).

Mat and Clinton also appeared in the Qab’elth debut. In fact, that was Clinton’s first experience with Potemkin and led to him getting two additional roles, including being cast as the new captain of the U.S.S. Webster. Randy explained what happened…

Continue reading “What’s in “BOTTLES OF ALE” from STARSHIP WEBSTER?”

Big donations take the AVALON UNIVERSE Indiegogo from STALLED to STELLAR!

For the past two weeks, the Indiegogo crowd-funding campaign for CRISIS ON INFINITE EXCALIBURS from THE AVALON UNIVERSE was going nowhere fast. Prior to that, there’s had been doing well for the first four weeks, with donations nearing the halfway point to their $8,000 goal. But then Star Trek Last Vegas and DragonCon began to suck up all the oxygen in the fan community for two consecutive weeks, and it was hard to generate enough attention in all of the excitement to promote a fan film crowd-funding campaign.

But the timing worked out well in the end, as the middle weeks of any crowd-funder are typically the slowest, and over the past several days, a healthy influx of new donations has brought Team Avalon up to $6,430—only 20% short of their goal—with two weeks left.

Most of that recent jump came from two mega-donors, one of them choosing a $1,000 Producer-level package (which includes an optional voice-over as background “bridge chatter” in the final film), and the other selecting a $1,500 Executive Producer donation, qualifying that supporter for a walk-on role. Since showrunner JOSHUA IRWIN already made the announcement on Facebook, I can likewise reveal that Executive Producer to be none other than RAY MYERS, who was also my top donor on INTERLUDE and appeared on camera as the first officer of the ill-fated U.S.S. Artemis. In Crisis on Infinite Excaliburs, Ray will be playing the character of Captain Jennings of the Excalibur. The only question is: WHICH Excalibur?

Soon-to-be Executive Producer for AVALON, this is RAY MYERS on the set of INTERLUDE.

While online promotion for the campaign slowed for a couple of weeks, it will kick back into high gear for the duration of the Indiegogo, which will continue through September 26. Josh is preparing for a special partnership with the Star Trek-themed Lore Reloaded YouTube channel, which has 115K subscribers and will be posting some new Avalon content over the coming weeks.

Josh is also working to set up a podcast interview with a widely-viewed prominent member of the professional Star Trek fan community. (Is there such a thing as a “professional Star Trek fan”? Yes, as a matter of fact, there is! Assuming it happens, I’ll share the name in an upcoming blog.)

And finally, Josh informs me that he is planning to purchase a YouTube boost for his “ask” video, which has been very effective in generating donations (including his first Executive Producer $1,500 package from a first-time contributor). The boost is supposed to provide an additional 7,500 views of the video. Even if only a tiny fraction of those people decide to donate, it should easily cost of the cost of the boost. Here’s the “ask” video if you’d like to see it…

And of course, if you’re able to donate, that’s just peachy-keen, too! The Indiegogo link is below…

https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/crisis-on-infinite-excaliburs-a-star-trek-fan-film#

As always, I’ll keep you all posted on how the campaign is doing as it reaches its finale.

Announcing the 2022 Star Trek Fan Film SHOWRUNNER Award WINNERS!

First off, a very happy 56th anniversary of Star Trek to all of you!

And now, I am very excited (and somewhat relieved!) to announce the winners of the inaugural 2022 Star Trek Fan Film SHOWRUNNER AWARDS. I say relieved because 1) it was waaaaay more work than I ever expected it would be, and 2) everything went more smoothly than I could have possibly imagined.

And for the latter, I have to give my sincere thanks to my panel of judges, each a showrunner of at least one fan film or series. These eleven judges (plus me) each watched just about 13 HOURS of Star Trek fan films! Many of them took notes as they watched, and all of them submitted their ballots in 18 categories prior to my deadline for them of August 15—giving me enough time to record and tally the vote totals, check them twice (like Santa Claus does), and get the certificates ready.

I would like to, once again, thank all of the judges and list them here by name…

  • SAMUEL COCKINGS (Trek Shorts)
  • GARY DAVIS (Dreadnought Dominion)
  • JOSHUA IRWIN (Avalon Universe)
  • PAUL JACQUES (Raincross)
  • MARK LARGENT (Stalled Trek)
  • MIKE LONGO (Star Trek Fan Productions International)
  • VANCE MAJOR (Constar)
  • FRANK PARKER, JR. (Project: Gemini)
  • DAN REYNOLDS (The Federation Files)
  • GLEN L. WOLFE (The Federation Files)
  • RANDY WRENN (Dreadnought Dominion)

Most of these judges unavoidably had fan films of their own entered, and so the rule was this: each judge had to select their top five choices in each category—their choices being worth 10 points for #1, 7 points for #2, 5 points for #3, 3 points for #4, and 1 point for #5. No judge was allowed to rank a fan film that they worked on among their top three choices. This kept them from “playing favorites” while also not penalizing them completely for agreeing to be a judge.

In the end, this process seemed to work out very well, and we had a very nice variety in winners. In other words, the same two or three fan films didn’t sweep all of the categories. In fact, out of 38 total entries, nearly half of them (16 films) won in at least one category. Granted, strong fan films would rack up high scores with lots of 7’s and 10’s, but lower scores of 5’s, 3’s, and even some 1’s often made the difference between coming in first, second, or third place…or just barely missing the cut.

Speaking of which, remember that each category will have THREE winners: Admiral Award, Captain Award, and Commander Award, for the aforementioned first, second, and third places, respectfully. (Note, there is also a special Cadet Award at the bottom of this blog.)

Continue reading “Announcing the 2022 Star Trek Fan Film SHOWRUNNER Award WINNERS!”

AVALON UNIVERSE takes on Pon Farr in THE NEEDS OF THE ONE… (part 3: video interview with JOSHUA IRWIN and TYLER DUNIVAN)

About six weeks ago, I published a blog including the first of three video interviews spotlighting the latest release from THE AVALON UNIVERSE, an impressive 30-minute fan film titled THE NEEDS OF THE ONE. If you haven’t seen it yet, check it out below…

That first interview was with the new lead actress for the series, ALEXANDRA REXFORD, who plays Commander Mikeala Allenby, the first officer of the U.S.S. Excalibur. Two and a half weeks later, I posted the second video interview with CORA WILSON and WADE KING, who played the adorable shipboard couple of Vulcan Nurse T’Prin and Security Officer Williams.

And now it’s three weeks after that, and I’ve finally completed the hat trick with my third and last interview, this time with showrunner JOSHUA IRWIN and actor TYLER DUNIVAN…the Butch and Sundance (or perhaps Bill and Ted) of fan films! And why the long delays between interviews? Busy people, busy schedules—and it’s much more challenging coordinating two interviewees than one!

However, before we dive into the chat-fest, a quick update on the Indiegogo crowd-funder for CRISIS ON INFINITE EXCALIBURS. You are welcome (and encouraged) to donate here…

https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/crisis-on-infinite-excaliburs-a-star-trek-fan-film

I’ve actually been contacted by a few members of our fan community asking if I was concerned that the campaign has “stalled out” a bit over the last two weeks, stuck just short of the halfway point with only 21 days left, and if I had any ideas why donations had seemingly dried up.

Here’s a few answers…

  • I know that a couple of larger supporters haven’t donated yet but are still planning to. By my estimates, this will potentially bring in another 20%.
  • The middle weeks of a crowd-funding campaign are typically the weakest for donations. Add to this that, for the past two weeks, Star Trek Las Vegas and Dragoncon have sucked up a lot of oxygen in the fan world, leaving it harder to promote a crowd-funder.
  • Beginning this week, Josh is planning to release the first in a series of videos on both the Avalon YouTube channel as well as Lore Reloaded, which has 115K subscribers. The latter will expose Avalon to many new potential donors that may not have ben aware of the fan series before this.

So no, not terribly worried yet. Let’s see what happens over the next couple of weeks.

In the meantime, today’s video chat with Josh and Tyler begins with a discussion of the upcoming project, with new details revealed.

Then we hit a delicate subject that Josh and Tyler wanted to address personally, and that is the departure from the series of a few team members, including executive producer and lead actress PIXI NEREID, who had been so prominent last year both during crowd-funding for and then starring in the ambitious AGENT OF NEW WORLDS. Now she and two other actresses have been recast. So…what happened? We’ll be talking about this, as well.

And of course, we’ll also be taking about The Needs of the One!

Continue reading “AVALON UNIVERSE takes on Pon Farr in THE NEEDS OF THE ONE… (part 3: video interview with JOSHUA IRWIN and TYLER DUNIVAN)”

“MUDD’S MISSION” from THE FEDERATION FILES sets a bunch of fan film WORLD’S RECORDS!

Okay, I admit that there is no Guinness Book of World Records for Star Trek fan films. But if there were, the newest release from THE FEDERATION FILES, “MUDD’S MISSION,” would hold a whole bunch of ’em!

Mudd’s Mission” is the twelfth production from this long-running fan series which began in late 2016 with their debut episode, “His Name Is Mudd.” Since then, showrunners GLEN L. WOLFE and DAN REYNOLDS of WARP 66 STUDIOS in northern Arkansas have released the following:

This latest offering is partially a sequel, of sorts, to their initial offering from six year ago in that it features the return of several characters from “His Name Is Mudd“—most notably Harry Mudd himself, deliciously played both times by fan filmmaker DAVID WHITNEY from STARFLEET STUDIOS in Iowa (producers of the fan series VOYAGER CONTINUES, PROJECT PROMETHEUS, and QUICK TREK). Also reprising roles from the original were JIM VON DOLTEREN as Captain McCann, ROBERT WITHROW as Admiral Withrow (a recurring character whom he also played in multiple episodes of STAR TREK: PHASE II), JOSHUA MALONE as Harry Mudd’s son Corey, and MICHAEL L. KING playing Captain Jackson Bishop (a role he originated on the fan series STARSHIP VALIANT).

In total, eleven actors returned from “His Name Is Mudd” for the sequel, the other six I didn’t list playing different characters than before. But having eleven returning actors isn’t enough for the record books. Many ongoing fan series have large casts. However, before I tell you what does mark “Mudd’s Mission” for a record, take a watch so I don’t spoil anything for you…

The thing you probably noticed immediately was the sheer number of actors listed in the closing credits. A jaw-dropping total of 45 people(!!!) appeared in this fan film…many in multiple roles. For example, CHALEN EVERTS, a producer who recently released this fun behind-the-scenes video from a weekend of filming, played two different security officers and also an Andorian. These 45 actors traveled to Arkansas from a total of 11 different states, and represented at least four other fan series in addition to participating in The Federation Files. That’s gotta be a couple of records right there! (Actually, His Name Is Mudd had 52 actors.)

But perhaps the most impressive “record” was how many episodes of TOS were referenced, either directly or indirectly, in this fan film. Glen and Dan are already well-known for keeping TOS alive and healthy with such fan films as “The Green Manifesto,” which features Major/Colonel Green from the TOS episode “The Savage Curtain, and “No Good Deed,” in which Glen constructed a nearly-identical set recreation of the S.S. Botany Bay from “Space Seed.”

“Mudd’s Mission” obviously references the two TOS Harry Mudd episodes, “Mudd’s Women” and “I, Mudd.” It also recreates a portion of the K-7 Space Station seen in “The Trouble With Tribbles.” But that’s not all…!

Continue reading ““MUDD’S MISSION” from THE FEDERATION FILES sets a bunch of fan film WORLD’S RECORDS!”

VANCE MAJOR concludes CONSTAR! (some final thoughts from me)

It’s the end of an era.

Granted, that “era” has only been going on since 2016 or thereabouts, but it seems like so much longer! And maybe that’s because, over the past seven years, VANCE MAJOR (Owen is his middle name) has produced and released a total of 146(!!!) Star Trek fan films featuring his character of Erick Minard (in all its many iterations!) as well as a bevy of recurring characters, cameos by a who’s who of other fan filmmakers (including myself), and even his own 5-year-old son Royce…who has been appearing in Vance’s films literally since infancy.

And that doesn’t include Vance’s appearances in other fan series like STARSHIP VALIANT and THE AVALON UNIVERSE. Vance has been a staple of our fan film community this entire time, and his parade of new releases—sometimes coming almost weekly!—provided a recurring reminder that Star Trek fan films come as much from the heart as from the camera.

Of course, Vance’s stuff isn’t to everyone’s taste, and I totally get that. His production budgets are ridiculously humble (like, “Buddy, can ya spare some change?” humble), the quality modest at best, and the acting as likely to be hit as miss. More often than not, there’s limited if any “action,” and the more recent films (especially since COVID) have been little more than a series of interstellar Skype calls as two people have a conversation. “The Best of Both Worlds” or “Sacrifice of Angels” these fan films are most assuredly not!

But what they are, in my opinion, is a form of poetry. Vance presents his thoughts, feelings, observations, perspectives, concerns, triumphs, frustrations, dreams, and passions through his films. Most poets don’t need much more than a pen and paper (or keyboard). For Vance, it also means a camera phone, Starfleet uniform, and video editing software. But the idea and the goal is the same: to share a part of himself with others.

Some of us enjoy that sharing and don’t mind seeing the cord in the doorway or not being able to hear bits of the dialog because of the wind. We don’t mind seeing 20th and 21st century cars and trucks, or clothes and baseball caps that look like they were bought at Target, appearing in a story set centuries in the future. That’s never been what Vance’s poetry has been about. Instead, it was always about using Star Trek to speak his truth…for those interested in listening.

And even though it was never Vance’s primary intention, his fan films also served as inspiration for others for make fan films of their own. If Vance didn’t care about top-tier production quality or jaw-dropping sizzle, then how important was it really? If you have a story you want to tell, then hey, just do do it.

Continue reading “VANCE MAJOR concludes CONSTAR! (some final thoughts from me)”

If you don’t like ST: LOWER DECKS but still want to ENJOY it, here’s what you can do…

YAY – NO SPOILERS!

If you’re one of those people who can’t understand why folks like me and many others absolutely love STAR TREK: LOWER DECKS while you just can’t accept it as Star Trek, I might have a simple solution for you…

Just think of it as a holo-comedy-adventure sitcom set in the late 24th century!

Seriously, this makes so much sense if you think about it. Many of the complaints I hear about this satirical animated series center around the issue that not only does the show not take itself seriously, it goes overboard in…

  1. Making fun of Star Trek and Starfleet and most of the races we know from the various series, and
  2. Presenting totally unrealistic and unbelievable scenarios that would never happen in “real” Star Trek.

In other words, it’s too stupid/ridiculous/nonsensical to be taken seriously as part of Star Trek canon.

Fine. You win. It’s not canon. Have a beer to celebrate.

So if Lower Decks isn’t canon, then what is it? Well, maybe it’s the 24th century equivalent of a sitcom. I mean, we already know there’s lots of holodeck entertainment by then—everything from murder mysteries to Victorian romances to campy 1940s black and white sci-fi classics. So why NOT a satire about Starfleet and the Federation, its allies and enemies, its most famous officers, and its most well-known missions?

After all, in the future, folks like Kirk and Picard and their crews are probably pretty well known, like the star players of the top sports teams are today (assuming you like sports—and one would assume that officers in a future Starfleet would be just as well-versed in the most famous officers and their missions).

Of course, I know there’s gonna be people out there who say, “Yeah, but the show is just so inane! Why would anyone want to waste their holodeck time on something so stupid? It’s not even that funny!”

Hey, if you personally don’t think Lower Decks is funny, that’s fine. You do you. I personally think the show is hilarious and brilliant, so please don’t assume your opinion is fact. Different people find different things funny.

In fact, comedy comes in all shapes, sizes, genres, and styles….from a classic like Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night to the raucous slapstick of the Three Stooges. Comedy can range from the dry subtlety of Monthy Python to the riotously raunchy Benny Hill. American TV sitcoms evolved from I Love Lucy to Dick Van Dyke to All in the Family to Friends to The Office. Heck, at one point in time, television’s comedies included (during the same years) Three’s Company, Taxi, and M*A*S*H…how’s that for variety! From crass comedies like Married with Children to more erudite sitcoms like Frasier, from Saturday Night Live to In Living Color, and from The Flinstones to The Simpsons to Rick and Morty…comedy caters to many different tastes and audiences. So why wouldn’t at some folks in Starfleet want to tune in to Lower Decks?

But you wanna hear something mind-blowing? Lower Decks isn’t simply a comedy…

Continue reading “If you don’t like ST: LOWER DECKS but still want to ENJOY it, here’s what you can do…”

Coming up with PERK IDEAS for the AVALON UNIVERSE crowd-funder…

To perk or not to perk?

Crowd-funder perks are a great motivator for donations, but they come with a few drawbacks. First of all, physical perks that cost money to produce and ship can nibble away (or even gobble away) significant chunks of what you raise. And of course, keeping track of who ordered what, tracking down correct mailing addresses, boxing and shipping, and dealing with undelivered merchandise can be a royal pain in the butt.

Going perkless isn’t necessarily a donation-killer. INTERLUDE‘s GoFundMe offered no perks and took in $25K. And last year, AVALON UNIVERSE‘s GoFundMe likewise offered no perks and raised more than $13K. That money has gone into producing four new fan films: AGENT OF NEW WORLDS, the just-released THE NEEDS OF THE ONE, and the upcoming KNIGHTS OF THE VOID and THE TRUTH WITHIN.

And so, when Avalon showrunner JOSH IRWIN asked me for advice about his new crowd-funding campaign for next year’s ambitious CRISIS ON INFINITE EXCALIBURS multiverse crossover fan film, the first question we needed to answer was “To perk or not to perk?”

After weighing the pros and cons, Josh decided to perk…which meant switching over from GoFundMe to Indiegogo, since the former doesn’t allow for perks. You can watch the ask video below (it’s quite good!)…

With just about 5 weeks left, the Indiegogo is doing pretty well at $$3,620, or about 45% of the $8K goal. And of course, I encourage anyone who can afford a few bucks to support this project by clicking the link below because Team Avalon produces some really top quality Star Trek fan productions, and there’s some very nice perks…

https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/crisis-on-infinite-excaliburs-a-star-trek-fan-film

Today’s blog is going to discuss those perks and how Josh and I came up with them—as some of them might inspire other fan filmmakers with ideas for their own perks. Let’s dive in…

Continue reading “Coming up with PERK IDEAS for the AVALON UNIVERSE crowd-funder…”

AVALON UNIVERSE takes on Pon Farr in THE NEEDS OF THE ONE… (part 2: video interview with CORA WILSON and WADE KING)

First of all, here’s a quick update on the current AVALON UNIVERSE Indiegogo for their wildly-ambitious, multiverse crossover fan film CRISIS ON INFINITE EXCALIBURS. With about six weeks left (one-quarter of the way through their campaign), Avalon is sitting at an impressive $$3,345 dollars, or 41% of the way to their $8K goal. This includes a weekend donation from a first-time Avalon mega-donor of $1,500, which gets her an Executive Producer credit and an on-camera appearance in the final film.

Also, don’t tell anyone, but if donations exceed $8K, there will likely be a very fun stretch goal involving Marty McFly, Captain Derek Mason, and Elvis Presley, but we’re waaaaaay too early to discuss that…yet!

Anyway, if you can afford a few bucks to support this campaign, it’ll be money well-spent (I know ’cause I’ve read the script!). And if not, if you could at least see it in your heart to share the following link with friends and family and friends of family and family of friends, it would be sincerely appreciated by the fine folks at Team Avalon:

https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/crisis-on-infinite-excaliburs-a-star-trek-fan-film

And now we return to our regularly-scheduled blog, already in progress…


The latest release from the Avalon Universe is THE NEEDS OF THE ONE, and it’s proving to be quite the hit with fans! YouTube views have already exceeded 10,000 in less than three weeks, and showrunner JOSHUA IRWIN reported that he’d been contacted by the LORE RELOADED YouTube channel (114K subscribers) to partner up with Avalon and produce a series of behind-the-scenes features on the fan production to try to generate more donations for the Indiegogo campaign. So some exciting news there!

Equally exciting is the video interview that I have for you today, featuring actors CORA WILSON, who plays the the Vulcan Nurse T’Prin, and WADE KING, who plays Security Officer Williams. If you haven’t watched the episode yet, check it out now because the two of them are absolutely adorable as a couple…!

In addition to being adorable, the two provide incredibly strong performances and equally amazing stunts. Fight scenes in fan films are, not surprisingly, rare and often rather limited because Trekkies aren’t necessarily known for our martial arts prowess. But Cora and Wade are both very skilled fighters, and their abilities are on full display in this impressive fan film. AND they can both act!

It’s seldom that I say an interview is a “MUST WATCH,” but my recent conversation with Cora and Wade was really awesome. (Also awesome was my video interview from two and a half weeks ago with ALEXANDRA REXFORD, who just stepped into the role of Commander Mikaela Allenby.) Like Alexandra, Cora and Wade are both such warm and wonderful people, full of positive energy, with intriguing insights, fascinating personal histories, and some great stories from the production itself.

I thoroughly enjoyed talking to both of them, and I suspect you’ll enjoy watching our lively chat…