On December 8th, I received an instant message on Facebook from VANCE MAJOR, the creator of the MINARD Saga of fan films. Vance needed a favor from me.
Vance and I have become pretty good friends over the past year or so…divided only by the distance between southern California and Kansas, but united by our love for fan films and Star Trek, as well as our shared experiences as fathers to wonderful little boys.
Oh, and we’re both fan filmmakers.
Granted, Vance has done waaaaaaay more in that genre than I ever have, and I truly respect his work. And that’s why I happily agreed to the favor he asked me.
For a few of his final productions, Vance wanted to include brief video clips of some of his closest friends from the fan film community. One of these was a fan film titled Change (which was released last Friday). All I needed for the short headshot clip was to look into the camera and say something like, “Comm secure, standing by…” or “Channel encrypted, go ahead…” and then stare at the screen for the next 15-20 seconds. Then I would upload the video file to Vance who would do the rest, editing the various clips he received from folks into his final production.
Vance said he preferred a late 24th century uniform (final seasons of DS9), but if I didn’t have that style of uniform, I could just wear a black T-shirt and he’d composite my head onto a proper uniform.
Do I have a late-season DS9 uniform!? Is the Pope Catholic???
(Actually that particular uniform was custom made for me about 15 years ago by none other than GABE KOERNER—yep, the same guy who does VFX for The Orville and just declared that he no longer thinks Alec Peters is a willful criminal. Hi, Gabe.)
So I went out and bought a blue-colored matte board to serve as a makeshift blue screen background, came home, put on the uniform, set up some lamps, stuck my camera on a tripod, and recorded Vance’s 20 seconds of footage.
I also recorded something else for him—something that, um, well…
First I need to take you guys back to when Vance first asked me for the favor. As we were IMing on Facebook, I asked some technical questions about things like aspect ratio and backgrounds. And then, as you’ll see from the following conversation, things got progressively wackier…
Well, that sure sounded like marching orders to me! So along with the short video clip that Vance asked me for (which you can see in his latest fan production at the two-minute mark), I also created a special “bonus” video for his, um, amusement. And with Vance’s permission, I’m sharing it here on Fan Film Factor for all of you to enjoy, as well.
And for anyone who is wondering, yes, that background is from a photo I took on the actual Voyager set—Engineering, I think—back in 1996. I added a little animation to the LCARS with some help from Photoshop.
WARNING: there’s a few potty words at the end, but they’re all from Star Trek.
And now, Jonathan Lane goes a little nuts on camera…