There are about 4 million people living in Los Angeles, 40 million in California, 330 million in the United States, and 7.6 billion in the world. Of those, a few hundred to a few thousand read this blog each day. (I can happily live with that.)
Over the years, I’ve met people at Star Trek-related events who have seen my blog…or at least folks who know about fan films. But yesterday I had that experience in, of all places, my local supermarket!
I was wearing my custom-designed AXANAR T-shirt (shown in the photo above) while doing grocery shopping, and a fellow standing near me in produce said, “I like the design on your shirt!”
I looked down—having forgotten what I was wearing(!!!)—and said, “Oh, thanks. Are you familiar with Axanar?”
He was, and I didn’t feel that surprised. PRELUDE TO AXANAR has nearly 4.5 million views on YouTube, and it got a lot of coverage in the press during 2015-2016. ALEC PETERS talks about how he occasionally gets recognized in public, and I’ve actually been with him once when it happened…so I’ve seen in it action.
“Do you know if that fan film is going to be finished?” the man asked me. (I get that question a lot.)
“Absolutely,” I said. “In fact, I talked to the show-runner just yesterday, and there’s a shoot tentatively scheduled for next month. Most of the two sequels have already been filmed at this point, and some post-production has started.”
“Oh?” he said, sounding impressed that I knew so much. “Are you involved with the project?”
“Kinda,” I said. “I write a blog about Star Trek fan films called Fan Film Factor.“
“I read that blog!” he said. Now, before I allowed myself to feel completely shocked, I will admit to being temporarily dubious…after all, maybe he was just being polite and had never heard of my blog in his life. But then he added, “In fact, I saw it was down this past weekend. Is it back up now?”
HOLY FRACK! He really does read my blog! I thought.
This past weekend, my site’s SSL certificate expired, and it took GoDaddy three days (and three tech ticket escalation calls) to get the new certificate installed properly on my domain server. During that time, the blog site was down, and only someone who had tried to visit it would have known that. So this was, indeed, a reader of my blog!
We introduced ourselves. The fellow’s name was CHARLES HORWITZ. He looked to be about my age, maybe a little younger (I’m 53), and he was there with his lovely wife Carmel, who is also a viewer of Star Trek fan films. His son, now grown, went to visit his girlfriend recently in New Jersey and had to wait in quarantine a few days, during which time he said he’d binge-watched all four seasons of Star Trek: Enterprise. So, yeah…fans!
Charles said that he first discovered Star Trek fan films when he learned about STAR TREK CONTINUES (a story I hear often) and was so impressed with the quality that he watched more and more of them. “Some are really good, and some aren’t that good,” he said. “But it’s just nice to know that fans care enough to make them, y’know?”
I agree, although my two rules of Star Trek fan films are 1) There is no such thing as a bad Star Trek fan film and 2) If you see a bad Star Trek fan film, refer to rule 1.
We chatted for a few minutes, and I suggested he and his wife join Fan Film Forum on Facebook (which he has since done). Charles also told me he’d write to me on the blog site, and a few hours later, he did…and we’ve exchanged a few e-mails during the afternoon.
Anyway, not earth-shattering fan film news, to be certain. But for a guy who writes a blog for a niche of a niche of a niche of fandom—niche #1: Star Trek fans; niche #2: Star Trek fans who watch fan films; niche #3: Star Trek fans who watch fan films and want to learn more about the people who make them—it was a truly awesome experience to meet not only a fellow fan film fan but an actual reader of my blog in such a random location.
It made my day.