My first reaction was, “FOUR HOURS???? Vance, are you kidding me?” He wasn’t kidding.
And as I began watching a courtesy viewing copy of the documentary CONSTAR: BOLDLY GOING, I began to understand why. I’d sat through over an hour before taking my first break and finished it off in its entirety over the next few days. The behind-the-scenes film is surprisingly watchable, but more importantly, it represents the very heart of what makes our “little” fan film community so unique and special.
And the reason for that is that VANCE MAJOR also represents the heart of our fan film community. At a time when Star Trek fan films were getting bigger, bolder, and much more expensive—so much so that CBS and Paramount instituted a set of guidelines to curtail the “space race,” as they called it—Vance came out just as boldly and went both small and cheap! He wasn’t trying to compete with the big guys or even to send some kind of message to them to spend less on their productions.
No, instead Vance was simply saying, “Hey, I’d like to show you my stories, too, but I don’t have any money. So I’m just going to do my best, and if you like what I make, great. And if you don’t, that’s fine, too. I’m doing it for me.”
And that was about 150 fan films ago!
In the years since Vance first portrayed the character of Erick Minard, Chief Engineer of the STARSHIP VALIANT, he’s worked with nearly every fan filmmaker in the community, having inspired many of them to “just go for it.” If Vance didn’t care if there was a cord visible in the doorway in the background of a shot, or if half the lights on the bridge were out, or the sound was bad or the uniforms didn’t quite fit the actors, why should anyone else be bothered by it? These are FAN films, and they’re made for FUN.
Now, as Vance prepares to pull the U.S.S. Constar into space dock one final time and complete his career creating Star Trek fan films, he’s decided to once again go where no fan has gone before and produce a documentary about not just one or two fan films but an entire MAGNUM OPUS of work…viewed not solely through Vance’s own eyes but through the thoughts, memories, and experiences of those he has worked with over the years…including me and dozens of others.
I thought about interviewing Vance as he brings this epoch of his life in for a landing. But anything we discuss would only pall in comparison to the release of his 4-hour documentary, which will premiere on Sunday, July 3rd at noon central time. Here is the link…Continue reading “A ONE-OF-KIND documentary celebrates VANCE MAJOR and his 9-YEAR mission in FAN FILMMAKING!”