Wednesday, October 20, 2010
Captain's Log: Trek Script, Indie Trek Flicks, UFO, and Enterprise Flies
In a story at TrekMovie.com headlined It's Not About the Villain, Star Trek JJA producer Damon Lindelof said the script for the next movie is "progressing," but contrary to the major speculation, they aren't starting with the villain. "Trek is not about villains, it is about the crew and their relationship with each other – that family. If the villain helps sort of flesh that out and bring that to life, then we have hit a home run." He mentions that "we are obviously aware of what people are saying on the web." Maybe it has nothing to do with it of course, but for instance, maybe this, right here, entitled Don't Start with the Villain.
Indie Trek Films at Hollywood Xpo
I'm seriously behind the timeline, because Hollywood Xpo came and went this past weekend, and I didn't get around to posting about a feature of it that most impressed me: the schedule of films there. I've seen some of them, parts of others, and know nothing about still others. They run the gamut from independent films with Star Trek talent (Walter Koenig's InAlienable, Nichelle Nichols in Lady Magdalene's, Tim Russ-directed Divas of Novella) or with a connection to others who appeared at this convention (Chrysalis, introduced by Ray Bradbury) to films about Star Trek or set in the Star Trek universe.
There was a "pop-up cut" of Star Trek: Of Gods and Men, which sounds intriguing, though I have no idea what it means. And episodes of Star Trek Phase II and Starship Farragut. I just watched one of the Farragut films online--For Want of a Nail--and I was totally blown away by it. The filmmaking and effects are convincing enough and even startling at times, and the storytelling is absorbing. Plus it's a real Star Trek story. These independent films (and others, like those at Hidden Frontier) more than anything else testify to the enduring power of Star Trek to inspire creativity and imagination. If you haven't visited these sites or otherwise checked out these films recently, it's always worthwhile.
UFO Over China, Balloon Over Earth--and Other News
From the reel world to the real world, so-called: Word has reached the West of a major UFO sighting in China some weeks ago that led to closing a major airport: strange lights and shapes in the sky (captured in the top photo above, and video) that a Chinese scientist said "cannot yet be explained by existing scientific knowledge or natural phenomena."
From possible extraterrestrials to extra-cool earthlings, there's this story about a guy in Brooklyn and his 7 year old son who tied a camera to a weather balloon and came away with a viral video condensed from its 90 minute trip into space. The second photo above comes from it.
Meanwhile, the Virgin Galactic spacecraft Enterprise took another step towards its ultimate trip with a glide and an earth landing, and international partners (U.S., Russia, European Union) are discussing the possibility of a manned return to the Moon via the International Space Station.
This Just In! Shatner Wants to Save the Earth!
Actually there's nothing new here--William Shatner has been an ardent environmentalist for decades--he was trying to save the whales even before Star Trek IV. But the Climate Progress blog inflated a few offhand comments Shatner made to the ace denier Glenn Beck, mostly as a way to get a little Captain Kirk bling. Still, the post includes video that Shatner did on the Climate Crisis for the Sierra Club.
But speaking of the Climate Crisis, Bruce Sterling makes some actual substantive comments in this new interview. He talks cogently about its timeline, and adds:"I can tell people that the climate will get worse, because that's the truth. But I'm not a politician, scientist, engineer or financier. I'm just a visionary novelist. I can advocate some things and maybe increase some public awareness of things. Practically speaking, I am not a major actor in this old, colossal, dreadful story. I am just a talkative artist, someone who can smell that future coming. I do smell it. I smell it every day. It smells like your home, on fire."
Also since my last log, Patrick Stewart's Macbeth had its first run on PBS here in the U.S. You can see it online here. Stroke of genius, that moustache. It's a provocative and effective version, and I say that having acted in it myself (In college I played the often overlooked but actually key character of the play--the Thane of Ross.) In news breaking today, the BBC is taking a big financial hit as the UK government is slashing its budget. How this might affect Doctor Who--still a big TV hit, and making steady inroads in the U.S.--is yet a question.