BONUS: "Star Trek: USS Proxima" -- OUTTAKES

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Filmed in 1992 in a basement with no script, no budget and a borrowed videocamera, two teenagers made a Star Trek fan film. Nearly 10 years later, the footage was edited with music and sound effects, creating this result... This week, I've been posting a hysterically bad (but, based on fan reaction, very charming) Star Trek fan film I helped create when I was a teenager. Part One showed us the setup; Part Two delivered the punchline. In 2001, using video editing software nearly 10 years after friend Adam Fisher and I shot this silly little flick, I created the version of USS Proxima that we'd always wanted to make.

However, the original version of the movie wasn't as polished as what you've seen. (If what you've seen could be called "polished," natch.) Now you can witness a far more accurate take on what Proxima originally looked like sans music, sound effects and "special effects" in this outtake reel.

There's plenty of blank stares into the video camera, flubbed lines, windbag stream-of-consciousness "Captain's Logs" ... and perhaps best of all, what our original "special effects" shots looked like.

Set phasers to stunned.

--J.C.

BONUS: "Star Trek: USS Proxima" -- J.C.'s childhood fan film, PART 2

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Filmed in 1992 in a basement with no script, no budget and a borrowed videocamera, two teenagers made a Star Trek fan film. Nearly 10 years later, the footage was edited with music and sound effects, creating this result... Yesterday, I posted Part One of a preposterously, wonderfully bad Star Trek fan film that me and childhood friend Adam Fisher created 16 years ago. Star Trek: USS Proxima was filmed in about five hours with a bulky VHS video camera in the basement of my childhood home. Adam and I made up the story as we went along, shamelessly (and wittingly) aping the plot of our favorite Trek movie for inspiration.

This footage remained untouched for nearly a decade, but using a video editing app in 2001, I cut out a great many flubbed "lines," and spliced in sound effects, a soundtrack and "special effects" shots (read: footage from several Trek movies). The result is this video, a slightly less-bad version of the flick. This was the version Adam and I always wanted to make.

Here's the second part of the movie; expect a blooper reel to drop tomorrow. Among other sundries, that episode features what our "special effects" shots initially looked like. (We pointed our vidcam at a TV screen that played Trek movies).

As with most science-fiction epics, the final act of USS Proxima relies heavily on space battle shots. There's not as much "acting" in this episode as there is in Part One, but I'm fairly happy with how my 2001 editing turned out. More important, the ending -- featuring close-ups of the crew -- should make you chuckle.

More to come tomorrow, but for now, enjoy the conclusion of Star Trek: USS Proxima....

--J.C.

BONUS: "Star Trek: USS Proxima" -- J.C.'s childhood fan film, PART 1

proxima_logo

Filmed in 1992 in a basement with no script, no budget and a borrowed videocamera, two teenagers made a Star Trek fan film. Nearly 10 years later, the footage was edited with music and sound effects, creating this result... Those two teenagers were Louisville, Ky., residents Adam Fisher and Chris Hutchins -- that "Hutchins kid" now known on the World Wide Everywhere as me, J.C.  We recorded the footage for what became Star Trek: USS Proxima in about five hours, spread over two days. I was 16 or 17 at the time. Adam was a year younger.

The locale in which you'll see this fine 16-year-old cinematic masterpiece (or farce, depending on your sense of humor) take place is the basement of my childhood home. For a handful of years, Adam, me and other neighborhood boys would "play Bridge" -- meaning, play in this subterranean Star Trek bridge -- for hours, day after day. We built the set out of scavenged wood, milk crates, old chairs, and broken computer and audio equipment. Our wall-mounted readout screens were chalkboards. We even rigged "red alert" lights and other fixtures to make our bridge as believable as possible.

I have a very clear memory of being electrocuted in the Proxima bridge, while connecting a strobe light to an overtaxed electrical outlet. That knocked me on my ass, and blew a fuse, to boot.

By 1992, Adam and I were the only kids on the block playing Bridge. The fun had died for the others -- understandable, as we were growing up, after all. But Adam and I got a wild idea for one last hurrah: a movie. Neither of our families could afford video cameras, so I borrowed one from Blockbuster Video, where I worked. We shot the footage, and as wise filmmakers, even filmed "special effects" -- i.e., we pointed the vidcam at Star Trek movies playing on a television. Spaceships!

Since there were only two of us, but numerous roles to fill, you might notice that many of the Proxima crew are very similar in appearance. Run with it.

We ad-libbed the story and dialogue as we went, shamelessly stealing the plot of our favorite Trek movie near the end. (We were tired.) It was all so wonderfully, desperately cheesy and bad, but we had a blast. Our plans to take our footage -- and Trek movie videocassettes for our "special effects" -- to a local video editing company died on the vine. As the years went on, I lost contact with Adam, as well.

I don't recall ever playing Bridge with Adam after we made this movie.

When I moved to Florida for my first post-college pro gig, I bought an iMac and used iMovie to create the version of USS Proxima that Adam and I envisioned. I added music, sound effects and those all-important "special effects" shots we'd pined for back in the day. What you see here is the first half of the movie; I'll soon post the second half -- and a "deleted footage" reel in which you'll bear witness to some classic flubs -- in the days ahead.

Watching this movie takes me back, man. I'll likely blog about how Star Trek, playing Bridge, and that tiny basement room made a big impact on my life. But that comes later. For now, just dim the lights, hit play ... and watch the biggest little movie two teenagers could make, 16 years ago.

--J.C.