Friday, September 24, 2010

"Paragon's Paragon" Fan Film Found! Partly...

Readers of this blog may recall a post on the long-thought-lost 70's fan film "Paragon's Paragon," reproducing a Cinemagic magazine article on the production. (Go here to read it, if not.) I ended the post with a note that I hoped someone would read it and supply clues to the whereabouts of the film... and it's happened! Sadly, the actual video is not currently available for viewing; but we do have color images from the film now.

I recently received an email from Robert Long II, that said this:

Dear Fred,

Great article you have on Paragon's Paragon. It does indeed exist as I have the 25 minute convention version of the 100 minute film. I got it from my friend Don Dohler before he passed away. John Consentino is still alive, retired, and lives in the Midwest. I've tried to get in touch with him with no success. As this is not my fan film - I am not posting it on Youtube without his permission. However, if you write back I'll try to send you some screen grabs from it. If you ever find yourself in my area I would be happy to screen it for you. It also has a making of that is very cool.

Regards, Robert Long II
Of course I immediately wrote back and asked for anything he could send regarding this previously lost fan film. He kindly sent the cover of the video, along with 13 screen captures from it, with this note:

Hello Fred,

Here is a hand full of screen grabs from John Consentino's Paragon's Paragon. Made in the early 1970s it is one of the earliest Star Trek fan films to take the sets, costumes, and special effects to such a high level. The full movie deals with two identical Vulcans, attacks from the Klingons, the shuttle craft landing on an alien world, and the Klingons and the Federation meeting up with the Organians. I hope you and your readers will enjoy the screen grabs of this VERY rare production. Robert Long II

We are grateful to Robert for taking the time to capture the images and send them to share with us! Here is the cover of the VHS box...

(Click on images to enlarge.)
Below are the promised screen captures; the first known color images from this early fan effort which adapted the Blish novel "Spock Must Die" for their own original characters (who are really analogs of our familiar crew). Please pardon the attempts a humorous captions, but I love doing that! They do not reflect on the quality of the film, only my weird sense of humor.

"These are the voyages of the AMT Enterprise..."

"Schamba, open hailing frequencies... and go lighter on the minstrel makeup next time, huh?"

"Oh my God, WHERE did you get those shoes, they're FABulous!"

"My symbiont muttonchops and mustache agree that we are in deep trouble."

"I refuse to step into any machine that uses tinfoil as an element!"

#1: "Would you tell that person to stop mocking me?"
#2: "Would you tell that person to stop mocking me?"

"Just because you are handsome and incredibly intelligent does not mean I admire you."

"Please clear the track, the podraces are about to begin!"

"It's funny how much bigger those shuttles are on the inside than the outside."

It's a little-known fact that the Organians were a race of swinging bachelors.

"In this case is preserved the only remaining fart of Kahless."

"Hmm... no, I don't think you look fat in that dress. Not really. I mean, not at all!"

"We are masters of the hand shadow show!"
And, there you have it... looks pretty ambitious! Although we would like to be able to see it, we can understand the reluctance to post it. We can wish, however, and perhaps expressing our desire to see at least some of it might convince Robert, the holder of the movie, to edit and post a trailer, at least. I'll let you know of any further info as it becomes available.

1-20-2012 update: I have heard from Robert, who owns a copy of a convention highlight reel, which are portions of the film shown at cons years back. He graciously allowed me to view it! It has no audio from the film, only Trek music dubbed in, but the footage is interesting to finally see. I have emailed John Consentino for permission to post it, and if he gives it, and if Robert allows, I will post it soon. But all that is pending. However, in any event, I will be posting some behind-the-scenes information about the making of the film from John himself, very soon. He liked my captions, by the way, saying "Your wise cracks under the freeze frame Paragon shots are cute." Hey, if TOS shots get these, "Paragon" is not exempt from my weird humor!

Update for 4-24-12: John Cosentino, due to the input from fans wanting to know more, has begun a blog about the movie! Go here to read more, and get all the inside info!

Monday, September 20, 2010

Starlog #1 Nimoy article

I've been bringing out some material from the early Starlogs recently, and while I had them out I thought I might as well do some more. This time we are revisiting the landmark first issue (published June of 1976) that meant so much to many of us young fans at the time, and still means a lot in terms of the memories it evokes. I've already posted the Shatner interview, so this time I'm scanning in the Nimoy article for your enjoyment. Whether you've read it before, or this is your first time, I hope you get a kick out of it!
(Click on images to enlarge.)

Below, the 5 x 7 color postcard from Lincoln Enterprises that I ordered in 1974, which -although I have posted it here before- I am displaying as a color version of one of the black and white images in the article. Not exactly the same, but snapped only seconds apart in the photo session taken before the filming of the first regular episode after the second pilot. The ship is the three-foot filming model used sometimes for the show's effects.

Mr. Spock caught playing with his models again.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Starlog #3 Con Articles Part 4

For the past three entries, as you may know, (if not, use the Archives links to catch up) I have been posting the pages from issue #3 of Starlog, as they covered the 1976 Bi-Centennial 10 con, held in NY in September of 1976. This post wraps up that series, with the appearance page on Walter Koenig, and an inside look at the joys and trials of organizing conventions by none other than superfan Joan Winston.

(Click on images to enlarge.)

Below, from the same issue, is a writeup on the rollout celebration for the shuttle prototype which was named Enterprise. (I've covered this in other posts, but with articles from other sources.)

Starlog #3 Con Articles Part 3

For the past two entries I've posted pages from the Starlog issue #3 coverage of the Bicentennial 10 convention, held in September of 1976 in New York. I continue the series of articles now with pages that spotlight appearances by George Takei, Deforest Kelley, Bill Shatner and Susan Oliver (Vina), as well as a look at the animated series by a consultant to Filmation studios.
(Click on images to enlarge.)

Need to brush up on your warp factors, George... not quite accurate there, as any fan would tell you.

A cel showing the infamous six-fingered Spock. This kind of mistake would never have slipped by in the live-action series; although to be fair they did leave off one of Scotty's fingers from time to time.

I'll be finishing up the rest of the articles next time, so come back soon... or if you are visiting after the fact, click on the next entry to read!

Bonus: Below, a small 1973 newspaper clipping about the cartoon from my scrapbook, from the series first run. You can see the tape I used, before I was old enough to know better than to use scotch tape for such things. But, I was just 13, so I can be excused... can't I?

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Starlog #3 Con Articles Part 2

As promised last time, here are more of the pages from Starlog issue #3 covering the September 1976 Bicentennial 10 convention in New York. The pages this time cover appearances by NASA space specialist Jesco Von Puttkamer (who would go on to be the technical advisor on ST:TMP), Kathryn Hays (Gem), James Doohan, Stanley Adams (Cyrano Jones) and Tribbles writer David Gerrold, as well as a look at the (in)famous blooper reel. Enjoy!

(Click on images to enlarge.)

Below, it was with amusement that I read the text in the David Gerrold panel. The question and his answer are, in retrospect, prophetic in view of his later revelations.

Come back soon for more convention report pages from this memorable issue!

Starlog #3 Convention Article #1

The collection cabinet (one of three) opens today to bring forth from the hallowed archives of sacred writing Issue #3 of the venerable Starlog, bearing the cover date of January of 1977, meaning it came out in November of the previous year. As isolated as I was from connecting with fellow fans, the extensive coverage of the September '76 Bicentennial 10 convention in New York was like manna for my famished Trek appetite. I plan on posting all of the pages covering the convention over the course of a week or two, so come back soon for more awesome flashbacks to the fun 1970's!
(Click on images to enlarge.)

Love how Nichelle's booty gets the center focus of the cluster!

Below, the first of the stars spotlighted, the lovely and charming Nichelle Nichols, followed by Grace Lee Whitney.

Remember, check back in soon for more in this series of articles!

Below, from the same issue, the inside cover ad for Gene's album "Inside Star Trek." I have great memories of that record, which I still own. I recorded some of the interviews with the stars onto tape and replaced Gene's voice with my own, as if I was conducting the interviews. It sounded pretty good, and was an early expression of my talent for audio production, foreshadowing my work in radio in later years.

Bonus: Below, a dollar bill that lives up to the name; dollar Bill... Shatner, that is. A greenback made for especially tucking into the thongs of strippers, mostly of the also green-backed Orion variety.

Friday, September 10, 2010

"Wrath of Khan" article from FM #186

From issue #186 of Famous Monsters, published August 1982, comes this article on "The Wrath of Khan," with exciting full-color photos (something new for the mag). The inclusion of a color section didn't help the magazine much, as it folded shortly thereafter.
(Click on images to enlarge.)

The photos in this article really served to get me even more excited about the movie than I already was, action and drama-packed as they seemed to be. Ready for something really good after the snooze-inducing pace of ST:TMP, this issue fanned the flames of expectation, and I was not let down.

Below, from the same issue, is the merchandise page featuring the Trek material. How much of this stuff did you have, and how much do you still have? I still have the books, and had the three ship models, but none of my old models survived the years and many moves. I do still have some unbuilt ones in their boxes, but I'll never put them together.

The sleeping bag allowed one to really "get into" Star Trek more literally.

Bonus: below, Kirk is on the receiving end for a change, in this funny promotional pic shot during the filming of "I, Mudd."

"Fully functional, you say? I've been called a love machine myself, sometimes."