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!


Joe from Malvern said...

BRAVO! I was a mere schoolboy when I read the article about "Paragon's Paragon" spending hours draining every detail from it and trying to calculate if I could do something like it myself. (Ambitious, for a junior high kid.)

Please tell the owners there are more than a few of us that would dearly love to close the loop on this thirty-year "debut"!

Frederick said...

Thanks for the comment, I am sure that they will read your comments, but I will pass them along in an email as well.
It's amazing how the original show inspired so many fans to go to such lengths of devotion to create their own adventures!

Joe from Malvern said...

Lol, I was inspired to build Spock's computer console and a few phasers/communicators, with detail taken from microscopic views of the old Star Trek Enterprises film clips. (Thanks to my 7th grade science teacher's indulgence.)

You know - it was a delightful dream to have. Man, it would be great to see this one if only for sentimenality's sake.

Rob Bignell said...

Hey Frederick - Just making sure all is going okay for you as haven't seen a post in a while. Love your site and the nuggets you find in your file cabinet; they bring back some great memories.

Frederick said...


thanks for the comment and the concern! Still plan on keeping up the blog(s), but fall is a busy time personally for me, as the mail-order business I have gets really heavy at that time. I'll be back with more stuff soon, though!

Rob Bignell said...


Joe from Malvern said...

Any updates on Paragon's Paragon?

Frederick said...


Not since the last one... I'll see what I can find out!

Joe from Malvern said...

Bwagh! The wait!

Anonymous said...

It seems the guy who owns this version of the film has posted on Youtube (on a fan produced trailer for the film) complaining that you (he doesn't name you, personally, but it does seem to be directed at this site) mocked him and angered him with your captions on the stills. So he may not allow it to be seen.


Frederick said...

Too bad... anyone reading the captions with an unbiased eye will see they are not aimed at the quality of the movie but are generic captions that supply humorous contexts to the images, exactly like I do with regular photos from TOS, and I love and respect that. It's all done to add some humor, not mock the content.

Frederick said...

after looking up the post you mentioned, I am the guy he was referring to. But as an addition, I have heard from him since and explained the intention. He had understandably over-reacted, due to the fan's bashing had had gotten before. I assured him the captions were in fun, as I always do, and not aimed at the film. He understood, and emailed me the link to the highlight reels he had. It was very intersting to see so much of the film (sans audio) after so long. You can tell a lot of work went into it. However, I must hear back from John Cosentino for permission before I post it.

Anonymous said...

I am delighted to hear that he no longer holds ill will over the captions. I found them humorous as well. Delighted that you and he are talking and we may see the reel.


Anonymous said...

It would be so wonderfull when the world finally can see "Paragon's Paragon". Since the eighties when I read about it in Cinemagic I wanted to see it. Hopefully it will happen this year. There is currently a documentation about the magazine Cinemagic in the making, John Cosentino should contact them and contribute to it! The producers can be contacted on Facebook! I cross my fingers!

Paul D. Johnson said...

I was in a start trek club in Dearborn, Michigan where John Cosentino was also a member. He gave me a full length copy of Paragon's Paragon and some blueprints he drew up for the construction of the set's. I also have a buch of set photo's and stills showing the home made optical printer they used for effects.

John is a great guy and was involved in other projects in the 70's like Alien Factor. I still have his contact info and will let him know about this post so he can contact you guys. I am sure he would be thrilled by your enthusiasm for his work.

Frederick said...

Paul, thanks for writing! You missed the new update at the bottom of the post, it has a link to John's new blog, as he has contacted me and let me know he is doing it. He might be interested in your copy if it is a good one, so I would email him or leave a comment on his blog!