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Friday, March 13, 2009

Finger Puppet Star Trek

Way back in the early 90s, some members of the University of Alberta Star Trek Club got together to film their own version of Star Trek: The Motion Picture...with painted fingers and cardboard sets. This is the result.


Anonymous said...

Great snakes, well, we now bear witness to Finger Puppet Star Trek in its entirely. I thought this day would never come.

It sure brings back memories. I wish we had kept some kind of notes, although if we did, I would have insisted that those notes be burnt to a crisp.

One huge question that I keep coming to is "What on earth were we thinking?!?" A smaller one would be "Why make a fan movie of Star Trek I?"

Obviously, we were short on time, budget, and actors, so finger puppets were our best option. (we did make some experimental Star Wars films with the 1980's figures, but those were very... freeform).

But Trek I? I dimly recall that Susan had a picture of San Francisco from a calendar, and that when Earl saw it, he thought it would make a great backdrop for a ST fan film. You can see the calendar in the video. By the time we started on Finger Puppet Star Trek, the theatrical releases were up to IV or V. I suspect the calendar was what tipped the balance towards I.

I recall that it took me the period of almost several hours, an possibly an entire afternoon to craft the sets and costumes. Susan recalls some deep discussions on where the finger holes needed to be for the Enterprise bridge set.

Finger Puppet Star Trek is a case in point showcasing how large productions use script and production values to create a belivable whole. It looks like we didn't bother with any of that. Many movies shoot the scenes out of sequence. I don't remember that we did that, either, which would explain why we missed the theatrical ending by the widest of margins.

One question I have no answer for: where was Tony? He would have made a much better Scotty, and would have freed up room for a Will Decker finger, and we could have used that.

Earl J. Woods said...

Allan was there; I'm not sure why he wasn't recruited to lend a, finger.

We might have picked the first film because of the calendar image, but it's just as likely that I said something like "We're going to make all the films in sequence, so we have to start with The Motion Picture!"

Such ambition.

Note that since this was made post-university (for me, anyway), we would have been up to Star Trek VI by that time.

But yes, our failure here is certainly very illustrative. The gag reel is even funnier.

Anonymous said...

It's the kind of showcase that you put out there and then some far-seeing movie executive spots it and thinks, well, if those crazy kids can make a film of this calibre for the cost of a cup of coffee, maybe twenty years later they could make another movie for $200,000,000.00, and the cheque is in the mail right now, in fact, tomorrow it's going to be in the mailbox...

AllanX said...

My lack of involvement was my idea. I was completely focused on my failing relationship that day, as coincidentally I am today as I write this, and had little interest in anything else going on around me. Some video of Carrie and I discussing our situation was actually shot that day if memory serves. I remember sleeping through much of the time you guys were working on it, although I have no idea where I might have sacked out.