Fan Film, Fan Films

The Fan Film Book Is Done (Sort of)

March is almost half over but here’s the scoop, finally. The book is done, but it still has a long way to go. (Whaaaa..?) I have until the end of the month to scrape roughly 5,000-10,000 words out of the manuscript, as it landed just shy of 95,000 words. I both love and hate this part, ’cause editing is a breeze compared to writing, but it also means a lot of material is going to get 86′d–cool stories, people I spent hours interviewing, and entire movies are going to vanish from the text. Not only does this process wind up disappointing people on occasion, but frankly, when I worked hard researching, interviewing, transcribing, analyzing and so forth, I want the book to show off that I made the effort. That said, a flabby book won’t get read by anyone, so if something’s gotta go, it’s gotta go.

Last week, I got to do the final interview for the book, talking with Henry Jenkins, who was a wellspring of ideas. One surprise was that the guy was a full-on speedtalker–you don’t need to shotgun a six-pack of Red Bull to keep up with his deluge of thoughts and concepts, but it probably wouldn’t hurt. He confirmed a lot of loose, woolly ideas I’d been mulling over, but articulated them so concisely, it was amazing. Well, that’s why he’s at MIT, right?

I also had the honor of getting to read a chapter from a book that’s coming out right around the same time as mine. It’s called Fear, Cultural Anxiety and Transformation: Horror, Science Fiction and Fantasy Films Remade, and is a collection of essays on…well, the book title says it all, really. Daryl Frazetti’s “Distinct Identities of Star Trek Fan Film Remakes” covers a lot of ground in a small space, covering history and motivations behind a slew of Trek fan productions. If you’re (hopefully) looking forward to my book, you’ll want to give his essay a read, to be sure. Folks who’ve seen the 1999 documentary, Trekkies, may remember Daryl; these days, he’s a professor in the Department of Anthropology at Lake Tahoe Community College in Nevada, but back then, he was probably best known for appearing in the movie as “that guy who dresses his cats in Star Trek uniforms.”

Hey, Newsday finally ran that story on fan films that I was interviewed for in December. Nice piece–check it out.

Finally, while I’m no fan of classic rock, it looks like Steve Miller’s famed, nonsensical lyric, “Time keeps on slippin’, slippin’, slippin’ into the future,” is actually true for once–because the time that my book is supposed to come out keeps getting pushed back. Ignore what you see on ; I’m told now that it’s “probably” August.

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