I’m not entirely certain of it, but I think I spotted John Broughton (Captain Jack Carter of Starship Farragut) at Home Depot last night. I’ve known for a while that Starship Farragut is based in Maryland, but my assumption has always been “somewhere else in Maryland.” This may have been an incorrect assumption.
It took me a few moments to put a name to the face, by which time he’d headed off into the aisles. Too late to check whether it was really him, but it was plenty of time for whimsical notions to pop into my head of a starship in need of emergency repairs with no time to wait for the usual bureaucracy. (“Neutron baffles? They’re on aisle 85, right next to the weather stripping.”)
It was a chance encounter, but it started me wondering how they were coming along with their latest efforts. They’ll be premiering two vignettes from their Crew Logs series “Just Passing Through” and “A Rock and a Hard Place” on November 22, 2008 at the University of Maryland’s Hoff Theater.
That’s great news and I’m looking forward to seeing the new installments, but looking through their site, I happened to run across their FAQ page and the first question gave me a guilty start: How can I donate and/or help out with Starship Farragut?
I don’t know too many fans who wouldn’t like to appear on screen. It would be fun to point your friends to a web site where they can watch a “Star Trek” episode. But that question got me to thinking.
Fan films are in a difficult position. Making even a bad movie costs some money to build the sets and props as well as the materials for the costumes. And if you don’t know anyone willing to donate the time for the editing and effects, that can cost you some money too. Farragut’s episodes are among the better fan films, so their costs are undoubtedly even higher.
And unfortunately, fan films (at least, the ones based on existing TV shows and movies) aren’t allowed to sell their final product. All they can do is give it away and with the economy in the tank right now, that has to be getting harder.
When I’ve seen the Farragut crew at conventions, they’ve always been a friendly bunch and I’ve frequently come away with DVD copies of their latest episodes. In return, I’ve made sure to tell various friends and interested family members about their project (plus the occasional mention here). But perhaps a more concrete show of support might be in order.
I’ll undoubtedly run into members of their group at one fannish event or another in the not so distant future, and I know they build their own sets.
I wonder if they might have some use for a Home Depot gift card? 🙂