I interviewed Ezra Clatyan Daniels today at Zanadu II in the U-District for the next Ink and Pixels (for the first issue out in October). It’ll be the first time I try to move beyond the unsuccessful set-questions format I’ve been using.
I have a good forty-five minutes of tape to boil down to 400 words. I’m sort of not looking forward to the bloodletting.
Daniels is a youngish fellow – in his mid twenties. His gifts are pretty apparent – the maturity of the plotting in the books he just completed, “The Changers” books one and two, each 90-odd pages long, is remarkable. Only occasional narrative or prose choices allow a certain youthful naivete to gleam through.
After our chat I dropped by my pal Spencer’s and ranted about my fascination with and interest in fan-created entertainments such as those Star Trek bands I was amazed by earlier this month. See, it’s not just stuff like the bands. I actually interviewed Jimm and Josh Johnson, the creators of Starship Exeter, a remarkably successful reimagining of an original-series Star Trek episode, last spring, but never got Cinescape to run a piece in the mag (shakes fist).
The Exeter folks also link to Star Wreck, a Finnish Star Trek parody that appears to have outgrown itself and morphed into something unknown; and also to Hidden Frontier, a Trek-based fan-produced series (four seasons to date) that appears to integrate the ‘reel-builder’ orientation seen in many of the fan-produced Star Wars projects (such as ‘Troops’).
fanfilms.com appears to be ahead of my personal curve on this material at the moment, in fact.
Additionally, in the lead-in to the release of the first Lord of the Rings, Wired ran a long article about the passionate and eccentric fan-culture that the books themselves had generated in the two generations prior to the flicks.
In my ranting at Spencer, I tied all of this together and riffed into other interesting, slightly hard-to-comprehend florescences of our culture such as, oh, the SCA, of course, and less obviously, historical re-enactors, from Williamsburg (check out that URL: “history.org”) to Hal Holbrook and the Civil War.
Somehow, what Stovokor and No Kill I are doing is directly related to what thoise Civil War guys are doing. The fact that the Johnsons, among others, are turning out entertaining product, full of invention and soul and passion, via homebrewed media production techniques, is part and parcel of everything stange and good and economically disruptive in the world. For my money that Star Trek fan film stuff is a great deal more engaging than the slick, ironic Star Wars stuff. But I bet there are Star Wars fan films that are right up my punk-rock, awkwardly sincere alley.
Well, it was a rant. Now I have the task of ordering it into a fertile area to treat as writers’ material. Where to begin?