SF Classiques 001 / by MELINDA Schmidbauer


A Brief (?) History of SF Productions--Part 1

For most of my life, I've been involved with a semi-real production company known as SF Productions--I even used it to name my website. I figured it was time to document as much as I can remember about it before dementia kicks in. I'm sure I will have items out of order, and some thoughts might be completely made up, based on my fantasies of what really happened. I'm also using this as an excuse to present to the world (or at least the handful of people who happen upon this site) some comedy and music bits we did over the years. So--let's get started.

First off, "SF" does not stand for science fiction, San Francisco, special forces, or even state fair (thank you Google). It's the last initials of the founders, Mark Schmidbauer (that's me) and Eric Fenton. SF Productions started with a cassette recorder--this is what geeky kids wanted before computers--that I received as a gift circa 1975. I was eleven years old, and I wanted a cassette recorder for the normal reason--my older brother had one. He and some friends did some goofy bits with it, and being the younger brother, I was excluded from the fun. So, after spending some time with my new recorder reciting Monty Python routines and making strange noises, I got bored and decided I needed someone else to make strange sounds with me. I asked a few friends, but they either were not interested or just didn't get it.

Enter Mr. Fenton, who I met in 7th grade when the elementary schools were merged into middle school. My first memory of Eric is a math test where everyone including me got a terrible grade--except for Fenton, who was beating himself up for missing one point. We also shared an English class, where the teacher for whatever reason decided to make examples of the two of us. When the class was assigned to write a report on someone else in the class, everyone seemed to pick either Eric or myself. He and I struck up a friendship, and when I was over at his house, he showed me some things he had been writing (funny bits, not Unibomber stuff). Could this be the person to make strange noises with me into a tape recorder? We'll find out next time (although the name of the production company is a clue).

Meanwhile, here's something we put together in the later active years of SF--that's Eric doing the singing. Enjoy!