SF Classiques 016 / by MELINDA Schmidbauer

A Brief (?) History of SF Productions - Part 16

We now move into the late 80's, and a bit of a hiatus for SF as people went off into the world to get actual jobs, get married, get more degrees (I'm looking at you, Beth), etc.  In 1988, Mike and I created a 10th anniversary set (just a set of clips, kind of like what I'm doing here) and the "Is It Love" dance remix played in episode one.  This took quite a lot of work since Eric was unavailable, so we sampled his voice track line by line to match the new tempo.  Eric was quite surprised to later hear his voice on something he wasn't directly involved in.

We made another attempt in 1989 to do something quasi-professional.  We had gone to the well of Star Trek several times, and the Next Generation series was on the air.  I made the call that we needed an actual script, and got it into my mind to hold a "writing retreat" away from distractions such as television (and as it later turned out, hygiene).  My father had a cabin out in the boondocks which sounded good when he described it, but was quite a mess when I got to actually see it.  I made my best attempt to clean things up, but the team wasn't particularly impressed when they opened the door.  However, we made the best of it, and with a borrowed laptop, Steve, Mike, Bill, Janet, Brenda, Saylor and I cranked out our Next Gen script.

It took us another year to actually tape the thing in September of 1990.   It's probably the slickest thing we ever did.  We really concentrated on appropriate background music and special effects.  Keep in mind this was in the pre-digital days; each effect was sampled into a synthesizer and recorded in real time on a multi-track tape recorder.  It would be a cinch to do it today in Garageband.  However, I always felt it lacked spontaneity--that's the downside of a script, I suppose.

Next time, I'll wrap up this brief (?) history lesson.