A Few More Bows Then Off The Stage . . .
|Art at Star Trek Con in 1986
Before the unpleasantness between myself and Paramount began,
I was giving free showings of the film to sci-fi fans in the Santa Barbara area to gauge audience reaction. Around September
of 1986, I attended a Star Trek convention near the LA International Airport. I brought the film and photo album of set stills
with me. Although my memory is at a loss as to whether I actually screened the film, I do remember that this particular convention
was a pretty big deal. The reason for this was that it was a 20th anniversary Con of Star Trek's TV premiere and one of the
few times that William Shatner would be attending.
Anyone who had been there and saw Shatner's later appearance doing his "Get a life"
speech on Saturday Night Live, would be tempted to assume that this convention was where the idea for that sketch originated.
Prior to this, I decided to have my picture taken sitting in the original bridge chair from the series. Later, however, Shatner
playfully hinted during his speech that the chair might not be the original at all. Thanks Bill, I paid about $5 for that
I went to this event with a Santa Barbara friend, a tranplant from Canada. He was
enraptured with Shatner's cavorting on stage (he being a Canadian also) but I was a bit peeved with him. I eventually stopped
going to conventions where actors were present to avoid further disillusionment. I don't even go to live plays or concerts.
I prefer to remember the performers for their work and not get into the details of their often messy lives.
While living in LA during the late 1970's and early 1980's, I developed a route
of shops where I could find collectibles and magazines on various things that interested me. One place was a small shop called
Golden Apple Comics run by the late Bill Liebowitz. I could find rare records, the latest movie news and cartoon-related items
there so it became a regular stop. By the late 1980's, Golden Apple had grown to encompass the space next door
and Bill was even showing videos while his customers shopped. He allowed me to show STAR TRIX: THE FLICK there one weekend.
|Lou Scarborough at Art's place in Lompoc 2005.
There were two screenings during the afternoon and I would wander around to see
if anyone was paying attention. Well, yes and no. Many people came to paw through the comics and other items and would
occasionally look up to see what the racket was. During the second show, I met a gentleman named Louis Scarborough, who was
actively working in the animation industry. He was also a Star Trek fan and got the jokes I planted in the film. We exchanged
information (he drew one of his characters on the scrap of paper with his address and phone number, which I still have) and
we kept in touch once in a while. A year or so later, Lou would help Grant get his foot in the door of the animation
business. I had opted for the steady paycheck of the school district but would sometimes wonder if I should have taken
a chance too. However, as the years passed and I read animator horror stories and listened to Grant's personal experiences
at Disney, I realized that I did the right thing for me. The tales of subterfuge in the animation industry, people working
unpaid overtime or getting stiffed entirely, studios being moved overseas for cheaper labor or being closed entirely due to
the latest technological fads were just a few of the reasons that made me decide to seek employment outside the cartoon field.
I still enjoy talking to the people who soldier on in the field and wish them the best that they get their moment in the spotlight.
As for me, I prefer to pick my projects and not be forced into doing something I don't care about. Unfortunately, most of
the projects I care about are usually not commercially viable. Perhaps, one day, this twain shall meet.