Monday, August 11, 2008

Free Maltz!

As I mentioned recently, I've uncovered a cache of old and fading videotapes from my ASTREX Star Trek club days. I've been without a VHS recorder/player for some years now - in this DVD age, when the VHS breaks doown one just... ignores it - but I bought a new VHS machine, hoping to find the time to make DVD copies. One day?

Meanwhile, here are some quick freeze frame images of me from the "Free Maltz" Star Trek fan film, as created, directed and produced by Ian McLean (and the Harpic Productions team) for the "Galactic Senate Elections" campaign at "Eccentricon", 5th National Australian Science Fiction Media Convention (3rd - 6th July, 1987). Maltz, of course, was originally portrayed by John Larroquette in "Star Trek III: The Search for Spock" (pictured left in the trio below), and was the only Klingon left alive at the end of that movie.

Trio of Klingons, ST IIIwhiteIan as Maltz

At the same time, I was studying for a university media course in a graduate diploma program, and we had to submit a short film to pass the course. I received permission to make this film instead, while my teaching colleagues did something more suited to primary (elementary) teaching. I also had to develop a script and storyboard. For a separate assignment, I did an illustrated procedure on how to make a life-mask out of plaster, which I had to do "for real" to make the Maltz latex forehead appliance.

My premise for this film, and to fit with Eccentricon's theme of the "Galactic Senate elections" being taken over by the anti-heroes, was that Maltz escaped from his Vulcan detention cell, ran away as fast as possible, hitched a ride back to the 20th century with Kirk and his crew ("Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home"), ran into an Eccentricon flier (advertising the Senate elections), caught a jet to Sydney, ran past various Sydney landmarks, and ran all the way to the convention. In other words, Maltz was running for election. It was the ultimate running gag:

1: Maltz behind barswhite2: Maltz "Free Maltz" introductory slide

Maltz behind bars on Vulcan. He is a Klingon of destiny...

3: Maltz escapes Vulcan detention cellwhite4: Maltz reads Eccentricon flier

... Saavik slips him a phaser; stock footage from ST IV on rear projection follow's Maltz's
escape to Earth and the 20th century, where a stray convention flier is found.

5: Maltz arrival in Sydneywhite7: Maltz runs for Galactic Senate

In the post-9/11 world, one could never get away with filming a rogue Klingon in a convict uniform in an International Air Cargo Terminal, but it was easy in 1987. (We asked permission and they just shrugged, "Sure!") Note the tiny figure, who has just emerged from inside the building, as indicated by the blue arrow. Thus, Maltz is "running" for the Galactic Senate.

7: Maltz runs for Galactic Senatewhite6: Maltz at CAE

Maltz is still running for the Galactic Senate. The yellow arrow indicates
an Eccentricon convention flier taped to the college sign.

8: Maltz meets carwhite7: Maltz runs for Galactic Senate

Now Maltz runs into trouble with a 20th automobile - note the angry driver's
hand gestures; soon Maltz is again running for the Galactic Senate.

9: Maltz - Vote 1 MaltzwhiteMaltz as Eccentricon compere

Maltz collapsed with exhaustion (not shown) as we fade to a promotional slide for the campaign; Maltz as Eccentricon compere, in footage of the convention coverage on the Nine Network's "Today" (6th July, 1987).

Maltz meets Bob de la Lande on Today

Maltz meets showbiz reporter Bob de la Lande from the "Today" morning show.

Maltz: I was a prisoner for three months in a Vulcan detention cell, but they let me out..."

Bob de la Lande: Ah, why?

Note that Maltz's unique calling card is a "Malt" cookie. We added the "Z" in black Texta.
People received them with all the "free maltz" (ie. malted milkshakes) they ordered/made donations to obtain.

So, did Maltz win the election? Nah, he came in third. But he did pronounce himself "Charity Queen" after raising the most money - by a huge margin - thanks to his hard-working election team's highly successful milkshake-making operation.


De said...

I thought I was nutty, but you sir, are a man among men.

Clive said...

If you want to find out more about the world of fan films, and what people are up to today, you might want to check out my fan film blog, Also, for what it's worth, I wrote the first book about the history and future of fan films, Homemade Hollywood, which is coming out this summer.