Last year we had the privilege of speaking at our home town of Thunder Bay for the first annual ThunderCon and we’re back again this year!
Having grown up in Thunder Bay where my geekdom came alive to late nights watching Star Trek and stargazing with my grandfather at lake Shebandowan, I am so excited about this convention. Back in the day (old man voice), the geek community existed in Thunder Bay, but there wasn’t a rally point for all of us. We knew we were out there, and would detect one another in the rows of science fiction books at book stores, collect in basements playing Dungeons and Dragons, or hide in the art room in high school (far from the gym) playing first edition Magic the Gathering. But to gather openly! Not really a thing. So to see this happen is so awesome and to be invited as guests is a huge huge honour.
Then last year, some visionary geeks in Thunder Bay organized ThunderCon. The con was a huge success with attendance much higher than anticipated. This year the convention has doubled to two days running this weekend at the Valhalla hotel next to the Thunder Bay airport.
This year we’re doing a few panels including one on the film and one called “Chasing Your Dreams Sucks.” The intent of the panel is to normalize the challenges one faces when taking on a creative endeavour and talk openly about the hurdles that you can face in doing so. This isn’t to discourage people from chasing their dreams, but rather to understand that when you face opposition, it doesn’t necessarily mean you’re on the wrong path; sometimes it means you’re right where you need to be.
We’ll also be showing off some new footage and a brand new 8 min demo reel which, for the first time, will show what the final film will look/feel like!
If you’re at the convention, be sure to hit us up!
Congratulations to the ThunderCon organizers! Looking forward to this year’s event!
Yesterday marked Star Trek’s 50th birthday! September 8th 1966 saw the first episode of Trek as we know it now with Kirk, Spock…and Bones…though he took that day off.
Star Trek has been an enormous inspiration in my life. Trek was what first brought my heart and mind to the stars. Some of my earliest memories are of watching the Original Series movies. The first movie I remember seeing in a theatre was Star Trek IV. I flew a die cast Klingon Bird of Prey around a paper cut out sun suspended from our apartment ceiling to make it go back in time and save the whales. The show was not only my gateway to the wider universe I perceived out there, but the stories of camaraderie and IDIC (Infinite Diversity in Infinite Combinations) became virtues that are foundational to my life. I was raised by Trek. Even when I didn’t go into sciences, my undergrad in international studies was founded upon Trek inspiration. In my mind, the crew of the Enterprise was travelling through the Universe and doing good, so too then would I in the world if I couldn’t in the stars.
To celebrate Trek’s 50th, we’ve put together a tribute video made from interviews with Trek cast, crew, and fans over the years. We’re so humbled by their willingness to be a part of our story especially since I have felt like a part of theirs.
Live Long and Prosper!
In a stellar surprise today, my friend Jenn called into my office saying “Did you know Chasing Atlantis is on the StarTrek.com website today!?”
It took me a moment to realize what I was seeing. And there we are an article about Chasing and the awesome Trek family members that have been a part of our film including Rod Roddenberry, Wil Wheaton, and Michael Okuda! We have also spoken to Robert Picardo about his work at the Planetary Society.
The article splash image features our visit to interview Bill Nye at the Planetary Society.
What’s super awesome about the timing is that today marks my Grandfather’s 90th birthday and it was he who got me into space to begin with. He’s also mentioned by name in the article on Trek.com. Happy 90th, Dziadziu!
2015 was one of the most incredible years for our project. (I have been remiss in updating all of you. I will speak more about my absence at the end.) Each year that we have worked on the film, I look back and think “well…it can’t get any more amazing!” This past year, the film’s themes became clearer, we shot more incredible interviews in awesome settings (like the Enterprise), and I felt the most emotionally connected to the project than I ever have. We found our focus in 2015. When we first began Chasing Atlantis, the film was a story about going to see a space shuttle launch and understanding the shuttle’s technological legacy. Now, four years and change later, I see that the film is really a story about WHY I wanted to see a space shuttle launch. Outside the facility where Atlantis now resides is a quote by Carl Sagan “The Sky Calls to Us.” But how? Why do those shimmering lights in the night captivate us? This is what Chasing Atlantis has become for me; a journey to understand that call and to connect with those that hear it as well.
Today (Sunday Oct 25th) Is ThunderCon! ThunderCon is a first ever comic convention being hosted in Thunder Bay, Ontario Canada…our home town!
We will have a booth open all day on the convention floor at the Valhalla Inn where the convention is being hosted. And I’ll be giving a talk in the “Cantina” at from 4pm to 5:30pm
Thunder Bay is where my geek began. During the 80’s and 90’s, geek culture was not nearly as prolific. To see a convention in my home town is amazing and my congratulations to all the event coordinators. To have Chasing Atlantis invited to present is such an honour. I spent the evening yesterday walking past houses of friends who have since moved away remembering long D&D and video game sessions. I write this blog post from my old room where I spent evenings watching NEW Star Trek episodes, Sojourner’s landing on Mars, and Discovery Channel documentaries about the Space Shuttle. Now we’re back with an opportunity to meet a rallied geek community in my home town showing off interviews we’ve done with those who created Trek and built the probes that went to Mars, and flew the Shuttle. I am at once humbled and proud.
If you’re at ThunderCon this weekend, please be sure to visit our booth and check out our talk at 4pm!
This past November, we shot an awesome interview with Rod Roddenberry. During the interview he asked if we’d had ever been to the Las Vegas Star Trek convention. Truth is we never have.
Rod suggested we come down to experience the con (Khan) and we thought it would also be an incredible opportunity to meet with some of you to talk about the way that space / science fiction has influenced your life and given you a sense of belonging…on camera!
So if you’re going to be in Vegas for the convention, be sure to come find us. We’ll be the guys with a camera wandering around wearing a Chasing Atlantis tee shirts (or Trek shirts with a big camera) Furthermore you can tweet us at @chasingatlantis to let us know that you’re looking for us and we’ll hang out!
See you at the KHAAAAAAAAAAAAN!!
Happy New Year, Chasers!
The last few months have been absolutely amazing as we have headed into closing our primary videography for Chasing Atlantis. In October, we shot an amazing interview with Star Trek’s Rod Roddenberry, and more recently, through November and December, we “caught” Atlantis in her new home at the Kennedy Space Center as well as witnessed the historic launch of the Orion capsule.
As Eugene “Rod” Roddenberry and I talked about Star Trek in the living room of his home, both a sense of excitement and a question were on my mind. I was excited as it was difficult to believe I was sitting in the house of the caretaker of the Star Trek legacy. Like space itself, a fictional universe, such as Star Trek, can seem unreachable. And yet, while speaking with Rod, I felt like I reached out to that universe and this time it reached back. With Star Trek having the impact on my life that it has, talking to Rod about the philosophies of Star Trek, and the legacy left by his father, Gene Roddenberry, was an opportunity to better understand myself and what Rod called the “family” of fans created by Trek and sci-fi kind. This brought me to my question: Why does space create a home for this family?
We’re back in Los Angeles. Last time that we were in the City of Angels we had an awesome adventure hanging out with the team from SpaceVidCast (now TMRO), Kevin Grazier, and Bill Nye the Science Guy.
This time we have another exciting line-up of interviews and adventures. Tomorrow, Benjamin Higginbotham of the TMRO team has setup a tour at SpaceX. Not sure exactly what’s in store for us yet, but hoping to get a glimpse of all the space revolutionizing awesomeness that Elon Musk is giving to the world. Likely we will not be able to take any footage at SpaceX, but we might be able to take some stills. We will post them if we can.