Good morning, happy Friday, and welcome to another installment of "Fan Film Friday." Today we'll be interviewing Tim Smith, an in-the-trenches, oldschool Fan Filmaker from Florida. Tim is one of the the two principle creators of the "UFO: 1999" Fan Film series that we've been featuring here on the 'Bot. Tim, thank you very much for agreeing to be with us here, today.
Thanks so very much. It is indeed a great honor to be asked to speak about this old project.
First off, thank you. A friend of mine once said that the Fan Film universe consisted of Star Trek, Star Wars, and assorted debris. Thank you for producing something that wasn't yet another "Jedi on patrol" or "The adventures of the starship hoobajoobah." While a lot of those are really good and all, there's a kind of monotony there that gets tiresome after a fashion. I can't tell you how happy I was to see a fan film revolving around something that was kind of obscure. Two somethings that were kind of obscure, actually. So what inspired you to do that?
I've always been in love with spacecraft and spacecraft design as well as the real space program as well. Where I grew up, and being the youngest in a household of six, I missed the early Gerry Anderson shows. I think I was caught a glimpse of one of the Supermarionation shows in passing, but was way too young to care. About all we had sci fi-wise was Star Trek and I really did not get to see that until its second run in the early 1970's. Trek was fun and intriguing to me, but, let's face it, in the long run it left you longing for more effects shots. I know that is blasphemy to hard core Trekkers, but that is the case. They wanted more of that also, but at the time the cost was too high for more special effects. So I watched them week after week. As time went on I just got tired of some of them.
Amen to that, brother! It’s not that I dislike TOS, it’s just I’ve seen every one so many times that I just can’t stand to even be around them any more. Not bad, but definitely overexposed. So anyway, what changed this for you?
One day an ad ran advertising UFO. They simply ran a short version of the theme and added "coming this fall". My jaw hit the floor! Cool spaceships and vehicles galore.
Years later, not realizing at the time that Gerry Anderson had produced both shows, I heard about a show called Space:1999 and saw still shots from it. I was hooked pretty quick, but had to wait until just about everyone else in America had seen it until one of our local stations finally picked it up. Such was the world of Television a long time ago. Today one of a zillion channels might pick it up and run it.
Space:1999 and UFO would continue to stand out as amazing stories that capture my imagination to this day, when effects are possible for all kinds of shows, including the brilliantly remastered TOS Trek. There is just something to me about the hand made quality of spaceships on, especially, Space:1999 that grabs my attention.
So then wh…
Oh yes, there was this film I helped make... I had begun making my own films back in the mid 1970's in High School. Today teens making a film is no big deal. Back then, it was a freaky weird thing to do. I actually began with superhero parodies, as I thought that trying to do something more serious as an amateur film maker would not look serious at all. Comedy is much more forgiving, and back then I had more laughs to share. After a few years of this, I met a younger film maker here in town named Kyle Clark. He was deadly serious in his productions, and was not afraid to allow his imagination to roam freely. If he saw an empty room in his house as the interior of the Spindrift, well so would the audience. Eventually we made some films together, and influenced one another in interesting directions. I eventually decided to do an all effects film called Space:2008, and he introduced humor into his productions.
He was very clever and inventive, and eventually moved from his "virtual