April 25, 2012
TODAY’S ARTICLE GIVES PRAISE TO “FRED”and Yes you are on PARAGONS PARAGON BLOG PAGE!
Who is “Fred“? He is the man with the most fantastic collection of Star Trek related blog material on the planet. He is the guy that somehow got me to transport myself into 2012 Star Trek planet Earth and start blogging.
If you happen to be someone stumbling on my blog and have never seen Fred’s you do not know what you are missing. Try um, you’ll like um.
There is a lot of things about Paragons Paragon that will be on his site that won’t be on mine. Of course many things will be repeated because he has too much stuff about Paragon that I won’t be able to remember what I said in 1975.
I just browsed Freds site and think I have something he may want to add. (To stray for a moment.I checked out his artwork. He has talent , don’t you agree?)It is a Bridge made around the same time as mine or a little later, by folks in Bangor, Maine? If I am mistaken then anyone out there please let me know. If I find the letter I will post it. I do not remember the details but the Bridge is beautiful. The amount of excitement and energy that Star Trek created is and was amazing!
CHECK OUT THIS BRIDGE : IT IS NOT MINE
(Fantastic wrap around Bangor, Maine Bridge 1975?)
(My best guess on why scree is like a tv screen is so they could use a video tape on the screen. Remember this was done a long time ago)
Well so long for now. For you new comers I have a couple of other sites : One is a professional business site and the other is a blog related to how I use business materials , and training, to fix carpets and make monsters occasionally. Scroll down and their are links occasionally to these sites.
April 25, 2012
PASSPORT TO FUN AND ADVENTURE IS AN UNDERSTATEMENT
If you’ve seen some of my articles (blogs) their is great variety of things that I have done and they were all connected to the root spawning seed ” Paragons’ Paragon”. Here it is many years after its conception and it has been revived. It is like being transported back in time. So bear with me because to me it is all connected. Paragon was ten years in the “waiting” to be finished. And when it was done and shown once to an audience of about 100people I found other projects diverted me away from it until now. Also we had a carpet instal and carpet repair business , which was a two man operation myself and my dad. Feel free to browse at the above link or at www.carpetrepairnow.com to learn how carpet install and repair skills were used to do things needed for Paragon and other film projects.
(This is our miniature transporter room)
The miniature was about one foot big. Aluminum foil was glued to the walls over string so the foil had a twisted look to it. The energizer tubes are cardboard cylinders from inside of toilet paper rolls. The people were matted into the twinkle away and disappear effect. That is Shamba who is our version of Uhura. Shamba is the name of an African city. That is how I chose all the unusual names except Sellek and the doctor.
PATIENCE, PERSISTENCE, TRIAL AND ERROR OR TRAINING
One of my goals with my telling personal stories about Paragon and other related projects is to show that amazing things can come out of doing something we enjoy doing. For example: Maybe in the beginning we are sometimes not so good at what we like doing. Guess what I know an artist that works on major motion pictures doing matte paintings who wasn’t very good at art in his high school years. I saw 5o not so good tries at art in the basement of his mom and dads house. No one could have guessed by looking at his paintings that he had such hidden talent. But he kept at it. He went to a college art school and became an amazing artist. He did things for free or small amounts of money and built up a resume of art projects to show people. Eventually things clicked for him.
Mark and I were going to work on a film project about a creature created from the polluted water in the Love Canal. I was going to construct it and he designed it. The project fell through. But doing things you like to do is never a waste of time. Check out the creature he drew in the photo below. I was going to build it for a project of my own but I never got enough financing for the project. But it was fun to try.
(Creature and art by Mark Sullivan for a non Star Trek project)
A persistent fellow in Flint area Michigan wrote me many letters until eventually I invited him over to see the bridge in person. We became friends and Mark was his best friend and that is how I got to meet Mark. Networking through similar interests. We all inspired each other to do better and better.
This is our cavern. It is an 8 foot long by3 foot tall miniature. It sat on a ping pong table at my Brother-in laws house. You can see it as a Lunar landscape in one of my earlier articles. We simply built the new set over the old one. I believe it is mostly paper machee. Although we painted it red we used red lights when we filmed it. Actually I took a 35mm slide and did special effects with the slide and added the people. I built my own Aerial Image Optical Printer. There is an article in Cimemagic on how to build one and how I used it in Paragon.
I promise to have many never before seen photos of Paragon stuff and if I can figure out how to load up film clips I would like to run a little bit each week. It would be like watching a serial movie, little by little and there would still be photos and articles.
April 22, 2012
(Life is a network of a journey-one thing leads to another)
WALK TOWARD THE LIGHT
Paragons Paragon was the beginning of a wonderful journey for me lasting 20 years. Then there was a lull for me, and now Paragon has attracted attention again. I’m a behind the scenes guy and until recently remained quietly unnoticed. I am glad that I am digging up the old photos and slides. The memories are good ones. They are “bright” and full of “good feelings’ . Of course there are people missing now both in family, and in friends made in those wonder full twenty years of Star Trek and many film related projects.
HERE IS A GUEST VISITOR TO OUR HOME TO SEE THE BRIDGE IN 1975
He is Mike McMasters. In the 1970 he built a full size Star Trek bridge that was set up at the conventions that were held in hotels. The stars took photos in it. It was quite impressive. However it contained a lot of cardboard and the fire marshals said it had to be sprayed with a fire retardant. The chemicals destroyed the cardboard areas of his set. I regret that I never got to see it. He died as a young man. I am not familiar with the circumstances.
I am on the left. How about them thare Elvis sideburns. Sharp ahh!
The two people in the background are from Oakland University’s Star Trek / Science Fiction Club. They asked me to give a slide show about Paragon and the making of it at one of their conventions. I did just that. We loaded up the helm and captains chair and I talked for an hour and showed slides many of which are on this blog. It was a big hit. People wanted to hear more but the room was needed for other scheduled events.
All these experiences were very scary in a way to me. I was a not in the lime light kinda guy. To give a speech in high school or college was the worst punishment possible. I would sink down in my chair in school hoping somehow that the teacher would forget to call on me. But there I was in front of 150 people, some not five feet in front of me. Once I got going it turned out to be fun.
There was one miss-hap. This was in the 70’s and long hair on boys and men was pretty common , but a new phenomenon. People would raise their hands to ask questions as I showed the slides. The room was dark but not theater dark. A hand in the back went up and I without really paying attention said ” Yes, the girl in the back please” A deep voice answered and I apologized for the wrong gender. I learned quickly to look before I speak at conventions.
If you look closely at the hand rails on my bridge behind him you might notice that they are kinda thin. For the movie at Mikes suggestion I used two by fours and they looked much more natural.
Whatever projects I was working on I always was still maintaining and doing my www.cosentinocarpet.com business. You are welcome to go to it and browse around in it. You will have to write it in the address bar as this is not a link.
WE ARE NOW IN THE 1980 s
One of the adventures that I enjoyed was when I joined a Star Trek club. It wasn’t your typical club.
The Star Trek club actually had an Attorney as its Captain, a Business woman as its First Officer, and me as its Chief Engineer. We had an artist in it and two Star Trek paperback novel writers . They could play the bagpipes and did so at one of our party’s that Jimmy Dohan came to. I am standing on the right of Diane and Gregory Broduer.
The club had the opportunity to chauffeur some of the stars, like Scotty, Sulu, and Chekov to and from the airport. Sometimes the stars would agree to come to a private party at a club members home. What a great way to meet Walter Keonig and Jimmy Dohan. Mr.Dohan was just like his chacter in Star Trek. George Taki was a runner and one early morning in downtown Detroit before the convention was underway I bumped into him and said hi. Detroit was much safer 20 years ago.
In the above photo I made myself up like a Klingon for a Star Trek club party. That year Mr. Jimmy Dohan was given a sword salute as the bagpipes were played. He was really nice to go along with the Star Trek stuff. He knew we appreciated both his acting and his character. I am not eight feet tall and touching the ceiling. It is a very low ceiling.
I believe it was when Moontrap the motion picture was being filmed that Walter Keonig visited the club. I shot photos for a Moontrap article in Starlog magazine for interviews that were done by Sue Uram who was also a club member and got to do the article. Moontrap was shot in Rochester, Michigan. The filming was done about ten miles from where I lived.
A second site that you might enjoy is www.carpetrepairnow.com which is also about my carpet business and how I applied carpet skills to making movies and monsters.
April 15, 2012
SKIP AHEAD TO FILM PROJECTS “AFTER” PARAGONS PARAGON
A series of serendipitous events lead to many years of fun projects. I am not writing about them now, but rather just tossing them out as a
PREVIEW OF SOME COMING ATTRACTIONS
Paragons’ Paragon got a color spread in the Detroit News Sunday magazine section. It is archived in the Main Detroit library downtown by Wayne State University. The library has a Star Trek section and I’m included there. That is and was a neat surprise.
In 1974 ( I think ?)A gentleman in Michigan sent the article to Cinemagic magazine in Baltimore Maryland. Next thing I knew I was writing how to do it articles on super-8mm film making. Set building, special effects, back winding film, etc.
LOTS OF SCAREY STUFF ( At least it was back then?)
(Two merged issues)
The Paragon movie and articles lead to phone conversations with other Cinemagic writers. We would talk late at night on a three or four way phone conversation connection done by one of Cinemagics reader/writers named Ted. One night we said “Let’s make a real move and we’ll all be driving Trans-Ams. Well it didn’t quite happen that easily. However I did eventually get a Trans-Am, but not because of the movie. The movie was called The Allien Factor. That’s a “Zagatile” in the above photo, made by me for the movie and worn by me in the movie. It was about seven feet tall. “Never rilea Zagatile”! Some was written and filmed by me in Michigan but the majority was in Baltimore Maryland where I spent a month doing make-up and special effects. I had to phone home to check on my carpet business and try to postpone customers wanting carpet stretching or installations.
NOTE: IT IS THESE FILM PROJECT OPPORTUNITIES THAT PARAGON BROUGHT ABOUT, THAT KEEP IT FROM GETTING FINISHED FOR 10 YEARS.
I spent my time writing, and doing other film projects instead of finishing the special effects for Paragon. All the filming was done and edited but no effects.
(Famous Monsters covers was a dream come true)
It is now about 1975. However to digress in time for a moment. When I was a kid I took a photo of a wearwolf person I made up lifting my brother in the air, and my brother had a copy of Famous Monsters magazine in his hands. My thoughts when I took the photo were ” Gee , I wish that some day one of my creature creations could be on the cover of this Forest Ackerman magazine”. Guess what it happened. It happened! It’s amazing how ideas can be alive and dormant just needing the right amount of tender loving care to bloom.
A friend of mine suggested I mail the Zagatile to Ackerman. I did just that and when my friend visited him he saw it stored with other not so big-budget left over creatures. But it still is neat to have it with Ackerman.
This above photo was taken on location in a back yard in Baltimore Maryland. We had to notify the police department that we were going to shoot blanks in a gun so they would know that no one was getting killed for real. They came by and visited for a little while.
Britt and I built the miniature space ship and scenery at his home in Washington D.C. area. We used Celluclay for the snow ground area. In order to speed things up we put it in his moms oven . She was not home at the time. Guess what happened? We went downstairs to develop and print some lobby card photos for the movie in Britts darkroom and next thing we knew smoke was creeping downstairs to the darkroom. The models landscape was on fire inside the oven. We forgot about it. Luckily we putthe fire out , opened the windows, and all was good in the world distracted young movie maker men.
The space ship was the back end of an electric tooth brush holder and miscellaneous model parts. A forced perspective shot made it look big. Britt and I collaborated on its design.
Skip ahead to about 1985. What do you do with left over monster parts. What else but make another creature. The big guy on the left (above) is a reshaped Galaxy Invader. The Karate creature on the right was from left over Inner Man parts. The Inner Man is the Alien that I made for The Alien Factor movie. The guy in the middle is my brother Rick, who was our Captain Richard Kirk in Paragons Paragon.
Above is the Captain Tony (Patent Attorney in real life, and Wanda his first officer) of a Star Trek club that I joined during the time that I attempted to make my own package of motion pictures. The head is the result of a Maru creatures bite. The Interloper project also kept me from spending time doing carpet repairs, but I managed to take care of them.
The above sketch is of a growing Maru for the movie Interloper. It was designed by Rod, and Mel i IL Below is the remote controlled eyes for the full scale creatures head. They were constructed by a gentleman that was retired from the NASA space program.
I took up ballroom dancing and they used to call me “Disco John” in the middle 80’s. I was pretty darn good. There was a tall guy that was at the same dance places Jan and I went to. So I approached him to be our ‘Interloper”. I made the suit and head that is shown below. Jan is standing beside him in his socks. When he wore the creature costume he stood almost 8 feet tall.
This is the Interloper head piece. I t had 8 facial bladders, and cable controls for mouth, eyebrows, eye movement, nose sniffing, snarling, etc. It was quite an accomplishment. There were also chest breathing bladders.
JUST A SAMPLING ( More details later)
I am looking for responses on this site, and if my other non-Star Trek projects are interesting to you? I have two other sites. One is http://www.carpetrepairnow.com, and the other is http://www.cosentinocarpet.com. In the carpet repair now blog I tell what I hope are interesting stories or facts related to my business and how I sometimes use its skills in Paragon or film projects. If you browse please look at more than one page because it helps my internet presence , but if you look at only one page can lower my presence. Hope my sites interest you and supply fun.
April 15, 2012
MENACE FROM MARS
This was to be a Twilight Zone type tongue in cheek movie. I started filming Menace From Mars with my old Bell & Howell. However I purchased anew Bolex camera but returned it and brought the Canon 814 ,which I later used for Paragons Paragon. I still have the script and often consider making the movie for the heck of it.
( Photo processed by me and made into an 8 by 10 for hand coloring, which is not shown)
Yes this spaceship is a copy of the one in This Island Earth, which is another of my top ten favorite movies. The model was made of balsa wood in done in sections.
( The old Bell & Howell camera filming the full size ship model)
( If you didn’t notice it in the above photos, this was our bedroom and the space ship is now a miniature, and the slot in the black board by it was for a ray beam to come out of the ships bottom)
(This is the Bolex camera shooting a mars city scape)
(Me putting carpet latex into a plaster mold of an alien head that I made. The fireplace was used to dry the latex)
(The yellow board with the wheel had 3 flashing lights behind it as part of a truth detector machine in the movie)
(Me with clay alien head-My version of This Island Earth creature to make the above photos negative mold for the latex))
( My brother Bill make up off x-Alien in Menace From Mars . The make up idea was from a Dick Smith make up book)
(Behind the curtain was my dark room for processing photos)
( The Alien in Menace From Mars)
NOTE: All the photos in this article were hand colored. I could not find all the colored ones. To learn more about how I made and still make a living go to my web page at CarpetRepair and browse around in it.
April 15, 2012
Famous Monsters magazine gave me lots of ides on how to create wear wolfs, or aliens, or just about any kind of weird thing for a movie. It was always my dream to have something I made be on the cover of that magazine. Actually it did come true later in life when I worked on The Alien Factor, and Galaxy Invader.
However as kids we needed to occupy our looking for something to do minds with things to do. So we thought, “Why not make a monster out of one of us? We tied a rope on our gunie pig and as he struggled to get away we would put on our show for passing cars. We did this in the middle of the street so passers by would be sure to see the show. We knew how to get attention!
( No ” ham” here )
( these photos were taken by me and processed by me)
(Dennis Stein just couldn’t wait to be a star )
Not only was I into movie making but now I saved up my money and brought a Solar enlarger and chemicals and learned to process still camera film. My uncle Andy helped me find a good used one. He had processed his own wedding movies and was experienced a taking his own honeymoon movies with a 16 mm camera that he rented.
TIME MOVES ON
Inspired by Space Odesy 2000 I made a short called The Final Frontier. Hmmm, sounds familiar doesn’t it. The idea of it was a trip to the moon copied with models of the lunar lander. And then a trip through a warp onto a planet with a creature that chases the astronauts and they are never heard from again. I t was a super -8mm movie that I shot with my new Canon 814. This camera is the one I would use on Paragon.
April 15, 2012
What did you do in the 5th grade? I used to draw cartoon characters and sell them to students for a dime. I loved to draw and just like the kids now a days I was fascinated by dinosaurs. I also liked science fiction movies and Dracula , and Frankenstein, etc. Check out the pencil sketches below done in my grade school years. The cartoons drawings lead to dinosaur drawings which lead to sci-fi comics, which lead to going the the movies every chance I got. My still all time favorite B&W movie is King Kong.
( pencil sketches done in grade school by me )
I saved up my paper route money and a year later was the proud owner a a regular 8mm movie camera. It was a Bell & Howell with a tri-lens. There was no parallax correction and persons head would get chopped off if the camera wasn’t aimed above their heads in close ups.
I used to sneak the camera under my shirt and under my armpit when I went to the movies, and film a few minutes of the movie that was currently playing. King Kong was my first sneak and film adventure. I thought that they would lock me up in jail if they caught me and the topper would be that I’d miss the movie. My friends thought I was nuts to do it. King Kong was also filmed by me off the television. I could only afford to shoot about 20 minutes of it, but it was precious to me since I could study it over and over. It was “fascinating” as Spock might say. What else could I do but try it out on my own with my new camera.
During summer vacation almost every Saturday was a chance to go to the movies, except when my dad asked me to go to work with him. I couldn’t do much except throw out the scrap carpet pieces and help with light furniture. I hated to miss out on a movie, but I did get a great lunch or ice cream treat after work. Sometimes I would order two waffles for myself at lunch time. Dad knew all the good places to eat. The carpet repair company live on through me now. Browse if you like.
I think this was around the 7th or eighth grade time period when I got really active with the camera. Typical home movies were a part of learning skills in movie making. However we were kids and kids find ways to have “fun”. Famous Monsters magazine became my doorway to all kinds of movies and monsters. Make-up effects started to outweigh buying toy army tanks, putting a ladyfinger firecracker in its barrel, and filming it as it shot at a toy spaceship. Trouble was the whole toy tank blew up!
( below is a piece of art done for a college project (photo of photo))
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