My Project With Jonathan Frakes
Here is something I’ve had cooking that is super exciting!
Normally I would not say anything, but Jonathan Frakes briefly mentioned it on the last episode of the Inglorious Trekperts podcast (at around 31 min.).
I wrote a half-hour TV pilot, FAN FILM, that is loosely inspired by developments in Star Trek fandom in recent years. The logline:
A couple of “Space Fleet” fans—a frustrated filmmaker and overzealous collectibles merchant—try to make the world’s most expensive (and totally unlicensed) fan film.
It’s like Ed Wood crossed with Galaxy Quest.
Anybody who knows anything about Star Trek knows that Jonathan Frakes has a reputation for being not only a pop-culture icon as Riker—and an esteemed director of numerous films and television series—but a super cool, funny, warm and awesome human being.
Here he is on Michael Rosenbaum’s podcast, check it out:
We discovered Frakes’ coolness first-hand some years ago when we asked to interview him for the liner notes for the expanded Star Trek: First Contact CD. He adored working with Jerry Goldsmith and was so gracious and enthusiastic to talk about the experience.
So being an admirer of Frakes as a director, and as a person, and knowing his lived experience with Trek fandom...well, it’s not that complicated a story: I submitted my project via his agent and he liked it.
So now we’re “in development,” which basically means instead of peddling it myself, I’m peddling it alongside one of my heroes!
It was a fun moment to hear him speak about it on Treksperts—and because I know some people heard that, I just wanted to confirm it and say a few words.
We’ll do the best we can to make this show a reality—and for my part, I’ve written the entire first-season’s worth of 10 episodes. I figured that was the only way to get around the fact that every production company and streamer would ask, “Do you have a show runner?” when those people are almost impossible to get.
Of course, there is downside—what if they don’t like the scripts?—but I feel like I have a handle on the material from my own career in fandom.
It’s so hard to succeed in entertainment that it’s important to savor the experiences that you get to have. This is a big one for me!
I mean, what can I say? You have the occasional call to discuss something, and on the one hand, it’s business—and on the other, you hear that voice, and it’s like, “Holy cow, I’m on the Enterprise!”
So I will always treasure this opportunity, whatever comes of it.
Check out Picard, season 3, airing weekly on Paramount+.
Also, please consider donating to Pancan.org, and join the fight against pancreatic cancer.