I have not been to a fan event since the Las Vegas Hilton Star Trek experience gift shop, and have not been to a convention since the 1970s. These conventions were really a fringe thing in the early days. You talked with Harlan Ellison, Gene Roddenberry, and so on. The starts (Shatner. Nimoy) were special and not as accessible but the other folks were just there, easy to interact with. And in those days sci fi geeks were not in the mainstreamin particular the folks working the dealer rooms were not dissimilar to comic book guy in the Simpsons. Experts in their trade but not always socially adept.
Do you have any rare clips in your collection?Almost all of my clips are positives, hence prints made from a negative. So there were probably multiple copies. Time and number of prints probably makes them all somewhat rare. All of the folks who still are interested in these like the shots that are not similar to or part of the broadcast episodes. But by definition multiples did exist for almost all of this stuff at one time. I have a few negatives, presumably they are one of a kind film bits, and one in particular of the Enterprise on the soundstage, but I think the real rareness comes from the fact that many people probably disposed of these clips through the years, and that I openly share them. This is a hobby for me, I donate the time, spend money now to accumulate additions to the collection, and scan and share them all on flickr to give back to the community. I have communicated with some folks who collect these and keep the images to themselves. I consider this to be ludicrous. First, lets face it, we are all getting older, why not share? And then, it violates some basic feelings I have for fellow fans.Whats your favorite one?The Spock arrested LA Times clip. ( Seen here - http://www.flickr.com/photos/birdofthegalaxy/4352032287 ) It is so cool to me that the events of the times and the filming of the show can be so tied together (Benjamin Spocks trial and the filming of Spocks Brain). I researched a bit of this to ensure I had the dates right the legal decision on the Boston Five trial and so on. And the fact that the folks filming Trek set up the gag, showing awareness of the times and the coincidence of the name Spock. I love the constructionist element of this, how these things and Star Trek are a product if its time. Whats the process in converting the image from the 35mm cell?I clean the clips with a negative cleaning solvent to remove prints, dust, chalk, etc. I mount them in traditional 35mm cardboard holders, scan them into a consumer Nikon scanner, and then spend around two hours messing with a number of Photoshop functions, which vary depending on the degradation of the clip and the generation of the printing of the positive. Is the original series your favorite?It is, but probably just because I grew up with it. I have respect for TNG, liked the occasional Voyager and DS9. I have never watched a single episode of Enterprise, but should some day. I have seen all the movies and even thought that J.J. Abrams re-imagined timeline was OK. Having been a Star trek fan since the very beginning, what are your thoughts on how its changed and where its going?I think one of the great things about science fiction is that, as Harlan Ellison says, it is really speculative fiction and extends current events into a future scenario to allow us to examine the implications of something taken to an extreme. As long as Trek or any other sci-fi does that, I am feeling good about it, particularly if good entertainment also results. I am not 100% sure what the social commentary was in the new Star Trek film, but I can recall a number of DS5 and TNG episodes that were as impactful in their time as Let That Be Your Last Battlefield or A Private Little War were in TOS. Chain of Command is my favorite TNG episode (two parts actually). Very powerful. I was a big fan of District 9, the film from a couple of years ago. I felt sorry for the prawns, and thought the whole story was totally possible given how we react to things today. Thanks to Tom for taking the time to answer the questions. If you want to see more amazing photos from Toms collection, head over to his Flickr Photostream http://www.flickr.com/photos/birdofthegalaxy/