*Author's note: this was originally run in '06, and thanks to a comparable subject post by a fellow blogger, I'm dredging it up with some 2010 updates. None of which changes the conclusion I reached then, and hold today. More on that herein*
Memories. Sometimes, they come back.
In a Stephen King anthology, there was a short story entitled Sometimes They Come Back.
In that case, it was and wasn't a good thing for the fictional lead character of the tale. In my case, trust me: it isn't good. Memories that came back in the early morning hours. Memories that have a paper and audio trail.
When I first wrote this piece, I blamed MissCellania
. For the 2010 update, I blame Shrinky
Well okay, not really in either case. But in '06, the former's most recent Star Trek post -- when read at about 2:20am on Thursday morning -- reminded me of a long time ago, in a very
rudimentary basement studio far far away*, and the thrice-conducted exercise in "too much time on their hands they could've been constructive with, but chose not to be" that would/will never be allowed to see the light of entertainment day.
Had it been otherwise, we would have been the William Hungs of our generation. And one of those within a millennium of recorded history is more than enough.
As for 2010, visit Shrinky's blog
on her current post (11/14/10), and the rest is easily figgered out.
These photos (among a few others) are of the long-defunct Sickbay Productions, UnInc.
recording studio, set up in the basement of one of my then coworker's rented home. Done up in a distinctly sci-fi motif, and using the latest (sort of) in patchwork equipment bought from Radio Shack or begged, borrowed and purchased from gar(b)age sales (back in the late 70s, mind you), my partner in audio crime set up a recording studio.
Whilst he undertook the technical end, I undertook the writing end: three scripts, all with parody as the objective and science fiction as the theme. At the time -- 1979-1982 -- there was no shortage of examples to parody: Star Trek. Battlestar Galactica. Star Wars.
We hit all three. It was a time before the "three strikes and out" rule.
Too bad, but only if anyone ever gets their hands on the scripts or, worse, the audios**. More on that in a mo'.
Once a script was done, he and I would undertake to collect and arrange the sound effects, music, etc. All lifted from sources, as much as thrice-removed from the original versions. What we couldn't find, we made up. Badly.
Then, after working a night shift at our primary livelihood (which those of us involved all did at the time), we would gather in the basement studio and spend the better part of a day swilling coffee, noshing on cheap donuts, and recording our parody. We had no editors, save for us. We had no producers, save for us. We had no director, save for us. We were five or six idio..dedicated, committed*** folks, doing the voices for up to 15 parts.
We created three audio tapes, plus one outtakes/blooper tape. The total hours spent, per recording, we once estimated at about 60-80 man hours, from start to finish. And if you were to ask "why?", my answer would vary from then to now:Then: "because it's fun".
Today: "I musta drank a fifth before I pled the Fifth..."
These "things" -- the scripts and audio recordings -- have remained hidden away in my paper archives for the better part of 28-31 years. As I drug them out, triggered by the latest 2006 and 2010 posts on memories, I was quick to remember, in a brief re-read of one of them, why they remain buried in my archives: they suck. Worse than Survivor. Worse than a cosmic black hole. Worse than Keith Olbermann.
Yeah, they're THAT BAD. Truly.Quirk: Bridge to Engineering...
The sound quality is atrocious; at times, the sound effects overwhelm the speaking parts. At other times, we should have been so lucky. Our script reading was about as convincing as being told by a politician that raising our taxes to provide everyone with a socialized porcupine enema is in our collective best interest. The scripts themselves...ewwww. The shortest was 26 typed pages; the longest, 37. What I thought was funny 28-31 years ago, is beyond embarrassing today. For instance, this following exchange between Capt. Quirk and Mr. Snott:
Snott: Engineerin'...Snott here...
Quirk: Mr. Snott, stand by your warped drive from some possible high speed maneuvers...
Snott: They work much better when ah'm at the controls, Captain...
Quirk: *sigh* You know what I mean, Snotty...
Snott: Aye sir, bu' ah can't be sure the engines will perform as they shoold sir...
Quirk: Again? What this time?
Snott: Well sir, runnin' at warped seven from the XR-1B system ta here critically drained the dysentery crystals, an' rechargin' the matter-don'tmatter pods ain't workin' as it shoold to...we could rupture the nuclear intake reactor valve on the number four coupling junction of the cross cable shunt inversion control circuit, iffen we put it into warped drive too quickly, sir...
Quirk: in all my years of command, it's a wonder we're not dead...
Spark: Logically speaking, that is indeed a wonder, Captain...
Quirk: Mr. Spark, don't you have something...ANYTHING somewhere to be analyzing?
Without waiting for Mr. Spark's answer, 'Nuff said.
Three scripts abominate the screen play history: Star Bleck and the episode entitled Oops; Battlestar Gassitacktica and The Gadoofay Incident; and, of course, Scarred Wars. And three audio tapes, plus the aforementioned blooper tape (the latter of which, in 2010, cannot be found...'prolly 'cuz of the philosophy that "careful what you look for...you might find it", so I ain't).
Thankfully, I don't have the Return of the Mushroom Men script I co-wrote in high school; my then-English teacher has that, and Gawd alone knows why she wanted it. Perhaps to hide it, and conceal the fact she ever knew or attempted to teach me, but I digress.
All of which should go where a few men have gone since the original Star Trek series aired, and Ralph Kramden threatened to send Alice: bang zooom to the moon. 'Cept the Moon ain't far enough away (some schlep Chinese or Russian might find the crap in the next decade). Nor could I, in 2006, afford to pay for the space on the rocket that's sending the original Mr. Scott's ashes into orbit this summer, so they can deservedly burn up in Earth's atmosphere.
Thus, the tapes and scripts will return to my buried archives, wherein I will include a note: upon my demise these "things" are to be cremated with me.
It's bad enough I've admitted to their existence.
* well, only a few miles SE of here...
** actually, when the last casette player has gone the way of cave etchings, we'll be safe from any potential leak of those casettes...
*** or should have been...
Labels: 1970s-80s, an attempt at humor, audio recordings, Battlestar Galactica, cosmic farts displacing time space continuums, cremation, home studio recordings, parody, Star Trek, Star Wars