Farragut Spotlight: Bob McDonough

FarragutSpolight_IMG1 LowAs part of my regular blog posts, I plan to do a series called, “Farragut Spotlight.”   It’s a way for folks to get introduced to individuals involved in our project and to ‘shine’ their talents and contributions to our project.  Thanks to Rob Turner for creating the image above!

For our first spotlight, the light is on Bob McDonough.  Bob is Starship Farragut’s webmaster, forum administrator, actor (plays Chief Galway), boom mic operator, and production assistant. He’s a retired Naval Aviation Electrician’s Mate who served on five different U.S. aircraft carriers – including the U.S.S. Enterprise (CVN-65). Also, when it comes to trivia and knowing his “TREK” – there is no equal! We call him Farragut’s “Trekspert”!

Bob McDonough as Chief Galway with Holly Bednar

Bob McDonough as Chief Galway with Holly Bednar

*  According to Orion Press, Starship Farragut’s website “is clearly the best website of all fan films.” They’ve also added that the website is always current and the ease of navigation is excellent; citing that this is the model all the others should aspire to; clean, straightforward and not too flashy. Those are high marks! As the Webmaster for the Starship Farragut website, how does that make you feel?

I can’t take credit for the design of the web site; I wasn’t part of the Farragut Family at that particular point. However, since taking over as the webmaster, the site has grown by about 500% … from a mere 20 pages to around 100 pages. That’s a lot of content. I’ve added detailed information such as specifications on all four of the Farragut’s shuttlecraft, character biographies for the supporting cast as well as the majority of the characters appearing in our episodes and “Crew Logs”, along with a majority of the images that accompany those items. I’m extremely honored and proud of that distinction. I hope to be able to maintain it.

* What are some of the challenges as you see it regarding our website?

There are several challenges from my point of view … I’m a complete novice when it comes to being a webmaster. I started out knowing absolutely nothing about html code. I’ve learned a lot in the last two years, but I still don’t know as much as I think I should. Recently, I’ve been reunited with an old and dear friend from my high school days, Andy Schreck. He has since signed on board and helps me with the site and forums when I need it.

Overall , I think the biggest challenge is distance. I live in the Pittsburgh area of Pennsylvania while the majority of the Farragut family is in the Washington D.C. area … I miss a LOT of staff meetings and memos (lol). While it is easy to send emails and talk on the phone it’s not the same as “being there”. I can’t simply meet up with any of the producers after work and show them what I’d like to do next. In that respect, feedback is a lot more difficult and time consuming, and depending on the mode of communication, can be taken out of context. It’s difficult to know someone’s intent over such a great distance, and that contributes to a certain level of frustration … and that goes both ways. But as a family, we always find a way to work through it for the good of the project.

* I know that you put in an enormous amount of time maintaining both the discussion forum and our website. What motivates you to do this as a volunteer?

Obviously, I love Star Trek and I find it thrilling to be a part of a family that feels the same passion for the material that I do. I guess you could also say that I’m sort of a perfectionist. I like to use that trait to the benefit of Farragut by making sure Farragut has it’s best foot forward as far as the web site goes. I take a lot of pride in knowing that our forums are spam free and updates to the site get done as quickly as possible. There are paid professionals out there who don’t do as much. I’m also not able to be there with everyone else for meetings and set construction, so I do this to try to contribute as much as I can …like any other member of the family.

* For many of us, this project extends itself far beyond just the love of TREK, filmmaking, and the sense of family. For you, what is your biggest, happiest, or proudest moment associated with this project?

My time with the Farragut Family so far has been so rewarding in so many ways and on so many levels. However, there are two moments that stand out in my mind. Both are of equal emotional importance to me.

1.  The proudest moment was seeing the smile on my Mom’s face when she saw me for the first time as Chief Galway in “For Want of a Nail”. She knew of my love of Star Trek since I was a child. She was very supportive and never stopped me from pursuing my dreams, even though she thought we were all a little crazy at times. Sadly, she passed away shortly after seeing the episode, but the smile on her face at that moment will stay with me forever.

2.  The happiest moment was when I proposed to the woman who would become my wife, Amy (who plays Doc Holley on the show). To me, if it weren’t for Farragut we would never have met, so I felt it only fitting to have the Farragut Family there. I proposed to her on the bridge of the Farragut with almost the entire cast and crew in attendance, and thank heaven, she said “Yes”! 

A Stellar Wedding Proposal
A Stellar Wedding Proposal

*  I too remember your wedding proposal to Amy.  It was great to be a part of that – this project has brought a lot of people together.  Another example of this was the reunion of two high school friends that had not spoken or seen each other in many years.  Thanks to a search on the Internet for Holly Bednar, Kimberly Watson was directed to the Starship Farragut website and shortly thereafter, two long-lost pals were reunited!   

* As you know, Starship Farragut – The Animated Episodes now has both Act 1 and Act 2 available, with Act 3 coming out soon. Seeing yourself go from live action to Filmation-style animation, how does it make you feel? 

I think it’s really cool! No other Star Trek fan film has done both live-action and animation. Even if another group eventually does manage to do something like this, we were still (and always will be) the first. Not may people get to see themselves acting in what could have been a real live-action Star Trek episode to begin with … but to do that, and then follow it up with more adventures in cartoon form just as the original TOS cast did with TAS … it’s just awesome! We’ve literally made ourselves part of the mythos.

From 3-D to 2-D!

From 3-D to 2-D!

 * Bob, is there anything else you’d like to share to others?

Just that I’d like to give my love and thanks to the entire family at Starship Farragut for allowing me to be part of this remarkable project and for their trust and support in allowing me to manage Farragut’s conduit to the world (the web site). I’d also like to thank my wife, Amy for her love and support in allowing me to play with my friends!

THANK YOU Bob for the interview, as well as the wonderful contributions to the Starship Farragut project.

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4 Responses to “Farragut Spotlight: Bob McDonough”

  1. Tom Scott Says:

    Great interview.

  2. captaincarter Says:

    Thanks Tom! A good way to give back to those that give so much to us on our project.

  3. Helene Smith Says:

    Hi,

    What a team! I’ve been trying to become one of the family, here at St. Marys, my favorite place. As a writer, musician and artist, I would like to know how to share my creativity and ideas as well as volunteer for other services. Please help me. Thanks ever so much.

    Sincerely, Helene Smith, author of Cry for Peace (now revised, an international peace proposal) and 50 other published books based on history

  4. Helene Smith Says:

    Hi again,

    Sharing and volunteering for productions of value help everyone. Team work is what it’s all about. Good luck to all on the team.

    Sincerely.

    Helene Smith, historian/writer

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