For those that don’t know, Leslie Hoffman is a 30+ year stunt veteran of the Hollywood industry. Her accolades and TV/film credits are listed on both IMDB and her website. Most germane to this discussion is her professional Star Trek affiliation, and working with Starship Farragut as our Stunt Coordinator. I thought I’d take a moment to shine a light on Leslie:
As you know, there are no “new” episodes of CLASSIC Star Trek being made for TV distribution. Being part of Starship Farragut, we pride ourselves in making “CLASSIC TREK NOW.” From a Trek-fan’s perspective, describe what you like about our show and how it compares to Gene Roddenberry’s original vision.
First off, thank you John for asking me to do this interview. Starship Farragut indeed captures Gene’s original vision. Farragut comes up with new and exciting stories. Which, if you think about it is quite a feat to do, considering all the stories that have been written for TOS and it’s following movies. I would like to include TNG, DS9, Voyager and Enterprise series as well. For Want of a Nail is a perfect example. Even the ending leaves you thinking, “What if???” I believe Gene’s vision was to think of the future and how we can keep reinventing ourselves or to talk and understand others to make life better for all. Not by Dictatorship but by peaceful resolution of all. Gene was a contemporary and a continuation of Rod Serling. I believe both had this vision.
Having been involved officially with Star Trek shows, specifically, Deep Space Nine and Voyager – how does our approach compare to Hollywood standards, keeping in mind that we’re volunteer-based and don’t have the Hollywood budgets to back our efforts?
I believe you are more professional than the “Professionals”! The “Hollywood Standard”, has two meanings to me. The first means “A List Actors”, the script, the Writer, the Director, special effects, sets, costumes and stunts. Now, with the quality of cameras and computers, Award-Winning Projects are being made outside of Hollywood for a lot less money. This is the new “Standard”. The second “Hollywood Standard” which means much more to me personally is how a Production is filmed. A tired angry crew lowers safety on the set as well as the quality of what is being filmed. That is why the Screen Actors Guild was created in 1933. Working with the Farragut Team was a joy. That you took the time to become Signatory with SAG shows your love and commitment to this crazy Industry. Thank you for honoring my request to you. A thank you should also go to Michael Struck of NEO/fx. NEO f/x did the right thing and became SAG Signatory with the Animated Farragut project at the advice of Chase Masterson.
Related to the question above, the Starship Farragut’s project is very much a collaborative one, how do you think that it has either helped or hindered what you observed during your involvement with us on the film, “A Rock and a Hard Place”?
“Between a Rock and a Hard Place”, due to the respect that you have for all, we never had one heated argument or the threat of a “diva” walking off the set. In my thirty plus years in the Industry, I have seen it all and Starship Farragut is equal to my experiences that I had on M*A*S*H. The Farragut Team was and is always cheerful and my special memories of singing Broadway songs will always be near and dear to me.
Being a long-standing member of the Screen Actors Guild (SAG), where do you foresee the independent and Internet films going in the next five years? As you know, there is a “revolution” taking place where talented folks are able to put together quality films without a Hollywood budget and can distribute their films to a mass audience using the Internet as a distribution point.
More and more with the improvement in equipment technology, films are being produce outside of Hollywood and winning awards. In the last couple of years, look at what movies are winning the Academy Awards. Winning Independent Films are already being made and there will be more. You have a better chance making money for a theatrical or television release. Another way is to distribute straight to DVD….excuse me is it Blu-ray now? As to the Internet, great Productions are also being made but to think money through the Internet that will be made to support oneself, is a mere fantasy at the moment. There is very little control on the Internet so the minute your project is uploaded it WILL end up on HULU or such. It may be a stepping stone to something better but please be realistic, do not put your life savings into an Internet Production. Be wise, have fun but keep a roof over your head.
Lastly, are there any other thoughts you’d like to share about working with us or about Starship Farragut in general?
You always make a person feel welcome and appreciated. My trophies that I have received from you are proudly displayed in my house for all to see. Also, I would love to congratulated and reminisce my trip to St. Marys, Georgia this earlier this year to be at the opening of the Farragut’s new studio. I was so impressed by the amount of people that came to the Open House. We all had a blast down there. : ) Sharing the love of Classic Star Trek with new friends who drove many miles to be there. The Great People of St Marys, late night bond fires, and even later night Star Trek trivia games, laughter and smiles and my first trip to Sonic – LOL – quite a memorable experience all around.
Thanks Leslie, we all look forward to enagaging you again as our Stunt Coordinator!
Tags: A Rock and a Hard Place, Chase Masterson, Farragut Animated, For Want of a Nail, Gene Roddenberry, Georgia, Hollywood, Leslie Hoffman, M*A*S*H, Michael Struck, NEO f/x, Rod Serling, SAG, Screen Actors Guild, St. Marys, Star Trek, Starship Farragut