Archive for February, 2010

Andrew Koenig, 1968 – 2010

02/26/2010

Missing actor Andrew Koenig has been found dead.  He committed suicide this month in Vancouver, British Columbia after a long battle with depression.

Best known as “Boner” in the 1980’s sitcom “Growing Pains,” he has been as a funny, passionate and multi-talented young man.  Andrew’s TV roles consisted of NonSeNse, InAlienable, The Theory of Everything, Batman: Dead End, and on TV in “Star Trek: Deep Space Nine”, “G.I. Joe”, “My Two Dads”, “21 Jump Street”, “My Sister Sam”, and “Adam-12”. He edited over a dozen films and directed, produced, and wrote many others.

A committed activist his whole life, Andrew was best known to those who knew and loved him as a compassionate and ethical man who lived according to his conscience.

Andrew’s disappearance caused a worldwide campaign of support and search efforts by those who were lucky to be his friends and by those whose lives he touched. 

Andrew died in his favorite city, filled with friends, in a park he loved.

It is the hope of this blog post that others see the signs of depression and do something about it.  As Andrew’s dad said today in the press conference regarding his son’s body being discovered, “My son took his own life.  If your one of those people who feel they can’t handle it any more, if you can learn anything from this: it’s that there are people out there who really care. You might not think so…but there are people who really, really care. And before you take that final decision, check it out again…talk to somebody. And for those families who have members who they fear are susceptible to this kind of behavior, don’t ignore it, don’t rationalize it. Extend a hand.”

On behalf of everyone involved with Starship Farragut, our thoughts and prayers are with the Koenig family and Andrew’s friends during this difficult time.

Walter Koenig’s Son Missing

02/22/2010

Andrew Koenig

Vancouver police have confirmed that former “Growing Pains” star Andrew Koenig is missing, and there is an ongoing investigation to find him that began on February 18.

The 42-year-old Koenig, who played “Boner” on “Growing Pains” and is the son of Walter Koenig (who played Ensign Pavel Chekov on STAR TREK), is the camera operator on the comedy podcast “Never Not Funny” and has been missing for a week, last seen on February 14 in Vancouver.  According to Walter’s official website, Andrew was last seen at a baker in the Stanley Park area of Vancouver, where he often took walks.  In a telephone interview with Entertainment Tonight, Walter said, “He was in a depressed state.”  Judy Koenig (Walter’s wife and Andrew’s mom) added, “We heard from him in early February when he was staying with friends in Toronto. He sounded fine, but I was worried about him.”

“Never Not Funny” host Dave Holmes says on the site that Koenig didn’t make his flight back from the Winter Olympics city to the U.S. on February 16 and “lots of people are looking. Could you reblog this and help get the word out? And say some prayers or think some positive thoughts?”  The site goes on to say, “Andrew is a super, super good guy, and we’re thinking of him and his family. If you’re in the Northwest, please keep your eyes out, and no matter where you are, please share this news.”

Taking Dave Holme’s advice, I thought I’d blog about it to bring additional awareness in finding Andrew.  On behalf of the cast & crew of Starship Farragut, we wish him well and safe travels back to his family. 

Anyone with information on Koenig’s whereabouts should call the Vancouver police at 604-717-2534.

Farpoint 2010 Recap

02/20/2010

FARPOINT 2010

Another year of Farpoint is over.  This year, marked Starship Farragut’s 5th year exhibiting and despite following a heavy blizzard, it was a good convention.  We were there to primarily promote the recent work of  Starship Farragut: The Animated Episodes.

STARSHIP FARRAGUT: The Animated Episodes
We premiered the animated project, both POWER SOURCE and Acts 1 and 2 of the second animated adventure, THE NEEDS OF THE MANY to an enthusiastic crowd early Sunday morning.  Folks were really taken back by THE NEEDS OF THE MANY – fan Blair Learn said, “I loved it, but wanted to knock you guys out for leaving me in suspense!”  To motivate folks to show up at 9 AM on Sunday to the main ballroom, we gave out 20 bound hardcopy sets of our first-ever comic book, based on the same style as the animated project called, DEARLY DEPARTED (comic project spearheaded by Kail Tescar, who is a co-producer of Starship Farragut: The Animated Episodes).   Congrats to Kail and Michael Struck of NEO f/x on the success of the animated project.

PANEL DISCUSSIONS
We participated in several panel discussions with topics ranging from costuming, lighting on a budget, writing for small budget films, and set construction.  From participating with other independent filmmakers and talking to convention attendees, I learned a few things too.

CELEBS

Star Trek Linguist, Mark Okrand and me

Mark Okrand, the linguist who wrote the Klingon language used in Star Trek III to all Star Trek iterations since, is a regular participant at Farpoint.  Another note of interest, he first worked to dub subtitles for the Vulcan dialogue in Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan and Marc was also consulted for the 2009 Star Trek film in their use of the Romulan and Vulcan languages.  I introduced myself this time to him, familiarized him with our project and conveyed thanks to his contribution to Star Trek.  Klingons have him to thank for saying, “Qapla!”  Thanks “Success” for you Earthers out there…

Mira Furlan, Michael Day and me

Mira Furlan, actress of Babylon Five and LOST fame (Danielle Rousseau) attended the show.  My initial reaction was she is much taller in the show LOST.  She was most friendly and I found her often sitting with other fans talking casually throughout the CON’s three days.

BROWNCOATS REDEMPTION
Our friends Mike and Steve from Browncoats Redemption were also exhibiting – showing a new trailer of their work.  Good to see involvement from Farragut Producer and Partner, Michael Struck of NEO f/x on their ship flyby.  They’re great guys – both smart and funny and it’s always good to collaborate with other filmmakers.  From their project, I talked briefly to Logan (camera guy and jack-of-all-trades) and Heather the heroine who plays the captain of their ship.

Steve Fisher, me and Mike Dougherty

POLARIS
Speaking of other filmmakers, Dennis Bailey of United Worlds Entertainment along with other cast and crew members were on hand to promote his original, SCI-FI film project, POLARIS.  As previously mentioned, Farragut Films is also working in association with United Worlds Entertainment on this exciting project.  Dennis is no stranger to Star Trek and his professional affiliation includes writing the Star Trek: The Next Generation episode, “Tin Man” and co-writing the episode “First Contact.”  POLARIS also has cast and crew members from other Star Trek fan film projects, including Starship Farragut, Star Trek: Phase II, Starship Exeter, and Starship Intrepid.  In addition, NEO f/x is also working on some of the CGI elements.  Gina Hernandez (pictured below) plays one of the main characters and was on hand to talk to folks.

Gina Hernandez

X-Ile – TRENCHES
Dawn Cowings from X-Ile Pictures exhibited with their table next to ours.  Dawn has been loosely involved with Starship Farragut and showed “Trenches” at the convention. 

THE COLLECTIVE
The Collective is a group of Star Trek model makers who attend conventions to bring awareness to this declining trade due to Hollywood using CGI more in films and TV productions.  Jim Pugliese and his wife, Mary Ann are down-to-Earth folks.  I’m a big fan of models and now the proud owner of the model below. 

"Big E"

In addition, I commissioned Jim to repair a model that Mike Bednar made in 1996 of the Enterprise that was accidently broken by a nameless Hollywood stunt-coordinator.  🙂 

They, along with Starship Farragut will be attending the Wonderfest convention May 15-16 in Louisville, KY.

TROUBLESOME MINDS – New Pocket Book Novel
Dave Galanter, writer of numerous Star Trek works of fiction attended and his recent work, TROUBLESOME MINDS, has been published.  Based on the high praise of an old friend, Paul Sieber who has read it twice, I picked it up on the way home from the CON.  I’ve read chapter one and plan to do a review once completed reading it. 

FANS AND NEW FRIENDS
Kristin Sirota (Dressed as a Cylon) and her two friends attended the CON.  These three folks are big into costumes and it was good to swap notes – learned a few tips from these folks!  

New Farragut Fans

In addition, dedicated Farragut fan, Artie Sherman stopped by. 

Artie with Mike Bednar and me

BILL HENSEL
Voice talent extraordinaire, Bill Hensel was providing CD-ROMs of, “Have Pipes, Will Travel” – an audio resume of his work.  Bill is available for those needing distinctive voiceover work and has done professional work both commercially (Lockheed Martin for example) and with the Federal Government (various public service announcements and government campaigns).  He is SAG and AEA certified.

MARK HILDEBRAND – JUST PASSING THROUGH
Mark Hildebrand, Director of the newly filmed, “JUST PASSING THROUGH”, showed edited footage from our film shoot in October.  We have the remaining shoot to take place on March 27 & 28 in St. Marys, GA (more details to follow soon).  The edited footage looks great, but don’t take my word for it – fellow producer, Mike Bednar said the following after viewing it, “It’s like night and day.  Vast improvement over the initial release”.  This short is scheduled for release later this year. 

Mark has established his own company (Make Your Mark Media, Inc. or aka MYM Media) to focus on other non-TREK projects.  Two significant projects include a historical documentary on our beloved national anthem, The Star Spangled Banner written by Francis Scott Key, which ties in the War of 1812 and our local Fort McHenry in Baltimore harbor.  The other film project is a conceptual pilot for the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary and takes place in St. Marys, GA. 

SCI-FI Diner
Pennsylvania natives, Scott Herzog and Miles McLoughlin from SCI-FI Diner interviewed Mike Bednar and me regarding Faragut happenings for another radio blog.  Be sure to check their website for their Farpoint CON report! 

APPRECIATION
Thanks to Mike Bednar, Michael Day, Mark Hildebrand, and our Farragut friends for stopping by and helping out with our table.  It’s always great hanging out and talking to our friends and fans!  Overall, being able to talk to our loyal fans is the best part of the convention. 

Thanks to Farragut Film’s official photographer, Steve Guminski for his pictures.

Special thanks to Tom Donnelly, Sharon Van Blarcom, Blair Learn, and the rest of the FARPOINT Committee for a wonderful time.  We look forward to returning in 2011 – hopefully, the weather then will be slightly better!