My name is Ryan Smith, I'm a senior in Drexel University's Film & Video program and in collaboration with Tom Contarino, also a Film & Video senior at Drexel, I'm making a documentary on the unbelievably real and unique town of Riverside, Iowa. This is part of our senior thesis project necessary for graduation, but is also an incredibly important project to us. This is a documentary I've wanted to get off the ground for some time now and can't wait to get started on it with your help and the resources available to me here at Drexel.
A brief history of Riverside:
In 1985 the town of Riverside, Iowa proclaimed itself the future birthplace of James Tiberius Kirk, fictional future captain of the USS Enterprise and iconic main character of the original Star Trek television series and several Trek films. It was a known fact in the Trek universe (which began in 1966) prior to 1985 that the character of Capt. Kirk was born and raised in Iowa although it was never specifically mentioned where in Iowa. Then one day at a Riverside town meeting to discuss plans and choices for a theme for the town festival, Riverside resident and City Council member Steve Miller pitched the idea that the town declare itself the captains future birthplace as no other Iowa town had yet done so. It was agreed that this would be the new theme and the town embraced the fabricated connection to often ridiculous and amazing ends. And eventually the city asked Star Trek creator Gene Roddenberry for permission in designating itself the “Official Birthplace of Captain Kirk” to which he agreed and signed a proclamation that is still housed at the Riverside Area Community Club.
It's totally unheard of and a completely unique situation in Riverside where the town has taken fan culture a massive step further by injecting themselves into the very history of a wildly successful television and film franchise like Star Trek. Is this the future of fandom? Our goal with this documentary film is to delve into the lives and experiences of Riverside, Iowa and capture one of the most insane, innovative and interesting examples of fan culture in the country and possibly the galaxy.
What We Need & What You Get
Our goal is to raise $1,000 for this part of the production. The schedule we have made involves shooting for this project over the course of Drexel’s spring break vacation time (March 21st – March 29th). Then after post-production has finished our goal is to go back to Riverside in late June and unveil the film at the TrekFest convention as well as continue shooting in order to make a more complete documentary.
The bulk of our budget is going to transportation expenses and accomodations for our stay in Riverside.
We really need your help in reaching this goal and completing what we believe is going to turn out to be a wildly entertaining documentary about the extremes of fandom and possibly the future of the way fanbases embrace their love of different films, tv shows, books, etc.