Oh What A Night!

Where to begin… It all seems like the most amazing, surreal dream now, but Friday 18th May 2016 is firmly cemented as one of the best moments of my life.

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The event itself was shrouded in mystery. There had been much discussion as to what had prompted such an out-of-the-blue “fan event”. Was it the somewhat lukewarm, “it’s-Star-Trek-does-Fast-and-Furious” reception to the first trailer. Or could it be the discontent at there being no new trailer at CinemaCon, in Vegas?

Whatever their motivation, we headed over to the Paramount Lot with a feeling of hugely excited trepidation. Whatever happened, we were in LA, at a once-in-a-lifetime Star Trek event, and we were sure as hell going to enjoy it! And enjoy it we did. Paramount pulled out all of the stops, this event was epic on every scale!

First things first though, making our own way over to Paramount, we pulled up outside the [slightly questionable looking] “Lucy’s”. You’d literally walk past this place without giving it a second glance, whereas hardened LA-Trekkies know that Lucy’s and Star Trek go way back! Gene Roddenbury himself (his signed picture graces the wall), plus many a Star Trek cast and crew, have drank, dined and no doubt laughed the night away there.

On entering we were told to head out back to meet up with Larry (Nemecek) and “friends” (that’s a great idea for a ST themed talkshow don’t you think?): Larry’s friend (who’s name completely escapes me at present – sorry!); Bree (another competition winner) and her +1, Tracy (I think?); Charlynn and Aaron from TrekFM; Darren Benjamin (co-host of Trekcast) and Jeff Gunter (co-host of The Ugly Couch Show) – both of whom coincidently used to work as bartenders in Quarks at the Las Vegas Star Trek Experience. And then there was another guy, who *I think* was called Steve? (I’m so sorry if that’s not your name! Blame it on the jetlag!?), who was very nice and helped Larry to take a “panoramic” shot of the gang!

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This was a great honour for me as I felt like I was amongst true “Trek”. Tucking in to an all-American favourite – a cheese and bean burrito (still not sure if I liked it or not?!) – washed down by a Margarita, there was much speculation: would they show us the whole film? I mean, the itinerary showed the event lasting four hours – what could they possibly do for four hours?! And where was Adam (Savage)? He’d said he be there for dinner…

After queueing for what seemed life FOREVER (although it was nice that a couple of people recognised the TrekkieGirls, and me from my video! BIG shout out to Jim from Enterprise Extra – sorry we didn’t recognise you!), having checked in, we were finally stood outside the door to stage 31. As it lifted, we were greeted by this plaque…

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*squeals in excitement*

Making our way through starship corridors we entered a distinctly “bridge” looking set, that I can only assume was created solely for this event, where 3 stools sat centre stage – who could they be intended for?!

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The wonderful Adam Savage (Mythbusters) was our anchor for the evening, which began with a montage of personal video messages from both current and previous cast/crew, as well as the likes of Rihanna, Slash (Guns ‘N’ Roses) and Fall Out Boys’, Pete Wentz. These made me realise that Star Trek is seriously cool right now. And not just because of the new movie franchise. These are people who grew up with Star Trek, each have their favourite series/episodes, and now they’ve come “out of the closet” and admitted they’re true Trekkies! (Rihanna has since further proved this!)

Out came JJ, and Justin Lin, who was literally fresh from editing #Beyond. Y’all know about the Axanar thing by now, so I won’t bore you with that, especially considering I don’t actually understand it!

Then something magical happened… out walked Karl Urban, Chris Pine and Zachary Quinto looking absolutely smoking hot as always.

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I actually saw their names on the teleprompter before they came out and let out a very girly little squeal. The three of them really do have great chemistry together and you can tell that the relationships that their characters have developed on-screen, has translated to real and very genuine friendships off camera too. They bounce off each other very well and totally naturally. The awesome Scott Mantz (Access Hollywood)hosted a Star Trek Trivia quiz, which of course we knew all the answers to (nudge, nudge, wink, wink) but unfortunately never got picked (damn it! I really wanted the Kirk mug!).

If I’m totally honest with you, I have trouble remembering exactly what was said, as I was too busy hyperventilating with excitement! Urban, well, he just looked really, really, pretty… but Pine revealed that he wants to play bad (mirror universe) Kirk, whilst Quinto explained how Leonard Nimoy’s passing had made his presence even stronger on the set of #StarTrekBeyond, than it was in the previous two movies that he had actually starred in! Which conveniently leads us to…

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…the biggest surprise of the evening, and a total honour, to be present at the unveiling of ‘Leonard Nimoy Way’, on which sit stages 31 and 32. His wife, children and Grandchildren were all present as Quinto gave a truly beautiful and heartfelt speech, about how the Nimoy family had welcomed him and made him feel like one of their own. He explained how Leonard Nimoy had guided him through his journey to becoming the younger Spock, and that with the naming of Leonard Nimoy Way, believed the star would now guide many a young actor on their physical journey around the Paramount Lot. A great metaphor for a great man.

And then for the moment we had all been waiting for… the new trailer! After a personal introduction from Simon Pegg, who sadly couldn’t be at the event due to filming commitments in Budapest (in a movie that features neither aliens nor starships – seriously Pegg, what’s up with that?! Sort it out!!). I’m sure you’ve all seen it by now (if not, why not?!), but let me tell you, all huddled together at the front of Stage 31, seeing it on the big screen totally and utterly blew me away. I am even more super-excited about #StarTrekBeyond than I was before, something that I didn’t think would be possible?!

Justin Lin introduced two unseen, totally raw scenes that he’d been working on, which, #nospoilers, if they’re included in the final cut, will totally silence the haters. This is Star Trek back going back to its roots, at its finest and I LOVE it!! Let’s just say, I think Pegg had a huge influence on the direction of this film…

The curtain dropped, and then it was time to PAR-TAY!!!

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A wonderful selection of original costumes, props and set pieces were on display, t-shirt printing was available (although we sadly left it too late to have ours personalized), the DJ blasted out the tunes, there was a free bar (someone must have told them the TrekkieGirls were in town?!), and they just kept trying to feed us – the food was amazing, and it just… kept… coming…

We all got goody bags which included a bag and poster exclusive to “Fan Event” attendees, a Tribble, Vulcan ears, and TICKETS TO THE WORLD PREMIERE OF #STARTREKBEYOND IN SAN DIEGO ON JULY 20TH!!!!

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For me, ashamedly THIS was the highlight of my evening…

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But I have two regrets. Firstly, being that close to OMG CHRIS PINE and not being brave enough to ask him to take a photo with us, and secondly, in all the madness, trying to keep you guys updated, whilst not missing anything, I accidently deleted a video I had of Zachary Quinto literally walking by us as we filmed – DOH! So, lessons learned: there’s no harm in asking, if you don’t ask you won’t get; and NEVER permanently delete things in a hurry. Still, I have my memories. Next time Mr Pine, next time…

As you would expect, we were amongst the last few people to be literally kicked out of the party, and were extremely lucky to be treated to the “scenic route” out of the Lot, guided by the all-Trek-knowing Larry, who talked us through the various streets and buildings – that place is seriously like a little town all of its own! At one point we thought we were about to get chucked out, when a security guard wondered up to us! “Go home Larry” he called, exasperated. It turned out to be none other than Steve D’Errico, seasoned  Star Trek set security and occasional Enterprise extra, who proceeded to join us for over an hour, telling us amazing stories about everything from an AWOL Vulcan; just how naughty Ethan Phillips could be; the quality of the actors in DS9 (all v. good); and confirmed what we all suspected – that Marina Sirtis is an absolute diamond! A real laugh and totally fun to hang out with! Having worked at Paramount for 18 years, on Voyager, Insurrection and Enterprise, if that guy ever rights his memoirs, trust me, you’ll want to read that book! Thank you Larry and Steve for really making our night. (Being the truest Trekkie of us all, this was Sam’s favourite part of the evening!)

So, that was just the “Star Trek” part of my amazing trip to LA. A huge thank you to @StarTrekMovie for picking my video as worthy of winning Grand Prize – the prize was amazing and truly a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for me! Thank you to my TrekkieGirls – Sam, for agreeing to be my +1 and hiring a nanny for baby Hugh just so she could come, and Carole, for using up all of her Airmiles to join us! This experience would not have been the same without you girlies, I love you both!

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And a massive thank you to “Larry and friends” (seriously, I am going to Copyright that!?), and to Steve D’Errico for all the stories, oh the stories!!

Star Trek Beyond Event – Review

Star Trek is cool again! That was the vibe from last nights special fan event held at Paramount Pictures.

Considering very little detail about the event was released prior, it was a spectacular affair with Paramount pulling out all the stops for an epic celebration that went ‘beyond’ showing us a trailer for the new movie. The event also encompassed a celebration of 50 years of Star Trek with Hollywoods biggest names like Rihanna and Slash paying tribute to the franchise and declaring their Trekkie status.
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When we arrived at Stage 31 we were led through an Enterprise corridor to reveal the bridge style theatre where the Q&A’s would take place.

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The Q&A was moderated by Adam Savage from Myth Busters (and huge Trekkie) who sadly didn’t blow anything up.

JJ. Abrams and Justin Lin spoke very well about the importance of Star Trek and how highly they regard the Star Trek fan base. JJ then mentioned the Axanar lawsuit which probably made the Paramount/CBS legal department flinch more than we did although we know every word was very well prepared. He stated that Justin and he were not happy with the alienation of Star Trek fans caused by recent decisions and fan productions will be allowed to continue. We look forward to the influx of Kickstarters in all our Facebook groups.

JJ also announced that everyone in attendance at the fan event will receive an invite to the premiere of Star Trek Beyond which will be shown at San Diego Film and Comic Con on July 20th in an outdoor IMAX with live orchestra! We are assessing our airmiles, prospect of loosing our jobs and possibility of getting thrown out by our partners to attend this!

Then the moment we had tried to prepare for (with plenty of lipgloss) Chris Pine, Karl Urban and Zachary Quinto took to the stage! **Carry us to sickbay**

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The rapport between them is like a current day version of Kirk, Spock and McCoy.

After a Q&A session, quiz and behind the scenes look at Star Trek Beyond we were invited outside to witness and celebrate the naming of the street ‘Leonard Nimoy Way’.

The Nimoy family turned up and we all toasted to the new street name. Zachary Quinto’s speech was the perfect balance of uplifting, celebratory and touching. This was a HUGE honour for us, one we are grateful and privileged to have been involved in.

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**spoiler alert but nothing you couldn’t deduce from the trailer **

Next we piled in to stage 32 where we surrendered our phones to some beautiful Orion Girls (they just wanted your phone, guys, not your number!) and watched the trailer for Star Trek Beyond.

Firstly, what a wonderful and fitting idea to hold it in the very stage that was home to Star Trek The Original Series. To be in the very room where it all began was an inexperience in itself.

The trailer was fantastic of course. But the real treat was the extra scenes. These included a look at life on the Enterprise, a talk scene between Kirk and McCoy and the Enterprise getting destroyed.

We were stood next to Scott Mantz, film critic, producer of Access Hollywood and Uber Star Trek fan. He said out loud during the Kirk/McCoy scene “This is Star Trek”. And he is right. The extra detail they showed us demonstrates that this is a film about the characters and the family they have. And of course one of those characters is the Enterprise herself.

The destruction of the Enterprise is unlike any Starship demise we have seen, we don’t want to say much more detail than that as we can’t do it justice. It is much more realistic but just as heartbreaking.

With that, there was nothing left to do, but party and celebrate!!
 With a free bar, great food, a Starfleet DJ and plenty of green girls, it wasn’t hard!

The rest of Stage 32 was revealed with props and costumes from the movie, transporters, a turbo lift, CAPTAIN KIRKS FRICKIN CHAIR!!!!

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Overall it was an amazing night. We have so many people to thank. Firstly our Trekkie In Training Sarah for being a good TiT, entering the competition and winning! Tressa our Yeoman for the weekend for taking our photos and looking after us. Paramount Pictures for the tickets and hospitality. Larry Nemecek for introducing us to the ‘LA’ trekkie scene, we met some great people. And finally to Steve at Paramount security who worked on the Star Trek sets and stayed up into the wee hours with us on the studio lot with Larry and gave us an amazing insight into life on Paramount when Star Trek was filmed there.

Seeing the places where Rick Berman, Brannon Braga, Ron Moore and Gene Roddenberry worked was such an incredible experience and one we will treasure forever.

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Check out our Instagram for more photos.

Live Updates – Star Trek Beyond Event LA

We’re here! And tonight we’ll be reporting live from Paramount Pictures Studios all the info we can share about the new Star Trek trailer and details from the event that begins at 19.00 PDT which is 03.00 BST Saturday in the UK. Please stay up and join us for a virtual party!

We still don’t know exactly what to expect. We are allowed to bring phones and cameras to the event which is good, it means they want us to share any news (and you can reply on us for that!). But we do have to surrender them whilst we enter Stage 32. – Whatever for? We don’t know but we can’t wait to find out!

Local Trek expert and our friend Larry Nemecek on Trekland suggests we might see some props and displays? I nearly threw-up with excitment when Carole suggested it might be the Bridge set from the new movies!

Make sure you’re following us on Twitter and Instagram for all the news!

Meanwhile, we’ll be enjoying our little holiday weekend although no risk of dermal dysplasia this weekend!

Things like this never happen to me…

“We HAVE to enter this competition” Sam said.

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“Yeah, sure! I’ll record a video, making a complete TiT of myself (see what I did there?!), and upload it to tinterweb for the whole wide world to see…” – the things we do for our friends huh?!

Truthfully, I have a reputation for being a little bit of a flake. I 100% MEAN to do these things, but then life gets in the way, or I forget, or I just never get around to doing them. However, I also HATE letting people down, and this meant a lot to Sam, so I WAS going to do it for her!

Never in a million years did I think I’d WIN the bloomin’ thing!!! And a “Grand Prize Winner” at that: 2 return flights to LA, hotel accommodation for 2 for two nights, and entry to the “Star Trek Beyond” Fan Event. Talk about jackpot?! I’m still not sure it’s totally sunk in…

Having to choose between my girls as to who to invite as my “+1”, was the single most difficult thing I’ve ever had to do. Luckily TrekkieGirl Carole is THE most understanding person in our star system and totally got that because a) I wouldn’t have known anything about the competition; and b) wouldn’t even have had a video, if it weren’t for Sam, she just had to be my first choice. Fortunately, thanks to the wonders of Airmiles, Carole is flying out to LA with us – try as you might, you just can’t tear us TrekkieGirls apart?!

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I feel SO amazingly lucky to have been awarded this once-in-lifetime opportunity, I promise that I won’t take one single moment of it for granted! And I promise to keep you all updated as to our comings and goings over the next few days. One thing’s for sure, it’s going to be one hell of an experience?!

So, having totally p*ssed off the BF for not inviting him, and almost losing my job for taking holiday at such short notice whilst one of the bosses is also away, what the heck, we’re off to LA BABY!!! Leaving on a jet plane…

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We’re going Beyond!

ICYMI last week a competition was held to win tickets to a special fan event at Paramount Pictures to preview the new trailer of Star Trek Beyond. It will also have a Q&A with director Justin Lin, cast, crew and ‘other surprises’

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To be in for a chance of winning you had to submit a 50 second video explaining how you went ‘beyond’ as a Star Trek fan and why you should go to the fan event at Los Angeles.

Paramount gave away 50 tickets a day to the event and one grand prize a day to include flights, accommodation and entry so us poor and distance-disadvantaged stood a chance.

We HAD to go so we each made a video in the hope that one of us would succeed. And thank the prophets our Trekkie In Training Sarah won!!! So the Trekkie Girls are heading out to Los Angeles next Thursday 19th to attend this ‘special fan event’.

We are incredibly excited and grateful. We cannot wait to visit the home of Star Trek, where 50 years of history has taken place! It’s the perfect venue to see what lays Beyond….

We feel a bit like Tom Paris in Voyager’s Future’s End at the moment. I (Sam) have had the privilege of visiting Los Angeles twice and not for very long. So I have that Tom Paris thing going on where I have very limited knowledge, but it will have to do!

You’ll hear us walking around Paramount pictures saying things like ‘groovy’ ‘What’s that thing in your pocket?’ and ‘A leads to B leads to C’!

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Be sure to follow us on Twitter, Facebook and Periscope where we will endeavour to bring you as much information as possible from this exciting event!

Here’s our video’s we submitted including Sarah’s grand prize winning clip!