Saturday, January 2, 2016
I went to the Star Wars themed Nerd Nite at The Geek Easy 114 S Semoran Boulevard, Winter Park, Florida in hopes that I might sketch a Cantina full of aliens and Sith Lords. Unfortunately there was only one cape in the whole crowd. Nerd Nite is an evening of entertaining yet thought-provoking presentations, all while the audience drinks along in a casual bar atmosphere. Speakers present for 15-20 minutes each on a fascinating subject of their choice, often in an uncanny and unconventional way. Following each presentation there was a brief question and answer session with the audience.
Ricardo Williams as the MC started the evening off with Star wars trivia. He had the gave to wear a Star Trek uniform which is an affront to any true Star Wars nerd. One of the most interesting facts was that Harrison Ford was not originally cast as Hans Solo. He got the part because he was also an air conditioning repairman. Ford repaired George Lucas' air conditioner and the two of them hit it off. After that encounter, Lucas suggested that Ford come into the studio for an audition. Several questions revolved around the simple idea that warp drive does not exist in the Star Wars Universe. Most questions were far over my head. Apparently Yoda was first named Buffy in the first draft o the Star War Script. Ricardo also gave a short talk about how the last two last Star Trek films by J.J. Abrams are very much steeped in Star Wars themes. Both Captain Kirk and Luke Skywalker are kids from barren farm country who dreamed of the stars. J.J. Abrams sited Star Wars as a film that molded his desire to become a film maker. Now that he is directing The Force Awakens he will hopefully shine and held resurrect a franchise that lost the power of story and replaced it with mindless computer effects. My one complaint about the last two Star Trek films is that Captain Kirk was constantly being beaten up. It was disheartening to watch as he was repeatedly kicked and beaten, while drooling on the floor. I hope the hero's fate is better in The Force Awakens.
I was seated next to the last presenter, Robin Cowie, who announced the inaugural Orlando Story Club event coming up on January 6th at The Abbey 100 S Eola Dr, Orlando, Florida. Admission is $5 and all proceeds support The Boys And Girls Clubs of Orlando. The theme for the evening will be Resolution. The word “resolution” has two great meanings for stories:
1. a firm decision to do or not to do something.
2. the action of solving a problem, dispute, or contentious matter
I was surprised to find out that Cowie was president of Haxan Films, which financed, produced and helped market one of the most successful independent films of all time, The Blair Witch Project. He has just return to Orlando to be near family after producing and directing many films in Los Angeles. The Central Florida Story Telling Group will present monthly events in the New Year for everyone tohare their stories with proceeds supporting different local philanthropic organizations each month. Cowie told a story in a thick Scottish brogue. There is no way that a written account can recreate the hilarious story. Hearing him tell the story in person is a once in a lifetime experience.