“I have been – and always shall be – your friend.”
A line of true soaring beauty from an iconic character. Spock, born in 2230, in the city of Shi’Kahr on the planet Vulcan, is probably the most famous Vulcan-Human hybrid in history and from the very beginning he was an instant hit with humankind. In 1967, ‘Spockmania‘ began with fans replicating Leonard Nimoy’s accent, mannerisms and behaviours en masse. Not only this, but within weeks of the first Star Trek broadcast, Nimoy’s fan mail went from “a few hundred letters to 10,000 a week”. This Spockmania has continued in the five following decades; take, for example, the most watched show on US TV, The Big Bang Theory, which has constantly used him as a point of reference/higher power. Upon the news of Nimoy’s death, producer Chuck Lorre used his vanity card to pay tribute to the actor, stating “the impact you had on our show and on our lives is everlasting”. This all leads to our latest Making It Big involving Leonard’s son Adam and his plans to celebrate his dad. Welcome to For The Love Of Spock.
Documentaries are not blockbuster hits. As much as they enlighten us, they just don’t have the ability to pull in global box office records. This is not their purpose; but it can explain how Kickstarter has become the number one supporter of documentaries in recent years. To date, Kickstarter has topped $100 million dollars in documentary financing. And so Adam Nimoy has turned to the platform to help create a timely and speedy tribute to a wonderful character, and a wonderful man.
The recent losses of Sir Christopher Lee, Ron Moody, Anita Ekberg and, of course, Leonard Nimoy have hit fans hard around the world. The urge to create a wonderful tribute to any of these talents is overwhelming, however For The Love Of Spock did not originate immediately following Leonard’s sad departure. Adam, who will also direct and produce this feature, had actually gone to his dad last Thanksgiving to talk about working together on a film about Mr. Spock. After skimming through some of the books on the making of Star Trek he felt there was so much more to explore about the birth and evolution of the iconic character.
The timing seemed perfect, if tight. The 50th anniversary of Star Trek: The Original Series was on the horizon. In fact, when they first spoke of the idea, it was just days away from the 50th anniversary of the start of production on “The Cage,” the original pilot for Star Trek in which Leonard first appeared as Mr. Spock. They reached out to 455 Films, a company familiar with Star Trek-related films and the producers David Zappone, Kevin Layne and Joseph Kornbrodt, who have produced over 45 hours of network television between them. Best of all, Zachary Quinto – the new Spock – volunteered to provide the narration for the documentary free of charge. It seemed ultimately fitting as Nimoy and Quinto became close friends, with Nimoy describing the young actor’s take on Spock as “something special“. Everything was looking rosy.
Sadly on OFebruary 27th, the great actor/musician/director passed on. The original tribute to just Mr. Spock has now evolved into a moving celebration of both actor and Vulcan. Adam Nimoy admits it’s evolved into a personal crusade to create a tribute to his dad. He states in the Kickstarter:
“Although I had initially intended to take a somewhat detached, objective view of the subject matter, more and more people involved in this film have urged me to interject some of my own perspective on what it was like growing up with Mr. Spock in the house, and how Dad’s new-found celebrity and meteoric career affected my life.”
So what’s the plan? There has been a lot of frenetic energy flowing to try and capture the popular zeitgeist, and luckily some of the film’s groundwork has already been laid. Having completed a considerable amount of research on this film, Adam Nimoy has a “treasure trove” of pictures of the Nimoy family and his dad in his many roles before and after Mr. Spock. In fairness, where better to get your info than from the proverbial horse’s mouth?
The funding raised from the Kickstarter – with an almighty goal of $600,000 – will go towards filming interviews with Leonard Nimoy’s friends, colleagues and family members. It will also enable the team to license the hundreds of film clips and still photographs of Mr. Spock in his multiple forms across television and in feature films over the last 50 years. The Kickstarter goes on to state how “funding will then buy us time in the editing room, where I will be poring over the film clips and photographs and never-before-seen home movies as well as Star Trek artefacts — some of which have not seen the light of day for nearly fifty years!” There’s further explanation of the budget being spent on editing and getting in a score too (the inclusion of ‘The Ballad of Bilbo Baggins’ has been guaranteed – see below for full enjoyment).
There’s a lot of heart and emotion in this project. As you can tell from the breakdown of costs, there’s still a multitude of details to iron out. That being said, it’s clear this project means well and will celebrate a worthy cause. Leonard Nimoy was one of those artists who came across as a good man, and he created the character of Spock that has inspired and struck a chord with generations. With that in mind, the Kickstarter is running until July 1st, so check out the trailer below and review the page to see whether you fancy a pledge.