Dan and I were winding down our first semester in the first year of junior high. Even though we started making Super 8mm home movies towards the end of elementary school, we were both in sports camp through the following summer and then geared up for what was a huge change for us: entering the second level of our public-school education. That was a big deal for us at the time.
By the time December 1979 rolled around, we dusted off Dan’s sister’s silent Bell & Howell camera. We did a quite goofy film inspired by British comic actor Benny Hill, which we sweetly called, BeHi, which was code for a short film in which we didn’t want anyone to view. Let’s just say that the film is quite raunchy for 12-year-olds to produce, but it was one of many experimental shorts that we "produced."
Shortly after BeHi, we tapped into our love of StarWars Episode IV: A New Hope, released about two years prior to this production. With Dan’s father’s “raw materials” from his HVAC/roofing business, we put together a short titled, Star Lords. Mostly shot on Dan’s family’s broken 1970s-era ping pong table in their basement, Dan plays an underling to one of NASA's Star Lords (me) who orders him to explore Pluto. This takes place in the year 2261, so I wonder when NASA started their Star Lords program. In the film, Dan’s character discovers on his maiden space voyage, he took the bad ship. My character quickly orders a new ship, and all is somewhat okay in space. Being on a “no budget” always proved to be a challenge, especially in the beginning. What’s also a challenge are the hand-drawn “captions” that the characters hold in the film. Having no sound proved to be quite difficult for us. Also, note Charles H. Fink does not appear in this film. However, he is a big part of BeHi.
Star Lords inspired us to do a few more sci-fi shorts, which I will one day write about in this space on their milestone anniversaries. On its 40th anniversary, here is Star Lords: