We've had hundreds of volunteers and staff come and go over the CMSEC Space Center's 25 year history. Usually they disappear into the void never to be heard from again. Yes, I know many of you are out there checking in through the blog, afraid to make yourselves known fearing the Reactivation Clause of your volunteering contract. You're thinking, "If I email Mr. Williamson to say hello he'll initiate the Reactivation Clause, send out the Blue Shirts, and put me to work. Been there and done that. Loved it but my life has moved on to other things."
Friends, no need to worry. The Blue Shirts no longer take orders from me. They are under the watchful eye of Mr. James Porter, the new CMSEC Director. I've retired from the school district. However, I'm teaching 6th grade again at Renaissance Academy and opening the new Starship Voyager at Renaissance. We're always looking for experienced help..... but I promise not to twist your arm if you'd like to drop us a line and tell us what you're doing out there is civilian life.
Recently I received two email updates; one from a former staff member and another from a volunteer. Caitlynn Stone was a long distant volunteer, travelling from Salt Lake Valley to put in her volunteer hours. She was a regular on the overnight camp circuit. Some of you old timers will remember her as the girl who sold candy bars for her brother's fund raising efforts. Caitlynn is working on a sailing boat traversing the high seas. What an experience! Read on.....
Hey! It's been awhile since I've been in contact, but life has been pretty cool lately so I've been sending a bit of a thank you message to some people who helped me grow along the way. You were definitely one of those people with the CMSEC and all the personal growth I experienced there!
In April, I traveled to the Philippines and joined a sailing expedition vessel (120 ft sailing ketch) that was in a Manila dry-dock. Her name is Infinity and I helped rebuild her along with a crew of 10 other people including the captain, from making a new mast to refinishing the hull. :) It was over two months of hard work, especially as I started to fall into a leadership role at the captain's side. I found myself constantly running around, realigning the engine, drilling the propeller shaft, pushing the mast into place, and so forth.
We managed to get Infinity into great shape and set sail a little over two weeks ago! It was rough going at the start, but we managed to get her sails up and have come to PNG, anchoring just off Kokopo only yesterday. Along the journey, I swam across the equator and in one of the deepest parts of the ocean in the Philippine Trench (7km). I also had some amazing (and sometimes scary) experiences swimming with sharks, jellies, and other curious ocean wildlife.
We experienced some fantastically terrifying storms of the wet season, sailed past some wrecks, and got to learn all about the people I was stuck on a single ship with for two weeks! The crew is an ever changing cast of people from around the world. The crew I sailed with had people from Germany (we sailed under a German flag as the captain is German), Australia, Italy, America (obviously), France, and Norway.
It was an amazing experience, but I have just left the ship to make my way through PNG and on to Australia and maybe New Zealand. I'm planning to return to her soon though, as next year she is tackling the Northwest Passage!
I just wanted to say thank you for all your efforts with the Space Center. I really grew a lot during my time there and I think it helped me to be the right person to go on this incredible adventure as a deckhand and now onto my upcoming adventures the winds guide me to!
Greetings from a landlubber turned sailor,
Dustin Robison was an enthusiastic volunteer and staff member. Story telling was in his blood. I'm happy to report that Dustin has achieved his dream. He's making films. I recently received the following update from Dustin along with the trailer and first episode of his new work, Shadows. Read on and be sure to watch the first episode.
A lot has happened over the past few years, so here are some of the highlights:
In 2010 I worked a summer job installing security systems in Philadelphia while my wife went door to door selling security systems for a summer. This allowed us to purchase a small condo in Florida where I attended film school at Full Sail University. Halfway through the course I landed an internship with a local production company called edgefactory. Within a year and half I was promoted to become their in-house Director of Photography.
This position has given me several opportunities to travel around the world. My favorite place being Berlin, Germany. The history there was so visible even still. The architecture and structure of things was very interesting, a lot of the plumbing is above ground, and it is painted bright colors, which gives an almost Dr. Seuss kind of feeling throughout different parts of the city. Other places I’ve had the opportunity to travel to so far are India, Hawaii, Mexico, Netherlands, Belgium, Spain, and hopefully Iceland at the end of the year.
About 2 years ago, Kait and I moved to Las Vegas, where she originally grew up. We made our self employed status a little more official by starting our own company together called Quantum Arc Media. She heads up the Graphic Design side of it and I take lead on all things Production related. We took an exciting step forward about a month ago when we hired our first full time employee. He has been handling all of our post production, which has allowed us to take on more and bigger projects. Our primary work is commercial and corporate, but our passion lies in story telling. Which is where Shadows comes into the mix.
Also, talks of bringing a human into this crazy world exist, so who knows, I may be a dad sometime in the nearish future.
The concept for our webseries, “Shadows”, started with a simple idea. We wanted to film a starship crashing into an alien planet. It started as a storyboard of several shots before I wrote it into a script, because the visuals were the only thing that mattered to me at its initial conception. However, after posing the project idea to a friend, he seemed enthusiastic about taking it a step further and encouraged me to write a story around the idea so that if we decided we wanted to keep shooting, we would have a direction to continue.
I pondered about where I wanted to take the story and as the time grew nearer to begin prepping for the shoot, I remembered the Voyager overnight mission “Shadows” (at the CMSEC) that I had participated in so many times. It was my favorite and most memorable story. And with that inspiration, ideas began to flow with ease. I told myself that I wouldn’t put anything down on paper for the 2nd episode until the first episode was completely finished (I have a bad habit of not sharing my projects, and I was determined to share this one.)
My DP (Lead actress) and I had 4 days of camera tests before our single day of principle photography. I was convinced that we could shoot the full script in one day and complete the edit as quickly as possible.
Before that day of shooting we had done so many tests we could almost put the entire edit together with all of our test shots. I'd never done so much preparation before a shooting, and I am pleased with the results. On the day of shooting, we knew exactly what needed to happen and how to assign different roles to move as efficiently as possible. Our crew carried out each of their tasks flawlessly.
Episode Two is written and in the preparation process. Our crew and actors are anxious to continue filming the series and sharing our story with all of our friends and sci-fi enthusiasts!
Thanks for Everything,
Shadows. Episode I