Rick Newton is a guest writer and interviewer for the Axanar blog.
Can you provide us with a little info about yourself?
I’m David A. Hernandez (iMDb “David A. Hernandez (ii)), a Chief Information Officer headquartered in San Diego, California where I direct the Information Technology needs for a 22 Western-state Healthcare Region. I received my Master of Science in Computer Information Technology from Regis University and my Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from the University of Phoenix. I’m an Associate Producer for the upcoming independent Star Trek film, ‘Axanar’, and will also appear in the movie as a Featured Extra.
For fun, I’m a professional photographer (www.vintagefantasyphoto.com and on Facebook as Vintage Fantasy Photography) who specializes in fantasy composites, portraiture, and weddings. I was the co-founder of Immortelle Studios, a successful comic book publishing house where I was the lead writer and inker, and brought the character ‘Cynder’ to the marketplace and boasted top-200 placement with every issue distributed through Diamond Comic Distributors, Inc.
I have a love of Science Fiction and Fantasy works, including Star Trek, Battlestar Galactica, Star Wars, and Bladerunner, and wrote a short concept story for a Battlestar Galactica Fan Film/compilation titled ‘BSG: The Book of Daniel.’ I collect original and replica movie props, signed memorabilia, and Silver Age comic books. My favorite author is Robert A. Heinlein. I love to play the X-Wing and Star Trek miniatures games, Legacy Magic the Gathering, and Flames of War.
In order to serve my community on a personal level, I attended and graduated from a Peace Officer Standard Training Academy and am serving as a sworn Reserve Deputy Sergeant for a Sheriff’s Department, specializing in Search and Rescue. I’ve been married for 32-years and have four children and two grandchildren. My motto is: “I will find a way, or make one.”
Which iteration of Star Trek became “your first” Star Trek?
Star Trek, ‘The Original Series’! I grew up on it. The first season aired when I was about three years old, but by 1970 I was a full blown Trekkie.
What drew you to TOS?
I really didn’t have any other options, and TOS was far and away the best SciFi available anywhere. When the first movie came out, I was hugely disappointed in it. Even today I can’t sit through it. However, later films renewed my faith in the franchise.
What is it about Star Trek that has made you such a long-term fan?
Star Trek wasn’t just a “possible future.” As a young man, I saw it as the real future. Everything they introduced in Star Trek appeared to me as a ‘thing’ that would one day become a physical reality. Transporters, PADDs, Communicators, Warp Engines, advanced medicine, pioneering space vessels, alien worlds with civilizations… all of it seemed plausible and available in the very near future to me. I was hooked!
How did you find out about Axanar?
A friend of mine had seen ‘Prelude to Axanar’ and sent me a link. I was practically blown away. It was the best Star Trek I had seen in decades.
What was it that made you feel that you had to support Axanar, and, to become more deeply involved in its production?
Star Trek influenced my entire life in a positive way. Seeing an opportunity to be part of Axanar, where I could be intimately involved in the production, development, joy, and ‘bringing to reality’ something that was almost larger than life, was too important in my mind to ignore. I feel like this is one of the most important causes I’ve ever devoted my time to in my entire life. It’s difficult to explain how I feel about Axanar. It goes far beyond simple emotions and desires. This actually feels like I’m fulfilling one of the greatest dreams of my existence, literally becoming part of the Star Trek universe that has given me so much passion for life and influenced both my professional career and hobby choices.
What are your expectations for the Axanar full-length feature? And what part do you see taking in it?
I expect we will create the best Star Trek experience for fans of the franchise ever. I expect we will bring real, canon-based story with depth to the characters. As for my role, I hope that as an Associate Producer I will be able take some of the day-to-day burdens away from Alec Peters and Rob Burnett, allowing them to concentrate on making an amazing film instead of dealing with low-level distractions. As a Featured Extra, I will fulfill a personal dream to be an actual character living in the Star Trek multi-verse. My vision for the feature film is that we successfully bring new excitement to fans through a story set twenty years before TOS while staying true to the roots of the series. This isn’t just about extraordinary ‘flash-bang’ effects and phasers – this is an action-adventure movie about brave people experiencing extraordinary circumstances during a time of war, with the looming threat of extinction and slavery being very real possibilities if they fail in their resolve.
What would you like to see in the full-length feature?
I would love to have the same sense of awe and respect that I felt, and still feel, when I watch the TOS episode “Balance of Terror,” my personal favorite episode of all time in any Star Trek iteration. Again, it’s not what we will ‘see’ in the feature, it’s about what we will ‘feel’ because of the feature.
What direction do you want the studio to take in its future?
Hopefully I will have an opportunity to continue to work with Ares Studios in the future. That would be another dream come true because of the brilliant minds running the show, and the amazing, clear vision they have. Personally, I would love to see Ares Studios successfully create ongoing, first-rate sci-fi both in and out of the Star Trek universe.
Any parting comments?
Yes! I’d like to remind the other donors that I am a donor too, and I can tell you that the leaders at Axanar/Ares keep us at the top of their minds in everything they do! We as donors can be confident that our hopes – and our donations – are being treated with the utmost care and respect, with the goal of bringing us the best Star Trek based film ever created!