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Artie Binninger: The Ed Wood of Claymation Star Trek

In the mid-70’s, a nebbishy pocket-protector-wearing private stationed at the Vanderburg Air Force Base named Art Binninger started an unorthodox project. With the help from the implausible-but-real Air Force Audio Visual Department, Artie produced three stop-motion animated Star Trek parody films over the course of the year.

His films were so successful that after the Star Trek movie came out in 1979, Artie immediately started working on a feature-length parody film adaptation, which he finally finished in 1984. Pleased with his work, he started soliciting local television stations to show his films, and that’s when everything came crashing down: Paramount Pictures sent him a cease-and-desist letter, and the Star Trix series came to an unceremonious end.

Over at Ironic Sans, they’ve posted a delightful interview with Artie, in which he characterizes himself as the Ed Wood of the sci-fi fan film world. It’s all a very touching time capsule to what it means to be a sci-fi geek in the mid 70’s. It’s odd to think that a guy like Artie, if he’d done his work in the age of the Internet, would probably have attracted a large fan base, where as a mere thirty years ago, his works went unappreciated by everyone except Paramount’s legal department.

Interview: Art Binninger, the Ed Wood of 1970s stop-motion animated Star Trek parodies [Ironic Sans]

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