The crew of the U.S.S. Parkview rescues the Easter bunny on a daring mission just in time for Easter.
The rescue happens in the annual Parkview Elementary school music video, "The Adventures of the U.S.S. Parkview: A Star Trek Fan Production" recently published on YouTube. The production was directed by Kevin Croxton, Parkview’s musical director; performed by fourth- and fifth-grade students; and filmed by Wes Yandell, media technician for the Van Buren School District.
Croxton has been teaching music at Parkview in Van Buren for 21 years, and he also writes music for film and television, he said. He teaches his students about the music and video production process through the music club, he said.
Students audition for the club, Croxton said. This year, he has 33 students. At his first club meeting this year, Croxton said he “surprised them” and “showed lots of pictures of the ("Star Trek") replica film set he had found in Harrison. He swore them to keep it “top secret.” They were “so excited,” he said. The students “were blown away” when they saw the video, Croxton said. “They all loved it.”
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Fourth-grader Josiah Hamby plays the Vulcan science officer in the video. He tried out “for every character,” he said.
Mia Tucker, also a fourth-grader, plays the communications officer. She and her parents researched the character of Lt. Uhura, and Tucker’s parents purchased Tucker a black “short bob” wig and big green hoop earrings,” Tucker said.
Tucker has since been “asked to do more acting,” Tucker’s mom, Chelsea Mays, said. The George Washington Carver re-enactment on the Arts and Entertainment Network will air soon, featuring Tucker running “out the door (of an old schoolhouse) saying goodbye to a teacher,” she said.
All of the audio for the "Star Trek" video was pre-recorded, using “professional microphones and digital recorders,” Croxton said. The students “all did a good job.” Croxton “arranged and recorded all” of the music for the production and “did the sound effects,” he said.
While filming, students lip synced their parts, Croxton said. He had them speak their lines multiple times when recording, and then he manipulated the audio and video “until (he could) get it perfect,” he said.
It was “very easy to film,” Hamby’s dad, Jonathan, said. They did not have to “worry about microphones” while they were filming.
Croxton found and contacted Robert McConnell, who builds 3D starship models using computer graphics on YouTube, he said. McConnell created the Easter bunny ship as it would have been fashioned in the original Star Trek era, Croxton said. McConnell labeled the students' vessel U.S.S. Parkview NCC-1619 for the school name and street address, 619 Parkview St., Croxton said.
Costumes were obtained from Ruby’s Costumes, including the Easter bunny and Gorn costumes. Normally, the music videos are completed by December, Croxton said. The "Star Trek" project was “so massive” it took longer to complete.
Croxton said the principal, Stacie Wood has been “very supportive of (his) program,” and he was able to take his students to Harrison. It was “great for them,” he said. They “get so excited when they see people like their work.”
For the Harrison shoot, the bus left Van Buren about 7 a.m. and returned home about 10 p.m., Croxton said. It was a long and very cold day, but “it was so much fun,” he said.
“It was cool that we got to be on that set,” Hamby said.
A week later, some of the students went to Arkhola Sand and Gravel to film, Croxton said. It was wonderful working with the people at Arkhola, Croxton said.
A local photographer, Brenda Yelvington, found out about the project, Croxton said. She took pictures at Harrison and at the Arkhola rock quarry, and she did not charge for either, Croxton said. She provided more than 2,000 amazing photos, he said.
Hamby’s dad referred to the production, which was Croxton’s fifth annual music video at Parkview, as a “finalized work of art.” Croxton does an “incredible job, he said. “He’s outdone himself.”
Croxton’s goal was for the video to return the classic "Star Trek" feel, and he has had really good feedback, he said.
Captain Kirk himself, William Shatner, tweeted about the video, acknowledging that “quite a lot of work went into this” and tagging it “#impressive.”
Hamby was very excited about the tweet “from the original actor,” he said.
“That was very exciting for everybody,” Hamby’s dad, Jonathan Hamby, said.
Tucker said, “I thought that was extremely fascinating that the real Kirk responded back.”