Why Star Trek 11 should be a TV show and not a movie

Normally I don’t post things like this on my site, but I feel I must sound off about this. For about the past year Paramount Pictures has been trying to get an eleventh Star Trek movie off the ground. Heading things this time will be JJ Abrahms, who brought us Felicity, Lost, and directed Mission Impossible 3.

The gimmick is it’s a “Star Trek Academy” sort of idea, a “Kirk Begins” if you will. Now that’s all fine and dandy, but I can see several problems with this idea. Sure, I’m not limo-crusing executive, but it doesn’t take a brain scientist to see…

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Podcast Episode 15 – Now with Video

For episode 15 of the podcast we went with video. Just to try it out, thought it might be fun. Was mostly a pain, took up way too much hard drive space and my video camera microphone isn’t nearly as good as our USB headsets. Long story short it’s not exactly Lawrence of Arabia but you’ll get the idea. At least we had an excuse to make a video intro, which you should get a kick out of. (It has lots of blood for some reason)

Topics of this podcast are video/audio compression, a Lost Planet review and a God of War 2 segment.


We’ll be back to doing audio podcasts on the normal schedule after this. Perhaps in the future, should something lend itself to video, such as last fall’s Wii hunt, we’ll do another. But probably not for a long while. Also please do not email me asking for an audio version of this podcast, “what you see is what you get”.

Download Intro alone


Yes I know this new Benheck.com isn’t fully functional yet, but I’m working on it slowly. I switched servers on the host and thus started with a “clean slate”. Sort of nice, but I’m having to rebuild a lot.

Next up for re-functionality are the movie downloads. I’m creating iPod video-sized versions of Adventure, The Adventurous, Lizard of Death and Port Washington. These will slowly start to come online in the next week, in honor of Wednesday the 14th of March being the 1 year anniversary of me finishing Port Washington. It may seem trivial but believe me, it was a red letter day in my life.

Speaking of that, what if we made another movie? There’s a good question… We have one in mind (no, not Port Washington 2) that we believe would be quite entertaining. I’m wondering, if we got some funding, would anyone in or near southern Wisconsin be willing to help? We’d need actors, model builders, CGI artists, rotoscopers, puppeteers, creature fabricators and a 1979 Trans-Am with Bondo spots. Sound interesting? Effects and interiors would be done next winter, main shooting in 2008. Shoot me an email if you’re in the area.

We’re also planning a full video podcast for Episode 15. Thus it’ll probably come out next weekend instead of next Wednesday, but hopefully it’ll be worth the wait.

New Atari 2600 concept


Since it’s an odd numbered year I have an urge to build some Atari 2600 portables again. For some reason I always do fairly difficult projects on even years, so I guess this is my go-between.

Paper mockup of the Rev 5.1, with size reference items around it.

The idea I came up with is a VCSp Revision 5.1. It’s styled somewhat on the old classic Rev 5, which was the model I believe I built the most of (even slightly more than the Phoenix). Here are the specs on this concept unit:

  • 7″ x 4.2″ x 1″ in size.
  • Runs off (4) AA batteries.
  • 3.5″ color TFT screen, like the Phoenix.
  • Player 2 port, headphone jack and wall power adapter.
  • Left and right difficulty switches.
  • Paddle controller.

So my question is, would anyone be interested in one of these? I’d be willing to make a decent number of them, say 50, if there was sufficient demand. I’ve done up a few numbers and now believe I could sell this for $300, if a person traded in or sent me an Atari 2600 4-switch.

Let me know so I can consider it, thanks!

N64p and PS2p files released

Here are two things I’m asked for quite a bit – plans for the N64 and PS2 portables! Since I am washing my hands of these systems, I figured there was no harm in making the files public.

They’re not plans per se, rather just the Adobe Illustrator art files I used for my designs, but if you can make like Dan Brown and decode it everything’s there to build your own case. No help or tech support is expressed or implied for these files, so please don’t email me asking for any. Check the forums for general-purpose hacking information.

N64p art file, AI 10 format

PS2p art file, AI 10 format

Benheck.com Podcast Episode 14 and Intro Contest

Another 2 weeks go by, another podcast pops up. Just like clockwork! Download it at www.benheckpodcast.com.

Today’s topics are Hi-Def Gaming / Blu-Ray / HD-DVD revisit, Ten Things We Hate About Gaming and Most Overrated and Underrated Consoles of All Time. You’ll also notice there is no intro. This is because of time restraints, sorry, but it gave me an idea.

Let’s do an Intro Contest! The prize will be a DS game of your choice from Amazon.com, or if you win and don’t have a DS, eh, we’ll think of something. God of War 2?

The Rules:

  1. Use this template as a basis to write an intro. Highlight the narrator in yellow, sound effects in gray with brackets.
  2. While most Benheck.com podcast intros are game-related spoofs of movie trailers, anything funny will be considered. But keep it PG-13 or cleaner. No politics allowed.
  3. Target length: 3-4 pages.
  4. One entry per person.
  5. Send all entries as a .doc format Microsoft Word file to benjamin.heckendorn@gmail.com.
  6. Deadline: March 14th. The winning entry will appear on the March 28th podcast.
  7. The contest won’t be valid unless I get at least 10 entries, so “Tell Your Friends”

Good luck!

Projects I Would Do in a Heartbeat (Time permitting)

Some of you may have seen my last post and thought it meant I was sick of building everything. Not true, I’m just sick of being asked for the same 3 things over and over. As far as not doing any more movies, I should clarify – not making any more with my own money. I’m glad many of you enjoyed Port Washington but I’d really enjoy having the money it cost back in my pocket.

As a counterpoint, here’s a list of project ideas I would enjoy trying:

  • Custom pinball machine – I’ve been planning one for 2 years but have never had the time or money, at the same time. Problem is I’d want to keep it. If you listen to our podcasts you’ve probably heard about this project.
  • Domestic automatic can crusher – Would be the coolest thing ever.
  • Alternative fuel car of the future – I’ve always wanted to build a car, I think that would be quite the challenge. It would have to be sporty and have a cool stereo however. (No Sparkomatics) The Tesla thing is cool but it’s not really a “people’s car”.
  • Hub-based main house PC / Xbox 360 / PS3 / furnace – Hey, those things put out a lot of heat!
  • Mass-produced single-handed game controllers – As mentioned before.
  • A robot.
  • Lead singer in a country music band – Much more interesting than an N64 portable.
  • Apple ][ portable – It’s shocking that I’ve only been asked about this maybe once in 7 years.
  • Design consultation work -If your company is working on a product, especially game related, and would like my input, please contact me to discuss.

So there you go – the kinds of projects I am interested in these days. Now I must get back to this new laptop…