INTERVIEW: Manu Intiraymi discusses ‘The Circuit,’ a fan film that fans can make

via The Circuit
via The Circuit

I’m a fan.

I go to conventions; my heart literally skips beats at the thought of sharing a few moments of time with my fandom idols and I get euphoric when I’m in their presence.

Yeah, I spend money to get into these events and I part with hard-earned cash for an autograph, a picture or even for my kid to meet the actors who represented characters I worshiped when I was a kid. It’s a trip down nostalgia-lane, for sure, but there’s nothing that can replace that albeit short-lived experience.

It’s bliss.

To the outsider, there is no way to effectively describe that feeling. When you love a franchise so much it’s because you connect with the ideals of the show, the comic or the character that these people represent and you literally slaver at the chance to explain what you have in common with them.

Of course, the actors don’t share those same ideals, or those identities. Some may identify with them, but mostly they don’t. However, the attention and the adulation these convention guests receive is enough of a draw to make them want to go to the next one and others afterwards. As a result, they wind up on … the circuit.

Via The Circuit
Via The Circuit

That’s the name of Star Trek: Voyager’s Manu Intiraymi’s newest fan-funded film project. The Circuit is a convocation of everybody’s favourite fandom actors involved in an anthology of film stories that all happen at a convention. Now that’s a very simplistic way of describing the scope of the project, but in order for the impact of what Manu is putting together to fully hit you, think of this way:

Imagine a Star Trek fan getting the chance to work on a film with his or her favourite Trek actor?

The pleasure centres of that fan would more than likely reduce themselves to burned-out, protoplasmic goo.

I’m interviewing Ichep, from Star Trek: Voyager; my Trekness is already hyping up my excitement levels, so I don’t even want to talk about my pleasure centres.

Via Paramount/CBS
Via Paramount/CBS

“Think Galaxy Quest meets The Twilight Zone meets Pulp Fiction,” Manu tells me. “We’re making an anthology film that would include all genres, all aspects of fandom. We could make a sci-fi, a horror, a musical – whatever tales we could tell that would all fit within a convention.”

If you go to and watch the interstitial advertising films for the project, not only do you get a sense of the talent involved in this promising project, but you also see the type of fun that these actors are having with it.

With an incredible cast, I asked Manu what these actors’ motivation was.

“Well, a lot of the actors in my sci-fi family were always being cast in the same type of roles, and this was a chance to break out and try something really different. For example, in one script with Bob Picardo and Ethan Phillips, let’s just say that Ethan is in a role that nobody would ever expect him to play! It’s a lot of fun and we’re looking forward to telling this tale to the fans.”

The Circuit boasts an incredible ensemble: Tim Russ, Armin Shimerman, Ethan Phillips, Robert Picardo, Robert Beltran, Gigi Edgley and a host of other fan-favourite actors make up the rest of this cast. Just imagine: a fan could potentially wind up designing costumes, applying make-up or even writing a scene that features any one of these incredible actors. It literally is a fan’s dream come true.

But it’s the mode of this film that is really intriguing. Backers of the film not only contribute financially to the creation of the film, but if they have applicable skills or talents, then The Circuit production team wants to hear from them.

“Each donor gets the chance to send in their resume. You could be a model miniature guy who builds spaceships in his garage, or a props maker or a costume designer; whatever you can do, we want to know about it.”

For every successfully funded episode, the production team will add a fan to the project.

”It’s not only about telling our stories but allowing the fans to potentially tell their stories too. Go to and tell us why and we’ll bring one person per department to collaborate on the show for every episode that is funded.”

You know, I’m not unique in my appreciation for the fandom lifestyle. I mean, I’m currently surrounded by autographed photos, comics and even writing about a project that directly speaks to my love of geek culture. But I’m not the only one. There are literally thousands of fanboys like me out there and this is a film that directly addresses the love that fans have for their convention experiences. It’s a celebration that all fans of superhero/sci-fi/fantasy geekdoms will love and want to be a part of.

Visit, watch how much fun these people are having with this project and then see how you can be involved in it. Trust me, it’s something that you don’t want to miss.

Hey … as an example, do you remember that scene in Galaxy Quest when Brandon the fan-boy wound up helping the crew of the NSEA Protector deactivate the core implosion? Yeah … that’s the type of feeling a fan will get from contributing to this film.

Oh, and if you got that reference, then you’re exactly the type of person this project needs. And, if you’ve ever wanted to get more out of a fan-film, then this is exactly the type of project you want to support.

Experience the bliss.

Check out the Kickstarter!

About Captain John K. Kirk

Captain John K. Kirk
John Kirk is an English and History teacher and librarian in Toronto, Canada. In addition to the traditional curriculum, John tries to teach his students to make sense of geek culture. And with the name "J. Kirk," it's hard for him to not inject "Star Trek" into his lessons. Comics, RPGs and the usual fanboy gear make up his classroom resources.

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