The festival of the year is upon us, and it’s time for the world’s biggest night of movie magic. Hollywood has a habit of opening night parties, and though we don’t know for sure what those are like, we do know that the red carpet is a must-do—so, if you’re sticking around town to see the stars and snagging freebies, it’s time to get your Game of Thrones on.

Yeah, yeah, yeah—this is where it’s all supposed to start to look like the title of a “paint by numbers” movie, but this is a blog about films, not movies. That said, we can’t think of a better way to kick off a blog about movies that are not being made than to talk about a movie that came out last year and that we think every movie fan should see!

If you’ve never been involved in the making of a fan film, it’s hard to explain. But there’s a bug that bites you, and there’s an itch that just needs scratching. It’s hard to say exactly when the fan film virus hits – it probably happens to everyone in a different way, like the moment someone realizes they’re a Trekkie, but when it happens, everything can change in an instant.

Or not. Some people make a fan film or are involved in a production or two, and that’s where it ends. And that’s good. But for many others, fan films are in their blood, sometimes even in their own DNA, and nothing can stop them!

Which brings us to Pixie Nereid.

That’s actually his stage name. Pixie’s real name is Elijah MacNeil…. and yes, Elijah is indeed inspired by the bald Deltan navigator from Star Trek : The Motion Picture, because his parents were TOS fans. And Elijah is a big fan himself. But all her friends call her Pixie, and so do I, because Pixie has become a friend (almost overnight!).

And honestly, it’s hard not to revel in all her positivity, fun and optimism – so much so that you almost have to call her Pixie. And in case you’re wondering where the name comes from: Pixie performs (with a small number of other women in Fayetteville, Arkansas) at children’s parties as a mermaid. I think Pixi Nereid is not so much her stage name as her pool name, but whatever you call her, she is definitely Pixi!

We have no problem… Life is made of bubbles… underwater!

Joshua IRVIN, who will direct the new AVALON UNIVERSE fan films for which a fundraiser is underway (click here to donate), first met Pixie on the set of the soon-to-be-released COSMIC STREAM film during a shoot at WARP 66 STUDIOS in Northeast Arkansas. One of her fellow mermaids, who had a role in the film, told her about the filming. But Pixie didn’t come to be filmed, she just wanted to help. She arrived and immediately told Josh that she would love to be a Griffer for a day (a Griffer is someone who goes around with lights….. not very glamorous, but very important).

It’s 108 miles round trip from Fayetteville to the studio, so people who volunteer to make fan films at WARP 66 should be highly motivated. After the mid-March photo shoot, Josh posted the following photo and comment on Facebook…..

From top to bottom : Pixie Nereid and Glen Wolfe of WARP 66

The most important thing for me in cinema is attitude, humility. Pixie appeared on our set… …as a lighting technician. She didn’t ask anyone to watch her. She appeared with brilliant energy and a genuine, infectious smile and demonstrated a clinic of genuine humility, openness and willingness to help in any way possible. But in the moments when she might have thought I wasn’t looking, out of the corner of my eye I saw flashes of majesty that I couldn’t ignore. She made a name for herself by just being there. Pixie, I can’t wait to do great things with you before you’re too busy to become seriously famous.

Josh’s prediction/wish didn’t come true right away. Pixie went to a reading for another shoot at the Avalon and when one of the actors didn’t show up, Pixie sat down with a copy of the script and read the text….. of that character and did it perfectly. Unlike many of the people who star in Avalon movies, Pixie is not a professional actor. She is currently pursuing a master’s degree in public administration at the school, which she will begin in 2022 alongside the JD program. Her ultimate goal is to become an attorney and specialize in entertainment law. But Pixie was acting, and Josh decided to offer her a role in AGENT OF THE NEW WORLD, a new fan film about Avalon he wanted to make, with two female leads. Pixie will play the lead role.

Pixie cheered! She was all over fan film fever….. So much so that she agreed to travel to Phoenix (1200 miles from Fayetteville!) to shoot a series of curiously beautiful scenes in the Arizona desert. Josh took advantage of another professional shoot he was involved in to take pictures of Avalon in a place he normally couldn’t photograph.

Unfortunately, problems arose while the crew was in Arizona, and not only was Josh unable to finish filming, but he had to pay for all the travel expenses out of his own pocket. There were other places to film, but there was literally no money left for anything. In recent years, Josh Avalon has funded out of pocket ….. into the tens of thousands of dollars. But now I had to pay rent and feed my family.

And that, as they say, was the end of the story. The agent of the New Worlds will have to be postponed… perhaps indefinitely.

But Pixie decided she wasn’t going to let this project go so quietly into the silent night! She and her husband Aaron have offered to take on the remaining costs of completing this fan film.

This was no small gift, you know! Pixie and her partner aren’t exactly one percent, and it’s a big expense for them. But Pixie wanted to finish this project. …. and not just because she wanted to see herself on YouTube walking around an alien planet in a Tiger Science costume. Pixie wanted to see Josh finish his passion project and present it to the fans of Star Trek and Avalon.

Pixie not only wants to star in the upcoming episodes, she has also offered to take on the PRODUCTION of them. And if you think a producer is just a money man, that’s not the case at all! Pixie will be the wind beneath Josh’s wings as she helps him lead a team that takes care of all the little things Josh needs to do what he does best: Directing and making a film.

As the producer of INTERLUDE (Josh was my director of photography), I can attest that producing a film is a long and tedious process. But Pixi has already taken the lead by helping Josh assemble a much larger production team than before to handle not only the fun creative aspects, but also the complex logistical and financial matters. This includes planning, call sheets, paying for equipment rental, reimbursement of food and lodging for the cast and crew ….. and many other details that most people don’t think about when they see a movie. But the producer must think about each of these details, or the whole house of cards may fall apart.

In many ways, Pixie is Avalon’s new co-showrunner, along with Josh, and she’s off to a great start. Hell, she even recruited me to help them! Less than a week after I offered to advise them on a crowdfunding strategy, Pixi sent me an invitation to participate in a Zoom conference call for the Avalon team to discuss the project. (So I’m part of the Avalon team, right? In fact, in the first few lines, I’m mentioned as an information provider! Pixie led the Zoom conversations and kept us focused and on track.

The initial conversation ended with the promise that Pixies husband, Aaron, would create an account on the app Slack where the cast and crew could collaborate and store documents such as scripts, budgets, schedules, marketing ideas, photos, graphics and other resources. Pixie has informed us that she will be posting a recording of the conference later today for those who could not attend.

To give you an idea of why I’m so impressed with Pixie, listen to the following audio message she sent to the team’s Facebook discussion group a few hours later. Pixie recorded it while in the car, so forgive the background noise. But that, my friends, is what the voice of a showrunner should sound like…..

Producing is often like herding cats and putting out incessant and unexpected fires. But just like an effective manager in a company, part of his job is to instill positivity and optimism. Keep your team alert and motivated and they will always perform at their best. This is why Avalon is in such good hands…. and reason 2 why you should donate to this project (reason 1 being the return of Captain Jakande!). Here’s a recently released video of Pixie and her sassy personality…..


Welcome to the fan film community, Pixie. We look forward to seeing all the wonderful things you have to offer!

Help the Avalon team reach its crowdfunding goal by clicking here…..

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