Meet an online friend of mine – John Cooley; 42 and living in Las Vegas, John used to work on F-15 fighters in the US Air Force, but now works for Anovos, a virtual retailer that holds licenses from CBS and Paramount Pictures to reproduce costumes and uniforms from every era of Star Trek.
John met Joe Salcedo, co-founder of Anovos years ago through the same Star Trek costuming message boards they frequented. In December 2012, Joe asked John to become an admin for their various Star Trek Facebook pages, and seeing an opportunity to become more involved with Star Trek, John left the Air Force after 18 years and has no regrets. The risk seems to have paid off as he is now in training to become a Project Manager for Star Trek Brands for Anovos.
As is necessary when working in the world of Star Trek; John’s cultivated a number of working relationships with people who served in Star Trek’s art department like Doug Drexler. And John’s interests and projects in the franchise don’t stop with his job with Anovos, though at this moment in time, I’m not at liberty to divulge. Rest assured, the moment I know anything you will find out here first.
What I can tell you is that like so many of us, John thinks Star Trek’s true home is back on television.
I had a chat with John last night and during the discussion we threw some ideas at each other for a new Trek show and it appears we both think the same way in terms of what direction the franchise should take. A couple of points we agree on is that any new series should retain Gene Roddenberry’s message but also move forward and perhaps at times shake some of the childlike naiveté that sometimes creeps into the show.
My personal opinion is that any new series should build on the strengths of DS9 in that a huge story arc works very well, in fact, maybe make Star Trek into a serial, one that is bolder and grittier than it has ever been…think of it like this, Star Trek meets 24, where Section 31 is the Jack Bauer of Starfleet. But then that’s my opinion.
This is what John has to say about his new life in Star Trek in his own words:
“So the other day was Star Trek’s 47th Anniversary. Not as big of a deal as say the 50th in three years’ time, but an important one for me none the less. Last year, on the 8th September I was at Kinsley Field working on F-15′s. It’s a year later and now I’m working in the industry that Gene Roddenberry created called Star Trek.
I grew up a Trekkie, I don’t remember a time before watching it. And I think it’s because my favorite possession as a kid was my old green Star Trek shirt; that I grew up loving the uniforms of Trek. I slept in them, played in them and most of all I loved wearing them. Something about the uniforms more than toys or anything else served to make me feel like I was part of the crew of the Enterprise.
So when I left the Air Force and needed something else, the creator of this universe granted the fondest wish of a kid who grew up loving Starfleet uniforms and led me to Anovos. Friends who founded a company out of a shared love of the costumes and uniforms of the shows they loved, and a desire to create them for everyone to enjoy. What an awesome group of people…my friends. They demonstrated an enormous amount of faith in me, an outsider, who they chose to help be their voice here on interwebs. And they even extended their friendship to my brother Peter who they invited along with his camera. Too cool.
And then last week I’m told that in addition to my duties as part of Anovos’ Social Media team; that my training had already started to become the Star Trek Products Manager. It’s an honor to say the least and a responsibility I take very seriously, but the kid I was would be amazed and overjoyed to know that when he grows up he gets to work with his friends and with Star Trek uniforms every day!”
Keep an eye out for more of John and his ongoing – secret projects, remember, you will hear about them here first.