As founder and CEO of the New Starship Foundation Huston Huddleston has long been dedicated to educating the world on the impact Science Fiction has had on modern culture and technology. The son of Oscar-winning composer Floyd Huddleston and singer/arranger Nancy Adams he has always been influenced and inspired by all things creative. Huston himself has composed over 100 songs for various artists, written multiple screenplays and musicals, as well as two animated films for Don Bluth.
He recently gained attention worldwide when he announced the massively ambitious plans for the Hollywood Sci-Fi Museum. With celebrities in the field already on board and plans that include Halls of Spaceships, Robots, Real Robots, and Cars, as well as props and sets from various iconic Science Fictions films and shows, and a section devoted to the art of special effects and animation the museum offers fans a look into the world of Sci-Fi in a way never before done. The museum also looks to educate the public on the advancements in space travel and teach Real Science through Science Fiction. It will be an interactive museum with fully immersive environments and touch screens that will incorporate old and new footage from actors, filmmakers, and NASA astronauts and scientists, that will present both the fact and fiction of Sci-Fi. This will eventually teach Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) based education in a fun new way to all ages.
What was it like growing up with such creative parents?
Normal, other than famous people coming over. I was a non-bratty only child, who was given the creative freedom to be who I am, not what others expected of me. They treated me with respect and I adored them and gave the same, there’s nothing worse than treating a child like they’re a subhuman subservient. And I in turn behaved with the maturity of an adult but with the fun of a kid.
Did their influence have something to do with your own decision to become a writer?
Their talent certainly influenced me, and my dad worked at home all day so we were best friends. I’ll miss him every day of my life.
What was it like to grow up in a household that encouraged creativity? What do you think is the most important things you learned from them?
It was wonderful, every day was Disneyland. I learned to be who I am and the best I can be, to be kind and love everyone, and that when someone’s a jerk, to not care about what anyone thinks about you.
Your father worked as a composer for Disney on such films as The Aristocats and Robin Hood, the last of which your mother provided the voice for on the song Love. Did you enjoy getting to see their work on such projects as a child? Is it kind of nice to see them immortalized through such work?
That all happened either before I was born or when I was very little, but I did remember Phil Harris being so sweet to me, all those films were a part of my life, as they are many kid’s lives. I adore my parents!
When did you first develop your love of Science Fiction? Did your love of Space follow that or did it come first?
Mego Star Trek figures, Star Trek toys, Six Million Dollar Man toys, it all started with toys, and reruns of Kirk and Spock on TV. I’ve never really had a “love” of space per say, I’m too terrified to do what NASA astronauts do, but I certainly am fascinated by it and respect them SO much. I met astronaut Cady Coleman recently and I bowed to her (laughs).
Why do you think modern man has been so taken with both of those things?
It takes us out of our boring, problematic world and shows a future that is bigger and better.
How do you think Sci-Fi has most affected space exploration and the current understanding of the universe?
It’s inspired the right people, people who see something on TV or film that is fiction or fantasy and they say “How can I make that real?” Star Trek has done that for generations.
What were people’s reactions when you first told them you wanted to rescue the bridge of the Enterprise?
Rich people didn’t care, companies didn’t care, and no one I knew with any money or power cared. It wasn’t until I met Ron D. Moore, Brent Spiner, and Larry Nemecek that I found some love. Then I did the first kickstarter and found out just how many people did care.
Do you think it is important for a person to always have a dream no matter how impossible it may seem?
Why exist on this Earth if you don’t? Reality is far too boring without a goal or dream, and I think nearly anything can happen if you do it properly, if it’s something good, and you never give up.
Do you ever get tired of people telling you things can’t be done?
Only negative people tell me that, and I never listen to them. I only listen to the people who believe in what I’m doing, and that includes every single one of our board members, our supporters, and friends. They’re my heroes.
For those who might not be familiar with the story, how did all of this come into being?
I knew someone at Paramount who told me the Enterprise D Touring Bridge set was being destroyed the very next week, and I took a huge risk to rescue it for $7000. We received a huge amount of notoriety from the media, raised about $100k in 2013, and then had to figure out what to do next, because we needed $250k to restore the Enterprise Bridge. After a talk with CBS on what they would like us to do and not to do (CBS owns the intellectual rights to Star Trek) we decided to create our Hollywood Sci Fi Museum.
Do you find it encouraging that so many people are sharing your dream of making this a reality?
That’s the only way. Without encouragement, I’d certainly never have the guts to do this alone!
What do you hope the public takes away from the intended museum?
A big smile.
As a fan of Science Fiction yourself, who are some of your all time favorite authors in the genre? Do you have a favorite franchise or character or do you love them all equally?
I’m ashamed to say I’m not a voracious reader. Because I write TV and film scripts for a living, my time is spent rereading my own text instead of other peoples. I mostly read comics, I’m so immature…My tops are probably TOS TNG Trek and Voyager, 2004 BSG, Who and Firefly/Serenity.
Are there any little known things about yourself that the world might be surprised to learn?
I chew on my straws, I’ve never had sweets in my life, I don’t have a girlfriend (nor do I have a boyfriend).
What do you think is the key to a life well lived?
Taking chances, taking risks, being smart, not going broke, and asking yourself, “If I do this, what’s the worst that can possibly happen?” Whether it’s a business decision or asking someone out. And to quote Churchill “Never, never, never give up.”
What other projects are you currently working on at the moment?
There’s a thing I’m hoping Bruce Campbell will do, and an animated TV show called Captain Daddy.
Anything you’d like to say before you go?
Pneumonoultramicroscopicsilicovolcanoconiosis! Because I’ve always wanted to say that.