TREKYARDS and VIC MIGNOGNA go behind-the-scenes of STAR TREK CONTINUES!

TREKYARDS is a force of nature in Star Trek fandom.  So is STAR TREK CONTINUES.  Put the two of them together, and there’s something really special in store for Trekkers!

Trekyards, for those who don’t know, is the brainchild of STUART FOLEY and SAMUEL COCKINGS.  Together, these two uber-fans have produced more than 500 webshow videos spotlighting ships from Trek and other sci-fi franchises, interviewing actors and production people from Star Trek, doing video podcasts, and filling the Internet with enough smart, funny, and fascinating content to eat up as much of your free time as you desire!

Star Trek Continues, as you undoubtedly know, was a cutting edge fan series that presented the final two years of the USS Enterprise‘s 5-year mission under James T. Kirk.  Using professional actors and technical crew, featuring noted sci-fi celebrities as guest stars, and displaying industry-level production quality on exact recreations of the TOS sets, STC set a standard of excellence seldom if ever matched in the realm of Trek fan films.

Although STC has completed its 11-episode run, fans still cherish this labor of love and the careful attention to detail that went into it.  And while STC has released a few special features here and there focussing on things like the music scoring, editing, and VFX—and Fan Film Factor published this exhaustively-researched complete history of STC—there hasn’t been a real “deep dive” into all of the  behind-the-scenes production secrets of this amazing series.

Until now, that is!

Trekyards is introducing a new webshow series spotlighting Star Trek Continues, hoping to cover EVERY fascinating detail of this beloved fan project with insight from those who produced it.  Up first, in a 20-minute interview about their first episode, “Pilgrim of Eternity,” Captain Kirk himself, VIC MIGNOGANA, talks about finding and convincing retired actor Michael Forest to reprise his role of Apollo, Vic’s feelings about other Trek fan series, and what gravity has to do with the color of the walls on the set!

Here’s the first installment of this new MUST-SEE Trekyards series…

I spoke to Trekyards co-host and editor Samuel Cockings about this new offering and learned some very interesting things—including why fans really need to tune in and support it…

Continue reading “TREKYARDS and VIC MIGNOGNA go behind-the-scenes of STAR TREK CONTINUES!”

Major AXANAR news! (interview with ALEC PETERS, part 2)

Click here to read Part 1.

ALEC PETERS is pretty much a man who needs no introduction…at least in the fan community.  But if you’ve only just landed on this planet, here’s a quick run-down.  Alec has been the driving force behind the fan production AXANAR for half a decade, writing, producing, and appearing in the widely popular Prelude to Axanar fan film.  He worked ceaselessly over three crowd-funding campaigns to raise more than $1.3 million in fan donations to build out a studio and sets and begin filming a 90-minute Star Trek fan film detailing the final battle of the Four Years War with the Klingons at the planet Axanar.

And then Alec got sued by CBS and Paramount for copyright infringement.  He fought back, and after a year of legal proceedings, the lawsuit was settled just days before a trial was set to begin.  While the specifics of Alec’s settlement with the studios aren’t public, we do know that Alec is now allowed to make two 15-minute Axanar fan films with his original cast (if they choose to return) as well as other entertainment industry professionals.

That settlement came nearly a year and a half ago, and still there is no completed follow-up Axanar fan film or films.  With that in mind, let’s pick up where we left off yesterday as I ask Alec a question that both Axanar supporters AND detractors have certainly been wondering about… Continue reading “Major AXANAR news! (interview with ALEC PETERS, part 2)”

Major AXANAR news! (interview with ALEC PETERS, part 1)

“What’s happening with AXANAR?”  “When is it coming out?”  “Has the entire project just fallen apart?”  “Who’s the director?”  “Do they even have a production team?”

These questions and so many like them pour into comments, IMs, and emails to me almost weekly.  (In fact, the “fallen apart” one came in just last week.)  I’ve so wanted to share what I know, but I’ve been asked repeatedly by ALEC PETERS to please keep things under wraps for the time being.

A few weeks ago, I finally started asking Alec in earnest when we could do a proper interview and announce some of these big news items publicly.  Believe it or not, it’s actually been well over a YEAR since my last full interview with him!  Anyway, it took some prodding and nagging, but I finally convinced the man behind Axanar to sit down with me for an extended interview and update.

Let’s dive right in…

Continue reading “Major AXANAR news! (interview with ALEC PETERS, part 1)”

A magical STAR TREK moment with my son…

One of the benefits of doing my own blog is that every so often I can share things with all of you that are personally special.  Today, it’s something that just happened with my seven-year-old son.

Longtime readers of Fan Film Factor know that I’m bringing him up with a proper appreciation of Star Trek.  Sure, if given the choice, he’ll watch Star Wars first.  But the kid loves Star Trek, too, I and love sharing it with him.

For the last few years, our Star Trek “routine” has been to watch half an episode or so while I do cardio, just before my little cadet’s bedtime.  We’re watching everything in the order it debuted.  We watched all 79 (well, 80 with “The Cage”) episodes of TOS, then all the animateds.  Then we went through TOS again ’cause I felt he’d appreciate it more now that he was older.  Then we did the first four motion pictures in order.  And just a couple of months ago, we started on Next Gen.

Keep in mind, for what I’m about to tell you, that my son has pretty much seen nothing of TNG, and certainly not Star Trek Generations.  All he knows of the Enterprise-D crew so far is what he’s seen in the first ten episodes.

And so it was that we were watching “Hide and Q” and got to the scene where Riker grants the deepest wishes of his friends.  Wesley ages up to an adult.  Geordi is given his sight.  Worf gets a horny Klingon woman.

Knowing that this was as far as the wish fulfillment went, I paused the Blu-ray and asked my little guy what he thought Picard wanted the most.  I was going to suggest that the captain wanted his hair back, but what I heard next stopped me in my tracks:

“I think he wants a family, Daddy.  I think he wants kids.”

Wow.  As I said, my son has never seen Generations.  But somehow he knew that this was Picard’s deepest wish.  Lucky guess?  Perhaps.  But either way, I’m writing this blog today to show to him in a couple more years when he gets older and we finally watch the seventh Trek film and see Jean-Luc Picard get his deepest wish—a family with kids—inside the Nexus.

Thanks for letting me share this moment with you.  And I thank my little guy for fulfilling my deepest wish.

Happy Father’s Day, everyone.

AXANAR fan comic releases THREE NEW PAGES…

Last month, AXANAR super-fan TREY McELWAIN released the cover and first page of his new Axanar fan comic “Arcanis IV“—part of his “Tip of the Spear” series focusing on some of the major battles of the Four Years War.

Nearly a year ago, Trey released the first-ever comic story based on the hugely-popular Prelude to Axanar Star Trek fan film: the four-page (including cover) “Trial By Fire.”  Trey wrote the comic and his friend DANIEL FU illustrated the story, which looked at a space battle during the Four Years War with the Klingon Empire.

Originally, the plan for this new comic story was to release one new page each month for the next five months until all seven pages (plus cover) were completed and posted.  Then Trey has another two chapters in the saga that will follow, also with one page released per month.

So you might be wondering how, if there’s only supposed to be ONE page released per month, why this blog says that THREE new pages have just been made available.  I wondered that, too, and I asked Trey.

The answer is that Daniel found his professional workload lighter than normal this past month and had more time to illustrate pages.  Initially, he delivered two pages to Trey, but a day later, he had a third one ready, as well.  As you’ll see below, that additional page wasn’t quite as complex as the other two.

Trey isn’t certain how many more pages will be released next month yet, but it’ll be at least one.  If it’s two, then the first chapter will be complete.

Just in case you missed the first page, I’ve included it (along with the cover) below.  The story’s getting really exciting!

Continue reading “AXANAR fan comic releases THREE NEW PAGES…”

DREADNOUGHT DOMINION releases the first fan film shot at STAGE 9 STUDIOS in Georgia! (interview with RAY TESI)

Well, that didn’t take very long!

Less than a month after RAY TESI announced that the STAGE 9 STUDIOS Star Trek sets were open for fan filmmakers to shoot on, the long-running fan series DREADNOUGHT DOMINION released the six-and-a-half minute fan film “Reality Check.”

The TOS-era sets, originally constructed for the fan series STARSHIP FARRAGUT and STAR TREK CONTINUES, were purchased by Ray Tesi (show-runner for STARSHIP REPUBLIC) late last year from STC‘s VIC MIGNOGNA.  After checking with CBS Legal and receiving guidance, Ray has opened up the Kingsland. GA sets to any Star Trek fan film project that agrees to follow the fan film guidelines and first submits their script for review and approval.

Although I’ve published a couple of recent interviews with Ray Tesi, things do seem to be moving quite quickly forward with this amazing fan film resource.  So I had yet another brief chat with Ray, mainly curious about how Dreadnought Dominion got their project scheduled and filmed so quickly and how things are progressing with other fan productions at Stage 9.

Please note, I’ll also have an upcoming interview with GARY DAVIS and RANDY WREN of Dreadnought Dominion about “Reality Check” as well as other planned projects.

And speaking of “Reality Check,” before we start our brief interview today with Ray, I invite you to take a look at this unique, tongue-in-cheek fan film that cracks through the “fourth wall” and has some important things about why fans make these films in the first place…

And now, let’s hear what Ray has got to say today (yay!)…

Continue reading “DREADNOUGHT DOMINION releases the first fan film shot at STAGE 9 STUDIOS in Georgia! (interview with RAY TESI)”

Images from the upcoming PACIFIC 201

Yesterday, I shared the exciting news that the long-awaited PACIFIC 201 may not be awaited much longer.  A new teaser promises a release in the spring of 2019!

Pacific 201 was initially crowd-funded with a Kickstarter back in 2015, with an Indiegogo campaign the following year, giving show-runner ERIC HENRY more than $50,000 to make his fan film.  The principle photography wrapped up last year, and Eric has been deep into post production since then.

During that time, Eric has released some very nice-looking still imagery of his cast (the crew of the starship Pacific NCC-201), his sets, green screen, uniforms, patches, ship designs, and even a few visual FX.  In some of the images, you can even see ways in which Eric has digitally “extended” the sets with things like adding ceilings (which were not initially part of the sets that were constructed).

Yesterday I told you about Pacific 201.  Today, I’m gonna show you.

Continue reading “Images from the upcoming PACIFIC 201”

RELEASE DATE finally announced for a well-known, LONG-AWAITED Trek fan film!

Fans have been waiting YEARS for this announcement!  Back in 2015, this eagerly anticipated Star Trek fan film held a very successful Kickstarter campaign, followed up by a separate Indiegogo campaign that raised additional funding for the production.  I donated to this project myself and have been an active and enthusiastic supporter of it for years.

Nestled between the end of the Romulan War and the start of Captain Kirk’s historic 5-year-mission, this fan production was described as tackling an “entirely unseen era of Star Trek history.”  New Starfleet vessels were designed in CGI, bridging the gap between the NX-01 Enterprise tech and the design of the starships like the Constitution-class.  The visual FX looked amazing!

Sets were built, costumes made, and scenes were even shot.  In fact, a short teaser was released to give a taste of what would be seen in the final production.  The VFX looked fantastic, and even though the brief 3-minute “vignette” mainly showed two characters talking to each other in front of a green screen-composited background, fans still got even more excited to see the finished project.

Donors were initially expecting this promising fan film to be completed and released in 2016, but circumstances intervened and made that impossible.  Eventually, the biggest challenge became trimming what was to be a feature-length Star Trek fan film down to just two 15-minute episodes…showing just the barest bones of the full story.

Unfortunately, money began to run out, many perks were not fulfilled because the final film wasn’t completed, and eventually there weren’t enough funds left to pay to store the sets in the studio where they had been built.  This meant moving them elsewhere and delayed things even more.

The planned 2016 debut was pushed back to 2017 and then 2018.  Some donors began to fear that the final film would never be completed.  But now, finally, there comes a definitive announcement from the show-runner that the completed production will be ready next year in spring 2019!

You’ve probably already guessed what fan project I’m talking about.  If you haven’t, here’s another hint.  The show-runner (who also wrote the script) has a four-letter first name that starts with a vowel and ends with the letter “c”.  His last name is two syllables and is really just another first name.

Aw, you know who I’m talking about by now!

Continue reading “RELEASE DATE finally announced for a well-known, LONG-AWAITED Trek fan film!”

STARSHIP DEIMOS releases their eighth episode: “The Deimos Factor”!

Two weeks after releasing their sixth and seventh episodes just one day apart, the production team for STARSHIP DEIMOS just debuted their eighth episode, “The Deimos Factor.”  If it seems like Deimos is pushing its production warp engines to ludicrous speed, it’s actually much simpler than that.  All of the fan series from POTEMKIN PICTURES ran into a many-months-long delay last year when show-runner and main editor RANDY LANDERS (who also directed each of the latest releases) had quadruple bypass surgery last August.  He’s fine now, by the way.

Randy’s ultimate goal is to release one fan film per month under the Potemkin Pictures label, and it looks like he’s rapidly getting back on schedule.  With seven different fan “series” in active production, plus the 36 episodes of the completed Project: Potemkin, Randy has released a jaw-dropping 62 separate fan films in 8 years, ranging in length from a couple of minutes to nearly an hour.  That’s an amazing accomplishment.

I’ve heard a small number of fans recently disparaging Randy and his fan films, claiming there is weak writing or minimal character development or just complaining about the low production values.  I say: “Nonsense!!! Malarkey!!!  Horse pooey!!!”  What Potemkin Pictures has done is to assemble separate casts of people over five dozen times, get them to perform and complete enough full scenes to create finished productions, edit those scenes together, add VFX and music, and release those completed episodes on a very consistent schedule fro nearly a decade.  Along the way, they built home-made sets, got inexpensive costumes to look like Starfleet officers and assorted aliens, and even had some make-up.

As for the scripts, while not every one is a cinematic masterpiece, they have all managed to be unique and non-repetitive.  They focus on different characters and different scenarios…just like Star Trek.  There are episodes with lots of cast members and ones with just two or three.  There’s first contacts, prime directive dilemmas, space battles, mind control, alien rituals, medical emergencies, diplomatic missions, Starfleet bureaucracy and intrigue, personal crises, spatial anomalies, drama, humor, triumph, and tragedy.  It’s never the same thing twice.

You try to do that 62 times and see how diverse your scripts are!

Anyway, you can watch all 62 productions here on the Potemkin Pictures website.  And you can watch their 63rd release, “The Deimos Factor,” right here, right now…

 

Time to GO FUND the new fan film THE LEXINGTON ADVENTURES! (interview with JOSEPH BONICE and VANCE MAJOR)

Yep, it’s another crowd-funder, folks!  But this one’s only trying to reach $1,350…and they’re already about a third of the way there ($420) in just one week!  So congratulations to THE LEXINGTON ADVENTURES!  If you want to make a donation yourself, here’s the link.  It’s a GoFundMe campaign, meaning there’s no perks.  But there’s also no time limit and no requirement to meet a goal in order to collect the money raised.

This year actually didn’t start out so well on the fan film funding front.  A Kickstarter back in March for The Holy Core failed to get even halfway to their $12K goal, despite being run by the same folks who wrote and directed the highly popular Chance Encounter fan film.  Fortunately, an angel donor can through and funded the entire production, so The Holy Core will be made, after all.  Yay!

Things were still looking sluggish in April when a $10K Indiegogo for The Romulan War stalled about halfway to its goal.  But after extending the campaign out an additional thirty days, The Romulan War not only fully funded but surpassed the goal with nearly $12K, allowing them to cover the overhead cost of using Indiegogo in the first place.

Also wrapping up last week and going over their Indiegogo goal was the non-Trek fan film (but edited by Axanar and Free Enterprise‘s own Robert Meyer Burnett) Sky Fighter, which blew past its $25K goal to finish at $31,284.

So things seem to be looking up for fan film crowd-funding…at least for now.  Can The Lexington Adventures continue this trend and reach THEIR goal, as well?  To do that, they need support from fans like you.  Is Lexington worth your donation dollar?

For the answer to this question, I went right to the source: show-runner JOSEPH “JOEY” BONICE and VANCE MAJOR, who will be a producer on this fan film.  Joey works for the U.S. government and is currently stationed in Germany.  But he’ll be moving back to the U.S. soon and and will be diving right into working on The Lexington Adventures, currently scheduled for filming during the third week of September.  Vance is known to most fans as the face of Erick Minard of Starship Valiant and about 30 other fan films that Vance wrote and directed.

Let’s see what the guys had to say…

Continue reading “Time to GO FUND the new fan film THE LEXINGTON ADVENTURES! (interview with JOSEPH BONICE and VANCE MAJOR)”