GARY GRAHAM’S “Sons of Kirk” KICKSTARTER enters its final TWO-DAY push!

It took Star Trek and sci-fi actor GARY GRAHAM just 33 hours to hit his $5,000 goal on a Kickstarter to help fund the first official studio album and music video for his rock band THE SONS OF KIRK. Gary’s band plays songs with Star Trek and sci-fi themed lyrics inspired by Gary’s own personal experiences playing various characters not only on Star Trek: Enterprise and Voyager but also in Alien Nation and in the Trek fan films Of Gods and Men, Renegades, and Prelude to Axanar.

The real goal for this Kickstarter was actually more ambitious: $15,000 to produce an extended album and multiple music videos.  The $5,000 goal was set simply to make certain they reached their goal and didn’t miss out on the money entirely (as Kickstarter gives you nothing if you fail to reach your goal).

But Gary and the band needn’t have worried.  Less than a day and a half after going live, they blasted past that $5,000 goal.  They’d now be able to produce an album with at least six full songs.  So they next set a series of stretch goals, each upping the total a little bit more in increasingly larger chunks:

  • $7,000 – Song #7 (unlocked)
  • $8,000 – Song #8 (unlocked)
  • $10,000 – Songs #9 and 10 (unlocked)
  • $13,000 – A second music video (unlocked)
  • $16,000 – A third music video of an unoffical bonus acoustic jam (unlocked)
  • $19,000 – A final video of the band rocking out live at Star Trek Las Vegas

The $16,000 stretch goal was reached late Sunday afternoon, and that leaves only the last stretch goal to achieve.  The Sons of Kirk just performed as the house band at Creation’s 2018 Star Trek convention in Las Vegas a week ago.  I’m guessing they shot footage.  The question is: will we fans get to see it?

We’ll know in just about 58 hours (as I type this).  Right now, they’re at $16,288 from 213 backers.  If you haven’t donated yet, or if you want to up your donation to send them over the top, click here.

 

STALLED TREK is back with a brand new KICKSTARTER! (interview with MARK LARGENT, part 2)

Yesterday, I turned the spotlight on a brand new Kickstarter campaign for STALLED TREK: “CITY ON THE EDGE OF FORECLOSURE.” The Kickstarter had an initial goal of $600 to cover the cost of pressing 250 Blu-ray discs to be used as perks.  In an amazing show of immediate support, dozens of backers blew through that $600 goal in less that 8 hours!

This wildly hilarious Star Trek parody fan film will feature 3D animated puppets of the TOS crew and is the sequel to the 2012 fan parody, Stalled Trek: “Amutt Time.”  If you haven’t watched it yet, take a few minutes to enjoy this MUST-SEE fan film below…

Now at more than double that initial goal, creator / writer / director / animator / jokester MARK LARGENT has announced stretch goals, including a special behind-the-scenes feature at the $2,000 level, and HD remasters of “Amutt Time” and his “The Wobbling Dead” parodies at the $4,000 and $6,000 levels.

Those extras will be added to the Blu-ray perks that will be sent out to all donors at $25 or above.  Supporters contributing less will get access to those extras (and “City…” of course) as HD digital download files.  In the first part of my interview, Mark explained that the distribution of Star Trek parodies via Blu-ray perks is totally kosher since parodies qualify for Fair Use protection under copyright law.

And speaking of interviews, let’s get back to our discussion with Mark…

Continue reading “STALLED TREK is back with a brand new KICKSTARTER! (interview with MARK LARGENT, part 2)”

STALLED TREK is back with a brand new KICKSTARTER! (interview with MARK LARGENT, part 1)

STALLED TREK.  The name alone is enough to induce waves of confused ignorance and disinterested apathy to all but the most hard-core fan film aficionados.

But to those who know, those who have seen, heard, and experienced this Star Trek parody masterpiece, the name Stalled Trek is enough to bring outbursts of laughter and cries of “MORE! MORE! MORE!”

The Stalled Trek characters are all 3D animated puppet versions of the TOS crew, and writer/director/animator MARK LARGENT squeezes every drop of humor from each gag he presents.  The first episode of Stalled Trek, “Amutt Time,” was crowd-funded in one of the first Star Trek fan film Kickstarters with 106 supporters donating $2,200.  Rather than just reading about it, why don’t you just take a look for yourself at this MUST-SEE parody fan film…

Pretty hilarious, right?  Well, that was all way back in 2012.  And while Mark Largent did do another Stalled Trek short film in 2016, Prelude to Ax’d-We-Are (along with some blogger named Lane co-writing and co-producing), that was a parody of Prelude to Axanar and the infringement lawsuit filed by CBS and Paramount.  It featured all new animated puppet characters rather than the original TOS crew of the USS Second Prize.

But some of us wanted to see the original crew again.

It’s been six years, but Stalled Trek is back with a Kickstarter for an all-new episode: “The City on the Edge of Foreclosure.”  With an initial goal of $600, Mark blasted through that total in less than 8 hours!  He’s now up to about $1,400 (as I type this), and has set stretch goals at $2,000 (for a new director’s commentary video pointing out all of the inside jokes and giving behind-the-scenes info), $4,000 (remastering “Amutt Time” in HD and adding it as a digital download and also to the Blu-ray for donors at the $25 level and above), and $6,000 (adding a remastered copy of “The Wobbling Dead,” which was Mark’s other puppet parody).

So let’s check in with the puppet-master himself…

Continue reading “STALLED TREK is back with a brand new KICKSTARTER! (interview with MARK LARGENT, part 1)”

PICARD TREK…what is CBS thinking???? (editorial, part 2)

Yesterday, I began discussing the explosive news that hit Trek fandom like a warp core breach over this past weekend: SIR PATRICK STEWART will be returning to play Jean-Luc Picard in a brand new Star Trek television project.  It’s not known yet if this will be an ongoing series, a mini-series, or just a made-for-TV movie or pilot.  No scripts have been written, and indeed, there are no real details yet detailing whether this will be Captain Picard, Admiral Picard, Ambassador Picard, or just some bald guy who used to fight the Borg now running a small winery in eastern France.

But one thing is for sure: CBS is now committed to the project because it’s been officially announced to both Trekkies and the world at large.  Nearly all major entertainment media magazines were carrying the news on their websites within 24 hours.  It’d be tough for CBS to back out now.

But is this a good thing?

After all, in an interview on StarTrek.com back in 2010, Sir Patrick himself said of Next Gen: “I remain very proud of the work that we did, very proud of the series and the movies, but I do not wish to return to it.”  In a convention appearance around that same time where I saw him, Stewart explained that he felt he’d thoroughly examined every aspect of Picard creatively as a actor and was okay moving on.

Is CBS just desperately going back to a well that’s already been mostly tapped…rather than working to create something fresh and new?  Are they relying on Patrick Stewart as “stunt casting” to help draw in more viewers?

Continue reading “PICARD TREK…what is CBS thinking???? (editorial, part 2)”

PICARD TREK…what is CBS thinking???? (editorial, part 1)

The Star Trek world was rocked this past weekend when news arrived from Las Vegas that not only will there be a second new live-action Star Trek series going into pre-production (rather than just being proposed), but it will feature none other than Sir Patrick Stewart himself reprising his role of Jean-Luc Picard!  I’ve seen the word “nerdgasm” bantered about over the past 48 hours, and I must admit to being more than a bit excited myself over the news.

I was also intrigued (although not necessarily surprised) to find that some fans had more…shall we say…pessimistic reactions.  One friend of mine wrote me, “To be honest, this terrifies me and is the worst thing they could have done. They will build up unrealistic hype over it and finally break the backs of the majority of the deep fandom with disappointment.”  Interestingly, he didn’t say this because he thought Star Trek: Discovery was/is terrible.  In fact, he added, “I was hopeful with Discovery and it turned out somewhere between ok and good…”

Conversely, it seems that a lot of Discovery detractors are using this news to cross their fingers and predict/hope/pray that “this time, they’ll get it right.”  And many Discovery supporters are thinking, “Hey, it’ll be another great new Trek series AND it’ll have Picard…win-win!”

I probably fall more into the former group, but in my mind, there’s a much more interesting question to ask: What is CBS thinking???

I do not mean this in a “What in the world are these clueless idiots possibly thinking?” kind of way.  Instead, I’m really, truly curious what is going through their minds right now.  And I’d like to share some conjectures with you…realizing that this is purely speculation on my my part.  But I think it’ll be a fun little thought experiment…

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Some troubling news from STARBASE STUDIOS (audio interview with KENT “WORDS” EDWARDS and VANCE MAJOR)

Starting in 2010, when Trek fans heard the words STARBASE STUDIOS, they thought of the 360-degree TOS bridge set (originally used for the second Starship Exeter fan film), rescued from a barn in Texas, brought to Oklahoma City, and restored for fans to use essentially for free.  Over the years, countless fan films were shot on that bridge and, later, on the transporter, sickbay, briefing room, and other sets added into that small Oklahoma warehouse.

In 2017, however, everything changed…and not necessarily for the better.  Forced to relocated when their free-rent warehouse was sold to a new owner, the sets were moved to Arkansas.  An ownership struggle ensued that eventually gave way to a lawsuit and many months of discussions.  When the dust settled, an agreement was signed between GLEN WOLFE (50% ownership) and SCOTT JOHNSON and GLENN MILLER (25% ownership each).

A previous owner, KENT “WORDS” EDWARDS, divested himself of any ownership of the sets but continued to operate a business entity known as Starbase Studios, LLC.  Kent brought on VANCE MAJOR to help run the company, which was (and is) now acting to help fan filmmakers find resources to produce their projects…including sources of props, costumes, equipment, production team members, and sets to shoot on.

No longer limiting themselves simply to the TOS sets in Arkansas, Starbase Studios, LLC now works with a number of different set owners, including RAY TESI who owns the Stage 9 Studios TOS sets (formerly used by Star Trek Continues) in Georgia and RANDY LANDERS who built modified movie-era sets for Potemkin Pictures in Alabama.

Starbase Studios, LLC had fully intended to keep working with the owners of the Arkansas TOS sets…even shooting a commercial for their services there a back in May.  However, last month, “Words” and Vance announced that they would no longer be referring fan filmmakers to the Arkansas sets.

Naturally, with such a major (and troubling) development, I reached out to “Words” and Vance and asked if they would care to go on the record to explain what had happened to trigger this significant decision on their part.  You can listen to our 3-way discussion below…

Vance Major and Kent “Words” Edwards of Starbase Studios, LLC

Oh, the answers I boldly got…about the DR. SEUSS/STAR TREK mash-up! (interview with GLENN HAUMAN)

Have you ever given a few bucks to a street performer?  Maybe it was a guy juggling bowling balls while riding a 10-foot high unicycle…or a woman playing seven different musical instruments at the same time.  The reason you might drop a few coins or dollars into their hat is that these folks entertain you.  They’re talented, and they use those skills to bring some fun and joy into your day…and maybe show you something you probably don’t get to see very often (if ever).

What does any of this have to do with the proposed Oh, the Places You’ll Boldly Go! illustrated book mashing up Star Trek with Dr. Seuss?  As you probably know, an infringement lawsuit was filed by Dr. Seuss Enterprises (DSE) against creators DAVID GERROLD, TY TEMPLETON, and ComicMix, which intended to publish the book.  (To learn more about the lawsuit, read my latest update from a couple of weeks ago.)  Recently, ComicMix launched a GoFundMe campaign to raise money to help pay the costs for their legal defense.

Obviously, the goal of Oh, the Places You’ll Boldly Go! is to bring some joy and fun into YOUR day…entertainment for Trek fans that will certainly never happen if the verdict in this lawsuit goes against ComicMix and “Team Mash-up.”  But to make things even more entertaining, ComicMix’s own GLENN HAUMAN wrote the whole GoFundMe description ENTIRELY IN RHYME.  (Seriously, check it out…it’s pretty amazing!)

But Glenn’s not done rhyming yet…!

Continue reading “Oh, the answers I boldly got…about the DR. SEUSS/STAR TREK mash-up! (interview with GLENN HAUMAN)”

MELBOURNE’s “Storm Front, Part 2” fan film is finally released!

Back in April of 2017, I interviewed VANCE MAJOR about his newest fan film release, MELBOURNE.  The previous month, Vance and his long-time friend JEREMY MINARD (yes, Minard…like the character from Vance’s other fan films) had just released their first Melbourne fan film, the 11-minute “Storm Front, Part 1.”  Unlike Vance’s other prolific fan project, the Minard saga—consisting of more than 30 individual fan films about the life and career of Engineer (and later Captain) Erick Minard—Melbourne would focus on an entirely different set of characters on board the USS Melbourne.

The scenes for both parts of “Storm Front” were filmed entirely on the Starbase Studios TOS sets when they were still in Oklahoma in 2016.  In fact, Melbourne was one of the final two fan projects to film there before the sets were moved to Arkansas at the beginning of 2017.

With all of the footage “in the can,” as they say, it didn’t seem like it would be long until “Storm Front, Part 2” was released to complete the story.  In fact, in Vance’s April 2017 interview, I asked him when he thought the conclusion might be available, and he answered:

 Definitely this summer.  I’m just waiting on my special effects guy, Craig Fray, to finish up with our CGI.  Right now, he’s working hard on Valiant‘s next episode, “The Ties That Bind.”  As soon as he’s done with them, he shifts over to us.

But instead of the summer of 2017, part two wasn’t released until the summer of 2018, about ten days ago.  You can view it here…

So why the delay?  I asked Vance that question a few days ago…

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SPACE COMMAND Kickstarter takes in $33K before it even STARTS!

Wow, that was quick!

The latest Kickstarter for the long-awaited fan film SPACE COMMAND hadn’t even launched to the general public yet when it took in more than $33K of its $45K goal in barely 24 hours earlier this week!

How did they manage this feat?  Easy…they had an “early bird special” for existing donors to have first crack at some limited-item perks, and over 500 of those prior donors pledged even more money to this latest campaign.

Why all the excitement?  To answer that question, you need to understand the history of this not-so-little endeavor.

Imagine a major fan film project with Star Trek and sci-fi veteran actors cast in it, and a team of Hollywood professionals lined up as the production crew.  Imagine one of the earliest Kickstarter campaigns bringing in six figures in donations, and then a second crowd-funder bringing in another six figures.  Now imagine those funds going into not only set construction and filming but also the creation of an actual studio intended to be used not only for this production but also to be rented out to other fan film projects.

Now imagine years and years going by with no finished fan film delivered.  Oh, there’s been some short scenes released, some VFX, lots of updates by the show-runner assuring donors that, yes, this project is still on track.  But no actual film.  In fact, to finish the film, donors were informed that it’s going to take even more contributions from fans.

You’re imagining Axanar, aren’t you?  Well, stop it!  This is the history of Space Command, folks…

Continue reading “SPACE COMMAND Kickstarter takes in $33K before it even STARTS!”

ARIANNA’S ENTERPRISE – the “NEXT GENERATION” of Star Trek fan films! (interview with CHRISTOPHER & ARIANNA ANDREWS)

At the beginning of Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan, Admiral Kirk quips, “Galloping around the cosmos is a game for the young…”  If he only knew!

Hot off the heels of the adorable and well-crafted Cerbasi Trek (starring brothers Peter and Nicholas Cerbasi, 12 and 9 years old, respectively), the captains just keep getting younger as 8-year-old ARIANNA ANDREWS takes the center seat in ARIANNA’S ENTERPRISE…an equally-impressive 6-minute fan film.

This isn’t Arianna’s first time in front of the camera, though.  Her first fan film came out three years ago back when Arianna was only 5 years old.  And while the view totals for most of her releases are only in the hundreds, her 13-minute Coraline 2 fan film has nearly 2 million views!  You can watch her earlier work by clicking here.  But right now, let’s take a look at how Arianna handled her first visit to the 24th century…

As a dad myself, I smiled the whole time as I watched this adorable little girl put in a top-notch acting performance along with her father (a professional actor and writer) and her mom.  I reached out to Arianna’s daddy, CHRISTOPHER ANDREWS, with enthusiastic praise and some questions for him and his daughter.

Arianna went first, and yes, these are her actual answers…

Continue reading “ARIANNA’S ENTERPRISE – the “NEXT GENERATION” of Star Trek fan films! (interview with CHRISTOPHER & ARIANNA ANDREWS)”