How INTERLUDE’s Thousand Dollar Thursday became FIVE Thousand Dollar Thursday!

Wow.

Even in my wildest dreams, I didn’t expect this…although my friend MIKE BAWDEN predicted it the day before. “I really think you’ll be up five or six thousand dollars by the end of Thursday,” he said, “You might even come close to your $19,500 goal.”

And he was right. After a crazy day of more than 70 donations, 40 from brand new donors and another 30 donations from existing backers (plus the $1,200 each from both of my match-backers), we’d taken in more than $5,000 for our GoFundMe for INTERLUDE!

So how did this all happen? Was it just blind luck? Did everyone simply wait to donate on the same day? How did Thousand Dollar Thursday turn into FIVE Thousand Dollar Thursday?

I know that a number of my readers have held crowd-funders of your own—or are planning to. And when something works for one of us, there’s no reason not to share our “secrets.” After all, we fan filmmakers are in this together!

So this blog is a deep-dive for anyone who is interested in everything that happened “behind-the-scenes” to set up all the dominos that fell into place so perfectly yesterday. Sure, every campaign is unique, and not everything that I did will translate to other campaigns. But take from this whatever insights you think might help you out.

For everyone else, feel free to read this blog if you’re curious to find out everything that the duck was doing under the water while gliding smoothly over the surface. It was pretty wild! Otherwise, feel free to skip this one…

Continue reading “How INTERLUDE’s Thousand Dollar Thursday became FIVE Thousand Dollar Thursday!”

And so it begins…THOUSAND DOLLAR THURSDAY!

For the next 24 hours, every donation to the INTERLUDE GoFundMe will be tripled! The starting point is $11,701. (Yeah, I noticed NCC number hiding in there.) Let’s see if we can reach $12,901 by Thursday at midnight!

Click here to donate: https://www.gofundme.com/interlude

I’ll be updating this total throughout the day.


I went to sleep 6 hours ago and woke up to discover we’re nearly halfway to our $1200 ceiling already! Take a look…

Continue reading “And so it begins…THOUSAND DOLLAR THURSDAY!”

I just had an EGOTASTIC FUNTIME with JP!

There’s a LOT of video podcasts out there, and one of my favorites (and I’m not just saying that!) is EGOTASTIC FUNTIME. The host, JP, is really funny, lively, insightful, and of course, a total geek. He covers The Orville, Star Trek, the latest blockbuster movies, video games, and whatever water cooler geek-news is out there at the moment. He edits his videos very well, cutting out the pauses and “ums” so you get one of those short ‘n’ choppy viewing experiences that can save you a lot of viewing time. (Now, if only certain bloggers could learn to be just as pithy…but we all have our mountains to climb, folks!)

Anyway, JP has recently expanded his offerings to include what he’s calling “Egotastic Talks” (I would have called them “FunTalks”…but that’s just me.) Last week, he premiered the new format with an 18-minute podcast featuring ALEC PETERS discussing both AXANAR news and Alec’s exciting online auction for the Trekcetera Museum collection. And this week, JP’s second guest was none other than the guy typing out this blog: me.

Naturally, the subject of the interview would be my Axanar Universe fan film INTERLUDE. The challenge at this point in a campaign (at all points really) is finding ways to spread the word beyond people who already know about it. I’d been working with JP for a number of weeks trying to set up an opportunity to appear on his podcast, as he has over 22K subscribers. In fact, in the two days since the video got posted, it’s been viewed more than two thousand times!

This has translated into upwards of $350 in new donations to the GoFundMe campaign since Monday. Things had slowed down prior to that, but it wasn’t too concerning, as I’ve been planning for the big THOUSAND DOLLAR THURSDAY (tomorrow) when all donations will be tripled. So I hadn’t been pushing the campaign as much as I usually did over the past seven days in order to focus more donations towards this Thursday.

Speaking of which, Thousand Dollar Thursday is going to have a “tote board” progress report, of sorts, as I track the donations throughout the day…hoping to reach our target of $1200 for the day. Here’s the GoFundMe link again (if you haven’t already committed it to memory):

https://www.gofundme.com/f/interlude

In the meantime, check out my appearance on Egotastic Funtime below. It was an hour-long chat that JP edited down to 29 minutes, so there’s a couple of “jumps” in the conversation flow, but it’s still a fun little chat and worth a listen…

First STAR TREK, then THE EXPANSE, now THE ORVILLE…is this the beginning of the end for “free” TV sci-fi???

Before I begin, let me explain that the purpose of this unique blog is to bring folks up to speed about what the HECK is going on with all of these new streaming TV services that are suddenly appearing like clowns getting out of a Volkswagen. I’m going to focus mainly on how this is affecting the sci-fi genre of television shows…although the impact is pretty much across the board. Then I want to explain why it’s happening so fast, why it’s not going away anytime soon, and then speculate on where this is all heading in the future.

I began working on this blog a month ago when Seth MacFarlane announced the The Orville would be moving from the FOX broadcasting network to behind a paywall at Hulu. Since then, I’ve been researching like crazy! And each time I thought I’d gotten the blog finished, there’d be more “BIG” streaming announcements from folks like NBCUniversal and, just last week, Disney. Eventually, though, I just needed to pull the trigger…knowing that parts of this blog are gonna be old news almost as soon as I hit “Publish.”

I do want to apologize if this is a longer blog than usual, but there’s just SO much going on, and I want to help you folks process it all like I just managed to do…mostly. Also, I’m going to focus mainly on America only because, once you head internationally, the shows and services all shift around and this poor blog would be six times as long!

Remember when automated teller machines (ATMs) first started being installed at banks? I can’t remember if it was still the 1970s or the early 1980s; I only remember that hardly anybody used ’em. Why risk your hard-earned money on a “fallible” computer when you could deal with a competent human being you could talk to?

The same thing happened when e-commerce first appeared. The idea of entering your credit card information onto a website in order to buy something seemed…overwhelming! Was it safe? Would the thing I just ordered even arrive? How long would it take? Why not just go to the store like everyone else, buy something, pay for it, and take it home?

We were so naive back then, weren’t we? It just took us a decade or so to get used to the “new normal,” and now everything is so much easier, faster, and more convenient.

So is paywall streaming TV the “new normal”?

Continue reading “First STAR TREK, then THE EXPANSE, now THE ORVILLE…is this the beginning of the end for “free” TV sci-fi???”

TRIPLE the value of your donation to the INTERLUDE GoFundMe for 24 hours during $1,000 THURSDAY (August 15)!!!

This is really exciting, folks! Last week, two of my backers for INTERLUDE approached me separately with an offer to match—dollar for dollar—any donation made to the Interlude GoFundMe during a 24-hour period that I could determine. Both backers have asked to remain anonymous, but one of them is the fan who donated $1,000 just a few days after we launched in June.

After discussing details with both of them, we came up with the following rules for this special one-day promotion:

  • The 24-hour period will be this Thursday, August 15 beginning at the stroke of midnight PDT and ending at 11:59pm PDT Thursday night.
  • Both of these backers will each match any donation from $1 to $100 with an equal donation…essentially TRIPLING whatever you give. This means a $10 donation is worth $30 to the campaign, $25 becomes $75, and $100 becomes $300!
  • The matching donations will max out at $1,200 for the day for each of our two match-backers. This means that, if we manage to hit our ceiling, the Interlude GoFundMe will take in $3,600 in just 24 hours!!!

Now, you might be wondering why they’re matching only donations of between $1 and $100 and not larger ones. We discussed this, and the reason is because both of these match-backers want this to be FUN! But if someone came along and just donated all $1,200 in one fell swoop. Then—poof!—the promotion would end…and no one else would enjoy knowing that their donation just tripled.

And why is there a $1,200 ceiling? That’s simply because that’s the amount that each of these backers was comfortable matching. I don’t want anyone going broke, y’know…and it’s a very generous offer on both of their parts.

So if you’ve been waiting to make a contribution to Interlude, THIS THURSDAY is the day to do it! And if you’ve already donated, even if you just have an extra $5 sitting around, it’ll be worth $15. If we make our maximum, we’ll hit nearly $15K…surpassing the minimum $13.5K we need by August 20 in order to film in November.

You’re also welcome to donate before or after thus Thursday, but for 24 hours, it’ll be a sprint to $1,200! Here’s the link (and I’ll post it again on Thursday, of course)…

https://www.gofundme.com/interlude

Australian AARON VANDERKLEY releases his FINAL NX-era fan film LINE OF DUTY (interview, part 2)

In Part 1, we began what will likely be our last-ever interview with Australian fan filmmaker extraordinaire AARON VANDERKLEY as he releases his fifth and final NX-era Star Trek fan film. The first four, NEEDS OF THE MANY, THE DERELICT, GOOD MEN, and THE FALL OF STARBASE ONE, came out beginning in early 2016, and none was longer than the 15-minute limit set by the fan film guidelines. In fact, the shortest was only 6 and a half minutes in length and was nevertheless a dramatic masterpiece—beautifully acted, tenderly directed, with amazingly accurate NX-era Starfleet uniforms and very ambitious sets. Aaron was the writer and director on each of these MUST-SEE fan films.

His latest offering LINE OF DUTY, is perhaps his most powerful fan film so far, and certainly the most ambitious. It’s garnered nearly 50K views on Youtube in just two weeks. Check it out…

After the debut of his first Trek fan film, Aaron’s intention was always to produce a total of five and then move on to other challenges. And so this is a bittersweet interview, celebrating his amazing portfolio of work and his latest fan film triumph while acknowledging that, sadly, this is all we’ll get. But we’re so thankful for these five amazing productions.

And now, the conclusion of our interview with Aaron. When we left off, he had just said that everything went perfectly smoothly with his latest project, no hiccups at all…

Continue reading “Australian AARON VANDERKLEY releases his FINAL NX-era fan film LINE OF DUTY (interview, part 2)”

SQUADRON STRIKE: AXANAR is available for purchase! (audio interview with KEN BURNSIDE)

Although it’s been a couple of months since I reported any major AXANAR news, that doesn’t mean nothing’s been happening in Lawrenceville, Georgia. In fact, a LOT had been going on, including the launch of Ares Digital 3.0, preparations for the first shoot in October, bringing on a line producer and director of photography, adding the finishing touches to the bridge set, having the rent for the studio lowered so there doesn’t need to be a move, receiving all of “The Cage”-era tunics from Italy, getting the Four Years War-era uniforms into the manufacturing pipeline, and starting to cast the various roles. And all of that doesn’t even include the release of my Axanar comic book “Stardate 2245.1” or the current GoFundMe for my Axanar Universe fan film INTERLUDE.

But almost forgotten in all of that news was the release last month of the latest supplement for the SQUADRON STRIKE! board game…a supplement based entirely on Axanar! Created by KEN BURNSIDE of Ad Astra Games, this new supplement features the characters and ships seen in PRELUDE TO AXANAR, caught up in space battle action and fun gameplay.

The game is available for purchase as a core product selling for $74.95 (you can order it here) with multiple supplements available for purchase covering a wide array of sci-fi universes with different ships, characters, and storylines. The latest supplement features Axanar and sells for an additional $37.95 (order it here). And if you order on or before August 19, you can get a 10% DISCOUNT for orders of $100 or more using the code: AXANAR10OFF

Now, you might be wondering if this game is licensed, and if so, licensed from whom: CBS or Axanar Productions…or both…or neither? An excellent question! And it’s one of the many I asked Ken Burnside in the following audio interview that’s definitely worth a listen…

URGENT – Watch fan film BLADE OF HONOR (with Richard Hatch and Tim Russ) on AMAZON PRIME before the end of THIS SATURDAY!

Well, this is huge news!

A crowd-funded fan film, BLADE OF HONOR, has just made it to AMAZON PRIME! The totally original fan film (NOT based on Star Trek) is intended as a pilot for a sci-fi series and stars the late RICHARD HATCH (from Battlestar Galactica and Prelude to Axanar), who turns in a remarkable performance, along with TIM “Tuvok” RUSS from Voyager, ARON “Nog” EISENBERBERG from Deep Space Nine, and JAMES KYSON from Heroes.

This film contains a touching tribute to Richard Hatch at the end, as Blade of Honor was Richard’s final performance before he passed away in early 2017.

But you need to watch it TODAY (Friday) or Saturday at the latest…and tell all of your friends and family to, as well. It’s important because Amazon has a “rankings” system which rates how productions do and helps them with marketing if they do well. But that happens only in the first 48 HOURS…so don’t wait!!

IMPORTANT – You must watch it all the way through (39 minutes including extras after the closing credits) and then give it a five-star rating at the end if you want your viewing to count positively toward Amazon’s rankings.

If you’re an Amazon Prime member, you can watch it for free. If not, you can rent it for $1.99 or buy it for $4.99…

CLICK HERE TO WATCH
BLADE OF HONOR WITH RICHARD HATCH

Blade of Honor was originally crowd-funded with $92,000 raised from fans in a 2016 Kickstarter and a follow-up 2017 Indiegogo to finish post-production. In addition to the actors listed above, numerous members of the fan film community were also involved, including BRANDON STACY (Star Trek: New Voyages), JULIAJ MORIZAWA (Star Trek: Hidden Frontier), RIVKAH RAVEN WOOD (Star Trek: New Voyages/Hidden Frontier), RYAN T. HUSK (Star Trek: Horizon), and several others. Axanar Post Production Supervisor and Editor, MARK EDWARD LEWIS, directed and produced it, and many Axanar production crew were involved.

In other words, this truly is a crowd-funded fan film that’s made it to the “big time”! Please help make sure it’s not the last one by viewing it yourself all the way through before the end of Saturday and giving it a 5-star rating. Even if you just play it in the background on your computer with the sound off, it’ll still count. But do yourself a favor and watch the tribute to Richard Hatch at the end (starts at 27 minutes). There won’t be a dry eye on your face.

Australian AARON VANDERKLEY releases his FINAL NX-era fan film LINE OF DUTY (interview, part 1)

When the fan film guidelines set a 15-minute limit on the runtime of Star Trek fan films, many in the community shouted, “It can’t be done!”

AARON VANDERFLEY in Australia apparently didn’t get the memo because six months earlier, he’d already released an amazingly powerful 6-minute fan film called NEEDS OF THE MANY with strong acting, impressive sets, and spot-on uniforms from the NX-era of Star Trek. Aaron was already a professional freelance filmmaker and wanted to try his hand at Trek fan films. This was only his first effort, but there was a LOT more to come!

In mid 2017, Aaron did it all over again, this time with the 12-minute THE DERELICT, an intensely dark and haunting horror/thriller (very unique for a Star Trek fan film). Again, the acting was top-notch, the uniforms amazing, and now there was even action, suspense, and a few stunts thrown in. It really felt like part of an episode of Star Trek: Enterprise.

By the begining of 2018, Aaron treated fans to a third superbly-crafted NX-era film, GOOD MEN, this one only 9 minutes long. Time limit? What time limit!

Finally, last summer, Aaron flirted just 30 seconds shy of that 15-minute runtime with his most ambitious release so far, THE FALL OF STARBASE ONE. Taken as a whole, the four fan films appeared to be mostly unrelated to each other beyond their time period, which seemed to take place during the Romulan War with Earth and the Coalition of Planets.

But then I watched Aaron’s fifth and final (or so he says) Star Trek fan film and noticed that not everything was as unrelated as it seemed. More on that in a moment during my interview with him. But first, take a look at Aaron’s latest Star Trek triumph: the very unique and masterfully-produced LINE OF DUTY (finally cracking the 15-minute mark as a 20-minute two-parter)…

Below is what will, sadly, be my final interview with Aaron Vanderkley (unless he changes his mind about this being his last Star Trek fan film). If you want to read more interviews with Aaron, I’ve done two previous ones which you are welcome to check out here.

And now, let’s hear what Aaron has to say about Line of Duty

Continue reading “Australian AARON VANDERKLEY releases his FINAL NX-era fan film LINE OF DUTY (interview, part 1)”

The INTERLUDE GoFundMe tops $11,000!

Yesterday, the GoFundMe campaign for my fan film INTERLUDE crossed $11,000! Although this might not seem as significant a milestone as crossing the half-way point or crossing $10,000…it’s very exciting to me personally because it means I’m doing my job properly. (Also, most of the detractors never thought I’d raise more than $5K-$10K at the most, and now even some of them are impressed!)

Y’see, unlike many folks who make fan films, I don’t have any background or experience in filmmaking. Zero. Zip. Zilch. Nada. While I’m a decent graphic designer and can edit as a novice with iMovie on my Mac, I’m not a director or VFX artist or lighting specialist or cameraman. I can’t compose music, build sets, create props, do make-up, or even sew uniforms and costumes. I’m not a sound FX guy, and while I’ve done a couple of fan film voice-overs, I’m not an actor and won’t even appear in my own fan film! All I did was write a script.

So why am I here at all? What’s my bag, baby?

The simple truth is that I’m here to convince people like you to give me your money. In return, I’ve assembled a very talented team who are going to make an amazing fan film for all of you to enjoy. It’s going to have the quality level of PRELUDE TO AXANAR (or as close as we can get!) and be able to stand beside its “siblings” (Prelude and the two Axanar sequels) as a proud part of the expanded “Axanar Universe.”

But in order to do that, things (some of them kinda expensive) needed to be paid for.

Believe me, I would have loved to have just written a check or charged everything to a credit card. But I simply don’t have the financial means—certainly not at the level required to match up to the other Axanar fan films. And even though the Ares bridge set is now complete (or 98% of the way there), this fan film is more than just the set.

So with essentially no skills, no experience, and no money, what the heck am I doing trying to make a fan film???

Well, let me tell you what I do have…

Continue reading “The INTERLUDE GoFundMe tops $11,000!”