For the past three weeks, I’ve been spotlighting the Indiegogo campaign for THE ROMULAN WAR. I published a text interview with show-runner MARK NACCARATO shortly after the campaign launched, and later an audio chat with Mark discussing the current state of crowd-funding campaigns in general and his in particular.
The reason I’m pushing this project so much is not only because I’m really excited by it and want to see it completed, but also because I think this is a really critical time for Star Trek fan films.
Fan donors have gotten used to the flash and sizzle of the quality productions like Star Trek Continues, New Voyages, Prelude to Axanar, Horizon, and Renegades. And for a while, it seemed like there were simply two “extremes” of Trek fan films: the six-figure professional-quality productions that were nearly as good as “the real thing” (some arguably better)…and the low-budget, bargain basement fan films with amateur actors, rubenesque fans doing cosplay, cheap costumes, bad lighting, horrible sound, mediocre VFX, slow pacing, etc. While I believe many of these less ambitious projects are still worth checking out, a lot of them don’t attract much in donations through crowd-funding campaigns (and few of them even ask for money).
With the advent of the guidelines, fans lamented that the days of the six-figure “blockbusters” were over, and I think that’s one of the reasons that donations to recent Kickstarters and Indiegogos have been so anemic.
But while the top-level “professional” fan productions might mostly be history, and the low-budget fan films not really justifying more than modest donations, to quote Yoda: “There is another…”
The five-figure “mid-level” fan films are still very much viable, and THEY are worthy of our support. Indeed, these fan films try extra hard to rise above the “no budget” level to produce something impressive. Sure, you might see the make-up line where the Romulan forehead was glued onto the actor, but the actor himself does an excellent job. The costumes, effects, music, and story are all very well crafted.
Look, folks, you might not see another high-level Star Trek Continues any time soon, but the choice you have now is between supporting the mid-level fan projects like The Romulan War and having only the ultra-low-budget fan films. And while I still enjoy the latter, I’d really like to see more of the former, too.
That’s why I donated $100 to this Indiegogo (and might increase that to the next perk level):
They’ve got just nine days left and they need another $4,640 to reach their $10K goal. Please watch this latest trailer, check out their website, and consider making a donation that will keep mid-level fan films viable…