Right now, I’m actively watching four different Trek-related crowd-funding campaigns. I have tabs open for each one, and I check them every day or so to see how they’re doing:
- AVALON UNIVERSE – “Demons”: A Star Trek Fan Film Indiegogo
- ARES STUDIOS Patreon
- NEUTRAL ZONE STUDIOS Patreon
- THE ROMULAN WAR Indiegogo
There’s also a few other crowd-funders that I check in on from time to time. You can find them all listed here on Fan Film Factor under the CROWDFUNDING NOW tab at the top.
Usually, there isn’t much movement on a daily basis for these campaigns…just little increases here and there. For the Avalon Universe Indiegogo, the donation total had been hovering in the low $2K range for the last few days…not unusual for a crowd-funding campaign to slow a bit in its second or third week.
And so I literally did a double-take when I checked the Avalon campaign late yesterday to discover their total at $3.4K (bringing them to over 40% of the way to their $8,500 goal). Huh? I’d checked it earlier in theday, and it was still in the low twos. What the heck happened???
I scrolled down through the perks. One of the perks is a $1,000 “Executive Producer Package” where the donor gets their name listed in both the opening and closing credits as—you guessed it!—Executive Producer. Two of these perks were initially available, and one had just been snatched up!
I checked with Avalon showrunners JOSHUA IRWIN and VICTORIA FOX, and they confirmed this is a legitimate donor and someone who has supported fan films in the past (although we won’t find out who until the fan film is released and we check the credits).
I don’t usually report on single donations to crowd-funders, and $1K donations certainly aren’t unheard of. But they are indeed rare…and almost non-existent for “smaller” campaigns with goals under $10K. So for me, this is news worth sharing—and a good reminder for folks to consider donating, if they haven’t already (even if it’s just $10 and not $1,000).
I also allows me to address a recent semi-controversy that has cropped up involving me supporting this and other crowd-funding campaigns…
For me, I see the fan film community as just that: a community. We exist, in my opinion, to help and support each other. I mean, if we don’t, who will? We donate where we can, and when we can’t, we help spread the links to the campaigns. That’s the least we can do, right?
Now, when it comes to me, I can go a step or two farther. I’ve got a blog that gets 500-1000 visits a day plus a trusted voice on a number of Trek and fan film-related Facebook pages. And recently, I realized there was another tool in my box that I hadn’t been utilizing yet…one that could increase the reach of my message potentially by tens of thousands!
ALEC PETERS now has a YouTube Channel with more than 77K subscribers. I recently discussed with Alec adding a new FAN FILM FOCUS Playlist to his channel to repurpose content from Fan Film Factor, specifically my audio interviews. His subscribers might be interested, and I and my featured fan filmmakers would benefit from the additional exposure. Naturally, I would never post anything there without first checking with the folks I interviewed…and that included Josh Irwin and Victoria Fox from Avalon.
With the help of DARREN MEANS, who took my audio interview and edited it together with graphics and a simple voice level animation, we posted this interview video last week, and it’s already received 2.4K views and resulted in about a half-dozen new donors in the first 48 hours. It’s also generated about $4.30 in YouTube revenue for Ares Studios…a win-win-win. For his part, Alec has made a personal donation to the Avalon Indiegogo of $55, which more than covers whatever revenue he’ll be making from the video. In addition, Alec will be featuring the Avalon showrunners as guests on his weekly REEL TREK livecast on Friday, March 29, and he intends to give 50% of all livechat donations that come in that evening directly to Josh and Victoria.
All good, right? The fan film community helping each other out, sharing the wealth, showing support—who wouldn’t want to be a part of that?
Well, there’s one person…
MATTHEW MILLER has a blog similar to mine called Trekzone.org. He writes articles and interviews fan filmmakers and other Star Trek notables…and he does a very decent job of it! And like me, he has the potential and opportunity to help bring additional exposure to active crowd-funding campaigns to help be a supportive part of the community.
For me, this is pretty much a no-brainer. Matthew even interviewed Josh Irwin recently about his and Victoria’s second fan film, AVALON LOST. Why not add a link to the Indiegogo at the bottom of the video interview page on Trekzone? It’d take 30 seconds. No sweat, right?
But Matthew has not only refused to do that, he went out of his way to draw a distinction between his decision NOT to help other fan productions raise money and what I do here on Fan Film Factor. Take a look at this post he made on Facebook last week…
This just left me scratching my head. Aside from the inaccurate zing at me (I’ve never attempted to imply any distance between me and Axanar—I’m Axanar‘s biggest groupie; I even invented the tern “Axanerd”!), there’s just this inexplicable outright refusal from Matt to help fan filmmakers try to raise money.
I don’t get it. Not only is Matthew Miller NOT putting his money where his mouth is, he seems to be keeping the two as far away as possible! Heck, if you look at the last line of the screen cap above, you’ll see that Matthew chose to NOT provide a direct link to the Indiegogo page itself but rather only a link to the Avalon Universe Facebook page.
Matthew claims that I have some kind of “agenda.” Well, if my agenda is to help fan filmmakers raise money for their projects, then of course I have an agenda! And if this is how Matthew wants to distinguish his blog from mine—where Jonathan helps out fan filmmakers in any way I can while Matt just uses them to increase traffic to his website and views on his monetized YouTube channel—then I am perfectly fine with the distinction.
Perhaps Matthew will come to his senses and reconsider his decision to “maintain a degree of separation from fan productions and their crowd funding efforts” in order “to protect the brand integrity of Trekzone.” But hey, that’s not my call. I can only decide to do what I think is right. And I’m proud to play an active role in supporting and promoting fan filmmaker fundraising efforts in any way I can.
And that’s why I’m including a final link directly to the Avalon Indiegogo page—bold and large and centered—along with a request that you please consider making a donation (or at least passing the link along to others)…