The AVALON UNIVERSE made its unexpected debut in our universe on Halloween of 2018…which was somewhat appropriate, considering the storyline of the debut episode (the 2-part GHOST SHIP) was kinda a “Star-Trek-meets-The Walking Dead” mash-up. Exactly one year later, on Halloween 2019, the latest Avalon Universe fan film, DEMONS (the third story so far), premiered the first of its two segments, with part 2 coming out a week later. In between was the one-part AVALON LOST, which came out in February of 2019.
All three stories were something quite different than most other fan films…and I don’t mean just the unusual meshing of Kelvin-verse uniforms with TOS-style sets…along with nacelles and shuttlecraft which looked slightly different than the familiar Prime Universe technology. No, what fans noticed almost immediately was a quality level—of acting, directing, lighting, camera angles and lens selection, sound mixing, film editing, pacing—that was a step or three above the vast majority of other Star Trek fan films.
This is by no means meant to diminish the achievements of those other fan filmmakers…some of whom have used the same TOS sets (initially the former Starship Farragut and Star Trek Continues sets in Kingsland, GA and—later—the TOS sets at WARP 66 Studios in Arkansas). But when it came to the Avalon Universe, fans just knew this was something extra special.
That quality came primarily from the two show-runners: VICTORIA FOX and JOSHUA IRWIN, two die-hard Trekkers who work professionally in the film industry in Arkansas. With training in acting and film production, Victoria and Josh brought a level of craft not typically seen in most fan films…and fans watched these releases on YouTube in the tens and even hundreds of thousands.
Demons was the first of the three Avalon Universe fan films to be crowd-funded, raising just over $6,500 from 102 backers (including $45 from me!) on Indiegogo back in March of this year. And even though that was 25% short of their $8,500 goal, the completed fan film still looks mighty impressive.
I present below the two parts of Demons (there are links in the first paragraph of this blog to features on the earlier Avalon releases—along with additional audio interviews with Victoria and Josh). When you watch Demons, look for cameo appearances from two well-known Trek fan filmmakers: VANCE MAJOR and GLEN WOLFE. After that, I invite you all to share my latest fascinating interview with Victoria and Josh. But first, take a look at this…
Pretty impressive, huh? Wanna learn more about how a project like this came together? Have a listen as I interview director/co-writer/lead actor/producer Victoria Fox and co-writer/DP/production designer/executive producer/lots-of-other-things Joshua Irwin about their latest fan film masterpiece…
7 thoughts on “DEMONS – The latest AVALON UNIVERSE fan film triumph! (audio interview with VICTORIA FOX and JOSHUA IRWIN)”
I was actually on a shoot for the Movie “Wildfire” when I did the interview, so my time was limited. But I do want to mention what a great job Sam Cockings did with the VFX. The Bird of Prey was created by his team specifically for this film. And in the next film we’ll see a Unique Avalon Universe Klingon D7, and even an Avalon Universe version of the Axanar’s Aries Class!
We will definitely have to have a “Focus on FX” feature just on Sam’s amazing work!
I really love these guys
Speaking of the former Starship Farragut, I’m a little surprised that Farragut Films hasn’t done a sequel series about Captain Robert (RT) Tacket and the crew of the Starship(U.S.S.)Constitution, NCC- 1700. A possible door left open at the end of their last episode ‘The Crossing’.
Since Farragut Films has folded due to Alec and the Axanar scandal and CBS/Paramount’s institution of the new guidelines, has that also sunk their final episode ‘the Homecoming’ from being released?
If Farragut Films were to continue making films, they would be better off creating original material and no Star Trek at all.
What makes you think Farragut Films folded because of the Axanar lawsuit and the guidelines? So many other fan series kept going: Intrepid, Potemkin, Dominion, even Star Trek Continues released five original episodes post lawsuit and guidelines.
Y’see, this is why I want to hit “trash” when I see the lies and conjectures stated as though they were facts. And by the way, Robocop, the next time you do so, you will be permanently banned from posting any new comments here on my blog. You can say, “I think” or “perhaps” or anything else that acknowledges that you could be completely wrong. But as soon as you begin stating falsehoods and vague, unsupported beliefs as though they are facts, you’re out the airlock. Final warning.
Remember that Starship Farragut’s show-runner John Broughton always saw “Homecoming” as the series finale. A sequel series called “Farragut Forward” was planned, but it would have required new movie-era sets and money to create those sets. Unfortunately, even before the lawsuit hit, Farragut barely managed to reach its $15K crowd-funding goal for “Homecoming.” Donations for Farragut were drying up months before Alec was ever sued. The money needed to create those new sets was not likely to materialize in another crowd-funder, and even if it did, by the time those sets were built, the cost of housing them in a warehouse or studio would have been prohibitive. The Farragut folks had already discovered what an albatross monthly rent could be (twice!), and I doubt they wanted to take on that burden again.
As for “Homecoming” and its eventual release, I’m afraid the information I was given on that was shared very much OFF the record and cannot be revealed. But know that the delay was NOT due to the lawsuit or the guidelines. Will it ever come out? I’m still hopeful because of what I know. However, I’m also holding out hope for Pacific 201 and First Frontier…and I’ve known stuff about both of those projects for months and even years now…and neither is out yet! 🙂
We’ll see. Fingers crossed.
Jonathan, the last time I looked, the Freedom Of Speech was still in existence. People are entitled to their opinions, whether others concur with them or not. This is the USA. Not an oppressive, totalitarian police state like the former Soviet Union or Nazi Germany. So you can take that and your final warning and chuck both out the airlock.
Let me be clear, I’m not stating accusations, falsehoods, lies, or the like. I’m just going by on what has not been seen or heard. Let alone what I have heard from various other sources. Personally, I think you just don’t want to admit that there is some truth to what past posters have stated on here. Be it Alec Peters and Axanar or whatever else. I’ve noticed that you would just rather sweep it under the rug, call it trash, and just have it quietly buried.
I hate to say this, but just because it is swept under the rug, does not mean that it stays there.
While John Broughton did state this fact, I would take other information he would have to say with a grain of salt. Same with Michael Bednar. It just seems to me that Farragut Films has folded in regards to Star Trek. While they may produce other films – depending on what material they come up with – their time in the Star Trek fan film spotlight is over.
Which brings up something else. Fans like you and Alec DO NOT OWN Star Trek. CBS/Paramount DOES. Why you and some others can’t comprehend that is just something mind-boggling. While some have stated that the fans have kept it alive for fifty years, they have also stated that the fans have killed it by their greed and utter stupidity. Especially when it came down to their ‘arms race’ regarding the fan films and their out of control and irrational fan politics. And when fans have spoken up and objected to this negativity, other fans just ‘circle the wagons’ and act like the Ekosian Nazis did toward the pacifistic Zeons in the episode ‘Patterns Of Force’.
Gene Roddenberry WOULD HAVE been appalled, sickened, and offended by such sick behavior.
Star Trek was always about resolving problems in a peaceful and civilized manner. It was NOT about resorting to 21s Century human brutality and ignorance. In many ways, the internal problems of Star Trek fandom mirror the problems that plagued both Vulcan in its past and the people of Cheron in the episode ‘Let That Be Your Last Battlefield’.
It seems like Star Trek and its philosophies have become twisted and perverted into such a huge joke. All the more reason why Star Trek should have stayed dead in the water instead of it being resurrected by J.J. Abrams and Bad Robot. It has literally brought out the worst in fandom.
No doubt this will be my last entry allowed on your blog. That’s fine by me. As far as I am – and others are concerned – Star Trek is now an old ghost being lauded by those who failed to comprehend its positive views of what could be.
It’s now become an old joke of what might have been.
There’s a lot to unpack here, RC. Let’s eat the elephant one bite at a time, shall we?
First of all, Freedom of Speech is an often misunderstood concept. Here is the exact wording of the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution (a.k.a. the first item of the Bill of Rights):
“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”
Now, I’m not Congress. Neither is Facebook or Twitter or YouTube. Each of us has the right to curtail or even outright prohibit the exercise of free speech on our respective outlets (be they blogs or social media or streaming services). The fact is that I usually choose NOT to be so Draconian. I give a lot of leeway to my readers to say many things–some of them quite negative. But I can and do draw the line at representing conjecture as fact. Saying that Farragut Films folded because of the lawsuit and the guidelines is not a provable statement and ignores much of what else was going on within (and outside of) that group.
Now, if you wanted to say, “John Broughton once claimed that…” or “If I remember correctly…” or “I think…” or “Perhaps…” then you are not claiming to be stating an absolute truth. You’re allowing for disagreement and debate. I might THINK that Vic Mignogna made a huge mistake suing his accusers, but to state my opinion as fact is arrogant and presumptuous. However, if I’m just sharing my opinion, then it invites reasoned discussion (and probably open warfare…but that’d likely happen anyway).
So I’m not saying you can no longer post here, Robo. But I ask that you please consider your words before you post them. Are you presenting unsubstantiated opinion and rumor as incontrovertible fact? If so, then best to click, drag, select, delete, and type over before hitting the “Post Comment” button.
As for Farragut Films and what ultimately happened to them, the fact is that they, like a lot of Trekkers, aren’t in this simply for the film-making. We’re in this for the Star Trek. I didn’t write “Interlude” so I could start a career as an executive producer. I wanted to make a Star Trek fan film. I wanted to shoot on the Ares bridge set. And when “Interlude” is finished, if I do ever make another film, it’ll be Star Trek again. At the age of nearly 53, I have no desire to make a life change into being a script writer or producer or whatever. I’m just a Trekkie, and my love for the franchise fuels my creativity…always has, always will. I suspect that the Farragut folks felt similarly—although I can’t be certain. (See, Robocop? It’s possible to say something and acknowledge you don’t know for certain. Try it sometime…it’s kinda liberating.) 🙂
Next up is your somewhat confusing statement that I somehow believe that I “own” Star Trek…or that Alec thinks he owns Star Trek. That’s just ridiculous. If either of us owned Star Trek, we’d be doing MUCH more than simply make a couple of short fan films! I’d have Quentin Taratino shooting Monday morning! I’d take Star Trek off of All Access and put it on the CW. I’d launch a Captain Pike series (starring Anson Mount) yesterday. And I’d make a new Trek series set in the 24th century hat was essentially “The West Wing” meets the United Federation of Planets…and I’d have Aaron Sorkin develop it. Ah, perchance to dream…
But seriously, why would Alec or I or anyone believe that we “owned” Star Trek? Even before the lawsuit, Alec met on four different occasions with CBS executives asking for guidelines that he could follow in order to make Axanar in a way that the studio wouldn’t mind. They refused to give Alec any guidance, instead saying, “We can’t tell you where the line is, but as soon as you cross it, we’ll let you know.” (Yep, that’s a quote relayed to me by Alec and confirmed through legal filings during the lawsuit.) If Alec thought that he owned Star Trek, why would he have bothered meeting with CBS even once, let alone four times? If you can answer that question, Robo, then we can continue our discussion on this subject. But I doubt that you can provide a coherent reason, and so your original statement and the paragraph that follows becomes meaningless nonsense.
Stating that Gene would have been sickened and appalled is also just conjecture. The fact is that he was well aware of fandom’s feeling of self-entitlement as far back as the 1980s (probably earlier). There’s the story of how Gene once shocked fans at a convention in Anaheim in 1988 by saying, “If I’d have listened to the fans, Star Trek would be shit!” Gene knew full well that fans would always demand their own versions of the “perfect” Star Trek, but Gene got to make his version. However, he always supported fans’ efforts to play in the sandbox. Gene’s famous quote from the first Star Trek: The New Voyages anthology comes to mind: “Eventually we realized that there is no more profound way in which people could express what Star Trek has meant to them than by creating their own very personal Star Trek things.” Gene loved fans making their own Star Trek, and I truly believe he would have embraced and welcomed fan films of all kinds…even and especially Axanar.
I’ll end by responding to your final conjecture (that you’ve made over and over and over and over and over and over and over again) that Star Trek should have stayed dead. Star Trek was never dead. And if you truly believe the world has become our “Last Battlefield,” then don’t we need Star Trek now more than ever….even if that Trek misses the mark sometimes? Isn’t Star Trek about hope for a better future? Why wish that hope to “stay dead”? I’d much rather keep hope alive than to just give up. Wouldn’t you? And part of that hope is for the recovery and revitalization of Star Trek itself and its message of optimism.
You might be be trying to convince the world to see the glass as nearly empty. But I’m a different kind of person, RC. And I look at the glass and notice that the water faucet is just a few feet away…someone simply has to be wiling to pick up and carry the glass over to the sink and refill it. My way results in being less thirsty, by the way…it simply requires doing something rather than simply complaining and doing nothing else. Your way, well, it just feels to me like misery wrapped in despair covered in pessimism–and that’s not the way I want to live my life…way too sad.
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