I always leave a tab open on my browser to monitor donation totals when I’m promoting crowd-funding campaigns,. For the past couple of months, I’ve kept a tab for the current AXANAR campaign to fund the major “alien” green screen shoot.
Earlier this week, the private fundraising total was at $10,795…although the number hadn’t moved much recently. The global economic uncertainty from the pandemic is understandably slowing crowd-funding donations down to a veritable standstill. Sure, the Axanar total still moves a little, but over the past three weeks, only $795 had come in since it crossed the $10K mark on April 22.
So imagine my surprise when I refreshed the tab on Thursday and saw the total was at $20,795!
For the first few seconds, my mind didn’t process it. I’d just checked it a couple of days before, and it was at $10,795…so my brain first looked at the “795” part and thought: Oh, well…hasn’t moved. Then it started sinking in—did I see a “2” at the beginning of the number? I checked again. Holy frack! This was either some system glitch with Ares Digital 3.0 or else someone had just given ALEC PETERS ten grand!
It was about 3am for Alec in Atlanta (midnight for me in L.A.), so the answer to my question would need to wait until morning. But first thing, I texted Alec. Yep, it really was a $10,000 donation…and Alec had been just as surprised as I was when he’d found out the day before.
The donor hasn’t given me permission to share his identity, but Alec confirmed that he had given $1,000 to the previous Axanar campaign that had raised money for the second Georgia shoot in March. Apparently, this fellow has been so impressed by the organization and progress of Axanar over the recent months that he decided to provide a second, jaw-droppingly generous donation. The donor called Alec on Thursday explaining how truly enthusiastic he was about the project, and how he had decided to give some more. “Check your account,” he told Alec over the phone—and when he did, Alec was almost speechless…except for a wave of sincere gratitude flowing out to let this donor how much his support meant to the project and to Alec personally.
In the meantime, there have been a few major changes to the Axanar production and post-production game-plan recently, so I might as well catch you up…
The most noticeable change, of course, is that the goal has increased from $30,000 to $35,000. Axanar had already raised about $55,000 in the previous two private fundraising campaigns: $50,000 for the first major shoots in October and December, and another $5,000 for the smaller shoot in March. The current campaign was initially intended to fund a 2-day green screen shoot in Los Angeles with all of the aliens: Ambassador Soval, Klingon Thought-Admiral Mor’o, Andorian Admiral Threl, and a bunch of other assorted alien characters. The projected cost of that 2-day shoot was $30,000.
However, the pandemic has changed things considerably. Production on Axanar is currently on hold….as is nearly all film production globally! In fact, some of the major TV networks are already delaying the start of their new September 2020 seasons until 2021. Part of the issue, according to Alec, is that the Screen Actors Guild has not yet come out with rules as to what is acceptable for productions to do to ensure the safety of union members (actors). Other guilds are also still figuring things out. Since Axanar is a union production (just like Prelude was), shooting can’t begin again until SAG and the other industry trade groups give the okay.
“We are AT LEAST 90 days away at best, and I would not be surprised if it is 6 months,” Alec told me via Facebook Messenger. “The industry takes this VERY VERY seriously, and you have multiple unions to deal with. NO ONE is filming unless you pull a ‘quarantine the crew’ stunt, which no one will do.” (By the way, the ALL CAPS is all Alec this time. Looks like I’ve started a TREND!)
Anyway, with production essentially halted, Alec felt that there was no reason to simply let the grass grow under everyone’s feet. There’s enough raw footage shot at this point to start ramping up a little POST production right now. Post production includes visual FX (some shot are already done, others not yet started), music, sound effects and sound mixing, editing, light and color adjusting, and a host of other little touches that turn everything into an exciting, streamlined, slick fan film experience.
Initially, the plan was to do a fourth campaign in a few more months raising the funding needing for the full post production work. But with the pandemic locking everyone away in their homes (or in bars, the beach, hairstylist appointments, or tattoo parlors depending on the state), lots of post production work can be done remotely by socially-distancing team members while filming is on hold.
Alec isn’t trying to raise the full $20,000 post production amount right now but rather just enough to get the engine started ($5,000). One of the benefits of this early post work is that we fans just might see another trailer or two as sound levels are adjusted, color and lighting corrected, and VFX shots are dropped in. Fingers crossed!
The current Axanar crowd-funding campaign is nearly 60% of the way to its new $35,000 goal—just another $14,205 to go. So if you have a few bucks to spare at the moment, click the link below to log into Ares Digital if you’d like to help bring Axanar just a little closer to completion…