‘Tis the season for GIVING…to FAN FILMS!

When folks come to me for advice on crowd-funding their fan projects, I always tell them the same thing: DON’T LAUNCH YOUR CAMPAIGN DURING THE HOLIDAY SEASON!!! Ever since 2015, I’ve noticed that fan film crowd-funders that try to raise donations in November and December often struggle to reach their goals or even fail outright. The holiday season seems to be a “donation desert” for fan films.

It makes total sense. Nearly everyone is buying Christmas (or Hanukkah or Kwanza or Festivus) gifts for friends and family. And before COVID, people used to take expensive vacations during the holidays to visit family or just get away—remember when that used to happen? Charities, of course, usually choose this time to appeal to that ol’ spirit of giving and approach (hopefully) generous donors to give a little sumthin’. And soon Christmas bonus checks are spent before they even get cashed, and bank account balances do their impression of the Titanic.

I get that…not the time for fan films to ask for money.

But this past Monday, I received a bunch of e-mails from various places informing me that “Giving Tuesday” was here. So now we apparently have Black Friday, Cyber Monday, and…Giving Tuesday? When did that become a thing? Actually it started in 2012 at New York City’s famous 92rd Street Y (where I went to summer camp back in 1981) and has grown into an international movement to encourage a little healthy philanthropy among the manic bargain-hunting.

I wasn’t able to write a blog in time for this year’s Giving Tuesday because I just had cataract surgery early this week, and it took away my ability to see the text on my computer screen for a couple of days. Today is the first day I’ve got reliable sight back enough to compose a blog.

I’d actually been meaning to post something reminding folks about the ongoing Fan Film Factor Patreon to cover my annual expenses for keeping this blog site running. Currently, I’m taking in enough in monthly donations to cover the costs of domain registration and hosting, technical support, and security services.

But last month, I added a new annual expense: a $160/year Pro Account for Zoom. You might have noticed that I’ve been doing more video interviews with fan filmmakers lately. Zoom is an easy way to reach multiple people and record the interview calls. And Zoom is free as long as your call is less than 45 minutes or has only one other person on it. But my interviews go 60-90 minutes, and I often have multiple people on at the same time.

So with “Giving Tuesday” happening, even though we’re in the middle of the “fan film donation desert,” as I call it, I thought this might be a good time to post a little reminder about my Patreon

I’m looking for monthly contributions of $1, $2, whatever folks can spare to help cover the annual expenses of Fan Film Factor

PATREON link: https://www.patreon.com/fan_film_factor

But then I thought about all of the other crowd-funders going on right now, each of them deserving in their own ways. I know from the grapevine (and also because I’ve advised them) that two MAJOR fan film crowd-funding campaigns will be launching just after the holidays. And of course, I’ll be doing what I can to help promote both of them when they do.

So this might be my last chance (for a bit) to ask for help for these other ongoing campaigns, as well as for my own blog. As such, let me list a few for you, and if you are able and you feel like giving a little sumthin’ to any or all, just remember that every little bit helps a lot…

The fine folks on TEAM AVALON raised enough in their current GoFundMe campaign (so far) to cover the costs of COSMIC STREAM and AGENT OF NEW WORLDS—both fan films released this year and both staggering excellent! But they still need the remaining $7.5K to complete their next two productions. You’ve heard of “too big to fail”? Well, Avalon Universe fan films are “too awesome to fail”! Please help them keep making more of them for us…

GOFUNDME link: https://www.gofundme.com/f/zdn4p-AvalonUniverse2021

Wait, is Jonathan suddenly promoting superhero fan films??? Not really. But JOHNNY K. of KAOTICA STTUDIOS will be directing and producing the new FARRAGUT FORWARD Star Trek fan series. Before that, thought, Johnny is crowd-funding THE OATH – A Batman Fan Film…based in the MICHAEL KEATON bat-verse and taking place just before the first TIM BURTON reboot movie from 1989. Johnny decided to set his goal at $3K even though the actual cost of the film is closer to $6K (he didn’t want to risk asking for too much). But he ended up reaching his goal in less than a week! The only problem is that, now that people think he’s over his goal, they’ve stopped donating!!! Johnny could actually use a couple thousand more to cover the full cost of the film, and since he’ll be crowd-funding Farragut Forward next, donating to this film is kinda like donating to Farragut because we don’t want Johnny to run out of money BEFORE he gets to Star Trek!

INDIEGOGO LINK – https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/the-oath-a-batman-fan-film#

NEUTRAL ZONE STUDIOS is the Kingsland, GA home to a full array of meticulous TOS set that are open to fan filmmakers to shoot their projects. Fan series like DREADNOUGHT DOMINION, TALES FROM THE NEUTRAL ZONE, Avalon Universe, and numerous others make use of these incredible sets to produce amazing fan films. But the sets live in a warehouse that charges several thousand dollars a month in rent and utilities. And while owner RAY TESI is footing the lion’s share of that cost from his retirement savings, the more fans can donate to help, the longer these sets will remain safe from the dumpster. Supporters can donate monthly through Patreon or else make a one-time contribution.

DONATION HOME PAGE: https://neutralzonestudios.com/support-us

The annual BJO AWARDS are the Star Trek fan film equivalent of the Oscars or the Emmys. Originally presented each year in person at the TREKLANTA convention in Atlanta, GA, because that con has gone virtual these past two years, the next Bjo Awards will be presented on Saturday, December 11 live in Kingsland, GA at Neutral Zone Studios. But those plaques don’t pay for themselves (nor their shipping costs for winners who can’t make it in person), and Treklanta Chairman ERIC L. WATTS covers those expenses each year out of his own pocket! If you appreciate what Eric does for the fan film community, you might want to consider tossing him $1 or $2 each month (barely noticeable, right?) to help him out.

PATREON LINK: https://www.patreon.com/bjoawards