The Realities of Crowd-Funding, part 4

Last time:Cover 3 we continued our in-depth discussion of crowd-funding with Alec Peters (Axanar executive producer) and Mike Bawden (Axanar director of public relations), two veterans of Trek fan films who, together, have raised nearly $2 million through multiple Kickstarter and Indiegogo campaigns for various projects.

Alec and Mike possess a wealth of knowledge about running successful crowd-funding campaigns. And whether you’re planning to do a campaign of your own someday or simply thinking of donating to one, we now conclude this compelling conversation on the realities of crowd-funding…

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CURT DANHAUSER finally releases the last part of “PTOLEMY WEPT”!

Ptolemy WeptThere are few fans in the world (if any) who are more expert in and dedicated to the animated Star Trek series than Curt Danhauser.  For more than two decades, his website has been an amazing treasure trove of resources and background information for fans of that beloved 1970s series from Filmation.

Back in 2008, Curt went where no fan had gone before and released a brand new, 7-minute animated Star Trek episode short that he produced himself entitled “The Element of Surprise.”  Later that year, Curt released the first part of another, longer-length (28 minutes) animated episode, “And Let the Heavens Fall,” which he finished up early in 2009.

And then in 2011, Curt embarked on his most ambitious project yet, “Ptolemy Wept,” which would end up being 66 minutes long and take more than five years to finish!  You can watch the full episode (all nine parts) on this web page.

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Highlights of the STAR TREK BEYOND event at PARAMOUNT

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My badge and wrist-band

It was an incredible night!  I’ve been to my fair share of special STAR TREK events in my life, but this one had to be one of the best I’ve ever experienced.  There was just something magical about being in the same sound stage that TOS filmed in 50 years ago while also celebrating that rich five-decade history with people who all loved this franchise so dearly.

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Why AXANAR just filed a RESPONSE and COUNTERCLAIM to the CBS/Paramount LAWSUIT…

Axanar logo

Just when we thought it was winding down…

Three days after J.J. Abrams announced that the copyright infringement lawsuit against AXANAR and Alec Peters was “going away,” the Axanar attorneys at Winston & Strawn filed a legal Response to the most recent amended complaint and ALSO filed a Counterclaim for Declaratory Relief.

Now why would they go and do a provocative thing like that just when the studios were about to start playing nice???

I decided to ask Axanar‘s lead attorney in the case, Erin R. Ranahan.  It turns out there was a filing deadline on Monday that, if missed, could have severely and negatively impacted Axanar‘s ability to successfully navigate this lawsuit.  Ms. Ranahan explained the situation…

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FAN REVIEW of (the first 15 minutes of) STAR TREK BEYOND

(Okay, I admit that Star Trek Beyond is not technically a fan film. But I’m willing to make an exception if you are.)

Beyond- LogoThere we were last Friday night, several hundred people all crammed into a room where, 50 years ago, the original Star Trek series was filmed. We were all standing shoulder to shoulder, staring at a large projection screen on which the new trailer of Star Trek Beyond was about to be shown. A short introduction from Simon Pegg was played first, and we saw the new trailer.

After the train wreck that was the first trailer released back in December, this new one was so infinitely better that I could hardly believe it was the same movie. And while I still wasn’t completely convinced yet that the new film wouldn’t suck, I was now cautiously optimistic.

And then we all got a surprise.

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We should be FANS, not lawyers

Law and Order - Star TrekJJ Abrams and Justin Lin have every reason to think like lawyers. After all, they make a lot of money from Star Trek, and if there’s a chance something will damage that brand and result in Star Trek making less money, that affects at least part of their livelihood.

So why did Abrams and Lin put pressure on Paramount and CBS to settle and end their lawsuit against Axanar? It’s because these two producers, as fans themselves, know something that all the lawyers involved in this lawsuit (and many of the fans following it) seem to have forgotten: being a fan should be FUN (just change the “a” to a “u”), and when fans have fun, franchises thrive.

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JJ ABRAMS announces and CBS confirms settlement discussions in AXANAR lawsuit

Axanar triumphantOn Friday evening, at a little after 8pm Pacific Time, inside of Stage 31 at Paramount Studios in Hollywood, Star Trek Beyond Producer JJ Abrams shocked the fan film world by announcing that the copyright infringement lawsuit against AXANAR was “going away” and that “fans will be able to work on their projects.”

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The Realities of Crowd-Funding, part 3

Last time:Cover 2 we began our fascinating discussion of crowd-funding with two of the most successful campaigners in the history of Trek fan films, Alec Peters (Axanar executive producer) and Mike Bawden (Axanar director of public relations).  Together, these two men have organized Kickstarter and Indiegogo campaigns for multiple productions that have raised nearly $2 million combined (including $1.3 just for Axanar alone).

If you want to know how to run a successful crowd-funding campaign, pay attention to these guys. This discussion isn’t just a Crowd-Funding 101 class; it’s a graduate-level seminar with some amazing insights from two people who’ve actually walked the walk. Their experiences have provided them a unique perspective and many insights that, to me at least, should be considered pure gold to anyone looking to be a part of a successful crowd-funding campaign.

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PROJECT DISCOVERY cancels their Kickstarter campaign!

Project DiscoveryAlas, it was not meant to be…

TOMMY KRAFT, who rocketed to fan film fame with his amazing Star Trek: Horizon full-length feature, was called by CBS and told not to proceed with announced plans for a sequel he intended to call Federation Rising.  Instead, Tommy and his production partner Ryan Webber decided to create an original project titled PROJECT DISCOVERY, examining mankind’s earliest forays into manned interplanetary spaceflight in the mid-21st century.

Tommy and Ryan launched a Kickstarter campaign in late April with a 2-month time frame and an ambitious goal of $250,000.  Although they got off to a strong start, just short of a month into the campaign, pledges had stalled in the $17-18,000 range…barely 7% of the way to the goal while approaching the half-way point.

Yesterday evening, Tommy and Ryan announced the cancellation of their project and its Kickstarter.  Here was the message they sent out to donors:

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Jonathan’s going to the big STAR TREK BEYOND event at PARAMOUNT STUDIOS!

Star Trek BeyondI’m in, baby!

I’ll be going to the big Star Trek Beyond fan event on Friday at Paramount Studios where director Justin Lin will be screening the brand new trailer…followed by a Q&A session.  And just wait’ll you read how I managed it!

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