Get on board the SKY FIGHTER Indiegogo! (interview with LUKAS KENDALL)

I get a lot of requests to cover  crowd-funding campaigns for fan films here on this blog.  Many of those requests I politely decline because the projects have no connection to Star Trek, which is where I focus most of my attention.

So why did I decide to feature a non-Star Trek fan project like SKY FIGHTER?  Well, there actually is a connection to both Star Trek and Trek fan films.  First, show-runner LUKAS KENDALL produced many of the Star Trek music compilations on CD over the years.  And second, Lukas is a close friend of ROBERT MEYER BURNETT and tapped him to edit the final Sky Fighter short film.  Rob, as many of you know, was the editor of the highly popular Prelude to Axanar fan film and was, until recently, slated to direct the remaining two episodes of the Axanar trilogy.

But that wasn’t the only thing that intrigued me enough to want to bring this new Indiegogo campaign to your attention.

The first thing I noticed about the campaign was the tongue-in-cheek humor.  While some projects take a somewhat light tone here and there, this one is going all-in with comedy.  Lukas even calls himself “a highly qualified un-qualified person” and makes sure to mention that “I am not stupid!”  He even included an illustration to hammer home that point…

Also really funny were some of the perks.  Most of them are serious items of some value, but a few were eye-popping in their obvious outrageousness…

Click to enlarge…

But it wasn’t just the humor that got my attention.  Lukas also made the unusual decision to post his entire script for the short film for all to read (rather than keeping it secret, as most productions to).  And it’s definitely worth reading, folks—I was very impressed.

Also, the short film is a “proof-of-concept” that will apparently lead to a full-length feature…and there is already an offer on the table!

And last but not least, this $25,000 Indiegogo is an all-or-nothing Fixed Goal campaign…meaning it either makes the goal or the production gets nothing (which is usually the caae for Kickstarter).

Fortunately, Lukas has managed to generate almost $9,000 (as I type this) from nearly 100 backers with 23 days still to go.  Needless to say, I asked him about that early success straight away when we chatted…

Continue reading “Get on board the SKY FIGHTER Indiegogo! (interview with LUKAS KENDALL)”

It’s a MIRACLE as THE HOLY CORE finds an ANGEL DONOR!

This is turning out to be a week of VERY good news for Star Trek fan-funded projects!  As I reported yesterday, the Star Trek rock band, The Roddenberries, managed to just reach their $9,500 Kickstarter goal with less than an hour left!  The Romulan War was able to extend their Indiegogo campaign an extra 30 days, and now they’re now nearly 75% of the way to their $10,000 goal.

But by far the most shocking (in a VERY good way!) news came yesterday when writer/director GARY O’BRIEN announced that his newest fan film project, THE HOLY CORE, has been fully funded by a single donor!

At the end of March, the situation wasn’t nearly as rosy for The Holy Core, as their $12,000 Kickstarter (about £8,700) didn’t even reach the half-way point and received nothing.  That was surprising for many of us, as Gary’s previous fan film, Chance Encounter, is considered one of the best ever low-budget Trek fan films.

I spoke to a very disappointed Gary after the failed Kickstarter, asking if he might try an Indiegogo instead (or multiple campaigns) and perhaps make the film in smaller installments.  Gary wasn’t sure what he would do next, and I didn’t want to press him.  Then, a week or so later, Gary told me privately that he might have found funding, but to please keep it under wraps until he knew for certain.

As the weeks went by, things sounded increasingly hopeful.  But I was still asked to hold off sharing anything until the money was “in the bank.”  After all, Murphy’s Law is still a thing.

And then yesterday, it all became official as Gary posted this video…

I asked Gary if this donor had requested to remain anonymous, as the video seems to go to great lengths not to provide a name.  Gary replied…

Actually he hadn’t confirmed either way when I shot the video, so I played it safe and didn’t mention him. However, literally 10 minutes ago, he got back to me and says he’s happy for me to tell people.  So…

He’s ALEXANDER MAYER, and he was the single largest backer of Chance Encounter. He’s about my age and hails from Germany. He’s a big TNG and Voyager fan and likes to back projects he thinks look good. Among others, he has funded Tommy Krafts’ sci-fi film about the Runaway androids (not sure if he funded it all or not though). Other than that, I don’t really have much info.

Well, I for one would like to personally THANK Herr Mayer for his super-generous support of these three fan films!  Hopefully, when fans see the quality of The Holy Core, perhaps they will realize that Star Trek fan films are still a thing worthy of their support and donations.

THE RODDENBERRIES make it to their KICKSTARTER goal at the LAST MOMENT!

If you’ve popped on to the Fan Film Factor “CROWDFUNDING NOW” page over the past two months, you probably noticed the link to the $9,500 Kickstarter for The Roddenberries Star Trek Band Boldly Goes to Album II.

I admit to having been pretty nervous about this one.  After 9 weeks, with only a few days left to go until the final day of May 4, they hadn’t even gotten to the 50% mark.  I saw The Roddenberries in Las Vegas at the 50th Anniversary Star Trek convention, and I thought they were awesome.  I even have a copy of their first album CD sitting right here on my desk.

I felt slightly guilty for having not pushed theur Kickstarter more here on Fan Film Factor.  But I was also trying to spotlight the campaigns for The Holy Core (in March) and then The Romulan War (in April…and still going on).  And with another new Indiegogo being spotlighted later this week, well, I don’t want it to seem like all I do is ask you guys to donate your money!

Anyway, with the clock ticking down, the galaxy’s premiere Star Trekkified, multi-media sci-fi rock cabaret seemed in danger of falling short of their Kickstarter goal and getting zero, zip, zilch, nada.  And having been away from my computer most of the day on their final day Friday and Saturday, I didn’t check their campaign page until Sunday.  I suppose on some subconscious level, I didn’t want to face the frustrating news that they’d failed to reach their goal and got nothing.

When I did finally visit their Kickstarter page last night, I was shocked to find their project successfully FUNDED with $9,745 from 109 backers!  Apparently, according to updates, they reached 60% with just 17 hours left and crossed the 70% mark with just over an hour to go.  Where that final $3,000 came from isn’t clear, but it doesn’t really matter.  The fact is that The Roddenberries made their goal, they get their money, and best of all, fans will soon hear a new album and see a new music video.

And speaking of music videos, let’s all raise a glass of scotch with the band to celebrate this great news.  No pressure…

Visit The Roddenberries website for even more of their great music!

THE ROMULAN WAR extends its INDIEGOGO another 30 DAYS!

With only ONE day left to go on its $10,000 Indiegogo campaign, the new fan project THE ROMULAN WAR has been essentially stuck just under $6,000.  I had featured a text interview with show-runner MARK NACCARTO when the project first kicked off.  At that point, the campaign had jumped out to an impressive start.  And within the first 10 days, they’d generated over $4,000 in contributions.

But then things slowed down and nearly screeched to a halt!  The needle barely moved at all during their third week when I published an audio interview with Mark trying to figure out what was going on.  Why were the donations drying up?  Was it the hit of Tax Day in the U.S.?  Was it the guidelines or the lawsuit from 2016?  Was it just that Mark wasn’t campaigning enough?  Or have fans simply hit donating a wall?

It wasn’t just the normal mid-campaign slowdown.  Even now, with only one day left, donations are almost nonexistent.   I’d even e-mailed Mark to suggest that he might want to publicly release some of the special features (videos, ship dossiers, character background info, etc.) that had been reserved only for donors…just to excite and encourage more contributions.  But time was running out!

Well, apparently, time is a luxury that we once again DO have…thanks to the folks at Indiegogo!  Apparently, the crowd-funding service will now let a project team extend the duration of a 30-day campaign by an ADDITIONAL 30 days…even if they haven’t reached their goal yet!

So guess what Mark just did?  Aw, why don’t I let him tell you himself…

Continue reading “THE ROMULAN WAR extends its INDIEGOGO another 30 DAYS!”

New TRAILER posted for THE ROMULAN WAR!

For the past three weeks, I’ve been spotlighting the Indiegogo campaign for THE ROMULAN WAR.  I published a text interview with show-runner MARK NACCARATO shortly after the campaign launched, and later an audio chat with Mark discussing the current state of crowd-funding campaigns in general and his in particular.

The reason I’m pushing this project so much is not only because I’m really excited by it and want to see it completed, but also because I think this is a really critical time for Star Trek fan films.

Fan donors have gotten used to the flash and sizzle of the quality productions like Star Trek Continues, New Voyages, Prelude to Axanar, Horizon, and Renegades.  And for a while, it seemed like there were simply two “extremes” of Trek fan films: the six-figure professional-quality productions that were nearly as good as “the real thing” (some arguably better)…and the low-budget, bargain basement fan films with amateur actors, rubenesque fans doing cosplay, cheap costumes, bad lighting, horrible sound, mediocre VFX, slow pacing, etc.  While I believe many of these less ambitious projects are still worth checking out, a lot of them don’t attract much in donations through crowd-funding campaigns (and few of them even ask for money).

With the advent of the guidelines, fans lamented that the days of the six-figure “blockbusters” were over, and I think that’s one of the reasons that donations to recent Kickstarters and Indiegogos have been so anemic.

But while the top-level “professional” fan productions might mostly be history, and the low-budget fan films not really justifying  more than modest donations, to quote Yoda: “There is another…”

Continue reading “New TRAILER posted for THE ROMULAN WAR!”

Is TREK crowd-funding in TROUBLE? (a lively chat with MARK NACCARATO of THE ROMULAN WAR)

Are Star Trek fan films in danger of having the donation well run dry?  It’s hard to know, but right now, things look somewhat troubling.

Last month, a Kickstarter for the proposed The Holy Core fan film (the same folks who produced the excellent Chance Encounter) didn’t even manage to get half way to their $12,000 goal and instead got nothing.  Another Kickstarter for The Roddenberries’ new album and music video set a two month goal of $9,500 and, with only 11 days to go, is only up to $3,565.

And now, THE ROMULAN WAR, an exciting new Star Trek fan project, is struggling to reach its $10,000 goal on Indiegogo.  Although they burst out of the starting gate with $4,200 in less than two weeks, last week was a veritable desert of donations with only a few hundred dollars coming in over the span of six days.  And this despite the fact that last Monday saw a new video posted to social media spotlighting the cast and showing some never-before-seen footage, and on Wednesday there was a cool TrekYards feature on the Romulan “Strombird” class.  Fortunately, yesterday saw nearly a thousand dollars come in (not sure why, since nothing notable happened on Sunday), but they’re still only 55% of the way to their goal with just 12 days left!

What the heck is going on??? Continue reading “Is TREK crowd-funding in TROUBLE? (a lively chat with MARK NACCARATO of THE ROMULAN WAR)”

CHANCE ENCOUNTER creators announce NEW Star Trek fan film: THE HOLY CORE!

I love Brits who make Trek fan films!  A year ago, writer / director GARY O’BRIEN and co-writer PETER LAIGHT released their first-ever Star Trek fan film CHANCE ENCOUNTER…and fans were blown away.  Superb acting, touching story, well-directed, fantastic costumes and VFX, perfect music, and even custom-built shuttlepod and turbolift sets—it’s a MUST-SEE fan film well worth 20 minutes of your time to watch if you haven’t already.

This entire magnificent production was funded for just £1,862 (about $2,700) raised through a Kickstarter.  And now, Gary and Peter have just announced a NEW crowd-funding campaign (coming in March) to try to raise £7,000 – £8,000 (about $10,000)…well within the $50K limit set by the fan film guidelines.

Speaking of the guidelines, I asked Gary about film length and crowd-funding perks:

We are structuring the script to split in half at the 15-minute mark, and so we are aiming for an overall run-time of 30 minutes for the story. We have yet to decide whether to make that two separate uploads of 15 minutes or not.  That choice will be made much later in the process I think.

As for perks, we will probably only offer wallpapers, scripts, etc.  Our hope is that anyone who donates does so to see the film get made.  The simpler the perks, the more money we can put on screen!

Like Chance Encounter, the new film, The Holy Core, will be set in a time period about midway through TNG, likely 2368 or thereabouts, with a cast of all new characters.  And while Chance Encounter was basically a love story, Gary says…

This time we will touch on several themes, such as scientific pursuit, the roles of religion, and a little hint of romance, too.

The new campaign will start up around March 1 and run through the end of that month.  Filming will likely happen over the summer (once sets are built and cast members selected), and the finished film(s) will likely debut in late 2018 or early 2019.  Obviously, a lot can happen before then, but Chance Encounter stayed pretty much on schedule all though production.

So start saving your pennies (or pence) for a very exciting crowd-funder coming in just five more weeks.  And here’s something to get you in the donating mood…

SPACE COMMAND Kickstarter reaches $100,000!

Yep!  Just six days ago, I was asking if the SPACE COMMAND Kickstarter could make it over $80,000 (they were less than $7,000 away from that second stretch goal).  Now, with only 11 hours left, they’ve just crossed the $100,000 mark.

This means that fans now get to see a third trailer for the project (see below), and that the project will fund at least HALF of the 2-hour pilot episode…with funds to spare!  And if they manage to hit $130,000 before the end of the Kickstarter tonight, that’ll fund post production for an additional half hour.

Already, scenes have been filmed for the first SIX HOURS of Space Command, which is half of the complete initial season.  Those three 2-hour stories—“Redemption,” “Forgiveness,” and “The Great Solar War”—feature such notable genre actors as Doug Jones, Bob Picardo, Mira Furlan, Bill Mumy, Bruce Boxleitner, John Hennigan, Faran Tahir, James Hong, Mike Harney…as well as their worldwide talent search winners Ethan McDowell and Bryan McClure!

And now, here’s a few words from show-runner MARC SCOTT ZICREE


We’re now moving full speed with our line producer, VFX artists and the rest of our team working on AMAZING scenes and sequences.  

Within the next few months, you’ll have the first half-hour of our two-hour pilot in hand, and then it’s on to the rest!

If you want to see a FULL SCENE, here’s a wonderful encounter between Synthetic human Dor Neven (Doug Jones) and mining foreman Yusef Sekander (Robert Picardo) in Yusef’s quarters in the mining facility on Ceres in the asteroid belt!

The entire time with Space Command, there’s never been a network or studio making it happen – it’s been all of us willing this into existence and making it happen.

As I say often, compassion and love can be a counterweight to all the hatred and chaos in the world; they can make a present a future worth living in for ourselves and our children and our grandchildren. 

 It’s up to us to make that world, and that universe.

That’s what Space Command is all about, and it’s what I’ve dedicated my life to, in my work and in my life. Thanks for your faith and for staying the course. 

The next few months will be simply phenomenal.

All good thoughts your way, as ever,

 Marc

PLEASE CLICK HERE TO DONATE

(You’ve got until 10:00 pm PST tonight!)

And now, here is the third trailer, and the first to feature a look at the characters played by  Faran Tahir (the captain of the USS Kelvin) and James Hong (Big Trouble in Little China)…

Can the SPACE COMMAND Kickstarter make it to $80,000?

They need $6,000 in 6 days.  Can they make it???

Four weeks ago, the fan film project SPACE COMMAND, written and directed by MARC ZICREE, set out to generate $39,000 for post-production on the first 30-minute part of their 2-hour long pilot “Redemption.”  That goal was reached in just 9 days.  Their next goal is now $80,000 to fund post-production for  the entire first hour.  As I write this, they are at $73,890.  Will they be able to make it across the stretch finish line?

I hope so!

The series draws inspiration from the classic sci-fi films, TV shows, and literature of the 1950s and 1960s…with a look and style that is both modern and retro at the same time.  Space Command will feel like what classic sci-fi would be were it produced today.

The pilot features a cast that includes notables from Star Trek and other well-known sci-fi franchises:

  • Robert Picardo (Star Trek: Voyager)
  • Doug Jones (Pan’s LabyrinthHellboy, and now Star Trek: Discovery’s Saru)
  • Bruce Boxleitner (Babylon 5)
  • Mira Furlan (Babylon 5)
  • Bill Mumy (Babylon 5 and Lost In Space)
  • Faran Tahir (Star Trek 2009…he was the captain of the USS Kelvin)
  • James Hong (Big Trouble in Little China)
  • And more!

When the Kickstarter passed $65K on November 22, the Space Command team released the second of their new trailer videos.  If you haven’t seen it yet, take a look…

There’s still time to throw a few dollars their way (or a few more dollars, if you’ve already pledged something).  It’s an exciting project, and it would be FANtastic if they could bring in enough to complete a full hour of their project.

PLEASE CLICK HERE TO DONATE!

If you can’t afford to donate, that’s fine.  But please consider sharing a link either to this blog page or directly to their Kickstarter to spread the word.


And for a great interview with show-runner MARC ZICREE, take a listen to this:

SPACE COMMAND Kickstarter nears $65,000 – releases NEW TRAILER!

Probably the most exciting (and successful) sci-fi fan film Kickstarter to come recently is the one for SPACE COMMAND.  Although Space Command was originally funded through Kickstarter with more than $200K back in 2012 and all the sets were built and all scenes filmed for its pilot 2-hour episode, post-production (visual FX, music, color adjustment, etc.) still needs a bit more funding to be completed.

Two weeks ago, a new Kickstarter was launched with a goal of $39K for post-production for the first half-hour of the pilot, and that was quickly met and surpassed.  A stretch goal of $55K was set with a promise of a new trailer if that number was reached.  This happened last week, and this exciting video was released shortly thereafter…

As of this writing, they are just $568 short of their new stretch goal of $65K, when they will release a SECOND new trailer!  If you want to help them reach that number or even get to $80,000 to fund the second half hour of the pilot, then…

CLICK HERE TO DONATE!

The pilot episode, “Redemption,” features a cast that included notables from Star Trek and other well-known sci-fi franchises:

  • Robert Picardo (Star Trek: Voyager)
  • Doug Jones (Pan’s Labyrinth, Hellboy, and now Star Trek: Discovery’s Saru)
  • Bruce Boxleitner (Babylon 5)
  • Mira Furlan (Babylon 5)
  • Bill Mumy (Babylon 5 and Lost In Space)
  • Faran Tahir (Star Trek 2009…he was the captain of the USS Kelvin)
  • James Hong (Big Trouble in Little China)

For a great interview with writer and show-runner MARC ZICREE, where he explains why it’s taken five years to get this far and why Space Command will be worthy your donation, take listen to this:

And remember to visit their Kickstarter page for more information!