TWO Kickstarters enter the HOME STRETCH!

Have YOU donated yet?  Smack dab in the middle of a year that’s turned out to be very busy on the crowd-funding front, two active and worthy Kickstarter campaigns are heading into their final days.

Both are well past their goals, so each will get to keep the money donated.  In fact, each has even surpassed a stretch goal or two, so they’re doing quite well.

But there’s always room for more donations, right?  Well, at least I think so!

The first campaign ends on Monday night just after midnight Eastern Time.  It’s raising money to pay for post-production on the third part of the 2-hour pilot for SPACE COMMAND: “Redemption.”  (Here’s the link to their Kickstarter page.)  With an initial goal of $45,000, they’re currently at $73,581 from 921 donors.  If they reach $100,000 in donations, post production on the pilot can be completed.

Creator MARC ZICREE has just added a new perk at the $1,000 level (for those who can afford it): “A 16 Gigabyte Jump Drive with an INCREDIBLE AMOUNT OF SUPER SECRET SPACE COMMAND MATERIAL! Screen Tests! Concept Drawings! Visual Effects Tests! Rehearsals! Outlines! Series Bible! Scripts! Behind-the-Scenes Footage! Character Designs! Alternate Takes! Discarded and Bonus Scenes! Trailers! And MUCH MUCH MORE!”


The other Kickstarter campaign isn’t nearly as ambitious, but it’s just as deserving of your support and contribution.  It’s for the Star Trek animated parody STALLED TREK.  The first episode, “Amutt Time” (watch it below), was hilarious.  Now creator MARK LARGENT is ready to create a sequel: “The City on the Edge of Foreclosure.”

With a modest goal of only $600, the campaign quickly surged passed that level as well as its first $2,000 stretch goal: a special behind-the-scenes feature for download and included on the Blu-ray for anyone donating $25 or more.

Right now, with just six days left, Mark has taken in $2,281 from 74 backers.  If he crosses $4,000, he’ll be able to render out a special HD version of “Amutt Time” to include on a Blu-ray.  (Here’s the link to his Kickstarter page.)


Check out videos for both.  Here’s Part 1 of Space Command: “Redemption”…

Click here to donate to Space Command


And here’s Stalled Trek: “Amutt Time”…

Click here to donate to Stalled Trek

 

 

THE ROMULAN WAR’s new “War Stories” introduces ENHANCED audio dramas!

One of my favorite things about Star Trek is that there are so many stories still waiting to be told…not only about the crews of the USS Enterprise or Voyager or Deep Space Nine but all over Starfleet, the Federation, the Klingon Empire…the entire Milky Way Galaxy!  It’s one of the reasons I love fan films so much, as they explore that special universe that I cherish.

I also find myself truly intrigued with how we get/got/will get from here to there…not just the triumphs that built the Federation but also the struggles and even the failures.  It’s why I’m such a fan of Axanar, and why I’m so looking forward to the upcoming Pacific 201 and First Frontier, both filling in some of the missing details about major turning points in the history of the United Federation of Planets.

And it’s why I can’t wait to see the new fan production THE ROMULAN WAR.

War stories, if done right, can be very compelling.  They test the characters, twist them into unrecognizable shapes, and spit them out…sometimes for the better but all-too-often for the worse.  How do we survive war?  How do we fight?  What decisions do we make that might have been unimaginable to us during peacetime?

There are just some of the questions that are asked in a fascinating new “enhanced” audio drama just released in the lead-up to the debut of The Romulan War fan film series.

I don’t usually cover audio dramas—not because I don’t enjoy them but simply because I don’t have the time to cover both audio dramas AND fan films.  But in this case, I’m making an exception because 1) The Romulan War will be a fan film soon, and 2) this isn’t “just” an audio drama.

While some audio dramas feature still images in a slide-show format over the dialog, The Romulan War series “WAR STORIES” goes a step farther.  Rather than try to explain it, let me just show you their first 2-part audio episode: “Sleep Is Hard To Find”

Continue reading “THE ROMULAN WAR’s new “War Stories” introduces ENHANCED audio dramas!”

MARC ZICREE talks about SPACE COMMAND! (audio interview)

Yesterday I promised you all a really awesome interview with MARC SCOTT ZICREE.  And now it’s time to deliver!

Marc has written hundreds of hours of television for dozens of different shows, including episodes of Star Trek: The Next Generation, Deep Space Nine, Babylon 5, M.A.N.T.I.S. and Sliders.  He also wrote, directed, and produced the excellent Star Trek: New Voyages fan film “World Enough and Time” with George Takei.

And now Marc’s passion project is the independently crowd-funded epic fan series SPACE COMMAND.  The initial Kickstarter raised over $220K back in 2012.  Since then, it’s been a long journey, with two additional Kickstarters, the latest going on right now!  As I type this it’s up over $66K (far past the original goal of $45K), with 12 days still to go.  Already, post-production has been funded for the first 90 minutes of the two-hour pilot, “Redemption.”  But if this current campaign can reach $100K, there will be enough to complete all 1,900 visual FX and the rest of post production on the entire two hours of the pilot.

The cast is a veritable who’s who of Star Trek and sci-fi veteran actors, including:

  • Robert Picardo (Star Trek: Voyager)
  • Doug Jones (Pan’s LabyrinthThe Shape of Water, and Star Trek: Discovery)
  • 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 new actors are being added for later episodes, including the most recent announcements: Ethan Philips (Voyager) and Armin Shimerman (Deep Space Nine).

Marc is a fascinating person to talk to with loads of stories and unique perspectives—and he always gives a really great interview.  Today is no exception…

Marc Zicree…on Mars!

Continue reading “MARC ZICREE talks about SPACE COMMAND! (audio interview)”

SPACE COMMAND: “REDEMPTION” (part 1) is now available to the public!

Fans have been waiting for six years to finally see SPACE COMMAND…ever since the initial Kickstarter back in 2012 took in $221,000 from more than 2000 donors.  During that time, show-runner MARC ZICREE created a studio, built sets (no, not all by himself), cast actors like ROBERT PICARDO, DOUG JONES, MIRA FURLAN, BILL MUMY, and a host of other noted sci-fi and Hollywood veterans, filmed scenes, sold shares to investors, and planned out post-production.

Then, last November, a second Kickstarter raised an additional $108,000 from 1,126 backers…enough to fund post-production on the first hour of the two-hour pilot “Redemption.”  Post-production includes things like editing, VFX, sound, music, compositing, and a host of other tasks that take a bit of time.  But finally, last month at San Diego Comic Con, Marc debuted the first half-hour of Space Command: “Redemption” to a live audience.

Shortly thereafter, Marc shared a special video link so that donors could also see that first half-hour segment.  It was really well done—especially considering that the budget was the merest fraction of what gets spent on shows like Discovery or The Expanse.

I expected, when the newest Kickstarter campaign launched late last month (to fund post production on the remaining hour of the pilot), that the link to the completed Part 1 would be shared with the general public.

Surprisingly, it wasn’t.

Yesterday, I interviewed Marc (great interview, by the way; it’ll be posted tomorrow) and asked him about that.  It turns out that Marc was just waiting for a few last-minute tweaks.  Apparently, the version that had been posted to donors was rushed out to be ready for Comic Con, and now Marc wanted to fix a few things before showing it to everyone else.

But now those fixes are in (and apparently, a few more are still to come), and the video is available for the public to see.  HOORAY!  There’s a short 5-minute introduction by Marc—which you’re welcome to watch or skip—followed by the complete first half hour of “Redemption.”  Enjoy…


And remember that you can donate to their latest Kickstarter up through August 27 by clicking here:

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/58936338/space-command-redemption-chapters-3-and-4

 

 

 

GARY GRAHAM’S “Sons of Kirk” KICKSTARTER enters its final TWO-DAY push!

It took Star Trek and sci-fi actor GARY GRAHAM just 33 hours to hit his $5,000 goal on a Kickstarter to help fund the first official studio album and music video for his rock band THE SONS OF KIRK. Gary’s band plays songs with Star Trek and sci-fi themed lyrics inspired by Gary’s own personal experiences playing various characters not only on Star Trek: Enterprise and Voyager but also in Alien Nation and in the Trek fan films Of Gods and Men, Renegades, and Prelude to Axanar.

The real goal for this Kickstarter was actually more ambitious: $15,000 to produce an extended album and multiple music videos.  The $5,000 goal was set simply to make certain they reached their goal and didn’t miss out on the money entirely (as Kickstarter gives you nothing if you fail to reach your goal).

But Gary and the band needn’t have worried.  Less than a day and a half after going live, they blasted past that $5,000 goal.  They’d now be able to produce an album with at least six full songs.  So they next set a series of stretch goals, each upping the total a little bit more in increasingly larger chunks:

  • $7,000 – Song #7 (unlocked)
  • $8,000 – Song #8 (unlocked)
  • $10,000 – Songs #9 and 10 (unlocked)
  • $13,000 – A second music video (unlocked)
  • $16,000 – A third music video of an unoffical bonus acoustic jam (unlocked)
  • $19,000 – A final video of the band rocking out live at Star Trek Las Vegas

The $16,000 stretch goal was reached late Sunday afternoon, and that leaves only the last stretch goal to achieve.  The Sons of Kirk just performed as the house band at Creation’s 2018 Star Trek convention in Las Vegas a week ago.  I’m guessing they shot footage.  The question is: will we fans get to see it?

We’ll know in just about 58 hours (as I type this).  Right now, they’re at $16,288 from 213 backers.  If you haven’t donated yet, or if you want to up your donation to send them over the top, click here.

 

STALLED TREK is back with a brand new KICKSTARTER! (interview with MARK LARGENT, part 2)

Yesterday, I turned the spotlight on a brand new Kickstarter campaign for STALLED TREK: “CITY ON THE EDGE OF FORECLOSURE.” The Kickstarter had an initial goal of $600 to cover the cost of pressing 250 Blu-ray discs to be used as perks.  In an amazing show of immediate support, dozens of backers blew through that $600 goal in less that 8 hours!

This wildly hilarious Star Trek parody fan film will feature 3D animated puppets of the TOS crew and is the sequel to the 2012 fan parody, Stalled Trek: “Amutt Time.”  If you haven’t watched it yet, take a few minutes to enjoy this MUST-SEE fan film below…

Now at more than double that initial goal, creator / writer / director / animator / jokester MARK LARGENT has announced stretch goals, including a special behind-the-scenes feature at the $2,000 level, and HD remasters of “Amutt Time” and his “The Wobbling Dead” parodies at the $4,000 and $6,000 levels.

Those extras will be added to the Blu-ray perks that will be sent out to all donors at $25 or above.  Supporters contributing less will get access to those extras (and “City…” of course) as HD digital download files.  In the first part of my interview, Mark explained that the distribution of Star Trek parodies via Blu-ray perks is totally kosher since parodies qualify for Fair Use protection under copyright law.

And speaking of interviews, let’s get back to our discussion with Mark…

Continue reading “STALLED TREK is back with a brand new KICKSTARTER! (interview with MARK LARGENT, part 2)”

STALLED TREK is back with a brand new KICKSTARTER! (interview with MARK LARGENT, part 1)

STALLED TREK.  The name alone is enough to induce waves of confused ignorance and disinterested apathy to all but the most hard-core fan film aficionados.

But to those who know, those who have seen, heard, and experienced this Star Trek parody masterpiece, the name Stalled Trek is enough to bring outbursts of laughter and cries of “MORE! MORE! MORE!”

The Stalled Trek characters are all 3D animated puppet versions of the TOS crew, and writer/director/animator MARK LARGENT squeezes every drop of humor from each gag he presents.  The first episode of Stalled Trek, “Amutt Time,” was crowd-funded in one of the first Star Trek fan film Kickstarters with 106 supporters donating $2,200.  Rather than just reading about it, why don’t you just take a look for yourself at this MUST-SEE parody fan film…

Pretty hilarious, right?  Well, that was all way back in 2012.  And while Mark Largent did do another Stalled Trek short film in 2016, Prelude to Ax’d-We-Are (along with some blogger named Lane co-writing and co-producing), that was a parody of Prelude to Axanar and the infringement lawsuit filed by CBS and Paramount.  It featured all new animated puppet characters rather than the original TOS crew of the USS Second Prize.

But some of us wanted to see the original crew again.

It’s been six years, but Stalled Trek is back with a Kickstarter for an all-new episode: “The City on the Edge of Foreclosure.”  With an initial goal of $600, Mark blasted through that total in less than 8 hours!  He’s now up to about $1,400 (as I type this), and has set stretch goals at $2,000 (for a new director’s commentary video pointing out all of the inside jokes and giving behind-the-scenes info), $4,000 (remastering “Amutt Time” in HD and adding it as a digital download and also to the Blu-ray for donors at the $25 level and above), and $6,000 (adding a remastered copy of “The Wobbling Dead,” which was Mark’s other puppet parody).

So let’s check in with the puppet-master himself…

Continue reading “STALLED TREK is back with a brand new KICKSTARTER! (interview with MARK LARGENT, part 1)”

Oh, the answers I boldly got…about the DR. SEUSS/STAR TREK mash-up! (interview with GLENN HAUMAN)

Have you ever given a few bucks to a street performer?  Maybe it was a guy juggling bowling balls while riding a 10-foot high unicycle…or a woman playing seven different musical instruments at the same time.  The reason you might drop a few coins or dollars into their hat is that these folks entertain you.  They’re talented, and they use those skills to bring some fun and joy into your day…and maybe show you something you probably don’t get to see very often (if ever).

What does any of this have to do with the proposed Oh, the Places You’ll Boldly Go! illustrated book mashing up Star Trek with Dr. Seuss?  As you probably know, an infringement lawsuit was filed by Dr. Seuss Enterprises (DSE) against creators DAVID GERROLD, TY TEMPLETON, and ComicMix, which intended to publish the book.  (To learn more about the lawsuit, read my latest update from a couple of weeks ago.)  Recently, ComicMix launched a GoFundMe campaign to raise money to help pay the costs for their legal defense.

Obviously, the goal of Oh, the Places You’ll Boldly Go! is to bring some joy and fun into YOUR day…entertainment for Trek fans that will certainly never happen if the verdict in this lawsuit goes against ComicMix and “Team Mash-up.”  But to make things even more entertaining, ComicMix’s own GLENN HAUMAN wrote the whole GoFundMe description ENTIRELY IN RHYME.  (Seriously, check it out…it’s pretty amazing!)

But Glenn’s not done rhyming yet…!

Continue reading “Oh, the answers I boldly got…about the DR. SEUSS/STAR TREK mash-up! (interview with GLENN HAUMAN)”

SPACE COMMAND Kickstarter takes in $33K before it even STARTS!

Wow, that was quick!

The latest Kickstarter for the long-awaited fan film SPACE COMMAND hadn’t even launched to the general public yet when it took in more than $33K of its $45K goal in barely 24 hours earlier this week!

How did they manage this feat?  Easy…they had an “early bird special” for existing donors to have first crack at some limited-item perks, and over 500 of those prior donors pledged even more money to this latest campaign.

Why all the excitement?  To answer that question, you need to understand the history of this not-so-little endeavor.

Imagine a major fan film project with Star Trek and sci-fi veteran actors cast in it, and a team of Hollywood professionals lined up as the production crew.  Imagine one of the earliest Kickstarter campaigns bringing in six figures in donations, and then a second crowd-funder bringing in another six figures.  Now imagine those funds going into not only set construction and filming but also the creation of an actual studio intended to be used not only for this production but also to be rented out to other fan film projects.

Now imagine years and years going by with no finished fan film delivered.  Oh, there’s been some short scenes released, some VFX, lots of updates by the show-runner assuring donors that, yes, this project is still on track.  But no actual film.  In fact, to finish the film, donors were informed that it’s going to take even more contributions from fans.

You’re imagining Axanar, aren’t you?  Well, stop it!  This is the history of Space Command, folks…

Continue reading “SPACE COMMAND Kickstarter takes in $33K before it even STARTS!”

Oh, The Places You’ll Boldly GoFundMe!

Mash-up mess-up!  Seuss sues!  Tricky Trekkies find fans to fund!

…or at least that’s the short form of the story so far.  As I’ve covered in a series of blogs over the past year, copyright and trademark precedent is being made right under our very noses, and Star Trek is right smack dab in the middle of it!  But this time, it’s not a fan film in the thick of things but an unpublished attempt to mash-up Star Trek and Dr. Seuss into a fun (but allegedly not entirely allowable) illustrated book intended to be titled Oh, The Places You’ll Boldly Go!

Written by Star Trek‘s own DAVID GERROLD (creator of the tribbles) and illustrated by TY TEMPLETON (Eisner award-winning mainstream comic book artist), this project was going to be crowd-funded through Kickstarter and managed to raise $30,000 in September of 2016.  But Dr. Seuss Enterprises (DSE) asserted their intellectual property rights, and Kickstarter elected to shut down the campaign.  On November 10, DSE sued Gerrold, Templeton, and ComicMix (the company running the campaign) for both copyright and trademark infringement.

It’s now nearly two years later, and this case is nowhere near done.  In fact, the trial isn’t scheduled to begin until next spring, and the lawyers on both sides have been VERY busy (more on that tomorrow)!  But in the meantime, the legal bills are piling up.  This isn’t as much of a problem for DSE, which makes money every time someone buys Green Eggs and Ham or The Lorax, not to mention royalties on all the movie remakes of classic Seuss stories.  ComicMix, on the other hand, is a much smaller company…and apparently, their cash bucket isn’t nearly as deep.  And unfortunately, unlike a certain fan production we all remember, ComicMix didn’t find attorneys willing to work for free.

And so ComicMix has launched a GoFundMe campaign with a $25,000 goal.  So far, they’ve managed to get about 9% of the way there.

“Why is this worth donating to?” you ask.  I’ll tell you…

Continue reading “Oh, The Places You’ll Boldly GoFundMe!”