YOU have FOUR CHANCES left to appear in THE ROMULAN WAR!

At the end of last month, the eagerly-anticipated new fan project THE ROMULAN WAR extended its Indiegogo campaign for an additional 30 days.  The move seems to be working out quite well, as an additional $2,200 in donations have come in since then…leaving the production just $1,810 short of its $10,000 goal (as I type this) with two full weeks left to attract donations from fans.

By far the most exciting of the perks being offered was an opportunity for donors to actually APPEAR in this fan film!  For a $100 donation, you have the option to record your voice, reading a line or two from the script, and having that recording be included in the finished film.  That’s the perk level I donated for, by the way, and there’s still 38 of those voice-over options still available.

The other opportunity offered a few lucky fans (who wanted to donate $250) the choice APPEAR in the film if they so desired.  Donors at this level would be asked to film themselves at home using a camera or smart phone according to instructions, possibly say a few lines, and upload the footage, which would then be edited into the film.

Initially, there were only five of these “Commodore Access” on-camera perks available…and they disappeared very quickly.  By the time the Indiegogo was extended, they were long gone.

But last week, show-runner MARK NACCARATO added five more “Commodore Access” on-camera perks to the list.  Already, one has been snatched up, leaving four.  So HURRY if you want to be in an actual fan film!

Assuming each of these perks is snatched up, that’ll leave the campaign within spitting distance (just $810 away) from their $10,000 goal, which should be quite doable in 14 days.

To learn more or donate (and get this great perk!), click here.

 


And now, please enjoy the latest video offering from THE ROMULAN WAR featuring some behind-the-scenes photos from last summer’s shoot in Nashville, Tennessee…

STARSHIP DEIMOS releases TWO fan films in FIVE days!

POTEMKIN PICTURES now produces five active fan series (even though they don’t call them “fan series,” since the guidelines don’t allow those) plus another two with episodes in post-production, plus the 36 episodes of the completed Project: Potemkin fan series.

You might remember back in early March when Starship Tristan released two new episodes (their 11th and 12th productions) within a week of each other.  Now its time for Tristan‘s sister series, STARSHIP DEIMOS, to have two releases, this time just five days apart!  In this case, it’s Deimos’ 6th and 7th episodes.

Prior to these two, the last fan film to come from the Deimos Production Crew debuted nearly a year ago.  The reason for the delay, followed by the quick double release, was that show-runner and main editor RANDY LANDERS (who also directed both of these latest releases) had quadruple bypass surgery last August, and much of the work had to be pushed back.

These latest two episodes could not have been more different from each other.  The first, “Prodigal Daughter,” takes place mainly on a Klingon battlecruiser and features “action” fight scenes (hey, those aren’t as easy as they look!), and it focuses on a single member of the Deimos crew.  At the end of the episode, we are told there is also a new captain on board, even though we don’t meet him yet.  The previous captain, Jeremy Quinn, was played by actor TERRY SELF.  The new captain, Mark Stone, is played by TONY ANDERSON, taking his place as one of the few black actors to command a starship in Star Trek fan films.

The second episode, “Shattered Sky” (which actually shows the new captain), had scenes filmed on location at a historic landmark in Birmingham, AL, other scenes filmed on their bridge and lounge sets, and still others in front of green screen with composited backgrounds.  Nearly all regular members of the crew were featured throughout.  So it was a pretty ambitious production, all things considered.

Also, Potemkin Pictures has begin to use ADR (voice dubbing) to record dialog separately into a microphone after a scene is filmed.  The process results in clearer sound quality, but sometimes the words don’t synch perfectly to the lip movements.  Oh, well…it’s a fan film, the The Avengers.

You can view all of the Potemkin Pictures releases on their website.

And here are the latest two adventures of the crew of the USS Deimos

STAR TREK STUNT DOUBLES – the power of ONE! (audio interview with MrBonk85)

How many people does it take to make a Star Trek fan film?  Five?  Ten?  Fifty?  A few have listed over a hundred cast and crew members in their credits.

But what if there’s just ONE guy?  One guy doing all the camera work, costuming, make-up, writing, direction, lighting, sound, editing, compositing, visual FX…and even playing all of the roles?

Meet MrBonk85 (that’s his YouTube handle) and his STAR TREK: STUNT DOUBLES fan series.  I first discovered this fellow a few months ago when he released his version of the TOS episode “Spectre of the Gun” (see below).  It compressed the classic episode down to just 5 minutes, a mix of recreations of scenes using original dialog with unexpected flourishes of humor.  And this one fan was was playing all of the roles himself!  It was very surreal.

This initial fan film effort was followed a couple of months later by a similar take on “Where No Man Has Gone Before” and about a week after that by “This Side of Paradise.”  Again, one guy appeared as every character—even female characters—green screen composited against TOS backgrounds with TOS music.

Needless to say, I just had to know more.  So I reached out to this gentleman and asked if he’d care to do an interview.  I learned from his response that Mr. Bonk’s real name is Paul (there are no credits in any of the episodes), and he was happy to chat with me.

Our conversation took place a few weeks ago.  At the time, there were only these three episodes, and—as you’ll learn in the interview—Paul/MrBonk85 wasn’t planning on doing more any time soon.  Well, guess what?  He just added a fourth Stunt Doubles episode, a quick 2-minute version of “Charlie X.”

All four of these vignette mini-episodes appear below.  But first, for your listening pleasure, please enjoy this interview with the one-of-a-kind (well, often MORE than one-of-a-kind) MrBonk85…

And now, here are the four Star Trek: Stunt Doubles episodes that have been released so far…

THE ROMULAN WAR releases NEW VIDEO showing CGI model tests!

As you’ve probably noticed over the past five weeks, I’ve been very prolific in my support of THE ROMULAN WAR and its current Indiegogo crowd-funding campaign.  A week ago, show-runner MARK NACCARATO announced that he was extending out the campaign for an additional 30 days because they had not yet reached their $10,000 goal.  (Yes, Indiegogo lets you do that now.  Really!)

The extension has proven to be a real blessing, as the total raised has increased by nearly $2,000 in just six days to (as I write this) $7,785 from 66 backers…just 22% away from being fully funded.

To increase excitement and antici…

…pation for the fan production—and of course, to encourage more donations—I suggested to Mark that he “liberate” some of the special features that had, up until now, been hidden in a donor-only section.  I joked to him, “That’s like showing a commercial for your restaurant only to people who are already seated at your tables eating their dinner!”

Mark agreed, and the first special feature was posted to the public earlier this week.  It shows some CGI model tests for a few of the NX-era starships, Roumlan ships, Federation vessels, and space stations that will be appearing in this fan film.  It also shows the mysterious Stormbird-class flying by…looking very much like a Klingon D-7.  How did the Romulans and Klingons come to use such similar designs a century before Romulans started using Klingon designs?  Mark actually answered that question in this awesome chat/interview we had a few weeks ago.  Take a listen if you haven’t already.

Mark has also been on not one but TWO podcasts in the last two weeks:

CONTINUING MISSIONhttp://trek.fm/continuing-mission/46

THE FINAL FRONTIERhttp://www.podcasts.com/the-final-frontier-b29b64d07/episode/The-Final-Frontier-Podcast-18-Interview-with-Mark-Naccarato-0e1a

Meanwhile, the video of the fly-bys looks AMAZING (see below).  And what blows my mind most of all is that these aren’t even close to final sequences…they’re just test renderings!  The finished VFX are, I’m told, going to look even better…incredibly better, in fact.

I don’t know—these look pretty awesome…

Click here to learn more and (if you can) to donate.

(And if you can’t donate, then please share the link with your friends.)

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.

New AXANAR fan comic released!

Last July, AXANAR super-fan TREY McELWAIN released the four-page (including cover) “Trial By Fire,” the first-ever comic story based on the hugely-popular Prelude to Axanar Star Trek fan film.  Trey wrote the comic and his friend DANIEL FU illustrated the story, which looked at a space battle during the Four Years War with the Klingon Empire.

Now, Trey and Daniel offer the first glimpse of their second Axanar fan comic: “Arcanis IV,” which looks at the Klingon sneak attack that launched the long and bloody conflict.  Unlike their first comic, where the three story pages were released all at once, this time Trey and Daniel are releasing the pages as they are completed, about once a month.

Here is the Facebook announcement for the kick-off of the new project…


Bear witness to the very first attack of the “Four Years War”!

An unsuspecting Starfleet caught off guard by a relentless and formidable foe!

Each month, a new page will be presented to continue with the story of “Arcanis IV,” highlighting scenes from “those that didn’t make it back” and the choices and sacrifices Admiral Slater had to make during those first 2 years before Ramirez took command of the fleet.

Then after that, a new comic to continue with the story arc of the “Four Years War,” with cover and pages being presented each and every month (one page per month).

Based off of Prelude to Axanar by Alec Peters
Story by Trey McElwain
Artwork by Daniel Fu

For the HI-DEF versions of these most incredible pieces, make sure you go to the Axanar Comics Website to find them!
https://axanarcomics.wixsite.com/axanarcomics

Click to enlarge
Click to enlarge

 

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!”

Fan Films, Assemble! Announcing: CONVERGENCE!

So, have you seen Avengers: Infinity War yet?  Pretty cool how a whole bunch of Marvel characters who each have movie series of their own—Iron Man, Captain America, Thor, Spider-Man, Hulk, Doctor Strange, the Guardians of the Galaxy—all come together in a single movie to fight the bad guys.  If only something like that could happen with Trek fan films.

Oh, wait…

SAMUEL COCKINGS, whose fan film TEMPORAL ANOMALY will debut later this year after he makes certain changes requested by CBS, has just announced his latest Trek fan project: CONVERGENCE.  This new production has been a closely-kept secret for several months now, and those folks who did know about it were sworn to secrecy.  And certain nosey bloggers who did know about the project were told only that it was code-named “Star Trek Avengers.”  In fact, even the title Convergence was only revealed to the actors a week and a half ago when they all, um, converged on the U.K. to film some initial scenes in front of Samuel’s green-screen backdrop.

What makes this project extra-exciting is that it will be a full-on fan film CROSSOVER featuring actors and characters from multiple different long-running Trek fan series.  In attendance at this initial shoot were NICK COOK from Intrepid (Scotland), ROBIN HIERT  from Dark Armada (the Netherlands), and CHRIS BURDETT and NIMRAN SAUND from Temporal Anomaly (England)  They came together to film some of the initial scenes along with some promo videos, including this fun one…

Eventually, the plan is to add on actors from an additional two fan films/series for a total of FIVE.  That will be a record, as there have been a number of two-series crossovers (for example Hidden Frontier and Intrepid) and multi-fan film cameo appearances (three actors from New Voyages appeared in the pilot episode of Starship Farragut, and Vance Major featured several quick cameos of fan film notables in his later episodes of the Minard Saga).  But this isn’t just the Falcon briefly appearing in Ant-Man or Hulk joining Thor for Ragnarok…this is full-on Avengers, man!

Samuel launched a new Facebook page for the project, complete with photos introducing the cast.  He’ll be adding one new photo per day for the rest of this week.  In another month or so, Samuel plans to launch a crowd-funding campaign to raise money to complete filming (including transportation to the U.K. for all of the cast) as well as post-production.  And yes, he fully intends to follow all of the the fan film guidelines.

More Convergence news soon!

CERBASI TREK – The Search for Nicolas (interview with “Captain Daddy” WAYNE CERBASI)

As a dad myself, I have to admit to feeling a kindred spirit when I first found out about CERBASI TREK – THE SEARCH FOR NICHOLAS.  The Cerbasi family lives in the town of Reading in the United Kingdom.  “Captain Daddy” WAYNE CERBASI has two sons, PETER (almost 12-years-old) and NICHOLAS (9-years-old).  And a few months ago, they made a 16-minute Star Trek fan film.

We’re not talking Star Trek Continues or Axanar here. This was just a fun little project for a father to do with his two kids.  And that’s what fan films are all about, right?  FUN!  And hey, if you can bring a few new fans from the “next generation” into the fold, so much the better.

Much of this film is done in “machinima” style, which is a production technique where the filmmaker records computer graphics rendered in a video game engine (like Star Trek Online or Elite Force or Bridge Commander) and edits them to tell a unique story with characters and space scenes…all without having to know how to create actual visual effects.

Machinma fan films have existed 1996, when a filmmaker used the first-person shooter game Quake to create a video short story called “Diary of a Camper” with game scenes and text-based dialog.  Since then, many Star Trek fan films have used the technique, including, for example, the multi-episode Borg War.

Most machinima-based Trek fan films use only the video game renderings for all of their scenes.  What makes Cerbasi Trek unique, however, is that this is the first time (that I’m aware of, and I’ve looked hard) that a Trek fan filmmaker has utilized green screen compositing alongside machinima to incorporate real people INTO the computer-generated scenes.  Wayne and his two sons appear with the CGI characters on the virtual bridges, and the result is a really fun-looking adventure…

I recently chatted with Wayne about his project and his Trek-starring fan film family…

Continue reading “CERBASI TREK – The Search for Nicolas (interview with “Captain Daddy” WAYNE CERBASI)”