BLADE OF HONOR (interview), part 2

Cover 3aLast time: we began a great conversation with Ryan T. Husk, executive producer of the new independent sci-fi series Blade of Honor, currently holding a Kickstarter campaign with a goal of $30,000 for its pilot webisode (which they’ve reached, but they’re now trying to raise enough for a second webisode!).

This exciting project stars a number of major Star Trek actors like Tim “Tuvok” Russ, Aaron “Nog” Eisenberg, and Cirroc “Jake Sisko” Lofton, plus professional actors from other series, including Richard Hatch of Battlestar Galactica and James Kyson from Heroes. There’s also a bunch of veterans from Star Trek fan films like New Voyages and Horizon.

Beyond simply talking about Blade of Honor itself, Ryan shared some amazing insights into what producers do in Hollywood and why the same people frequently seem to keep working together project after project after project. And that was just part 1!

So let’s jump right back in as we learn even more about what goes into an independent film production from the bottom up and top down….

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BLADE OF HONOR (interview), part 1

Cover 1Initially, Ryan T. Husk was going to sit in on that fascinating conversation that I recently had with Alec Peters and Mike Bawden about the Realities of Crowd-funding. But ironically (or perhaps appropriately) Ryan couldn’t participate because he was busy launching a Kickstarter campaign for a brand new, original sci-fi fan series call Blade of Honor.

Even though Ryan’s new project wasn’t technically a Star Trek fan film, it features a number of Star Trek actors both from the various television series as well as several Star Trek fan film veterans. So even though I usually limit myself to mainly Star Trek fan films, I was intrigued enough by Blade of Honor that I figured I’d make an exception.

What I didn’t expect was to get some of the most amazing insights from Ryan…so much so that I was almost tempted to turn this interview into parts 5 and 6 of “The Realities of Crowd-Funding” 4-parter! Instead, just sit back and enjoy one of the most thoughtful fan filmmaker interviews I’ve done so far…

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STARBASE STUDIOS (interview with Richard Wells and Scott Johnson), Part 2

Last time: we learned the fate of the Starship Exeter bridge set was not oblivion.  After decaying in a Texas barn for years, it was moved to Oklahoma City in 2010 by John Hughes to be used for a new production called Starship Ajax.  John advertised for volunteers on Craigslist, and two guys from the concert industry became leaders of the project in their own right: Richard Wells and Scott Johnson

Shortly thereafter, John Hughes decided to concentrate primarily on his fan film, leaving Richard and Scott to complete the bridge restoration and set up Starbase Studios, a place where fan filmmakers could shoot their Star Trek stories for free on an actual TOS bridge recreation set.

But not all went swimmingly.  As we continue our interview with Richard and Scott, we learn what happened after when the hand of nature once again threatened this beautiful bridge replica…

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STARBASE STUDIOS (interview with Richard Wells and Scott Johnson), Part 1

CoverIf you read my recent blog about Starship Exeter’s second episode, you’ll recall that when we last left the magnificent Exeter bridge set, it was rotting, unused and forgotten, in a barn in central Texas.  What happened next is the amazing and heartwarming story of Starbase Studios.

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PRELUDE TO AX’D-WE-ARE (feature)

Prelude to Ax'd We Are bannerHow’s this for a first? A parody fan film of another fan film! And not just any fan film…it’s a parody of Prelude to Axanar!

Prelude to Ax’d-We-Are is a love letter to the amazing fan production that has become so popular… and it also doubles as a bit of light-hearted satire on this whole copyright infringement controversy. Oh, and it’s pretty darn funny, too!

So how did this Axanar parody come about? Who can we blame?

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STAR TREK CONTINUES (feature), Part 3

Cover 3Last time: Having raised $126,000 from their first Kickstarter crowdfunding campaign at the end of 2013, Star Trek Continues now had enough money to produce three new episodes. Indeed, by the time their Kickstarter ended in early November, they were about to start a seven-and-a-half day shoot at their 9,800 square foot studio in Kingsland, GA.

But work on their second episode had started many, many months before their Kickstarter campaign even began. The first thing required, of course, was a script…and for that, they needed a story.

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STAR TREK CONTINUES (feature), Part 2

Cover 2Last time: Star Trek Continues burst out of the starting gate in 2012 and immediately delivered on the promise of its name: continuing Star Trek…quite literally starting from the last moment of the last episode of the original series.

Before I go any further, though, I’d like to humbly issue a SPOLIER ALERT. If you’ve never seen an episode of STC (seriously…what are you friggin’ waiting for???) or if you’ve missed one or three, I’m going to be talking about the offerings that STC has produced thus far. I’ll try to keep spoilers to a minimum, but this won’t be spoiler-free. We now return to our regularly scheduled blog, already in progress…

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STAR TREK CONTINUES (feature), Part 1

Cover 1“If only…”

I always found it eerily appropriate that this two-word piece of dialog, spoken by Captain Kirk at the end of the final TOS episode “Turnabout Intruder” in 1969, was the last line uttered for the entire original Star Trek series run.

“If only…”

Kirk was referring to the tragic descent into hate-filled insanity of his former love, Dr. Janice Lester. But for me, these two words were so much more powerful: If only Star Trek hadn’t been canceled. If only Star Trek could have…

…continued.

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STAR TREK: HIDDEN FRONTIER (interview), part 2

Cover 2Last week: we looked at the trailblazing fan series Star Trek: Hidden Frontier, one of the harbingers of the “modern age of Star Trek fan films.”   From its humble beginnings as just a fun activity for the STARFLEET fan club chapter USS Angeles, Hidden Frontier turned into a fan film production dynamo for more than a decade, going on to produce 50 episodes over seven seasons plus five spin-off series and even cross-overs with other fan series.  Hidden Frontier broke new ground in using green-screen compositing, generating home-made 3D visual effects, recasting established characters from Star Trek canon, and even featuring the first gay Starfleet officers in a fan film series (sorry, New Voyages, HF beat you to it). Continue reading “STAR TREK: HIDDEN FRONTIER (interview), part 2”

STAR TREK: HIDDEN FRONTIER (feature), part 1

Cover 1As I mentioned in a few of my previous articles, the dawn of the “modern age of Star Trek fan films” arrived in the year 2000 with the release onto the Internet of Star Trek: Hidden Frontier.  It was the quintessential fan film: Trekkie actors with little or no formal training, cheap store-bought or home-made costumes, zero budget, minimal sets, basic-level storytelling (that’s a euphemism for kinda sucky writing), and dubious sound and image quality.

But Hidden Frontier also had heart – a great deal of heart – plus a deep love for the franchise and determination to create fun and original Star Trek on a fan level.

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