Why you ABSOLUTELY should DONATE to this KICKSTARTER for THE HOLY CORE (from the makers of CHANCE ENCOUNTER)!

One of my favorite Star Trek fan films is CHANCE ENCOUNTER, co-written by PAUL LAIGHT and GARY O’BRIEN, and directed by Gary.  This 20-minute, TNG-era fan film was a perfectly-acted love story with wonderful music, tight editing, very nice costumes and uniforms, and even some physical TNG-era sets.  Usually for this era, fan films just shoot actors in front of green screens and composite in the complex 24th century starship interiors as background images.  But these guys built an actual shuttlepod cockpit and turbolift set.

It’s been over a year since Chance Encounter debuted, funded with the help of a Kickstarter campaign that raised £1,862 (about $2,700).  Since then, many fans have wondered when we might see another fan production from this team.  The answer was revealed last Thursday when Gary and Paul launched a new Kickstarter for their second project: THE HOLY CORE.


This time, they’re trying to raise £8,700 (approximately $12,000) for a much more ambitious production.  This one will be 30-minutes long, following the fan film guidelines and split into two 15-minute parts.  Once again, there will be physical sets, this time augmented by CGI backgrounds.  Here’s a test shot that appears on their Kickstarter video:

And that’s just a TEST…wait’ll they shoot the real film!!!

And for anyone wondering if this’ll be just another love story disguised as a Star Trek: TNG episode, the answer is no.  This time, things will be much more fast-paced and filled with deep ethical and moral questions.  The crew of the USS Vigilance, a Nebula-class starship, has a mission to help the inhabitants of the planet Vita II.  But things aren’t as they first appear, and the crew must wrestle with the difficult topics of faith, science, sacrifice, and destiny itself.

Assuming Gary and Paul reach their goal (they are already 15% of the way there after just five days…including $175 from me), they intend to release the completed fan film next February or March.  I’d really like to see that happen, folks

As such, I’ll be publishing reminders about this Kickstarter over the next three and a half weeks, and I hope you’ll join me in both donating and spreading the word.  This one is really worth it!

And now, here’s a message from show-runners Gary O’Brien and Paul Laight…

Continue reading “Why you ABSOLUTELY should DONATE to this KICKSTARTER for THE HOLY CORE (from the makers of CHANCE ENCOUNTER)!”

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…

I just had an AWESOME fan film week! (personal)

My life isn’t usually all that interesting or exciting…at least, not all in one week.  But what a week it was!

(Actually, it was only really exciting if you happen to be a Trekkie interested in fan films.  If you’re my wife, it’s more like, “That’s nice, honey.  I’m glad you had such a good time.  Did you remember to empty the dishwasher?”

And that’s why I’m writing this blog—because I have now emptied the dishwasher, and I really want to tell you guys about the fan film filled week I just had…because you care, right?  (Aw don’t answer that; it’ll just kill my buzz.)

Continue reading “I just had an AWESOME fan film week! (personal)”

CHANCE ENCOUNTER is available for viewing!

The bar has just been raised for Star Trek fan films.  On May 2 of last year, Gary O’Brien and Paul Laight launched a Kickstarter to fund their latest short film.  Based in Oxfordshire in the United Kingdom, over the past eleven years Gary and Paul had collaborated on eight other short films.

At first, their script had nothing whatsoever to do with Star Trek.  It was, quite simply, a chance encounter between an older man and a younger woman.  Then Paul suggested adding in a science fiction element, and Gary (who would later be crowned the U.K.’s “Ultimate Trekker” and win a trip to Los Angeles to tour Paramount Studios) suggested that the idea might work well as a Star Trek story.

Their Kickstarter was surprisingly modest, asking for only £1,700 (the equivalent of only about $2,500).  They ultimately raised £1,862…including £10 me yours truly.  And although Gary put in some of his own money, you will likely be shocked that a fan film of such quality could be made for so little…especially considering that the actors were paid a modest amount (production predated the guidelines requiring no one be paid) and that two very impressive sets were constructed, props created, uniforms purchased, visual FX rendered, and original music composed.  And the entire project was completed in just half a year!

You can discover more about this project, find out about the cast and creators, and see some fun behind-the-scenes videos on their website.

Do yourself a favor.  Drop whatever you’re doing and take twenty minutes to watch this impressively crafted, deftly acted, and gently touching fan film…

CHANCE ENCOUNTER films final “extra” scene in turbolift!

Chance EncounterCHANCE ENCOUNTER, a short Star Trek fan film out of the United Kingdom, is filming one final scene today (Saturday).  Most of their shooting wrapped back in August, but as post-production progressed and the final film began to take shape,  the producers felt that one more scene was needed…along with hiring a new actor to play the role of Captain Janssen.

Director Gary O’Brien has been releasing regular, brief production update videos.  The previous one discussed this added scene:

…and the most recent update shows the really cool (and surprisingly simple!) turbolift set:

You can also check out their trailer…this looks like a good one, folks:


Chance Encounter 2I really love these guys!  The Star Trek short fan film, CHANCE ENCOUNTER, is cruising along smoothly at high warp, and they’ve just launched a new website with their first trailer on the home page (posted below).

The attractive website has production news (all of the video updates posted so far), bios on the cast and crew, and a brief but informative “About” page with the following back story:

It began when Gary and Paul decided to embark on another short film project together. This would be their ninth collaboration in about 11 years.

Originally the premise had nothing to do with Star Trek, or even science fiction. Rather, it had a contemporary setting and the hope was to tell a gentle story that showed men and women as equally capable of listening to, and helping one another on issues of both life and love.

Various scenarios were conceived of and abandoned before Paul hit upon a soft science fiction element in one of the many draft outlines he was writing. This sparked an idea in Gary who saw that with a sci-fi element in the mix, and the the themes of decency and respect being explored, that maybe they had hit upon a great Star Trek idea.

Paul agreed and after several more draft outlines were produced, the pair decided that they were ready to try and raise some funds to make the film a reality. And so they launched their first Kickstarter campaign to great success, exceeding the modest amount they had hoped to raise and thus securing their funding. Whilst they would still both contribute financially to the film themselves, the generosity of the Kickstarter backers ensured that the project was now able to be made.

Take a look at their first trailer below:

CHANCE ENCOUNTER wraps filming!

Chance EncounterThe little fan film that could continues to prove that it can.  In the latest of what have become almost weekly video updates on production, the British-based short fan film reported the completion of principle filming this past weekend, posting a video showing all the cast members together for the first time.  Now the project enters the post production phase, and I can’t wait to see the finished product!

Take a look at their latest video update:

CHANCE ENCOUNTER continues shooting this weekend!

Chance EncounterThe fan-funded British short Star Trek film, CHANCE ENCOUNTER, began filming two weeks ago, and they will continue filming this coming weekend.  I have to thank director Gary O’Brien for making my job all the easier by posting regular video updates on the progress of his production.

The most recent update (their seventh total) shows members of the cast during rehearsal.  And for those of you who are familiar with Doctor Who, you might be amused to see the name of the character being played by actress Ayvianna Snow (remember, this fan production is based on the United Kingdom, after all).  Take a look at their latest update below:

CHANCE ENCOUNTER, a Star Trek short film, begins shooting TODAY!

Chance EncounterBack in May (a month before the new fan film guidelines were announced by CBS and Paramount), a fan production out of the United Kingdom set out to raise $2,500 in a Kickstarter campaign to fund a short Star Trek fan film called Chance Encounter.  They were successful and immediately began to build their one set (the interior of a Type-15 TNG-era shuttlepod), create costumes, and hire cast.

Then the fan film guidelines came out.  Would it be a problem for this production?  Well, the production is already intended to be a short one-shot film, so the first guideline limiting run-time to 15 minutes and forbidding a continuing series won’t be a problem.  The title Chance Encounter doesn’t have Star Trek in it, so guideline #2 is safe.  In fact, nearly all of the guidelines have been followed, including a Kickstarter that raised less than $50,000 (significantly less)…although perks were distributed.  Of course, the Kickstarter happened before the guidelines were released, so it’s probably okay.

The only problem they might run into comes from this quote from their Kickstarter page: Continue reading “CHANCE ENCOUNTER, a Star Trek short film, begins shooting TODAY!”