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!
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…
The new sci-fi professional/fan film hybrid series THE CIRCUIT started off their Kickstarter with a goal of $50,000. And with just 5 days left, they’re at nearly $84,000…and that’s great.
But now they’re trying to reach a stretch goal of (are you sitting down???) $200,000! Impossible, you say? Preposterous? Never happen? Perhaps. But $200,000 will allow them to fund an entire season—ten full episodes—and so they’re gonna to make a run at it!
And here’s how…
It all happens this coming Saturday, May 20, for twenty-four hours starting at midnight Pacific Time. The CHALLENGE is for 100,000 fans to each donate at least $1. A buck is almost nothing these days (especially at Starbucks!). I’ve already donated $80 to this campaign, so I’m going to up it to $81. (See? Only 99,999 fans to go!) Their message is being sent out far and wide, and YOU can help send it!
Also on Saturday, beginning at 10am Pacific Time, members of the cast of The Circuit will be streaming a LIVE CHALLENGE SHOW via their Facebook page for 14 straight hours until the challenge ends at midnight! Confirmed guests on the LIVE CHALLENGE SHOW include:
…and more will likely show up, as show-runner Manu Intiraymi (Icheb from Star Trek: Voyager) is trying to coordinate everyone’s schedules (there’s 20 actors in the cast!). There will also be new videos and new trailers as the cast tracks the pledges on their tote board.
Fans will be helping out, as well. In fact, it was a fan who suggested the 24-hour challenge and another fan who suggested the live show! And now folks like me (and you!) can help spread the word. Here’s what people need to know:
WHEN: All day Saturday May 20, 2017 – midnight PDT to the following midnight
What is THE CIRCUIT…and why are fans so excited by it that the project’s Kickstarter campaign surpassed its initial $50,000 in just ONE WEEK??? (They’re now up to $64,000!)
Is it a fan film? Kinda. Is it a professional independent film? Well, yeah, it’s that, too.
Is it Star Trek? No. But on the other hand, just take a look at this cast…
Walter “Chekov” Koenig (Star Trek)
Terry “Jadzia Dax” Farrell (Star Trek: Deep Space Nine)
Robert “Chakotay” Beltran (Star Trek: Voyager)
Armin “Quark” Shimerman (Star Trek: Deep Space Nine)
Robert “EMH” Picardo (Star Trek: Voyager)
Ethan “Neelix” Phillips (Star Trek: Voyager)
JG “General Martok” Hertzler (Star Trek: Deep Space Nine)
Robert “Gowron” O’Reilly (Star Trek: The Next Generation)
Hana “Molly O’Brien” Hatae (Star Trek: TNG/DS9)
Tim “Tuvok” Russ (Star Trek: Voyager)
Doug “Lt. Saru” Jones (Star Trek: Discovery, Hellboy, Pan’s Labyrinth)
Manu “Icheb” Intiraymi (Star Trek: Voyager)
But wait! There’s more…
Ryan Eggold (The Black List, The Black List: Redemption)
Sylvester McCoy (The Hobbit, Doctor Who)
Gigi Edgley (Farscape, Rescue Special Ops)
Miltos Yerolemou (Game of Thrones, Star Wars: The Force Awakens)
Valerie Leslie (The Paranormal Hour, 5th Passenger)
Corin Nemec (Stargate SG-1)
Rob Archer (Lost Girl, Pixels, Kick Ass 2)
Jai Koutrae (Death’s Requiem)
Mindy Robinson (V/H/S/2)
Olivia D’abo (The Wonder Years, Conan The Destroyer)
Cody Saintgnue (MTV’s Teen Wolf)
Interested yet? Well, guess what? YOU might even be able to work on this project! Yes, YOU, Mr. or Ms. Fan! And it isn’t even just one fan film; it’s TEN—all linked together in…The Circuit!
But what is…The Circuit?? (Didn’t I already write that?)
I recently sat down with MANU INTIRAYMI (the actor who played the Borg teenager Icheb on Star Trek: Voyager) for one of Fan Film Factor’s first-ever audio interviews. And I asked him to help fill in the mystery of what is……The Circuit??? So let’s find out the ANSWER…
By now, you’re probably aware of how Star Trek: Renegades became RENEGADES: THE SERIES on the day the new fan film guidelines were announced…and how they surgically removed all traces of Star Trek from their Star Trek fan film.
But the show must go on! And filming completed for both Parts 1 and 2 of the first full episode of Renegades, “The Requiem,” after the release of the initial 90-minute pilot.
Starring Walter Koenig as an aging admiral named “Pavel” with a strong Russian accent, Nichelle Nichols as another unnamed admiral, and Tim Russ (who also directed it) as the Confederation Security Chief Kovok—plus a half dozen other Star Trek acting veterans from various series—“The Requiem, Part 1” was already completed and released and can be viewed here.
Now the time has come to finish post-production on Part 2, and that means another round of crowd-funding. Their first round of crowd-funding for “The Requiem” (called episodes 2 and 3 at the time) came via Kickstarter at the end of 2015 and raised more than $378,000! That covered production (sets, costumes, make-up, actors, production crew, equipment, studio, etc.) but not post-production (visual effects, sound, music, color balancing, editing, etc.).
A separate crowd-funding campaign for post-production was held using Indiegogo last August with a goal of $60,000 for “The Requiem, Part 1” and $150,00 for the completion of both episodes. And they nearly made it! A total of $138,580 was raised…allowing them to complete and release “Part 1” and nearly complete Part 2.
So let’s see, doing the math, Renegades needed $150,000 and raised just over $138,000. So that leaves…$80,000??? Yeah, you were probably gonna say $12,000, but this is crowd-funding math!
Aw, I’m just teasing…although Renegades really is asking for another $80,000. But like certain other fan productions (you know the one I’m talking about), when you’ve done successful crowd-funding, there’s always room for scope-creep, and Renegades is promising lots more than originally planned:
We are seeking post-production funding to expand and finish our visual FX work, and to finish up the audio, mixing and color correction. This campaign will also allow us to add many new VFX shots to enhance the story and dramatically increase the visual production value – if you’ve viewed part one, you’ve seen what an amazing job the team has done with the effects! Renegades: the Requiem is so close to public release, and we are eager to offer the dramatic conclusion to the film. Spoiler alert: the Renegades universe will never be the same!
This time out, they’re doing their own internal crowd-funding campaign (no Kickstarter or Indiegogo) with some great perks. And in just two days, they’re already raised more than 10% of their goal! Please consider making a donation if you can.
And if you’re on the fence, this trailer for Part 2 should definitely put you in the mood to open your wallet!
As previously announced, the Indiegogo crowd-funding campaign for INDUSTRY STUDIOS (formerly Ares Studios) in Valencia, CA is now live…and kicking butt, it seems! With a stated goal of $60,000 to cover rent, utilities, insurance, off-site storage of sets (when not in use in order to clear the sound stage), payment processing fees, and perk production and fulfillment ONLY (no salaries), the new campaign had already taken in more than $6,0o0 (10% of their primary goal) in just the first two hours!
There was a question whether fans and donors would stay loyal to AXANAR (which will be filmed in Industry Studios) after the difficult year of 2016 was filled with legal proceedings and a parade of accusations and vitriol directed by detractors at Alec Peters, the man behind both Axanar and Industry Studios. In fact, one detractor has recommended on Facebook that those wishing to “spread the truth” donate $1 so they can post critical comments to the campaign. I don’t have confirmation that such a thing has happened yet, but it wouldn’t be particularly surprising…sadly.
So far, the momentum appears to be on the side of the donors and supporters. The campaign has stated that the money raised will go toward helping to fund a facility that can be used for multiple fan, independent, and student films at little-to-no cost for the production itself.
It’s a very cool idea, and one that apparently already has the interest of one local Los Angeles film school. Also, the campaign has finally revealed which non-Axanar production will be the first to use the studio. For months, Alec Peters has been stating that’s he was in discussions with producers eager to use the studio…and both supporters and detractors were wondering who. Now it’s been announced that this production will be Personal Space, which had starred the late Richard Hatch in its soon-to-be released first season. Season two will be crowd-funding soon and be co-produced by Axanar Productions.
Keep in mind that none of the money raised in this campaign will go to fund the filming of the Axanar fan film (a stipulation of the legal settlement with CBS and Paramount). Therefore, none of the perks offered have any Axanar anything (sorry if you wanted more patches, folks)…with one exception. A special “Origins: Behind the Scenes of Axanar” documentary will be released on Blu-ray with footage and commentary on the making of Prelude, the “Vulcan Scene,” and the never-released Heroes vignette…as well as background info on the Four Years War.
It looks to be an exciting month! You can find out more about the campaign and make a donation if you’d like by clicking this link:
Nearly a thousand backers have donated nearly $100,000 so far to help RENEGADES: THE SERIES(formerly Star Trek: Renegades) complete post-production on their two-parter “The Requiem.” Considering that Renegades had previously generated nearly $400,000 for production, “The Requiem” (when released) will be the most expensive Star Trek fan film ever completed–at more than a HALF MILLION DOLLARS…wow!!
(Of course, Renegades is no longer technically a Star Trek fan film. But in my heart, it will always be one.)
Their primary goal was $60,000 for this Indiegogo campaign, which they reached easily within the first week. This would pay for post production entirely for the first episode of the 2-parter. But with $150,000, they could complete post production on both.
Can they make it? As of today, they’re just over $95,000 with just over two weeks left. So it’ll be close! If you’re looking for fan film to donate just a little more of your money to, click on over to the Renegades Indiegogo campaign and give what you can. The campaign officially ends on August 31!
Last time: we continued our in-depth discussion of crowd-funding with Alec Peters (Axanar executive producer) and Mike Bawden (Axanar director of public relations), two veterans of Trek fan films who, together, have raised nearly $2 million through multiple Kickstarter and Indiegogo campaigns for various projects.
Alec and Mike possess a wealth of knowledge about running successful crowd-funding campaigns. And whether you’re planning to do a campaign of your own someday or simply thinking of donating to one, we now conclude this compelling conversation on the realities of crowd-funding…
Last time: we began our fascinating discussion of crowd-funding with two of the most successful campaigners in the history of Trek fan films, Alec Peters (Axanar executive producer) and Mike Bawden (Axanar director of public relations). Together, these two men have organized Kickstarter and Indiegogo campaigns for multiple productions that have raised nearly $2 million combined (including $1.3 just for Axanar alone).
If you want to know how to run a successful crowd-funding campaign, pay attention to these guys. This discussion isn’t just a Crowd-Funding 101 class; it’s a graduate-level seminar with some amazing insights from two people who’ve actually walked the walk. Their experiences have provided them a unique perspective and many insights that, to me at least, should be considered pure gold to anyone looking to be a part of a successful crowd-funding campaign.
Last time: we looked at some of the factors that might have affected the recent Indiegogo campaign from Star Trek Continues (which just wrapped up last week).
Now it’s time to continue our discussion of crowd-funding with two crowd-funding experts: ALEC PETERS, show-runner of Axanar, and MIKE BAWDEN, director of public relations for Axanar, who has also worked on the Kickstarter for Space Command, an early campaign that raised $242,000. Mike has been involved in over a dozen crowd-funding campaigns, and the two men together have helped to raise nearly two million dollars of donations from fans for various projects, including $1.3 million for Axanar.
If you’re thinking of doing a crowd-funding campaign of any kind, then get out your pen and start taking notes! The following discussion is a crowd-funding “how to” guide that you’re not likely to get anywhere else…