FARRAGUT FORWARD blasts past $30K goal, adds two new STRETCH GOALS!

Earlier this week, the folks at FARRAGUT FORWARD did what seemed almost inconceivable to many just two short months ago: reach and surpass a $30K crowdfunding goal on Indiegogo!

Since the publication of the fan film guidelines in June of 2016, no Star Trek fan film (with one unusual exception) has surpassed $25K in crowd-funding (not counting the DS9 and Voyager documentaries, of course). And indeed, after their first four weeks, Farragut Forward‘s campaign was struggling just to get over $3K…only 10% of the way there. And this despite releasing this really amazing PROLOGUE trailer right before the start of the campaign…

But showrunners JOHN BROUGHTON and JOHNNY K. weren’t worried. Instead, they redoubled their efforts to create content and released behind-the-scenes features, interviews, and videos almost daily (sometimes even more frequently!). And while doing all this online publicity and marketing, they also reached out directly to several people they hoped would become significant backers.

“I wish I’d filmed more of all the work that happens behind the scenes during a funding campaign,” says Johnny K., the director of Farragut Forward‘s premiere fan film and the owner of KAOTICA STUDIOS, the company producing the project. “All the planning, the coordination, the late-night production meetings after full days of work…you never see how much work goes into these things until you live it. These are passion projects, and they’re not easy. I’m so happy we are funded and get to see this project come to fruition.”

Now, with just 3 days left in the campaign, and with donations having reached an amazing $33,541, John and Johnny have added not just one but two exciting stretch goals!

If they manage to hit $37K by this Sunday’s deadline, they will build the full movie-era Klingon Bird-of-Prey bridge set. And beyond that, if they reach $40K by the end of this weekend, they will also build the transporter room and full corridor set! 

How did they manage to reach this incredible crowd-funding milestone? As I said, they courted some big donors. Seven backers gave $1,000 contributions while three others gave $5,000 each! But the other $11,500 has come in from more than 125 different backers with donations ranging from less than $10 all the way up to $500. And indeed, as the total began to edge closer to the goal last week, a number of folks doubled down to get FF across the finish line.

“I couldn’t be more excited about what we’re about to do,” adds Johnny K. “Huge thanks to everyone who has supported this project and helped us reach our goal!”

And now, with just a few days left, FF is within $3.5K of being able to construct a full Bird-of-Prey bridge. Can they make it? And how about a transporter room and corridor, too? If you’d like to help them make fan film history, click on the link below…

https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/farragut-forward-a-star-trek-fan-production#/

With two and a half weeks remaining, the FARRAGUT FORWARD Indiegogo passes $15,000!

On the one hand, $15K is only halfway to the $30K goal of the current Indiegogo campaign for FARRAGUT FORWARD, the movie-era sequel to the long-running fan series STARSHIP FARRAGUT. And with only 17 days left, that means they’ve got just about 25% of the time left to get the remaining half.

On the other hand, few Star Trek fan films have managed to get even as far as $15K since the publication of the fan film guidelines back in June of 2016. And they also spent their first four weeks struggling to get over $3K. So really, they’ve taken in nearly $12K in donations in just the past three and a half weeks…and that is VERY impressive!

One of their donors gave $5K, and three others threw in $1K each…which certainly helps! They’ve also had three $500 donors and eight $200 donors. So that’s $11K right there from just 15 donors. The other 70-or-so backers have given at levels ranging from $5 or $10 up to $150.

So how are they managing to generate so much enthusiasm and support so quickly? Things started rolling after they had a table at the annual FARPOINT Convention near Baltimore, MD at the end of February. And since then, showrunner (and lead actor) JOHN BROUGHTON and director JOHNNY K. have been on a tear releasing engaging behind the scenes content! One of their most exciting offerings so far has been this new video released last week:

But there have been a dozen other, almost daily (sometimes twice daily!) updates posted to this page on their Indiegogo campaign in the last twelve days…some of them rather elaborate and filled with images from pre-production like in-depth looks into building the practical ship models that will be used for the visual FX…

Sneak peeks at the Klingon make-up and costuming…

Updates on early set construction and those awesome monster maroon uniforms…

Plus there are cast spotlights, links to podcast interviews (they’ve been doing a lot of those), and the announcement that the Grand Chieftain of CGI, SAMUEL COCKINGS, has joined the team to provide digital VFX to augment their practical model effects.

And of course, this is the point in the blog where I provide a link to the Indiegogo campaign and ask you to please help support this project if you can because it looks so amazing. Also, it would be totally awesome if a fan film could once again raise $30K—almost like the good ol’ days!

Here’s the link…

https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/farragut-forward-a-star-trek-fan-production#

At the halfway point, FARRAGUT FORWARD Indiegogo is 40% of the way to its $30K goal!

Since the announcement of the guidelines back in 2016, few Star Trek fan films have managed to crowd-fund into the five-figures. Of those, only INTERLUDE, THE ROMULAN WAR (Part 1 and Part 2 combined), and the still-not-completed TEARS OF J’KAH have managed to exceed $25K. Interlude just barely made it, although the last couple of thousand were a late add-on to replace PAUL JENKINS’ damaged green screen. The Romulan War probably shouldn’t count because it was actually TWO fan films, although they combined to reach just under $30K. And finally, Tears of J’Kah was funded to $49K, but that was from only 13 backers, most of them wealthy Hollywood connections that showrunner BENNY HALL asked for donations from.

And then there’s FARRAGUT FORWARD.

Last month when they launched their Indiegogo campaign, showrunners JOHN BROUGHTON and JOHNNY K. explained in a video interview why their goal was set at $30K. They’re planning on building screen-accurate Star Trek movie-era sets, based on those that became the U.S.S. Reliant in Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan. Considering that Farragut Films had built most of the meticulously-crafted TOS sets that were used for STARSHIP FARRAGUT, STAR TREK CONTINUES, and now are NEUTRAL ZONE STUDIOS in Kingsland, GA, one expects the Farragut Forward sets to also look amazing.

And speaking of looking amazing, their “monster maroon” uniforms are studio quality (maybe even better!), as are their Klingon uniforms, and can cost up to one thousand dollars apiece…and the Farragut folks are planning to make about two dozen of them! And that’s how you get to $30K (not to mention make-up, props, food…and other production expenses).

Even so, $30K is a LOT of money to generate in a post-guidelines world with global inflation and rising fuel prices also becoming an issue of late. And of course, back in 2015, there was no new Star Trek on television, so fan films were all we had. Nowadays, fan films are “competing” with five different weekly TV series from CBS/Paramount. And even before the guidelines, Starship Farragut‘s last campaign back in late 2015 reached its goal $15K but didn’t get much further ($15,787). Can they really DOUBLE that in today’s crowd-funding environment?

To be certain, they started off frustratingly slowly, languishing in the low four-figure range for the first four weeks. But that all changed this past weekend. John B. and Johnny K. had a table at the long-running FARPOINT convention in Hunt Valley, MD along with a presentation of their “PROLOGUE” vignette, which is a must-see…

The above video along with the promised return of Farragut got folks at the con VERY excited, and thousands of dollars in on-site donations came in by Sunday evening. And then on Wednesday, they received their first donation at the $5K level. Other smaller donations have followed, and they are over $12K…which is 40% of the way to their goal!

John Broughton remains extremely optimistic. In a Facebook post earlier today, he said the following…

Continue reading “At the halfway point, FARRAGUT FORWARD Indiegogo is 40% of the way to its $30K goal!”

FARRAGUT FORWARD finally funding ferociously formidable fan film! (video interview with JOHN BROUGHTON and JOHNNY K.)

Back in 2016, after a decade of producing an impressive parade of both live-action and animated Star Trek fan films, the team at STARSHIP FARRAGUT began production on the series finale “Homecoming.” But the bittersweet ending to this celebrated fan series was much more sweet than bitter because, at the same time, they announced plans to begin production on a new project that would take the crew forward into the Star Trek movie era…complete with monster maroon uniforms and brand new sets! (You can read the full history of Starship Farragut starting here.)

Farragut Films had already distinguished itself as capable of building jaw-dropping TOS set recreations, having constructed most of the Constitution-class heavy cruiser sets that are currently housed in Kingsland, GA, sets that have also been used for the fan series STAR TREK CONTINUES, DREADNOUGHT DOMINION, AVALON UNIVERSE, TALES FROM THE NEUTRAL ZONE, CONSTAR CHRONICLES, and many others. Imagine what these guys could do with movie-era sets!

But then, shortly after the announcement of the fan film guidelines in June of 2016, Farragut showrunner and lead actor JOHN BROUGHTON all but disappeared from the fan film community, and the series finale remained uncompleted and unreleased. As for Farragut Forward, an announcement was made that the planned series was being tabled.

Then everything changed on a dime. In the span of just two months last year, an announcement came in August that Farragut Forward was now officially in pre-production, and in October “Homecoming” was finally released! Fans were really excited at both developments but especially that the new movie-era fan film would be produced…and not just by any ol’ director. John Broughton had teamed with KAOTICA STUDIOS in the Washington, DC area, and specifically with director JOHNNY K. (he likes to use just his last initial professionally), whose camera and lighting skills are truly impressive. In fact, his debut independent film, The Killer of Grassy Ridge, has since earned a dozen different awards in film festivals around the world.

Johnny K. has brought that same finesse to the new Farragut Forward project, and John B. has brought along props, a couple of new Klingon bird-of-prey sets, and the spiffiest monster maroon uniform you will ever see in a fan film (and probably even in studio-produced Star Trek!). Don’t believe me? Well, you can see for yourself, as they have already released the opening three minutes of the project in a vignette titled PROLOGUE

Of course, there’s a LOT more sets to build and costumes to craft (by hand!)—plus all of the other costs of production like equipment, studio space, food, make-up supplies, etc. And all that stuff doesn’t exactly come free. So Farragut Forward has launched a brand new, 60-day Indiegogo campaign trying to reach an ambitious goal of $30K!

Continue reading “FARRAGUT FORWARD finally funding ferociously formidable fan film! (video interview with JOHN BROUGHTON and JOHNNY K.)”

STARSHIP FARRAGUT finally releases series finale “HOMECOMING” (interview with JOHN BROUGHTON, PAUL R. SIEBER, and STEVE SEMMEL – part 2)

Last time in Part 1, we celebrated the highly-anticipated release of “Homecoming,” the finale of the long-running Trek fan series STARSHIP FARRAGUT, by interviewing show-runner JOHN BROUGHTON, writer PAUL R. SIEBER, and post-production supervisor and composer STEVE SEMMEL. We found out which elements delayed the completion of the film, what it was like shooting scenes with the legendary STAN LEE, and a whole bunch of other stuff that I’m not going to bother to recap because we’ve still got so much great interview left!

But before we dive into the conclusion, I’d like to recommend (if you’re interested in Starship Farragut) that you check out this 3-part blog covering the fascinating history of this venerated fan series from 2004 – 2016. And definitely watch the finale “Homecoming” if you haven’t already…

For anyone interested in the new sequel series, FARRAGUT FORWARD, I’ll be covering that soon with John and his director in an upcoming blog. But for now, let’s continue to celebrate this wonderful fan series with a question that goes back to the very beginning…


JONATHAN – I’ve always wondered: what made you choose the U.S.S. Farragut rather than one of the other major starships like Potemkin or Lexington or Republic?

JOHN – When I first started working on this project, it was going to be called Starship Excalibur. But then I learned that JOE KEREZMAN was doing his own fan film called STAR TREK: EXCALIBUR. And he reached out and said, “If you change your name to any of the other ships, I’ll make you—gratis for life—all the chest patches that you need.” And I said okay. I wasn’t that married to it.

John Broughton as Captain Jack Carter

So I looked at all of the patch designs that Joe had created, and the Farragut, which has an oval patch design—I thought that will be easy to sew, since I was making all the costumes myself—coupled with the Navy tie-in because I’m a veteran of the U.S. Navy, opted with the Farragut. Joe supplied me with one batch of patches, and that was it. But it was enough for what we needed, until we had our own embroiderer doing the patches for our project.  All in all, I’m glad we went with the Farragut.

JONATHAN – So once you’d decided that you wanted to make a fan film, what did you do next?

John Broughton, Sr.

JOHN – Initially when I started, I pulled in my dad, JOHN BROUGHTON, SR., and other friends, and then it just kinda grew as time went on. We were able to get professionals involved in the project, then we got our first studio in St. Marys, GA…which was much smaller than the Kingsland, GA space that the sets are now in. A lot of the initial sets were built by my father, then we had other volunteers that came on board and helped out.

Continue reading “STARSHIP FARRAGUT finally releases series finale “HOMECOMING” (interview with JOHN BROUGHTON, PAUL R. SIEBER, and STEVE SEMMEL – part 2)”

STARSHIP FARRAGUT finally releases series finale “HOMECOMING” (interview with JOHN BROUGHTON, PAUL R. SIEBER, and STEVE SEMMEL – part 1)

The history of the fan series STARSHIP FARRAGUT stretches all the way back to 2004 and spans a total of 6 full-length fan films, 3 shorter vignettes, and 2 animated-style fan films (one of them featuring the voices of TIM “Tuvok” RUSS and CHASE “Leeta” MASTERSON). Farragut Films was responsible for the majority of the construction of amazing TOS sets that were also utilized for STAR TREK CONTINUES and DREADNOUGHT DOMINION and are still available for use by fan filmmakers at NEUTRAL ZONE STUDIOS in Kingsland, GA. Farragut also spawned a short-lived spinoff series called TREK ISOLATION that released three vignettes. And coming in 2022, a sequel series titled FARRAGUT FORWARD will move some of the Starship Farragut characters into the Wrath of Khan movie era Trek.

Since we have so much material for today’s interview, I’ll keep the background introduction fairly brief. But if you’d like to read the full backstory of this proud fan series, here’s Part 1 of a 3-part deep-dive into the full history of Starship Farrugut. Well, ALMOST full. The final part of that blog feature came out in early 2016, a month before the release of their penultimate episode, “The Crossing,” and a few months before reshoots wrapped on their announced series finale, “Homecoming.” Crowd-funded with about $15K in late 2015, fans expected to see a completed fan film later in 2016 or maybe 2017. That didn’t happen.

Instead, it wasn’t until mid-2020 that STEVE SEMMEL announced that he was taking over as post-production supervisor, having started off simply doing the music for the episode. I interviewed Steve in June of last year, and he promised a delivery date in the second half of 2021 “most definitely.” And indeed, that’s exactly what happened, as “Homecoming” was released on October 1. Take a look…

I reached out to three people to discuss “Homecoming”: show-runner and lead actor JOHN BROUGHTON and writer PAUL R. SIEBER (both of whom have been with Starship Farragut since the very beginning), and of course, Steve Semmel (who came on board in 2018). We covered so much great behind-the-scenes information about both the finale episode and also going back to the earliest days of the series back in 2004.

I received so many awesome answers that I’ve decided to divide this interview into two parts. Let’s get started…

Continue reading “STARSHIP FARRAGUT finally releases series finale “HOMECOMING” (interview with JOHN BROUGHTON, PAUL R. SIEBER, and STEVE SEMMEL – part 1)”

A first look at FARRAGUT FORWARD…and it looks AMAZING!!!

Two months ago, I published a blog interviewing JOHNNY K., the producer and director of the new fan series FARRAGUT FORWARD. It’s a “sequel” series to the long-running STARSHIP FARRAGUT, which recently released its own series finale, “HOMECOMING” on October 1…after five years in post-production! (And if you’re wondering why I haven’t covered that release yet, please help me nag showrunner JOHN BROUGHTON, writer PAUL SIEBER, and post-production supervisor/composer STEVEN SEMMEL to finish writing up their answers to my interview questions.)

For the past several months, Johnny K., John B., and the Farragut Forward team have been hard at work building sets and props, polishing the script for the debut episode, and even creating physical ship models in order to film their visual FX the “old fashioned way”—none of this new-fangled CGI nonsense!

On October 16, cameras began rolling for the first time on the new series, shooting footage for what will be an initial 3-minute “teaser” prologue to the debut episode. The first look fans got came earlier this week with three photos posted on the KAOTICA STUDIOS Facebook page

Talk about firing an actor!

The post included the following caption:

Fun fact: it takes the Farragut Forward costuming team weeks of painstaking work to recreate accurate uniforms for our production. The attention to detail is extraordinary. It takes costume assistant Belle Bredehoft just a few seconds to light those items ON FIRE! 🔥🔥🔥

The next day, Kaotica released two new images from the actual footage shot in 6K on the set. You can see John B. below as Captain Jack Carter of the U.S.S. Farragut in the Wrath of Khan movie era (wearing a gorgeous and properly-fitting “monster maroon” uniform)…

From the NEWS section of the Kaotica Studios website, John Broughton had this to say (reprinted with permission):

A lot of preparation and hard work went into last weekend’s shoot which paid off in being well-organized, professional, and successful in best capturing our story. More importantly, the film shoot was FUN, which at the end of the day, is what this is all about, right?

It was surreal playing Captain Carter again and wearing a Starfleet uniform, but like an old worn glove, it fell right into place, and this time, it was a bit more natural. It’s great working with Johnny K., Kaotica Studios, and all the talented cast and crew in bringing the next chapter of Farragut to life and in in the best ‘light’ (or perhaps ‘low-light’). Thanks again to everyone involved!

The other still image posted was this shot of actor WILLIAM JAY in full Klingon makeup and armor…

William had this to say:

Continue reading “A first look at FARRAGUT FORWARD…and it looks AMAZING!!!”

STARSHIP FARRAGUT is coming BACK…or is it FORWARD??? (interview with JOHNNY K.)

When last we left STARSHIP FARRAGUT, showrunner JOHN BROUGHTON and his gallant crew had crowd-funded about $15K at the end of 2015 for what was to be their series finale, “Homecoming.” Footage for that fan film was shot in 2015 and 2016, and there were sporadic updates to donors (like me) but nothing major until about 14 months ago, when it was announced that musical composer STEVE SEMMEL had taken over as Post-Production Supervisor (you can check out the interview I did with Steve here).

According to the most recent update, “Homecoming” will, at long last, be released on October 1 of this year. Here’s a trailer for that fan film, which features an eye-catching cameo by the deeply missed, legendary Marvel Comics creator STAN LEE…

While “Homecoming” was to mark the end of the U.S.S. Farragut‘s five-year mission under Captain Jack Carter (played by John Broughton), the end was just the beginning. Also back in 2015, John announced that the team would soon be launching a new sequel series to be titled FARRAGUT FORWARD. At the time, Farragut Films had officially ended their relationship with “sister” series STAR TREK CONTINUES, leaving their TOS sets in Kingsland, GA—nearly all of which Farragut folks had either built or helped to build. Many members of the Farragut team lived in the Washington, D.C. area anyway, not particularly close to southeastern Georgia.

The new Farragut series would jump forward (hence, the name) in time about 20 years, just as Star Trek itself had done with the feature films, into the Wrath of Khan/”monster-maroon” uniform era. However, with the guidelines emerging within just a few months of John’s announcement, many wondered if the group would still launch a brand new Star Trek fan series when the very first guideline said that you can’t have an ongoing Star Trek fan series. And indeed, any news about Farragut Forward pretty much stopped after the guidelines were announced.

Until two weeks ago.

Fans were ecstatic to find a Facebook post from John Broughton linking to this website announcement that Farragut Forward had finally entered pre-production! John has joined forces with independent film studio KAOTICA STUDIOS in Washington, DC, and the studio’s founder, JOHNNY KARZAI, will be directing the initial episode.

The announcement said that fans “…can expect a more ‘sophisticated’ version of Farragut…  a darker, more serious side.” And indeed, after doing a lighting test with John Broughton in a meticulously-crafted captain’s uniform, Johnny K. commented, “This isn’t your Daddy’s Farragut!”

As you can see from the above photo, John B.’s character of Captain Jack Carter has aged VERY gracefully and looks as awesome as his uniform. “I think shelving this project for 5 years has helped us greatly in many ways, including the older self!” John said in a Facebook post.

Fans already know a good deal about John Broughton (if not, then read this 3-part History of Starship Farragut). But what about director Johnny Karzai? I reached out to Johnny K. for the inside scoop on all things Farragut Forward

Continue reading “STARSHIP FARRAGUT is coming BACK…or is it FORWARD??? (interview with JOHNNY K.)”