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.)
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, 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:
I 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.
The 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!
The 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:
Back 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 planned Star Trek short film, CHANCE ENCOUNTER, launched a Kickstarter 30 days ago with a humble goal of just £1,700 (about $2,500). Fan Film Factor is happy to announce that the production hit its goal and exceeded it slightly by about £187 (or $235)…meaning they get to keep the money they’ve raised through their Kickstarter campaign. Show-runner Gary O’Brien has thanked all of his backers and reports that his team is ready to get underway with this production.