A winning streak of SUCCESSFUL Trek fan film CROWD-FUNDERS!

Lately, it seems like I’m covering a LOT of crowd-funding campaigns raising money for a variety of Star Trek fan films. That’s because it’s been a really pretty busy few months…with more campaigns to come!

Fortunately for our wallets, though, four campaigns have just successfully reached their funding goals (or come very close!), clearing the way for the newcomers. So let’s take a brief look at the fan productions that scored recent wins…

THE TEARS OF J’KAH

Two week ago, I reported on how BENNY HALL raised $49,183 (of his $50K goal) for his second Trek fan film THE TEARS OF J’KAH…from just 13 donors! This post-guidelines crowd-funding record was accomplished with the help of some very generous friends and contacts who each made donations of $5K and even $10K.

AXANAR – shoot #3

Last Thursday morning, ALEC PETERS launched a “tiny” (his word) fundraiser on Ares Digital trying to generate $3,400 to cover expenses for the third AXANAR shoot at Ares Studios in Larenceville, GA on March 15. By Sunday evening, he’d taken in more than $5,000!

The surplus will go into the upcoming fundraiser for the “big” fourth shoot. That on is scheduled to happen in Los Angeles and will include GARY GRAHAM playing Vulcan Ambassador Soval plus a bunch of other aliens, each of whom will require a top-level make-up artist. Combined with the cost of studio rental, travel, lodging, etc., this is expected to be around a $30,000 expenditure (although a final budget is still being worked out).

The Axanar fundraiser for Shoot #4 will launch on Ares Digital right after shoot #3 wraps on March 15…with the long-awaited debut of the FULLL TRAILER! You can watch it debut live by clicking here.

STARSHIP INTREPID – “ECHOES”

For the first time in its decade-and-a-half history, those INTREPID folks from Scotland have sought some financial assistance from fans and supporters. NICK COOK set the goal at a humble $2,500 (or thereabouts, since they get their money in pounds, not dollars) with a 60-day deadline. Earlier this week, with less than two weeks left and with the help of 72 backers, they hit their goal.

CONSTAR CONTINUES

With an even more humble goal of $1,175, VANCE MAJOR launched his latest GoFundMe campaign back in December. It’s taken a little while, but this past Monday morning, he also reached (and slightly surpassed) his goal…with the help of 24 backers (including me).


My congratulations to all of the projects I’ve just mentioned, and my thanks to those of my readers who chose to donate in order to help make these fan film dreams into realities.

So what’s left that still needs crowd-funding help (besides Axanar)? Glad you asked!

Continue reading “A winning streak of SUCCESSFUL Trek fan film CROWD-FUNDERS!”

Star Trek fan film TEARS OF J’KAH raises $49,183 on Indiegogo…from 13 DONORS!

When I first interviewed BENNY HALL about his first Star Trek TOS fan production, LET OLD WRINKLES COME, and discovered he had set a goal of $50K for his second fan project TEARS OF J’KAH, I was quite dubious. In fact, I figured he had a snowball’s chance on Venus of even getting close.

I realize that the fan film guidelines allow projects to publicly crowd-fund up to $50K, but since those guidelines were announced, no Trek fan film has been able to raise even half that much in a public campaign. (I don’t count AXANAR because that campaign is private, and I don’t count the Deep Space Nine documentary because that wasn’t a typical fan film following the guidelines.) Since the guidelines came out, only a small handful have successfully cracked $10,000, and the majority have set and reached only goals in the four-digit range.

And not only that, it seemed to me as though poor Benny was making a bunch of rookie mistakes with his Indiegogo campaign. He’d launched close to Christmas time when most people’s money is going into buying presents and traveling. His launch was done with little fanfare, and there were no updates or postings on Facebook groups reminding folks to please donate. Benny wasn’t doing interviews (except one with me), and most Trek fans probably had little to no idea this project was even actively crowd-funding!

I felt bad for Benny, and I tried to help him by listing him at the top of my CROWDFUNDING NOW page here on Fan Film Factor. But it turned out Benny knew something I didn’t know—or rather, someone…several someones, in fact. Benny is the CFO at a production company located in Burbank, and it seems he’s friends with some very generous people. I noted that his first donation was $5,000. Then another $5K donation came in…and another. Every week or two, after seeing the campaign stagnate for a while, I’d refresh the browser tab, and the total would suddenly be $5K higher. In the final week of the campaign, which closed on Sunday night, the last two donations were $10K each. I wanna have friends like that!

Anyway, my congratulations to Benny on bringing in nearly $50K from just 13 backers in two months. He spent $50K of his own money on his first fan project, so he’s certainly paid his dues. And I’m confident the folks who supported Benny were impressed when they saw Let Old Wrinkles Come that he would show such dedication to his dream and making it happen. And now we get to see another $50K fan film!


And as long as I have your attention, and since Benny doesn’t need any more money, there’s still two active crowd-funders that are very near their goals and could use your donations to get there (click either graphic to go to their campaign pages)…

CONSTAR CONTINUES (just $185 more gets them to their goal!)


STARSHIP INTREPID: “ECHOES” (just $802 gets them to their goal!)

8 YEARS in the making, INTREPID releases their 12th fan film: “DISSONANT MINDS”! (interview with NICK COOK)

Quick reminder: these nice folks from Scotland currently have an active Indiegogo campaign trying to raise about $2,600. With one month down and one month to go, they’re two-thirds of the way to their goal. If you’d like to help them get the last $800 of the way there, please click the link below…

https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/help-fund-echoes-a-starship-intrepid-fanfilm


Scottish fan series STAR TREK: INTREPID began work on their first Trek fan film waaaaay back in 2003. Since then, they’ve completed production on a dozen fan films ranging in length from 6 to 47 minutes. (Read more about their history here.) Their latest release, “Dissonant Minds” came out last week, reconfirming their status as the longest-running, still-active Star Trek fan film group in the world!

Considering that these folks have been producing Trek fan content for 17 years, it may not be as surprising as some might think to discover that a good deal of the footage in this latest fan film was shot back in 2012! Yep, this fan film has been EIGHT YEARS in the making!!! And “Dissonant Minds” also had help from show-runners on three other major Trek fan productions (although it is not a crossover).

So let’s take a look…

If you’re curious which parts are from 2012, it’s all of the outdoor scenes plus the scenes in the governor’s office. What happened to make the production take so long? Well, unfortunately, after a full weekend of grueling filming way back when, a good portion of the outdoor shots turned out to be unusable in the final production for various reasons, and so the footage lingered on a hard drive.

Why not just re-shoot it? Show-runner NICK COOK explained that one of the cast, BODO HARTWIG, lives in Germany, so accommodating his schedule was an issue. “I didn’t feel comfortable asking him to make a second trip to reshoot it,” Nick told me. “The other issue was that this was sort of the start of a period of slow down for us, largely due to me being busy with work and family—and probably a degree of burn out. These films are hard work and can be pretty draining.”

Eventually, the script was reworked to incorporate a number of new scenes to make up for the loss of footage planetside. The bridge, sickbay, and space station scenes were shot separately s few years later on green screen using the revised script. “The original script is quite different and involved a lot more time with Merik and the civilians,” Nick explained. “I really struggled finding the right direction for that revised plot. I had a few dead end ideas over time, but I kept coming back to it.”

And yet, even with more footage filmed, the film didn’t make much more progress in post-production until a fellow fan filmmaker stepped in to help…

Continue reading “8 YEARS in the making, INTREPID releases their 12th fan film: “DISSONANT MINDS”! (interview with NICK COOK)”

INTREPID crowd-funder proves Jonathan absolutely WRONG!

January is a bad month for crowd-funding…or so I thought.

I usually advise people who ask (and advise them strongly) to avoid scheduling their fan film crowd-funding campaigns in December and January. Both months compete with the holidays. In December, people aren’t really paying much attention to requests to donate to fan projects. And by the time you reach January, many people’s wallets and bank accounts are recovering from holiday expenses like gifts and vacations. So if you can, wait until mid-February to launch your crowd-funder.

A good example of this was VANCE MAJOR, who kicked off his latest GoFundMe for CONSTAR CONTINUES in December. With previous Constar campaigns trying for a $500 goal, Vance had been able to cross the finish line within days. But that was in March. This time, with a goal of $1,175 for costumes and props, Vance took in just a few hundred dollars over the first few weeks, and even now, more than a month later, is only up to $675 from 17 backers (including me). He’s getting there, but it’s definitely slower this time out. Was I right about December and January?

I thought I was…which is why I scratched my head when I saw NICK COOK launch an Indiegogo campaign for STARSHIP INTREPID‘s next fan film, “Echoes.” The long-running fan series out of Dundee, Scotland is trying to raise $2,600 for:

  • Travel expenses
  • Room hire (location rental)
  • Food for the actors
  • Props and costumes
  • Make up
  • Associated consumables (such as batteries)
  • Post-production expenses

With a goal more than double what Vance was asking for, I contacted Nick Cook and suggested we hold off doing a crowd-funding feature/interview here on Fan Film Factor until February—expecting that he (like Vance) wouldn’t get too far over the next few weeks.

It’s only three days later, and Intrepid‘s campaign is already nearly 40% of the say to their goal with $1,036 from 28 backers (including me). Boy, was I wrong! But why was I wrong?

Continue reading “INTREPID crowd-funder proves Jonathan absolutely WRONG!”

Surprising NEW CAST MEMBER added to CONVERGENCE! (audio interview with SAMUEL COCKINGS)

If you think of fan films without visual effects as being like plain chocolate bars, then there’s one person in our community who is definitely nuts!

Yes, folks, it’s time to check in once again with the elf who cobbles the CGI shoes, the beaver that builds the digital dam, Great Britain’s own SAMUEL COCKINGS. I like to joke that it’s quicker to list the fan films and series that Sam hasn’t worked on than those he has. And while that’s certainly a bit of an exaggeration, the fact is that in 2019 alone, Sam did the VFX for two episodes of DREADNOUGHT DOMINION, two episodes from the AVALON UNIVERSE, LINE OF DUTY from Aaron Vanderkley in Australia, THE FEDERATION FILES: “THE EQUINOX EFFECT”, WAR STORIES from the upcoming THE ROMULAN WAR fan film (which he’s also working on), plus his own mega fan film TEMPORAL ANOMALY. In addition to all of this, Sam releases regular weekly episodes of TREKYARDS (click here for the YouTube playlist) with STUART FOLEY plus reviews, interviews, and other special Trek and scifi features.

Considering how busy he is, it’s a wonder Sam has the time to make yet ANOTHER Star Trek fan film, but back in 2018, he crowd-funded through an Indiegogo campaign $7,385 from 114 backers for CONVERGENCE (surpassing two stretch goals)! The fan film itself is a crossover of characters, aliens, ships, and/or actors from five different fan films: INTREPID, DARK ARMADA, RENEGADES, STARSHIP REPUBLIC, and Sam’s own TEMPORAL ANOMALY.

Although one green screen shooting weekend had already brought together four of the cast members (the European ones), the Indiegogo would fund a second green screen shoot, this time also flying in actor JIM VON DOLTEREN from America to Britain. The idea was to schedule the shoot for mid-2019 and release the completed film before the end of the year.

But that didn’t happen.

So what did happen? Well, why don’t I just let Sam tell you that himself…?

Hmmmm…a lot to unpack there. With so much news about the project, Sam and I had an informative one-on-one chat to go a little deeper into the significant casting change, the last year of production, progress on the visual effects, and the timing for production in 2020 and release in early 2021. Take a look…

The history of STAR TREK: INTREPID (interview with NICK COOK, part 3)

In part 1 and part 2, we met NICK COOK and the crew of STAR TREK: INTREPID, a long-running Star Trek fan series based out of Dundee, Scotland. Starting off production waaaaaaay back in 2003, Intrepid is (at the time of this writing) the longest continuously-active Trek fan series still filming episodes.

By 2011, Intrepid had already released six episodes with run-times ranging from 6 minutes to 47 minutes. They also released three different crossover episodes, produced in conjunction with STAR TREK: HIDDEN FRONTIER. The first of these crossovers, ORPHANS OF WAR, came out in 2007. The second, OPERATION BETA SHIELD, followed a year later. There was no crossover in 2009, but 2010 saw the final joint Star Trek: Intrepid/Hidden Frontier production: ONE OF OUR OWN. Take a look…

When last we left off in our interview, I’d just asked Nick how this third crossover came to be…


NICK COOK at the iconic Vasquez Rocks north of Los Angeles

NICK – One of Our Own was a different kettle of fish. We had a vacation planned and knew we’d be in Los Angeles. A group of us from Intrepid and HF did a road trip to Yosemite from L.A. and back that summer of 2010. So I suggested doing another short team up.

Rob said yes, so I had to come up with a story. I thought the idea of Shelby chasing down a rumour that Lefler wasn’t dead might be interesting. The twist being: it’s not Lefler, but they end up helping someone anyway, and Shelby gets some sort of closure. As always, it never quite turns out as the way you envision it, but for what it is, I think it’s still a fun piece, even if the narrative could have been clearer.

JONATHAN – I was actually going to ask you if you’d come to America to film that one. If you watch the fan film, the two of you are never on the screen at the same time except at the very end, which could have been a split screen composite. But you and RISHA DENNEY (the actor who played Elizabeth Shelby) were actually doing that scene together in the same place?

Continue reading “The history of STAR TREK: INTREPID (interview with NICK COOK, part 3)”

The history of STAR TREK: INTREPID (interview with NICK COOK, part 2)

Last week, we met show-runner NICK COOK and his crew of the fan series STAR TREK: INTREPID, based in Dundee, Scotland. In November of 2007, just six months after they released their first episode “Heavy Lies the Crown” in May, fans got their second taste of Intrepid. But it wasn’t an episode produced entirely by Nick and his team in Scotland. This was a crossover fan film with the long-running fan series STAR TREK: HIDDEN FRONTIER, shot in Pasadena, CA in collaboration with ROB CAVES and his Areakt Productions. The name of this 12-minute fan film was ORPHANS OF WAR….

Hidden Frontier had already had an impressive run, with fifty episodes (about a half hour each) released from 2000-2007. By the time that the crossover with Intrepid was released, Hidden Frontier had already ended its seven-season run, and a new fan series from Areakt had debuted: STAR TREK: ODYSSEY. The first episode, “Iliad,” tied in directly with Orphans of War and was released just two months earlier.

Intrepid‘s second solo episode, “Where There’s a Sea,” wouldn’t debut until the following summer. So as my in-depth interview with Intrepid show-runner Nick Cook continued, I decided to spend time discussing Orphans

Continue reading “The history of STAR TREK: INTREPID (interview with NICK COOK, part 2)”

The history of STAR TREK: INTREPID (interview with NICK COOK, part 1)

If you hear the words “Star Trek” and “Scotland,” chances are you’ll immediately think of Chief Engineer Montgomery Scott.  But do you think of NICK COOK and the cast and crew of the STAR TREK: INTREPID fan series?  You should…because Intrepid is currently the longest-running Star Trek fan series still in active production (and there’s no end in sight).

Even though their first episode didn’t premiere until 2007, production actually began way back in 2003—before there was YouTube!—and you could count the total number of Trek fan series on one hand (well, maybe you’d need a couple of fingers from your second hand, too).

Since then, Intrepid has released twelve fan films PLUS an additional three crossover fan films with STAR TREK: HIDDEN FRONTIER…and has also had its characters make cameos in three (soon to be four) additional fan series.

A resident of the city of Dundee on the eastern coast of Scotland, Nick Cook is the unstoppable force behind Star Trek: Intrepid (now simply “Intrepid,” as the fan film guidelines no longer allow the use of the words “Star Trek” in a fan film’s title).   Nick is well known in the fan film community and generally considered one of the nicest guys out there…and I heartily agree!

I recently shared a trip down Memory Lane (no relation to yours truly) with Nick to look back at the full 15-plus-year history of this much-respected fan series from his perspective.  We started with the very early years…

Continue reading “The history of STAR TREK: INTREPID (interview with NICK COOK, part 1)”

Star Trek FAN FILMS are most certainly NOT DEAD…here’s what’s coming down the pike!

No, not THAT Pike! But if you know one of those crazy people who keeps saying that Star Trek fan films are “dead” or that the guidelines or the Axanar lawsuit “destroyed” Trek fan films forever…well, it’s time for a little reality check!

Not only are Star Trek fan films alive and thriving, but we’re about to be inundated with new major productions at all levels of funding ranging from pocket-change to six-figure budgets.

The past year has already been loaded with a plethora of new fan film releases: Galaxy Hopper, Galactic Battles, Temporal Anomaly, Avalon Lost, The Fighting Fourth, Last Survivor, Diplomatic Relations, Desperate Gambit, The Holy Core, Dreadnought Dominion, All Ahead Full, Children of Eberus, The Looking Glass, Confrontations, To Have Boldly Gone, Repercussions, Stunt Doubles, and the just-released Line of Duty. And those are just the ones I’ve covered here on Fan Film Factor! Check out the Star Trek Reviewed blog for a ridiculously more detailed list including all of the smaller fan productions that I don’t usually have a chance to get to.

But you ain’t seen nuthin‘ yet!

Within the next six months, a host of exciting NEW Star Trek fan films are scheduled for release onto YouTube—some of them eagerly anticipated. Last week, I reached out to some prominent fan filmmakers to get updates on their productions and when fans will get a chance to finally see them.

Here’s just some of what you can look forward to in the very near future…

Continue reading “Star Trek FAN FILMS are most certainly NOT DEAD…here’s what’s coming down the pike!”

CONVERGENCE winds up 134% funded, releases TEST SCENE Teaser!

At midnight Pacific Time last Friday (while I was on East Coast time in Atlanta…don’t worry, folks, Axacon coverage is coming later this week!), the 5-way crossover fan film CONVERGENCE finished up its Indiegogo campaign with $7,385 from 114 backers!  This was a third over their posted goal of $5,500, and allowed them to surpass two stretch goals.  The first (at $6,000) would cover the Indiegogo fees and perk production costs, meaning that all $5,500 could go to the production itself.  The second stretch goal ($7,000) will fund both a new late TNG/DS9 era uniform for actor Jim Von Dolteren (of a quality to match the others) as well as a special behind-the-scenes bonus video with interviews, bloopers, and “making of” features.

Even though Indiegogo offers the “In Demand” status for any campaign that exceeds its goal (meaning, you can continue raising money even after your campaign “ends”), sh0w-runner and Hobbit ring-bearer (to bring them all, get it?) SAMUEL COCKINGS has decided that he’s now got enough to make this happen.  So the campaign is now officially closed.

As you might remember, Samuel was contacted by a concerned CBS when they saw the trailer to his other upcoming Trek fan film TEMPORAL ANOMALY.  And even though discussions with CBS were cordial, and Samuel reached an agreement when Temporal Anomaly could be released with some changes and is now allowed to exceed the 30-minute runtime limit, Samuel prefers not to poke the bear when it comes to the Trek copyright holders.  He set out to raise $5,500.  He did so, got a little extra to improve the finished project, and now he doesn’t need to keep taking in more money.

On the final day of the campaign, Samuel released a sneak-peek “test scene teaser” showing what Convergence will look like when finished.  Well…kinda.  Y’see, it’s a TEST scene, and it still needs quite a bit of work.  Samuel says it’s got the wrong LCARS, it’s missing a Master Systems Display, a dedication plaque, and possibly some extra crew members in the background.  The sound and music aren’t finalized yet either.  “It’s a work-in-progress (WIP),” Samuel told me with the enthusiasm of someone tackling a challenging project that he’s really excited about.  And I’m also excited!

And I think, after you watch this sneak-peek video, even though it’s still rough around the edges, you’ll be excited, too…