FARRAGUT FORWARD’s first full foray into frenetic fan filming looks PHENOMENAL (featuring a few final photos)!

If you’re anything like me, you just looked at the above image and asked, “Wait, is this a FAN film???” And yes, yes it is.

Earlier this year, the folks at FARRAGUT FORWARD, the sequel to the long-running and celebrated Star Trek fan series STARSHIP FARRAGUT, held an Indiegogo crowd-funder that managed to raise $33K for their newest effort—a TOS movie-era story featuring impeccable monster maroon costumes and amazing interior sets!

Neither of the above should surprise fans familiar with the team behind this production. Led by JOHN BROUGHTON, many of these folks are the same people who designed and built most of the incredible TOS set reproductions still being used at NEUTRAL ZONE STUDIOS in Kingsland, GA. Others are brand new to the adventure of constructing Star Trek sets, but the one thing they have in common is that their work looks incredible…

And beyond those amazing sets, the costumes are uncanny in their accuracy. Not only will this production be featuring monster maroons, hand-crafted and tailored to each individual actor, but they’ve also recreated movie-era engineering radiation suits and some of the best cadet uniforms I have ever seen…and that includes the ones in Star Trek II! No, seriously. Take a look at actress DANA NORVILLE—quite possibly the first person from Barbados to ever appear in a Star Trek fan film—wearing her costume…

Dana Norville

In the case of one actor, JONATHON JAMES, only half a costume was needed, as Jonathon already had a very nice Anovos monster maroon. So John Broughton just sewed him up a pair of pants with the right striping, and another background extra was now properly dressed…

It was “take-your-daughter to the future day” for Jonathon James, who described the experience of being on set as “an absolute dream come true.”

Of course, none of those sets or costumes would have been possible without the money to pay for them, much of which was supplied by enthusiastic and supportive fans (like me!) through their Indiegogo. And although the campaign officially “ended” back in April of this year, because it reached and surpassed its goal, Farragut Forward gets to continue on as an “In Demand” status crowd-funder. And that means that fans can STILL donate, even now! Indeed, since April, an additional $1,500 has come in with even more possible. In fact, you can donate right now at the link below…

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

The biggest news so far happened over the weekend of October 8-9 when, after years of anticipation and months of pre-production, filming actually began! With all of these unbelievable movie-era sets fully assembled and actors wearing these intricate movie-era uniforms, the cameras began rolling in Frederick, Maryland, with results that looked like this…

Continue reading “FARRAGUT FORWARD’s first full foray into frenetic fan filming looks PHENOMENAL (featuring a few final photos)!”

Now there are TWO crowd-funding campaigns in “IN DEMAND” status: AVALON and FARRAGUT FORWARD!

For anyone who’s curious, the 2-month long crowd-funding campaign for the AVALON UNIVERSE’s ambitious new multiversal crossover fan film, CRISIS ON INFINITE EXCALIBURS, finished up with $11,605. Since it surpassed its initial $8K goal (by 45%, in fact!), Indiegogo allows the the campaign to shift into “In Demand” status, meaning showrunner JOSHUA IRWIN can continue to crowd-fund beyond this past Monday’s deadline.

Oh course, if you’re talking AMBITIOUS fan films that are still crowd-funding using “In Demand” Indiegogos, you have to enthusiastically include FARRAGUT FORWARD from showrunner JOHN BROUGHTON and director JOHNNY K. They already released a short teaser trailer back in February that blew people’s socks off with the quality of the monster maroon uniforms, Klingon armor and make-up, and overall production quality. Take a look…

At the same time, they launched an Indiegogo to raise $30K intended to complete the full film, a sequel to their long-running STARSHIP FARRAGUT fan series. At the start of their campaign, I interviewed John and Johnny about the new project, which you can watch here…

Like Avalon, the Farragut Forward Indiegogo managed to surpass their goal, finishing at $33K on April 2 and shifting into “In Demand” status. And since then, they’ve managed to add 11 more backers and an extra $1.5K on top of their previous total. Johnny K. confirmed to me that the campaign is still very much active…

Our crowd-funder on Indiegogo is still open, and additional funds will give us even more options for Klingon sets, and maybe even a few surprises. So please keep the donations coming, and help spread the word that we’re still funding. Now is a perfect time to jump on board and help be a part of this project.

Here’s the link to donate:

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

Johnny continued…

There’s so much passion and genuine love for Star Trek, and we all know that we’re creating something special. You can just feel it. Dozens of very talented people are taking time away from their personal lives and families to bring this vision to life, and we’re incredibly grateful for that.

In the meantime, John Broughton continues to supervise the creation of the costumes, the construction of the sets and props, and a whole bunch of other pre-production tasks. And he’s been chronicling these efforts in a series of updates posted to their Indiegogo page. Speaking of sets, take a look at this…!

Impressed? Johnny K. sure is…

I was blown away when I saw the mocked-up sets for the first time. It just reinforces how massive this undertaking really is. From the sets, to the top-tier costumes, props, SFX and VFX, the time and energy poured into this production is unbelievable.

Filming kicks off on October 8, and we’ll be shooting off and on in several stages for many months and into next year. It’s a huge story to tell and we’re taking our time with it to make the best film we can possibly make.

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.)”

‘Tis the season for GIVING…to FAN FILMS!

When folks come to me for advice on crowd-funding their fan projects, I always tell them the same thing: DON’T LAUNCH YOUR CAMPAIGN DURING THE HOLIDAY SEASON!!! Ever since 2015, I’ve noticed that fan film crowd-funders that try to raise donations in November and December often struggle to reach their goals or even fail outright. The holiday season seems to be a “donation desert” for fan films.

It makes total sense. Nearly everyone is buying Christmas (or Hanukkah or Kwanza or Festivus) gifts for friends and family. And before COVID, people used to take expensive vacations during the holidays to visit family or just get away—remember when that used to happen? Charities, of course, usually choose this time to appeal to that ol’ spirit of giving and approach (hopefully) generous donors to give a little sumthin’. And soon Christmas bonus checks are spent before they even get cashed, and bank account balances do their impression of the Titanic.

I get that…not the time for fan films to ask for money.

But this past Monday, I received a bunch of e-mails from various places informing me that “Giving Tuesday” was here. So now we apparently have Black Friday, Cyber Monday, and…Giving Tuesday? When did that become a thing? Actually it started in 2012 at New York City’s famous 92rd Street Y (where I went to summer camp back in 1981) and has grown into an international movement to encourage a little healthy philanthropy among the manic bargain-hunting.

I wasn’t able to write a blog in time for this year’s Giving Tuesday because I just had cataract surgery early this week, and it took away my ability to see the text on my computer screen for a couple of days. Today is the first day I’ve got reliable sight back enough to compose a blog.

I’d actually been meaning to post something reminding folks about the ongoing Fan Film Factor Patreon to cover my annual expenses for keeping this blog site running. Currently, I’m taking in enough in monthly donations to cover the costs of domain registration and hosting, technical support, and security services.

But last month, I added a new annual expense: a $160/year Pro Account for Zoom. You might have noticed that I’ve been doing more video interviews with fan filmmakers lately. Zoom is an easy way to reach multiple people and record the interview calls. And Zoom is free as long as your call is less than 45 minutes or has only one other person on it. But my interviews go 60-90 minutes, and I often have multiple people on at the same time.

So with “Giving Tuesday” happening, even though we’re in the middle of the “fan film donation desert,” as I call it, I thought this might be a good time to post a little reminder about my Patreon

I’m looking for monthly contributions of $1, $2, whatever folks can spare to help cover the annual expenses of Fan Film Factor

PATREON link: https://www.patreon.com/fan_film_factor

Continue reading “‘Tis the season for GIVING…to FAN FILMS!”

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.)”