Yesterday, the GoFundMe campaign for my fan film INTERLUDE crossed $11,000! Although this might not seem as significant a milestone as crossing the half-way point or crossing $10,000…it’s very exciting to me personally because it means I’m doing my job properly. (Also, most of the detractors never thought I’d raise more than $5K-$10K at the most, and now even some of them are impressed!)
Y’see, unlike many folks who make fan films, I don’t have any background or experience in filmmaking. Zero. Zip. Zilch. Nada. While I’m a decent graphic designer and can edit as a novice with iMovie on my Mac, I’m not a director or VFX artist or lighting specialist or cameraman. I can’t compose music, build sets, create props, do make-up, or even sew uniforms and costumes. I’m not a sound FX guy, and while I’ve done a couple of fan film voice-overs, I’m not an actor and won’t even appear in my own fan film! All I did was write a script.
So why am I here at all? What’s my bag, baby?
The simple truth is that I’m here to convince people like you to give me your money. In return, I’ve assembled a very talented team who are going to make an amazing fan film for all of you to enjoy. It’s going to have the quality level of PRELUDE TO AXANAR (or as close as we can get!) and be able to stand beside its “siblings” (Prelude and the two Axanar sequels) as a proud part of the expanded “Axanar Universe.”
But in order to do that, things (some of them kinda expensive) needed to be paid for.
Believe me, I would have loved to have just written a check or charged everything to a credit card. But I simply don’t have the financial means—certainly not at the level required to match up to the other Axanar fan films. And even though the Ares bridge set is now complete (or 98% of the way there), this fan film is more than just the set.
So with essentially no skills, no experience, and no money, what the heck am I doing trying to make a fan film???
Two weeks ago, I showed you how I worked with CGI artist LEWIS ANDERSON on the VFX for the opening 20-second sequence for Interlude. Then last week, you got to watch my sound-mixer, MARK EDWARD LEWIS, add some awesome sound effects to the sequence.
Now it’s time to shine the spotlight on KEVIN CROXTON, my music composer. In 2018, Kevin wrote, directed, and produced the award-winning musical Star Trek fan film THE BUNNY INCIDENT with his fourth and fifth grade students. Oh, and did I mention (about 47 times!) that Kevin has won an Emmy?
Kevin was eager to get to work composing music for Interlude. He adores Star Trek and LOVES Axanar. The idea of writing music that would evoke both Prelude and classic/movie Trek intrigued him (and me!). But he had one request. Before composing music for the Interlude “commercial” and also for the longer “ask” video, he wanted Mark to add in the sound effects for the VFX sequence. That way, Kevin could compose around the louder and quieter beats.
For anyone who didn’t watch all the way to the end of the video in last week’s blog, here’s where things were left with my minute long “commercial” after Mark was finished adding the sound FX…
Note that the last scene from Prelude to Axanar was taken directly from the final fan film…complete with voice-over, sound FX, and music. This would later become problematic because I had no way to separate the three elements. But Mark added really amazing sound effects under the new VFX footage, along with quiet swishing noises when each of the intro titles zoomed in.
Easter came early to STARBASE STUDIOS on a cold day in January. That’s when Emmy-winning musician and Parkview Elementary School teacher KEVIN CROXTON brought 33 students from his Music Club to shoot a Star Trek fan film.
The previous summer, Kevin had agreed to compose and record music for GLEN WOLFE’s and DAN REYNOLD’s fan production “Walking Bear, Running Wolf” (part of their FEDERATION FILES anthology fan series). In exchange, Kevin was invited to bring his 4th and 5th grade students to the Starbase Studios TOS sets in Marble Falls, Arkansas (about three hours from Parkview Elementary) to spend a day there filming.
The finished product was released a couple of weeks ago and is already up to an impressive 3,200 views. I consider this a MUST SEE Trek fan film not simply because the kids are adorable but because it really is a remarkably well-produced fan film! It’s well-lit with lots of interesting camera angles, the sound levels are perfect, the music is great (the kids even get to sing!), there’s amazing make-up on Spock and the Klingons (plus really nice TOS Klingon uniforms), and all of the children do a spectacular job.
But don’t just take my word for it, have a look…
I reached out to Kevin for an interview, and we had a wonderful chat. Toward the end, he told me that a photographer named BRENDA YELVINGTON had taken hundreds of behind-the-scenes photos, and offered to let me use them for the interview.
Normally, I just do my audio interviews as MP3 files with no visual elements. But this time, I was able to do something a little extra special and turn the interview into a full YouTube video. But before anyone says, “That looked really great, Jonathan, you should do it more often…” it only works when you’ve got hundreds of photos and I have a lot of extra time!
Anyway, now that you’ve watched this wonderful little fan film, please enjoy this behind-the-scenes look at group of kids and adults who made it possible…