Have the new GUIDELINES really hindered the production of STAR TREK FAN FILMS? (panel video from Treklanta)

Photo courtesy of Lee Drew

The annual TREKLANTA con in Atlanta, GA is not a particularly huge convention, but it is one of the most fan-film-friendly cons you’re likely to find anywhere.  This is thanks in large part to Chairman ERIC L. WATTS, who organizes the convention along with Treklanta’s annual BJO AWARDS for the best Star Trek fan films from the previous year.  And there’s usually at least a panel or two dedicated to a particular fan film or fan films in general.

This year, the most notable fan film panel was being led by RANDY LANDERS, show-runner for POTEMKIN PICTURES in Pelham, AL, which has produced about five dozen Trek fan films over the past eight years!  The title of the panel: “Have the new guidelines really hindered the production of Star Trek fan films?”

Good question!

To help answer this, Randy invited five additional noted Star Trek fan filmmakers to join him for a lively panel discussion:

JOSE E. CEPEDA -Show-runner and lead actor on the long-running STAR TREK: NATURES HUNGER web series.

GREG TEFT – Cast member of STARSHIP: REPUBLIC, which will soon be filming more fan productions on the former Star Trek Continues “Stage 9” sets in GA.

GLEN L. WOLFE – Co-owner of the STARBASE STUDIOS sets in AR and the show-runner of THE FEDERATION FILES anthology series.

MARK NACCARATO – Show-runner for the upcoming Trek fan project THE ROMULAN WAR, which is crowd-funding right now!  (Have you donated yet???)

ALEC PETERS – Head of Axanar Productions and Executive Producer of PRELUDE TO AXANAR.

Interestingly , when Alec’s participation on the panel was announced, even though the panelists were all fine with it, apparently a number of detractors weren’t.  Eric L. Watts was berated with e-mails and criticism in detractor social media groups.  (I’ve invited Eric to comment on that separately as a guest blogger later this week.)

The panel discussion was really enlightening and fun to watch.  And thanks to a video shot by LEE DREW (and posted here with the blessing of both Lee and Eric), you get to watch it, as well (in two parts)…

YOU have FOUR CHANCES left to appear in THE ROMULAN WAR!

At the end of last month, the eagerly-anticipated new fan project THE ROMULAN WAR extended its Indiegogo campaign for an additional 30 days.  The move seems to be working out quite well, as an additional $2,200 in donations have come in since then…leaving the production just $1,810 short of its $10,000 goal (as I type this) with two full weeks left to attract donations from fans.

By far the most exciting of the perks being offered was an opportunity for donors to actually APPEAR in this fan film!  For a $100 donation, you have the option to record your voice, reading a line or two from the script, and having that recording be included in the finished film.  That’s the perk level I donated for, by the way, and there’s still 38 of those voice-over options still available.

The other opportunity offered a few lucky fans (who wanted to donate $250) the choice APPEAR in the film if they so desired.  Donors at this level would be asked to film themselves at home using a camera or smart phone according to instructions, possibly say a few lines, and upload the footage, which would then be edited into the film.

Initially, there were only five of these “Commodore Access” on-camera perks available…and they disappeared very quickly.  By the time the Indiegogo was extended, they were long gone.

But last week, show-runner MARK NACCARATO added five more “Commodore Access” on-camera perks to the list.  Already, one has been snatched up, leaving four.  So HURRY if you want to be in an actual fan film!

Assuming each of these perks is snatched up, that’ll leave the campaign within spitting distance (just $810 away) from their $10,000 goal, which should be quite doable in 14 days.

To learn more or donate (and get this great perk!), click here.


And now, please enjoy the latest video offering from THE ROMULAN WAR featuring some behind-the-scenes photos from last summer’s shoot in Nashville, Tennessee…

THE ROMULAN WAR releases NEW VIDEO showing CGI model tests!

As you’ve probably noticed over the past five weeks, I’ve been very prolific in my support of THE ROMULAN WAR and its current Indiegogo crowd-funding campaign.  A week ago, show-runner MARK NACCARATO announced that he was extending out the campaign for an additional 30 days because they had not yet reached their $10,000 goal.  (Yes, Indiegogo lets you do that now.  Really!)

The extension has proven to be a real blessing, as the total raised has increased by nearly $2,000 in just six days to (as I write this) $7,785 from 66 backers…just 22% away from being fully funded.

To increase excitement and antici…

…pation for the fan production—and of course, to encourage more donations—I suggested to Mark that he “liberate” some of the special features that had, up until now, been hidden in a donor-only section.  I joked to him, “That’s like showing a commercial for your restaurant only to people who are already seated at your tables eating their dinner!”

Mark agreed, and the first special feature was posted to the public earlier this week.  It shows some CGI model tests for a few of the NX-era starships, Roumlan ships, Federation vessels, and space stations that will be appearing in this fan film.  It also shows the mysterious Stormbird-class flying by…looking very much like a Klingon D-7.  How did the Romulans and Klingons come to use such similar designs a century before Romulans started using Klingon designs?  Mark actually answered that question in this awesome chat/interview we had a few weeks ago.  Take a listen if you haven’t already.

Mark has also been on not one but TWO podcasts in the last two weeks:

CONTINUING MISSIONhttp://trek.fm/continuing-mission/46

THE FINAL FRONTIERhttp://www.podcasts.com/the-final-frontier-b29b64d07/episode/The-Final-Frontier-Podcast-18-Interview-with-Mark-Naccarato-0e1a

Meanwhile, the video of the fly-bys looks AMAZING (see below).  And what blows my mind most of all is that these aren’t even close to final sequences…they’re just test renderings!  The finished VFX are, I’m told, going to look even better…incredibly better, in fact.

I don’t know—these look pretty awesome…

Click here to learn more and (if you can) to donate.

(And if you can’t donate, then please share the link with your friends.)

THE ROMULAN WAR extends its INDIEGOGO another 30 DAYS!

With only ONE day left to go on its $10,000 Indiegogo campaign, the new fan project THE ROMULAN WAR has been essentially stuck just under $6,000.  I had featured a text interview with show-runner MARK NACCARTO when the project first kicked off.  At that point, the campaign had jumped out to an impressive start.  And within the first 10 days, they’d generated over $4,000 in contributions.

But then things slowed down and nearly screeched to a halt!  The needle barely moved at all during their third week when I published an audio interview with Mark trying to figure out what was going on.  Why were the donations drying up?  Was it the hit of Tax Day in the U.S.?  Was it the guidelines or the lawsuit from 2016?  Was it just that Mark wasn’t campaigning enough?  Or have fans simply hit donating a wall?

It wasn’t just the normal mid-campaign slowdown.  Even now, with only one day left, donations are almost nonexistent.   I’d even e-mailed Mark to suggest that he might want to publicly release some of the special features (videos, ship dossiers, character background info, etc.) that had been reserved only for donors…just to excite and encourage more contributions.  But time was running out!

Well, apparently, time is a luxury that we once again DO have…thanks to the folks at Indiegogo!  Apparently, the crowd-funding service will now let a project team extend the duration of a 30-day campaign by an ADDITIONAL 30 days…even if they haven’t reached their goal yet!

So guess what Mark just did?  Aw, why don’t I let him tell you himself…

Continue reading “THE ROMULAN WAR extends its INDIEGOGO another 30 DAYS!”


For the past three weeks, I’ve been spotlighting the Indiegogo campaign for THE ROMULAN WAR.  I published a text interview with show-runner MARK NACCARATO shortly after the campaign launched, and later an audio chat with Mark discussing the current state of crowd-funding campaigns in general and his in particular.

The reason I’m pushing this project so much is not only because I’m really excited by it and want to see it completed, but also because I think this is a really critical time for Star Trek fan films.

Fan donors have gotten used to the flash and sizzle of the quality productions like Star Trek Continues, New Voyages, Prelude to Axanar, Horizon, and Renegades.  And for a while, it seemed like there were simply two “extremes” of Trek fan films: the six-figure professional-quality productions that were nearly as good as “the real thing” (some arguably better)…and the low-budget, bargain basement fan films with amateur actors, rubenesque fans doing cosplay, cheap costumes, bad lighting, horrible sound, mediocre VFX, slow pacing, etc.  While I believe many of these less ambitious projects are still worth checking out, a lot of them don’t attract much in donations through crowd-funding campaigns (and few of them even ask for money).

With the advent of the guidelines, fans lamented that the days of the six-figure “blockbusters” were over, and I think that’s one of the reasons that donations to recent Kickstarters and Indiegogos have been so anemic.

But while the top-level “professional” fan productions might mostly be history, and the low-budget fan films not really justifying  more than modest donations, to quote Yoda: “There is another…”

Continue reading “New TRAILER posted for THE ROMULAN WAR!”

Is TREK crowd-funding in TROUBLE? (a lively chat with MARK NACCARATO of THE ROMULAN WAR)

Are Star Trek fan films in danger of having the donation well run dry?  It’s hard to know, but right now, things look somewhat troubling.

Last month, a Kickstarter for the proposed The Holy Core fan film (the same folks who produced the excellent Chance Encounter) didn’t even manage to get half way to their $12,000 goal and instead got nothing.  Another Kickstarter for The Roddenberries’ new album and music video set a two month goal of $9,500 and, with only 11 days to go, is only up to $3,565.

And now, THE ROMULAN WAR, an exciting new Star Trek fan project, is struggling to reach its $10,000 goal on Indiegogo.  Although they burst out of the starting gate with $4,200 in less than two weeks, last week was a veritable desert of donations with only a few hundred dollars coming in over the span of six days.  And this despite the fact that last Monday saw a new video posted to social media spotlighting the cast and showing some never-before-seen footage, and on Wednesday there was a cool TrekYards feature on the Romulan “Strombird” class.  Fortunately, yesterday saw nearly a thousand dollars come in (not sure why, since nothing notable happened on Sunday), but they’re still only 55% of the way to their goal with just 12 days left!

What the heck is going on??? Continue reading “Is TREK crowd-funding in TROUBLE? (a lively chat with MARK NACCARATO of THE ROMULAN WAR)”

New video for THE ROMULAN WAR spotlights the ACTORS!

One of the most anticipated Star Trek fan films at the moment, THE ROMULAN WAR, is currently seeking $10,000 in donations from fans with an Indiegogo crowd-funding campaign.  As of today, with 19 days left, they’ve advanced more than 42% of the way toward their goal, which is awesome news.

Have you donated yet?  Have you at least helped to spread the Indiegogo link?  How it is, by the way:


Last week, I featured an 2-part interview with show-runner MARK NACCARATO, and it sure got fans talking!  One of the most interesting comments I saw was a person who wanted to donate but wasn’t sure he was going to like the acting.  After all, many Star Trek fan films can’t or don’t use trained actors, and for $10,000—well—I guess this guy really wanted trained actors.

And as it turns out, Mark’s got ’em!  (Remember that the guidelines don’t preclude using trained actors.  You simply can’t pay them as professionals.)

In fact, Mark has just released a new update video featuring interviews with four members of his cast along with brief clips of their performances (and reveals of their character names).  As Mark mentioned in his interview, 75% of the green-screen scenes for this project have already been filmed, and the $10,000 is intended primarily for post-production (sound, editing, VFX, music, etc.) as well as filming that last 25% of the scenes.

The latest video appears below.  Buckle up…

THE ROMULAN WAR fan film launches a $10,000 INDIEGOGO! (interview with MARK NACCARATO, part 2)

Yesterday in Part 1, I began chatting with MARK NACCARATO, the show-runner behind the upcoming fan film project THE ROMULAN WAR.  People have gotten really excited about this new production…and with good reason!  The brutal interstellar war between the Romulan Star Empire and Earth and its allies has fascinated fans since it was first referred to during the TOS episode “Balance of Terror.”  But before the TV series Star Trek: Enterprise could really sink its teeth into the conflict, the show was canceled.  So frustrating!

But now an ambitious new fan production will give Trekkers a unique look inside this fascinating struggle…not simply as a scripted drama but in a mock documentary format similar to that presented in the fan film hit PRELUDE TO AXANAR.  Mark revealed in part 1 of his interview how his project actually predates the creation of Axanar by over a decade, as he began working on The Romulan War as far back as 2000.

The production just launched  a $10,000 Indiegogo crowd-funding campaign last week, and yesterday alone, they took in more than $800…bringing them nearly 21% of the way to their goal.  And because this is Indiegogo and not Kickstarter, they don’t have to reach that goal to actually collect their contributions.  Every dollar donated WILL go to their project, which has already filmed about three-quarters of their scenes and will soon be entering post-production.

If you haven’t watched it yet, they’ve created a very engaging promotional video about their project and crowd-funding campaign:

And now, let’s dive right into the conclusion of our 2-part interview with Mark Naccarato…

Continue reading “THE ROMULAN WAR fan film launches a $10,000 INDIEGOGO! (interview with MARK NACCARATO, part 2)”

THE ROMULAN WAR fan film launches a $10,000 INDIEGOGO! (interview with MARK NACCARATO, part 1)

As any long-time Trekker will tell you, the founding of the United Federation of Planets happened just after the end of the Romulan War with Earth and the Coalition of Planets.  In fact, Star Trek: Enterprise was just beginning to explore the origins of that war when it was ignominiously canceled after only four seasons.

Thanks to the Pocket Books Trek novels, fans have gotten a better glimpse into the Romulan War.  But what if you want to WATCH the war unfold?  Star Trek fan films have offered fans a couple of options.  The long-running, low budget fan series THE ROMULAN WARS (based in Arkansas) produced ten episodes over the span of a decade.  Then in 2016, TOMMY KRAFT released the super-impressive STAR TREK: HORIZON, also based during the Romulan War and featuring the crew of the starship Discovery NX-04.

And now, lightning is about to strike THRICE with a brand new fan series titled THE ROMULAN WAR (no ‘s’ at the end) that’s going to take a very unique look at this significant piece of Star Trek history.  Creator MARK NACCARATO (from Nashville, Tennessee), has created a mockumentary-style production looking back at the Romulan War as a 24th century historical documentary.  Trekkers haven’t seen a fan film approach like this since the wildly popular PRELUDE TO AXANAR with featured a mockumentary-style look back at the Federation’s Four Years War with the Klingon Empire from the point of view of a decade later.

The Romulan War just launched a $10,000 Indiegogo crowd-funding campaign last week, and a lot of people are getting very excited.  Already, fans have donated over $1,200.  Why are they so excited?  Watch this video and see if you get excited, too…

Unlike last month’s Kickstarter campaign for The Holy Core, which only made it halfway to their $12K goal and, therefore, received nothing, Indiegogo doesn’t require that campaigns reach their published goal to turn pledges into actual donations.  So every dollar donated to The Romulan War will go toward funding the project.

Also, most the scenes have already been filmed!  So the question isn’t whether this fan film will be completed but simply how awesome will it look when it’s done.

I chatted with show-runner Mark Naccarato about his project and campaign…

Continue reading “THE ROMULAN WAR fan film launches a $10,000 INDIEGOGO! (interview with MARK NACCARATO, part 1)”