CONTINUING CONSTAR GoFundMe gets 50% of the way to its goal in just 19 hours!

There’s just something about VANCE MAJOR that makes fans want to give him money! Maybe it’s his adorable son Royce, Maybe it’s the three dozen Minard fan films he’s made. Maybe it’s the photos from his shoots that he posts almost daily to the Fan Film Forum Facebook group. And maybe it’s because he knows you can see the cord in the doorway of his scene and he just doesn’t care because he’s more interested in having fun and telling a good story.

Whatever the reason, Vance has won the hearts and minds of scores of fans, and his crowd-funding campaigns quickly reach their goals. Granted, these goals are usually in the mid-hundreds of dollars and not difficult to achieve. But whenever Vance launches a campaign, it’s always completely funded before I even have a chance to mention it here on Fan Film Factor.

Not this time, though!

I’m in Colorado this week and next visiting my family…while the rest of fandom is in Las Vegas enjoying Star Trek celebrities and the eighth plague suffered by the Egyptians in the Old Testament’s book of Exodus.  But that means a brief pause in fan film blogs till I get back. So I have the opportunity to slot in this quick shout-out to tell you all about Vance’s new campaign before it gets fully funded in a few more hours (or less!).

Vance isn’t offering any perks, and his CONSTAR CHRONICLES fan series won’t premiere until December (read more here). But he already wants to shoot additional episodes in 2020, and he needs to buy more uniform tunics and props. The goal this time is $1,100 (his first foray into four-figure funding), and in the first 19 hours, he’s already halfway there.

So if you want to be part of this Major movement, part of Vance’s victorious vision for Constar contributions, just click over to the following link and make a donation…

https://www.gofundme.com/f/continuing-constar

VANCE MAJOR releases binge-watching dates for THE CONSTAR CHRONICLES!

VANCE MAJOR has become a legend of sorts in the fan film community. He has unapologetically released over thirty different Star Trek fan films…all on his terms. And while I wouldn’t go so far as to say he chooses quantity over quality—he and his teams work very hard on each individual project—it’s fair to say that Vance’s films aren’t the most “polished” you will find out there.

So why watch them…and for that matter, why make them?

The answer lies at the very heart of what fan films are. And “heart” is the reason Vance continues to play in this small corner of the Star Trek sandbox. He LOVES making fan films. And he loves the people who love making fan films with him. He loves writing the stories and bringing his actors and production crews together. He loves visiting fan-made TOS sets or going out on location wearing Starfleet tunics. And he loves seeing the ideas that start in his head slowly take form and materialize into complete fan films that he can share with others.

Who cares if there’s a cord in the door…or the uniforms don’t fit right…or you can see where the bridge set ends and the wooden wall panel starts? Who cares if the wind is blowing too loud into the microphone or a scene is filmed in Vance’s living room? If you want $8 million episodes, watch Discovery. If you want $50,000 episodes, watch Star Trek Continues. But if you want to see what a Star Trek fan can create with the cash in his wallet, the loose change he finds in the sofa, a handful of fan donations, and sheer optimism and willpower, then Vance is your man!

As I said, Vance has already completed thirty-something separate Trek fan films in what I’ve chosen to call the Minard Saga. They all feature his character, Erick Minard, who—thanks to the mysterious Valhalla Stone—has lived from the pre-TOS era to the DS9-era of Star Trek. And not only has Minard appeared in Vance’s fan films, but he’s also appeared in cameos in many other fan series. You can see every appearance of Minard in this dedicated YouTube playlist!)

You might think that after writing, directing, producing, and appearing in so many Star Trek fan films that Vance would choose to take a break for a while. And he almost did. But the siren call was too much for him, and Vance returned for one or two more films.

Oh, heck…who am I kidding??? He’s planning to release another THREE DOZEN fan films!!!

Continue reading “VANCE MAJOR releases binge-watching dates for THE CONSTAR CHRONICLES!”

VANCE MAJOR cameos in STARSHIP ANTYLLUS: “Desperate Gambit” (interview with GEORGE and ANYA SHEILA KAYAIAN)

I love it when fan filmmakers come together.

GEORGE KAYAIAN has been creating Star Trek fan films since George Bush was president…the first George Bush, that is! ANYA SHEILA KAYAIN is only nine years old and wasn’t even around for the second President Bush. VANCE MAJOR has been appearing as fan favorite character Erick Minard since 2014 when he first donned the engineer’s tunic in Starship Valiant.

And now these three people all have something in common: they’ve each appeared in the latest, twelfth episode of STARSHIP ANTYLLUS: “Desperate Gambit.” For George, his character of Captain Holt Allen has commanded the USS Antyllus since this fan series first debuted in 2013. And daughter Anya has appeared in a couple of episodes before this one—most recently the 11th episode: “247”—and helped out on a bunch of others. (You can check out her very full IMDB page here.) She also provided this little behind-the-scenes “tour” of the Antyllus set last year in this video…

But now Anya is joining the Antyllus bridge crew as a brand new alien character named Sharb. How they solved the challenge of how to show a child as a bridge officer is one of the reasons I consider this ultra-low budget fan series to be so masterful: they do so much with seemingly so little. I asked Anya what she thinks about this new character, and she said: “I think Sharb is very intelligent, which shows off a part of me… it was a joy to play him!”

You can watch Anya’s debut in the full 29-minute episode below…

As you can see, Vance Major has a decent sized cameo as Minard. George appeared briefly in one of the three dozen or so Minard saga fan films that Vance produced, and George will be appearing in a couple of episodes of Vance’s upcoming Constar Chronicles films. The two fan filmmakers have become good friends, and recently, Vance had this to say about George…

Continue reading “VANCE MAJOR cameos in STARSHIP ANTYLLUS: “Desperate Gambit” (interview with GEORGE and ANYA SHEILA KAYAIAN)”

The race to $500 for VANCE MAJOR is nearly over in just 48 hours!

Hurry, or else you won’t have a chance to donate!

The last time VANCE MAJOR, creator of the MINARD saga and currently producing the upcoming CONSTAR CHRONICLES, asked fans for donations, it was last July. He needed $500 to buy uniforms for his multi-episode Constar project. Just as I was getting ready to post something about the campaign, 72 hours after launching it, Vance shut it down. Why? Because he’d managed to raise the $500 he needed (plus an extra $50 to cover the commission to the crowd-funding service).

That $500 allowed Vance to complete 15 fan films (which will debut later this year), with a bunch more in post-production at the moment. But now he wants to produce some additional stories, but he needs a few more uniforms and certain props to make that happen. So once again, he’s reaching out to the fan community.

This time, it’s only been 48 hours, but Vance is nearly there again! As I write this, he’s at $401…just $99 to go to reach $500. If you’d like to help push him over the top in record time, click the link below:

https://www.gofundme.com/extra-constar-chronicles-minard-saga-films

And hey, if Vance reaches his goal before you can donate, and you still really want to help out a fan film, consider giving a few bucks to DREADNOUGHT DOMINION for their upcoming project “Redemption at Red Medusa.” (Check out the trailer here.) You can donate to their active crowd-funding campaign here:

https://www.gofundme.com/dreadnought-dominion

And finally, if you still feel like you haven’t donated enough today, the folks over at POTEMKIN PICTURES are building a full-size shuttlepod…with a design halfway between Trek movie-era and TNG-era. It’s taking shape nicely, as you can see here on Facebook.

In what I consider to be an interesting experiment, Potemkin opted NOT to use a crowd-funding service and is instead simply taking in donations directly through PayPal at producer@potemkinpictures.com. And if you donate $189, you get to name one of five shuttles they’ll be using (one model, five names).

So far, two of the five shuttles have been named. C.W. THOMPSON named the USS Deimos shuttlecraft “Ernest J. King” and LARRY FLEMING named the USS Endeavour shuttlecraft “Raptor.”

What would YOU name your shuttlecraft?

Update on THE CONSTAR CHRONICLES (interview with VANCE MAJOR, part 2)

Last week, I began chatting with VANCE MAJOR, the “Where’s Waldo of Star Trek fan films.” After completing nearly three dozen fan films featuring the (long) career of the character of Erick Minard, Vance briefly stepped away from producing Trek fan films. Briefly.

He returned to the fold early last year, announcing the launch of production on THE CONSTAR CHRONICLES. While these new fan films would also feature Vance playing Minard, they would now focus on various members of his crew, once again weaving a complex tapestry of stories that could be viewed individually or as one long saga. In this way, Vance skirts the “no ongoing series” guideline (kinda) because these will be individual, self-contained stories and not an ongoing series. In fact, The Constar Chronicles isn’t even the official name of the production. Ultimately, it will simply be a number of separate fan films which feature some of the same characters serving on the same starship(s).

Last month, Vance released the following trailer…

In Part 1, Vance talked about the filmmaking process so far on Constar. But then we left off with a most intriguing question…

Continue reading “Update on THE CONSTAR CHRONICLES (interview with VANCE MAJOR, part 2)”

Update on THE CONSTAR CHRONICLES (interview with VANCE MAJOR, part 1)

I’ve affectionately referred to VANCE MAJOR as the “Where’s Waldo of Star Trek fan films.”  Between his appearances in episodes of  Starship ValiantMelbourneThe Lexington AdventuresDreadnought DominionThe Romulan Wars, and Outlaws…and his own Minard series of nearly three dozen fan films (check them all out here)…plus his involvement in helping to schedule fan film shoots on Ray Tesi’s TOS sets in Kingsland, GA…well, Vance is pretty much everywhere in front of and behind the fan camera these days!

Vance is a prolific, low-budget fan filmmaker who doesn’t care if his characters are a little hefty for Starfleet or wear glasses or sneakers with their uniforms.  He’s in it to have fun and tell his stories.  If you like what he makes, great.  If not, then don’t watch.

After wrapping up the Minard saga in February of 2018, Vance announced with 100% certainly that he was done producing Star Trek fan films.  He had said all he needed to say, he was worn out and exhausted, and it was time to move onto other things in his life.

Well, that New Year’s resolution lasted only a few months…!

Early last year, Vance announced that he would be producing a new fan series, loosely titled THE CONSTAR CHRONICLES.  I say “loosely” because the fan guidelines don’t allow for ongoing fan series.  But while these will all deal with the same crew on the same starship(s), each will be a self-contained tale focused on a different character.  Vance explained his decision to return to making fan films—and what would be different this time—in an audio interview in a blog back in August.

That was five months ago.  But last month, Vance released the first trailer for Constar

…and I figured now might be a good time to check in with him on how things are going.

Continue reading “Update on THE CONSTAR CHRONICLES (interview with VANCE MAJOR, part 1)”

CONSTAR CHRONICLES premieres in a crossover with Dreadnought Dominion: “TIME’S ECHO”

I like to call VANCE MAJOR the “Where’s Waldo of Star Trek fan films.”  He seems to be all over the place, listed in the credits of Starship Valiant, Melbourne, The Lexington Adventures, Dreadnought Dominion, The Romulan Wars, and Outlaws.  He’s also one of the two people running Starbase Studios, LLC at the moment, helping Trek fan filmmakers find resources and sets to shoot on.

And of course, Vance has played the character of Erick Minard in nearly three dozen fan films, including Starship Valiant, Melbourne, Chain of Command, Command and Conquer, and about 30 fan films in the MINARD saga spanning multiple eras of Star Trek.

Those Minard films came to a conclusion his past February.  And in multiple interviews, Vance confirmed over and over again that this was it for him making fan films!  He was willing to step in and help behind the scenes if asked, but he was done making his own fan films.

Well, that New Years resolution didn’t even make it past summer…

A couple of months ago, Vance announced that he would be returning to fan films with a new series titled CONSTAR CHRONICLES, about the heavy cruiser class starship that Minard commanded in the later part of his long career.  The debut episode of that new series just premiered a few weeks ago as a 5-minute crossover with Dreadnought Dominion featuring Vance’s friend GARY DAVIS playing Captain Jason Brousseau.  It’s a fun little vignette, and I must say that it’s about time!  You’ll get that joke after you watch it…

Of course, the big question on my mind for Vance was: “What part of ‘I’m done with making fan films!’ isn’t he understanding???”  But seriously, I was really curious what made Vance change his mind so quickly…and what his plans are for this new fan series.  Will it go another 30 episodes like the Minard saga?  How will it be different than what we’ve seen before?  How soon until we see more episodes?

I asked Vance these questions and more in yet another audio interview (below).  It feels like I have this guy as a guest on my blog almost monthly!  (Maybe I should just rent him my guest bedroom…)

VANCE MAJOR (front) and the crew of the USS Constar

Time to GO FUND the new fan film THE LEXINGTON ADVENTURES! (interview with JOSEPH BONICE and VANCE MAJOR)

Yep, it’s another crowd-funder, folks!  But this one’s only trying to reach $1,350…and they’re already about a third of the way there ($420) in just one week!  So congratulations to THE LEXINGTON ADVENTURES!  If you want to make a donation yourself, here’s the link.  It’s a GoFundMe campaign, meaning there’s no perks.  But there’s also no time limit and no requirement to meet a goal in order to collect the money raised.

This year actually didn’t start out so well on the fan film funding front.  A Kickstarter back in March for The Holy Core failed to get even halfway to their $12K goal, despite being run by the same folks who wrote and directed the highly popular Chance Encounter fan film.  Fortunately, an angel donor can through and funded the entire production, so The Holy Core will be made, after all.  Yay!

Things were still looking sluggish in April when a $10K Indiegogo for The Romulan War stalled about halfway to its goal.  But after extending the campaign out an additional thirty days, The Romulan War not only fully funded but surpassed the goal with nearly $12K, allowing them to cover the overhead cost of using Indiegogo in the first place.

Also wrapping up last week and going over their Indiegogo goal was the non-Trek fan film (but edited by Axanar and Free Enterprise‘s own Robert Meyer Burnett) Sky Fighter, which blew past its $25K goal to finish at $31,284.

So things seem to be looking up for fan film crowd-funding…at least for now.  Can The Lexington Adventures continue this trend and reach THEIR goal, as well?  To do that, they need support from fans like you.  Is Lexington worth your donation dollar?

For the answer to this question, I went right to the source: show-runner JOSEPH “JOEY” BONICE and VANCE MAJOR, who will be a producer on this fan film.  Joey works for the U.S. government and is currently stationed in Germany.  But he’ll be moving back to the U.S. soon and and will be diving right into working on The Lexington Adventures, currently scheduled for filming during the third week of September.  Vance is known to most fans as the face of Erick Minard of Starship Valiant and about 30 other fan films that Vance wrote and directed.

Let’s see what the guys had to say…

Continue reading “Time to GO FUND the new fan film THE LEXINGTON ADVENTURES! (interview with JOSEPH BONICE and VANCE MAJOR)”

VANCE MAJOR completes the MINARD Saga! (interview, part 2)

Yesterday, we began discussing the many fan films of MINARD saga with their creator, VANCE MAJOR.  Nearly three dozen different episodes make up this rich and expansive tapestry telling the story of Chief Engineer Erick Minard of the USS Valiant, who goes on to live a life that spans over 100 years of Star Trek time.  During that life, Minard serves under Captain Christopher Pike, marries, suffers loss, gets a command of his own, fights the Borg, meets his counterpart from the Kelvin timeline, and even battles his Mirror Universe doppelgänger.

And it all happens in series of short fan films made for little to no budget, purposefully told out of chronological order and thereby creating a viewing experience unlike anything else in the world of Trek fan films.  The Minard saga isn’t for everyone, but for fans who appreciate the storyline and the effort and dedication that went into producing it, a very rewarding journey (or should I say trek?) has just been completed with the release of Vance’s final 2-part, 25-minute episode The Best Things.

You can view ALL of the Minard episodes here in their order of release.

Later in this interview (below), Vance will introduce each of his final seven episode, and I’ll link to them from here.  But right now, let’s pick up with the conclusion of this great interview…

Continue reading “VANCE MAJOR completes the MINARD Saga! (interview, part 2)”

VANCE MAJOR completes the MINARD Saga! (interview, part 1)

Even the best things must come to an end…and so it is for the MINARD saga.  Depending on which films you count officially as part of this tapestry, the character of Erick Minard has appeared or been referenced in about THREE DOZEN different fan films!

More than thirty of these were written and produced by VANCE MAJOR (who plays the character of Erick Minard along with his mirror and Kelvin-verse alter-egos).  Minard has also appeared  in multiple episodes of Starship Valiant and Dreadnought Dominion.

Vance Major’s Minard films have ranged in length from 30-second parody vignettes to the full 15 minutes allowed by the fan film guidelines. His last episode, The Best Things, premieres today as a 2-part 25-minute finale.

With only a shoestring budget, Vance has done action, romance, comedy, suspense, quiet introspection, and even surreal dream sequences. He’s produced episodes featuring full casts of ten or more characters and other episodes with just two actors or even just one.  At one point, Vance released SEVEN Minard fan films in just SEVEN DAYS!  A couple of months later, Vance released another SIX Minard episodes in a SINGLE MONTH!

Vance’s Minard films range from Trek eras pre-Kirk to post-DS9…and they were NOT released chronologically.  This allowed viewers to jump around the century-long life of Erick Minard, experiencing a tapestry of moments that ultimately come together like puzzle pieces into a finished image.

You can view ALL of the Minard episodes here in their order of release.

Fan films can be the great equalizer when all one wants to do is simply tell his or her story without all the dazzle.  And that’s exactly what Vance Major has done…in a truly remarkable way.

I did an audio interview with Vance last summer (which is worth a listen), but he’s released nearly TWO DOZEN more fan films since then!  So to celebrate the successful conclusion of this ambitious fan series project, I decided to bring back Vance for a final 2-part print interview…

Continue reading “VANCE MAJOR completes the MINARD Saga! (interview, part 1)”