Well, that didn’t take long!  Yesterday, I began asking members of SMALL ACCESS, who had voted to rename and re-brand our Facebook Group, whether our new name should focus on Fan Films or Star Trek: Discovery.  After all, they had both brought people to our group, but only one name could be on the sign over the front door.  (And no, I didn’t feel that “Fan Film Discovery” was a workable name…sorry, Reece.)

I’d expected to leave the poll up for a few days, but after less than 24 hours, the vote was 102-to-3 in favor of focusing on Fan Films.  I doubt another day or four would have made much of a difference.  Many comments mentioned that there was already a Discovery group, and the show would either succeed or fail without another Facebook group either supporting or resisting it.  Fan Films, however, deserved a wider following and more support.  So “Fan Film…Something” it would be!

A number of names were suggested in the comments.  Some, like “All Things Trek,” were already taken.  Others had potential, like “Fan Film Focus,” “SciFi Fan Film,” “Fan Film Trek,” “Fan Film Federation,” and “Fan Film Fans.”  A few gave me a chuckle: “Fundamentally Fantastic Fan Film Factor Forum for Freedom,” “Fan Film Funyuns,” and “Frankly Fans are Furious.”

But in the end, it was moderator Dave Heagney, Jr.’s suggestion of FAN FILM FORUM that just kinda grabbed me and wouldn’t let go.  It was clean, simple, and you know how much I love things that abbreviate down to “FFF.”

In fact, FAN FILM FORUM allowed me to do a visual tie-in to Fan Film Factor since I had many of the logo elements already set up in Photoshop…so creating a Facebook cover image for the group was relatively simple:

The visual tie-in between the Facebook group and this blog site makes sense.  Aside from the fact that the same guy (yours truly) runs them both, there’s also the fact the Fan Film Factor is currently the #1 blog site focusing on Star Trek fan films.  (This site gets more web traffic than the other two.)  So why not have a tie-in, right?

So let’s welcome FAN FILM FORUM to the world of Facebook groups.  If you never joined Small Access but you love Fan Films, then I invite you to click here and become of a part of the fun at Fan Film Forum.

SMALL ACCESS to RE-BRAND…but to what?

Last week, I decided to ask the 1,345 members of the SMALL ACCESS Facebook Group whether they thought it was time to throw in the towel, hang in there longer, or transform ourselves with a new identity and focus.

The reason for this survey was because SMALL ACCESS hadn’t grown large enough to significantly impact the potential revenue of CBS All Access, and as such, would most likely not be able to leverage that financial impact into a justification for CBS to consider revising the fan film guidelines.

After a week of voting, the results were pretty clear that the members want to keep the group going but with a new name, focus, and goal.  Here were the results:

  • 114 votes -Re-brand with a new name and new focus/purpose.
  • 22 votes – Keep our current name and goal.
  • 13 votes – Close down the group entirely.

We had a pretty good voter turn-out of 149 members, or about 12%.  (We’re hardly a national election, but in direct-response advertising, a response rate of 2% is considered quite good, and 10% amazing.)  And over 92% of our responding members want the group to continue…so that’s what we’re gonna do.

With more than three-quarters of our responding membership wanting a new name and identity…what now?  The answer is: one more poll!  But this one is pretty straightforward.

SMALL ACCESS has two things that brought people to the group in the first place: Star Trek fan films and Star Trek: Discovery.  Some members wanted to pressure CBS to change the guidelines because they love Star Trek fan films, while other members simply wanted a place to either bitch about or defend Discovery.

So which are we more focused on…fan films or Discovery??  Obviously, we’re Star Trek, and choosing one option doesn’t necessarily exclude the other.  Members can post and discuss whatever they’d like!

But we can only have one name up on the sign over the shop: either Fan Film…something (no, not Factor; that’s taken) or Discovery…something.

One we have a decision on that, we’ll start discussing what the goals and focus of the group will be.  But first, which one gets “top billing” for our Facebook group: Fan Films or Discovery?

Members can vote here.

Too SMALL to fail? The next steps for SMALL ACCESS…

I love the SMALL ACCESS Facebook Group.  It’s become a wonderful part of my life, and the people in the group really get along and behave nicely (well, for the most part!), and share both a love of Star Trek and a camaraderie that can really be FANtastic.  I love the articles and updates they share with the group (what a great news resource!), and the members usually have some fascinating insights and observations.

In this way, I feel very strongly that the SMALL ACCESS group has succeeded in a big way.  We’re nearly 1,350 members strong, and it really is a wonderful Facebook group to belong to.  I don’t want to see that end.

But we do have to face a harsh reality.  We had a goal to convince CBS to revisit and revise the fan film guidelines by trying to limit subscriptions to their All Access subscription service.  We gave it a good try, but after a year, the SMALL ACCESS Facebook group is not going to be a factor in any decision CBS makes regarding the guidelines or Star Trek: Discovery itself.

Had we been 50,000 strong or 100,000 strong, we might have gotten their attention.  But if Discovery generates the desired 4 million subscribers, then 1,300 more isn’t going to matter to CBS one way or another.  And if Discovery fails to generate those 4 million subscribers, well, then a measly 1,300 more certainly isn’t going to matter to them either.

Therefore, our initial reason for existing unfortunately seems to be a lost cause.  It was worth a try, but with the Discovery premiere now just five weeks away and CBS’s marketing push in full swing, SMALL ACCESS is nowhere near their radar.

So what do we do now?

Personally, I’d like for the group to keep going.  But I think it needs some re-branding with a new name and a goal that doesn’t involve trying to financially impact CBS All Access (hence my preference for a name-change from SMALL Access).

However, I’ve never been one to rule with an Iron Fist (or any of the Defenders).  So over the next week, I’ll be asking the members of Small Access what they’d like to do: re-brand with a new name and goal (which we’ll discuss if this option is chosen), stay the course and keep the old name and goal, or close up shop completely?  And the majority will rule out.

Members can vote here.


Jonathan LaneFan Film Factor founder (and the guy typing this right now), JONATHAN LANE, had the pleasure of doing a podcast interview alongside co-moderator DAVID HEAGNEY, JR. discussing the SMALL ACCESS protest campaign and the new fan film guidelines released by CBS and Paramount.

We were interviewed by super-fan and live radio podcaster Shane Stacks for an hour.  In the first half-hour, Shane covered recent sci-fi news and releases, and starting at the 30-minute mark, we dive into discussion about the guidelines and the SMALL ACCESS campaign.  Among the questions we answer: what are we hoping to accomplish, will the studios even take us seriously, and is Alec Peters hiding behind the curtain pulling our strings?

Take a listen…




SMALL ACCESS campaign Q&A (we’re not telling people to boycott!!!)

Small Access bannerWith great notoriety comes great misunderstanding and misinformation!  (Sounds pretty catchy, don’t it?)

Now that Project SMALL ACCESS has picked up nearly one thousand active participants on Facebook in just three days, we’re getting noticed.  Obviously, we have a fair number of supporters–and still growing!–but there are also detractors out there calling out our campaign for all sorts of reasons…some valid, and some very much not.

In an effort to make sure there are no misunderstandings about what we’re doing, how we’re doing it, and who is behind it, I’ve put together the following list of questions and answers that I hope will be widely shared…

Continue reading “SMALL ACCESS campaign Q&A (we’re not telling people to boycott!!!)”