As reported here last month, STARSHIP REPUBLIC, one of the newest fan series to come out of STARBASE STUDIOS, was trying to raise $16,000 in an Indiegogo campaign.
They didn’t make it. They took in only 15% of their goal, leaving the future of the project in doubt.
Yesterday, an update went out to donors announcing plans for a second crowd-funding campaign, but this time, the production would be sharing more details about its story line to try to increase interest.
It’s actually an intriguing move for a fan film. Most fan filmmakers wrestle with how much of their story to reveal and how much to keep “secret” to avoid spoilers and ruining surprises for the viewers. Most fan producers, when they crowd-fund, share only the barest details, despite potential donors requiring specifics before they contribute because they want to know exactly what they’re supporting. (Not all donors are so demanding, but I know of several producers who have told me of receiving messages from potential donors saying they refused to give anything unless they were told more about the plot and story.)
What makes the decision by Starship Republic‘s show-runner Ray Tesi to unveil “secrets” to donors so intriguing is the fact that the plot going forward to SO much more expansive than anything that was hinted at in their first 9-minute vignette release “Serpent of Yesterday.” Although set in the TOS era, upcoming plans for the project incorporate flashback elements from the Star Trek: Enterprise era as well as scenes which will take place in the movie-era time frame.
I actually knew most of this from my interview with Ray Tesi, but he asked me not to reveal anything, despite the details being quite exciting. However, now the Kzinti is very much out of the bag, and Ray is the one who released it. Here’s what he said…
Last time, we chatted with Ray Tesi about one of the newest fan projects, Starship Republic. Filmed at Starbase Studios before it recently moved from Oklahoma City to Arkansas, the fan production just released a short vignette and launched an Indiegogo campaign with a $16,000 goal.
One of the most intriguing things about Starship Republic is the fact that show-runner Ray Tesi actually reached out to John Van Citters of CBS Licensing to review their crowd-funding campaign and give feedback on whether or not there was any problem with them distributing unlicensed perks…both physical and digital. And so far, CBS sees no issues with Republic doing just that.
We also learned a little about what will make Starship Republic unique…specifically aiming for a look and feel that reflects more modern cinematic techniques rather than trying to faithfully recreate the style of the 1960’s era original series episodes.
And now it’s time to conclude our interview with Ray as we learn more about how the production came to be, how they found their cast, what it was like to actually produce the project, and what’s in store for the future…
Now, this is intriguing! If you look about half-way down the fan film guidelines to the second-to-last point under #6, you find the following:
No unlicensed Star Trek-related or fan production-related merchandise or services can be offered for sale or given away as premiums, perks or rewards or in connection with the fan production fundraising.
That seems pretty straightforward. If you want to give away any perks, they have to be licensed Star Trek merchandise. You can’t give any patches or T-shirts or signed scripts or posters or anything related to your fan production in exchange for donations…at least if you want to make sure you aren’t sued or sent a cease and desist letter by CBS and Paramount.
So how was it that STARSHIP REPUBLIC, the newest fan film to launch a crowd-funding campaign (and the first to do so since the Axanar settlement), was offering a whole set of perks? Sure, most perks were digital, but there were also physical posters in the mix (like the two images shown above).
Well, it turns out that they simply asked CBS for permission–and they got it! Well, kinda…