COZMO’S Kickstarter blasts through its $16K goal…BEFORE it even launches???

If only every Kickstarter could be this way!  The 4-week crowd-funding campaign for COZMO’S from the team that produced RENEGADES went live to the general public Tuesday at 11:00 am Pacific Time with a goal of $16,000.  But it had already blasted through that goal and was above $22,00 when the world found out about it.  (Now it’s up even higher at nearly $25,000!)

How the heck did this happen???

Well, it helps when you have an existing database of thousands of fans who contributed to your previous successful crowd-funders for Renegades )to the tune of more than a million dollars!).  And it helps when you open your Kickstarter with a special 48-hour “pre-launch” with exclusive access to certain perks.

It also helps when you have a cast that includes actors from Star Trek and Babylon 5 in your pilot episode:

  • Ethan (“Neelix”) Phillips
  • Robert (“The EMH Doctor”) Picardo
  • Aron (“Nog”) Eisenberg
  • Claudia (“Susan Ivanova”) Christian
  • Plus many other professional actions from sci-fi and related genres

Also, the footage (which was all shot back in early 2017 using sets originally constructed for Renegades‘ “The Requiem”) was directed by Stephen Furst (Vir from Babylon 5…who tragically passed away during June of last year).

The project is billed as “Cheers in Space”…

Cozmo’s Thirsty Tentacle Bar and Grill is a local hotspot—well, local to anyone visiting an asteroid—where an enormous variety of lifeforms visit to party, do business dealings, find work, meet their true love…or just to get drunk and alien-watch. 

The owner of this esteemed establishment is, of course, Cozmo, a four-tentacled alien (played by Ethan Phillips), who has a knack for mixing stellar martinis and giving good advice.  His serving staff includes two humans, Kallie, played by Renee Olstead(13 Going on 30), and Ken, played by Drake Bell (Drake and Josh, Ultimate Spiderman). They’d love their jobs if it weren’t for one tiny detail—humans are the butt of the joke of the entire galaxy.

The hilarity never stops as zany characters like a hermaphrodite with blue hair (Robert Picardo), a crustacean-like madam (Claudia Christian), an alien who’s head is shaped like a….well, like a butt (Aron Eisenberg), and so many others swarm, bump, argue, laugh, and scheme at Cozmo’s!

It looks hilarious (and very well-produced!)…

 

Heck, I threw in $35 myself before lunchtime on Monday!

You can donate by clicking here.

I asked show-runner SKY CONWAY a few questions about the project…

Continue reading “COZMO’S Kickstarter blasts through its $16K goal…BEFORE it even launches???”

STALLED TREK scores Hollywood composer MAX McGUIRE to score its parody fan film!

Back in 2012, a brilliantly zany and devoted Star Trek fan named MARK LARGENT released the wildly hilarious animated parody STALLED TREK: AMUTT TIME.  This must-see fan film used 3D computer graphics to create puppet characters for all of the original series cast members and put them into a tongue-in-cheek version of the fan-favorite TOS episode “Amok Time.”

You can watch that parody fan film here…

This past August, Mark launched a Kickstarter for a brand new sequel, “The City on the Edge of Foreclosure,” with a relatively initial low goal of only $600.  He reached that in less than 8 hours (!) and wound up with a total of nearly $4,200…700% of the initial goal!!!

Among the things this now allows Mark to do is hire a professional musical composer, which he is allowed to do, as parody fan films fall under the protection of Fair Use and do not need to conform to the fan film guidelines.

But whom to hire…?

Max McGuire

The answer came to Mark (instead of vice-versa) when composer MAX McGUIRE reached out to him.  Max has composed music for a wide variety of projects including shows airing on FOX, ABC, NBC, E!, CBS and TBS…and more recently provided additional music for the hit Syfy/Netflix series 12 Monkeys under the guidance of lead composer Stephen Barton.  In March 2018, Max conducted his score for the short film All The World’s A Stage (starring Olivia Colman, who has been cast as Elizabeth II in seasons 3 and 4 of Netflix’s The Crown!) at Abbey Road Studios in London.  The short is currently showing at festivals around the world including the Academy Awards Qualifying Festival, Hollyshorts.

So what’s this well-known Hollywood composer doing asking to work on a fan film???

Continue reading “STALLED TREK scores Hollywood composer MAX McGUIRE to score its parody fan film!”

A history of STAR TREK: RENEGADES – 2016-2017 (feature, part 5)

Last time, the world of Star Trek fan films was shaken to its core by a copyright infringement lawsuit against Axanar Productions in late December of 2015 followed by a call to Tommy Kraft of Star Trek: Horizon in April of 2016 telling him to shut down his new $250,000 Kickstarter for his sequel, Star Trek: Federation Rising.

And what of STAR TREK: RENEGADES?  In November, they had raised a very impressive $375,000 for their new continuing series.  Even though CBS had rejected their offer to make Renegades into a pilot for a new Trek TV series (and by now, Star Trek: Discovery had been announced), the Renegades team hadn’t been told to stop.  So it was full steam ahead with plans to use the existing sets and CGI models and props to make an ambitious TWELVE half-hour webisodes per year (yes, per year…that was the plan), beginning with a two-parter called “The Requiem.”  It would feature both Nichelle Nichols as Uhura and Walter Koenig playing Chekov for one final swan song.

Although Trek fan filmmakers were feeling very uncertain (and downright nervous) at the moment—with the Axanar lawsuit dragging on for months and mixed messages coming from JJ Abrams and the studios themselves—the show must go on, as they say.  And so Star Trek: Renegades scheduled the first day of filming on “The Requiem” for June 22, 2016.

The initial scenes on day one were all green screen, featuring Nichelle and Walter, Tim Russ as Tuvok in full Vulcan make-up, and even Cirroc Lofton reprising his role as Jake Sisko.  The production would also feature other veteran Trek actors reprising their roles, including Terry Farrel as “Jadzia” (minus the Dax symbiont), Robert Beltran as Chakotay, Aron Eisenberg as Nog, and even Hana Hatae as a grown-up Molly O’Brien!  The sets were built, the costumes made, the studio rented…it was time to make an awesome new fan series!

And then the guidelines happened…

Continue reading “A history of STAR TREK: RENEGADES – 2016-2017 (feature, part 5)”

I just had an AWESOME fan film week! (personal)

My life isn’t usually all that interesting or exciting…at least, not all in one week.  But what a week it was!

(Actually, it was only really exciting if you happen to be a Trekkie interested in fan films.  If you’re my wife, it’s more like, “That’s nice, honey.  I’m glad you had such a good time.  Did you remember to empty the dishwasher?”

And that’s why I’m writing this blog—because I have now emptied the dishwasher, and I really want to tell you guys about the fan film filled week I just had…because you care, right?  (Aw don’t answer that; it’ll just kill my buzz.)

Continue reading “I just had an AWESOME fan film week! (personal)”

RENEGADES hosts a North Hollywood THEATER PREMIERE of “THE REQUIEM”!

Over a half million dollars.  Multiple crowd-funding campaigns.  Walter Koenig.  Nichelle Nichols.  Tim Russ.  Elaborately constructed sets.  Props.  Art design.  Lighting.  Make-up.  Broken air-conditioning in the studios.  Countless aliens in hot rubber masks.  A year in post-production.  Amazing visual FX.  Incredible music.  And those damn guidelines from CBS and Paramount that forced Star Trek: Renegades to evolve into RENEGADES: THE SERIES.

And then last night, at 7:30 in the Laemlee Theater in North Hollywood, CA, the moment we’d all been waiting for.  “The Requiem” was shown for the first time as a full-hour fan film on the big screen in front of an audience of hundreds of fans, actors, production crew, family, friends, and donors…and at least one blogger who crawled through L.A. rush hour traffic for 75 minutes to get there!

The inside of the theater looked like this…

Before the screening, actors posed for photos with fans who’d donated a little extra…

Aron Eisenberg, Tim Russ, Nichelle Nichols, Jason Quinell (donor), Walter Koenig, and Manu Intiraymi

And then it was time to start the film.  Things were running a little late, so producer SKY CONWAY’s opening introduction was simply, “Let’s start this thing!”

Continue reading “RENEGADES hosts a North Hollywood THEATER PREMIERE of “THE REQUIEM”!”

RENEGADES announces WORLD PREMIERE SCREENING in North Hollywood on JULY 12th!

Back in August of 2015, STAR TREK: RENEGADES held a red-carpet premiere screening of its 90-minute feature film at the Crest Theater in Westwood in Los Angeles.  It was a star-studded event with Star Trek celebrities galore, paparazzi, perks for sale, and even free popcorn (although tickets were a $20 donation for the fan film’s production costs).

Now on July 12th, 2017, RENEGADES: THE SERIES (now minus the “Star Trek“) will premiere in its entirety for the first time the full debut episode of its fan series: “The Requiem.”  (Part 1 debuted online back in February, but only for donors.  Two months later, Part 1 was made available for free to everyone.)

The big premiere will take place at 7:30 at the Leammle Theater (5240 Lankershim Blvd) in North Hollywood, CA.  Many of the cast and crew will be there, including Walter Koenig, Nichelle Nichols, Tim Russ, Robert Beltran, Manu Intiraymi, Gary Graham, and Justin McQueede.  After the screening of the full episode (Parts 1 & 2), there will be a question and answer session with the stars the creators.

Tickets are only $20 each and can be purchased here.

Although they set out to raise an additional $80K for their final post production efforts in a recent crowd-funding campaign (here’s a link to that), they only got as far as $30K.  So to help raise additional money, for a little extra, fans attending the event can get special VIP seating with the stars along with appearing in autographed photos with certain cast members.Here’s a breakdown on prices for each photo option:

$75 – Photo with WALTER KOENIG (autographed)

$150 – Photo with WALTER KOENIG and NICHELLE NICHOLS (autographed by both)

$250 – Photo with WALTER KOENIG, NICHELLE NICHOLS, TIM RUSS, and ROBERT BELTRAN (autographed by all four)

All photos will be autographed at the event and ready for fans to take home.

You can learn more about this web series on their website.  And here is an exciting trailer for Part 2 of “The Requiem”…

RENEGADES releases the trailer for “THE REQUIEM, PART 2” and seeks $80,000!

By now, you’re probably aware of how Star Trek: Renegades became RENEGADES: THE SERIES on the day the new fan film guidelines were announced…and how they surgically removed all traces of Star Trek from their Star Trek fan film.

But the show must go on!  And filming completed for both Parts 1 and 2 of the first full episode of Renegades, “The Requiem,” after the release of the initial 90-minute pilot.

Starring Walter Koenig as an aging admiral named “Pavel” with a strong Russian accent, Nichelle Nichols as another unnamed admiral, and Tim Russ (who also directed it) as the Confederation Security Chief Kovok—plus a half dozen other Star Trek acting veterans from various series—“The Requiem, Part 1” was already completed and released and can be viewed here.

Now the time has come to finish post-production on Part 2, and that means another round of crowd-funding.  Their first round of crowd-funding for “The Requiem” (called episodes 2 and 3 at the time) came via Kickstarter at the end of 2015 and raised more than $378,000!  That covered production (sets, costumes, make-up, actors, production crew, equipment, studio, etc.) but not post-production (visual effects, sound, music, color balancing, editing, etc.).

A separate crowd-funding campaign for post-production was held using Indiegogo last August with a goal of $60,000 for “The Requiem, Part 1” and $150,00 for the completion of both episodes.  And they nearly made it!  A total of $138,580 was raised…allowing them to complete and release “Part 1” and nearly complete Part 2.

So let’s see, doing the math, Renegades needed $150,000 and raised just over $138,000.  So that leaves…$80,000???  Yeah, you were probably gonna say $12,000, but this is crowd-funding math!

Aw, I’m just teasing…although Renegades really is asking for another $80,000.  But like certain other fan productions (you know the one I’m talking about), when you’ve done successful crowd-funding, there’s always room for scope-creep, and Renegades is promising lots more than originally planned:

We are seeking post-production funding to expand and finish our visual FX work, and to finish up the audio, mixing and color correction. This campaign will also allow us to add many new VFX shots to enhance the story and dramatically increase the visual production value – if you’ve viewed part one, you’ve seen what an amazing job the team has done with the effects! Renegades: the Requiem is so close to public release, and we are eager to offer the dramatic conclusion to the film. Spoiler alert: the Renegades universe will never be the same!

You can donate by clicking on this link.

This time out, they’re doing their own internal crowd-funding campaign (no Kickstarter or Indiegogo) with some great perks.  And in just two days, they’re already raised more than 10% of their goal!  Please consider making a donation if you can.

And if you’re on the fence, this trailer for Part 2 should definitely put you in the mood to open your wallet!

 

RENEGADES “The Requiem, Part 1” now available for free public viewing…mostly!

You might recall back in February that I posted that RENEGADES: THE SERIES (formerly known as Star Trek: Renegades) had released the first part of its two-part debut episode “The Requiem”…but only to donors at a minimum $35 contribution level.

Having been a donor myself, I was able to watch and enjoy the 25-minute long, professionally-made fan production (no, that is NOT an oxymoron!) that starred Walter Koenig as an admiral named “Pavel” and Nichelle Nichols as another unnamed admiral of the “Confederation of Planets.”  The episode also featured a number of other veteran Star Trek actors, including Tim Russ (who also directed the episodes), Cirroc “Jake Sisko” Lofton, Aron “Nog” Eisenberg, Terry “Jadzia” Farrell, Robert “Chakotay” Beltran, and Gary “Soval” Graham.

The new fan film guidelines forced the production to surgically remove all references to the Star Trek universe, but if you go into it with the right mindset, you can kinda mentally edit those changed elements back into a Star Trek narrative.  Or you can try to watch it as an original creative reality unto itself.  Your choice.

Of course, that required one to actually watch it, which was not possible for non-donors…until today.  The ATOMIC NETWORK, which is distributing Renegades, is now offering “The Requiem, Part 1” for FREE exclusively on their website:

http://www.atomicnetwork.tv

There’s just one catch: you have to first sign up for their newsletter by providing your e-mail and SMS (mobile) phone number.  There’s no other commitment, though, and it’s not like you’re signing up for something you’re completely not interested in.  According to their website:

Atomic Network is a premium on-demand streaming service catering to techies, early adapters and sci-fi, fantasy, horror and pop culture enthusiasts. We offer a wide variety of pay-per-view scripted series and advertiser-supported non-fiction programs. At Atomic, there’s always something new for our audience of techies, Trekkies, geeks and gamers — our kind of peeps!

Hey, this could be the start of something big!  In fact, one of their other upcoming sci-fi series, Cozmo’s (starring Voyager‘s Ethan Philips with a cameo by Robert Picardo), is worth checking out the trailer for on this web page.

In the meantime, “The Requiemm, Part 1” has been released to the general public just in time for a new crowd-funding campaign to complete the final bit of work on Part 2.  According to a recent announcement:

Part two is shot, edited and in post production. We are so close! But we need to raise a little more to finance the final mixing, color correction and VFX. 

This final crowd-funding campaign will launch on April 5, and if successful, the producers promise a completed Part 2 within 60 days of reaching their funding goal.  Exciting!

RENEGADES posts an awesome (but now unusable) VFX sequence!

renegades-new-logoWhen STAR TREK: RENEGADES became RENEGADES: THE SERIES, all overt or even quasi-overt references to Star Trek had to be surgically amputated.  This included this like changing the character of Chekov to simply “The Admiral” and “Tuvok” to “Kovok,” calling it the “Confederation of Planets,” ditching comm badges from the uniforms (“We don’t need no stinkin’ badges!”), making sure that Aron Eisenberg’s alien make-up looked nothing like a Ferengi, and a host of other tweaks.

Unfortunately, those tweaks also impacted the visual effects, some of which had already been completed and delivered.  Y’see, no Star Trek means no recognizable space vessels either…including Romulan warbirds.  And that meant that a gorgeous 10-second space battle sequence rendered out by AtomicBrain SFX would never be seen by fans.  Or would it…?

Renegades just posted on YouTube this short tracking shot for everyone to enjoy.  We might not ever see it in a fan film (it would have been glorious…), but we can at least see it here:

 

RENEGADES: THE SERIES reaches a major milestone: PICTURE LOCK! (What the heck is picture lock???)

renegades-new-logo It’s a production that used to be known as a Star Trek fan series.  It’s been crowd-funded by Star Trek fans, and it features many Star Trek veteran actors (including Walter Koenig, Tim Russ, Nichelle Nichols, and a host of others from various Star Trek series) in roles that could be considered, with just a little squinting, to be their iconic Star Trek characters.  And so Fan Film Factor is still keeping our eye on RENEGADES: THE SERIES.

Their big news at the moment is that they are now picture locked on both part one and part two of “The Requiem.”  What is picture locking?  Well, there are several steps in the film editing process…

Continue reading “RENEGADES: THE SERIES reaches a major milestone: PICTURE LOCK! (What the heck is picture lock???)”