CONVERGENCE releases one of the BEST crowd-funding videos I’ve ever seen!

With less than seven days to go, and within striking distance of his goal, Trekyards co-host and treknology trexpert SAMUEL COCKINGS is filling his final week of his Indiegogo campaign for CONVERGENCE with new videos.  Currently at $4,755 as I type this, they’re just $845 (14%) away from their goal of $5,500…although Samuel would love to reach $6,000 to cover Indiegogo fees and perk costs.  And if he reaches $7,000, he’ll release bonus behind-the-scenes content.  (There’s also other stretch goals beyond that.)

Samuel has saved the best videos for last.  Already, there was a fun interview on Wednesday with NICK COOK, who will be reprising his role of Captain Daniel Hunter of the fan series Star Trek: Intrepid.  And on Friday, Samuel posted another interview with actor CHRIS BURDETT from the upcoming fan film Temporal Anomaly.  Both of these gentlemen will be starring in Convergence.

While both of those interviews were very well-produced (good lighting, good sound, interesting questions and answers) and are certainly worth viewing if you’re a fan of fan films, it was the video Samuel released this morning that blew me away.

This 3-minute vignette is now my second favorite crowd-funding “ask” video ever.  Why is it my second favorite?  Well, nothing will likely ever surpass this video (and the four that came after it) from Star Trek Continues‘ “Kirkstarter 2.0.”  But the reason this Convergence video gets the secondprise (get it?), is because it has so much fun while asking folks to donate.

Begging for money is never easy, and fan films who go the crowd-funding route have taken various approaches from serious to whacky.  Sometimes it’s easy because they have big celebrities or they’ve already filmed or released other work to show what they can do.  But sometimes, you’ve just gotta work with what you have.

And that’s what Samuel did, combining a script for the video with ad-libs and outtakes to produce a very real, creative, sincere, and funny video that just makes me want to throw my money at them!  Take a look, and see if you agree…

For anyone planning a crowd-funder, bookmark this video and the others in Samuel’s series.  And speaking of which, our Mr. Cockings promises another two interviews over the next two days, followed by what he calls a “4th wall-breaking viral video” on Tuesday and the first full teaser with actual footage on Wednesday.  The campaign ends Friday.

To donate, click here.

 

CONVERGENCE launches new INDIE-GOGO campaign (audio interview with SAMUEL COCKINGS)

Welcome to CONVERGENCE…a fan production uniting FIVE accomplished fan films and series from FOUR different countries into ONE amazing crossover event!

And YOU can help make it all possible.

These folks have already completed one video shoot with four of their five primary actors: NICK COOK from Star Trek: Intrepid (Scotland), ROBIN HIERT from Star Trek: Dark Armada (The Netherlands), and CHRIS BURDETT and NIMRAN SAUND from the upcoming Temporal Anomaly (Great Britain).  They also have a number of jaw-dropping VFX created by SAMUEL COCKINGS, life-long Star Trek fan and co-host/co-creator of the popular webseries “Trekyards.”  Some of this CGI will include the Archer-class starship from the original Star Trek: Renegades, as well as the villains from that fan film, the Syphon.

Their project is already well underway.  But now they need $5,500 to complete it, and they’ve just launched a new Indiegogo campaign. Fan donations will allow Samuel to fly in his full cast for a second studio green screen shoot to get the rest of their scenes filmed with proper lighting, sound, and staging.  This will include their final main actor, JIM VON DOLTEREN from Starship Republic, who will be flying to the U.K. from America, along with the others.

They’ve got some really nice perks that you can choose from, and thanks to a series of preview teaser promos released over the past month, the campaign is already off to a decent start, taking in about 9% of the goal in the first 24 hours (including $60 from me).  It also has one of the most impressive “ask” videos that I’ve seen for a crowd-funding campaign in a very long time.  Check it out…

After you watch that video, you’ll probably be excited enough to donate.  But even if you’re not, you should listen to this really awesome audio interview with Samuel.  Not only do we discuss Convergence, but we also discuss Temporal Anomaly, his interactions with CBS legal, the fan film guidelines, and a host of other topics that you’re certain to find, as Jean-Luc Picard would say, engaging…

Click here to donate.

Final CONVERGENCE puzzle piece revealed in new TEMPORAL ANOMALY teaser!

Over the past three weeks, 3D animator incredibus SAMUEL COCKINGS has released three teasers for his upcoming multi-crossover fan film, CONVERGENCE.  The project, already well into production, will be holding an Indiegogo shortly to cover expenses, and these three teasers are meant to build interest and excitement leading up to the launch of the campaign.  (Yep, crowd-funders, that’s the way you should do it!)

One of the intriguing “mysteries” about Convergence was the question of which fan films/series will be crossing over—there will be five in all.  The first teaser revealed that Star Trek: Intrepid show-runner and star NICK COOK would be reprising his fan favorite role of Captain Daniel Hunter of the USS Intrepid.  The second teaser revealed that the fan series Star Trek: Dark Armada would also be part of this crossover, with that series’ show-runner and star, ROBIN HIERT, playing his character Captain Alexander Richardson of the USS Batavia.

The third and final teaser filled in another two pieces of the puzzle.  JIM VON DOLTERAN of the Trek fan series Starship Republic will also be appearing, captaining a starship of the futuristic Archer-class, which was seen in the original Star Trek: Renegades fan film (before it de-Trekified itself).  Also appearing in Convergence will be the alien Syphon race, the terrifying bad guys from Renegades.

So with four fan films/series accounted for, fans still didn’t know the fifth…until yesterday when Samuel Cockings posted an unexpected FOURTH teaser!  But this time, the teaser didn’t include footage from Convergence but rather from his upcoming (and long-anticipated) fan film TEMPORAL ANOMALY.  (You can listen to an audio interview with Samuel about this project here.)  This project’s release was delayed by CBS, but Samuel was ultimately granted a small guideline exemption in exchange for making certain adjustments, which are still being completed.

But the big news is that his new teaser, featuring an intriguing two-and-a-half minute scene from the final film, reveals that Temporal Anomaly will be the final of the five fan productions crossing over, specifically the character of Captain James Munro.  Take a look…

THIRD and final CONVERGENCE teaser fills in two more pieces of the puzzle!

For the last couple of weeks, show-runner and “Trekyards” super-duper CGI trooper SAMUEL COCKINGS has been releasing a new teaser for his new fan project, CONVERGENCE, each weekend.  Convergence will be a mega-crossover event, bringing together (according to Samuel) FIVE different fan films and series.

The first couple of teasers gave fans the initial two pieces of the puzzle.  One of the cross-over fan series would be Star Trek: Intrepid, featuring Intrepid show-runner and star NICK COOK reprising his fan favorite role of Captain Daniel Hunter, as shown in the first teaser…

The second teaser revealed that the fan series Star Trek: Dark Armada would also be part of the cross-over equation, as that series’ show-runner and star, ROBIN HIERT, would be playing his character Captain Alexander Richardson of the USS Batavia.  Here’s the second teaser…

That left three more cross-over fan films/series still a mystery…until last Saturday when the third and final weekly trailer made its debut.  Two important (and surprising!) pieces of the puzzle were revealed with this announcement/introduction by Samuel:

STAR TREK: RENEGADES and STARSHIP REPUBLIC.  That’s right!  While the Renegades team have moved to a non-Trek universe, we are officially carrying on the torch for their Star Trek pilot and telling a new story with parts from the Star Trek: Renegades ‘verse.

Also joining as our final captain is JIM VON DOLTEREN from Starship Republic!  He will be flying to the UK to ensure that all our captains can be in the same room at the same time for some important scenes and to get the best quality production possible!

At some point in the next week or three, the official crowd-funding campaign for Convergence will launch, and fans will discover who the final character(s) is/are and from which fan project.  In the meantime, you share in the excitement as you view Samuel’s rendition of the Archer-class starship from Renegades and Jim Von Dolteren’s voice-over debut in the third and latest teaser for Convergence

CONVERGENCE teaser number two features ROBIN HIERT of Dark Armada!

The last time fans saw ROBIN HIERT playing the role of Captain Alexander Richardson of the USS Batavia, it was December of 2016 in the finale of the popular Dutch fan series Star Trek: Dark Armada

(Technically, Robin also made a brief cameo in one of the final Minard Saga films.)

In the last minutes of that finale (spoiler warning!), fans discovered that the entire series thus far had been taking place in the Kelvin timeline (24th century), and we finally got a glimpse of Captain Richardson from the prime timeline.

At the time, Robin Hiert told me that a new sequel series, Batavia, would start filming the following year (2017).  But it’s now far into 2018, and no episodes of that series have emerged yet.

And so, fans of Dark Armada will be very happy to see and hear that Captain Richardson and the USS Batavia will play a part in the upcoming multi-fan film crossover event CONVERGENCE from “Trekyards” CGI guru SAMUEL COCKINGS.  The second teaser was released this past weekend…

And for those who missed it, here is the first teaser again featuring NICK COOK of the fan series Star Trek: Intrepid

Samuel will be releasing a third and final trailer this coming weekend before launching an Indiegogo campaign to fund production and post-production on this FIVE-WAY crossover.  Which other fan films/series will be included in the crossover besides Intrepid and Dark Armada?  You won’t have to wait too long to find out!

Speaking of which, I’ve been shown a rough cut of the “ask” video for the Indiegogo page…and it looks really amazing.  To others looking to create crowd-funders, all I can say is watch this video and take careful notes!

Because several Convergence scenes and VFX sequences have already been shot and rendered, Samuel is able to provide some clips from the film itself, plus excerpts from behind-the-scenes interviews along with lots of footage taken during shooting on the green screen set with the main four actors.  So yes, you’ll definitely learn which other three fan films/series will be a part of this major cross-over event once the Indiegogo launches in a few more weeks.

In the meantime, remember to visit Convergence on Facebook:

https://www.facebook.com/Convergenceastartrekfanfilm

CONVERGENCE teaser released – first of three!

Something really awesome and unprecedented is about to happen in the world of Star Trek fan films.  The first FIVE-SERIES crossover fan film is currently being produced by none other than CGI guru extraordinaire SAMUEL COCKINGS of Trekyards.  (If you haven’t seen any Trekyards episodes yet and you like the ships and technology of Star Trek, well, consider it your mission to go and check them out on YouTube.)

Samuel got the attention of the fan film world back in April when he also got the attention of CBS, who contacted him after watching the latest trailer for Samuel’s first fan film effort, TEMPORAL ANOMALY.  CBS was not happy about the use of existing TNG movie footage and certain copyrighted music, and the length of the final production was likely going to be well beyond the two 15-minute parts limited by the fan film guidelines.

After some discussions with CBS, and agreeing to remove the movie clips and replace the music, Samuel was reportedly given the green-light by CBS to exceed the time limit for this specific fan project.  Samuel has since been reworking Temporal Anomaly hoping to release it very soon.

In the meantime, Samuel also announced a NEW project that would link up five different established fan series in one fan film that, from the get-go, would adhere to all of the guidelines.  (Temporal Anomaly had originally been written and filmed years before the guidelines were announced and was only being delayed because of technology challenges.)

Samuel’s latest fan project, CONVERGENCE, will be launching a new Indiegogo campaign (yes, folks, another one of those!) within the next few weeks to fund production and post-production for this exciting film.

Leading up to the crowd-funder launch, Samuel is releasing three short teasers—one per week—each featuring a voice-over “captain’s log” from one of the cast.  The first, just posted this past weekend, has NICK COOK of the fan series INTREPID playing Captain Daniel Hunter.  As you’ll see, the visual FX are amazingly good, as Samuel is an expert CGI modeler and renderer.

Subsequent teasers will feature other lead actors from different fan series.  Who will appear next week and the week after?  Stay tuned!

In the meantime, enjoy teaser #1 for Convergence…

And remember to visit them on Facebook:

https://www.facebook.com/Convergenceastartrekfanfilm

“ONCE MORE WITH FEELING” is a HYBRID fan film/table reading…

What do you do if you want to make a Star Trek fan film and you can’t afford costumes, sets, make-up, lighting, and all of the other bells and whistles?  This was the challenge facing Australia’s MATT MILLER, who had previously tried on multiple attempts to create Trek fan films with limited resources.  Matt explains his frustrations and the shortcomings of those productions in this heartfelt video.

So “Once More with Feeling” works as a title on various levels.  Matt’s latest attempt at a Trek fan film is, of course, his own attempt to do it better, once more, with feeling.  The “feeling” comes from what is a hybrid, of sorts, of a traditional Star Trek fan film and what would be a dramatic table reading for an audio production.  The actors provide very passionate performances, even though they are reading directly from scripts in the visuals.

Table readings are, of course, fairly standard in the theater, which is where Once More with Feeling! was originally performed as a stage play (written by Harry Kurnitz) in 1958, starring Joseph Cotten, Arlene Francis, and Walter Matthau (who won a best actor Tony award for it).  Two years later, it would be made into a film starring Kay Kendall and Yul Brynner.  (And yes, in 2001, “Once More with Feeling” was also the title of an all-musical episode of Buffy, The Vampire Slayer.)

For this Star Trek fan film, the title also appears to harken to the structure of the story, as a disgraced Starfleet captain describes his tragic, final battle for a young woman who has come to his home, she tells him, as part of a college research project.  However, if you watch until the very end of the film, you will discover yet another reason for the title.

This is undoubtedly a different kind of fan film, and somewhat jarring in places due to its basic structure.  The outer space starship CGI visual effects, created by Trekyards’ SAMUEL COCKINGS, are outstanding and take the viewer deep into the fan film narrative.  But cuts to the actors, standing in a virtual “lounge” of some kind, wearing normal clothes, reading from scripts, jolts the viewer out of the imaginary Star Trek universe back into reality.

Reaction online has been generally very positive (with the expected outliers, of course).  I believe that all fan films should be given respect and viewed with an open mind—this one being no exception.  So take a look at what can be produced on a low budget, with few resources, when the writer/director thinks outside the box…

TREKYARDS and VIC MIGNOGNA go behind-the-scenes of STAR TREK CONTINUES!

TREKYARDS is a force of nature in Star Trek fandom.  So is STAR TREK CONTINUES.  Put the two of them together, and there’s something really special in store for Trekkers!

Trekyards, for those who don’t know, is the brainchild of STUART FOLEY and SAMUEL COCKINGS.  Together, these two uber-fans have produced more than 500 webshow videos spotlighting ships from Trek and other sci-fi franchises, interviewing actors and production people from Star Trek, doing video podcasts, and filling the Internet with enough smart, funny, and fascinating content to eat up as much of your free time as you desire!

Star Trek Continues, as you undoubtedly know, was a cutting edge fan series that presented the final two years of the USS Enterprise‘s 5-year mission under James T. Kirk.  Using professional actors and technical crew, featuring noted sci-fi celebrities as guest stars, and displaying industry-level production quality on exact recreations of the TOS sets, STC set a standard of excellence seldom if ever matched in the realm of Trek fan films.

Although STC has completed its 11-episode run, fans still cherish this labor of love and the careful attention to detail that went into it.  And while STC has released a few special features here and there focussing on things like the music scoring, editing, and VFX—and Fan Film Factor published this exhaustively-researched complete history of STC—there hasn’t been a real “deep dive” into all of the  behind-the-scenes production secrets of this amazing series.

Until now, that is!

Trekyards is introducing a new webshow series spotlighting Star Trek Continues, hoping to cover EVERY fascinating detail of this beloved fan project with insight from those who produced it.  Up first, in a 20-minute interview about their first episode, “Pilgrim of Eternity,” Captain Kirk himself, VIC MIGNOGANA, talks about finding and convincing retired actor Michael Forest to reprise his role of Apollo, Vic’s feelings about other Trek fan series, and what gravity has to do with the color of the walls on the set!

Here’s the first installment of this new MUST-SEE Trekyards series…

I spoke to Trekyards co-host and editor Samuel Cockings about this new offering and learned some very interesting things—including why fans really need to tune in and support it…

Continue reading “TREKYARDS and VIC MIGNOGNA go behind-the-scenes of STAR TREK CONTINUES!”

Fan Films, Assemble! Announcing: CONVERGENCE!

So, have you seen Avengers: Infinity War yet?  Pretty cool how a whole bunch of Marvel characters who each have movie series of their own—Iron Man, Captain America, Thor, Spider-Man, Hulk, Doctor Strange, the Guardians of the Galaxy—all come together in a single movie to fight the bad guys.  If only something like that could happen with Trek fan films.

Oh, wait…

SAMUEL COCKINGS, whose fan film TEMPORAL ANOMALY will debut later this year after he makes certain changes requested by CBS, has just announced his latest Trek fan project: CONVERGENCE.  This new production has been a closely-kept secret for several months now, and those folks who did know about it were sworn to secrecy.  And certain nosey bloggers who did know about the project were told only that it was code-named “Star Trek Avengers.”  In fact, even the title Convergence was only revealed to the actors a week and a half ago when they all, um, converged on the U.K. to film some initial scenes in front of Samuel’s green-screen backdrop.

What makes this project extra-exciting is that it will be a full-on fan film CROSSOVER featuring actors and characters from multiple different long-running Trek fan series.  In attendance at this initial shoot were NICK COOK from Intrepid (Scotland), ROBIN HIERT  from Dark Armada (the Netherlands), and CHRIS BURDETT and NIMRAN SAUND from Temporal Anomaly (England)  They came together to film some of the initial scenes along with some promo videos, including this fun one…

Eventually, the plan is to add on actors from an additional two fan films/series for a total of FIVE.  That will be a record, as there have been a number of two-series crossovers (for example Hidden Frontier and Intrepid) and multi-fan film cameo appearances (three actors from New Voyages appeared in the pilot episode of Starship Farragut, and Vance Major featured several quick cameos of fan film notables in his later episodes of the Minard Saga).  But this isn’t just the Falcon briefly appearing in Ant-Man or Hulk joining Thor for Ragnarok…this is full-on Avengers, man!

Samuel launched a new Facebook page for the project, complete with photos introducing the cast.  He’ll be adding one new photo per day for the rest of this week.  In another month or so, Samuel plans to launch a crowd-funding campaign to raise money to complete filming (including transportation to the U.K. for all of the cast) as well as post-production.  And yes, he fully intends to follow all of the the fan film guidelines.

More Convergence news soon!

TEMPORAL ANOMALY concludes talks with CBS, gets small guideline EXEMPTION and release plans!

Well, folks, there’s some good news, some bad news, and some rather shocking news involving the fan production STAR TREK: TEMPORAL ANOMALY.  As you might recall from this blog update that I posted last month, CBS had contacted show-runner SAMUEL COCKINGS with some concerns over his soon-to-launch fan film.  Weeks earlier, Samuel had released  this trailer that raised a few red flags with the corporate Star Trek copyright owners.

Specifically, there were four concerns.  The first was easy to fix.  The fan film guidelines don’t allow for the name “Star Trek” to be part of the title.  No problem there:”Temporal Anomaly – A Star Trek Fan Film” it is!

The second problem was length, about 50 minutes long.  The guidelines specify a maximum of two 15-minute separate fan films.  Of course, Star Trek Continues released five full-hour episodes after the guidelines were announced (four of them having been filmed and produced after the announcement), and STC was never stopped by CBS.

The third problem was that the trailer included footage taken from actual TNG movies with Picard, Riker, Data, Worf, and Troi on the bridge.  Using existing Trek footage is a no-no.  Granted, Samuel only needed it for a brief intro sequence at the beginning and a short epilogue at the end, but still…not kosher with the suits at CBS.

And finally, there was the music, nearly all of which is existing copyrighted scores from various Star Trek TV series.  Although many other fan films liberally use existing Trek background music, Temporal Anomaly had gotten on CBS’s radar, and the studio wasn’t going to ignore the obvious.

So what’s the good, bad, and shocking news?

Continue reading “TEMPORAL ANOMALY concludes talks with CBS, gets small guideline EXEMPTION and release plans!”