SMALL ACCESS HeadTalker – once more…with FEELING!

Unlike the USS Enterprise in Star Trek II, no, we didn’t make it.  Our attempt to sign up 500 social media accounts to all automatically post/tweet the same message at the same moment last Tuesday came up short with only 109 participants.

But hey, live and learn, right?  Or how about…if at first you don’t succeed, try, try again.  We’re doing a little but of both!

My Chief Social Media Officer (yeah, that’s kind of a thing), Commander LEE QUESSENBERRY, has just launched a NEW HeadTalker campaign.  This one has a much less lofty goal of only 50 participants…and we’re already nearly there with 43!  We can, of course, go over 50, and the more the merrier!  And we’ve still got 15 days left!!

There’s a couple of other changes you might notice.  First, the name of the campaign is now “United For Star Trek Fanfilms“.  That works in THREE important elements of our message.  Obviously, we’re all about Star Trek.  And we’re also all about fan films.  And of course, we’re united.  No need to push the name “SMALL ACCESS” as few people outside of our group even know what that is.  (And hey, that’s part of the problem…and the challenge!)

We also have a slightly new message that will be posted/tweeted on Friday, June 30 at noon Eastern Time:

“I am joining a cause (@smallaccesstrek) because I want to see #StarTrek #FanFilms succeed! #FF #FollowFriday https://hdtk.co/rWuJm

As before, this one includes the @smallaccesstrek Twitter account and a hashtag for #FanFilms.  But this time, we also included #StarTrek (yep, we forgot to include that one the first time—d’oh!) as well as #FF and #FollowFriday.  What are those?  I didn’t know either, so I asked Lee, and he said, “Follow Friday is an old twitter holiday like Throwback Thursday or Taco Tuesday.  So on a Friday, if there’s someone you follow that you think others would find interesting, you #FF or #FollowFriday.  It’s been a while since I actually did a FollowFriday request on Twitter, but it seems it is still a thing.”

So here we go again, folks!  If you have a spare moment (and a Facebook or Twitter or other social media account), please click on the image below to help us out…

We’re not going to make it, are we?

As you might recall from last week, Lee Quessenberry and I kicked off a HeadTalker Campaign to try to get 500 people to agree to have a message posted to their Twitter, Facebook, and/or other social media account(s) at noon EST on June 13.  The message would say:

“We want to change the Star Trek #Fanfilm Guidelines. Follow Small Access Trek to find out how you can. https://hdtk.co/VSsvF

The idea was to get the message to trend long enough to bring some more attention, eyeballs, and ultimately (hopefully) members to the SMALL ACCESS campaign to get CBS and Paramount to revise at least one of the fan film guidelines.

With less than 24 hours to go, we’re just short of 100 out of the 500 sign-ups we need.  So barring a miracle (or Spock sacrificing himself in engineering), to quote Sulu, “We’re not going to make it, are we?”

No, we’re probably not.

So what does this mean for SMALL ACCESS?  Well, in the words of Monty Python’s peasant: “Not dead yet!”  In fact, we’ve taken in 45 new members in the last two weeks, which is 3.5% growth.  No, it’s not the hundreds and thousands we need, but it’s better than stagnation or collapse.  I choose to see the glass as 3.5% full.

And hey, even if we don’t grow large enough to succeed in our holy quest, we’ve still got a great group that’s spreading the gospel of Star Trek fan films…and I very much want that group to continue.

So what happens next?  I’m not sure yet.  Probably we’ll try another HeadTalker campaign with a smaller goal number.  But I’ll be contacting Lee Quessenberry this week to get his ideas for plan B, C, D, and possibly E.  We’ve got a few months before Star Trek: Discovery premieres, so there’s still time to grow this group some more.  I’m willing to give it a chance if you are.

And hey, if you happen to know 407 people with social media accounts who might be willing to help us make it to our 500-person goal before noon tomorrow, please ask them to sign up here:

Small Access Trek

Secure from battlestations…

I really hate when things go nuclear.  It happens all too often these days…especially online.  Neither party wants to give an inch, each believing he or she is in the right and the other is a total git and knee-biting jerk.  People start taking sides, arguments get heated, “evidence” is collected, and folks generally begin gettin’ real pissy.

That was yesterday.

JAMES HAMS and I went toe-to-toe, mano-a-mano for much of the day over what amounted to three words in a recent blog he wrote.  Granted, they weren’t just any three words, but the point is that the world wasn’t ending.  And yet, you’d never know from all the urgent text messages and e-mails I had to read and write throughout the day.  I’m sure James had a similar experience on his end.

Vance Major Owen – peacemaker, diplomat, good friend

Enter VANCE MAJOR OWEN.  Vance is a friend of both James and myself, and he’s also one of Trek fandom’s calmest and coolest heads.  Think of Vance as Switzerland…only with a beard.  Not liking the escalation of tempers he was witnessing between his two friends, Vance stepped in, spoke to us both separately, and negotiated a “cease fire.”

In short, James will be removing those three words from his blog (along with half a sentence that will no longer make sense with the three words gone).  I’ll be telling the folks on SMALL ACCESS (and here on FAN FILM FACTOR) to stand down, secure from general quarters, cancel battlestations…whatever you want to call it.  We’ve both agreed not to mention the other—or their blog(s) or Facebook group(s)—on our own blogs in any negative way on a go-forward basis.

We’re both in agreement on this, and there’s no hard feelings.  There were definitely hard feelings yesterday, but it’s nice to know that things can, with a little give and take, be worked out without going to DefCon 1.

I’d like to thank James for being part of the solution…and also Vance for making that solution possible in the first place.  I much prefer writing a short blog entry like this one over writing a long entry like yesterday’s!

Setting the record straight on SMALL ACCESS!

Man, I so hate dealing with misinformation!  Really, it’s one of my biggest pet peeves.

When I screw up, as I did on this blog a few months ago, I am quick to correct the mistake.  I usually hope that others will do the same. Alas, it doesn’t always happen that way…

And that leaves me facing a choice: let the misinformation remain uncorrected (potentially confusing people and spreading the false claim even further) or try to correct it myself, potentially coming off as petty and vindictive.

It’s really a no-win scenario for me…which is why I hate having to decide what do do when confronted with blatant misinformation.  In this case, I’m choosing to shine a light on the situation and try to correct it.  And I apologize in advance if I seem petty or vindictive, as that’s not my intention.  And hey, feel free to skip this blog entry if you prefer to come here just for the fan film stuff.  I’ll get back to that after this blog.

So here’s what happened…

Continue reading “Setting the record straight on SMALL ACCESS!”

Could you do me a favor? It’ll only take you three clicks!

I NEED YOUR HELP!  Yes, you!

Two weeks ago, I discussed how Project: SMALL ACCESS needed to grow in order to give the group any reasonable leverage in trying to convince CBS and Paramount to revise the “no ongoing fan series” portion of fan film Guideline #1.  Since then, we’ve added about 40 new members (3% growth)…which is certainly a nice start.  But we need to grow a LOT more than that, my friends!

Needing advice from people more experienced in guerilla marketing on the social media front, I sought the assistance of Lee Quessenberry, who had helped with the online marketing efforts for Axanar during their Kickstarter and Indiegogo campaigns.  One of the first things Lee did was to set up a HEADTALKER campaign for SMALL ACCESS.

What’s a HEADTALKER?

It’s pretty simple.  People sign up to allow HeadTalker to send out a single post from one (or more) of their social media accounts—Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Tumblr—on a certain day at a certain time.  With enough simultaneous posts, the message will “trend” and get a boost.

For example, here’s the message you would be agreeing to share (it would be posted automatically for you) on June 13, 2017 at 12:00pm Eastern Time:

“We want to change the Star Trek #Fanfilm Guidelines. Follow Small Access Trek to find out how you can. https://hdtk.co/VSsvF

 

There’s only one catch: we need 500 people to sign up to share this message or it won’t get sent out.  Right now, we’ve got 67 (which, according to the Headtalker page, gives us a social media reach of 941,141…assuming everyone’s contacts read the message).

BUT WE NEED TO MAKE IT TO 500…AND WE HAVE ONLY 7 DAYS LEFT!

If we don’t make it, we can always try it again with a smaller goal like 100 or even 75 or 50.  But it would be so awesome if we could get to that 500 goal.

A note on your privacy

When you log into HeadTalker using your Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr, or LinkedIn account, you’re allowing their platform to share a single message on your behalf. That’s all. They use the absolute minimum permissions possible to post a message on your behalf. The social media platforms they integrate with sometimes include additional permissions that we do not use.

It’s really as simple as three clicks (well, possibly four if you’ve never used HeadTalker before):

1. Click here to go to the campaign page.

2. Then click on the social media platform you want to use (Facebook, Twitter, etc.)

3. On the pop-up window, click the “Add Support” button.

And you’re done!  Simple as that.

Can you please help us?

 

FAN FILM GUIDELINES: Reality Check (Part 8) – Size DOES matter!

I started the SMALL ACCESS protest campaign on Facebook last July, shortly after CBS and Paramount released the new guidelines that seemed to spell certain doom for Star Trek fan films.  I’d hoped we could start a “movement” that would make the studios take notice and convince them to revisit and revise the guidelines.

It’s now almost a year later, and the guidelines remain in place…unchanged.  We tried to get bunch of the guidelines changed all at once, but that didn’t work.  And I realized instead that, if we tried to “eat the elephant” in smaller bites (try to change one guideline at a time), then we might have more luck in convincing the studios to listen to us and maybe even work with us.

And our offer would be simple: revise just one guideline, and our members will subscribe to CBS All Access for a month (to check it out, see if we like it).  Revise two guidelines, two months.  And so on.  The first guideline we wanted to target was the “no ongoing fan series” rule (we voted on that), suggesting that Guideline #1 could be rewritten with a revised second part:

The fan production must be less than 15 minutes for a single self-contained story, or no more than 2 segments, episodes or parts, not to exceed 30 minutes total. The production can continue featuring the same title, characters, and settings for additional episodes as long as no single story extends beyond two consecutive segments, episodes or parts.

The big question was: would the members of SMALL ACCESS agree to subscribe for a month if the studios made his first revision to Guideline #1?  I published the results of a survey last week in Part 7, but here they are for you again…

Continue reading “FAN FILM GUIDELINES: Reality Check (Part 8) – Size DOES matter!”

FAN FILM GUIDELINES: Reality Check (Part 6) – The CARROT and the STICK

First I should mention (in a follow-up to our previous post) that the survey results are in.  I invited members of the SMALL ACCESS protest campaign to vote in an online Facebook poll: which ONE if the new fan film guidelines feels like it is the most problematic for fan filmmakers?  This would be the guideline that Project: SMALL ACCESS will focus on convincing CBS and Paramount to revisit and revise.  And there was a clear winner: Guideline #1.

However, Guideline #1 is actually a two-part guideline made up of the following:

#1a – The fan production must be less than 15 minutes for a single self-contained story, or no more than 2 segments, episodes or parts, not to exceed 30 minutes total…

and

#1b – …with no additional seasons, episodes, parts, sequels or remakes.

It’s possible for us to request a revision by CBS to one part of this guideline without necessarily changing the other part.  And so I divided Guideline #1 into two options, and together these were, by far, the highest vote-getters, taking more than 95% of the nearly 140 submitted responses.  So which one got the most votes?

Continue reading “FAN FILM GUIDELINES: Reality Check (Part 6) – The CARROT and the STICK”

FAN FILM GUIDELINES – Have you voted yet?

Last week, I invited folks to vote on just one of the fan film guidelines that they thought the SMALL ACCESS group should focus our energies on trying to convince the studios to revise.

Initially, we set out to encourage multiple changes simultaneously from CBS and Paramount and pretty much got nowhere.  And while we still have a veeeerrrrry steep mountain to climb, we might end up with a better chance of success asking for just one change rather than many.

And so we set up a survey over on the Small Access Facebook Group, and so far, we’ve had just under a hundred votes.  Two-thirds favor a focus on the second half of the first guideline: “…With no additional seasons, episodes, parts, sequels or remakes.”  And with about a quarter of the vote, the notorious 15-minute limit is currently in second place.

But there’s still time to vote because, to be honest, I haven’t had a chance to work on the next entry of my “FAN FILM GUIDELINES: Reality Check” blog series yet.  And since I’m on vacation next week (heading up the California coast with the family and my camera), there might be a solid two weeks left to vote.

Here’s the link for the poll if you haven’t voted yet or want to encourage others to:

https://www.facebook.com/groups/smallaccess/permalink/465593603781344/

And in the meantime, if you want to help me write the next entry in the blog series, how do YOU think we should proceed from here?  We’ve got 1,300 in the Small Access group…92 of which are bothering to vote.  We’re not exactly a “movement,” but we’re not entirely invisible either.  A full-on boycott with just 1,300 people is pretty meaningless, though.  And I doubt we’re going to convince every fan filmmaker out there to simply ignore the guidelines and risk getting sued.  So what else is there?

I have a few ideas, but I’m curious first to see what other people think.  Feel free to comment on this page or, if you’re a member of SMALL ACCESS (and if you aren’t–why not???) on that Facebook group page.

FAN FILM GUIDELINES: Reality Check (Part 5) – Betcha can’t choose just ONE…continued!

Last time, we began looking at all of the fan film guidelines one at a time, wondering if we could choose just one to present to the studios with a request for reconsideration.

Why choose just one?  Don’t we hate all of the guidelines?  Don’t we want everything to go back to what it was when the only rules were “Don’t charge to see your fan film” and “Don’t make any profit”?

Well, actually, no…at least I don’t feel that way anymore.  Actually, I never wanted to get rid of all of the guidelines, and I only ever thought that maybe four of them were truly problematic for fan films.  As I discussed in Part 2, the guidelines didn’t kill Star Trek fan films.  In fact, since the guidelines were announced last June, more than SIXTY Trek fan films have been released…some of which did not follow the new guidelines but many did.

And then in Part 3, I discussed how the guidelines weren’t a completely bad deal for fan producers.  By providing a safe harbor, much of the guesswork, uncertainty, and outright fear could be avoided by fans wanting to ensure they would not answer the door one day to a person holding a subpoena.  Of course, the guidelines are still very restrictive, but they are far from impossible to follow.

However, I still believe there is room left to improve the guidelines to make them less constraining for fans while still protecting the interests of the studios.  But the reality is that the more changes we fans try to get made to their guidelines, the less likely the studios will be to cooperate.  So last week and this week, I’m looking at all the guidelines in an attempt to choose just one to focus on—one little compromise.  If we can adjust just a single guideline, it’s still a win for fans…and we go from there.

But which one?

Last week, we quickly eliminated nearly half of the guidelines because they weren’t really problematic.  Then we began looking at the second group of guidelines, a category I called…

Continue reading “FAN FILM GUIDELINES: Reality Check (Part 5) – Betcha can’t choose just ONE…continued!”

FAN FILM GUIDELINES: Reality Check (Part 4) – Betcha can’t choose just ONE!

In Part 3, I acknowledged a very  inconvenient truth for many fans: CBS owns STAR TREK.  This is the reality we live in, and if we want to continue in our quest to change the Star Trek fan film guidelines, we need to accept that fact and strategically move forward from there.

Project: SMALL ACCESS began as a protest campaign to convince CBS and Paramount to revisit and revise their new guidelines for Star Trek fan films.  And we had a plan.  After several weeks of discussion and debate about all of the guidelines, employing surveys and gathering suggestions for possible changes/improvements, we came to (mostly) a consensus that only about a quarter of the new guidelines were really troublesome to the 1,200 members of our Facebook group who were involved in the discussion.  Another quarter only needed minor tweaking to make them less ambiguous, and nearly half were fine as is.

Our plan involved creating and then sending out copies of our Focus Group Report to CBS and Paramount executives as a sort of “letter-writing campaign” to begin a conversation with the studios in an attempt to create a better compromise of rules that still protected the studios but allowed fans more flexibility in creating their films than the guidelines were permitting.

The plan didn’t work.  Although we know the studios received and were aware of the 115 copies of the 38-page report that was sent (they acknowledged receiving them during questioning in the Axanar lawsuit depositions–so we know the printouts weren’t just thrown out unread), there has been no mention by the studios of revisiting or revising the guidelines at all.

Over the past few months, I’ve done some deep soul searching about what to do for “Plan B” (assuming there even is a “Plan B”…which I would still like there to be).  And then I realized something, and again, a number of you aren’t gonna like hearing it:

The more guidelines we try to convince the studios to revise, the less chance there is that they’ll want to change any.

Here’s why…

Continue reading “FAN FILM GUIDELINES: Reality Check (Part 4) – Betcha can’t choose just ONE!”