STALLED TREK is anything BUT stalled! (update from MARK LARGENT)

Last month, I published a blog updating folks on the status of more than a dozen eagerly-anticipated Star Trek fan films currently in production or post-production. While I’m certainly looking forward to all of them, I have to admit that one of the fan films highest on my “excitement” list is the latest episode of STALLED TREK: “The City on the Edge of Foreclosure.”

If you haven’t heard of Stalled Trek before, stop whatever you’re doing RIGHT NOW and watch the first episode: “Amutt Time.” As you’ll see, it’s a brilliant and hilarious Star Trek puppet parody of the TOS episode “Amok Time,” created back in 2012 by MARK LARGENT. Four years later, Mark teamed up with a certain blogger named JONATHAN LANE to co-produce another Stalled Trek episode…this one a parody of PRELUDE TO AXANAR and the subsequent infringement lawsuit called PRELUDE TO AX’D-WE-ARE. Both Stalled Treks are 100% must-see fan film fun!

Then last year, Mark decided to return the the TOS Trek parody puppets by adapting the fan favorite episode “The City on the Edge of Forever” into a comedy romp. Sounds impossible? Sounds intriguing? Well, 114 Kickstarter backers were inspired to help fund the project to the tune of $4,181…and it was off to the races for Mark.

Except something bad happened.

A few months later, Mark learned that the 3D software he’d been using for years (and had planned to use for the next Stalled Trek) would no longer be supported on the Macintosh platform. And Mark has a Mac. He didn’t want to have to transition his computer life from Mac to Windows (I know how he feels).

Fortunately, there is a free, open-source 3D application out there called Blender…and free is always a good price! And so Mark downloaded and installed the program on his Mac, and for the past several months, Mark has been teaching himself the application while creating the GCI models he will need for the animated parody production.

Back in June, to show fans and donors how things were coming along with the modeling and rendering in Blender, Mark released this comical short vignette…

But aside from that, most of the details of Mark’s progress have remained secret—until now, that is. Mark just released an update to donors that included 11 renders of modeled environments and characters he’s created so far to be used in the parody. Those images appear at the end of this blog. But first, I asked Mark to tell us a little bit about how things are progressing. Instead, I got a lecture about a truck. But it’s a very special truck, as you’ll discover below…

Continue reading “STALLED TREK is anything BUT stalled! (update from MARK LARGENT)”

Star Trek FAN FILMS are most certainly NOT DEAD…here’s what’s coming down the pike!

No, not THAT Pike! But if you know one of those crazy people who keeps saying that Star Trek fan films are “dead” or that the guidelines or the Axanar lawsuit “destroyed” Trek fan films forever…well, it’s time for a little reality check!

Not only are Star Trek fan films alive and thriving, but we’re about to be inundated with new major productions at all levels of funding ranging from pocket-change to six-figure budgets.

The past year has already been loaded with a plethora of new fan film releases: Galaxy Hopper, Galactic Battles, Temporal Anomaly, Avalon Lost, The Fighting Fourth, Last Survivor, Diplomatic Relations, Desperate Gambit, The Holy Core, Dreadnought Dominion, All Ahead Full, Children of Eberus, The Looking Glass, Confrontations, To Have Boldly Gone, Repercussions, Stunt Doubles, and the just-released Line of Duty. And those are just the ones I’ve covered here on Fan Film Factor! Check out the Star Trek Reviewed blog for a ridiculously more detailed list including all of the smaller fan productions that I don’t usually have a chance to get to.

But you ain’t seen nuthin‘ yet!

Within the next six months, a host of exciting NEW Star Trek fan films are scheduled for release onto YouTube—some of them eagerly anticipated. Last week, I reached out to some prominent fan filmmakers to get updates on their productions and when fans will get a chance to finally see them.

Here’s just some of what you can look forward to in the very near future…

Continue reading “Star Trek FAN FILMS are most certainly NOT DEAD…here’s what’s coming down the pike!”

A new STALLED TREK release: “ALL AHEAD FULL!”

The last new STALLED TREK came out in 2016 (“Prelude to Ax’d-We-Are“). It featured parody puppets inspired by the characters from Axanar. But the last time fans saw the kooky TOS crew of the USS Second Prize was in 2012’s “Amutt Time.”

Last summer, Stalled Trek creator and certified genius lunatic MARK LARGENT announced a Kickstarter to fund a brand new episode: “The City on the Edge of Foreclosure.” He successfully raised $4,181 from 114 backers, and so it was off to make a new fan film parody.

Until something bad happened…

The developers behind Animation:Master, the 3D modeling and rendering program that Mark had used for the previous Stalled Trek parodies, announced earlier this year that they would no longer be supporting or updating the application on the Macintosh platform. Mark didn’t have the funds to buy a new Windows PC with the power necessary to render frames of animation at any kind of decent speed or efficiency. And it suddenly seemed as though Stalled Trek might be doomed!

But then Mark discovered Blender 3D, open source, actively updated—and FREE!—application that worked on PC and Macintosh. The program was robust, fairly easy for Mark to learn, and even renders animations while he works on other things…rather than taking over all of his computer processing power, forcing him to only render animations during breaks for meals or sleep.

You can read more about Mark’s initial experiences with Blender in this blog from April.

Anyway, Mark has spent the last few months diving into Blender (sounds dangerous!), and now he’s ready to show us what he’s learned. Mark recently sent the following e-mail to his backers, along with the first new Stalled Trek in three years…

Well, the transition to Blender 3D has been an interesting one. I had worried that I would find major land mines while making the switch, but I’m pleased to say that, so far, they have only been minor things.

I’m still in the learning stage, but I’m feeling more confident each day.

To test my ability to actually create “City on the Edge of Foreclosure” in Blender, I wrote a quick script and started working on making a short Stalled Trek “quickie.”

Nothing like actually trying something out to find out how many newbie mistakes you’ve been making along the way!

But, I’ve managed to get ahead of most of them, and I’ll definitely be further refining things as I move on to the big one.

So, without further ado, please enjoy Stalled Trek: “All Ahead Full!”

Bad news turns into good news for STALLED TREK!

By far, one of the funniest and most beloved of the fan-produced Star Trek parodies is STALLED TREK, the hilarious CGI-rendered puppet characters from the comedically brilliant mind of MARK LARGENT.

Mark’s first Stalled Trek fan film “Amutt Time” was released in 2012 and followed the adventures of the crew of the USS Second Prize when its first officer, Mr Spott, began going through heat and needed to return to his home planet of Vulcanine to mate. It’s a MUST-SEE fan film.

After doing this blog interview with Mark back in 2016, we collaborated on a parody of Prelude to Axanar, which was really a parody of the Axanar lawsuit. Called Prelude to Ax’d-We-Are, it featured the same puppet-style of characters and was just as funny as Mark’s first offering.

Then, last summer, Mark announced a new Stalled Trek: “The City of the Edge of Foreclosure.” This time, he would be returning to a parody of the TOS characters, and he successfully funded a Kickstarter with $4,181 (over an initial $600 goal) from 114 donors.

It was time to start animating! Well, kinda. As Mark informed donors along the way, animation was a slow, tedious process, as he was rendering on a single Macintosh computer, using a 3D application called Animation:Master. Although it’s a great, affordable all-in-one app (according to Mark)—and he’d been using it reliably for the last 12 years—a single frame could take 3-5 minutes to complete.

With 30-frames-per-second being the accepted norm, each second of Mark’s fan film could easily take 2 hours to render…or more ominously, each minute could take 120 hours of non-stop computer render time! And of course, a single glitch in the rendering of any scene would require starting all over from zero.

This was why Mark told me that “The City on the Edge of Foreclosure” might be his last Stalled Trek. But to make matters worse, a few weeks ago, the makers of Animation:Master announced that their application would no longer be supporting the Macintosh platform…and Mark didn’t have the funds to buy a new PC with the power necessary to render frames of animation at any speed where he could realistically finish in months, possibly even years!

Was this the end of the road for Stalled Trek???

Continue reading “Bad news turns into good news for STALLED TREK!”

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!”

Can STALLED TREK’s kickstarter reach $4,000??? $6,000???

A couple of days ago, I wrote a blog asking “Can SPACE COMMAND make it to $100,000???”  Less than 24 hours later, it did just that with a total of $102,632!  Can lighting strike twice?

Today, I shift the fan film spotlight to a much more modest Kickstarter for STALLED TREK: “The City on the Edge of Foreclosure.”  The campaign started with a teensy goal of only $600.  That goal was reached in less than eight hours!  Now there’s only  29 hours left, and the total so far is $3,796 with 99 backers.  There’s a stretch goal at $4,000 that will result in an HD remastering of the hilarious and brilliant first episode of Stalled Trek: “Amutt Time.”  If you haven’t seen it, take a look…

Another stretch goal awaits at $6,000…the remastering of The Wobbling Dead, the other puppet parody of a major genre franchise by Stalled Trek creator MARK LARGENT .

To encourage more donations, Mark has just added a NEW donation level of “Acting Captain” for $100:

I’ll make a puppet of you and put you in the Captain’s chair on the bridge! You’ll get a wallpaper of it and it will appear in a special section of the closing credits! Plus you get the Blu-Ray and the digital copy!

Already, 8 of this level perk have been claimed.  But the most popular perk (50 backers so far) still remains the $25 level:

Your very own blu-ray! Plus a digital copy and your name in the credits. I’m only making 250, so make sure you get one.

Yes, Mark is allowed to distribute Blu-rays because this is a parody and not a standard fan film.  Reaching the $4,000 or even $6,000 stretch goal levels will help him to produce “City…” and the other films more quickly, as the finding will enable him to purchase more computer processors to render the many frames of 3D animation.  (You can read more about that in my recent 2-part interview with Mark.)

Click here to donate to the STALLED TREK Kickstarter.

TWO Kickstarters enter the HOME STRETCH!

Have YOU donated yet?  Smack dab in the middle of a year that’s turned out to be very busy on the crowd-funding front, two active and worthy Kickstarter campaigns are heading into their final days.

Both are well past their goals, so each will get to keep the money donated.  In fact, each has even surpassed a stretch goal or two, so they’re doing quite well.

But there’s always room for more donations, right?  Well, at least I think so!

The first campaign ends on Monday night just after midnight Eastern Time.  It’s raising money to pay for post-production on the third part of the 2-hour pilot for SPACE COMMAND: “Redemption.”  (Here’s the link to their Kickstarter page.)  With an initial goal of $45,000, they’re currently at $73,581 from 921 donors.  If they reach $100,000 in donations, post production on the pilot can be completed.

Creator MARC ZICREE has just added a new perk at the $1,000 level (for those who can afford it): “A 16 Gigabyte Jump Drive with an INCREDIBLE AMOUNT OF SUPER SECRET SPACE COMMAND MATERIAL! Screen Tests! Concept Drawings! Visual Effects Tests! Rehearsals! Outlines! Series Bible! Scripts! Behind-the-Scenes Footage! Character Designs! Alternate Takes! Discarded and Bonus Scenes! Trailers! And MUCH MUCH MORE!”


The other Kickstarter campaign isn’t nearly as ambitious, but it’s just as deserving of your support and contribution.  It’s for the Star Trek animated parody STALLED TREK.  The first episode, “Amutt Time” (watch it below), was hilarious.  Now creator MARK LARGENT is ready to create a sequel: “The City on the Edge of Foreclosure.”

With a modest goal of only $600, the campaign quickly surged passed that level as well as its first $2,000 stretch goal: a special behind-the-scenes feature for download and included on the Blu-ray for anyone donating $25 or more.

Right now, with just six days left, Mark has taken in $2,281 from 74 backers.  If he crosses $4,000, he’ll be able to render out a special HD version of “Amutt Time” to include on a Blu-ray.  (Here’s the link to his Kickstarter page.)


Check out videos for both.  Here’s Part 1 of Space Command: “Redemption”…

Click here to donate to Space Command


And here’s Stalled Trek: “Amutt Time”…

Click here to donate to Stalled Trek

 

 

STALLED TREK is back with a brand new KICKSTARTER! (interview with MARK LARGENT, part 2)

Yesterday, I turned the spotlight on a brand new Kickstarter campaign for STALLED TREK: “CITY ON THE EDGE OF FORECLOSURE.” The Kickstarter had an initial goal of $600 to cover the cost of pressing 250 Blu-ray discs to be used as perks.  In an amazing show of immediate support, dozens of backers blew through that $600 goal in less that 8 hours!

This wildly hilarious Star Trek parody fan film will feature 3D animated puppets of the TOS crew and is the sequel to the 2012 fan parody, Stalled Trek: “Amutt Time.”  If you haven’t watched it yet, take a few minutes to enjoy this MUST-SEE fan film below…

Now at more than double that initial goal, creator / writer / director / animator / jokester MARK LARGENT has announced stretch goals, including a special behind-the-scenes feature at the $2,000 level, and HD remasters of “Amutt Time” and his “The Wobbling Dead” parodies at the $4,000 and $6,000 levels.

Those extras will be added to the Blu-ray perks that will be sent out to all donors at $25 or above.  Supporters contributing less will get access to those extras (and “City…” of course) as HD digital download files.  In the first part of my interview, Mark explained that the distribution of Star Trek parodies via Blu-ray perks is totally kosher since parodies qualify for Fair Use protection under copyright law.

And speaking of interviews, let’s get back to our discussion with Mark…

Continue reading “STALLED TREK is back with a brand new KICKSTARTER! (interview with MARK LARGENT, part 2)”

STALLED TREK is back with a brand new KICKSTARTER! (interview with MARK LARGENT, part 1)

STALLED TREK.  The name alone is enough to induce waves of confused ignorance and disinterested apathy to all but the most hard-core fan film aficionados.

But to those who know, those who have seen, heard, and experienced this Star Trek parody masterpiece, the name Stalled Trek is enough to bring outbursts of laughter and cries of “MORE! MORE! MORE!”

The Stalled Trek characters are all 3D animated puppet versions of the TOS crew, and writer/director/animator MARK LARGENT squeezes every drop of humor from each gag he presents.  The first episode of Stalled Trek, “Amutt Time,” was crowd-funded in one of the first Star Trek fan film Kickstarters with 106 supporters donating $2,200.  Rather than just reading about it, why don’t you just take a look for yourself at this MUST-SEE parody fan film…

Pretty hilarious, right?  Well, that was all way back in 2012.  And while Mark Largent did do another Stalled Trek short film in 2016, Prelude to Ax’d-We-Are (along with some blogger named Lane co-writing and co-producing), that was a parody of Prelude to Axanar and the infringement lawsuit filed by CBS and Paramount.  It featured all new animated puppet characters rather than the original TOS crew of the USS Second Prize.

But some of us wanted to see the original crew again.

It’s been six years, but Stalled Trek is back with a Kickstarter for an all-new episode: “The City on the Edge of Foreclosure.”  With an initial goal of $600, Mark blasted through that total in less than 8 hours!  He’s now up to about $1,400 (as I type this), and has set stretch goals at $2,000 (for a new director’s commentary video pointing out all of the inside jokes and giving behind-the-scenes info), $4,000 (remastering “Amutt Time” in HD and adding it as a digital download and also to the Blu-ray for donors at the $25 level and above), and $6,000 (adding a remastered copy of “The Wobbling Dead,” which was Mark’s other puppet parody).

So let’s check in with the puppet-master himself…

Continue reading “STALLED TREK is back with a brand new KICKSTARTER! (interview with MARK LARGENT, part 1)”

PRELUDE TO AX’D-WE-ARE (feature)

Prelude to Ax'd We Are bannerHow’s this for a first? A parody fan film of another fan film! And not just any fan film…it’s a parody of Prelude to Axanar!

Prelude to Ax’d-We-Are is a love letter to the amazing fan production that has become so popular… and it also doubles as a bit of light-hearted satire on this whole copyright infringement controversy. Oh, and it’s pretty darn funny, too!

So how did this Axanar parody come about? Who can we blame?

Continue reading “PRELUDE TO AX’D-WE-ARE (feature)”