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…

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A history of STAR TREK: RENEGADES – 2015-2016 (feature, part 4)

Last time, it had been a long road for STAR TREK: RENEGADES… getting from there to here.  “There” was a an idea back in 2006, on the last day of filming Star Trek: Of Gods and Men, of a “Star Trek meets The Dirty Dozen” fan series concept…maybe even a pilot to pitch to CBS!  And “here” was the Crest Theater in Westwood, August 1, 2015, for the red carpet premiere of a 90-minute, $400,000 Star Trek “fan” film with veteran actors and professionals working alongside amateurs and novices…all for the love and passion of a sci-fi franchise that hadn’t seen a new television episode in more than a decade!

In between were three different crowd-funding campaigns, many months of pre-production, two weeks of studio shooting with 61 actors and a total crew of 170, nearly two years of post production, and 637 different visual effects shots.  And it all led to this moment with a movie marquis on Westwood Blvd. in Los Angeles that read:

SKY CONWAY PRESENTS
STAR TREK RENEGADES

There were two showings, each with a limited number of tickets available (the theater only seats 460, and there were cast members and crew in attendance, as well).  The Renegades team made 325 tickets available to donors and the general public for the first showing at 4:30 pm for $20 each (and that’s when I made my first donation to the project).  And thanks to a friend of mine who worked on the production, I was able to get in again for the second 7:30 pm showing that was intended to be exclusively for cast, crew, and the media.

It was quite the happening!  The first showing was mainly fans, many in costume.  But after the theater was cleared from that audience, the red carpet and “runway” background were set up, the Paparazzi began to assemble (seriously, there were more than a dozen of them…including me!), and the limousines started arriving.  Yes, there were limousines.

Nichelle Nichols (who came to support her friend Walter Koenig), Adrienne Wilkinson, and Robert Picardo arrive on the red carpet for the premiere.

Wanna see what it looked like inside?

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A history of STAR TREK: RENEGADES – 2014-2015 (feature, part 3)

Last time, eight years after first being conceived in 2006 on the final day of shooting Star Trek: Of Gods and Men, the dream of STAR TREK: RENEGADES was nearly complete.  Two crowd-funding campaigns had provided the producers with $375,000 to spend (minus fees, perk production, and mailing costs).  All of the footage was shot (directed by Tim “Tuvok” Russ) in October of 2013, the final “locked picture” edit had been approved in April of 2014, and now it was time for music, sound, and visual effects (VFX).

Unfortunately, the money was now all used up, and the VFX were going to be significantly more expensive than they thought…like tens of thousands of dollars more!

Was Renegades ready for a THIRD crowd-funding campaign???

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A history of STAR TREK: RENEGADES – 2012-2014 (feature, part 2)

Last time, we took a look at the origins of the “mega” Trek fan film STAR TREK: RENEGADES, created by the same people who produced the first “mega” Trek fan film, STAR TREK: OF GODS AND MEN back in 2006-2008.  (You can read more about that earlier project in this blog entry.)

I say “mega” for a few reasons.  First, each production would wind up with a run-time of about 90-minutes, way longer than the vast majority of other Trek fan films.  Second, these were a professionally-produced “fan” films with industry veterans and a slew of Hollywood actors, some of whom were reprising their roles from various Paramount-produced Star Trek series and movies.  And finally, each had a budget in the six-figures.  At the time, most Trek fan films were low-budget or, at most, made it into the four-or-five-figure range.  But when you were spending more than a hundred thousand dollars (potentially a LOT more), well, that spells “mega” to me!

Of course, if you want to spend six figures, you need to first generate six figures…and back in 2012, no Star Trek crowd-funding campaign had managed to break above the low four-figure range.

But Star Trek: Renegades set out to change that reality in a BIG way.  In late September of that year, they launched a Kickstarter with a seemingly impossible goal: $200,000.  And if they didn’t reach it, they would get nothing…

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A history of STAR TREK: RENEGADES – 2006-2012 (feature, part 1)

RENEGADES: THE SERIES just hosted a movie theater premiere in North Hollywood, California for their first full one-hour episode, “The Requiem.”  But before there was Renegades: The Series, there was STAR TREK: RENEGADES, one of the largest, most ambitious fan film projects ever attempted.

Nearly four hundred thousand dollars in crowd-funding, multiple Star Trek veteran actors reprising their roles from the various TV series, paid industry professionals on both sides of the camera, two years in the making, enthusiastic plans to present this to CBS as a potential pilot for a new Star Trek TV series, and even a gala Los Angeles red carpet premiere at the historic Crest Theater in Westwood.

Looked at through the hindsight lens of the constraining limitations of the post-guidelines reality we now live in, it’s hard to imagine that something like STAR TREK: RENEGADES could even have been attempted, let alone successfully completed and released with such fanfare.  How on earth (or in space) did they manage it?

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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: 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…

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RENEGADES Indiegogo campaign cracks $120,000 – special WALTER KOENIG ovation video released!

Renegades IndiegogoAs promised, RENEGADES: The Series has released a special video of the final curtain call Walter Koenig would have playing the character of “Pavel Chekov” (or at least an admiral with a heavy Russian accent who has had a iconic career in space).  It’s a magical moment as filming wraps, and the cast and crew both applaud the living legend.

The video was released because Renegades managed to raise more than $120,000 for post production on their 2-part episode “The Requiem.”  They set out to raise $60,000 for the first part and got there in less than a week.  Passing that goal, they now need to reach $150,000 for part 2.  So they’re almost there!

If they raise another $30,000 by midnight Pacific Time tonight, they won’t have to do another campaign anytime soon (until they make MORE episodes!).  Maybe a tall order, but you do still have about eleven more hours (as I post this) to make your donation.  Just CLICK HERE!

And in the meantime, please enjoy WALTER KOENIG’S final curtain call as Chekov…