Star Trek: Axanar-Independent Feature Film

Discussion in 'Visual Arts' started by Encuentro, Jul 11, 2015.

  1. Encuentro

    Encuentro Forum Resident Thread Starter

    It's currently in production. They've released the first scene to promote their Indiegogo campaign and have raised over $200,000 in 3 days! Not bad.
  2. Deesky

    Deesky Forum Resident

    That Vulcan scene had a certain Star Warsy (the sequels) look to it...
  3. Hogues

    Hogues Forum Resident

    They did a 20 minute featurette as well, which was was pretty slick. I am looking forward to it.
    Encuentro likes this.
  4. Encuentro

    Encuentro Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Do you mean the digital effects? That would be due to the very limited budget. I believe that their budget, when all is said and done, will be just north of a million dollars which is huge by crowd-funded independent film standards but minuscule by Hollywood standards. I asked in their Facebook group about the possibility of practical effects for exterior shots and was told that it is just way too expensive on their modest budget. However, they are building a pretty cool bridge.
    MikeInFla likes this.
  5. Hogues

    Hogues Forum Resident

    Yeah, you have to understand what you're watching and appreciate it for what it is. you can only do so much with limited funds.
    Encuentro likes this.
  6. Deesky

    Deesky Forum Resident

    Yeah, the scenery had that unreal painting-like look, like in the latter day SW films.

    Yup, I appreciate that, but the fact that SW had a similar look on an a huge budget doesn't necessarily mean it's strictly a budget issue. Then again, Vulcan as always been depicted in a certain stylized way, so I guess the visuals are kind of in keeping with that.

    I don't really have a problem with it as such, it's just the first thing that popped into my mind when I saw it.

    Yup, looks pretty decent.
    Encuentro likes this.
  7. Pete Sorbi

    Pete Sorbi Well-Known Member

    are they at a point - where if they get different amounts of money - they will do more/less with the movie - are they still shooting - are they in post - Id donate a few bucks - this looks pretty good - I can't stand the reboot - is this more a movie - or a demo of sorts to see if CBS would bite at some sort of series at a cheap price (?) -
  8. MikeInFla

    MikeInFla Forum Resident

    Panama City, FL
    I love all these fan made films. The ones made in TOS style are awesome.
  9. will_b_free

    will_b_free Forum Resident

    Boulder, CO
    Nice. A bit too much dead air between some of the initial lines - some fine trimming is in order.

    But I like it.
  10. Encuentro

    Encuentro Forum Resident Thread Starter

    They will continue shooting some time in the fall. They filmed this one scene to encourage donations for their Indiegogo campaign. They're hoping to raise $1 million, but yes, what they do with the film will depend on how much they can raise.
  11. Deesky

    Deesky Forum Resident

    I remember seeing a different scene a long time ago (early in the project) where they had just talking heads telling some prolonged story or history of events, so by comparison, this clip was barreling along!
    Encuentro likes this.
  12. Encuentro

    Encuentro Forum Resident Thread Starter

    That was Prelude to Axanar which I thought was a pretty creative way to raise money for the feature. Yes, it's a mostly talking heads fictional documentary with battle scenes scattered throughout, but it's an interesting way to set the stage for the coming feature, in my opinion.
    Deesky likes this.
  13. Deesky

    Deesky Forum Resident

    Ah, okay thanks. I guess I wasn't paying that much attention at the time.
    Encuentro likes this.
  14. Jerry Horne

    Jerry Horne Wish You Were Her

    West Coast
  15. malcolm reynolds

    malcolm reynolds Forum Resident

    Paramount/CBS found out about all the complaining about Star Trek Beyond on the internet so they decided to shut Axanar down to keep competition away. :biglaugh:
    Thwacko likes this.
  16. balzac

    balzac Forum Resident

    I have occasionally read about this “Axanar” project. I’m a big Trek fan, but I’m not really into the off-shoot fan films.

    This one certainly was/is looking to be something on a much larger scale, and I certainly would give it a look if/when it came out.

    But I’ve been confused since that “Prelude to Axanar” thing came out as to exactly how they were getting away with making what is clearly an actual “Star Trek” film without Paramount/CBS shutting them down. I know the main, basic justification has always been that they’re not selling anything, only taking donations to cover costs and then sending people copies for their donations.

    But infringement can occur even with non-profit operations. That’s not even getting into how iffy a transaction becomes if one person is only “donating” and not purchasing anything, and the other party then sends them in a good in response to that donation.

    I do think there’s probably a really interesting story buried in all of this. Clearly, Paramount has in the past let fans do fan films. It also appears Paramount has known of the “Axanar” project for a long time, and it also appears that some form of discussions (how informal or formal we don’t know) have taken place in the past between the Axanar producers and Paramount.

    It’s sounding like Paramount kind of gave them no firm answers (which makes sense in order to reserve the right to pursue a case if they wanted to) and simply didn’t initially stop them.

    It will also be interesting to see how big the backlash is from hardcore fans, not to mention what will happen if the film gets tied up in a legal mess for years. Will they give any crowdsource money back? Will they finish the film and rewrite it as a generic space/sci-fi film without references and names from Star Trek? Will they just finish the film as-is and hope it can get out eventually?

    If they never attempted to profit from it, and have raised enough to make the film, I guess they could just finish filming it and then dump it/leak it on the internet.
    Last edited: Dec 30, 2015
  17. Vidiot

    Vidiot Now in 4K HDR!

    Hollywood, USA
    I don't think that was it. I think they had initially permitted fan films to be made on the assumption that it would be some teenager spending $50 on a production done in his or her backyard. I don't think they ever intended it to include $1 million crowdfunded films.

    I'd have to read the specific contract to know what the limitations are, beyond "no commercial release in theaters, on the net, on television, or on home video." Maybe they should specifically limit it by budget, and basically say, "nothing over $20,000" or "nothing over $50,000" or something. But I don't think Paramount is completely out of line here. If they don't protect their copyrights and trademarks, then what they own becomes less over time.

    In the case of Tony Todd: I know of cases where actors agreed to do very small indie projects for little or next-to-no money, with the stipulation that if it ever did make money, they'd get a whopping big pay raise. In some cases, the actors had to go after the producers after the project was released and became a success, because the producers tried to plead poverty and hide the profits. There are crooks at all levels of the business, even people making tiny micro-budgeted films.
    Simon A, Thwacko and Encuentro like this.
  18. Encuentro

    Encuentro Forum Resident Thread Starter

    What Does A Fan Film Need With $2 Million?
    Robert Meyer Burnett is out of touch with how to marry filmmaking with fandom
    MICHAEL HINMAN Feb-5-2016 6:46am

    A few nights ago when Robert Meyer Burnett messaged me out of the blue on social media, I wasn't quite sure how to react.

    I mean, here is the man who so entertained me back in the late 1990s with "Free Enterprise," a fun film that starred William Shatner as an alternate version of himself, and celebrating Star Trek fandom with the likes of Rafer Wiegel and a pre-"Will & Grace" Eric McCormack.

    Such a wonderful script written by Burnett and Mark A. Altman, and it was probably one of the first times I really felt like it was truly OK to be a Star Trek fan.

    So speaking out against the lawsuit-plagued fan film project "Axanar" is troublesome for me, because I know Burnett is attached as director. And I know he's very passionate about it, and probably desperately wants to make a Star Trek movie, even if it brings down the rest of his career. At times, I'm not sure if he just doesn't want to hear what CBS Corp. and Paramount Pictures have to say about their alleged copyright infringement, or he actually thinks it's just wrong.

    I mean, here is a guy who is literally one step away from being personally named in the very lawsuit that has the entire Trek fan film community watching their backs. Yet, he seems startled and outright confused when some people, like me, take a side that is opposite of his.

    That might have been what brought Burnett to my social media doorstep that night. It was just a day or so after John Kirk's interview with Burnett's production partner, Alec Peters, but he wanted to show me — and by extension, the rest of the Star Trek fan community — that "Axanar" is a product for the fans, by the fans.

    Except it isn't.

    He felt if I did a one-on-one interview with him, and broadcast it live through some streaming service, all the questions everyone has over "Axanar" would be answered. And who knows, maybe even CBS and Paramount would find the errors of their way. After talking back and forth for more than 90 minutes — mostly me telling him why he shouldn't do an interview with me — I left Burnett with a non-decision: I'd think about it.

    It's a lot to consider, to be honest. While I would love to talk Star Trek fandom with Burnett, we couldn't ignore the Klingon targ in the room either. How would Burnett handle questions like, "Why do you need $1.1 million to make a fan film?"

    His answer surprised me. And I thought we were done with surprises when it came to this production.

    "We are trying to make a $150 million space epic for about 2 million bucks," Burnett told me. Yeah, and 10 percent of that is going into renting studio space for an entire year for some unknown reason. I told him that sounded insane.

    "But why?" Burnett asked. "Do you know how to make a movie? We have to make everything from scratch."

    Every Star Trek series is hugely expensive, he said. "Sets, costumes, props, all created from scratch."

    But is it really that expensive? Somehow over the last two years, I missed some of the online promotion for another fan production being put together by a young man just out of college in Michigan called "Star Trek: Horizon." Someone sent me a link to a trailer, and I really didn't want to watch it, but reluctantly I clicked it ... and was completely blown away.

    I asked the person who sent the link how much this film cost. They weren't sure, except that this writer, director and producer, Tommy Kraft, had one fundraiser, it was for just $22,000. And he didn't fall short — he was actually only looking for $10,000.

    When I found out that this movie has not only been filmed and completed, it's set for release in just a couple weeks, I knew I had to talk to this guy. On one hand, we have "Axanar," which has more than $1 million on hand raised by Star Trek fans, a seasoned director like Robert Meyer Burnett attached, and the film is not even cast?

    On the other hand, we have Tommy Kraft, who started his production around the same time, spent less than $50,000, filmed, completed and made it look spectacular. And he even had extra time to help "Axanar" with its earlier short, "Prelude to Axanar."

    Burnett tried to reason with me that there were only seven people working on "Axanar," and that's why it's moving like molasses. But then you have "Horizon," which is virtually a one-man show. And it's done. It's ready to be released. And I'd say it looks as good as any professional production out there.

    And it cost less than $50,000. Slightly more than the salary Alec Peters paid himself from Trek fan donations for "Axanar," a film that is far from finished, and not even cast.

    Why would it cost $2 million to make a feature length Star Trek fan film? Isn't the idea of doing a fan film that it's a hobby? A labor of love?

    James Cawley sank his own money to build the sets that dazzled fans and critics alike for his "Star Trek: New Voyages" series. Vic Mignogna reported that he has done "Star Trek: Continues" at a personal $25,000 loss — not profit, loss.

    Yet, for some reason, "Axanar" needs to be professional. It needs to have everyone get a paycheck.

    "Where does the equipment to make the film come from?" Burnett asked me. "The cameras? The costumes? The sets? The lights? The hard drives? The locations? Every single fan film costs money."

    Yes it does. But none of them cost $2 million. Or even $1 million. Or, in "Star Trek: Horizon's" case, not even $50,000.

    Kraft admitted to me that yes, while "Horizon" is a labor of love, he also hopes it will look good in his film portfolio. And it certainly does. "Horizon" looks like it cost $50 million, not $50,000. The same with other productions like "New Voyages" and "Continues" — they might look like they cost a lot, but in reality, they didn't.

    There's nothing wrong with people like Kraft and even Alec Peters looking to have their work on a Star Trek fan project launch their careers. I mean, I'm still jealous of how well some solid filmmakers like J.T. Tepnapa and Carlos Pedraza made the leap from Star Trek fan films to their own commercial ventures.

    But Kraft had a good point when he talked to me. Maybe "Axanar" just jumped the gun. Instead of doing Star Trek first and looking at where it might boost them commercially later, they decided to just do it all at once. Sadly for "Axanar" and the thousands of fans who donated their money to this project, that appears to be a big no-no. At least as far as CBS and Paramount are concerned.

    So what does a fan film need with $2 million, Mr. Burnett? I'm sorry. But it doesn't. And if you don't believe me, just look at "Star Trek: Horizon," look at "Star Trek: New Voyages" and look at "Star Trek: Continues." They look great, and they didn't have to compete with a major studio to do it.
    Simon A, Vidiot and Deesky like this.
  19. MikeInFla

    MikeInFla Forum Resident

    Panama City, FL
    I don't know what it costs to make these fan made videos, but they are FANTASTIC! I haven't seen more than the first couple of minutes of this one but it looks really good. I have NO IDEA who is playing Scotty but I'd swear Jimmy Doohan was back from the dead. Most of the TOS episodes are great (The New Voyages and Star Trek Continues). Both groups are making some wonderful videos in the tradition of the original show, down to the background music and sets.

  20. MikeInFla

    MikeInFla Forum Resident

    Panama City, FL
  21. Thwacko

    Thwacko Forum Resident

    Fort Mill, SC
    Enjoy this stuff while it lasts. I'm sure everything was cool when it was Super 8 and VHS camcorders, but with the technology we have now Paramount is more likely to crackdown on a professional production.
    Deesky likes this.
  22. balzac

    balzac Forum Resident

    It's interesting that the "Axanar" people may end up being the villains among the fan film community, because if courts buy even some of their argument that CBS/Paramount wasn't/isn't going after other fan films, the result may be that they will essentially be *forced* to send cease-and-desists to every single fan film project they can identify.

    I'm not a copyright law expert by any means, but the "Axanar" thing clearly infringes (and the guy continues to say "we're making a Star Trek film" even when they remove "Star Trek" from the title), and it is true that generally speaking the "they aren't suing other infringers" argument doesn't hold much water. (Nor does the "non-profit" aspect).

    Curious if what will end up happening is a further stripping of "Star Trek" copyrighted names/situations, etc. in order to get the film made.

    I would guess CBS/Paramount just get more (understandably) uneasy when the "Axanar" project "looks" much more like an official item. They're pressing DVDs and Blu-rays, etc.
    Encuentro likes this.
  23. Axanar?

  24. will_b_free

    will_b_free Forum Resident

    Boulder, CO
    Hinman's article is illogical, no pun intended. Because film A costs X doesn't mean film B also costs X.

    Feature films' budgets range from $400 thousand "micro" budgets to somewhere around $400 million (maybe higher now, I don't know).

    Hinman: "Shouldn't they all cost the same? Shouldn't they all be $200 thousand? That's what I understand, that if a film costs $200 thousand, then that is what all films cost."

    Um... No Hinny, that doesn't really follow. Now back to your drawings.

    I don't have a side in this. Just pointing out Hinman doesn't make much sense.

    I'd have loved to have seen Anaxar - er, Axanar - because I loved Enterprise and therefore loved how this fan film brought back Gary Graham's Soval. (Or maybe Graham was only going to be in the opening expository scene, I don't know).
  25. Deesky

    Deesky Forum Resident

    I think his point was that with a 'micro' budget he was able to achieve a high-end 'macro' result.

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