Axanar: A Star Trek Fan Production

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Axanar: A Star Trek Fan Production

Post by Psia » 04/06/14

Amongst the sea of Star Trek fan productions is Star Trek Axanar:

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The Story of Star Trek: Axanar

“Axanar” takes place 21 years before the events of “Where no Man Has Gone Before”, the first Kirk episode of the original Star Trek. Axanar is the story of Garth of Izar, the legendary Starfleet captain who is Captain Kirk’s hero. Kirk himself called Garth the model for all future Starfleet Officer’s. Garth charted more planets than any other Captain and was the hero of the Battle of Axanar, the story of which is required reading at the academy. This is that story.

“Axanar” tells the story of Garth and his crew during the Four Years War, the war with the Klingon Empire that almost tore the Federation apart. Garth’s victory at Axanar solidified the Federation and allowed it to become the entity we know in Kirk’s time.

It is the year 2245, four years into the war with the Klingons.
Currently, boasted acting participants include Richard Hatch as Klingon Commander Kharn, J.G. Hertzler as Captain Samuel Travis and Michael Hogan as Captain Robert April. Trek history has it that April is Captain of the USS Enterprise (NCC-1701) during its shakedown.

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Today they confirmed an interesting addition to this list.
The Axanar team is very proud to announce that veteran actress Kate Vernon, known best for her role as Ellen Tigh in the re-imagined Battlestar Galactica, has joined the cast as Sonya Alexander a hot shot Starfleet captain.

Director Christian Gossett and I have been working hard to develop a strong female captain for the final battle. We in fact wrote this role for Kate after meeting her for the first time last spring at Wonder Con in Anaheim. We wanted a strong, tough, aggressive female captain who could go toe to toe with any other Starfleet captain. Sonya Alexander is second only to Garth in the number of Klingon ships destroyed in the Four Years War.

Our meeting with Kate this week went fantastic, and she is looking forward to defining this character in a way that will make her not only extremely capable, but a lot of fun.
I've gone years without realizing I'd seen Kate Vernon prior to her role on BSG. And it was actually Star Trek. :shock:

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Re: Star Trek: Axanar (Indie Production)

Post by Tregarde » 04/07/14

This looks interesting.

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Re: Star Trek: Axanar (Indie Production)

Post by Lyah » 04/07/14

OK, WAY cool to see Soval back in action. But... they are making some HUGE claims. HUGE..... if they fail, they will never live it down.

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Re: Star Trek: Axanar (Indie Production)

Post by Psia » 05/14/14

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Whoa...Richard Hatch in character.

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I think that Kate Vernon looks a great deal like Honor Blackman. When Blackman was playing Cathy Gale in The Avengers. Which was in television production at roughly the same time as 1960's Star Trek.
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Re: Star Trek: Axanar (Indie Production)

Post by Psia » 06/11/14

Their first official trailer is up!

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I still can't believe that is Richard Hatch under the make-up.
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Re: Star Trek: Axanar (Indie Production)

Post by Lyah » 06/12/14

I have to admit, that trailer looked fucking awesome, very professional, and I LOVE the documentary flashback style. I am now completely jazzed for this.

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Re: Star Trek: Axanar (Indie Production)

Post by Tregarde » 06/12/14

Agreed. That was a pretty awesome trailer.

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Re: Star Trek: Axanar (Indie Production)

Post by Psia » 06/12/14

My only concern was how sedate Hatch's Klingon comes across. While I realize his scene is that of an post-war interview, I would hope to see some fire in his heart at some point. Ironically, the actors most familiar for their portrayal of a Klingon character are playing Humans this time around.
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Re: Star Trek: Axanar (Indie Production)

Post by Psia » 07/30/14

Prelude to Axanar is now public after being screened over the past weekend at San Diego Comic-Con. It available to view through their Kickstarter page.

I asked Lyah and we were able to stream it through RMTV a few times tonight. IMO, the end product actually exceeded the hype.

Here are some details compiled at TrekMovie.com.
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Re: Star Trek: Axanar (Independant Movie Project)

Post by Psia » 08/17/14

Very interesting. In that some viewers of Axanar hold such opinions and that David Gerrold, who is one of a small circle who really do know Trek well enough, responded to them at all.
David Gerrold, writer of Original Series Trek: The Trouble with Tribbles, Co-producer for Star Trek: The Next Generation Season One wrote: There's a Kickstarter up for an independent production taking place in the Star Trek universe. It's called Axanar -- and I can't call it a fan film because it's being professionally produced. The first part, "Prelude To Axanar" is already online.

But that's not the point I want to address.

Axanar is a war story, so some people are saying that Axanar does not live up to Gene Roddenberry's vision of Star Trek.

Well, no.

There is only one LOGICAL reason why the Federation is SO committed to peace -- they know the cost of war.

This is why the nations of Japan and Germany are so committed to peace on Earth. They know first-hand the cost of war. And France and England and Italy as well. And every other nation in Europe.

The Star Trek universe of The Original Series had to be committed to peace for several reasons. First of all, we didn't have the budget to shoot war stories. Every space shot, ever special effect, every alien makeup, every costume, was a budget expense. It was easier to tell stories about avoiding the fight.

The more important reason, of course, is that Gene Roddenberry, himself a war veteran, knew the emotional cost of war and was firmly committed to the idea that war is a failure to grab the opportunity for partnership. War wastes lives. It wastes resources. Even the winner is punished by not being able to invest his energies into building schools and libraries, roads, dams, bridges, hospitals -- or in the Trek universe, exploration vessels, colonies, space stations, research facilities.

In the sixties, we were dealing with civil rights crises, the Vietnam war, a growing generation gap, a sexual revolution, spreading drug use, cultural dichotomies of all kinds, and terrible beehive hairdos.

Roddenberry wanted to do stories that addressed all those issues. But he had to remember the human scale.

In The Original Series, we occasionally referred to various terrible wars of the past that we had put behind us. We referred to them specifically to justify our commitment to peace.

We never showed those wars because we couldn't afford to do it. We didn't have the budget to do World War II in space. So we focused on the human scale of the story.

The Exec Producer of Axanar, Alec Peters, was originally fascinated by the character of Garth of Izar, and has been developing the Axanar story for the better part of a decade. This past year, he's finally begun bringing it to reality.

My experience of Alec is that he understands the Star Trek universe profoundly. He gets it. He's focusing on the human scale.

A good Star Trek story is character-based. It's not about the salt vampire or the giant space amoeba -- it's about the human beings who have to deal with that challenge, what they learn along the way, how they become better people for having been caught up in that situation. The tribble episode is not funny because tribbles are funny -- it's funny because Kirk and Spock and all the others are funny in the way they behave in the situation. Likewise, Amok Time is dramatic not because of the situation, but because we care about Kirk and Spock who are caught up in the situation.

I've read the script for Axanar -- an early draft. I made notes and offered suggestions and I helped sweep up Alec Peters' hair after he tore great clumps of it out. But the strength of his story is that it's not about the war as much as it is about the people caught up in it. Yes, there's an exciting military plot-line, one that I won't spoil here. But the real strength of the script is that there are people to care about, and it sets up the Star Trek universe for The Original Series.

It's an ambitious and worthwhile effort, and when it's completed, I think it will demonstrate that internet-based independent productions will have finally come of age. More than that, Peters will have demonstrated that there are better ways to make good movies than depending on the studios.

He should be cheered for his ambition today. Tomorrow, he will be cheered for his success.
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Re: Star Trek: Axanar (Independant Movie Project)

Post by Tregarde » 08/18/14

That's a great response from David Gerrold.

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Re: Star Trek: Axanar (Independant Movie Project)

Post by Psia » 08/19/14

The Axanar team is proud to announce that "Prelude to Axanar" is now available subtitled in 8 Languages including French, Spanish, German, Dutch, Czech, Portugese and two varieties of English! You can access this all on our YouTube Page.
I downloaded the 1080p version through Youtube. It's glorious.

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"Let me tell you something. Don't. Don't let them promote you. Don't let them transfer you, don't let them do anything that takes you off the bridge of that ship, because while you're there, you can make a difference." - Kirk to Picard, Star Trek Generations

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Re: Star Trek: Axanar (Independant Movie Project)

Post by Psia » 01/15/15

https://superherojunkies.com/
SUPERHERO JUNKIES TREK SPECIAL! ALEC PETERS AXANAR

Star Trek: Axanar Creator/Producer Alec Peters joins Host Todd Shawn Tei to discuss his new feature length film “Axanar”. The film takes place in the Star Trek universe of the 60′s.
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"Let me tell you something. Don't. Don't let them promote you. Don't let them transfer you, don't let them do anything that takes you off the bridge of that ship, because while you're there, you can make a difference." - Kirk to Picard, Star Trek Generations

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Re: Star Trek: Axanar (Independant Movie Project)

Post by Psia » 01/24/15

The official Axanar podcast has posted it's year in review for the production.

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"Let me tell you something. Don't. Don't let them promote you. Don't let them transfer you, don't let them do anything that takes you off the bridge of that ship, because while you're there, you can make a difference." - Kirk to Picard, Star Trek Generations

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Re: Star Trek: Axanar (Independant Movie Project)

Post by Psia » 04/14/15

The foundation for their bridge set is finally being laid. That's progress.

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"Let me tell you something. Don't. Don't let them promote you. Don't let them transfer you, don't let them do anything that takes you off the bridge of that ship, because while you're there, you can make a difference." - Kirk to Picard, Star Trek Generations

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Re: Star Trek: Axanar (Independant Movie Project)

Post by Psia » 04/28/15

Fresh on the heels of the Star Trek Independent Film Awards comes this award news:
PRELUDE TO AXANAR has won a Special Jury Remi Award in the Science Fiction Category at the 48th Annual WorldFest-Houston International Film Festival.

WorldFest is an international film/video festival, with more than 4,500 category entries, and only about 15% win a Remi Award.

The award is based on a score given by the juries. It's named after the great artist Frederic Remington, who captured the spirit of Texas and the West in the 1800's with his wonderful paintings and bronze statues.

"My thanks for your entry and my personal congratulations for a job very well done! Warmest regards, Hunter."

- Hunter Todd
Chairman & Founding Director
TEAM WORLDFEST
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https://worldfest.org/remi-winners/
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Re: Star Trek: Axanar (Independant Movie Project)

Post by Psia » 05/12/15

It is with great sadness that I annouce that Christian Gossett, the wonderful co-writer and Director of "Prelude to Axanar" has had to leave "Axanar" to accept a job with a feature film. Christian is one of my dearest friends and I have for years now, looked forward to working with him on Axanar. As everyone knows, Christian is a brilliant visual artist and becoming an amazing director. His opportunities are limitless and I am sad to lose him.

We have a pretty deep bench of experienced directors already working on Axanar, and I am sure we will have great news on Christian's successor relatively soon. In the mean time, work continues!

Alec Peters
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Re: Star Trek: Axanar (Independant Movie Project)

Post by Scrattch » 05/12/15

Hands down, the best 20 minutes of Star Trek I've ever watched.

And I've seen them ALL.

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Re: Star Trek: Axanar (Independant Movie Project)

Post by Psia » 06/20/15

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Two months after the foundation was set. Edging ever closer.

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They actually filmed on location last weekend. With all alien characters on planet Vulcan.
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Re: Star Trek: Axanar (Independant Movie Project)

Post by Scrattch » 06/21/15

With all due respect to Abram's universe, THIS is the reboot that Trek needs to get it back on the map.

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Re: Star Trek: Axanar (Independant Movie Project)

Post by Psia » 07/06/15

Meanwhile on planet Vulcan...

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Re: Star Trek: Axanar (Independant Movie Project)

Post by Psia » 07/06/15

http://io9.com/first-look-at-axanar-the ... 1716037166?
Star Trek fans have been curious for years about the Battle of Axanar, the decisive turning point in the war against the Klingon Empire. And now, a new unofficial movie will show what really happened at Axanar, and how Captain Garth triumphed. Here’s your first image from Star Trek: Axanar, exclusively at io9!

This image was sent to us by Robert Meyer Burnett, who was involved in Axanar in a producing capacity and has just taken over as director. Burnett, who directed the classic comedy Free Enterprise, explains the image to us: “This is Gary Graham, once again playing Ambassador Soval (from Star Trek: Enterprise), and Kim Fitzgerald playing a new character, Vulcan Minister T’Lera (who may or may not be the same character from Margaret Wander Bonanno’s terrific 1987 TREK novel Strangers from the Sky.) They are discussing a very dire vote the Vulcan High Council has just made, which would have potentially dire consequences for the entire Alpha and Beta quadrants.”
Axanar will be having a third crowdfunding campaign soon, to raise badly needed funds to complete the production. We talked to Burnett about why he took over as director of Axanar, and what to expect from this movie:

What led to you taking over as director, and how is your approach going to be different from the Christian Gossett version?
  • Because of other, ongoing projects, Christian felt he simply didn’t have the time needed to devote to the feature version of AXANAR. He did such a wonderful job directing and co-writing PRELUDE, and I very much enjoyed working with him as the film editor on the project, so I was really sorry to see him go.

    This left AXANAR Creator and Executive Producer Alec Peters in a precarious position. The plan was always to shoot the bulk of the feature starting in November, to have the finished film ready for STAR TREK’s actual 50th Anniversary, sometime on or before Sept. 8th, 2016. So he really needed someone who could jump right in. To be honest, I’ve wanted to direct a STAR TREK film for most of my life, so for me, it would, quite literally, be a dream come true to direct AXANAR. I think I was probably the natural choice, but I would absolutely have to prove myself to Alec.

    Unlike Christian, I have not only 26 years of film production experience behind me, but a life-long obsession with all things STAR TREK, so I’m hoping the synthesis of those two things will serve me well moving forward. I even have a bit of professional TREK experience, first as a TREK consultant for Viacom Licensing back in the mid-90s, then I worked for two years creating video material for the STAR TREK EXPERIENCE, which used to be at the Las Vegas Hilton. I wrote and directed FREE ENTERPRISE, starring William Shatner and WILL AND GRACE’s Eric McCormack and finally spent three years creating the award-winning special features for the Blu-Ray releases of all seven season of STAR TREK: THE NEXT GENERATION and four seasons of ENTERPRISE.

    Moving forward, I absolutely intend to honor the characters, storyline and tone created by Alec and Christian in PRELUDE TO AXANAR. First and foremost, I’ve always believed in the TREK universe as presented to audiences for almost 50 years. We’ve seen hundreds of years of TREK history since the original series debuted, and I intend to honor all of that. Since I was a kid, a part of me always believed in the TREK universe as a living, breathing place. In my mind, it does actually exist, so all of my creative decisions are colored by the notion of creating believability within that framework. I have to buy everything contained in AXANAR is reality as far as the TREK universe is concerned. For instance, as originally conceived, the actual design of the Starship Enterprise is such that it couldn’t possibility be constructed inside the gravity well of a planet. The component parts were constructed on Earth and then assembled in Earth Orbit, as suggested by the actual scientific advice experts advising Roddenberry and company back in the mid01960s. We’ve seen orbital dry-docks since 1979’s THE MOTION PICTURE, so, one should absolutely honor that. Seeing imagery which runs contrary to established TREK lore shatters the verisimilitude of the universe for the longtime fan base. I’m also a huge fan of the expanded TREK universe, and there are many excellent novels which also expand and extrapolate the TREK universe in very compelling and believable ways, so I’m always looking to add material from the best of the novels. Alec and I talk about John Ford’s THE FINAL REFLECTION a great deal...a must read if you’re at all interested in the Klingons.
Garth of Izar gets a lot of buildup in his one appearance in TOS asa legendary tactician and brilliant officer... is that a lot to liveup to? How do you square that with the total loon we actually met in”Whom Gods Destroy?”
  • As we know from Jerry Sohl and Lee Erwin’s wildly entertaining story, Garth of Izar was the one of the best Starship Captains who ever lived. He was Kirk’s hero and his exploits required reading at Starfleet Academy. But, unfortunately, after learning the secret of cellular metamorphosis from the peaceful and benevolent Antosians, he was driven mad by the ability. I always figured he lost his own identity because of such power, and that drove him insane. Alec Peters was always intrigued by the character and began writing stories about him decades ago. Alec will tell you he’s been fascinated by that moment at the end of the episode when Garth’s mind finally clears, and he says, “Do I know you sir?” to Kirk, the nobility finally returning to his personality. But AXANAR happens long before Garth’s fall from grace, so we’ll meet the Captain who’s visited more planets, explored more of the galaxy than anyone else, a great explorer who finds himself thrust into a war with the Klingons where the very survival of the Federation hangs in the balance. Most interestingly, the war was unwittingly triggered by The Federation’s rapid expansion and belief that everyone would be more than happy to join their alliance.
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How much are you guys worried about staying consistent with what’s been depicted of Axanar in tie-in books, comics, games, etc.?
  • While PRELUDE TO AXANAR and the notion of THE FOUR YEARS WAR were absolutely inspired by the FASA sourcebook for the STAR TREK role playing game, we’re sticking as close as we can to the events depicted in the original series and not referencing the RPG or any of the books and comics that have been written. Aside from Garth and Ambassador Soval, all of our characters are completely original, as are the situations presented in the film. Does this jibe with established TREK canon? We’re doing everything we can to make AXANAR feel like canon. Taking place 21 years before TOS, who’s to say this isn’t exactly how it happened. We find that a huge number of fans have told us they consider “Axanar” canon because of the way we approach it, and the reverence we have for Star Trek. There’s also the four incredible FOUR YEARS WAR fan fiction novels published by Stephen Fender which are an incredibly compelling account of the conflict, but our story differs totally from the novels, which are based on the FASA game. We’re concentrating on our own version of the story.
Let’s be honest—most of us just want to see awesome starship combat. What can you promise us in terms of starship/Bird of Prey battles and crazy space fights?
  • AXANAR will indeed have some awesome starship combat...which uses actual space science in ways never before depicted on television or on film, but make no mistake, the film is, first and foremost, about our characters. The very last thing I’m interested in is making a pew, pew, pew STAR TREK movie. I’m taking my inspiration from the very best TOS episodes dealing with warfare, “Balance of Terror,” “A Taste of Armageddon,” “Errand of Mercy” and “A Private Little War.” I’d also look to films such as PATTON, MIDWAY and APOCALYPSE NOW for inspiration.
What’s the goal of the third crowdfunding campaign for Axanar? Not just financially, but what are you hoping to achieve with it?
  • The entire AXANAR project, from PRELUDE to AXANAR itself and beyond, is entirely driven by our donors. Without their generous and ongoing contributions, the project wouldn’t exist. Clearly, the AXANAR project is providing something to the fan base they simply aren’t getting anywhere else. The first Kickstarter campaign, to make PRELUDE, asked for 10K and wound up making over 100K. Then, the first AXANAR proper Kickstarter was about building the infrastructure of our studio, renting a facility, retrofitting it, building sets and pre-production needed to begin production on the film. We raised 630K, which was just astonishing and allowed us to build Ares Studios. This third, and hopefully final IndieGoGo campaign will allow us to actually make the entire film, which is currently budgeted at 960K. We’ve designed it to be made in four parts if need be, but obviously, if we can’t make the film all at once, each individual part becomes more expensive because you can’t amortize your costs across the entire production. If we do achieve our crowd-funding goal, I’m personally looking to do one thing...and that’s making a feature film which is considered by fans to be some of the best STAR TREK ever made.
And via Burnett, here’s the incredibly rough animatic he made for the above scene, using a couple of action figures in his garden:

[See the original IO9 link up top.]

And here’s the more finished animatic of that same shot, that VFX artist Tobias Richter turned in:

[See the original IO9 link up top.]
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Re: Star Trek: Axanar (Independant Movie Project)

Post by Psia » 07/07/15

I think it's funny that some protractors of Axanar really do believe that the IP holder (ya know, Paramount studios and whatever legal team they use) doesn't have an awareness of the fan film and independent endeavors.

Since the I09 item was posted this weekend, the trolls have flooded Redit and the TrekBBS with wild accusations of mistrust. Including - but not limited to - Alec Peters having bought a new car with Axanar's crowd-funding money. I enjoy the TrekBBS community as a whole. They do maintain a subforum specific to the fan films. Where some fans compliment or slam said fan production. There will always be those few with really loud, clacking keyboards. Firing off their personal canon - see what I did there? - in effort to make themselves look smarter than the rest of us. Entertaining to be sure. Or supporters of one effort over another, who let their envy show just a bit too much. Which isn't pretty.

So Burnett and Peters were forced to come out swinging today. If for no other reason than to confirm their transparency and post the annual budget. Something that I'm confident that they would have done on their own.

The burden of success, I guess?
"The food is good, the wine is excellent, the staff timely. All that is lacking is your company." - EQ2 Raven Mythic FAQ

"Let me tell you something. Don't. Don't let them promote you. Don't let them transfer you, don't let them do anything that takes you off the bridge of that ship, because while you're there, you can make a difference." - Kirk to Picard, Star Trek Generations

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Scrattch
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Re: Star Trek: Axanar (Independant Movie Project)

Post by Scrattch » 07/07/15

If this is never finished, I will weep.

And be like this inside:

Image

Thanks for updating this, Psia.

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Psia
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Re: Star Trek: Axanar (Independant Movie Project)

Post by Psia » 07/10/15

The first scene filmed was recently screened to veteran contributors and shown at this weeks San Diego ComicCon. I'm pleased to note that It is now available for public viewing. When I filled the screen with the HD quality presentation, IMO, their work is remarkable. Your mileage may vary.

phpBB [media]


The next fundraising stage, through Indigogo, has also launched with this release.

https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/star ... nar#/story

As of this posting, Axanar has raised $189,619 USD of the their requested $250,000 USD goal. Raised by 1,990 people in 2 days.
"The food is good, the wine is excellent, the staff timely. All that is lacking is your company." - EQ2 Raven Mythic FAQ

"Let me tell you something. Don't. Don't let them promote you. Don't let them transfer you, don't let them do anything that takes you off the bridge of that ship, because while you're there, you can make a difference." - Kirk to Picard, Star Trek Generations

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