Big studios aren’t the only venture for Hollywood-quality productions these days. It still takes vision and funding, but that doesn’t have to be sourced by Hollywood producers. Now the combined vision of fans, actors and aspiring producers can be realized with the advance of crowdfunding. If ideas have merit, then people with a shared love of the project can make it happen.
There are a number of fan-initiated projects out there but Star Trek: Axanar is one that has really caught people’s attention – people like veteran actor, Richard Hatch. Hatch, famous for his roles in both versions of Battlestar Galactica, features prominently in Axanar as the Supreme Commander of the Klingon Imperial Forces, General Kharn. Here’s what he had to say on the phenomenon.
“Axanar is unlike any other fan funded film in history. It’s literally changing the landscape of what is possible. We normally think what it takes to do a studio quality film is like, fifty million, a hundred million and for a really small amount of that, they are producing a studio quality production. I think this type of production is going to inspire a lot of other people to realize that there is a whole audience out there that the studios, networks are not serving.”
But there is another side to this this as well. Along with entertaining a Star Trek audience eager to see new stories in this incredible franchise and other sci-fi shows, Hatch thinks that these projects will serve as educational opportunities for talented professionals to emerge and gain experience in the industry.
“You could get film students from film schools who all want to learn by participating. They get to be part of these types of productions, learn the ropes and create an alternate pathway to distribution of a something that’s, I believe, as good as any network or studio production. You’ll have a lot of talented, gifted people out there who normally couldn’t get through the pipeline previously unable to get into the industry past the “gatekeepers” who determines what’s get through and doesn’t. The indy pathway will be a way for the new, risk-takers to get ideas and stories out. Then the studios might want to come in and collaborate, and the people who develop these things may or may not want to sell, but it’s still a new and viable way of getting it out to the audience.”
For a sense of the promised quality of this project, check out the Prelude to Axanar here.
If someone with the breadth and depth of experience like Hatch an see the possibilities and is lending his support to this project, then it’s a pretty good bet that it will succeed. Of course, what’s also really significant is the impact this will have on the industry and in demonstrating the viability of a dynamic new medium of delivering high quality science fiction entertainment in the future. Watch out Paramount: the fans have spoken.