(Valencia, CA; July 22, 2015) – AXANAR, a Star Trek fan film written and produced by a team of professional, independent filmmakers, successfully reached its modest $250,000 goal on IndieGoGo this past weekend. The funds raised will go to help pay for the production of the first “chapter” of a feature-length production that, when finished, will be released online for sci-fi fans to enjoy around the world.
That AXANAR would reach its $250,000 goal was never in doubt. The production had received over $160,000 in support from a “private campaign” in the two days leading up to the public launch of its crowdfunding effort. What’s of greater significance is that between three crowdfunding campaigns conducted to-date, the Axanar Productions team has managed to raise over one million dollars to help fund the formation and launch of a production company dedicated to affordable, high-quality science fiction productions like AXANAR.
“The key to this entire enterprise was PRELUDE TO AXANAR,” explains Alec Peters, Executive Producer at Axanar Productions and the captain of this ship. “We went to Star Trek fans with a proposition: Give us a little support and let us show you what we can do. And I think we blew them out of the water.” That initial campaign raised just over $100,000 and paid for the production of a twenty-minute proof of concept video that set the stage for AXANAR, a feature length movie retelling the story of a historic battle between the United Federation of Planets and the Klingon Empire.
PRELUDE TO AXANAR featured the main characters from the longer film and showcased starships and visual effects shots created by Tobias Richter of The Light Works, a digital effects company based in Cologne, Germany. “We have professional actors and film production personnel involved in every aspect of this production,” explained Peters. “The finished product completely re-defines this kind of production. This looks like a Hollywood production because it’s made by Hollywood professionals.”
In front of the camera, the AXANAR cast includes veteran actors Richard Hatch (BATTLESTAR GALACTICA), Kate Vernon (BATTLESTAR GALACTICA, HEROES) and Star Trek alumni J.G. Herzler (STAR TREK: DS9, VOYAGER and ENTERPRISE) and Gary Graham (STAR TREK ENTERPRISE, ALIEN NATION). In fact, Graham is reprising his role of Vulcan Ambassador Soval from Enterprise.
Behind the camera, AXANAR has veteran director Robert Meyer Burnett (FREE ENTERPRISE), make-up artist Michael Spatola (STARGATE, TERMINATOR 2, IRON MAN 3) and Line Producer Mike DeMeritt (STAR TREK: VOYAGER, STAR TREK ENTERPRISE) among a crew of experienced filmmakers. Richter’s company has produced effects for STAR WARS: ROGUE LEADER as well as for other, notable theatrical releases and composer Alexander Bornstein is a rising star in the film score business.
Current production plans call for principal photography on AXANAR to start in January and for the completed project – assuming it raises the funds necessary – to be released later in 2016 during the celebration of Star Trek’s Golden Anniversary. “We’ve got the studio space, we’ve got the talent, we’ve got the effects team. We’re all set,” Peters says. “Now we just need the support of enough backers to finish this project and bring AXANAR to the screen.”
The Next Generation of Sci-Fi Film Production
“What AXANAR represents is a turning point in the way science fiction films can be produced in the future,” explains Peters. “Setting up a production company to produce movies is no longer a rich man’s game, when you consider the technology that’s available and the ability of fans to lend their financial support to productions that matter to them.”
“For actors, it’s a very significant development,” explains Richard Hatch, a veteran of both stage and television and best known for his pivotal roles in both the original BATTLESTAR GALACTICA and the re-imagined universe that aired thirty years later. “This new production model opens up possibilities to continue developing characters we’ve come to love as well as exploring new ideas and new stories and new worlds that otherwise might never get approved by higher ups at a network or a studio.”
Axanar Productions’ work to-date has been noticed in the production community as well. At San Diego Comic-Con in July, Peters and his team were approached by prospective partners interested in learning more about the Ares studio facility located in Valencia as well as Axanar Production’s development pipeline, which tentatively includes other projects in addition to more independent Star Trek projects. Their conversation centered around a possible sci-fi web series, but for now, Peters is concentrating on the film project looming in the immediate future: AXANAR.
The mission before him is clear and simple. Fund the project. Shoot the film. Release a Star Trek film already being hailed by io9.com as “The Star Trek War Movie We’ve Waited Decades For.”
“The crowdfunding efforts we’re running now are helping us to build a sustainable production studio and process that could help usher in an entirely new way of financing, producing and, ultimately, delivering high-quality sci-fi to fans around the world,” Peters claims. “With the support of entertainment professionals and fans alike, we’re going to go where no other production company has gone before.”
# # #
AXANAR and PRELUDE TO AXANAR are projects produced by AXANAR Productions at ARES Studio in Valencia, CA. Axanar Productions specializes in science fiction entertainment including, but not limited to, film/television production, web content production, books and games. For more information on AXANAR and associated production efforts, visit: www.axanarproductions.com. To view progress on the AXANAR crowdfunding campaign currently underway on IndieGoGo, please visit: www.savethefederation.com. For downloads of visual assets and other editorial content related to Axanar Productions projects, please visit: www.axanarpr.com.