What do Richard Hatch (Battlestar Galactica), Michael Hogan (Battlestar Galactica, Teen Wolf, Supernatural), JG Herztler (DS9, Voyager, Enterprise), and Gary Graham (Alien Nation, Voyager, Enterprise) have in common? Their Star Trek: Prelude to Axanar project, which has now blown past the $50,000 mark on Kickstarter.
The latest entrant into the flourishing Star Trek fan film space, Prelude is being filmed in early May in Los Angeles as a short film which will lead into their full length Star Trek: Axanar feature film slated to begin production later this year. Prelude takes place some 13 years before TOS and explores the story leading up to the Battle of Axanar. The Klingon Empire and Federation find themselves engaged in a pitched battle over the planet Axanar, leading both to the bring of all out war.
The story also introduces us to Garth of Izar, whom Captain Kirk would later refer to as his own personal hero. Gary Graham will be reprising his role, which he’d played originally on Star Trek: Enterprise of the Vulcan ambassador Soval.
Gary Graham is reprising his role as Ambassador Soval
“The continuing evolution of independent filmmaking, especially via crowdsourcing really is the wave of the future,” said Richard Hatch (best known for his roles in both the original and re-imagined versions of Battlestar Galactica), who will be playing Kharn, the Klingon Supreme Commander. “Star Trek was always an inspiration to me as a young actor, and having an opportunity to be a part of something like this, alongside a group of first-rate professionals, is really just amazing to me.”
Richard Hatch and Michael Hogan bring their experiences from Battlestar Galactica (the old and new) to the team
With five days remaining on their Kickstarter campaign, Prelude to Axanar, has blown past the $50,000 mark in total contributions. That’s a full 5x over their original conservative target of $10,000. The additional funds are enabling them to both put a far higher level of polish on this initial project, as well as securing costumes, gear, studio time, and the miscellanea required to elevate it from a relatively modest shoestring production into a truly first rate film.
Alec Peters, who plays the role of Garth, is also the driving force behind the Axanar project. “Axanar has really been a labor of love, “ Alec said. “The level of response by the Star Trek fan community has just blown us all away.”
Principal photography for Prelude is slated to occur in the beginning of May, and the initial showing is targeted for just one month later at Fed Con Germany. I’d asked Alec about the timing and he responded, “It’s a tight schedule, but with the incredible [and award winning] talent we have on board, including director Christian Gossett, editor Robert Meyer Burnett, composer Alexander Bornstein, and post production supervisor Mark Edward Lewis, I have no doubt we’ll be able to make the quick turn around from shooting to having it in the can.”
The speed at which the evolution of fan films is moving is nothing short of stunning. Consider the quality and scope of similar productions only a few years ago. Now with the quality and talent arrayed for non-traditionally developed projects like Star Trek Continues, Renegades, and Axanar, shows don’t have to die when they’re taken off the air. If there’s a desire and a fandom wanting to see their favorite mythos kept alive, there are now ways to make it happen.
To boldly go where no studio might go, but where fans are most certainly going.
Bill Watters is an event producer, photographer, reporter, and software engineer living in San Francisco. Involved in a myriad range of reenactment and fandom genres, he’s spent more than 20 years turning hobbies into pro-am professions. Currently day-jobbing as a server engineer for Zynga, spending weekends producing themed events, and the rest of the time writing about and photographing the geek and fandom scene for Examiner, GeeksAreSexy, and ComicsOnline (and now TrekMovie).