Not with These Folks on Board
Continuing from my last blog on Space Command, I wanted to get a reliable reference on the people behind this project. If I say nice things and they screw up, I look like an idiot. But if there are good things to be said, I want to say them.
I contacted my old friend Dan Curry, who was VFX Supervisor on Star Trek Voyager and who has worked on more than one hundred feature films. He knows these guys and I trust Dan's judgment. He said he only knows Marc a little, but he has worked with Doug Drexler for years and thinks he's one of the best and most reliable in the industry. He told me Doug is multi-talented, being skilled at everything from advanced character makeup to digital VFX. Doug's many awards, including an Oscar, speak to that. I asked Dan if he thought these guys were reliable and I got a strong positive for Doug, and Doug vouches for Marc. Still, how in hell can anybody \make a movie for under $200 grand with any kind of production values at all?
Clearly one key has to be that nobody is actually getting paid for it. As for the money, they raised their initial goal of $75,000 in almost no time. That established it as a serious Kickstarter project, but not necessarily a serious movie. They have, however, recently announced their new goal of half a million, which would allow them to produce the first two movies in the series. The response on Kickstarter has been phenomenal. As I type, they already have nearly $170,000, and it's still heading up. Clearly people believe this is possible.
I wanted to know more. Doug, Marc Zicree and I got into a conversation about the character of the people involved across the board. It seems most have deep personal ties. It's like one big family, everybody trusting everybody else to perform and stay the course. That's pretty powerful. I've not seen this before. Some have worked together for decades and plan to continue. It's also the first time I've seen this kind of harmony among crew, cast and management. IMHO, they will work their asses of to make this happen.
An important point to keep in mind: This isn't just Marc's dream, it's everybody's. And as far as I can tell, everybody is passionate about it. New comer Dax Pandhi, in far off India, one of the world's top digital environment designers, is so excited about the project that he's donating time from his amazingly busy schedule to develop realistic alien environment matte paintings, like the one seen at top, and animations for the film.
The same goes for Ian McCaig, one of our truly great concept artists and character designers (Star Wars, Harry Potter, John Carter.) He's excited to be designing characters. Zicree told me, “You get talented people to work for you by creating amazing things, doing what you say, and finishing what you start. I’m committed to making these films and will be there for the long haul. As to our team, we’ll work with their schedules. We’ll get it made, and it will be wonderful.”
Marc Zicree and Ian McCaig meeting to discuss the project.
So it all seems to come down to matters of passion, trust, and in a way, bragging rights. Take a look at the roster of committed actors who share the passion. There are no big stars, just faces you remember and like, plus a few newcomers. To me this is a big plus. These are solid actors who have a passion for the project, no ego problems, and have asked to be a part of it. They include people like Armin Shimerman (remember the Ferengi bartender Quark in the TV series Star Trek: Deep Space Nine?), Amber Benson (Tara on Buffy), Bill Mumy (Babylon 5 and, of course, little Will Robinson on Lost in Space), George Takai (a Star Trek original), Katharine McEwan (Alien Armageddon), and Christina Moses (Star Trek: New Voyages) and Rachel Luttrell (Stargate Atlantis). Associate Producer/Composer David Raiklen assures me that one of the big draws is the range of strong dramatic characters in the film. They're all very excited about their roles and are proselytes for the project. You can see their YouTube interviews collected at www.spacecommandmovie.com down near the bottom of the page.
One main concern is still what they will do with this film once they get it completed. I'd like to see theatrical distribution, which is not a given at this point. Zicree told me that they'll be distributing via Blu-ray and direct download. But he also said that theatrical distribution is still a possibility if the deal is right. I would think they'd also try to sell to the various cable movie channels and perhaps even pitch it as a network special.
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