One of the great (and terrifying, depending on where you stand) promises of the internet is that it can break and reconfigure long-standing institutions and industries. File sharing and YouTube forced a restructuring of the music industry and how new acts are “discovered”. Streaming services like Hulu and “TV anywhere” are doing the same for television. And then, of course, there’s Kickstarter, which aims to demystify the fundraising process for all sorts of projects and put it back into the hands of the creators. The hope is that this will allow smaller projects that traditional investors would shun to get off the ground with a groundswell of smaller donations. Projects like Marc Scott Zicree, Doug Drexler and Neil Johnson’s Space Command – “a sizzling retro vision of the future.”
The goal of Space Command is to launch a new independent feature film franchise “inspired by classic science fiction TV & Film of the 1950s”, bringing to life “Bold Adventures in the Far Reaches of Space,” but free from the influence of an actual production studio. They will be funding the first film via Kickstarter donations that, as with most Kickstarter campaigns, offer various levels of “rewards”. There aren’t a lot of details on what exactly will be offered at different donation levels, aside from an associate producer credit and chance to be in the film for donations of $5,000 or more and a chance to win a 30” miniature of Space Command’s Clippership (built by Steve Neill, an effects artists who worked on films such as Ghostbusters, Star Trek: The Motion Picture, John Carpenter’s The Thing, the original Fright Night, and Battle Beyond the Stars).
Neill isn’t the only sci-fi vet involved in the project, though. The trio behind Space Command have a not insubstantial background in the genre on their own. Drexler has worked in special effects and design on television shows like Battlestar Galactica and Star Trek: DS9 and four Star Trek films, and will be serving as producer and special effects head on Space Command. Zicree will be handling writing, producing and directing, carrying forward his writing work on shows such as Star Trek: TNG, Babylon 5, Star Trek: DS9, and Sliders. Even the least well-established of the three – Johnson, who will be directing and producing – has written and directed a couple of “low-budget” science fiction films (Humanity’s End and Alien Armageddon).
The Kickstarter campaign doesn’t go live until May 16, but you can become a fan of the project and get updates through Facebook. They’ve already started to post clips and videos from some of the classic science fiction films and programs that inspired the project, such as the inestimable Forbidden Planet.