You might recall last year when we told you guys about a Kickstarter campaign for a brand-new, independently produced Star Trek TV pilot titled Renegades. As an example of just how tough TV production can be, Renegades still hasn’t gone into production yet, and the team is once again looking to crowd-funding, this time at Indiegogo, in order to raise the extra funds needed to make this a truly stellar pilot that could convincingly get a full series run.
The initial campaign raised over $240,000, and after script adjustments and an extensive pre-production process, the Renegades team (which includes Star Trek: Voyager‘s Tim Russ as the pilot’s director) decided that an extra $20,000 is required for two extra days of filming. Wisely, they’ve planned for what to do should they earn more than the base goal. With almost $14,000 raised in the first five days of a 45-day campaign, it looks like they’ll be able to plan on divvying up the money to different areas of production. Here’s a mock-up promo for the pilot, which you’ll notice thankfully still includes the return of Walter Koenig as Admiral Chekov, followed by a chart depicting just what will be done with the excess donations.
Existing starship sets have been reworked to fit their needs, but a good portion of the pilot will be filmed using green-screen backgrounds, especially for the alien planet set. Creating a physical set would be the first addition should they raise the money. Next, they’d be able to focus on higher quality make-up prosthetics to make their alien characters look even better. From there, they’d focus on better props and costumes, and should their funding actually reach $200,000, the will construct an all-new bridge set, as designed by frequent Star Trek designer and illustrator John Eaves.
And let’s not forget that the pilot’s fairly enormous cast needs to get paid. In addition to Koenig and Russ, we have J.G. Hertzler (Deep Space Nine), Robert Picardo (Star Trek: Voyager), Gary Graham (Alien Nation), Garrett Wang (Star Trek: Voyager), Corin Nemic (Stargate SG-1), Edward Furlong (Terminator 2: Judgment Day), Richard Herd (V), and Grant Imahara (MythBusters). (Not to mention the lesser-known names, such as Adrienne Wilkinson, Larissa Gomes, Tarah Paige, Courtney Peldon, Manu Intiraymi, Vic Mignona, Chasty Ballesteros, and Kevin Fry.) One might assume they could just cut a bunch of these characters down to save money, but that would come at the expense of a pretty interesting story.
Renegades will follow a covert crew of outcasts and criminals who try and figure out how to defeat an unknown enemy who has folded space and time around several planets, cutting off the Federation’s access to dilithium. Headed by Admiral Chekov, this group will have to learn to get along before they can do anything else. The tone is said to be much darker than any previous Trek series before it. We’ve been interested in this thing for ages. Help turn it into a reality, folks!
If you need proof of what this team is capable of, and you have 90 minutes to spare, check out the 2007 indie flick Star Trek: Of Gods and Men, which features much of the same principle cast.