Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Movies Sci-Fi Television The Almighty Buck Entertainment

Star Trek Luminaries Behind the Fastest Funded Film Project On Kickstarter 158

Posted by samzenpus
from the movie-of-the-people dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Legendary sci-fi writer Marc Zicree (Star Trek, Babylon 5, Sliders) and special effects wizard Doug Drexler (Star Trek, Battlestar Galactica) are behind the fastest funded film project on Kickstarter. They're using crowd-funding website kickstarter to directly communicate with and enlist the support of fans for their latest project Space Command. Maybe with direct communication, sci-fi fans can rest easy and not have to worry about their favorite shows being cancelled like FireFly."
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Star Trek Luminaries Behind the Fastest Funded Film Project On Kickstarter

Comments Filter:
  • by tepples (727027) <{tepples} {at} {gmail.com}> on Sunday May 27, 2012 @10:48AM (#40128267) Homepage Journal

    Maybe with direct communication, sci-fi fans can rest easy and not have to worry about their favorite shows being cancelled like FireFly.

    That would work only if the writer actually owns the copyright in the show's setting. If the publisher owns it, and the publisher wants it canceled, no amount of crowd funding is going to bring it back.

    • by Tapewolf (1639955) on Sunday May 27, 2012 @10:56AM (#40128323)

      That would work only if the writer actually owns the copyright in the show's setting. If the publisher owns it, and the publisher wants it canceled, no amount of crowd funding is going to bring it back.

      I think what they mean is that this project is not beholden to a publisher.

      • by cpu6502 (1960974)

        I don't agree with the "legendary writer" characterization.

        He wrote episodes that were some of the weakest in the TV shows, incsuidng Sliders 5th (and most boring) season.

      • by Svartalf (2997)

        I think that's the point. In most cases, before they got the publisher involved, it was typically the producer's idea to begin with (The publisher had to be SOLD on the idea for them to buy it under contract...) - and many of the shows wouldn't be produced the way that they are right now if we had the ability to bankroll them ourselves.

    • by Mitreya (579078)

      If the publisher owns it, and the publisher wants it canceled, no amount of crowd funding is going to bring it back.

      That's true, but I am assuming that publishers are self-interested entities. FireFly was not cancelled as a result of vendetta but because it was too expensive to produce.
      Perhaps if they had all or most of the costs pledged and available, they'd film the 2nd season? I can't wait for this to become an option for shows. All those DVD-buying campaigns were too indirect.

      • by zippthorne (748122) on Sunday May 27, 2012 @03:49PM (#40129987) Journal

        That's true, but I am assuming that publishers are self-interested entities. FireFly was not cancelled as a result of vendetta but because it was too expensive to produce.

        Not saying you're wrong, but when half the episodes took place in the southern californian woods and were about people riding around on horseback through old west towns, and half the remaining episodes took place entirely within a single five-room spaceship set, It's hard to believe that it was particularly expensive to produce....

        I suspect the real reason is that it just wasn't watched in big numbers, in part because people want their sci fi to be sci fi, and not 83% "old west shanty town"

        • by cnettel (836611)
          I think that Firefly contained quite a bit of digital post-production, especially considering its age. Doing that on a per-episode basis, with the additional requirements on aligning shots etc to do composite could easily drive up the costs. Riding around in nature is also more expensive compared to work on a soundstage. You need to build the stage, but you don't exactly go out and shoot in unchanged nature anyway. And shooting outside limits your access to proper conditions regarding lighting etc.
  • Sci Fi Luminaries? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Narrowband (2602733) on Sunday May 27, 2012 @10:49AM (#40128287)
    I hope they succeed, but... all that talent, and they couldn't think of a name better than "Space Command?"
    • by Tapewolf (1639955) on Sunday May 27, 2012 @10:59AM (#40128335)

      I hope they succeed, but... all that talent, and they couldn't think of a name better than "Space Command?"

      Given the 1950s atmosphere in all the concept art, I'd guess that's deliberate.

    • by kenh (9056)

      Well, Missle Command [missilecommand.com] was already taken...

      • by phrostie (121428) on Sunday May 27, 2012 @12:26PM (#40128857)

        so was Space Command. http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0045439/ [imdb.com]

        btw, guess who was in the original?

        either way, i hope it works out. even B scifi beats ghost hunting and wrestling.

        • by owlnation (858981)

          so was Space Command.

          Doesn't really matter -- you can't copyright a title. Although, you could register it as a trademark, perhaps.

          There's plenty of movies with the same title. As long as the content, concept and characters are unique, there's no legal issue.

          However, you DO run the risk of confusing your audience and making it harder to search for your movie on the internet, etc., if you use a previously-used title. It may also upset distributors for just that reason.

          Having said that, the target

          • I'm actually a tad concerned about that, too—I don't think they quite realise that we're talking about an audience that predominantly grew up on the optimistic side of science fiction from the past three decades, rather than the fifties. It would really suck if the movie series failed to continue because fans felt it the first one was too campy.
            • by Svartalf (2997)

              Optomistic?

              Blade Runner?
              Alien? Aliens?
              Sphere?

              You keep using that word...I don't think it means what you think it means...

              • Optimistic side of the science fiction from the past three decades. Reading comprehension! Star Trek spinoffs, Babylon 5, and countless written works. It's not all doom and gloom! (Also, Alien is 33 years old now, so ha!)
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by MsWhich (2640815)
      Agreed. "Space Command Ninja Cops" would have been better.
      • by sribe (304414)

        Agreed. "Space Command Ninja Cops" would have been better.

        Space Command Mutant Ninja Turtle Transformer Klingon RepliCops.

      • by Svartormr (692822)

        Agreed. "Space Command Ninja Cops" would have been better.

        ...who will obviously have to face off against Space Pirates... >:)

    • Frankly I'm confused that they couldn't scrounge up $100k amongst all those names...

      • by wytcld (179112) on Sunday May 27, 2012 @11:29AM (#40128533) Homepage

        Spending their own money, they wouldn't be creating advanced buzz. This way when they take their product to market they can say "See, we've already got all these people invested in it." And every investor will make sure to see it ... with friends.

      • by owlnation (858981) on Sunday May 27, 2012 @12:13PM (#40128765)

        Frankly I'm confused that they couldn't scrounge up $100k amongst all those names...

        Yes... that's exactly what does not make sense here.

        These guys aren't civilians. These guys aren't naive students, fresh out of college; arrogant, idealistic, and with unrealistic dreams, with no sense of demographics, and no experience of making motion pictures -- i.e. your typical kickstarter client.

        Getting funding for a motion picture is very difficult if you have no industry connections. However, it is surprisingly easy if you do. In this case, all you would need is a script written by someone with experience (check), some directorial or VFX experience would be good (check), and at least one B-List named actor who has signed a letter of intent. That might not get you all the money you need, but it would definitely get you enough to get started, you could easily get a million or so that way.

        Considering they've worked on shows with plenty of actors who are not exactly busy right now, you'd think there's at least one person they can call to get them interested. Admittedly as a writer and vfx designer they'd have little contact with on-screen talent. However, they MUST know people who know people.

        If you have experience and some sort of name in the industry you can sell to people who have real money, just as easily as you can sell to some guy on the net with $10.

        Ergo... something does not add up here.

        Plus the fact, I'm pretty sure most professional distributors would look down on any kickstarter funded project. I would seriously doubt the ability of any kickstarter project to ever get into cinemas. I assume none have as yet, I doubt many ever will.

        Admittedly, I am of the opinion that kickstarter is just another parasite that looks to suck the dreams out of the desperate, idealistic and naive. There's no shortage of similar parasites in the industry. And there's no shortcuts to success in the industry. You have a sellable product, or you don't -- it's a business, and that is what most new filmmakers forget. (along with demographics -- it's only teenagers that go to the cinema in enough numbers to make real money from a movie. If your movie doesn't appeal to teens, kiss your profits and distribution deal goodbye).

        • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

          by Anonymous Coward

          naive students, fresh out of college; arrogant, idealistic, and with unrealistic dreams, with no sense of demographics, and no experience

          You mean like these guys [kickstarter.com] or these guys [kickstarter.com]?

          If you have experience and some sort of name in the industry you can sell to people who have real money, just as easily as you can sell to some guy on the net with $10.

          Yes, and may be you don't want to sell to people who have real money, because they want to buy you to make product, not to buy the product you make. That was a big part of Fargo's motivation to go to Kickstarter.

        • by Genda (560240)

          I dunno... could be they wanted to go straight to the people who would pay for this in the first place, and cut the whole felating an executive at Paramount to get funding part. Personally I think its creative and interesting, and if it works might be a great way to get a whole bunch of independent productions created. Or not. Only time will tell.

        • These guys aren't civilians. These guys aren't naive students, fresh out of college; arrogant, idealistic, and with unrealistic dreams, with no sense of demographics, and no experience of making motion pictures -- i.e. your typical kickstarter client.

          They may not fit the demographic of your typical kickstarter client, but they do fit that of the typical kickstarter success story - see Doublefine, Wasteland, Shadowrun, Banner Saga, etc. Kickstarter isn't just for people who can't raise capital the traditional way - it's also for people who don't want to.

          Admittedly, I am of the opinion that kickstarter is just another parasite that looks to suck the dreams out of the desperate, idealistic and naive. There's no shortage of similar parasites in the industry.

          A large number of whom are the publishers that you seem to consider so essential.

          it's only teenagers that go to the cinema in enough numbers to make real money from a movie. If your movie doesn't appeal to teens, kiss your profits and distribution deal goodbye

          Who cares? You're under no obligation to earn back profits for your investors, because you have none. If you're kickstarter

        • by Eskarel (565631)

          What doesn't add up is actually really really simple to understand.

          If you fund your project through industry connections, those industry connections actually expect you to provide them with some kind of financial return. If you get your project funded by kick starter all you have to do is send them some merchandise which costs you virtually nothing. This goes doubly so if you're nominally famous in geek circles or attached to something which is nominally famous in geek circles. If they can get this thing of

        • by McFadden (809368)
          Doesn't matter anyway. They're going to need at least 100 times what they've raised so far to even make it to B-grade standard, so even the "fastest funded" isn't fast enough given their timescale. Never gonna happen. It'll be interesting to see what will happen if a studio steps in and makes up the shortfall then reaps a lion's share of the profits leaving all these small investors looking like a bunch of schmucks.
        • by Svartalf (2997)

          What makes it add up is that it's more something that'd be a good movie but the money people would consider too much of a risk because it doesn't fit any of their formulae for such movies.

          The money people are more interested in strip-mining culture for all the money that they can and then changing the formulae for the movies so they can go do it again.

      • by jamstar7 (694492) on Sunday May 27, 2012 @02:13PM (#40129431)
        First rule of Hollywood. NEVER use your own money.
    • by Dock (89815) on Sunday May 27, 2012 @11:33AM (#40128555) Homepage

      "Stark Trek Luminaries?" was my first thought. Best I can tell, Marc Zicree only wrote two treatments (a detailed outline) for all of Trek. One episode for TNG, and one (bad) one for DS9. He didn't write the script for either. That means he was a freelancer, not a staff writer, and the writing staff didn't like his treatments enough to let him write the scripts. He only has one credit for Babylon 5 and his five credits for Sliders came at the end of the show, when it was garbage.

      I wouldn't bet on much quality coming out of this "legendary sci-fi writer". That's a joke. Did Marc Zicree send this in himself or something?

      Doug Drexler's resume is hardly legendary either.

      • by kamapuaa (555446)

        He also was a big part of "World Enough and Time," which even though it's basically a video fanfic, is actually quite watchable and done on a very low budget. I don't think it's realistic to compare this to a top-end science fiction show, but I'm definitely looking forward to this.

      • One episode for TNG, and one (bad) one for DS9. He didn't write the script for either.

        You're talking about TNG: First Contact [memory-alpha.org] and DS9: Far Beyond the Stars [memory-alpha.org]. The DS9 one was certainly different, but I'd hardly call it bad. For instance, Memory Alpha quotes the actors who played Sisko, Quark, and Odo as calling it their favorite or one of their favorite DS9 episodes. The TNG one was certainly interesting. Maybe the writing could have been better (somehow I was never sold on the injured Riker idea; too convenient?), but the basic plot was a very good idea, and the episode is at least memorable.

      • by lennier (44736)

        "Stark Trek Luminaries?"

        Good lord, I hope nobody lets Tony build a starship. That's the last thing his ego needs.

        Besides, S.W.O.R.D. might have something to say about S.H.I.E.L.D. muscling in on their turf.

    • by IICV (652597) on Sunday May 27, 2012 @11:45AM (#40128615)

      I hope they succeed, but... all that talent, and they couldn't think of a name better than "Space Command?"

      Yes, and it's a perfect name. Did you watch the video? They're hearkening back to Asimovian science fiction stories (there's even a theremin in the background music!), when things were simpler and more optimistic. Just look at the semi-retro style of their spaceships; they scream 1960's scifi, and they look exactly like the kind of ship that would be built by an organization named "Space Command".

  • I don't understand kick starter. If you fund a project you don't get any shares and don't get to share in the profit, and if the person leading the project blows all the dough on ale and wenches you can't interject any authority right?

    Sounds like its for suckers sorry. Why not find a bright young person and partner with them to try and get something great done? Is it just because kick starter is easier to fire and forget some cash on?

    • by MsWhich (2640815) on Sunday May 27, 2012 @10:59AM (#40128337) Homepage
      It's because Kickstarter allows you to get $10 each from 3000 people (as an example) rather than trying to hit up one person for $30k. Or two people for $15k each or whatever. Yeah, if I throw down $15k I'm going to maybe want a say in the final product. For ten bucks, though, the dude can do whatever he wants. If he spends the cash on hookers and blow, well, I won't contribute to his next Kickstarter project. (Unless the Kickstarter project was for funding hookers and blow, of course.)
      • But the project is still getting the 30,000 but because they are possibly stealing from 3000 people instead of one they get away from the fiduciary obligations of a direct investment. I'm a capitalist and I don't see any problems as long as the contract is well defined whatever the amount raised. I don't think its for me, but I guess if someone was wanting a product in the market that didn't exist this might be a good way to show market demand.

      • by TheRaven64 (641858) on Sunday May 27, 2012 @12:30PM (#40128877) Journal

        I won't contribute to his next Kickstarter project. (Unless the Kickstarter project was for funding hookers and blow, of course.)

        I may have an exciting investment opportunity for you.

    • Yes. You're pre-buying the product (and swag), not investing in the company. There is still the risk of the second thing you said, but the contributions are also very low, so your liability is limited in that case (and you probably will still get the swag....)

    • by sribe (304414) on Sunday May 27, 2012 @11:17AM (#40128463)

      I don't understand kick starter. If you fund a project you don't get any shares and don't get to share in the profit...

      Kickstarter would absolutely love to be able to allow users to offer a share in profits in return for funding. However this is prevented by all the regulations around public ownership of companies. Recent (or in-progress?) rule changes will substantially lower the compliance bar for small investments in small companies--whether the regulations will be relaxed enough to allow Kickstarter projects to offer shares, I don't know.

    • by drinkypoo (153816)

      I don't understand kick starter.

      Perhaps instead of complaining and characterizing the people funding these projects as "suckers" when you don't know jack about shit, you should visit the site and glance at some of these projects. Next to the donation amounts, it tells you what you get. Some projects never give you anything other than a warm feeling. Some projects will put your name in the credits. Some projects are there to make a thing, and you get parts for the thing for some donation levels, complete kits for some donation levels, and

      • by Artifakt (700173)

        When a Kickstarter project is for a physical device, it generally aims to take advantage of economies of scale. I saw one for an aluminum bodied flashlight with a hexagonal cross section (presumably to make it less likely to roll when laid down). The creator showed how much cheaper it would be to make if he had precommitments for at least a thousand units, and if I recall, for 5000 and so on. This suggests to me that people who don't understand the kickstarter approach would be saying the same thing about a

    • by UttBuggly (871776) on Sunday May 27, 2012 @01:44PM (#40129263)

      I don't understand kick starter. If you fund a project you don't get any shares and don't get to share in the profit, and if the person leading the project blows all the dough on ale and wenches you can't interject any authority right?

      Sounds like its for suckers sorry. Why not find a bright young person and partner with them to try and get something great done? Is it just because kick starter is easier to fire and forget some cash on?

      I have coughed up $$ to 4 different projects on Kickstarter and don't regret any. One of them is the TouchFire flexible iPad keyboard. I thought it was kind of neat and since I own an iPad2 and an Apple KB, it appealed to me personally.

      Another project involves some local folks in my area, so again, I had a personal interest. A side note is that a brief talk with the project director led to me getting directly involved. I'm jazzed, they're pleased, and it was unlikely to have happened without the Kickstarter catalyst.

      So from my POV, this is a great idea!

    • by pubwvj (1045960) on Sunday May 27, 2012 @02:19PM (#40129467) Homepage

      Kickstarter is not about investing.

      Kickstarter is somewhat about supporting a project you believe in.

      Kickstarter is mostly about buying a product. Most successful projects offer a 'reward', a product, for the 'pledge', payment, by the 'backer', customer. Kickstarter just likes to call it Backers, Pledges and Rewards. They try hard to avoid the term investment as that is dangerous. See below.

      In return for pre-buying you get product and you get some satisfaction with helping to be an early buyer that helped make something possible. But it is really a transaction in most cases, a payment for goods or perhaps services.

      When you buy a Pepsi you don't expect to get a share in the profit. You're buying a product. With Kickstarter the product doesn't usually exist yet so it is different in that it is a pre-buy.

      An example is our family raises pastured pigs. We're building our own on-farm USDA inspected butcher shop (http://smf.me) and as a part of raising funds we pre-sold our product, pastured pork. We did this initially locally through CSA Pre-Buys and then this spring we did a Kickstarter project that raised an addition $33,456. When we finish construction and have our licenses we will then ship product from our farm to customers, some of whom joined our adventure via Kickstarter.

      In our case the product already exists, we've been raising pigs on pasture and selling our pork for almost a decade. What is new is we're bringing the meat processing on-farm. This resolves a major bottleneck and helps to keep more of the money on-farm while also providing more humane handling for the animals and better quality for the customers. 369 people thought that was worth doing so they backed our project on Kickstarter. About a hundred more had already backed us prior to that. We provide product for backing. This is different than going to a bank for a loan (they aren't lending) or giving away a share of the business to investors (we're rather small for that as the project is only about $150,000).

      Until recently it was illegal to solicit investment such as on Kickstarter which is why it is not an investment angle. With the new law that just passed there may soon be other web sites like Kickstarter that do offer investment opportunities. Alternatively, if you want to own the project and get profits then start your own business. That also gives you control.

      With any project that's buying on the future, pre-buy or investment, you need to carefully consider if the project creator can deliver. Kickstarter says about 50% of the projects succeed. What they mean is 50% get successfully funded. As anyone with significant investment or business experience knows, not all funded projects will get to the production stage or be sustainable businesses. I have seen several Kickstarter 'successes' that never produced. It happens. But I think that most do succeed once funded. Caveat emperor.

      Our project already successfully completed its Kickstarter run. Check it out at http://smf.me/ [smf.me]

      Cheers,

      -Walter Jeffries
      Sugar Mountain Farm
      Pastured Pigs, Sheep & Kids
      in the mountains of Vermont
      Read about our on-farm butcher shop project:
      http://sugarmtnfarm.com/butchershop [sugarmtnfarm.com]

      • And compare the above description to Kiva, the "micro loan" program that has a very similar example about a farmer expanding their operation (by purchasing a tractor, iirc) in their sales pitch as well.

        Except your donation is actually given to loan sharks to lend out at usury rates and you don't get anything in return at all, unless you really love the feeling that some of your money has increased the wealth and power of third world moneylenders...

    • by tragedy (27079)

      I don't understand kick starter. If you fund a project you don't get any shares and don't get to share in the profit, and if the person leading the project blows all the dough on ale and wenches you can't interject any authority right?

      That's right! You should only put your money into good, solid, traditional investments. May I suggest Bernard L. Madoff Investment Securities LLC?

    • by chrismcb (983081)

      I don't understand kick starter. If you fund a project you don't get any shares and don't get to share in the profit, and if the person leading the project blows all the dough on ale and wenches you can't interject any authority right?

      What is there to understand? Kickstarter is about donations. DONATIONS. Sometimes they offer something in return for those donations.

  • Not quite... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by kenh (9056) on Sunday May 27, 2012 @10:57AM (#40128329) Homepage Journal

    "Maybe with direct communication, sci-fi fans can rest easy and not have to worry about their favorite shows being cancelled like FireFly."

    "(C)ommunication" isn't the issue, it's having demonstrable ratings that appeal to advertisers - TV is not an entertainment medium, it is a mediumm for conveying advertising. They attract you by offering you some entertainment, but until you realize the networks don't really care what they show, they just want an audience to watch the commercials in it.

    The best thing a Sci-Fi fan can do is get themselves a nielson box [yahoo.com] and then set their TV to watch all their favorite shows.

    • by dmbasso (1052166)

      Communication is the issue. If you have direct communication you don't need TV neither ads. The best thing is Bittorrent and VODO.

      • by kenh (9056)

        And the actors, director, technical crew, editor, scriptwriter, and the special effects people will all bask in the warm glow "communication" with their fans?

        That's great, until the rent comes due, or the transmission in thier car needs repair, or they get hungry, their kid needs to go to doctor, etc.

        • by dmbasso (1052166)

          It sounds like you are deliberately denying the existence of an alternative. I mentioned VODO because I already donated to several projects, including Pioneer One. I also backed the Double Fine's Adventure on Kickstarter. I'm pretty sure my money contributes to pay for

          the rent comes due, or the transmission in thier car needs repair, or they get hungry, their kid needs to go to doctor, etc.

          And it all comes to reducing the "men in middle". Direct communication. Open your eyes.

        • by Trahloc (842734)
          Maybe that's why they need the cash and aren't doing it for free? The cash goes somewhere, it doesn't just cease to exist when it hits kickstarter. Not every actor expects a seven digit salary, some guys are willing to work anything to pay the bills. If they can find a way to work on something they enjoy AND it pays the bills? Well that'd be just awesome.
    • by bryan1945 (301828)

      "TV is not an entertainment medium, it is a mediumm for conveying advertising."
      That is both the most correct and saddest thing I've read in a while. The talent (actors, directors) want to entertain, and the producers just want money (well of course the actors and directors want money, too). Which I can understand, since they are in a business, but what chaps my ass is how quickly shows will get cut if it's not a producer/studio's "favored child" and it doesn't do well in the first 2-3 episodes.

    • by drinkypoo (153816)

      yeah, they don't give ratings boxes to just anyone, they give them to the people that fit their economic profile. just another subtle form of social manipulation. I mean, it's not especially subtle, but they're not shouting about how discriminatory their policies are, either.

    • I disagree. I want to watch enjoyable and entertaining shows. Writers, producers, and actors want to produce things that they enjoy working on and they want to get paid. There are two possible business models:

      • Studios produce something I want to watch
      • I pay them money.

      Or:

      • Studios produce something
      • TV networks buy it
      • TV networks sell advertising space on it to cover their costs
      • I (possibly) buy something that's advertised on it, which justifies the purchase of advertising, which justifies the show.

      Now

    • "(C)ommunication" isn't the issue, it's having demonstrable ratings that appeal to advertisers

      You're right that it's not communication - but wrong about it necessarily being ratings. Kickstarter isn't about direct communication, it's about direct funding. If something can be made entirely from fan contributions, then having good ratings is unnecessary - you don't need advertisers, because you don't need to earn back the investors money, because you have no investors. You have backers, whose only form of compensation is the product you produce yourself.

      I'm under the impression that each episode of Fi

    • by chrismcb (983081)

      "(C)ommunication" isn't the issue, it's having demonstrable ratings that appeal to advertisers - TV is not an entertainment medium, it is a mediumm for conveying advertising. They attract you by offering you some entertainment, but until you realize the networks don't really care what they show, they just want an audience to watch the commercials in it.

      Communication is the issue (or part of it)
      Look, you have a product you want to sell. Would you rather sell it to the masses, and hope some want it... Or would you rather sell it to someone who wants your product?
      The networks DO care what they show. They want to show something that people will watch. Because the more people that watch the show, the more they can charge for advertisers. Hence they have to cater to the people watching the shows... or they lose their "product."

  • Marc Zicree (Score:4, Informative)

    by MsWhich (2640815) on Sunday May 27, 2012 @11:10AM (#40128411) Homepage
    I was a bit surprised to see Marc Zicree listed as being a Babylon 5 writer, because my vague recollection was that J. Michael Straczynski wrote the entire show. But some quick research revealed that Marc Zicree wrote one of the 18 episodes (out of 110) not personally written by JMS. It's legit to list it as one of his writing credits, but I'm not sure it really contributes to his "legendary" status.
  • That star trek and star wars stuff should stop being made, as in movies and tv shows? they had their run and there really isn't much new they can offer. even more if there is a star trek show or star wars one they seem to crowd out other sci-fi shows even if those shows are better. babylon 5 only became successful be was out in between major star trek tv shows. firefly died because it had the bad luck of being out at the same time a star trek show was out despite how horrible that star trek show was.

    • by drinkypoo (153816) <martin.espinoza@gmail.com> on Sunday May 27, 2012 @11:40AM (#40128589) Homepage Journal

      Is that really why you think firefly died? Because I know from experience that sci-fi fans are perfectly happy to watch multiple sci-fi shows at "once" (provided they don't occupy competing time slots.)

      Babylon 5 would have been successful regardless of what else was on the air because it is different from anything that has been on before or since, despite its failings. I am far more interested in rewatching B5 than Trek, and I own pretty much all of both. (Literally all in the case of B5; I might be missing some TNG or something still, and maybe one or two movies I don't want to watch anyway.) I have a bunch of box sets etc. I don't want anyone to think I'm just a B5 fanboy, I'm a sci-fi fanboy in general. I like almost all of it, except BSG ;)

      • It also helped that the (region 2, at least) DVDs of Babylon 5 were cheap. At launch, play.com had each series for about £20. £100 for the whole set, spread over a few years (I think they released one series every 9 months) was a simple choice for anyone who enjoyed the series. They now sell the entire series (5 seasons) for £42 - £1/disk. In contrast, the original series of Star Trek is £41 (for 3 seasons, 23 disks) for £42, and TNG is £111 (7 seasons, 49 disks
      • it took me a while to admit this, dedicated scifi nerds/fans(fan is short for fanatic after all.) are a minority. too small to through traditional means to keep a show alive.
        it's the main stream and / or the casual watcher's that are the determining factor. with star trek or star wars still around they will always pick them over another scifi show despite if the other show is better.

        the movie studio's and the tv studio's know this. this is why they kept pumping star trek all the way down the drain to enterp

      • by jamstar7 (694492) on Sunday May 27, 2012 @02:54PM (#40129665)
        In my opinion, B5 was great because of the 'flaws'. Humans weren't depicted as the oldest and wisest race around. Compared to the Vorlons and the Shadows, they were kids playing with capguns. Even the Mimbari had them out-teched. Londo was certainly seriously flawed, feelings of inadequacy due to his career peaking late in his life (in his opinion), after being punted off to a 'joke assignment' just to get him out of the public eye. And Garibaldi's personal flaws are many. All this contributed to one hell of a storyline.
        • Presumably the GP is talking about failings in the show itself, not about failings of any races or characters depicted in the show. Everyone knows that flawed characters can work fine, even be better than a superhumanly perfect character.

    • by chrismcb (983081)
      People seem to enjoy watch Star Wars and Star Trek, so why stop making movies, tv shows?
      Firefox died because Fox failed to market it properly. A friend of mine watched the first episode and while he loved the show, he felt it had too many characters. He said it would last long. And Fox showed the shows out of order, on the wrong night.
      • by Coren22 (1625475)

        Firefly? Or are you talking about some other show named after a cute animal instead of an insect?

  • by QuasiSteve (2042606) on Sunday May 27, 2012 @11:27AM (#40128513)

    I know it sounds impressive... fastest funded (a claim made), blowing past their $75k goal, etc.

    But does anybody actually remember the average cost of an episode of Firefly? Low estimates - and I do mean low are $500,000. Per episode.

    Now, I know.. they don't need seasoned actors. They don't need expensive VFX firms. They don't need extensive sets. Perhaps they don't need people for wardrobe, catering, location scouting, etc. etc. etc.
    And yes, I did see Star Wreck. But if that is the sort of result that one can expect*, it's entertaining enough but certainly not nearly as good as most of the TNG or DS9 episodes, Firefly, BSG, StarGate, or even Red Dwarf.

    * I actually have, or had, higher hopes for Pioneer One. But Season 2 still seems very much up in the air, with the crew behind it admitting that they'll have to secure far more substantial funding first.

    Still, best of luck to them.

    • by Kagato (116051)

      You have a lot more overhead for a network show. Starting at the top with studio management and producers. Add to that the various guilds and unions that actors, writers, directors and other creative staff might belong to and it can really balloon. Even at minium scale the labor costs for a two week production would hit about $400K for 70 people @ 2 weeks.

      These productions trim costs because they don't have studio overheads, and have much cheaper costs for creative staff. In particular if the creative s

    • by Hentes (2461350)

      Yeah but that figure is with Hollywood accounting.

      • Yeah but that figure is with Hollywood accounting.

        You don't see much of that with television series, it's mostly for movies. Besides, $700,000 does sound a bit low. Scriptwriter scale (absolute minimum they are required to be paid) for a tv series episode script is roughly ~$14,000 for the story plus ~$22,000 for the teleplay (sometimes those are not the same person, so it's separated). Minimum for major role performer (pretty much everyone who gets listed in the title sequence) is ~$7,000 per episode. For firefly, that's 9 actors, and I doubt every on

  • by arisvega (1414195) on Sunday May 27, 2012 @11:33AM (#40128553)

    " [..] and not have to worry about their favorite shows being cancelled like FireFly."

    Yea I am still not over that either ..

    But there was this follow-up movie, where all of it was wrapped up, right? *ducks*

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday May 27, 2012 @11:50AM (#40128641)

    Re-run after reboot after re-run.

    So many more great novels exist in the world that would be incredible on big screen.

    Isn't it time to give some other hugo award winners [thehugoawards.org] a chance on the big screen?

    My personal vote, tho not hugo class is the amber series [wikipedia.org].

  • So this guy, Zicree, saved sliders? Or at least, that's what they claim in the kickstarter video.
    In that case I have little trust in the quality of this kickstarter project. Sliders pretty much went to shit in the season Zicree came on board.

  • It's like watching a poor soul on life support begging to be let go. Slashdotters, do the right thing, pull the plug and move on with your lives. Sticking to the topic though, I'm very interested in seeing this movie.
  • Of course, I'm not the only one who feels this way. It looks like the current TV business model has changed little over the past century (since the dawn of commercial radio), with consumers now being asked to buy packages from their local cable TV providers that are more expensive than ever despite the prevalence of broadband Internet connectivity.

    What it comes down to is money and monopoly power. All I want to see probably adds up to a maximum of 10 hours a week, including the news, some sporting events

    • by chrismcb (983081)

      What it comes down to is money and monopoly power. All I want to see probably adds up to a maximum of 10 hours a week, including the news, some sporting events and one or two TV series. Yet, the only way for me to gain access to that specific content legally is to buy a cable subscription,

      Why? Are you too far in the middle of nowhere to get it over the air?
      I pay for cable because I like ESPN, and I think it is simpler than any other way. But are the 10 hours you want to watch available on abc/nbc/cbs.com? Or are they on one of the pay networks like HBO?

      • by FridayBob (619244)

        Why? Are you too far in the middle of nowhere to get it over the air?

        Over the air? Wow, do you mean like, with an antenna? I should have mentioned: I live in the Netherlands and for us that option completely disappeared in December 2006. All that's left now are the local cable companies, each of which is a monopolist in its own area. In my city, a basic cable package currently costs $21.61 a month.

        To make matters more expensive, some of my favorite programs are only on Comedy Central (part of an extra package that costs $16.34 month) and HBO (another $18.77 a month), whic

"Just Say No." - Nancy Reagan "No." - Ronald Reagan

Working...