I am proposing a new way to save sci-fi by creating it ourselves, professionally, with our favorite actors and actresses.
My name is GB Hajim. I am a filmmaker, but also a huge sci-fi fan. I am beginning work on my next feature film with a great cast of some of our most favorite cast members from: Stargate, Farscape, Star Trek, Babylon 5, and Firefly. I can set it up like a regular film or I can try something new that involves all of you…which sounds more fun to me!
How have we tried to save sci-fi?
There are the traditional methods that have had some successes, but within these traditional ways, the executives have the final word and regardless of petitioning and begging we may still lose our favorite shows. We hope we can save them, but more often they stay cancelled.
What if we, sci-fi fans had the final word?
And after the shows get canceled, what happens to our favorite stars? They often are shunted to the side, rarely to be seen again.
What if we could bring them back into new shows?
From R to L : Ron Glass, Cree Summer, and me at Stan Leeʻs Comikaze for my film Strange Frame
The media landscape is changing rapidly. Networks, Cable companies, film studios are sticking with the old models of production and audience being completely separate.
What if we took down those walls?
Kickstarter and their ilk have done a bit, but it relies purely on altruism, on people willing to give freely and hope that the movie or web series gets made. Usually they are poor quality and rarely do they have the talent we expect from our genre.
The success of a show depends more and more on the fan base, getting the word out and keeping the interest up. In fact, this success can often be traced to a couple of hundred super fans who are the core of the fan community. They make the fan fiction, the cosplay, go to conventions, keep discussion groups alive, and sometimes even make art that is better than that on the show (I definitely saw some props at DragonCon that blew away the stuff that they used on the shows!)
Hollywood depends on these people and yet, at the same time, ignores their contribution and will readily kill a show without a twang of guilt.
What if these super fans could be rewarded?
I propose a new model where the fans actually participate: where they can give input in the creation of new shows, selection of the casts, even help with the production and in the end even own a piece of the action.
As I wrote in the intro, I am in development on a feature film with a great cast. I want to get these folks working again and up on the big screen!
Claudia Black and I working on my last project Strange Frame.
I can go many ways on producing this project.
Traditionally – raise money from venture capital, foreign pre-sales, tax credits and loans.
Or, an idea I am more excited about is having you involved. Until recently it hasnʻt been possible because of the investment rules, but recently a new law has allowed Equity Crowdfunding. Which is like Kickstarter, but instead of donating a small amount of money, you can invest a small amount and get a return!
There are different ways to structure it…and I would like to ask you all to tell me how you would like to be involved.
With either of these models I am about to propose, you would shape the project, give feedback along the way, participate in online discussions with the producers and directors, submit concept art, work with professional costumers and art directors, work on the set with the cast, or work remotely on some of the visual effects with our effects specialists. You would both invest with money and sweat equity. Your hours blogging about you favorite new show would be compensated!
You will be able to be part of it in a new way and for those creative folks, hone your skills working along side professionals. Professionals like the Art Director from Harry Potter, sound designers and mixers from Skywalker Sound, and of course, your favorite on screen talent.
Every venture needs a structure and there are two ways we can do it:
1. Just like we have fan run conventions, we have a fan run TV and
film studio and production company. The fans would put up the start up capital and the projects would be chosen be the fans, promoted and worked on by the fans and funded by a variety of sources.
2. Fans promote, work on and partially finance a specific film or TV project and when the first one is done we start over again or do the next season or sequel.
To be part of this would you be willing to invest $25, $50, $100, $1000? Or more?
Do you have skills that youʻd like to share? Even work in craft services (help feed everyone!) on the production?
And BTW I am very serious about this and will pull it off. My last movie starred Tim Curry (Rocky Horror Picture Show, Ferngully), Claudia Black (Stargate SG1, Farscape), George Takei (Star Trek, Heroes), Michael Dorn (Star Trek, Transformers), Ron Glass (Firefly, Serenity), Alan Tudyk (Firefly, Serenity, Transformers, Dollhouse), Juliet Landau (Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Ed Wood), Tara Strong (Princess Mononoke) and Claudia Christian (Babylon5, Starhyke)
Frakk! We could even call it Sci-Fi Studios!
To set up the legal structure for fans to participate and be compensated takes some serious bucks, so I want to get as much feedback as possible. Iʻm looking forward to hearing from you all!