Tony Todd will probably always be Candyman to me. That was my onscreen introduction to him, and the one that I remember the most. The man has been working for some 30 years in the business, with a resume of work that’s about 150 projects long, both on the big and small screens. But he’s still Candyman to me.
He’s certainly busy – we could say one of those actors who works constantly, but rarely in roles that really put him in the spotlight. Looking at his IMDB page, he’s booked for as many as 14 different film projects (mostly features), each already in some stage of production, scheduled to be released between 2014 and 2015.
One of them, which caught my attention this morning, thanks to an email alerting me to it, is a feature film titled "Star Trek: Axanar," which is an independently-made project extension of the existing "Star Trek" universe many of us know so well.
In the fundraising stage, astonishingly, the project has raised 4 times its listed goal of $100,000, on its Kickstarter campaign page. With 49 hours left to go in the campaign, over $405,000 has been contributed to ensure that the feature is seen through completion. You know what they say about those "Star Trek" fanatics.
But it also helps that the 21-minute short version of the upcoming feature, which the filmmakers shared on the project’s Kickstarter page, is quite impressive, considering that it was made for $75,000, as they say. When you watch it below, you’ll see what I mean. Computer generated movie worlds and effects aren’t cheap by any measure, as I’m sure most of you know already, and so I can see why there’s enthusiasm for the project and its campaign, given what the filmmakers were able to do with the money they had to make the 21-minute short film, giving contributors a glimpse at what they can do.
The feature project itself will cost them about $650,000, they say, but the plan is to raise the funds in chunks, instead of all-at-once. Given that they’ve raised $405,000, when they only asked for $100,000 at this stage, they’re certainly off to a great start, having raised most of the $650,000 total budget.
As for Tony Todd, he plays a character named Admiral Ramirez in the project.
Here’s all you need to know from the Kickstarter campaign page:
Axanar is the independent Star Trek film which proves that a feature-quality Star Trek film can be made on a small budget.
Our 20-minute short film, Prelude to Axanar, premiered Saturday, July 26th, 2014, at San Diego Comic Con and features Richard Hatch, Tony Todd, Kate Vernon, JG Hertzler and Gary Graham, who reprises his role of Soval from "Enterprise". The makeup was done byAcademy Award winner Kevin Haney and Star Trek veteran Brad Look and Make Up Effects Lab. Top that off with the amazing visual effects of Tobias Richter and The Light Works, and sound by Academy Award winner Frank Serafine, and the result is Prelude to Axanar: something unlike anything you have ever seen before. We have our loyal donors to thank for this!
This Kickstarter is for the full-length feature Axanar. Unlike the short film, which we shot in two days and cost $75,000, the 90-minute Axanar feature will take about 20 days and cost about $650,000. So we are breaking up our costs into discreet sections which should allow us to reach significant milestones, as we don’t expect to raise all $650,000 at once. This first Kickstarter will be for the sound stage and set construction. Anything over what we need for that will be applied to the feature production costs. Full details are below.
Axanar takes place 21 years before the events of “Where no Man Has Gone Before”. It tells the story of Garth of Izar, the legendary Starfleet captain who is Captain Kirk’s hero and the role model for a generation of Starfleet officers. Garth charted more planets than any other Captain and was the hero of the Battle of Axanar. His exploits are required reading at Starfleet Academy.
This is the story of Garth and his crew during the Four Years War, the war with the Klingon Empire that almost tore the Federation apart, and whose resolution solidified the Federation and allowed it to become the entity we know in Kirk’s time.
It is the year 2245, four years into the war with the Klingons.
"This is Star Trek". That was what Star Trek legend David Gerrold said when he first read the script for Axanar last year. David, who wrote "The Trouble With Tribbles" and worked on both TOS and TNG, knows Star Trek better than anyone, liked Axanar so much he signed on as Creative Consultant.
Richard Hatch "Commander Kharn"
For the role of the Klingon Warlord who leads the Empire into battle, Axanar creator Alec Peters chose his very first acting coach and mentor, Richard Hatch. Known for his role as Apollo in the original Battlestar Galactica and as Tom Zarek in the re-imagined Battlestar, Richard is a fan favorite and is studying Klingon for the role.
Tony Todd as "Admiral Ramirez"
Tony Todd is known for his role as Worf’s brother "Kurn" in several TNG and DS9 episodes. He also played an older Jake Sisko in the DS9 episode "The Visitor", considered by many to be one of the best DS9 episodes. A brilliant actor with incredible presence, his genre roles have made him a fan favorite. Tony plays Starfleet’s most senior Admiral.
Kate Vernon as "Captain Sonya Alexander"
Kate Vernon is known best for her role as "Ellen Tighe" in the re-imagined Battlestar Galactica. A veteran of stage and screen, Kate comes from an acting family. She plays hot-shot Starfleet Captain Sonya Alexander.
Gary Graham as "Soval"
From Alien Nation to Enterprise, Gary has been impressing audiences for 30 years. InAxanar he reprises his role of Vulcan Ambassador Soval from Star Trek: Enterprise. The wonderful evolution of Soval in Enterprise plays right into Axanar.
JG Hertzler as "Captain Samuel Travis"
A fan favorite for his role as "Martok" in Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, JG has played seven different characters in Star Trek. For Axanar, JG plays Sam Travis, one of Starfleet’s finest Captains.
And so on, and so forth…
For the rest of the story, go to the project’s Kickstarter campaign page here, or click within the widget underneath the 21-minute prelude to the feature.