Gene Roddenberry was a seasoned writer, producer and a tough negotiator. Today, he is best remembered as the man who created the Star Trek Franchise. He was also a private man and gave few interviews.
Back in April 1985, I was fortunate to arrange a filmed interview with him. I was producing a show on censorship in Hollywood and had read about the challenges Star Trek faced in its first years on television. A cast member of the original crew called on my behalf, and Roddenberry gave me an interview that explored the genesis of how Star Trek came about. He passionately described the battles he fought with the networks, studios and an intolerant society that made the show a truly groundbreaking event in modern television history.
Soon after conducting the interview, I was told by my show’s executive producer to cut out the Roddenberry interview. The footage went back in my vault and sat there for nearly 30 years. In 2012, after a thorough organization of my film collection, I found several incorrectly marked boxes that contained the Gene Roddenberry interview.
The Gene Roddenberry Project is a half hour documentary exploring the genesis of Star Trek through the personal insight of its creator. Funds secured from our Kickstarter will help us round out the story by interviewing surviving cast members, Roddenberry friends and family as well as license footage. We are asking a relatively small amount of money to guarantee the launch of the show, but any additional funds will go into financing the biggest cost in a documentary of this nature; additional footage and music licensing.
The Production Team
The production team is headed up by filmmakers Gabriel Taylor & James Forsher (www.forsherproductions.com).
Forsher has been producing documentaries for nearly four decades, with his documentaries appearing on the Discovery Channel, A & E, Cinemax and PBS. Gabriel is both a producer and film instructor at the Seattle Film Institute.
The team also includes a group of dedicated Seattle Film Institute students who are also passionate Star Trek Fans. The 'behind the scenes' story of this Kickstarter can be seen in the following video.
We are hoping you beam aboard and help us finish the Roddenberry documentary. Naturally, we have put together a great list of premiums to encourage your involvement in our project:
♦ Thank-you postcards from The Gene Roddenberry Project.
♦ Greeting cards based on the documentary’s movie-poster design.
♦ Digital download of the completed version of The Gene Roddenberry Project documentary.
♦ Limited-edition DVD of documentary, autographed by the director.
♦ Official The Gene Roddenberry Project t-shirt, autographed by the director.
♦ Official The Gene Roddenberry Project movie-poster, autographed by the director.
♦ Become a member of the crew on interview shoots in Los Angeles.
♦ Have your name in the credits.
♦ Copy of script from Star Trek: Generations, personally autographed by director David Carson.
♦ A private premiere of The Gene Roddenberry Project for private showing to groups.
♦ 50 autographed DVD copies of the show for those attending the premiere.
♦ An original Gene Roddenberry letter, circa 1989 on The Next Generation stationary.
♦ Executive Producer credit on The Gene Roddenberry Project.
The Kickstarter is attempting to reach $15,000. This will allow us to create a documentary roughly 22 minutes in length with 3 interviews in addition to Mr. Roddenberry and license 3-4 film clips.
If we receive additional funding, our program can include additional interviews and increased use of licensed material. We expect to be able to expand to the following lengths:
♦ $30,000.00: 5-6 interviews. 30 minutes in length.
♦ $45,000.00: 5-6 interviews. 45 minutes in length.
♦ $60,000.00: 6-8 Interviews. 60 minutes in length.
♦ $75,000.00 or more. Feature-length documentary
Risks and challenges
• INTERVIEWS: Once funding occurs, we need to secure interviews with cast members, friends and family members who knew Gene Roddenberry.
• FOOTAGE: The second challenge is licensing footage. The amount of footage we license depends on how much we raise in our Kickstarter. This may include:
♦ Film clips from the original series.
♦ Music rights.
♦ Other (stills and graphics) related to the story.
♦ We have budgeted enough money for 3-4 short clips. If funding goes over our minimum goal, we will be able to secure additional film clips, music and graphic elements.
- (30 days)