Thanks to your overwhelming generosity, we've made it: we've raised enough money to bring Walter Koenig and Nichelle Nichols to the show as Captains Chekov and Uhura!
On September 8th, 2016, Star Trek will celebrate its 50th anniversary. So let’s celebrate! Star Trek: Excelsior, the award-winning fan audio series, has teamed up with Nichelle Nichols and Walter Koenig, the actors who brought Nyota Uhura and Pavel Chekov to life, to make our biggest episode ever.
Ms. Nichols and Mr. Koenig are already fully on-board. We have worked with their agent and hammered out agreements with them, which will go into effect if we are able to raise the necessary funds.
Our goal for this Kickstarter, then, is simple: to get the episode (which is already written) recorded and released in time for the biggest party in Star Trek history. You know we can deliver, because we’ve been delivering quality radio drama to your headphones, for free, for more than eight years now.
For those of you who may not have heard of us, Star Trek: Excelsior is a fan audio series about the voyages of the U.S.S. Excelsior-C in the late 24th century. (A fan audio series is just like a fan film series, except made for radio. You can get us from iTunes and listen to us on your drive to work.) Our cast and crew, who are spread throughout the world, record and assemble each episode without ever meeting in person. You can find us at StarshipExcelsior.com, or listen to a sample scene from our episode "Picking Up The Pieces".
The Excelsior 50th Anniversary Special will be released on September 8th, 2016, as a free download on our website, StarshipExcelsior.com. The episode centers on Captains Chekov and Uhura. This is not a cameo appearance for them. They are not even guest stars. They are the stars, period. Our regular cast will be present, but they’ll just be helping out. It will be down to Uhura and Chekov to resolve a historic crisis and save the galaxy – past, present, and future. That’s the story our fans want to hear, and that’s the story we intend to tell, over the course of 75 harrowing minutes, on Star Trek’s 50th birthday. We have a script. We’ve negotiated with the actors. We’re scheduling studio rental and locking down supporting cast. All we need now is your help.
We’ve wrestled our production budget as low as we can take it. The amount we're asking for is far less than any other Kickstarter featuring stars of this caliber. But it is still way more money than our cast and crew can find in the couch cushions, so whether this episode gets made is now entirely up to you.
Walter Koenig and Nichelle Nichols are legendary professional actors; their time is extremely valuable. Compensating these actors is, by far, our most substantial – and most critical – expense. Therefore, we’ve structured our funding entirely around them.
Our initial goal of $5,556 is exactly enough for us to bring Nichelle Nichols to the bridge of the Excelsior as Captain Uhura. This threshold is the minimum we need to hit to make a bare-bones version of the episode. Doing the episode with Uhura but not Chekov would be unfortunate, but it is entirely workable.
At $12,500, we will be able to bring Walter Koenig aboard as Captain Chekov. At this point, we can make the episode we (and you) truly want.
Just another $1,750 allows us to rent a real recording studio, fly in Excelsior’s chief engineer from Toronto, and make other production changes to help make Chekov, Uhura, and other L.A.-based members of the cast sound better than anyone on Excelsior has ever sounded before. This is our least sexy goal, but you'll be surprised by how much of an impact it will have if we make it.
Thank you for considering a pledge, large or small, to the Star Trek: Excelsior 50th Anniversary Special, featuring Captains Uhura and Chekov! We've always loved Star Trek and our fellow Star Trek fans – that's why we've spent so many years making new Trek without asking for a penny in donations... until today. Today, we are counting on all of you to join with us to make this story happen! We hope you want to hear Chekov and Uhura's final adventure together as much as we do!
Any questions? Ask them in the comments; we'll answer in an FAQ!
As another captain of the Excelsior once said, "May the Great Bird of the Galaxy bless your planet!"
Risks and challenges
We’ve been making radio drama for eight years, and, although sometimes we’ve been late, we’ve never failed to release one of our episodes.
However, this production is uniquely dependent on its key actors, and that creates a risk. If our star actors suddenly decided to drop out, it would be impossible to deliver the episode we’re pitching, and very difficult to deliver anything that even closely resembles it. To mitigate this risk, we are pursuing an aggressive timeline; we plan to complete recording the key roles in this episode (Uhura and Chekov) within a month after the end of the Kickstarter.
Star Trek is a licensed property of CBS, and they have the final say over this and any other Star Trek adventure. We at Excelsior can only promise to do what we've always done to avoid legal complications: we will not pocket one penny of Excelsior-related money for ourselves. (We’ve been doing this for free for eight years, so you know we’re not in it for the money.) CBS, if you're reading this, feel free (as always) to get in touch with us (email@example.com). We're saving all our receipts, invoices, and emails for you, in case you want to make sure we're on the up-and-up.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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