The Phoenix-based web seriesVoyage Trekkers is looking to boldly go where no Arizona sci-fi web series has gone before: the silver screen.
After doing two seasons of their "comedic love letter to Star Trek," creators Nathan Blackwell and Craig Michael Curtis have their sights set on making a feature film in the near future, with the help of their fans. The duo recently launched an Indiegogo campaign to try and raise the funds needed to get the Voyage Trekkers movie off the ground. The guys from Voyage Trekkers will be out at Monkey Pants Bar & Grill Sunday, June 29 to "shamelessly promote" their project, as they put it.
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Voyage Trekkers has a similar tone and edge to that of Galaxy Quest. Blackwell says it has been compared to Arrested Development, but in space. ""Voyage Trekkers is a sci-fi comedy about the worst starship crew in the galaxy. We're not a direct Star Trek parody. We're kind of a satire of sci-fi in general, but we take the most off of Star Trek itself," says Blackwell, who co-writes and directs the web series. "I'm the one who does the heavy lifting and he (Curtis) and I kind of dream and make up stories."
The pair have been working on the series for more than three years and have completed two full 10-episode seasons. During the production of the second season, they began working on the script for the feature film, which is already on its third draft. Blackwell feels like it is in a good place. "We want to move into longer form story telling. We want to be able to tell bigger stories and have more time to develop these character arcs," Blackwell says.
Blackwell and Curtis aren't in this for the Internet money, which at this point is pretty much non-existent. They are doing this because they have a passion for the material and want to make something that pays tribute to the the sci-fi they knew and loved growing up. "We're making the show that we wish we could watch, and as filmmakers that's kind of the best way to go about it," Blackwell says. "I find that our hardcore fans are people that grew up watching Star Trek, Star Trek: The Next Generation, or the original Star Wars movies. So they're people who kind of miss the sci-fi that they grew up with." It seems as though those fans are Just as excited about the Voyage Trekkers movie as Blackwell and Curtis themselves.
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The Indiegogo campaign that the pair launched on June 2 in order to raise funds for the movie has already surpassed its goal of $10,000 and has climbed past the $11,000 mark with nearly 90 backers. The campaign is set to end on Sunday, June 29, which is the night the Voyage Trekkers will be celebrating at Monkey Pants Bar & Grill in Tempe. Comedian James Hoenscheidt will be headlining the event along with Bully Mammoth and other local comics. Plus, the Voyage Trekkers gang will be screening episodes of the show.
"The event is a way for us to hang out with the people who support us and for them to kind of hang out with is. It's sort of a celebration of the project. This whole endeavor is about them enabling us and us creating something for them," Blackwell says.
Voyage Trekkers will be at Monkey Pants Bar & Grill in Tempe on June 29, at 7 p.m. Admission is $10. All proceeds will go to the Indiegogo campaign. For more information call 480-377-8100.