Crowdfunding is a full time job

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If you’ve looked into starting your own crowdfunding campaign, whether it’s Kickstarter or Indiegogo, you’ve probably heard the phrase that running one is like “a full time job.”  What they usually don’t elaborate on is that your new full time job is marketing and PR.

Let’s talk specifics because I always find that more valuable than some broad sweeping statements.

Here’s what’s on my To Do list today:

  • Writing the new draft of a press release we’re sending out today, updated with the recent news of hitting our initial goal (Yay!).
  • Update the Voyage Trekkers website with the same press release so that it can be linked via twitter.
  • Listen to a podcast Kickstarter campaigns (Funding the Dream) to pick up any additional tips.
  • Give shout outs to today’s contributors on our Twitter.
  • Reach out to a friend to see if he has any press contacts he could possibly connect us with.
  • Respond to each new contributor via email after their donation, giving them thanks for their support.
  • Finish planning a new Exclusive Perk that the wonderful women of Educating [Geeks] are donating to the project and update the Indiegogo page.
  • Creating a graphic in Photoshop for the new perk that’s ideal for Facebook and Twitter.
New Perk-Educating Geeks

Educating [Geeks] was awesome to donate a exclusive perk to our campaign.

  • Announcing the new Perk across our social media platforms (Facebook, Twitter)
  • Creating an Update on our Indiegogo page to let exisitng fans know about the New Perk.
  • Remind some of the actors to attend the end-of-campaign Fundraiser Party that we’re having on June 29th.
  • Check in on the Facebook Ad campaign — we’re running a $50 ad throughout the week to bring in new fans (to “Like” the page).
  • Close-caption one of the episodes of Voyage Trekkers to test out YouTube’s process.  Maybe we can get the show posted by Caption Web TV and get some new audience members.
  • Post the campaign on Message Boards (Star Trek sites, Indie filmmaker sites) to spread the word.
  • Posting the next installment of our text-based Choose Your Own Path Adventure we’ve been running this week on our Facebook page, to keep up engagement.  Luckily I don’t have to write it!
  • Do the dishes (they really need to be done).
  • …and post this blog!

Whew.

So ideally you want a team of people helping you.  For me, I have my friend Shannon doing the press outreach and sending out the new press release to as many sites as she can manage … and co-creator and writer (and actor) on the show, Craig Curtis, writing the Choose Your Own Path story … but I’m doing the bulk of the heavy lifting.  And I’m able to do all this because I do freelance video work (so basically I’m unemployed right now, lol).

All this is to continue the momentum of the project going and to keep the word spreading before the end of your campaign.

Then you can sleep!

To check out our Indiegogo Campaign for ‘Voyage Trekkers: The Movie’ click here:  http://igg.me/at/voyagetrekkersmovie/x/364575

http://igg.me/at/voyagetrekkersmovie/x/364575

Voyage Trekkers The Movie – http://igg.me/at/voyagetrekkersmovie/x/364575

Logan Must Make Star Wars

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Our new short film, “Logan Must Make Star Wars”, is now on the YouTubes!  (well, actually, it’s been up for a week or so, I’m just a lazy blogger).

It was a hell of an experience, as all these 48 hour movies are.  We were honored to win Best Story, Best Directing, and Best Comedy at the 10th Anniversary Almost Famous Film Challenge.

It’s probably our last 48 hour movie, as we’re moving forward into features (fingers crossed), but as both Sean Connery and Justin Bieber say … Never say never.

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Photo courtesy of Almost Famous Film Festival

Photo courtesy of Almost Famous Film Festival

Voyage Trekkers Novella – Gambit of Chance released!

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VT Novel Cover - Gambit of Chance 612x792

“Voyage Trekkers: Gambit of Chance.” A novella by Craig Michael Curtis

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The Voyage Trekkers novella “Gambit of Chance” is here!  Currently it’s available on iTunes, the Kindle, Nook and as a PDF download.

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Voyage Trekkers: Gambit of Chance  –  Captain Jack T. Sunstrike is in command of the Galactic Union starship Remarkable, one of the oldest and most outdated ships still in service. He and his crew of misfits and castoffs are never given important assignments by their superiors, and this mission to the distant Poriasis Star System is no different. But once there, Capt. Sunstrike and his crew quickly find themselves embroiled in a highly-charged political conflict between two rival colonies. Along with his first officer, Commander Powell, and his science officer Dr. Rena, Sunstrike devises a desperate plan to save the people of Porias-Luna 26 from losing their homeworld forever … or perhaps even worse. The crew of the Remarkable race against the clock to beat the encroaching usurpers at their own game, and prove once and for all that the GSV Remarkable is still capable of heroics. Based on the the popular web series, “Voyage Trekkers”!

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VT Gambit Download-Donate

VT Gambit Download-iTunes

VT Gambit Download-PDF

VT Gambit Download-Kindle

VT Gambit Download-Nook

Interview with “Gambit of Chance” author Craig Michael Curtis

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As some of you may have heard already, the Voyage Trekkers novella, ‘Gambit of Chance’, comes out this Saturday December 22nd!  We’re really excited to expand on the universe of Voyage Trekkers, giving the fans who want to dive deeper an opportunity.  We sat down with the author, Craig Michael Curtis, who also writes for the web series, to ask him a few questions about ‘Gambit of Chance.’

What is the story of ‘Gambit of Chance’?

‘Gambit of Chance’ follows the crew of the GSV Remarkable on a mission to evacuate a moon colony that is about to be conquered by rival usurpers.  Naturally, Sunstike and his crew are ready to defy their orders and try to save the colonists instead, with a hair-brained scheme or two.  All this, while the rest of the Galactic Union is battling some planet-devouring monster in some far corner of space, and Sunstrike is disappointed that he’s not involved in the ‘battle to save the galaxy’ going on elsewhere.  Typical Voyage Trekkers!

Where does this story take place in the Voyage Trekkers canon? 

It should fit in between Seasons 1 and 2, so it’s pretty much coming out at the perfect time with the big Second Season coming out next year.

How long did the novella take to write?

Nathan approached me with the idea of writing the novella over the past summer, and I started the early stages of writing a draft in July.  A couple months later, the first draft was done, and after a few more weeks of editing it, it was ready to go.  The only reason we couldn’t meet our nebulous October release time was because of the amount of time it took to clear the e-book through the online booksellers’ systems.  But at least it’s out just in time for Christmas!

With Season 2 of the web series coming up, is there anything new that’s introduced in the novella that we might see in the show?

Oh yes, lots of things.  For one, we get to ‘see’ (through the power of the written word) our first glimpses of the GSV Remarkable.  We also now know for sure that ‘The Remarkable’ is the name of their ship, since it was never mentioned during the first season!  But more than that, we get to meet a number of new characters that’ll be in Season 2.  There’s Admiral Grissom, Sunstrike’s cantankerous superior officer (who also appeared in our VT shorts earlier this year), as well as several new crew members of the ship.  Along with our three heroes Sunstrike, Powell and Rena, as well as the fan favorite Lt. Jayda, there will by sassy young Ensign Adams at the navigations station, a somewhat befuddled Chief Engineer Beauregard and his pal, the ship’s designated robot INFO.  It also introduces a few other characters like Nurse Vega and Marine Sergeant Chan who make cameo appearances in Season 2, but you’ll see them here first!  Like Boba Fett in the Star Wars Christmas Special!

What challenges did you have expanding on the world of a web series into a novella?

One issue I think we’ve always had from the outsider’s viewpoint was that, with Voyage Trekkers, we are mocking Star Trek and other science fiction.  I don’t think that’s true, really.  Obviously, it’s a comedy, and we’re poking some fun at some of the Trek-esque tropes of the genre, but I don’t really find it a ridiculling experience.  For the most part, it’s not this space-age universe that is the farce of the series, but our lovably inept crew.  I’d like to think that Voyage Trekkers doesn’t make fun of Star Trek any more than Seinfeld made fun of New York.  There’s a genuine love of the genre in this series, and that as much as anything, I really wanted to put into the novella.  I wanted to make it, on many levels, like it was a real Star Trek episode, but that it’s been handed to a far less capable crew than your usual Star Trek heroes, and they end up taking things on some strange and hilarious tangents.  On that note, making a novella genuinely funny has been a real challenge because I didn’t have our brilliant cast of actors there to bring my glib dialogue and overwrought descriptions to life.  Hopefully though, the reader will be able to picture our heroes in their minds’ eye as they cavort around with only the words on the page (or rather the iPad or other portable tablet device) to guide them.

Your previous books were original concepts, what was it like adapting a story from an existing world like Voyage Trekkers?

Well, with my other works, the ideas and concepts which I use to write the stories come from a single source in my own head.  But for something like Voyage Trekkers, these same conceptual notions end up coming from various sources.  Not just from Nathan and the other people involved in developing the series, but from what Adam and Gabby and Logan and all the other actors do with the characters, both onscreen and off.  One of the great joys of Voyage Trekkers in particular is how the project has taken on a life of its own, and evolved with the combined input from the creators, the actors, the crew, and the fans, who have all put their hopes and aspirations for what the series could be into it.  Writing my own stories from scratch certainly requires a degree of vision to pull it through, which is an experience I genuinely enjoy.  But it can also be exhillarating guiding and adapting a series like Voyage Trekkers,  because you’re really pulling that single vision through a prism of ideas.

Did you have a favorite character to write?

I suppose my favorite character to write in this story was the robot INFO, whose keen wit and philosopher’s soul make him the true heart of the Remarkable.  I think there’s a lot of me inside INFO.  I’d go so far as to say that in INFO, there’s a Craig, screaming to get out!

What is Logan Blackwell (Commander Powell) really like?

NEVER mention that man in my presence!  This interview is over!
(author yanks off microphone and kicks over chair as he storms out of the studio sobbing)
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Craig Michael Curtis writes for Voyage Trekkers and also plays the characters General Kang and the upcoming robot INFO.  He is the author of the novels Elephante Bianco, The Other Side of the Gate, and recently released Famous Adventurers Correspondence School, all which can be purchased on his blog http://craigmcurtis.blogspot.com.

Voyage Trekkers Novella – Gambit of Chance

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Voyage Trekkers – Gambit of Chance. Coming October 2012

We’re excited to finally announce that Craig Michael Curtis has secretly been crafting a Voyage Trekkers novella, entitled “Gambit of Chance”, due out this October as an e-book.  With this announcement I thought I’d answer some questions you may have about the book (and tease you a bit too).

How much will it cost?  Most likely the e-book will be “Pay what you like.”  Meaning that, yes, you can get the book for free.  And if you want to pay $5 or $10 that’s certainly fine as well.  All proceeds directly support the show.

– How long will it be?  We’re not 100% sure yet, but under 200 pages is probably where we’ll end up.

– What’s the story of “Gambit of Chance”?  The crew of the G.S.V. Remarkable are sent to a planet embroiled in political turmoil.  There, each hero will find their courage tested as they risk to restore the balance.  (but yes, hilarity ensues)

Who is Craig Michael Curtis?  He’s a novelist and a writer on Voyage Trekkers (he wrote the Voyage Trekkers Radio Play), but you may know him as General Kang from Episode 7 – “The Clutches of General Kang!”

Is this Craig Michael Curtis first novel?  But of course not!  He’s a published author that’s actually written four novels (or five???  errr, I’m a bad friend…).  You can check out his author blog and learn more about his other work right here:  http://craigmcurtis.blogspot.com/

Any hints or tidbits on what we might find in the book?  “Gambit of Chance” will be the first appearance of many new crew members created for Season 2 of the web series.  And because Craig is in the “inner circle” with the making of the show, he’s privy to a lot of details in the Voyage Trekkers universe that don’t always make the five minute episodes, but will help enrich the book.

Voyage Trekkers Event: Choose-Your-Own-Path!

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This Wednesday (June 8th) we’re kicking off a fun, week-long event for “Voyage Trekkers.”  Squishy Studios’ very own Craig Michael Curtis will be creating an interactive text-based adventure for our facebook page.  Every day will be a new installment of this “Choose-Your-Own-Path” adventure where the audience votes on the direction the story takes by leaving their response in the comments section.  Voting closes the next day at noon, and then at 4pm the new installment is posted!  The adventure will conclude on Wednesday June 15th.

Only you can help our heroes in their latest adventure … “Crisis in Space!”

Squishy Studios Facebook – http://www.facebook.com/squishystudios

 

That’s a Wrap on “Normally This Weird”!

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Woo hoo!  I’m still feeling the glorious ache and pain from Sunday as I write this …  Yesterday we wrapped production “Normally This Weird” and celebrated with the wrap party that evening.

The last day were the Ivy & Toad scenes

From the bottom of my heart I am so appreciative for everyone’s hard work and sacrifice.

Wrap for James Hoenscheidt, Michael Peterson, and Adam Rini

Holy smokes, I still can’t believe we pulled it off.  It was truly a labor of love … no one got paid … we had less money to do the whole season than what he had for the two pilot episodes … and it all came from the donations of our friends and family.  Everyone did fantastic work.  It’s going to be a lot of fun to watch these stories when they’re all put together.

Ah man, now I’m getting all teary eyed…  Shut up, don’t look at me!!

Expect the new episodes to hit this Fall, after “Voyage Trekkers” has it’s run.  And enjoy my grainy iPod pictures from the last day of shooting and the wrap party.

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