The ever-lovely Diana Kingsbury took some generous time out of her busy ComicCon schedule to answer a few questions about her job, the challenges of crowdfunding, and the reality of shooting a film…
So, I’m guessing SDCC is just a little bit busy – hope it’s fun though 🙂 So, on to questions…
Diana: It can be a lot of fun, absolutely, but it’s definitely a working trip for Team Axanar.
As Fulfillment Director, you’ve got a very forward-facing job in terms of dealing with some very passionate fans. Can you tell us a little bit about the job, and the kind of daily work you do?
Diana: The Fulfillment Director portion of my job involves customer service, flexibility, and a fair amount of patience. Daily work includes managing all of the donations and store orders we’ve received in the past 24 hours; answering all of the emails, Facebook messages, Facebook questions, and funding campaign questions/comments that have come in to my various accounts over the same time period; staying on top of planning/designing/ordering (everything from perks and store items to all of the supplies necessary for shipping); shipping store orders and shipping rewards kits (once everything within a particular level is ready to go); and putting out more than a few fires (figuratively speaking, of course ;)).
With the new Indiegogo campaign already very successful, what have you learnt about perks and working on such a forward-looking project as Axanar?
Diana: I’ve been an entrepreneur since college, so much of what I know about perks and fulfillment were things I already had a pretty good handle on. That said, suddenly dealing with more than 10,000 donors–soon to be considerably more!–and all of whose contributions to the projects require some form of fulfillment (whether digital, physical, or both), as well as frequent questions by those donors (or donors-to-be), can be mentally exhausting, and very time-consuming. I enjoy the interaction with our donors, though; it’s a great way to keep a finger on the pulse of how everyone out there feels… which is by and large, VERY excited with everything we’re doing!
We’ve now gotten our first teasing glimpse of the full film, and you’ve got a cameo! What was it like finally being on the set for the start of shooting?
Diana: Well, I worked on the set during PRELUDE to AXANAR, and I’ve been on the set of other shoots, as well, so there weren’t any surprises for me, personally.
I suspect what other people would be somewhat surprised by, though, is how being on a set bears no resemblance to the finished result seen on TV or the big screen. There are so many moving parts in any production, which the audience never sees. Preparations (hair, makeup) can take hours and hours. It’s necessary to wait for the right conditions when shooting outside (weather, lighting, dealing with noise). Numerous takes are often needed to shoot just a few lines of dialogue. There are all sorts of technical considerations (lighting, cameras, sound, etc.)… meaning that many more things can go wrong or cause delays.
Everything that happens behind-the-scenes is WORK, in other words, and none of it is what you’d call “glamorous”.
But, our first day of shooting AXANAR was pretty special, simply because it was Day One of a dream that’s been a long time in the making.
And as we type, I understand you’re working San Diego ComicCon – how’s the show so far, and how are people receiving Axanar at the panels?
Diana: It’s hard to describe being at a huge convention such as SDCC; you can look at photos or watch video, but unless you’re actually there, it’s impossible to comprehend the sheer magnitude of that many people in x-amount of space.
I absolutely love the energy of conventions, though, and it’s always fantastically rewarding to see people’s reactions to AXANAR, whether they’re already fans (and want to discuss what they love about it), or brand new converts (who are, without exception, blown away by what they see).
Finally – because I know you’re super busy – can you tell me what your favorite moment of the Axanar journey has been so far?
Actually, there is no one “favorite” moment. What I can tell you, though, is that the journey is a lot of fun. 🙂