I don't think anyone (even people with some professional background) appreciates just how hard it is to put together a fan film until they try it. For what's it worth, I really liked the concept and thought the cast was terrific. There were plenty of rough edges, but I thought the first outing showed a lot of promise.
Not quite following this. People with a professional background...in what? There's nothing special about shooting a fanfilm as opposed to a regular film except maybe you have the build more stuff (costumes, props, etc.), and deal with more optical effects than maybe a contemporary piece (and even that is changing what with digital set extensions, etc.).
There were people who have some experience in the film industry involved with that project. However, I think that having experience working on professional projects doesn't fully prepare someone for the amount of work that goes into being a producer with overall responsibility for a project.
Speaking for myself, when I joined the Excelsior team I had well over 20 years of experience in radio, but I still was overwhelmed in the beginning by everything that was involved in putting together a full audio production.