2017 Star Trek fan film YEAR IN REVIEW!

“Why are you even bothering with this blog?” one anonymous poster wrote to me a little over a year ago.  “Star Trek fan films will all be gone soon, even your precious Axanar, and you’ll have nothing left to write about!”

Well, I’m still here…and so are Star Trek fan films!  (And I really hope that anonymous person is reading today’s blog because he wasn’t just wrong; he was VERY wrong!)

2017 was a BIG year for Star Trek fan films…possibly one of THE biggest!  And that’s kinda funny considering how many people told me that the fan film guidelines would spell certain doom for Trek fan films.  Even I thought that at first!

I will admit that, one year ago, things did seem kinda bleak in fan film land.  The Axanar lawsuit was less than a month from trial.  The Axanerds and Axa-detractors were going at it like Hatfields and Dr. McCoys.  The guidelines had been in existence for half a year, and already the long-ruinning Star Trek: New Voyages had halted production, the also-long-running Star Trek: Dark Armada had released its final episode at the end of 2016, Star Trek: Renegades had become Renegades: The Series-that-n0-longer-had-anything-to-do-with-Star-Trek-beyond-all-the-acrtors, and Star Trek Continues had announced their intention to produce only four (as opposed to six) final episodes to complete their fan series.

But I believed in fan films and the people who make them.  I had faith that the genre would continue despite the guidelines—perhaps even because of them (since they now gave Trekkers official permission from the studios to create their own productions…albeit within some overly-strict limits).

And Trek fan films certainly didn’t die!  In fact, they kept me pretty darn busy with news, features, and interviews all year long.  Anyone who believed Trek fan films were on their deathbed at the end of 2016 should join us on this trip down Memory…er…Lane (!) as I take a look back at what fan film news made my blog’s headlines over the past 12 months.

This special post will list the biggest Fan Film Factor news articles for 2017, in order by month, with links to each one of those blog entries if you want to dive in deeper.

And be sure to scroll down to the bottom for a few final words from me about what’s coming in 2018…!

JANUARY 2017

Before I start listing the headlines, I do need to speak briefly about the 800-pound mugato in the cave: the Axanar lawsuit.  Obviously, the biggest story during the month of January 2017—and indeed, the entire previous year!—was the copyright infringement legal action filed by CBS and Paramount against Alec Peters and Axanar Productions.

After a year and likely close to a million dollars in legal fees, CBS and Paramount agreed to drop their legal complaint and demand no monetary compensation from Alec Peters or Axanar Productions.  In addition, the studios would even be allowing the Axanar fan film to be made with the same actors (assuming they returned), the same professional production crew, and the same intellectual property.  The only stipulations were that the length of the finished production would now be no longer than 30 minutes total (instead of 90 minutes), no profit of any kind could be generated, and Axanar Productions could not use crowd-funding services like Kickstarter and Indiegogo to generate additional production capital.

Fans on both sides of the controversy were taken completely unawares, many were shocked and dumbfounded, and both camps loudly proclaimed some kind of victory.  But that was only PART of what was going on in the world of Star Trek fan films during the month of January.  Here’s what else made news…

STAR TREK: NEW VOYAGES / PHASE II releases its SECOND eBook!


STARBASE STUDIOS completes move to ARKANSAS and reaches $3,500 funding goal!


TRISTAN Production Crew releases new episode: “BETWEEN TWO WORLDS”!


INTREPID releases their newest short film: “DUTY OF CARE”!


DEIMOS Production Crew releases new episode: “The Archive”!


VOYAGER CONTINUES releases photos from its “DERELICT” episode shoot!


 FEBRUARY 2017

CHANCE ENCOUNTER is available for viewing!


RENEGADES: THE SERIES releases “THE REQUIEM, Part 1″…for $35?


R.I.P. – RICHARD HATCH (1945-2017)


DEEP SPACE NINE’S “What We Left Behind” takes in $170,000 in donations in just 24 hours!


Thirty-three NOMINEES announced for the 2017 INDEPENDENT STAR TREK FAN FILM AWARDS


TRISTAN Production Crew releases new episode: “DEPARTURES”!


 March 2017

STAR TREK: HORIZON creator TOMMY KRAFT releases his short film RUNAWAY!


FIRST FRONTIER releases its newest trailer! (Interview with KENNY SMITH, Part 1)


MELBOURNE releases PART 1 of its first full episode “STORM FRONT”!


 April 2017

RENEGADES “The Requiem, Part 1” now available for free public viewing…mostly!


STAR TREK CONTINUES releases their eighth episode: “Still Treads the Shadow”!


VOYAGER CONTINUES releases its latest short episode “DERELICT”!


RENEGADES releases the trailer for “THE REQUIEM, PART 2” and seeks $80,000!


TRISTAN Production Crew releases new episode: “THE MONSTERS ARE WITH US”!


TOM HANKS watches STAR TREK FAN FILMS!


STAR TREK CONTINUES releases new BLOOPER/GAG REEL!


 May 2017

2017 Independent Star Trek Film Awards (now the “BJO’s”) WINNERS ANNOUNCED!



AXANAR sets arrive in GEORGIA!


AXANAR SETS get a CORPORATE SPONSOR… and a NAME for their NEW STUDIO!!!


“BOLDLY GO!” – the Star Trek MUSICAL moves from STAGE to Youtube VIDEO! (feature)


THE ROMULAN WARS releases PART 1 of their FINAL EPISODE!


June 2017

DEIMOS Production Crew releases their fifth episode: “No Greater Love”!


Lightning strikes AGAIN as WARNER BROTHERS allows another high-quality HARRY POTTER FAN FILM to be produced!


STAR TREK CONTINUES announces RELEASE DATES and TITLES for their FINAL THREE EPISODES!


AXANAR fan announces a new AXANAR COMIC BOOK! (Interview with TREY McELWAIN, Part 1)


STAR TREK vs. STAR TREK – a new fan film project (interview with CHRIS ALLEN)


BATTLECRUISER KUPOK production team releases its third fan film: “A GATHERING STORM”!


Foreign FILM FESTIVAL fancies FAN FILMS!


RENEGADES announces WORLD PREMIERE SCREENING in North Hollywood on JULY 12th!


From SURVIVOR to SURVIVORS – a 7-YEAR fan film journey (audio interview with Matthew Blackburn)


July 2017

AXANAR Comic Book NOW AVAILABLE!


RENEGADES hosts a North Hollywood THEATER PREMIERE of “THE REQUIEM”!


New fan series ENDEAVOUR releases its debut episode “The Gift”!


STAR TREK CONTINUES releases their NINTH EPISODE: “What Ships Are For”!


August 2017

TRISTAN Production Crew releases new episode: “THE VOICE OF YOUR BLOOD”!


JAMES CAWLEY announces the new STAR TREK FILM ACADEMY! (news and editorial)


NINER FANS release an UNOFFICIAL TRAILER for imagined DS9 SEASON 4 Blu-Ray!


PACIFIC 201 releases NEW TEASER CLIP and needs $1,000 FAST!


DREADNOUGHT DOMINION/STARSHIP VALIANT team up again for “COMMAND AND CONQUER”!


THE ROMULAN WARS completes its FINAL EPISODE “The Tunnel at the End of the Light”!


TRISTAN Production Crew releases new episode: “Seeing Red”!


STAR TREK CONTINUES releases BLOOPERS for “What Ships Are For”!


SMALL ACCESS is now FAN FILM FORUM!


New video added to FUNNY STUFF:
“IT Guy’s Log”


September 2017

STAR TREK CONTINUES will premiere their final two episodes in NEW YORK and LOS ANGELES!


BATTLECRUISER KUPOK production crew releases its fourth fan film: “The Soul of Honor”!


A Tale of II Trailers!


THE FEDERATION FILES releases “Walking Bear, Running Wolf”! (interview with DAN REYNOLDS)


VANCE MAJOR releases SEVEN TREK FAN FILMS in SEVEN DAYS!


October 2017

The BEST TWO Trek fan films you’ve NEVER seen! (interview with AARON VANDERKLEY, Part 1)


STAR TREK CONTINUES releases their 10TH EPISODE: “To Boldly Go, Part 1”!


YOUR Star Trek fan film could WIN $500!


STARBASE STUDIOS shuts down, documents removal and damage of set pieces


November 2017

ROBERT MEYER BURNETT resigns as director on AXANAR!


STARSHIP ANTYLLUS releases 55-MINUTE two-part 10th episode!


FAN FILM FACTOR gets 100K visits last month!


STAR TREK CONTINUES releases its SERIES FINALE! (includes special video intro by VIC MIGNOGNA)


SPACE COMMAND is back with EXPLOSIVE NEW KICKSTARTER! (audio interview with MARC ZICREE)


What REALLY happened with STARBASE STUDIOS! (Part 1)


My FAN FILM just beat AXANAR in the Berlin Sci-Fi Film Festival! (Yay!)


New video added to FUNNY STUFF: “Quick Trek – Episode 1 – Janeway’s Quest”


December 2017

Marvel Comics Writer PAUL JENKINS joins AXANAR as CO-WRITER! (interview)


Another SIX fan films in the MINARD saga from VANCE MAJOR…all in just 30 DAYS!


SPACE COMMAND Kickstarter reaches $100,000!


Potemkin Pictures’ TRITON production crew releases its FIRST fan film: “New Orders”!


How would STAR TREK: THE MOTION PICTURE look with a MODERN TRAILER?


DVDs for STAR TREK CONTINUES? There’s good news and bad news…


SETH MacFARLANE’S many STAR TREK fan films!


Wow!  That’s quite a long list of articles, interviews, and features about a genre that was supposed to be dead and buried by now!  (Also—holy crap!—I write a frickin’ LOT about fan films, don’t I???)

So were all the nay-sayers wrong about the impending demise of Star Trek fan films?  Well, duh!  But perhaps they were just off by a year?  Will 2018 be when we finally say “the big goodbye” to our favorite fan indulgence?

Once again I say, “I think not!”

Already, we know that VANCE MAJOR will be releasing the final six episodes of his MINARD saga beginning on January 5—one per week—culminating on February 9.  POTEMKIN PICTURES, I am certain, will have lots of new Trek fan films to debut in 2018…’cause that’s just what they do.  On the other side of the pond, Britain’s GARY O’BRIEN (who produced Chance Encounter) has plans for another Trek fan production.  Also from the U.K., LEO TIERNEY, who wrote and directed the excellent STAR TREK: DECEPTION, is now in post-production on DECEPTION II.  In the other direction across the bigger pond, AARON VANDERKLEY has plans for more NX-01 era fan films like Needs of the Many and The Derelict.

Also on fandom’s “I can’t wait!” list are the eagerly anticipated premieres of Star Trek: First Frontier (from KENNY SMITH) and Pacific 201 (from ERIC HENRY).  Both are in post-production and were initially scheduled for 2017 releases.  I’m hopeful that 2018 will see the debut of both finished projects.   Likewise, fans have been waiting quite a while for the series finale of Starship Farragut (also in post) from JOHN BROUGHTON.  My fingers are crossed that we’ll see that one soon, as well.

And of course, there’s Axanar.  With a new studio location, new co-writer, the scripts all but finalized, and fans eagerly awaiting news of production starting, will 2018 see a release of one or perhaps both of the final, studio-permitted 15-minute fan films?  We shall see.  I can tell you that at least two Axanar short comic books/illustrated stories are on their way in 2018…one from TREY McELWAIN (who wrote the previous 3-page Axanar comic) and one from little ol’ me entitled “Why We Fight.”  Yep, folks, I don’t just write blogs!

Speaking of stuff I wrote, my co-writer of Prelude To Ax’d-We-Are, MARK LARGENT, is planning for some new releases in his hilarious STALLED TREK animated puppet parody series.  Also in the early stages of development is THE MAQUIS from STEVEN MAYHEW.  I’ve had a chance to review his script, and it’s quite promising.  I think fans will really enjoy it…whether it ends up being live-action, animated, or simply an audio drama.

And of course, we also have the “big guns”—fan projects that are Star Trek-related that have taken in 6-figures in crowd-funding donations. Among these are Renegades: The Series, which SKY CONWAY still has big plans for.  IRA STEVEN BEHR should also be releasing the Deep Space Nine documentary WHAT WE LEFT BEHIND sometime next year.  And MARC ZICREE intends to wrap up post production on at least the first hour of his two-hour pilot episode for SPACE COMMAND reasonably soon.

Let’s see, have I forgotten about anyone?  Oh, probably!  I didn’t mention ROBERT ENGLAND yet, who is planning a GoFundMe to help him finish up the amazing animated fan film BEYOND ANTARES.  Also, despite what happened recently with Starbase Studios, I know that GLEN L. WOLFE still intends to produce more episodes of THE FEDERATION FILES.  (Hopefully, things will also work out with Starbase Studios…more updates on that soon—fingers crossed!)  And then there’s StarFLEET Studios, and I suspect DAVID WHITNEY will have some more fun Voyager stories to share with fans.

So no, I don’t expect 2018 will see the demise of Star Trek fan films either.  Maybe the naysayers want to start putting in their dire  prediction reservations for 2019 instead…?

15 thoughts on “2017 Star Trek fan film YEAR IN REVIEW!”

  1. I only think the Naysayers we’re talking about Axanar. It will never be made…nothing will come out of the Georgia studios ever.

  2. Come on Jonathan! You are mixing things here (aren’t we all these days?). People meant the death of those great semi-professional big budget fan films, the only ones worth watching in the eyes of many. Amateur fan films on a shoestring budget have survived through the ages and they will continue, no doubt. But the whole phenomenon of the past decade will revert back to being a niche thing, viewed by a handful of hardcore fans rather than the hundreds of thousands that were interested in the better quality productions of recent years. That was the point made by many. And it was spot on.

    1. Actually, folks like Blue Thunder (one of my readers) haven’t been specific about sdoom to only the high-budget Trek fan films. He’s been predicting the death of all Trek fan films…and of Star Trek itself. It’s kinda extreme. As for fan films, it wasn’t like there was a huge percentage of big-budget fan films to begin with. The biggies were New Voyages, Continues, Axanar, and Renegades…and possibly Tommy Kraft’s new project if Federation Rising hadn’t gotten intercepted. The rest of Trek fan films that were produced were quite amateur–which doesn’t mean bad–but they represented the vast majority of Trek fan films that were being made. The semi-professional ones were always a small but very visible minority.

      And let’s face it, we still got four of six episodes of Star Trek Continues, and Axanar will still be made (albeit shorter). Also, Renegades did ultimately get made…albeit with the surgical removal of all Trek references. And next year, we expect First Frontier and Pacific 201. So even the semi-professional fan films will continue into 2018. So “spot on” is, as far as I’m concerned, not accurate…at least not yet.

      And to be honest, the six- and seven-figure Trek fan films were living on borrowed time anyway. Had it not been Axanar that got shut down, it would have been Star Trek: Renegades. As it happened, many of the guidelines were written specifically with Renegades in mind (like the “no ongoing series” rule…which was never intended to apply to the one-and-done Axanar). And remember, the semi-professional quality Trek fan films aren’t extinct. As “Chance Encounter” and “The Derelict” proved, you can follow the guidelines and still produce an awesome Trek fan film. Both of those fan producers are planning new releases as I type this. And next year, we’ll likely see “Deception II” from Leo Tierney. That one looks amazing. So don’t count Trek fan films out just yet. Sure, you’ll never see a $5 million or $10 million fan film, but that was probably a pipe dream by fans anyway. 🙂

  3. Thanks for the mention.

    Nevertheless, the turmoil DID NOT help Star Trek fandom much. As a friend of mine pointed out on New Year’s Eve, Alec’s actions and those of Axanar DID hurt the box office of Star Trek Beyond in 2016. While Paramount may have dropped an atomic bomb on a molehill(my friend’s description – not mine)so to speak concerning Axanar’s violations and the enforcement of the guidelines, Paramount was still justifiable in their actions.

    Sooner or later, one of the fan films was going to commit those violations. It was inevitable. And it turned out that Alec and Axanar would be the sole party to confirm what the late Leonard Nimoy stated back in 2009. If not Alec, then it would have been Vic, the Star Trek Excalibur production, or Starship Farragut.

    Speaking of the later, there has been a rumor that Farragut’s final episode will be released this year. I don’t know how that will happen, concerning the new guidelines, but I can honestly say I WON’T MISS Farragut. If the Farragut Films staff had not already ruined their credibility and reputations after what happened seven years past, maybe some would be sympathetic towards their staff and production.

    1. Well, aren’t you the equal-opportunity destroyer! 🙂

      Obviously,Blue, your friend was wrong about Alec and Axanar hurting the box office of Star Trek Beyond, as posts like this one from Alec actually encouraged Axanar fans to go see it. Whether anyone was so angry about the lawsuit that they didn’t go is another matter. But speaking for myself and all of my friends who were angry about the lawsuit (and I do have a lot of them!), they pretty much all went to see Star Trek Beyond in the theaters. I personally saw it twice–both times with my son because it was the first time he’d ever asked to see a movie a second time. So I certainly supported the box office on my end…and so did Alec and many, many Axanerds.

      I have no idea what you’re talking about regarding Starship Farragut and something that happened way back in 2011. Would you care to elaborate? Personally, I don’t believe that their credibility and reputations were “ruined” if the guy who writes Fan Film Factor and researched a 3-part blog on the history of the Starship Farragut fan series has no idea what you’re referring to.

      As for Farragut’s final episode, “Homecoming,” getting released…yes, that’s supposedly happening soon. As for the guidelines, if CBS didn’t bother with Star Trek Continues releasing four full-length episodes on TOS sets using paid professional production crew and Star Trek actors and containing the words “Star Trek” in the title, then I doubt they’ll have a problem with the final episode of a fan series that’s shutting down and will not be featuring Trek actors, paid professionals, or has the words “Star Trek” in the title.

  4. Equal-opportunity destroyer? I’ll take that as a compliment.

    I’ve known my friend A LOT longer than you have and I can assure you that his information was correct. I did see Star Trek Beyond three times in the cinema, despite five problems I had with the film. While Alec may have contributed to the box office, he also harmed it with his immoral and unethical actions.

    As to the incident regarding Starship Farragut in late 2011, I did mention this before. If you don’t remember it, that is your problem. But to give you an idea, it had something to do with another Star Trek fan film production in the southwest. I’ll let you put the pieces of the puzzle together.

    Maybe it is just as well that Starship Farragut – well, Star Trek – Farragut as it should have been titled – is ceasing production. If John Broughton, Michael Bednar, Dennis Bailey, and some other Farragut Films production staff exercised more common courtesy and respect toward others, then maybe they would not have lost some of their staff(i.e. Amy and Robert McDonough, Allen Sepan, and to some extent Paul Sieber)and being mixed up in that event that was reported by Robert Daman Mauro at Phase II and later made public on the Trek BBS and other sites, later.

    https://trekfanfiction.net/miscellaneous/francis7/star-trek-farragut-dogs-war/

    1. “While Alec may have contributed to the box office, he also harmed it with his immoral and unethical actions.”

      I just don’t see that statement making any sense. The ST Beyond box office came up at least $100 million short of where Paramount was hoping/expecting. That’s about 10 million people. In total, there’s only 80,000 people following the Axanar Facebook page. At best, I get a few thousand visitors a day here at FFF. I suspect that, across the world, at most 100,000 people were even aware of the Axanar lawsuit and only a small percentage of those people really cared about it enough to not see ST Beyond. At most, you’re talking 10K or maybe 20K people. As I said, Paramount undershot by 10 million people. They don’t really care about one or two tenths of 1%. That’s barely a rounding error, Blue.

      ST Beyond disappointed at the box office because:
      1) the franchise is actually getting kinda old and tired,
      2) the previous two movies didn’t really do enough to build up a new, stronger, younger fan base,
      3) there were three years between Into Darkness and Beyond, and before that, four years between the first JJ film and the second (tent pole franchises are best served with a 2-3 year gap between releases, not 3-4),
      4) Paramount and CBS really dropped the ball on celebrating the 50th anniversary and typing it into ST Beyond
      5) the “Beastie Boys” trailer during “The Force Awakens” did a LOT of damage,
      6) minimal licensed merchandise for the rebooted franchise,
      7) the movie just wasn’t that good (it wasn’t awful, but it didn’t give people a lot of reasons to see it other than the visual FX).

      Compared to all of those tidal forces lowering the water level, Blue, Axanar was like dipping a small roll of paper towels into the ocean.

      – – – – –

      Oh, and I’ve spoken with Scott Johnson, who was there in the Oklahoma airplane hangar when Vic paid John Hughes for the sets that Vic had helped to build. Scott confirms that there was nothing nefarious going on there. If that’s the “incident” you’re talking about, you might want to double check your facts with people who were actually eye-witnesses. I did. 🙂

      – – – – –

      And finally, why did you send that link? It was to a fan fiction story for Farragut, but I don’t see the relevance.

  5. By the way….

    http://1701news.com/node/1083/cawley-says-some-people-shouldnt-do-fan-films.html

    Alec Peters, David Gerrold, Vic Mignogna, and the Farragut Films production SHOULD have heeded Cawley’s advice.

    Paramount – the RIGHTFUL OWNERS of the Star Trek franchise – WOULD NOT have had to justifiably enforce the new guidelines if the aforementioned people above had just followed the rules and not misused Kickstarter and the other fund-raising tools.

    1. What rules are you talking about, Blue? Paramount and CBS had no rules published or even publicly acknowledged in any way until six month AFTER they filed a lawsuit against Axanar.

      The next comment you make that tries to lie or rewrite history gets trashed, dude. Nothing personal…I just don’t have time to constantly correct your flights of imagination.

  6. Well, if you don’t know what rules I’m referring to, then you don’t deserve an answer. You claim to be a journalist, you should figure it out.

    Flights of imagination, huh? I’m afraid that is what journalism has become these days. Ever try a different profession?

    1. From the school of “I know you are but what am I?”—might I suggest that you, my friend, might need to “figure it out.” Paramount and CBS published no official rules or guidelines prior to the release of their fan film guidelines in June of 2016…six months AFTER they sued Axanar. That’s one of the reasons the judge was leaning toward a non-willful infringement argument from the defense even after he disallowed the fair use argument. That meant that, even if CBS and Paramount had won, the highest monetary award they could have hoped for would have been about $11,000…not the several million dollars they were hoping for. Although I can’t be certain, I suspect that’s one of the reasons they settled (along with the major reason: the likelihood of a long, drawn-out appeal of the judge’s bench-ruling on fair use). And all of that because CBS and Paramount had never issued rules or guidelines. Feel free to read over my blogs on the subject, Blue. I cited specific passages in the judge’s rulings, so you don’t even have to read through hundreds and hundreds of pages of legalese like I did!

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