Have you noticed that these past couple of months have been relatively quiet in the Star Trek fan film world? There’s nothing inherently wrong with that. There’s an “ebb and flow” with news and releases from time to time…feast or famine, as they say.
And it’s not like there’s been no new Trek fan films whatsoever. The folks at POTEMKIN PICTURES never let us down, and there was a new release from STARSHIP ANTYLLUS a couple months ago that I haven’t gotten around to covering yet. Oh, and we can’t forget the steady stream of new content from that fan filmmaking machine known as VANCE MAJOR, who has been releasing one new episode per week of CONSTAR COMPLETED this past month. Vance says that he’s only going to release another five Trek fan films and then he’s hanging up his cell phone. Of course, he’s “retired” before.
Okay, so maybe things haven’t been nearly as quiet as all that. But they have been pretty quiet, all things considered. Since January’s release of the AVALON UNIVERSE’s AIR AND DARKNESS and STARSHIP VALIANT’s “ANIMALS,” and then February’s release of the blockbuster Czech fan film SQUADRON, there haven’t been many totally new releases other than those I mentioned above.
This was actually somewhat serendipitous for me, as it opened a convenient four-week window for me to release my four-part History of STARSHIP VALIANT blog series. Then I filled up some “thin” weeks by covering (two months late) the December release of the German Spock JENS DOMBEK’s TIMES ARE CHANGING, the launch and staggeringly successful conclusion of the Star Trek: Voyager documentary Indiegogo campaign, along with some features about older fan films that I’ve had on the back-burner, like STAR TREK: SECRET VOYAGE and the amazing stop-motion fan films ENTERPRISE II from German wunderkind JÜRGEN KAISER.
Oh, and let’s not forget the release of my AXANAR-universe fan film INTERLUDE and some of the the subsequent Interlude Confidential behind-the-scenes blogs that I’ve published since. And of course, the Star Trek/Dr. Seuss mash-up lawsuit is still going on and is as interesting as ever!
And sadly, we lost that beloved cheerleader of Trek fan films, BARBARA READER, last month.
So even when the Star Trek fan film world is a little slow with new releases, I’m still doing my best to supply you fine folks with new content. Indeed, between the “back-burner” features I’ve been working on and an impending uptick in new fan film news and releases, Fan Film Factor is about to be getting VERY busy VERY soon!
Here’s what’s coming down the, er, pike…
Speaking of Pike, you’ll get to see him and some other notable names from Trek canon in a new release of an old fan film. Like STAR TREK: EQUINOX, ORIGINS: THE WOUNDS OF WAR was a fan film that was partially shot and never completed. And like Equinox, GLEN WOLFE decided to use his anthology series THE FEDERATION FILES to create a framing sequence and finish it…this time renaming it “FRIENDS AND FOES.” I’d wanted to interview Glen along with original Wounds of War producer MICHAEL DEMPSEY and original writer CAMREN BURTON a few months ago, but Michael came down with COVID and is only now just recovering. Look for that 3-way interview soon.
PARAGON’S PARAGON was the first major Star Trek fan film—costing $2,000 back in 1974 (about $11-15,000 in today’s dollars). Nearly a half-century old, this seminal milestone in fan film history has been all but lost to the ages, with mainly visual (no dialog) highlights having made it to YouTube…until now, that is. A fan with a long-lost VHS copy has restored the sound for about half an hour of the film, and I have not only the restored version but also an interview with the fan who restored it!
From old TOS sets to brand new ones, NEUTRAL ZONE STUDIOS in Kingsland, GA, former home to STAR TREK CONTINUES and STARSHIP FARRAGUT, just welcomed a long-awaited new addition to their offerings. Studio owner RAY TESI reveals what it is, who built it, how long it took, how much it cost, and how they paid for it. Also, what’s in store for the future of this precious fan film resource?
SAMUEL COCKINGS, the CGI Sensei from Great Britain, will shortly be launching a new crowd-funding campaign for his TREK SHORTS and has a parade of new content to go along with it. Look for lots of coverage of that project over the next month or two.
And speaking of crowd-funding campaigns, you’ll have your chance to #BringBackJakande when JOSHUA IRWIN launches his new crowd-funder for a new Avalon/Axanar Universe crossover. Oh, and he’s also got another new Avalon release titled COSMIC STREAM almost ready to premiere.
And Josh isn’t the only “Avalon” I’ll be covering in the coming months. Before there was the Avalon Universe, there was an NX-era STAR TREK: AVALON from fans in Russia! The only problem was a lack of decent subtitles (and YouTube’s auto-translation algorithm wasn’t coming close to cutting it). So I found a friend who speaks Russian, and he translated the entire 43-minute fan film. I’m currently working on creating a subtitled version on YouTube (it’s VERY time-consuming), and when I’m finally done, I’ll post it along with an interview with the film’s show-runner, KATE GORBOVA.
And as long as we’re in Europe anyway, might as well touch down in Germany for an interview with two amazing CGI artists who created five incredible Deep Space Nine “teaser” videos for the first five seasons using all VFX shots with sound clips. If you haven’t seen them yet, your jaw will drop. These teasers were so good, in fact, that IRA BEHR personally asked them to help with the DS9 documentary project WHAT WE LEFT BEHIND.
Also in the works is another spotlight on a long-running fan series. This time, it’s STAR TREK: NATURE’S HUNGER, which will release a new stand-alone fan film called RAZOR’S EDGE next month…and I’ll be interviewing show-runner/director/writer/lead actor JOSE CEPADA about both his fan series and his new fan film…just as soon as I finish watching through 10 years of Nature’s Hunger episodes (only another three and a half hours to go!).
And last but not least, I’ve still got a whole slew of behind-the-scenes footage and other content from the production and post-production of Interlude.
So don’t wander too far away from Fan Film Factor, folks, or else you might miss some pretty awesome stuff!