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

Back in August of 2015, STAR TREK: RENEGADES held a red-carpet premiere screening of its 90-minute feature film at the Crest Theater in Westwood in Los Angeles.  It was a star-studded event with Star Trek celebrities galore, paparazzi, perks for sale, and even free popcorn (although tickets were a $20 donation for the fan film’s production costs).

Now on July 12th, 2017, RENEGADES: THE SERIES (now minus the “Star Trek“) will premiere in its entirety for the first time the full debut episode of its fan series: “The Requiem.”  (Part 1 debuted online back in February, but only for donors.  Two months later, Part 1 was made available for free to everyone.)

The big premiere will take place at 7:30 at the Leammle Theater (5240 Lankershim Blvd) in North Hollywood, CA.  Many of the cast and crew will be there, including Walter Koenig, Nichelle Nichols, Tim Russ, Robert Beltran, Manu Intiraymi, Gary Graham, and Justin McQueede.  After the screening of the full episode (Parts 1 & 2), there will be a question and answer session with the stars the creators.

Tickets are only $20 each and can be purchased here.

Although they set out to raise an additional $80K for their final post production efforts in a recent crowd-funding campaign (here’s a link to that), they only got as far as $30K.  So to help raise additional money, for a little extra, fans attending the event can get special VIP seating with the stars along with appearing in autographed photos with certain cast members.Here’s a breakdown on prices for each photo option:

$75 – Photo with WALTER KOENIG (autographed)

$150 – Photo with WALTER KOENIG and NICHELLE NICHOLS (autographed by both)

$250 – Photo with WALTER KOENIG, NICHELLE NICHOLS, TIM RUSS, and ROBERT BELTRAN (autographed by all four)

All photos will be autographed at the event and ready for fans to take home.

You can learn more about this web series on their website.  And here is an exciting trailer for Part 2 of “The Requiem”…

GUEST BLOGGER ALEC PETERS: Why Star Trek Continues Violating the Fan Film Guidelines is GOOD for Fan Films! (editorial)

Earlier today, ALEC PETERS posted the following blog on the AxanarProductions.com website.  As it’s very relevant to my editorial blog entry from yesterday—and it makes some excellent points—I asked for and received Alec’s permission to re-post the blog in its entirety here on FAN FILM FACTOR.  (Please note that the opinions expressed and descriptions of events presented are solely those of Alec Peters.)


There is a a lot of talk lately about how Star Trek Continues has decided to openly violate the Star Trek Fan Film Guidelines that CBS put in place last year. STC has already violated the guidelines with the release of their last episode, and is making 3 more roughly 50 minute episodes that violate at least 5 Guidelines including length (close to 50 minutes) and the use of Star Trek actors.

I would highly recommend you read Jonathan Lane’s Fan Film Factor article on the matter here:

Fan Film Factor

Jonathan provides a very fair view of the matter, as he likes both Axanar and STC.  And Jonathan calls out Vic for his hypocrisy in attacking Axanar for violating “guidelines” that never existed, while violating the actual written rules himself.  And lets be clear, Star Trek Continues has neither been “grandfathered” in (total nonsense), nor do they have a special deal with CBS.  They are simply stating that “we think CBS will be OK with us doing this.”

But I am going to argue that this is actually good for fan films.

Now let’s be clear, I don’t like Vic.  He has been lying about Axanar since he stormed out of the Prelude to Axanar Premiere we invited him to in 2014.  But I support Star Trek Continues as I do all fan films.  I don’t let my feelings for Vic cloud my feelings for a very worthy fan film series.  Along with Star Trek New Voyages, they have done wonderful things in the fan film genre.

Now what is ironic is that while Vic refuses to help anyone else in fan films, (he famously asked Tommy Kraft for a role in the Horizon sequel while telling Tommy he wouldn’t lift a finger to help him) and has refused to allow others to use his sets (unlike James Cawley or Starbase Studios who generously allowed anyone to come use their sets), Vic’s decision to ignore the Star Trek Fan Film Guidelines may well help all fan films moving forward.  How is that?

Well, CBS always hated policing fan films.  Having communicated extensively with with John Van Citters, (Head of Star Trek licensing), Liz Kolodner (VP CBS Licensing) and Bill Burke (VP CBS Consumer Products) about fan films for years, and having advocated extensively for guidelines, I knew that CBS didn’t WANT to have to worry about fan films as they saw it as a huge waste of time.  They were too busy making money to have to worry about a bunch of fans making films.  I once joked with John Van Citters that CBS treated fan films with “benign neglect” and that was good, as fan films did nothing but help the franchise.  And CBS told me over and over how it would be impossible to come up with fan film guidelines because of 50 years of Star Trek contracts and agreements with unions, guilds and actors.

Well, clearly that wasn’t the case, since they were able to come up with Guidelines pretty quickly after they sued Axanar.  And while many feel the guidelines are too severe (e.g. limiting fan films to 15 minutes and no more than two installments) or even possibly illegal (it’s questionable if CBS can tell you who you CAN’T hire for your fan film) – the guidelines are what they are. They provide some general rules to follow if a Star Trek fan film producer doesn’t want to run the risk of getting sued by CBS.

So how does Star Trek Continues violating the Star Trek Fan Film Guidelines help all fan films?  Well, it just supports what we at Axanar have known for a while.  Axanar was sued because we didn’t look like a fan film.  Not because we made “profit” (we didn’t) or that we built a “for-profit studio” (we didn’t…STNV did that), both reasons made up by people who don’t know what they are talking about, but because Axanar looked like it came from the studio.

Now CBS doesn’t want to sue its fans again.  The 13 months of the lawsuit was not good for CBS and Paramount from a PR perspective.  And the Guidelines were basically a way to put a lid on the “arms race” of professionalism taking place.

But what we see here is CBS giving Star Trek Continues a pass.  And why?  Because over a year ago, CBS said to me, “No one is going to confuse them with real Star Trek.”   And that is the crux of the matter.  Yes, Star Trek Continues, like Star Trek New Voyages, have excellent production values, with amazing sets, brilliant VFX and visuals, and excellent costuming and props.  They LOOK amazing.  But the acting is mostly amateurs, and that is the main reason fan films don’t have widespread appeal. (By the way, I love Chris Doohan as Scotty in STC.  Simply brilliant).  But ask fans what they think of fan films, and the overwhelming # 1 reason they give for not watching or liking them is the acting.  And this is one of the main reasons I decided to give up the role of Garth in the feature film.

So, as long as you aren’t too good – and stay in familiar territory – it appears you are in a safe harbor.  Want to break the Star Trek Fan Film Guidelines? Just don’t make something that CBS perceives as a threat.  There’s no question that from a marketing perspective, fan films are actually very good for the Star Trek franchise, and the powers that be at CBS know this and will allow you to break many of the guidelines as long as you aren’t overly ambitious.  And since no one is really raising money for their productions anymore, I don’t think CBS has to worry about this.  STC is spending the money they had previously raised and why they cut down on the number of episodes they were making.

So, while I won’t advocate a fan film maker break the CBS Star Trek Fan Film Guidelines, I think what Star Trek Continues has shown is that CBS isn’t going to worry about a product that they don’t see as threatening.  And that gives all fan film makers a little breathing room.

Alec

VIC MIGNOGNA can’t have it both ways (editorial)

Last Wednesday, STAR TREK CONTINUES announced that none other than actor JOHN “Q” DE LANCIE is going to guest star in the ninth episode of their fan series, “What Ships Are For,” which will premiere the last weekend of July.

And now I am about to get myself into a shatload of trouble!  But before I jump into the smoldering volcano of fan film frenzy and fanatical fealty, let me state the following up front:

I love Vic Mignogna (not romantically, just as a fan).  Yes, I’ve heard him called every name in the book by people who don’t like him.  I’ve heard vitriolic complaints about Vic’s ego, lack of integrity, and even his acting ability.  (And I’ve heard similar rants about Alec Peters, by the way.)  The fact is: I don’t care!  I think very highly of both of these men…and for very similar reasons.  But for right now, let’s focus on why I love Vic.

Every fan production has one bright sun at the center of its solar system.  And for STC, that has always been Vic Mignogna.  He’s a leader and inspiration to his production team.  He makes things happen.  He has set the tone for an endeavor where everyone gives 200% and does it all with smiles while having a blast.  You can see it in their behind-the-scenes videos, and I’ve seen it in person at cons I’ve attended where the STC cast is in attendance…with Vic right there in the middle of the enthusiasm.

I also think Vic does a fantastic job being James T. Kirk.  Many have attempted the role—from the late/great John Belushi to Jim Carey and even Carol Burnett to fan film actors James Cawley and Brian Gross.  Each has brought something different and unique to the character.  So before any of you criticize Vic Mignogna for his performance, imagine yourself trying to portray the legendary captain of the USS Enterprise NCC-1701 and tell me if you could do any better.  As far as I’m concerned, Vic nails it.

So regardless of everything else I am about to say in this blog editorial, let me state for the record that I am a big fan of Vic Mignogna and a HUGE fan of (and proud donor to) Star Trek Continues.

And with that, it’s time for Jonathan to jump into the volcano…

Continue reading “VIC MIGNOGNA can’t have it both ways (editorial)”

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

If you’re looking for Klingons in a Star Trek fan film, you can certainly find them…but it’ll take some work!  And usually the Klingons are just there to be the bad guys (at least in TOS and movie-era Trek fan productions).

But there is one production which guarantees a Klingon in every episode…and they’re not there just to be the bad guys.  Well, yeah, they are the bad guys, but not to their way of thinking!

BATTLECRUISER KUPOK (pronounced “kuh-POOK”) debuted in September of 2015 as the eighth episode (“The Battle Of Alawanir“) of the third season of the long-running fan series PROJECT: POTEMKIN. It was a unique episode, self-contained and presented with its own opening monologue:

Space…it is ours for the taking.  These are the missions of the Imperial Klingon Cruiser Kupok.  Its never-ending quest: to seize unclaimed worlds, to seek new cultures and species to serve us, and to further expand the Klingon Empire!

The idea was to create a fan series completely from the point of view of the Klingons, to show them in their “natural element” without any influence from or even interaction with Starfleet.

Their low-budget fan series was later given an independent run of its own the following March with the release of their second episode, “Sanctuary.”  A few months later, the fan film guidelines were released, and all of the Potemkin Pictures projects were forced to drop their series titles (like Starship Deimos, Starship Tristan, and of course, Battlecruiser Kupok) and instead treat every subsequent release as a new fan film with a completely new title.

Since then, the Deimos and Tristan production teams have released a combined total of nine new fan films (plus two that completed the run of Project: Potemkin), but nothing from the Kupok team…until now!

Based in Pelham, Alabama, Kupok‘s latest episode “A Gathering Storm” was written and directed by Potemkin show-runner RANDY LANDERS.  It asks the question: what happens when the Klingons try to conquer a planet full of Renaissance Faire attendees?  No, I’m just kidding!  Well, I’m KINDA kidding.

Oh, just see for yourself…

AXANAR fan announces a new AXANAR COMIC BOOK! (Interview with TREY McELWAIN, Part 2)

Last time, I introduced everyone to TREY McELWAIN, a super-fan of AXANAR who is going where no Axanerd has gone before (yet) and releasing a short comic book based on the fan film Prelude to Axanar.

Based in Austin, TX, Trey works in the veterinary field and also runs the Axanar Fanpage on Facebook (different from the Axanar Fan Group).  But his latest project takes his passion one step farther.

Trey told ALEC PETERS about his desire to create a 3-page comic book adaption of a portion of Prelude to Axanar, and Alec thought it would be a great idea.  There was no official “permission” given, nor is there any direct oversight of Trey by Alec.  This is simply a fan producing his own independent Axanar project to share with others (for free, of course).

As I mentioned in Part 1, this is not the first time a fan film has been adapted into comic/written form.  In 2002, the fan film Starship Exeter was featured in an 18-page comic.  Seven years later in 2009, Starship Farragut also got its own comic that was 48 pages long!  Both comics were produced by Kail Tescar on his StarTrekAnimated.com website.  And more recentkly, there has been a series of fan film novelettes released based on the fan production Star Trek: Phase II.

Our interview with Trey concludes this week, beginning with a very important question (especially considering that this is an Axanar-related project)…

Continue reading “AXANAR fan announces a new AXANAR COMIC BOOK! (Interview with TREY McELWAIN, Part 2)”

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

Ladies and gentlemen, CHRISTOPHER ALLEN Is back!!!

And now you’re wondering: “Who the heck is Christopher Allen…and what exactly is he back from???”

In 2006, Christopher Allen wrote and directed what was—and still remains—one of the most audacious and ambitious fan film genre crossovers ever: STAR TREK VS. BATMAN.  This nearly hour-long production used amazingly accurate costume reproductions from the 1960s Batman TV series, built their own simplified versions of the Enterprise bridge and transporter sets, and even rented an actual batmobile replica for a day of shooting around the Indianapolis area.  You can read more about it here.

Well, that was then.  And although Chris produced some other independent films after 2006, Star Trek vs. Batman was the last the Trek fan production world heard from him.

Until last week.  That’s when someone sent me a link to this…

Could it be?  Are we on the cusp of yet another fan film parody out of Indianapolis???  It seemed so!

I checked around, and it turns out Chris Allen has launched a GoFundMe campaign with a goal of $13,400.  And not only is he planning to film in the Indiana State Capitol building (’cause, y’know, he lives in Indianapolis) but also on the TOS sets at STARBASE STUDIOS…one of the first Trek fan films to announcing booking the facility since they relocated from Oklahoma City to Harrison, Arkansas.

Here’s the synopsis from their website:

An ill-tempered, but gentle alien has summoned five of the most renowned federation captains from across space and time to the planet of Delta Fawcett Four. There, Captain Kirk and the Enterprise crew face off against Professor Xavier’s Enterprise D, Voyager, that weird looking spiky thing from DS9, and the “guy from Quantum Leap” Enterprise in a forgettable, but timeless tournament that will leave your sides half-split with laughter.

SPECIAL GUEST STAR ASHLEY ALEXISS is taken hostage by an evil alien that has been knocking around the galaxy. Captain Kirk and Mr. Spock beam down to rescue Kirk’s beautiful space vixen, only to be taken hostage by Captain Pike in a pimped out wheelchair.

Well, that sounded intriguing!

So I contacted Chris, introduced myself (turns out he already knew me from that blog I wrote about his first Trek fan film), and asked if he’d mind answering a few questions.  He was delighted to…

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

“OH, THE PLACES YOU’LL BOLDLY GO!” wins a key FAIR USE victory in court!

Last November, a crowd-funded Star Trek project got sued for copyright and trademark infringement by a major rights holder.

No, not Axanar!  That was the previous year, silly (although the Axanar lawsuit was still going on when this other lawsuit was filed).  In this new case, however, the defendant was none other that renown Star Trek screenwriter/author DAVID GERROLD  (the man who gave us tribbles!) along with Marvel/DC (and others) comic book artist TY TEMPLETON and their publisher ComicMix, LLC.

Gerrold and Templeton had created a parody mash-up book based on Dr. Seuss’s beloved classic Oh, The Places You’ll Go!  In their new book, Dr. Seuss was mashed-up with Star Trek to create Oh, The Places You’ll Boldly Go! with pages that that adapted the originals on the left to look like the ones on the right:

The accompanying rhymes were obviously Seussian, as well…things like.

You can get out of trouble, any that’s knotty, because in a pinch you’ll be beamed out by Scotty.

Weird things will happen, and they usually do, to starship explorers and their marvelous crew.

They launched a Kickstarter in late 2106 and took in $30,000 before the rights owners of Dr. Seuss’ collected works had the campaign shut down for an alleged copyright violation.  The following month, a full infringement lawsuit was filed on behalf of Dr. Seuss Enterprises by law firm DLA PIPER, LLP.  Here is the 19-page Seuss Complaint if you’re interested in reading it.  It’s very similar to CBS and Paramount’s initial filing against Axanar, citing the same demands for $150,000 in statutory damages per violation PLUS attorneys fees.

The Axanar detractors were quick to pounce.  SHAWN P. O’HALLORAN, one of the most prolific posters of petulance and profanity, had this to say:

You believe its fair use? You would be mistaken. It’s intellectual property theft and they came right out in their campaign and acknowledged that they were poking the bear to get sued.  David Gerrold is a blatant IP theft [sic] who supports other blatant IP thieves such as Alec Peters…

O’Halloran was referring to the following message included in the “Risks and Challenges” section on their original Kickstarter page:

While we firmly believe that our parody, created with love and affection, fully falls within the boundary of fair use, there may be some people who believe that this might be in violation of their intellectual property rights. And we may have to spend time and money proving it to people in black robes. And we may even lose that.

But it’s looking like they might actually have a chance to win…

Continue reading ““OH, THE PLACES YOU’LL BOLDLY GO!” wins a key FAIR USE victory in court!”

We’re not going to make it, are we?

As you might recall from last week, Lee Quessenberry and I kicked off a HeadTalker Campaign to try to get 500 people to agree to have a message posted to their Twitter, Facebook, and/or other social media account(s) at noon EST on June 13.  The message would say:

“We want to change the Star Trek #Fanfilm Guidelines. Follow Small Access Trek to find out how you can. https://hdtk.co/VSsvF

The idea was to get the message to trend long enough to bring some more attention, eyeballs, and ultimately (hopefully) members to the SMALL ACCESS campaign to get CBS and Paramount to revise at least one of the fan film guidelines.

With less than 24 hours to go, we’re just short of 100 out of the 500 sign-ups we need.  So barring a miracle (or Spock sacrificing himself in engineering), to quote Sulu, “We’re not going to make it, are we?”

No, we’re probably not.

So what does this mean for SMALL ACCESS?  Well, in the words of Monty Python’s peasant: “Not dead yet!”  In fact, we’ve taken in 45 new members in the last two weeks, which is 3.5% growth.  No, it’s not the hundreds and thousands we need, but it’s better than stagnation or collapse.  I choose to see the glass as 3.5% full.

And hey, even if we don’t grow large enough to succeed in our holy quest, we’ve still got a great group that’s spreading the gospel of Star Trek fan films…and I very much want that group to continue.

So what happens next?  I’m not sure yet.  Probably we’ll try another HeadTalker campaign with a smaller goal number.  But I’ll be contacting Lee Quessenberry this week to get his ideas for plan B, C, D, and possibly E.  We’ve got a few months before Star Trek: Discovery premieres, so there’s still time to grow this group some more.  I’m willing to give it a chance if you are.

And hey, if you happen to know 407 people with social media accounts who might be willing to help us make it to our 500-person goal before noon tomorrow, please ask them to sign up here:

Small Access Trek

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

On May 19, a mysterious Facebook post went up on the Axanar Fanpage (not to be confused with the Axanar Fan GROUP on Facebook) announcing the first-ever AXANAR COMIC BOOK titled “The Final Plan.” I say “mysterious” because the post was made by “Captain Magnus” with no other identification.  The announcement said:

Alec Peters loved my idea that, in order to help honor and preserve the great legacy that which is Axanar, we are going to present something very special to you wonderful guys and gals, and hopefully to all trekkies and trekkers everywhere! The Axanar Fanpage​ is going to be doing a mini-series graphic novel/comic (nothing too big mind you, about 3 full length colored pages long–like I said “mini”), expanding upon if you will but still being directly tied into the story of Axanar​ (more closely to Prelude to Axanar​). This will be one way to pay a special tribute to the Fans/Donors, the entire Axanar Production Team (and all else involved whether directly or indirectly), and of course to Alec Peters​. (Hopefully several more installments of the graphic novel to follow). As soon as it is ready to launch we will post it right here for everyone to enjoy!

Believe it or not, this is not the first time a Star Trek fan film has been adapted into a comic book or graphic novel.  Way back in 2002, the fan film Starship Exeter was featured in an 18-page comic.  Seven years later in 2009, Starship Farragut also got its own comic, this one a whopping 48 pages!  Both comics were produced by Kail Tescar on his StarTrekAnimated.com website.  And of course, there’s the more recent fan film novelettes based on the fan series Star Trek: Phase II.

Many fans wondered who this pseudonymous fan creator was and why he was using a pen name.  So I tracked down the mysterious “Captain Magnus” and it turned out to be none other than Axanar mega-fan TREY McELWAIN, who created that same Axanar Fanpage on Facebook in the first place!

So mystery solved, but I still had a whole bunch more questions…

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

Secure from battlestations…

I really hate when things go nuclear.  It happens all too often these days…especially online.  Neither party wants to give an inch, each believing he or she is in the right and the other is a total git and knee-biting jerk.  People start taking sides, arguments get heated, “evidence” is collected, and folks generally begin gettin’ real pissy.

That was yesterday.

JAMES HAMS and I went toe-to-toe, mano-a-mano for much of the day over what amounted to three words in a recent blog he wrote.  Granted, they weren’t just any three words, but the point is that the world wasn’t ending.  And yet, you’d never know from all the urgent text messages and e-mails I had to read and write throughout the day.  I’m sure James had a similar experience on his end.

Vance Major Owen – peacemaker, diplomat, good friend

Enter VANCE MAJOR OWEN.  Vance is a friend of both James and myself, and he’s also one of Trek fandom’s calmest and coolest heads.  Think of Vance as Switzerland…only with a beard.  Not liking the escalation of tempers he was witnessing between his two friends, Vance stepped in, spoke to us both separately, and negotiated a “cease fire.”

In short, James will be removing those three words from his blog (along with half a sentence that will no longer make sense with the three words gone).  I’ll be telling the folks on SMALL ACCESS (and here on FAN FILM FACTOR) to stand down, secure from general quarters, cancel battlestations…whatever you want to call it.  We’ve both agreed not to mention the other—or their blog(s) or Facebook group(s)—on our own blogs in any negative way on a go-forward basis.

We’re both in agreement on this, and there’s no hard feelings.  There were definitely hard feelings yesterday, but it’s nice to know that things can, with a little give and take, be worked out without going to DefCon 1.

I’d like to thank James for being part of the solution…and also Vance for making that solution possible in the first place.  I much prefer writing a short blog entry like this one over writing a long entry like yesterday’s!