STARSHIP TRISTAN Creative Group releases their 12th fan film: “PRIDE AND PREJUDICE”!

Last week, I announced the release of the eleventh fan film, “Sepulchre,”  from the STARSHIP TRISTAN Creative Group from POTEMKIN PICTURES.  I noted that the previous tenth release had come out seven months earlier.  But now, the new twelfth release, “Pride and Prejudice,” has followed only ONE WEEK after the eleventh.  What gives?

I decided to go to the source and ask show-runner RANDY LANDERS.  I was quite surprised to learn the answer:

Back in August, I had a quadruple bypass which delayed post production on a number of our short films. We have never before held back releases, in fact, but we actually are this ti me.  We released “Sepulchre” as soon as it was ready, then released the follow-up “Pride and Prejudice” a week later.  “Pride and Prejudice” was actually ready for release in January.  For the same reason, we’re holding up the release of “Shattered Sky” (a Deimos film) until we finish up and release “Prodigal Daughter.”

It’s quite possible we will have four releases in March!

I asked Randy how he was doing after the bypass.  (My own father had a double bypass about three years ago and is still going strong).

I’m doing great. You can quote me, and report that two productions were filmed without me (“New Orders,” which was directed by Jason Furman, and “Sepulchre” which was directed by Lee Drew).  And “Pride and Prejudice” was directed by Christin Woods [who plays T’Noshi  -Jonathan] relieving me of that concern as well. I’m very proud of the work they did to get these productions completed.

I should also mention that this latest episode from the Tristan folk was written by WILLIAM C. SEARCY, who plays the fan-favorite character of the half-Vulcan Dr. Skep Anderson.

So please enjoy the second Potemkin Pictures fan film release in two weeks, “Pride and Prejudice”…


The story BEHIND THE PURCHASE of the STAR TREK CONTINUES sets! (audio interview with RAY TESI)

Fans gave a sigh of relief in early February when it was announced that the STAR TREK CONTINUES sets in Kingsland, Georgia had been purchased by a fan filmmaker who intended to make the sets available to other fan filmmakers to create their Trek fan productions.  The new owner is a fellow by the name of RAY TESI, and his own fan project was STARSHIP REPUBLIC, which had released the 9-minute Serpent of Yesterday vignette in February of last year.

But I was curious about something: how was Ray affording all this?

Y’see, after releasing his fan film vignette, Ray launched an Indiegogo campaign to try to raise $16,000 to continue the production of his fan series.  That campaign only made it to $2,351, and the project was shelved indefinitely.

Now, I didn’t know whether Ray had purchased the sets from VIC MIGNOGNA of Star Trek Continues or had gotten them for free (turns out Ray bought them).  But I did know that the rent for the warehouse where the sets reside is tens of thousands of dollars per year!

So how is a guy who needed $16,000 in crowd-funding a year ago suddenly able to afford thousands of dollars a month in rent?  Did he win the lottery?  Rob a bank?  Blackmail a rich politician?

It turns out, fortunately(!), that it was none of the above.  In fact, when you hear the actual story behind Ray’s purchase of the STC sets, I think that you—like me—will gain a new respect for Ray Tesi and feel truly inspired and positive about the future of this wonderful fan resource.

Here’s the interview…

Ray Tesi in the center seat surrounded by the cast of Starship Republic

And for anyone wanting to see how awesome these sets are, here’s a walkthrough from a few years ago (before they added Engineering, which makes it all even MORE awesome!)…

R.I.P. – STEPHEN HAWKING (1942 -2018)

I suppose I could cite the Star Trek connection: PROFESSOR STEPHEN WILLIAM HAWKING was the only person to ever play himself on an episode of any Star Trek series when he appeared in a Holodeck simulation at the beginning of TNG‘s “Descent, Part 1” in 1993.

But I would have dimmed the lights of Fan Film Factor regardless of Hawking’s appearance on Trek because…well…because we was Stephen Frickin’ Hawking, dammit!  He was cool.  He was a rock star.  He was almost impossible.

What I mean by that is Stephen Hawking should never have happened.  His disease—amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS)—is a cruel killer.  It takes away your body while it leaves your mind trapped inside.  By all predictions of his doctors back in 1963 when he was first diagnosed, Hawking’s expected lifespan was optimistically two years.  By all rights, Stephen Hawking should have been long dead before the first episode of Star Trek ever aired in 1966.  But as we all know, that never happened.

Instead, this hyper-brilliant man found a way to live on for more than FIVE decades beyond his original death sentence.  But he didn’t just live—that would have certainly been miracle enough—but he thrived.  He taught, researched, wrote books, toured and lectured, and became quite the media celebrity.  Hawking opened up the wonders of the universe and science to so many who—like me—had absolutely no idea whatsoever what the heck he was taking about!  (Yeah, I tried to read a Brief History of Time.  I even began my time at Cornell University in 1985 as a physics major.  That didn’t last.  But my love and respect for science lived on.)

Hawking made science and nerdiness seem somehow cool…which was really odd, if you think about it.  Even without the wheelchair and the debilitating motor neurone disease, Hawking still looked like a complete Poindexter…the kind of guy who would have his lunch money taken on a regular basis by bullies who would leave his underwear stretched up to his shoulders.  Add in the monotone computer-synthesized voice, and this guy was sure to be picked on relentlessly by the knuckle-draggers of the world.

Except he wasn’t.

Continue reading “R.I.P. – STEPHEN HAWKING (1942 -2018)”

Reviewing the AXANAR reviewer!!! (editorial with three exclamation points!)

Last summer, shortly after an early version of the 90-minute AXANAR script was leaked, a detractor going by the name of Kate Stark (pretty sure that’s a pseudonym) wrote a 19-part, 30,000-word blog series essentially ripping the poor draft version of that script into tiny literary pieces…trampled under the feet of a very self-important and erudite reviewer.

Yep, 19 parts, 30,000 words.  Don’t believe me?  Just click here and then scroll down to the bottom and click “Older Posts.”  Also, that’s just July.  Remember to also scroll to the bottom right for the blogs from June!

So yeah, that happened.  And the detractors, of course, were ecstatic.  Not only was someone reviewing the Axanar script, but the reviewer seemed to be REALLY smart and really HATED it (like 30,000 words worth of utter disdain written so intelligently!).  The high-fives and posted photos of pies were flowing like water over Niagara Falls on the detractor Facebook groups for quite a while.

But then…frustration.  There was no new Axanar anything left to review and eviscerate.  The 19-part blog series was all but forgotten.

Until last week, that is.  I rescued blogger Kate Stark from endless months of boredom and obscurity by releasing the first-ever Axanar illustrated short story: Why We fight.  Finally, the reviewer’s poison pen—er, keyboard—could come out of hibernation once again!

This time the blog series was much shorter: only 7 parts and 6,000 words.  (Just FYI, my short story itself was a total of 1,900 words.  So, yeah…three times as long.  FUN!)

Actually, it’s a very intelligent review (read part 1 here).  You know it’s intelligent because the reviewer almost immediately compares my short story to one of Ernest Hemingway’s works (and of course, finds my story lacking).  By the time you get to part 7, I’m being criticized for everything from bad character development to using too many question marks and exclamation points.  Hey, that’s my thing!!!  Isn’t it???

I wasn’t going to say anything, but then Kate Stark did something that changed my mind…

Continue reading “Reviewing the AXANAR reviewer!!! (editorial with three exclamation points!)”

Drawing AXANAR – an interview with “WHY WE FIGHT” artist MARK McCRARY

Last week, I premiered the first-ever AXANAR illustrated short story, “Why We Fight,” written by yours truly and illustrated by MARK McCRARY.  I met Mark through another Mark, MARK LARGENT, with whom I co-wrote and co-produced the fan parody film Prelude to Ax’d-We-Are.  Mark and Mark are buddies, and together they wrote and illustrated an awesome fan comic book about the final voyage of James T. Kirk entitled “Save What From Heaven Is with the Breezes Blown.”

You probably already know about me (and if you don’t, read some of my biography blogs here).  But my illustrator Mark McCrary is still a mystery to most fans.  Not anymore!  I felt that Mark deserved a decent interview to finally tell the fan film world a little bit about himself.

And so, without further ado, the man who made my Axanar fan fiction story look totally amazing…

Continue reading “Drawing AXANAR – an interview with “WHY WE FIGHT” artist MARK McCRARY”

STARSHIP TRISTAN Creative Group releases their 11th fan film: “SEPULCHRE”!

The nice folks at POTEMKIN PICTURES now have five different Trek fan production teams producing new fan films, two teams with new series in post-production, and of course the completed series that started it all: PROJECT: POTEMKIN (with three dozen episodes).  You can watch everything from Potemkin Pictures on their website.

The first fan series to spin off from Project: Potemkin was STARSHIP TRISTAN, filmed in Pelham, Alabama where show-runner RANDY LANDERS is based.  It debuted in December of 2015, but six months later, the fan film guidelines prohibited ongoing fan series.  So Starship Tristan simply dropped their fan series name and began naming each new release with the title of that particular “episode.”

Their latest offering is a fan film called “Sepulchre” which runs ten and a half minutes.  Set in the post-TOS-movie-era, the series has built its own somewhat cramped bridge set and uses simplified long-sleeve shirts for uniforms.  But if you’re watching these productions for their big-budget quality, then you probably want Star Trek Continues down the hall.  These folks are more about the story, and this latest story is pretty decent.  In fact, if lengthened out and developed a little more, I could imagine “Sepulchre” easily being an episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation.

Although the first ten episodes of this fan-series-that-is-not-to-be-called-a-fan-series were released about once every 1 to 3 months, it’s actually been 7 months since the last new Tristan fan film.   However, in that time, there has been an interesting change that I noted.  Previously, all new releases were credited to the “Tristan Production Crew” or the “Potemkin Creative Team”—not really wanting to call too much undue attention to the previous fan series name.  Now the opening credits say “Produced by the STARSHIP TRISTAN Creative Group.”  Big step forward, in my opinion.  With luck, CBS won’t bat an eyelash.

And now, please enjoy Tristan’s latest fan production, “Sepulchre”…

Has the ANTI-AXANAR “vendetta” finally gotten RIDICULOUS?

Actually, I think the AXANAR detractors have been pretty ridiculous for quite some time now.  In fact, one Axanar supporter told me recently, “Y’know, if Alec Peters goes to take a leak in a restaurant, someone from one of the hater groups is gonna follow him in to see if there’s any piss left on the toilet seat.  Then Carlos Pedraza will write a blog about how Alec has no respect for janitors!”

What a great image to begin a blog with, huh?  Well, it seems that the Axanar detractors are stooping nearly that low (if they haven’t already surpassed it) in their latest efforts to try to embarrass and sabotage their favorite target of ridicule, Alec Peters.

While I usually ignore the day-to-day antics of the Axanar detractors, every so often something pops up that just leaves me scratching my head.  And let me tell ya, my scalp was itching like crazy when I saw a recent Facebook IM conversation that recently went on between Axamonitor blogger Carlos Pedraza and the assistant of Tony Cade.

But before I show it to you, there’s a quick bit of background you need to know first…like who the heck is Tony Cade???

Continue reading “Has the ANTI-AXANAR “vendetta” finally gotten RIDICULOUS?”

Why you ABSOLUTELY should DONATE to this KICKSTARTER for THE HOLY CORE (from the makers of CHANCE ENCOUNTER)!

One of my favorite Star Trek fan films is CHANCE ENCOUNTER, co-written by PAUL LAIGHT and GARY O’BRIEN, and directed by Gary.  This 20-minute, TNG-era fan film was a perfectly-acted love story with wonderful music, tight editing, very nice costumes and uniforms, and even some physical TNG-era sets.  Usually for this era, fan films just shoot actors in front of green screens and composite in the complex 24th century starship interiors as background images.  But these guys built an actual shuttlepod cockpit and turbolift set.

It’s been over a year since Chance Encounter debuted, funded with the help of a Kickstarter campaign that raised £1,862 (about $2,700).  Since then, many fans have wondered when we might see another fan production from this team.  The answer was revealed last Thursday when Gary and Paul launched a new Kickstarter for their second project: THE HOLY CORE.


This time, they’re trying to raise £8,700 (approximately $12,000) for a much more ambitious production.  This one will be 30-minutes long, following the fan film guidelines and split into two 15-minute parts.  Once again, there will be physical sets, this time augmented by CGI backgrounds.  Here’s a test shot that appears on their Kickstarter video:

And that’s just a TEST…wait’ll they shoot the real film!!!

And for anyone wondering if this’ll be just another love story disguised as a Star Trek: TNG episode, the answer is no.  This time, things will be much more fast-paced and filled with deep ethical and moral questions.  The crew of the USS Vigilance, a Nebula-class starship, has a mission to help the inhabitants of the planet Vita II.  But things aren’t as they first appear, and the crew must wrestle with the difficult topics of faith, science, sacrifice, and destiny itself.

Assuming Gary and Paul reach their goal (they are already 15% of the way there after just five days…including $175 from me), they intend to release the completed fan film next February or March.  I’d really like to see that happen, folks

As such, I’ll be publishing reminders about this Kickstarter over the next three and a half weeks, and I hope you’ll join me in both donating and spreading the word.  This one is really worth it!

And now, here’s a message from show-runners Gary O’Brien and Paul Laight…

Continue reading “Why you ABSOLUTELY should DONATE to this KICKSTARTER for THE HOLY CORE (from the makers of CHANCE ENCOUNTER)!”

Continuing drama for STARBASE STUDIOS…and my departure

Sometimes no good deed goes unpunished.  When last I reported on STARBASE STUDIOS, things looked like they would finally work out.  An agreement that had been in negotiation for three arduous months had finally been agreed to and signed by all parties. The Starbase Studios lawsuit filed by Glen Wolfe was dropped, and it seemed like things could return to normal.

The new owners of the sets would be GLEN WOLFE (50%), SCOTT JOHNSON (25%), and GLENN MILLER (25%).  KENT EDWARDS would no longer own any part of the sets but would continue to be involved with Starbase Studios, LLC, and working with fan filmmakers.

Although the sets would remain in their current location in Marble Falls, Arkansas until the end of this year, after that, plans were that they would be moved into a fantastic new building with heat, A/C, electrical, and best of all, bathrooms!  Free rent would be provided by the building’s owners, Glen Wolfe and his wife, and fan productions going through Starbase Studios would be able to continue using the sets essentially for free.  It was looking like Starbase Studios had gotten through the rough waters and emerged safely on the other side of the river.

Yeah, well, don’t get out of the boat just yet, folks…

Continue reading “Continuing drama for STARBASE STUDIOS…and my departure”

“WHY WE FIGHT” – the first-ever AXANAR illustrated short story!

Click here to view the PDF version of “Why We Fight”

Read more about the creation of this original Axanar short story by clicking here.  And come back next week for an interview with illustrator Mark McCrary.

“Why We Fight”

An Axanar Short Story

Written by Jonathan Lane
Illustrations by Mark McCrary

Stardate: 2244.9
Location: The 602 Club, Mill Valley near San Francisco, Earth

At a table…

Continue reading ““WHY WE FIGHT” – the first-ever AXANAR illustrated short story!”