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”…

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)…

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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…

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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…

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

It’s a bittersweet time for followers of the groundbreaking fan series STAR TREK CONTINUES.  The “sweet” part is that we will be served with FOUR new full-length episodes from this production team in the matter of just SEVEN months!  We’ve already seen the first of these four episodes, the ambitious and poetic “Still Treads the Shadow,” released at the beginning of April.

The “bitter” lies in the fact that this is it for STC…the end of this amazing fan series.  Although they were originally planning to make 13 episodes—and instead they will now only be doing 11—the fact is that they always intended for the series to have a completion point.  Some fans have been asking them to continue (no pun intended) and not shut down, but the end story has been written and filmed and soon will be released.  The Georgia studio sits quiet and unused (or so I’ve been told).

Show-runner VIC MIGNOGNA himself said in interviews that, at his current age (he turns 55 in August), he wouldn’t be able to play a 35-year-old Jim Kirk for much longer.  So yes, folks, this is the inevitable end of the line for STC…with a return of the U.S.S. Enterprise from its historic 5-year mission.

And here’s the schedule for release dates.  The episodes will premiere at three different cons during three weekends and then be posted online a day or so later:

Episode IX, “What Ships are For” will premiere at Florida Supercon in Ft. Lauderdale the weekend of July 27-30.

Episode X, “To Boldly Go (Part One)” will premiere at Salt Lake City Comic Con the weekend of September 21-23.

Episode XI, “To Boldly Go (Part Two)” will premiere at New York City Comicon the weekend of October 5-8.

So the gap between episodes VIII and XI will end up being about three and a half months.  Then the gap between XI and X will be less than two months.  And finally, fans won’t have to wait more than two weeks for the second half of the final two-parter.  That’s quite a feast!

Although few details of the series finale have been released, we do know that the ninth episode, “What Ships are For,” was written by Kipleigh Brown, who plays Lt. Smith on the fan series.  There will also be at least three professional actor guest stars in that episode: Elizabeth Maxwell, Lex Lang, and Sandy Fox.

For a closer look at this fan series from its beginnings in 2012, check out this three-part history of Star Trek Continues.

 

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

The news has been spreading through the fan film community faster than a snitch through a quidditch match!  According to a rapidly-expanding plethora of online sources, Warner Brothers studios, which owns the movie rights to the HARRY POTTER franchise, have given approval to the producers of a high-quality fan film titled VOLDEMORT: ORIGINS OF THE HEIR to be made.  The only conditions: the producers must make no profit, and the completed project can only be shown for free via YouTube.

This didn’t seem to be the case last July when Warner Brothers shut down the Kickstarter page for this project.  The production had already successfully funded a $30,000 campaign, but faster than you can say “Expelliarmus!” all trace of the campaign was gone, replaced by a pretty harsh sounding notice:

Description of infringing material: It recently came to our attention that users on your site, at the link(s) below, were contemplating a project that violates Warner Bros.’ rights. We have discussed it with the users who have agreed to remove the project from the site and have requested that we send this notice so that the project is removed. I have a good faith belief that the project is not authorized by Warner Bros., its agent, or the law. Accordingly, please act expeditiously to remove or disable access to the URL listed below.

In fact, some fans actually thought there was some sort of litigation (apparently, there wasn’t), and even Wikipedia erroneously reports that in their entry.  (Look quick, before they fix it!)

But then this happened…

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

Anyone who says that Star Trek fan films are “dead” needs to get that message out to the fine folks at POTEMKIN PICTURES!  These guys continue to churn out new releases with the constancy of the north star and the inevitability of death and taxes!

Currently, two Potemkin Pictures production teams are working on a series of fan films featuring two different Starfleet crews.  Over in Georgia, the Starship Tristan production crew is currently in pre-production on their NINTH fan film.  And in Pelham, Alabama, the STARSHIP DEIMOS production crew has just released its FIFTH episode, the 14-minute “No Greater Love.”

Both productions use actors enrolled in drama programs at nearby academic institutions, along with other actors from local community theater.  As such, the performances of many who appear on camera in these two series tend to be slightly more elevated than your typical Trek fan film that uses only fans who are usually untrained in the performing arts.

“No Greater Love” is no exception.  Constrained by budgets, Potemkin Pictures concentrates primarily on character and st0ry-driven scripts.  The result is a fan film without the glitz and sizzle of the sleeker, higher-budget fan productions, but with a lot of heart and soulful performances.

So no, my friends, Star Trek fan films are not dead…not if Potemkin Pictures and show-runner RANDY LANDERS have anything to say about it!  You can read a 2-part interview that I did with Randy last year by clicking here.

And you can watch “No Greater Love” below…

THE ROMULAN WARS releases PART 1 of their FINAL EPISODE!

On May 13, 2005, Star Trek: Enterprise aired its series finale, “These Are the Voyages”–completely skipping over a half-decade of the much anticipated Romulan War with Earth and the Coalition of Planets.

Many fans were, quite understandably, disappointed.  In addition to strengthening the alliances that would form the Federation and shaping the very direction of Starfleet technology from pure exploration into vessels that could also fight and defend, the very nature of the Romulan War promised action and drama that the fifth Star Trek television series (sixth if you count the animated series) had not previously been able to develop.

Two and a half years later, on November 23, 2007, Star Trek fans began to fill in that missing half decade with a new fan series: STAR TREK: THE ROMULAN WARS.  Led by show-runner LEE GARTRELL, this Arkansas-based production didn’t have the financial resources or the professional polish of a Star Trek: New Voyages or Starship Exeter, but what they did have was passion and commitment.  They sewed their own costumes, built their own simplified sets, green-screen composited in backgrounds behind their actors, and created their own VFX.

It was a labor of love that didn’t always have the best lighting or sound quality, but you could still see how much time and effort went into this fan series which was, at the time, the only fan production that attempted to tackle the 22nd century NX-01 era of Star Trek.

Over the course of the next eight years, The Romulan Wars would release nine full-length episodes ranging in length from 22 to 45 minutes (nearly four and a half hours of content!).  Their previous offering, a prequel episode entitled “The Atlas,” was released a year before the fan film guidelines were ever announced.  At the time, Lee Gartrell was planning for a full run of 16 episodes to finish up the war.

Unfortunately, Guideline #1 prohibits continuing series.  So The Romulan Wars is wrapping up with their tenth episode, a two-parter entitled “The Tunnel at the End of the Light.”  Part 1 has just been released, with Part 2 planned for posting within the next week or so.  Part One runs 23 minutes (longer than the 15 minutes permitted by the guidelines), but the first four minutes doesn’t really count.  And if Star Trek Continues can release 45-minute episodes post-guidelines, I doubt 19 minutes for a non-crowd-funded fan film will wake the sleeping giant.

You can view all the previous episodes here.

And below, Part One of the series finale, “The Tunnel at the End of the Light”…

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

You don’t have to be a theoretical physicist to write a Star Trek musical…but it sure helps!

BOLDLY GO! – Where No Musical Has Gone Before didn’t start off as a fan film.  In fact, it was only performed six times in front of audiences in late February and early March of 2016 in Pasadena, CA at the Ramo Auditorium at Caltech.  But last month, a year after its too-short theatrical run, the full two-and-a-half hour live performance was posted to Youtube…and now I consider it officially a “fan film.”  And not only that, but it’s one to which I am giving a rating of “Highly Recommended +” because it’s REALLY good!  (And if you don’t want to commit that much time, at the end of this blog, I’m including time codes to skip to the four best musical numbers that are MUST SEE/HEAR.)

The musical is set in the prime TOS timeline with Kirk, Spock, Bones, and the rest of the original crew.  There’s Klingons, Andorians, and all the wink-wink references to that Star Trek trivia you know and love—from Khan Noonian Singh and Sulu’s love of botany to Elaan of Troyius and the Space Hippies…and even a poke at the Kelvin-verse timelime!  There’s also satirical chuckles to many of the tropes of musical theater, with 19 different song and dance numbers ranging in style from Andrew Lloyd Webber and Gilbert & Sullivan to doo-wop, gospel, tango, and even Motley Crüe (and don’t blink or you’ll miss a quick nod to West Side Story).

Now, if you’re expecting to see something on par with the likes of Hamilton or Les Miserables, I need to mention that this cast is made up of students, faculty, and alumni from the California Institute of Technology plus scientists and engineers who usually build interplanetary space probes for NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory!  In other words, set your phaser expectations to “This is musical theater, not rocket science—and these are rocket scientists.”  But really, when you think about it, who better to put on the world’s first-ever full-length live Star Trek musical?!

And who better to direct it that a guest star from an actual episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation?  But more on that later.  First, let’s travel back in time (with the help of the Guardian of Forever or a slingshot maneuver or Q or whatever) to see how this ambitious production came to be…

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