Fans of this innovative amateur Trek series have been waiting a long time for this! STAR TREK: AURORAbegan way back in 2006, using 3D animation to tell the story of two colorful and intriguing merchant woman trying to make a living on the fringes of Federation space. It was Star Trek and it wasn’t Star Trek–all at the same time–and it was fantastic! Creator Tim Vining worked for years, with his computer spending countless hours rendering out one frame at a time of footage. Posting the first episode in multiple parts as each was completed, the final act was released to fans in 2011…six years after the series first debuted.
But Tim wasn’t finished yet. In September of 2013, he released the first part of his second episode, “Mudd in Your I.” Needless to say, a familiar and unscrupulous character from Star Trek lore had a role to play in the story. Last December, the fourth of five parts was released, bringing the total length to 27 minutes. And now, in October of 2016–three years after the first part debuted–“Mudd in Your I” is finally complete, clocking in at a full 38 minutes long! (Fortunately, newer computers render CGI frames faster.)
Unfortunately, the new fan film guidelines affected this series in two ways. The first was minor–Star Trek: Aurora became simply Aurora (complying with the moratorium on using the words “Star Trek” in a fan film’s title and instead including a subtitle saying “A Star Trek Fan Film” underneath). The second was more problematic: no ongoing series. Tim Vining addressed this on his website:
As many fans know, recent guidelines from CBS/Paramount, the owners of Star Trek’s copyright, have placed new restrictions on fan films, in particular regarding the use of recurring original characters in fan films, so the future for Kara and T’Ling is a bit cloudy at the moment. What is not in doubt is our commitment to creating animated stories for people to enjoy and share, so whether that involves Kara and T’Ling, or some new characters or even some “new world,” be watching for further adventures from our little team!
George Kayaian released his first Star Trek fan film waaaaaaay back in 1994. It starred his mother as the captain and his father as the chief engineer. That series turned into a trilogy of mutli-part productions, finishing up in 2012 and spanning more than five and a half hours of screen time!
But George Kayaian wasn’t finished quite yet. In 2013, George began his next ongoing fan series, Star Trek: Antyllus, starring himself as the captain. George also writes and directs the episodes, still using family and friends to play the various roles and help with production. As fan series go, it’s quite noticeably one of the lower budget ones, but those are often the ones with the most heart and passion….and good stories.
George posted his previous episode in November of 2015, a couple of months before FAN FILM FACTOR was launched. In the interim, the new fan film guidelines were released by CBS and Paramount, which necessitated a change of title for the series to Starship Antyllus (fan films are no longer allowed to have “Star Trek” in their titles). Of course, there are other guidelines, as well, dealing with things like funding and episode length. Funding isn’t an issue, as these guys pretty much bankroll themselves. But run time for this episode is 35 minutes, way over the 15-minute limit imposed by the studios. I asked George about that, and here’s what he said:
I’m trying my best to follow the guidelines, and I’m hoping that the grandfather clause still applies since this episode and the next couple were created before the guidelines came into being. It’s just taking me a while to get things posted in this incredibly busy period of time in my life. My series is self-funded, or no budget at all for that matter! And each episode is made with my family and friends with love and no pay. We are a true fan film project. I hope the powers that be appreciate that and realize where I’m coming from. Even my YouTube channel is NOT monetized! Everything I do is for love and creativity.
Yesterday, we began discussing the two documents filed by the opposing parties in the Axanar copyright infringement lawsuit last Friday. (There’s actually three documents, but more on that later.)
Both of the new documents are significantly shorter than the 60-page Joint Stipulationdocument from the previous week that argued for and against the court to compel the studios to produce a boatload of documentation related tot he case.
Did you hear the fireworks last Friday afternoon? If you were in the Central District Federal Courthouse of the 9th Circuit, you might have!
As expected, both the Axanar defense team at Winston & Strawn and the CBS/Paramount legal team at Loeb & Loeb filed their brief supplements to their recent 60-page Joint Stipulationdocument to compel discovery that was filed on September 29th. The deadline for adding anything to the original filing was the end of business last Friday, and things came right down to the wire!
Y’see, both sides wanted to get the last word in, so each waited as long as possible to file their supplemental memorandum. But in the end, Winston & Strawn waited just a teensy bit longer and managed to adjust their filing slightly to address a couple of the points that the plaintiffs included in their supplement.
TREK ISOLATION, the long-awaited spin-off fan series to the long-running and celebrated Starship Farragut, is finally here with its first series episode “Out of the Fire.“
Technically, Trek Isolation has been “here” for a couple of years already. The series first debuted in late 2014 with a short prelude vignette titled “Change in Command.” During the 5-minute fan film, Captain Jack Carter (played by co-writer and Starship Farragut show-runner/star John Broughton) informs his chief of security (played by co-writer Eric Moran) that the lieutenant commander will be getting a promotion and reassignment as first officer and science officer aboard the USS Babylon.
Six months later, the Trek Isolation team SHOCKED fans when it released its second prelude vignette “A Great Responsibility“ featuring none other than Marvel Comics legend STAN LEE as a Starfleet Admiral! And it wasn’t just a brief cameo, as happens in so many Marvel movies. Instead, Stan does a two and a half minute scene as part of this four and a half minute fan production as he assigns Captain Hawkins (played by co-writer Dave Turner) as the new commander of the USS Babylon.
In 2011, a new Star Trek fan series based in the movie-era released its first episode, and the world of fan films was introduced to PROJECT: POTEMKIN.
Five years and thirty-four episodes later, Project: Potemkin has just released its series finale, “Destinies.” No spoilers except to say that this seven-minute episode wraps up the series nicely and ties in with three other fan series also being produced by Potemkin Pictures: Starship Tristan, Starship Deimos, and Starship Endeavour.
Some fans have been wondering whether Project: Potemkin is yet another victim of the fan film guidelines released by CBS and Paramount. Not so, says series show-runner RANDY LANDERS:
“I’m just takin’ a Greyhound on the Hudson River line…”
Billy Joel first sang those lyrics back in 1976. Forty years later, you can take a Greyhound up alongside the majestic Hudson River from New York City four hours north to Ticonderoga, New York (a very scenic drive, I might add!)–or you can fly into Burlington, VT and meander over across Lake Champlain in about 90 minutes–and live the dream of every Trekkie. You can walk around the original USS Enterprise NCC-1701, lovingly recreated by uber-fan and Elvis impersonator extraordinaire James Cawley and his team at Star Trek: New Voyages.
Originally used to film nearly a dozen episodes of Cawley’s amazing fan series, the sets were recently converted into an officially licensed Star Trek Set Tour open to the public six days a week (closed Mondays). For less than 25 bucks a head, er, body, you can walk where few fans have gone before, take all of the pictures and videos you want, and brag to your friends that you got to visit this one-of-a-kind exhibit. (Yeah, I know there’s one just like it in Georgia, too, but Star Trek Continues‘ sets aren’t open to the public nor are they officially licensed.)
One fan who braved the four-hour trek (sorry, pun couldn’t be helped) from Manhattan to Ticonderoga is New York City-based comedian Tom Kelly. So just in case you don’t think you’ll be able to make it up there yourself–or if you’re looking for a reason to actually go–just take a look at this very entertaining and fun video…
Recently, I featured a 2-part interview with Paul Olsen, the man responsible for the breathtaking opalescent paint job of the refit Enterprise from Star Trek: The Motion Picture. Together with the designer and builder of the original model, Paul is trying to raise $3 million to recreate that model, bigger, more sturdy, and with all modern electronics within a custom 4D viewing chamber. The model would travel around the world to be enjoyed by Star Trek fans everywhere.
But $3 million is a lot of money, and way beyond way could be raised from simple crowd-funding. So Paul is planning to do a concerted public relations campaign, coordinated by a major PR company, targeted at bringing in major corporate sponsors like Enterprise Rent-a-Car, SpaceX, Boeing, and many others. So instead of needing $3 million, Paul just needs $50,000 to fund the PR effort. In fact, the PR effort is only intended to raise the first $450,000 to get them started. Then, with the studio and materials in place, Paul can negotiate documentary rights to bring in the completion funding of $3+ million over the two years of the rebuild.
When STAR TREK: RENEGADES became RENEGADES: THE SERIES, all overt or even quasi-overt references to Star Trek had to be surgically amputated. This included this like changing the character of Chekov to simply “The Admiral” and “Tuvok” to “Kovok,” calling it the “Confederation of Planets,” ditching comm badges from the uniforms (“We don’t need no stinkin’ badges!”), making sure that Aron Eisenberg’s alien make-up looked nothing like a Ferengi, and a host of other tweaks.
Unfortunately, those tweaks also impacted the visual effects, some of which had already been completed and delivered. Y’see, no Star Trek means no recognizable space vessels either…including Romulan warbirds. And that meant that a gorgeous 10-second space battle sequence rendered out by AtomicBrain SFX would never be seen by fans. Or would it…?
Renegades just posted on YouTube this short tracking shot for everyone to enjoy. We might not ever see it in a fan film (it would have been glorious…), but we can at least see it here:
I’m guessing that the makers of the German fan film STAR TREK: ENTERPRISE – THE NEW GENERATION were saying “Was ist los?” (which loosely translates to WTF?) when they got the notice this past Tuesday from YouTube that CBS had filed a copyright claim against four of their fan film videos! And most confusing of all, these were videos which had been online since 2007!!!