THE FEDERATION FILES premieres its debut episode “His Name Is Mudd”!

his-name-is-muddIf there were ever a game of “Where’s Waldo” using the credits of Star Trek fan films, Glen L. Wolfe would surely be Waldo.  If you visit Glen’s IMDb page, you’ll see him having participated in a dozen different fan films and series stretching back to 2013: Star Trek: Renegades, Horizon, Deception, Secret Voyage, Ambush, Equinox, Temporal Anomaly, and multiple episodes of New Voyages and Continues.  He’s worked on fan films as an actor, producer, cameraman, electrician, and art designer.

And now Glen can add writer and director to that list, having finally been the show-runner on a fan film of his own.  “His Name Is Mudd” serves as the debut release of the new THE FEDERATION FILES, which is produced in conjunction with Starfleet Studios in Iowa.  Their Facebook page talks about the new series:

The Federation Files is an opened look at the Memory Alpha database. The concept is to allow filmmakers a location to make their films available to the fans. Scripts will span the entire Star Trek Universe. Each episode can be free standing, therefore a new cast could be featured every time.

Following the Outer Limits and Twilight Zone format, the fan can view any episode in any order as they do not build on each other.

In this way, the new series will conform to the guidelines in not featuring continuing stories about the same characters.

federation-filesThis debut episode features a veritable “who’s who” of Star Trek fan film actors and crew.  Michael L. King of Starship Valiant makes a cameo appearance as Commander Bishop (his character from that series).  Cat Roberts, who appeared in Star Trek Continues‘ “Fairest of Them All” and later played Janice Rand in multiple episodes of The Red Shirt Diaries, plays Rand again, this time on the USS Constitution.  Robert Withrow reprises his character of Admiral Witrow from multiple episodes of New Voyages.  David Whitney of Starfleet Studios in Iowa, the show-runner of the nearly-completed Trek fan film Raven, plays a perfectly unscrupulous Harry Mudd.  And even more actors and production crew from these series and others appear throughout the credits.

federation-files-crew-photo
Glen L. Wolfe sits in the command chair surrounded by the cast and crew of “His Name Is Mudd.”

This 47-minute fan production was filmed at various locations, including at Starfleet Studios in Iowa; down at Starbase Studios in Oklahoma on their bridge, transporter, and sickbays sets; and even up in Ticonderoga, New York at James Cawley’s Retro Studios using the briefing room set.  If there is such a thing as a “family” of fan filmmakers (and I truly believe there is) this production was indeed a family affair.

You can watch “His Name Is Mudd” by clicking here.

 

AURORA finally completes its second episode, “MUDD IN YOUR I”, after three years!

auroraFans of this innovative amateur Trek series have been waiting a long time for this!  STAR TREK: AURORA began 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!

Aurora is absolutely worth your time to watch–both episodes, if you can.  Click here to view “Mudd in Your I”.

And if you’d like to learn more about this series (and get a link to episode one), FAN FILM FACTOR has a great feature on the history of Aurora.

STAR TREK: ANTYLLUS (now STARSHIP ANTYLLUS) releases its latest episode: “Ripple Effect”!

starship-antyllusGeorge 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.

You can watch Antyllus‘ latest episode, “Ripple Effect,” by clicking here.

And you can watch their first eight episodes here on their YouTube channel.

 

Bombshells begin in discovery phase of AXANAR lawsuit! (Part 2)

Axaanr splash image2Yesterday, 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 Stipulation document 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.

While the plaintiffs’ supplemental memorandum was only a page and a half and repeated most of what they argued previously, the defense’s supplemental memorandum used the full five pages permitted by the court.  When last we left off, we were talking about President Gerald Ford.  No, seriously.  Go back and read yesterday’s blog, and then come back here to see how team Axanar‘s strategy is becoming much clearer now…

Continue reading “Bombshells begin in discovery phase of AXANAR lawsuit! (Part 2)”

Bombshells begin in discovery phase of AXANAR lawsuit! (Part 1)

Axaanr splash imageDid 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 Stipulation document 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.

Continue reading “Bombshells begin in discovery phase of AXANAR lawsuit! (Part 1)”

TREK: ISOLATION spins off from STARSHIP FARRAGUT and releases its first series episode “Out of the Fire”!

trek-isolationTREK 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.

Continue reading “TREK: ISOLATION spins off from STARSHIP FARRAGUT and releases its first series episode “Out of the Fire”!”

PROJECT: POTEMKIN releases its SERIES FINALE (but it’s NOT ending because of the GUIDELINES)!

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:

Continue reading “PROJECT: POTEMKIN releases its SERIES FINALE (but it’s NOT ending because of the GUIDELINES)!”

Take a tour of James Cawley’s STAR TREK SETS with comedian TOM KELLY

set-tour“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…

PROJECT: ENTERPRISE jumps from Kickstarter to Indiegogo!

Project Enterprise-1Recently, 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.

Continue reading “PROJECT: ENTERPRISE jumps from Kickstarter to Indiegogo!”

RENEGADES posts an awesome (but now unusable) VFX sequence!

renegades-new-logoWhen 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: