The much- anticipated latest release from Star Trek Continues is now available for viewing to the general public. Released early to donors, the 42-minute episode is another tour de force example of why Star Trek Continues continues to lead the way in the Trek fan film arena.
It’s best to watch this episode with no spoilers or preconceptions. Just know that it features some amazing visual effects, impressive stunt work by many in the cast, and liberal use of STC‘s brand new Engineering set. It’s another MUST SEE offering from the folks in Georgia, full of action, suspense, and even a bit of social relevance.
There are few fans in the world (if any) who are more expert in and dedicated to the animated Star Trek series than Curt Danhauser. For more than two decades, his website has been an amazing treasure trove of resources and background information for fans of that beloved 1970s series from Filmation.
Back in 2008, Curt went where no fan had gone before and released a brand new, 7-minute animated Star Trek episode short that he produced himself entitled “The Element of Surprise.” Later that year, Curt released the first part of another, longer-length (28 minutes) animated episode, “And Let the Heavens Fall,” which he finished up early in 2009.
And then in 2011, Curt embarked on his most ambitious project yet, “Ptolemy Wept,” which would end up being 66 minutes long and take more than five years to finish! You can watch the full episode (all nine parts) on this web page.
Three days after J.J. Abrams announced that the copyright infringement lawsuit against AXANAR and Alec Peters was “going away,” the Axanar attorneys at Winston & Strawn filed a legal Response to the most recent amended complaint and ALSO filed a Counterclaim for Declaratory Relief.
Now why would they go and do a provocative thing like that just when the studios were about to start playing nice???
I decided to ask Axanar‘s lead attorney in the case, Erin R. Ranahan. It turns out there was a filing deadline on Monday that, if missed, could have severely and negatively impacted Axanar‘s ability to successfully navigate this lawsuit. Ms. Ranahan explained the situation…
On Friday evening, at a little after 8pm Pacific Time, inside of Stage 31 at Paramount Studios in Hollywood, Star Trek Beyond Producer JJ Abrams shocked the fan film world by announcing that the copyright infringement lawsuit against AXANAR was “going away” and that “fans will be able to work on their projects.”
TOMMY KRAFT, who rocketed to fan film fame with his amazing Star Trek: Horizon full-length feature, was called by CBS and told not to proceed with announced plans for a sequel he intended to call Federation Rising. Instead, Tommy and his production partner Ryan Webber decided to create an original project titled PROJECT DISCOVERY, examining mankind’s earliest forays into manned interplanetary spaceflight in the mid-21st century.
Tommy and Ryan launched a Kickstarter campaign in late April with a 2-month time frame and an ambitious goal of $250,000. Although they got off to a strong start, just short of a month into the campaign, pledges had stalled in the $17-18,000 range…barely 7% of the way to the goal while approaching the half-way point.
Yesterday evening, Tommy and Ryan announced the cancellation of their project and its Kickstarter. Here was the message they sent out to donors:
BLADE OF HONOR is not technically Star Trek, but it is sci-fi and it looks totally awesome!
Also, it’s KINDA Star Trek in that the new fan film series features various Star Trek alumni actors, including Tim “Tuvok” Russ (who seems to be everywhere in the fan film world these days!), Aaron “Nog” Eisenberg, and Cirroc “Jake Sisko” Lofton. Also cast are Richard Hatch from Battlestar Galactica, James Kyson from Heroes, Brandon Stacy from Star Trek: New Voyages/Phase II (and also Zachary Quinto’s “Spock” stand-in), Rivkah Raven Wood also from New Voyages as well as Star Trek: Hidden Frontier, and Ryan T. Husk from Star Trek: Horizon, Star Trek: Renegades, and various other Trek fan films.
TOMMY KRAFT, the dynamo behind the hugely successful NX-01-era fan film STAR TREK: HORIZON, is currently raising money for his next production, PROJECT: DISCOVERY. Although not specifically a Star Trek fan film, it now has a definite Star Trek tie-in. Tommy just announced that TIM RUSS, the actor who played Security Chief Tuvok on Star Trek: Voyager, will be joining the cast as director of the Earth Space Agency for Project Discovery.
The new, ambitious fan film has an equally ambitious Kickstarter goal of $250,000. Right now, with 41 days left to go, the pledged total stands at just over $17,000…respectable, but there is a LONG way to go! If you can, please consider helping with a donation of your own. Remember that, if this Kickstarter campaign does not reach its goal, your credit card will not be charged.
As I said yesterday, folks, mark your calendars for January 31, 2017. Just as CBS gets ready to launch their new Star Trek TV series, the gavel will fall on the judge’s desk to cal to order CBS and Paramount’s lawsuit against Axanar Productions and Alec Peters. Unless there is a settlement or mediation in the next eight and a half months, the most important case ever for fan films (in many people’s opinions) will be litigated in front of a judge and possibly a jury.
Judge R. Gary Klausner ruled as follows:
Although the Court declines to address whether Plaintiffs’ Claims will prosper at this time, the Court does find Plaintiffs’ claims will live long enough to survive Defendants’ Motion to Dismiss. For the foregoing reasons, the Court DENIES Defendants’ Motion to Dismiss.
According to the Axanar website:
Winston & Strawn will now prepare our answer to the amended complaint, which is due in 14 days.
In the meantime, we continue our efforts to settle this matter with CBS and Paramount so we can move forward with telling the story of AXANAR in a way that satisfies both the studios and the over ten thousand fans who financially supported our project.
Mark your calendars! The judge in the lawsuit between Paramount/CBS and Axanar has now set a trial date of January 31, 2017. This is about three and a half months earlier than the litigating parties had mutually recommended to the court.
Judge R. Gary Klausner now has all of the paperwork submitted by the plaintiffs, the defense, and even an amicus brief filed by the Language Creation Society disputing the claim by the plaintiffs that the Klingon language can be copyrighted. It’s quite an attention-grabbing case!
The judge could rule in the coming weeks on any or all of several motions filed on behalf of Axanar, including the removal of Paramount as a plaintiff, dismissing the part of the lawsuit dealing with the Axanar movie (of which, only one 3-minute scene has actually been completed while the rest of the film remains in stalled pre-production), and even the possibility of dismissing the entire case.
Even if the case continues onward, a LOT can happen between now and next January, including a settlement between the two parties. If not, then we’ll see everyone in court in less than nine months.
Not all fan Trek Kickstarters are trying to raise tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars! For two British filmmakers with eight independent short films already under their belts, £1,700 (about $2,500) will do quite nicely, thank you.
Director Gary O’Brien and writer Paul Laight aren’t trying to make the next great Star Trek fan film epic. Instead, they have a simple, character-driven story requiring only five actors (who will be paid professionals, not yet cast) and the construction of a single partial shuttlepod set. The rest of the script will be filmed outdoors in a natural setting.
To help these folks out with a quid, a fiver, a tenner, or just a few good ol’ American bucks, visit the website below: