List of Fan Films (highest to lowest rated)

Articles and interviews spotlighting the fantastic world of fan films and the fascinating folks who make them.

Viewing log entries: BY RATING                 Click to View:   Newest First     or     Alphabetically

NOTE: In cases where there are multiple episodes of a fan series in one feature article, the highest-rated episode determines the placement on this list.

Exeter CoverSTARSHIP EXETER (feature), Part 1 – “The Savage Empire”
STARSHIP EXETER (feature), Part 2 – “The Tressaurian Intersection”

What a long, strange trip it’s been for Starship Exeter!

In December of 2002 when Starship Exeter released its first episode, “The Savage Empire,” it was a total game-changer.  Exeter rewrote the rules of what a Star Trek fan film could be and helped to usher in what many call the modern age of fan films.  Twelve years later, Starship Exeter released the final act of its second episode, “The Tressaurian Intersection,” considered by many to be one of the few MUST SEE Star Trek fan films out there.


Blog entry PART 1 posted: January 16, 2016

View #1: “The Savage Empire”
Rating: PRETTY GOOD  Rating 2a

View #2: “The Tressaurian Intersection”
Rating: MUST SEE +

STAR TREK CONTINUES (feature), Part 1Cover 1
STAR TREK CONTINUES (feature), Part 2
STAR TREK CONTINUES (feature), Part 3
STAR TREK CONTINUES (feature), Part 4
STAR TREK CONTINUES (feature), Part 5
STAR TREK CONTINUES (feature), Part 6

“If only…”

I always found it eerily appropriate that this two-word piece of dialog, spoken by Captain Kirk at the end of the final TOS episode “Turnabout Intruder” in 1969, was the last line uttered for the entire original Star Trek series run.

“If only…”

Kirk was referring to the tragic descent into hate-filled insanity of his former love, Dr. Janice Lester. But for me, these two words were so much more powerful: If onlyStar Trek hadn’t been canceled. If onlyStar Trek could have…



Blog entry PART 1 originally posted: April 15, 2016 (updated October 20, 2017)

View #1: “Pilgrim of Eternity”

View #2: “Lolani”
Rating: MUST SEE

View #3: “Fairest of Them All”
Rating: MUST SEE +

View #4: “The White Iris”

View #5: “Divided We Stand”
Rating: MUST SEE

View #6: “Come Not Between the Dragons”
Rating: MUST SEE +

View #7: “Embracing the Winds”
Rating: MUST SEE +

View#8: “Still Treads the Shadow”
Rating: MUST SEE

View#9: “What Ships Are For”
Rating: MUST SEE

View #10: “To Boldly Go, Part I”
Rating: MUST SEE +

View #11: “To Boldly Go, Part II”
Rating: MUST SEE +

View all Star Trek Continues episodes, vignettes, and videos here:

Zicree-Cover1STAR TREK: NEW VOYAGES – Ep. 03 “WORLD ENOUGH AND TIME” – Marc Zicree (interview), Part 1
Marc Zicree (interview), Part 2

Some fans believe that Axanar was the first fan film to use professionals or, at the very least, the first to pay them. Both of those assumptions are incorrect by nearly a decade.

The first fan film to feature a known Star Trek professional in their credits was the debut episode of Star Trek: New Voyages in early 2004, “Come What May,” which featured Doug Drexler as visual effects artist (under the pseudonym “Max Rem”) while Doug was also actively working doing the digital FX for Star Trek: Enterprise and also for the new Battlestar Galactica.


Blog entry PART 1 posted: July 8, 2016

View: “World Enough and Time”
Rating: MUST SEE +

ADVENTURES OF THE USS PARKVIEW – “The Bunny Incident” (audio interview)

Easter came early to STARBASE STUDIOS on a cold day in January.  That’s when Emmy-winning musician and Parkview Elementary School teacher KEVIN CROXTON brought 33 students from his Music Club to shoot a Star Trek fan film.

I consider this a MUST SEE Trek fan film not simply because the kids are adorable but because it really is a remarkably well-produced fan film!  It’s well-lit with lots of interesting camera angles, the sound levels are perfect, the music is great (the kids even get to sing!), there’s amazing make-up on Spock and the Klingons (plus really nice TOS Klingon uniforms), and all of the children do a spectacular job.


Blog entry posted: March  29, 2018

Rating: MUST SEE


The bar has just been raised for Star Trek fan films.  On May 2 of last year, Gary O’Brien and Paul Laight launched a Kickstarter to fund their latest short film.  Based in Oxfordshire in the United Kingdom, over the past eleven years Gary and Paul had collaborated on eight other short films.

At first, their script had nothing whatsoever to do with Star Trek.  It was, quite simply, a chance encounter between an older man and a younger woman.  Then Paul suggested adding in a science fiction element, and Gary (who would later be crowned the U.K.’s “Ultimate Trekker” and win a trip to Los Angeles to tour Paramount Studios) suggested that the idea might work well as a Star Trek story.


Blog entry posted: February 1, 2017

View: Chance Encounter
Rating: MUST SEE


AARON VANDERKLEY is a wonder from down under!  When some fans began complaining that the guidelines‘ limit of 15 minutes for a fan film wasn’t long enough to tell a compelling story, Aaron proved them wrong by doing it in less than HALF that time!

Aaron has just released his fourth fan film in two years, THE FALL OF STARBASE ONE, his longest and ambitious yet…and another MUST SEE.  After this, Aaron plans to do only one more “big finale”—likely sometime later this year.  As of now, the final script isn’t written or even titled.


Blog entry posted: June 24  2018

View: The Fall of Starbase One
Rating: MUST SEE


Back in early 2015, a group of young fan filmmakers out of Vancouver, Canada launched an Indiegogo campaign trying to raise $15,000 (Canadian) to complete their production. It would be a crossover fan film featuring the ships and characters from Star TrekStar WarsMass Effect, and Halo. They had already been working for nearly two years, starting out pretty slow with just a few artists, all of them new to the pipeline process of working together on an open, collaborative, community-driven movie project.

By 2015, they had managed to build a team of 20 digital artists, two sound designers, several actors (including Mark Meer from Mass Effect), one dedicated screenwriter, two social media coordinators, and many more. Along the way, they picked up sponsors that donated some pretty amazing free hardware, software, plus meeting and studio space. Having now developed an industry-grade pipeline process, they just needed $15,000 to finish this incredibly ambitious project.


Blog entry posted: January 4, 2019

View: Galactic Battles
Rating: MUST SEE

GHOST SHIP (audio interview)

The vast majority of the fan film community had no idea that GHOST SHIP was coming (including me)!  But just a few weeks ago, on Halloween, the newest full-length Star Trek fan production from JOSHUA IRWIN and VICTORIA FOX debuted on YouTube.

A “Star Trek meets The Walking Dead” mash-up, of sorts, the film combines spooky zombie horror tropes with comedic moments and fun characters to create a wonderfully enjoyable space adventure.  And it follows the guidelines completely, including dividing the fan film into two less-than-15-minute segments.  The cast is made up of trained actors along with a crew of experienced film producers.  The result looks great, sounds great, and is written, directed, and edited at a noticeably high level.


Blog entry posted: November 22, 2018

View: Ghost Ship, Segment 1
View: Ghost Ship, Segment 2
Rating: MUST SEE

GOOD MEN (interview)

Last October, I posted an interview with the fan film wonder from down under, Australia-based Trekker AARON VANDERKLEY.  When the fan film guidelines came out in 2016, many fans worried that it would be impossible to create a decent Star Trek fan film story in 15 minutes or less.  But Aaron had already disproven that six months earlier when he released the six-and-a-half minute NEEDS OF THE MANY, an emotionally intense NX-01 era fan film with great acting, real practical sets (not green screen), and wonderful costumes.

In September of 2017, Aaron wowed the fan film world again with yet another NX-01 era fan film, the twelve-minute THE DERELICT.  Even more intense than his first effort, Derelict cemented Aaron’s reputation as a top-notch Star Trek fan filmmaker.

But Arron wasn’t done yet!


Blog entry posted: February 12, 2018

View: Good Men
Rating: MUST SEE


Fan films like Star Trek: HorizonPrelude to AxanarStar Trek: RenegadesStar Trek Continues, and New Voyages have been viewed millions and millions of times on YouTube….and with good reason.  All are excellent productions of professional-level quality.

But those are the “big fish” in the fan film pond.  Two much smaller fish have swum underneath the sonar and haven’t been noticed by more than a couple of thousand viewers each…which is a shame because they are two of the best, highest quality Star Trek fan films you’re likely to see!

They didn’t have mega-budgets like some fan films, nor did they use big-name Hollywood actors or Trek veteran producers.  Both short films take place during the Enterprise NX-01 era and use real, practical sets instead of green screen.  The costumes look amazing, and the actors do a really spectacular job.  Add in subtle lightning, great make-up, excellent camera work, a strong script, solid directing, and even top-notch editing, and these two fan films can easily take their place among some of the best ones so far.


Blog entry PART 1 posted: October 6, 2017

View: Needs of the Many
Rating: MUST SEE

View: The Derelict
Rating: MUST SEE


THE RED SHIRT DIARIES ran from September 2014 through January 2016 and produced 30 hilarious short episodes plus an almost equal number of specials, sneak peaks, and light-hearted behind-the-scenes vignettes.  Much like potato chips, I guarantee you won’t be able to watch just one episode.

What makes this series fun, creative, and unique is the fact that Ensign Williams (played by the amazingly talented ASHLEY VICTORIA ROBINSON) is NOT directly involved in any of the missions that we TOS fans have seen a thousand times. And yet she is involved… in her own way.  A poor player strutting and fretting her hours behind the stage, Ensign Williams is stuck on Deck 7, commenting in her logs on what is going on.  And her insights and observations are hilarious… as are guest appearances by certain fellow crew members and other colorful and familiar faces like Trelane, Harry Mudd, and Balok.


Blog entry posted: October 16, 2018

View all episodes: The Red Shirt Diaries
Rating: MUST SEE

Cover 2STALLED TREK: AMUTT TIME (interview), part 1
STALLED TREK: AMUTT TIME (interview), part 2

Okay, now I’ve seen everything!

Star Trek MUPPETS???  Well, why not?

Truth to tell, when I first found this little gem—entirely by accident on YouTube—I wasn’t expecting much. It looked silly, and I didn’t really get what the title meant.  And then I watched it. Hilarious! Brilliant! A perfect parody of one of the most classic fan-favorite TOS Star Trek episodes: “Amok Time.”


Blog entry PART 1 posted: March 11, 2016

View: Stalled Trek: Amutt Time
Rating: MUST SEE

Prelude to Ax'd We Are bannerSTALLED TREK: PRELUDE TO AX’D WE ARE (feature)

How’s this for a first? A parody fan film of another fan film! And not just any fan film…it’s a parody of Prelude to Axanar!

Prelude to Ax’d-We-Are is a love letter to the amazing fan production that has become so popular… and it also doubles as a bit of light-hearted satire on this whole copyright infringement controversy. Oh, and it’s pretty darn funny, too!

So how did this Axanar parody come about? Who can we blame?


Blog entry posted: April 22, 2016

View: Stalled Trek: Prelude to Ax’d-We-Are
Rating: MUST SEE

Cover 3STARSHIP FARRAGUT, Part 1 (2004 to 2007)
STARSHIP FARRAGUT, Part 2 (2008 to 2010)
STARSHIP FARRAGUT, Part 3 (2011 to 2016)

“Damn the torpedoes, full speed ahead!”

Rear Admiral David G. Farragut issued that order in 1864 at the Battle of Mobile Bay during the American Civil War.  A century and a half later, a group of dedicated Star Trek fans has followed that order with enthusiasm to make a film series that bears his name.

Starship Farragut had its fair share of torpedoes to get past, but speed on it did.  And through a full decade of filming and production, Farragut has continued to grow, improve, and evolve into one of Star Trek fandom’s MUST-SEE fan-based series.  Along the way, Farragut boldly went where no fan film had gone before, blazing a successful trail for other fan series to follow.


Blog entry PART 1 posted: February 5, 2016

View #1: “The Captaincy”
Rating: PRETTY GOOD  Rating 2a

View #2: “For Want of a Nail”

View #3: “Just Passing Through”

View #4: “Rock and a Hard Place”

View #5: “Power Source”

View #6: “The Needs of the Many

View #7: “The Price of Anything”
Rating: MUST SEE

View #8: “Night Shift”
Rating #: PRETTY GOOD +

View #9: “Conspiracy of Innocence”

View #9: “The Crossing”

TEMPORAL ANOMALY (audio interview)

The time has finally come! After nearly six years, TEMPORAL ANOMALY has been released to astound and amaze Star Trek fans. Written, directed, and produced by SAMUEL COCKINGS—the King, Ace, and Jack of all trades involving CGI animation—back in 2013, Temporal Anomaly has traveled a long and challenging path on its way to completion. This included an e-mail directly from CBS saying, “You can’t release this fan film!”

Yep, for only the fourth time, CBS stepped in to put the kibosh on a Star Trek fan film project (the others being Axanar, Federation Rising from Tommy Kraft, and “He Walked Among Us” from Star Trek: New Voyages). Considering there are literally several hundreds of Trek fan films, the VAST majority never hear from CBS. But Samuel did…just weeks before releasing his half-decade labor of love.


Blog entry posted: January 31, 2019

View: Temporal Anomaly, Part 1
View: Temporal Anomaly, Part 2
Rating: MUST SEE

THE ROMULAN WAR: War Stories (feature )

War Stories: “Final Flight” (feature)

War stories, if done right, can be very compelling.  They test the characters, twist them into unrecognizable shapes, and spit them out…sometimes for the better but all-too-often for the worse.  How do we survive war?  How do we fight?  What decisions do we make that might have been unimaginable to us during peacetime?

There are just some of the questions that are asked in a fascinating new “enhanced” audio drama just released in the lead-up to the debut of The Romulan War fan film series.


Blog entry posted: August 15, 2018
Blog entry posted for “Final Flight” posted: December 20

View: “Sleep Is Hard to Find, Part 1”
View: “Sleep Is Hard to Find, Part 2”
View: “They Want Us Dead”
View: “Final Flight”

STAR TREK: DARK ARMADA, Part 1 (2005 to 2009)
STAR TREK: DARK ARMADA, Part 2 (2010 to 2016)

To quote Scotty, “I’ve always held a sneaking admiration for this one.”  Actually, my admiration for the efforts of Fan Trek Productions (out of the Netherlands) has never exactly been “sneaking.”  These “semi-professional” (their words) fan filmmakers have consistently turned out really impressive, self-funded episodes of their fan series.  And now, after ten years, that series, STAR TREK: DARK ARMADA, has released its final episode.

But that’s only the beginning!

I’ll explain that unusual comment in Part 2, but first, let’s take a look back at a decade of a truly remarkable fan series…


Blog entry PART 1 posted: January 13, 2017

View #1: “These Are the Voyages”
Rating: PRETTY GOOD  Rating 2a

View #2: “Worst Nightmare”

View #3: “Choices, part one”

View #4: “Choices, part two”

View #5: “Promotion”
Rating: PRETTY GOOD  Rating 2a

View #6: “It’s Dark… Get Over It”

View #7: “Nightfall”

View #8: “Almost Time”

View #9: “Out of Time”
Rating: MUST SEE


Back in 2013, LEO TIERNEY of the United Kingdom set out to make a Next Generation-era Star Trek fan film called STAR TREK: DECEPTION.  Most live action fan films set in that time frame either record away teams in outdoor locations or else use green screen composited actors in front of virtual backgrounds…since creating practical sets in the 24th century style is incredibly challenging.

Leo, however, was up to the challenge of building a TNG-era set!  He decided to design and construct an actual Starfleet runabout cockpit set in which to film his actors.  He just needed a little bit of money to do it.  How little?  Well, considering what even the cheapest fan films cost, £500 (about $635 back then) was an amazingly small amount for what Leo was planning.  Ultimately, after a month, his January 2013 Kickstarter took in a little over twice that amount: £1,174 (about $1,500).

Then it was time to get to work…and so he did!


Blog entry posted: January 19, 2018

View: Star Trek: Deception
Rating: MUST SEE


The first Deception Shortly after the debut of he first Star Trek: Deception back in mid-2013, writer/director LEO TIERNEY began discussing the production of a sequel.  However, the idea mostly languished until Leo briefly brought it up again on Facebook in 2015.  But even then, nothing much happened for nearly another year.

Leo began working in earnest on Deception II in 2016, and once again set out to construct actual physical (practical) sets—this time for both an Excelsior-class bridge and also for the bridge of a Klingon bird-of-prey.  And he constructed both…in a tiny garage!


Blog entry posted: October 16, 2018

View: Star Trek: Deception II
Rating: MUST SEE

STAR TREK: HORIZON (interview), part 1Cover 1
STAR TREK: HORIZON (interview), part 2

Man, are you guys ever in for a treat! The full-length Star Trek: Horizon has just been released to the general public, and it is a cinematic triumph of Trek fan films.

Show-runner Tommy Kraft gave me a special link to view the movie early. I’d watched barely the first 15 minutes when I shot him a Facebook IM saying simply “F—king WOW!”

Horizon (no ‘s’ at the end, folks!) starts out with a bang—several, in fact—and immediately lets the viewers know that they’re in for a wild and high-quality fan film ride.


Blog entry PART 1 posted: February 26, 2016

View: Star Trek: Horizon
Rating: MUST SEE

Mind-Sifter CoverSTAR TREK: NEW VOYAGES – Ep. 09 “MIND-SIFTER” – Fulling a 30-Year Promise to the “Grandmother of Trek.”

If you’re a true Star Trek fan, you should watch “Mind-Sifter,” the ninth episode released from Star Trek: New Voyages.

You shouldn’t watch “Mind-Sifter” simply because it’s a well-constructed, well-acted, and well-produced story.  And you shouldn’t watch it simply because it feels like good Star Trek.

No, you should watch it to honor the memory of an amazing woman who almost single-handedly helped to define, grow, and nurture Star Trek fandom while it was still in its infancy.  I dare say that we all wouldn’t be here today celebrating Star Trek as passionately as we do if it weren’t for Shirley S. Maiewski, also known as “Grandma Trek.”


Blog entry posted: January 12, 2016

View: “Mind-Sifter”
Rating: MUST SEERating 4a

STAR TREK: RENEGADES, Part 1 (feature)
STAR TREK: RENEGADES, Part 2 (feature)
STAR TREK: RENEGADES, Part 3 (feature)
STAR TREK: RENEGADES, Part 4 (feature)
RENEGADES: The Series, Part 5 (feature)

Before there was Renegades: The Series, there was STAR TREK: RENEGADES, one of the largest, most ambitious fan film projects ever attempted.  Nearly four hundred thousand dollars in crowd-funding, multiple Star Trek veteran actors reprising their roles from the various TV series, paid industry professionals on both sides of the camera, two years in the making, enthusiastic plans to present this to CBS as a potential pilot for a new Star Trek TV series, and even a gala Los Angeles red carpet premiere at the historic Crest Theater in Westwood.

Looked at through the hindsight lens of the constraining limitations of the post-guidelines reality we now live in, it’s hard to imagine that something like STAR TREK: RENEGADES could even have been attempted, let alone successfully completed and released with such fanfare.  How on earth (or in space) did they manage it?


Blog entry PART 1 posted: July 14, 2017

View: Star Trek: Renegades
Rating: MUST SEE

View: Renegades: The Series – “The Requiem, Part 1”
Rating: MUST SEE


It’s amazing how much movie trailers have changed in the last few decades!

Three months ago, I shared a link to a fan video from 2016 that featured a modern take on the trailer for STAR TREK II: THE WRATH OF KHAN.  The updated trailer was created by  JONATHAN WORMAN, a talented video editor based in Toronto, Canada who has worked on commercials, music videos, shorts, and documentaries over the past eight years.  Posting under the name “Orange Band,” Jonathan’s Wrath of Khan trailer has already garnered more than 100,000 views on YouTube.

Then, last month, Jonathan Worman did it again!  This time, he tackled STAR TREK: THE MOTION PICTURE.  And…wow!  Considering how relatively slow the pacing was for the first Trek feature film (I still think it’s a good movie…just slow), this new and updated trailer makes the film look like a real thrill ride!


Blog entry posted: December 22, 2017

View: Star Trek: The Motion Picture – Modern Trailer
Rating: MUST SEE


Most fan films feature fan-written scripts with fan actors, fan-generated visual and sound effects, etc…some with small budgets and others with big budgets.  But as far as I’m concerned, fan films don’t stop there!

Sometimes fans can show their innovation and cleverness by taking existing Star Trek footage from the five decades of countless episodes and 13 feature films, editing and manipulating it in new and creative ways.

One of the best examples I’ve seen of this recently is a fan-edited version of the trailer for Star Trek II: The Wrath of KhanJONATHAN WORMAN is a talented video editor based in Toronto, Canada who has worked on commercials, music videos, shorts, and documentaries over the past eight years.  Last summer, he released a brilliant “modern” version of a trailer for this beloved fan favorite feature film.


Blog entry posted: September 8, 2017

View: Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan – Modern Trailer
Rating: MUST SEE

cover-2STONE TREK (interview)

When it comes to fan films, Star Trek is no stranger to mash-ups.  Fans have taken Star Trek into the Star Wars universe and vice versa. Kirk and Spock have met the 1960s TV Batman and Robin.  Heck, the Enterprise has even picked up Dorothy from The Wizard of Oz!  (I’ve already done a feature on Star Trek vs. Batman.  The others are coming.)

But by far (at least in my opinion) the most inspired, creative, and well-executed of all the Star Trek fan film mash-ups is Stone Trek, a series of nine cartoon shorts created by Brian Mathews and released online using Adobe’s Flash software between 2000 and 2007.

Stone Trek is NOT some silly crossover where the USS Enterprise travels back in time to Bedrock and Fred Flintstone beams up to meet Captain Kirk. Instead, it’s a complete hybrid of the two shows, an entirely new entity combining recognizable elements of both but ultimately emerging as something totally unique and original.


Blog entry posted: October 2, 2016

View all episodes from this playlist:
Rating: MUST SEE

BOLDLY GO! – Where No Musical Has Gone Before (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.)


Blog entry posted: May 26, 2017

View: To Boldly Go!

Potemkin - Cover 1PROJECT POTEMKIN (interview), Part 1
PROJECT POTEMKIN (interview), Part 2

Without a doubt, we live in a veritable renaissance of Star Trek fan films… one after the other they come, dazzling us with intricate and expansive sets, elaborate green screen backgrounds, meticulously crafted costumes, breathtaking special effects, professional level make-up and lighting, and rich music and sound effects.  Production teams in the hundreds often include veteran Star Trek actors and professional screenwriters who have worked in Hollywood.  Heck, some of these fan films are even being shot in Los Angeles with crowd-sourced budgets well into the hundreds of thousands of dollars.

But what if your budget is missing four or five zeros at the end?  What if you’ve got virtually nothing to spend on your fan film?  With all the blazing supernovae of independent Star Trek cinematic achievements out there, is it even worth it to make just a simple “fan film” anymore?


Blog entry PART 1 posted: January 26, 2016

View episodes from here:
Ratings vary by episode from:

STAR TREK: AURORA (feature)Aurora-cover

In today’s world of cutting-edge Star Trek fan films, teams of dozens—sometimes hundreds!—work to make these ambitious cinematic endeavors come to life on YouTube, Vimeo, or even a DVD or Blu-ray.

So it’s definitely worth taking notice when a top-tier Trek fan film is produced by only ONE man.  Well, I should qualify that.  His first episode cast was comprised of 17 people (including the creator himself and his wife Jeannette), the original music was composed by John Catney, and a number of CGI 3D meshes and textures were created by other artists.  But everything else – the writing, directing, producing, sets, make-up, wardrobe, lighting, sound, camera angles, editing, and 3D animation – that was all in the hands of one guy: Tim Vining.

And he never even had to get out of his chair!


Blog entry posted: February 16, 2016

View #1: Episode 1 of STAR TREK: AURORA

View #2: Episode 2 – “Mudd in Your I”


Before there was Renegades: the Series or Star Trek: Renegades, there was Star Trek: Of Gods and Men.  And if you are a student of fan film history (or you want to be), this article is required reading.

You see, Star Trek: Of Gods and Men marked a turning point for fan films…several turning points, in fact.  It was the first time a major fan film used the resources of another major fan film for shooting.  It was the first time multiple Star Trek acting veterans all appeared together in the same fan production reprising their iconic characters.  And it was the first time a major fan film had done a stand-alone feature-length film.  (Other fan series had done hour-plus length episodes, but these were all for ongoing fan series.  Star Trek: Of Gods and Men was a one-shot story with a movie run-time of nearly 90 minutes.)

A look at this groundbreaking fan production from 2008 actually allows us to look at its fascinating place in the grander history of all Star Trek fan films…


Blog entry posted: August 14, 2016

View: Star Trek: Of Gods and Men

STAR TREK: DISCOVERY Opening Title Sequences by Fans

Like STAR TREK: DISCOVERY itself, people seem to either love or hate the opening title sequence for Star Trek: Discovery…just as they did for the “Faith of the Heart” opening for Star Trek: Enterprise.  But Enterprise was canceled before YouTube existed (or rather, just as it was being launched).  Now, however, fans feel quite comfortable making and posting their own new versions of the opening title sequence, and there are currently dozens of videos out there!

After reviewing all the ones I could find, I selected my TOP TWELVE.  Yeah, I know it’s supposed to be TOP TEN, but I just couldn’t eliminate the final two.  They were just so good!

I’ve assembled those twelve fan-made videos here in one blog—ranked in order so that my favorite is last.  Which one is YOUR favorite?


Blog entry posted: March 22, 2018

View all twelve sequences: On the blog page


Back in April of 2015, a new Star Trek fan series called DREADNOUGHT DOMINION premiered with its initial episode, “Haunted.”  Three months later, a second episode, titled “Anchors Aweigh” (a bit of a prequel to the first episode), made its debut.  It wasn’t the only TOS-era fan series to feature the crew of a non-heavy cruiser class starship, but it was the first and only one to feature the crew of a Starfleet dreadnought-class starship based on the mid-1970s Franz Joseph Star Trek Technical Manual.


Blog entry feature posted: November 11, 2016
Blog entry interview posted: July 29, 2018

View: “Haunted”

View: “Anchors Aweigh”

View: “Chain of Command”

View: “Reality Check”

View: “Silent Acknowledgement”

The MINARD Saga (feature and interview)

In an interview with fan film maker VANCE MAJOR, I called him the “Where’s Waldo of Star Trek fan films.”  The interview included a list of over a dozen different Trek fan films that Vance had written, directed, produced, appeared in, and/or worked on.

But now, after releasing ANOTHER seven (yes, SEVEN!) Trek fan films—one per day!—in just seven days, I think I need to rechristen Vance the “Oompa Loompa of Star Trek fan films”…perhaps even Willy Wonka himself!

Prior to these most recent seven fan film releases, Vance’s previous production was the emotionally charged Minard.  The fan film followed the career of the chief engineer character whom Vance first portrayed in the extended edition of STARSHIP VALIANT‘s initial episode “Legacy” back in 2014.  The 7-minute Minard was meant to be one of many non-linear pieces of a “tapestry” of fan productions and short vignettes focusing on this character.


Blog entry posted: September 22, 2017

View all episodes:

Ratings vary by episode from:


STAR TREK STUNT DOUBLES (audio interview)

How many people does it take to make a Star Trek fan film?  Five?  Ten?  Fifty?  A few have listed over a hundred cast and crew members in their credits.

But what if there’s just ONE guy?  One guy doing all the camera work, costuming, make-up, writing, direction, lighting, sound, editing, compositing, visual FX…and even playing all of the roles?

Meet MrBonk85 (that’s his YouTube handle) and his STAR TREK STUNT DOUBLES fan series.  I first discovered this fellow a few months ago when he released his version of the TOS episode “Spectre of the Gun” (see below).  It compressed the classic episode down to just 5 minutes, a mix of recreations of scenes using original dialog with unexpected flourishes of humor.  And this one fan was was playing all of the roles himself!  It was very surreal.


Blog entry posted: May 11, 2018

View all episodes: Youtube Playlist

Ratings vary by episode from:

Cover 1STAR TREK: HIDDEN FRONTIER (feature), part 1
STAR TREK: HIDDEN FRONTIER (interview), part 2

From its humble beginnings as just a fun activity for the STARFLEET fan club chapter USS Angeles, Hidden Frontier turned into a fan film production dynamo for more than a decade, going on to produce 50 episodes over seven seasons plus five spin-off series and even cross-overs with other fan series.  Hidden Frontier broke new ground in using green-screen compositing, generating home-made 3D visual effects, recasting established characters from Star Trek canon, and even featuring the first gay Starfleet officers in a fan film series.


Blog entry PART 1 posted: April 1, 2016

Ratings vary by episode, but in general:
Seasons 1 and 2 – DECENT EFFORT Rating 1a Season 3 – PRETTY GOODSeasons 4 thru 7 –HIGHLY RECOMMENDED

View the 7 seasons of Star Trek: Hidden Frontier here:

STAR TREK: SURVIVOR and SURVIVORS (audio interview)

How many people does it take to make a Star Trek fan film?

Think about the actors, writer(s), director, camera people, sound people, lighting people, costumers, make-up, props people, set designers and builders, special effects, visual FX, music composers, editor…and don’t forget all the production assistants and even the folks who bring the snacks, do the catering, or just run our for pizza.

For the “big” productions, like Star Trek Continues or Axanar, the number can be 50 or even 100 people!  For some of the smaller productions, maybe one or two dozen.

But for a little fan film released in 2010, the answer was just…FOUR.  Titled STAR TREK: SURVIVOR, the 10-minute production featured just four names in the credits, including one name who was the writer / director / producer / star / director of photography / camera operator / editor / music composer / special effects / miniatures / make-up / visual effects / and additional voices guy: MATTHEW BLACKBURN.

Seven years went by, and Star Trek: Survivor seemed content to hold its place in fan film history as a simple one-off project.  I’d written a blog about it early on for my FAN FILM FRIDAY feature on the Axanar website, and I was planning on bringing it over here to FAN FILM FACTOR eventually.  But before I could, Matthew Blackburn surprised me with a SEQUEL!!!


Blog entry posted: June 30, 2017

View: Star Trek: Survivor

View: Survivors – A Star Trek Fan FIlm

Digital Ghost-coverDIGITAL GHOST (feature)

It was the dawn of the Modern Age of Fan Films…

Although fan films date back to the early days of the original Star Trek series, it wasn’t until the mid-1990s that fans were finally able to create something with off-the-shelf consumer products that looked like more than just a crappy home movie.  By the late 90s, fans could record and edit footage using digital cameras, do their own 3D effects and Chroma-keying, and even add music through the use of MIDI.  Many fans were also getting quite good at costuming.  Suddenly, the only limits facing fans who wanted to make their own filmed versions of their favorite genre franchises were their imaginations, creativity, and skills with these new technologies.


Blog entry posted: February 21, 2016

View: Digital Ghost


Last November, the fan series DREADNOUGHT DOMINION returned from a 16-month hiatus with a new episode that crossed over with sister fan series STARSHIP VALIANT…an episode entitled “Chain of Command.”  You can read more about that endeavor here in this Fan Film Factor blog.

Written by Vance Major, Gary Davis, and David R. Wrenn, and directed by Vance and Gary, the scenes for “Chain of Command” were filmed separately in the states of Ohio, North Carolina, and Oklahoma (the former location of Starbase Studios) and then edited together into a 7-minute fan film.  It focused on the new CO of the USS Dominion trying to find a first officer.

It’s rare to see the full (or nearly full) casts of two different fan series cross over into a single fan film.  What’s even rarer is to see them cross over TWICE!


Blog entry posted: August 14, 2017

View: Command and Conquer


At the beginning of Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan, Admiral Kirk quips, “Galloping around the cosmos is a game for the young…”  If he only knew!

The captains just keep getting younger as 8-year-old ARIANNA ANDREWS takes the center seat in ARIANNA’S ENTERPRISE…an impressive 6-minute fan film.

As a dad myself, I smiled the whole time as I watched this adorable little girl put in a top-notch acting performance along with her father (a professional actor and writer) and her mom.  I reached out to Arianna’s daddy, CHRISTOPHER ANDREWS, with enthusiastic praise and some questions for him and his daughter.


Blog entry posted: July 26  2018

View: Arianna’s Enterprise

THE FEDERATION FILES: “Galaxy Hopper” (interview)

THE FEDERATION FILES is an anthology Star Trek fan series from show-runners GLEN L. WOLFE and DAN REYNOLDS, both currently based in Arkansas. In fact, Glen is 50% owner of what remains of the TOS sets formerly known as STARBASE STUDIOS. But more recently, Glen and Dan constructed a new TOS bridge set for use in their fan films.

With the release of their latest Federation Files episode, the Star Trek/Star Wars crossover “Galaxy Hopper,” Glen and Dan come together once again for a very exciting and good-looking fan effort on board the USS Lexington. What stands out this time—in addition to a really awesome astromech droid!—is a brand new TOS bridge set constructed specially for this production…along with the director: KELLY REYNOLDS.


Blog entry posted: January 3, 2019

View: “Galaxy Hopper”

THE FEDERATION FILES “Walking Bear, Running Wolf” (interview)

Last year, show-runner GLEN L. WOLFE released “His Name Is Mudd,” the first fan film in a new anthology series called THE FEDERATION FILES.  Now Glen and his producer DAN REYNOLDS have released the second production in the anthology series, “Walking Bear, Running Wolf.”

Glen has actually worked in myriad capacities on more than a dozen different fan films (take a look at his IMdB page for a complete list) from actor to producer to set decorator, cameraman, even electrical operator.  But The Federation Files was Glen’s first chance to really take charge, writing and directing both episodes of the new anthology series.


Blog entry posted: September 8, 2017

View: “Walking Bear, Running Wolf”

STAR TREK VS. BATMAN (feature)Cover

Holy campy cosmic crossovers!

Is it true that the Caped Crusader cunningly confronted a cranially-controlled Captain Kirk and Mr. Spock??? Did the Dynamic Duo actually encounter an Enterprise ensnared by a capricious collaboration of the Clown Prince of Crime and the captivating Catwoman??? Hold onto your phasers and buckle your utility belts, because Batman and the Boy Wonder are about to go where no Gotham superhero has gone before…


Blog entry posted: March 26, 2016

View: Star Trek vs. Batman

coverStar Trek / Star Wars – A TALE OF TWO GALAXIES (feature)

As you know from reading my many blogs, there’s a heck of a LOT of Star Trek fan films out there!  And thanks to the annual Lucasfilm Star Wars Fan Film Awards (which have been going on since 2002), there’s at least as many (if not more!) Star Wars fan films out there!

But surprisingly, there’s almost no crossover Star Trek/Star Wars fan films on the Internet. And it’s not as though the idea of crossing the franchise streams is completely alien. Fans have edited together scenes from both franchises to create clever mash-ups where the USS Enterprise battles a Star Destroyer or Captain Picard confronts Darth Vader over the view screen. But try to find a film where fans themselves portray the characters of both realities at the same time, and you’ll be looking for a long while.

Fortunately, you don’t have to look…I found one for you!


Blog entry posted: December 15, 2016

View: A Tale of Two Galaxies

CERBASI TREK – The Search for Nicolas (interview)

The Cerbasi family lives in the town of Reading in the United Kingdom.  “Captain Daddy” WAYNE CERBASI has two sons, PETER (almost 12-years-old) and NICHOLAS (9-years-old).  And a few months ago, they made a 16-minute Star Trek fan film.

Most machinima-based Trek fan films use only the video game renderings for all of their scenes.  What makes Cerbasi Trek unique, however, is that this is the first time (that I’m aware of, and I’ve looked hard) that a Trek fan filmmaker has utilized green screen compositing alongside machinima to incorporate real people INTO the computer-generated scenes.  Wayne and his two sons appear with the CGI characters on the virtual bridges, and the result is a really fun-looking adventure…


Blog entry posted: April 27, 2018

View: CERBASI TREK – The Search for Nicolas
Rating: PRETTY GOODRating 2a

THE FEDERATION FILES “Extraction” (feature)

Just before the start of the new year, the anthology series THE FEDERATION FILES released its third full episode: “Extraction.”  Produced by GLEN L. WOLFE and DAN REYNOLDS, this episode was written by Glen and features Dan as the captain of the USS Nikita, a dreadnought-class starship.  Glen also appears briefly as a shuttlecraft pilot.

But the cast is much more extensive than that.  The 12-minute fan film features Romulans, a Starfleet bridge crew, shuttlecraft pilots, and a team of TOS-era MACOs.  The episode also features a Starfleet shuttlecraft interior set that took about four weeks to build.


Blog entry posted: January 4, 2018

View: “Extraction”
Rating: PRETTY GOOD  Rating 2a

THE FEDERATION FILES “His Name Is Mudd” (feature)

If 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.


Blog entry posted: October 21, 2016

View: “His Name Is Mudd”
Rating: PRETTY GOOD Rating 2a

MELBOUNE “Storm Front, Part 1” (interview)
MELBOURNE “Storm Front, Part 2” (feature)

At the end of March, a new Star Trek fan production titled MELBOURNE (just that, no “Starship” in front of the name) posted its debut fan film: “Storm Front, Part 1.”  One of several fan series shot on the sets of STARBASE STUDIOS (while they were still in their previous Oklahoma City location), Melbourne initially released two ultra-short vignettes, “Pen Pals” and “Pen Pals 2”.)  But fans were really waiting for their first full episode to see what this new fan production would be all about.

Most successful Star Trek fan projects have a driving force behind the production, and in the case of Melbourne, that driving force is show-runner/producer/writer VANCE MAJOR OWEN (his friends call him “Vman”), who lives in Kansas with his wife of 17 years and his newborn son, Royce.  I recently had the pleasure of sitting down with Vance for a very friendly interview.  In fact, “friendly” is one of the best adjectives I could use to describe this warm and humble film producer from the Sunflower State.


Blog entry for “Storm Front, Part 1” posted: April 21, 2017
Blog entry for “Storm Front, Part 2” posted: July 30, 2018

View: Melbourne – “Storm Front, Part 1
Rating: PRETTY GOOD  Rating 2aView: Melbourne – “Storm Front, Part 2
Rating: PRETTY GOOD  Rating 2a

QUICK TREK (interview)

DAVID WHITNEY is an avowed Voyager fan and has already made a name for himself and his STARFLEET STUDIOS production company with a series of Voyager Continues fan films including the half-hour long RAVEN from 2016 and the short fan film DERELICT.

With plans in motion for more Voyager and Raven productions, David has also busied himself with a new and unique series of five “QUICK TREKS” (not to be confused with Short Treks, since David’s fan films came first), each running between two and four minutes.  The first Quick Trek debuted last November and focused on Captain Janeway’s quest to order a simple cup of coffee while being “thwarted” at every turn by a friendly and helpful barista.


Blog entry posted: October 12, 2018

View all: Quick Trek
Ratings vary by episode from:


RICHARD WELLS: I was initially explaining the idea of using the sets for educational productions to my cousin, who is a teacher, and she said she would talk to some friends about it.  A few months later, out of the blue, she called and said, “We have the first script ready!”  And I suddenly realized: “Okay, so I’m producing a fan film.”  I hadn’t really thought about doing my own film before that phone call.

The local teachers who wrote the lesson plan scripts – each is a short story teaching some aspect of science in an engaging way – plan to incorporate our show into the classroom with their students.  Hopefully, it will inspire them to go further along with their science interests.


Blog entry posted: May 9, 2016

View: “Planet L-197”
Rating: PRETTY GOOD  Rating 2a


Now, this is intriguing!  If you look about half-way down the fan film guidelines to the second-to-last point under #6, you find the following:

No unlicensed Star Trek-related or fan production-related merchandise or services can be offered for sale or given away as premiums, perks or rewards or in connection with the fan production fundraising.

That seems pretty straightforward.  If you want to give away any perks, they have to be licensed Star Trek merchandise.  You can’t give any patches or T-shirts or signed scripts or posters or anything related to your fan production in exchange for donations…at least if you want to make sure you aren’t sued or sent a cease and desist letter by CBS and Paramount.

So how was it that STARSHIP REPUBLIC, the newest fan film to launch a crowd-funding campaign (and the first to do so since the Axanar settlement), was offering a whole set of perks?  Sure, most perks were digital, but there were also physical posters in the mix (like the two images shown above).

Well, it turns out that they simply asked CBS for permission–and they got it!  Well, kinda…


Blog entry posted: February 24, 2017

View: “Serpent of Yesterday, Part 1
Rating: PRETTY GOOD  Rating 2a


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.


Blog entry posted: August 21, 2017

View episodes from here:

Ratings vary by episode from:
DECENT EFFORT Rating 1a to PRETTY GOOD  Rating 2a


A couple of months ago, VANCE MAJOR announced that he would be returning to fan films with a new series titled CONSTAR CHRONICLES, about the heavy cruiser class starship that Erick Minard commanded in the later part of his long career.  The debut episode of that new series just premiered a few weeks ago as a 5-minute crossover with Dreadnought Dominion featuring Vance’s friend GARY DAVIS playing Captain Jason Brousseau.  It’s a fun little vignette, and I must say that it’s about time!  You’ll get that joke after you watch it.


Blog entry posted: August 23, 2018

View: Time’s Echo
Rating: PRETTY GOOD  Rating 2a

VOYAGER CONTINUES – “Derelict” (feature)

In the genre of Star Trek fan films, the universe (quadrant?) of the series Voyager is a rare setting.  But one stalwart fan believes that the indomitable Intrepid-class starship, lost for seven years in the Delta Quadrant, is the perfect subject matter for a Trek fan production.

I interviewed David Whitney of STARFLEET STUDIOS as he was completing post-production on his first VOYAGER CONTINUES project: STAR TREK: RAVEN, which debuted last October as a 32-minute fan film.  That film concentrated on events in the Alpha Quadrant during the time that Voyager was missing but ended with a scene on Voyager itself.

Now, half a year later, David just released his second effort, a 9-minute short film titled “Derelict.”  This one focuses on two members of the crew—Harry Kim and Seven-of-Nine—on board a, you guessed it, derelict spacecraft. And while Raven used mostly green screen sequences where actors were composited against virtual backgrounds created in CGI, “Derelict” uses practical (physical) sets with consoles that had originally been created for and used by the television series Stargate Atlantis!


Blog entry posted: April 4, 2017

View: Voyager Continues: “Derelict
Rating: PRETTY GOOD  Rating 2a

VOYAGER CONTINUES -“Star Trek Raven” (interview)

If the release of the new guidelines by CBS and Paramount was the shot heard round the fan film world, then the subsequent response by the show-runner of Star Trek Raven was the first hint of return fire.

Or was it?

A week after CBS and Paramount published their guidelines for Star Trek fan films, an announcement went up on the news page for Star Trek Raven, a little-known fan series based in central Iowa filmed at Starfleet Studios (not to be confused with Starbase Studios in Oklahoma). The production had only released three short vignettes so far (this, this, and this), but Raven was about to become one of the most talked about fan films.

On July 1, the lead producer for Raven, David Whitney, posted this proactive statement:

The rules which pertain to direct copyright infringement and intellectual property will be adhered to. The rules which do not directly support their copyright, and copyright law, will be ignored.

 Wow! Them’s fightin’ words!!


Blog entry posted: July 17, 2016

View: “Star Trek Raven
Rating: PRETTY GOODRating 2a

Fan Film Friday #1 - Cover ImageThe VERY FIRST major Star Trek Fan Film: PARAGON’S PARAGON (1974)!  By today’s standards of green screen, digital effects, professional actors, and the resources of crowd funding, Paragon’s Paragon looks pretty weak in comparison. And of course, the acting was probably not all that great, as these were just a group of Trek fans in Michigan and not classically trained thespians. But looked at through the lens of 1974, John Cosentino was a visionary who was able to accomplish an amazing feat. Today’s fan film show-runners walk in footprints that John made over four decades ago.


Blog entry posted: January 10, 2016

View portions of “Paragon’s Paragon”
Rating: DECENT EFFORT +  Rating 1b