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.
Thanks to a 3D model created by Kenneth Thomson, Jr. and Thomas Phong, the beauty shots of the tri-nacelled USS Dominion in the opening credits and during the episodes were gorgeous. The two episodes were filmed primarily on the very impressive TOS sets in Starship Farragut’s Studio Two in Kingsland, GA (also the shooting location of Star Trek Continues).
A year earlier, another fan series, Starship Valiant, made its debut on YouTube with an introduction vignette titled “Legacy.” Valiant was filmed using the TOS bridge set at Starbase Studios in Oklahoma City. (The following year, a “special edition” version of “Legacy” with added footage was posted after Starbase Studios built a new sickbay set.) Valiant has since completed principal filming on its second episode “The Ties That Bind,” although post production is still ongoing and the second episode hasn’t been released yet.
So what do these two fan series–filmed in different locations in different states during different years–have in common? A man named Vance…
So you’re probably saying, “Hey, I thought PROJECT: POTEMKIN already released its final episode back in late September!” Well, yes…and no.
The long-running fan series which has produced three dozen original episodes since 2011 and spawned four different spin-off series, did, in fact, release its series finale back on September 20. But there was still one more episode shot and in post-production waiting to be shared with fans. And it was always intended to be an epilogue showing, at least for some of the Potemkin crew, the aftermath of the events of the previous finale episode.
“Room Service” was written by Christin Woods, who also plays the Vulcan Lt. T’Noshi, and filmed on location at the 2015 Treklanta con with a great deal of whimsy. My ol’ buddy Eric L. Watts wears his iconic Klingon Korgoth persona to perfection, and goodness knows the green dye sellers in the metro-Atlanta area were counting their profits that weekend. You can tell by the still image I’ve included above that this might not be your typical fan film, but don’t worry…it stops far short of an NC-17 rating. And it’s pretty fun.
And so, with this tongue-in-cheek 7-minute episode, we bid a fond and final farewell to a unique and heart-felt fan series, made with love, dedication, almost no budget…and all for a spoonful of borsch. You can read more about Project: Potemkin in this great 2-part interview with show-runner Randy Landers. And you can watch “Room Service” below…
Fans have been waiting for PACIFIC 201with an eagerness and anticipation that has only been matched a few times in fan film history. Renegades, Horizon, and Axanar (to name a small few) were also sensations long before they had very much to actually show on YouTube. And when they finally released full trailers, well, fans went wild.
Now it’s Pacific 201‘s turn to dazzle and excite!
For the last year or so, fans have been teased with a glimpse of what Pacific 201 will be. The year is 2200, forty years after the Romulan War, and Earth is still hesitant to trust the galaxy. The desire to explore space faded during the first few years of the NX program, helped along by the Xindi and Romulans, and was replaced with fear and trepidation about seeking out new life and new civilizations. But now Earth is just beginning to shake off its post-traumatic paranoia, and the starship Pacific NCC-201 is the first vessel in decades to head out with scientists aboard alongside Starfleet military. Can humanity conquer its fears and truly embrace its destiny among the stars?
Pacific 201 raised $26,000 during a Kickstarter back in 2015. And then it raised another $26,000 in an Indiegogo campaign from early this past summer. That campaign had a goal of only $20,000, and having topped the goal, it is still active as an “in demand” status…meaning Pacific 201 can continue to collect donations.
This fan production was originally set to film in a warehouse facility being donated to them for free. But sadly, that offer is no longer available. They’ve acquired use of a new facility, but it will now cost them to film there. So Pacific 201 is endeavoring to raise additional funds through their Indiegogo page. Trust me, you’re gonna want to go there and make a donation after you watch their new teaser video below…
CHANCE ENCOUNTER, a short Star Trek fan film out of the United Kingdom, is filming one final scene today (Saturday). Most of their shooting wrapped back in August, but as post-production progressed and the final film began to take shape, the producers felt that one more scene was needed…along with hiring a new actor to play the role of Captain Janssen.
Director Gary O’Brien has been releasing regular, brief production update videos. The previous one discussed this added scene:
…and the most recent update shows the really cool (and surprisingly simple!) turbolift set:
You can also check out their trailer…this looks like a good one, folks:
Okay, I just couldn’t wait anymore! I had to know…was a settlement reached in the Axanar copyright infringement lawsuit????
If you read my previous blog on the subject, you know that the two sides–CBS/Paramount and Alec Peters/Axanar Productions–were ordered by judge R. Gary Klausner to sit down for one last-ditch attempt to work out a settlement before going to trial. Magistrate Judge Charles Eick was assigned to facilitate the discussions. There is a court-mandated gag order on all discussions of the content of the settlement talks, and so all we got from Alec Peters on Monday evening was this:
We did not reach a settlement, but we are close. We will know by week’s end, as the attorneys have a call with Judge Eick Friday.
Everyone needs to manage their expectations. A settlement means neither side gets exactly what they want.
That sounded promising–or so I thought. But as Friday (today) wore on and Alec wasn’t answering my texts of “So…any news yet?” I was getting antsier and antsier. Their Monday meeting had lasted past 9:00p.m., so I tried to be patient and not bother Alec over and over again. I failed.
In past years, crowd-funding campaigns for fan films have helped to cover the cost of set construction, 3D visual effects and post-production, studio build-outs, and any number of costs associated with filming.
But now your much-needed donations can help pay for…
A TRUCK! (Oh, and movers.)
Actually, this is pretty serious, and it could effect multiple fan films! So get ready to take out that credit card or Paypal login, ’cause you’re really gonna want to help on this one, folks!
Hot on the heels of the release of the debut episode of The Federation Files, “His Name Is Mudd,” STARFLEET STUDIOS has released the first episode of STAR TREK RAVEN “Voyager Continues.” Coming in at a run-time of just over 30-minutes, Raven‘s first episode runs afoul of two of the fan film guidelines: it is longer that 15 minutes (or 30 minutes if released in two parts), and it has the words “Star Trek” in the title. However, show-runner David Whitney commented in a 2-part interview on FAN FILM FACTOR:
When it comes to the time limit, though, I’m going to have to say, “Yes, I’m ignoring that for Star Trek Raven because I think we got in under the wire. But moving forward, I’m gonna do my best to conform to the guidelines to make sure CBS doesn’t bug me…
The episode features quality compositing of well-lit actors in front of green screens with high-end 3D backgrounds and lots of music that’s very non-traditional for Star Trek…so Raven has a very refreshing and well-produced feel. The episode ends on a bit of an open-ended cliffhanger, and so there’s room for another episode…if David Whitney wants to make it.
In the meantime, David and Starfleet Studios are already moving ahead with plans for a third original production titled (for right now) The TNG Project. With the latest two Starfleet Studios releases still “hot” and spreading virally though the fan film world, David has launched a brand new Kickstarter with a goal of $11,000. The new fan film has cast an amazing Data look-a-like, and the production will feature a cutting-edge 3D compositing technique that will let live actors move through a virtual starship “set” that will pivot, pan, and zoom to match the actors’ movements.
Just imagine: going to FAN FILM FACTOR and not seeing the words “AXANAR LAWSUIT’ at the top of the home page…
It could happen! Yesterday, the two sides had a court-mandated meeting to discuss ways to settle the case before going to trial. Most lawsuits settle before ever reaching trial (like 90-95%, I’m told) because it’s usually not worth the cost and the risk of losing to ether side.
Also, full trials take up a LOT of time in court. So far, the Axanar case has required only a few hours of a judge’s actual time on the bench (plus some extra time in chambers reviewing filings). But an actual trial can take days or even weeks to finish, plus the costs of sitting and potentially sequestering a jury. So it’s often in the best interests of the legal system, as well, for cases to settle rather than coming to trial.
And so Judge R. Gary Klausner (the main judge in the Axanar case) ordered both sides to try–really try–to come to an agreement…a compromise where both sides give a little and get a little. Magistrate Judge Charles Eick, who had just made two major rulings in the discovery phase, was told to facilitate the settlement talks on Monday.
So my best one-sentence summary of Magistrate Judge Charles Eick’s ex parte order in the Axanar lawsuit would be: “Move along folks; nothing to see here.” In other words, nothing really surprising happened (at least if you read my previous blog).
In short, the plaintiffs asked for three main things and got two and a half of them…maybe two and a quarter. But the thing is, they got what the defense was already offering. You order a drink, the waiter brings it. Done. So it was kind of anticlimactic.
Remember back in the first half of this year when the initial documents were being filed in the Axanar lawsuit? Remember how each time one side or the other would submit their latest filing, it would suddenly look like it was “game, set, and match?” And then the other side would respond, and it would seem like a knockout blow for that side. And on and on.