German Fan Filmmakers make it to the “big time” with DEEP SPACE NINE Teasers! (interview with DAVID FRANK and CHRISTIAN LERCH)

I have a term for Star Trek fan films where there is little-to-no talking, no actors appear on screen, and instead the fan filmmaker simply lets CGI animation tell the story. I call them “FANIMATIONS,” and you can see some examples here.

But then there’s the series of DS9 TEASERS created by DAVID FRANK and CHRISTIAN LERCH from Germany. Back in November of 2015, a year after the final season of Star Trek: The Next Generation had been remastered to high definition and released onto Blu-ray, David and Christian felt it was time for their favorite Star Trek series, Deep Space Nine, to get the same HD treatment. But how could they let CBS know how intensely these remasters were desired by fans? That was the question!

The answer, at least in David and Christian’s minds, was to create a series of unofficial teasers for each season’s release of DS9 onto Blu-ray. They began with the following simple but elegant promotion for Season One (complete with a message for CBS Home Video at the end) using beautiful CGI animations over an orchestral score…

The following March, Season Two then got the same treatment, but this time they added short audio clips of dialog, along with animated recreations of scenes from the season that did not show any of the actual actors (since that was a no-no according to the fan film guidelines)…

The quality of their 3D work is, I think, absolutely stunning! But things got even more exciting four months later with their Season Three teaser, as they added Romulan warbirds, Jem’Hadar attack craft, and the newly-introduced U.S.S. Defiant. And the dialog was taken from the season’s awesome two-part episode “Improbable Cause” and “The Die Is Cast”…

A year later, their teaser for Season Four was their longest yet—a full minute more than the previous one—and absolutely their most ambitious. The sound clips spanned all of that season, and the graphics included multiple starship interiors of the Defiant plus new CGI Klingon ships and, for first time in any of their teasers (believe it or not!), the DS9 station itself! It was, in my opinion at least, their best teaser yet by far…

Well, it was their best one—that is until the end of 2019, when after 16 months, they released their teaser for Season Five. Although the same length as their previous release, this one felt even more epic, as well as looking like a true work of cinematic art. Now we see fleets of Klingons, Cardassians, and Federation starships—and you begin to suspect that, were CBS to actually re-release a remastered DS9 onto Blu-ray, this is the teaser that would entice the most sales…

Although David and Christian weren’t successful in their primary goal, they did manage to accomplish something almost as cool. When IRA STEVEN BEHR saw their work, he commissioned David and Christian to create CGI graphics and sequences for his DS9 documentary, “WHAT WE LEFT BEHIND“!

Cue the interview with David and Christian…

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The stop motion fan films STAR TREK: ENTERPRISE II – “Crossroads” and “The Beginning of the End”! (feature)

Two of the most ambitious and visually stunning Star Trek fan films you will ever see don’t feature a single human actor on the screen. Instead, both fan films star action figures from the Art Asylum line for Star Trek: Enterprise and Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan (plus a Terminator action figure thrown in for good measure).

One of these fan films took two and a half years to complete…the other took more than eight years! Both of them will blow you away, and you’ll be even more blown away when you go behind-the-scenes to see the meticulous work and craftsmanship that went into each one.

JÜRGEN KAISER lives in the Bavarian region of German, and he has always loved Star Trek. As a teenager, going to the annual FedCon convention in Augsburg, Germany, he dreamed of one day showing a fan film of his own up on the big screen. In 2005, when Star Trek: Enterprise was canceled, Jürgen decided that the show had ended too soon. He wanted to see more of the crew of NX-01. And if Paramount Studios wasn’t going to oblige, then this 24-year-old living in Schweinfurt was going to have to do it himself!


Interestingly enough, Jürgen wasn’t an actual Trekkie, per se. He just really liked the Enterprise series and wanted to see more of it. Of course, Paramount had had tens of millions of dollars to spend and access to actors like Scott Bakula and Jolene Blalock. All Jürgen had was a bunch of 7″ and 8″ Art Asylum action figures, some paper, cardboard, scissors, an SLR camera…and a great deal of patience and persistence.

But Jürgen also had a very specific set of skills he had learned and honed from working with his father. Jürgen knew how to make precise, meticulous models—miniatures of larger items that he would study carefully and painstakingly reproduce.

Filmmaking had always inspired Jürgen, and he’d watch countless “making of” special features while growing up, learning a lot. His day job as a measurement specialist of oil channels in automatic transmissions at an automotive supplier did not provide much opportunity for creative expression. So to bring a little balance to his life, Jürgen founded the JK Produktion Stop Motion Studio in 2005 and began what would be a decade-plus-long odyssey creating two amazing stop motion Star Trek fan films.

Continue reading “The stop motion fan films STAR TREK: ENTERPRISE II – “Crossroads” and “The Beginning of the End”! (feature)”