JUSTIN LEE does it again…STAR TREK: VOYAGER – The ANIMATED Series! (interview)

Well, THAT didn’t take long!

Two months after the release of the STAR TREK: THE NEXT GENERATION – THE ANIMATED SERIES fan film (and less than a month after I featured the short vignette here on Fan Film Factor), Toronto-based animator and co-founder of GAZELLE AUTOMATIONS, JUSTIN LEE, has done it all over again!

Previously, Justin took a 2-minute sequence from the top-rated TNG episode “The Best of Both Worlds, Part 1” where Picard is kidnapped off the bridge by Borg drones, and adapted it to look and sound just like an episode of the Star Trek animated series from 1973. This creative and unique little video quickly went viral, and as I type this two months after its release, YouTube has it at nearly half a million views! WOW!!!

This time, it’s Voyager‘s turn (what about poor Deep Space Nine???). But while Justin chose one of TNG‘s generally-accepted BEST episodes to adapt, in the case of Voyager, he chose arguably one of the worst—the late-second season episode “Threshold” where Paris and Janeway slowly evolve into giant space-salamanders so they can mate and reproduce. Yeah, just writing that last sentence made me cringe! But watch until the very end because Justin concludes the vignette so perfectly that it almost makes up for the real “Threshold” (or at least acknowledges the ridiculous ending)…

This one seems to be going viral nearly as quickly as the TNG one, with nearly than 300K views in less than a week!

Justin already did a more elaborate interview me last time, but after watching the above video, I had a whole slew of NEW questions. Fortunately, being Canadian (in other words, being super-nice), Justin was more than happy to provide answers at infinite warp speed…!

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STAR TREK: TNG – THE ANIMATED SERIES vignette quickly goes VIRAL! (interview with JUSTIN LEE)

Most Star Trek fan films get anywhere between a few hundred and a few thousand views on YouTube. The more “polished” ones can make it into the tens of thousands of views and, maybe, after a few months or even years, crack the 100K threshold.

But STAR TREK: THE NEXT GENERATION – THE ANIMATED SERIES, a two minute and 14 second fan film with no “coming soon” trailers nor any fanfare prior to its April 12, 2022 premiere, was able to blast its way into the six-digit range in less than a week, and after five weeks on YouTube is now nearing a half million views!

Sometimes a video just goes viral—although the simplicity of the concept along with the flawless technical execution and inspired concept was certainly enough to justify the rapid word-of-mouth, including a shout-out from WIL WHEATON on his blog. Take a look…

Part of the brilliance, in addition to choosing one of the most iconic scenes from one of fandom’s favorite episodes—the kidnapping of Picard by the Borg in “The Best of Both Worlds, Part 1”—was coloring the Borg and their cube in bright purples and violets rather than dull grays. This harkened back to how the original Star Trek animated series would color the Klingon uniforms in those same ridiculous purple and violet colors…

The short vignette animation was released on the YouTube channel of GAZELLE AUTOMATIONS, a small Toronto, Canada-based agency specializing in puppetry, model miniatures, and animation. Five days after its debut, in response to many, many questions posted by hundreds of viewers, animator JUSTIN LEE released a second video, twice as long as the original fan film, explaining how the project was animated. It’s also worth checking out..

Of course, you know me—I had even more questions that I was sure my readers would love to hear the answers to. So I reached out to Justin via e-mail to ask if he’d be up for an interview. Since Justin is from Canada, he couldn’t have been nicer (I think it’s in their DNA, eh?), and he was happy to oblige…

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