Last time, an Indiegogo crowd-funding campaign in early 2016 gave the STAR TREK CONTINUES team just under $200,000 to produce more episodes of their fan series. But a new set of fan film guidelines released by CBS and Paramount threatened to stop the production in its tracks by limiting episode length to 15-minutes, blocking ongoing series, and forbidding the use of paid professionals and Star Trek alumni on any fan production. STC‘s episodes had been regularly violating several of these new guidelines, and while the new rules were not retroactive, they would apply to anything produced by STC going forward.
But the STC team decided to forge ahead anyway, arguing that the guidelines were only that—guidelines—and not some kind of new “law.” They only said that fan productions that followed these guidelines would not be sued by the studios, NOT that those who didn’t follow the guidelines would be sued.
So STC announced their intention to produce four new full-length episodes with professional actors and crew, release all four in 2017, and then shut down their fan series for good. The hope was that their amicable relationship with CBS would convince the studios to allow them to finish up, shut down, and go out on the high note. It wasn’t the most optimum solution, of course. STC had initially wanted to produce 13 episodes, and now they would only go to 11. However, considering the harsh constraints of the new guidelines on fan films, being able to produce four full-length episodes—assuming the studios would let them do so without a cease and desist letter or a lawsuit—seemed to be more of a victory than a defeat.
But would CBS and Paramount allow then to actually do it?