VOYAGER CONTINUES: RAVEN is now STARSHIP PROMETHEUS…adds new CGI footage!

I’ve got some good news for you and I’ve got some bad news.  I also have some neutral news, and I’ll start with that.  The fan film formerly known as Star Trek: Raven, later known as Voyager Continues: Raven (or was that Raven: Voyager Continues?) will now be known as STARSHIP PROMETHEUS…with its pilot episode being “Raven.”  Is that all perfectly unclear?

The original RAVEN fan film was released in October of 2016, one of the first fan films to come out after the fan film guidelines were announced a few months earlier (although filming for the production had wrapped prior to the guidelines).  Initially, show-runner DAVID WHITNEY of Starfleet Studios in Iowa was prepared to challenge the guidelines openly by releasing Raven in defiant non-compliance with the new rules.

Ultimately, though, he only broke two of the “no-no’s”—the video was 30-minutes long but wasn’t released in two separate 15-minute parts, and the title appeared as Star Trek: Raven (the guidelines sy you can’t use the words “Star Trek” in your fan film title).  However, the title appeared in the YouTube description as RAVEN: Voyager Continues – A Star Trek Fan Production.  So David kinda half-followed the guidelines in that department.

In the end, CBS took no action (and probably no notice).  After all, this was still the “transition” period just after the guidelines were released, and fan films released at that time seemed to be allowed a bit of leeway.

Since then, Raven has generated an impressive 130K views.  The cast was a mix of older Star Trek fans who weren’t necessarily actors (including JIM VON DOLTEREN in one of his earliest Trek fan film roles—he would later go on to appear in The Federation Files, Starship Republic, and the upcoming Convergence) plus young fashion models…truly an interesting mix!

And even though it was called Voyager Continues (in addition to being called Raven), there was only one brief scene buried in the closing credits showing Seven-of-Nine (played by CAT ROBERTS, who has also appeared in multiple fan series including Star Trek Continues, New Voyages (an unreleased episode), The Federation Files, and The Red Shirt Diaries).  Although the missing starship Voyager was discussed, nearly all of the action in Raven took place in the Alpha Quadrant.

Okay, so what’s the good news and what’s the bad news…?

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STARFLEET STUDIOS releases RAVEN and launches NEW KICKSTARTER campaign!

ravenHot 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.

the-tng-projectIn 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.

Will STAR TREK RAVEN be IGNORING the new fan film GUIDELINES? (Interview with DAVID WHITNEY, Part 2)

Raven-7
David Whitney, show-runner for Starfleet Studios and Raven

Last time: David Whitney, the show-runner for Star Trek Raven (and two other Trek fan films) produced by Starfleet Studios in central Iowa, shocked the fan world on July 1 when he announced his productions would be ignoring the new CBS and Paramount fan guidelines that, in his words, “do not directly support their copyright and copyright law.”

 A day later, in an apparent about-face, David eliminated the parts of his announcement dealing with ignoring the new guidelines and instead stated “We are going to try to conform our film, now called ‘Starfleet Studios Raven Part One’ to the new rules.”

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Will STAR TREK RAVEN be IGNORING the new fan film GUIDELINES? (Interview with DAVID WHITNEY, Part 1)

Cover 2If 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!!

Continue reading “Will STAR TREK RAVEN be IGNORING the new fan film GUIDELINES? (Interview with DAVID WHITNEY, Part 1)”