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…?

Continue reading “VOYAGER CONTINUES: RAVEN is now STARSHIP PROMETHEUS…adds new CGI footage!”

QUICK TREK brings IMPROV to Trek fan films! (interview with DAVID WHITNEY)

For the last couple of years, if you wanted to see the USS Voyager and its crew in a Star Trek fan film, the place to look has been STARFLEET STUDIOS in Iowa (not to be confused with Starbase Studios; that’s a whole different life form) and show-runner DAVID WHITNEY.  David is an avowed Voyager fan and has already made a name for himself and his production company with a series of Voyager Continues fan films including the half-hour long RAVEN from 2016 and the short fan film DERELICT.

With plans in motion for more Voyager and Raven productions, David has also busied himself with a new and unique series of five “QUICK TREKS” (not to be confused with Short Treks, since David’s fan films came first), each running between two and four minutes.  The first Quick Trek debuted last November and focused on Captain Janeway’s quest to order a simple cup of coffee while being “thwarted” at every turn by a friendly and helpful barista.  Take a look…

The next four episodes of Quick Trek were all released nearly simultaneously at the end of May 2018 and shifted the setting to a Cheers-like bar and even featured the Cheers musical theme during the intro and over the closing credits.  This time, the characters were a motley crew made up of Counselor Deanna Troi (played by TAWNYA HOLLY), an unnamed Vulcan (played by JIM VON DOLTEREN of the fan series Starship Republic), along with Harry Mudd and Chakotay (both played by DAVID WHITNEY).

Here’s one of their “Cheers” episodes to give you a taste of what these other four Quick Treks are like…

I’ll save the rest for the later in this blog.  Right now, I’d like to share with you what turned into a very surreal interview with the always-surprising David Whitney…

Continue reading “QUICK TREK brings IMPROV to Trek fan films! (interview with DAVID WHITNEY)”

VOYAGER CONTINUES releases photos from its “DERELICT” episode shoot!

Late last year, STARFLEET STUDIOS (in Iowa) released the half-hour long Star Trek: Raven and, with it, introduced the world to the new VOYAGER CONTINUES fan series.  Set aboard the titular starship during its time traversing the Delta Quadrant, the series promises to eventually feature members of the entire USS Voyager crew.  Their first episode, a short film called “Derelict,” will focus on just two characters: Seven-of-Nine and Harry Kim.

Last week, show-runner David Whitney began shooting scenes of “Derelict” with real physical sets (unlike the virtual CGI sets composited behind footage of actors in front of green screens).  And a few days ago, photos from that shoot were posted.

The first thing I noticed was that Seven-of-Nine’s hair was brunette, not blonde like actress Jeri Ryan had worn her hair when she played the character on Star Trek: Voyager.  Knowing that David Whitney had not been averse to using wigs (as his lead actress in Raven had filmed all of her scenes wearing a purple wig), I asked David why he hadn’t done the same thing for Seven-of-Nine?

It would have looked lame.  I know people will complain.  I don’t care.  Seriously, a wig would have looked crazy.  Of course Raven’s wig was awesome.  Finding the actress with blue eyes was hard enough. Frankly, finding someone who could act, was pretty, and had the right kind of bone structure was a real find.  Brown hair?  No big deal.  Jeri Ryan is a brunette.  She dyes her hair.  No, I could just not bring myself to ask her to bleach her hair. I’m really happy with her.  What a nice lady.

You can see more photos from the shoot and follow the latest news for this new fan series on the Voyager Continues Facebook page.


Is it really Janeway?  When I first watched the new trailer for the upcoming episode “Derelict” of VOYAGER CONTINUES from Starfleet Studios (the one in Iowa that just released the fan film Raven), I wasn’t sure.  Then I got my answer at the end of the 45-second video.

It turns out that the voice is just a really good impersonation of Kate Mulgrew done by an actor named Liam Howarth-Mulgrew.  And no, that name isn’t just a coincidence.  I found out from show-runner David Whitney that Liam is just a huge fan and legally changed his name.

Unfortunately, Liam doesn’t actually look like Kate Mulgrew, so we probably won’t be seeing Captain Janeway on “Derelict” (although I suppose there’s always lip syncing).  Liam had previously voiced Janeway on the audio drama series Star Trek: VoyagerThe Lost Episodes in a two-part episode called “Ghosts.”  You can listen to “Ghosts” Part 1 and Part 2 and hear Liam’s amazing rendition of Kate Mulgrew’s unmistakable voice.

And of course, you can also hear Liam on this short trailer for the upcoming Voyager Continues fan film “Derelict,” due out sometime next year:



the-tng-projectThere’s some bad news and some good news for STARFLEET STUDIOS (based in Iowa–not to be confused with STARBASE STUDIOS, which is moving from Oklahoma City to Arkansas…more on that in an upcoming blog).  The bad news has to do with their planned new fan film, THE TNG PROJECT (working title), which launched a Kickstarter in late October attempting to raise $11,000.

They ended up raising only 1% of that amount (the campaign finished with $131 total, which means it failed to fund and no money will be collected from supporters).  Show-runner DAVID WHITNEY told me earlier this week:

Frankly I did not expect the TNG project to succeed. I did not do a great job for the videos. I had no cast interviews, and did not groom the fans. But I wanted to give TNG fans something.

One of the reasons for the lackluster effort came because, during the Kickstarter campaign, the main actor for the project, who was set to play Data, became unavailable as his acting career has begun to take off.  So rather than pushing hard for donations for a project that was now lacking a main character, David Whitney simply let the campaign close, unfunded.

But not all is bad news in the universe of Starfleet Studios!  David also told me the following:

Continue reading “STARFLEET STUDIOS cancels THE TNG PROJECT but revs up for VOYAGER CONTINUES!”

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)

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.”

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