Star Trek FAN FILMS are most certainly NOT DEAD…here’s what’s coming down the pike!

No, not THAT Pike! But if you know one of those crazy people who keeps saying that Star Trek fan films are “dead” or that the guidelines or the Axanar lawsuit “destroyed” Trek fan films forever…well, it’s time for a little reality check!

Not only are Star Trek fan films alive and thriving, but we’re about to be inundated with new major productions at all levels of funding ranging from pocket-change to six-figure budgets.

The past year has already been loaded with a plethora of new fan film releases: Galaxy Hopper, Galactic Battles, Temporal Anomaly, Avalon Lost, The Fighting Fourth, Last Survivor, Diplomatic Relations, Desperate Gambit, The Holy Core, Dreadnought Dominion, All Ahead Full, Children of Eberus, The Looking Glass, Confrontations, To Have Boldly Gone, Repercussions, Stunt Doubles, and the just-released Line of Duty. And those are just the ones I’ve covered here on Fan Film Factor! Check out the Star Trek Reviewed blog for a ridiculously more detailed list including all of the smaller fan productions that I don’t usually have a chance to get to.

But you ain’t seen nuthin‘ yet!

Within the next six months, a host of exciting NEW Star Trek fan films are scheduled for release onto YouTube—some of them eagerly anticipated. Last week, I reached out to some prominent fan filmmakers to get updates on their productions and when fans will get a chance to finally see them.

Here’s just some of what you can look forward to in the very near future…

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VANCE MAJOR cameos in STARSHIP ANTYLLUS: “Desperate Gambit” (interview with GEORGE and ANYA SHEILA KAYAIAN)

I love it when fan filmmakers come together.

GEORGE KAYAIAN has been creating Star Trek fan films since George Bush was president…the first George Bush, that is! ANYA SHEILA KAYAIN is only nine years old and wasn’t even around for the second President Bush. VANCE MAJOR has been appearing as fan favorite character Erick Minard since 2014 when he first donned the engineer’s tunic in Starship Valiant.

And now these three people all have something in common: they’ve each appeared in the latest, twelfth episode of STARSHIP ANTYLLUS: “Desperate Gambit.” For George, his character of Captain Holt Allen has commanded the USS Antyllus since this fan series first debuted in 2013. And daughter Anya has appeared in a couple of episodes before this one—most recently the 11th episode: “247”—and helped out on a bunch of others. (You can check out her very full IMDB page here.) She also provided this little behind-the-scenes “tour” of the Antyllus set last year in this video…

But now Anya is joining the Antyllus bridge crew as a brand new alien character named Sharb. How they solved the challenge of how to show a child as a bridge officer is one of the reasons I consider this ultra-low budget fan series to be so masterful: they do so much with seemingly so little. I asked Anya what she thinks about this new character, and she said: “I think Sharb is very intelligent, which shows off a part of me… it was a joy to play him!”

You can watch Anya’s debut in the full 29-minute episode below…

As you can see, Vance Major has a decent sized cameo as Minard. George appeared briefly in one of the three dozen or so Minard saga fan films that Vance produced, and George will be appearing in a couple of episodes of Vance’s upcoming Constar Chronicles films. The two fan filmmakers have become good friends, and recently, Vance had this to say about George…

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STARSHIP ANTYLLUS releases 55-MINUTE two-part 10th episode!

When CBS and Paramount announced the new fan film guidelines in June of 2016, the first guideline was among the most controversial:

The fan production must be less than 15 minutes for a single self-contained story, or no more than 2 segments, episodes or parts, not to exceed 30 minutes total, with no additional seasons, episodes, parts, sequels or remakes.

Since then, nearly a hundred Star Trek fan films have been released (possibly more, I haven’t counted them all!), and most have followed those guidelines as best they can.  A few have gone slightly over the time limit or tried to get around the “no series” rule by changing the series title with each new “episode” of a fan series despite featuring the same cast and characters.

Of course, Star Trek Continues has been the most notable for not hewing to the guidelines in each of their final four episode releases…all produced after the announcement of the guidelines (the last episode coming next Monday…you’ll LOVE it!).  But STC is shutting down production.

Another fan series, however, is NOT planning to shut down, and they’ve just released the 55-minute long tenth episode of their first season.  That series is STARSHIP ANTYLLUS, which began back in 2013.  They released their ninth episode just over a year ago, months after the guidelines were announced.

Show-runner GEORGE KAYAIAN has actually been making Star Trek fan films since way back in the 1990s when he produced three full-length amateur features ranging from one to one-and-a-half hours in length.  These low-budget productions starred his mother as the captain and his father as chief engineer.  (Yeah, my parents would never have agreed to that!  Then again, they can’t really act.)

Two decades later, Starship Antyllus still features George’s friends and family members, but now George is a parent himself with one of the most adorable daughters you’ve even seen.  Anya has actually appeared in a 2-part episode, and she helps behind the scenes, as well.

Episode 10, “Consequences,” completes season one of the long-running fan series, and George is already working on the first few of episodes of season two, with the whole season-long story arc mapped out.  Many scenes have already been filmed, with more being added soon.  Obviously, this is going to be an ongoing fan series, something the guidelines say is a no-no.

So what does George have to say about this situation?

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STAR TREK: ANTYLLUS (now STARSHIP ANTYLLUS) releases its latest episode: “Ripple Effect”!

starship-antyllusGeorge Kayaian released his first Star Trek fan film waaaaaaay back in 1994.  It starred his mother as the captain and his father as the chief engineer.  That series turned into a trilogy of mutli-part productions, finishing up in 2012 and spanning more than five and a half hours of screen time!

But George Kayaian wasn’t finished quite yet.  In 2013, George began his next ongoing fan series, Star Trek: Antyllus, starring himself as the captain.  George also writes and directs the episodes, still using family and friends to play the various roles and help with production.  As fan series go, it’s quite noticeably one of the lower budget ones, but those are often the ones with the most heart and passion….and good stories.

George posted his previous episode in November of 2015, a couple of months before FAN FILM FACTOR was launched.  In the interim, the new fan film guidelines were released by CBS and Paramount, which necessitated a change of title for the series to Starship Antyllus (fan films are no longer allowed to have “Star Trek” in their titles).  Of course, there are other guidelines, as well, dealing with things like funding and episode length.  Funding isn’t an issue, as these guys pretty much bankroll themselves.  But run time for this episode is 35 minutes, way over the 15-minute limit imposed by the studios.  I asked George about that, and here’s what he said:

I’m trying my best to follow the guidelines, and I’m hoping that the grandfather clause still applies since this episode and the next couple were created before the guidelines came into being. It’s just taking me a while to get things posted in this incredibly busy period of time in my life. My series is self-funded, or no budget at all for that matter! And each episode is made with my family and friends with love and no pay. We are a true fan film project. I hope the powers that be appreciate that and realize where I’m coming from. Even my YouTube channel is NOT monetized! Everything I do is for love and creativity.

You can watch Antyllus‘ latest episode, “Ripple Effect,” by clicking here.

And you can watch their first eight episodes here on their YouTube channel.