AURORA finally completes its second episode, “MUDD IN YOUR I”, after three years!

auroraFans of this innovative amateur Trek series have been waiting a long time for this!  STAR TREK: AURORA began way back in 2006, using 3D animation to tell the story of two colorful and intriguing merchant woman trying to make a living on the fringes of Federation space.  It was Star Trek and it wasn’t Star Trek–all at the same time–and it was fantastic!  Creator Tim Vining worked for years, with his computer spending countless hours rendering out one frame at a time of footage.  Posting the first episode in multiple parts as each was completed, the final act was released to fans in 2011…six years after the series first debuted.

But Tim wasn’t finished yet.  In September of 2013, he released the first part of his second episode, “Mudd in Your I.”  Needless to say, a familiar and unscrupulous character from Star Trek lore had a role to play in the story.  Last December, the fourth of five parts was released, bringing the total length to 27 minutes.  And now, in October of 2016–three years after the first part debuted–“Mudd in Your I” is finally complete, clocking in at a full 38 minutes long!  (Fortunately, newer computers render CGI frames faster.)

Unfortunately, the new fan film guidelines affected this series in two ways.  The first was minor–Star Trek: Aurora became simply Aurora (complying with the moratorium on using the words “Star Trek” in a fan film’s title and instead including a subtitle saying “A Star Trek Fan Film” underneath).  The second was more problematic: no ongoing series.  Tim Vining addressed this on his website:

As many fans know, recent guidelines from CBS/Paramount, the owners of Star Trek’s copyright, have placed new restrictions on fan films, in particular regarding the use of recurring original characters in fan films, so the future for Kara and T’Ling is a bit cloudy at the moment. What is not in doubt is our commitment to creating animated stories for people to enjoy and share, so whether that involves Kara and T’Ling, or some new characters or even some “new world,” be watching for further adventures from our little team!

Aurora is absolutely worth your time to watch–both episodes, if you can.  Click here to view “Mudd in Your I”.

And if you’d like to learn more about this series (and get a link to episode one), FAN FILM FACTOR has a great feature on the history of Aurora.


Aurora-coverIn today’s world of cutting-edge Star Trek fan films, teams of dozens—sometimes hundreds!—work to make these ambitious cinematic endeavors come to life on YouTube, Vimeo, or even a DVD or Blu-ray.

So it’s definitely worth taking notice when a top-tier Trek fan film is produced by only ONE man.  Well, I should qualify that.  His first episode cast was comprised of 17 people (including the creator himself and his wife Jeannette), the original music was composed by John Catney, and a number of CGI 3D meshes and textures were created by other artists.  But everything else – the writing, directing, producing, sets, make-up, wardrobe, lighting, sound, camera angles, editing, and 3D animation – that was all in the hands of one guy: Tim Vining.

And he never even had to get out of his chair!

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