Star Trek fan productions

Star Trek fan productions

This article deals with fan-made productions using elements of the Star Trek franchise. Paramount Pictures and its licensees are the only organizations legally allowed to create commercial products with the "Star Trek" name and trademark. The fan film community has received some coverage from the mainstream media. [] "Intrepid" was featured on the UK Sci Fi Channel's Sci Fi 360 video podcast. [cite web|url=|title=Sci Fi 360 Episode 16|publisher=Sci Fi Channel (United Kingdom)]

;"" (f/k/a "Star Trek: New Voyages") : Co-creators James Cawley and Jack Marshall aimed to complete the original series' five-year mission, with actors cast as Kirk, Spock and the rest of the "Enterprise" crew on an exact replica of the original bridge set. One episode -- "To Serve All My Days" -- was written by D. C. Fontana, story editor on the original "Star Trek" series and featured Walter Koenig guest-starring as an older version of Pavel Chekov, his character from the original series. Several other actors from the original "Trek" series have also now signed on to appear in future episodes. George Takei reprised his role of Hikaru Sulu in the third episode, "World Enough and Time", joining the original Yeoman Janice Rand, Grace Lee Whitney. "Fan Films Quarterly" listed "New Voyages" as one of the ten most pivotal moments in fan film history in its Summer 2006 issue, and has been reported on by National Public Radio. [cite web|url=|title=NPR: Star Trek Fan Films Live Long and Prosper|last=Mann|first=Brian|accessdate=2007-06-28|publisher=National Public Radio|date=2006-07-22] New Voyages also won TV Guide's 2007 Online Video Award for best sci-fi Webisode. [cite web|url=|title=Star Trek DIY: Fans make their own 'Webisodes'|last=Patterson|first=Thom|accessdate=2007-12-20|publisher=date=2006-12-20] On February 16, 2008, during an appearance at the Farpoint Science Fiction Media Convention in Baltimore, Maryland, James Cawley announced that the series would shed the "New Voyages" moniker and become known as "Star Trek: Phase II" to reflect the transition between the original series and "". [cite web|url=|title=Star Trek: New Voyages becomes Star Trek: Phase II|accessdate=2008-02-18||date=2008-02-18]

;"": A three-part series directed by Tim Russ and starring several Star Trek stars, including Nichelle Nichols and Walter Koenig. [cite web|url=|title=Let There Be Lights: "Of Gods and Men" Shoots|date=2006-07-12|accessdate=2007-06-29|] The first part was released in December 2007; parts 2 and 3 have been released in 2008. [ [ Star Trek: Of Gods and Men website] ] [ [ Former 'Star Trek' stars reunite for independent film 'Of Gods and Men'] ]

;"" : A spin-off from the "Hidden Frontier" team with its first episode "Illiad" launched in September 2007. It is the story of the USS "Odyssey", a Federation ship which has become trapped in the distant Andromeda Galaxy. With "Odyssey's" Captain and First Officer dead, along with most of the command staff, Lt. Commander Ro Nevin is forced to take command in order to get the remaining crew home. ;"" : A second spinoff of "Hidden Frontier" and a sister series of "Odyssey". It is scheduled to begin in December 2007 with its first episode, "Sanctuary Lost". The story follows the adventures of the USS "Helena" which was introduced in "Hidden Frontier" and is set approximately six months after the first episode of "Odyssey".


;" [ Captain's Nightmare] ": This is a LEGO fan film directed by Jonathan Markiewitz that was featured on BBC Online in celebration of Star Trek's 40th anniversary.Fact|date=June 2007 The film was inspired by the music composed and conducted by Ron Jones and the "Star Trek: The Next Generation" two-part episode "".

; " [ Redshirt Blues] " : David Rogers' film presents the tale of a space weary security officer on the "Enterprise" who is sick of Kirk, the ship, and the red shirt he must wear every day. While on patrol, he meets another redshirt on his first assignment and to whom he reveals the truth about redshirts. This film was screened on the SciFi Channel's "Exposure" in 2001. [cite web|url=,,254840,00.html|title=What To Watch|publisher=Entertainment Weekly|accessdate=2007-06-29|date=2001-09-10|last=Ross|first=Dalton]

; "" : In this 1989 film, the "Ferrari" have stolen all of the Pepsi from Starbase Seven-Up, and it is up to the crew of the "Enterprise" to rescue it. Captain Picard, along with Doodah the android, Ya Har, Jordashe, Rigor Mortis, Sexx Toii (the Betamax counselor), Ensign Expendable, and Weasley Crushme all leap into action. Along the way, viewers meet the harried Star Trek writing crew and the Ferrari's fearsome leader. This film was featured by the BBC in a series on Star Trek fans.Fact|date=June 2007

;"Star Wreck": A series of Finnish parody movies created by Samuli Torssonen from 1992 onward. The latest film, "", was released in October 2005 and became an internet sensation, having drawn more than four million downloads from the main site alone, making it the most popular film of all time in Finland.Fact|date=June 2007

;"Stone Trek" : A Flash animated series that presents episodes of "Star Trek" as it might have appeared in the universe of "The Flintstones". The series takes place aboard the stoneship USS "Magnetize". Characters include Captain James T. Kirkstone, the Vulcano first officer Mr. Sprock, and ship's doctor Leonard "Fossils" RcKoy. The series also includes a running count of redshirts killed in each episode, and fans can write in to nominate themselves to be caricatured as a redshirt in future episodes. The production's website was a "Site of the Week" in May 2001. [cite web|url=|title=Sci-Fi Site of the Week|accessdate=2007-06-29|date=2001-05-21|]


;" [ Borg War] " : "Borg War" is a 90-minute animated movie originally distributed as individual short episodes. Footage for "Borg War" was produced using Trek-themed computer games (a process known as machinima) and then heavily edited to create the final movie, repurposing the games' voiceover clips to create a new plot. [cite web|url=|title=DEUX EX MACHIMINA – BORG WAR DOING TREK CON||accessdate=2007-07-24] "Borg War" was nominated for two "Mackie" awards by the Academy of Machinima Arts and Sciences. [cite web|url=|title=See an Unauthorized Animated Star Trek Feature Film|publisher=IF Magazine|accessdate=2007-07-19] An August 2007 screening at a Star Trek convention in Las Vegas was the first time that CBS/Paramount had approved the screening of a non-parody fan film at a licensed convention. [cite web|url=|title=‘Borg Wars’ for next generation of movie makers|publisher=Nashua Telegraph|accessdate=2007-07-19]


;" [ Bring Back Kirk] ":When Captain Kirk was killed in "Star Trek Generations", fans started the "Bring Back Kirk" campaign. The original Bring Back Kirk [ teaser trailer] was released in 2001 and became popular at conventions, such as the 2003 Starfleet Ball and Brazilian Trek Con at Sao Paulo.Fact|date=June 2007 A second trailer, released in March 2004, was mentioned in "Star Trek Monthly" and "|last=Starr|first=Michael]

Legal issues

The attitude of the Star Trek copyright and trademark holders toward fan works has varied over time. In early 1996, Viacom sent cease and desist letters to webmasters of Star Trek fan sites that contained copyrighted film clips, sounds, insignia, or other copyrighted material.cite web|url=|title=Cyber Rights Now: 'Scotty, Beam Down the Lawyers!'|accessdate=2007-06-29|date=1997-10-09||first=Jennifer|last=Granick] [cite web|url=|title=Image of cease-and-desist letter sent by Viacom to some Star Trek site webmaster|accessdate=2007-06-29|] In the lead-up to the release of "", then-president of Paramount Digital Entertainment David Wertheimer stated that Viacom was targeting sites that were "selling ads, collecting fees, selling illegal merchandise or posting copyrighted materials."cite web|url=|title=Trekkies orbit around copyright turbulence|accessdate=2007-06-29|year=1997|month=11|publisher="NOW"|last=Jones|first=Colman] Under threat of legal action, many Trekkies shut down.

Jennifer Granick, a San Francisco criminal lawyer who went on to champion cyber rights, felt that the unofficial sites should be covered by the fair use doctrine in U.S. copyright law. In a 1998, UCLA associate professor Howard Besser claimed the entertainment industry as a whole was, and cited Viacom's actions toward Star Trek site webmasters as an example of, "exploiting concerns over digitization and attempting to reshape the law by strengthening protection for copyrights holders and weakening public rights to access and use material." [cite web|url=|title=Recent Changes to Copyright: Attacks Against the Public Interest|year=1999|month=03|accessdate=2007-06-29]

Star Trek fan films have, until recently, operated in an informational vacuum, since Paramount has made few official statements regarding their existence. Fan filmmakers have generally kept a low profile, hoping not to draw attention to themselves. However, with the demise of "Star Trek: Enterprise" in 2005, the fan film community began drawing more attention in the media [cite web|url=|title=To Boldly Go Where No Fan Has Gone Before|accessdate=2007-11-28|] [cite web|url=|title=Enterprising fans captain 'Trek' spinoffs|accessdate=2007-11-28|] , and even a certain amount of recognition [cite web|url=|title=Roundup: TV Guide Online Awards|accessdate=2007-11-28|] from the entertainment industry. "", one fan series, has established an understanding, that Paramount must be properly credited as the owner of Star Trek-related intellectual property. [cite web|url=|title='Star Trek' cast member to appear in fan film|accessdate=2007-11-28|] .


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