Fan Films: “Prelude to Axanar” is poised to begin production | TrekMovie.com
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Fan Films: “Prelude to Axanar” is poised to begin production March 27, 2014

by Bill Watters , Filed under: Fan Productions , trackback

What do Richard Hatch (Battlestar Galactica), Michael Hogan (Battlestar Galactica, Teen Wolf, Supernatural), JG Herztler (DS9, Voyager, Enterprise), and Gary Graham (Alien Nation, Voyager, Enterprise) have in common? Their Star Trek: Prelude to Axanar project, which has now blown past the $50,000 mark on Kickstarter.

The latest entrant into the flourishing Star Trek fan film space, Prelude is being filmed in early May in Los Angeles as a short film which will lead into their full length Star Trek: Axanar feature film slated to begin production later this year. Prelude takes place some 13 years before TOS and explores the story leading up to the Battle of Axanar. The Klingon Empire and Federation find themselves engaged in a pitched battle over the planet Axanar, leading both to the bring of all out war.

The story also introduces us to Garth of Izar, whom Captain Kirk would later refer to as his own personal hero. Gary Graham will be reprising his role, which he’d played originally on Star Trek: Enterprise of the Vulcan ambassador Soval.


Gary Graham is reprising his role as Ambassador Soval

“The continuing evolution of independent filmmaking, especially via crowdsourcing really is the wave of the future,” said Richard Hatch (best known for his roles in both the original and re-imagined versions of Battlestar Galactica), who will be playing Kharn, the Klingon Supreme Commander. “Star Trek was always an inspiration to me as a young actor, and having an opportunity to be a part of something like this, alongside a group of first-rate professionals, is really just amazing to me.”


Richard Hatch and Michael Hogan bring their experiences from Battlestar Galactica (the old and new) to the team

With five days remaining on their Kickstarter campaign, Prelude to Axanar, has blown past the $50,000 mark in total contributions. That’s a full 5x over their original conservative target of $10,000. The additional funds are enabling them to both put a far higher level of polish on this initial project, as well as securing costumes, gear, studio time, and the miscellanea required to elevate it from a relatively modest shoestring production into a truly first rate film.

Alec Peters, who plays the role of Garth, is also the driving force behind the Axanar project. “Axanar has really been a labor of love, “ Alec said. “The level of response by the Star Trek fan community has just blown us all away.”

Principal photography for Prelude is slated to occur in the beginning of May, and the initial showing is targeted for just one month later at Fed Con Germany. I’d asked Alec about the timing and he responded, “It’s a tight schedule, but with the incredible [and award winning] talent we have on board, including director Christian Gossett, editor Robert Meyer Burnett, composer Alexander Bornstein, and post production supervisor Mark Edward Lewis, I have no doubt we’ll be able to make the quick turn around from shooting to having it in the can.”

The speed at which the evolution of fan films is moving is nothing short of stunning. Consider the quality and scope of similar productions only a few years ago. Now with the quality and talent arrayed for non-traditionally developed projects like Star Trek Continues, Renegades, and Axanar, shows don’t have to die when they’re taken off the air. If there’s a desire and a fandom wanting to see their favorite mythos kept alive, there are now ways to make it happen.

To boldly go where no studio might go, but where fans are most certainly going.

 

Bill Watters is an event producer, photographer, reporter, and software engineer living in San Francisco. Involved in a myriad range of reenactment and fandom genres, he’s spent more than 20 years turning hobbies into pro-am professions. Currently day-jobbing as a server engineer for Zynga, spending weekends producing themed events, and the rest of the time writing about and photographing the geek and fandom scene for Examiner, GeeksAreSexy, and ComicsOnline (and now TrekMovie).

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Comments

1. Dr Beckett - March 27, 2014

I am really looking forward to this. Fan films have come such a long way, I personally hope we get to see many of these in the coming months and years. I really miss the glory years of 1987-2005

2. Dandru - March 27, 2014

I can’t help but cringe when Hatch says “This is one of the most exciting productions, PERIOD.” Dude… you’re in a fan film. That’s all it is–the cinematic equivalent of a fanzine. Engaging in hypberole and pretending it’s something it’s not won’t change that fact. Sure, it’s got decent production values, but it is, in the end, just a fan film. And let’s be honest–the actors who keep showing up in these fan films are only doing it because they need the money and, with all due respect to them, aren’t getting real gigs.

3. Marja - March 27, 2014

Looks pretty boss, if the acting is up to the standards of the SFX …!

4. scotchyscotchscotch - March 27, 2014

can’t wait to see Hatch and Hogan doing Trek! Well worth my $60 to have some new Trek material on Blu Ray

5. Marja - March 27, 2014

2 Dandru, and some are vanity projects for the producers to get to act in their favorite franchise, thereby the acting’s not always so hot.

Hoping this one will be decent … the SFX look darned good, but that’s not the main reason I like to watch Trek.

6. Sarah - March 27, 2014

I can’t wait to see Axanar and Prelude to Axanar! With so many talented actors and artists on board, this will be a highly successful production. All the concept art and the visual effects previews look amazing.

7. TheHarrington - March 27, 2014

More than just a fan film, productions like this are where entertainment will be branching off to in the future. I for one can not wait to see this.

8. RowdyTrekker - March 27, 2014

I am very excited about this and if the quality of the Kickstarter teaser is any indication of the final movie then it should be bloody amazing. It’s so nice to see quality coming in to these independent shows, because until recently, with two other productions that have also seriously raised the bar, it’s been not much more than a few folks in their eBay costumes spouting Trek technobabble in front of the family camcorder. Keep up the great work, Axanar, and you already have my financial support on Kickstarter! =)

9. Dave Galanter - March 27, 2014

@#2.

The actors taking part in this are generally BUSY actors.

http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0334048/

http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0865302/

http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0389581/

http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0368745/

They are involved because they want to be involved, not because they NEED to be involved. That’s what independent fan films are about.

10. Ahmed - March 27, 2014

Looking good, will keep an eye on it.

11. Antnee3 - March 27, 2014

Why is it a fan film? That conjures images of a me and my Trek buddies seeing what my Cannon 7D can do shooting against a green screen and showing off the special effects techniques we picked up on some Youtube videos. This is an assembly of actors, artists, and producers with some serious scifi pedigree, and personally, I don’t think ‘fan film’ is a fair characterization. Everything I’ve seen so far, from concepts to storyboards to test shots, look like a very professional production, and I’m optimistic and honestly pumped to see this outcome. This is going to open a new possibility where crowd-funded professional productions can be possible, and studios be damned. We, the fans, get to ask for what we want, and top-line talent gets to use their crafts to bring it into our homes. This is a unique story to the Star Trek universe that we haven’t ever seen fleshed out, and hopefully it starts a trend for more like it!

12. Justin Emery - March 27, 2014

I have been a Star Trek fan as far back as I can remember. I have to admit I am not one of those hard core followers that lives eats and breaths Star Trek but I do like it. TOS was not my favorite but I enjoyed all the TOS movies. TNG was probably my favorite series and all those that followed (well maybe Enterprise lost me some…I never finished watching it). During a randome search of the Internet I found this Prelude to Axanar…I read a little about it and MAN this has me HOOKED! I want to see this more than I wanted to see the new Hollywood reboots (have to be honest I am not a fan of what they have done). I have been following the movie on Facebook and telling family and friends about it. There is no hoping to this movie…I know it will be good because of the work that everyone has put into the story and making sure it fit the time line. Yes I am very JACKED to see this movie. I an a firm believer that a movie doesn’t need to be a high budget blockbuster that cost more than every movie ever made to be good. The important part is actors doing their roles and story line. This movie looks to have everything under control. So I KNOW it will be good.

13. Ahmed - March 27, 2014

I met Michael Hogan at Calgary Expo couple years ago. Unlike his character in BSG, he was a funny man in real life & down to earth guy.

14. Steve H. - March 27, 2014

I can’t wait for this to come out! The casting is fantastic and everything that I’ve seen on Facebook looks wonderful – from the costumes to the set design to the model of the ship! It’s so great that Gary Graham will be reprising his role, connecting this to the Prime Universe and to Enterprise. And I’m a big fan of both both Richard Hatch and Michael Hogan! I’m proud to have been able to contribute to the Kickstarter campaign for Prelude to Axxanar, and I’ll definitely be a contributer to the campaign for Star Trek: Axanar when it starts!

15. Gary - March 27, 2014

@2 “the actors who keep showing up in these fan films are only doing it because they need the money” –> Is that really a bad thing? They have bills to pay just as everyone else does.

“with all due respect to them, [they] aren’t getting real gigs” –> If you get paid, it’s a real gig.

Maybe some of the professional actors can tell why they participate in these projects? Is it just for the money?

16. PEB - March 27, 2014

I can’t wait to see this. It’s the first kickstarter ever that got me to donate and I’m proud of it. No offense to any of the other productions, but I’m really looking forward to this. The story is the right one to be told, and the cgi looks incredible. Awesome to see design elements from Kelvin era ships merged into what will be TOS era ships.

17. Jim Westbrook - March 27, 2014

This is an awesome and intriguing project. I am eagerly awaiting seeing it onscreen. With a lot of Big names, both in cast and crew, the fan film cannot help but become legendary! :)

18. I am not Herbert - March 27, 2014

excellent… ;-)

looking forward to it! =)

19. DKB - March 27, 2014

Most of the truly innovative TV programming has come, in recent years, from “other” channels (rather than the “big four” networks)… a trend that’s given viewers something to be excited about, again. Now–finally!–a similar trend seems to be taking hold in the movie arena, with some first-rate, genuinely-creative fare coming from independent moviemakers–passionate people with cool stories to tell and fabulous visions to share (instead of more of the same old tired repeats, reboots, and utter schlock the major movie houses keep doling out). Prelude to Axanar–with so much incredible talent involved, plus a never-been-told story to play with–has me EXCITED… and it’s not every day I can say that about the movies. Make it so, Team Axanar, make it so. :)

20. NuFan - March 27, 2014

I hope the old guys will be happy with this crap and leave the real Star Trek alone.

21. Sara - March 27, 2014

You cannot possibly be prepared for the kind of Star-Trekking that is about to unfold with this project. This is THE standard-to-be in fan films, and could even be a story standard for full length, studio features. This is what Star Trek should be, will be, and can continue to be in the future. This team has passion like nothing we’ve seen arguably since the Original Series and the story they’ve chosen is one nobody has seen before, so it’s something new for Trek fans. I, for one, absolutely can’t wait for this to come out!

22. Red Dead Ryan - March 27, 2014

Nice effects, but this already reeks of desperation and attention-seeking by washed-up genre stars of yesteryear. Also, the idea of yet another Federation-Klingon war doesn’t excite me much. Been there, done that.

Also it doesn’t help when the “stars” are comparing making fan films with actual WW2 battles where real people died.

23. Richard Neal - March 27, 2014

There are fan made films then there are short films like this. Not taking anything away from other projects, this Trek project excites me the most because of the story it is telling. Rather than replicate Trek, or mess around with a future side story, this plunges deep into Trek lore, and history, that many may only have read about through the FASA RPG books.
It has a stellar cast including two BSG actors that shine in every that they appear in. With careful and creative pre-production and awesome visuals, this project should interest many Trek fans.
…and this is only the Prelude!

24. Jared - March 27, 2014

I’m incredibly stoked for this production. The talent involved both behind and front of the camera makes is extremely impressive. I think Axanar – along with Renegades and other projects – will set a new standard for independent productions. Can’t wait.

25. Red Dead Ryan - March 27, 2014

I highly doubt they’re getting paid. This is a fan film, presumably not under the official CBS umbrella.

I suspect if they’re making a profit, CBS will issue the production team some sort of legal notice to cease and desist.

26. Alex Rosenzweig - March 27, 2014

#2 –

Well, *I’m* excited, and in fact more excited about this than anything coming out of Paramount these days. I’m pleased to have contributed to the Kickstarter campaign.

I’ve seen a draft of the script, and I’ve seen the work that’s going on to make this production. No, it may not be a $100 million Hollywood blockbuster, but that doesn’t mean it can’t be an exciting production. The commitment here is to do whatever possible to make a good film, not just a good Star Trek film, and I think that, in the end, it will be both.

27. Christopher John Taylor - March 27, 2014

I’d like to know who at Paramount ok’d this. Unless the entire film plans to make not dollar one, huge copyright and clearance issues abound here. This is illegal.

28. Ahmed - March 27, 2014

@12. NuFan & 13. Red Dead Ryan,

I understand why you like NuTrek, it is sexy, fast & has young actors, not old actors; God forbid! But why you feel the need to attack every fan film in the process ? Do you want only one type of Trek & eliminate everything else ?

29. Adrian - March 27, 2014

From what I have seen, this film is going to be amazing. Welcome back to the real Star Trek!

30. Vultan - March 27, 2014

#13

Can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen fictional things compared to real battles. And since the fictional Enterprise was named after the aircraft carrier of the same name from WW2, not really a big deal, is it?

Anyway, looks impressive so far. Will give it a watch.

31. Alex Rosenzweig - March 27, 2014

#13 – “Also, the idea of yet another Federation-Klingon war doesn’t excite me much. Been there, done that.”

Well, technically, it’s not *another* war. It’s a war that’s been a part of Trek history for a long time, but rarely gets much attention.

The bigger question is, will the story of what happens to the characters in that war, and during that battle, be worth watching? I think it will be, and I know a lot of people are trying very hard to make it so.

32. David - March 27, 2014

I think this is a great idea to expand the Trek -verse. I think it will be a enjoyable movie, and they plan on staying within cannon, so that beats the JJ movies right there!

33. Lars Di Scenza - March 27, 2014

I had the distinct privilege of speaking to Gary Graham about the project and I don’t feel like this is the fan film of yore. Today, filmmakers come in all shapes and sizes, and the studios no longer have that iron grip on the high production value film market.

This production not only has an extremely talented cast, it has industry veterans that will bring all their talents and experiences to make Prelude to Axanar and Star Trek: Axanar one of the best Star Trek productions we have seen to date.

34. Phil - March 27, 2014

Totally looking forward to this. Excellent work by the fans working on this!

35. Guy F. Esposito - March 27, 2014

I Really Think this is a Great Trek Project and I am waiting to see it. I am Proud to be an Axanar Marine. “First Star to The right and straight on till Morning.”

36. Phil - March 27, 2014

Don’t think any of the actors get paid…I’d be surprised if anyone gets paid, actually. Basically, it’s community theater.

37. Alec Peters - March 27, 2014

# 19 Phil. No, it is not community theater, it is a professional independent film with pros in front and behind the camera. And yes, in fact the actors do get paid, and above scale.

While you are being “surprised” by the fact we pay our actors (don’t know what exactly qualifies you to even comment on what the actors are being paid since we never discuss this), why don’t you watch our Kickstarter video, check out our website and see all the assets we have produced on Facebook and then try and tell me how we are “community theater”.

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/194429923/star-trek-prelude-to-axanar

38. Red Dead Ryan - March 27, 2014

Ahmed,

I don’t hate fanTrek productions. I just think they’re not living up to potential yet. Technically, they are very well done ie visual and special effects, costumes, sets, etc. But most of the stories are basically variations of official episodes to some degree. And yes, STID was a bit of a rehash but fanTrek fans tend to hold nuTrek to higher standards even though fanTrek storytelling leaves a lot to be desired.

Vultan,

I was referring to the cast comparing Kickstarter fundraising to real-life WW2 battles.

Alec Peters,

If you’re getting paid, then I assume that CBS/Paramount would have some control over your production then? Because if not, you could be meeting with lawyers pretty soon.

39. Eric Simpson - March 27, 2014

Red Dead Ryan, people involved with the production getting paid is a very different issue than making a profit off of the project, and the latter is the only thing that CBS/Paramount care about. If it were otherwise, there would already have been lawsuits filed against New Voyages/Phase II, Continues, Renegades….

40. Alec Peters - March 27, 2014

# 21 Red Actually, I am NOT getting paid. The professional actors are. And no, that does not mean CBS has any control over us. They have guidelines we adhere to for making a fan production. One of which is you can pay talent. We do so under SAG New Media Guidelines. Feel free to read the volumes written about this subject on the TrekBBS to educate yourself as to how fan films exist with CBS.

And being a lawyer myself, who has actually worked with CBS on the Star Trek Archive and talked with more people at CBS about fan films than anyone else, I actually know what I am talking about and how to do this.

41. Scott Vanassche - March 27, 2014

Been following this project for quite some time, and it’s crazy how much it has grown. Cannot wait to see Prelude to Axanar as well as the complete Axanar movie. Additionally, finally seeing a live action Robert April, and having him being played by a professional actor like Michael Hogan is definitely an added bonus.

42. Ahmed - March 27, 2014

@22. Alec,

Any idea when the film will go online once you guys done post-production ?

Speaking of CBS, are there any restrictions when it come to producing fan films in a post TOS era ?

I like fan films but I don’t know why all of them centering around TOS. Star Trek is a big universe & I would love the fan films to go beyond TOS & do stories about the other eras.

btw, love your website. It is very informative & well done in term of the design. Keep up the good work :)

43. Lori B. - March 27, 2014

Star Trek: Axanar and its companion Prelude to Axanar are portrayls of and era that has received little attention. They have an interesting character in Garth of Izar. I’ve always wanted to know his back story and what led to him becoming the legend. It should present an enjoyable bridge between Jonathan Archer’s and James Kirk’s stories. I’m eager to see the performances of a few of my favorite science fiction actors, Michael Hogan, Richard Hatch, Gary Graham and J.G. Hertzler.

With the companion Prelude to Axanar, I’m looking forward to learning more about the conflict with the Klingon Empire. I’m a fan of the ships that Star Trek created and I’m waiting to be “blown away” by this group of vessels. I’ve seen a trailer for this film and it was fantastic. If this the quality of both the main feature and its prelude then they just might surpass the television shows.

44. Jennifer Roberson - March 27, 2014

I am looking forward to Axanar very much, and I’m proud to have been one of the first contributors to the campaign mentioned in this article. I do not give my support lightly – a project has to peak my interest, engage me, and I have to feel that it is worth supporting with my time and/or money, and seeing as how I do not have a lot of money to throw around, I am very picky to say the least.

Axanar is going to be so much more than a “fan film”. From the pre-production work that has been posted up so far, to the talent that will be working on this project both in front of and behind the cameras, it is very apparent that this is going to be a first-class production made with a lot of love. I very much like the fact that we are dealing with the Prime Trek Universe here, and will be getting into backstory and history with the Federation and the Klingon Empire. Congratulations to everyone on Axanar for what has been accomplished thus far, and I for one will be eagerly following what has yet to be seen.

45. Phil - March 27, 2014

@20. There it is, that condescending we have our collective heads shoved so far up our backside that we can’t figure out why everyone doesn’t just recognize that what we do isn’t the greatest stuff ever produced. I guess I’m supposed to be impressed that your target audience is Facebook. And you are absolutely right, you aren’t community theater. At our local institution there are a few pics of Jeffrey Hunter in the lobby, who at one time was generous with his support. Seems there are a few people out there who recognize that community theater is a great venue for bringing arts to the people, to expose the population to a little of the arts and culture, and a fabulous place to nurture and ENCOURAGE young talent. Fan films, on the other hand, seem to be a great place for individuals within the industry to stroke their egos a bit. So, yeah, it’s a unfair insult to community theater to compare it to a fan film…or independent professional production, if that title tickles your fancy.

Not that you seem to care, but take a look at some of the comments here. No one would care if you guys were being paid or not if there was just the smallest bit of humility – we do it for the fans, labor of love, whatever. The pics of Mr. Hunter were well before my time, but it’s not hard for me to understand the guy had a passion for what he did, otherwise he would not be there…and it doesn’t matter one bit if he got paid or not. Inevitability, when one of these fan films lands on these threads, and someone comments about the amateur status, some blowhard connected to the production goes on the attack….what qualifies someone to comment, you ask? Well, if they are a fan, they’re qualified. And it’s exactly that ivory tower attitude that sours a good portion of the fan base on these fan films. Most folks can and do enjoy them in the context of what they are – vanity projects or amateur productions. If it’s sold as the real deal, and doesn’t rise to that expectation, then expect criticism. That criticism might go down a bit easier if the people connected to it weren’t so busy alienating the audience.

Good luck on the production, if it’s as fabulous as you think it is it I’m sure the audience you made it for will absolutely adore it, and shower you with accolades. Cheers…

46. Alec Peters - March 27, 2014

@41 Ahmed:

Thanks for your comments. We will release “Prelude” to our Kickstarter donors at the end of May, just before we premier it live at FedCon in Germany May 29-June 1. “Axanar” has no set release date as we will start filming it this summer.

I am not aware of any CBS restrictions of filming a fan film in a post TOS era.

Fan films center on TOS as it is very easy to do the sets! It is hard to do Next Gen era sets. Plus a lot of people want to be Kirk! Axanar is set 20 years before TOS.

Thanks so much Ahmed!

Alec

47. amanda cumbie aka (SmokeyAngel) - March 27, 2014

i love Sci-Fi an can not wait to actually see this an i am a newbie to Star Trek but me and my whole radio Station (Scimax Radio the Sci-Fi Voice of the Universe) love Star Trek Online we play it religously an we love Star Trek Axanar and Star Trek Renegades,,, So I say bring it on

48. RowdyTrekker - March 27, 2014

#42

Phil, based on your comments it would seem to be you that has a problem here. I’ve read and understand your position, but I do not agree with or respect it. Being a Debbie Downer on something you clearly know so little about demonstrates a fundamental lack of self-respect, and perhaps even integrity, sir, and for that you have my sympathy. The rest of us will continue on, hoping for and supporting great things, all without you… seriously. Be well.

49. Bird of Prey - March 27, 2014

Sounds interesting…
Both the respective latest episodes of Phase II and ST Continues have been quite good (in my opinion). Let’s see if Axanar will live up to that standard…

50. Jerry Powell - March 27, 2014

Star Trek evolving into a most interesting media of film making with direct fan involvement is nothing short of brilliant! Bringing back known and proven actors to be part of this amazing phenomenon we all know, love, respect and grew up with is a stepping stone to the future of film making. The Star Trek brand sells itself and yet to get fans directly involved is definitely a huge step for man kind in the entertainment business. I’m sure Doc and Scotty are smiling down at this as we all watch this take place on the social media stream. Make it so gentlemen! Star Trek continues and we all love it!

51. RowdyTrekker - March 27, 2014

#39

Alec, you have my support, including financial support on Kickstarter, and I can’t wait to view the final product! Based on what you’ve shown, and who is involved, my money is on Axanar being the best independent Trek yet! Thank you for your hard work and hurry and make it already! I can’t wait!

52. Ensign RedShirt - March 27, 2014

Looks like fun.

STC has definitely set a new standard for fan productions. Curious to see what these folks do.

Alec – there are readers in here who have never let a lack of knowledge about a subject stop them from having an opinion anyway. Don’t mind them. Have fun – looking forward to seeing what you come up with!

53. Keachick - March 27, 2014

Wow, another Star Trek that has war as its main theme.

It is ironic how many of the people who go for and support an indie production of Star Trek which has a longwinded, drawn out war with the Klingons as its premise – yawn, seem to be the same ones going on about JJ Abrams turning Star Trek into Star Wars. Really?

If I am not mistaken, many of these fan productions deal with wars, terror of various kinds as a matter of course. Are you sure you are not trying to make your own version of Star Wars, and be damned to Star TREK?

54. Phil - March 27, 2014

@44. All you’ve done is reinforce my point, sir. Rest assured, my integrity is in great shape, and if I ever need a second career as a sycophant, I know exactly where to go. Be well, indeed.

55. RowdyTrekker - March 27, 2014

48

Kaechick – there are many of us that find the best episodes of Trek revolved around a war theme. In Deep Space Nine, the majority of the series was leading up to and featuring a long, bloody war, and, IMHO, that’s the best series of the lot. Your mileage may vary on that opinion, but it’s sound and it’s canon. There are only so many TNG “The Child”-like episodes that a person can take before they lose interest and change the channel to Survivor. Both types of stories have a place in Trek and there remains a galaxy of stories waiting to be told. Since the Battle of Axanar has been in Trek canon since TOS, it’s certainly not like the idea for Star Trek Axanar was just pulled out of the air, based on what I’ve read anyways.

Not every flavor of Trek is going to please everyone. Just look at how the more emotionally fragile folks are ready to go to war over Prime vs JJverse in any Trek forum. Can’t we all just take what we like, leave the rest, and not lose our minds in real life over a work of science fiction? It’s entertainment, so if you’re not entertained then change the proverbial channel, because this sure looks awesome to me!

56. Ensign RedShirt - March 27, 2014

RowdyTrekker is correct. With a universe as wide and varied as Trek’s, you’re definitely going to get different interpretations, from the philosophical, metaphysical tone of TMP to the non-stop action of STID.

57. Ahmed - March 27, 2014

@ 52. Keachick – March 27, 2014

“If I am not mistaken, many of these fan productions deal with wars, terror of various kinds as a matter of course. Are you sure you are not trying to make your own version of Star Wars, and be damned to Star TREK?”

Why you don’t watch these fan films first & make your own judgement, instead of comparing a multimillion movies (Abrams Trek) to fan films ?

58. Gary - March 27, 2014

The Federation had been in, and out of, conflict with the Klingon Empire for most of the Federation’s early decades. There was a protracted “cold war” going on, that occasionally heated up for about 70 years. The Battle of Axanar was a defining moment for the federation, in that the Klingon Empire had decided it was time to hammer the Federation, and get back to the glory of expanding the empire again.
The upstart humans, however, had made themselves into a bit of a problem. Garth of Izar, in particular, had inflicted embarrassment’s upon the empire. This young Federation, needed to be …Gloriously Crushed!

History has a way of repeating itself, from one ‘Age’, to the next. The players may change, and the ‘toys’ they utilize may change, but the epic reasoning’s of “Empire” will largely remain intact. In Axanar, you are presented, with the young Federation of Planets defining moments!

59. Karl the Barbarian - March 27, 2014

53 – You’re clearly the anti-sycophant here, Phil, and since you show clear delusions of superiority, sprinkled with a liberal coating of petty ad hominem attacks and a strawman or two, maybe you should check with your doctor to see which medications might be right for you. “Debbie Downer” LOL!!!

Star Trek Continues is awesome. Star Trek Renegades looks awesome so far, and now Star Trek Axanar looks like it might even be better. All three can shut up and take my money! :D

60. Red Dead Ryan - March 27, 2014

“Deep Space Nine” dealt with a couple of war narratives during its run, but also included mirror universe, Ferengi, time travel, and weird anomaly episodes. The show had a nice variety, even though the Dominion War was the dominant theme in the final couple of seasons.

This new fan series sounds like its just going to be about a war with the Klingons, which, coincidentally, is similar to the rumored plotline of the next Trek movie.

61. Phil - March 27, 2014

@56. Easy there, Ahmed, most of these fan productions are more then happy to compare themselves to the professionally prepared product. That tends to be the source of a lot of the angst, They make the comparison, then get upset when fans call them on it. Even the most benign comments tend to be met with retort that the questioner is just to stupid to understand how great the production is. A earlier poster got it right – these things are vanity projects, a chance for someone to play with a very expensive toy. A small number of them do look good, but it’s obvious that outside of a courtesy showing or two, the target audience is not the general fan base.
If people want to help someone indulge a very expensive hobby, that’s great – it’s a free country, and more power to them, but until these ‘independent film productions’ carry their own weight, I.E., make money, it’s just a hobby.

62. Ahmed - March 27, 2014

@ 57. Red Dead Ryan – March 27, 2014

“This new fan series sounds like its just going to be about a war with the Klingons, which, coincidentally, is similar to the rumored plotline of the next Trek movie.”

That was Lindelof’s stupid idea, “STID has great relentless action, lets do it again in the 3rd movie. Oh & while you are at it, lets bring Khan again, shall we ? ” !!

Thanks God that Lindelof is not involved this time around with either Star Trek XIII or Prometheus 2

63. Alec Peters - March 27, 2014

Actually Phil, with Star Trek Phase II’s “Blood & Fire” having been watched over 2 million times, the fan base clearly IS the target.

64. Keachick - March 27, 2014

#54 – “Can’t we all just take what we like, leave the rest, and not lose our minds in real life over a work of science fiction?”

Since you responded to me personally, I take it that you see me as one of those people who are losing their minds in real life over a work of science fiction. Wow – Phil is right.

Your first paragraph illustrates my point rather nicely, ie that this story line, theme is nothing new, nothing particularly original. In other words – another big yawn.

It could be that Abrams & co. may well be right on the button if they had intended to make this so-called Star TREK series, more like what it may actually be, a series about war and conflict among worlds, out in the open. Tell and show it for what it really is and do this film series illustrating many of the novels, fanfiction and fan productions actually maintain Star Trek is really about – another version of a Star WARS.

Is it any wonder that JJ Abrams lost interest in being the third movie’s director and went on to do something that was more open and true and more genuinely appreciated.

The Enterprise, with its captain and crew, have all too often had to fight their way out of a situation, with Kirk being referred to as a warrior on occasion. People mention the cowboy diplomacy of TOS, which I take to mean, “Shoot first and ask questions later”. There was always mention of tensions between Klingons, Romulans, whoever and that Neutral Zone.

Then there is DS9, with the Dominion War and Enterprise with its war and conflicts.

What I and one or two others are looking for is a Star Trek where its main characters do not have some war or other to fight their way out of, around or whatever.

I am sorry, but these latest productions seem to plod through the same old territory that so many have done before them.

It is quite likely that the actual story, acting and production may be very good, but it appears to be not much that has not been done before over and over and over and over….

#57 – I agree. These TV series did tell stories about other things and people, where war played no part – thankfully.

65. Alec Peters - March 27, 2014

Well, with that attitude, Saving Private Ryan would never have been made. “Oh come on ANOTHER World War II movie? There have been hundreds of those!”

And yet Saving Private Ryan redefined World War II movies.

I guess it is lucky the movie execs didn’t base their decision on not having read the script and just making snap judgments.

66. Ahmed - March 27, 2014

@61. Keachick

“What I and one or two others are looking for is a Star Trek where its main characters do not have some war or other to fight their way out of, around or whatever.”

Really? I say that is BS. You are among the the ones who are always defending STID no matter what was the criticism. A movie that has nothing but action, action & more action & yet, here you are, saying that you want a Trek where “characters do not have some war or other to fight their way out of, around or whatever.”, righttttttttt

67. Cygnus-X1 - March 27, 2014

26. Alex Rosenzweig – March 27, 2014

Hear, hear!!

Axanar is looking increasingly like it might be the fan film to beat. These actors are great gets and I’m especially excited to see Michael Hogan’s contribution.

68. THX-1138 - March 27, 2014

The Battle of Axanar was referenced on TOS, yes? Then it is a worthy story for telling.

Having seen some of the initial FX shots and their call for funding video, I am all in on this one. Looks damn cool.

69. Dandru - March 27, 2014

#11 Why is it a fan film?

Because… it’s made by fans. It’s not made by CBS/Paramount. It’s a fan-based project.

Hence, it is, by definition, a fan film.

This isn’t brain surgery, folks.

70. Keachick - March 27, 2014

Wow, Ahmed, once again, you shovel your bs in my direction, but hey…what the hell…

I have never defended every aspect of either of these new Star Trek movies. What’s more, I have repeated my objections here and on other sites.

While everyone was going apeshit about STID trailer because of a blink and you miss picture of a woman in underwear, I was the ONLY one who pointed out the horrible scene which showed the Harrison/Khan character apparently viciously kicking something/someone and later I and just ONE other person made reference to the horrific skull crushing scene. That just got ignored in favour of people warbling on about this so-called sexual objectification garbage.

STID gets released and what do people get their Victoria Secret/tightie whites in a knot about again – the same silly blink and you miss scene with a woman in her underwear. God, as if nobody had seen a woman in her underwear before – pathetic! No mention of the brutal violence that this film also contained – I guess that was no big deal to such folk…There were posters like trekkiegal going on and on and ended up questioning my ethics. My ethics? What about her ethical centre?

Some still do mention that oh-so-terrible undies scene. Each time anyone does that, I will say – a man was murdered by someone crushing his skull with bare hands. Which of the two scenes could be truly more injurious to sensibilities, sanity? I certainly know what answer is and it took me less than a millisecond to reach my conclusion, which I stand by.

STID was a story about how the seven Enterprise crew (which we know from TOS) each played a part in preventing all out war with the Klingons. Did you not get that bit, Ahmed?

It does seem that so many Ahmeds have been so mesmerized by all the action, action that they don’t/can’t pay attention to other details contained in the film. Meanwhile, there are some like me who are able to. Oh well, what can I say? We all have our crosses to bear. I know what some of yours are. Oh dear…

71. Alex Rosenzweig - March 27, 2014

“I like fan films but I don’t know why all of them centering around TOS. Star Trek is a big universe & I would love the fan films to go beyond TOS & do stories about the other eras.”

In addition to Alec’s point about the sets, I feel constrained to point out that there are (or have been) in fact a variety of fan productions made in many eras of Trek, from the Classic features (Potemkin, Tales of the 7th Fleet, a projected future Starship Farragut project) to the TNG era (Hidden Frontier, Odyssey, Intrepid, Helena Chronicles), and beyond (Phoenix). There are even pre-TOS (ST Origins, ST Begins), and ENT era projects.

72. KlingonSpy - March 27, 2014

I have seen the video for Prelude to Axanar and the project looks fantastic. I have also seen their Youtube page and the FX shots are outstanding. All of that plus listening to the actors and those involved with this project, this is more then a simple fan film. This seems to be a labor of love.

I have seen many comments against this project. Listen guys I respect your opinion. I also hope you will respect my right to disagree with you. I understand that this is a war story. Every great story has conflict and war is conflict. Its a tradition that has pre-dated the Greeks. This story is based on a James T Kirk’s Hero. Why was this man Kirk’s hero? Now we get the story. Now we get to know one of the people that drove and influenced one of the greatest Captains the Federation has ever known.

I understand some of you may be down on “Fan films” I have seen so very bad ones. I understand. This film does not look like its going to be like that. Everything I have seen tells me that this is a very professional project and is being held to some very high standards.

I hope those of you who seem not to be in favor of this project will take a few minutes to look over all the information on this project and give it a fair chance. I for one am looking forward to seeing this story come to life. And I am going to be honored to donate to this and in a small way have a hand in what I believe will be a great success.

73. Karl the Barbarian - March 27, 2014

Two chumps (Phil, and Kaechick’s most recent novella of drivel [tl;dr]) out of so many posts expressing support is still a great percentage and ST:C, ST:R, and ST:A are clearly the best Trek options since Paramount. Chumps sure stink up the place with their nonsense and that behavior explains why those two always have so much free time to lurk on this site and lob turds in to the punch bowls of just about every recent thread on this site. Only the happy, peppy people are called outside to play, ya know. GO STAR TREK! :D

74. Alec Peters - March 27, 2014

If anyone bothered to listen to any of the many podcasts I have done have heard me say:

1) That having a great arc for the captain is what makes great Star Trek “pilots”. (Not that this is a pilot, but it is the first story of this character).

2) That all great war stories are personal stories. Patton, Saving Private Ryan, Band of Brothers, Etc.

A War is a setting for drama. That is all. And since no one here has actually read the script, speculation on the quality of the story is ignorant.

I will take David Gerrold’s word, who, when he read the script last summer, said it was “Good, very good and in fact almost ready to shoot.”

75. Ahmed - March 27, 2014

@69. Keachick

“It does seem that so many Ahmeds have been so mesmerized by all the action, action that they don’t/can’t pay attention to other details contained in the film.”

Yeah you are correct. I’m sorry that I was so mesmerized by the frantic & relentless action scenes in STID, that I completely overlooked the AMAZING & COMPLEX story, not to mention the Oscar worthy dialogue.

Guess Because I am … better….at… EVERYTHING :)

76. Ahmed - March 27, 2014

@70. Alex Rosenzweig

“I feel constrained to point out that there are (or have been) in fact a variety of fan productions made in many eras of Trek, from the Classic features (Potemkin, Tales of the 7th Fleet, a projected future Starship Farragut project) to the TNG era (Hidden Frontier, Odyssey, Intrepid, Helena Chronicles), and beyond (Phoenix). There are even pre-TOS (ST Origins, ST Begins), and ENT era projects.”

Thanks for the info, I wasn’t aware of that. Going to check them out.

77. Alec Peters - March 27, 2014

Now boys, don’t make me stop the starship!

78. THX-1138 - March 27, 2014

Keachick, if I may. And Ahmed, too.

I do agree that there is a ridiculous double standard in movies. Show a bare boobie or some butt-cheek or maybe a couple getting busy and you’d think they were selling babies on the open market. Slice a piece of someone’s brain out and fry it in a pan and then make that same person eat it and it’s art.

Battle of Axanar is referenced in TOS. It is a legitimate storyline. And as nobody has seen it nobody can comment on how much actual “battling” will be seen on screen (think Balance of Terror). TWOK featured a famous battle. ST 09 featured two battles. And STID had a pretty sizable battle. TOS had it’s share of battles, too. This is just one story. It’s not a series as far as I know.

My own personal problem with STID wasn’t the battles or the hot chick, it was the entire premise. To me, retelling Khan was the wrong way to go. But that is water under the bridge. I, for one, am tickled pink that so much Star Trek is being made and that the bulk of it is coming from the fans. Certainly the quality will vary from one production to the next, but I can live with that. I just use my imagination to fill in any perceived blanks.

From my perspective I could not care less what anybody else’s opinion of Star Trek is. It’s not like I sit around with any of you and watch it. I’m just hoping that you will give it a chance, as I have given NuTrek a chance. Yes I have groused about it. But I promise you that I will make a concerted effort to see what is presented before I cast judgement. Maybe try and do the same for these fan productions. Perhaps you will find a diamond in the rough.

79. Dandru - March 27, 2014

The idea that Star Trek has never been about war is a fallacy, anyway. Star Trek has ALWAYS involved war in one way or another, right from TOS on. People can sugar-coat it by pretending Star Trek was a utopian show, but it never was.

80. Keachick - March 27, 2014

I am not familiar with Karl the Barbarian, so I am guessing (s)he must be one of these lurkers who decides to come here to throw a turd or two of their own around to stink up the place. Go away, Barbarian…:(
————————————————————————————————-
Ahmed – Your sarcasm suggests that I may have just hit upon a small truth about yourself.

I, at no time, described STID as necessarily having an “AMAZING & COMPLEX story, not to mention the Oscar worthy dialogue”. Those are your words, not mine.

What I have said is – STID is a good story with some interesting ideas like the transwarp beaming device and what a person’s blood might contain which could help another, given the right, very particular, circumstances. It also contains some good characters moments (and good acting from the leads), some good action scenes (not all of it aggressive eg the opening scenes on Nibiru), however there were scenes which were violent and disturbing and, in the case of the chase scene near the end between Spock and Khan, overly long. These are things I have related directly to a writer/producer of said movie who occasionally posts here.

It’s funny how people use the word “relentless” to put this film down. It is not even a word that is original to them. The first person to use this word to describe the film was Chris Pine and I doubt he meant it in a way that would denigrate the film he had just made and was (one of) its lead actor.

Now, if you wouldn’t mind, Ahmed – No, you are not … better … at … everything :)

81. Alec Peters - March 27, 2014

Wow, you guys need to get out of the house more.

82. Ahmed - March 27, 2014

@79. Keachick

“Ahmed – Your sarcasm suggests that I may have just hit upon a small truth about yourself.”

I will take your word for it!!

“The first person to use this word to describe the film was Chris Pine”

Can’t argue there with our in-house Pine expert ;)

“What I have said is – STID is a good story with some interesting ideas like the transwarp beaming device and what a person’s blood might contain which could help another, given the right, very particular, circumstances.”

Khan’s magical blood is an interesting idea ?? Well, we can stop arguing right now, this is the END OF THE LINE :)

Now, lets not hijack this thread with STID discussion, shall we ?

83. GShep - March 27, 2014

My post is #57 (Gary) above I do believe…

I will semi-recap: The Federation had been in a state of Cold-War with the Klingon Empire for about 70 years. There were Numerous “hero’s” who gave their all trying to prevent a real shooting war. Garth of Izar was known among his contemporaries as *THE* pre-eminent explorer! Until war found him, and he no longer had any other alternative than to fight. Ok, he could have ran and hidden! But then, a whole lot of otherwise peaceful and innocent people would have died, or been enslaved.

The Battle of Axanar was very much about trying to prevent even more bloodshed and misery. If the Federation had lost that battle, full blown, galaxy wide, war would have ensued. The aftermath of which, would have had far reaching repercussions.

84. William Scotland - March 27, 2014

When is the new Star Trek film coming out.

85. Nugget - March 27, 2014

More crap acting and boring CG, woohoo

86. CmdrR - March 27, 2014

Talked to Richard Hatch at a DragonCon of some years ago. He said he wished shows could be more fun. Let’s see whether that holds for this. I hope so…

87. Keachick - March 27, 2014

Ahmed – “Really? I say that is BS. You are among the the ones who are always defending STID no matter what was the criticism. A movie that has nothing but action, action & more action & yet, here you are, saying that you want a Trek where “characters do not have some war or other to fight their way out of, around or whatever.”, righttttttttt”

You are the one who made the STID comparison and went on your tired tirade against this movie in particular. If anyone hijacked this thread, it was you.

Don’t be a smart-ass – ref. your Chris Pine expert comment. Chris was the first to describe the film he had just made as “relentless” among others. For such die-hard Trekkies/Trekkers/whatever who nitpick and manage twist much into some horrible mangled mess and then claim this is what the writers did, I am really not surprised that you did not pick up this very early description of Chris’s. You do realize that it has never been a requirement that you had to especially like the actor (and/or his character) in order to note this.

Khan did not have magical blood. He had a component which could survive conditions that other organisms of a similar biology could not. It is probably what has allowed him to be successfully re-awakened after being frozen for 300 years. I feel sorry that so many people are so confused and dismissive of this aspect of the movie.

88. Ahmed - March 27, 2014

@86. Keachick

“Don’t be a smart-ass – ref. your Chris Pine expert comment.”

Come on, everyone here know that you are the number ONE expert on all things related to Chris Pine, no need to be shy about that :)

“Khan did not have magical blood. He had a component which could survive conditions that other organisms of a similar biology could not.”

Care to share with us the chemical formula for that “component” ? Our friends at the Pentagon will be very interested in finding that formula!

89. Ahmed - March 27, 2014

@ 84. William Scotland – March 27, 2014

“When is the new Star Trek film coming out.”

Everyone assume it coming out in 2016 but no official release date yet.

90. Gunnar Magaret - March 27, 2014

I personally think that this independent film is going tp be one that will never be forgotten. because it has one of the best group of actors as well as a brilliant producer I look it to be one of the greatest achievements in a star trek franchise.

91. Bob Dog - March 27, 2014

I LOVE that ship design. LOVE IT TO DEATH. I prefer it to anything I’ve seen in a Paramount trek since the 1701-D.

92. Vultan - March 27, 2014

Protomatter. Khan had protomatter blood. The next movie has Kirk falling apart. Poor Kirk.

93. Duane - March 28, 2014

When you see the talent that Axanar has lined up, both in front of and behind the camera, this is clearly not a fan film but an independent film. I love the costumes, music, effects (Hatch’s Klingon make-up looks great) and I would almost kill to have a copy of the script.

94. Hat Rick - March 28, 2014

A general comment: Please don’t look down on fan productions.

First of all, other than the official movies — which are seldom released — they’re the only Trek fix other than the books. TV Trek is still adrift and may never restart its engines for the foreseeable future.

Second of all, independent films aren’t all that different from fan films as they have advanced in funding and artistry. In fact, if Trek fan films continue to evolve and attract audiences, I fear that Paramount might start getting into the act a little more, which might not be a good thing; so far, Paramount has been tolerant, lenient, and maybe even a bit generous in regard to the use of Trek logos. One hopes that this will continue; money is key, however, and when fan films start generating money, then it may be a different story.

Third of all, the involvement of professional actors in fan films is really quite encouraging. I’m glad to see it.

Fourth of all, I wish that a fan community known for its tolerance would show a little more of that famous tolerance when it comes to the infighting we all too often see here.

95. Crewman Darnell - March 28, 2014

A back-story involving Garth Of Izar has *long* been on my wish list.
The Battle Of Axanar should make for fertile, story-telling ground, that could be a rewarding blast for writers/producers who enjoy Classic Trek.
Best of luck to everyone on the Axanar team and thanks so much for your efforts. I’m looking forward to seeing a return voyage to TOS universe.

96. T.Stichweh - March 28, 2014

I am relay looking forward to this project. Nice article with fantastic infos for all the Trekker out there

97. Emperor Mike of the Alternate Empire - March 28, 2014

C.B.S needs to pay attention. Star Trek is a Huge franchise and they need to consult all of these fan production’s and give a couple of them a License and get one or more of these on air.

98. Mightyeroc - March 28, 2014

I am very excited to see this happen. Brings back memories of watching classic Trek with Dad. Can’t wait to see the older style ships in action.

There are plenty of stories to be told about the Federation before Kirk and I hope we see plenty of them.

99. Dandru - March 28, 2014

#96: No. No, they definitely do NOT need to give fan productions a license. No. Cheesy productions starring bad actors doing hack impressions of other, better actors is not something that should be legitimized.

100. GS - March 28, 2014

It’s one thing for the original Trek actors to show up and reprise their roles, but for genre stars best known for other franchises (like Richard Hatch here or Gil Gerard and Eric Gray in the other two Trek productions) gives the impression that it’s an extension of a sci-fi convention. Stunt casting like this destroys suspension of disbelief and is ultimately fanboism.

As for the legality of fan-films. There’s now a growing industry surrounding fan-films. It’s all about classifying expenses. If you can prove that you’re getting paid because you are contracted “talent” then all is well. But when you obtain a good share of your income from these fan-films or you go so far as to actively pursue working on one after the other, then they are de-facto pro productions, albeit very low-paying ones. If CBS/Paramount doesn’t have a problem with it, fine. I’d like them to stay out of the way. But clearly hairs are being split very finely on this when tens of thousands of dollars are pumping into crowdfunding campaigns with loose accounting of where the money actually goes.

101. Alec Peters - March 28, 2014

While it will NEVER happen (I know because I talked to CBS about this and why they CANNOT do anything with fa films, even listing them on Startrek.com), even if CBS did license Star Trek fan films, they would most likely not allow any Kirk/Spock/McCoy fan films as that tramples on what CBS and Paramount are doing.

And since Dandru, you mention bad actors doing hack impressions of other, better actors, I assume you are referring to TOS reboots like Phase II and Star Trek: Continues. There are a whole world of other fan films that don’t recast TOS. Have you seen Star Trek: Phoenix? It has real actors doing Star Trek set after Nemesis.

It is clear some people here simply hate all fan films. Well, don’t watch them.

102. Danpaine - March 28, 2014

Having owned/watched every iteration of Trek out there to one degree or another over 47 years, in my opinion since Trek left/was kicked off television the most quality, deep, consistent and CARING Trek writing has come out of fan productions, despite their budgetary limitations. These are films that truly respect the source material.

You folks who are criticizing the efforts of these very dedicated people – who obviously care about Trek much more than you do – just come off as ignorant, hateful and typical.

I thought Phase Two’s “World and Enough Time” with George Takei was absolutely wonderful storytelling. And that’s just one example of many.

Love STID so much? Go watch it again (and you can have my copy if you want it, I’m done with that movie – forever).

Looking forward to Axanar and whatever else is coming down the pike from these creative and dedicated people. Many thanks for your continued efforts. Don’t buy into the overabundance of negativity here.

103. JACarter - March 28, 2014

I’m so excited to see this one! I’ve been following the progress of this film on their website and Facebook page, and I can’t believe the quality of the visuals. I can’t believe this isn’t being done is some huge Hollywood studio. I can’t wait until this comes out! :o)

104. Alec Peters - March 28, 2014

# 100 GS Your comment that genre actors shouldn’t be in independent productions or fan films makes absolutely no sense whatsoever. It is not “stunt casting” to put professional actors in a production. They are actors. They act for a living. And any production should look to put the best possible cast they can on screen.

In addition, fans want to see these people who they love and that is why fans fund the Kickstarters. I guess you want to hire no names. Again, that makes no sense.

If it destroys your suspension of disbelief to see professional actors playing roles on screen, well, that is your issue.

As to accounting on productions, I agree. When a production like Renegades raises $ 374,000 and has absolutely no transparency or accountability that is a problem. Where does all the money go? My understanding is they are raising even more money now to pay for new computers for the VFX staff. This frankly, threatens all of us who are trying to crowdfund.

That is why Axanar has posted details about where the money goes and how much the actual budget is. With each additional $ 10,000 we raise we note what that will pay for. And we will continue to do so. Accountability and transparency are important.

105. crazydaystrom - March 28, 2014

65. Alec Peters
“Well, with that attitude, Saving Private Ryan would never have been made. “Oh come on ANOTHER World War II movie? There have been hundreds of those!””

That very same analogy has occurred to me Alex. Though I honestly don’t remember if it was in regards to Star Trek or not.

106. crazydaystrom - March 28, 2014

I’m really not sure why any Trek fan will not wish and hope for the best from any Trek production.

107. Danpaine - March 28, 2014

105. crazydaystrom – March 28, 2014
I’m really not sure why any Trek fan will not wish and hope for the best from any Trek production.

Exactly.

108. Ahmed - March 28, 2014

@ 105. crazydaystrom – March 28, 2014

“I’m really not sure why any Trek fan will not wish and hope for the best from any Trek production.”

It is not Axanar but any fan film. Just check any thread on trekmovie about fan productions & you will see the same people, STID fans, attacking these films before they even watch it!

Make you wonder why they feel threatened by fan films!

109. DWNicolo - March 28, 2014

Wise words Danpaine.

110. crazydaystrom - March 28, 2014

107. Ahmed
“Make you wonder why they feel threatened by fan films!

Dunno Ahmed. Not very IDIC of them. To each her/his own. *shrugs*

111. Spock's Bangs - March 28, 2014

…hope it can all come together, but it will all have to meld to be good, that’s the nature of the beast. Good actors can suck with a bad story. Good writing can suck with bad direction. Good effects can’t carry bad acting….etc etc. Filmaking is one HUGE collaborative effort and all planets must be in alignment for it to be really good, which is rare even on the professional level ! lol But I wish them the best and hope they gave the talent, on all levels, to pull it off.

112. Phil - March 28, 2014

Fans of the professionally produced material are not threatened by the fan films/fiction/art. The fans don’t get behind for a simple reason – the quality of the material is frequently over promised, and under delivered. It’s not that hard to figure out.

While we are at it, lets compound the problem. The people who support these fan films tend to be incredibly thin skinned. Even the most benign comments or criticisms is responded to with a full frontal assault on the individual. Don’t believe me, just look at this thread. Anyone not slobbering unquestioning love and affection on the project is an intolerant hater.I’ve always held the opinion that Trek was (generally) a objective look at the human condition from a 23rd century prospective. Rose lamented that this project seems to be shaping up as yet another ‘pew pew’ phaserfest, and was promptly attacked for that – more then a few comments pointed out that Trek was always about fighting the Klingons.

Obviously, the people who put these projects together either have the wealth or the ability to fund raise to indulge their fantasy of playing Captain Kirk. Frankly, what they do with their money is their own business. I doubt anyone wishes them ill for it, myself included. If the expectations were properly managed, then I doubt anyone would really care how good or bad the final product was. The comments on this thread speak for themselves, if you are going to embrace the idea that this is better then the professionally produced content, or link the quality to Oscar nominated projects, you just have to expect that, looking at previous efforts, some folks are going to look at this and shrug their shoulders. If you like this sort of thing, enjoy. Lets face it, the bar for quality is set pretty low, based on past projects.

113. Keachick - March 28, 2014

I was not attacking this particular production. I was commenting on the fact that much of Star Trek, whether it be a fan production or the franchise owner production, has the theme of war. Unfortunately, it appears that this fan production is no exception.

Please read my initial post at #53 carefully, then you all might not feel so threatened in ways that you have no need to feel. Ahmed and some odious lurker Karl the Barbarian managed to get stupid (in ref. to my comment about Khan’s blood), sarcastic, rude, personal and derail the discussion somewhat.

If you recall this at my post #64 in reference to the present fan production being discussed – “It is quite likely that the actual story, acting and production may be very good…”

#102 -“You folks who are criticizing the efforts of these very dedicated people – who obviously care about Trek much more than you do – just come off as ignorant, hateful and typical. ”

You have no idea how much “us folks” may care about Star Trek and, if I may, it is your comment quoted above that comes off as “ignorant, hateful and typical”.

114. Sammy B - March 28, 2014

It’s been quite a while since I commented on this website, but I have been following AXANAR on Facebook. To be quite honest, I’m very excited about it and believe it will be awesome. I have been a fan of TOS since I’m 5 years old. In recent years I have gone and still go to YouTube to get my fill of Star Trek fan films. For me, I love the story telling and once you get past some of them perhaps not having the greatest special effects (neither did TOS have the greatest special effects) – they are true to the core of the characters and the tone established by TOS. I applaud James Cowley for being in the forefront of the ST films. I applaud each and every individual(s) who put their blood and PASSION into creating these fan films. They take the time to do these films because the LOVE Star Trek and what its stands for, and they give us Star Trek fans something new and exciting to look forward to. Those who criticize the fan films they are just not getting it (I say that with all due respect). And those who create them for OUR entertainment – I say GREAT JOB and THANK YOU!!!

115. Ahmed - March 28, 2014

@ 113. Keachick – March 28, 2014

“I was not attacking this particular production. I was commenting on the fact that much of Star Trek, whether it be a fan production or the franchise owner production, has the theme of war. Unfortunately, it appears that this fan production is no exception.”

Then don’t watch it, problem solved.

116. star trackie - March 28, 2014

Look, I can have a passion for art, love Van Gough, paint a picture because I love to paint, and it still suck rotten eggs. The final product will tell the tale whether or not these guys have the chops to take fan films to the next level. Here’s hoping.

117. LogicalLeopard - March 28, 2014

113. Keachick – March 28, 2014
I was not attacking this particular production. I was commenting on the fact that much of Star Trek, whether it be a fan production or the franchise owner production, has the theme of war. Unfortunately, it appears that this fan production is no exception.

***********************************

Well, when you think about it, you have a large number of different species with superluminal capability. This means that they run into each other, and since their cultures are often wildly different, the chance of misunderstanding and warfare exists. One of the best openings of a Star Trek episode was the Enterprise Episode where Archer & Co are following some foreign dignitaries down a corridor because they’d inadvertently offended them. I think they ate something in front of them, or something, and that particular culture regarded eating in public like many people regard having sex in public. The potential for misunderstanding, offense, and bad blood is out there.

Though most of Star Trek doesn’t revolve around war. And often makes some very good points against it. Take a look at Star Trek Into Darkness, that had some very good anti-war points.

118. Danpaine - March 28, 2014

The way we left the Klingons in the last big-screen installment, I wouldn’t expect them to be none too happy in the next one, if the powers that be are going to attempt to be consistent.

119. Vultan - March 28, 2014

Looks like people here have more in common than they may realize. Because the complaints of fan productions having too much action, war, fighting Klingons, and overall darkness, plus fans attacking one another for their opinions, are pretty much the same dark clouds hanging over the official movies.

I’ve yet to see a fan production (or a professional production) of Trek that didn’t have problems. But I can’t complain too much about what fans do. They’re free and only a click away from not watching.

120. Keachick - March 28, 2014

#65 Alec Peters – I assume that this comment was referring to my earlier posts on the subject of what the main theme of this fan production is about – fighting a battle (explosions, destruction, injuries, deaths) to avoid a war with the Klingons.

Your comment is non-sequitur – for this reason. Star Trek is not a Star WAR, despite the fact that warring and battles have been a component of many stories.

With Saving Private Ryan, it was made apparent that this was a war movie. The setting of the events took place in a war zone and much of what happened was the result of that war. It was a WAR film. It would have been totally stupid of anyone going to see that film not to expect that there would be scenes of warfare and all that can come from it – violence, cruelty, horrible injuries, death, destruction, chaos. It was also one movie telling a story with a beginning, middle and end. It is not part of a series of stories, with a particular overall title/theme, made for cinema and/or television.

Steven Spielberg’s other television production, Band of Brothers, is a series dealing with what happened to a particular US *battalion fighting in Europe during the second world war. The over-riding theme/setting was war.

I could expect to see the next Star WARS movie, presently under production, have the main protagonists engaged in some sort of major battle, because…well, look at the title of this movie series.

I always thought that Star Trek was not about taking continuous warfare into space, but MOSTLY about other stuff that is more interesting, unique, strange, outlandish, silly, fragile, funny – notions like the possibility of transwarp beaming device, or someone who has blood with amazing recuperative power… ideas that stretch the imagination, that inspire goodness and courage.

These, and more, are actually the ideas I hope to discover when I watch a Star Trek iteration and which have nothing to do with war per se, although, of course, anyone/anything can become the victim of warmongering bandits. These may include writers…

Leave the warring to the other star faring franchise, which even has Wars, as part of its title.

*I think it is called a battalion. It was a particular unit of the US Army stationed in Europe.

121. Ahmed - March 28, 2014

@ 116. star trackie – March 28, 2014

“The final product will tell the tale whether or not these guys have the chops to take fan films to the next level. Here’s hoping.”

Precisely! We can’t make a judgement before we watch the film.

That why it is counterproductive, and even stupid, when people say stuff like “CBS should shutdown the production” or “OMG, there are OLD actors in the film”.

Fan films are not like studio movies, it is not reasonable to compare the high production value of a studio movie to fan film. What we should do instead is to focus on the story & the character development if any.

122. Phil - March 28, 2014

@117. I’m going to get into trouble for commenting on an observation Rose made, but a lot is being read into her observation that isn’t there. I’d venture she understands that conflict can arise from misunderstanding – a good chunk of TOS wasn’t denying that, but it was an active exercise in conflict resolution. Various species working through their misunderstanding instead of blowing each other up…which was the unstated desire at the time that the US and USSR would do the same.

TNG, on the other hand, was fairly pacifist. That’s why the Borg were introduced, to drive home the point that complacency isn’t always the best course of action, either. Unfortunately, because the movies tended to lean more toward action then adventure, Trek started it’s drift toward the shoot-em-ups, which seems to be the only genre the fan film producers are interested in. The thing is, if that’s the only thing people find interesting, go watch Star Wars. They do it real well.

Now, if Trek really is that mirror to the human condition, shouldn’t it also reflect the desire toward peace, and exploration as well? We live in an ear where conflict resolution skills should be highly prized, yet leader after leader these days seem to feel there isn’t a foreign policy problem that can’t be solved by a missile armed drone. If Trek really is just about ‘fighting the Klingons’, then how is this different then Starship Troopers? Fan films don’t have to make money, have a really limited audience, and don’t have to draw ratings. So why don’t they tell these thoughtful stories? I’ll tell you why – it’s not fun to make an adventure movie about conflict resolution. Vanity projects being what they are, and it’s my money, so I’m going toe to toe with the Klingons, that’s why. It’s not really about THE fans, it’s about A fan, a fan who has followers. So, fine – be honest about that and a lot of this debate goes away, because everyone knows what they are getting at this point.

123. Dandru - March 28, 2014

#102 wrote:
“You folks who are criticizing the efforts of these very dedicated people – who obviously care about Trek much more than you do – just come off as ignorant, hateful and typical.”

You’re an idiot.

124. Dandru - March 28, 2014

These films, if they make any money at all, are copyright-infringing and, thus, actionable. As such, they should be shut down in order to protect CBS/Paramount’s copyright.

125. Ahmed - March 28, 2014

@124. Dandru

“These films, if they make any money at all, are copyright-infringing and, thus, actionable. As such, they should be shut down in order to protect CBS/Paramount’s copyright.”

But they don’t make money, that why they continue to produce these fan films.

126. Phil - March 28, 2014

@Dandru – you are barking up the wrong tree here, buddy. Corporations are very aggressive in protecting their TM/CR/SM’s. They also understand there’s a fine line to walk here, as fan projects do tend to keep their products in the public eye. Most of the fan productions have talked to CBS/Paramount, and they know that if they want to play in the Trek sandbox they have to abide by the rules. At the end of the day, if asked to produce a balance sheet, there will always be a zero at the bottom of it.

Think about it for a second – the payday for any writer/actor/producer is to get a project sold. So, if any of these fan films actually were good enough to make some money, don’t you think they would? I understand some Twilight fan fiction writers actually picked up a book deal recently, so it does happen.

127. Ahmed - March 28, 2014

@126. Phil

“if any of these fan films actually were good enough to make some money, don’t you think they would?”

That imply that only good movies make money, that is clearly not true. Stupid movies make money all the time, just look at the Transformers movies as a clear example.

128. Keachick - March 28, 2014

Oh my, Phil.

Our thinking appears to be in tandem here. I was just thinking the same as what you wrote – “If Trek really is just about ‘fighting the Klingons’, then how is this different then Starship Troopers? Fan films don’t have to make money, have a really limited audience, and don’t have to draw ratings. So why don’t they tell these thoughtful stories?”

I come back after doing the dishes only to find that you have already written it…I also see that what I wrote a little earlier was more or less imitated by you. Given the speed at which we are writing and posting, you were writing just as mine had been posted…LOL…something *psychic/mysterious appears to be afoot…:) (I jest)

These are relevant points. The movie industry, which includes Paramount who is the franchise owner of the Star Trek big picture side, has to be cognizant of overall public attitude and wishes. As I pointed out some time ago, if a movie with a lot VFX/CGI (or whatever they call all that special effects technology), shows a lot of ‘xplosions, pew-pew, whizz-bang, cars and other vehicles turning themselves into monster transformer “guys”, supermen in silly suits doing fantastical stuff etc, is what really attracts many film goers, then it would be completely idiotic, derelict and incompetent of studio executives not to take this into account. It is hard to ignore the fact that the Transformer movies made billions of dollars (irrespective of the fact that many people view the storylines etc as sub-par).

The two Star Trek movies were a bit frantic, “relentless” in many ways, but not overly, compared with what other blockbuster movies show.

One more thing – do you, who are making this fan production that deals with the Enterprise in battle etc, not think that the present ST producers/writers are not noticing? If people who refer to themselves as the fans who “really do care about Trek” (as opposed to others, like me?) and who are prepared to put money behind a project that has war as its main theme for a Star Trek story on film, these same people (yes, you too, Ahmed) should not be too surprised if the third Paramount Star Trek movie is not about some moronic UFP waging pitch battle against an equally moronic Klingon Empire or other, using their flagship, the Enterprise, to do the hard work and its crew try to salvage what dignity and sanity they can from the whole mess.

Get it? WAKE UP!

129. Jonathon Carter Schall - March 28, 2014

I’m really looking forward to this project. Alec Peters has assembled a fantastic group of talented filmmakers that virtually guarantees an awesome Star Trek experience. Richard Hatch will be a great Klingon, and Michael Hogan as Robert April is brilliant.

130. Phil - March 28, 2014

@127. It also implies that fan films don’t rise to the level of stupid movies.

Thank you, your Honor. I rest my case.

131. Ahmed - March 28, 2014

@ 129. Phil – March 28, 2014

Objection!

The fact is that both good AND stupid movies do make money. Therefore, the financial profit of any given movie is not a real indication of the quality of said movies.

132. Marja - March 28, 2014

126 Phil, E.L. James learned, to her eternal delight, that if she changed the names and certain characteristics of the protagonists in her “Twilight” fanfic, “50 Shades of Grey,” she could market it. It earned a sh*t ton of money.

I know fanfic writers who are much better writers than Ms James. They are not phenomenally lucky as she has been. [They would need to be able to translate the entire "Trek world" of their stories into another original sci-fi universe, a considerably tougher task than James had cut out for her.]

My point is, some professional writers in Hollywood are able to find a franchise property [e.g., Transformers], write an adequate screenplay, and make a ton of money under license. Some would argue that they had the same kind of luck with Trek [and some of us would argue that the Trek scripts are better than those written for Transformers].

But there are writers, actors, producers and SFX artists who want to play in the Trek universe. They know they’re not going to make money. They know they CAN’T make money from it. They do it out of love, and perhaps some creative ego, or perhaps simply out of a desire to say or do something that hasn’t been said or done in professionally produced Trek.

This is not to their detriment, unless they put out an entirely crappy product.

Yes, it may be “unoriginal” because the “universe” is already established with certain rules and so on, but production values equal to TOS, in the case of STC and some of Phase II and others, are good [Axanar looks to be even better].

The acting sometimes leaves much to be desired, but if the acting is up to snuff I can enjoy the fan films. This remains to be seen with “Axanar.” I look forward to checking it out. They’re definitely exploring a part of Trek “history” I find intriguing. I hope it won’t be all battles and SFX, but that’s just me. I really enjoy the “human interest” type stories and the sci-fi stories of Trek. [They still managed to tell some of these in Deep Space Nine even in the midst of the Dominion War seasons 5-7. They were also able to tell stories about the heartbreak of war.]

133. Marja - March 28, 2014

Keachick, I think Pine’s comment about “relentless” was part of the official line of publicity, b/c Paramount “relentlessly”markets the action sequences and mentality of the Abrams films.

By the time I saw him say it in an interview, I think he was starting to feel that the publicity tour they were doing for “the movie that is relentless”, was also relentless … he looked a little like he was smiling in resignation or irony ….

When I refer to “relentless action” — and the two words are usually coupled in my comments — I mean, there is very little breathing room for the actors to do character building, interact as characters having a discussion, philosophical or otherwise. They are always busy overcoming a huge crisis. This is the nature of a summer blockbuster. And this is why I devoutly wish Trek was not in the summer blockbuster time slot. Yet it looks that way for the 2016 release too. Alas. On the good side, at least we get to see Pine, Quinto, Saldana and Urban again soon. May we all live so long :-)

134. Marja - March 28, 2014

131 Ahmed,

Yep!

135. Marja - March 28, 2014

One of the very best Trek TOS episodes was “Errand of Mercy.” For reasons that are obvious when one watches the episode, if one has not seen it before. For those of us who know, ’nuff said.

136. Marja - March 28, 2014

120 Keachick, I’m in complete agreement on this.

And I think I speak for both of us when I say that I will find it fascinating if there is a subplot in which we find out the good and bad elements of Kirk’s having elements of Khan’s blood — or its McCoy-engineered offshoot — in his system. If there is a moral debate that ensues from McCoy’s having used it. What effects it has on Kirk, how it affects him personally. Will his personality change? Will his gratitude at having a “new life” relax into an easy sort of arrogance? Will he have some sort of superiority? Will this affect his friendships with McCoy, Spock and Uhura? How about his leadership with his crew?

Anyways … probably a discussion better suited to the main thread …
—————————————-
Good luck, “Axanar!”

137. Keachick - March 28, 2014

Chris Pine was quoted as saying the film was relentless and action packed. He was right. STID certainly felt relentless in its feel and speed and there was a lot of action of various kinds. However, it was not just action of a violent, punch him out, kick him down, shoot ‘em, skull crushing kind, although most of it was.

The opening scenes were anything but that. If I had to see another “relentless” and “action packed” Star Trek, I hope it is the kind of events that the opening scenes depicted, not the other. Action involving escaping some spacial *anomaly, using weapons to fire on a rogue asteroid etc, discovering a new race who seek their help because of really, really bad weather or strange rift pulling their world apart, IDK… think of something Bob Orci, Alex Kurtzman, JD Payne – come on, guys!

Yes, I agree that there was so little time given for character building and reflection. That needs to increase so we can breathe properly ourselves along with the characters. That is not a bad thing. Such scenes can make for a brilliant and powerfully potent movie if they are done well…Both CP and ZQ (et al) are more than up to the task!

*Sorry, Marja – there goes that word again… it just looks and sounds so good…:)

Are you getting this, Bob Orci?

138. Keachick - March 28, 2014

Which is the main thread on this Trekmovie site?

139. dswynne - March 28, 2014

Here is what I think:

There are those who do not like the idea of fan films being produced. Those are the morons who tend to forget the fact that CBS/Paramount do not care to produce a professionally done television show (no matter the era), or even a feature film on a more regular basis.

There are those who have an opinion on the type of fan films that should be produced. These are the complainers who tend poo-poo other interpretations of ‘Trek in favor of what THEY prefer. Don’t like a depiction of a war story set in ‘Trek? There’s “Phase II”, “Continues” and “Farragut” to choose from (to name a few).

And then there are those who, like me, congratulate producers of fan films who take the time and effort to create fan films in the first place. Since I have to wait until 2016 for the next ‘Trek film, I don’t mind getting my ‘Trek fix by watching these other productions.

140. Phil - March 28, 2014

Gotta love these little earthquakes…foreshock, anyone?

141. Keachick (Rose) - March 28, 2014

Who is the moron, dswynne?

What – no one is allowed to have a dissenting opinion on an aspect of a Star Trek production, particularly if it is not a Paramount/CBS film?

Actually I can’t watch any in their entirety but the little I have seen, I’ve not liked that much. So shoot me…

Good for you and your ‘Trek fix…

142. Marja - March 29, 2014

137 Rose, you know, surely you know, that any time we use the word “anomaly” it must be preceded by these three: “some kind of” … it says so in the Trek writers’ bible, doesn’t it? ;-)

143. Tom Vinelli - March 29, 2014

@64:
I do get your point which is well taken. It seems to me War is the theme everywhere these days. TV shows like Falling Skies,The Event is war with Aliens. Grimm, war with whatever those things are. Once upon a time. war with Fairy tale people!! War , war and more war with something or someone.
And war somewhere in real life.
Is it so shocking Star trek would do another war story? As i said your point is well taken, the word ”Trek” means something very different and its true Star trek has gotten away from that with stories. But thats the trend these days and Star Trek has always told stories about whats going on in the real world. Just take a look whats going on now and I can understand why this War theme keeps coming up in TV and Films.

144. Crewman Darnell - March 29, 2014

Star Trek has always incorporated war themes within so many of the stories. In “Errand of Mercy,” Kirk delivers a well-known line, “I’m a soldier, not a diplomat.” In that particular episode, so much was clear of his responsibilities in that situation, as it was in “Balance of Terror.”

War and the avoidance of war is a driving force in the established Trek Universe, as it is in our own. In TOS, “The Battle of Axanar” should be appreciated for ‘historical merit,’ as its reference has already been established as TOS canon. I’m looking forward to seeing what the writers of this fan production can do with it. I have a strong hunch this effort might really stand out among the others.

145. Disinvited - March 29, 2014

#142. Marja – March 29, 2014

What? No “spatial”?

I mean spatial is what made a Trek anomaly “special.”

146. dennycranium - March 29, 2014

To all the naysayers and fan film “critics” I say this:
If you don’t like fan films then don’t watch them.
If you wish we could do them better- I’m with Phase 2- donate to them.
You’d be surprised what $10 or $20.00 does for a fan production.
I haven’t worked with any of the other productions but a P2 we work our behinds off to put out the best product we can.
I consider Alec Peters to be a friend and I can say this about him:
He’s driven, committed and a true professional.
He’s going to put it all on the screen, I think.
He’s going to surprise everybody with Axanar.
I’m excited to see it.

147. Phil - March 29, 2014

Yeah, I think Rose has a decent understanding of the situation. Support is unconditional – the minute you ask a question, a suggestion, or a criticism you instantly become a hateful, demon possessed enemy that needs to be driven from the ranks of the faithful.

The person who described these as vanity projects offered up a fairly accurate assessment of these projects. It’s a very expensive hobby for those with the means to play Captain Kirk for a bit – there’s no accountability except unto themselves, and the handful of fans who pony up a few bucks to buy in, and the internet affords them a wider audience then they would have had 20 years ago. And in a few society, they are free to pursue this as they see fit – for my two cents, a bit more candor on the producers part would be appreciated, but if they have the need to stroke their egos by calling this a public service, again, it’s their sandbox. That’s why there’s the blowback on their parts to these observations, it shines a light on what is a façade.

The disdain shown toward community theater was obvious early on – my son got involved in HS theater a couple of years ago, and is considering a minor when he heads off to college in the fall. That disdain highlights a real problem. The days when a Jeffery Hunter would support a community theater are long gone, and support for the arts in public education is underfunded as well. I’d suggest to the casual fan, that if you legitimately want to support the arts, find that community playhouse, or HS thespian troupe. If you are going to donate to a vanity project, consider a donation to your local theater or HS theater instead. These institutions actually reach the community, expand the arts, and teach skills. It’s a gift that will keep giving for quite some time, as opposed to giving some well connected individual an opportunity to indulge a hobby from time to time.

Outside of that, I wish them well.

148. Dswynne - March 29, 2014

141 (Keachick). Obviously, you are not a moron, since you did indicate that you support fan-based productions in general; just not in the “Axanar” production due to its subject matter. That I understand (like those who prefer TNG to DS9, for example). I was referring to those who do not like ANY fan-based productions of any kind, and would like to see such productions shut down. That angers me, since I know that the people of these things are doing them out of a sense of appreciation of a franchise that is near and deaf to me. I grew up ‘Trek, so I do apologize for being emotional on this subject.

149. Cygnus-X1 - March 29, 2014

Just watched Phase II’s “To Serve All My Days.”

Good story with Klingons.This could easily have been a TOS episode, and not surprisingly the story was written by DC Fontana.

I enjoyed Walter Koenig’s touching performance reprising his role as Chekov, and the acting was solid all around.

An earlier episode (#2 from 2004), the FX are less advanced than in subsequent episodes, but they still manage to make the action scenes compelling on an obviously limited budget. I am often impressed by how well fan productions are able to execute action scenes, and this was no exception.

My usual complaint about Phase II episodes is that the pacing could/should be tighter, but “To Serve All My Days” wasn’t too bad in this regard, perhaps because the extended scenes with Chekov were carried and kept interesting by Walter Koenig. The actor who played the Klingon captain was particularly good, and could easily have played his part in a TOS episode.

150. Cygnus-X1 - March 29, 2014

71. Alex Rosenzweig – March 27, 2014

In addition to Alec’s point about the sets, I feel constrained to point out that there are (or have been) in fact a variety of fan productions made in many eras of Trek, from the Classic features (Potemkin, Tales of the 7th Fleet, a projected future Starship Farragut project) to the TNG era (Hidden Frontier, Odyssey, Intrepid, Helena Chronicles), and beyond (Phoenix). There are even pre-TOS (ST Origins, ST Begins), and ENT era projects.

I find the Starship Farragut series interesting in that it’s very well put together in terms of story and pacing, which is what carries it along in spite of shortcomings in the performances. Once you get used to the actors and accept that, relative to the likes of Phase II and Continues, Farragut is a sort of “second tier” fan production, it’s quite enjoyable and even impressive in terms of narrative craftsmanship.

151. Rick Chambers - March 29, 2014

Having worked alongside Alex Peters and other talented folks involved in Axanar, I share the excitement for this production. Their dedication and enthusiasm will lead to another outstanding chapter in the Star Trek saga.

152. Capes - March 29, 2014

Alec, Your efforts are greatly appreciated. But this “board/thread” is exhibiting the same backbiting and pithy behavior it usually does which is why I stopped participating on here (aside from reading on here from time to time) So aside from all the comments above let me just say….great job, great concept and thank you. …..and ignore the ignorant comments that are unworthy of a reply.

153. Alec Peters - March 29, 2014

Thank you Rick and Capes. Much appreciated.

Alec

154. Marja - March 30, 2014

145 Disinvited, LOL! Of course, “some kind of spatial anomaly” … it’s always “some kind of” something! You’d think the writers of “Voyager” et.al. would have caught on after they’d used it the first three times o_O

144 Darnell, In keeping with its venerated practice of commenting on current events, war is naturally there to be examined in Trek. As far as that goes, I liked the message in STiD; sometimes war is completely ill-founded in an effort at vengeance.War is the last option to use when diplomacy has failed. I think some of us would like to see Trek diplomacy in action as well as starships in battle actions ….

147 Phil, I cannot agree more with your comments on community theatre. Early on, I got a true appreciation of dramatic arts from ushering at my local theatre’s shows, two per year. For the years I was there, I saw Brian Dennehy as a young actor learning his craft. He commuted from two or three towns away to our community theatre to rehearse and perform. He sang, he danced, he did drama, he did it ALL, and was years later “discovered” in the movie “Ten.” After that he went on to Broadway and some major Hollywood films.

My point is to echo yours: we do not get a true appreciation for the arts if they are not part of our communities, if we do not get a taste of them in school. I’ve long participated in community choruses, singing sublime music, because in middle school and high school I took Chorus. I just can’t imagine why communities opt to retain the very expensive athletics programs at the expense of music and drama. Can’t they find a middle way, so that students can discover a creative niche for themselves? Each of these can contribute to a well-rounded young citizen, one who’s learned compassion, appreciation of beauty, and teamwork. [Yes, Teamwork happens in stage performances, choruses, orchestras and bands as well as on the football field!]

Lawyers, doctors, accountants and many more professionals find true relaxation by exercising their minds at “something different” by participating in a chorus, for example. When you are learning and rehearsing music, work tensions go right out the window as you lose yourself in the fine arts. Our communities and our country will be shortchanged if few can appreciate the arts. They bring people of all walks of life together to make something beautiful. (Sorry to go on so long, but this is very important!)

148 DSWynne, don’t worry, there are people that just hate things they don’t understand. If they hate fan productions, they don’t need to watch ‘em. I doubt they’d get them shut down, if CBS/Paramount are tolerant of the productions!

There are other folks who are making either/or statements, and that’s fine, it doesn’t mean everyone here agrees with them. I’m a supporter of both community productions and fan productions. I think the first is about getting to know the craft and practicing it; for people who work full-time, community creative activities can be very liberating and enjoyable. For people who have contacts in the industry and have the chops, money and dedication to make fan films [with all the attendant Trekkie criticism], more power to them. I think they, too, inspire others.

152 Capes, certain “behavior” is Ops Normal at Trekmovie. As long as it doesn’t get out of hand and overly insulting, why not allow folks to have their say. There are plenty of folks I’ve disagreed with; when they get too a$$-holy I just “skip on down.”

155. Crewman Darnell - March 30, 2014

@ Marja
Thanks for the the insights. Speaking of “Community Theater,” I’ve had the pleasure of seeing a local production “Trek In The Park,” (http://www.atomic-arts.org/?p=103) held for the last few summers, here in Portland, Oregon. I’m sure there are those who might dismiss a “Fan Production” of that kind, but to me, it embodies so much of what Star Trek is/was all about, which is, story over substance. I want clarify that although I’ve enjoyed the Trek episodes and films that incorporate battles and wars, my favorite stories are those which maintain a vision of exploration and that war is a thing to be prevented whenever possible. With that said, I look forward to a story that illustrates the earlier, formative days of the UFP, even if it gets a little bloody in the process.

156. dswynne - March 30, 2014

@154 (Marja): Agreed. Sure, there are those fan productions better than others, but I appreciate them all for time and effort the producers of those film put into them. More power to them.

157. Lemingsworth Bint - March 30, 2014

Pew! Pew!

158. Jonboc - March 30, 2014

I look forward to it, but with these crowd funded shows, I have to wonder about the book-keeping involved. is it all put in some type of community shared escrow fund or is it possible for the people who take the money to do with as they please? If this is all spelled out, up front, and someone comes away with a new car but the one donating knows this is a possibility, I have no problem with it. The investors knew what they were getting into all along. But if there are no third party checks and balances or transparency as to how the funds are truly spent, then I would be reluctant to give money to any kick starter project. I’m not singling out this production or making any accusations, I simply don’t know how the whole “kickstarter” thing works.

159. Phil - March 30, 2014

@158. Google problems with crowdfunding – there are indeed issues with it, some of them substantial.

160. TrekMadeMeFat - March 30, 2014

I don’t need to see wanton violence and destruction in the fan films. It makes the fans look like a bunch of hypocrites.

161. Cygnus-X1 - March 30, 2014

I think my last post got swallowed up because I used a flagged word, so I’ll try again here.

I’m really not getting what the argument/debate here is about.

112. Phil – March 28, 2014

Lets face it, the bar for quality is set pretty low, based on past projects

This is what people say about the BR Trek movies. It’s what my friends say when we’re going to see the latest comic-book movie in the theater. We always make sure to have plenty of drinks beforehand, as we know we’re in for a pretty mindless but visually titillating spectacle.

126. Phil – March 28, 2014

So, if any of these fan films actually were good enough to make some money, don’t you think they would?

In many ways some of them are “good enough” to make some money, but they’d have to be tweaked and polished first, and the people making them simply don’t want those kinds of changes. Just from what I’ve seen of fan productions, both STC, several of the Phase II episodes could easily have been franchise episodes, but the studios would firstly have made certain changes to casting, pacing and so forth. At least one of the Farragut episodes is good enough in terms of story to be a franchise episode.

I’d bet that if you looked at earlier drafts of franchise episodes, before they were fully polished and ready for prime-time, they’d have more in common with these fan productions. The point being, these fan productions could probably be selling, at a minimum, their scripts to the studios, if not other components of their productions as well. That they choose to keep their projects and work product their own is not necessarily an indication of poor or inferior quality as you imply.

147. Phil – March 29, 2014

for my two cents, a bit more candor on the producers part would be appreciated, but if they have the need to stroke their egos by calling this a public service, again, it’s their sandbox.

More candor about what, exactly? About why Trekkies with the means to do so would want to make a Trek episode and possibly act in it? Why wouldn’t they?!? Of course the people making these fan productions tend to want to be in them. That’s no doubt a big part of the motivation, but not the entire motivation. Matt Damon and Ben Affleck didn’t just write “Good Will Hunting” because they wanted to tell that particular story for its own sake; they wrote it as a vehicle for themselves as actors.

Watching the STC and Phase II episodes, for example, it’s clear that the people making them have a great love for Trek, its premise and world view. And, selling away the rights to their scripts and whatnot would most likely be prohibitive to their desires to also act the parts. People make art for themselves, but they also make it for other people. It’s rarely just one or the other.

162. Cygnus-X1 - March 30, 2014

128. Keachick – March 28, 2014

Fan films don’t have to make money, have a really limited audience, and don’t have to draw ratings. So why don’t they tell these thoughtful stories?”

They do tell thoughtful stories. Some of them do, anyway. That they don’t have $100 million in action scenes and FX to fall back on means they have to be more thoughtful with their stories, because there’s no titillating “thrill-ride” to distract from the story and its meaning. The emphasis is necessarily on the story and the drama. I’m not saying that every fan production always succeeds at telling a good, thoughtful story—and there’s not much sense in painting all fan productions with one brush—but if you don’t think that any fan productions are telling thoughtful stories, then I can’t imagine what you’re basing that opinion on.

147. Phil – March 29, 2014

I’d suggest to the casual fan, that if you legitimately want to support the arts, find that community playhouse, or HS thespian troupe. If you are going to donate to a vanity project, consider a donation to your local theater or HS theater instead. These institutions actually reach the community, expand the arts, and teach skills. It’s a gift that will keep giving for quite some time, as opposed to giving some well connected individual an opportunity to indulge a hobby from time to time. Outside of that, I wish them well.

You mean, you wish them well on their projects which you are advising people not to support?

People don’t support these fan productions simply out of charity; they’re excited by the prospects of the productions and want to see them done as well as possible. People also donate to fan productions for the same reason that they give to musicians playing in public—they feel obliged to give something back for their consumption and enjoyment of the work. And, aside from that, I don’t see the sense in viewing donations to fan productions as mutually exclusive with support for community theater or some other valued endeavor. That’s a bit like scolding someone for donating to the ASPCA instead of to the March of Dimes.

I’m just not seeing a clear line of reasoning here for the argument against fan films.

163. Phil - March 30, 2014

@161, 161. Well, as you referenced most of my posts, you are not seeing a clear line of reasoning because you are making the wrong assumption. The term fan film is a bit of a misnomer here, because, as the producers here point out, it’s an independent professional production. I’m not against fan films, but I do object to privately held individuals who co-opt the process for vanity projects. Everyone involved is quick to embrace being a ‘fan’ until fans point out there’s more to Trek then phaserfire. At that point, these productions are quick to call down the fires of hell on anyone questioning what they do.

Let’s pretend for a second. I’m a fan, with money, but no connections. I’ll write a quarter million dollar check to fund the next fan film. With me so far? Oh, wait – my money, my script. I want no warfare and space hippies, and some quality time with Kirks personal life. Do you honestly believe any of these guys would take the money? Didn’t think so, and I rest my case.

164. Keachick (Rose) - March 30, 2014

#162 Cygnus-X1 -“Fan films don’t have to make money, have a really limited audience, and don’t have to draw ratings. So why don’t they tell these thoughtful stories?”

To clarify here – I did not write the above. Phil did. I was simply quoting him. Also, my first posting to this thread is #53. Much debate, with some bitchy to-ing and fro-ing was already taking place. I commented that this production was yet another Star Trek that had war as its main theme… which seemed like ho-hum/yawn.

#164 – Herein lies the problem. War is everywhere. It is current. It is the over-riding theme of so many television shows and movies, so why should anyone be surprised that a Star Trek would not have war as a theme – again? or so we get told.

Yet it is simply not true. It is true if you live in Afghanistan right now, but not where we all hang out. It is a producer/writer/viewer’s choice. It is not to say that war does not go on, but so are many other things happening as well.

Two examples –
Being the CP fan, rephrase to read “twit” (I was described as that on another site), I came across a link which talked about a charity fund raiser for a particular kind of cancer research, organized by Paramount on 20 March, an event and after party that Chris Pine attended along with many other actors and celebrities.

http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/paramounts-star-studded-gala-raises-690239

Looks very interesting – Could there be story in this, going forward to the 23rd century involving a Bones/McCoy? All kinds of possibilities…

A friend of my sister is leaving NZ to travel to South America, doing the Inca Trail etc, onto Canada, then on to visit five fishing villages in Italy which she had heard interesting things about. Then, onto a Greek Island, to be a helper/volunteer and witness to one of this planet’s wonder, ie thousands of baby turtles hatching and making their way to the ocean, then onto Africa to volunteer and witness another piece of natural history, then to Madagascar etc. No mention of war at all.

My point is – people are doing and exploring all kinds of stuff that have nothing to do with war or warmongering at all. They can often be fascinating and remarkable – and yet what do we get from producer/writers (whether they are professionals from Hollywood or doing their own independent productions) more war, the same old, the same old…yet this planet and its life (people and other) have so much more – and I suspect so could “space, the final frontier”!

Come on, people…

165. Marja - March 30, 2014

155 Darnell, Trust me, if I lived in the Portland area, I would be there every year! I love the idea of Trek in the Park and have seen a few of their short videos. There’s also been an opera with original music, “Amok Time.” Trek fans are definitely everywhere, and very creative folk!

Re: supporting fan films; why not? And, at the same time, you can be even more generous in supporting arts in your community and schools. I urge everyone who can do so to support school boards that put funding into their arts programs. In this way, we ensure that more creative young people get exposure to things they’re going to love and perhaps practice as a craft, possibly professionally, in the future.

Phil, re: my money, my script, isn’t that the problem with professionally-produced movies? “Put in more explosions and fights, that’ll get us more teenboy audiences”

166. Cygnus-X1 - March 30, 2014

163. Phil – March 30, 2014

I’m not against fan films, but I do object to privately held individuals who co-opt the process for vanity projects.

Co-opt what process? And from whom?

Everyone involved is quick to embrace being a ‘fan’ until fans point out there’s more to Trek then phaserfire. At that point, these productions are quick to call down the fires of hell on anyone questioning what they do.

Who and what are you talking about here? Which fan production has attacked you for pointing out that there’s more to Trek than phaser fire? (For lack of a better term, I’m just going to continue calling them “fan productions,” but I note your issues with that term.)

Let’s pretend for a second. I’m a fan, with money, but no connections. I’ll write a quarter million dollar check to fund the next fan film. With me so far? Oh, wait – my money, my script. I want no warfare and space hippies, and some quality time with Kirks personal life. Do you honestly believe any of these guys would take the money?

Sure, if your vision and goals line up with those of a fan production, I don’t see why they wouldn’t produce your script on your dime. But, you have to keep in mind that Star Trek is, broadly speaking, a template and a dramatic form. STC’s goal and vision, for example, is clearly to homage TOS. That production has spared no detail in replicating the look, feel and sound of TOS, and naturally the stories they do are going to be in line with that objective. Other fan productions have their own goals, but they are all related to, influenced by, and derived from Star Trek and/or a specific Trek series. Star Trek has always been about space exploration and social issues set in Star Fleet or (later) the United Federation of Planets. Star Fleet is made up of space ships that have phasers that go pew pew. A major category of social issue has always been conflict/warfare for as far back as history records (and almost certainly farther back than that). So, being that Star Trek has always done war/conflict stories, and being that fan productions are trying to emulate Star Trek…why wouldn’t they have a lot of episodes involving phaser fire? There have also been Trek stories, obviously that didn’t involve warfare, and if yours was sufficiently compelling to a fan production I don’t see why they wouldn’t want to produce it.

167. Cygnus-X1 - March 30, 2014

164. Keachick (Rose) – March 30, 2014

I commented that this production was yet another Star Trek that had war as its main theme… which seemed like ho-hum/yawn.

Ah, OK. You’re disappointed that Axanar is yet another Trek story involving warfare.

As I just said above, Trek has always largely involved warfare from the very beginning in TOS, with the Klingons representing the USSR in the Cold War against the West. So, naturally, productions seeking to emulate Trek are likely to do stories involving warfare.

The reason, I think, that there aren’t more Trek fan productions totally devoid of plots comprising warfare is that these productions make very few episodes per year. If one of these outfits makes 2 episodes in a year, that’s a lot. Often it’s less than one per year. So, when they do make an episode, it’s likely to be along the lines of typical, staple Trek, which involves warfare and phasers that go pew pew. If a fan production were making 25 episodes a year like franchise Trek, then I’d expect more variety in their stories and settings. But if you’re only making one episode this year, and it’s based on Star Trek, and you want as many people as possible to see and enjoy it, then you’re probably going to give your episode a more typically Trek setting and story. The bottom line, I suppose, is that Trek has always involved warfare and pew pew in large part. Likewise, I’d be shocked if Star Wars 7 doesn’t involve lots of space battles and pew pew. If we were talking about a fan production of “Little House on the Prairie,” for example, then I wouldn’t expect most of the episodes to involve warfare and pew pew.

168. TrekTech - March 30, 2014

Dandru (and folks like him); Lets see YOUR IMDB page and what YOUVE made before you flap your gums. Until you show you can produce ANYTHING near this level (or any level) youre nothing but an armchair quarterback.

169. Phil - March 30, 2014

@166. You seem to be really quick to pull things out of context to buttress your defense, it might not be a bad idea to take a quick read of the comment section before commenting further, it will save you a little embarrassment. Also not sure you understood my example, if it’s a fan production, and I’m paying for it, the only vision it needs to line up with is mine. There is no oversight of what is currently being done, save what is needed to avoid a cease and desist order from the powers that be. So if I want space hippies, and I’m paying for it, the buck stops with me. Just like these projects – they want space battles and phaserfights, so that’s what they do. It’s their sandbox, it’s their rules. It’s also their right, as they are funding it. But if you put something out for public display, accept that you can’t buy unanimous public approval…and that’s about it. We are retreading traveled ground at this point. Enjoy your fan production, and good luck with the project.

170. Cygnus-X1 - March 30, 2014

169. Phil – March 30, 2014

@166. You seem to be really quick to pull things out of context to buttress your defense, it might not be a bad idea to take a quick read of the comment section before commenting further, it will save you a little embarrassment. Also not sure you understood my example, if it’s a fan production, and I’m paying for it, the only vision it needs to line up with is mine. There is no oversight of what is currently being done, save what is needed to avoid a cease and desist order from the powers that be. So if I want space hippies, and I’m paying for it, the buck stops with me.

Honestly, I don’t understand what you’re saying. I don’t know what you could think I am “pulling out of context,” as I’m simply responding to your own statements. You clearly have some issue with this and/or other fan productions, but I can’t discern what else it could be, if it’s not what I’ve addressed. You started off calling fan productions, “community theater,” and then went on along the lines of “these fan productions have gotten too big for their britches, and who do they think they are?” You seem to have a problem with the whole “attitude” behind fan productions, but I can’t see any attitude that might be objectionable. Instead of condescending to me, perhaps you could organize and express your thoughts a little more cohesively.

171. Keachick (Rose) - March 31, 2014

#167 – So what you are really saying is that Star Trek is really another version of Star Wars, which means that JJ Abrams & co. got it right all along? In other words, all those people who claim they care so much more about Trek than those present *hacks* in charge of the movie franchise, actually want to see more war after all, because that’s what a lot of the television Star Trek has been about.

The fact that you have also managed to twist what I have previously posted has soured me.

You guys can produce what you like. I can’t stop you nor should I be able to. Just don’t pretend that you are even writing about a Star Trek when you are just writing and producing yet another Star War involving a universe and people who are crew of an EXPLORER (which you are more than happy and excited about turning into a warship) ship, the USS Enterprise!

You know what – BR did not get it right. They did not go far enough with warring, pew pew, explosions and phaserfire, but luckily we have you to set things right, being the truly caring, all knowing Trek fans that you are.

UGH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

172. Cygnus-X1 - March 31, 2014

169. Phil – March 30, 2014

Also not sure you understood my example, if it’s a fan production, and I’m paying for it, the only vision it needs to line up with is mine. There is no oversight of what is currently being done, save what is needed to avoid a cease and desist order from the powers that be. So if I want space hippies, and I’m paying for it, the buck stops with me.

But…you’re not paying for it, so the vision doesn’t have to line up with yours, the buck doesn’t stop with you, and maybe none of the fan productions would want to make an episode about space hippies. So…what’s the point? That you have the right to complain for the sake of complaining if you don’t like the subject matter or premise of a fan production? I’m really just not getting your line of reasoning here.

173. Cygnus-X1 - March 31, 2014

171. Keachick (Rose) – March 31, 2014

#167 – So what you are really saying is that Star Trek is really another version of Star Wars, which means that JJ Abrams & co. got it right all along?

Umm…no? I’m saying that war/conflict issues have been typical of Star Trek from its inception.

The fact that you have also managed to twist what I have previously posted has soured me.

What have I twisted? I didn’t mean to twist anything.

Maybe I just haven’t had enough vitamins today or I’m missing a secret decoder ring for this thread, as I don’t seem to be quite in-phase with what the argument/debate here is about.

Why do Trek fan productions do war/conflict stories? Because war/conflict stories have always been typical of Trek, and Trek is what these fan productions are inspired by and trying to emulate. It all seems pretty straightforward and non-mysterious to me, but maybe I need that decoder ring.

174. Hat Rick - March 31, 2014

Interesting discussions, yeah. Okay then.

So… what’s new in Trek?

175. Red Dead Ryan - March 31, 2014

Let’s see if I got this straight….according to the fanTrek diehards, its okay (and perfectly justifiable) for fan productions to be about war and feature nothing but action and phaser fire, but at the same time, they slam the new movies for featuring action and phaser fire?

Okay, then, carry on.

176. Cygnus-X1 - March 31, 2014

175. Red Dead Ryan – March 31, 2014

Let’s see if I got this straight….according to the fanTrek diehards, its okay (and perfectly justifiable) for fan productions to be about war and feature nothing but action and phaser fire, but at the same time, they slam the new movies for featuring action and phaser fire?

Which “fanTrek diehards” are you referring to here?

Or, are you just misrepresenting remarks made by me?

177. Marja - March 31, 2014

SPACE HIPPIES! Let’s have fun! I don’t know how we do it but it’s got to be done!

178. Keachick (Rose) - March 31, 2014

Just my point exactly, Red Dead Ryan. That is what I have been saying. What a bunch of hypocrites.

These people manage to get some real money together to do their own production, so what do they do, do pretty much what’s been done before – yet another story about a battle to stop all out war?

As for Cygnus-X1 and his decoder rubbish – that is just trolling – me and I don’t appreciate being trolled. You twisted around what I had previously written to suit what has suddenly become the new “legitimate” take on Star Trek – that it has always really been about after all – not really about trek – ie journey of exploration and discovery, finding ways of effectively communicating with a species who may be hostile and/or frightened, forging understanding and co-operation, showing how various crew deal with the rigours of space travel etc, but about conflict and war and little else of genuine value.

This also seems to be just about showing those *hacks* at Bad Robot how a phaser should “properly” look and the “proper” sound it should make when it is fired. That goes for photon torpedoes as well. This is how a captain should really look like and behave – all authoritarian and military like because, in all honesty, Kirk was never really meant to be an explorer first and foremost… you are the ones to show those *hacks* what Star Trek is really about – creating big firestorms in space over places called Axanar etc etc.

Yes, I am pissed off. I made a simple comment about what seems to be something of a paradox to me…I guess I must have really touched on a truth that a lot of people do not want to admit to.

179. Cygnus-X1 - March 31, 2014

177. Marja – March 31, 2014

LOL.

It’s BEEN done! To wit: http://en.memory-alpha.org/wiki/The_Way_to_Eden_%28episode%29

180. Cygnus-X1 - March 31, 2014

Maybe this post, by the guy who wrote the thing that the people who are complaining about it have not yet read nor seen, merits some additional attention and consideration (emphasis added with italics is mine):

74. Alec Peters – March 27, 2014

—If anyone bothered to listen to any of the many podcasts I have done have heard me say:

1) That having a great arc for the captain is what makes great Star Trek “pilots”. (Not that this is a pilot, but it is the first story of this character).

2) That all great war stories are personal stories. Patton, Saving Private Ryan, Band of Brothers, Etc.

A War is a setting for drama. That is all. And since no one here has actually read the script, speculation on the quality of the story is ignorant.

I will take David Gerrold’s word, who, when he read the script last summer, said it was “Good, very good and in fact almost ready to shoot.”—

181. Cygnus-X1 - March 31, 2014

122. Phil – March 28, 2014

Ah, OK. I think I understand the source of your complaint.

You feel that fan productions, on the whole, do not make thoughtful stories and are merely less slick, less sophisticated versions of the shoot-em-up, mindless-action franchise productions that people often complain about. I believe that is what you were arguing here:

Fan films don’t have to make money, have a really limited audience, and don’t have to draw ratings. So why don’t they tell these thoughtful stories? I’ll tell you why – it’s not fun to make an adventure movie about conflict resolution. Vanity projects being what they are, and it’s my money, so I’m going toe to toe with the Klingons, that’s why. It’s not really about THE fans, it’s about A fan, a fan who has followers. So, fine – be honest about that and a lot of this debate goes away, because everyone knows what they are getting at this point.

I didn’t take this point because (1) it’s hard to see how one could generalize that all fan productions are not telling thoughtful stories, especially this one which no one has yet seen; (2) fan productions, like franchise productions, are not driven by a single, solitary motive, such as “vanity”—they obviously want people to watch and enjoy what they’ve worked so hard on; and, (3) who’s not being “honest about it?” I haven’t seen any fan productions bloviating about how their productions are selfless, altruistic endeavors, so I don’t understand how you could find them to be dishonestly representing their motives. I’d think it would go without saying that the people making these fan productions GREATLY ENJOY what they are doing and also want to make a product that they would enjoy watching as a fan.

182. Phil - March 31, 2014

@175. Yeah, you have a good understanding of the situation.

We now return you to your regularly scheduled debate.

183. Ahmed - March 31, 2014

@ 175. Red Dead Ryan – March 31, 2014

“Let’s see if I got this straight….according to the fanTrek diehards, its okay (and perfectly justifiable) for fan productions to be about war and feature nothing but action and phaser fire, but at the same time, they slam the new movies for featuring action and phaser fire?”

No, that is inaccurate reading of the comments here. I don’t want fan films to have nothing but “action and phaser fire” like STID. A Star Trek movie should be more about the story & characters in the first place. Action by itself is not the problem, but when the entire movie is nothing but a series of chase & explosion then we have a problem.

I don’t understand why you & Phil are attacking a fan film before it is even out, why not wait until you see it & then make your own judgement ?

184. Michael Hall - March 31, 2014

“@175. Yeah, you have a good understanding of the situation. “

Actually, no: he doesn’t. To wit:

“Let’s see if I got this straight….according to the fanTrek diehards, its okay (and perfectly justifiable) for fan productions to be about war and feature nothing but action and phaser fire, but at the same time, they slam the new movies for featuring action and phaser fire?

By all means let’s address this point, since it could be used to incinerate whole divisions of Starfleet strawmen. I don’t have any problem with the “professional” Trek productions or the fan films (not to mention the novels, games, or crossword puzzles) addressing any subject matter whatsoever so long as it’s done well. That would include war stories, stories about “spacial anomalies,” villains out for revenge, Klingons, Romulans, or gay crew members. Just do them well.

I criticize the new films for featuring action and phaser fire at the expense of the kind of character drama and thematic sophistication that a TV space opera was often able to achieve on plywood sets and a minimal budget almost fifty years ago. Not for telling war stories per se.

I think it’s safe to say that TOS–produced by two decorated veterans who had come to hate war–was nominally an antiwar TV series. That said, depicting war in all of its horror is among the most effective ways to dramatize its futility and waste. “Balance of Terror” is an outstanding example of this. Let Bad Robot do half so well with the same kind of material, and I promise to have no complaints.

185. Keachick (Rose) - March 31, 2014

STID did not just have “action and phaser fire”. Actually, there was very little phaser fire and there was only a short battle between two ships, not between whole fleets of ships, which is incidentally what some people coming to this site have asked to see in a full length Star Trek feature film. In fact, this is the very fear that some of us have here, ie we will get such a fest in the next movie due to the studio’s notion of what the public will pay to watch and the demand of many within the Star Trek fandom itself.

Ahmed – STID was about story and character, along with action involving chases, leaping off cliffs, being in a weaponless runabout being fired upon and chased by armed Klingon runabouts, etc etc.

Given this premise – “Prelude takes place some 13 years before TOS and explores the story leading up to the Battle of Axanar. The Klingon Empire and Federation find themselves engaged in a pitched battle over the planet Axanar, leading both to the brink of all out war.” –
I doubt that there will be any less “action” than was shown in STID. In fact, there may be more. Are we to automatically assume that there is actually any more character development, and good at that, and respite moments away from the pitched battle between two well armed forces, than we got in STID?

Showing a picture of a thoughtful looking Vulcan – well, STID had that too…

No, we have not seen this production. Hopefully, it will be a good story with good acting and production values, but please…

186. Phil - March 31, 2014

@183. Careful Rose, this wanton application of reasoning is not likely to be appreciated. And if past performance is an indicator of future results, we probably have seen this story before.

Lets see now…Tensions are high, everyone on edge. Some mistake/misunderstanding results in a exchange of phaserfire. Cool starship maneuvers , ships Captain gives inspiring speech, near catastrophic system failure on ship while under fire allows for heroic self sacrifice of some crew member to save the day, vanquished foe departs swearing revenge. Fade to black, stay tuned for the next exciting episode of Starship Troopers…oops, Star Wars…oops again, Star Trek: Axaner.

Wash, rinse, repeat! I’m going to get yelled at for this one.

187. Cygnus-X1 - March 31, 2014

183. Keachick (Rose) – March 31, 2014

Given this premise – “Prelude takes place some 13 years before TOS and explores the story leading up to the Battle of Axanar. The Klingon Empire and Federation find themselves engaged in a pitched battle over the planet Axanar, leading both to the brink of all out war.” –

You’re judging the meaningfulness and thematic development of a story that you haven’t read or seen yet based on its premise and setting?

I doubt that there will be any less “action” than was shown in STID. In fact, there may be more. Are we to automatically assume that there is actually any more character development, and good at that, and respite moments away from the pitched battle between two well armed forces, than we got in STID?

No, you’re not supposed to “automatically assume” anything.

You’re supposed to watch the thing before you start specifically criticizing its elements. Unless maybe the people making Axanar have a track record that you’re criticizing them for, and you expect Axanar to have the same flaws as previous productions by the people involved. Is that the case, or are you criticizing Axanar based on absolutely nothing?

188. Cygnus-X1 - March 31, 2014

186. Phil – March 31, 2014

Lets see now…Tensions are high, everyone on edge. Some mistake/misunderstanding results in a exchange of phaserfire. Cool starship maneuvers , ships Captain gives inspiring speech, near catastrophic system failure on ship while under fire allows for heroic self sacrifice of some crew member to save the day, vanquished foe departs swearing revenge. Fade to black, stay tuned for the next exciting episode of Starship Troopers…oops, Star Wars…oops again, Star Trek: Axaner. Wash, rinse, repeat!

So, basically you’re criticizing Axanar for having a setting and premise that is typical of franchise Trek over the past 50 years: Star Fleet, warfare, spaceships with phasers that go pew pew, etc. You don’t know what the story is yet, but you can’t imagine that any story with the premise and setting of Axanar could be meaningful or thoughtful. Yes?

189. Ahmed - March 31, 2014

@ 187. Cygnus-X1 – March 31, 2014

” 183. Keachick (Rose) – March 31, 2014

“You’re judging the meaningfulness and thematic development of a story that you haven’t read or seen yet based on its premise and setting?””

Perhaps Keachick is posting from a future timeline where she already watched the movie :)

190. Phil - March 31, 2014

Nah, fan films in general have a track record that suggests that even tough it’s being talked up as the next Citizen Kane, the expectations would suggest you’ll get Plan 9 from Outer Space. Past performances, yada yada…

At a very high level, though, supporters should be enthusiastic. No one ever sets out to be deliberately mediocre. So good luck, break a leg, and may the force be with you..

Come on, can anyone smile, just a little here?

191. Ahmed - March 31, 2014

@190. Phil

“and may the force be with you..”

Speaking of the Force, check this out :)

=======================
From Simon Pegg:

“I’m sorry Mr. Lucas but we have no idea where JJ is.”

https://twitter.com/simonpegg/status/450229787395915776/photo/1

192. Disinvited - March 31, 2014

#190. Phil – March 31, 2014

If I recall my history correctly after a few aborted film attempts, Welles set his sights on CITIZEN KANE, itself regarded by the studio as a Welles’ vanity project, and wasn’t expected to make any money nor did. Hearst didn’t want the film made, and I believe made it near impossible to publicize with his media empire and clout? It was a B.O. flop.

So, I believe you pulled an MJ in that you picked a horrible analogy in an attempt to make your point.

193. Ensign RedShirt - March 31, 2014

Ahmed –

Could be wrong but I think that’s an older photo. Looks like Zach has his Spock haircut.

194. Ahmed - March 31, 2014

@192. Ensign RedShirt

“Ahmed –

Could be wrong but I think that’s an older photo. Looks like Zach has his Spock haircut.”

Pegg tweeted it yesterday as the time index indicate “4:15 AM – 30 Mar 2014″ but I think you are correct, someone else tweeted

“Nope, it was taken last year during the Star Trek Into Darkness promotion tour.”

Guess that Pegg was reposting an old photo!

195. Cygnus-X1 - March 31, 2014

190. Phil – March 31, 2014

Nah, fan films in general have a track record that suggests that even tough it’s being talked up as the next Citizen Kane, the expectations would suggest you’ll get Plan 9 from Outer Space. Past performances, yada yada…

OK, well, thank you for clarifying your criticism.

“All fan productions suck” is pretty straightforward and easy to understand as a position, though obviously I don’t share it. I don’t suppose you’ll bother watching Axanar, then, since you already know that it’s gonna suck.

Though, I would add that Plan 9 from Outer Space does have undeniable camp value. And it inspired “Ed Wood,” an enjoyable movie well received by both audience and critics.

196. Cygnus-X1 - March 31, 2014

192. Disinvited – March 31, 2014

Interesting point. After flopping in theaters and then disappearing, CITIZEN KANE was only “re-discovered” in the late 1950s. I don’t think it was regarded as “the best movie of all time” or nearly as highly until…what…the late 1960s maybe?

197. Vultan - March 31, 2014

Citizen Kane did okay but not great box office. What hurt its initial release wasn’t its quality or audience disinterest but largely due to the campaign against it by William Randolph Hearst. Quite a few theaters refused to show it.

198. Disinvited - March 31, 2014

#196. Cygnus-X1 – March 31, 2014

Hoo boy, there was a time I could have given you an answer faster than Google. It seems to me that it had to be sometime in my early years that would agree with your guess.

I recall my first exposure to him was that zither filled movie he appeared in that my recall circuits are shorting out on and wanting to call THE THIN MAN but I think that’s a William Powell film…THE THIRD MAN?

From that I was hooked.

I checked some CITIZEN KANE stats not only did it NOT make money, it lost money which makes it an even weirder choice “example” to hold up of fans’ productions using an inappropriate comparative.

199. Jack - March 31, 2014

You know what, it’s new Star trek and an interesting idea — so fan film or not, don’t judge it ’til you’ve seen it.

We have people on this site complaining that Trek is a blockbuster movie franchise and it should be on TV and be true to its roots etc (while still having incredible production values and top-rate actors) — and then they poo poo these (free) fan films’ production values…

200. Vultan - March 31, 2014

#198

Not inappropriate at all if the comparison is about quality and not box office.

201. Disinvited - March 31, 2014

#197. Vultan – March 31, 2014

Well here’s what UCLA had to say:

http://www.tft.ucla.edu/mediascape/blog/?p=2101#more-2101

“Flawed films are often the most interesting, even—or especially—when they bomb at the box office or drive critics to distraction. Blade Runner, which neither the masses nor the pundits initially took to, has attained cult and classic film status since its release. Citizen Kane, which lost money in its original run, and the critical and financial flop Vertigo have long since entered the cinematic pantheon, with Vertigo last year knocking Kane off its perennial “greatest film” pedestal in British journal Sight & Sound’s decennial survey. This is not to suggest that Gore Verbinski’s The Lone Ranger will be making anyone’s all-time top 10, or even top 100, list anytime soon. It is to suggest that the film deserves more credit—and more thoughtful analysis—than it generally has received.” – August 26, 2013 by Vincent Brook

Vincent Brook teaches at UCLA, USC, Cal State LA, and Pierce College. He is the author of Driven to Darkness: Jewish Émigré Directors and the Rise of Film Noir (Rutgers Press, 2006). His newest book, on Los Angeles, was published in early 2013.

202. Marja - March 31, 2014

184 Michael Hall, “Balance of Terror” was a terrific episode b/c it examined the concept of honor and the pointlessness of war; “Errand of Mercy” and “Doomsday Machine” are two of my other favorites reflecting on war and its costs. Which, as you say, Genes Roddenberry and Coon had experience.

I would love to see something like this for the next movie. The point, indeed, is doing it well. They have a group of very fine actors, I would love to see a script having them interacting and talking, sometimes in explosive discussions as we used to see among Kirk, Spock and McCoy. Add Uhura into that mix — it would be terrific to see her confronting Kirk and McCoy confronting Spock and then a free-for-all discussion with the philosophical underpinnings of old-timey Trek! Ahhh, if only ….

185 Rose, I don’t think there’ll be as much interpersonal violence [kickin' and head-squishin'] as in STiD. And since the fan film producers don’t seem to be big fans of action for action’s sake, I think we’ll see more TOS-style Trek there. I’m sure the fighting will be mostly starship battles, since those don’t involve stunt guys or fight training, mainly they involve SFX.

191 Ahmed, My bet is that the Instagram photo is from either the Trek1 or Trek2 shoot, b/c not only is Quinto in his despised bowl cut, but Pine’s hair is the blondish color they lighten it to for Kirk. But since the promotional tours don’t begin until the film is finalized, ready for distribution, I really doubt the photo is from a publicity tour. More likely, a few months before such a tour commenced. And, based on what I can see of Quinto’s face, I’m thinking it’s STiD, he was a little heavier in that movie than in the first. [Heh - I'm a good one for examining Quinto's face!]

203. Disinvited - March 31, 2014

# 200. Vultan – March 31, 2014

Except CITIZEN KANE, itself, took a far longer time to beat back its criticism and be recognized for the qualities you presently find appropriate to immediately compare to these far younger productions.

I have a post pending moderator approval for a silly four letter sequence that precedes “ysis” quoting a UCLA source that further clarifies my view on the matter.

204. Alec Peters - March 31, 2014

@186. Phil

“Lets see now…Tensions are high, everyone on edge. Some mistake/misunderstanding results in a exchange of phaserfire. Cool starship maneuvers , ships Captain gives inspiring speech, near catastrophic system failure on ship while under fire allows for heroic self sacrifice of some crew member to save the day, vanquished foe departs swearing revenge. Fade to black, stay tuned for the next exciting episode of Starship Troopers…oops, Star Wars…oops again, Star Trek: Axaner.

Wash, rinse, repeat! I’m going to get yelled at for this one.”

Not yelled at. I kind of laugh at you thinking you have any clue as to what “Axanar”: is all about. You assume we are stupid amateurs, even though you have absolutely no clue about anyone’s accomplishments on our team. I seriously doubt you bothered to read our website or anything else for that matter. You aren’t even close with your lame assumptions of the story.

You totally discount the fact that David Gerrold read the script and loved it (As well as everyone else who has actually read the script). I guess you, with no knowledge of the script, know better than the writer of one of Star Trek’s best loved episodes and an award winning Sci Fi writer.

So maybe sit tight and wait till you see what we do. And then I will be here waiting to hear what an informed you has to say. Because the ignorant one, is well, just that.

205. Vultan - March 31, 2014

#202

I think Phil was using Citizen Kane and Plan 9 as a scale of quality, not a comparison between Kane and fan productions. So this is really a non issue.

206. Keachick (Rose) - March 31, 2014

“You’re judging the meaningfulness and thematic development of a story that you haven’t read or seen yet based on its premise and setting?”

Is that not what people do when they decide whether or not to see a movie? The premise tells me that the story revolves around a battle between two heavily armed forces and so on… as opposed to,
say –
a story that involving the rescuing of people whose planet has had a large asteroid hit it causing fires, tsunamis, earthquakes etc. Things are complicated by fear and misunderstanding of what the starship(s) are trying to achieve and so on…and does this rescue constitute violation of the Prime Directive perhaps?

As I knew that Saving Private Ryan was about an event that took place during WW2 in Europe, I did not go see the movie, because I do not like war movies. My husband, who does like such movies, went to check it out.
I have since seen the movie and agree that it is a very good movie but it is not on my most watched list.

I have also watched the series Band of Brothers – very good also, but once again, not on my most watched list. It is one of my husband’s though. I bought the DVD series for his birthday.

Other people look at a movie with a basic premise of two people and their romantic type adventures and decide Nah, not interested. These people have not seen the script or story either and do have much idea of its production values etc.

I have not said that this fan made production may not be very good – good story, good acting, good production values, in its own right. In fact, there are indications that it could be very good, but based on its stated premise, it is another Star Trek engaging in a sort star war…so what’s new?

207. Keachick (Rose) - March 31, 2014

edit: “…and DON’T have much idea of…”

You are taking a generalized comment about a trend in films and movies, to be about war, conflict, fisticuffs, explosions etc and the fact that I am tired of it, especially when it is used as a story within the Star Trek universe, and taken it as meaning I do not think that this particular story might not be good in its own right.

I think Phil knows where I am coming from here?

208. Disinvited - March 31, 2014

# 200. Vultan – March 31, 2014

I just reread what you wrote and I think I may have lost track of what was being addressed and by whom.

To be clear, given CK’s history I think it is highly permissible for fan productions to liken themselves unto it. What I find “weird” are people trying to use doing so as a club to batter these young productions because said productions have not immediately revealed the stellar qualities or yet have uncovered by others stellar qualities that took decades to be definitively acknowledged as being in CK.

Now if some want to take the criticism heaped on CK in it early years and apply that to productions that invoke its name…well, I suppose I’d find that dated but fair.

What I am calling for is less knee-jerk and a lot more thoughtful mulling.

#199. Jack – March 31, 2014

Agreed.

209. Ahmed - March 31, 2014

@ 199. Jack – March 31, 2014

“You know what, it’s new Star trek and an interesting idea — so fan film or not, don’t judge it ’til you’ve seen it. ”

Exactly, the film is not out yet, so we can’t judge it until then.

210. Cygnus-X1 - March 31, 2014

203. Alec Peters – March 31, 2014

So maybe sit tight and wait till you see what we do. And then I will be here waiting to hear what an informed you has to say.

If I were you, I would manage my expectations of what Phil will have to say about your production even after it is done and released.

211. Alex Rosenzweig - March 31, 2014

#175 – “Let’s see if I got this straight….according to the fanTrek diehards, its okay (and perfectly justifiable) for fan productions to be about war and feature nothing but action and phaser fire, but at the same time, they slam the new movies for featuring action and phaser fire?”

IMHO, it’s not okay, but the reality is that many of them aren’t about that at all. It’s not to say that there aren’t battles, but there are plenty of fan-produced episodes which explore far different stories. Just a few include:

“World Enough and Time”
“Blood and Fire”
“Lolani”
“For Want of a Nail”
“Pilgrim of Eternity”

Even “Axanar”, while set during the Four Years’ War, isn’t *just* about the war and the fighting, but about people who are caught up in that conflict and what they do, and the choices they make.

#185 – “Are we to automatically assume that there is actually any more character development, and good at that, and respite moments away from the pitched battle between two well armed forces, than we got in STID?”

No, don’t assume it. But from having read a script draft of “Axanar”, and without giving away any real spoilers, I’m telling you that there is.

212. Alec Peters - March 31, 2014

Good point Cygnus. Maybe I overstated my interest in that opinion.

213. Cygnus-X1 - March 31, 2014

205. Keachick (Rose) – March 31, 2014

“You’re judging the meaningfulness and thematic development of a story that you haven’t read or seen yet based on its premise and setting?”

Is that not what people do when they decide whether or not to see a movie?

No!! It isn’t!! Gaaaaaahhh!!!

If the setting/premise of a battle is so disturbing to you that it precludes your enjoyment of the movie regardless of how good its story, thematic development, character development, etc. might be, then I can understand that this movie might not be for you. But, the 50 years of franchise Trek heretofore are FILLED with battle settings and premises. If warfare in fiction is such a turn-off for you—and I don’t dismiss you being thus predisposed—then how on Earth is it that you have become a Trek fan??? Every Trek series and most of the movies have largely comprised battle premises and ships that go pew pew in some form or another. Your issue seems not limited to Axanar, but rather globally applicable to the entire Trek franchise.

214. Cygnus-X1 - March 31, 2014

211. Alec Peters – March 31, 2014

LOL.

215. Keachick (Rose) - April 1, 2014

#213 – Sigh…doh…

216. Marja - April 1, 2014

213, Cygnus, While I read many laudatory reviews of “Saving Private Ryan,” “Apocalypse Now Redux” and “Full Metal Jacket” I could not see any of them, because when I watched “Apocalypse Now” [on TV, no less!] in the 1980s I went around for six weeks totally PO’d about war and its waste of human lives … in Trek, because it is not depressing real life, we can have battles with human costs, but they are battles fought for nobler, truer reasons than some of those given for our more recent [US and coalition] conflicts in the present day. [Or the "preemptive strike" reason given by Adm Marcus in STiD, for that matter.]

So I can go with Trek battles, as long as there are sound reasons for the Federation’s going to war, and there is good acting, characterization, solid discussions of the morals and actions to be taken.

Also I am glad that Peters and Co. are taking up the story of Garth, a history I felt [and still feel] should have been featured in STiD. I had hoped right up until i read spoilers that the character [who ended up, to my disappointment, being "Khan"] featured in the movie would be a disillusioned, disheartened Garth, angry about what Starfleet was becoming.

Oh well. Here’s hoping “Axanar” comes off better. I already like the idea that they are not doing “further adventures of the Enterprise” because there are already two different groups [possibly more?] doing that. Bravo, “Axanar,” go forth and do good things.

217. Jonboc - April 1, 2014

Well, The more hype, the bigger the set-up for higher expectations, and perceived failure by some, for not living up to those expectations. These guys are on a slippery slope in that regard. Hype is great for awareness but it has it’s disadvantages.

218. Phil - April 1, 2014

@213. Well, these days, anything with Jim Carrey in it precludes my participation in it. I honestly hope you are not suggesting that unless you paid your thirteen bucks to actually lay eyes on Sabotage, that the only expectation anyone should have had of it prior is that it’s cinematic gold. That’s just ridiculous at all levels.

Like it or not, people do make value judgments based on reviews, trailers, how they feel about a particular performer, and word of mouth. My initial reaction to the first Winter Soldier trailer was bad. Since then, additional trailers and more information have dispelled those concerns.

At this point it’s a waste of time to point out the issues here, as the only expectation of supporters of these amateur productions is for unquestioned loyalty from their fans. And boy, are you loyal. Enjoy the phaserfest. I doubt you’ll be disappointed.

219. Disinvited - April 1, 2014

#205. Vultan – March 31, 2014

A non-issue between you and me, definitely. But Phil has made his consistent plaint in this and other alternative production comment chains, and I believe you may have misconstrued it. He specifically is offended by what he contends is THEIR likening their efforts to that of CITIZEN KANE.

220. Alec Peters - April 1, 2014

#218 Phil

Seems to easy for you to label these efforts “amateur”, yet 95% of the people working on Axanar are industry pros.

And a “fan film” is an effort where the vast majority of the cast and crew are amateurs or fans, like Star Trek: Phase II or Star Trek: Continues. Which are the best of the bunch.

And you try and minimize the fans by claiming their loyalty is “unquestioned” as if they are drooling fanboys who love everything. Judging by the constant debate on every single production, you aren’t even close to the mark.

Some people just aren’t as arrogant and critical, pre-judging productions before they know anything about them. You clearly know nothing about Axanar.

221. Alec Peters - April 1, 2014

# 219 Disinvited

Since NO ONE I know of has ever claimed their Star Trek production was Citizen Kane, your post and Phil’s generally dismissive attitude are clearly wrong.

While we all strive to be good productions, it is Phil’s pre-judging and dismissive nature that make him feel our attempts are futile. Well, that is his baggage.

I am an over-achiever at everything i do. So I naturally am going to try to put the best effort forward and do better than what has come before. And I am not shy about that. And the fact that I have put together the best team ever to do a non-official Star trek product, with almost everyone in front and behind the camera an industry pro, Emmy winner (DP) or Oscar winner (VFX lead), maybe you just wait and see what we do before telling us how bad you think it is.

222. Disinvited - April 1, 2014

#210. Cygnus-X1 – March 31, 2014

LOL. I came here full of P&V and you blew it all right out of me with humor. Thanks.

#217. Jonboc – April 1, 2014

I suppose, it is a legitimate question to pose “Since it is a non-profit endeavor, how much hype does it require?” But it should be equally legitimate to point out it is the rare artist that produces a work of art solely for his or her sole benefit to be locked away from the eyes of all others for eternity.

Besides, the charge is often made that fan productions invoke CK but in the instances when I’ve seen the charge made, I have never seen any evidence that one had actually done so and often wonder if it isn’t just an attempt to employ a bit of hype to make fan production promotion a better target to rail against than merely objecting to it on general principles?

223. Disinvited - April 1, 2014

#221. Alec Peters – April 1, 2014

I agree as you can surmise from my above post which was composed before your post so noting flowed down to me.

224. DWNicolo - April 1, 2014

It’s really too bad that Paramount or CBS won’t give the time or money to some of these fans and let them do a film or TV series. On the whole these fans are doing a better job of capturing the spirit of Star Trek.

225. Disinvited - April 1, 2014

#221. Alec Peters – April 1, 2014

Oh, and for the record as I detect some confusion in the matter, I was only clarifying for Vultan, Phil’s assertions as I saw them. I wasn’t agreeing with those assertions.

I applaud your efforts and wish you and it well.

226. Disinvited - April 1, 2014

#224. DWNicolo – April 1, 2014

CBS doesn’t even have to do that (fund it) if I understand the new Kickstarter economics correctly from this Slate article:

http://www.slate.com/articles/business/the_bet/2014/03/kickstarter_neil_young_veronica_mars_how_hard_core_fans_drive_the_entertainment.html

CBS just needs to get out of the way and let it make money for them and all involved while providing CBS with valuable data allowing them to frontload their marketing to the hardcore.

227. PEB - April 1, 2014

Just so you fellow Trekkies know, if you have Time Warner Cable, right now Epix is doing a free preview of their station and it just so happens they have a lot of Star Trek material on demand. TMP, Trek 2, Trek 3, Trek 5, and Into Darkness are all Trek films running on their on-demand station. They also have the two Trek docs The Captains, and William Shatner’s Get A Life (which I had never seen but is REALLY good). It kind of got me excited to connect with a group of people to head to one of the big conventions with. I’ve never been to one but have always wanted to go.

228. Cygnus-X1 - April 1, 2014

218. Phil – April 1, 2014

At this point it’s a waste of time to point out the issues here, as the only expectation of supporters of these amateur productions is for unquestioned loyalty from their fans. And boy, are you loyal. Enjoy the phaserfest. I doubt you’ll be disappointed.

I’m blindly loyal because I’m willing to actually watch the thing before deciding whether I think it’s a good product? Please, gimme a break already.

229. Cygnus-X1 - April 1, 2014

216. Marja – April 1, 2014

Yes, I see your point.

I’ve never been too keen on violence, either, but have never minded it in Trek. Even at its most extreme—I’m thinking Enterprise Season 3—violence in Trek has never gone so far as to put me off or interfere with my enjoyment of the story. On the contrary, though some people criticized it as too blatantly topical at the time, I appreciate the treatment of the torture theme in Enterprise Season 3 and find it to be of solid cultural value, certainly in retrospect.

230. Cygnus-X1 - April 1, 2014

226. Disinvited – April 1, 2014

Very interesting article. Thanks for that.

231. Cygnus-X1 - April 1, 2014

Strangely, this is actually quite topical to this discussion: http://www.npr.org/2014/04/01/297284760/its-not-a-sled-anymore-remaking-a-cinematic-classic

232. Disinvited - April 1, 2014

#230. Cygnus-X1 – April 1, 2014

You are welcome.

#231. Cygnus-X1 – April 1, 2014

HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA! And thanks for that.

233. Disinvited - April 1, 2014

#231. Cygnus-X1 – April 1, 2014

No fooling: Mankiewicz’ son gave the clue for the Jeopardy question, “What is CITIZEN KANE?” on today’s show.

234. Alec Peters - April 1, 2014

# 225 Disinvited:

Thanks!

Alec

235. Cygnus-X1 - April 1, 2014

233. Disinvited – April 1, 2014

Nice!

236. Disinvited - April 2, 2014

# 229. Cygnus-X1 – April 1, 2014, 216. Marja – April 1, 2014

Not to mention while every other show’s slugfest has the heroes returning like for like Trek had Spock, who not only could take a punch but didn’t return same and prevailed – long before KUNG FU – and weapons whose only function wasn’t just to dispense death. Can’t deny that the violence was in Trek but in the series it made you think beyond what was the culturally accepted norm when it was on display.

237. Jonboc - April 2, 2014

I think you may need to re-visit TOS. Those slugfests were just that, slugfests. Great punch-by-punch, covered with a hand held camera, 60’s style slugfests. Spock had no problem giving as good as he got. No deep, between the lines messages were present when Kirk and Tracy are strapped together at the wrist in a fight to the death. Or fisticuffs with Kirk and a disgruntled Ben Finney, or super Khan….or cloud minders, or Indian medicine men…or Klingons…etc etc etc.. The list goes on and on.
No need to try and sugar coat it, TOS was action/adventure, wagon train to the stars…and like Wagon Train, and Mannix, and practically every other show, the fists would fly. It’s part of the Trek formula, plain and simple. Not to say the TNG and it’s spin -offs didn’t radically alter that formula, to the extent that it was hardly recognizable as Trek, as established BY Trek, in 1966. They did, but that’s another thread altogether. :)

238. Disinvited - April 2, 2014

#237. Jonboc – April 2, 2014

Well since OMEGA GLORY is one of my guilty pleasures, there’s no need of that. Since I grew up on censored early television in the 50s and 60s, I am well versed on the slugfest rule that Trek broke in that episode. When the bad guy is revealed to be a mass murderer he must die by the episode’s end in a manner that deglorifies the evil bad guy as much as possible.The usually rubber-stamped manner would be by his own hand after stupidly trying again to dispatch the sparing-his-life hero and falling on his weapon of choice, i.e. the knife.

In fact the fight was setup and choreographed in the standard fashion so much along those lines that all of us watching it when it premiered expected that after Kirk won holding the knife to Tracey’s throat, Tracey would be toast. The script even has the Yangs echo the censor’s moral decree “Good must defeat evil. Kill him.” but that’s NOT what happens to Tracey. Instead we had our expectations totally warped around as Kirk explains to the Yangs and Americans watching why Tracey’s justice shouldn’t be meted out right then and there – a deep concept when compared to the type of conflict resolution only allowed by the network “moral” compass up till then. Oh yeah, and Spock worked his mojo during the fight so that Kirk had security backing him up lest Tracey tried the cliched one last try on Kirk. They don’t even beam Tracey straight out to give him his Federation justice brig shot because they have to wait for his security detail to naturally decontaminate from the disease.

239. Spock's Bangs - April 3, 2014

Love that fight. Maybe the best knock-down, drag-out fight on Trek ever! Gets the adrenaline pumping, that’s for sure. But really, not surprising Kirk didn’t kill him, after all we all knew it was TV! The good guys always take the higher ground, be it Ben Cartwright, Marshall Dillon, Lucas mcCain or Jim Kirk. And it was usually followed by a little speech about morals. Kirk was hardly unique in that regard. But yeah, the action in TOS did rock! Loved the dust-up with Finnegan too.

240. Disinvited - April 3, 2014

#239. Spock’s Bangs – April 3, 2014

Really? Is it really necessary to remind you that Kirk killed the bad guy in the second pilot that sold the network on the series?

It seems clear that that’s what NBC wanted.

241. Disinvited - April 3, 2014

#239. Spock’s Bangs – April 3, 2014

Also Tracey was a mass murderer who had killed thousands. I can only recall a handful of deaths that Mitchell was responsible for, including his own.

242. Spock's Bangs - April 3, 2014

Sure he did, something he regretted. He hesitated when he saw Gary turn back to normal, but after a point, especially with Mitchell’s god-like abilities, it was a clear case of kill or be killed. And in that scenario, for my money, they should kill every time! They would have had to kill Charlie as well had the Thasians not showed up. With Tracy, it was clearly a case where Kirk wanted the rogue captain to face charges for his crimes….he didn’t feel threatened to the degree that he felt he had to kill…or be killed .

243. Disinvited - April 3, 2014

#242. Spock’s Bangs – April 3, 2014

Hey, which one of us is making the argument that Trek had thoughtful pummeling, here? Besides, my point is the network through its censor prior to that time of Trek being a force of change in that, wanted despicable bad guys of the mass murdering type to clearly suffer death or a fate worse than it. I grew up on this stuff. I recall the dictated tropes and the preference that the bad guy be responsible for his own demise due to his own vileness and/or stupidity.

I believe Jonathan Harrison acknowledge this in explaining why he set about to radically alter his bad guy’s character in the first season of LOST IN SPACE in the year prior to Trek’s. Something along the lines that he knew that villainous Smith, with his murderous tendencies, would have to be killed off by the 5th episode, if not sooner.

244. The Observer - April 3, 2014

When Lolani was released, I asked CBS Legal why you can’t make a fan film in the Abramsverse, while all this other stuff seems to be ok.

Their response, though a bit cryptic, would not tickle the hearts of those who thought the Prime universe might be back someday.

245. Cygnus-X1 - April 3, 2014

244. The Observer – April 3, 2014

Their response, though a bit cryptic, would not tickle the hearts of those who thought the Prime universe might be back someday.

Jeez, well now you have to tell us! What exactly was said, and who exactly said it??

246. Disinvited - April 3, 2014

#244. The Observer – April 3, 2014

It could also have something to do with the fact that in the 60s Norway/Desilu and Gulf Western hadn’t done a stellar job of dotting all their Is and crossing all their Ts with respect to copyright. I clearly recall Harlan Ellison relating how after all the back and forth on CITY ON THE EDGE OF FOREVER he checked the copyright on it after the show went off the air and discovered that none of those entities had bothered to file a copyright on it, so he did and was awarded it. I recall Paramount having to deal with his rights when they decided to release the episode on home videotape and him later suing and winning a piece of the action for any and all COTEF merchandise. Eventually I read after some time had passed, that Paramount had negotiated some deal with him giving Paramount control over COTEOF marketing. I don’t recall either party giving details. Probably an NDA involved. And by that time Harlan was savvy enough with the legal side of things that I can’t imagine it not having a clause returning all rights to him if old Paramount/new CBS fails to promote it and keep it in “print”.

247. Marja - April 5, 2014

244 Observer, I may be in the minority, but hooray!

I’d really like to see a continuation of the NuVerse, exploring the different interplanetary politics wrt the Federation.

I really feel the original universe is played out. I know, I know, some folks say, just vault forward 200 years after TNG’s era, but really? How would you make it look futuristic enough?

As it is, Trek, taking place 250 years from now [or is it now just 200 years?], is a tale of humans like us in a future universe. Not one of them is wearing computer interfaces [unless you count Science Officer 0718], nor are they cybernetic. There are so many changes taking place right now that, without [eek!] a worldwide war or dismantling of technology, the human race will have changed vastly in 200 years. [Perhaps there will be a humanist movement that champions humans over technology, and divorces the two.]

But mainly I’m talking sets, medical practices, communications, et. al. Right now the Enterprise crew use something like cell- or sat-phones!

248. Marja - April 5, 2014

Oh, I also wanted to say, I long to see more of the Famous Spock Neck Pinch instead of Spock whalin’ away on the bad guys … I guess today’s bad guys are too tough to be FSNP’d, booooo.

249. Phil - April 5, 2014

@247. There have been enough hints out of CBS that the new universe is here to stay. the problem with technology is that once the genie is out of the bottle, it’s a bit hard to stuff it back. Updating Trek to reflect where technology is as opposed to where it was fifty years ago was a missed opportunity for Bad Robot. Hell, it’s a missed opportunity for the fan films, for that matter, setting aside that that is something they were never interested in doing to begin with.

250. Trekbilly - April 8, 2014

Alec,

Really looking forward to Axanar!! You guys put together an irresistible package to promote the concept. So much so, that I felt compelled to contribute via Kickstarter.

The fact that you have pros working on this in front of and behind the scenes gives Axanar both prestige and cred.

Disregard the naysayers. As you know, Star Trek fans are hard to please sometimes and form opinions without much to go on.

Can’t wait to see the final results — and I wish you and your team all the best!

251. Michael Hall - April 8, 2014

“Updating Trek to reflect where technology is as opposed to where it was fifty years ago was a missed opportunity for Bad Robot. Hell, it’s a missed opportunity for the fan films, for that matter, setting aside that that is something they were never interested in doing to begin with.”

And why should that notable caveat be set aside? This seems to be a pretty inapt basis to criticize the fan films, since their primary mission statement is to present a product that comes as close to duplicating the look and feel of TOS as is reasonably possible. That aesthetic presumably pleases the creators and the target audience for such works; others need not feel obliged to watch. Criticizing the filmmakers for not taking into account technological change since the ’60s is like slamming the Lakers for not making use of jet packs and trampolines. Exciting as their inclusion might be, they’re just not part of the game.

252. EM - April 8, 2014

I really enjoy the fan films that are out there now (Phase II and Continues) and look forward to the new ones (Renegades and Axanar), as well. I had to pony up a few bucks for Prelude to Axanar via Kickstarter, too.

253. Phil - April 8, 2014

@251. Are you serious? How is suggesting that fan films update the tech even a criticism? The creators have no issue in cleaning up other aspects of the production, and embracing the SFX to create bigger, badder space battles, so suggesting it’s an inept question from the point of view of the average viewer, while embracing it from the producer is just a bit self serving.

Except for a few people who really went off the rails, most of the commentary here regarding the production was pretty harmless….and yet those involved typically overreacted to every bit of it. The point continues to be made about who the creators of this material see as their ‘true’ fan base. If there’s an upside to crowdfunding, all the producers need to do is take this private, and they won’t have to deal with slovenly inept masses anymore.

254. Disinvited - April 8, 2014

#253. Phil – April 8, 2014

FWIW I don’t believe “inapt” was a typo in msg 251.

in·apt
iˈnapt/

adjective: inapt

1.
not suitable or appropriate in the circumstances.
“a more inapt name I cannot imagine”

255. Phil - April 8, 2014

@254. Could be – but as the response holds that even the original idea of updating the tech is inappropriate, it’s still a flat dismissal that any effort of these professionals is subject to question. Mr. Hall has also made it clear that, in his opinion, I’m not qualified to comment on fan productions under any circumstances, so it’s just an academic discussion at this point, anyway. He saw yet another criticism that needed to be suppressed, and he did just that. Mission accomplished.

256. Galactic Goodness - April 8, 2014

As a long-time friend of Richard Hatch, I had to comment after seeing the Kickstarter campaign succeed, plus this update article. He’s always loved Klingons. Playing Kharn is going to be a treat to watch. The production staff made a great choice.

I’m stoked about J.G., Gary, Michael, Kate and the others being part of this, too.

And Tobias… The one-man SFX guru. :) Bring on the TOS mojo!

257. dmduncan - April 19, 2014

For me, updating the tech means following current technological trends that were not foreseen at the time of TOS, whose look was extrapolated from an entirely different set of base assumptions (and budgetary constraints).

Doing today what they did then would entirely change the look and feel of Star Trek, and the characters of Sulu and Chekov–at the very least, and all of the characters, at the very most–would be obsolete on board a starship.

Star Trek is endearing (and has the identity it has) because it IS anchored to the particular point of view of a particular time.

Obviously ST was updated a little, but it pretty much stayed true to the original–far more than it had to for someone truly interested in radically updating everything about the franchise.

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