Viral Video: 1971 Star Trek Fan Film

A new Star Trek themed video going viral over the last couple of days is actually not very new at all, but a short shot in 1971 for a college class and recently uploaded on YouTube. Check it out below.


1971 "Star Trek" student film

YouTuber Ray (now aged 63) has uploaded this Star Trek film he made for college back in 1971, possibly one of the first Star Trek fan films.

Here is the description from YouTube:

This video was a final exam in a TV production class that I took at Ohio State back in the spring of 1971. Even as a lad of 21, I always had to have everything preserved!! I had this taped on 1" open-reel videotape, then transferred it to U-Matic and then to Beta. (I got an A-.)

via Fanboy.

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Someone always has to be the first. Kudos for this first cheap but respectful fan project. For these people it must have been quite fun and exceptional doing this!

As a Star Trek fan film maker myself, I can certainly appreciate the effort that goes into something like that, especially for the time that it was made, and how the whole process is a learning curve. Your first attempts are always pretty dire, but as has been said, you gotta start somewhere. Nice little video!

this is great..for the time, of course.

AND, it’s pre SNL with their famous skit

Wow, that is about as raw as it gets! I’m not going to criticize it, because making ANYTHING as a fan feature in 1971 (2 years before I was even born), has to get some props…

If the fandom ever organizes something called the Fanny Awards – honoring film/video fan fiction productions – at the conventions, then this would fall under category of Honorable Lifetime Appreciation, in recognition of the endeavor for its time and place.

Well done!!

That is all sorts of awesome. Thanks for sharing!

Ah, the fan film. I like them. Fun.

(someone had to)
Spock looks like he’s from the Don’t-Own-A-Shaving-Mirror universe. Wonder if they could use their tricorders to really get the goods on Nixon…

What fun! And what a great reminder of those days. A- indeed!

Cool, they “invented” the VOY/DS9-style combadge. ;-)

Some Dude on the Internet


I think this is better than the JJ Abrams abomination…

Is that John Waters playing Spock?

Forty years.
Good Lord , where has the time gone??? :-(

lol totally brilliant i love Spocks early 70’s sideburns and eyebrows!
well done Ray!

BTW needs more lens flare! Fantastic!

70s spock is AWESOME

Give up! Star Track was cancelled. :)

What happened to ther ears spock?

Wordrobe malfunction?

The sound is a little out of sync near the end.
Must have been rendered with Nero. :)
(pun intended)

Excellent! I remember learning on that old equipment- Sony Porta-Pack reel-to reel. What a pain in the ass it all was! U-Matic cartridges the size of bricks….
And ONE inch tape! My God…

You know as rough as this is, the guys playing Kirk and Spock are a step up from the actors playing them in ST Phase II.

NY Kirk obviously forgot to put his girdle on before beaming down.

In all seriousness, this is quite good. The transporter effect is imaginitive.

This is way better than phase two as far as acting is concerned. Not nearly as “fanboyish” and more true to the original series. Excellent post….kudos to all involved.

Its remarkable how some people will use any pretext to Phase II bash.

Cudos for even being able to preserve the clip and make all the format transfers !

All my old stuff we shot in college is on Super8. God knows where it got off to.

Media students today with their new fangled non-linear editors have no idea what tracking or color framing is.

Hey! . . . you kids get off my lawn !

Let Them Eat Plomeek Soup

…and so Kirk, Spock, and the yeoman remained on Earth for the rest of their lives, where they met Eugene Roddenberry, and told him the stories of their lives. As an aspiring TV writer, Roddenberry developed those stories into a 3-season television series called “Star Trek”…

@23 “Its remarkable how some people will use any pretext to Phase II bash.”

I just commented that the actors playing Kirk and Spock are more convincing than the actors playing them on Phase II. This is not bashing, but just a simple comparison based on my viewing both fan productions.

As groundbreaking as this video was back in 1971, they decades sure haven’t been very kind to it!

On the other hand, it’s still very cool! The people who made this video need to be recognized.



Those uniforms remind me of ST:TMP. ;-)

“Captain, I’m so scared!!”


I was laughing so hard at the way the guy playing Spock talks, I think I wet myself!

The problem with wetting yourself is, while at first it warms you up, eventually the warmth dissipates and you’re left cold and damp in the groin area. Plus everyone else has to leave because of the smell of urine. :-)

@32 @33

Star Trek. The Wrath of Incontinence

Starring Harry Ballz as Communications Officer Urea and Red Dead Ryan as original Enterprise Captain P

Who’s the babe?

Mel Gibson is a Romulan

The babe is someone’s grand ma now.

Mel Gibson is a Romulan

Was this made using “Stone Knives and Bear Skins”? Come on I can’t believe no one went to the obvious joke.

Joking aside thanks for posting this. It is a fun look back. It is good considering the time it was made, and the tech that was available at the time.

Keachick (rose pinenut)

#5 – “If the fandom ever organizes something called the Fanny Awards”

Just as well you did not call it the Beaver Awards, which is what fanny means downunder…

Did Spock lose his pointies and grow a moustache when they went back in time? Perhaps that is why Spock covered his ears in Star Trek IV – he did not want people see how human he looked…:)

What a nice short subject; I really enjoyed it. Bravo!

Now, at last, we know why our future is so different from that depicted in Star Trek — thanks to an incident that occurred at Ohio State University back in 1971.

This reminds me of my own interests back then, in the 1970’s — immersed in the science fiction of Asimov and Simak, and Clarke and Bova. And Harlan Ellison — let’s not forget him.

This brings to mind the late, great John Belushi and that famous skit about the end of the Enterprise on Saturday Night Live. But this production date pre-dates SNL itself by several years; the Not-Ready-For-Prime-Time Players were only a mote in Lorne Michaels’ eye when fellow TrekMovier Ray and his friends made this video.

A very nice effort, a great premise, and prescient as a precursor of parodies and near-parodies to come.

^^ Asimov, Simak, Clarke, Bova, Ellison — not to mention, Star Trek!

Me and my friends used to watch our ONE taped ST episode (the Menagerie” part 2) on an open-reel videotape recorder, back in 1975 during our lunch break at school every day for weeks. We made our own audio trek adventures on cassette tape, using another cassette player with Trek sound effects isolated from tapes we had made off of TV. Such fun!

Me, I’m grooving to Spock’s mustache. Nice effort, Mr. Ray.

Very good. I wanted to see more. And they did it with nothing.

1971 chicks are hot.

Pretty good over all. A bit like watching a stage play version of Trek.

A Trek Fan from Way Back
40 years ago for a fan made video…amazing!! And to think we can even watch it is amazing because of the three (maybe more) completely different formats the project went through. First there was the 1″ open reel format. Open reel tape was highly susceptible to heat and humidity making the tape stretch and contract. So the transfer to the huge U-matic 3/4″ video cassette was a great idea. Getting the tracking (does anyone even remember tape tracking controls?) to lock on the open reel deck must have been a bitch. And if it didn’t lock then you were constantly making on-the-fly adjustments during playback. Then came the transfer from the U-matic 3/4″ video cassette to Beta. The old U-matics were also known for tracking drift. Finally on Beta. But surely it didn’t stay on Beta. Either it was finally transferred to DVD or an old Beta player was connected directly to the computer for a transfer . But Beta itself is over 20 years old. Play the clip back and watch the beginning “jiggle” of the picture. That’s all the tracking things I mentioned. Then it pretty much stabilizes. For all you young people.. You read this and say “what the heck is he going on about?”. For those who are my age and remember the technology will understand. As for the production….pretty darn imaginative for 1971 and an amateur production. No one did that back then. Thanks for posting this slice of fan fiction history!

Woo! Glad I go to OSU!

Hey, it’s better than The Final Frontier!

I still remember Super 8 film projectors. They were THE thing to have at home. Video was what we did at school; home movies were played on miniature versions of movie projectors that played a few minutes worth of film — often silent — that one had to adjust to assure it didn’t skip or fall out of frame, so to speak.

Hey, laugh if you must, but to us, that was the ultimate high tech back then. Better than quadrophonic hi-fi, even.

It’s interesting to recall those days of yon, when family moments were captured on movie cameras with names like Argus/Cosina instead of Sony or Panasonic.

To be able to capture HD movies with ease on an iPhone, such as I find myself doing at a moment’s notice, would have been science fiction, back then. Treknological fantasy, even.

And one can even upload directly from one’s phone to YouTube and thus share near-live video with millions across the planet — in mere seconds. Some phones apparently can do a live feed, even.

Sometimes I stop to marvel at this new reality of such an interconnected world — a world glimpsed by some of us through no less than Star Trek.


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