Star Trek fans have been creating their own stories since as far back as the 60s. Some of these fan writers have even got their work published. The first of these compilations was "The New Voyages" in 1976. For the last decade Pocket Books has issued a series of fan fiction compilations starting with "Strange New Worlds" in 1998, but that all comes to an end next month with the final planned book "Strange New Worlds 10." However, CBS have just announced a new deal with FanLib.com for web-based fan fiction contest called ‘Kirk v Picard.’ The contest will have fans collaborate to write a script for an ‘episode’ of the ultimate captain showdown with the help of a virtual showrunner in the form of VOY/DS9 science adviser and ENT writer and story editor Andre Bormanis. The contest site goes live Wednesday June 13th [UPDATE: Site is now Live] and TrekMovie.com talked to Bormanis about the project.
George Takei recently reprised his role as Hikaro Sulu in the Star Trek New Voyages episode "World Enough And Time." It is not yet known if Sulu will appear in Star Trek XI, but when asked by IGN who could be the new Sulu Takei immediately thought of his experience on the fan film the guy who plays Sulu is a hot shot Washington, D.C. attorney… I saw the man who plays me, as Sulu, as a young man, and he’s a wonderful actor, a powerful actor. There’s one scene where he breaks down in anguish and it’s very moving. John Lim is his name, and despite his success as an attorney, after having done this he wants to be an actor. He’s talking about leaving his law career and coming to Los Angeles as an aspiring young actor. So I would recommend John Lim.
The ashes of James Doohan were launched into space from New Mexico this morning. Family and hundreds of fans attended the event, more details at Rueters The Headline News report also discussed Trek fan films. [UPDATE: StarTrek.com have put up an on-the-scene report]
The highly anticipated ‘independent Star Trek mini-series’ Of Gods and Men is going to have to be anticipated a bit longer. The first installment of the 3 part mini-series was to be released for download today, but instead the team announced another delay. The stated reason is that the mostly volunteer production team haven’t been able to put in the time required while juggling their paying day jobs. They did however launch a newly designed website with lots of new features. They also released the first 3 minutes of the mini-series along with an amusing video poking fun at their own delay. For more check out startrekofgodsandmen.com.
In recent years Star Trek fan films have been growing in popularity and the most popular has been Star Trek New Voyages. This is mostly due to the production values and some pretty serious guest stars. TrekMovie.com talked to show star and creator James Cawley to find out what is behind this attempt to complete Star Trek’s 5 year mission. “I felt that the characters had more to say, I think Kirk Spock and McCoy are more relevant now than even in 1969,” explains Cawley. That belief set Cawley off on his rather expensive ‘hobby’ almost 10 years ago. Now with two high profile episodes released, millions of downloads, and another star-led episode about to premiere Cawley feels like they are finally getting close to their goal of making their fan production ‘as if you were to sit down and watch the TV in 1969.’
After long wait, Daren’s take on the most effects heavy TOS episode is available. He has a list of notes for the fans about his artistic desisions: Yes, I know there is a “mistake” in (a certain shot… name it)… it is intended. An homage to 60s FX technology. (lol) Yes, the Doomsday Machine is transparent in some sections. This is intended. I still maintain that part of the transparency in the front of the cone was meant to be. The shuttle name I’m using is the NCC-1701/1 “Spinrad” I know the shots are grainy. They’re supposed to be. I don’t show exterior damage to the Constellation’s bridge much. There is a little bit of a burn mark… but that’s it. The original model shot had no damage to the bridge… and yes, I’m trying to duplicate that… but not have it look a foot long.
As reported last week, Daren Dochterman is ‘finishing’ his Trek Enhanced Doomsday Machine project. TrekMovie.com is now proud to show this exclusive premiere of the ‘eye candy’ preview. click image to play QT movie [or click for WMV]
Daren Dochterman, the Visual Effects Supervisor on the Directors’ Edition of Star Trek: The Motion Picture, has been working on a CGI-enhanced version of "The Doomsday Machine" for many years. He even presented a version of his work to Paramount TV over 2 years before they decided to give Star Trek Remastered the go ahead. That version has been available at his site (TrekEnhanced.com) and on YouTube for over a year, but Dochterman has been quietly working on a ‘final version’ which he announced at his site today.
There have been some reports that Trek Remastered may be released on HD DVD as early as this year. Last we heard they wouldn’t be finished with all the episodes until next year. TrekMovie is looking into this and will report back when we get it all sorted out. Of course HD versions of TOS-R are showing up on XBox Live already if you cannot wait. Babylon 5’s Claudia Christian claims that William Shatner made some unwanted advances on her when she was a guest star on T.J. Hooker. In an interview with retroCRUSH the actress says the Shat tried to ‘shove his tongue’ down her throat. She also says she wished she punched him in his corset.
‘Of Gods and Men’ is probably the most anticipated fan (or independent) Trek film ever made. Unfortunately those who have been waiting to download it will have a bit longer to wait. Originally the first part of the 3-part miniseries was to premiere in late December, however TrekMovie.com has learned that it has been pushed back to mid April. TrekMovie recently got a heads up on this from inside the OGaM team, apparently the issue isn’t actually Part 1 which is ready to go, but all the effects work needed in the other two parts (especially part 3). The team want to have all 3 parts released closer together, hence the delay. Parts 2 and 3 will be released in May and June respectively.
Two of the big fan film projects have new releases out, both featuring original series talent. Star Trek New Voyages has the full episode of ‘To Serve All My Days’ featuring Walter Koenig in an episode written by Trek vet DC Fontana. And the web miniseries project ‘Of Gods And Men’ has an extended 5 minute trailer now available. OGaM features Koenig along with Nichelle Nichols and a myriad of other Trek luminaries behind and in front of the camera. Both STNV and OGaM aspire to become officially sanctioned Trek projects, but for now remain ‘fan films’. Although both still fall short of TV budget production values, they both are raising the bar for ‘independent’ Trek films. Click the the images below for their respective download links…
Grace Lee Whitney (Janice Rand) only appeared in 8 episodes in the first season of Star Trek before being let go amid some controversy. But fans remembered Yeoman Rand and she came back (as Lt. JG Rand) for Star Trek: The Motion Picture. She went on to appear in three more Trek films (III, IV & VI) and even an episode of Star Trek Voyager (‘Flashback’). She is again reprising her role for the new independent Trek film ‘Of Gods And Men’. TrekMovie chatted with the actress about playing Rand again as well as her thoughts on a new Rand for Star Trek XI.
TrekMovie visits with Of Gods and MenThe crew for the independent Trek web mini-series ‘Of Gods and Men’ (henceforth referred to as OGaM) did some location shooting in L.A. last weekend and TrekMovie.com was there. The first thing you notice when pulling up to the location is that this does not look like the proverbial ‘bunch of fans in a barn’ scenario. The scene looked like a typical L.A. filming location complete with honey wagons, equipment trucks, trailers, P.A.’s running around screaming into their headsets and extras milling about. What was different about this is that most of the extras had pointy ears. OGaM has turned a little corner of the San Fernando Valley into the planet Vulcan.
Spotted this tidbit about Denise Crosby in the most recent Vegas con report on StarTrek.com After producing and hosting the first two "Trekkies" documentaries, Crosby said she is toying with ideas for a third one. "We’ll see — I’vegot it in mind to do. I’d like to do three; I just think three seems more complete — I’m looking at the boxed set down the line, y’know?" She said the theme of the next project would likely involve what she called "fan filmdom." It would be an interesting move for Paramount to put out another ‘Trekkies’ movie around the same time they are trying to expand the audience for Star Trek with Star Trek XI. If it does happen one would hope that Crosby and the other producers strived to be a bit more balanced then the previuos two films. Many Trek fans have felt that Trekkies I and II reinforced many of the negative stereotypes of Star Trek fans, some of which are now being dispelled by Trek Sociologist John Tenuto. The choice of the so called ‘fan films’ is also interesting, it could be seen as one step closer to legitimacy for these independent Trek films.
TrekToday interviewed Star Trek DS9 star Alexander Siddig and it appears that he has put Trek behind him. Siddig talked about his successful post Trek career and only said "next question" when asked if he would be interested in getting a call from Trek XI’s JJ Abrams. He also said that he doesn’t think his Syriana co-star Matt Damon would want to even be in Trek XI, telling TrekToday "Damon would be a great Trek captain, but I’d be a little surprised if he has agreed to do it, frankly." Check out the full interview for more. We still dont know if a new Sulu will be in StarTrek XI, but it seems the old Sulu is getting one more shot. Star Trek’s George Takei will reprise his role as Sulu for the popular online fan film "NewVoyages" which is shooting a new episode this week. With his usual humility Takei tells AP "My coming back is crucial to the existence of the Enterprise…It’s classic drama, and it’s rip-snorting good." More coverage on the TrekFan Film phenom at Forbes.
TMR got a tip that was so outlandish yet so detailed that we had to follow it up. We were told that a San Antonio modern rock band called ‘Electric Crush‘ were signed on to provide music for Star Trek XI, and specifically that they would be recording a Star Trek XI music video in L.A. on September 30th. This seemed like a joke and of course Trek XI composer Mike Giacchino has said he wont start working on the score for quite some time, but the tip’s specificity was curious. TMR contacted the band’s manager Keith Chester just for the hell of it and got a big shock when he asked “how did you find out?”. He went on to say, “yeah it’s for the new movie called ‘Of Gods and Men’”…and then it all made sense. Of Gods And Men is the much anticipated new independent (unlicensed) Star Trek movie with a cast and crew that includes a number of former Trek stars and writers. The Trek Report has confirmed the story with Sky Conway the producer and co-writer of the new fan film. Electric Crush will be filming a music video of their song ‘Taking Away’ on the set of ‘Of Gods and Men’ in late September. The song will also appear in at least one of the webisodes and any possible ‘behind the scenes’ DVDs. The first of three Of Gods and Men webisodes will be available in December at an internet near you.