Friday, December 14, 2007

Day 5: Five Fan Films

Fan films are by far the highest form of fan production around today but who are they, where did they come from and how do they relate to each other? Consider Star Trek: Hidden Frontier, Star Trek: Intrepid, Star Trek: New Voyages, Starship Exeter and Star Wreck. Kirok of L'Stok has taken his reporting on the five major fan films producing today and turned it into a chronology that we wager you'll find interesting and illuminating.

Star Trek: Hidden Frontier is a fan phenomena! Fifty episodes in seven seasons, roughly one every two months for seven years! Strictly speaking they are not now in production since the series finished earlier this year, however it lives on in the form of not one but two new productions: Star Trek: The Helena Chronicles and Star Trek: Odyssey

Star Trek: Intrepid, an example of what can be accomplished by a group with a common bond - their love of Star Trek - plus years of methodical and painstaking care! Starting life as just a group of friends with an idea, this Scottish group took a character driven script and strong performances, added solid production values like beautiful CGI & crisp, green-screened backgrounds and gave us a memorable Star Trek experience.

Star Trek: New Voyages is without a doubt the highest profile Star Trek fan film around today and deservedly so! Their commitment to a high quality show that resonates with the style and panache of the shows of the Original Series makes them the benchmark against which fan films in all genres measure themselves. The roll call of stars that they have been able to get as guest stars on their shows is nothing short of amazing!

Starship Exeter, the Cinderella of Star trek fan films! On the one hand their second episode has been plagued by an extended period of post-production and yet it still holds a special place in the hearts and minds of Star Trek fans. Looking back, as we now can with the last act recently made available, fans can say that it was all worth it!

... and Star Wreck: a staggering fifteen years of parody and biting satire, the result of one man's passion and dedication that made a film that is credited as being the most popular Finnish film of all time! In doing so they have developed a methodology, an international web of resources and contacts, an internet based project management and distribution network that could revolutionise small film making, Ravens Nest.

This body of work is a 25 page consolidation of my reporting on these five major Star Trek fan films still in production today. I make no claim to it being a complete coverage, especially to the early years and to the latest news. I can't even make any claims to it being comprehensive of my own work; I know that there are some pieces written by one of my split personalities that are not included here!

I believe though that you will find it of interest, not least because it is a transcription, only lightly edited for this context, from primary source documentation of the time. I hope that the reader will see the connectivity of the Star Trek fan production community who I have found to be, as a rule, generous and helpful with their time and resources. How one group will pass on props to another and that group might have its stars cameo in the work of another. In nearly all cases they treat each other in a gentlemanly manner that is so very refreshing in a world that only seems to value status and competitiveness.

Five Fan Films, A Chronology 1 3 Five Fan Films, A Chronology 1 3 Kirok This body of work is meant to be my present to Star Trek fans everywhere as Day 5 of the 'Twelve Trek Days of Christmas" for 2007. It is a consolidation of my reporting on the five major Star Trek fan films still in production in Dec '07 - Star Trek: Hidden Frontier, Star Trek: Intrepid, Star Trek: New Voyages, Starship Exeter and Star Wreck.

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