I was wondering how long it would take. A new fan film production group has surfaced that aims to create what I believe is the first fan film tied in to the new movie from JJ Abrams, to be called Star Trek: The Early Years.
A thread on the official movie forum first led me to their MySpace page (and its virtually identical twin on Trekspace) where I first saw their teaser trailer, which is in turn housed on Vimeo, and I can honestly say that if this is any indication of the quality of the work we can expect, this is going to be the one to watch next year!
The project has been around since at least March, when they announced that CutshawKane Reel Music out of Kings Mountain, NC will be providing additional music for our episodes. So far they have a principal cast and crew plus a guest cast for their first episode which is due to film in North Carolina in 2010
Pretty impressive, in fact you can see a trend here: they are all pro or semi-pro cast and crew, some with substantial backgrounds and demo reels. This is the work of an independent film-maker who is using a Star Trek fan film as a vehicle to practice his art. Its been done quite successfully in other fandoms, most noticeably the DC 'verse, and last year by D. R. Quintana's Star Trek: Beyond.
Ethically there is nothing wrong with it at all as long as they stick to the rules and don't divert any revenue from the copyright owners. This however is an example of how professionals can gain something that cannot be measured in dollars: public and professional visibility. We, the fans, win as does the copyright owner by the free fan prublicity. If they were to prosecute people for doing things for the glory that they might bring then I'd be behind bars right now!