So as the chimes of midnight draw ever closer – A Star Trek Continues Blog

Four Years and 27 Days ago that’s when Star Trek Continues debuted its first episode “Pilgrim of Eternity” and now we are heading fast towards their final episode, which will be a two-part episode called “To Boldly Go”.

In the course of the last four years, the team at Star Trek Continues have continued to live up to their goal in both making a final season of the original series but also never letting their fans down in producing the content that they have said they would. Over the last 4 years, the money Continues has raised has gone towards making what will total 11 full-length episodes, 3 shorts, expanding the sets and more importantly to any Star Trek fan recreating the feel, look and love of The Original Series.

So as the chimes of midnight draw ever closer to the dreaded finish line that we all knew was coming, but we held out hope that maybe, just maybe would be a long time off, it was on May 26th of this year Star Trek Continues lead Vic Mignogna posted the following on the STC Facebook page



Not much is known about what the final episodes will consist of but what we do know about episode 9 is it will have a very! Familiar face added to the crew in the form of the one and only John de Lancie (AKA Q from TNG, DS9 & VOY), I am so excited to see what his role is in this.

One other key point of episode 9 is that the story will be co-written by Kipleigh Brown, now not only has Kipleigh started in Enterprise back in 2004 as Crewman Jane Taylor (The Forgotten) but anyone who plays Star Trek Online will know that she has a very important role within that universe as well by providing VO work for the character Kuumaarke.

Now, I can hear your minds going HUH! NO FAIR especially after reading the part about John de Lancie being cast in this episode is that not a breach of the guidelines, well here is the kicker, Yes and No!

Back when the guidelines were forged (June 2016) Continues had already done their fundraising to finish up their planned run, although they had planned for 13 episodes that plan had to be changed due to factors outside of their control, in an update to their Indiegogo campaign dated Jun 30, 2016, at 4:09 AM  Linda Thompson made this statement,

“As many of you know, CBS has created a set of guidelines for fan films going forward.  CBS’s John Van Citters mentioned in a recent podcast that existing fan film productions will be dealt with on a case-by-case basis and that each production’s intentions toward Star Trek are key in determining its future”. (Full statement can be found here)

So even though, Continues is yes essentially breaking guideline 1 The fan production must be less than 15 minutes for a single self-contained story, or no more than 2 segments, episodes or parts, not to exceed 30 minutes total, with no additional seasons, episodes, parts, sequels or remakes”

And guideline 5 – “The fan production must be a real “fan” production, i.e., creators, actors and all other participants must be amateurs, cannot be compensated for their services, and cannot be currently or previously employed in any Star Trek series, films, production of DVDs or with any of CBS or Paramount Pictures’ licensees.”

By means of continuing with their production and hiring former Star Trek alumni, there are a few things people do tend to forget when crying, no fair and I feel these 4 points need to be hammered home

1) In essence, STC are covered by the “grandfather clause” which John Van Citters stated

“These guidelines are meant for films on an on a going forward basis”

2) But a lot of people seem to forget that John also said this in the engage podcast

“That’s correct and we have had a  long history with fan  productions and fan initiatives of  various kinds where were very much eager  to have fans involved in Star Trek I’m  not sure what the best way to  elucidate on all this is but we want  fans involved very much so we just want  them all involved in the right way  that’s going to be best for fandom as a  whole is going to be best for Star Trek  as a whole and is going to help us  evolve and bring Star Trek to a to a  bigger and brighter future.

We do treat every use of our IP on a  **case by case**   basis we do not like paint  with a big broad brush and tar and feather everything in a specific way  just because that is the most expedient  we have been in contact with different  fan film groups over the years as well  as recently I’ve had in the past week a couple of groups have reached out to me  looking for clarification hopefully what  I’m able to do today will provide some  of that in answering some of the  questions.”

3) Many people and Vic himself have stated that if told to do so by CBS they would STOP production without hesitation.

4) Alongside the three points I have covered above, there is one crucial thing missing in a lot of people simple understanding of the guidelines, and that is they are just that guidelines, not laws, rules, orders, must abide by or even commandments, so unlike one particular production that is bound to them due to a legal settlement the cast and crew of Star Trek Continues can continue with what they promised the fans and donors back in May 2016 and that is to wrap up their journey.

So I hope that clearing up a few misconceptions that people are buying into, we can now get back to what is important and although tremendously gloomy, is the fact that if you are attending one or all of the following

You are in for a colossal treat and so lucky to get to see what although will no doubt be a sad moment for everyone, not only those who have come to love Star Trek Continues but also for the many people involved in bringing this groundbreaking production to life.

So let’s help these guys go out in style and celebrate what they have done for us all and not get drawn into the mediocrity of other people’s jealousy.


If you haven’t done so already you can get tickets for these conventions at the following links.


Star Trek Continues can be found at the following 


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The Fan Film Guidelines Breakdown – Part Two

So we left part one with what I hope was a big shroud lifted on one of the guidelines that many seem to misinterpret or choose to ignore, and that is this guideline,

1) The fan production must be less than 15 minutes for a single self-contained story or no more than 2 segments, episodes or parts, not to exceed 30 minutes total, with no additional seasons, episodes, parts, sequels or remakes.  

Although worded in a way that seems to negate the idea or possibility of producing more than the 2 x 15 episodes It is, in fact, something that you can work with! Not against!

During the last blog, you saw not just one, but 6 different perspectives of this guideline and how those productions have chosen to perceive it and work with it not by shunning the guidelines and saying hey, they are “draconian” but they have retooled their productions accordingly and decided “Hey, yes we can still move forward and carry on making the fan films we love, but with some adjustment.”

Yes the undeniable fact is that the days of the 45min+ long episodes have now gone the way of the dodo, but with some ingenuity, clever thinking and love in doing what you do, you can still produce content that not only you will enjoy making but content that will bring joy to many other Star Trek fans around the globe.

In this blog, we will be dissecting guidelines 2 and 8 and again, it is not only me who will be drawing on information I have found, but I have asked the same producers to help me out once again.

Below you will find commentary from the fan film “experts” and some useful links to information that will, we hope to help you with this guideline.


It should be noted the Fan Film Guidelines DO NOT affect anything but Fan Films, this means Audio Dramas and alike are not bound by them.


2) The title of the fan production or any parts cannot include the name “Star Trek.” However, the title must contain a subtitle with the phrase: “A STAR TREK FAN PRODUCTION” in plain typeface. The fan production cannot use the term “official” in either its title or subtitle or in any marketing, promotions or social media for the fan production.



RANDY LANDERS – Potemkin Pictures

  • What is your interpretation of this guideline?

Paramount and CBS own Star Trek. We are privileged to play in their universe. If they want us to call them “Title” – a Star Trek fan production, then that’s what we need to do.

  • Is this a guideline that is one that will or could cause issues?

It will end the names “Star Trek Phase II,” “Star Trek New Voyages” and “Star Trek Continues.”

Nick Cook – Intrepid

  • What is your interpretation of this guideline?
    • Is this a guideline that is one that will or could cause issues?

I think this is probably the easiest thing to comply with.  I’m not sure what issues could realistically arise other than people wilfully ignoring it.


 Vance MajorMelbourne

  • What is your interpretation of this guideline?
    • Is this a guideline that is one that will or could cause issues?

I don’t think anyone should be doing this anyway. No fan film is official. This is one of the guidelines I have no problem with in any way. I think this shows the state of mind of that some fan filmmakers have gotten into, to an extent. Trying to be the next big thing in the Trek universe, and to me that’s sad. I think some have gotten away from what this should all be about. Having fun and telling fun stories. That’s what kinda sucks about things these days, it’s so easy to make things bigger and better and then we can let our egos get out of hand. But, who are we? We’re just kids just playing in someone else’s sandbox. We can’t ever forget that. And I think this rule is there to remind us that no matter how good we can get, it’s not our sandbox

Justin Burton – Former member of the Lexington production. 

  • What is your interpretation of this guideline?

Star Trek Continues gets away with it little unfair we dropped Star Trek From the Lexington title long before this.   

  • Is this a guideline that is one that will or could cause issues?

Only to those who think they are above the guidelines, Star Trek Continues for example and that Voyager fan film. Star Trek First Frontier too


Ray Tesi – Republic

  • What is your interpretation of this guideline?
    • Is this a guideline that is one that will or could cause issues?

To me, this is a non-issue. Having a disclaimer is an everyday part of a business and has no bearing on the success or failure of a fan production.

Robin –  Dark Armada: 

“The guidelines set by CBS are just what they are…….. Guidelines, as it was explained in the podcast they’re not supposed to be rules and CBS isn’t going to inspect every single fan film about these guidelines. The Star Trek Fan Film community used to live by a certain code or ‘unofficial rules’, until some decided to break that code and all hell broke loose. But it’s really just common sense: making a fan film means you play with someone’s intellectual property and in our case, CBS and Paramount have graciously allowed us to do that for over a decade. The risk that they would ask you to stop is always present, so do you think it’s wise to sell DVD’s, ask for money/donations, build a studio, pretend to be official Star Trek? Only a few thought it was. Most fan productions followed a few simple rules: don’t make a profit, don’t sell DVD’s or similar merchandise and make clear it’s a fan production. The only difference today is that these rules are now officially presented as guidelines by CBS. Follow them and you’re safe from any legal action. Most important about these guidelines are that your intentions are good (the common sense stuff I mentioned before), that it’s a production by the fans for the fans out of love for Star Trek (and of course…. don’t pull an Alec). My advice would be not to try to desperately work around the guidelines, but realise that they are a way for CBS to allow us to play with Star Trek as fans. Some of these guidelines weigh heavier than other. I think I don’t have to explain that collecting more money is a worse guideline to ignore than the one about the length of your film. Whether your film is 15, 30 or 45 minutes long, make sure your intentions are good and put a lot effort, a lot of work and a lot of love into it”

More Producer Analysis is on its way. 


Why Are There Only 3 Episodes Left of STAR TREK CONTINUES? Vic Mignogna from STC Answers!

Video Credit: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nEBLz3w6a7U&feature=share


8) The fan production must display the following disclaimer in the on-screen credits of the fan productions and on any marketing material including the fan production website or page hosting the fan production:

“Star Trek and all related marks, logos and characters are solely owned by CBS Studios Inc. This fan production is not endorsed by, sponsored by, nor affiliated with CBS, Paramount Pictures, or any other Star Trek franchise, and is a non-commercial fan-made film intended for recreational use.  No commercial exhibition or distribution is permitted. No alleged independent rights will be asserted against CBS or Paramount Pictures.” 



RANDY LANDERS – Potemkin Pictures

  • What is your interpretation of this guideline?

Yep. No problem with that.

 

Nick Cook – Intrepid

  • What is your interpretation of this guideline?

Again, straight forward. Use the disclaimer as provided. We’ve added it to the opening of all new films since the guidelines dropped. To be honest, I think this is actually a pretty good thing to have, and many fan films already had some sort of disclaimer attached. I rather like the wording of the one we’ve been given.


Vance Major – Melbourne/ Starbase Studios

  • What is your interpretation of this guideline?

I get why they want us to do it. It’s kind of irritating, for a company that wants us to post so much that we are not affiliated that we have to keep putting disclaimers on there. It’s like there are so many hoops to jump thru just to make a friggin fan film, Lord forbid if you mistype a word lol or if you’re an honest to Gawd newbie that’s never even heard of these guidelines. That’s why I stick by they will go by the spirit of the law, not the letter of the law. If you’re in high school and you make a film on your cell phone, I wouldn’t expect you to have this disclaimer up. Chances are you don’t even know it exists. Yet fan film marks live and die by these things like you’ll lose your house if you dot the wrong I or cross the wrong while I feel they keep people like me safer from certain things, again, no one is going to mistake my film for star trek beyond or discovery. And I’ve been very open, I’m in no way competing.

Justin Burton – Former member of the Lexington production. 

  • What is your interpretation of this guideline?

Most fan productions were already doing this before the guidelines


Ray Tesi – Republic

  • What is your interpretation of this guideline?

Again, disclaimers are an every-day part of the business world. This is another non-issue in my opinion.

Robin –  Dark Armada: 

  • What is your interpretation of this guideline?

( SEE ABOVE STATEMENT )



Everything below is to enable you to understand the reasons for disclaimers and why CBS has asked you to place one on your Fan Production, it is not an indication that you should try to Copyright/Trademark your work as this is not possible for a fan film made by using the Star Trek IP.


Before! you upload to YouTube I would strongly recommend you take the time to visit this page >

https://support.google.com/youtube/answer/2797449?hl=en

You will find important information such as:

What is a derivative work?

You need the copyright owner’s permission to create new works based on their original content. Derivative works may include sequels, translations, spin-offs, adaptations, etc. You’ll probably want to get legal advice from an expert before uploading videos that are based on the characters, storylines, and other elements of copyright-protected material.

<——

Otherwise, you may end up seeing this image when you or others try to watch your film.

<——


The other popular place for Fan Films to be uploaded to is Vimeo, like YouTube it has its own set of rules and regulations in regards to uploading videos and content. To view these click on the images to the left and it will take you to the different sections that will guide you further.

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The Fan Film Guidelines Breakdown – Part One


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The Trekzone Interview – Part Two – It’s Time To Take A Stand!

In part one we got to know more about who Matthew Miller is, what he loves about Trek and his hopes for the new Trek series.

In this part, we probe a little deeper into what started Trekzone.org, what is Matthews history with Trek Fan Productions and why he decided to take a stand against Alec Peters and Axanar.



James) Hey Matthew, thank you for taking the time to continue our interview Since Trekzone is not entirely a “podcast” as such, as it features a more video content than audio, I would class it as a Vlog but what would call Trekzone.

Matt) TREKZONE.org is Australia’s first Star Trek fan site, going boldly since 2003.  With that said a lot more effort is going into The TrekZone Spotlight which focuses on science fiction in general to avoid some franchise owners taking offence to me raising advertising revenue (not that it ever has been a concern.)

James) You currently work with Network 10, what would you say is your history with this type of medium?

Matt) I started the video podcast back in 2013 as I geared up for the tenth anniversary of the site, it was very rough in those early days… with a lack of budget and a lack of space in my rental home for a set, but working on TV means I have to create that medium!

Eventually, I bought my own house and decided that I didn’t want a physical set again so I’m renting studio space which has helped make the 2017 season the best yet.

James) Did this start as a hobby or did you have any formal education in video and audio formats?

Matt) I studied film and television for my tertiary education in Perth, I have a diploma of the screen (sound) but a lot of what I know came from volunteering at our local community TV station (aka, public access station)

I worked with a small team on a breakfast show, we were live an hour a day featuring guest interviews and breaking news from overnight feeds, it may not sound like much but for a community TV show, it was revolutionary haha.

James) Trekzone has now spanned over 10 years in total, what else have you done using the knowledge base you have?

Matt) I produced a short-lived fan series called Eternal Night which has a couple of playlists on my YouTube channel.  As I mentioned above, I have a need to produce TV-quality products and I just couldn’t pull it off without a budget so I mothballed the idea… until now. (As River Song would say though, shh! Spoilers.)

James) Dam! I hate it when people tell me they are working on things, but won’t tell me what it is HAHA! I am nosey like that.

Quickly going back to your work experiences in community TV do you think this helped you create Trekzone?

Matt) Yes, My three years with community TV in Perth were key, I think, in my current position to create The Trekzone Spotlight with no crew (I shoot, present, produce and edit all by myself in my studio.)  I’m also a segment producer for a show called The Couch where I make travel segments and other content outside of a Sci-Fi setting.

James) Ok, so about Trekzone, why choose the medium of Video and not a podcast or Blog?

Matt) As I work in TV it has brainwashed me into only being interested in making video.

James) LOL! So What inspired you to create your podcast other than being brainwashed lol

Matt) Trekzone started as a year 10 IT project and sat idle making many grand claims for about 9 years. It wasn’t until 2012 when I was finding my feet in Brisbane full time and settling down for my life that I made a crack at it and am still plugging away with the same basic ideas – the episode reviews are carrying on for just over 4 years now!

James) Why Trek and not random Sci-Fi?

Matt) I started on Trek exclusively, but broadened to general/random SciFi when I realised I was being very niche in my episodes.

James) Funny you say that lol, I have something lined up that if all goes well should be launched in Q4 2017 or Q1 2018 but shhh shhh “spoilers” LOL!

How many episodes of Trekzone have been produced to date?

Matt) There are 13 Trekzone Interviews, 12 SciFi Weekly and 27 Trekzone Spotlights

James) How hard is it to come up with each topic? Since your podcasts vary a lot, does it require a lot of planning in advance?

Matt) In 2017 I’m trying to be a lot more regular than previous years, in November 2013 I was going to be doing monthly but that didn’t work out.  Sci-fi WEEKLY didn’t quite work either, so there may be spurts like this week (3 eps in four days, and I’ve got Carlos coming up next week.)  Not sure yet, see what happens.

James) How is Trekzone funded?

Matt) All me. Google sent me my first AdWords cheque the other month, it took me about four or five months of YouTube ads to reach the payment threshold!

James) Like me then, 100% self-funded, and even IF! I was trying to garnish funds from elsewhere, it would be through Affiliate links like I am doing with CBS All Access.



James) Would you ever try a crowdfund for Trekzone?

Matt) No. I tried a campaign a few years back for Eternal Night and only managed to bring in a couple hundred dollars, then I realised that this is MY hobby and I do it because I want to.

People enjoy watching the episodes, but maybe that’s because it’s free – all they have to do is sit through an ad or two (please.)

Trekzone is only run and funded by me. There is no one else. That’s why I speak in the first person on the social media channels, I think it makes it more personal, and I certainly feel that with several regulars now keeping up with me as I release new content.

James) With you being self-funded and unlike me, as I am in a written format which is cheap as chips lol, how much does an episode cost to produce?

Matt) I’m not going to give away exact figures, but there is studio space for me and the guest at an hourly rate, time on the transcontinental fibre per minute, my subscription to Adobe, my PC (which needs an upgrade now that I’m churning green screen keys out!), my time could also be factored in if we were working ‘in the real world.’

James) So not cheap then :-s I know I couldn’t afford to run my site if it cost me a lot and I am lucky with the package I got from 1 and 1, £5 PCM.

Over the last 5 years since things have moved up a gear in the work you are doing with Trekzone, who have you interviewed?

Matt) That list is really extensive. From Anthony Montgomery, Doug Drexler, Larry Nemecek, Rod Roddenberry, Dominic Keating, Richard Dean Anderson, Grant Imahara, Vic Mignogna, Tim Russ and so much more.

James) Would you say that your interview technique has changed much since your early days?

Matt) You can tell, especially in the early days, who were good talent because of their! Really carried the podcasts…

However, my chat with Alice Krige was one of the very early ones I would not encourage people to watch, sadly, as it was very stiff and very early (in terms of graphics, sets and my abilities.)

James) I have to admit I am still finding my way in how I interview people, I have to work in such a way to get around time zone differences as atm most if not all of the people I interview are based overseas with a big difference in time zones.

Even though you say you were wooden, there had to be some things about it that you look back and think yeah that was really good.

Matt) Learning about Alice Krige’s past and her film project from the Perth film festival was a highlight, it’s just a shame it was my second interview and was delivered with such wooden gusto by me hurts my brain.

James) Do you have a favourite Podcast you have done?

Matt) Dominic Keating was a great talent, Richard Dean Anderson was generous with his time (I was one of two video interviews while he was here) and meeting Australia’s only (so far) astronaut was awesome.

James) If you had to say what podcast you found the most cringe-worthy what would it be?

Matt) Alec Peters springs to mind. The way he turned on a dime when I asked him to explain his finances was incredible and led to the best bit of my series (73,000 other viewers agree.)



James) Ahhh the “Phone a Friend” one LOL! That one I did find a little funny more than cringe worthy but that’s me.

You have done some “location” based podcasts, can you tell me some of the places you have been.

Matt) I’ve followed Oz Comic Con to Perth, Melbourne and Sydney to record interviews with guests.  I’ve been working on a US trip for over a year now (can I get in with Trump closing the borders!?)

James) Ah well the USA sucks LOL! Come to the UK, as a member of the Commonwealth lol I am sure you will have no problem lol.

Out of those places you just mentioned, can you tell me the best and worst places you have been?

Matt) I had to interview Dr Andy Thomas in the middle of the World Science Fair, it was so noisy and crowded, which hurt the interview (especially since they set me up right next to the speakers from a radio station’s OB!)

James) Oh, how nice of them.

No doubt over the last 5 years you have not only altered your interviewing technique, but I am sure your equipment has changed. In all the interviews you have done are there any you wish you could go back and redo because you are watching them now and think a man that looks BAD!

Matt) My worst quality production would be my chat with Tori Higginson (Stargate Atlantis’ Dr Weir) and Grant Imahara (Mythbusters)… I had attempted to use a two camera setup using my Lumia 1020 but it did not work out very well.

James) What made these in your eyes so bad?

Matt) Ellie Goulding claimed to have used the Lumia 1020 exclusively on one of her music videos and it looked very good… when I used it, it was shocking.  Lesson learnt!

James) I am glad I do not have to worry about such things “yet” lol!

We are coming to the last bit of this segment, so a few more questions then I’d like to move on.

Is there anything about Trekzone you are thankful for, such as perks you have gained from connecting with a lot of people around the globe?

Matt) I have made friends with quite a few studios in the US, which allows me to be the only SciFi video podcast that employs satellite links (although they’re deep water transcontinental cables now, that’s not as catchy as a ‘satellite link’!) to chat with my guests and not rely on Skype too often (from this year, I’ll be employing production houses in any state I don’t have studio access… so every podcast will be full high-def goodness.)

James) Looking back on your podcasts, you have new digs as of 2017, what prompted the change?

Matt) I moved house after my Dad passed away and the only space in the new house for the studio was in the garage.  It’s summer in Queensland and I just melt walking from the car into the house, there was no way I was going to be able to build a set in there without modifications like air con and a light grid etc etc etc, and then I would have to look at the packed away set every day and I just thought there had to be a better way.

Thankfully, I worked out a deal with some studio space locally where they have all those things I need and it looks so much better than anything I could’ve whipped up at home. (It’s taken me a few eps of this new season to get the angles, lighting and key right… so have a look at the latest ep with Gary O’Brien which gives you a good sense of how things will be for a while to come.)

James) Moving on, you have produced an Audio Drama but a little birdie told me you were thinking of moving into live action productions, so I would like to touch base on your history within filmmaking.

Have you ever written a screenplay before and if so how many have you completed?

Matt) I wrote a bunch of fanfictions back around 2006/07 under the working title Star Trek: Poseidon… it was basic and never for public consumption again! (Not sure if it’s still out there on the web archive…)  When I got stuck into Eternal Night in 2012/13 I had many concepts, but eventually gutted out several log entries for a ‘first’ season ending with a 40-minute news bulletin to build up some B-plots for season ‘two’ which took a different turn (utilising audio and set in 2406/2386.)

Those B-plots were going to come into play for the third season (live action) but it never eventuated.

James) So this is going to be a semi-continuation of your Audio Drama, cool.

When writing a screenplay, how long does it normally take for you to complete one?

Matt) I got on a roll there at one stage and turned out to 300 pages of script for the ten-episode second season in about two months… it was relatively easy because it was a season-long story arc that wrote itself towards the end, then the hardest part was breaking it up for flow and cliffhangers etc.

James) What aspect of writing a screenplay gives you the most pleasure

Matt) I enjoy building characters from scratch, having some of my dreams imprinted on them and exploring a fictional world in my mind through their eyes.  The challenge for me is believable dialogue; the actors chuckled with some of the more intimate moments I’d scripted.

James) Out of all the screenplays you have written, are there any you wish you do over?

Matt) I wish I could tell that second season better. Heck, I wish it was produced beyond its fourth episode – but I didn’t want to crowd fund so I never had the ability.

James) Crowdfunding does have its perks, but also its drawbacks. Which one of your scripts and films are you most proud of and why?

Matt) From a production standpoint, that honour has to go to the season one finale.  All by myself I wrote, shot and edited the news bulletin – I even starred in it at one point.  I managed to get a guy in a chopper to give me two traffic reports, I had WA Police Media offering feedback on one of the plots, we went to hospitals and filmed pieces to camera – just like a real news hour.

James) When writing a screenplay, have you ever drawn upon other Trek episodes as a guide on how you’d like things to feel or look?

Matt) I love DS9’s emotional episodes, season four’s The Visitor, season six’s In The Pale Moonlight for exampleIra Behr is a talented writer, as to René Echevarria.

James) those are two! My all time favourite episodes 🙂

From an outsider’s point of view looking at, what would you think is the biggest surprise anyone would see when producing a fan production?

Matt) Just… how… long… it… takes.  I mean, seriously! We sat for eight hours reading the dialogue for the ten ep second season. (My lead actors were troopers that day!)

James) I think a lot of people seem to forget it’s not as simple as shooting in order etc, also sometimes you have to do a few takes to get the look you want, I just do not like it when things take 23 takes or more lol.

What is the toughest thing about getting a project completed?

Matt) The budget!

James) Lastly then we must move on so I do not take up much of your time :-p

With you thinking about moving into the live production side of things, How do you feel about the fan film guidelines?

Matt) The guidelines are awesome, and no – I’m not paid to say that – I truly believe that the guidelines will help smaller productions like mine cut through the noise from the ‘big guys’ and we are all on a level playing field now… I still won’t crowdfund, but I can now tell a 15-minute story and it won’t be beaten or looked down on for not being a 50-minute epic shot on built sets.



James) Ok, recently you took a controversial stand towards this subject so I would like to probe into why and your experiences with the yet to be made a project called Axanar.

So I guess the first question is, even though we ALL knew what was going on what made you choose to interview Alec Peters

Matt) With the lawsuit hanging over him and a LOT of loyalists hanging around, it seemed right to interview him to place myself ‘on the radar’ of many more fans… I learnt that from work, where we do things that we know will bring in the ratings – people may not like that, but it’s a fact of the business.

James) That was understandable and at the time it was such a hot topic for so many people. Being totally honest, what was it like to interview Alec Peters, as when the interview came out there were a lot of opinions on it, ranging from you ganged up on him to you hate him.

Matt) I don’t hate the man, despite what he may say.

As I said in my recent chat with Christian Gossett, I wish him every success with Axanar now that he can make the two fifteen-minute films – but history says he won’t / can’t.

James) How much fallout has there been from your interview with him?

Matt) I still see viewer figures for part two (with Bawden & Pedraza) increase, there’ll be the occasional loyalist who’ll post their view on the subject but that’s about it.  Perhaps I’m not as biased as certain other individuals…?

James) I have to admit I tip my hat to you, you do deal with them better than I lol, but with all the mixed feedback on the interview and its follow-ups, one has to ask why! Did you cover the Axanar Lawsuit knowing how certain “followers” would cause issues for you?

Matt) I was chatting with the editor at a larger Trek news site and asked why they weren’t covering it… they said because it’s such a divisive issue and they don’t want to deal with the fallout.  I agree that it has divided Trek fan film fans, but I disagree with the whole backing away from the fallout… it is worthy of coverage because it affects so many people and that fallout is par for the course when it comes to coverage hot button issues.

James) To say they do not want to “deal” with the fallout is shady at best tbh but then again each to their own, I personally have not bothered doing a big coverage of it because this issue has caused a LOT of hassle for so many and I felt if I am honest, I wish this certain person and the production had never hit the fan film scene.

One thing that came out of the interview you did was Alec branded you a hater, how do you feel about that?

Matt) I disagree that I’m a hater, that label was placed on me by Peters (along with ‘immature child’ while asking for a follow-up interview) because I questioned financial records.

James) Ah, OK…

I have to ask as like myself a lot of people were “Pro” Axanar at the start, did you ever class yourself in this way or have you always been a down the line kind of guy?

Matt) I don’t go one way or the other with any fan film, to be honest, I’m just not that invested in them.  That said, I enjoyed Prelude just like I enjoyed Continues, Hidden Frontier, Intrepid, Chance Encounter etc.  It’s good to film sometime.

James) Even though this was settled and in essence should be fading away there is still a very strong vocal minority who still are calling for boycotts, etc., How do you feel the fallout from the Axanar lawsuit is going to affect everyone from this point forward both fans and fan Trek?

Matt) While the loyalists shout from the rooftops of a deserted town saying that it’s all over and things will never be the same, I still believe this has levelled the playing field for everyone… now you don’t need to raise a million dollars to be seen and heard (the reason I believe my crowdfunding for Eternal Night failed.) I’m even considering reviving my series.

James) Do you think the Settlement is the end?

Matt) No. I’m not going to say more than that because of some conversations I’ve had off-the-record

James) How do you feel about the settlement?

Matt) Alec Peters is a very lucky man.

James) Do you wish this went the whole hog and he went to trial?

Matt) Well, I was preparing to go live every day with Carlos to cover the trial… it would’ve been fascinating to watch.

James) IF! This had gone to trial, Do you think he honestly could have won

Matt) No.



James) Ok, so about this podcast, “The Stand” as I call it, WHY! Now, after so long, after the settlement?

Matt) It’s always been there but as an impartial observer. Since Alec and his minions can’t see that, I asked myself why bother tiptoeing the line?  So I speak up for what I believe in.

James) What has been the response to it?

Matt) There has been some murmuring, but mostly quiet… they seem focused on Shawn and Carlos.

James) LOL, WOW! I would have thought people would have been pitchforks at dawn over it lol, Can you tell me what made you take more of a stand on this subject matter and not play the line like you did before?

Matt) I received a long winded email from Mike Bawden when I asked him about the fan production aiding Axanar in the move.  In one sentence we went from amicable professionals to adversaries.

James) Erm, how Public Relations of him, can I ask what was in the email or at least see what he said that changed your mind so drastically…..

Matt) 

James) Erm, ok, not touching that one lol, so moving on, Do you think the coverage that TrekZone and Axamonitor have done is the right thing to do, even after all the grief you guys have gotten and still get from it?

Matt) Absolutely, People deserve the truth, whether they believe it or not is up to them… but Alec can’t just get away with taking people’s money and then not delivering – that’s exactly why St fan films have been turned on their head the way they have. Metaphorically, Alec ran into the common room of fandom with a bomb and blew himself up.

Then again, I have to thank Alec for forcing CBS & Paramount to build guidelines because it will allow my production to be on a level playing field with others out there (speaking of, what big names are still in production?)

I’ll probably be releasing my first post-guidelines fan film before he even gets one frame in the gate…

James) I guess there are some good things that came out of this lol, Hey I have met some really cool people so in a way I am thankful to Alec just like you lol :-p

One last thing on this subject, Do you regret getting involved in this massive cluster f**k?

Matt) No. I believe I’ve provided unbiased coverage where possible, I’ve allowed Alec Peters to speak for 30 minutes before questioning his finances, I gave 70 minutes to PR man Mike Bawden, I gave 44 minutes to Jonathan Lane (a “pro-Axanar, self-proclaimed independent blogger”.)

One thing we know Alec likes to say is how we amount to nothing because of reasons! But how do you define success and how do you measure it?

I define success by what you’ve done. My 52 podcasts in three and a half years speak for my success. How do I measure success? Stop talking about what you’re going to do AND DO IT.

James) I agree, success is different for everyone, I do not measure success in the way he does to me it is just being happy with people I love around me as in this world there are some people with nothing.



James) Ok We are hitting the home stretch now and I would like to wrap things up so only a few more questions promise lol.

What advice would you give to someone wanting to: make their own series, what should the aim for?

Matt) Do what TOS did best, focus on the characters, applies the KISS method – keep it simple stupid.

James) What advice would you give to someone wanting to start their own production like Trek Zone?

Matt) Don’t. You’ll hurt my rating :P. Seriously though, work out what you want to do and how you want to do it, I spent nine years trying to figure that out… and I’m up to year 5 trying to work out Eternal Night.

James) Do you have any regrets in doing Trek Zone?

Matt) Not getting started on it sooner.  Maybe I could be even bigger today then?  But I am happy with how things have played out.

James) Lastly, What would you like to say to the fans of Trek Zone?

Matt) Thanks.  Your kind words – especially in this week on the new stuff – makes me happy to know that there are a few out there that hang out for the next release, and you’re the reason I’m pushing myself to make more content more often.

James) So Matt, that is it I want to thank you deeply for your time as I know the big time difference between us made this a bit tricky, but before we sign off, is there anything else you would like to say?

Matt) I think we’ve covered everything. This was fun!



Trekzone can be found online at the following links

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The Fan Film Guidelines Breakdown – Part One

It has been nearly a year since the release of the vaunted “Fan Film Guidelines” and it has taken time for many to be able to fully digest them and dissect them enough to understand what they may mean for fan films.  Furthermore, personally I wanted to understand what the fallout was from them, was this the end to ALL fan films or was this just a hiccup and then things would carry on as normal but with some alterations.  As history has presented us with all big changes to the status quo the landscape does change and there are always some casualties, as a result of their implementation a few fan films decided to shut up shop or retool to remove the Star Trek aspect altogether, however for the vast majority things carried on but as expected they had to alter things to enable the productions to move forward.

From the “about section” of Project Small Access

However, unlike the Borg some fans did not adapt and as a result a very small yet vocal group of fans have banded together to express their dislike for the guidelines, on the same day the guidelines were announced a group on Facebook calling themselves “Project Small Access” popped up with the goal to semi-boycott the new Star Trek series due to air on CBS All Access, they plan to achieve this by hosting “Viewing Parties” to hurt CBS “in the wallet”.

Admins and Moderators Of “Project Small Access”

Nevertheless after looking through the group seeing it’s Admins and reading its post history the group seems to be just another Axanar group due to the Admins being Axanar’ PR rep Mike Bawden, Known Axanar Surrogate Jonathan Lane who is joined by three other very loyal Axanar supporters but the strong pro Axanar vibe you get from its posts it is clear to see that there is an ulterior motive to the group and its goals. the timing of the group’s appearance is extremely suspect as not only is the group run completely by loyal Axanar supporters its inception was less than six months into the Axanar lawsuit.

An example of the hate directed towards CBS

Although the group started out with a somewhat ill-advised ethos in thinking that a disgruntled group of supposed fans (less than 1300) could try to somewhat hold CBS to ransom with the notion that they could influence change to the guidelines by using the tactics they use or they will not sub to All Access is misguided at best, diluted at worst. However, the worst thing is the group now stands, for the most part, as a group that has just descended into a free for all of venom towards other big named fan film productions and a strong dislike towards CBS in general, this is not only worrying but it tarnishes what Star Trek is all about, the acceptance of all things and the ability to adapt and change. Alongside this worrying facebook group there have been several petitions set up and a lot of extremely vocal folk saying on social media saying they will boycott all officially sanctioned CBS work or even pirate it as a result of the guidelines.


So enquiring minds want to know why have the guidelines been met with a very small but strong vocal opposition by fans and not by the fan films themselves, The answer is anyone guess, to date I have spoken to over 60 independent fan film productions about this and other fan production related issues and, while all of them have their own views on the guidelines varying from they love them too, they hate them, one fact that is undeniable is they all respect the need for them and more importantly respect CBS as they own the Star Trek IP and belongs to them so it is up to them how to they choose to protect it. But here is the thing, these guidelines are here to stay and they are not going to change or even go away overnight, and as it stands we have to work with them and show CBS we can play by the rules.

One thing that was passed along to me in so many conversations is until CBS handed them down, no one had any real idea of the boundaries that were acceptable to CBS for a production to operate within, before the guidelines there had always been the “unwritten” rules that pretty much everyone followed and many knew but unfortunately things started to escalate to the point even these unwritten rules were being ignored by a few and by one in particular. It took one production to push CBS & Paramount to the breaking point of what is acceptable even to them and with this the good old days of semi-unrestricted fan film production into the ground to a halt.

So why a blog series about the guidelines

Well, the principal reason I decided to do this is that almost everything you see online regarding them is so negative and, to be honest depressing, YES! They changed the playing field for fan films, but did they kill them NO! And that is important to communicate not only to whoever wants to read this blog series. So with the negativity and calls for action that surrounds the guidelines, I reached out to some fan film producers of varied experiences to see if they would like to take part in forming these blogs with their own views and commentary, I was extremely honoured and excited that the guys I reached out to decided to accept and have their voice added to these blogs. One key thing we all felt is it is very important to share our knowledge with the next gen of fan films.

These blogs will be split into sections as not to overwhelm you all at once and will be released as and when we have pulled our resources together for each section.

So this is part one of what may! Be ten parts, WHY? Ten parts the idea of these blogs is to break these guidelines down in an easy how-to for ALL fans to be able to make their own fan films without the all the negativity and misunderstanding and that is why I have teamed up with various people from different fan productions as these are the people who know more than others on what is involved in bringing a fan film to life.  


It should be noted the Fan Film Guidelines DO NOT effect anything but Fan Films, this means Audios dramas and alike are not bound by them.


CBS and Paramount Pictures are big believers in reasonable fan fiction and fan creativity, and, in particular, want amateur fan filmmakers to showcase their passion for Star Trek.  Therefore, CBS and Paramount Pictures will not object to, or take legal action against, Star Trek fan productions that are non-professional and amateur and meet the following guidelines.

Guidelines for Avoiding Objections:

1) The fan production must be less than 15 minutes for a single self-contained story or no more than 2 segments, episodes or parts, not to exceed 30 minutes total, with no additional seasons, episodes, parts, sequels or remakes.  



RANDY LANDERS – Potemkin Pictures

  • What is your interpretation of this guideline?

A single, self-contained story cannot exceed 15 mins or 2 15 min segments.  It does NOT prohibit characters or setting from being used to create another single, self-contained story.

  • Do you think that you can make follow up episodes as long as they are “self-contained stories” and not “part 2 or 3” of the same story?

We no longer can refer to them as episodes. They are fan productions. Captain Walker and the crew of the Tristan can appear in any number of self-contained stories/productions providing that they’re not more than 15 mins in length (or two 15 segments).

  • Are there any links you think would be of benefit to add to this section such as lists to strong short stories or links on “how to make a short in 15 – 30 mins”

https://www.youtube.com/user/Potemkin1711/videos

Only 4 of our 48 productions to date are more than 15 mins in length.  You have to be willing to avoid “beauty shots” or lingering on a character’s reaction or melodramatic pauses. Life doesn’t include those anyway. You don’t have to start the story in the beginning. Start it in the middle and let the audience figure it out. For heaven’s sake, they’re not stupid.

I’d recommend not relying on the two-parter as a crutch. Give us a short story!

Nick Cook – Intrepid

  • What is your interpretation of this guideline?

I think this is very intentionally worded to prevent people trying to market themselves as a series. That said, I also think there’s some room for interpretation. The time limits are pretty black and white but there’s nothing that specifically precludes using recurring settings and characters, as long as you’re not doing story arcs or direct sequels.

  • Do you think that you can make follow up episodes as long as they are “self-contained stories” and not “part 2 or 3” of the same story?

Yes, I do. See above.

  • Are there any links you think would be of benefit to add to this section such as lists to strong short stories or links on “how to make a short in 15 – 30 mins”

Not specifically, but I think if you look at the films Randy Landers’ Potemkin Pictures are producing, or the last couple of films we’ve released, you’ll get a fair idea of what appears to be tolerated. Which is not to say that couldn’t change.


Vance MajorMelbourne

  • What is your interpretation of this guideline?

Well, honestly I’ve already played the same character over several shorts, and no one’s come knocking at my door or taken down my films. I think ppl can look at the things I’m doing and see that what little bending I am doing is in good faith, these are just guidelines, not rules. It’s the spirit of the law, not the letter. Hell, it’s not even law, like I said it’s a guideline.

  • Do you think that you can make follow up episodes as long as they are “self-contained stories” and not “part 2 or 3” of the same story?

If they are made with passion. You watch um, no one’s going to mistake what I do for what’s on tv or compete with the big guns. If they do, they don’t get out much lol but I do bend that rule to some degree while respecting it somewhat. I had an idea when I started doing my stuff and I’m compromising on it because it is not my franchise. However, it’s my time to do with it how I choose. So I can compromise to some degree and respect the guidelines. But as I said, no one’s going to mistake me for what CBS is doing. And I think I have been very creative with the things I’ve put out, and what I’m waiting to put out. So….spirit of what’s intended. Even if not the letter.

Justin Burton – Former member of the Lexington production. 

  • What is your interpretation of this guideline?

Just exactly that, however, I would allow for a 30-second intro that would lead into the opening act.  Most Tv shows do not carry long intros anymore

  • Do you think that you can make follow up episodes as long as they are “self-contained stories” and not “part 2 or 3” of the same story?

Yes, But you have to follow the formula exactly and not make it look like a story arc.

Ray Tesi – Republic

  • What is your interpretation of this guideline?

Having had the opportunity to contact John van Citters and CBS directly, they seem adamite that it’s basically one story and you’re out, meaning no follow-up episodes using the same “crew.” On our Indiegogo page, we stated that we were looking to do a total of 6 episodes of Starship Republic. Of all of the questions I asked CBS about the crowdfunding campaign and its perks, this was the only item they indicated was “out of line.” The good news is that CBS is still allowing fans to play in their sandbox.

  • Do you think that you can make follow up episodes as long as they are “self-contained stories” and not “part 2 or 3” of the same story?

I think there are ways around the guideline, and I don’t think CBS will be “lawsuit happy” if you do, but I think it’s treading a fine line.

Robin –  Dark Armada:

“The guidelines set by CBS are just what they are…….. Guidelines, as it was explained in the podcast they’re not supposed to be rules and CBS, isn’t going to inspect every single fan film about these guidelines. The Star Trek Fan Film community used to live by a certain code or ‘unofficial rules’, until some decided to break that code and all hell broke loose. But it’s really just common sense: making a fan film means you play with someone’s intellectual property and in our case, CBS and Paramount have graciously allowed us to do that for over a decade. The risk that they would ask you to stop is always present, so do you think it’s wise to sell DVD’s, ask for money/donations, build a studio, pretend to be official Star Trek? Only a few thought it was. Most fan productions followed a few simple rules: don’t make a profit, don’t sell DVD’s or similar merchandise and make clear it’s a fan production. The only difference today is that these rules are now officially presented as guidelines by CBS. Follow them and you’re safe from any legal action. Most important about these guidelines are that your intentions are good (the common sense stuff I mentioned before), that it’s a production by the fans for the fans out of love for Star Trek (and of course…. don’t pull an Alec). My advice would be not to try to desperately work around the guidelines, but realise that they are a way for CBS to allow us to play with Star Trek as fans. Some of these guidelines weigh heavier than other. I think I don’t have to explain that collecting more money is a worse guideline to ignore than the one about the length of your film. Whether your film is 15, 30 or 45 minutes long, make sure your intentions are good and put a lot effort, a lot of work and a lot of love into it”

More Producer Analysis is on its way. 


Vic Mignogna from Star Trek Continues on Fan Films and CBS/Paramount

Vid Credit: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zbjgYZ1kzE8



  • One thing this does not say is you cannot use the same characters to tell further stories. Ref: 

For example, DS9: “In Pale Moonlight”, TNG: “Eye of the Beholder”, TNG: “Face of the Enemy”, ENT: “A Night in Sickbay”, VOY: “Message in a Bottle”, VOY: “Life Line”

All these episodes focus on one! Character from each series, yes there are one or two scenes with other cast members but the story revolves around one centric character.

 


There are so many fan films out there that have managed to stick to the run times as set out in this guideline it has been done and can be done.

Some examples are:

Animated Examples:

Live Action Examples:

Potemkin Pictures

INTREPID

DARK ARMADA –

Starship Valiant

Dreadnought Dominion

Melbourne –

Other examples see here –

= So making films within 15 mins IS NOT IMPOSSIBLE =


Ref: Engage Podcast – Full Transcript HERE 

Time Index – 00:35:30 – Time Length

{} Jordan {}

“There was somebody else that asked  uh 15 minutes for the film does that  include the credits and tell me if the  answer is right the answer is yes but  now like if you’re if it comes to minutes and  seconds  fine but go for  minutes right I mean  like these are doing shave it down”

{} JVC {}

These are guidelines there they are intended to be something that gives structure and lets people know that these the limits they can operate within where they know they’re not going to get a knock on the door well we don’t we don’t go house to house anyway there they’re not going to hear from us they’re not going to get a phone call they’re not going to get an email  they’re not going to get anything that is going to ruin their day one way or another and in and make them you know feel bad or like they’ve done anything wrong that they’re guidelines we’re not we’re not going to be able to provide the level of feedback that’s like you know I got this really great scene but if I include this scene or  this one really cool shot  I don’t want to cut anything else from  it’s going to make the film 15 minutes and 30 seconds what do I do that’s up to you and your you know  creative decisions were not looking to get into that, were not approving any material we don’t want to get involved in your script choices your costume choices”

Time index – 00:59:55

{} JVC {}

and what I’m what I’m honestly  hoping will happen with the with these  guidelines with a  15 minute or 30 minute limit on this and a  fifty thousand dollar crowdfunding limit  I think it’s going to be easier for people to hit their goals quickly and  easily and get their projects underway  I think with the 15 minute limit I think with some of the things that are here is it’s going to make it easier than ever for more people to pick up cameras everybody’s walking around with a  high definition video camera in their pocket now which is it’s amazing  that that’s where we’re at you buy  computers and there’s a capable video editing software preloaded on it’s an amazing time for that what we want to do is we want to drive more films forward more fan voices not fewer we want more we want we want to see more people express their creativity for Star Trek and hopefully out of that will be able to find new ways to take advantage of this and see  Star Trek continue to grow and evolve.

I’ve definitely had people express their concerns about what this means it’s a big adjustment there’s no question people have gotten people have gotten used to full like 1960’s length episodes of you know 50 minutes  plus 90minute feature films but that’s what we do we’re producing full-length episodes within and Paramount’s producing  amazing amounts of I mean they did the  budgets that are involved in a Star Trek motion picture now are beyond  anything I could you know possibly have  believed  years ago that that kind  of budget would be available to Star Trek


How to make a short film in fewer than 15 mins here are some tips on how to make a short film:


Ref Links:

 

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TREKLANTA 2017

Even though this is their third annual Star Trek Convention under the name TREKLANTA, officially Treklanta was launched back in 2011 under the original name, “TrekTrax Atlanta.” it was in late 2014 they changed their name to the easier-to-pronounce, easier-to-remember and less confusing “Treklanta” so while many will only recognise the Treklanta name for the last three years this convention was actually its seventh annual convention.

As always the TREKLANTA Star Trek Convention, kicked off in its normal geek filled style a weekend filled with famous faces and Trek fans alike celebrating the one thing that brings us all together in the mad universe we call Star Trek.

This year’s convention had its normal celeb panels and guest speakers, Miss Klingon pageant and even a Star Trek themed wedding,



Although it is not every day you see a Star Trek themed wedding this was not the only thing that was spectacular to occur this year. The 2017 Treklanta also had something rather unique planned in it being the first time they held their Bjo Awards ceremony.

In 2016 following another successful run of its well known Independent Star Trek Fan Film Awards, which were presented by Carel Struycken, Tracee Lee Cocco and Jack Stauffer but also by the famous husband and wife duo, Bjo Trimble and John Trimble. Bjo and John were responsible for the letter writing a campaign that helped save Star Trek. During her time helping to present the awards, Bjo revealed to Eric L. Watts that she was so overwhelmed with how well the awards went, upon hearing this Eric asked Bjo if she would endorse the awards by allowing them to be renamed in her honour, and she modestly agreed. So going forward the Star Trek Independent Awards will now be known as “The Treklanta Star Trek Fan Film Bjo Awards”.

Although it has only been about a week The Bjo Awards have already earned their own moniker the Bjo’s, however In much the same way that the motion picture industry’s “Academy Awards” are sometimes referred to as the “Oscar Awards” the Independent Star Trek Fan Film Awards has renamed itself as “The Treklanta Star Trek Fan Film Bjo Awards” and the physical item that is presented to each winner will be referred to as “the Bjo Award.” Personally, I have to admit I was brought up to date by Eric himself in the correct terminology for these prestigious awards and the official name is a much more fitting name for such an Important person in Trek history, and I do hope the Bjo’s is not a term that becomes too widespread.

Like previous years the awards are sponsored and this year’s awards were sponsored by none other than Larry Flemming the man behind so many Star Trek Fan Film roles, I reached out to Larry just to ask him how he became involved in sponsoring this year’s awards and he had this to say.

“Hey, NP. I have been a Star Trek fan from the beginning. I have also been in a number of fan films, so I know what they go thru. I met Erik when he was wanting to get a fan group together and helped get Treklanta going. I continue to support him and all the great groups making fan films. In our new era of CBS monitored fan films, it’s even harder. I’m resting up after a long weekend helping Axanar move to Atlanta, so I support everyone making films. LLAP”Larry Fleming

A complete history of Treklanta can be found > HERE < and a complete list of its previous winners can be found > HERE <

In addition, if you want to find out all the goings-on at this year’s Treklanta visit their Facebook and website for a full rundown of its guest and the panels they held.



The 2017 Independent Star Trek Fan Film Awards, a.k.a. The Bjo Awards were presented at and by Treklanta on April 30, 2017, in Atlanta, Georgia.

You can watch the awards ceremony above or skip the video and scroll down to the list of names and categories.

The panel of judges included Diana Dru Botsford, Keith R. A. DeCandido, John DeSentis, Matthew M. Foster, Andrew Greenberg, Robert Greenberger, Cheralyn Lambeth and Archie H. Waugh. The Masters of Ceremonies were Eric L. Watts and Brian Holloway. The presenters included David Gerrold, Gary Graham, J. G. Hertzler and James Horan. The award plaques were sponsored by Lawrence L. Fleming.

BEST SPECIAL & VISUAL EFFECTS

FINALISTS

  • Red Shirt
  • Star Trek Continues “Come Not Between the Dragons”
  • Star Trek Dark Armada “Out of Time”
  • Star Trek: Horizon
  • Star Trek: New Voyages “The Holiest Thing”

BEST SOUND DESIGN, EDITING & MIXING

FINALISTS

  • Star Trek Continues “Come Not Between the Dragons”
  • Star Trek Continues “Embracing the Winds”
  • Star Trek Dark Armada “Out of Time”
  •  Star Trek: Horizon
  • Star Trek: New Voyages “The Holiest Thing”

BEST ORIGINAL MUSIC

FINALISTS

  • Needs of the Many
  • Red Shirt
  • Star Trek Continues “Come Not Between the Dragons”
  • Star Trek Dark Armada “Out of Time”
  • Star Trek: Horizon

BEST MAKEUP & HAIRSTYLING

FINALISTS

  • Star Trek Continues “Come Not Between the Dragons”
  • Star Trek Continues “Embracing the Winds”
  •  Star Trek: Horizon
  • Star Trek: New Voyages “The Holiest Thing”
  • Starship Farragut “The Crossing”

BEST COSTUMING

FINALISTS

  • Needs of the Many
  • Star Trek Continues “Come Not Between the Dragons”
  • Star Trek Continues “Embracing the Winds”
  • Star Trek: Horizon
  • Star Trek: New Voyages “The Holiest Thing”
  • Starship Valiant “Crosses to Bear”
  • USS Danubia “Force Contact”

BEST GUEST ACTOR OR ACTRESS

FINALISTS

  • Gigi Edgley as Eliza Taylor – Star Trek Continues “Come Not Between the Dragons”
  • Jacy King as Dr Carol Marcus – Star Trek: New Voyages “The Holiest Thing”
  • Clare Kramer as Commander Garrett – Star Trek Continues “Embracing the Winds”
  • Erin Gray as Commodore Gray – Star Trek Continues “Embracing the Winds”
  • Jason Carter as The Priest – Project: Potemkin “Room Service”

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR OR ACTRESS

FINALISTS

  • Matthew Trammell as Dr Matthias – Project: Potemkin “The Last Child”, “The Talinar Incident”
  • Michele Specht as Dr Elise McKennah – Star Trek Continues “Come Not Between the Dragons”, “Embracing the Winds”
  • Grant Imahara as Sulu – Star Trek Continues “Come Not Between the Dragons”, “Embracing the Winds”
  • Cat Roberts as Palmer – Star Trek Continues “Come Not Between the Dragons”, “Embracing the Winds”
  • Kim Stinger as Uhura – Star Trek Continues “Come Not Between the Dragons”, “Embracing the Winds”
  • Tim Kaiser as Admiral Gardner – Star Trek: Horizon

BEST LEAD ACTOR OR ACTRESS

FINALISTS

  • Harriet Fettis as Elisabeth – “Needs of the Many”
  • Aaron Jay as Ben – “Needs of the Many”
  • Christopher Doohan as Mr Scott – Star Trek Continues “Come Not Between the Dragons”, “Embracing the Winds”
  • Vic Mignogna as Captain James T. Kirk – Star Trek Continues “Come Not Between the Dragons”, “Embracing the Winds”
  • Paul Lang as Captain Harrison Hawke – Star Trek: Horizon

BEST DIRECTOR

FINALISTS

  • Aaron Vanderkley – “Needs of the Many”
  • James Kerwin – Star Trek Continues “Embracing the Winds”
  • Julian Higgins – Star Trek Continues “Come Not Between the Dragons”
  • Tommy Kraft – Star Trek: Horizon
  • Wayland Strickland, Scotty Whitehurst – Starship Farragut “The Crossing”

BEST ORIGINAL STORY OR SCREENPLAY

FINALISTS

  • Aaron Vanderkley – “Needs of the Many”
  • Greg Dykstra, James Kerwin, Vic Mignogna – Star Trek Continues “Come Not Between the Dragons”
  • James Kerwin, Vic Mignogna – Star Trek Continues “Embracing the Winds”
  • Tommy Kraft – Star Trek: Horizon
  • Dave Galanter, Paul Sieber – Starship Farragut “The Crossing”

BEST DRAMATIC PRESENTATION, SHORT FORM

FINALISTS

  • “Needs of the Many”
  • Project: Potemkin “The Last Child”
  • “Red Shirt”
  • Starship Valiant “Crosses to Bear”
  • Trek Isolation “Out of the Fire”

BEST DRAMATIC PRESENTATION, LONG FORM

FINALISTS

  • Star Trek Continues “Come Not Between the Dragons”
  • Star Trek Continues “Embracing the Winds”
  • Star Trek: Horizon
  • Star Trek: New Voyages “The Holiest Thing”
  • Starship Farragut “The Crossing”

Below you can find a complete rundown of each award and its winner along with a table of all finalists that were considered.

 Release Date & IMDb LinkSeries Name & Web Site LinkEpisode Title & Online Video LinkRun Time
11/17/2016Needs of the Many“Needs of the Many”0:06:28
21/31/2016Star Trek: New Voyages“The Holiest Thing”1:03:53
32/26/2016Star Trek: Horizon“Star Trek: Horizon”1:42:35
43/9/2016Starship Deimos“The Lucky One”0:07:05
53/12/2016Starship Farragut“The Crossing”1:12:37
63/16/2016Red Shirt“Red Shirt”0:24:31
73/28/2016Battlecruiser Kupok“Sanctuary”0:07:56
84/2/2016Star Trek: Natures Hunger“The Darkside of Starfleet Justice”0:15:42
94/3/2016Star Trek: Intrepid“Nemo Me Impune Lacessit”0:11:10
104/10/2016Starship Tristan“Relics and Regrets”0:07:14
114/17/2016Project: Potemkin“The Last Child”0:20:53
124/21/2016Starship Deimos“Aftermath”0:06:09
134/27/2016Project: Potemkin“The Talinar Incident”0:08:11
145/4/2016Project: Potemkin“The Hunt”0:10:31
155/28/2016Star Trek Continues“Come Not Between the Dragons”0:42:20
165/31/2016Project: Potemkin“Inquiry”0:05:39
176/9/2016Star Trek: Revenge“Star Trek: Revenge”0:02:00
186/28/2016Starship Tristan“The Chronicles of Lanclos”0:08:59
197/17/2016Project: Potemkin“All in a Day’s Work”0:08:27
209/1/2016Assignment: Earth“Boredom”0:04:28
219/3/2016Star Trek Continues“Embracing the Winds”0:43:56
229/11/2016Starship Tristan“The Greater Good”0:06:27
239/20/2016Project: Potemkin“Destinies”0:07:37
249/27/2016Trek Isolation“Out of the Fire”0:06:41
2510/12/2016The Federation Files“His Name Is Mudd”0:47:25
2610/18/2016Starship Tristan“Be Careful What You Wish For”0:15:00
2710/21/2016Star Trek: Raven“Voyager Continues”0:32:03
2810/24/2016Project: Potemkin“Room Service”0:07:37
2910/26/2016USS Danubia“Force Contact”0:28:50
3011/3/2016Dreadnought Dominion“Chain of Command”0:07:38
3111/10/2016Starship Deimos“Pas de Trois”0:14:51
3212/9/2016Starship Valiant“Crosses to Bear”0:22:33
3312/10/2016 “Out of Time”0:31:20

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Ambush – Interview with Greg Lock

“Ambush” will introduce you to a new ship and crew that exist in the Star Trek Universe, The USS Ambush. Set just after the events portrayed in “Balance of Terror”, the original series episode. By focusing on a single away mission to rescue a captured Commander, “Ambush” will shed some light on how the Federation ultimately dealt with the Romulans, after the initial incident involving Kirk and The Enterprise. As you’ll discover in the film, the crew of the “Ambush” are a very unique and specialised group of people, who would always be the first choice to deal with a delicate matter such as the Romulans. Although the crew’s existence is well known to the Federation, they’re not keen on their existence being bragged about. The name of their ship is not the only thing controversial about this crew.

“Ambush” is going to be an exciting film and nothing like anything previously shown on Star Trek. It’ll have something for everyone, from the hardcore fans to the casual fans and for those who just like great Sci-Fi films. After a successful Kickstarter in 2014, we’re still working away (Including building sets from scratch) to bring this film to you.

Ref: Facebook page

James) Hey Greg, thank you for taking the time to sit and chat with me about you, Ambush and more.

Tell me about yourself, what is your day job, what you do in your spare time and general interests?

Greg) I’m Greg Lock and I’m the creator of Ambush. My day (and night) job to pay the bills is a Paramedic, with the Ambulance Service. However, I also freelance as a Film Set Builder and Model Maker. I love making models, music and films. I play the guitar, drums, and piano and love synthesisers. In 2008, I graduated from the Arts University of Bournemouth, UK with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Film Production, Specialising as a Production Designer.

James) That is a job I do not think I could do TBH, I hate blood lol. I have seen some of your models and have to admit I am jealous as I really suck at making models, I tried when I was a kid and gave up as they always turned into a gluey mess lol. 

Obviously, you love Trek as you’re as doing your own fan production but what other shows do you like to watch?

Greg) Other than Star Trek, my other favourite TV shows would be The Walking Dead, Dexter, 24, Game of Thrones and Arrow. The usual stuff I guess, though not into The Flash and really struggled with Gotham, which is a shame as I’m a massive Batman fan and that’s mainly because of my love for the Arkham Rogues.

James) Do you play many games a fair few people I talk to within the fan film community do not tend to play many Trek games like STO or if they do play any games they tend to be the older ones like Academy etc, are there any games you like to play?

Greg) I’m not much of a gamer, though I will really get into a game when a good one comes out, such as GTA5 and I’m online with Star Wars: Battlefront (you can like both, ones a Sci-Fi and the other a Fantasy), Really looking forward to Red Dead Redemption 2.

James) Moving on to Trek, Have you managed to meet many Trek actors? 

Greg) What Trek actors have I met in real life? Well… William Shatner, Walter Koenig, George Takei, Nichelle Nichols, Patrick Stewart, Brent Spiner, Michael Dorn, LeVar Burton, Marina Sirtis, Denise Crosby, Wil Wheaton, John DeLancie, Kate Mulgrew, Garrett Wang, Robert Duncan McNeil, Robert Picardo, Jeri Ryan, Colm Meaney, Armin Shimmerman, Rene Auberjonois, Scott Bakula, Domonic Keating, Connor Trinneer, Anthony Montgomery, Jeffery Combs, David Warner, Christopher Lloyd, Greg Grunberg and Karl Urban. Not to forgetting Trek crew, Nicholas Meyer, Ronald D Moore and Ira Steven Behr.

That’s all at conventions, apart from Patrick Stewart whom I met an actor’s Q&A in a West End Theatre and was proud of myself for getting him to talk about TNG in front of all the actors who wanted him to talk about Shakespeare!

James) OK now I feel so unworthy LOL, I have met a total of ZERO so with you meeting pretty much everyone who I want to I am feeling a bit sad now, but then again I am not much of a convention person tbh so maybe that is why I have not met anyone. 

So you have met a lot of “Trek Royalty” as I call them, this next question may be a little hard as I find meeting actors in real life tends to sway your perception of how they act in things, but do you have a favourite Trek episode? 

Greg) My favourite episode is The Enterprise Incident. Love the whole espionage element of it, a great follow up to Balance of Terror and classic Spock romantically stalling for time whilst Kirk steals the cloaking device.

James) Do you have a fave Trek film?

Greg) My favourite Star Trek Film is controversially The Final Frontier, the justification on this can be heard on the Spocklight Podcast about this film where I was the guest speaker. But basically, the film is the best showing of the trinity of Kirk, Spock and McCoy and other things, including being the first ever thing of Star Trek I saw.

Listen to the podcast! My favourite Trek actor is DeForest Kelley, Dr McCoy is my all time favourite character and I wish I could have met DeForest before he passed away. He always seemed really humble and kind in his interviews. But out of the actors, I’ve met its Walter Koenig. Such a humble chap and an absolute joy to speak to, I had a great chat with him about his collection of figurines when he told me with a cheeky smirk that he does own every version of Chekov they’ve made! 

James) Although I can agree with many STV is a bad one, I think TMP and Into Darkness are the “Worst” Trek films ever made TBH, but then one thing I have come to understand is that everyone has a difference of opinion and what I find bad others find enjoyable, this is what makes everyone so interesting, how boring would life be if we were all the same.

Is there an episode you just cannot stand, I may have a feeling about this one for you since your fan production is Enterprise era based but I may be wrong. 

Greg) My worst episode would have to be “These are the Voyages”, Enterprises Finale. You don’t really need a reason.

James) I knew it and TBH that episode although it would not be my worst is a HUGE! Let down it screams “Can’t be fooked” and that is a shame as Enterprise had so many ways it could have ended but I guess when your cancelled midseason you have to come up with a way to end it, I just wish it could have been better.

Greg) My favourite series is again controversially, Enterprise, but followed very closely by The Original Series. I just found Enterprise to be really refreshing and would have loved to have seen it go to 8 seasons. I remember finding the Season 3 Xindi Arc really gripping and thought Enterprise, unfortunately, got axed just as it was getting good.

James) I loved! Enterprise, like you I found it so different it was a totally fresh take on the Trek universe and like you I wanted to see more, you just have to look at the NX-01 Refit to see this series had so much to give us. 

So what about a “worst” series, do you have one? 

Greg) I don’t really have the worst season, I guess TNG is at the bottom of my list. But it’s not rubbish, just preferred the other series.

James) Are there any fan productions you watch and are any you would rank better than others?

Greg) As for the fan films I like to think I watch a fair few. Prelude, Renegades, Exeter, Continues, Phase 2, Intrepid, Horizon. I don’t think it’s fair to rank them though as there’s too much difference with the production value of them.

James) Horizon I LOVE! It is my fave fan film out of them all tbh, and made with such a small budget which makes me respect it so much, what about other fan productions, are there any YouTube shows or podcasts you listen to? 

Greg) The only other Trek-related thing I watch/listen to is Spocklight, which I should give a shout-out to as it’s done by a good friend of mine, who’s also starring in Ambush! I respect YouTube shows like Trek yards, but I just don’t find analysing the ships interesting, I’m into Trek for the stories, characters and escapism. It’s great what they do, just not my cup of tea.

James) I think this next set of Questions may be something you have strong feelings about being you loved Enterprise and this is set just after it, so it’s almost like they have big shoes to fill. 

So, Discovery are you looking forward to it and do you have any feelings on things like the ship design, casting etc? 

Greg) Yes, I’m looking forward to Discovery, Star Trek is always best as an episodic show. I wasn’t impressed with the trailer. I think (and hope) that the VFX will be better, they were just desperate to get something out for Comic Con.

I am not too keen on the ship design. I get their reasons for it, just don’t find it believable as a ship that precursors the Constitution Class. I think the casting choices are great, Michelle Yeoh is always great and the idea of James Frain as Sarek is awesome.

James) From what I have seen in various interviews regarding the ship design, they have said it has changed and there is even a rumour that we will see why it has its design, something to do with the Shenzhou being destroyed and repurposed into what we will see as the Discovery. However, I am very sceptical about that, I guess we will see when Discovery airs. 

If you had one hope for Discovery, what would you say it would be?

Greg) I simply hope that Discovery is great, gets Star Trek back on the map and has plenty of references for us Trekkies. Be nice to see some bridging the gap between Enterprise and The Original Series.

James) By now we all know Bryan Fuller has left the production like many this caused me some concern how did you take this news? 

Greg) I wouldn’t say I’m concerned with the departure of Brian Fuller, yeah he’s great and liked Star Trek, but Star Trek did service a long time without him, it’s not the end of the world, we still have Nicholas Meyer I think, who I rate more!

James) Yep, Nick like it or not was the saviour of the TMP era films, I feel if they got TWOK wrong then we would not have had 4 more films based in that era. 

Because, DSC, is going to be set in a previously unknown period of Trek history, is there anything you are hoping for in the look and feel that we see on screen? We know its prime time line but do you hope it’s more prime than Kelvin or vice versa?

Greg) I hope the look is all reminiscent of The Original Series. This is where the JJ films went wrong. I get that The Original Series is very dated and more of a period piece, but that’s what happens when you set your show in the future. Even Enterprise is showing its age in areas. But I strongly think you just need to make subtle changes and shoot and light it in a contemporary way.

This is exactly what we’ve done with Ambush and I really like the look I have. It looks more modern than The Original Series, but my characters and ships won’t look out of place next to characters and ships from The Original Series, well that’s my opinion anyway. 

James) What do you hope they do not do with Discovery, as in PLEASE DO NOT GO THERE? 

Greg) No more rebooting, that’s all I ask. And no forgetting about the 50 years of Trek that have already been.

James) the Last question on this subject then I want to move on, Do you think the move to put it on All Access is a good or bad idea? 

Greg) The All Access thing was a disappointment to hear about at first, however being in the UK I believe we’re getting it on Netflix, which I have. Yeah, terrestrial TV as we know it is going. Hence why in the UK you now need a TV License even if you don’t own a TV but use iPlayer. I think they’ve recognised that we want to binge watch a series now.

James) Moving on to your experience, what other productions and films have you either starred in or work with?

Greg) I have plenty of experience at youth theatre and acted in countless plays with that. Also back during my Film Degree, I would happily act in all films being made by my friends and they would in mine, back before we could pay actors or know any actors who would show up for free.

James) I always enjoy watching things with unknown actors in as to me personally it gives you the chance to see “new” talent and it makes you realise that even the best actors in the started somewhere. 

If you had to pick a “favourite” performance of yours what would you say it was? 

Greg) One of my favourites roles I’ve acted in which you can all see is the main part in the short film “The Shift”



It was a film made by good friend David Trumble and co-wrote with me, it’s based on many of my experiences as a Paramedic so has sentimental value. It was a hard film to make as it was all done throughout the nights but fun at the same time.

James) Is there anything you find hard exceptionally hard to achieve as an actor? 

Greg) In terms of what I find hard as an actor? I can’t cry on cue and I’m not great at accents.

James) Accents, er never ask me to do anything but Irish (I am English with Irish heritage) lol I like you cannot do them as they all sound the same. 

Moving onto other aspects of Filmmaking experience, how many screenplays would you say you have written? 

Greg) I’ve lost count of a number of scripts I’ve written but I can tell you I’ve written 3 feature length screenplays. One of them was written as a sequel to “The Shift” and featured a lot more of my experiences as a Paramedic, as by that point I had worked long enough to accumulate enough stories for a feature length.

James) How long would you say it takes you to complete a screenplay? 

Greg) How long it takes me varies a lot. A feature-length can take me a month on an off to present the first draft, the first draft of Ambush was done in about a week, but has gone through many revisions before we started shooting.

James) What gives you the most pleasure when writing, and what elements of the craft do you find most difficult? 

Greg) I enjoy writing dialogue and that’s what I find easiest to write, I like to think of myself like Kevin Smith in that sense as he’s first to admit that he’s not great at writing action.

James) Lastly as I am keen to move on to Ambush, Which one of you scripts and films are you most proud of and why? 

Greg) The script I’m most proud of is the sequel to “The Shift”, called “Blue Call” (the term used in London, where I worked for blue lighting a patient into the hospital).

James) Sooo, Greg let’s talk about Ambush, 

Describe your role in the production of Ambush and how a typical shoot played out from your Perspective? 

Greg) My role in Ambush is the Writer, Director, Producer, Production Designer, Set Builder, Actor and general organiser of everything!

James) So, you have your fingers in all the pies so to speak, which is a great thing to see such a hands-on approach. 

How is/was Ambush funded? 

Greg) Ambush has been funded through a successful Kickstarter campaign raising £4,600 approximately.

James) Why a “Star Trek” fan film, When and why did you decide to create a Fan series based upon Star Trek? 

Greg) I had always wanted to set something in Star Trek as it’s the world I’ve loved from a young age. Due to the amount of work involved in making a film and a number of people involved. It’s getting harder and harder to get everyone together from my film degree days to make a film, we all have lives and actual jobs to live and have to earn real money to pay our bills. The truth is I’m probably only able to make one more film with my old friends and if I was to do a swan song it would have to be Star Trek as that’s what inspired me, to begin with.

James) That is awesome that you choose Trek to be your swan song but also sad that it means you most likely will not be able to film with these guys again. 

What year/ century is Ambush set in? 

Greg) Ambush is set in the 23rd Century, 2266 to be precise, right in the middle of TOS Season 1. The main difference we have compared to other fan films is real sets and not replicas of original series sets (which I have no problem with), we also don’t have any starship action. The whole film is set during an away mission and no time is spent on the actual ship. We haven’t used a single bit of green screen, every background you see on screen is really there! It’s just a 1 episode affair but formatted like a pilot for a series we won’t make. I had an idea for a ship and crew and am using this film as an opportunity to show them off.

James) That is kind of sad that we may not see further adventures of this cast and crew. So real background means you must have shot on location a lot where in the UK did you go to shoot? 

Greg) We shot the film on locations around Dorset, UK and on sets in some warehouse space that kindly donated to us. The most impressive location we shot in were some caves and cliffs on the Dorset coast, they were so alien looking it turned out that episodes of old school Doctor Who was shot there. When the BBC needed a location for Skaro during the Tom Baker era of Doctor Who they shot where we have shot Ambush.

James) Was there any drawbacks or issues surround shooting in that location, as you know the UK weather is not stellar for outdoor shoots? 

Greg) The only issue we had was the weather. It rained on every day we shot outside and had to postpone one shoot day, but got there in the end.

James) If you had the chance to do a “crossover” with any other Fan Film Production, who would you like to do this with? 

Greg) I’d be up for crossing over with any other fan production, there’s not many UK Based ones set when we’re set, so the story would have incorporated some time travel or extreme flashbacks. But I’d be really up for collaborating with any UK production as we do have a lot to offer.

James) Yeah, this is true off the top of my head there are around 6 or 7 UK based Fan Productions and all bar yours I am sorry to say have set their productions in mid to late 24th century, which does not get me wrong is cool as many fan films tend to opt for TOS era, it, unfortunately, means productions like ambush are kind of stuck for this potential. 

Do you think social media plays an important part in any Fan production?

Greg) I think social media is integral now with any fan production. A lot of the really successful crowdfunded projects had massive social media following before launching their funding campaign and it’s obvious that that’s how they were able to amass a lot of money.

With Ambush, we launched our social media campaign the same time as our Kickstarter campaign. We were doing okay and managed to raise the minimum amount in 2 days, but we really got noticed when Axanar shared our Facebook page and ended raising 4 times what we set out to raise.

James) I have to say that is a great result, and I take my hat off to the followers of Axanar for helping you out, 

Moving on to the cast and crew of Ambush, Who in the show is most like their character? 

Greg) The person who’s most like their character? Simple, Me! I play First Officer Eugene Gibson, he’s immature, rebellious and easily offended just like me. I basically when writing this character based him on me knowing I’d be playing him. It’s a cop-out I know, but I’m not as well trained in acting as others in Ambush, so took the easy route.

James) There is nothing wrong with writing what you know; in fact, I find the most believable characters in anything I watch tend to be ones that mirror the writers in some way. 

With the UK is not a huge country, unlike the US, do your entire cast live close by or does it take a lot of forwarding planning to get everybody in one place. 

Greg) There are about 150 miles in total between the cast and crew of Ambush, so it does take a fair bit of planning as we have to consider travel and accommodation.

James) For Ambush, who does the makeup and wardrobe?

Greg) It’s a family affair as my sister, Amber Lock who works as a freelance makeup artist did the makeup for Ambush, including the Romulan ears and eyebrows. My mum, Jane Mearns who trained as a seamstress made the costumes, mainly the Romulan ones which had to be made from scratch and the Ambush jackets which had to be heavily customised.

James) I bet you owe them some favours now then for doing all that work for you.

You said before you are working closely with some film school buddies, are these people involved in more than the acting side of things?

Greg) My Director of Photography is also my co-producer, Tom Saville. To be frank I couldn’t be making the film without him. He works full time in post production in the industry, so his time is precious. But he doesn’t only film Ambush, he’s been editing away and doing all the VFX. I’m also fortunate to have Ricky Wallace of MadMan Shipyard who has kindly been making the CG models of the ships for Ambush.

James) Moving on to a subject that like it or not has impacted many fan productions I would like to get your view on the Fan Film guidelines, we are now almost a year from their inception but they controversy doesn’t seem to be going away and there is still a very vocal yet small band of people who are still trying to get these changed. 

How have these changed your production in terms of the premise of the film and has it had any impact on the script? 

Greg) In terms of content the script isn’t going to change much. We had characters and ships like Kirk, Spock and Enterprise being mentioned by name, but that’s being cut. Most people know by now that our film happens after the episode “Balance of Terror” so we now make subtle references to that event, without being obvious.

James) What about any plans you had to either continue Ambush or impede the plans you had for Ambush? 

Greg) Ambush was always going to be 1 episode, so we’re not worried about not being able to continue it.

James) What are your feelings on them, as everyone has had different reactions to them, how did it make you feel when they came out? 

Greg) Initially I did think the guidelines were extreme, but that’s Paramount’s right. The more I thought about it though, I realised that it gave me some creative restrictions and the fun would be getting Ambush to fit in those guidelines. If the guidelines mean that fan films in the future can potentially be exhibited at endorsed Star Trek events, I’m all for it.

James) Do any of them have you worried or concerned at all?

Greg) The guideline that I’m most worried about though is the no physical perks. But at the end of the day, I have an obligation to our loyal backers before the guidelines came out. Since the guidelines, I’ve noticed much larger and more well-known productions ignoring the guidelines completely and not being shut down, so hopefully, my little British film will be okay by giving the gifts to my backers.

James) Do you think they are actually going to negatively impact further Star Trek fan films? 

Greg) I don’t think the guidelines will negatively impact Trek Fan Films, just put us on the same playing field, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing.

James) How do you feel the fallout from the Axanar lawsuit is going to affect everyone from this point forward both fans and fan Trek?

Greg) The fallout from Axanar is just the guidelines, which were probably going to come sooner or later.

James) Thanks for that Greg, we are now moving into the last segment of the interview. 

What are your experiences within the “Star Trek” fandom as a whole? 

Do you have any good and bad experiences? 

Greg) I think the best part of Trek fandom is just the universal love and respect that making a fan film gets. It truly is amazing.

The worst part is, unfortunately, all the hate that can easily come your way. Last year I simply acknowledged the support that I had from Axanar and Alec Peters, because of that I was immediately branded and stereotyped. People started judging me and my film without knowing anything about either. Ambush even appeared in a “Hitler Rant” video! That bit I just found funny and humbled!

But the general hate and backlash I got were ridiculous. As apparently you’re allowed to acknowledge support one receives, who figures? Then when I stated that I would happily comply with the guidelines that came out you start seeing posts like “surprise surprise” and you’re branded as a turncoat, even though you always stated you’d follow any guidelines that came. Confusing, but it is just a small group of people in the grand scheme of things. Rant over.

James) I was not aware you were in one of “those” videos, man that’s bad, but hey things have moved on now and I am “hoping” people are starting to move on from all the drama surrounding that “issue”. 

In your experiences, in making films and from having a degree in the film what advice would you give to anyone wanting to make a film? 

Greg) Work with what you have. I knew that I’d never have space or resources to build a full-size bridge set. So I purposely made sure the story of Ambush did not need one. Work out what you have and make the best you can with what you have. You can actually achieve a lot if you scale things down.

James) that is a great bit of advice and one that many should follow, with Ambush do you have any Regrets?

Greg) The only regret I have is taking so long.

James) Lastly Greg is there anything you want to say to the fans of Ambush, who are watching and waiting for you to release your film?

Greg) Bear with us. The film is coming this year. I know we’ve taken a lot longer than anticipated and that’s mainly due to me, getting married, buying a house and going through a career change took a great deal of time. Plus many of the professionals we had got more actual paid work, which is great for them but does mean that Ambush has had to be on the back burner for a while. This project has been a massive learning experience on so many levels.

Thank you for sticking with us, we’re getting there and hopefully, you won’t be disappointed with what we release.

James) Thank you so much, Greg, for taking the time to sit and talk to me.

 

Follow Ambush on their social media to get updates and inside info on this amazing production. 

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Crowdfunding and Fan Films Pt 1

As part of a blog series I am doing on Trekfanproductions, I am hoping to obtain as much participation as possible from as many individuals as I can, so I have constructed this poll to ask people who regularly do or have previously donated to a Star Trek fan production.

The aim of this poll is to gain and insight on this subject in the hopes it will allow me to form a supposition of what the issue maybe surrounding the drop in donations, going towards Star Trek fan films.

This poll has been active on Facebook since April 23rd and the results thus far can be seen > HERE < but in the interests of fairness to all, I have brought it over to Trekfanproductions to enable everyone to see it and participate.


Edit – People have been saying that they do not wish to vote due to the potential of identification, this poll is completely anonymous and not even I can see anything but the vote cast, I do hope this alleviates any concerns.


The harsh reality is we all know crowdfunding is essential to many fan productions continuing to create and complete their projects. Nevertheless, over the last 12 months we have been seeing a big diminish in the donations being achieved, which has resulted in some fan films being cancelled or postponed, for example, Starship Republic only obtained 15% of the $16,000 they needed to progress into pre-production, this, however, has not been the only casualty of diminished donations recently Axanar, which had previously managed to obtain almost $1.6Mil in donations (the most ever crowdfunded in Trek Fan Film history) launched a new crowdfund campaign for Industry studios that they retrofitted with donor funds with the goal of funding the studio for at least the next 7 months, and they had lofty hopes it would allow them to continue seeking funds in this manner for the foreseeable future.

Nonetheless this recent crowdfunding campaign failed to reach anywhere near the goal they hoped or needed to keep the studio open, furthermore this now means the $1.6 mil they raised and put into the studio was for nothing, with the studio now in the hands of the landlord and to add insult to injury this means no film being made (regardless of the lawsuit) at the studio that they said was the justification of the money being spent in the manner it had been, as a result they are now moving across country to pastures new to start again.

So we are left with a big question what has gone wrong? with what was once a non-issue to the various fan films wanting to obtain funds through donations.

Below there are some options as to what I and others think maybe the issue, however, if you feel you have different viewpoints then please use the comment section below.

Please remember this poll is to help! ALL Fan productions and the comments section is not a place to start a flame war and anyone doing so their comments will be removed and further participation will be blocked!.

Thank you.



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THE MELBOURNE FILES Revisit – Part One

When we wrapped up our featured blog series The Melbourne Files I said we would revisit the Melbourne cast and crew down the line well this is part one of our follow up.

Late last month the guys at Shadowstorm Studios dropped their first outing in the Star Trek universe; STORMFRONT.

The fan film has received some great reviews and has given life to its own series of fan art.

Even though I am not going to review the film itself as I strongly believe that people should watch it and make their own mind up I would say this one is unquestionably worth a watch as it offers a different angle to the TOS fan film genre.

I have to offer Vance and the guys at Melbourne a massive congrats and I cannot wait to see what is next.

You can watch the full episode below and if you want to help the guys with their next instalment follow this link and donate to their next episode “Balance of Terror”.



Writer(s)

Director

DP and Editor

Cast

Extras

  • Michael L King as Captain Bishop,
  • Shirley S. Amauric as Admiral Parker,
  • Roy Ivey as Admiral Vandenbos,
  • Richard Brookman as Captain Stapleton,
  • Jonathan Rodrigez, Logan Brookman, as featured USS Carson crewmembers
  • Jesus Huerta as Klingon Officer,
  • William Wells as dead USS Carson crew member.

Other Extras: Gayle June, Cathleen Smith, Paul Lewis, Scott Johnson, Crissa Langston.

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Star Trek: Continues – And We Say Goodbye….

So that’s a wrap…

After 3 Years, 9 Months, 20 Days, 23 Hours, 33 Minutes, 19 Seconds, Star Trek Continues has wrapped filming its last episodes and in a heartfelt message, STC actress Michele Specht posted this photo along with this message to her Facebook page today.


Here it is: The FINAL picture taken of our entire Star Trek Continues production team – during our final episode shoot. If you’ve seen our STC FB page, read our most recent newsletter, or seen the recent postings on this page, then you already know: STC has indeed been completed. We are wrapped. Our last 4 episodes have been shot, and are in post-production – and the link to Episode 8 will be emailed to IndieGoGo supporters at 12noon PST on April 1st, and then released online to the public on April 2nd! The other 3 will be released throughout the rest of this year.

I hope you can see how bittersweet this picture is… all these amazing people who were brought together because of Vic Mignogna’s dream and our mutual love of Star Trek, and became a family. I just realised… we started this process (building the sets, coordinating our team, etc) in 2012… So we indeed completed OUR five-year mission. WOW.

We are so very excited for you to see this amazing series come full circle… trust me, you will NOT be disappointed.


So what does this mean well simply that’s it they are done with their series, now I know a lot of people are going to cry foul and say this is all CBS’ fault for their Fan Film Guidelines, well nothing could be further from the truth.

In a blog posted on the STC website, they address this very issue with the following comment…

Weren’t you going to make 13 episodes? Did CBS make you stop?

“CBS is not responsible for the decision to end the series. We are doing 11 episodes instead of 13 because another fan group took advantage of the good graces of the copyright holders forcing them to protect their property and the interests of their license holders. In deference and gratitude to CBS, we are wrapping up earlier than planned. We always have stood, and continue to stand, with CBS.”


Please go to 

http://stcsubspacechatter.blogspot.co.uk/2017/03/frequently-asked-questions-and-answers.html 

to see a complete list of their FAQ regarding the end of the series.


Therefore yes, unfortunately, it is indeed a sad day for the fans of one of if not the best Trek fan series to be made to date, but they have 4 episodes left to release with episode 8 being released in just over 2 weeks and then the rest released throughout 2017.

As Spock once said, “Change is the essential process of all existence.” Although this chapter in fan films is over and we say goodbye to some old friends, many doors old and new are opening and Star Trek Fan Films will continue to go boldly and keep pushing the envelope reaching new heights.

With many fan productions releasing new episodes and shorts in the coming year I am so excited to see what is coming, I have already seen snippets and early releases of what is in production and without spoiling things for you there is some AMAZING stuff coming. Yes! Star Trek Continues was one of a kind and in my eyes unique in terms of its production value and feel in recreating The Original Series, however, other productions are doing some fascinating stuff that I assure you with what they have planned they will fill this void.

Episode 8, “Still Treads the Shadow” will be released to Indiegogo backers on Saturday, April 1st at Noon PDT. It will be posted on YouTube and Vimeo for the public on Sunday, April 2nd at Noon PDT.

So mark your calendars, set your alarms and get ready to sit and watch what is certainly going to be a great episode.


In case you have missed their previous episodes here they are, sit back and enjoy….

  • E01 “Pilgrim of Eternity”

  • E02 “Lolani”

  • E03 “Fairest of Them All”

  • E04 “The White Iris”

  • E05 “Divided We Stand”

  • E06 “Come Not Between the Dragons”

  • E07 “Embracing the Winds”

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The Melbourne Files – Part Nine – Michael Sylvester

This week we wrap our current featured blog series about the fan film Melbourne by interviewing Michael Sylvester AKA Captain Nathan Cooper.

Michael, born on September 11th and has lived in Huntsville, AL since 1993. Is a keen photographer who owns his own company http://www.sylvesterphotography.com/ Michaels love for photography started when he was a child and has always dreamt of making a career out of his passion and it was in 2006 when he made that dream a reality.

Since 2006 Michael has enjoyed having his own business as a freelance photographer and has photographed over 100 weddings, over 200 Portraits, 3 military special events, 1 prom dance, 2 local parades, and around 50 non-profit events. In 2013 Michael found out that Star Trek: Renegades needed a photographer for its 3 weeks of filming in LA, he applied and landed a dream job as along with photography Star Trek is another huge passion of his.

Along with his job on the production of Renegades and his acting role on Melbourne Michael has also helped out other productions and was even an extra on the fan series “Starship Tristan”.


“I first met Michael online a few months before the first promenade-acon. He was so excited. I thought he was just another person. Had no idea that he was such an uber fan. But man, had a few phone calls with him and then meet him and I just clicked with him. He had such a warm personality to him, I invited him to the Melbourne dinner we all had that night after the event. As an honorary guest. I think it was a month later I gave him a guest role. He was just so excited, it was infectious. About a month before filming the captain we had planned, stepped away. And Michael had already memorised his lines. To Jeremy and me, it was a no-brainer. And our new captain was born. And honestly, as we were filming, I couldn’t see anyone else in that role. He had played it with such honesty. Hit every note we needed him to. The guy is such a great actor. He’s such a great friend. And he’s just an all out great person”

Vance Owen, Executive Producer, Melbourne.



James) Hi Michael, thank you for taking some time to answer some questions with me about you and your role in Melbourne.

 So let’s start with the obvious one tell me a bit about yourself.

Michael) Hi there, my name is Michael Scott Sylvester; I am 46 years old and live in Huntsville Ala.  I have been married for more than 10 years and been with her more than 20 years.

James) What do you do when you are not acting or helping out on fan films?

Michael) I am a photographer full time and deliver pizza for Domino’s part-time.

James) What are your likes and dislikes?

Michael) I love cheesecake, esp plain. I dislike people who have no respect for others or stuck up or judgmental.

James) Other than your obvious love for Star Trek, what TV shows do you watch?

Michael)  I love pretty much any kind of sci-fi shows, but I also love NCIS series, Bull, Scorpion, Supergirl, Legends of Tomorrow and Flash.  Arrow, hmmm, not sure about them.  But what they say is true and what they are going to do, then they will win me back.

James) I love the Dc Universe TV series although like you have yet to really follow Arrow, just seems a bit meh to me.

Are there any Star Trek Games you play?

Michael) I pretty much do not play Trek games, I know.  Many of my friends are shock by that.  But I do play Cards against Humanity card game.

James) Tell me a bit about your history with Star Trek what does Trek mean to you, did you grow up watching it or was it something you came across later in life?

Michael)  I remember when I was about 6 or 7 CBS was doing a marathon run on Star Trek and it was a Saturday night I think.  The very first episode I saw was Spock’s Brain.  I was hooked.  I forced myself to stay up all the way up to 7 am to watch them.

James) “Spocks Brain” lol sorry have to laugh if I saw that one as a starter episode I might have been put off, it is honestly one of the worst ones have seen.

Talking about best and worst Trek Episodes are there any you would run as your “favourite and your worst”?

Michael)  I know a lot of people call this one of the worst episodes ever made, but Spock Brain will always be my favourite because that was the very first one I had watched.

James) I get that I guess as the first Star Trek I ever saw was Search for Spock and that is one of my favourite films even though many tend not to like it, so do you have a worst Trek Episode?

Michael) As for what I think is the worst, wow that is pretty hard to choose.  I would have to say Enterprise season 4 Storm Front parts 1 and 2.  The travel back in time with the Xindi and World War 2, just did not like the story line and I was sitting there thinking, oh god, please do not let the rest of the season go like this.  Thankful they did not drag that storyline out.  Was happy the rest of the season got better.  I really did hate that they only had 4 seasons.  Wish they could have gone at least 2 or 3 more showing the building of the Federation, leading up to many of the things we see in TOS series.

James) That covers your favourite episodes, let’s swap that to series what would you class as your best and worst, starting obviously with your favourite series then your worst 😛

Martin)

Favourite Series & Why?

My favourite series will have to be Voyager.  I love the fact that they were lost and trying to make their way home.  And the challenged of holding onto their standers of being Starfleet, humanity and spirit.  There were a lot of episodes where Janeway had to make some hard choices.  And I wonder, would I have done the same thing.

Worst Series & Why?

Worst series, okay this will not make sense at first, but Voyager.  LOL I know, I just said this was my favourite series, but there were some things in the show made me think what the frack was they thinking when they wrote this.  Chakotay and Seven Relationships was the big one.  Was not believable like Torres and Paris, they took their time building up their relationship.  Then there were a few episodes right after each other, where the main crew member let Janeway down and she was disappointed in them and hurt, would not be that bad if they spread that out some.  And seem a lot of the episodes mostly focused on Seven, which is really not a bad thing, but just seem like there was more of her story than the rest.

James) The whole Seven and Chakotay thing made me cringe like BIG time, I get the holodeck thing as she was experimenting but if you hold her up to his past flings its almost hey I know let’s just shove them together because “reasons” and I agree with the Tom and Torres thing it just was not believable I mean the untold love story of Neelix and Tuvok was more believable lol!!

So, Martin have you ever met any Trek actors in real life?

Martin) Well, that is funny that you asked that.

I had met Chase Masterson, Walter Koenig, Tim Russ, Robert Picador, Robert Beltram, Terry Farrell, Manu Intiraymi, Gary Graham, I also got to meet Clint Carmichael who play the lead Nausicaan and the one who stabbed Picard from behind.  There a picture of him choking me on my facebook album.

https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=638237099586647&set=a.104923856251310.6877.100002010885803&type=3&theater

And I have also met Mikki Val who been an extra in a few STNG, she is a wonderful dancer.

https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=876414912435530&set=a.876414885768866.1073741912.100002010885803&type=3&theater

James) What Fan Films do you watch?

Martin) Too many to list,

James) Do you have a top 5?

Martin)  No top five, as long the story good and acting is decent I will watch.

James) Some people dislike Fan Films, are there any specific ones or type of fan films that just do not interest you?

Martin) Cannot get into the computer graphic fan films.  They just loose me.  I tried a few but… yeah had to click on something else.

James) The Last question in this section then moving on, to your experiences and history in filmmaking,  What are yours?

Best and worst parts of the Star Trek Fandom, any bad experiences?

Martin)

Best – Watching something that fans that love the show and come together and do it.

Worst – Yeah, there was one, but not going into details about that.  Just I felt I got burned pretty badly and if they do another one, I am going to have a hard time supporting them.

James) WOW! That sounds bad and I won’t pry into it, So we will be moving on now…

What is your experience in Fan Films? – name the productions you have been in if possible. 

Martin) I had always love Fan films, esp. the Star Trek ones.  And as I had watched them, I kept telling myself, one day I will be in one myself.  I have been an extra for Starship Tristan with Randy Landers.  There was a lot of sitting around and waiting, but it was fun watching at the same time.  I hope to be able to go back and help out again.

https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=883858191691202&set=a.301026949974332.67018.100002010885803&type=3&theater

James) What are you working on now?

Martin) Right now I am part of Shadowstorm Studio, involved with Melbourne.

James) Have you had any other experiences you’d like to share?

Martin)  I have done a few acting gigs here and there, not much; I have also done short videos including 2 music videos.  Had worked on a Zombie Music video, a horror short video which I got to play a victim and got eaten alive by three witches and I was the primary photographer for the first episode of Star Trek Renegades which is now Renegades the series.  But my main love is photography, but I am also hoping to get more involved with films also.

James) When you think about everything you have done and have planned how does it make you feel, do you ever just think oooh hold up it’s too much I need to slow down?

Martin) Sometimes it can get overwhelming with so much going on if you are not careful you can burn out and not know which way is up.

Right now I am working on interview videos myself I have done, working on Melbourne cards, working on a theme shoot script coming up next year.  Have a convention coming up in March I am preparing for and have 2 weddings and a few photo shoots photos I need to go through. An Alice in Wonderland music Video, which we just go done filming last week for this young lady 15th birthday.  So I am the one who video, edit, produce and direct it.  Which, those are getting done first.  They paid money.

James) Erm, ok that sounds like a LOT of work planned and I have enough stress just planning everything I need to in real life and maintaining TFP lol,

How would you say your viewpoint on filmmaking has changed in the last 18months if it has, is there anything you have become to love more than you thought you would.

Martin) I am really starting to enjoy the filming aspect and loved been behind the camera, but something happens I got to be in front of the camera with a part and now starting to think, hey I like this

Now I want to do more.  Acting, I can see myself laying down the camera and getting the front of it now.  And I really do hope it does not end with Melbourne because we are only doing so many episodes.

James) What has made you want to act more?

Martin) That first moment when I said my first lines, I knew this is what I really want to do and love just as much as photography.

James) What would you say grabs your attention when reading a script?

Martin) The story has to be great and grabs my attention. If the story is not that good, then I really cannot get into it.  Also when you have a director listen to your ideas even if they might not agree, but they listen.

James) What are you currently working on?

Martin) Right now I have a lot on my plate with my photography business.  This year I am doing at least 6 different conventions.

James ) Do you work in multiple areas: film, television, web, or are you focused in one area?

Martin) I was the primary photographer for the first Star Trek Renegades and I love being on set.  I hope to be able to do something like this again, rather been the photographer or in front of the camera.

James) How easy has it been for you to move between areas like acting, directing etc?

Martin) Not hard at all, Esp. when you love something.

James) Was there a particular event or time that you recognised that filmmaking was not just a hobby, but that it would be your life and your living?

Martin) Had really never thought about it that much.  About 10 years ago I had a chance to perform with Richard Hatch in one of his classes and after the end of the class he came up to me and said I really surprised him that I should look into acting.

I never really gave it that much thought before till Vance and Jeremy asked me to be the Captain of the Melbourne.



James) I am going to fire some questions at you and I want you to just say the first thing that comes to about it…

Martin) OK  :-?

James) When did you first realise that you wanted to Act

Martin) The first day in Melbourne

James) What do you like most about being an Actor?

Martin) Helping telling a story

James) What parts of Acting do you not enjoy?

Martin) Have not had one yet.

James) What gives you the most pleasure as an Actor?

Martin) I can be anyone and not be myself.

James)  What elements of the craft do you find most difficult?

Martin) Sometimes finding that moment that the producer or director is looking for.

James) Do any famous actors inspire you?

Martin) Too many to list but on top, Robin Williams.

James) The hardest role you have ever played, and why?

Martin)  So far Nathan T Cooper, but hoping there will be more in the future.

James) The most fun role you have ever played, and why.

Martin)  LOL Nathan T Cooper is the only one so far.  Because it is not me, I am someone different.

James) What sort of person is going to love this character?

Martin)  Be more like hating him in the first film.

James) How is this role like you is it similar of different?

Martin) He cares for his crew and his friends just as I care for my friends and family

James) Is it easier to play this character or to be you?

Martin)  Wow, either one is easy

James) What do you love about this character?

Martin)  I will get to see him grow and become a great Captain.  Well, I hope he does.

James) What do you hate about this character?

Martin) Oh watch the first film, you will see.  LOL

James) What is the biggest challenge about taking on this role?

Martin) Becoming a jerk.

James) Besides yourself, what celebrity would you like to see tackle this character?

Martin) John Barrowman.

James) Without giving anything away, what is your favourite line of dialogue?

Martin) That piece of junk… all I am going to say.

James) Besides you, which actor in this production is going to blow people away?

Martin) Wow, there are a few and some we really have not seen yet.

James) If you could play any other character on this show, who would it be?

Martin) The Doctor.

James) What makes a good scene partner?

Martin) How we play off each other.

James) When inspiration is waning when you feel creatively tapped, what do you do? How do you stay fresh?

Martin) Have not gotten to that step yet.

James) What makes a film great for you? Are there certain qualities that make a film better for you?

Martin) The flow of the story and needs to make sense.

James) What films have been the most inspiring or influential to you and why?

Martin) Nothing really comes to mind right now, mostly have watched for just the entertainment part.  But now, when I watch a movie, tv show or fan film, I look at it in a whole new perspective.

James) How do you earn a living and sustain a career doing what you love?

Martin) I do photography and work for Domino’s delivering pizza.

James) Do you think social media is the future of televised series and films, just as you use YouTube etc now is TV on its way out?

Martin) Oh yes, in fact, we do not have cable, everything is online we watch.

James) Have you ever had a time when you had to deal diplomatically with different personalities?

Martin) A wedding photographer, many many times.

James) When you get angry at a movie, what sets you off? Are there common qualities in cinema today that you dislike? Is there something you try to subvert, avoid, or rebel against in your work?

Martin) When the writers have the actor or actress say or do something that is so stupid and make no sense at all.

James) What is harder: getting started or being able to keep going?

Martin) Hmmm, I really do not know.  So far no problems getting started and no prob of keep going.

James) Thanks, I like that kind of questions it tends to reveal more than having time to think.



James) So I know you are keen on photography and that you took a role on Renegades tell me more. What exactly is the role of a Principal Photographer?

Martin) A principal or primary photographer is the one who does all the behind scene shot, promo shots of the stars.

James) What is your experience in Principal Photographer?

Martin) Work on Star Trek Renegades.

James) Describe what it is you look for when doing a photography shoot – Using Renegades as an example?  

Martin) The right moment when they are not paying attention and you capture that expression or look.

James) Apart from Renegades what other films have you been the Principal/Secondary Photographer? 

Martin) I have work on a few music video’s one with Santiago Carlos from Walking Dead.

James) Where did you study Photography or is this a hobby of yours?

Martin) Started off as a hobby than a business.

James) What is the key of lighting techniques and how to achieve them

Martin) When you are on set doing photos, sometimes flash can be a bad thing.



James) Moving on I would like to ask some more Melbourne-centric questions

Being an actor in Melbourne was this an easy task or did you find the role lead to many challenges in making things fit from script to film?

Martin) There were a few challenges but overall, I seem to fit right in for Cooper.

James) How would you describe your character in Melbourne?

Martin) I really do not know, but my character Nathan T Cooper, there is a whole back story that led him to where he is now and I hope to be able to do some flashback with this character before I get too old.

James)  What research did you carry out in the preparation for this role, what challenges and responsibilities did this present in making it something unique?

Martin) Watch a lot of Star Trek and BSG original and Stargate with O’Neil.

James) What other things did you find yourself doing on the set or after shooting Melbourne?

Martin) Mostly spent time on set and preparing for my scene.  But I do a lot of the Photoshop for the pictures that were taken.

James) With everything you have done in both Melbourne and your photography do you ever take a step back and appreciate what you have made thus far?

Martin) Well I have not seen any footage yet so I do not know yet, but I have with many of my photos I had taken.



James) As a standard question I ask everyone involved within the Fan Film community with the release of the “Fan Film Guidelines,” how did it make you feel when they came out?

Martin) Upset because I really wanted to do a full 30 min to 45-minute episodes, shoot I would have loved the last one we do be an hour long episode.

James) Do you think they are fair?

Martin) Some yes, some no.  Many of the rules have hurt so many fan films.  But at the same time, it is sad to see so many fan films stop and say no more.

James) Thanks, Martin, for your frank answers, ok well its time to wrap things up I guess, as we move into the last section, what advice would you give to someone who wants to?

Act

Martin) Do not over do it unless it calls for that, just be normal, if that is possible.

James) Make/Star in their own (fan) film

Martin) Do it do it, then sends me a link or shoot me a message.  If possible would love to see or be involved.

James) Co-Produce

Martin) Be careful what you ask for,  LOL

James) Become a Principal Photographer

Martin) Be sure to listen to the director and be on hand and ready to at that moment.

James) Ok well I guess that’s it but Is there anything else you would like to tell me from your perspective of someone involved in the fan film world? (The good, the bad, how you see the current world of fan productions)

Martin) The good part, something you can sit back with your friends and family and enjoy have a good laugh doing it and be proud of it.  No matter how the sets look, just make sure the story flows and not jumping everywhere.

Martin) The bad part, if this is your project, listen to people but you have the final say and some will not agree with you.

I think we have lost a lot of good stories out there because of the new rules.  I am hoping before we finish our 6 film episode the rules will change. 

James) Thanks Martin for your time. 


Well there we go folks, we have come to the end of the run of the Melbourne files, we did miss out some crew members that could not free up time to sit and chat with me so we will! Revisit this series when I can pin them down for an hour and get them to answer some questions about Melbourne for me. 

Until then I wish to Thank! The cast and crew of Melbourne for being some of the nicest people I have had the opportunity to talk with. 

Our next featured blog series starts in April and it is a ten-part series based on the Fan Film Guidelines, trust me it is not going to be boring and it is going to open a lot! of eyes. 

As always 

LLAP everyone.

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