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.


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


Ref Links: 

 

Follow, Share and Like

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 crowd fund 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!



Follow, Share and Like

The Trekzone Interview – Part One – WHO! is Matthew Miller

Trekzone.org is Australia’s first Star Trek fan website launching in 2003 Trekzone, was a year 10 High School IT project for its host Matthew Miller, although it sat idle for a few years in 2012 Matthew finally decided to turn it up a notch and really get into producing content for his site.

In February 2012 Matthew launched a short-lived fan series called Eternal Night, but it was in Apr 2013 that things really took off for Trekzone when Matthew attended the red carpet event for Star Trek Into Darkness, where he managed to interview some of the main cast from the film. Since then Matthew has managed to interview some really big names not only from the Trek universe like Doug Drexler, Anthony Montgomery, Alice Krige, Rod Roddenberry and Walter Koenig. But Matthew did not just stop there and in the space of ten years, Matthew has managed to pull in some other big names from the Sci-Fi universe adding the likes of Richard Dean Anderson (SG1) & Joe Flanigan (Stargate Atlantis) to his list.

However, Matthew and Trekzone have not stopped there, and in 2016 Matthew took to the road and produced a mini-series of blogs called Sci-Fi Weekly where he got the chance to meet some of the top scientists in Australia for example Dr Andy Thomas – Australia’s first astronaut, Dr. Anton Wallner, Dr. Geoff Campbell and Dr. Brad Tucker, although a short-lived mini blog series it was one that drew a lot of interest to his site and more recently Matthew was one of the main followers of the Axanar lawsuit producing content that covered, the particulars of the lawsuit and how it has changed the fan film world forever.



James) Hey Matt, tell us a bit more about you.

Matt) I’m a thirty-year-old broadcast engineer in the real world, which sees me working in television making sure people can keep watching our TV signal.  I like a good bottle of scotch, a decent TV show (Designated Survivor is a good one right now… I’ve only seen the pilot so far though.)  I dislike frauds and people who make huge claims but fail to deliver.

James) Other than Trek, what other TV shows do you like to watch?

Matt) Babylon 5, Stargate are a couple of other Sci-Fi shows I like, also enjoying Dick Wolf’s Chicago series of shows and a few others on TV right now.

James) Well, you should like Stargate lol you have interviewed a few of the main cast :p how awkward would that be if you interviewed someone you had no idea who they were,

As a keen Star Trek fan, do you play any Trek Games, and If not Trek Games then what ones?

Matt) I recently discovered Steam has the entire back catalogue of Age of Empires, man that was a cracking series for its time (and they released a remastered version of number 2!)  In the Trek universe, Armada II, Bridge Commander, Birth of the Federation were amongst my ‘lay by’ purchases when I was a junior… I remember waiting for hours for the install and crossing fingers hoping the graphics card was up to spec!

James) So know we know the basics of who you are and some of your likes, because I am nosey lol, what is your day job?

Matt) I work in TV here in Brisbane, they’re good to me and it’s fun to be behind the camera at work – which allows me to not be too burnt out while producing The Trekzone Spotlight (I do feel that they are different sides of the TV business so it’s good fun.)

James) Tell me a bit about your history with Star Trek what does Trek mean to you. What Trek Actors have you met in real life if any?

Matt) Thanks to The Trekzone Spotlight, I’ve met Nana Visitor, Connor Trinneer, Rene Auberjonois, Anthony Montgomery and a few others… also met a few of the guys and girls from Stargate (Richard Dean Anderson was a highlight, so awesome!)

James) I so need! To start doing Cons I think I need to get out more lol. With Trekzone do you go to many Star Trek Conventions?

Matt) One dedicated Trek con when I was 10… we had lunch with Tim Russ! Australia doesn’t get too many dedicated cons, the audience would be there for it though…

James) That is kind of like the UK We have Cons but I think the only Trek-centric one is Destination Europe, everything Trek-centric seems to be states side mostly.

So moving on out of 5 live action series, 1 animated one do you have a favourite Trek Episode and if so why this one?

Matt) That’d be a toss-up between DS9 season 4’s The Visitor, TNG Season 6’s The Inner Light and VOY season 3/4’s Scorpion parts 1 & 2.  I love some good character focused eps (and Scorpion because the Borg get their ass kicked!) – OK, you only said episode… but can YOU just pick one from 728!? ;).

James) Erm, I guess not for me though I have my go to episodes which I guess they can be considered “favourites”. Out of all the features do you have a favourite Star Trek Film?

Matt) First Contact.

James) Hmmm That is a good choice but, I think a lot of people pick that one, it is one of my faves but my fave film I think and it is controversial lol is Nemesis, not for the story as such as let’s face it, it does lack in a lot of areas but it is just different enough yet similar to be a good Trek film. Do you have a favourite Trek Actor/Actress?

Matt) Nana Visitor… she went on such a ride with her character that was so rigid in the beginning, striving for independence for herself and her people after the Occupation, but over seven years developed deep friendships with these aliens that came straight after the Cardassian’ and started running the space station… she even fell in love with the shapeshifter.

James) Worst Trek Episode Why?

Matt) VOY’s Threshold. Need I say more?

James) The Jane Paris BABIES! Lol. Favourite Series & Why?

Matt) Tossup between DS9, for its gritty take on Trek and Enterprise for its optimistic vision of our near future (despite an out of character third season.)

James) Worst Series & Why?

Matt) TOS, purely because I grew up on TNG and those 60’s elements are so 60’s. (It’s not bad, it’s just very different… or original.)

James) You know I am the same, everything seems to be TOS saturated, yes I get it, TOS is what launched 51 years of greatness but like you TNG was my baby but it’s not my fave : -O.

You recently covered a few fan films and you have interviews people like Vic from STC, Do you watch any Fan Films do you watch?

Matt) I’ve caught Hidden Frontier (that series got me excited for my fan series, and then I met Carlos who worked on it!) Continues, New Voyages. Most recently Chance Encounter – good flick.

James) I remember seeing Hidden Frontier YEARS! Ago then I drifted away from fan films it was not until Renegades did I come back and play catch up. Can you rank your top five (if you have them)?

Matt) Chance Encounter, Hidden Frontier, Continues, Intrepid, New Voyages (I haven’t seen much of James’ series.)

James) I have seen all of them you have listed and like you, I have not watched many NV episodes yet, TBH I think once I watched a lot of STC and a few stand alone ones I was TOS’ed out, BUT! I plan to go and watch some of them over the next few weeks as I want to see the ones with some of the TOS cast in.

What other Star Trek fan productions do you watch/listen to etc (Podcasts, YouTube shows etc)

Matt) I’m so short on spare time that I don’t catch very much else.

James) TBH, I am the same with having to “try” to cover as many fan productions as possible, I tend to skim through podcasts to bits that I am keen on hearing, I try to catch Sunday G&T as often as I can, I do watch yours when you interview someone I want to see and Trek Geeks I skim but Dan and Bill do it weekly so I always know I can go to their site and catch up.

As someone who has been involved in the fan community for a long period now, what would you say is favourite parts of the Trek Fandom?

Matt) Meeting strangers with a shared passion the world over.

James) Worst Parts of the Trek Fandom (any bad experiences)?

Matt) Stubborn individuals that believe their way is the only way (to tell a story, to report on facts or even about other people.)

James) Man your diplomatic LOL, do you have any funny stories to tell

Matt) Not necessarily funny, but the spread of Trek fans always surprises me… there are Trekkies in the same suburb as me!

James) What makes you thankful to be a part of this amazing universe

Matt) Finding it tough to be thankful as this universe as thrown a few curve balls at me in the last six months, but I’m in a good place now and cracking on with the podcasts and staying busy for a while.



James) Moving on, we have covered your likes and dislikes in regards to the last 5 live action series, but now I want to tackle DISCOVERY.

I guess the first basic question is, are you looking forward to it?

Matt) Very much so, I’m hoping that The Trekzone Spotlight can help me delve deeper into it.

James) When you first saw the trailer for Discovery were you worried at all?

Matt) I was concerned that they’d be repeating the same ‘mistakes’ as Enterprise (doing a prequel because there is nothing left to explore post VOY)

James) See, I liked Ent a LOT so I get what you mean but I am keen on seeing another new prequel tbh lol. What do you think about the casting choices thus far?

Matt) Very good, it’s another group of relatively unknown / niche actors which are what TNG-era Trek has been about.

James) What are your hopes for Discovery?

Matt) That it survives the first season.

James) Well we know now, that they have ordered another 2 episodes and things do look real good for Season 2.

The departure of Brian Fuller has caused a lot of miss information being floated and a lot of “vocal” fans crying that it now means this series’ days are numbered, are you concerned at all?

Matt) I think Brian should’ve focused on one project at a time.  Does anyone know what J. Michael Straczynski is doing?

James) LOL I would prefer some of the old crew to replace him over J. Michael Straczynski tbh but each to their own 😛

What look do you hope they go for, we know its prime time line but do you hope it’s more prime than Kelvin or vice versa?

Matt) Has to prime timeline and character driven – we don’t need a million dollars of special effects to make good Trek.

James) I think with the latest trailer, it is going to upset a lot of people but! I am still excited. What do you hope they do not do with Discovery, as in PLEASE DO NOT GO THERE LOL?

Matt) Avoid the Arcanis sector at all costs.

James) LMFAO! You mean do not Axa it LOL!, another controversial point, that seems to have upset a few people is CBS’ decision to place it on CBS all Access in the states and Netflix worldwide  Do you think this move is a good or bad idea?

Matt) It is… interesting.  In one way it frees the series from the pressure of rating success, but on the other, there are more accurate viewership figures than broadcast TV’s Nielson boxes.

James) When I first heard of this choice I was not overly happy as tbh Netflix UK, not so good LOL but I think it is the way things are moving now, people in the UK at least tend to watch TV less and less and want to be able to watch things NOW!, I think this is the way things are heading tbh.

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

Matt) That’s an interesting question, given I work in TV… I think free to air will stick around as long as it has things you can’t get elsewhere (in Australia before broadband internet our prime time was all the American shows, usually on a 6-9 month delay because our TV season is Feb-Nov, but now there is mostly reality TV or sport and news during the day because that’s not available anywhere else.)

That said, in the US it’s different because it is the world premiere of episodes each week… free to air and cable has its niche that way.  It is still the most popular medium to reach the masses.



That wraps up part one, in part two I talk to Matt about what his best and worst interviews were, his history in fan productions and what made him stand up and take a stand against that fan production that just doesn’t seem to go away. 

 


 

Follow, Share and Like

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 affect 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”

 


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:

 

Follow, Share and Like

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….

 


 

Follow, Share and Like

Star Trek: Continues – Continues

It is the news we have all been waiting for and for some, it has caused a bit of unexpected controversy, but as they say “you cannot keep a good thing down”

Star Trek Continues has always shown to be the pinnacle of fan films not only of its productions values but in its way that it conducts its self with its fans and the powers at CBS.

The only downside! of this good news is, instead of 13 episodes as previously planned Continues will now wrap after its 11th episode.

Last year in preparation for the last of their planned episodes STC ran what would become their last ever crowd funding campaign to enable them to fund their last remaining episodes although it fell short of its planned goals on Indiegogo it managed to gain enough money from private donations to secure the amount needed to ensure their plans could carry on. With enough funds to ensure they could meet its planned 11 episode run the cast and crew of Continues went radio silent in regards to what its next steps were, this obviously caused some contention among its donors and fans alike.

Nevertheless, these steps were taken by STC to keep their heads down due to the Axanar lawsuit and the mess that had caused but whatever they planned to do next it would require careful planning but most importantly it had to honour its commitments to their donors. it was not until three days ago that that silence was finally broken with this announcement.


The announcement you’ve all been waiting for! At the beginning of 2016, STAR TREK CONTINUES ran a successful fundraising campaign to produce the final episodes of our fan series. As promised, we’ve spent your hard-earned donations to our non-profit production company exactly as we said we would, and have been working around-the-clock to finish our final four episodes as quickly as possible.

Episodes 9, 10, and 11 are still in post-production and will be released throughout the year as they are completed. Episode 8 — “Still Treads the Shadow” — guest-stars Rekha Sharma (“Battlestar Galactica”) and will premiere at Fan Expo Dallas on Saturday, April 1!

We have even more amazing guest stars in these last episodes, culminating in a thrilling series finale by acclaimed science-fiction author Robert J. Sawyer.

We want to thank each of you for your patience while we’ve been busy, and also for your support and encouragement throughout our run. It is our sincere pleasure to be bringing a conclusion to our beloved original series of “Star Trek” at long last. LLAP

www.startrekcontinues.com


Now to me and a lot! Of others, this is not only AMAZING news but certainly news that honestly we all thought would never come.

Even though there has been joy and a lot of celebration among the fans of STC lot of comments on social media seem to be asking the same thing, how can Star Trek Continues, continue?

Well we all know that in June 2016 CBS issued a set of “fan film guidelines” that many feared would spell the end of shows like Continues, and possibly mean that even they could not carry on, it is extremely important to remember these are guidelines, not rules and although for them to continue they would be in essence breaking them what you have to remember is every production regardless of compliance will be judged on a case by case basis so just because you comply with them does not automatically make your safe.

So with the news, STC will drop Episodes 8 – 11 do they have anything to worry about?

Honestly, I do not know, and I do not think even they know for sure, however, the realist in me thinks not STC have always had the utmost respect for CBS and their property and after numerous discussions with members of the cast and crew this viewpoint has not changed and never wavered at all, everyone at STC have always been above reproach in their dealings with CBS and although I cannot speak for the directly I know them well enough to know if CBS asks them to do something they will.


Friday, March 3, 2017

Frequently Asked Questions and Answers about remaining episodes of STAR TREK CONTINUES

How are you getting around the guidelines for fan films?

As CBS/Paramount has made clear, the guidelines are not laws; they are general parameters applied on a case-by-case basis. Since the implementation of the guidelines, we have stopped all crowdfunding activities and have focused strictly on completing the four episodes which had already been funded as of that time by fans’ donations to our 501(c)(3) non-profit. STAR TREK CONTINUES has always followed any and all instructions given to us by CBS regarding our production and will continue to do so.

Does STAR TREK CONTINUES have any type of special and/or official arrangement with CBS/Paramount?

No.

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.

Can we get DVDs/Blu-ray discs of the final episodes?

As we do not own STAR TREK, we cannot sell DVDs or Blu-ray discs. In the past, we’ve made a limited number of discs available as crowdfunding perks. However, since we are no longer crowdfunding, providing episodes to the public on DVD and/or Blu-ray discs is not currently feasible for us.

What will happen to the studio/sets? Will set visits/tours be available?

We don’t have a definitive answer on this right now, but we’re considering all our options.

So if you heading to the Fan Expo Dallas on Saturday, April 1! Then be sure to beat the rush to what will be the best seats in town and check out Episode 8: “Still Treads the Shadow”

But remember no spoilers please lol…..


Follow, Share and Like

Outpost: A Star Trek Fan Production’, A Hidden Trek Gem – Jeff Lincoln

“Outpost: A Star Trek Fan Production’, A Hidden Trek Gem”

The logical place to start would be a brief background on myself. Star Trek has been in my life ever since I can remember. I was raised on it as a child and as an adult, my love for the franchise just grew more and more. Eventually, I became aware of unofficial productions by fans. Originally it started with Star Trek: New Voyages by James Cawley and crew. Then it grew to Hidden Frontier and then finally Star Trek: Continues by Vic Mignogna and crew. However, none of those compared to my all time favourite Trek Production, ‘Outpost: A Star Trek Fan Production’ originally entitled ‘Star Trek: Outpost.’

Outpost is unlike the former shows mentioned in the fact there are no visuals whatsoever. It’s entirely done via audio like the radio plays of the early nineteen hundreds.  Outpost is created by Tony Raymond and Daniel McIntosh from Giant Gnome Productions.  Outpost at this time has a total of 73 Episodes, all nearly an hour long some of them having been recorded live at conventions by those in the audience.  The series is run in a serialised format, one episode leads into the next and the next and the story constantly flows in this matter. Unlike the traditional storytelling format of Star Trek where it’s a new disaster in a new location with a new species each week, this series focuses on a rather wide cast of characters in a small area of space.

The series takes place in a forgotten area of Starfleet Space near the border of the First Federation. The First Federation having been originally established by The Original Series through the use of the episode entitled ‘The Corbomite Manoeuvre‘ in which Balok trapped the USS Enterprise under the command of Captain James T. Kirk. Kirk promptly tricked the commander of the Fesarius and was granted an audience with him. Following this encounter, the United Federation of Planets and the First Federation opened diplomatic talks and eventually decided on the construction of Deep Space Three. Deep Space Three is a Spacedock-class Starbase, prominently seen in Star Trek III: The Search for Spock.



Deep Space Three was promptly assembled but the First Federation cut contact with the United Federation of Planets when an isolationist group seized government control. As such the Starbase quickly fell into the rut of an ‘Old Western Town’ where no one visits and is barely able to justify its existence. This being said, Deep Space Three has continued to exist up until the 24th Century where the story opens only due to it’s proximity to the First Federation and an area of space known as the Pinchot Expanse, which in and of itself has been rarely explored. As such the only permanent assigned Starfleet vessel is not at all what you’d expect either, an Oberth-Class vessel named USS Chimera (which its name sums it up pretty well, I will explain this in a different blog.)

The series follows a crew that has given up on the escape of Deep Space Three and the Chimera. It’s become common knowledge that an assignment to Deep Space Three is a dead-end assignment. This comes in the form of no promotions, no fun, and no extra privileges by the station’s commander, Captain Montaine Buchanan. Buchanan is basically a Scrooge-type character (ironically enough he plays this role in a three-episode special that follows A Christmas Carol in Star Trek form), where he views both resources and people as one in the same. He spends ‘No More and No Less’ than he needs to, and it promptly becomes his catchphrase or motto. His opposition is that of Lieutenant Commander Gregory Torkelson the Executive Officer of Deep Space Three and the Captain of the USS Chimera (who the series opens up with.) Torkelson represents that of a saving grace, or he does his best to try and make the lives of those at Deep Space Three better by combating Buchanan’s constant resource cutting.

Outpost hosts a magnificent cast of characters AND voice acting. For those wanting to get into a series that is not only evolving with each episode but promises a cast that grows AND learns from their experiences, I highly recommend this series. The series has its moments of exploration, drama, and action, exactly the type of series that Star Trek embodies. You get to see- I mean hear Klingons, Ferengi, First Federation, and other alien races not typically given more than a few episodes at a time. It will keep you entertained for literally hours on end and constantly keep you coming back for more.  Go check out Outpost: A Star Trek Fan Production here:

https://giantgnome.com/our-shows/audio-drama/star-trek-outpost/

I intend to write more about this amazing series in the future! Episode Reviews being the key focus and possibly more! Thank you for reading and I hope you will look forward to more!

Jeff Lincoln

Founder Star Force Media

Star Force Media



  • Author: Jeff Lincoln
  • Pictures: Google Images, giantgnome.com
  • Layout: James Hams

Follow, Share and Like

The Melbourne Files – Part Five – Carly Shibby

From Salt Lake City, Utah Carly is new to the fan film scene; however, in this short time she has already starred in not just Melbourne but also had a small role in Renegades.


” I always have a soft spot in my heart for engineers, playing one on STARSHIP VALIANT. I always go out of my way to meet the other engineers from the other fan films and get pics with um. To me, not many can say they were the chief engineer of a starship lol I created the 2 shorts of Penpals as a glorified Q&A for the Melbourne fans that had questions. But I wanted to do a fun little crossover between the two “shows.” Something not many fan films do. When I came to her with the idea, she loved it. I’ve yet to meet a person so eager with so little. But she really helped make pen pals a great fun little thing that kinda stands on its own. I’d have to say on the fan film world, Carly is probably one of the first ppl I’d go to if I needed something, she has one of those hearts. Just a great person. And I really respect the hell out of my penpal. “

Vance Owen, Executive Producer, Melbourne



James) Hi Carly, Thank you for agreeing to sit down with me as part of the Melbourne files and answer some questions about not only your time starring in this production but also what Star Trek means to you.

For the people out there that are not lucky enough to know you can you tell me a bit about yourself.

Carly) I like so many things, mostly coffee, cats, Sci-Fi, reading, and music of all kinds. I cannot say I dislike much unless it is hateful and unkind people. I love all things positive and always try to share it.

James) Tell me about what Star Trek means to you, is there anything the sticks out as to why this franchise drew you to it?

Carly) I can imagine that would be hard.

What drew me into Star Trek is the fact that you never saw human barriers. There was no racism, no judgment on another person (minus the villains, of course). It gave me hope that we would keep evolving to reach space, and beyond.

James) In five series, 1 animated and 13 films, can you tell me what your favourite Star Trek Episode is and Why?

Carly) This is not a question I can answer easily I have so many.

One that does stick out is “Death Wish,” which is the first time you see Q on Voyager. The episode deals with the side of depression and suicide that many do not want to address, so it is a very deep one to me.

James) One thing I personally love about Star Trek is the fact it has never been afraid to push boundaries, some may think they push it too far sometimes but not me.

Do you have a Star Trek Episode you regard as bad?

Carly) I do not feel like there were any truly bad episodes of Trek, but there are a few that are not great, either. One that comes to mind is “Threshold” from Voyager; there were a few too many cheesy moments.

James) LOL! Ahhh the Janeway Paris Babies, I wonder what ever happened to them, this episode started out not so bad yet ended as one that I will watch if it is on TV but it is certainly not a “Go To” episode. 

We have covered Episodes do you have a “Best” and “Worst” series?

Carly)  Voyager was, and always will be my favourite. Not sure why, but I connected to the characters the most.

Worst Series

I used to say Enterprise, but I had not had a chance to enjoy it as I have in these later years.

James) Enterprise, was a good series if you tried not to compare it to the ones that came before, it had many good episodes but some dire! Ones like the rest of Trek.

Star Trek has a vastly expanded universe and one of these are gaming, have you played many Star Trek games?

Carly) I do not play many games, but I have played the Star Trek Trivia game a lot!

James) That is fair I have many Trek games for the PC and a few board games I think gaming is like marmite, you either love it or hate it. 

You have starred in Renegades so you must have met some real life Trek Actors can you tell me what ones you have met other than people like Tim Russ and Mr Koenig.

Carly) This list is excessively long so I will name the few I have been the happiest to meet.

Kate Mulgrew, Robert Beltran, Terry Farrell, Walter Koenig, Nichelle Nichols, Nana Visitor, George Takei… plus so much more

James) Lastly in this section, other than Star Trek, what other TV shows do you watch?

Carly) I like many shows, mostly Sci-Fi, but usually, watch things like; Doctor Who, Battlestar Galactica, Warehouse 13, X-Files, Venture Bros, OITNB, and much more I cannot think of.



James) I think BSG, OITNB and X-Files are prerequisites for Trek fans lol, So moving on I want to ask you about your acting background. When did you first realise that you wanted to Act?

Carly) I think when I was a little girl, and my dad explained what stage acting was while watching musicals.

James) Can you remember when did you first perform?

Carly) A first actual performance in anything public was in 6th grade, I played a mermaid in Peter Pan.

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

Carly) I love being able to pretend you are in another world, even if it is only playing a character in another person’s world.

James) What would you say are the parts of acting do you not enjoy?

Carly) I do not enjoy the nervousness that still comes with it, but it is always a part of acting.

James) To some acting is natural and to others, it is something the learn what steps did you take to enter this field?

Carly) I have not had any formal acting courses, but I did take dramatic arts throughout all of Junior High and High School. 

James) Other than the fan films you have done what other productions have you acted in?

Carly) Other than the few school productions, I have not been in anything recently until I did a background character in Renegades: The Series.

James) Out of all the productions you have starred in, what would you say is the hardest role they have ever played, and why?

Carly) Hardest role I have played was actually Melbourne, as I had to tap into anger, and that was new for me.

James) The most fun role they have ever played, and why?

Carly) Most fun I have had was working on Renegades, the character had no speaking lines, but it wasn’t easy to play a drunk alien with a large head!

James) That is hilarious lol! I am now going to keep an eye out for that If someone was going to make your life into a movie, who would play you?

Carly) My hope is to find someone who can portray many emotions on their face, so a few come to mind, and are Sci-Fi related. If I were to choose out of 3, it would be Mary McDonnell, Kate Mulgrew, or Gillian Anderson All extremely amazing actresses.

James) I have to agree everyone you have picked there are actresses I love! To watch even in some of the low budget stuff I have seen they excel in the parts they are cast in. 

Is there one actor, director or producer that you look up to as someone of inspiration?

Carly) This list is quite large; Kate Mulgrew is always a big icon for me. Some other notables would be, Quentin Tarantino, Tim Burton, Stanley Kubrick, Bette Midler, Tom Hanks, David Tennant… the list goes on.

James) You really do have great taste in people all of them are great examples and a vast array of talent.

When you have a five-minute break during rehearsal, what do you spend that time doing?

Carly) I have not been in this situation in some time, but normally I would try to relax, and go over lines and motions.

James) What do you do when you are not doing Fan Productions?

Carly) Mostly, I work at Overstock as my day job, but I also love writing, reading, and doing a lot of social media marketing for another fan, and independent films, which now includes helping to run the Melbourne Fan Page.

James) Carly if you had a magic wand, what show would you do next, not just, fan films.

Carly) I would absolutely LOVE to work on the new Star Trek series. Otherwise, I love any new, independent films, I love seeing stories never portrayed before.

James) What is the last thing you do before you step out and the camera starts rolling?

Carly) Take a few deep breaths, and maybe drink some water, so I don’t have to worry about scratchy voice.

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

Carly) For me, I love being able to be someone else for a minute and to know I am helping create a new character.

James) Is there any elements of acting you find difficult?

Carly) As I get older, I realise a difficulty I run into is memorization of lines. Otherwise, fighting the giggles is not always easy.

James) How would you describe your acting style?

Carly) Still new and constantly curious I absorb as much as I can because I am definitely not as experienced as I’d like.

James) I would be so bad at this but how do you memorise your lines?

Carly) The only thing that has helped my memorization over the years, is trying to put them into song, or poem form.

James) That is really good advice probably some of the best I have ever heard to remember a script. When are you faced with a scene that maybe challenging how do you prepare so that you will bring the right amount of realism and emotion to a scene?

Carly) Since this is still new to me, I’ve tried to pull emotion from past experiences or memories, to help outwardly display what the scene calls for.

James) How do you stay in the moment?

Carly) I’m still figuring this one out.

James) Ah so you do not pull a Picard in Insurrection then lol :p .

What have you seen lately that has inspired you? – Film or Fan production related?

Carly) I recently watched an independent horror film, done by a friend of mine. The inspiration is seeing how much he could do, with a limited set, and a total cast of 3. If you get a chance to see Occupants, by Russ Emanuel, I highly recommend it.

James) So what was it like working on Renegades? In addition, what character did you play?

Carly) Working on Renegades was a dream come true! It was amazing to see people I have adored for so long in action. The role I played was a small one to cover someone who could not handle the makeup I was Pat the Arachnid.

James) Can you tell me how you got involved with Renegades?

Carly) I had heard about it being filmed through Facebook and had talked to Manu Intiraymi a lot about it, as he is the one I heard about it from specifically.

I had gone to the premiere in Vegas during the Trek convention in 2015. I met Ryan T Husk, who is one of the producers for Renegades, and over the next few months, he asked me to help market the next episode and funding.  From there I just continued getting into the films and met Vance, who got me into Melbourne.



James) That is so cool, and it sounds like if it was not for Renegades then you would most likely not have been in Melbourne.

I want to move on to your role in Melbourne, describe to me your role in Melbourne. How a typical shoot played out from your Perspective?

Carly) It’s hard to say, I was running around a lot, and trying to stay cool. Most shoots went about average for a film, some scenes were easier than others.

James) Did you research your role and how Jeremy & Vance perceived the part to be so you could make sure your part fitted how they envisioned it to be or was this totally your own style and you made the character your own?

Carly) I discussed it a lot with Vance over the months leading up to the shoot, and it definitely helped to see things a bit more from the writer’s angle.

James) I have to admit that is why I like talking with Vance he has a way of making you see things from angles you may not have considered. Do you feel that you are much like the character that you played? (Physically, personality, etc.)

Carly) I definitely do. My character has a lot of emotional issues, which I can relate to in more ways than I care to admit, but also the moments she has when it comes to other crew members can be very relatable, too. 

James) Tell me more from your perspective about the story, and how it is different from the other fan films you have seen?

Carly) My perspective on this story is still evolving, as the story is going to continue. I think it’s different in the fact that it shows the diversity, and challenges of your ‘not-so-average’ crew.

James) Melbourne is from what I have seen and read it is different than most of the other fan films I have seen, what research did you carry out in preparation acting in Melbourne, what challenges and responsibilities did this present in making it something unique?

Carly) Since there haven’t been many films being done like this one, my research was more limited to how to portray emotions well, by facial gestures alone. 

James) What drew you to the role you are playing in Melbourne?

Carly) Vance told me about the role before I had gotten it, due to possible casting issues with the previous woman they had chosen. When he described the role to me, I was immediately intrigued, the character has a lot of deeper issues than what she shows.

James) Lastly, Who is the funniest person in the cast in real life?

Carly) Hard to say, so many of them are just silly, but Vance and Jeremy can really make you giggle sometimes.

James) June 2016, was a month that many in fan films see as a black month, with the “guidelines” being released has this influenced the way you feel towards making any Star Trek Fan Productions?

Carly) It definitely has, the ability to tell a true fan story has been taken away from the fans who had such passion.

Seeing Renegades make it through the first day of shooting as Star Trek, was amazing, and just as quickly, I saw a lot of the passion and light go right out of the shoot after that news. It was depressing, especially for Walter Koenig, who wanted to tell his final story of Chekov.

James) “It was depressing, especially for Walter Koenig, who wanted to tell his final story of Chekov” 

Can you tell me more about this did you interact with him when you saw this?

Carly) Yeah, I feel bad that he was cut down; he wanted Chekov to have a glorious ending.

I did get to talk with him during the shoot, but it was all on the first day before the guidelines came out. From what I I heard on set, I gathered he was not happy about the changes but still wanted the story told.

James) How did they make you! Feel when they came out?

Carly) Just plain angry and sad that it had to come to this conclusion

James) Do you think they are fair – if not what ones and why.

Carly) I do not think they are completely fair. I get why they were made, but taking so many possibilities away from the fans, made things so much less enjoyable.

James) Have you seen this regarding the “guidelines” I think this is a great reference tool regarding the guidelines, 

http://startrekreviewed.blogspot.co.uk/2009/06/234.html?m=1 

I am not asking you to change your viewpoint I just want to see if they affect how you see them is all.

Carly) I have already read the interview with Van Citters and the guidelines.

I have some solid views on the guidelines so most of what I said would stand, regardless.

James) It is the comments by Patty White that I saw as useful but as I said, I am not trying to alter your views etc I am just seeing who has read it and who has not and what they think of it.

Carly) Ah, yeah I looked at the comments. I mostly try to keep an even balance with the fan film knowledge, as I am involved in Renegades, too.

I am really in the middle in my views, I see who guidelines must be set, but they were never an issue until the lawsuit happened.

I have serious misgivings towards CBS/Para for the hammer they threw down, but I also see why they felt the need to do so. 

James) So with what you just said do you think Axanar is to blame?

Carly) I think they were the catalyst, for sure, but “blame” can go to a few people I’m sure, it’s just not my place to say, only my opinions.

James) I have to admit I think things were heading this way but it is hard to tell if that button would have been pushed had it not been for one production.



James) So moving on to more Fan-centric questions, do you watch other fan films, do you have a top 5?

Carly) I cannot rank them, as I haven’t seen all of the series of films yet, but I have enjoyed Farragut, Valiant, Continues, and New Voyages.

James) What other Star Trek fan productions do you watch/listen to etc (Podcasts, YouTube shows etc)

Carly) It’s all random mostly; I catch anything I can when available.

James) Favourite parts of the Trek Fandom.

Carly) The fact that Trek can open minds, and show people a better way of life

James) Worst Parts of the Trek Fandom have you had any bad experiences.

Carly) I have not had much in the way of negative with Trek; the only situation I can think of was meeting Michael Dorn, who was not as nice as you would hope him to be.

James) REALLY! He always seems so nice, what happened when you met him?

Carly) A few years back at the Vegas con, we (my best friend and I) had a photo op with him and Terry. We were excited, as we have been big fans of both of them. When we got to them finally, Terry was a sweetheart and talked to us for a minute. Dorn only looked at us, and said, “Can we take the photo, now?” Even Terry looked at him oddly just a very cold and negative interaction.

James) Wow that is not good.

Carly) Yeah, it felt like a slap in the face Ruined Worf a bit for me.

James) I am not surprised, I do not know how I would react if that were me, well Carly we are moving into the last leg of the interview now, in this bit I ask people to part with some advice on people who wish to pursue making their own fan films. 

So what advice would you give to someone who wants to?

Act

Carly) Don’t be afraid. It is one thing I still fight with and it can keep anyone from achieving their dreams.

James) Make their own fan film – from your perspective as someone in the fan film community.

Carly) Again, don’t be afraid is the biggest thing I can say. Past that, in filmmaking, the one thing I’ve seen that helps, always keeps your word, and choose your cast and crew wisely.

James) And Lastly, 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

Carly) I can’t think of anything I haven’t already said, and yet there is so much I could say from my opinion.

The biggest thing I can say is, I’ve loved getting into fan films and would suggest it to anyone who has the passion for joining in. No matter what, keep yourself focused, and don’t get over excited about any one detail, as things change so frequently. Patience is an extremely important virtue in this world. My hopes now are that the current chaos involving the lawsuit and guideline changes will come to an end, swiftly, and justly, without killing off fan films altogether.

James) Thank you, Carly, for your time and sharing your experiences with us.


Follow, Share and Like

TREK GEEKS – INTERVIEW – Part Two

In this instalment and conclusion, I wanted to touch more on the operational side of running Trek Geeks along with some other questions about who you guys are and what makes you tick.

Welcome to “Who are the Trek Geeks Part 2″

This is a long one guys, Sit back and enjoy.

Read Part one here….


James) I have a few more get to know who we are questions then we will move on to the parts that ask in more detail what is Trek Geeks and why we decided to do it.

Other than Trek what other TV shows you watch like B5, Walking Dead, the Flash etc

Bill)  A wide variety of things from Reality to Drama. FAR too many to list. LOL

Dan) Arrow (current favourite), The Flash, Legends of Tomorrow, The Strain, Big Bang Theory, Penny Dreadful, Bosch.

Previous shows that are on my top list include Lost, Breaking Bad, Stranger Things,

James) Ok so a long list then most of that I watch myself.

Do either of you play any Star Trek games?

Bill) I have just started playing STO on a console. I also play Star Trek Timelines intermittently.

Dan) I love Star Trek Timelines from Disruptor Beam and think it is the first real Star Trek video game hit. I have also played Star Trek Online on my PC and have just started playing it on Xbox 1 and enjoy it, but do not have the time I would like to sit and play something at my desk on my couch for hours at a time.

Additionally, I have played Star Trek Wrath of Gems quite a bit as well as Star Trek Trexels.

James) What Trek Actors have you met in real life?

Bill) I have met far too many to remember. While there was not a “worst,” all of them have been amazingly wonderful–and, in particular, William Shatner.

He has a bad reputation over the years, but he could not have been nicer when I met him at a convention one year.

Dan) Some may say this is not valid, to which I would say they are 100% wrong) we have had the honour of being with the cast of Star Trek Continues while they have been filming an episode.

They are without a doubt the most down to earth and appreciate the group of actors whose love for Star Trek is the only thing driving them to make these episodes. Vic Mignogna and Michele Specht are two Star Trek actors that I have an immeasurable amount of respect for.

James) The guys of STC although I have not met them in person due to residing in the UK are some of the nicest people I have ever chatted with. They also have no issues with being asked questions about STC, Lisa, for example, has been so open about some things even I am shocked at how the people who I have never met interact with me they are so down to earth.

Dan) Additionally, we recently did a podcast regarding the Voyager episode Timeless. This episode holds great personal meaning for me because it reminds me of the difficult times I once had to go through and the demons that I carried for years. Garrett Wang heard the podcast and commented on it personally on Twitter, and in Vegas this past year we went up to him and introduced ourselves. He was so gracious to us regarding the show and our thoughts on it, and it was a moment I will never forget.

I have never come across meeting a Trek actor that I would consider the ‘worst’. All the ones I have met understand how important this show is to us and they always seem happy and appreciate of their fans.



James) SO… guys I now want to move on to get some insight on Trek Geeks.

Before Trek geeks what was your history doing podcasts, is Trek geeks the only one you have done or have you done more?

Bill) I had a very short-lived podcast focusing on American politics, which ran for four episodes. I was not the primary host but it introduced me to the medium and got me thinking. That was a couple of years before Trek geeks, but I had the idea to do a Star Trek based podcast that early on.

James) So Trek geeks was your second one of sorts then Bill what about you Dan?

Dan) Before Trek Geeks I had ever been part of a podcast, listened to a podcast, or had any real idea of what a podcast actually was

James) Bill you mentioned you had the idea for a Trek podcast but why Trek and not random Sci-Fi?

Bill) Because I am passionate about Trek and I am really not about sci-fi in general. In addition, our show is a reflection of our friendship and that is absolutely born out of Star Trek fandom.

James) Cool idea and it allows your friendship to play an important role in what you do. What about you Dan what made you choose Trek?

Dan) Trek is my life in many ways. It is my passion; it is what makes me hope for a better future. I have watched each episode so many times. I have read so many Trek novels. It is built into my DNA on so many levels so it is not even a question of Trek vs. something else. As Bill is also a passionate fan of Trek, our friendship began because of it and has continued for two decades. The podcast just uses Trek as the topic to enjoy and broadcast our friendship to our listeners.

James) Why Audio Podcast, not a Video 1?

Bill) Because that is largely not how people consume podcasts. 80% of all podcasts are downloaded to mobile devices and usually consumed while people are doing something else like driving or working out and the like.

Most people do not sit down to consume video podcasts, so we do not really work in that medium. Besides, have you seen Dan?

Dan) I am very ugly and Bill could knock a buzzard off a s**t waggon! As Stan Lee would say…’Nuff said.

James) Tell me when did you start Trek geeks?

Bill) January 2015. I knew this show could always work, but it took some convincing with Dan.

Dan) As Bill mentioned we started in January of 2015, but it is something he pitched to me earlier in 2014 after we attended a Creation Star Trek convention in Boston in the summer of 2014. As previously, mentioned, I had no idea what podcasts were all about and I was a little ‘meh’ on the idea. However, after researching and discussing it more, we decided to give it a try.

James) Do you Podcast live?

Bill) No. Thank the Maker. Lol

James) I would imagine the ones that do would require major planning to avoid anything majorly wrong, so what about editing it.

Bill) I typically record the podcast and edit it. We have streamlined our workflow a lot so it is not a very cumbersome process at all. I can usually get an episode out within a couple of hours.

Dan) Bill is smart. He makes things go.

James) Living is separate towns/cities does it make things difficult to podcast together?

Bill)  I do not think so. I mean, there is always a certain energy and vibe you get when you have two people in the same room, but I think we do pretty well give that we are in different states.

Dan)  I actually think it helps with the podcast being in different locations. I mean, if I were in the same location as Bill when we recorded, there would be too many times that I would just have to punch his face.

James) That is hilarious! Sorry but I seriously laughed at that.

Dan) Seriously, the only real challenge is if there are internet or network issues causing problems with the recording, but we have gotten pretty good at making sure we have ways to prevent that from happening.

James) When you decided on Trek Geeks. Did it cost a lot to set up?

Bill) No, not really. We tried to use as many free options as possible with the exception of website hosting and podcast hosting.

Dan) Just my time to try to listen to Bill state an opinion, that actually means anything. Seriously, I have to give all the credit in the world to Bill. He pretty much did all of the setups for this venture and he has done an amazing job keeping costs VERY low.

James) Bit like me than with this, I could have spent a lot of money, but I thought Do I want to spend a lot on something that people might think to err WTF is this.

With the costs being low, how do you fund things? By yourself or ask for donations now and again?

Bill) We self-fund largely. It is not a huge cost every year and we are happy to fund it. There is a small amount offset by our CafePress store–we make a couple of bucks per item and that goes right back into hosting costs. We do not make a tonne of money from that, nor did we really intend to.

James) Goes to check out the store . . .  ok, cool T-Shirts, Mugs and err Thongs lol….

Bill) Hey, CafePress makes it available

Dan) We do not want people to help us fund the show. We only want them to listen and enjoy the conversation. We fund the podcast ourselves and as mentioned previously, it is not very expensive.

We do have a store on our website that offers Trek Geeks items from Cafepress and each sale we get a little something which goes right back into helping pay for the show.

Bill) CafePress and CBS have an agreement for what is called fan portals. All of the merchandise has to meet the rules and CafePress gives CBS their cut, presumably. In addition, ANY fan can set up a shop if they play by the rules.


If you want to grab a Trek geek gift or two here is the link to their shop.: Trek geeks Shop


James) I would like to get some more info on Trek geeks and its history, how many episodes of Trek Geeks have you done?

Bill) Counting Supplemental episodes and special one-off recordings, we have done 89 episodes to date.

James) How hard is it to come up with each podcasts topic does it require a lot of planning.

Bill) It does require planning. We outline every episode to keep us on track. If it is an interview, we jot down a few topics. If it is an episode review, we have notes on the episode in question.

Dan) Although we have to plan, what we will discuss for any specific episode, coming up with topics is not hard at all. We have 50 years worth of Star Trek to work with and thousands of possible topics for any given show.

We have worked on a schedule for episodes and have some really unique topics. Once we start working on a specific episode, we keep our own list of thoughts and comments to bring up on the show itself and it always works out rather fluidly. A lot of the time, we do not share our thoughts and comments with each other ahead of time. We do not want to skew or change our opinions based on what the other is thinking.

James) So who out of the two of you decides the topics?

Bill) I think I pick most of the topics, but there have been plenty of times that Dan has picked them. We try to schedule out the topics of every episode a few months in advance to know what is coming.

Dan) I would say that for the most part Bill decides on episode topics and he then shoots them over to me to look over. Almost usually, we are on the same page with what we would like to talk about. For interviews, that has usually fallen on me to try to get in touch with someone and schedule it out.

James) Has there ever been a time you just randomly pick a topic who wins more often and does it ever cause tension if one does not want to cover said topic?

Bill) We do not really have tension, per se. I think there have been a couple of rare occasions where we have disagreed, but it has really been a non-event. Dan will probably say “Bill is the Executive Producer” or some tripe like that, but the topics we cover are ones that interest us regardless of who selected it.

Dan) The good thing about Star Trek is IDIC. Whatever ridiculous topics Bill thinks are awesome; I can work with so that he does not throw a tantrum of any kind.

James) LMAO

Dan) The Podcast is for our listeners so I always try and be cognizant of that so they get the very best from us.  Besides, Bill is the Executive Producer. What he says goes.

James) I am going to throw some random Questions now, stuff that springs to mind about past podcasts and your experiences.

Best place you have done a podcast from?

Bill) Star Trek Las Vegas. 😀

Dan) At my house without having to use the camera to see Bill’s face. 😛  Kidding of course…

Podcasting from Vegas was an amazing experience, and doing a couple of Facebook Live segments was VERY cool

James) Worst place you have done a podcast from?

Bill) I do not think there has been a “worst place” so far.

Dan) My house and Vegas is really the only place I have podcasted from, so I do not have the worst place.

James) Best episode you have done & why?

Bill) Easy–Episode 75. The Trek50 episode celebrating Trek’s 50th anniversary.

It’s emotional) you’ll laugh, you’ll cry, you’ll smile–and you’ll appreciate Gene Roddenberry and what he created even more than you did before.

It was a true labour of love on our part. It is an hour’s worth of stories told by fans that called in or sent us messages and it brings tears to my eyes every time I hear it.

James) I am so going to have to listen to that it sounds like one NOT to miss.

Dan) From a Podcast perspective, I would have to agree with Bill and choose our Trek50 episode. To hear the stories from our listeners – their very PERSONAL stories was absolutely amazing. It proved without a doubt how special Star Trek is and how it has formed relationships and brought people closer, and for people to take the time and share these deeply personal stories with us was incredibly humbling

From a Fan perspective, I would have to say the guest appearance of Andrew Robinson was incredible. He is such an amazing actor outside of Star Trek and his character of Garak is one of my all time favourites so to have him on the show to discuss everything from Hellraiser to Dirty Harry to Garak was truly a fan girl moment for me.

James) Worst episode you have done & why?

Bill) Episode 1. LOL, We had no idea what we were doing and at that point, we did not know is our first one at that point and I even forget to introduce myself even though I introduce Dan by name.

James) This is my first endeavour asking people questions like this I have done blogs but not ones asking targeted questions so I get that pain I really do. Was it that same for you Dan or do you have a different OMG podcast?

Dan) At first I would also say Episode 1, but thinking more about it I would say the interviews with Alec Peters.

The debacle of Axanar and the subsequent lawsuit has opened my eyes to what I perceive to be a complete fabrication of facts and information to the fans.  In hindsight, it was an embarrassment to have him on the show because the potential damage that production has done to fan films is irreversible.

James) As Everyone! Knows I am no fan of Axanar and for you people, who do not, I share the views of Dan but hey, you live and learn…

However, Dan you but you cannot blame yourself for what you did not know at the time, so do not be embarrassed lol, hey it could have been worse. So bringing up Axanar, I guess we should tackle that subject then move on to something less errrr……

Now I saw you both started out as pro-Axanar and even had Alec on your show and helped drive his crowd funding. What happened?

Bill) Well, that is the $1.1million question, is it not?

James) $1.5 Mil lol

Bill) It is true) we did have Alec Peters on our show twice.

The first time we invited him and he eventually did show after he blew us off the first time it was scheduled.

The second time he asked if he could come on to promote his crowd funding, effort and we rearranged our schedule to accommodate that request. Alec was great to us…until after the lawsuit dropped and we started asking questions as donors. After that, we went from hearing, “We love the Trek Geeks,” to “you’re a Drama Queen” and “low-end podcasters.”

James) Oh the Drama Queen thingy I remember that (shakes head)

Bill) At that point, I began to wonder exactly where $1,500,000 went since there was no finished studio, no sets completed, and no film. When I started to ask about that, Axanar blocked me on social media.

I was a 2x donor and I feel like I was taken advantage of by a never-ending series of delays and lies.

James) What you think about it all Dan do you share Bills concern or?

Dan) Prior to the lawsuit, I was 100% pro Axanar. I was very impressed with Prelude, even if it was pretty much all green screen. Several people, I love to see in sci-fi were involved, like JG Hertzler and Richard Hatch. We had Richard on the show in one of our early episodes, and we had Alec on twice – one of which also featured the director/non-director of Axanar Robert Meyer Burnett.

James) Have to admit I have lost count how many times he is then is not anyway…

Dan) During the Alec interviews both Bill and I noticed that everything was I, I, I while with other fan productions, it was never about a single individual. That showed some of the character flaws we started to question. Then the lawsuit dropped and Bill, who as a donor had every right to ask, had some tough questions about the production and where the money had gone.

Instead of getting answers, he was banned from Axanar social media pages – not once but TWICE. People at Axanar started dropping to the level of name-calling by referring to Bill as a “Drama Queen” and a “low-end podcaster” when he started posting questions on Twitter. It was at that time that I had had enough as well. One of the things that I have found so deplorable with Mr Peters and Axanar is the fact that they stoop to name calling, insults and banning from pages instead of answering the questions that fans and donors deserve.

I totally get that some people can be ruthless when posting on social media, but I believe it is their responsibility to be truthful and open about the money that we gave them, and I do not believe that has been the case.

James) Well If all goes well we should have an end or a hopeful end to this entire thing soon, I for one am sick of the drama but I understand exactly where you guys are coming from and share similar experiences but hey hooo.


If anyone wants to know more on the Axanar,

issue the links at the bottom will be of use.


So moving on and away from this subject as well, everywhere you go its Axanar this Axanar that and this interview is about you guys.

Therefore, what is the Best interview you have done and with who?

Bill) We have gotten a lot better at interviewing since we started, but I still think our conversation with Nana Visitor from Deep Space Nine is probably our best interview, even though it happened very early in the run of the show. With our interviews, we try very hard to not ask the standard questions you hear at Star Trek conventions, and I think that our guests appreciate that.

In this one, Nana is candid and engaging and you can hear her smile when he speaks. She was so easy to talk to that she made this the best one we have done in my opinion.

James)((( dreams about doing an interview like that One day James One Day LOL )))

Dan) Andrew Robinson was to me the best interview we have done. It was really great to sit and listen to these stories from such an accomplished actor about a wide variety of topics. Hearing about how he had to handle being the first real serial killer to be in a movie (in Dirty Harry) and how that literally “f***’d me up” for a little while was very moving.

Getting little bits of info about his personal development of Garak and that he envisioned him being bisexual was intriguing, as was his thoughts for his novel “A Stitch in Time”.  To me, Mr Robinson is a legend of movies and television and to have him so willingly come on the show and talk with us was a moment I will never forget.

James) Have there ever been any cringe-worthy moments where you have cringed at what has been said or a response you have been given?

Dan) As far as cringe moments, having him drop the f-bomb was the first time that had happened for us in a podcast so I wasn’t sure how to handle it, but it all worked out well, and it was perfectly placed. Back in those days’ people had never seen a psycho like Scorpio and as an actor; he had to look in very deep places to make that character worked. Pure genius!

James) What was the worst Interview you have done, What made it so bad and where there any good moments of it even though it was bad?

Bill) I will not give the guest’s name, but it was a total struggle to work with them in the recording. They would tell entire stories that they would ask us to cut out after they got through the whole thing. Lots of editing and they even wanted final approval on the album cover on the episode. There were good moments, but overall it is an episode I do not even like to listen to now.

James) OK I so need to listen to your entire back Cat to try to work this out.

Dan)  Oh, I 100% agree with Bill. I loved having that guest on, but it was definitely one of those ‘Oh my God you are so in love with yourself” moments.

James) I ask this question a lot to people as it is hard to gauge how people feel as the ones who are not so angry and calling boycotts etc rarely speak about it. Nevertheless, I think it is a very important thing to ask all productions since in essence they may or may not affect all of us at one point or another.

When the Guidelines hit were you worried at all about, them affecting you guys as many people not just fan films and series panicked that it was all very much doom for all.

Bill) I was worried that we would be affected somehow at first, but that did not last long. As soon as CBS clarified them, I had no worries, primarily since we talk about Star Trek–and that type of speech is protected by the First Amendment in the States.

Dan) I was never worried that it would affect our Podcast at all. I have always believed that the guidelines were set up so CBS and Paramount could protect THEIR property after one group decided to poke the bear and ignore the unwritten rule to not earn money off it.

Bill) and I agree 100% that CBS and Paramount are not at fault in any way with releasing these guidelines and will always be thankful that they let ANYONE ‘play in their sandbox’. While I have no concerns whatsoever regarding Trek Geeks, if for any reason we were ever told it was a problem, I would thank them for the opportunity and that would be the end of it. However, I do not ever see that happening.

James) Do you think we will see more or fewer Fan Productions because of them?

Bill) I think there will be fewer fan films at first–but I think that is because some individuals who were planning to do their own series or full-length feature no longer can. Eventually, I think that creative people will tell good stories through the guidelines.

James) while we are on the subject of Fan Films and Productions, What Fan Films do you watch?

Best ones.

Bill) Star Trek Continues is, hands down, the best Star Trek fan film ever made in every aspect. There are some others that are OK, but Continues stands head and shoulders above them.

Dan) Star Trek Continues is without a doubt the best fan production in existence and I don’t think anything will ever be able to top it.  It is literally like watching the continuation of TOS.

Every detail is perfect. Every episode is just awesome. The cast and crew leave their egos at the door (if they have any) and create a product that comes from their deep love of Star Trek. I also have great admiration for what Tommy Kraft did with his fan movie Star Trek Horizon starring Paul Lang. It was a remarkable film! I have watched a couple episodes of New Voyages and it is not bad, but it is not awesome either. My problem is that I will always compare any fan production to STC so they are already at a HUGE disadvantage.

James) What about the ones you would class as the worst or ones that just do not cut it in your opinion.

Bill) The worst ones? Renegades and Prelude to Axanar it is not a fan film. It is a fundraising video it is a big difference.

Dan) As far as the worst, as much as I wanted to like the first episode of Renegades, it was just awful to watch. The sets and costumes were terrible and they seemed to be more concerned with the cast of the show rather than the story.

Other than Manu Intiraymi and Vic Mignogna, I was not impressed at all with anything about Renegades and probably will not even bother with subsequent episodes now that they have stripped Star Trek from the brand due to the Axanar lawsuit.

James) I liked Renegades even if things were not shown spec lol.

Being a part of such a vast community have you worked with many other productions?

Bill) We have had both John Champion and Ken Ray from Mission Log on our show, as well as Jeff Hull and Heather Barker from The Tricorder Transmissions. I have also been a guest on several other podcasts like Frack Stars, Synthaholics, and The Admiral’s Table

Dan) As Bill said, John Champion and Ken Ray from Mission Log have both been on our show. Additionally, Heather Barker and Jeff Hulit from Shoreleave have joined us on different occasions.  I have been a guest on Shore Leave and have plans to be on Synthabholics at some point in the near future.

James) Not forgetting you were a part of the 24Hrs of G&T just this past week, do you listen to any other podcasts other than your own?

Bill) (regularly) Mission Log, The Tricorder Transmissions, The G&T Show, Two Guys One Trek, The Feed from Libsyn, Women at Warp…and a bunch of others infrequently.

Dan) Bill tries to make people believe that I don’t listen to my own podcast but he would be very wrong.  In addition to TG, I listen to Mission Log, G&T and Shore Leave mostly.

James) Being that you guys are so intertwined in the fandom what are your Favourite parts of the Trek Fandom and do you have any aspects you deem the worst Parts of the Trek Fandom.

Bill) I have the same answer for both parts) Social Media. It has been an amazing way to get to know people online and spread the word about our show. However, there are a lot of self-appointed “gatekeepers” in fandom and social media seems to give them their voice. The good parts far outweigh the bad parts, though.

Dan) I think one of my favourite parts of Fandom is Cosplay.  Seeing people create these amazing costumes to show their love of the franchise is something I am always amazed by.  The dedication into making these costumes is something that I appreciate so very much.

I think the worst part of fandom is social media. I think some of the things that actual fans post on social media is deplorable and makes me wonder why they even watch Star Trek. How people treat the Kelvin timeline movies is a perfect example of this. In addition, when the first trailer for Beyond was released; people were just atrocious with their posts, same with the announcement of Star Trek Discovery.

It is amazing that we can love something so much, yet as soon as any information is released, the worst things can be said. It makes me sad that there are those out there who consider themselves fans can be so hateful and disgusting with comments made for the whole world to see.

James) I have to admit I was a very strong ANTI Kelvin timeline person but having seen Beyond I have been swayed that film although was not the best ever it is now in my top 5, It had the feels which the previous two missed.

So, guys, it has been a pleasure talking to you and asking you these questions but our time is coming to an end I have a couple of more things to ask before we part ways….

Now you have become what I would call seasoned podcaster I mean hey you have done some amazing interviews so you guys have any Tips and Tricks on how to become a podcaster for people who are thinking about it?

Bill) Know clearly what your show is (and is not) and do the same show you would do for two people as you would do for 2,000. So many podcasts I have listened to do not do this and I think it is why many podcasts fail before their 10th episode.

Dan) I would defer that question to Bill. ))

James) Lastly Do you have any regrets in doing Trek Geeks?

Bill) Aside from the fact, I have to talk to Dan every day now, no. I have not a single regret in the world, nor could I have.

Dan) As I have said many times on the Podcast, I can never thank Bill enough for starting this whole adventure. It has been life changing on so many levels. I could never have imagined meeting so many of these idols that I had grown up watching Star Trek and talking to them about their experiences.

I never dreamed I would have been welcomed into such a vast family as fandom and met so many amazing people that I love dearly. I would never have dreamed of actually sitting in the captain’s chair of The Original Enterprise when visiting the set of Star Trek Continues, which was literally a “Jesus’ moment for me. I have no regrets at all and I do not think I ever will. This has been an experience unlike any other and I will always be eternally grateful to my podcast partner and best friend Bill Smith for making it a reality. I think Bill may regret his comment now, but hey, that’s him.

Bill) Nah…not so much.

James) Well Thank you so many guys doing this with me has meant a lot and is an honour to even get the chance to sit and ask these questions.



I hope you enjoyed reading this as much as I did doing it than reading through and editing it all together these guys are so funny and I feel that I now know them a whole lot better.



If you want to follow the Axanar lawsuit use these links.


Follow, Share and Like

“FAIREST OF THEM ALL” By Timothy Ebicilio


I love Star Trek. It has always been in my life one way or another. Unfortunately, like anything in life you phase out of certain books, movies, or music.

In my case, I lost touch with Star Trek. Then in 2009, J.J. Abrams‘ big-screen reboot of Star Trek rekindled my interest for the franchise. I started to go back to the original movies featuring Kirk, Spock, Bones, and the rest of the beloved crew. Once I went back to the original series, I absolutely fell in love again with these characters. The writing holds up, the themes were and in some cases still are poignant and despite its limited budget and clunky sets, it had its heart in the right place.

Having finished the third season of the original series, I felt a bit lost. I wanted more adventures of this crew. Then it was as if the Talosians themselves had captured me and given me the illusion of what I wanted. While looking up for anything TOS related on YouTube, I stumbled upon this fan created series called Star Trek Continues.

As its title suggests it is indeed a continuation of the original series. An “unofficial season 4” if you will. Helmed by Vic Mignogna, he and his crew successfully ran a crowdfunding campaign for their first episode. So far, they produced seven episodes.

It looks like Star Trek, sounds like Star Trek but does it have the heart? Let’s ahead one-quarter impulse power and take a look at the third episode, “Fairest of them all”.

This third episode is a direct sequel to “Mirror, mirror” and takes place entirely in this parallel universe where The Federation is now the Terran Empire. It leans more towards fascism and the subjugation of other worlds instead of missions of peaceful exploration and aid.

After Kirk (Vic Mignogna) destroys the Halkan Council and its planet, Spock (Tod Haberkorn) now realises that the fall of the Empire is an inevitability. The fact that the Andorians started to openly rebel against the Terran Empire strengthens Spock’s sentiments for change and peace.



Together with Lt. Moreau (Asia De Marcos) and a small group of insurgents, Spock must overthrow the murderous and psychotic Kirk and take control of the I.S.S. Enterprise. A deadly cat and mouse game ensues and Spock must be that one man with vision in the revolution to come.

I have been very impressed with the writing of this show. In some of the other episodes, they actually show the repercussions of what happened in the previous seasons. The losses and many extreme experiences Kirk and crew had to mean something now.

There is no reset button anymore. They masterfully continued the story that started with “Mirror, mirror.” You see the doubt in Spock as Kirk becomes more erratic and psychotic. They also show you that the “evil” counterparts are not as villainous as you may think. They are very many victims of their circumstances and most of them begin to reject the ways of the Terran Empire.

Only the ones set in their old ways are doomed to go down with this fascistic system. It’s not done in an overly blunt way but the message hits home through excellent acting and dialogue. The point this episode tries to make is simple, poignant, but timeless. “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.”

Star Trek continues does a tremendous job of capturing the feel and look of the original series. At times, it can be a little too slavish to the somewhat clunky visual effects of the sixties. This, however, is just a minor gripe. The performances are top notch. Mignogna channels just enough Shatner without it turning into a parody. Haberkorn’s Spock is excellent. He exudes a calm and cool without losing that same twinkle in the eye and charm that Leonard Nimoy had.

So, yes, it looks like Star Trek and it sounds like Star Trek and it definitely has its heart in the right place. It pays homage to that wondrous show of the 60’s but brings that same charm and wonder into the 21st century without tongue in cheek or parody. This is a labour of love and I felt every minute of it. Go watch the show now and you will too.


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


  • Guest Blog Author: Timothy Ebicilio  
  • Video Credit: Star Trek Continues
  • Blog layout: James Hams

Follow, Share and Like