Potemkin* · Star
Trek: Antares Rift@ · Star Trek: Antyllus* · Star Trek: Aurora*
Star Trek: Calvert Films@ · Star Trek Continues · Star Trek: Eagle · Star Trek: Frontier@
Star Trek: The Machinima Series@ · Star Trek: The Motion Comic@ · Star Trek: The Multiverse Crisis@
Star Trek: The New Animated Series* · Star Trek: Of Gods and Men@ · Star Trek: Phase II · Star Trek: Return to Triskelion@
Star Trek: Secret Voyage* · Starship Exeter* · Starship Farragut* · Starship Mojave*
Tales of the Seventh Fleet@ · Yorktown: A Time to Heal
Means new material added this month. @ Means an inactive production.
Click on the titles to visit the Orion Press page on each production.
This information is generally provided by each production. We'll be glad to add any
news from TOS/TOS film era productions as a courtesy when asked.
Star Trek fan films are becoming the new rage amongst some fans. Fan films are filmed fan fiction, despite the fact that many of the people involved with their production simply refuse to admit it. They may consider it a "continuation" of Star Trek, but frankly, that's what fan fiction is, too. Still, it's a new medium for fan fiction, complete with its own positives and negatives.
Fan film storylines tend to run into a series of foibles, akin to the Mary Sue phenomenon of fanzines. First of all, every high-ranking Starfleet officer with the rank of Admiral or Commodore tends to be either a complete idiot or a total ass. There are hardly any exceptions to this, and frankly it's a bad cliché. Invariably, the commanding officer of the starship has had a "run in" with this officer, and neither of them like each other. By the episode's end, despite a positive resolution, this does not change. Secondly, the same plot lines have a tendency to appear over and over: The Doomsday Machines pop-up all over the place; Klingons have cloaking devices during a time that they didn't have them; and nearly every episode has the dreaded firefight/fight scene on the surface of the planet, usually with Klingons and everyone hiding behind rocks and trees, interminable in length and confusing to look at due to the lack of continuity. Third, snippets of dialogue from the various incarnations of Star Trek have been worked into these scripts. Rather than come up with new dialogue, writers often have the unfortunate tendency to borrow old "winning" lines from episodes, and yet again it comes across as cliché. Star Trek: Phase II probably is the biggest offender in this area.
Acting tends to be either unpracticed and disjointed (as in the Tales of the Seventh Fleet) or completely over the top (Commander Chang from Starship Exeter's "The Savage Empire"). Some of the casting is rather questionable, but then again, these are non-profit films, and the folks filming them are usually not very good. Even still, the real stars come out of nowhere from time to time. Andy Bray's portrayal of Chekov in Star Trek: Phase II and Michael Buford's Security Chief Cutty from Starship Exeter are both quite commendable.
Special effects run the gamut from fairly crappy to fairly impressive, and generally inconsistent throughout each production. The best special effects would probably have to be from Star Trek: Phase II's latest episode, "Blood and Fire." The visual effects are quite good, and are superior to those of most science fiction movies aired on the SciFi Channel. It should also be noted that the more episodes a fan film team produces, the better these effects end up being. Phase II had a leg up on its competition, but others such as Starship Farragut are certainly gaining ground. Much of the better work being done these days is by NEO f/x, who are consistently solid with their excellent special effects work. NEO f/x went so far as to create a wonderful animated version of the Star Trek XI trailer recently, and it can be found on YouTube.
The key limiting factors for producing fan films are the tremendous effort, time and money needed to produce, direct, write, score, and develop these films. While fanzines are relatively simple to produce, a film, with all that goes into making one, is not something that's easily done. Some of the films listed herein may never appear; some may never be completed; and some may simply end production. (Long time readers have seen links to Star Trek: Hathaway and Star Trek: He Who Draws the Sword disappear from the listings here.) New fan films pop up from time to time, such as Starship Mojave, which features a rather young cast. Others undergo massive changes. Star Trek: Phase II was originally Star Trek: New Voyages before it underwent major cast changes, and Star Trek: Lexington has had some major changes in cast as well as changes in their web hosting.
If you would like to know what it's like filming on one of these productions, all you have to do is to read Patricia Wright's article, "Playing Star Trek: Twelve Days on the Set of Star Trek: New Voyages." You'll find it an excellent look at what it's like to be there. Many of the fan film sites have "Making of" sections which you may want to review as well. I usually pass on these because I want to see the magic, not the magician and his assistants and the wires behind the tricks they employ, but you may enjoy these segments. There's also an interesting article on a 1974 fan film known as Paragon's Paragon that actually inspired me enough to create Project: Potemkin.
A new trend lately has been the sudden development of animated series. Starship Farragut has launched its own animated series, and Curt Danhauser (who has maintained an excellent Star Trek website featuring the animated series as well as Peter David's Excalbur series and the Gold Key comic books) has launched his own animated series as well: Star Trek: The New Animated Series. Another form of animation is known as machinima wherein low-end 3D engines are used to generate animation. The quality is irregular at best, but it certainly seems a viable method of creating episodes. Star Trek: Frontier used this approach. Star Trek: The Machinima Series also uses this approach in their series.
Another budding artform is the video compilation (or re-compilation, as it were) of various clips from shows into new stories or even to fix editing problems. Albion Minzey has one such TOS project known as Star Trek: Counter Worlds. You can find his work on his YouTube page. Scott Gammans has replaced the special effects for "The Doomsday Machine" with his own. You can view clips of his work on his Scott's World page, but due to Vimeo's deletion of his material and Scott's fear he may garner some unwanted legal attention, the video itself is presently unavailable.
My search for other original series era films only turned up these. If you're aware of any TOS or TOS-movie era fan films I've missed or if any of the information presented has changed, please contact me, and I'll be glad to update this page with the information. If you'd like your fan film listed, please provide the information that is available on the other entries as well as a 400x100 banner. We will require a completed trailer and website, and some evidence of the production in order to list it. I'm not interested in the fan films set in the TNG/DS9/VOY or ENT timeframes, nor am I interested in parodies, but if you'd like a really cute animated fan film series, I'd recommend Stone Trek which features a Flintstonesque version of Star Trek that is so visually entertaining that you'll spend some time looking at it.
There are many short fan film parodies out there, such as Red Shirt, but these just don't interest me, and I've opted not to include them on this site. A quick look for Star Trek parodies on YouTube will bring up over 3,400 of these which should be enough to satiate any of your desires for that genre.
There are also a few Classic Star Trek-based fan films that really don't fit into these listings:
1) Omer the Tourist in Star Trek (a.k.a. Turkish Star Trek) which is a one-shot parody of sorts of the episode "Man Trap" featuring Omer the Tourist, a popular Benny Hill-esque character in Turkey. The film has the same flavor as the early Gold Key Comic books with some of the same styling of characters and characterizations.
2) Junior Star Trek is a kid's 8mm movie made in 1969, with children as actors. Much of it is a muddled mess, but it has some charm if you like watching kids play Star Trek the way the way most of us did who grew up during the 60's and 70's.
3) Star Trek by 70's Kids was originally Super8mm movie, but has had new audio added along with a special effect. It clearly has some of the best choreographed fighting I've ever seen in a Star Trek fan film. Quite watchable, if short. Still an excellent effort!
4) Red Shirt Blues is supposedly a parody, but I'd rather think of it as a short fan film from a red shirt's point of view. It's engaging, funny, charming, and frankly, better than a lot of fan films out there!
Please bear in mind that the following information is subject to change. Websites do crash from time to time, actors are replaced (New Voyages has gone through some major cast changes since its beginning), and productions are often delayed by real life scheduling conflicts. Any reviews on this page are simply my opinion, and are meant to be positive criticism, even if my choice of words may be harsh at times. Many of the episodes listed below have been reviewed by various contributors to Orion Press whose opinions may or may not differ from mine. Bear in mind that we're well aware that these are labors of love, but not all fan films are equal in quality.
Click on the titles to visit the Orion Press pages on:
Potemkin · Star Trek: Antares Rift · Star Trek: Antyllus · Star Trek: Aurora
Star Trek: Calvert Films · Star Trek Continues · Star Trek: Eagle · Star Trek: Frontier
Star Trek: The Machinima Series · Star Trek: The Motion Comic · Star Trek: The Multiverse Crisis
Star Trek: The New Animated Series · Star Trek: Of Gods and Men · Star Trek: Phase II · Star Trek: Return to Triskelion
Star Trek: Secret Voyage · Starship Exeter · Starship Farragut · Starship Mojave
Tales of the Seventh Fleet · Yorktown: A Time to Heal
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