Here we go, the Big Pig has delivered the rules for the followers.
I’m a Star Trek fan since the first time the TOS has been broadcasted by TMC in Italy, May 1st 1979. In all these years I followed every new series of the franchise: TNG, DS9, Voyager and Enterprise. Star trek has gone through highs and lows and I must admit that some of the movies were not up to the expectations, to use an understatement. Enterprise itself was not what Gene Rodemberry would have probably produced, but it wasn’t bad at all and it was getting better through the seasons. Unfortunately it has been cancelled at the end of the fourth season. The remake of Battle Star Galactica was probably much more appealing to the tv general consumer while a less “intense” tv show like Enterprise was considered too mild. It doesn’t really matter, at the end, coz Star Trek always had a socket of very fond supporters that have tried to direct the line of the productions keeping it close to the original groove marked by Roddemberry.
As Internet grew deep lots of these fans started a new experience right in the middle of Roddemberry’s path: Fan Films.
It has been a natural evolution from novels and comics, all produced in house by fans. But nothing forbids a former Star Trek actor from being a Star Trek Fan and the FFP grew in quality and participation. Story were already really good, but today it is much easier to have semiprofessional equipment and high end post production. And in few years Sulu, Uhura, Checov and others appeared on fun films or started their own project. I started collecting all the fan films I could find and I took part in the fund rising of some of them. Last was Axanar, a fan film who promised to be a major revolution in the Fan Film Production.
Studios quality and intriguing story are the business card of the production, but the Big Pig sniffed the danger…
In June 2016 Paramont and CBS delivered the rules for Fan Films. More than rules… a death sentence. No more than 15 minutes for a self-contained story, fund rising limited to $50k, no use of kickoff gadget, only mainstream crap from the official merchandizing. This are only few lines from a very detail rules and regulation which can be found here.
I mentioned the highs and lows of the franchise, well… few years ago the series was virtually dead with Paramount and CBS just greedily receiving their slice of royalties, without brewing anything new for the fans. The series has not been forgotten only thanks to the Fan Films and already the level was high (far before Axanar). Check out Starship Farragut or Star Trek Phase 2 (or new Voyages) or also Star Trek Continues and if you are a Star Trek Fan you’ll feel like a kid in a candy store. But now, by the haughtiness of the Big Pig, they are all condemned to die or to live a miserable life made of 15 minutes vignette.
Who’s the real victim here? The Fans? Maybe, but the real victim is the freedom of express ourselves, killed on the altar of greediness and profit. Star Trek has been elevated to pop culture which means that it should belong to people. I don’t think Paramount should give up its own right on the franchise but none should prevent anyone to produce out of his own pocket or through a found rising a movie based on the same “Universe” provided there is no profit in it or if there is a profit paying a percentage to the owners of the rights. Paramount and CBS have received only benefits from Fan Films of any quality. Star Trek Continues and New Voyages have used Kirk, Spock, Mc Coy and Scot together with all the other characters of the original tv show keeping them alieve, better, giving them new life and introducing them to a number of new fans.
In a bad (worse) interpretation of the rules I could also think that being the Re-Boot so distant from the original, Paramount and CBS don’t want any competition for the spin off series Star Trek Discovery… which could be as low in Star Trek relevance as Star Trek and Star Trek into darkness are.
Both the movies had clear mistakes straight from the beginning. One? The badge of the USS Kelvin was the same badge of the Enterprise, while the badges have been unified starting from the end of the original five year mission of the Enterprise. Before every space ship had its own… I understand that this is for hardcore fans of Star Trek, but what would a Star War fan think if the Millennium Falcon would change shape in the next movie just to meet a marketing line?
I want to add another victim in this story: Star Trek and Roddemberry’s dream
BTW, I think the Big Pig won’t have my money for the new Star Trek movie… in case I will check the net if I really wish to give it a try…
Root Big Pig, Root