Friday, June 26, 2009

(234) Guidance for Fan Filmmakers.


Star Trek Reviewed is not about making Star Trek Fan Films; it's about watching them.  However, if none were made, there would be none to watch.

In light of that This Page is now dedicated to links to help and advice for people who make, or would like to make Star Trek Fan Films.

In June 2016, CBS issues the first ever Guidelines for Star Trek Fan Filmmakers.  You can read them here:

The meaning of these Guidelines was greatly clarified in this podcast: which spends over an hour, most of it on self-congratulations rather than clarification.
A summary of the substance of this broadcast was produced by James Heaney and posted here:
A Summary of the podcast:
A discussion of the podcast:

A year later, Trek Fan Productions created a series which discusses the guidelines and offers the views of many fan filmmakers on them.
Part 1:
Part 2:
Part 3:
Part 4:

Here is the outcome of a C&D on Star Trek: Temporal Anomaly:

Patty Wright has stated that some additional clarification came from some other discussions, in which fan filmmakers can create more than two films as long as they each have their own title and are not labeled as a series.  She was not clear about whether they may follow the same characters.

Video commentary against the guidelines: (14:11)

On 4/11/2017, the Brazilian Star Trek Fan Club formerly known as Starfleet Brazil received notice from CBS that they could not use the word, "Starfleet" in their club title, something they had done for 15 years.  There was a lot of discussion in the thread about whether CBS could legally stop them, given the many variations in 20th Century literature on such groups, e.g., Star Command, and the possibility that the word "Starfleet" predated Star Trek. The discussion is here:

These folk are restoring a TNG-era (Silver Age) bridge  The website comments no longer make it sound like they might allow a fan film to use it, but the subject is not discussed directly.

Other guidance, previously at Blog 249, including everything from filmmaking tips to prior understandings of what CBS demanded, are set out below:

Starfleet Studios offers backgrounds for green screens and other help with Silver Age Fan  Trek,
Starbase Studios offers a TOS-era Star Trek bridge for use by Star Trek Fan Filmmakers.  They are continuing to build sets, and now also have a sickbay.  Check their calendar for availability for your Star Trek Fan Film shoot.  They are moving to Mountain Home, Ark as of Dec., 2016.
Facebook Page:
Go Fund Me page to build more sets:
Media coverage:
Information for building your own Star Trek sets:

Free sound effects:

Here are two articles, the first about Previs and VFX (starships, etc.) the second about sound.

Build your own TOS Captain's chair: (37:20)

In addition, there are TOS sets in Ticonderoga, New York and Georgia, and there is a movie-era set in Alabama.   The sets in Oklahoma and Georgia are discussed here:!Two-Indie-Star-Trek-Studios-You-Should-Know-About/c1twa/F4AAABB7-681E-4F71-91D8-2216B502553F

A source of downloadable art for animating ships:

Specific props:
mobile transporter... or electric road flares...
VERY IMPORTANT:l This page gives you some warnings and guidelines to keep you out of trouble with the CBS legal department:
Patty Wright says it is based on her post, here:

These You Tube videos discuss how You Tube handles and resolves copyright claims. (3:10) (5:41)
This You Tube video tells how to adjust privacy settings whether to share an incomplete film with members of the production group or to upload and check a film before releasing it to the public: (1:02)

Star Trek "Fan Film" Resources page on Facebook (you have to get somebody to help you get into it, but it's there.  Contact another filmmaker.  This may come up 'page not available')

CBS owes other people money if you use their music.  They are, therefore, more likely to take down your video if you use their music.  These composers have created music for Star Trek Fan Films.  Talk to them instead:

1)  Mark Gosney
Composer for Film, TV, and Games.
Berklee College of Music Educated
As of 9/12/2015 he was scoring Star Trek: Ressurection

2)  Wendell Jones | Composer for Media
55 1354 1379
Skype: wendelljones_
Here is a list of films he has already scored:  If you look down the page, you will find some older Star Trek Fan Films and Fan Audio productions.

3)  Sam Dillard (6:29)
Scores include The Romulan Wars and Star Trek: Red Squad.

Star Trek Fan Films United:

Star Trek Fan Film Production page on Facebook

Note Bene: Fan films must include a disclaimer acknowledging the ownership of CBS and some other conditions.  Posting a film without whatever the correct formula is at the time you post it is asking for trouble.

Useful threads at the Trek BBS:
Fan Film Writer's Primer
Radio Drama suggestions:
Fan Filmmaker's Primer
The latter cites this You Tube channel which has a number of films about filmmaking, not just fan filmmaking:
About getting the most out of You Tube:
Maurice Molyneaux's editing job on the last Act of Starship Exeter's long-delayed TTI, discussed in detail here:
Book About Filmmaking, generally:
Thread about film equipment:

About audio quality:
Better recording:
Sound effects:  (15:28)
Ten Audio Mistakes That Will Kill Your Film:
Part 1:
NASA recordings of 'sound' in space samples:  (7:00).  These recordings are NOT copyrighted.
More from NASA:

Editing on You Tube: (0:51)
Free editing software:

Information about Vulcan language and culture:
Old: (but still up Feb. 2014 when this was posted)
New: (but not yet up when posted)
Ears: (29:30)

A collection of pictures of costumes and body features of an assortment of Star Trek cultures:

Meez for Star Trek:

CGI for Trek: (2:37:30)

3D Live Action Equipment:

Animation software for making Fan Animations: (far from a complete list)
Xtranormal (possibly going out of business)
Go!Animate (TOS characters are no longer standard)

This is an interview with J. D. Payne about how he landed the job of writing JJA Trek III. (7:36)

You Tube How To Video: (0:56)
Another You Tube video: (2:54)
Uploading a transcript and getting automatic timing for it from You Tube: (1:13)
Software For subtitling (Sergio Molina recommended this software and stated on 5/10/2014) : "Subtitle Edit" for Windows or "Jubler" for Mac. You can synchronize quite easy with them. They are free and very visual.

Script writing and formatting software:
Some prefer to pay for Final Draft which is used in the film industry  .  People do also use MS Word.  There is also Trebly. review:     All discussed in the Fan Film Writer's Primer thread at the Trek BBS.

Filmmaker checklist:

More on Crowdfunding:
5 Tips for Beating the Crowdfunding Odds:

Best hours to post to You Tube:

Awards: Treklandia is now giving out awards for Star Trek Fan Film.  It plans on doing so on an annual basis.  The basis for submission are set out here:  Additional information I got from their Facebook page:

Awards will be presented in nine categories, including Best Dramatic Presentation, Long Form; Best Dramatic Presentation, Short Form; Best Director; Best Actor/Actress; Best Supporting Actor/Actress; Best Original Screenplay; Best Soundtrack; Best Visual Effects; and Best Production Design. Long Form includes fan films with a running time of 31 minutes or longer; Short Form fan films run 30 minutes or less.

Facebook Page for Awards:

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