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Star Trek fan film pipeline still full

The long-awaited release of the completed version of Starship Exeter's “The Tressaurian Intersection” was a perfect cap to the first round of 2014 fan film releases. Even though there is something of a lull in the action, there's plenty of new material in the pipeline for Trek fans to anticipate. The quality of the productions continues to improve as more and more professionals are finding their way into what used to be the domain of ambitious amateurs. Following is a look in no particular order at some of the higher-profile productions that should be ready to release new shows in the coming months.

Perhaps the most prolific of all fan-based efforts, is “Project: Potemkin”. The Albany, Georgia-based group led by Randall Landers continues to produce new vignettes and episodes at a pace that outshines every other effort. The most recent release is called “Second Contact” as Captain Alec Grigory and his crew try to find out how and why a society that had just developed warp drive disappeared without a trace. The next release is a vignette called “Beach Towel” set for a May 31st release with additional episodes set for June and July.

Star Trek: Horizon” is the brainchild of independent film-maker Tommy Kraft. Kraft credits the “Star Trek: Enterprise” series with inspiring him to battle through a time of personal crisis. Kramer is setting his film in the Enterprise timeline and portraying his vision of the fabled Earth/Romulan War that would lay the foundation for what would later become the United Federation of Planets. Kraft is also using Kickstarter to help his fundraising efforts and has released the first act of his drama. The segment shows impressive use of green screen and CGI technology to create a much more cinematic look than most fan productions.

Star Trek: Phase II” has a new episode that's been shown at at least one fan convention. “The Holiest Thing” is the first episode featuring veteran actor Brian Gross as Captain Kirk. Gross took over as Kirk when James Cawley decided to give up the Big Chair to concentrate on his duties as executive producer and his day job as one of the country's top Elvis impersonators. While “The Holiest Thing” has been shown at at least one fan convention the production team has decided to redo the final cut to correct sound and color issues. In addition to that delay, the entire production is moving to new studio space, which will further delay an Internet release. A formal release according to a Trekbbs post from Co-Executive Producer Greg Schnitzer of the Phase II team is “some months” away.

The “Axanar” team led by Alec Peters is riding the momentum of a hugely successful Kickstarter campaign that started with a relatively modest goal of $10 thousand and ended up raising more than $100 thousand. According to the team's Facebook page they have wrapped up a two-day shoot for a pseudo-documentary entitled “Prelude to Axanar” that will feature the main characters reminiscing History Channel-style about their role in the pivotal battle that solidfied the United Federation of Planets that provided the backdrop for the original “Star Trek”. The Axanar website is promising a 2014 release for the full production.

“Star Trek Continues” led by Vic Mignona, who also plays Captain Kirk, is working on a new episode featuring the Mirror Universe introduced in the classic original series episode “Mirror, Mirror”. With loving attention to production standards, strong casting and solid scripts, Mignona and company have quickly established themselves as a worthy addition to the Trek Universe. Last reported in production, there appears to be no firm target date at this writing for a full release.

This article is by no means intended as a comprehensive listing of all fan projects as a number of other groups are working diligently to bring their own visions of Gene Roddenberry's Trek universe to the Internet. For a much more comprehensive listing of projects free-lance writer Barb Reader's “Star Trek Reviewed” blog is a url every fan of fan productions should bookmark.