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Star Trek: Axanar (Yesterday's Ares)


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Rob Burnett has been posting some very cool videos to YouTube recently, archiving his work on the Axanar fan film project (before the whole thing was unceremoniously shut down).

Anyway, I thought I would share the clips here for those interested. There's some really good effects work, and at the end of part one and three he mixes the shots with music.

*sigh* What could have been. 

P.S. Watch for the SDF-1 in part three.

 

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3 hours ago, technoblue said:

*sigh* What could have been. 

It's easy to see why the IP owners shut it down... it's way better than anything they were working on at the time (or now).

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19 minutes ago, kalvasflam said:

Too bad CBS didn’t just hire these guys.  Always a problem when you have a bunch of lawyers involved.

That would've been the thing to do... bring in these superfans whose work was hotly anticipated and say "we're giving this the full-professional upgrade".

Berman and several other long-time Trek showrunners started out as superfans too.

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8 hours ago, kalvasflam said:

Too bad CBS didn’t just hire these guys.  Always a problem when you have a bunch of lawyers involved.

CBS/Paramount have actually been fairly tolerant of fan creations.  Take Star Trek: New Voyages for example.  Roddenberry Jr. consulted on their first episode, some of the TOS and TNG writers have contributed material, and Walter Koenig (Checkov), George Takei (Sulu), Grace Lee Whintey (Rand), and Denise Crosby (Tasha Yar) have made guest appearances.  And Star Trek Continues had guest appearances by John de Lancie (Q), Michael Dorn (Worf), Jason Isaacs (Lorca), and Marina Sirtis (Troi) and continued to make full-length episodes even after Paramount published their fan works guidelines.  I don't know if we'll ever have the whole story, but the Axanar team clearly did something extra to antagonize Paramount.  The gist I got seemed to be that Paramount would, from time to time, contact the creators of various fan films asking them not to do specific things and they've generally complied, but for whatever reason Axanar would not or could not.  I may be misremembering, but I seem to recall it had something to do with Axanar's fundraising to hire professional actors and looking for actual film work, essentially using their work on Axanar as a resume and blurring the distinction between fan-film and professional production.

 

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16 hours ago, technoblue said:

P.S. Watch for the SDF-1 in part three.

I watched this yesterday and missed the SDF-1 so I was just about to ask if this was a joke.  But I thought I better give it a second view before potentially making myself look too stupid and I spotted it.  I love the way he sneaks it in.

Carl

Edited by wwwmwww
typo
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1 hour ago, mikeszekely said:

CBS/Paramount have actually been fairly tolerant of fan creations.  Take Star Trek: New Voyages for example.  Roddenberry Jr. consulted on their first episode, some of the TOS and TNG writers have contributed material, and Walter Koenig (Checkov), George Takei (Sulu), Grace Lee Whintey (Rand), and Denise Crosby (Tasha Yar) have made guest appearances.  And Star Trek Continues had guest appearances by John de Lancie (Q), Michael Dorn (Worf), Jason Isaacs (Lorca), and Marina Sirtis (Troi) and continued to make full-length episodes even after Paramount published their fan works guidelines.  I don't know if we'll ever have the whole story, but the Axanar team clearly did something extra to antagonize Paramount.  The gist I got seemed to be that Paramount would, from time to time, contact the creators of various fan films asking them not to do specific things and they've generally complied, but for whatever reason Axanar would not or could not.  I may be misremembering, but I seem to recall it had something to do with Axanar's fundraising to hire professional actors and looking for actual film work, essentially using their work on Axanar as a resume and blurring the distinction between fan-film and professional production.

It's interesting that you bring up Star Trek Continues, because in parallel with all the Axanar fuss that production team was filing for non-profit status with the IRS (which was accepted in 2016). The other big difference (as noted) being that CBS/Paramount had a better relationship with the STC team. All that is to say that I do recall one of the big sticking points being which the Axanar team was doing its fan production for profit through Kickstarter and Indiegogo. Whether that was the crux or not is speculative. I'm sure CBS/Paramount had a bevy of copyright claims. In any case, the Axanar lawyers claimed fair use rights in their defense, but the judge denied it and the rest is history. 

11 hours ago, Seto Kaiba said:

It's easy to see why the IP owners shut it down... it's way better than anything they were working on at the time (or now).

I gotta say, I don't get tired of seeing long flowing TMP/ST2-like shots with a virtual camera gliding around the outside of a Starship. You would think that the team at CBS would implement some of this as well since they have a studio budget to work with, but nothing from Discovery or Picard stands out in my memory.  I'm not even sure if the NuTrek series use ship tactics like the older series and movies used to, although I admit I could have missed an important scene or two.

But watching the clips with the Klingon D6 Battlecruisers and the Ares fighting with different tactics? What a treat. It makes me even more curious about how the scripted live-action bits would have panned out had the whole thing been finished as a feature-length film. Still, I guess there is the short, short version to look forward to whenever that's released.

36 minutes ago, wwwmwww said:

I watched this yesterday and missed the SDF-1 so I was just about to ask if this was a joke.  But I thought I better give it a second view before potentially making myself look too stupid and I spotted it.  I love the way he he sneaks it in.

Ha! Yeah, no joke but it is a cameo of sorts. ^_^

 

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2 hours ago, mikeszekely said:

I may be misremembering, but I seem to recall it had something to do with Axanar's fundraising to hire professional actors and looking for actual film work, essentially using their work on Axanar as a resume and blurring the distinction between fan-film and professional production.

Based on what you say above about Star Trek: New Voyages and Star Trek Continues, it must have been something to do with the fundraising specifically.  Walter Koenig, George Takei, Grace Lee Whintey, Denise Crosby, John de Lancie, Michael Dorn, Jason Isaacs, and Marina Sirtis are all professional actors and I fail to see how this doesn't really blur the distinction between fan-film and professional production, especially so when you have the same actor playing the same part.  I don't know how Star Trek: New Voyages or Star Trek Continues is funded, I haven't looked into it.  Maybe these actors and actresses freely volunteered their time, I'm not sure.  

Just looked here:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Star_Trek:_New_Voyages

and here:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Star_Trek_Continues

and I see Star Trek Continues also used crowdfunding to pay for production.  Still not sure how Star Trek: New Voyages was funded or exactly what the line was that Axanar crossed.  Digging a bit further I see Star Trek Continues raised $539,661 across 3 crowdfunding campaigns and from what I can see Anaxar raised $1,785,181 across 4 crowdfunding campaigns.  I'm tempted to guess that the "line" Anaxar crossed was this transition from 6 to 7 digits in Star Trek fan capital.  

Carl

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Maybe the difference was that New Voyagers and STC had an occasional Star Trek alumnus as a guest while Axanar wanted to hire professionals for every role?  Or that, as @technoblue mentioned, STC was working as a non-profit while at least some of the Axanar team was looking for work in Hollywood and putting Axanar on their resume?  I'm not an expert, nor do I claim to have all the details.  I was just pointing out that CBS/Paramount has been pretty friendly toward fan works.  Axanar did something to piss them off, and whatever it really was the project getting shut down wasn't just the usual case of lawyers spoiling everything.

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15 hours ago, Seto Kaiba said:

It's easy to see why the IP owners shut it down... it's way better than anything they were working on at the time (or now).

I guess that's why feature-length crap like First Frontier gets completed and uploaded without incident, despite blatantly ignoring the "rules" imposed on fan films...

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 It's so unwatchably bad, it makes Picard look like high art.  <_<

 

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3 hours ago, tekering said:

I guess that's why feature-length crap like First Frontier gets completed and uploaded without incident, despite blatantly ignoring the "rules" imposed on fan films...

Yeah, I can see why they wouldn't perceive that as a threat to Discovery when it came out...

Now that Discovery is the Star Trek with the worst-ever broadcast debut AND worst-ever per-episode ratings of any live-action Star Trek sequel or spinoff by a significant margin, First Frontier might finally get to experience the loving attentions of ViacomCBS's copyright lawyers. :p 

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9 hours ago, Seto Kaiba said:

 

Now that Discovery is the Star Trek with the worst-ever broadcast debut AND worst-ever per-episode ratings of any live-action Star Trek sequel or spinoff by a significant margin. 

Once again - that is NOT an apples to apples comparison.

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19 hours ago, wwwmwww said:

I watched this yesterday and missed the SDF-1 so I was just about to ask if this was a joke.  But I thought I better give it a second view before potentially making myself look too stupid and I spotted it.  I love the way he sneaks it in.

Carl

It’s not in the effects, it’s behind RMB when he’s talking. Looks like the Yamato/Arcadia 1/3000. 
 

Chris

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14 hours ago, Seto Kaiba said:

Now that Discovery is the Star Trek with the worst-ever broadcast debut AND worst-ever per-episode ratings of any live-action Star Trek sequel or spinoff by a significant margin

5 hours ago, Dynaman said:

Once again - that is NOT an apples to apples comparison.

In what way? Because of digital distribution?

Those numbers suck too... or they'd be incessantly touting them to shoot-down all the "your Star Trek ratings sucked" articles.

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5 minutes ago, Dynaman said:

Yes - all the other shows were premiers for a new weekly series.  Best comparison for this is a rerun.  

 

The expectational framing of a season premier of the current Star Trek series to reruns of the  old   better ones says everything right there, doesn't it?

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3 hours ago, slide said:

 

The expectational framing of a season premier of the current Star Trek series to reruns of the  old   better ones says everything right there, doesn't it?

I have no idea what point you are trying to make.  There is no valid comparison of a rerun to the absolute first airing of a new series.

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Albeit a dated metric, the Nielsen ratings for TOS, TNG, DS9, Voyager, and Enterprise are published and readily available on-line. There’s even a handy chart. Here’s an imgur post that references it (it also includes audience metrics from modern sites like imdb, which flatten the curves in some instances):

https://m.imgur.com/gallery/ieRHR

As @Seto Kaiba noted, Enterprise was the worst performing Trek show when looking at the Nielsen data. At its peak, it was still performing less than DS9 in its hey day, and it was only just able to match Voyager’s performance early on. TNG is unique in that its Nielsen ratings improved over the entire run.

What’s the take away from this? For me, it shows how important it is to have more than one metric to use to analyze data; however, apart from that I’m not sure we can arrive at any truly hyperbolic conclusions. Trek fans seem to support old series now even if they didn’t warm up to them straight away when they were new. Enterprise is a very good example since it gets better aggregate audience reviews today. I found that very curious indeed.

Trying to constrain the data to reruns really wouldn’t give us a clear, concise picture. Sadly, it will be a while before we can have similar metrics for Disco and Picard, and that assumes we get to see the CBS All-Access streaming numbers (another bug hurdle).

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4 hours ago, technoblue said:

Enterprise is a very good example since it gets better aggregate audience reviews today. I found that very curious indeed.

Trying to constrain the data to reruns really wouldn’t give us a clear, concise picture. Sadly, it will be a while before we can have similar metrics for Disco and Picard, and that assumes we get to see the CBS All-Access streaming numbers (another bug hurdle).

That is curious about Enterprise... probably all the Whovians that didn't exist yet during it's run...:D

 

6 hours ago, Dynaman said:

I have no idea what point you are trying to make.  There is no valid comparison of a rerun to the absolute first airing of a new series.

I didn't say "Series", I said "Season"... a Series being made up of multiple Seasons...

:unknw:I seem to have made an error in assuming this was the Season 2 or 3 Premier, when it was the "Broadcast Premier" ... or to be even more precise: this was the re-broadcast of the series opener that not only aired already, but has been available (to anyone who actively wanted to seek it out) digitally for what, 3 years now? [Do I have that right?]

Which makes the Nielsen numbers even more pointless, but makes them look even worse!


 

Lets run the numbers: the Actual premier of the Series opener back in 2017(?) got 9.5 million viewers [I can't find the actual rating this would've earned them on that day]. This broadcast [Re-broadcast?] got 1.7 million, for a rating of 0.2% 

Assuming the same total audience size [and frankly, given our current social state, I would expect the total TV viewership to be up rather than down], that would give the 1st airing of 9.5 million 1.11% of total viewership... which I'm taking as the bottom-end of the possible number.

The Star Trek Nielsen Ratings Chart - Context? : DaystromInstitute

That places it as the worst rated Trek ever... again, IF my number is actually close...

Even if we put the broadcasts together, we're still sitting well below where Enterprise ended it's run, let alone where it started.

 

What do the Nielsen ratings really mean? Less in the current age than ever before, certainly!

However they're our only confirmable data-point for viewership numbers until CBS opens their books about it.

 

My misinterpretation aside, the fact that CBS is not raving about their digital viewership numbers [in public anyway] doesn't imply they're good... it in fact implies the opposite, but if a refutation on that front is forthcoming, we'll have to wait until Monday at the earliest to read about it in the funnypapers.

 

Anyhow, we could all have never had to even know about STD if CBS had just let Axanar do their thing, or made the better call and just hired them.

Edited by slide
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