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The Fine Line of Fan Production
A TREKZONE.org Editorial
March 15 2015
Over twelve years ago I signed up for my first hosted domain with GeoCities - then a thriving community of websites hosted for free by one company, created by David Bohnett and John Rezner.  On July 10 2003 with the help of my year 10 IT teacher, I purchased the TREKZONE.org domain and have been here ever since.  There have been so many GUI designs and intentions with the site and up until 2012 the content was sorely lacking any real substance.  In fact you can see some fractured archived copies of the site over at the WayBack Machine dating all the way back to inception.

Throughout the years various ideas have come and gone, from the original fan fiction - Star Trek: Poseidon - in written form around 2006 to the SciFi night in 2007 and most recently Eternal Night which actually progressed beyond an idea and went into production in 2012... but it has been a slow burn because of a severe lack of crowd funding interest, which has meant a sole reliance on my own funds, which is fine - I believe that's what fan fiction should be about... telling the stories that you want to tell in the limited way that one person or a small group of keen fans can - using green screens and a rudimentary understanding of 3D animation to make Star Trek cheaply, or as many fans of many series do - writing them down as short stories in fan fiction communities.

I have recently successfully entered negotiations to bring a more visual asthetic to Eternal Night to aid in telling my stories the way that I know how with pictures and sound to create a complete episode (I'm a trained sound recordist and have worked in Australian television since 2006.)  However those negotiations have resulted in a fairly hefty price tag, and I get that... people can't live on good will, that doesn't pay the bills... and I'm no artist so I can't do it all myself.  But the price tag for the remaining six episodes in season two is double the entire production budget and I can't justify that kind of expense because it would leave the cast way behind in terms of payment and that's not fair to them, the talented bunch that they are.

And this brings me to my gripe.  I see out there, mainly from the US, several productions that have received a wealth of crowd funding money - in excess of tens of thousands of dollars - to make their dream a reality, sure I'm a little jealous that they could pull it off and I couldn't... but you have to look at how and why they did and I believe the answer lies in the people that are making it, big name production staff and cast, many of whom are alumni from the actual series.  I don't want to single any one production out, nor do I not want to be apart of the journey they are taking but I firmly believe that they have crossed the line from fan fiction to independent production.

They have made a successful business model out of producing so called fan fiction and are sucking the life from the rest of us as they continue to get bigger and bigger and make bolder projects leaving those others who have small ideas out in the cold.  There is not enough interest in Eternal Night for me justify returning the series in it's current format and I am bitterly disappointed that I've had to make that decision, but I cannot compete with those out there and are receiving massive headlines about their exploits.

Still, it is Star Trek and keeping the franchise alive has to be a good thing because one day CBS will see the wisdom in returning a cannon television series to production.  I'm sure many of the people currently working on independant Star Trek productions will regain/gain employment and I'll still be here, in Brisbane carrying on with my site, promoting and featuring Star Trek from a fan's perspective. Solo. The way it should be.
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