Star Trek: Horizon

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  • #1886
    Steve W
    Steve W
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    I came across this while poking around YouTube, and started watching it with no real intention of seeing the whole thing through. But that’s what happened, much to my own amazement, a Trek fan film that didn’t want to make me turn it off after two minutes due to terrible acting or ’90s special effects. It’s set in the Enterprise timeline, aboard the NX-04 Discovery, during the Romulan conflict. The acting is mostly good (or at least not jarring enough to knock me out of the story), and the special effects are surprisingly good for such a low budget flick. There’s the usual things a fan film has – a cast of paunchy actors who would never make it to screen on a network show, lots of callbacks to the series it’s based on, and somewhat iffy science and story structure. There’s always a blurriness to everything onscreen to hide the fact that they’re acting in front of green screens and a good amount of shaky cam footage, and in this case it worked pretty well to camouflage the cheapness of the effects.

    I generally don’t care for fan films for a number of reasons I’ve stated previously, but this one wasn’t bad at all. It wasn’t great, but it wasn’t as terrible as most of the ones I’ve watched. It looks like real production values went into it. It had a somewhat muddy storyline that might only make immediate sense to hardcore Trek geeks (who I would guess are their main audience, honestly). They also made it feel like a pilot movie for a series that’ll never be created. Still, it was pretty watchable and not cringeworthy. I’m giving it an 80 out of 100.

    #8788

    And apparently the Horizon sequel, Federation Rising, has now been gently “cancelled from afar” by CBS/Paramount, thanks to the Axanar case. [LINK]

    The Horizon sequel, Federation Rising, was due to begin a crowdfunding campaign on Saturday, April 23, but a call from CBS to creator Tommy Kraft has ended that. And it appears to be Axanar’s fault.

    In a lengthy post to the Star Trek – Horizon Facebook page, Kraft wrote:

    Executives from CBS reached out to me and advised me that their legal team strongly suggested that we do not move forward with plans to create a sequel to Horizon. While this is a sign of the current climate that we find ourselves in with Star Trek fan films, I want to personally thank CBS for reaching out to me, rather than including us in their ongoing lawsuit against Axanar.

    It was conveyed that the reason CBS was reaching out to me was due to the legal troubles stemming from the Axanar case. Again, CBS did not have to reach out personally. The message I received felt more like they were giving me a heads up before we got too involved in another project, rather than a group of angry executives swinging a hammer.

    The eventual impact of this case, according to Tomazic, may well limit what true fan productions can do in the future.

    I really fear for the future of this subgenre of movie-making. It’s really starting to feel like one guy pissing in the well that everyone else is drinking from because he can’t have his way.

    #8789
    Steve W
    Steve W
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    I wonder if it’s more about raising money for the production, not all of which would probably go into the movie, rather than making a Star Trek fan film. There have been plenty of fan films made in the past, but not many of them used Kickstarter to get funding, which could be legally construed as a for-profit production. I think it was actually considerate of CBS/Paramount to tell him to stop the Kickstarter, because their legal team might be forced to pull him into the Anaxar fiasco since those guys tried the same thing, albeit with far more shady ideas behind it.

    I have to wonder if Kraft made the sequel to Horizon but without external funding and specifically stating that it would be a free, non-profit fan film, would he get the blessing of CBS/Paramount. As long as he doesn’t take money from others and pays for it himself, I would think he’d avoid the ire of their legal department.

    Oh Lord, people on the internet have wildly varying views of this latest development. Dumb people are saying that everybody should boycott the new Trek series, more intelligent people attempt to argue that CBS/Paramount have the legal recourse to protect their intellectual property to keep it from being violated in the future, people saying that it’s okay to take copyrighted IP and do whatever you want with it, and the problem with all that is that people stating their views doesn’t change the notions of the people they’re arguing with, because the internet has become a place where everybody shouts their ideology and nobody listens to the opposing viewpoint. Back in the late ’90s it seemed like the internet would become the place where ideas could be exchanged and discussions could be had from every standpoint, but nowadays it’s all “you’re wrong, I want you to tell me I’m right!” Just something else to blame Millennials for. And by the way, you kids get off my lawn.

    #8790

    @Steve W wrote:

    I have to wonder if Kraft made the sequel to Horizon but without external funding and specifically stating that it would be a free, non-profit fan film, would he get the blessing of CBS/Paramount. As long as he doesn’t take money from others and pays for it himself, I would think he’d avoid the ire of their legal department.

    I think that’s rapidly becoming the only way left to do it. Don’t do it unless you can already pay for it, do it quietly, underground, don’t announce anything, just pop it on Youtube one day and watch the reaction.

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