Fan Film Studios

May 5 2019

I’ve been thinking a lot about fan film studios and why people aren’t busting their gut to help pay for them.

If you give money to a fan film studio, you might get some ‘swag’, you might get videos a couple of days in advance but there is something very important to remember.

You don’t have a say in how things are run, you are a donor not an investor.

Anyone who wants to make a studio that deals with Star Trek fan productions has to know that you cannot make a single cent in profit and you won’t get a ton of people paying a ton of cash to fund you either.

Fans who love fan productions are usually more than happy to help with production costs but people are more protective of their money if they’re asked to help pay for the place that makes the productions too.

Helping pay for a fan film studio is like helping to pay for the ingredients of a cake and then you are asked to also help pay for all the equipment used to make the cake and also the making of that particular cake too.

You would be happier to go down the street and pick up a mud cake for some $4 and eat that or make one yourself.

What happens if a fan studio starts making non Star Trek productions where they can make money yet you’re still helping to pay the rent etc? Is it fair?

There is something to remember about Star Trek fan productions and that is that at the peak of the high quality fan productions era, new Star Trek came once every few years in the form of a movie so there was a desperate need for 40 minute (or so) ‘fan made episodes’ of Star Trek to tide people over.

Now we are going to see new Star Trek episodes on our TV screens etc around 22 weeks per year from 2020 when Something with Picard and Discovery run and if the animated series happens then maybe it will be 30+ weeks, that’s a better deal than Pre-Discovery.

The desperate need for productions has diminished unless you’re somebody who believes that Discovery isn’t Star Trek and neither is Picard but then again fan productions aren’t either because CBS and Paramount didn’t make them.

There is plenty to consider on this issue and of course feel free to add your two cents in comment form (two cents is not legal tender in Australia).

Until next time, be good to each other.


2 thoughts on “Fan Film Studios

  1. A perceptive essay. For those of us who think in terms of the time a task requires, I suggest that an additional strategic problem for fan-supported physical assets is that large expenses ($50K/year or more for rent, upkeep, insurance, etc) continue into the foreseeable future for as long as someone wants to keep the sets out of a trash dump. As a group, we fan film buffs don’t seem to have an enormous amount of cash for this hobby if you keep an eye on how much money fan films have been able to raise lately (<$10K generally). As much as I enjoy this hobby, I have to admit that we as a group lack the resources to keep Neutral Zone and/or Ares in the dry for the intermediate to long haul. Thankfully, Potemkin Pictures and Warp 66 are structured differently, so they should last as long as their groups enjoy making fan films.


    1. A decade ago, it wasn’t such a big issue because most sets were in bedrooms or garages now people need warehouses or other big buildings and unless they own that real estate it’s a giant financial mountain and few if any of the set owners can keep up single handed.

      People used to happily throw cash at productions because they were exciting, people wanted to see the next NV or Continues etc episode because they were the only offerings in town but now there’s no big rush to catch a fan production.

      That’s because the Star Trek world has changed since NV, Continues, Farragut etc ruled the streams, the guidelines have made fan film makers make do with less and Discovery now quenches a sizeable portion of fans thirst compared to when fan films used to have to do all the heavy lifting.

      Set owners got to hope enough people want to make fan films so all the bills can be paid, it’s either people make films and others donate or the sets die.


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