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Captain’s Log – April 21st, 2016

By April 26, 2016 Captain's Log

Horizon 2

Thursday, April 21st, 2016

Today, Tommy Kraft announced that he would not be launching the Horizon sequel due to CBS’s phone call.  This marks a new tact for CBS, which had not given any guidelines for fan films, nor indicated what the bright line is that you have to cross to get them to take action.

Now, clearly CBS and Paramount feel that we at Axanar went too far and, of course, CBS didn’t tell Tommy WHY he was being asked not to move forward.  So there is still no clarity.  Fan Films continue not to know what  line should not be crossed and rampant speculation results.

Looking at this situation as objectively as we can, it’s clear to us that Horizon shared one big trait with Axanar: it was a feature-length movie.  And with Star Trek Beyond coming out this summer following a disasterous trailer leak and it’s negative reception (that the director and writer had to apologize for), extra-ordinary re-shoots after principal photography wrapped and a total absence at Cinemacon (an important industry event), is there any wonder why two feature-length, Star Trek fan film movies have been targeted?

Maybe Paramount was concerned there could be confusion in the marketplace over what’s “real” Star Trek.  maybe this was what was enough of a concern to trigger a lawsuit – or in Horizon’s case, a pre-emptive phone call.

Of course, it didn’t take long for our detractors to blame Axanar for the Horizon shutdown, which is frankly, ridiculously unfair.  Look at Tommy’s statement again and you’ll see that Axanar was used an “example” not the “cause.”

CBS has chosen to deal with the fact a Star Trek fan film industry stepped in to fill the void of “no-Trek” (the time period between the end of Enterprise and the first JJ Abrams films). That home-grown industry took off thanks, in large part, to advances in inexpensive technology being readily available, crowdfunding making it easy for fans to fund their films and professionals from the industry (and Star Trek itself) making themselves available to work on the projects.

Star Trek New Voyages and Star Trek Continues both built studios with the aid of crowdfunding.  Star Trek Continues has raised over $500,000, Star Trek Renegades raised over $ 750,000.  What is also interesting is that while CBS is in a legal fight with Axanar and pre-empting the Federation Rising Kickstarter campaign, the Star Trek Continues Indiegogo remains up and active. So it is clear that crowd funding is not the bright line not to cross.

So what was it, exactly, that drove CBS’s decision to call Tommy and ask him to not proceed with Federation Rising? And why have no other productions been targeted?

We are paying close attention obviously and will keep you all posted.


Join the discussion 7 Comments

  • …they *should’ve* let Simon Pegg apply his true strength, and made it a stoner-comedy =P

    …oh well, …i’m sure i’ll laugh hard enough when it *flops* =P

    (what a *dis-graceful* affair…) =(

  • Francisco says:

    Hi all. I think the reason AxAnar and Horizon are in the CBS penalty box is NOT the forthcoming ST Beyond.

    The answer is in the new Trek series. It has been announced that each season will be set in a different period and NOT in the JJverse…it will be in the original timeline Shatnerveese….specifically the first Eason is between ST VI and TNG.

    This exploring the peace process with the Klingons.

    Could other series be between Enterprise and TOS ( Axanar’s & Horizon’s period) ?

    ST Continues and New Voyages / Phase II firmly inhabit TOS an era with a well-established canon. So is CBS’s concern that they want to be first out the gate to establish key canon? Perversely, it this appears that the “Bright Line” is to stay in established Eras and not to explore eras which the copyright owners want to plot first.

    Just a theory.

    Keep up the good work,


    [Editor’s Note: I just added a few extra paragraph breaks and fixed some spelling to help make the comments a little more clear. Fran, if my editing has changed any of your meaning, please let us know and we’ll post a clarification. LLAP, Mike ]

  • J.P. says:

    Re-shoots happen all the time for movies so it’s not out of the ordinary.

    Honestly, Star Trek Beyond is still just a bit less than three months away. There would have been no point to release a trailer over the last month and a half as it would have been drowned out by the Captain America: Civil War hype and marketing train. There’s still lots of time for marketing to be done and it will.

    And I wouldn’t call the 14 million views and almost 60k likes as disastrous. It’s nothing like Ghosbusters-level disastrous at least. Paramount’s not worried.

    Everything is going according to plan. *nods*.

  • Richard N. Colbath says:

    Thank you Alec Peters for saying all that we fan’s have been thinking all along about the other fan films, that we also love as we do Axanar, makes you wonder if there water at CBS/Paramount is tainted messing up there minds or that rich food

  • dawfydd says:

    I really hope CBS wake up and start to understand fan films are a good way to gauge interest and direction.
    With many fan products all in the old universe which shows people want Star Trek and not so much the new crap.
    It could also be a way to put CBS money behind Axanar (for example) then they could use it as a pilot then cast a new crew in that time period.

    But CBS is full of idiots who don’t see the potential for adding funds into the better fan films so they can buy the rights to use the ideas, and perhaps some of those actors.
    It’d be a good break through in how things are done and be a massive benefit.

  • John DiIorio says:

    Alec, I agree with you on two points; One is that Paramount does not have any guidelines, at least, not legally or contractually binding. Point two is Paramount is targeting crowd-funded Star Trek entities based on an alternative motive, maybe to corner the market. Why is it that it costs Paramount 50 plus million dollars to produce a quality full-length feature film and a crowd-funded entity only 1.32 million? Also, I would argue that between Star Trek films and TV shows, its the crowd-funded entities that have keep interest so that Paramount could gross 450 million with a profit of 29 million for “into the Darkness”. Thank you for letting me voice my opinion. John DiIorio

  • Shawn says:

    Given the quality of the latest ‘professional’ movies, maybe they’re just afraid. Even with the garbage sci-fi of the original series, you could take the characters seriously. The new movies? A crew of high school sophomores with the most idiotic jock in command. Who could possible take characters like those seriously as officers?
    The fan films? A few acting issues and such, but characters you can take seriously.

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