Avalon Universe

I know the subject of Star Trek fan films has been a sore one lately. I find that a lot of people don’t seem to understand what happened, and think CBS is to blame for what went down with Star Trek: Axanar. Unfortunately, this is far from the truth. Alec Peters, the dude who was running Axanar, was breaking every rule of Star Trek fan films. He was intentionally trying to make money off of Axanar, which was a no-go with fan films from day one. He was giving unlicensed merchandise for donations, essentially selling stuff to make money to do his film. That’s another no-go. He did some other things, including ignore several cease and desist letters from CBS, forcing CBS to sue him. His defense was that there weren’t clear rules for fan films, as CBS mainly ignored fan films so long as they stayed within a few small guidelines, such as not making money and so on. So, in response to his stupidity, CBS wrote a list of official guidelines for fan films. Thus, Alec Peters is to blame for the state of things, not CBS. Though, people still blame CBS.

Anyway, on a random search for “Star Trek” during my bus ride home from work yesterday, I stumbled upon Avalon Universe. Link

This is a group based in Georgia that’s making Star Trek fan films within CBS’s guidelines. Theyr’e not the best scripted, they don’t have the best acting, their uniforms are mostly JJ Trek style, because one of CBS’s guidelines is that, if you buy uniforms, you have to buy officially licensed ones. So, it looks like they bought theirs from the official Star Trek store. Their special effects are quite nice. But, what matters most is that they get the essence of Star Trek. This crew exemplifies what fan films are all about: fans making films. It’s not about making money, it’s not about one upping CBS else by making professional quality content that’s more popular than theirs, it’s about making Star Trek for fans by fans. That’s they way it should be.

Anyway, here’s their first episode. It’s a two parter, to keep within CBS’s guidelines for length:

They released another episode last week, and you can view it by clicking on their YouTube link above. As I said, it’s got its share of issues, but it’s got the heart of Star Trek, and that’s what it’s all about.

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3 thoughts on “Avalon Universe

  1. So true about Mr. Peters. And why couldn’t they is TOS uniforms from ANOVOS? Adam Nimoy gave me one for helping him on his dad’s documentary and it legal and accurate. Or did they change the rules. Hopefully my Star Trek Sirius will be granfathered by them, it’s 20 minutes and has TOS uniforms. It’s almost done at long last after 8 years.

    • Yeah, I know you don’t do any social media, which is a good thing, but some of the comments on YouTube are just ignorant. There are a number of people who think Peters was the wronged party (or, less specifically, Axanar.) They don’t seem to know the situation because they don’t want to. I’ve seen where people try to explain it to them and they won’t have it. It’s a real bummer, because a number of fan productions had to shut down operations after years of following CBS’s basic guidelines because of him.

      As far as I know, Anovos uniforms should be OK. According to the rules, it just has to be official merchandise:

      http://www.startrek.com/fan-films

      Anovos only does officially licensed merchandise. I’m assuming the producers of Avalon Universe just couldn’t afford them. The ones that the Star Trek store sold were of lower quality, but cost a lot less too. They could also be Halloween costumes.

      Another reason I believe you may be covered is, if I remember correctly, fan films that were already in production at the time of these rules could finish any episodes they were working on without following the time, etc. restrictions. You were definitely in production long before those rules were issued.

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