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in Filmmaking
on Jun 21, 2006

Below we linked to The Smoking Gun regarding a lawsuit threatened by Paramount against an artist who created a twelve-minute video piece apparently based on the screenplay for Oliver Stone’s forthcoming World Trade Center.

Interestingly, the New York Times ran a piece this weekend about the same studio’s tolerance (so far) of fan-produced Star Trek episodes and movies. The video equivalent of “fan fiction,” some of these not-intended-for-profit works have been downloaded 30 million times!

From the article as reprinted in

Fan films have been around for years, particularly those related to the “Star Wars” movies. But now they can be downloaded from the Web, and modern computer graphics technology has lent them surprising special effects. And as long as no one is profiting from the work, Paramount, which owns the rights to “Star Trek,” has been tolerant. (Its executives declined to comment.)

Up to two dozen of these fan-made “Star Trek” projects are in various stages of completion, depending on what you count as a full-fledged production. Dutch and Belgian fans are filming an episode; a Scottish production is in the works at U.S.S. Intrepid.

A group in Los Angeles has filmed more than 40 episodes, according to its Web site, Hidden Frontier, and has explored gay themes that the original series never imagined. Episodes by a group in Austin, Texas, at Star Ship Exeter, feature a ship whose crew had the misfortune of being turned into salt in an episode of the original “Star Trek” but has now been repopulated by Texans.

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