Star Trek fans in the US have raised 65,000 dollars to film their own Star Trek episodes in a custom built studio. The new episodes are 100 percent crowd-sourced and continue the mission of the first Enterprise crew.
In a 1,200 square meter building in upstate New York, Star Trek fans, or Trekkies, are piecing together an exact replica of the sound stage used in the original series filmed in the 1960s. The project, known as Star Trek New Voyages: Phase II, is a labor of love that started back in the late 90s. Funded by crowd sourcing, the not for profit enterprise aims to continue the story of the first Enterprise, after the end of its original five year mission.
Star Trek fans in the US have raised 65,000 dollars to film their
own Star Trek episodes in a custom built studio.
"They've been downloaded millions of times, I think the heaviest downloaded one was 'Blood and Fire part 1 and 2' and it is just millions upon millions of downloads. So it's kind of, you know, flattering. And, scary, at the same time." said James Cawley, Executive Producer, Star Trek New Voyages: Phase II.
None of this would be possible without the work of hundreds of dedicated volunteers. They've come from around the world to take part in the production, with many more donating money to help fund the project.
"We do on the job training, throughout the shoot. Anyone can come in with absolutely no knowledge at all on filmmaking and, by the end of the shoot, they will have their niche within the organisation." said Andrew Grieb, Line Producer, Star Trek New Voyages: Phase II.
From the way the sets are built and painted, to the use of lighting, the crew adheres as closely as possible to the methods used on the original series.
"We're crazy sticklers to detail, you know, we want it to be exactly like it. We have matching shadows, matching colors, matching camera angles, matching diffusion filters. I mean we are going about this as if this was like a time travel situation.” said Jeff Barklage, Director Of Photography, Star Trek New Voyages: Phase II.
Much of the cast is made up of talented amateurs, but professional actors have been hired to play the main roles, and are made-up to resemble the original crew as closely as possible. Brandon Stacy takes over the role of the mysterious Mr. Spock.
"I am definitely juggling two or more personalities at once, so, I've got my hand in hot and the other one in cold just to stay balanced and I feel like Spock is kinda doing the same thing,"
This episode is the 12th the group has filmed so far, and each one takes a year to complete from conception to broadcast. The latest 50 minute episode will air on Youtube later this year.