Saturday, December 31, 2011

Day 07 - Fan Animation

Fan Animation has made amazing advances over the past year as more individuals find that this is a project that they can don on a personal level that can approach the complexity of the larger live action fan film groups. You can have a cast of thousands, the most surreal sets imaginable and interact with creatures who would be impossible to recreate for live filming either by makeup and prosthetics or by animatronics and special effects.

Once again, this is a summary, a work-in-progress - I know there are some major productions that I have missed out - of the animations that have released episodes during 2011. As with the fan film listing, I have used the resources of BarbReader's comprehensive reference, Star Trek: Reviewed. I can't praise her work too highly, she works hard to deliver an invaluable service to fans all over the world.

Erika DeBenedictis' Trek Parodies
Animations utilising media ranging from paper cutouts to The Sims from the fertile mind of a young teen
2The Muddle with Moles - Aug 09 2011

FemTrekz
Original Series storyline with an all-female crew, in conjunction with Star Trekz Empire, animated using Xtranormal State Plus
1Landing Party Decorum - Jul 12 2011

Mariner
Animation set in the ST: Online universe
1Shakedown - May 28 2011

Star Track: The Animated Adventures
Matt Lamson Animations presents a series of cartoons based upon Golden Media Studios comedy series, Star Track

Star Trek Aurora
Groundbreaking 3D animation by Tim Vining featuring a small merchant starship during the Original Series period, run by a young woman with a horrifying past
5Star Trek Aurora, Part 5 - Nov 10 2011

Star Trek Reunion
Star Trek: Online machinima
1The Gathering Storm - Jul 01 2011

Star Trek: Recovery
Go!Animate characters used in a more serious production
6Cromwell's Shame - Nov 27 2011

Star Trek: Red Squad
Spectacular animation of space battles form a backdrop for intrigue in a post Nemesis universe
3The Charge - Apr 20 2011

Star Trekz Empire
Original series Klingon storyline, in conjunction with Fem Trekz, animated using Xtranormal State Plus
1Empire Screen Test - Sep 20 2011

Starmada
Epic, three-season parody series of animations made using Go!Animate
Starmada Finale Part I - Dec 21 2011

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Friday, December 30, 2011

Day 06 - Adult Trek

Adult Trek is not for the faint of heart. Many writers ask themselves - what happens when the doors close, and the lights turn off? After all, most ships are loaded with young, single people, often in prime physical condition. If you think all they do is go to second base, ah, my friend, you are seriously mistaken.

Ratings

While fan fiction, graphic novels and print publications are not covered by the MPAA (Motion Picture Association of America), their guidelines on ratings do make some sense in this area. Per the MPAA, the NC-17 means the following: "NC-17 — No One 17 and Under Admitted. An NC-17 rated motion picture is one that, in the view of the Rating Board, most parents would consider patently too adult for their children 17 and under. No children will be admitted. NC-17 does not mean "obscene" or "pornographic" in the common or legal meaning of those words, and should not be construed as a negative judgment in any sense. The rating simply signals that the content is appropriate only for an adult audience. An NC-17 rating can be based on violence, sex, aberrational behavior, drug abuse or any other element that most parents would consider too strong and therefore off-limits for viewing by their children."

Hence it's not just sex, violence and/or salty language that can bump a rating up to the max. For most people, though, those three things are exactly what causes them to think of one rating over another.

Complicating matters is the fact that some sites use MPAA-style ratings, whereas others use gaming or television-type ratings. In general, MA and NC-17 are as far as you can go, with M and R being the next step down. One more step down is usually T and PG-13; then come K+ and PG. Finally, the rating for family-type viewing and reading is K or G. I use both ratings systems interchangeably in this article and, for fan fiction, I use whichever rating the writer has provided for his or her work. Keep in mind that writers are not necessarily perfect arbiters of their own ratings. However, I feel that all of the listed writers act in good faith to properly rate their works. But the usual caveats apply, and always proceed cautiously, particularly if viewing or reading while at work.

Character Situations

Beyond ratings, there are also the questions of character situations. We are used to seeing some highly intellectual themes in Star Trek. Racism was covered as far back as TOS. The ENT series showed a class of persons stigmatized by a disease they had contracted - that show's response to the HIV epidemic. DS9 covered, among other things, the horrors of war.

For what we tend to think of as Adult Trek, the themes are usually far more personal. Characters' sexualities are questioned and explored. Relationships are forged, or broken. Characters may deal with the death of a beloved, or perhaps an affair or a divorce. Written well, these scenarios can offer rich chances for exploration. Written poorly, they can be cringeworthy - but that is the case with all ratings levels. And then, of course, there's also PWP (Porn Without Plot).

But when sex or violence (or both) propel the stories, when they help the reader get to know the characters better, or amp up the tension - or even the comedy - or when they make sense in a greater context, these scenarios work as well as any other. Gratuitous sex and violence are one thing, but that is not what is being celebrated here. Let's look at adult themes in Trek, and their place in both canon and fanon universes.

Consider the possibilities.

Canon

As far back as TOS, Plato's Stepchildren covered a most uncomfortable scenario, as the captain and first officer are forced to perform for their captors. Included in the performance are kisses with the two main women in the show - Lieutenant Uhura and Nurse Chapel. Complicating matters are the nurse's unrequited love for Spock and the difference in races between Captain Kirk and Miss Uhura. The episode is remembered as being the first interracial kiss on network television. But what if the episode was made today? Would it stop just at kissing? Should it? Is that more or less powerful than going further? What happens if the partners are switched, and the pairings become same-sex? Fan fiction writers can explore this, if they wish.

In TNG, The Outcast was presented as an exploration of an androgynous society, allegedly devoid of sexuality. When Riker meets Soren, they hit it off - and it's rather convenient when Soren reveals femininity. But a classic question for fan fiction writers is - what if Soren had turned out to be male? In the end, Soren is forced to renounce her feelings and desires, and is allegedly "cured" of such messiness. Is Soren happy? Probably not, but she sure is safe and predictable.

In DS9, the Rejoined episode explores what it means for Dax to be moving from symbiont to symbiont, and sometimes shifting from male to female. This episode is also remembered as the first one with a female-on-female kiss, which shocked some fans (while encouraging others). For fan fiction writers, the scene can, of course, go a lot farther than that, and probably does.

In VOY, the Threshold episode runs in any number of directions (it is considered a somewhat problematic episode), but the upshot of it is that the captain and one of her crew members have had children together. Circumstances were certainly out of the ordinary. Fan fiction can fill in some of the gaps, perhaps not so much in terms of the mating act itself, but in terms of what should have probably been a great deal of fallout.

In ENT, the Unexpected episode goes where, perhaps, no one ever throught Trek would go - to male pregnancy. A simple game involving immersing one's hands in a box of what look like pebbles results in a pregnancy for, of all people, Commander Tucker. The episode is played for some humor, but it also touches upon the idea of love 'em and leave 'em - something that Kirk did quite a bit of. It should also make the typical fan fiction writer wonder just what kinds of games the Xyrillians really do like to play.

The Specifics

Star Trek fan ficcers pretty much invented slash, which is when two male characters (both, or one, or neither, can be canon) are linked romantically, and often graphically sexually. The original slash pairing in Star Trek is Kirk/Spock. The counterpart is femme slash (also spelled as femslash), which is female on female pairing. The Janeway/Seven of Nine pairing is typical.

Adult Trek is not just slash, of course. It also takes the shape of graphic novels, often with nudity or partial nudity, or fictions where little or at least less is left to the readers' imaginations. For fiction which opens the door to the bedroom, what does the reader find? There is the standard, of course, within marriage and committed relationships. Surely no one thinks that Miles and Keiko produced Molly via test tube!

Then there are committed couples who aren't married, such as T'Pol and Trip, or Will Riker and Deanna Troi before their wedding during Nemesis. Still other scenarios involve more mismatched couples, such as Worf and Deanna or Worf and Jadzia, or Quark and Grilka. Dr. Bashir ends up treating the latter two couples after nights of passion - these cannot just be a few chaste kisses, and it should make some curious viewers wonder about the mechanics of it all.

In DS9, as previously noted, there is a bit of femme slash. In ENT, there is a bit of bi-curious behavior (Rajiin) and alien-curious behavior (Cogenitor). And do the parts always fit? Are they always compatible? Not according to The Undiscovered Country, where Kirk fights an alien on Rura Penthe who keeps his genitalia in a fairly unexpected location.

Fan-Created Stories

ENT

Enterprise is well represented in fan fiction writers' imaginings, possibly because the show had a confirmed sexual relationship and an unfulfilled promise of a gay character (the show's writers ultimately decided to not make Malcolm Reed gay). It may also be because it's the most recent show, and was shown in an era of and near such fare as The Sopranos, NYPD Blue and The L Word. Audiences have come to expect more on television.

Written as a response to the Delphic Expanse's 2011 Valentine's Day Playlist Challenge, Persistence of Touch is a missing-moment story set in Season Four during Trip's brief "escape" to Columbia. Trip learns that he cannot run away from his feelings for T'Pol no matter how far he goes – thanks to the as yet undiscovered bond asserting itself and pulling him into the white space. One night, Trip and T'Pol repeat their favorite mistake – but is it real? Winner of five Delphic Expanse Awards, including Best Story and Best Het Sex Scene. Rated NC-17.

Aquarius's She Wore White. Wedding nights are supposed to be bliss, but they come with their own special anxieties. Set post- "These Are the Voyages", Archer and T'Pol marry and face their first night together as husband and wife. It's not their first time around the block, but making it official brings a degree of change. Archer contemplates true love and absent friends in reflection of this life-changing event. Received Honorable Mention for Best Archer/T'Pol Story Under 2000 words at the 2011 Delphic Expanse Awards. Rated MA for graphic heterosexual situations.

A mini-sequel to Mistress Euclid's ground-breaking "Equilateral", in which the events of "E2" have unfolded differently: the Enterprise is lost in time, and the crew has colonized a Minshara class planet while trying to maintain good relations with their galactic neighbors. Jon, Trip, and T'Pol have formed a stable, loving polyfidelic relationship. POV takes place in the distant future of this universe. T'Pol relives the joy of love and the pain of loss as she finds a datapad containing a long-forgotten "home movie" made by her husbands. Rated NC-17 for graphic sexual situations, including a threesome.

A Kiss at Midnight by Honeybee. It's New Year's Eve on the Enterprise, and Trip and T'Pol use the occasion to "out" themselves as a couple. Anxious about the expected public display of affection at midnight, T'Pol sets a most logical scheme into motion to ensure that she and her date get some alone time well before then. Everything goes well until Captain Archer unwittingly foils her plan, and T'Pol finds herself with a dilemma: to kiss or not to kiss? Rated NC-17 for graphic sexual situations.

For my own fiction, I offer a transuniversal romance in Reversal. On our side of things, Chef's assistant begins having erotic dreams while, in the mirror, Empress Hoshi finds an intriguing way to keep her male senior staff members in line. Rated R for sexual situations and some violence.

In Intolerance, a small medical school sends a class of doctors to the NX-01 for a resident rotation - and that means women. A competition is set up, and whoever gets the girl first wins. But the winner gets more than he bargained for, both in and out of the bedroom. How much can you tolerate? Rated R for sexual situations and unconventional sexual play, including mild BDSM.

TOS

Taking place in the TOS era (although not employing canon characters), PD Smith's 30 Minutes is a graphic novel about a female Federation captain who ends up running from a terrorist bombing with an Orion woman. There's a bit of femme slash in it. The drawings are superb; the artist has quite an eye for not only the female form, but also for fashion. No rating is listed; I would suggest PG-13.

His Species 571 story is another beautiful graphic novel. Again, the captain is female, and she has to deal with an attack on children. The adult themes include not only the violence but also her having to come to terms with her own daughter, who she is apart from. No rating is listed; I would suggest PG.

In Orion's Angels, bluesman offers an adventure for Merrick Dylan, a young officer under Christopher Pike's command. What happens when he meets the beautiful Dr. Veronica West - and a trio of wily Orion slave women? Rated M.

TNG

There is a dearth of TNG-era slash fiction that isn't simply PWP.

One fan fiction writer is doing terrific work covering the Picard dynamic from several angles - both gay and straight. And adult themes need not simply be bedroom antics. His stories are told in lots of ways - the characters aren't always horizontal and, in some stories, aren't at all.

MrPicard explores Jean-Luc's feelings in Lonely. Uneasy lies the head that wears the crown! Jean-Luc Picard turns on a holodeck program and meets a very similar captain from the Enterprise's past. Rated T.

He then covers the Picard/Q conflict in It Happened for a Reason. This is a serious conversation between Picard and Q about Jean-Luc's abduction by the Borg. Q discloses that he actually witnessed it but was powerless to prevent it from happening. Rated K+.

Feel presents a dilemma for Deanna Troi - she can feel everyone's feelings, right? So what happens when she feels a certain crew member performing a very private act? And what happens when she gets addicted to that passion? Rated M.

Private Emotions is MrPicard's fully-realized story of an alternate universe progressive love affair between the captain and his XO. In the canon TNG episode "Parallels", a number of alternate universes are presented - this is the one where Data has blue eyes and Ogawa is the CMO - and the Federation is apparently in conflict with the Cardassians. Not only is the Picard/Riker relationship explored, Data/LaForge, Picard/Jack Crusher, Riker/Erik Pressman, Picard/Q, Picard/Troi are also shown, although its main focus is on Picard/Riker and it is the Picard/Riker love story which gives the story its shape and focus. Rated MA for slash and graphic heterosexual situations.

But there's also plenty of room for some very graphic work. Candice Green's work with character Candela Green leaves little to the imagination. Her Star Trek Crusader: The Deception offers a TNG-era story with plenty of extremely graphic sex. Her drawings are very good and she renders characters and scenery well - this is truly visually stunning work. There is no rating listed but I easily put it at NC-17; there's full frontal nudity and full arousal for every gender imaginable.

Her Star Trek Crusader: Of Friends or Foes also offers plenty of graphic action. Her renderings of a multi-racial, multi-species crew - in more than name only - are beautifully realized. Again, there is no rating listed but this one is NC-17, and again has full frontal nudity and full arousal shown for any gender you can think of (and possibly a few that are new to you).

DS9

It isn't just bedroom behaviors that make for an M rating. Sometimes it's about the violence. In The Hephaestic Oath, Nerys Ghemor cringingly presents a battlefield triage and treatment moment worthy of Saving Private Ryan. Rated M.

Isadorabelle's Lost: Revisited shows the death of Jadzia Dax in an alternate universe. Rated MA for violence.

For Enterprise1981, Through a Glass Darkly continues the Deep Space 9 Mirror Universe story line. Bashir gets a visit from a shadowy agent with even more shadowy cohorts. Rated M.

VOY

Adult themes don't have to be so somber all the time! Sometimes, a little humor is in order.

Odon writes humorous slash. The Killer Dame is based on "Allo Allo". Rated M for femme slash.

Another of his stories is Attack of the 50-Ft. Half-Klingon, a terrific parody (guess the plot!). Rated M.

Conclusion

The upshot of it all is, in a universe (or a few universes) of IDIC, diversity and combinations can be thought of in the context of mature themes. There is so much out there!

Exploration should not be confined to just the stars. Sometimes it comes from what's in a lover's eyes. And for all of us, it can also come from within.





Happy fantasies to all, and to all a good night!

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Day 05 - Fan Films

Fan films are by far the highest profile fan production around today, This is a compilation of the fan films released in 2011 from BarbReader's Star Trek: Reviewed website. Barb does an amazing job, not just in discovering new fan productions but keeping a check on those groups for new episodes and updates.

1701 Pennsylvania Avenue
A fan film of a fan film, this live action comedy is a homage to Star Trek: Phase II
-: 1701 Pennsylvania Avenue - Dec 24 2011

Project Potemkin
Live Action, Golden Age, Adult Fans working with college students, Sets, CGI, costumes, make-up, original music. Produced out of Albany, Georgia, USA
S01-1The Void - Dec 16 2011
S01-C Doctors Orders - Dec 23 2011

Star Trek Osiris
Peaceful diplomatic relations with the Romulan Star Empire are shattered by an enemy from within. Live action drama
3Penumbra - Jan 17 2011
3Relay 97 - Oct 30 2011

Star Trek: Eagle
live action, teen trek, highly produced with sets and costumes, Golden Age
2The Bismark - Oct 12 2011

Star Trek: Intrepid
High-quality, wellwritten and acted, live action video of the rigours of Federation colonisation, post-Dominion War
_Machinations - Aug 21 2011
_Confessions by Firelight - Nov 27 2011

Star Trek: New Homelands
Live action drama by teens
3.1The Trouble With Games - Feb 27 2011

Star Trek: Odyssey
A daring mission to stop ruthless invaders from the distant Andromeda Galaxy goes horribly wrong in this three season series from Hidden Frontier Productions
3.01Tossed Upon the Shore - Sep 17 2011

Star Trek: Phase II
Phase II is an award-winning independent webseries that produces new episodes of Classic Star Trek, continuing the fourth and fifth seasons of the original series
_Enemy Starfleet - Apr 22 2011
_Special Featurette - Apr 28 2011
_No Win Scenario - Oct 08 2011

Star Trek: Rapture
Live action video by a the maker of Star Trek: Unity
1Star Trek: Rapture Part 1 - Mar 19 2011

Star Trek: Requirius
Live action drama by teens
1.3Escape Part 3 - Jan 29 2011
1.4Safe Zone - Mar 13 2011
2.1Allies - Jul 05 2011
2.2Bajor - Dec 04 2011

Star Trek: The Helena Chronicles
A disastrous event sets Starfleet against the Helena as she attempts to rescue the USS Odyssey live action drama from Hidden Frontier Productions
3.01Tossed Upon the Shore - Sep 17 2011

Star Trek: The Romulan Wars
Live action series immediately following Star Trek: Enterprise
4Let the End Try the Man - Feb 22 2011

Star Trek: Unity
Live action video by a film student with continuously improving CGI, editing, costuming, etc.
_Star Trek: The Castaway - Jul 01 2011

Starfleet Journeyman
Live action, drama/comedy from Toronto, Canada
3Wild Stars - Dec 06 2011

Starship Farragut
Live fan film set in the Original Series
_Just Passing Through - Apr 23 2011

Stellar Trek
English Star trek parody
1Stellar Trek 1 - Dec 08 2011

The Further Adventures of Star Trek Unity
Live action video by a film student with continuously improving CGI, editing, costuming, etc.
_The Ice of Andor - Jun 25 2011
_The Warriors of Qo'noS - Sep 13 2011
_Airlock 3 - Nov 17 2011


K

The Twelve No-Chaser Days of Christmas

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Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Day 04 - Audio Drama

Audio drama in Star Trek has had a mixed year.

Some prductions which were expected to produce this year, noticeably Star Trek: Grissom and The new Section 31 Files have not appeared as expected. They haven't produced this year however I hesitate to lump them in with those which are in long term hiatus, so this year I have created two levels of hiatus: short-term and long-term to help the browser to see the difference between those which are truly resting and those that might have a problem being revived.

My feature this year is Star Trek: Eras whose annual Trekcast - a staple of The Twelve Trek Days of Christmas - addresses that problem.


As with all things, it is a personal choice. Quality is important, and in the case of Eras the custom-made, quality music from Matt Hallaran is nigh-unique, but there needs to be a point where you call a halt to your quest for perfection and say, "It's a wrap!" With all due respect to the makers of Star Trek: Exeter, they are, and always will be, held up as an example of a fan production that was effectively killed by the refusal of the producers to accept something which they deemed not up to an acceptable standard. Certainly it is their production and so their choice but it is everybody's loss.

I am one of those eternal optimists who never says that a project is ever dead, much like Homer Simpson chasing the flying pig crying, "It's still good! It's still good!" Occasionally the stake will be withdrawn from the heart of one of these productions to prove that there are no such things as burnt bridges. Voyages of the USS Angeles is a prime example of one that has done so and Star Fleet Renegades could be one that does so in the coming year.

Pre-Production
New productions that should be going into production shortly

Mixed media project that will have full animated episodes as the pilot, mid-point and finale with four full-cast audiobook episodes in between, eight episodes in all. Three audio vignettes have been released.
Vignette 1: Ensign Daniel Park

In Production
Productions that have released one or more episodes during 2011

Henglaar, MD
Series based on the popular character from the fan film series ST: Hidden Frontier
HMD 1.01: Recalled To Life
HMD 1.02: Best Served Cold
HMD 1.03: Risk Factors
HMD 1.04: Good With Words
HMD 1.05: Profit Without Honor, Feb 22, 2011
HMD 1.06: Vector of Infection, Dec 5, 2011

Child-friendly audio drama from Misfits Audio: The adventures of Cpt Peter Rabbit in space!
1.5: Why

A ship and crew from the past are the answer to a deadly threat. Quality audio drama by Totally Creative Media
2.1: Earth Aug 27, 2011

Long-running, large ensemble cast present action and intrigue from Pendant Productions
33: Rifts
38: Echoes
41: Gambles
42: Oaths
43: Family
44: Haunted
46: Caged
51: History
53: Memory
58: Law

Unthinkable attrocities and secrets long buried are brought to life in a convoluted and gripping tale from Starship Excelsior
103: Wildfire

Star Trek: Federation Rebirth
Available on YouTube, from Shady Beach Productions, the same group that made the fan film, Star Trek: Requirius

Deep Space Three is a boring place... unless you include the pirates, the ferrengi, the ghosts, the mysterious, ancient archaeology... from Giant Gnome Productions
15: Ambush
31: Old Friends and Memories Dec 5, 2011

Voyages of the USS Angeles
The crew of the USS Angeles are re-united for more adventures! A continuation in audio of the seminal fan film series made in 1999 - 2000.
2x01: Duty's Betrayal Jan 31, 2011

Series Completed
productions which have completed their season and they have announced that they will not be producing any more shows. [UNDER CONSTRUCTION]

Short-term Hiatus
Season not completed, nothing released or heard from in 2011 but production actively being pursued. Planned releases in 2012 [UNDER CONSTRUCTION]

Taking listeners to new worlds and a universe which has only barely been explored, from Giant Gnome Productions. On temporary hiatus.
1: Things Not Seen Part 1 Sep 12, 2011

Long-term Hiatus
Season not completed, nothing released or heard from before 2011. No releases scheduled in 2012 [UNDER CONSTRUCTION]

K

The Twelve Indian Days of Christmas

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Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Day 03 - Trek Music

Over the past few years I have had a particular focus on audio dramas, however they rely heavily on you, the listener, to be the special effects wizard, the set designer and the costumer by inserting these details into the plot that plays out in the cinema of your mind. Luckily this is a job made easier because Star Trek has some iconic audible cues, such as a turbolift door opening or a combadge chirping, which are instantly recognisable.

The importance of the audio track is of only slightly less important in a video project.

Think about it. How often have you watched a scene on a fan film that is a great greenscreen effect, looking exactly like it is taking place on a star ship's bridge, its mess hall or some exotic planet, only to have the effect ruined because it sounds like it was recorded in someone's garage? In addition, as anyone who has been through the special effects ride in a movie theme park will know, many of the things that we take for granted on a film are actually added afterwards – door knocks, footsteps, gunfire even face-slaps and punches. A sword drawn from a scabbard, for example, rarely makes a “K-shingg!” sound, but we are conditioned to require it when we see it on screen.

However what is of equal, vital importance to both audio and video productions is the music which subconsciously sets and changes the mood, adds subtle, unspoken hints of danger or suspense and, by the mens of personal themes, adds to the presence of the characters in a scene.

Today's article focusses on celebrating the work of the amateur – and not so amateur - composers whose music is a vital but all but invisible part of the success of any production.

Many productions – audio dramas and fan films – use incidental music which comes from the Star Trek movies or TV shows and this is a perfectly viable option. It is no different from using a canon screenshot as the background of your bridge greenscreen or using a canon character in your plot. As long as the credits reference the original artist and there is no gain made by anyone, this is just another facet of the technical copyright breach that is at the core of fan productions. Don't get the impression that this is a second-rate option for producers. The Original Series in particular had specific musical themes that served to underscore (quite literally) moments of drama or humour, and just hearing them will transport the listener into a specific mood.

I defy any true Star Trek fan not to recognise the Klingon theme music!

Just as a fan film maker will try to make sure that his sets, costumes and even camera shots and lighting, mesh with canon, so to do those brave souls who write the incidental music that will go with it. Matt Hallaron, musical director for Star Trek: Eras is very mindful of the different musical styles that make the different series unique. “The music has always been orchestral in nature, but each series' music reflects the real world timeframe that it was created in. The music in TOS for example has qualities that reflect TV music of the 1960's.”

Original work can come in small contributions, such as Brian Martinez Oldham's piano piece in Star Trek: Defiant, others might just be the theme as in the case of Mary Kouyoumdjian's work for Henglaar, M.D. However some productions are lucky enough to have someone in their group who acts as their musical director, creating as well as arranging the music.

In some cases the music is such an integral part of the production because it is provided by the producers themselves. This is the case with Andy Tyrer, who is the Co-producer of Star Trek: The Continuing Mission who has also created some evocative work as incidental music for their episodes, an audio drama that, although it takes place in the TNG era, has elements of TOS in it. Andy's work is an especially good example of how music can be timed and themed to support the dialog - understandable since the creator is the producer!

There's even a case where we have music without a production! Assignment Earth is a project started by three fans of Gary Seven, the charismatic scifi secret agent introduced in the Star Trek TOS episode, Assignment Earth, which is fan-made theme music for the spin-off TV series about him that was planned but never made.

A comprehensive survey of the music for all fan films and audio dramas is way beyond the scope of this article so if your favourite production hasn't been mentioned, why not check the credits, send in some feedback to the makers or ask if a download of the soundtrack could be made available? I guarantee that you will find it a rewarding experience.

To get you started on your search, hear is an incomplete listing of composers of the music that, to a large extent, lies behind the success of many of our favourite fan productions. Just as some professional actors have lent their expertise to fan productions, so too have some respected professional musicians, others are immensely talented amateurs, to all of them we owe a debt of gratitude.

ST: Intrepid, Orphans of War, Operation Beta Shield
ST: The Helena Chronicles, Operation Beta Shield
ST: Odyssey, ST: Federation One
ST: Odyssey
ST: Intrepid
ST: Federation One, Project: Potemkin, ST: Lexington, ST: New Homelands
ST: Excelsior
ST: Eras
ST: Intrepid, ST: Odyssey, Voyages of the U.S.S. Angeles, ST: Diplomatic Relations, ST: Grissom
Starship Farragut, ST: Osiris, ST: The Helena Chronicles, Tossed Upon the Shore
Henglaar, M.D.
ST: Outpost
ST: The Helena Chronicles
ST: Defiant
Star Trek: The Continuing Mission

Kevin McLeod
Special mention should also be made of those charitable composers who place some, if not all of their work on line under the creative commons license,making it possible for amateurs to use them without charge as long as the creators are credited. This is a great concept for fostering collaborative, creative projects and the first name that springs to mind is Kevin McLeod and his website Incompetech.com. Kevin's work, large and small, has become almost a standard resource for sound editors because of the wide range of themes and their consistant quality... and for $5 per song you can use it royalty free!
Please don't hesitate to contact me with the names and credits of any musicians I have inadvertently left out.

K

The Twelve Muppet Days of Christmas


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