In Brief

Lights! Camera! Trekkies! Film Academy to Open for 'Star Trek' Fans

Starship Enterprise
The iconic science fiction TV series "Star Trek" first aired on Sept. 8, 1966, chronicling the voyages of the starship USS Enterprise. The studio model of the ship (shown here), fully restored, is on display at the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum in Washington, D.C. (Image credit: Dane Penland/National Air and Space Museum)

A CBS-backed "Star Trek" Film Academy will allow fans to explore the "final frontier" by helping them make their own films, according to an announcement at the Star Trek Las Vegas Convention last weekend.

Nathan Mattise reported at Ars Technica that the program will be in collaboration with "Star Trek New Voyages," a fan series that ran from 2004 to 2015. Productions will use the "New Voyages" sets in Ticonderoga, New York, and employ professionals who worked on other "Star Trek" shows. 

"Fans will work side by side with talented 'Star Trek' artists to create short vignettes from beginning to end," Star Trek Film Academy representatives said in a statement. "The adventure for attendees will start with preproduction meetings, go through rehearsal, lighting, costuming and makeup, all the way through to filming. Fans can participate in front of or behind the camera."

The initiative marks the first time CBS has officially backed fan films since the series' debut on the network. It also comes a few months after copyright holders CBS and Paramount reached a settlement with the group producing "Axanar," a fan production that was intended to be a feature-length film until the copyright holders alleged infringement. 

CBS and Paramount recently released guidelines for fan productions that limited the length of films and the use of "Star Trek" uniforms and accessories, among other items. Details on how the film academy will fit into these guidelines, as well as prices and dates, have not been announced yet.

Editor's Note: This article has been corrected to clarify that "Star Trek" did not debut on CBS in 1966; it was on NBC first.

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Elizabeth Howell
Staff Writer, Spaceflight

Elizabeth Howell, Ph.D., is a staff writer in the spaceflight channel since 2022. She was contributing writer for (opens in new tab) for 10 years before that, since 2012. Elizabeth's reporting includes an exclusive with Office of the Vice-President of the United States, speaking several times with the International Space Station, witnessing five human spaceflight launches on two continents, working inside a spacesuit, and participating in a simulated Mars mission. Her latest book, "Why Am I Taller?", is co-written with astronaut Dave Williams. Elizabeth holds a Ph.D. and M.Sc. in Space Studies from the University of North Dakota, a Bachelor of Journalism from Canada's Carleton University and (soon) a Bachelor of History from Athabasca University. Elizabeth is also a post-secondary instructor in communications and science since 2015. Elizabeth first got interested in space after watching the movie Apollo 13 in 1996, and still wants to be an astronaut someday. Mastodon: