Last week I featured the earliest fan film I had come across. Naturally, it took only a few hours for our own SheldonCooper to point out that there was a still earlier one, Jr. Star Trek.
From the youtube description: Back in 1969 ten-year-old Peter ("Stoney") Emshwiller created his own version of a Star Trek episode using his dad's 16mm camera. The, um, fabulous special effects were created by scratching on the film with a knife and coloring each frame with magic markers. The movie won WNET's "Young People's Filmmaking Contest," was shown on national television, and, all these years later, still is a favorite at Star Trek Conventions.
Join us after the jump to see this award-winning film.
I have to admit that I've never come across this at a convention, although it's quite possible that we just nearly crossed paths. The film itself is surprisingly good, at least compared to my own efforts at a similar age, and I suspect Dad had an uncredited editor's role.
The story is the rudimentary kind that kids tend to come up with: conflict, fight, resolution. There are lots of unexplained loose ends, but all the basics are there. Some adults could take notes.
The sets et al. are a charming mix of the barest basics ("This dresser can be your console!") to the 'son of a filmmaker' ("Dad, can we use your fog machine?") Still, even the bare essentials are a fair approximation of the original series. Does the cardboard box and vacuum cleaner hose look much worse than the shower curtain HazMat suits from The Naked Time? Would Dad look out of place on the set of The Galileo Seven?
I was particularly amused by the vaudeville interstitials between acts. When I first discovered fan films I would place vintage commercials between acts, as it seemed off to me not to have some kind of break. I'm glad to see a similar instinct at play here.
We don't give formal ratings on this beat, but I'll go out on a limb for this one and declare it "The Citizen Kane of Trek Fan Films by Ten Year Olds."
You can link directly to Jr. Star Trek here.
Have a fan film or web series you'd like to recommend? Hit up Church at firstname.lastname@example.org