Monday, February 18, 2013

Trek fanfic of the week - Star Trek: Frontiers

This Virtual Series is something totally different from traditional book/zine-based fiction. It is an iconic, long-running, ground-breaking production that will give you the closest thing to a cinematic experience in the printed word!

Their long journey started in 2004 but their popularity caused them to become one of the founding members of the following year. This was their heyday which they shared with ST: Renaissance, ST: Star’s End and later ST: Avalon and Knights Haven lasting until 2008 when a downturn in interest caused them to move to MZP-TV, which at the time was an active hub for fan-based virtual seasons from many fandoms.

Their storyline had drawn critical acclaim amongst fans as holding true to the spirit of Star Trek but their move to MZP-TV was not popular because of the lack of new material and their focus on re-releasing edited and rewritten episodes of their previous seasons. Their tenure at MZPtv (as they rebranded themselves) came to an amicable end in May 2012 when their host changed their focus to Indie Virtual Series and since then Frontiers have been re-establishing a presence on the web, with facebook as their major fan interface and an striking new website, designed by Cador Davis, housing their resources.

What impresses me the most about this is the innovative way that the story has been presented! Unlike traditional fan fiction which is book/zine-based, Frontiers and the Virtual Seasons that followed have been made available as movie format scripts. Whilst this might take some getting used to, like audio dramas, the combination of dialog, stage/transition directions and scenery descriptions make the story come alive as a movie in the cinema of the mind!

Frontiers and the other Virtual Seasons have worked hard to build on the idea of their work as a cinematic production. In Mar 2011 they released their much anticipated Season 1 vDVD (virtual DVD) set. Containing all 17 episodes, many edited and rewritten, it also had special production podcasts, the popular video trailer by Paul Weaver and a gallery of digital images. Perhaps the neatest feature of the vDVD set its groundbreaking menu interface, designed by Paul, that authentically portrayed a "real" DVD set on your computer screen! As with all prototypes it had its teething problems and the season 2 vDVD released in Dec 2012 worked much better! Download the vDVDs and all their other episodes from their website, HERE.

Conceptual art for the vDVD
Now is the perfect time to start following this series since, in Oct last year, they announced the lineup of their 3rd and final season. If they can build on the amazing body of work that they have created over the last nine years this is going to be an epic ride!

Production Blog
Youtube Channel

NOTE: All graphics on this post came from Star Trek: Frontiers

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