OK, it’s Friday. The time when all things serious start to hit the wall and a bit of not so serious takes charge.
I’m about 4 ounces of Scotch ( a fine 12 year Balvenie Double Wood) into it, hoping to reach 6 soon… so pinches of salt obligatory… and just watched all the serious shit I can stand. So I booted up the Chromebox and headed away from TV Land into Youtubes.
I had a posting open, that had run a few videos of Trek, that started running a Fan Movie. “Star Trek Continues E02 ‘Lolani’ ” and I just let it run.
Now I’m enjoying this Fan Movie greatly. It’s a curious parallel reality. There is Captain Kirk, Spock, etc. etc. except the actors are clearly more fan than actor and the whole thing is ‘slightly off’… yet… I find it compelling. It is vaguely familiar, feeds my desire for more of the story on characters I know, and is just vaguely “right”. Yet wrong. Not Quite on various characters. Not Quite on special effects. Yet, quite good enough.
And that is where Paramount / CBS is screwing the pooch. They insist on this grand and glorious “reboot” process that cost $Millions. Every time: a new kind of Klingon and a new set of aliens and characters. When what the fan base wants is more of the same thing as last time. Paramount could be milking this for $Millions of profit, but they don’t. The fans have gone so far as to make their own movies and series, and Paramount is (GASP! The Stupidity!) FIGHTING IT instead of realizing it is a giant searchlight pointing at profit.
My Spouse has Every Star Trek Book EVER Written. She has spread sheets and regularly cruises bookstores to fill in even a single book gap. It is somewhere north of 600 books. (Last I listened…) These books expand the various series into detail. New adventures with the same folks. So where oh where is the 600 Profit Spewing Paramount Episodes to match? Nowhere to be seen.
What they have missed is that all they need to do is to take all those books and “Roll ‘Em!”. The fan base will not care if the actors change, the sets are a bit different, the quality is soooo 1970s like the original. Frankly, it would just be a profit monster spewing money at them even if all they did was put it up on the internet or in CBS All Access. I know at least my family would watch every single episode, no matter the quality.
Instead, they do these expensive giant Re-Boots that are great eye-candy and that we WILL watch. But in the mean time they are so deaf that can’t here the fan base chanting for more of the same-old same-old while they wait. Sigh.
When the fans are so frustrated they make their own B Movie Versions, the Paramout response is to attack them with legal proceedings. What would work much better would be to take each Fan Movie and find “cameos” or walk-ons for the folks who “star” in each fan movie and make A Real Start Trek Show of it. These are folks crying out for just this show, give it to them and collect a profit!
I find I’m “satisfied enough” with B Movie grade production values and amateur fan actors. Just think what I’d do for The Real Deal professional production?
And that is what Paramount has missed. Instead of trying to suppress the Fan Movie, it needs to take it as guidance and co-opt it. Encourage “Fan Movies” and when one starts to score high on YouTube, make it Real and Professional (and even do some walk-ons for those from the Fan Movie so all their family and friends watch and even more folks join in the parade). We are your fans. Let us help build your product (and your profits).