Official Star Trek Fan Film Rules Released By CBS and Paramount

30 June 2016

From SlashFilm:

Recently, there was a bit of an uproar surrounding a Star Trek fan film, Axanar. The producers behind Axanar raised around a million dollars. Shortly after funding was acquired, this labor of love was hit with a lawsuit by CBS and Paramount. J.J. Abrams and Star Trek Beyond director Justin Lin urged Paramount to drop the lawsuit, which they haven’t yet, but Abrams insisted the studio will do so soon.Now, if you’re a Trek fan and want to make your own fan film but you’re not terribly interested in getting sued, then you should probably read CBS and Paramount’s Star Trek fan film rules.

. . . .

Here’s a portion of the list, which you can read all of at Star

1. The fan production must be less than 15 minutes for a single self-contained story, or no more than 2 segments, episodes or parts, not to exceed 30 minutes total, with no additional seasons, episodes, parts, sequels or remakes.

2. The title of the fan production or any parts cannot include the name “Star Trek.” However, the title must contain a subtitle with the phrase: “A STAR TREK FAN PRODUCTION” in plain typeface. The fan production cannot use the term “official” in either its title or subtitle or in any marketing, promotions or social media for the fan production.

3. The content in the fan production must be original, not reproductions, recreations or clips from any Star Trek production. If non-Star Trek third party content is used, all necessary permissions for any third party content should be obtained in writing.

4. If the fan production uses commercially-available Star Trek uniforms, accessories, toys and props, these items must be official merchandise and not bootleg items or imitations of such commercially available products.

5. The fan production must be a real “fan” production, i.e., creators, actors and all other participants must be amateurs, cannot be compensated for their services, and cannot be currently or previously employed on any Star Trek series, films, production of DVDs or with any of CBS or Paramount Pictures’ licensees.

Link to the rest at SlashFilm and thanks to Gordon for the tip.

What is fanfiction, anyway?

22 October 2015

From The New Statesman:

A few weeks back, Stephenie Meyer pulled a Beyoncé: with virtually no advance warning, she released her latest title into the world – and set off a firestorm of conversation. Even the publishing industry was caught off guard by Life and Death, a new full-length novel written in honour of the tenth anniversary of the Twilight series. Any book from Meyer would have made headlines, but this one was especially surprising:Life and Death takes Twilight, the first book of the four, and swaps the genders of its protagonists. Meyer has battled criticisms about outdated and harmful gender roles for years, and the switch, a romance between female vampire Edythe and male human Beau, is meant to address that. She begins the book by writing:

“Bella has always gotten a lot of censure for getting rescued on multiple occasions, and people have complained about her being a typical damsel in distress. My answer to that has always been that Bella is a human in distress, a normal human being surrounded on all sides by people who are basically superheroes and supervillains. She’s also been criticised for being too consumed with her love interest, as if that’s somehow just a girl thing. But I’ve always maintained that it would have made no difference if the human were male and the vampire female – it’s still the same story. Gender and species aside, Twilight has always been a story about the magic and obsession and frenzy of first love.”

 The same day Life and Death was published, Rainbow Rowell’s newest novel Carry On was released – and by contrast, not only did people know this one was coming out, it was one of the most hotly-anticipated books this autumn. Carry On’s origin story is unique, too: its protagonist, Simon Snow, the “worst Chosen One who’s ever been chosen”, originated in Rowell’s 2013 celebrated YA novel Fangirl, about a girl who writes fanfiction about the Harry Potter-esque Simon Snow series. Carry On is a self-contained (and utterly magical) work, but it also sits side-by-side with two other texts about Simon Snow: the “canonical” excerpts in Fangirl by the “original” author Gemma T Leslie and the fanfic written by Fangirl’s protagonist, Cath.

Like Life and Death, part of the pleasure and intrigue of Carry Onlies in these intertextual relationships. But when Life and Death and Carry On have been mentioned in the same breath these past few weeks, it was most often to call them works of fanfiction. It’s undeniable that both books employ techniques that are popular with fanfiction writers, who do things like gender-bending or filling in gaps all the time – if you’re fanfictionally-inclined, you’re always looking for another way into a story. And they’re doing what the best fanfiction does: engaging in a conversation with another work, or a whole host of other works. I wrote about this regarding Carry On upon the book’s release, and even though Stephenie Meyer has declared Life and Death “not a real book” (which is confusing but she can call it what she wants?), it’s still a text written in relation to another text, a critical tool even if it’s meant as a response to her critics.

. . . .

[W]e’re increasingly seeing people call things “fanfiction” as a compliment, meant to lift up both fanfiction and the work that draws the comparison. Some of this is grounded in historical precedent: when we reference famous works of literature that play fanfiction’s games, we work to ground our modern practices in the “seriousness” of literary history. Sometimes we talk about bigger ideas of influence and retelling – like, say, much of Shakespeare’s work – but sometimes our examples get as specific as the tropes that fill the best fic. Two of the most famous modern examples, Tom Stoppard’sRosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead and Jean Rhys’s Wide Sargasso Sea, both take minor characters from famous works (Hamlet and Jane Eyre, respectively) and twist the stories from their perspectives. The first piece I ever published about fanfiction, during the explosion of 50 Shades of Grey and the resulting media narrative that painted the vast world of fanfiction as a tawdry black hole, was explicitly meant to draw these comparisons, to suggest that fic deserves just as much intellectual praise as “real” literature.

. . . .

It comes down, as it often does, to money. Because money, and a lack of it, is at the heart of long-held tensions about fanworks. Fanfiction is overwhelmingly the product of unpaid labour, millions and millions of words given freely, whether for legal reasons or community norms. Because it isn’t compensated – and because it is so often done by women it is devalued, as an art form and as a way to spend one’s time. When money is added to the mix, whether in giant pull-to-publish book deals or, increasingly, fanfiction contests and authors sponsored by television networks and Hollywood studios, the place that fanworks occupy in the vast sphere of adaptation and reworking begins to shift. And not always for the better.

Link to the rest at The New Statesman and thanks to Toni for the tip.

The big thing I miss about writing fanfic

25 July 2015

From author Ada Maria Soto:

I used to write a lot of fanfic. It’s how I cut my teeth as a writer. I turned out close to a million words of fic before I tried to sell an original piece. It was after I wrote a 120,000 word piece of fic where several people made the comment that I should be selling original work that I took a deep breath and submitted my first novel.

Now that I’m writing professionally and turning out a good deal less fic I find there are several things I miss. One is the ability to be a bit lazy. No one is paying for my fic so I didn’t feel bad putting out something that’s only had a quick edit that I wrote at three in the morning. I tell people it was written quickly at three in the morning and people just shrug and say ‘we’re reading this quick at three in the morning’.

The big thing I miss though is the feedback and interaction with that feedback. Yes when you write pro you get long detailed reviews, which you’re told not to read. There is amazon which you’re not supposed to reply to. It seems like Goodreads blows up at least once a month when an author responds to a review. I know to ignore the haters but there is this idea going around that you shouldn’t respond to the good reviews either.

I’ve realized it’s a matter of space and audience. Reviews are readers talking to other readers, not the author.

. . . .

When I was writing fic it wasn’t like that. I would post chapters on my LiveJournal or AO3 account, then readers would comment directly to me. I was not just allowed to respond but I was expected to respond. And the feedback was blow by blow. One chapter at a time. Love for new characters, questions and theories on what might happen next, curses for chapter cliffhangers.

Link to the rest at The Electric Ink of Ada Maria Soto and thanks to Cooper for the tip.

Here’s a link to Ada Maria Soto’s books

Six Famous Authors Who Have Written Fanfiction

16 March 2015

From Vulture:

We tend to think of the fanfiction writer as an obsessed amateur, pounding away at the keyboard for sheer love of the subject. But professional authors are fans, too, and the following successful novelists have dipped their pens in the fic inkwell. Here’s what they had to say about the experience.

S.E. Hinton (The Outsiders)
I’ve written three or four stories for Supernatural, which is my favorite TV show. And a few years ago I wrote three Outsiders stories to see what kind of a response I would get. I use a different name, naturally. People would say, “Wow, you really got the characters down right!” And I’d be like, Glad to hear it. The feedback from fanfic readers tends to be really simple. Along the lines of, “Oh my God, I love this! Keep going!” Nothing specific, like what you’d get from an editor. But it is immediate, and there’s something to be said for that.

I seldom spent more than a day writing a fanfic story, sometimes less. It’s something I did for fun, and none of the stories are really meant for more than a few minutes of enjoyment. For The Outsiders fanfiction, I will say that I set the characters in a different time period. And I mean reallydifferent. This story would have been historical even when The Outsiderscame out. The boys face their first Christmas after the end of the novel, and the death of Ponyboy and Darry’s parents. I was amazed at how incredibly easy it was to get back on the page.

. . . .

Meg Cabot (The Princess Diaries)
I started writing fanfiction before there was the internet. I loved Star Wars, so that was the fanfiction that I wrote. Until my mom was like, “Just to let you know, you’ll never make any money doing that.” And then she explained the whole thing about copyright. I was 11. Even then I was interested in making money off of writing, and I was like, Oh, crap. I’m not going to do this anymore! But I do encourage it for young writers, because I think it’s a good way to learn. You’re using somebody else’s world to play around in. However, I always strongly encourage people who are serious about writing to leave that world as soon as they feel confident. Clearly that’s somebody else’s stuff, and you want to go out and earn your living. I loved doing it, but then I grew up.

I was actually really surprised and pleased when I found out that there was a ton of fanfiction based on my own books. But I definitely don’t read it, for practical reasons. You don’t want to subconsciously end up copying somebody else’s ideas about your own work. My lawyers told me that.

Link to the rest at Vulture and thanks to Dave for the tip.