'New Frontier' Prepares To Wrap Long Run

By Michelle
July 15, 2007 - 4:16 PM

"It takes a lot of determination to put something like this together," creator Rob Caves explained of his fan film series Star Trek: New Frontier. "You just want to do more and get more response and keep telling new and interesting stories."

Caves was speaking to The Los Angeles Times, which described the three-bedroom ranch house that serves as a base for New Frontier's operations. The longest-running of the internet fan films, "'Hidden Frontier' may not be the most professional-looking fan series, but in the world of 'Star Trek' fan films it is known as the series with the most heart," wrote Deborah Netburn.

In a South Pasadena house inherited from his grandmother, Caves shoots most of the series' scenes on a green screen, but some, like a recent wedding sequence, are filmed at nearby locations such as the University of California's Irvine campus. He works as a freelance film editor on weekdays so that he and his volunteer cast and crew can film on weekends. Hidden Frontier broke ground as the first Star Trek series to feature an ongoing homosexual relationship between crewmembers; while it is not as well known as the far better funded Star Trek: New Voyages, which has coaxed several original series cast and crewmembers to participate, the older series has been widely lauded for its consistency and steady run.

"A lot of people talk about wanting to start up a fan film, but there is so much work involved, 99% of them don't get past an idea," explained Caves, whose extras include local fans with uniforms and members of a Klingon club. Caves has said that this will be the last year for the series, since he plans to start a new one, Star Trek: Odyssey.

Hidden Frontier focuses on characters who appeared marginally in The Next Generation but are better known from the New Frontier series of novels from Pocket Books, as well as several original characters like the gay grooms from the wedding sequence. 50,000 people download each new episode and more watch the series on sites like YouTube.

Viewers can download recent episodes at the Hidden Frontier web site.

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