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Fan Films

By: CNN
By: CNN

A Colorado man is on the cutting edge of the film industry. He's a leading maker of what are called “fan films.” They're Internet movies that pick up where once-popular T.V. series or movies left off. And in this case, “Star Trek” fans are loving it!

Jack Marshall is part of a growing phenomenon. He is the director and producer of "Star Trek: New Voyages." “For some people that are involved in this---it is about their love for Star Trek. What Star Trek has meant since the '70's. For another part --the production team---it is about the actual work of producing a film,” says Marshall.

Paramount owns the rights to the real “Star Trek.” As long as the fan film doesn't try to make money off the effort, Paramount says, "Live long and prosper." Try to cash in and they would set the phasers to “kill.”

Marshall employs dozens of crewmembers and actors. The second episode, called “In Harm's Way" cost $15,000 to make.

James Cawley portrays Captain Kirk. Marshall says besides his acting abilities, Cawley brings something else to the table. “James is a professional Elvis impersonator and that's how we get the money to make the great sets and all the costumes and all that stuff,” Marshall says.

Most of these folks have real jobs, except Marshall. His wife, Pearl, is the family breadwinner. But they hope this obsession blossoms. “He's getting experience. He's getting an education. He's getting exposure, and hopefully that will lead to the next thing,” says Pearl.

In case you are wondering, the Marshalls say more than 10 million people have downloaded Episode 2. For 21-year-old actor Jeff Quinn, that’s a lot of eyes watching his stoic “Spock.” My family's loving it! I have a few Trekkie family members, and so they are, of course, going nuts about it,” he says.

Other fan films include a drama surrounding Robin---Batman's foil, “Star Wars,” and “Indiana Jones.” All agree---it's a ton of work.

And while Marshall waits for Hollywood to call.. He and his team are in deep in production for their next “Star Trek” installment.

It takes about 30 minutes or so to download the episode from the web site.
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