Press Release 7/23/08
Captain Kirk and the crew of the U.S.S. Enterprise Keep on Trekkin' in Animated Form
RIDGECREST, July 23, 2008 - DanhauserTrek.com and NeedlessFilms today officially announced that new animated episodes of STAR TREK are being made for free viewing on the Internet. The last new animated STAR TREK episode featuring Captain Kirk and his crew aired on Saturday morning, October 12, 1974. Now, after almost 34 years, new episodes are being produced. These new episodes are intended to be a direct continuation of the 22-episode animated STAR TREK series produced by Filmation Associates from 1973-1974.
To kick off the new episodes, a seven-minute animated short feature "The Element of Surprise" debuted today on DanhauserTrek.com and NeedlessFilms.com. The short was completed in July 2008 and the first public showing of the short will occur at the August 6th meeting of the California Writers Club East Sierra Branch, of which Curt is the president. Danhauser stated that, "The short was created as a proof-of-concept and also as a fun reminder of what it will be like to see new animated STAR TREK episodes after more than 30 years."
Curt Danhauser, creator of the Guide to the Animated STAR TREK web site, the Internet's oldest and most extensive site devoted to the forgotten STAR TREK series, is hand-creating a new set of full-length Animated STAR TREK episodes for release free on the Internet. These new shows have been in the works since December 2006 and will be written, directed, produced, storyboarded, animated and drawn by Danhauser.
"Ever since I was a kid I've always loved animation," stated Danhauser. "I am also a fan of STAR TREK and a writer. So, writing and animating new episodes of the animated STAR TREK is a dream project for me." Asked whether he would be updating the animation style, Danhauser responded, "No. These new episodes are also very much intended to be an homage to Filmation, a company that produced many popular animated Saturday morning classics including some of the best loved Saturday morning shows of my generation such as Fantastic Voyage, The New Adventures of Superman, Aquaman, Batman & Robin, The Archies and Tarzan, Lord of the Jungle.
Curt Danhauser has a long history with STAR TREK. From 1995-2001, Danhauser worked as researcher and writer for Michael and Denise Okuda who worked for Paramount Pictures in the STAR TREK Art Department. He researched and wrote encyclopedia entries and chronological data points for incorporation into the Okudas' various publications including The STAR TREK Encyclopedia, The STAR TREK Chronology and The STAR TREK Omnipedia CD-ROMs. In fact, several of the chronological data points researched by Danhauser are included in the History of the Future portion of Star Trek: The Experience in Las Vegas.
Danhauser is one of the chief experts on the little known and oft forgotten Animated STAR TREK series, which was produced from 1973-1974. He created the Guide to the Animated STAR TREK web site in 1996 and since then it has been the source for all things related to that classic series. Danhauser's knowledge of the animated series has lead to his being hired to write and select the images for the first ever series of trading cards devoted to the series, which was produced by Rittenhouse Archives, Ltd. in 2003. He was also brought on for the "Quotable" Star Trek: The Animated Series Cards produced in 2004. Most recently, Danhauser wrote an article about the STAR TREK Story Records of the 1970's, which appeared in the August 2007 issue of STAR TREK Magazine.
Handling distribution and consulting on the new animated STAR TREK episodes is NeedlessFilms, a Ridgecrest, California based independent film production company. "We're glad to host Curt's films," stated Mike Hill, primary founder of NeedlessFilms. "He's written a script and a number of treatments for some of our upcoming films, including 'The Dregs of Philosophy' which is the next one set to go before the cameras."
The type of stories that Danhauser will tackle in his set of new animated adventures will be just the type that the classic series might have undertaken. "To me, STAR TREK has always been about the human condition and not about space ships or renegade Klingons," stated Danhauser. The best STAR TREK episodes were about what it meant to be human, such as "The Empath," "Requiem for Methuselah" and "The Ultimate Computer." The tales penned by Curt for his shows will deal with the nature of sentience, racial inequality on an alien planet, depression, racial memory, extinction and of course the non-interference directive. Danhauser is aiming high, but as he says, "I'd rather aim high and only be partially successful, than aim low and succeed."
About Needless Films
NeedlessFilms is a group of motion picture enthusiasts based in Ridgecrest, California who have come together to make films. Since the motion picture process is a very resource intensive undertaking, NeedlessFilms allows its members in the California High Desert area to pool their resources and achieve their common filmmaking goals.
NeedlessFilms' primary founder, Mike Hill, has owned and operated a video production company since 2001 and specialized in wedding and event videography. "We currently have ten fully developed story ideas, four of which are finalized screenplays, and three feature length stories in the works," stated Hill. "Our story ideas are primarily Science Fiction and Suspense Thrillers, with a horror story thrown in there as well. Many more story ideas are on the board for development."
Hill has jumped into filmmaking with both feet, writing, filming and directing his first film, "The One Long Night" shortly after forming NeedlessFilms. " Hill explained, "That first one was a learning experiment to prepare for the production of the more ambitious screenplays we have written."
"Most of our stories are shorts, but we have three feature length screenplays in the works as well," added Hill. Visitors to the NeedlessFilms web site (www.needlessfilms.com) can view a list of the stories they have in the works as well as watch their films.
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