He has gone where no fan has gone before.
James Cawley, a major Trekkie from Ticonderoga, N.Y., has spent the last 15 years producing and starring in amateur
“fan films,” original stories based on a TV series or movie, inside an abandoned grocery store.
The sets of his fan films are located in a sound stage in Ticonderoga that is 13,000 square feet.
There are complete replicas of the original sets featured in
Star Trek: The Original Series
including the sick bay, the transporter room, the briefing rooms and the bridge, among others, according to
The Wall Street Journal
His efforts began when he was an intern on
Star Trek: The Next Generation
more than 20 years ago.
A stagehand from the show gifted him with memorabilia, among them, the blueprints to the original set.
Cawley reached out to Walter Koenig, who played Pavel Chekov in the original series, to appear in an episode, according to WSJ.
“I jumped at the opportunity,” Koenig said. “The bridge was amazing, an exact replica.”
Writers from the original show were recruited to write scripts for
Star Trek New Voyages
, the YouTube page dedicated to Cawley’s fan films.
Actors from the original series, such as
, also appeared in episodes.
The episode featuring Takei in 2008 was nominated for a Hugo Award, a major sci-fi honor, and has been viewed more than 627,000 times on YouTube.
Cawley has two
episodes in production.
He has spent more than $ 100,000 of his own money on the productions, although he has no plans to produce more episodes.
His sound stage has been turned into a tourist attraction with CBS’ blessing, according to WSJ.
Kent Schmidt, director of lighting for
, said he’s proud to be part of history.
“One hundred years from now people will still be watching Star Trek,” he said. “And our stuff will be lumped in there with them. And my name’s on that.”