"I'd love to see a fan film that is set in the TOS era, with a non-Enterprise crew, on a different ship, with minimal (if any) crossovers, mentions of characters we've seen before, etc. that is simply just a standalone film and not written, produced or released as a precursor to a series."
I'm not sure TOS stories like that lend themselves to one-offs. They will just feel like isolated episodes as part of a series. So how can they be anything other than "precursors to a series"? And isn't it reasonable that when people successfully get the sets and costumes and crew together that they will want to do more than one story rather than just one and call it a day? That they rarely get that far doesn't change the fact that their intentions are reasonable.
I honestly don't see how you can possibly think that any production can't be a one-off. By your criteria, most movies would never get made!
Perhaps though I should amend my original comment - I don't necessarily mind that these fan films turn out to be precursors to series, I just think they shouldn't be written as such all the time. Too many of them start out written as pilots when really, they should just be done as standalone stories that can later be expanded upon if desired to. Starship Exeter is/was a perfect example of this approach. Phase II as well.
I don't mind fan films becoming series, I just think there's a quality that is lost when you sit down with 25 episodes already written and ready to shoot before you even get one project completed. That's all I was saying.
It seems to me that Ajax will wind up fitting the bill for you, though, when it gets going soon, even though it is a series. Farragut has crossovers with the Enterprise (well, at least one).
Farragut crossed over with New Voyages in its pilot episode. Kirk, Spock and McCoy had a brief cameo at the end of "The Captaincy." Later on, in "The Price of Anything," Kirk reappears, though this time its the Kirk from Star Trek Continues.
2) I have been following the progress of Ajax here and on their FB page and hope it will be more along the lines of what I described above. If it isn't, I won't be disappointed; I know all too well what a herculean task it is to do something like this let alone finish it. I just would like there to be a single, driving storyline with one of these projects someday that ends at the end of the picture and leaves me saying "Hot damn, that was excellent!"
Thus far, no fan film has really illicited that kind of reaction from me. A bunch of them have had awesome, amazing moments of action, drama, humor and spectacle but none have left me slack-jawed at the end. (Ok, ok, maybe "World Enough and Time...")
Is it unreasonable of me? Perhaps. But this thread isn't about being reasonable. It's about wish-fulfillment.