The TIME has come to submit your ULTRA-SHORT Star Trek fan films to TREKS IN 90 SECS!

Back in February, I announced a fun little challenge for Star Trek fan filmmakers: TREKS IN 90 SECS. With the guidelines limiting the run-time of a Trek fan film to no more than 15 minutes (30 minutes if you make it two parts), it was suggested to me that we take that limit WAY DOWN to just a minute and a half! Could a Star Trek fan film tell a decent story in just 90 seconds???

A number of fan filmmakers eagerly and proudly picked up the gauntlet and did exactly that! They created ultra-short fan film vignettes and posted them to YouTube.

And now it is time for those folks to submit their mini-projects for judging by…well…YOU! I am going to post whatever Treks in 90 Secs links that are sent to me and let the readers of Fan Film Factor decide who gets bragging rights.

Here’s how this is all gonna work…

You can either IM me the YouTube link via Facebook if you’ve already friended me (or want to) or you can e-mail he link to me at news (at) fanfilmfactor (dot) com. If I don’t confirm receiving the link, you ain’t entered.

I will then post all entries to a fresh blog page during the first week of August and let folks vote for their favorite video. Readers will be able to vote for up to three videos. Polls will be open until August 25, and then I will announce the top three winners the following week. After that, they can brag.

And these are the official rules:

  1. The fan film doesn’t need to be “exactly” 90 seconds. It can be less or even a little more. But if you run over two minutes, it’s not gettin’ entered.
  2. The fan film needs to be Star Trek related in some way.
  3. The fan film must be a complete “story” (however you want to define that term). It can be funny, dramatic, sad, exciting, all dialogue, no dialogue, whatever you’d like. But what it can’t be is a segment from an existing fan film. It needs to be 100% new.
  4. A maximum of three fan film submissions per entrant.
  5. Deadline to enter is midnight Pacific Time, July 31, 2024.

And there ya go! Good luck, everyone. Let’s have FUN!

A fresh quartet of ANNA KELLEY episodes of TREK SHORTS! (video interview with NIMRAN SAUND and SAM COCKINGS)

SAMUEL COCKINGS, the British bastion of fan film fabrication, continues to pop out new releases of his TREK SHORTS fanthology series with the speed of tribbles on fertility drugs! And four of Sam’s most recent five offerings have starred the very talented NIMRAN SAUND as the fan favorite character of Anna Keeley.

What makes Keeley so wildly popular is a combination of Nimran’s captivating performances along with the fact that, thanks to Trek Shorts having no specific setting or time frame, the stories can and do jump around to various points in Keeley’s Starfleet career. We’ve seen this character at every rank from ensign to captain, growing and evolving as an officer and a person. And with the most recent Trek Shorts vignettes, we can add Cadet Anna Keeley (in her first year at Starfleet Academy) to the mix.

Speaking of the most recent three releases, they’ve come out in concert with the launch of Sam’s latest GoFundMe crowd-funding campaign, which is already nearly 3/4 of the way to its  £4,000 goal (about $5,100). You can donate at the link below, and even just a little contribution will get Sam that much closer to his target…

The three most recent Trek Shorts each focus on a story from THE LEGACY OF one of the starships EnterpriseTHE NX-01

THE NCC-1701-A

And THE NCC 1701-C

And all feature Sam’s typically gorgeous CGI effects shots.

The fourth recent Trek Short premiered back in March of this year and takes place mainly on Deep Space Nine, an unusual location for a Trek fan film due to the challenge of creating sets, even using CGI. But Sam and his team took on the challenge with some very impressive results. Take a look at LIVING THE DREAM

By the way, you can watch more than two dozen Trek Shorts fan films on this playlist. They are all visually spectacular and form a complex, tapestry storyline across the entire series.

While I’ve interviewed Nimran Saund before, it was a in written text format, which is fine but doesn’t typically provide a true flavor of a person’s energy and presence. I’ve been wanting to get Nim in front of a Zoom camera for an in-person video interview for years, and now I’ve finally gotten the opportunity—along with Sam Cockings himself, of course. But this interview is primarily focused on Nim and the unique challenges of playing the same character at different points of a decades-long Starfleet career.

Nim is simply delightful, and this interview is absolutely worth checking out in its entirety…

Did MATT MILLER write a SONG about LIL’ OL’ ME? I do believe he DID!

Okay, folks, this was totally NOT on my Bingo card for, like, ever!

It’s been more than two years since I last wrote a blog about Trekzone’s MATT MILLER from Australia. And honestly, I was fine not talking about him ever again (except, of course, when he appears in a fan film that I’m covering, like this one).

But, man! When Matt takes the time to not only write a song about me but to have someone professionally sing and record it and then use it to kick off the latest video for his Matt Miller Fan Film Awards show—well, how can I not return the favor and sincerely thank him for thinking of me (apparently constantly!) enough to put in all of this amazing effort?

Anyway, without further ado, this is the song that opened this year’s Trekzone Awards. It’s only 2 and a half minutes, it’s totally surreal, but it’s definitely worth a listen…

Has a kinda JONI MITCHELL vibe, don’t it?

Frankly, I’d be way too embarrassed to ever do anything like that with the annual SHOWRUNNER AWARDS, as they’re meant to celebrate the achievements of fan filmmakers, not serve to extend some silly vendetta. But Matt’s gotta be Matt, I suppose.

And I personally wouldn’t be all that thrilled to win an award for my fan film knowing that the presentation was tainted by some cringe attack song at the opening. I’d probably think twice before showing the video to friends since I’d have to explain what the darn song actually meant. (And what did it mean, by the way? Which side is the “haters” and what “truth” will they see? I have no earthy idea!)

Matt was, of course, careful not to use my actual name or the name of ALEC PETERS (whom he calls “The Producer”—I am, of course, “Fan Film Blogger Dude”), although he does reference my AXANAR-inspired fan film INTERLUDE at one point. But I’m obviously living rent-free inside of Matt’s head for him to include this weird vendetta-ballad at the start of the video (which you can watch in its entirety here; I don’t mind if Matt gets more views, as he certainly needs them).

By the way, I do not typically cover the Trekzone Awards because one of Matt’s requirements for eligibility is that he doesn’t hate you, and he hates a LOT of people in the fan film community (including at least a couple dozen of my close friends—along with me, of course). So each year, there end up being many very deserving fan films that are capriciously excluded from even being considered for a Trekzone Award, as Matt selects all entrants himself and has only two judges: Matt and one other fellow from Australia.

Continue reading “Did MATT MILLER write a SONG about LIL’ OL’ ME? I do believe he DID!”

DECEPTION III technologically goes where no fan film has gone before! (interview with LEO TIERNEY)


“Yer a wizard, ‘arry.” I realize that’s a totally different franchise than Star Trek, but when Hagrid says those words to Harry Potter, he might as well be talking to fellow Brit LEO TIERNEY, as well. Y’see, when it comes to making Star Trek fan films, Leo is totally a wizard…a cutting-edge innovator.

A still from the first Deception fan film

Fans got their first look at what Leo was capable of back in 2013 with his release of STAR TREK: DECEPTION. Clicking that link will take you to my full blog about that fan film, which I hardily suggest you click on and check out, as it includes some awesome “making of” videos along with the production itself. At a time when nearly all 24th century fan films and series were either using green screen and static backgrounds or very simplified sets, Leo constructed a near-perfect and very believable runabout cockpit. And along with some standout performances, top-notch VFX, great camera work, and very tight editing, Deception was a gem of a fan film that made many viewers’ jaws drop with its professional quality.

The amazing Starfleet bridge set from the second Deception fan film

Leo returned five years later with DECEPTION II— if anything even MORE jaw-dropping than its predecessor! Indeed, Leo’s construction of a duo of sets (one a Klingon bridge and the other a Federation starship bridge) in what was an emptied out one-car garage in a quiet English village south of Manchester became interesting enough to merit its own two-part blog. And that blog is worth checking out for the construction photos alone!

It’s been six additional years, but Leo the Wizard is back with DECEPTION III, yet another jaw-dropper. The opening shot alone is enough to make fans go, “How the heck did he do that????” But Leo also did something else truly revolutionary for a Star Trek fan film. However, before I tell you what it was, why not take a look for yourself…

Could you tell what it was? Often, the most game-changing innovations are barely even noticeable at first. And indeed, you might have to look more carefully in this case. Obviously, virtual 3D backgrounds were used for the starship interiors, as is common for many fan films trying to save money on set-building by shooting against green screen and then compositing the backgrounds. And when that happens, even the best chroma-keying has trouble with things like stray hairs, which can either disappear or get pixely unless the actor has a very short, clean haircut.

But with Deception III, all stray hairs are 100% visible! The outer contours of the actors are perfect, showing no hint of aliasing or cropping. As I said, it’s almost unnoticeable beyond something in the back of your head thinking, “Wow, this looks amazingly clear and realistic for a fan film with virtual backgrounds!” So how did Leo manage this? I’ll let him explain in this short-but-fascinating “making of” documentary…

Continue reading “DECEPTION III technologically goes where no fan film has gone before! (interview with LEO TIERNEY)”

From ITALY with LOVE AND HONOR…DELL’AMORE E DELL’ONORE is molto bene! (video interview with JACK PONISSI and his team)

I’m not certain if there has ever been a Star Trek fan film produced entirely in Italy before, but there certainly hasn’t been a major one of note…until now, that is. Benvuto a DELL’AMORE E DELL’ONORE, which translates to welcome to OF LOVE AND HONOR, an artistic fan film from showrunner and writer CARLO “JACK” PONISSI and director WALTER “WEBB” CHIORINO.

More than two and a half years in the making, this fan film got its start back in late 2021 with the launch of a crowd-funder. To show what they had in mind, a short teaser trailer was created with actors show in front of green screen and composited against TOS-era backgrounds, although their hope was to take in enough to construct some practical TOS set pieces. This was their teaser trailer from February 2022, dubbed in English to encourage donations…

Jack reached out to me for help in promoting the campaign, but sadly, the day they launched their GoFundMe, February 26th, Vladamir Putin ordered Russian troops to invade Ukraine. Crowd-funding an Italian Star Trek fan film seemed to be the last thing on anyone’s priority list, especially in Europe. Ultimately, they took in enough to buy some uniforms but nothing more, and any dreams of building TOS sets had to be abandoned. Jack himself ended up financing the lion’s share of the production costs out of his own pocket.

Later on, Jack once again requested my assistance in cleaning up the English translation of the script that they had created for dubbing with voice-over actors. While the original fan film that was just released is performed completely in Italian (a beautiful language that I love to hear spoken), they are also currently working on a dubbed English version that will be released some time in the near future. That will make Dell’Amore e Dell’Onore / Of Love and Honor one of the only Star Trek fan films to ever be produced in two different languages.

The Italian version currently has English subtitles which you can turn on tp display in YouTube. As you can see when you watch the film (below), the sets and props are minimal. Indeed, Dell’Amore e dell’Onore / Of Love and Honor feels more like a filmed stage play, which only adds to the unique European flavor of their presentation. In many ways, this film carries the look and feel of an independent foreign film that one might see in a small art house theater showing international fare. It is certainly not your typical Star Trek fan film! Take a look…

Continue reading “From ITALY with LOVE AND HONOR…DELL’AMORE E DELL’ONORE is molto bene! (video interview with JACK PONISSI and his team)”


The year was 1998, and the concept of a “fan film” was still unknown, even to most fans. At the time, ROB CAVES was a member of the U.S.S. Angeles chapter of the STARFLEET INTERNATIONAL fan club, and he invited his fellow members to be a part of a new fan series he was calling VOYAGES OF THE U.S.S. ANGELES. It lasted for one full-length feature and five additional short episodes before Rob evolved the series into STAR TREK: HIDDEN FRONTIER, which lasted for seven seasons, releasing  FIFTY episodes of about a half hour each in addition to spawning no less than FIVE spin-off series.

And in the center of all of this—both literally and figuratively, as her character often sat in the command chair on the “bridge” (shot against a green screen)—was JENNIFER COLE. She appeared in a total of 23 of those 50 episodes, plus 6 episodes of spin-off series STAR TREK: ODYSSEY, 2 of spin-off series STAR TREK: HENGLAAR, M.D., and the crossover fan film (with STAR TREK: INTREPID) OPERATION BETA SHIELD. Jennifer also directed that crossover fan film as well as directing 17 episodes of HF! And all told, on her IMBd page, Jennifer has producer credits on nearly FIVE DOZEN Star Trek fan films from HF and various spin-off series!

What’s most notable about all of this is that Jennifer wasn’t particularly interested in filmmaking before all of this began. Although she lived in Los Angeles, CA, she wasn’t really involved with Hollywood (she worked in a local F.B.I. office, of all things!). She had never taken an acting class or a filmmaking class, and she seldom dealt with the technical aspects of video production like camera lenses or the minutiae of green screen compositing. That was always Rob Caves’ department.

Additionally, Jennifer didn’t exactly have what one might call a “Starfleet” body type. Indeed, she struggled with obesity (as many fans do, including myself). But she never shied away from appearing in front of the camera, and that inspired many other fans to do the same, regardless of their appearance. Jenn was proof for any fan who needed it that Star Trek fan films could be made for the fun of it—even though it was often hard work—and that “anyone could make a fan film.” The trick was simply in having the confidence, determination, and organization to just go for it and make it happen.

And Jenn was amazingly organized! Over the years, after co-founding the U.S.S. Angeles in 1995, Jenn served as first officer, commanding officer, and second officer of the club at various points from then onward. Until her health started deteriorating a few years ago, Jenn found a way to attend nearly every chapter event, regardless of how far she had to drive or fly. One of her favorite places to visit was Star Trek: The Experience in Las Vegas, and I snapped many of photo of her there enjoying herself…

Continue reading “R.I.P. JENNIFER COLE (1967-2024) of STAR TREK: HIDDEN FRONTIER”

“CERRITOS, LOST” from TREK SHORTS is a live-action STAR TREK: LOWER DECKS fan film! (audio interview with SAM COCKINGS and MARIE-LOUISE SVALENG)


Before we go any further, just a quick heads-up that the latest annual TREK SHORTS crowd-funding campaign (for 2024) is now up and accepting donations. This year’s goal is £4,000 (about $5,000 in the U.S.), and CGI cobbler SAMUEL COCKINGS is already two-thirds of the way to that goal in just a week! If you’d like to help Sam keep on producing this terrific series of fanthology films, here’s the link to contribute:

Sam’s latest offering, released at the end of this past April, was created specifically to show support for STAR TREK: LOWER DECKS, which is officially reaching the end of its planned 5-year run after this upcoming fifth and final season.

Some fans have chosen to call this a cancellation, although that is not technically true. Star Trek TOS was canceled, as the original plan was for a five-season run, and the show ended after only three seasons. TNG, DS9, and Voyager, each completed their runs after seven years, and few fans use the word “canceled” to refer to those shows and their finales. Enterprise, on the other hand, was unceremoniously canceled after just four seasons, having failed to make it to seven seasons as its older sibling series did.

But enough semantics! The fact remains that many, many fans (including yours truly along with Sam Cockings), greatly enjoy Lower Decks and very much want to see it continue past this final announced season. And yes, I signed one of the many online petitions. But such efforts tend to yield minimal and unreliable results—especially when the streaming industry is contracting rapidly while the board of directors of Paramount desperately tries to sell off the corporation.

So Sam decided to try something a little more flashy to get the attention of Paramount and CBS Studios: he made a Lower Decks fan film! Last year, after the announcement of the cancellation of STAR TREK: PRODIGY—which absolutely was being canceled after only a single season—Sam leapt into action and, in the span of just six days, created and released the first-ever Prodigy fan-film: FLIGHT OF THE PROTOSTAR.

Of course, neither fan film could feature the actual animated characters from those two series, but the ships were certainly fair game! And with some clever writing, Sam was able to tie these two films into the overall plot lines of each series to create an engaging story. Indeed, his latest Lower Decks fan film, CERRITOS, LOST, conveys a wonderful tongue-in-cheek comedic flavor to match that of the streaming series. Take a look…

The film features fan favorite actor and showrunner of INTREPID, Scotland’s own NICK COOK playing Captain Daniel Hunter, as well as the evil A.I. character Grathar. A number of other frequent and infrequent Trek Shorts actors are part of the film, as well, but this is the first time that Sam’s girlfriend, MARIE-LOUISE SVALENG, has appeared in front of the camera. In previous Trek Shorts releases, Marie has voiced Starfleet historian Dr. Louise Nilson, but she had yet to appear on screen.

Continue reading ““CERRITOS, LOST” from TREK SHORTS is a live-action STAR TREK: LOWER DECKS fan film! (audio interview with SAM COCKINGS and MARIE-LOUISE SVALENG)”

Here are the 2024 Star Trek Fan Film SHOWRUNNER AWARD entries for BEST SHORT SCENE…

A week and a half ago, I announced the 27 Star Trek fan films competing in the 2024 SHOWRUNNER AWARDS. And we certainly have some heavy-hitters this year! In fact, as I was assembling the online ballot form for our 12-judge panel, I was marveling at how many amazing actors and actresses (40 in all!) would be vying for our best leading and supporting categories. This is gonna be super-tough to judge this year, and those fan films that win in each our our 23 categories should feel like they’ve really earned something special. And as I’ve said before, I only wish that more fan films could win—but in the end, there’s only three award levels in each category.

Speaking of categories, this might end up being the final year for the Best Short Scene category. I’ll need to discuss it with the judges, of course, but unlike most of our other categories, Best Short Scene has been somewhat anemic when it comes to submissions. Last year, only five entrants included short scenes as part of their submissions. And this year, that number has decreased to four, each of which you can view below.

Initially, I thought the idea of choosing one particularly engrossing and dramatic scene (of 2 minutes or less) from a fan film was a unique and exciting concept for a category. I got the idea from watching an Academy Awards broadcast a couple of years ago with a similar collection of short scenes from each of the ten nominees for Best Picture. I figured the same kind of thing might be cool to do for the Showrunner Awards, and so I suggested it to the judges, and they agreed.

However, your typical Hollywood motion picture is 2+ hours long, so there’s a lot to choose from. Your typical Star Trek fan film is 15-30 minutes long, and doesn’t have as many dramatic scenes of 2 minutes or less. And that’s why I don’t think we’ve seen many submissions in this category.

Also, now that we have the new TREKS IN 90 SECS contest going on, the Best Short Scene has become somewhat redundant as well as potentially confusing. As such, this could be the last year for this particular category.

That said, Best Short Scene is still very much a part of the Showrunner Awards, and we’ve got four excellent submissions this year. So please take a look, and good luck to each of our entrants…

The 2024 SHOWRUNNER AWARDS now have their final 27 entries!

Submissions for the 2024 Star Trek Fan Film SHOWRUNNER AWARDS are now complete. The window of eligibility to enter this year was January 1, 2019 to December 31, 2023—a five-year range—although the majority of our submissions were released last year. Next time around, we’re going to shrink that window down to three years, as the judges and felt that five years is fine for a long-term starship mission but might be a little much for fan films.

This year, we have a very impressive 27 entries combining for a total of just under 9 hours of viewing for our 12 showrunner judges (including yours truly). Last year we had 21 entries with a combined runtime 5 and 2/3 hours. So once again, anyone saying that Star Trek fan films are “dead” is full of caca!

As we’ve done for the previous two years, the winners will be announced on Star Trek‘s anniversary of September 8, 2024. There are 23 categories this year, with three winners in each category: Admiral, Captain, and Commander level. I salute all of our 27 entrants for 2024, and I wish each of them the best of luck. (Honestly, I wish they ALL could win!)

I realize that I say this every year, but once again, we have some really amazing Star Trek fan films this time—of all different run times—that cover the gamut from comedic to dramatic to suspenseful to thoughtful to parody/farce and even a music video! Some are episodes of ongoing fan or fanthology series, others are stand-alone releases. There are fan films shot on sets, on location, on green screens, some with heavy VFX, some light on VFX, a few with elaborate make-up and costuming, cool props, and several really standout acting performances and even original music. We truly have some of the best of the best that the world of Star Trek fan films has to offer this year!

So I strongly encourage you to watch as many of these marvelous productions as you can. Here are all of our entries for 2024 alphabetically by title…

Continue reading “The 2024 SHOWRUNNER AWARDS now have their final 27 entries!”

TALES FROM THE NEUTRAL ZONE releases “LA MORT DE LA GUERRE” (“The Death of War”) featuring AVALON characters in the PRIME universe! (video interview with JOSH IRWIN, CAITLYN BAILEY, and others)

NEUTRAL ZONE STUDIOS in Kingsland, GA (at least for now, the studio will be relocating soon) has provided TOS sets for countless Star Trek fan films and series, including STARSHIP FARRAGUT, STAR TREK CONTINUES, DREADNOUGHT DOMINION, THE AVALON UNIVERSE, and so many more. And not to be outdone, the studio itself has its own fanthology series: TALES FROM THE NEUTRAL ZONE. Beginning in 2019, NZS has released seven fan films:


And the seventh, which was premiered on May 23, is titled “LA MORT DE LA GUERRE” (“The Death of War”), written by JOSHUA IRWIN and directed by Josh along with TYLER DUNIVAN. It came out extremely well; take a look…

The film features the crew of the U.S.S. Excalibur, but not the starship in the Avalon Universe that Josh’s films usually spotlight. No, this time it’s the ship and crew from Star Trek‘s Prime Universe, most recently seen in last year’s CRISIS ON INFINITE EXCALIBURS.

This fan film also represents a somewhat unique pairing of resources, as not only was Neutral Zone Studios involved in the production, but so was the other major fan film studio featuring TOS sets, WARP 66 STUDIOS in northern Arkansas. Co-owner of WARP 66, GLEN L. WOLFE, traveled down to Georgia, bringing along a plethora of TOS tunics and uniforms for both actors and extras to wear. Also joining the production team were FRANK PARKER, JR. from CROSSROADS: THE GEMINI PROJECT (this time playing a Romulan) as well as VANCE MAJOR playing Eric Minard from CONSTAR. Even GARY DAVIS from DOMINION MEDIA got into the act by providing a last-minute photo of a “Sulu scope” for a close up shot of the tactical readout at the helm station.

Heck, even I worked on this fan film as a creative consultant. That meant that I provided Josh feedback and suggestions at various points during the months-long post-production and editing process. That might seem like an easy-peasy way to sneak into the credits, but I’ve actually watched through different iterations of this film more than a dozen times(!!!), marking down time-code and making extensive notes. Combined with the 50 to 70 people who worked on this project during the two days of shooting on the sets, this was truly a group effort of the many.

In the spirit of that sense of camaraderie and collaboration, my fellow fan film fanatic, JEFFERSON KELLEY of BEYOND TREK PODCAST, organized a group discussion of this excellent fan film, inviting a number of people from the production as well as myself, as well as CHEETO and ZAM from the NERD TUBE podcast. So rather than just doing one of my typical Fan Film Factor video interviews, Jefferson has offered to make his group podcast available for me to post here. It was a very fun, lively, and enlightening discussion. Enjoy…