If you haven’t entered your Star Trek fan film(s) yet, the deadline is coming up in just over two weeks! Click here for the submission form page…
Last year, the Star Trek Fan Film SHOWRUNNER AWARDS had a FANtastic panel of twelve judges (including yours truly) who reviewed and voted on 38 submitted fan films. They all did a spectacular job!
Unfortunately, not everyone was available for a second year, and a few had to step down. But as they say, whenever a captain closes a hangar bay door, somewhere he/she/they open a viewport—or something like that. As such, I was able to replace the departing judges with new judges, some of them new to the world of fan filmmaking, others experienced veterans. And all of them, of course, remain showrunners of either a Star Trek fan film or series.
A showrunner plays a special role in the production. Sometimes they are also the writer and/or director and/or producer and/or a whole slew of other positions. But the most important thing about a showrunner is that they are where the buck stops. They are the central force that inspires, manages, coordinates, and motivates the team to finish the project. Yes, others involved in the project can also make sure that things get worked on and completed, but most often, the showrunner is the main person that a production cannot live without.
As such, showrunners tend to know about all aspects of filmmaking (or, like me, they were forced to learn fast!). So even if they don’t have enough skills or expertise to tackle every task themselves, they work closely enough with those who do to make sure they have the resources they need to get their specific job(s) done. And that’s why they make such great judges for fan films.
It’s no small commitment to agree to be a judge in a film competition. One needs to watch perhaps a dozen or more hours of the work of others—and watch carefully enough to remember (or take notes on) specific strengths and weaknesses in performance, technical production, and a host of other items in what will be, this year, a total of 22 separate categories! As a reminder, each judge submits their top five choices in descending order for each category, and they cannot vote for any of their own fan films as their top three slots.
And so, in appreciation and acknowledgement of their invaluable assistance in making these awards both effective and successful, I would like to take a blog moment to spotlight these talented fans who have each worked so hard to bring the labors or themselves and their teams to your computer screen.
In alphabetical order…
JOHN ATKIN – YORKTOWN: A TIME TO HEAL
One of our new judges for this year, JOHN ATKIN from Toronto, Canada joined co-showrunner STAN WOO in 2009 to help finish up the amazing YORKTOWN: A TIME TO HEAL a fan film starring GEORGE TAKEI as Hikaru Sulu and JAMES SHIGETA as Admiral Nogura. The project had been started back in 1985, but it had stalled for nearly 20 years! John reached out to fan filmmaker talent throughout our community for assistance and resources, and after over a decade of work and dedication, Yorktown was finally released on April 5, 2022 to the delight of Trekkers everywhere.
SAMUEL COCKINGS – TREK SHORTS and TEMPORAL ANOMALY
A returning judge, SAM COCKINGS from the U.K. is what the Pakleds refer to as “…someone who makes fan films go.” To list all the fan films and series that Sam has created CGI animations for would nearly double the word count of this blog. (No, that’s an exaggeration…but not by much!) And in addition to helping other fan filmmakers, Sam also wrote and directed (and did almost everything else for but act) the 52-minute TEMPORAL ANOMALY. Now he is releasing a fanthology series called TREK SHORTS leading into an Avengers: Endgame-like finale titled CONVERGENCE. In addition, Sam is the co-host of the TREKYARDS podcast. Sam is one busy Brit!
GARY DAVIS and RANDY WRENN – DREADNOUGHT DOMINION (and more!)
Returning judges GARY DAVIS and RANDY WRENN have been the co-showrunners, writers, directors, and stars of DREADNOUGHT DOMINION for nearly a decade. They have also spun off the new fan series PROJECT: RUNABOUT and will soon debut WARBIRD VALDORE, which will be the first (that I know of) fan series to be produced entirely from the point of view of the crew of a Romulan vessel. Gary lives in Ohio (where he has constructed a complete TOS-era runabout set in his basement!) while Randy is based in North Carolina. They both regularly commute to Kingsland, GA (along with their actors) where they film new episodes of Dreadnought Dominion.
JOSHUA IRWIN – THE AVALON UNIVERSE
Based in northwest Arkansas, returning judge JOSHUA IRWIN actually went to film school and has worked in the entertainment industry for decades…which is why his AVALON UNIVERSE fan films look so polished and professional. Soon to release his dozenth completed film film in less than five years, Josh also has the footage for two additional fan films already “in the can” that will wrap up the expansive Avalon Universe saga. In addition, Josh has helped out many other fan filmmakers with their projects (directing, editing, cinematography, etc.), including myself on INTERLUDE, VANCE MAJOR on CONSTAR, and most recently RAY TESI on TALES FROM THE NEUTRAL ZONE. This guy does everything but cobble shoes in the middle of the night (and I’m not entirely certain that he isn’t doing that, as well)!
PAUL JACQUES – RAINCROSS
Returning judge PAUL JACQUES is relatively new to the world of Star Trek fan films…but not new to acting and directing. Based in Riverside, California, Paul is Resident Director at the California Theatre of the Performing Arts and an Associate Professor of Theater at Crafton Hills College. As such, Paul has access to countless actors and actresses, along with a stage, green screen, and a whole slew of Picard season one-era Starfleet uniforms. So far, Paul’s sole fan film offering, RAINCROSS, came out about a year ago as part of Vance Major’s Constar Completed fan series. But he and his crew have two seasons worth of footage shot (about 12 episodes) and are in the process of editing them…so prepare yourselves for the impending arrival of LOTS more Raincross!
JONATHAN LANE – INTERLUDE
Hey, that’s me! Based in Los Angeles, California, JONATHAN LANE began blogging about Star Trek fan films in 2015 on the AXANAR website and started FAN FILM FACTOR at the beginning of 2016. But it would be three more years before I decided to write and produce a fan film of my own. INTERLUDE was actually a fan film of a fan film, a sequel to PRELUDE TO AXANAR. But my real goal was always to learn more about the process of creating a fan film and to blog about it. With the aforementioned Josh Irwin and VICTORIA FOX sharing director duties, along with a cast and crew of more than 55 people, Interlude debuted in 2021 and inspired dozens of behind-the-scenes blogs covering everything from crowd-funding to pre-production, production, and post-production.
MARK LARGENT – STALLED TREK
Based in Dallas, Texas, returning judge MARK LARGENT is the brilliant and incredibly talented mind behind behind the STALLED TREK series of 3D animated puppet parodies that began with “AMUTT TIME” back in 2012. Four years later, Mark and I worked to create a Stalled Trek parody of the Axanar lawsuit titled PRELUDE TO AX’D-WE-ARE. In late 2019, Mark released a Stalled Trek short titled “ALL AHEAD FULL.” Most recently, Mark just released his hilarious and award-winning crowd-funded puppet parody, “THE CITY ON THE EDGE OF FORECLOSURE.” And if you haven’t had enough of those parody puppets, Mark is diligently working on his next masterpiece: “THE DUMBSDAY MACHINE.”
GREG LOCK – AMBUSH
Living only a dozen or so miles north of the English Channel, GREG LOCK might be new to our judges panel, but he is not new to Star Trek fan films. In fact, he began working on STAR TREK: AMBUSH way back in 2014. Unfortunately, like another well-known fan production that began in 2014 and started with the letter “A,” Ambush spent a looooooong time in limbo….eight years, in fact! But in 2022, Ambush (no longer sporting “Star Trek” in the title) was finally released, and Greg officially earned his place as the showrunner of a completed Star Trek fan film.
JEFF NORD – COMMANDERS OF STARFLEET
Also new this year to our judges panel is Los Angeles-based JEFF NORD. Jeff is likewise new to Star Trek fan films, having started and completed his first production only just last year. But it wasn’t just any old concept. Actually, it WAS an old concept—specifically a 1930’s version of Star Trek reimagined as one of those black and white serials that used to be shown before the main feature at picture show (movie) matinees. COMMANDERS OF STARFLEET was a very fresh idea that was impressively well-produced, as it is not easy to purposefully make something look cheap and cheesy. (Try it sometime!) But Jeff pulled it off masterfully.
IAN RAMSEY – STAR REKT PARODY MUSIC VIDEOS
Another new judge based in Los Angeles (hey, it’s the filmmaking capital of the world, y’know!), IAN RAMSEY burst onto the fan film scene last year with STAR REKT, a series of parody Star Trek music videos starring…himself. Can you still be considered a showrunner if the only team member you’re supervising is yourself? I say thee yea! And honestly, these are not easy videos to make…especially considering that Ian writes his own lyrics, sings them, creates costumes, handles makeup, acts, directs, does sound-mixing, and edits. Even if he’s only supervising himself, that still a LOT to supervise! So, yeah, he’s definitely a showrruner.
DAN REYNOLDS – THE FEDERATION FILES and WARP 66 STUDIOS
Returning judge DAN REYNOLDS lives in northern Arkansas and is the co-owner of WARP 66 STUDIOS, a collection of TOS-era starship sets that have been used for numerous Star Trek fan films. Along with his showrunning partner GLEN L. WOLFE, Dan has helped create nearly a dozen episodes of their fanthology series, THE FEDERATION FILES. Dan has also spent decades running a local broadcast television studio and is no stranger to both sides of the camera as well as the editing console.
And that’s our twelve judges, all looking forward to viewing some really FANtastic Star Trek fan films! Once again, here’s the link to the submission page…
2 thoughts on “MEET THE JUDGES for the 2023 Star Trek Fan Film SHOWRUNNER AWARDS!”
Even if we aren’t serving as a judge, can we still submit a film?
Absolutely! Unlike the Directors Choice Awards, our judges are an established panel, not necessarily submitters themselves…although they can be (they just can’t vote for their own fan film in the top three of five slots in each category). So please, David, feel free to enter any of your films that were released between January 2018 and December 2022!
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