Announcing the 2022 Star Trek Fan Film SHOWRUNNER Award WINNERS!

First off, a very happy 56th anniversary of Star Trek to all of you!

And now, I am very excited (and somewhat relieved!) to announce the winners of the inaugural 2022 Star Trek Fan Film SHOWRUNNER AWARDS. I say relieved because 1) it was waaaaay more work than I ever expected it would be, and 2) everything went more smoothly than I could have possibly imagined.

And for the latter, I have to give my sincere thanks to my panel of judges, each a showrunner of at least one fan film or series. These eleven judges (plus me) each watched just about 13 HOURS of Star Trek fan films! Many of them took notes as they watched, and all of them submitted their ballots in 18 categories prior to my deadline for them of August 15—giving me enough time to record and tally the vote totals, check them twice (like Santa Claus does), and get the certificates ready.

I would like to, once again, thank all of the judges and list them here by name…

  • SAMUEL COCKINGS (Trek Shorts)
  • GARY DAVIS (Dreadnought Dominion)
  • JOSHUA IRWIN (Avalon Universe)
  • PAUL JACQUES (Raincross)
  • MARK LARGENT (Stalled Trek)
  • MIKE LONGO (Star Trek Fan Productions International)
  • VANCE MAJOR (Constar)
  • FRANK PARKER, JR. (Project: Gemini)
  • DAN REYNOLDS (The Federation Files)
  • GLEN L. WOLFE (The Federation Files)
  • RANDY WRENN (Dreadnought Dominion)

Most of these judges unavoidably had fan films of their own entered, and so the rule was this: each judge had to select their top five choices in each category—their choices being worth 10 points for #1, 7 points for #2, 5 points for #3, 3 points for #4, and 1 point for #5. No judge was allowed to rank a fan film that they worked on among their top three choices. This kept them from “playing favorites” while also not penalizing them completely for agreeing to be a judge.

In the end, this process seemed to work out very well, and we had a very nice variety in winners. In other words, the same two or three fan films didn’t sweep all of the categories. In fact, out of 38 total entries, nearly half of them (16 films) won in at least one category. Granted, strong fan films would rack up high scores with lots of 7’s and 10’s, but lower scores of 5’s, 3’s, and even some 1’s often made the difference between coming in first, second, or third place…or just barely missing the cut.

Speaking of which, remember that each category will have THREE winners: Admiral Award, Captain Award, and Commander Award, for the aforementioned first, second, and third places, respectfully. (Note, there is also a special Cadet Award at the bottom of this blog.)

Continue reading “Announcing the 2022 Star Trek Fan Film SHOWRUNNER Award WINNERS!”

Let’s look inside the SHOWRUNNER Awards and other fan film competitions (Part 2)

In Part 1, we took a look “under the hood” at the engines running three of the most significant and well-known of the annual awards competitions for Star Trek fan films: the BJO AWARDS, the DIRECTORS CHOICE AWARDS, and the SHOWRUNNER AWARDS. Of course, only one of these three is technically “annual” at this point, as the latter two competitions only got their start in January of this year while the Bjos have been running each year since 2015.

Why this deep-dive into the inner workings of three different awards shows? Why not? Most fans see only the end results of these competitions…who were the finalists, who were the runners up, and which films and filmmakers ultimately won. But what happens behind the scenes?

Last time, we looked first at the challenge of finding judges, and how ERIC L. WATTS of the Bjo Awards sets himself the Herculean task each year of finding people “…who have a professional credit in the Star Trek franchise or are Star Trek fans working in the television and film industry, are not in any way personally associated with any past or present Star Trek fan film.” Add to that these people must be willing to watch hours and hours of Star Trek fan films for no money and little more than a thank you for their efforts.

DAN REYNOLDS and GLEN WOLFE went in a different direction for the Directors Choice Awards, opting to require the directors of the films entered to cast ballots for the winners in all categories in order for their own films to quality (and of course, a director could not vote for their own fan film). And finally, I assembled a panel of twelve Star Trek fan film and fan series showrunners (including myself) to judge the Showrunner Awards.

In all three cases, the judging panel was made up up ten or more judges, all publicly identified for the contest. This is, of course, by no means a requirement when holding a fan film contest, although it does inspire more confidence in the results knowing the the people judging the entries have a practical and experiential knowledge of the categories they are judging.

The next thing we looked at was the method each awards show used to gather and organize information on the entries. Eric would determine the submissions based on the Star Trek fan films released in a calendar year that met the eligibility requirements and then type in all of the names of the nominees himself.

Dan and Glen and I, instead, allowed the filmmakers themselves to fill out online forms, changing a nominal $10 entry fee for each fan film entered. The Showrunners then tacked on an extra $1 per each category entered, while the Directors Choice simply limited the number of categories per entry to no more than five. And in the end, all three contests rely heavily on Excel spreadsheets to record the immense amount of submission information.

So what’s left…?

Continue reading “Let’s look inside the SHOWRUNNER Awards and other fan film competitions (Part 2)”

Let’s look inside the SHOWRUNNER Awards and other fan film competitions (Part 1)

So you say you want to create a fan film awards competition! Actually, unless you want to work really, really hard, you probably DON’T want to create one…at least, if you want to do it right. And when I say “do it right,” there isn’t only one correct way to organize and run a film contest. In fact, there’s several different approaches, all of them totally valid.

The challenge is to set everything up so that the process runs smoothly and inspires confidence in both the process and the results. That’s what I mean by “do it right,” and it takes a surprisingly sizable amount of work. DAN REYNOLDS, who along with GLEN WOLFE, ran the recently-completed DIRECTORS CHOICE AWARDS, said, “The sheer enormity of organizing was difficult. There was a lot of checking, double checking and triple checking. I don’t think we knew just how much work it really would be to pull something like this off.” Glen said that he mostly concentrated on “…getting ballots returned in a timely manner, getting the presenters to turn their videos in in a timely manner, and then getting the whole award ceremony edited while juggling real life.”

ERIC L. WATTS lists off an even longer “to do” list for the annual BJO AWARDS, including…

  • Recruiting top-level, high-calibre judges;
  • Finding eligible fan films for consideration (filmmakers don’t actively enter the Bjo Awars—Eric includes all qualifying Star Trek fan films released in a calendar year);
  • Researching release dates, runtimes, cast and crew credits, and creating a spreadsheet that sorts and organizes that data; and
  • Spending hours and hours and hours creating the actual ballot.

And of course, none of this includes marketing the awards show and announcing its winners, answering questions from the fan community, and of course, nagging the judges to get their ballots in on time! Plus, there’s a whole host of other efforts involved.

One of the biggest challenges is logistics. And like the duck gliding gently across the smooth surface of the lake, most fans never get to see all of the intense paddling that goes on just beneath the surface to make these fan film competitions run like well-oiled machines.

So if you’re interested in “peeking under the hood,” today’s blog is for YOU…

Continue reading “Let’s look inside the SHOWRUNNER Awards and other fan film competitions (Part 1)”

Here are the 2022 Star Trek Fan Film SHOWRUNNER AWARD entries for BEST SHORT SCENE…

As I announced last week, the final submissions for the 2022 Star Trek Fan Film SHOWRUNNER AWARDS were made official on June 1, and now the panel of twelve judges—each the showrunner of a Star Trek fan film or series—get to have their chance to pick the winners in 18 different categories…

  • Best Fan Film
  • Best Director
  • Best Writer
  • Best Lead Actor
  • Best Lead Actress
  • Best Supporting Actor
  • Best Supporting Actress
  • Best Cinematography
  • Best Film Editing
  • Best Sound Design/Mixing
  • Best Visual Effects (CGI)
  • Best Special Effects (non-CGI)
  • Best Musical Score
  • Best Costuming
  • Best Hair & Makeup
  • Best Original Character
  • Best Micro-Budget Fan Film (total production cost $1,000 or less, not including set construction)
  • Best Short Scene (up to 2 minutes)

This final category is one that I personally find fascinating!

Think abut the long history of Star Trek, and there are some amazing episodes. But there are also some really impactful SCENES, as well. Let your mind and memory wander back to the scene of Edith Keeler being killed and Kirk’s reaction (“You deliberately stopped me, Jim. I could have save her. Do you know what you just did?” “He knows, Doctor. He knows…”), the scene of Kirk relieving Matt Decker of command on Kirk’s personal authority as captain of the Enterprise (“You’re bluffing…” “Vulcans never bluff…”), Khan stranding Kirk in the middle of a dead planet (“Buried alive…buried alive…” “KHANNNNNN!!!!!!”), Picard appears as Locutus for the first time (“From this time forward, you will service…us.” “Mr. Worf, fire…”), and the list goes on and on.

Yes, those impactful scenes were from some of the best episodes and movies—but not always. The climactic scene of three Losiras about to touch Kirk, McCoy, and Sulu o the shoulders just as Spock and a security guard beam in and shoot the Kalandan computer in “That Which Survives” was an exciting scene in an otherwise average episode.

And what about Star Trek fan films? Do WE have really exciting, dramatic, and impactful scenes? The judges and I decided to find out by offering the category of Best Short Scene (up to two minutes) for all entries. In retrospect, two minutes may have been a tad too short, and perhaps two and a half or even three minutes would have produced more submissions in the category. So we’ll probably increase the runtime limit next year as we figure out ways to improve the contest going forward.

But for this year, we received 10 solid submissions for Best Short Scene out of the 38 total fan films entered. And it’s an interesting collection of scenes—some serious, some funny, some exciting and suspenseful, some poignant and intense. Take a look at the following, and feel free to share in the comments which one(s) YOU think is/are the best and why…


Continue reading “Here are the 2022 Star Trek Fan Film SHOWRUNNER AWARD entries for BEST SHORT SCENE…”

The 2022 SHOWRUNNER AWARDS now have their final 38 entries!

My friends, the great experiment: THE SHOWRUNNER AWARDS.

In January of this year, two new fan film competitions launched, to join the third (the long-running annual BJO AWARDS) in celebrating our fun and quirky little niche-of-a-niche-of-a-niche of fandom. The first of the two new yearly award shows to begin—and conclude—was the DIRECTORS CHOICE AWARDS, where the directors of the submitted fan films became the judges (and were not allowed to vote for their own fan film, of course). And once those awards were handed out, it was time to launch of the new SHOWRUNNER AWARDS.

Both first-time contests had fresh and unique aspects to them. For example, for the past almost-decade, ERIC L. WATTS of the Bjo Awards automatically entered any Star Trek fan film from the previous year that met the eligibility requirements. So a fan filmmaker didn’t have to do anything to be considered for a Bjo aside from release an eligible fan film in the previous year. The Directors Choice and Showrunner Awards, however, each required a small $10 submission fee to enter (in order to prevent a flood of entries). The Directors Choice also opened their contest to fan films beyond Star Trek—Star Wars, Harry Potter, etc.—while the Showrunner Awards limited ourselves to only Star Trek fan films.

All three competitions have the standard categories like Best Fan Film, Best Director, Best Actor/Actress, Best Hair and Makeup, etc. But the Directors Choice introduced some interesting outside-the-box categories like Best Ensemble Cast, Best Foreign (non-U.S.) Fan Film, Most Canon Fan Film, Best Animated Fan Film, and Best Parody.

Meanwhile, the Showrunner Awards created categories for Best Original Character, Best Scene (a short clip up to two minutes in length), and Best Micro-Budget ($1,000 or less) Fan Film. We also decided to do something the other two contests don’t do: give out THREE awards per category rather than just one winner and five finalists or one winner and one runner-up.

I keep saying “we” when referring to the Showrunner Awards. That’s because our panel of twelve judges—each the showrunner of a Star Trek fan film or series—brainstormed, discussed, and voted on our categories, entry fees, and rules. Among those rules is that we will use ranked-choice voting, each judge selecting their five favorites in each category in descending order. First choice gets 10 points, second gets 7, then 5, 3, and finally 1 point. A judge cannot vote for their own fan film in any of the top three slots.

For me, the most interesting aspect of the Showrunner Awards was our decision expand eligibility to a 5-year window. For our 2022 awards, any Star Trek fan film released from January 2017 through December 2021 could enter. Of course, that aspect of the “great experiment” carried some risks…

Continue reading “The 2022 SHOWRUNNER AWARDS now have their final 38 entries!”

Why I am officially WITHDRAWING my name from consideration in The 2022 TREKZONE Fan Film Awards…

You know me. I love Star Trek fan films and I LOVE the fact that there are now SO many Star Trek fan film award competitions, including the annual BJO AWARDS, the recently-concluded DIRECTORS CHOICE AWARDS, and the brand new SHOWRUNNER AWARDS, which is currently accepting submissions of fan films released between January 2017 and December 2021. If you haven’t entered yet, the deadline is May 31, and the application form can be accessed here:

https://www.cognitoforms.com/JonathanLane1/_2022StarTrekFanFilmSHOWRUNNERAWARDS

Shortly after I published my blog announcing the launch of the Showrunner Awards on April 11, a small number of detractors rushed to criticize those awards for charging a $10 entrance fee. Fair enough—to each his own. GLEN WOLFE and DAN REYNOLDS charged $10, as well (although we’re charging an extra $1 per additional category like Best Music or Best Cinematographer). It’s actually pretty common with independent film award shows, although ERIC L. WATTS doesn’t charge anything to enter the Bjo Awards. Different strokes for different folks, right? No one’s forcing anyone to enter anything.

Within less than a week, MATTHEW MILLER of the TREKZONE Podcast in Australia quickly announced the launch of his own fan film awards show that would be FREE to all fan filmmakers. Hooray…FOUR award shows! I was getting ready to cover it once Matthew announced how fan filmmakers could enter, but apparently Matthew wasn’t planning to do it that way.

Setting a window of eligibility for fan films released between April 15 of last year and April 15 of this year, Matthew and his co-judge MTM (that’s a pseudonym) decided all by themselves who would be entered and who wouldn;t be…and then announced the finalists this past Tuesday on YouTube.

My fan film INTERLUDE had 10 nominations, which is great, of course….huge honor. And yes, I had a great team (although two of our nominations were for “Best Space Villain”—the Klingons—and “Best Hero Ship”—the U.S.S. Ares…neither of them able to give an acceptance speech).

Surprisingly, though, some fan films that I thought would be shoo-ins were almost completely excluded. While Interlude had an impressive 10 nominations in ten categories, the AVALON UNIVERSE’s COSMIC STREAM received only one nomination (TYLER DUNNIVAN for “Best Actor”) and shockingly AGENT OF NEW WORLDS got zero nominations, not even for best directing or editing .

Two other highly regarded and long-running Star Trek fan series also had their latest episodes passed over with no nominations in any category: DREADNOUGHT DOMINION‘s “THE MORE THINGS CHANGE” and STARSHIP FARRAGUT‘s series final “HOMECOMING.” It didn’t see fair that Interlude would be hogging so many of the nomination slots, but hey, not my contest.

However, there’s been something else that’s really been bothering me forr the past two weeks…

Continue reading “Why I am officially WITHDRAWING my name from consideration in The 2022 TREKZONE Fan Film Awards…”

This is one of the coolest aspects of the Star Trek Fan Film SHOWRUNNER AWARDS…

First, here’s the link to submit your Star Trek fan film to the first annual Star Trek Fan Film SHOWRUNNER AWARDS (deadline to enter is May 31):

https://www.cognitoforms.com/JonathanLane1/_2022StarTrekFanFilmSHOWRUNNERAWARDS


It’s funny how, over the past week and a half since I announced the first annual Star Trek Fan Film Showrunner Awards, several folks in the Axamonitor group have been up in arms (up in arms, I tells ya!) about this simple little fan film competition. This seemed pretty bizarre, since most of them have never even made a Star Trek fan film and won’t be competing.

At first, it appeared as though their issue was that the Showrunner Awards are charging a $10 entry fee (plus $1 per additional category like best director or best music). And thus I saw several posts like this…

Of course, submission fees are the industry standard. Just look on Film Freeway (where nearly all independent film festivals list their competitions), and you’ll see that submission fees range from $25 up to $100 per film. Even the recent fan film DIIRECTORS CHOICE Awards charged $10 per submission. Entry fees keep film competitions from being innundated with too many free entries.

When I pointed this out in one of the fan film Facebook groups, suddenly the issue “transformed” into from simply charging an entry fee to using those fees to help defray the ongoing annual hosting and site security costs for Fan Film Factor. The aforementioned JUSTIN BURTON suddenly switched to saying he was “fine” with the $10 fee itself, but not with what it would be used for…

And that’s when I realized: this is a complaint in search of a problem! (Imagine that!!!) I was actually tempted to reply, “Okay, so I won’t use the money raised for Fan Film Factor, and instead I’ll just go out and have a sushi dinner.” But I decided against it.

I probably don’t need to point out that fan filmmakers hold crowd-funders all the time looking for donations to help finance their “hobby.” And of course, I’ve covered hosting and security costs for Fan Film Factor mainly out of pocket for more than six years.

But hey, whether this blog site is a “hobby,” a pastime, a ridiculous time-suck, or a crazy obsession, Fan Film Factor serves our community in a very unique and important way. It honors and celebrates fan filmmakers and their creations, gives their projects extra exposure and web views, helps in their crowd-funding, and provides independent media coverage when these fan filmmakers opt to list themselves on IMDb.

Amusing, though, the negative nellies seemed to be even MORE incensed (if such a thing is possible) with the decision of our 12-member judging panel to open the competition to fan films released over MULTIPLE years—in the case of this first awards show, any fan film released from January 2017 through December 2021.

Continue reading “This is one of the coolest aspects of the Star Trek Fan Film SHOWRUNNER AWARDS…”

The 2022 SHOWRUNNER AWARDS are now open to any STAR TREK FAN FILM released in the last FIVE YEARS!

The 2022 Star Trek Fan Film SHOWRUNNER AWARDS are now accepting submissions! Entries can be submitted until the end of the day on May 31, 2022. Winners will be announced on September 8, 2022. Here is the entry form:

https://www.cognitoforms.com/JonathanLane1/2022StarTrekFanFilmSHOWRUNNERAWARDS

The Showrrunner Awards are the newest annual competition exclusively for Star Trek fan films and will be unique in a couple of very significant ways. The first is that the window of eligibility is not just a release within the previous calendar year but any Star Trek fan film released with in the last FIVE years (January 2017 – December 2021)! Once a fan film wins a Showrunner Award in a specific category, it is no longer eligible to win in that category again.

The other unique feature of the Showrunner Awards is that there will be THREE winners in each category: ADMIRAL, CAPTAIN, and COMMANDER level…each with a digital certificate (sorry, there’s no way I can afford physical plaques).

Following the example of most industry film festivals, the Showrunner Awards will require a small entry fee ($10) for each fan film submission, which allows a qualifying entry to be considered in the main category of Best Star Trek Fan Film. Each additional category will cost an extra $1, plus there is a small processing fee. To keep operational costs down, payments will be accepted only by credit card only (no check, Paypal, Venmo, Zelle, or Crypto at the moment) and are processed by the third party service STRIPE.

The money raised will help me cover the annual expenses for FAN FILM FACTOR (domain hosting, support, site security, etc.). While I truly appreciate the monthly contributions from my 8 patrons, the money from my Patreon falls well short of my ongoing costs for keeping this blog site going.

Here is a list of categories for the Showrunner Awards:

  • Best Fan Film
  • Best Director
  • Best Writer
  • Best Lead Actor (submitter may enter up to three actors)
  • Best Lead Actress (submitter may enter up to three actresses)
  • Best Supporting Actor (submitter may enter up to three actors)
  • Best Supporting Actress (submitter may enter up to three actresses)
  • Best Cinematography
  • Best Film Editing
  • Best Sound Design/Mixing
  • Best Visual Effects (CGI)
  • Best Special Effects (non-CGI)
  • Best Musical Score
  • Best Costuming
  • Best Hair & Makeup
  • Best Original Character
  • Best Scene (up to 2 minutes)
  • Best Micro-Budget Fan Film (total production cost $1,000 or less, not including set construction)

The last three categories are really intriguing to me and were suggested by members of our twelve-member panel made up of Star Trek fan film showrunners…

Continue reading “The 2022 SHOWRUNNER AWARDS are now open to any STAR TREK FAN FILM released in the last FIVE YEARS!”

Submissions now OPEN until Feb. 22 for the Fan Film DIRECTORS CHOICE Awards!

Last month, I announced TWO new annual award shows for fan films debuting this year. Up util now, Star Trek fan films were honored annually by the BJO AWARDS. However, now the Bjos will be joined by the Fan Film DIRECTORS CHOICE Awards and (later this year) the Star Trek Fan Film SHOWRUNNER AWARDS.

The two new competitions will be different in several logistical ways, with many details of the Showrunner Awards still needing to be worked out (by me and my team). In the meantime, however, coordinators GLEN L. WOLFE and DAN REYNOLDS of WARP 66 STUDIOS are launching the Directors Choice Awards today (February 1), with submissions being accepted for any fan film (not just Star Trek) publicly released in calendar year 2021. The YouTube/Vimeo publication date stamp will be used to verify eligibility.

Submissions are open from February 1 through February 22, 2022. Anyone can enter any fan film with a submission fee of $10 by filling out the form on this web page, but only a maximum of three films by the same director can be entered.

Voting is done exclusively by the directors of the submitted films. (So for INTERLUDE, for example, even though I am the one submitting and paying the entry fee, I won’t be the one voting since I wasn’t the director.) Directors cannot vote for their own films—otherwise, there would likely be massive ties with each fan film getting one vote! Ballots are due back no later than March 15, and any director who does not return their ballot by that deadline will have their fan film disqualified from winning anything.

When entering, the submitter can choose up to five categories for which that fan film can considered for an award:

  • Best Actor
  • Best Actress
  • Best Director
  • Best Original Costuming
  • Best Make-up/Hairstyling
  • Best Cinematography
  • Best Original Music
  • Best F/X Make-up
  • Best Audio Mixing
  • Best Lighting
  • Best CGI FX
  • Best Green Screen
  • Best Screenplay
  • Best Parody
  • Best Foreign Fan Film
  • Best Animated Fan Film
  • Best Editing
  • Most Canon Award
  • Best Ensemble
  • Most Valuable Crew Member

After all of the ballots have been tabulated, a “Best In Fest” winner will be determined as the fan film that receives the most votes overall in all of the categories combined (so it’s advantageous to submit your film for the maximum of five categories).

Winners will be announced on April 5, and each winner will be e-mailed an award certificate. To all the fan filmmakers who choose to enter (and hopefully, there will be many), I wish you the best of luck!

Click here to enter your fan film.

Announcing TWO new FAN FILM AWARD SHOWS coming in 2022!

File this under: “Great minds think alike…” or perhaps under, “This is what you get for missing staff meetings, Doctor.” Either way, GLEN WOLFE and DAN REYNOLDS of THE FEDERATION FILES and I had the same idea at the same time, and now there are going to be TWO new fan film awards shows coming your way in 2022!

In my case, the idea of hosting an annual awards show for Star Trek fan films has been percolating in the back of my mind for a few years…not as a way of competing with the annual BJO AWARDS but as simply an additional opportunity for Star Trek fan filmmakers and their productions to shine.

As the new year dawned a few days ago, I was able to finally enjoy a break from the blogging “sprint” that took up much of my December. And I decided that, if I was really serious about creating some Fan Film Factor awards show, now might be a good time to do some thinkin’…

At first, I tried to come up with a name—and you know how much I like things that abbreviate to “FFF.” The Fan Film Festival Awards? Nah. Fan Film Faves? Cheesy. Fan Film Friends? Family? Flamingos? Jeez, I had nothing decent!

Okay, time to try a different approach vector…

So I shifted to thinking about judging. I mean, I suppose it could just be me deciding the winners and losers, but no one fan should possess such power! And, sheesh, what a way to completely piss off almost all of my friends, right? Nope, I needed a panel, but whom? When I finally answered that question, the name for the awards show fell easily into place: THE SHOWRUNNER AWARDS.

I’ve always felt there should be a fan film awards competition where members of the community judge each other’s work…and who knows more about what it takes to make a fan film than a showrunner? But I didn’t want too many judges, so I decided to limit my invitations to showrunners who had successfully released at least four or five completed Star Trek fan films.

Of course, the next concern was making sure there weren’t too many entries. Goodness knows that VANCE MAJOR alone (one of the judges) could enter dozens—maybe hundreds!—of fan films all by himself! So I decided that, unlike the Bjo Awards, the Showrunner Awards will feature a nominal entry fee (maybe $10) plus an additional $1 for each special category like Best VFX, Best Music, Best Film Editing, etc. As I’m learning from entering my fan film INTERLUDE in various film festivals, this is how most of them work with application fees.

Speaking of Vance, or any of the judges, how do we make certain that all of them don’t simply vote for their own fan film, and we wind up with a 6-way or 10-way tie each year? Glad you asked…

Continue reading “Announcing TWO new FAN FILM AWARD SHOWS coming in 2022!”