Yesterday, fans found out that BARBARA READER finally lost her years-long battle with cancer. May her soul soar over the undiscovered country and across the final frontier.
If you’re not familiar with Barbara but you’re a fan of Star Trek fan films, she gave our community a precious gift: The STAR TREK REVIEWED blog site. Launched back in 2009, Barbara’s humble website quick grew to mind-blowing proportions, containing resources and information about nearly EVERY Star Trek fan film ever released! In fact, I’m not sure I’ve ever found a Trek film that wasn’t already listed somewhere on Barbara’s site. If you think I’ve covered a lot of Trek fan films here on Fan Film Factor, I’m just peanuts compared to an outfit like Star Trek Reviewed!
I never thought of Barbara and her blog site as a “competitor.” Like firefighters and police officers, there’s similarities but also a lot of significant differences in what we do. STR covers EVERYTHING, but mostly as a “jumping-off” point to outside articles, interviews, and of course, the YouTube links to the fan films themselves. Barbara once told me she thought of herself mainly as the “librarian” of fan films.
I’m more of a “roving reporter,” and although Fan Film Factor doesn’t cover nearly as much, those fan films I do spotlight receive a deep-dive into the production process for each project along with getting to know the people who make them.
Together, Barb and I (or rather, our blogs) made a great team!
Speaking of teams, Barbara ultimately had to find a team of her own to help keep STR going. In 2016, with cancer starting to get the better of her (although she never complained or asked for pity), Barbara reached out to the fan film community and asked for some help. Up until that point, she had somehow managed to keep track of pretty much every old and new Star Trek fan film—and maintain what seemed like an infinite number of individual web pages (one for each production)…for SEVEN years all by herself!
Now she needed some help, and a number of volunteers stepped forward. These included KIROK L’STOK (real name Alan Anderton) from Australia along with SVEN MATTHES from Germany, and JAMES HEANEY (from Minnesota). Barbara and Sven would find all the fan film content, Kirok would write it up and enter it on the website (and post to Facebook), and James was the IT guy. Even now, they’re working on moving all the material over to a new website and should have it set up as a searchable database soon. They were hoping to have it running before Barbara passed away, but it wasn’t to be.
I’m somewhat embarrassed to admit that I didn’t know much about Barb’s personal history. But fortunately, James Heaney provided some enlightening background…Continue reading “Star Trek fan filmmakers pay tribute to BARBARA READER following her passing…”