One week left to enter THE 2022 DIRECTORS CHOICE AWARDS…deadline is JANUARY 15!

Have you directed, produced, or otherwise been involved with the creation of a fan film that was released in 2022? If doesn’t even have to be a Star Trek fan film. THE 2022 DIRECTORS CHOICE AWARDS is open to fan films from any genre or franchise as long as they were released onto YouTube or Vimeo between January 1 and December 31 of 2022.

Organized and presented by GLEN L. WOLFE and DAN REYNOLDS of WARP 66 STUDIOS in northern Arkansas—the two showrunners behind THE FEDERATION FILES “fanthology” series—the Directors Choice Awards are now in their second year, with a few new things added since the 2021 contest. First of all, there’s two new intriguing categories: “Best Portrayal of an Existing Character” and “Most Valuable Crew Member” (that would be production crew, not starship crew). There is also now a $250 grand prize for the “Best in Fest,” a fan film that receives the most total votes across all categories in which it competes (each submitter can choose up to six categories for their fan film to be considered). And finally, a digital certificate will be awarded for the best fan film within each franchise.

Currently, fan films have been submitted representing the following popular sci-fi/action/horror franchises: Indiana Jones, Halloween, Batman, Jurassic Park/World, The Maze Runner, The Hunger Games, A Nightmare on Elm Street, Scream, Spiderman, Transformers, Star Wars and of course, Star Trek.

Entry into the contest costs $10 for up to six categories (not counting the “Best in Fest”), and the judges are the directors of the submitted films. There is a maximum of three film submissions by the same director. A judge is not allowed to vote for their own film, and failure to cast a ballot before the deadline is grounds for disqualification of that director’s fan film(s).  If the same person has directed more than one submitted fan film, that director will be sent a ballot for each of their submitted films (up to a total of three ballots).

Glen Wolfe reports that about 35 fan films have already been submitted, with winners scheduled to be announced on April 5, 2023 (forty years before First Contact Day!). There’s still just over one week left to enter, as the submission deadline is January 15. If you’ve got a fan film from 2022 that hasn’t been submitted yet, click here to access the entry form.

And if you are entered or entering, best of luck to you!

A high school student DIRECTS The Federation Files’ “ESCAPE FROM MAGNA ROMA”! (interview with CANDACE LAMBERT)

It’s not completely unheard of for teenagers in high school to get involved in fan films (Star Trek and other genres). Sometimes they create their own productions, but usually they will appear as actors or participate as set crew in fan films run by adults. However, actually directing a fan film that is usually run by adults—THAT, my friends, is a true rarity and worth a blog.

CANDACE LAMBERT is a senior at Alpena High School in northern Arkansas. She first got involved with THE FEDERATION FILES back in 2019 (just pre-pandemic) when showrunner GLEN L. WOLFE posted a casting call via Facebook for their fanthology episode “FRIENDS AND FOES,” and Candace’s mother answered it. Both women came in and started shooting as extras for that episode as well as “DOPPELGANGER.” Later on, Candace would be given a more significant speaking role in “VOICES FROM THE PAST” and began a regular involvement with the fan series as a production assistant and make-up artist.

Of course, there’s a BIG difference between doing make-up and running an entire production as director. But Glen believed in her. “She’s very modest,” Glen told me, “but at her high school, she organized and ran a ceremony for veterans last Veterans Day, so she’s very organized and capable. Ace (that’s her nickname here) has always been willing to help with any task assigned to her. She basically was my right-hand person for a couple shoots, so I just asked her how she would feel about directing, and she said she’d love to do it, but she was afraid she was too young. And I told her that fan films are for fun, and if she wanted to direct, I would fully support her.”

Candace was given the opportunity to stand behind the camera and direct earlier this past year in what turned out to be a number of different shoots at various locations over the course of several months. The latest Federation Files episode, ESCAPE FROM MAGNA ROMA, premiered on December 6. Take a look…

Candace has also appeared in a couple of episodes of THE AVALON UNIVERSE: AIR AND DARKNESS and the just-released THE TRUTH WITHIN. Josh says about Candace, “She is extremely easy to work with, and has a great sense of humor. A lot of times, for smaller parts, actors can be hit or miss, some canceling at the last minute. She was very dependable, and even came when we had someone else cancel last minute.”

With so many fan filmmakers talking about Candace, I thought it might be nice to talk to Candace. So I sent her a bunch of interview questions. She apologized for the short responses, but she was in the middle of exams at the time. Even so, it’s a fun little peek into a young director…

Continue reading “A high school student DIRECTS The Federation Files’ “ESCAPE FROM MAGNA ROMA”! (interview with CANDACE LAMBERT)”

2022 FAN FILM DIRECTORS CHOICE AWARDS now accepting submissions (deadline to enter is JANUARY 15) with a “Best in Fest” prize of $250!!!

Earlier this year, GLEN L. WOLFE and DAN REYNOLDS of WARP 66 STUDIOS in Arkansas introduced the first new annual fan film awards show since the creation of the BJO AWARDS (originally called the Independent Star Trek Fan Film Awards) back in 2015. Glen and Dan decided to call theirs THE FAN FILM DIRECTORS CHOICE AWARDS because the judges are all fan film directors.

Last year, the Directors Choice Award winners were presented with a digital certificate, which is still the case this year. However, this year also introduces a new prize: the fan film voted “Best In Fest” (determined by which film receives the most total votes across all categories) will also be awarded a whopping $250! (Well, “whopping” to some people, at least!)

The competition is open to fan films of any genre (not just Star Trek!) that have been released publicly onto YouTube or other social media during the 2022 calendar year. The cost to enter is $10 per film, which includes consideration in up to SIX of the following categories (chosen by the submitter at the time they fill out the entry form):

  • Best Actor
  • Best Actress
  • Best Director
  • Best Original Costuming
  • Best Make-up/Hairstyling
  • Best Cinematography
  • Best Original Music
  • Best Audio Mixing
  • Best Lighting
  • Best FX Make-Up
  • Best CGI FX
  • Best Green Screen
  • Best Screenplay
  • Best Parody/Comedy
  • Best Portrayal of an Existing Character
  • Best Animated Fan Film
  • Best Editing
  • Most Canon Award
  • Best Ensemble
  • Most Valuable Crew Member

Up to three fan films by the same director are permitted entry. Once entered, the director of that fan film becomes a judge and will be sent a ballot. If the same person has directed more than one submitted fan film, that director will be sent a ballot for each of their submitted films (up to a total of three ballots). A director cannot vote for any film that nominated them as a director.

The call for entries began on November 15, 2022 and continues through to January 15, 2023. After that, ballots will be sent to all judges with a return deadline of February 28, 2023. Failure to vote will disqualify that director’s film(s). Hey, tough love, right?

Like last year, winners will be announced on First Contact Day, April 5 of 2023. Here’s a link to the entry form:

https://thefederationfiles.com/?page_id=1407

There were some really amazing fan films released this past year (Star Trek and other genres), so I can’t wait to see who enters and who wins! And if you are entering a film of your own, the best of luck to you…

You don’t have to live like a “REFUGEE” if you’re on the STARSHIP DEIMOS! (interview with RANDY LANDERS)

The fine folks at POTEMKIN PICTURES consistently continue to dutifully deliver a steady stream of finessed fan films mostly monthly. (Did you catch all the awesome alliteration in that previous sentence? Hey, a blogger’s gotta keep you on your toes, right?)

Anyway, their latest release comes from the long-running STARSHIP DEIMOS creative group, their 20th completed fan film in six years. “REFUGEE” is an intriguing story and worth viewing…

There’s actually a LOT going on behind the scenes in this little fan production. For more insights and info, here’s Potemkin show-runner RANDY LANDERS…

Continue reading “You don’t have to live like a “REFUGEE” if you’re on the STARSHIP DEIMOS! (interview with RANDY LANDERS)”

“MUDD’S MISSION” from THE FEDERATION FILES sets a bunch of fan film WORLD’S RECORDS!

Okay, I admit that there is no Guinness Book of World Records for Star Trek fan films. But if there were, the newest release from THE FEDERATION FILES, “MUDD’S MISSION,” would hold a whole bunch of ’em!

Mudd’s Mission” is the twelfth production from this long-running fan series which began in late 2016 with their debut episode, “His Name Is Mudd.” Since then, showrunners GLEN L. WOLFE and DAN REYNOLDS of WARP 66 STUDIOS in northern Arkansas have released the following:

This latest offering is partially a sequel, of sorts, to their initial offering from six year ago in that it features the return of several characters from “His Name Is Mudd“—most notably Harry Mudd himself, deliciously played both times by fan filmmaker DAVID WHITNEY from STARFLEET STUDIOS in Iowa (producers of the fan series VOYAGER CONTINUES, PROJECT PROMETHEUS, and QUICK TREK). Also reprising roles from the original were JIM VON DOLTEREN as Captain McCann, ROBERT WITHROW as Admiral Withrow (a recurring character whom he also played in multiple episodes of STAR TREK: PHASE II), JOSHUA MALONE as Harry Mudd’s son Corey, and MICHAEL L. KING playing Captain Jackson Bishop (a role he originated on the fan series STARSHIP VALIANT).

In total, eleven actors returned from “His Name Is Mudd” for the sequel, the other six I didn’t list playing different characters than before. But having eleven returning actors isn’t enough for the record books. Many ongoing fan series have large casts. However, before I tell you what does mark “Mudd’s Mission” for a record, take a watch so I don’t spoil anything for you…

The thing you probably noticed immediately was the sheer number of actors listed in the closing credits. A jaw-dropping total of 45 people(!!!) appeared in this fan film…many in multiple roles. For example, CHALEN EVERTS, a producer who recently released this fun behind-the-scenes video from a weekend of filming, played two different security officers and also an Andorian. These 45 actors traveled to Arkansas from a total of 11 different states, and represented at least four other fan series in addition to participating in The Federation Files. That’s gotta be a couple of records right there! (Actually, His Name Is Mudd had 52 actors.)

But perhaps the most impressive “record” was how many episodes of TOS were referenced, either directly or indirectly, in this fan film. Glen and Dan are already well-known for keeping TOS alive and healthy with such fan films as “The Green Manifesto,” which features Major/Colonel Green from the TOS episode “The Savage Curtain, and “No Good Deed,” in which Glen constructed a nearly-identical set recreation of the S.S. Botany Bay from “Space Seed.”

“Mudd’s Mission” obviously references the two TOS Harry Mudd episodes, “Mudd’s Women” and “I, Mudd.” It also recreates a portion of the K-7 Space Station seen in “The Trouble With Tribbles.” But that’s not all…!

Continue reading ““MUDD’S MISSION” from THE FEDERATION FILES sets a bunch of fan film WORLD’S RECORDS!”

Production assistant on THE FEDERATION FILES makes an awesome BEHIND-THE-SCENES video about the experience!

CHALEN (pronounced SHAY-len) EVERTS was taking community college classes at North Arkansas College in Harrison when she heard from one of her friends about someone nearby looking for people to help out on, of all things, a Star Trek fan film!

“I’d never seen Star Trek all the way through,” says Chalen. “I still haven’t. Actually I am a Star Wars fan…lol. But I was very interested in acting in film, and it was the closest opportunity to me.” So she decided to take up the offer to help out. The only problem was that she had no idea how to get in touch with showrunner GLEN WOLFE!

“At the time, I didn’t have Facebook,” Chalen continues, “so I created an account just to get in contact with someone I didn’t know. So now it’s a running joke that I got on Facebook just to talk to Glen Wolfe.”

Glen has nothing but praise for Chalen: “She’s been with us since VOICES FROM THE PAST and fit in perfectly from day one. She volunteered to do ‘anything we needed,’ and we took her up on it. She has helped me in every facet of producing all of the subsequent episodes.”

Even though it’s over an hour’s drive each way for her to get to the TOS sets at WARP 66 STUDIOS, Chalen has become an essential part of THE FEDERATION FILES fanthology series…on both sides of the camera! She played one of the three Vulcans on the moon base in NO GOOD DEED. And for their latest episode, MUDD’S MISSION (premiering next month), Chalen actually brought four of her friends (all the way from Wisconsin, where she’s originally from) to be extras!

She also worked with JOSHUA IRWIN on the AVALON UNIVERSE fan film AGENT OF NEW WORLDS. According to Josh, Chalen came through for him in creating the cave interior set when Glen was sick and couldn’t do the build. “She saved our shoot!” recalls Josh. “Normally, I call Glen the superhero of the fan film world. But Chalen was the superhero for us that day.”

“From my point of view,” says Glen’s filmmaking partner DAN REYNOLDS, “Chalen has been a steady rock as a production assistant for several Federation Files episodes. She shirks at no menial tasks that we ask of her and is ready at a moment’s notice to help with anything we need.”

Bright and cheery, Chalen posted a video last week of footage she shot behind-the-scenes during two of the filming days for Mudd’s Mission. I already reported on one of those shooting days, as a late June heat-wave turned one of the non-air-conditioned WARP 66 studio buildings into a veritable oven baking both cast and crew. Chalen was there, doing her usual production assistant tasks, but also shooting a bit of her own footage of what was going on both on set and off (and even in her car!).

Continue reading “Production assistant on THE FEDERATION FILES makes an awesome BEHIND-THE-SCENES video about the experience!”

AVALON UNIVERSE releases a trailer for THE NEEDS OF THE ONE…just THREE DAYS before the premiere!

The AVALON UNIVERSE is a very unique Star Trek fan series. Some viewers see the uniforms and mistakenly think these stories take place in the Kelvin timeline. They don’t. But they don’t take place in the Prime timeline either. The Avalon Universe has its own continuity and mythos. Yes, many (not all) of the uniforms are from JJ Trek, but the sets are all straight TOS (shot at both WARP 66 STUDIOS in northern Arkansas and NEUTRAL ZONE STUDIOS in Kingsland, GA). And the U.S.S. Excalibur looks mostly like TOS but with some intriguing upgrades and refinements.

Having your own alternate universe to play around in has given showrunner JOSHUA IRWIN intriguing opportunities to tell stories that retain the heart of Star Trek without being “trapped” by 56 years of canon. It’s led to the release of nine superb fan films since 2018 (you can view them all here) with a tenth, THE NEEDS OF THE ONE, debuting this Thursday at 7pm Central Time.

In anticipation of that premiere, earlier today Josh posted a 60-second trailer for the new episode…

I asked Josh what fans can expect from this latest film (beyond what’s shown in the trailer)…

“We’re going to get to know more characters on the Excalibur, all while following Commander Allenby’s journey. She’s just become first officer, and Commodore Jakande is giving her a chance to prove herself under really difficult circumstances. But that’s what commanding a starship is all about, right? How she handles the challenges in this film will take her out of her comfort zone. ALEXANDRA REXFORD, who just joined our cast, has added so many incredible layers to this wonderful character. Fans are definitely going to want to see more of Alex in future films.”

Josh also discussed another new addition to the cast, CORA WILSON…

“Speaking of characters fans are going to want to see again, Cora just knocks it out of the park as Nurse T’Prin! She was originally going to be just a one-off character for this specific story of a Vulcan female going through pon farr and watching what it does to her both physically and emotionally. Playing a Vulcan is challenging enough, but playing one trying to maintain control and failing is really hard. LEONARD NIMOY did it the best, of course, but Cora’s performance is amazing. I can’t wait for people to see it!

“Anyway, now that this episode is completed, I can’t imagine not revisiting this character in a future story or two, and I suspect the fans will want to see her again, as well.”

Continue reading “AVALON UNIVERSE releases a trailer for THE NEEDS OF THE ONE…just THREE DAYS before the premiere!”

The shoots must go on – filming MUDD baking in an OVEN!

You’ve probably heard it on the news—or maybe you’re experiencing it yourself. There is a massive “dome of heat” sitting across much of America right now with temperature records being broken left and right. Even in the higher elevation Ozark Mountain area, the mercury on the thermometer outside read 95 degrees last Saturday. And it wasn’t just any kind of hot. It was the southeastern U.S. in June…meaning sticky, humid heat that melts you into a puddle of sweat even if you’re standing in the shade!

But inside WARP 66 STUDIOS in the town of Flippin, Arkansas, well, it was even HOTTER!!! Actually, I should specify that inside one of the WARP 66 Studios, it was even hotter. That’s because their TOS sets occupy two different locations. The bridge and shuttlecraft sets live in a nice, air-conditioned building owned by DAN REYNOLDS in Harrison, AR, and even though the lights and warm bodies can heat things up a bit, those two sets remain pretty comfortable.

However, things are much different in Flippin! GLEN L. WOLFE constructed a metal building on his property that currently houses the transporter room, briefing room, sickbay, corridors, and a swing set area. The building has no insulation, and only one small room inside for the actors to prep has a small A/C unit. The rest of the building is “cooled” by running small fans to move the air around. But when it’s 95 and humid outside, those poor fans are fighting a losing battle, and with the hot lights and bodies inside, you may as well be filming inside of an oven!

“It was dead air inside and hotter,” said Dan Reynolds, who served as director of photography for this oppressively sweltering Saturday shoot. “Thank goodness Glen built it with extremely high ceilings.”

Interestingly, not one but TWO different fan films shot simultaneously on those super-hot sets. The first and more significant of the two (in terms of total footage filmed) was for the next episode from Glen and Dan’s “fanthology” series THE FEDERATION FILES. Titled “MUDD’S MISSION,” this new production brings back two colorful characters from the series’ very first release back n 2016, “HIS NAME IS MUDD“: Captain Charles McCann of the U.S.S. Constitution, played by JIM VON DOLTEREN, and the irredeemable Harcourt Fenton Mudd played with flair by DAVID WHITNEY.

DAVID WHITNEY as Harry Mudd with DAN REYNOLDS (left) and JOSHUA IRWIN (right)

David, who lives in Iowa, actually filmed his scenes a couple of weeks ago during a much more pleasant weekend. “Up until June,” said JOSHUA IRWIN, showrunner for the AVALON UNIVERSE, who was also there this past weekend filming pick-up shots for that team’s upcoming release THE NEEDS OF THE ONE, “the weather in Flippin can be pretty mild. In fact, late spring this year has been cloudy and rainy, even into May. But June is about the farthest you can do it. July and August are out for shooting there, and we don’t typically schedule anything until September again.”

So why not simply cancel the hot shoot and come back some cooler day?

Continue reading “The shoots must go on – filming MUDD baking in an OVEN!”

Announcing the WINNERS of the first annual 2021 DIRECTORS CHOICE fan film awards!

Up until now, fan films (specifically Star Trek fan films) had only one annual awards competition devoted exclusively to their sub-genre, and those were the BJO AWARDS. Now there are three. The SHOWRUNNER AWARDS will begin taking submissions next week for Star Trek fan films, with winners announced on September 8, 2022. But yesterday, the Fan Film DIRECTORS CHOICE AWARDS announced their winners and honorable mentions.

Launched by fan filmmakers DAN REYNOLDS and GLEN L. WOLFE of WARP 66 STUDIOS in Arkansas, creators of the fan series THE FEDERATION FILES, the Directors Choice Awards were open to fan films of any genre (not just Star Trek) released during calendar year 2021. The judges were the directors of those submitted films. In order to take part, a director had to cast votes in each category for a fan film other than their own or be disqualified from winning.

Submissions were accepted during the month of February, and Dan Reynolds had this to say about their early trepidations: “We weren’t really sure how the initial response to our inaugural launch of the Fan Film Directors Choice Awards was going to turn out, but we soon realized that we struck a nerve with the fan film community. We knew we were on the right track, and within a few short weeks after our announcement, we received over 30 entries.”

Glen Wolfe echoed Dan’s sentiments: “From its inception, we wanted to fairly honor those hardworking fan film producers with recognition directly from their peers. This experience has been extremely positive, and I think that the films entered and those winning awards should show that the Fan Film Directors Choice Awards was a success and has encouraged us to continue it indefinitely.”

Dan concluded: “I’m very happy with the diversity of fan films that were included this year. We had Star Trek, Star Wars, James Bond, Harry Potter, and Indiana Jones fan films entered this year, and we hope that expands in the coming years. I was also very happy that the winners were from all the represented genres.”

And speaking of winners, that’s the perfect segue into presenting the results of the very first annual Fan Film Directors Choice Awards

Continue reading “Announcing the WINNERS of the first annual 2021 DIRECTORS CHOICE fan film awards!”

THE FEDERATION FILES shows fans the S.S. BOTANY BAY in “No Good Deed” (video interview with GLEN L. WOLFE)

THE FEDERATION FILES fanthology series is like a box of chocolates: you never know what you’re going to get. That’s because GLEN L. WOLFE and DAN REYNOLDS of WARP 66 STUDIOS in northern Arkansas have decided that no era of Star Trek history is out of bounds for them to explore. This has included everything from the 1950s through today into the 23rd century and beyond to the 24th century. It’s a really fun fan series to follow.

Most recently, in what is their overall eleventh completed fan film since their first release (“His Name Is Mudd” back in 2016), The Federation Files takes us both into the Trek movie era and also back to 1996 when the SS Botany Bay was launched following the Eugenics Wars. (You remember that, right? It was only a quarter century ago.)

But for those two eras, Glen managed to construct two unbelievably believable sets for a fan-produced film (plus a Vulcan moon base command center set). The first unbelievably believable set was was a recreation of Kirk’s San Francisco apartment from Star Trek II and III. The other was the interior of the aforementioned Botany Bay in a sequence that looked like it could have been built at Paramount Studios back in 1967!

Granted, as I said, these were fan-produced sets, so they’re not precisely identical. But they’re close enough that a viewer can squint a little and accept that, yes, Saavik has walked into Kirk’s apartment and a Vulcan wearing a space suit has entered the sleeper ship containing Khan Noonien Singh and the genetically-engineered supermen.

Take a look at “NO GOOD DEED”…

This fan film was released way back in early November, and I had wanted to interview Glen months earlier than this. But in December, Glen became seriously ill—as in “had-to-be-hospitalized-and-nearly-died” kinda ill. Rumors flew that he had caught the more deadly delta variant of COVID. Others said he had pneumonia…or both! Either way, it took Glen months to recover, but I am pleased to report that he is now on the mend.

In the following video, we discuss what happened to put Glen into the hospital, along with discussing these impressive set recreations, production of this latest episode, Glen’s experiences being involved with other fan films and series, and all sorts of other things that come up when two Star Trek fan film-o-philes get together and geek out. Oh, and at the 42 second mark, you even get to hear me sing (oy vey!)…