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Since 2015, the world of Star Trek fan films has had its own, unique yearly awards show…all due to ERIC L. WATTS’ tireless work and the panels of judges he has gathered each year. Keeping track of, watching, and grading so many Star Trek fan films is a difficult job. A average judge may spend up to 10 or 20 hours on what is basically a voluntary job. And, of course, when you get to Eric Watts himself, that effort multiplies tenfold!
In 2018, the BJO AWARDS were created in honor of BJO TRIMBLE, who is credited with rescuing Star Trek from early cancellation in the 1960s by orchestrating the “great letter-writing campaign.” That year, Bjo was a special guest of honor, and he kindly consented to the name change. Since then, they’ve been known as the Bjo Awards.
Since then, it’s been almost every year…
If you can remember so far back, the year 2020 was a bit messed up. (I did say “f’d!”!) The world became an alternative reality of closing down and shutting in, and, like virtually all social events, the annual TREKLANTA conference, where the Bjo Awards are revealed, could no longer be safely held in person. The event became virtual, but Eric decided not to host the Bjo Awards last year since he didn’t have a real location to speak at and give out trophies.
Plaques for the Bjo Award are always given out in person.
Despite the fact that Treklanta is still not taking place this year, Eric has chosen to continue the Bjos. But what about the year that was “missed”? Each year’s Bjo Award candidates are usually Star Trek fan films that were released in the preceding calendar year. The competition is not aggressively pursued by fan filmmakers. Instead, if they fulfill the following criteria, they will immediately qualify…
1) Be a live-action dramatic presentation based in the Star Trek world, rather than an animated or CGI production, or a Star Trek satire or parody. 2) In the title sequence, opening credits, or closing credits, include the phrase “Based on Star Trek, Created by Gene Roddenberry” (or something similar). (This condition may be waived in certain situations and at Treklanta’s sole discretion.) 3) Have been made available on the Internet (YouTube, Vimeo, etc.) during the last calendar year. 4) Have an IMDb.com entry with complete cast and crew credits.
The problematic item on the above list is #3…
It is currently the year 2021. That implies the Bjo Awards this year should recognize Trek fan films produced in 2020, right? So, where does this leave 2019’s offspring, hmmmm? Forgotten? Do you feel like you’ve been lost in time? In the annals of Star Trek fan films, an asterisk?
One option is to merge the fan films from 2019 and 2020 into ONE competition this year, and to temporarily suspend rule #3. However, this adds a lot more heavyweights to the mix, making it almost difficult for the “small guys” to even make it to the finals.
Instead, Eric has chosen to host the Bjo Awards this year, which will honor all Trek fan films produced in 2019. Even though the tournament will take place in 2021, the 2020 Bjo Awards will be held this year.
Eric will attempt to “catch up” and host an extra Bjo Awards for fan creations published in 2020 at some time in the near future…hopefully before next year’s Bjo Awards for the crop from 2021. Will he be able to fit in another awards show before the end of the year? Let’s see what happens!
In 2016, Eric Watts posed with John and Bjo Trimble.
This is a good moment to note that if you’re a well-organized and committed fan film supporter interested in assisting Eric with logistics, he’s seeking for volunteers. If you’re interested, leave a comment with your e-mail address, and I’ll forward it to Eric.
In the spirit of effort, I’d like to highlight two areas in which Eric has invested a significant lot of time. The first step is to recruit competent (and eager!) judges. There are almost 10 hours of Star Trek fan films available to view… And that’s assuming a judge just watches each one once and doesn’t return to assess particular performances, visual effects, music, and so on. Eric, on the other hand, does not appoint just anybody as a judge. Members of the fan film community must obviously be excluded since we will almost certainly be biased (even if we believe we aren’t). Eric also wants judges who have worked on Star Trek professionally, not just for fun. As a result, he utilized this as a criterion in his search. Judges are required to have…
…has an established professional credit in the Star Trek franchise (actor, author, artist, writer, director, designer, producer, stunt double… pretty much anything) OR is a Star Trek fan currently working in the television/movie industry and has no known association with any previous or current fan film
One would assume that assembling a panel of judges would take a long time with such lofty standards… and it worked! Months, to be exact. But, ultimately, Eric enlisted the help of a group of 13 people who were eager to evaluate the work of dozens (hundreds, if you include casts and crews!) of dedicated Star Trek fan filmmakers. The complete list of this year’s judges, as well as their qualifications, may be found on the Treklanta website.
Also, while we’re on the subject of pages on the Treklanta website, Eric just spent a crazy amount of work cleaning up and redesigning the whole Bjo Awards history of web pages. Starting on this page, you can see his work, and here’s Eric to explain you precisely what he did to improve things…
I’ve developed a new awards home page that includes general and historical information about the awards, such as how and why categories were introduced, removed, or modified over time, as well as qualifying criteria and other information about the awards in general. Then there’s a separate page for each year that has ONLY information on that year’s awards, such as links to all of the films on the ballot, their IMDb pages, producer web sites, as well as the complete list of all finalists and, of course, the winners, as well as that year’s panel of judges.
Surprisingly, each year’s page is now both shorter and more informative. BUT HOLD ON! BUT WAIT, THERE’S MORE! It wasn’t simply a matter of rearranging the data and presenting it in a more logical order. Corrections, changes, updates, and the addition of missing data were also made. The finalists were not included in the first three years, but they were in the last three. The names of the finalists have been added to all of the sites.
Many of the older films’ websites had changed or vanished, and there were no longer any connections to them. All of the links on this page have been updated. Plus, and this took the most time, I had to identify and fix all of the many internal inconsistencies that I discovered as I went from page to page. “Best Makeup & Hairstyling” appeared on certain pages, while “Best Hairstyling & Makeup” appeared on others… sometimes on the same page! Some characters’ names were given in quotes (for example, John Q. Actor as “Ensign Smith”), while others were not (John Q. Actor as Ensign Smith). Star Trek Natures Hunger, Star Trek: Natures Hunger, Star Trek Nature’s Hunger, and Star Trek: Nature’s Hunger were all stated in four different ways. Which was the right answer? Is there no colon? Is there no apostrophe? Is it possible to have one but not the other? Both? In some areas, executive producers were mentioned for Best Dramatic Presentation, but not in others. Even small details such as row color sequence (black, blue, black or blue, black, blue) were irregular.
That’s a LOT of effort, to say the least. But, thank you, Eric, it all looks FANtastic now.
And now, here’s a rundown of the fan films that qualified for the 2020 Bjo Awards (which will be handed out shortly in 2021)….
The the international full movie 2009 is a film that has been around for a while. It was released in 2009 and it is still popular today.
- trust 2010
- the international imdb
- movie about child predator
- internet predator movie
- trust (2010 full movie)