Fan Film, Fan Films

Smart Take on Star Trek: Phase II Controversy

The best Fan Film brouhaha so far this year has to be the fuss a few weeks ago when Star Trek: New Voy…uh, Phase II got nominated for a Nebula Award for the episode, “World Enough and Time” (AKA “The one with Sulu in it”).

The move sparked all kinds of controversy within the Sci-Fi community because the award category is for professional productions only. Mark Scott Zicree, director and co-writer of the episode, defended the nomination, publicly stating that it was a pro production because every cast and crewmember who was part of the various Screen Guilds was paid for his involvement (a disclosure that I suspect pained a few ST:P2 folks, as the series’ publicity had always been shaded to imply that name-brand participants like George Takei, Walter Koenig and DC Fontana donated their time for free because of the series’ level of quality). P2 executive producer James Cawley responded with a letter to the Science Fiction Writers of America (the folks who run the Nebulas), asserting that it is an amateur production—and with good reason: If any money was made from it, his backside would be on the line as the executive producer.

After a bit of hemming and hawing, it was decided to let the nomination stand, while acknowledging the amateur status of the production. All this is water under the bridge now, but today I stumbled across what I think is the smartest take on the situation, in an interview on Trek Today with Trek author and editor Keith R.A. DeCandido:

The thing is that based on the rules, fan fiction can be nominated in any of the other categories, so it seems to me they should be consistent about it. Honestly, I’m not that invested in it one way or the other. My feeling is that if they’re going to have the rules say that, then they should follow it, and if they’re not going to, they should rewrite the rules. It’s more a case of consistency than anything. I also object strongly to people saying, “Well, it’s got professionals working on it, so it must be a professional production!” No, it isn’t. If Kobe Bryant plays a pick up game on the streets of Los Angeles, that doesn’t make it an NBA game. And the fact that you’ve got Marc Zicaree (sic) and George Takei and various others involved does not change the fact that it’s a fan film. That doesn’t make it bad. I’ve written fan fiction, I’ve enjoyed fan fiction–I think fan fiction is cool. In fact the people who are saying it’s not real are being insulting to actual producers of fan fiction.

Ten bucks says Kobe has no idea what a fan film is.

[This post has been updated---I sleepily wrote "Hugos" when I meant "Nebulas." My bad.]

Blogged with the Flock Browser

Like this story? Tell the world:

4 Responses to “Smart Take on Star Trek: Phase II Controversy”

  1. You seem to be a little bit confused here. The Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America do not run the Hugo Awards. Nor was this controversy anything to do with the Hugos. The fuss you are thinking of was about the nomination of WEAT in the Best Script category of the Nebula Awards (which are run by SFWA).

    The Hugos are run by the World Science Fiction Society, a fan organization. WEAT was indeed nominated for a Hugo (see here). To my knowledge, no one has complained about this (other than the usual bitching that other productions were better). It might even win, although to do so it has to beat a couple of Doctor Who episodes, and Stephen Moffat has won that category for the past two years.

  2. Damn, you’re right. I’m going to fix that in a few mintues. Thanks!

  3. Glad to help. Thanks for fixing it!

  1. 2008: The Year in Fan Film News | Fan Cinema Today
RSS for Posts RSS for Comments