Fan Film, Fan Films

Family Wins Star Trek Fan Film Contest

star trek fan film familyWhen the media writes about fan filmmakers, they usually portray them as geeky teenage guys with lots of free time and no life; the reality, of course, is something different. Men and women of all ages and all backgrounds enjoy the hobby, as recounted in chapter 14 of Homemade Hollywood. It was proven all over again last week, too, when the Tanaka family of Lucas Valley, CA won a national Star Trek fan film contest sponsored by Esurance.

The winning entry was supposed to reflect the filmmakers’ dedication to the franchise, so David and Dorianne Tanaka’s short, Trekitis, features their sons Benjamin and Mitchell as Spock and Kirk, respectively, along with their mom, dressed as Uhura. She passes “Trekitis”—the parents’ fandom—on to “the next generation,” and that results in the brothers mind-melding with each other and giving an irritating classmate the ol’ Vulcan nerve pinch.

“Traditionally, people think of ‘Star Trek’ fans as having detailed knowledge of every episode,” Dorianne Tanaka told the Marin Independent Journal. “To me, it’s more about capturing the values of the show: respect, love, courage. That’s what made a lasting impression on me. That’s what we included in our fan film.”

Beating 75 other entries, the family won a trip last week to the Hollywood premiere of the new Star Trek film at Mann’s Chinese Theater. To be fair, they had a little background with filmmaking before the contest—David Tanaka is an editor for Pixar who previously worked at ILM. This was also the second filmmaking contest that he’s won, the first being a competition sponsored by On the Lot, the ill-fated filmmaking reality show that ran on Fox two years ago. Click HERE to see the winning Star Trek fan film.

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