New Star Trek Film Honored At Location Awards

The new Star Trek is seven months away, but it is already picking up awards. The California on Location Awards, which honors location professionals for excellence while working on location in California, held their 14th annual ceremony last night and three Star Trek location department members were among those nominated. TrekMovie has the results plus some words from the nominees.

Epic Trek gets noticed
TrekMovie has reported before about how JJ Abrams Star Trek has used more locations than any previous Trek film. The location managers on the film fanned out to find spots to stand in for Planet Vulcan, Starfleet Academy, an Iowa Farm and many more spots both alien and terrestrial. Apparently this work got the notice of the industry as Star Trek picked up three nominations at this year’s COLAs. Supervising Location Manager Becky Brake was a finalist in the category of “Location Professional of the Year for Features” for her work on the film, while Kathy McCurdy and Scott Trimble were both up for "Assistant Location Manager of the Year for Features". Unfortunately, Brake lost her nomination to a tie between Douglas Dresser for Fired Up and Gregory Alpert for Frost/Nixon. However, McCurdy ended up winning in the "Assistant Location Manager" category, with Trimble being named a runner-up. contacted Kathy McCurdy, who had this to say about the COLAs:

It was an honor to be nominated for Trek, let alone to actually win. The other two finalists, Scott [Trimble] is one, are both great at their jobs so it was an extra special experience for me to be included in that group. The movie was my all time favourite work experience. The crew [was] fantastic and friendly and fun and that all starts from the top. We were so lucky to work with JJ Abrams. The 14-15 hour days don’t feel like work when Scott Chambliss is your Production Designer. He is so inspiring to work with. Scouting for him and JJ was so fun because they are so creative and open to cool locations you find for them. They were supportive and appreciative of our whole department. Part of the reason it was my favorite work experience is that it was a chance to work with literally some of the best in the business, in each department. What a treat. Saving the best for last, we had the best locations team from our coordinator to the bosswoman herself, Becky Brake. She is the perfect boss – she gave our whole team the latitude and support to do our jobs properly and she has a great sense of humour, a necessity in our line of work! A finer group of folks doesn’t exist and it was such a pleasure and an honour to work with them. I’m the luckiest girl in the world. also talked with runner-up Scott Trimble, who had this to say:

I am very happy about the contributions that both Kathy and I made to this film. It can be extremely tough to shoot such big movies in Southern California, particularly with all the confidentiality needed with this kind of film, but through a lot of planning and teamwork we pulled it off. The whole thing could not have been done, of course, without the leadership of our Supervising Location Manager, Becky Brake, as well as the rest of our Location Department. Plus, we had the support of the extremely talented group at Bad Robot Productions and Paramount Pictures.

Trimble also added:

I’ve been a Trekkie for as long as I can remember, so working on this film was a dream come true for me! I am very excited about the many creative contributions that I made in regards to finding and securing the amazing locations that you’ll eventually see in this film.

Trimble and McCurdy were also nominated as part of the “Location Team of the Year for Features” for the film Hancock, but they lost to the team from Eagle Eye (which, ironically, was executive produced by Star Trek writers/exec producers Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci). Both Trimble and McCurdy previously won a COLA as part of the location team for Transformers, while Trimble and Brake won as part of the team for Mission: Impossible III, also directed by J.J. Abrams and written by Kurtzman and Orci.

For more information on the COLAs, see For more news on who won at this year’s COLAs, see The Hollywood Reporter. You can see the full list of finalists here.

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Harry Ballz
October 20, 2008 9:49 pm

Let’s hope the movie’s storyline lives up to the locations!

October 20, 2008 9:49 pm

Congrats to the team and JJ for doing their part and keeping production in the LA area, “the entertaintment capital of the world”.

blake powers
October 20, 2008 9:49 pm

I got your location. How about the Enterprise for a Location.. FTW!!

October 20, 2008 9:50 pm

I will boycott the film if the proper look of Iowa is not achieved by some cheap California locale. I’d better not see palm trees or distant mountain ranges.


October 20, 2008 9:55 pm

I don’t quite follow what this award is for. Huray locations!?

October 20, 2008 9:56 pm

I will also boycott the film, but only if the effects and the sets are TOO realistic. Star Trek has always been about cheap cardboard cutouts and styrofoam rocks. If I don’t see strings holding up the (badly constructed paper mache) ships, I’m walking right out of the theater.


October 20, 2008 10:43 pm

I went to the site but I still don’t understand what the award is *for* exactly. Apparently it doesn’t have anything to do with the locations in relation to the movie.

October 20, 2008 11:30 pm

Uh did you know that currently we’re not able to film movies ‘off world’ so yea…they have to actually shoot them somewhere on this planet. Prob Calif..duh

Harry Ballz
October 21, 2008 12:17 am

An awards ceremony for best locations?

Sheesh, what’s next, an award for best kraft food services?

Hollywood really likes to reward itself, doesn’t it???

Maybe they should spend less time on this stuff and more on making good films!

October 21, 2008 12:19 am

Lol, what is this article about? I can’t tell.

October 21, 2008 12:26 am


Anthony Thompson
October 21, 2008 12:36 am

They should use Arcosanti for a city of the future – THAT would be incredible!

October 21, 2008 12:43 am

Let’s hear it for land!

October 21, 2008 1:07 am
Listen, it may be easy for those of us outside the industry to make light of such an award, but it represents something very real; people doing very hard work, usually under tight deadlines and budgetary considerations, all for the sake of making us believe what we see on the movie screen. The award is given for talent, professionalism and dedication to their craft. Location managers are just as responsible as the actors and director for the overall look of a film. The right locations, well-managed, elevate a film’s reality; and on the production side, when these people do their jobs well, a film comes in on time and at (or under) budget. It may seem trivial to the average film-goer, but this award recognizes excellence in an important aspect of the filmmaking process. I’m sure that recipients often find that the award brings them greater notice and prestige, allowing them to work on bigger and better projects. To a film director or a producer, an in-demand Location Manager is just as hot a commodity as an in-demand actor. Location work can be an arduous and fatiguing process, and these people are charged with keeping the momentum up on multi-million dollar film projects. Just because their work goes largely unnoticed by the general public doesn’t make it any less crucial or important. So make fun of it if you feel you must, but think about this; if you should ever be recognized for outstanding work, how would you feel if… Read more »
October 21, 2008 1:10 am

Did the review of the new “Destiny” novel just vanish?

October 21, 2008 1:22 am

This is great!

haha. Now Star Trek has awards.. before its release.
So you can brag to people. “My movie already has awards!”

October 21, 2008 1:54 am

Not bad, at all. Let’s hope that this film wins awards after it is released, too. Really, this film OUGHT to be, by far, the best in the franchise. It certainly has that potential, at least. When you think about it, this film has an estimated budget of $150 million. That’s staggering. The film that many hold, so far, as the best in the franchise, TWOK, had a comparatively puny budget: $12 million! Trek XI is certainly going to look better that anything we have seen, so far, in the franchise. With a great story and acting, it really ought to be better than TWOK. We shall judge for ourselves, in a few months…

October 21, 2008 2:21 am

Congrats to Becky, Kathy and Scott!
And I did not know that there is a “location” for the engine room, and not a dressed soundstage… hmm.

October 21, 2008 2:35 am

Location Awards?

How about…

The Belchies (for best catering on a movie set)…
The 75th Annual Honey Wagon Honors…
The Yankers Award (for grips)

Hollywood never tires of its status as a snake eating its own tail.

Fatman Bruno
October 21, 2008 2:44 am

There she is!!!!!

the Enterprise as landed

Fatman Bruno
October 21, 2008 2:47 am

The engines look right from the trailer, but the klingons are sure making their ships bigger these days.
glad they went with the movie look!!!!

October 21, 2008 3:19 am

Blue warp engines? Sine everything else about the ship looks the same.. And since the uniforms look just about the same.. And the majority of the bridge(in my opinion).. Why wouldn’t they keep the warp engines red/orange?

Gosh, I think that is the first slightly negative thing I’ve ever said or thought about this movie thus far. I’m am still looking very forward to it though! The Klingon Ship looks exactly how it should(again, in my opinion).

October 21, 2008 3:35 am

1: I agree totally.

October 21, 2008 4:05 am

nearly every profession has awards sponsored by their professional association. How ignorant can you be to mock the awards or the winners? Whether you are “white collar” or “blue collar” I believe if you’ll take your head out of your *ss and look at the nearest bulletin board where you work, you’ll find your profession also has some way of encouraging excellence.

October 21, 2008 4:17 am

@ 25 & 26: Basically, the picture is so small and the quality is so bad that you really can’t make out any details. It could be from the movie.
But it could just as well be a quick and dirty Photoshop job. The lighting seems strange, with this extreme burn-out around the bridge and the left side of the saucer.
I’ll grant you that the nacelles look similar to the USS Kelvin picture.

October 21, 2008 4:23 am

29: I’m guessing, if it is a real pic… That it was probably taken with a cell phone.. Which could explain the small size, the slight blurryness, and the ‘burn-out’ around the bridge. Try taking a picture of something on your t.v. It’ll appear brighter than what it actually is.

Fatman Bruno
October 21, 2008 4:37 am

Fatman Bruno is out there. he can’t be bargained with. he can’t be reasoned with, and he absolutely will not stop, ever, until he has a real picture of the Enterprise!!!

October 21, 2008 4:44 am

31: So, are you saying that you did do that photoshop job?

Fatman Bruno
October 21, 2008 4:52 am

no I didn’t create the enterprise image, I am just not so sure about the picture until anthony gets back to us concerning the validity of the image…
Is it real anthony…. or is it a FAKE!!!

October 21, 2008 5:15 am

Charles Trotter: Thanks for the article. Being in the business myself, I understand the challenges involved in location scouting and location shooting. Kudos to Brake, McCurdy and Trimble for their work.

October 21, 2008 5:31 am

[25] Bruno, that pic is so terrible its almost good.
this is much better…

October 21, 2008 5:34 am

I say the photo is real. It can be downloaded and resized on your ‘puter.

Paul B.
October 21, 2008 5:42 am

I think the photo is fake. Look at the teaser trailer carefully: the ship’s registry number and name are not in the same place on the teaser Enterprise as they are in this photo. Close to the same place, but they do not look the same.

FAKE. Nice pic, but I really think it’s just a PhotoShip…uh, Shop..

October 21, 2008 5:50 am

#24 and others

That design was posted on this site weeks ago and was debunked as fake, if I recall.


Mr. Trotter, don’t despair. I understood the content and meaning of this article right away ;)

Fatman Bruno
October 21, 2008 6:00 am

pretty sure that image is new, maybe the artist impression (35 fakesteve) is old but I stand by the photo being new….

I agree the Klingon ship seems a little to big but if this is fake you’ve got to hand it to them its got all the details that we have seen in the last week

October 21, 2008 6:38 am

Bruno, while that image was uloaded to flickr today, the artist got the Kelvin design wrong.

The Kelvins Secondary Hull is ABOVE the saucer, the Warp Nacelle below it. Hence the BLUE deflector dish, and the RED Bussard Ramscoops.

October 21, 2008 6:38 am

#18 described it perfectly.
These three people deserved a lot of credit!

It takes an enormous amount of effort to take movies out on location. There’re all the tons of equipment, trucks, and trailers, and there’s also government red tape (city, county, state, national) where everything is controlled in every minutiae.

Also, they’re dealing with the real-world, not a Hollywood backlot. Not everybody WANTS a big movie shooting in their area. It takes a LOT of people skills to be able to pull these things off.

And that’s all talking just logistics. They also have to find the places that LOOK like what they need for the film. Creatively, this can be very challenging too!

October 21, 2008 6:54 am

Its fake!
Where are the fins on the nacelles?
Why is the lighting so inconsistent?
And the deflector dish looks like it was taken out of the Motion Picture!

October 21, 2008 7:10 am

[42] yo, DKS! that image is of amazing quality… I wonder how many spies lost their lives while smuggling this precious jpeg out of ILMs high security vaults…

admiral R
October 21, 2008 7:18 am

In Hollywood you can win an award for just about anything!

October 21, 2008 7:19 am


And I was a bridge extra:)




October 21, 2008 7:25 am

So, DKS!, did they let you keep that red miniskirt?

October 21, 2008 7:43 am

*clenches fists*

Steve Rector
October 21, 2008 7:51 am

Think about it, people. J.J. Abrams and co. wanted to make as great a new “Star Trek” movie as possible. Well, the LOCATIONS are vital to that.

It’s got to be a hard job to find alien landscapes, futuristic places, spaceships, etc. You need to have a tremendous amount of knowledge and research skills, a creative eye, and the ability to actually get the permits to shoot at such places once they’re chosen.

You joke about giving an award to anybody, but, really, these guys truly deserve it. Their work is right up there with the costume designers and make-up artists and art directors who already get Oscars and such.

October 21, 2008 7:57 am

Did you notice Trimble’s comment about having been a Trekkie all his life? Plus, he’s worked with Abrams before. Those are GOOD things. The more Trekkies working on this movie, the better! They know their stuff.

October 21, 2008 8:00 am

OK geeks. Let’s focus.

The article is about an award given to the quality of work a production crew does on location. Their professionalism and treatment of the locale are taken into consideration. No big-time Hollywood types generally get the award. It’s recognition for the backline folks.

Now that Enterprise picture. This may clear it up for you: