The Fan Audio Awards is an institution founded by Star Wars Fanworks in 2004. An annual event is held to honor the work of outstanding contributors to the fan audio community. Throughout the years, the Fan Audio Awards have had a number of formats, but the goal and spirit of celebration and recognition of excellent work has always remained the same.
2004: Three Sets of AwardsEdit
The very first Star Wars Fanworks Audio Awards were held in 2004, honoring the work that was released throughout 2003. The "ceremony" was presented on a special episode of Requiem of the Outcast. The episode featured the announcements of the awards and reactions recorded from the winners.
The freshman year of the awards saw three different sets of awards:
- Fan Audio Academy Awards: - Determined by an academy of seven fan audio community members. None of these academy members could have participated in any projects released in 2003, allowing the awards to be as impartial as possible. This set was regarded as the most prestigious set of awards.
- People's Choice Awards: - Determined by online polling, open to anyone registered at the GalacticSenate.com message boards, what is considered to be the "official" Star Wars fan audio forum. These awards reflect the choices of both listeners and creators (who are also listeners). This series was planned as a one-time event, not to be repeated in subsequent years, as votes could be more easily skewed, hence being slightly less prestigious than the Fan Audio Academy Awards set.
- Founder's Choice Awards: - A group of awards meant to recognize outstanding early achievements in the birth of the Star Wars fan audio genre in the years from 1998 - 2002. These projects were deemed worthy of recognition, but were not eligible for the Fan Audio Academy Awards or People's Choice Awards series, as they were released before 2003. Awards were chosen directly by Fanworks founder Nathan P. Butler. This series, like the People's Choice Awards, were planned as a one-time event, which would not be repeated in subsequent years.
2005: Fan Audio Academy AwardsEdit
In January and February 2005, the second annual Fan Audio Academy Awards were held, honoring Star Wars fan audio projects released in 2004. As there were no People's Choice or Founder's Choice Awards, the entire event was referred to as the Fan Audio Academy Awards, with all awards being decided by an academy of five fan audio community members. None of these academy members could have participated in any projects released in 2004, allowing the awards to be as impartial as possible. With the growth of the fan audio community and the involvement of its participants, the academy was reduced to five members from the original seven of the year before.
As with the 2004 awards, the "ceremony" was presented on a special episode of Requiem of the Outcast. The episode, released on February 25, 2005, featured the announcements of the awards and reactions recorded from the winners.
2006: Academy Award...without the AcademyEdit
The 2006 Fan Audio Academy Awards saw a slight format change in how the awards were determined. As the fan audio community continued to grow, it become harder to find a number of individuals who had not participated in any fan audio projects throughout the previous year (2005). Fanworks founder and Awards organizer Nathan P. Butler decided to open the award selection up to voting on the GalacticSenate.com message boards and via email, allowing the entire fan audio community for the first time since the People's Choice Awards in 2004.
The awards also moved from Requiem of the Outcast to Star Wars and Beyond. The awards ceremony was released on February 9, 2006, on Episode XIII of SWAB. Like the previous ceremony episodes on ROTO, the episode featured the announcements of the awards and reactions recorded from the winners. The SWAB episode was featured with special mixing by Robbie Chastain to add in audio effects such as microphone feedback and audience clapping and laughter to give a more "special presentation" feel to the awards ceremony. Chastain has said that while there were certain elements of the previous ROTO awards ceremonies he wanted to make sure to keep in order to maintain a sense of continuity to the awards shows, he also wanted the SWAB award shows to be different and not completely repetitive, hence the adding of the sound effects to make it seem like he and co-host Bryan Patrick Stoyle were actually in a theatre in front of a live audience presenting these awards.
The 2006 awards saw nominations of several new projects, most notably the rapid expansion of Star Wars related internet radio shows in 2005, thanks in part to the increasing awareness of podcast technology and the increase of Star Wars in popular culture due to the release of Revenge of the Sith. The large amount of radio show nominations caused Stoyle to comment that the radio shows had "[bred] like rabbits."
2007: No More "Academy"Edit
In 2007, the name was officially changed to the Star Wars Fanworks Fan Audio Awards, removing the "Academy" as the awards were now determined by popular vote instead of an academy of select individuals. The awards, honoring fan audio projects released in 2006, were selected by voting on the GalacticSenate.com message boards and through email.
The 2007 Fan Audio Awards was presented on January 28, 2007, on Episode XXIV of Star Wars and Beyond. Like the 2006 awards, the 2007 ceremonial episode featured Chastain's "special presentation" audio effects, as well as the announcements of the awards and recorded reactions from the winners.
2008: Low-Key CeremonyEdit
Due to a noticeable drop in participation of members of the fan audio community, there was a significantly lower amount of projects released in 2007 than in previous years. As a result, Fanworks founder Nathan P. Butler decided to only present five awards, selected by himself (with community input) as "special recognition" awards.
With Star Wars and Beyond officially ended, and Requiem of the Outcast having undergone a format change to no longer include Star Wars fan audio, the awards ceremony saw yet another change in venue, this time to The Butlerniverse. The awards were presented by Butler himself on Episode XX of The Butlerniverse, which was released on January 2, 2008.