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Eric A. Stillwell is a producer and writer that has worked on a number of television series, made-for-television movies, and motion pictures, including numerous Star Trek series and motion pictures.
Trekkie Days Edit
Stillwell was born in Okinawa, Japan, in 1962. His father was in the U.S. Air Force, and when his dad retired in 1976, the family moved to Eugene, Oregon.
Stillwell became an avid Star Trek fan in 1974, having only been three years of age when the original series made its network debut in 1966. His family were living at Mountain Home A.F.B., Idaho, when he petitioned a local TV station in Boise to keep reruns of Star Trek on the air. At age 18, he organized and administered the international fan club STARFLEET International, which still operates today with thousands of members around the world. The Guinness Book of World Records recognizes Starfleet as the world's largest science fiction fan club, although Stillwell has not been actively involved with the organization in more than twenty years.
Stillwell still considers himself a Trekkie and has publically lent his support to the fan film Starship Exeter .
Pre-Star Trek Days Edit
After graduating from the University of Oregon in his home town of Eugene, Oregon, in 1985 (with a Bachelor of Science degree in Political Science), Stillwell headed for Hollywood. In 1986, he returned briefly to Oregon where he worked for Warner Bros. Television on the Hallmark Hall of Fame movie-of-the-week Promise, starring James Garner and James Woods, which became the most honored single program in the history of television with 5 Emmys, 2 Golden Globes, a Christopher Award, a Peabody Award, and the Humanitas Prize.
The Star Trek Years Edit
In 1987, after returning to Los Angeles, Stillwell landed the job of production assistant on Star Trek: The Next Generation. He spent the next two years running errands for producers, directors, writers, actors and various studio personnel involved with the hit TV series. In 1989, he was promoted to script coordinator for the series, working under Executive Producer Michael Piller to coordinate the typing, proofreading, printing and distribution of Next Generation teleplays and script revisions.
Also in 1989, Stillwell teamed up with Trent Christopher Ganino to co-write the story for "Yesterday's Enterprise", a third season episode which featured the return of Tasha Yar (Denise Crosby). The episode was nominated for three coveted Emmy Awards and won in the category for Technical Achievement in Sound Mixing. "Yesterday's Enterprise" has also been voted by the readers of Starlog Magazine as the most popular episode of the series (1993); ranked as the single most popular one-hour installment of the series in a nationwide viewer's choice marathon (1994); was chosen by the readers of TV Guide as one of the top five all-time Star Trek episodes (1996); and was chosen by viewers in the U.K. as the number one Star Trek episode of all time (1996). The California Lottery even featured the USS Enterprise-C from the episode on one of six Star Trek scratch-and-win lottery tickets in 1996.
During the series hiatus in 1991, Stillwell also worked as an extra on Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country, playing one of the numerous background Klingons in the trial scene of Captain Kirk and Dr. McCoy. In 1992, accepting an opportunity to travel regularly, he left the studio and became a full time convention organizer and emcee while continuing to write in a freelance capacity. In 1994, Stillwell teamed up with David R. George III to write the first season Star Trek: Voyager story entitled "Prime Factors". The episode was nominated for "Best Dramatic Hour" by the Sci-Fi Universe Awards in 1995.
In 1994, Stillwell founded Horizon Conventions, Inc., a California corporation. In its first nine months of operation, the company raised over $10,000 for various charities, including the Make-A-Wish Foundation. In 1995, Stillwell co-produced the biggest convention ever staged for Star Trek fans. The event, held at the prestigious Royal Albert Hall in London, England, sold out 10,000 tickets two months before the show! The live event featured the entire principal cast of The Next Generation and producer Rick Berman, and coincided with the London charity premiere of Star Trek Generations at the Empire Theatre, contributing to the fanfare and publicity resulting in Paramount Picture's biggest-ever U.K. film opening!
In 1995, Stillwell was hired by Cruise Trek, a company that produces an annual Star Trek-themed cruise vacation, to serve as emcee for on board Trek-related events and activities. He and his wife, Debra Stillwell, enjoyed the first cruise so much, they returned for six more. The 2001 trip to the eastern Mediterranean marked their seventh Cruise Trek in as many years.
In 1996, Stillwell returned to work with writer producer Michael Piller (TNG, DS9, Voyager) at Paramount Studios. As Piller's executive assistant, he served as Script Coordinator for Star Trek: Insurrection, the ninth installment in the enormously successful Star Trek movie franchise.
In 1998, Stillwell was hired as an off-camera "typing" extra for a scene in the Star Trek: Deep Space Nine episode "Far Beyond the Stars", directed by Avery Brooks. He also share a story credit on The 34th Rule, a DS9 novel written by David R. George III & Armin Shimerman (Quark), which was released in 1999. To date, the book is one of the best selling DS9 novels ever published by Pocket Books.
Post Star Trek Edit
In 1999, Michael Piller left Paramount to establish his own production company named Piller Squared, Inc., where Stillwell served as vice president of operations for the company as well as script coordinator and associate producer on Michael’s television & film projects. In 2000, the company produced a science fiction pilot for The WB television network entitled Day One based on the British mini series The Last Train. Stillwell also served as associate producer on USA Network's hit television series The Dead Zone starring Anthony Michael Hall and Nicole deBoer, and the hit ABC Family series Wildfire featuring Nana Visitor.
Currently (2005 to present) Stillwell and his wife Debra live in Eugene, Oregon, where he is the head writer and associate producer of a new children's television series Nanna's Cottage. His wife Debra, who is a Registered Nurse, was once hired on DS9 as a medical consultant.
- There is a star named Stillwell in "Yesterday's Enterprise", in the alternate timeline, on a tactical situation monitor showing progress of the Klingons in their war with the Federation.
- In 2161, Captain Stillwell offered then-Ensign Travis Mayweather a posting aboard his vessel following the decommissioning of Mayweather's previous ship, the NX class Enterprise (NX-01). Preferring to continue serving with Captain Jonathan Archer, his commanding officer from Enterprise, Mayweather did not give Stillwell an immediate answer as he first wanted to see what Captain Archer was going to do next. (ENT: "These Are the Voyages...")
- Eric Stillwell is a member of Starfleet in the 24th century whose name was on a set graphic listing Starbase 32's staff.