ALEC PETERS discusses the AXANAR LAWSUIT and SETTLEMENT (Interview – Part 1)

ALEC PETERS, the executive producer of AXANAR PRODUCTIONS) has arguably become one of the most controversial and polarizing figures in the world of fan films.  Having worked on the fan series Star Trek: New Voyages/Phase II, Alec ultimately set his sights on producing a Star Trek fan film of his own: Axanar.  Using the relatively new crowd-funding tools of Kickstarter and Indiegogo, Alec was able to go where no Star Trek fan filmmaker had gone before: past the $1 million mark in fan donations to build a studio and produce his dream project.

He also became the first-ever Star Trek fan filmmaker to get his ass sued simultaneously by two major Hollywood studios.

Rather than turning into a mass of quivering jelly and accepting a potentially multi-million dollar judgment against him, Alec was able to find a top intellectual property law firm to represent him pro bono (for free), and “David” took on “Goliath” in a case that I’ve analyzed extensively here on Fan Film Factor.  It was ugly, surprising, frustrating, amusing at times, full of twists and turns, and even covered by the mainstream media.  The case carried the potential of settling huge precedents in copyright law that could affect all fan films…for good or ill.  And thousands of fans and donors watched eagerly to see what would happen next.

But fandom was not united in their opinion of this case nor their feelings about Alec Peters.  Some fans (like myself) were huge supporters and proudly proclaimed, “I Stand With AXANAR!”  Others felt just as strongly that an arrogant and overconfident Icarus had flown far too close to the sun and deserved to plummet to a painful, smashing oblivion far below.

And then, unexpectedly to almost all fans watching the case (including yours truly), nearly 13 months after the legal complaint was first filed jointly by CBS and Paramount and just 11 days before the actual trial was set to begin, the two opposing parties announced to the public that they had reached a settlement.  The case was now officially over.

The settlement terms (those that have been revealed publicly–most of the details remain confidential) included the following provisions:

  • Alec Peters gets to make Axanar.  However, it cannot be 90-to-100 minutes as first planned.  He has to follow the constraints of the fan film guidelines and limit his film to two 15-minute segments.
  • Alec is ALLOWED to feature the original cast–which includes Gary Graham, reprising his role as Soval, and JG Hertzler–two professional actors who would otherwise have been banned from the production by the guidelines because they had previously worked on various Star Trek television series for Paramount.
  • Axanar Productions gets to distribute DVDs and Blu-rays of the finished film to fan donors (something else the guidelines prohibit other fan films from doing).
  • Prelude to Axanar can remain on YouTube.  Since Axanar is a sequel to that fan film, it gets to skirt the “no sequels or ongoing series” guideline.
  • All the other guidelines must be followed.
  • Alec will not be allowed to sponsor more public crowd-funding campaigns on Kickstarter or Indiegogo, but he will be allowed to solicit donations directly from backers into the project.
  • Alec had to admit that his production(s) crossed boundaries and were never approved by the studios (well…d’uh!), but he did NOT have to admit any infringement or purposeful wrongdoing.
  • It has been reported elsewhere that there will be no monetary penalty paid by Alec to the studios.  However, this detail remains unconfirmed.
  • It appears that Industry Studios (formerly Ares Studios), funded by a half million dollars in fan donations, gets to remain open.  This is also unconfirmed by the two press releases and donor e-mail that were released so far.
  • Alec will be allowed to make additional Star Trek fan films in the future, as long as they follow the guidelines.

These details of the settlement have shocked some, angered others, and generally left the community of Star Trek fan films talking almost non-stop about what they think happened and what they predict or hope will happen.

But there’s one particular fan who has NOT been heard from yet…and he’s key to everything that’s going on.  Alec Peters has agreed to give me an exclusive interview with NO preconditions on any questions.  I was allowed to ask him anything–although I understood that there are some things he won’t be able to discuss for reasons of confidentiality imposed by the court.  But everything else was fair game!

So here we go…


JONATHAN: Alec, thank you for agreeing to do this interview.

ALEC: Well, you were pretty damn persistent!  And I do appreciate all that Fan Film Factor has done to present a fair and accurate account of this case as it’s progressed over the past year.

JONATHAN: Well, someone had to do it.  [Laughs.]  Okay, are you ready to play “Twenty Questions”?

ALEC: That many, huh?

JONATHAN: Yep, I counted.  And most of these are taken from comments I’ve received both here on Fan Film Factor and over at Project: Small Access.  These are NOT softball questions, my friend!

ALEC: I’m ready to answer anything I legally can.  Fire away.

JONATHAN: Okay, almost immediately after the settlement was announced, the first detractor comments came in.  I’m paraphrasing here, but it was essentially: “It’s been over an hour since you announced the settlement!  Where the hell is the completed Axanar film???”

But seriously, you and Axanar Productions raised nearly $1.5 million in crowd-funded money over 18 months ago (I think that’s the latest number I’ve seen).  So why isn’t Axanar finished yet?  Why didn’t you just film the feature while you were getting sued instead of waiting?  (By the way, I’m counting that as just one question.)

ALEC: That’s all just one question?  This is gonna be a loooong interview!

JONATHAN: People want to know these things, Alec.

ALEC: I gotcha.  All right, here goes…

Well, first, of all, we just went through 13 months of a major lawsuit.. The good news is we had Winston & Strawn donating their services to Axanar. But the magnitude of what we just went through is important. We stopped production for 13 months because we felt it was too risky to proceed without knowing what level of changes we were going to have to make.  And understanding this, we knew we’d have to make changes; we just weren’t clear what it would take to satisfy CBS and Paramount.

So asking where a movie is a bit unrealistic. We have spent the past year trying to keep Axanar afloat, settle the lawsuit, address the potential for monetary damages, and now we finally have clarity as to what’s acceptable to the studios…so there is a lot to do now.

As to the dollars raised, let’s unpack that number.

Because even though we’ve raised approximately $1.3 million through Kickstarter and Indiegogo, not all of it was for a feature film. Our first crowd-funding project was to finance PRELUDE TO AXANAR, which we completed, has won over 47 film festival awards around the world, and is considered one of the finest fan films ever.

As part of our second Kickstarter campaign, which was laid out, we rented a facility and built it out into a sound stage; built sets we would need; and covered some design and pre-production expenses.

Our third campaign, run on the Indiegogo platform, raised just over $500k which was, when added to the pre-production money we were able to use from the second campaign, approximately a third of what we projected the actual production budget of the feature was going to run. That’s a lot of money, but in terms of producing a high-quality, feature length, science-fiction film, and building out a sound stage to professional quality, $1.3 million is not enough to cover all costs.

Our project, with original music, original visual effects, high-quality production design work, costumes, props and the rest was really ambitious and relatively cheap–it couldn’t be done for only $1.3 million without the contributions of dozens of Star Trek fans who are also really good at what they do in the motion picture and TV industry.

So when it comes to answering the question “Why isn’t Axanar on YouTube yet?” we ask people be patient given that this lawsuit just finally ended, and that a project of this magnitude takes time to come together in a finished form that we can be proud of…especially when you have to rely on folks who are giving their time and talent to us at low or no-charge.

And then, of course, there was the matter of the lawsuit…

JONATHAN: Yeah, a lot of people on both sides of this case wonder why you suddenly decided to stop all production just because of a little thing like a multi-million dollar lawsuit?

ALEC: Well, when we were served with the lawsuit at the end of December in 2015, we had some choices to make. We were, literally, weeks away from starting principal photography on the first third of the movie, but that presented some risks.  So we decided to put all new production on hold and just wrap up the work that had already been assigned.

JONATHAN: Like what?  What kind of work had already been assigned?

ALEC: Well, as you know, we were building sets for shooting. We were also pretty far down the road on costumes and props, so we honored our commitment to those companies to pay for materials and get that work finished. We also had a composer working on new music and our visual effects team were up to their elbows producing shots of starship fly-bys and firefights.

In addition to that, the script was getting polished, and we were wrapping up set construction and soundstage modifications.

During those first few weeks, we figured if we suspended production and offered to make whatever changes CBS and Paramount wanted, we could get back into production…albeit on a slightly modified feature film project. Our goal from the beginning was get the first part of Axanar in the can and share that progress with our backers and fans to help us raise the rest of the money we thought we’d need to produce the rest of the movie.

Unfortunately, things didn’t work on the timeline we originally hoped.

JONATHAN: But after a few months, and especially after J.J. Abrams said the lawsuit was “going away” and it didn’t, it seemed pretty clear that the studios weren’t going to simply allow you to make a “few changes,” shake hands, and let bygones by bygones.  And there was nothing specifically in the lawsuit that prevented you from producing Axanar anyway, was there? Why not just grit your teeth and make Axanar while the lawsuit was still going on?

ALEC: That wasn’t really a viable option from where we stood. It could have just made everything more complex and, potentially, more expensive in terms of damages…especially from a “willful damages” perspective. Our attorneys recommended we hold off on production until we got the guidance we needed from either a settlement or the resolution of the lawsuit. Our production team agreed, and I thought it was the right thing to do.

JONATHAN: So here’s a question that a bunch of people have asked: why did you choose to fight this lawsuit in the first place and not just agree to play nice after you got sued?

ALEC: I believe it would have gone differently had we been given a cease and desist letter or a heads up about the lawsuit. But once the lawsuit was filed, the game changed. The original suit sought monetary damages that could have potentially financially wiped out not just me and Axanar Productions but put other people in harm’s way, as well (no one knew who CBS or Paramount were going to name as the “Doe’s” cited in their complaint). So, caving in when the lawsuit was filed wasn’t really a viable option.

All I can say is, “Thank God for Winston & Strawn!” because without their advice and representation, we would have had to fold immediately and shut down Axanar. So now I’m optimistic that we’ll be able to make some really fun Star Trek now that the case is resolved.

JONATHAN: Okay, there’s been a lot of discussion and controversy over this next question: how much money is left?

ALEC: From the funds raised through our crowd-funding campaigns? None.

JONATHAN: Actually, I knew that…but it leads into the real next question: how much of that $1.3 million was left when you found out you were being sued?

ALEC: At the end of 2015 when the lawsuit was served, we had $267,000 in the bank. That would have gotten us through principal photography and into post-production…in order to produce the material we’d need to launch one final fund-raising campaign and cover the rest of the budget. But as things dragged out, overhead and the remaining outstanding production costs killed us.

In the meantime, we’ve received some additional private funding from people who wish to remain anonymous. And when you add that to what I’ve put in personally, we’ve been able to keep the doors of Industry Studios open…and we’re now marketing the facility to other productions and production companies to generate enough revenue to keep the lights on.

JONATHAN: Well, that confirms something that’s been assumed by many…that you don’t have to give up the “for-profit” studio…

ALEC: To date, our rented studio has not earned any profits.

JONATHAN: But it’s intended to eventually earn profits, right?

ALEC: Our studio is intended to operate as a real, professional soundstage and generate revenues for Axanar Productions (the business entity that operates it). That revenue will be used to fund our operations–which includes producing Star Trek fan films. We see it as a way to help relieve the  financial burden of funding projects like Axanar from the shoulders of the fans who want to see great fan fiction.

As far as I know, the only “for-profit” studio in the Star Trek fan film universe is James Cawley’s Star Trek: New Voyages Set Tour in Ticonderoga, New York. He turned his fan film studio into a CBS-licensed tourist attraction. It’s a fine example of how a fan’s passion can be leveraged to the advantage of the franchise…but that’s not what we set out to do.

It’s all a piece of a much larger vision we have for Axanar Productions that goes well beyond Prelude to Axanar and the Axanar feature film.

JONATHAN:  All right, Alec, let’s talk about the Axanar feature film for a second. According to what’s been published about your settlement with CBS and Paramount, it sounds like you’re stuck with having to live within the fan film guidelineswhich means Axanar will now consist solely of two 15-minute segments available only on YouTube. Is that right? And if so, hasn’t this settlement essentially gutted your dream project?

ALEC: That’s half-right. Actually, while the Axanar feature film is limited to just two 15-minute segments, those guidelines relate exclusively to fan films and not to other forms of media. From an artistic, story-telling point of view, we’ve been given an interesting challenge by CBS and Paramount: live within these guidelines and try to tell your story.

When you think of what we accomplished with Prelude to Axanar, I think we can tell a pretty compelling story in 30 minutes. That is 50% more film than Prelude. And there are ways to tell the larger story of Axanar and the Four Years War in much more depth now…and a piece of that storytelling will be done via the two 15-minute video segments.

There are a lot of options to consider now that the suit has been settled. I’ll be reassembling our team to look at what’s allowed under the terms of our agreement with CBS and Paramount, review the work completed to date, talk through the story of Axanar as it currently exists, and go through all of our options. Then we’ll present our plan to donors and backers.  It’s my hope they’ll be pleased with our intended plan.

JONATHAN: But I know from some of the comments folks have made on FAN FILM FACTOR and in the SMALL ACCESS Facebook group that there are at least a few donors (perhaps a lot of them; it’s hard to know for certain) who have soured on both you and Axanar. And then there are those people who think you shouldn’t have settled and that 30 minutes of Axanar is so short that it’s a travesty.  One poster even said in a comment that NO Axanar would be better than this watered down version.

So while you can hope all you want, what happens if not everyone is “pleased” with your revised plan?

ALEC: Well, we have been very good at listening to what our donors want. Hey, good ideas can come from anywhere, and we’ll use the constructive feedback if we feel it makes the project stronger. There will be some though, I’m sure, who will not be happy. In fact, I’m sure there will be some people who won’t be happy no matter what we try to do. You can’t please everyone, and our focus is on the vast majority who have passionately followed Axanar and who we really want to make happy.

JONATHAN: Okay, remember when you said I could ask you any question?

ALEC: Oh, boy…

JONATHAN: How much personal blame do you accept for the lawsuit and the delay in producing Axanar?


Oh, you KNOW you want to read the answer to that question!

Come back tomorrow for the conclusion.

150 thoughts on “ALEC PETERS discusses the AXANAR LAWSUIT and SETTLEMENT (Interview – Part 1)”

  1. You really do know how to write a cliff-hanger. Perhaps you could write the cliff-hangers for the kind of Axanar media dance Alec laid out. I can’t wait to see your transition from a ballet to a WWII montage to some Axanar footage to an opera and back again.

    1. Frankly, I’m waiting for the scene with Garth, Travis, and Soval sitting around the campfire at Yosemite singing “Row, Row, Row Your Boat” while Soval supplies the marshmellons. 🙂

    1. Don’t worry Tim, you can bet every dime in your piggy bank that you’ll always be behind Alec Peters in his eyes !

    1. Moses strategy ? That’s kinda like asking the neighborhood idiot for directions!
      It’s best for Moses just to walk into the sea, he’s wasted enough air ….

  2. You know, if Alec had spent the money he raised on actually making a film he would have relieved the fans of the financial burden of further fundraising.

      1. I did. As many others have pointed out (including the director of Prelude), $1.4 million raised with nothing to show for it. If the money had been spent on filming a movie instead of building a studio we’d have Axanar. So, poor decisions and poor money management. Will Alec own his mistakes in the next installment? Stay tuned!

          1. For the drinking game you’re putting together:

            Commenter name drops Christian Gossett: take a shot
            If the commenter says Gossett is solely responsible for thw quality of Prelude: take two shots…

        1. Well, you may have read, but you clearly don’t pay attention.

          “Nothing to show for it”? Seriously you need to wake up.

          1) Prelude to Axanar
          2) The Vulcan Scene
          3) 3 trailers
          4) 15 minutes of finished VFX
          5) Multiple sets built.
          6) A warehouse converted into a professional soundstage.

          Let alone costumes, props, and a finished script.

          You know, I get sick of the haters who keep claiming we have “nothing to show for it”. Try paying attention to what we have been publishing for 3 years now.

          Alec

          1. The proof is in the pudding. Fan films with far fewer resources have put so much more on the screen with so much less. Maybe but “nothing to show for it” is hyperbole. But “relatively little to show for it” is pretty accurate.

          2. I wouldn’t exactly call that bridge set (and the other sets), the costumes and props, the VFX shots, the two short films, and the entire studio “little.” That’s like calling Sulu “Tiny”!!!

          3. Wow! All that Alec? Considering you spent $1.4 million that makes Prelude the most expensive fan film per minute in history by a long shot. How much did Tommy spend for a feature? A few hundred grand?

            I have to hand it to you Alec, you certainly ARE successful. Successful at spending other people’s money that is.

          4. Lol, your “soundstage” doesn’t have a fire suppression system in place and you now have no donor money left to finish it. Oh but of course, you have money to travel to Europe for some gaming bullshit. It’s not like you could use that travel and expense money to, I don’t know, refund some of the donors that want their money back. I don’t know what’s worse, you or the abject retards that still support you even after the court documents have exposed your filth for all to see.

          5. Warning on not saying “bullshat” or “bullsh*t.” The next potty word in a post from you gets it trashed.

            Also, using words like “retards” and “filth” just shows you to be mean, not intelligent. You might actually be intelligent; I won’t necessarily assume that you’re not. But what you say and how you choose to say it says a lot more about you than it ever will about Alec.

            Just sayin’…

          6. You know Alec is right ! He has really accomplished a lot with Axanar ..
            We have “Prelude” which was shot, what 3 years ago or more..
            We have the powerful Vulcan scene, shot on a 12 by 20 green screen in a parking lot, also several years ago …
            But, we have three one minute trailers to enjoy, they have nothing of substance and are fully created by computer automation – something that most college kids in computer science could create in less than a few hours for nickels and dimes ..
            15 minutes of additional VFX, another talentless rant, strictly computer graphics of various vessels – nothing substantial or really requiring creative thought !
            Multiple sets constructed is all nice, but nothing fully completed and far from actually usable for production ! With nothing remaining in the budget it’s actually pointless now, you can own the car but without the gas it’s useless !
            The so called Warehouse Studio (the biggest mistake ever) … Here’s a leased building which literally has absorbing whatever chances this project ever had to be completed ! The most incompetent of all the decision making, nothing more disastrous than getting locked into a three year lease with a warehouse which will never belong to you and therefore has no substantial real value in the future, all this for a fan film production which could have utilized the hundreds of green screen studios already in Los Angeles – in other words Axanar would have already been in the can a long time ago ! Look at the amount of wasted time and money which has been dumped into this landfill, and with nothing remaining now it’s kinda pointless to even consider this mess any further ! If this was your dogs call, he’d cover this —- up !

          7. Finally, Tony holds himself back from using a potty word and doesn’t have me trash his comment.

            He might not be as hopeless as we all think he is, folks! 🙂

        2. Chris what do you mean, “Has nothing to show for it?”….there is a studio, there are costumes, there are sets, FX have been produced, perks are being sent, on and on.

          Maybe if you stop listening to the hater group agenda, and understand that a studio was built because Christian Gossett insisted instead of renting the STNV studio like Alec wanted, you’d stop complaining, and know who actually made the bad decisions.

          1. Actually, Christan said that flying and housing actors and crew in Ticonderoga would be prohibitvely expensive when there is plenty of existing studio space to rent in LA. He never recommend renting a warehouse and converting it to a studio. He also recommend that Alec bring him or some other experienced professional along to evaluate the different spaces and instead Alec came back with a signed lease.

          2. What a terrible, senseless lie that doesn’t help either side. Christian main beef with Alex is that he didn’t want a studio built, and left before this. This is documented in interviews and court documents. Also, Christian doesn’t run the money and the rent isn’t in his name, and doesn’t bear any responsibility for the studio. Nobody twisted alec Peters to build a studio, and if he regretted it, it’s not stated here.

          3. To clarify the alternative fact you’re trying to spin here, Christian Gosset wanted to shot near LA, where all his little friends are. In an existing studio, like everyone does.

          4. The decision NOT to shoot in upstate New York created a whole new set of challenges. In addition to having an existing 10,000 square foot sound stage, James Cawley also had amazing sets. By deciding to film here in L.A. instead of in Ticonderoga, there were now additional costs:

            1) Building sets
            2) Paying for a large 5,000 sq. foot warehouse to store the sets while they’re being built
            3) Storing the sets during the months between the Kickstarters for Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, etc.
            4) Transporting the sets from storage to the filming soundstage and back
            5) Rental of a sound stage large enough to hold all the sets
            – Add in extra days to set up the set pieces and properly light them before filming can even begin
            – Add in an extra day or two to strike the sets and get them loaded into trucks for the trip back to storage
            – Remember to find a soundstage with good air conditioning so all of that Klingon, Vulcan, and Andorian make-up doesn’t melt while you’re filming
            – Also remember to find a studio with a solid electrical grid that can run all of the monitors lining the bridge set and the computers running the various read-out animations (plus all of the lights, sound equipment, and anything else that needs to be plugged in).

            – – – –

            Let’s assume you can rent a warehouse for construction and storage of your sets for about $3K a month, and it takes 3-4 months to build them. That’s about $10,000 in rent.

            The sets will cost about $150-200,000 to build. James Cawley’s sets cost $125,000 back in 2003, and he only built half a bridge, a transporter, and part of Kirk’s quarters.

            Let’s assume continuing storage costs for at least 18 months while Part 1 is edited, a Kickstarter is run for Part 2 (say 9 months), and then again for the down time before Part 3. That’s $54,000.

            The soundstage will likely cost $15,000/day (probably twice that for a decent facility, but I’m going to give you the lowest price so you don’t think I’m just trying to high-ball this). Anything less, and the studio will either be 1) too small, 2) have no A/C, 3) not have sufficient electrical to properly light and power all the bridge monitors, and/or 4) not be close enough to Los Angeles (35 mile radius) to avoid extra costs for union actors and crew. And the main actors are, in fact, all part of the Screen Actors Guild.)

            Let’s assume the moving costs for getting the set pieces from storage to the studios and back again is $10,000 for trucks and labor. That’s $30,000 total for the three parts.

            (I know what you’re gonna say: just use volunteers instead of professional movers! Two problems with that. First, it took volunteers two months and five trips to move the Starbase Studios sets from Oklahoma to Arkansas last month…and all they had was a bridge, transporter, and sickbay. Axanar was building twice as many sets. So that would be ten trips to get all the sets from storage to the soundstage. One truck and ten volunteers can’t do all that in a single day (not with L.A. traffic!). And remember that you’re paying $15,000/day for that soundstage rental…and that includes moving in and moving out time. So you’re gonna want to use professional movers with multiple trucks who can get those sets from point A to B asap. And of course, you don’t want to worry about your volunteers dropping the helm console or breaking their foot when the science station accidentally rolls over it. Better to have movers who carry liability and worker’s comp insurance.

            And how long will we need the soundstage for? Well, there’s the day the sets arrive from storage and the day they’re moved out. That’s two days. Once the sets are in the studio, they have to be properly assembled, all the computers and monitors turned on and tested, and the lights have to be placed to properly light all the sets and get them ready for filming. Best case scenario, it’s another two days before we’re ready for the actors to arrive. So we’re up to four days at $15,000/day. That’s $60,000 and we haven’t filmed a single word yet!

            How many days does it take to film a 30-minute science fiction movie? Well, that depends on a lot of things. The folks at Desilu used to wrap a 48-minute episode of TOS in eight days. So let’s say we need five days…that sound fair? So another $75,000 right there.

            Okay, let’s add up the cost of renting a studio and building and storing our own sets rather than filming in upstate New York…

            $175,000 – set construction costs
            $ 10,000 – storage during set construction
            $ 54,000 – set storage between filming three separate segments
            $ 30,000 – transportation and labor moving sets between storage and the soundstage
            $405,000 – soundstage rental for three separate segments at $135,000 for each part filmed

            $674,000 – TOTAL (just because Christian didn’t want to film in upstate New York)

            – – – –

            You could argue that Axanar would be cheaper if it were filmed all at once. Rent the studio for three weeks and save all that extra moving and storage. In fact, the numbers come down to just under a half million dollars if you do that (I can show you the math if you’d like, but your eyes are probably glazing over already).

            Now, I want you to think about something. Ares Studios (now Industry Studios) costs about $15,000/month to operate. Assuming 21 months (just as I did above) to make all three parts of Axanar, that’s $315,000 in rent sand utilities.

            Now look at that $674,000 number above. Take out $175,000 for set construction costs, since sets would need to be built no matter where you chose to film.

            So…

            $315,000 – Cost of using Ares/Industry studios for 21 months
            $499,000 – Cost of renting a soundstage and shooting in three parts over 21 months (includes storage and transportation)

            ALEC PETERS SAVED DONORS $184,000 BY BUILDING HIS OWN STUDIO!!!

            Now, that’s not entirely accurate. There were costs associated with converting a warehouse into a functional studio: construction of a special soundstage floor and offices, installation of a special lightning grid and electrical power system, permits, insurance, etc. And rent had to be paid during those months of studio conversion. In the end, it probably came out to be pretty close to the cost of renting a soundstage. (And remember that I low-ball estimated the daily rental for the hypothetical soundstage at $15K/day. It would more likely have been double that for what was needed.)

            – – – –

            So in the end, as a donor, I think two things:

            1) It has a VERY expensive decision NOT to film in upstate New York at James Cawley’s facility–a half-million dollar decision any way you add it up. But since that choice was made…

            2) I find the decision to build Ares/Industry Studios, rather than rent a soundstage, to have been the more financially responsible one to make. And in the end, it would pay even more dividends to donors, as those sets could be stored indefinitely in the studio, eliminating the cost of storage, transportation, and future studio rental.

            In other words, the longer the sets remained at Ares/Industry Studios, and the more fan films that were shot there, the more the donors and Axanar Productions would benefit financially. Sure, if the sets were just sitting around unused for months, the rent on Ares/Industry Studios would be higher than the cheaper storage rent would have been. But the plan was to frequently have that studio and those sets in use making more fan films and renting out to film schools for students to use. It would have been glorious…

            And if not, it was only a three-year lease. As a donor, I wholeheartedly believe Alec and the team made the correct choice to build out their own studio. And rather than simply presenting a bunch of alt-facts, I’ve spent an hour writing up cost projections with realistic (even low) estimates to prove that what I’m saying isn’t just some flight of fancy.

            Building a studio really WAS cheaper than renting one, folks!

          5. “Christan said that flying and housing actors and crew in Ticonderoga would be prohibitvely expensive when there is plenty of existing studio space to rent in LA. He never recommend renting a warehouse and converting it to a studio.”

            This statement is so disingenuous I can hardly believe someone claimed it, let alone that you actually posted it. So… let’s walk through this… he was against Ticonderoga and pointed out there is plenty of existing studio space to rent in LA… but never recommended using a rental space in LA to do what would be needed to make it usable?

            Exactly WHAT do you think he was suggesting they do with rental studio space in LA then? Shoot in an empty echoing warehouse? Why even mention it, which he admits, if not to get exactly what happened?

            I’m not sure how you arrived where you did with this, but Olympic medal worthy mental gymnastics had to have been involved so please explain.

          6. What’s to show Chuck ? So there’s a warehouse studio which isn’t up to code for actual production, so it’s basically useless and can’t be rented out …
            There’s what, various bits and pieces of props, costumes, and whatever produced – impressive to look at for the glitter but not practical ! The perks, you really don’t want to mention that complete mess up – that’s definitely one for the record books ! Never has such an easy task been screwed up so efficiently, this should have been the red flag of incompetence to the donors !
            Furthermore, this project was Alec Peters from the get go, Christian was only the director and therefore had nothing to gain here after Prelude was shot … The failure always falls to the manager of the project, attempting to shuffle the blame after the fact makes the Axanar group look even more lame- lame ! After seeing this mess play out the last several months there’s no doubt in most rational people’s mind who’s the court jester -Alec “Wannabe Garth” Peters !

          7. Nice work putting that together, Jonathan!

            Chris, does Gossett have hard numbers on the housing and transportation costs? Or is this another of his bold assertions that can’t be proven, like when he proclaim that if he had the raw footage for Prelude, he could cut a far superior version of it……

          8. “Read my ridiculously long response crunching the numbers. I think you’ll like it, James.”

            I did and indeed I do. Much thanks, Jonathan!

  3. I know you love to say I asked where the film was an hour after the settlement; But that’s no where near what I said. I said “If you want to show this is a win for Axanar, show us the movie, finish it.” When there is a finished film then Alec will have done what he set out to do and the donors will be have been honored.

    If in a year from now we’re sitting here saying “Hey Axanar is pretty good” Then the Axanar team will have something to be proud of.

    How ever, I have serious doubts about Peter’s capabilities. and I’m thinking that a year from now we’ll still be sitting watching Alec ask for more money or bemoaning how he needs more paying studio clients before he can finish Axanar. Time will tell.

    But never did I say that I expected a finished film by now. BY asking Peters to defend not having a film by NOW you’re giving him a softball question. How about asking how he plans to finish it.

    I hope you ask some hard questions like “Do you have a cast?” “Have the four people who are allowed to stay one said they will?” “Do you have a director?”

    1. I wasn’t quoting you, Mario. Just look at the comments on CBS/PvA after the settlement was announced on January 20. There were a lot of folks ridiculing Alec for not actually making a fan film with a million dollars to spend. So now that the case was settled, they were saying, “Okay, now there’s nothing stopping you. Where’s that fan film?” (That’s not a direct quote, just more of an amalgam.) But no, I wasn’t quoting you, Mario. Your name didn’t even come up.

      As for your other questions–return tomorrow to see if I did, in fact, ask those questions! (Yeah, you know I wouldn’t be inviting you back if I DIDN’T ask them.) 😉

    2. Mario:

      Pretty easy to see what we have done and what my “capabilities” are. We were 30 days away from shooting the first 3rd of the movie when we got sued. Since you asked, here is what we did (besides raising $1.4M dollars over 3 campaigns, something so many think is easy, but no one else in fan films was able to do).

      1) Prelude to Axanar
      2) The Vulcan Scene
      3) 3 trailers
      4) 15 minutes of finished VFX
      5) Multiple sets built.
      6) A warehouse converted into a professional soundstage.

      And we have a finished script for a full length feature. Your questions about our future miss some important milestones.

      1) What are we going to make in two 15 minute episodes?
      2) We need to write a script for whatever we decide.

      And then we can figure out what cast we need and who will direct among a lot of other things. And if you had read what we have posted, you would see we have planning meetings this week with our team to determine steps moving forward.

      I built a company from zero to $4M a year in revenue with 67 employees in 4 countries. I think I know a thing or two about management. I also love how so many think fighting two major studios for 13 months in court, getting a top-tier law firm to represent Axanar pro-bono, and then getting a favorable settlement is so easy. I am pretty sure any one of my critics would have folded like a wet noodle if faced with a lawsuit like that.

      Finally, film production is a collaborative effort. Film making takes a lot of talented people, and part of my job is putting a team together. Diana, Rob, Mike Bawden, Bing, Milton, all the people who worked on Prelude and the Vulcan scene, they all deserve credit for outstanding work. My job is to create a situation where creative people can have the resources to do their thing.

      Alec

      1. Yeah, what he said!

        No, seriously. There’s a lot of important points in what Alec just wrote, and it’s stuff that most detractors and even some supporters just forget or purposefully ignore when critiquing and complaining. Wanna know why I believe in Alec and in this project? Read what Alec wrote again.

      2. “I think I know a thing or two about management”

        Which is why we have a finished film in the can and… oh wait.

    3. Mario, it would help your case more if you didn’t delete your posts a minite after making them.

      That being said, I don’t recall you saying anything like that at SA, but you were all about riding Jonathan on whats next for SA…..before you deleted it.

      1. Mario IM’d me earlier complaining about slander (he meant libel), and I have to say that I’ve been scratching my head about it most of the day. Nowhere did I even mention him by name here on Fan Film Factor. Later on, he said in an IM that you (Dave) and I had made fun of a comment he’d posted in Small Access. Frankly, I don’t recall it specifically. But man, when I think of some of the things that get said about me over on CBS/PvA and the comments that I approve for posting here that try to tear me down and call me “Jonny” (only my old boss back at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory ever called me “Jonny” and when he did it, it was cute because he said “Yonny”…man, I miss that guy!). Anyway, it’s a good thing I’m thick-skinned or else you’d probably never see Fan Film Factor and Small Access. (And as if to prove my point, at least one person is out there typing a response to my last sentence with a “God, if only that were true!” Yeah, thanks for that.)

    4. Mario, why would you have serious doubts? Alec Peters created Prelude. He was the one who gathered the top in their fields to make it. He will again. What is stopping him? The settlement allows him to use the same actors, and use anyone he wishes to make Axanar.

      Perhaps if you stop listening to the hater group, you might get the logic in that.

      1. Chuck, it takes a group of people to create a fan film, one guy doesn’t just whip it up by himself, even you should know that !
        It’s interesting how you twist the glory (if any) to Alec and point the failures at his helpers or staff – doesn’t make Axanar look good, if fact it’s lame !
        It’s going to be almost impossible now to assemble anyone close to the talent that was assembled with “Prelude”.. The funds are exhausted and most of the talent aren’t going to work for free, the initial spirit of Axanar is damaged beyond repair, it would be toxic to anyone working on it now, and the entire project has zero direction now…
        This is no doubt why CBS/Paramount allowed Alec to continue with the actors, perks, and warehouse knowing in reality that this film will never be completed anyway – – and there probably right !

    5. Alec: IF you want to prove me wrong about your capabilities, just go make the film, satisfy the donors, and come back and tell everyone you did it. Lists on blogs aren’t changing anything.

      Hubcap: Like all Axanar facebook pages, it’s the admin who are deleting most of the posts. For the post that you are talking about, yes I deleted it. When you and Lane deliberately misconstrue my post just to dogpile and harrass me I have no obligation to leave it up.

      Lane: I am serious with what I told you. When SmallAccess really is a group that has a plan to fight the guidelines I’ll take part in it again. I hope you are being sincere when you said it’s not all about Axanar.

      1. Small Access was never about Axanar, Mario. And hey, as far as I can tell, if you want to fight the guidelines, there’s no other game in town. None of the petitions have gone anywhere. So it’s Small Access or nothing.

        Right now, you’re choosing nothing. That’s fine, but please know that it’s a choice on your part, not mine.

        Oh, and my admins on Small Access seldom if ever delete posts. Only the most vulgar ones get chopped, and that happens very infrequently.

        1. Now Jonathan, Film Factor might not have been solely created for Axanar, but we both know it’s an Axanar springboard …
          If you simply scroll through your past blogs (all of them) you’ll see that a majority (95.8 %) are all directed toward Axanar, so that kinda busts the direct ties to Alec and Axanar.. The administration of Fan Film Factor are deeply rooted in Axanar, which is fine but don’t attempt to sway that fact, they are extremely heavy handed on anyone who rebuttal Axanar ….

          1. 95.8% huh? Man, are YOU bad at math! 🙂

            I’ve published 260 blogs so far. Of those, 69 deal with the Axanar lawsuit and 191 do not.

            That’s 25%, not 95.8%. (BIRTH OF AN ALT-FACT, FOLKS! YOU SAW IT HERE FIRST!!!) 🙂

            In other words, 3 out of 4 of every blog I’ve posted has NOT been about Axanar.

            Now, is 1 out of 4 a large percentage for a single fan film? Sure. But this case has been fascinating to watch and analyze. And every time I’d post anything about Axanar, my views would triple or even quadruple. So I was giving the audience what it wanted…while balancing out other content, as well. I think a 75%/25% mix of non-Axanar vs Axanar is a pretty fair mix. Wouldn’t you?

            Well, of course, you wouldn’t, Tony…you can’t seem to do simple math.

    6. Prelude to Axanar has been released and awarded. It was intended to be the proof of Alec’s capabilities to go further with the feature film and the donors, at least, understood so.
      Now, if the money is gone, it is only due to CBS/P. Without their action, Axanar would have been released and awarded too by now. No one can do anything for you if you can not understand that, sorry.
      Since Alec has delivered on everything he could, nothing allows to say he will not continue as he is planning to. Of course, it will be more difficult since the postponement has drained the money out, but the structures remain (studio, sets, team) and there is no need to fund that again.
      Then, yes, there is a loss, yes it will be tougher, but as a donor I still want this project to be achieved. This is the essence of crowdfunding: I give a little, I risk a little, I loose a little, I can risk it again if I feel it is worth it. And it actually is…

    1. Now let’s see here, a lot of fans wish Alec (Alec Peters, right?) was going to produce Discovery ?
      Oh course that should work out ok … you have a guy who actually has mismanaged almost 2 million dollars and has nothing filmed, you have a guy with zero producer experience, and a guy who just recently was being sued by two major studios for copyright violation – ya, definitely Alec’s the guy for the job — /

  4. i think Axanar should do the first two (tightened-up) acts…

    and leave it to the fans to DEMAND a waiver from CBS for act three! =D

    …and in the meantime, Jonathan could (please?) lead the campaign to loosen-up the universally hated guidelines! …we can do this!!

    AXANAR LIVES!

    1. Now that the settlement has happened, I think the guidelines are gonna be tougher than ever to loosen, Not Herbert. That doesn’t mean I’m still not going to try, but the approach needs to change. I’ll be delving into that in the next few weeks (when I get a chance to write what are going to be a series of challenging blogs).

      1. I’m glad to hear you’re going to keep up the good fight, because I am too, Jonathan – I’m not at all finished with CBS as far as finding someway to get more flexibility with these guidelines (fingers-crossed 90 to 100 minute Axanar film) – Not ready to quit over here… P 🙂

    2. The guidelines are in place and you’ll have to live with them ! The last attempt by Jonathan to create a wave of turbulence to change the guidelines only resulted in a mass waste of time for him, whoever was crazy enough to pay and mailout these suggestions, and the poor office girls at the studio who had to toss them into the trash can ! Please, no more !

      1. Hey, those mail-ins weren’t just tossed; they were mentioned by the studio folks in their deposition! I thought that was pretty darn cool! Not the ultimate end result I’d hoped for, but at least they weren’t ignored completely. 🙂

        I’m very proud of our effort.

        1. I’m sorry about bashing your guideline booklet volume one, I forget how sensitive you are regarding it …..
          And you right Jonathan, they were mentioned by the studio folks in their deposition, they all stated how the firmness of the paper made great airplanes !

  5. Jonathan Lane wrote:
    “Rather than turning into a mass of quivering jelly and accepting a potentially multi-million dollar judgment against him, Alec was able to find a top intellectual property law firm to represent him pro bono (for free), and “David” took on “Goliath” in a case that I’ve analyzed extensively here on Fan Film Factor. ”
    ^^^^
    Well, lets be honest here. Mr. Alec Peters went from: ‘We’ll fight this on appeal in the 9th Circuit and all the way to the Supreme Court…(Because AXANAR needs to be made as a full feature for my Donors.)”

    to:

    “Hey, I got a settlement where I don’t need to publicly share my financials submitted in the Discovery phase in a public trial; and all it took was agreeing to make AXANAR as two 15 minute segments and following the majority of the Fan Film Guidelines I’ve called ‘destructive’ since they were released (oh, I do get to re-use the Star Trek actors I used before if they’ll come back for free); and which I now retroactively embrace – because hey – (and it bears repeating) – I don’t need to unbiasely and publicly show exactly what I spent the 1.4 million I received without producing more than a two minute Vulcan scene…WIN!”

    No Alec Peters didn’t turn into a mass of quivering jelly – he just caved big time because he got what he wanted…his Studio (or it it a Warehouse again).

    Remains to be seen if he can ‘privately’ (and I use that term loosely since the ‘Click Here to Donate’ is still PUBLICLY displayed on the Axanar website) raise enough money from those Axanar supporters Gullib..er I guess Alec would say, “supportive” enough to keep pledging money to a person who has YET to himself, actually produce something substantial (because let’s face it – all the professional Hollywood talent that GOT “Prelude to Axanar” made; bailed off the project months prior to the lawsuit.)

    1. And yet again, we see an alt-fact being born:

      “because let’s face it – all the professional Hollywood talent that GOT “Prelude to Axanar” made; bailed off the project months prior to the lawsuit.”

      The mind boggles…it really does.

      1. I wonder just how insulted Robert Meyer Burnett (you know, that guy who directed William Freakin’ Shatner in a movie?!?) gets when that hoary old chestnut gets tossed out?

      2. It sounds like you need to do a little research Jonathan and prove these people wrong, go through the Prelude credits and see how many of the production staff is still intact! I think before we jump into the conclusion that most have bailed from this sinking ship called Axanar, that we have a more detailed account from you as to whom is actually still aboard – I think the results will speak volumes !

        1. Thanks for volunteering me for that time-consuming research project, Tony. I hope you’ll understand if I elect to spend the weekend with my son instead…and maybe even watch the Superb Owl on Sunday with a bunch of friends (one of whom is a really close friend of Bryan Fuller…so I’m hoping to dig up some dirt on what really happened there).

          According to Alec himself: “Christian is the ONLY creative person from Prelude to leave. DP, editor, colorist, composer, sound designer, production designer, all are on Axanar.” So there’s a start. I known that Tony Todd left the production, although he was an actor, not part of the production crew. Gary Graham and J.G. Hertzler both told me in Vegas that they’d love to come back for more if the lawsuit weren’t stopping the production. Now it’s just a question of whether or not they want to come back under the terms of the settlement. I know that Richard Hatch is totally committed to this project, so I expect we’ll see him again. And I’ve heard that Kate Vernon is still interested.

          But of course, it’s too soon to know about anyone for certain. Rob Burnett might be moving onto other projects, or he might decide to stay on as director. I know he really loves this project. But if anyone leaves now, it won’t be because of Alec but because of scheduling and/or the constraints of the settlement (including the limit on length and preclusion of payment for services).

    2. Well, you have zero accurate facts Armsman. A few points

      1) Our financials are going to be released to all donors. We have nothing to hide.

      2) The financials had nothing to do with the settlement, because the whole “they were going to be released” line is total bullsh*t. The court wasn’t going to release the financials. (We are).

      3) The studio was never an end unto itself. We only got the studio because Chrstian Gossett, in his incredible arrogance and ignorance, said he couldn’t shoot Axanar on the Star Trek New Voyages sets and with that crew (something Rob Burnett was able to do brilliantly). We never set out to have a sound stage.

      4) Your bullsh*t line that I have never produced anything shows you just listen to the crap you read. Fact is I created, wrote, cast and produced Prelude to Axanar. And if you had any clue as to what a producer did, you would know, raising money is the most important thing that a producer does. And I, by myself, raised all the money on Kickstarter for Prelude.

      And as it is clear who you have been listening to, by your recital of “alternative” facts, lets talk about Christian Gossett. As the director of Prelude to Axanar, Christian pissed off almost all the talented people who worked on Prelude by failing to do 50% of what a director is supposed to do and yet takes credit for everything. Rob, Bing, Diana all saw Christian fail to do half the work of a director, and frankly, everyone has come to despise him. Also, Christian is the ONLY creative person from Prelude to leave. DP, editor, colorist, composer, sound designer, production designer, all are on Axanar. And frankly, many of those people will never work with Christian again because of his incredible immaturity and lack of professionalism.

      So stop drinking the kool-aid and do some research. Your sources all have agendas and no facts.

      Alec

      1. Sorry Alec, but that just doesn’t fly. One one side there are dozens of people who have dealt with you personally or worked with you. They all pretty much say the same story about you no mater if it’s from the gaming community, the prop community, or the fan film community.

        On the other side we have just you, calling them all haters and liars and saying they have alternative facts. You offer no proof, no verifiable documentation, no testimonials. You even tried suing one and ended up losing and then failed to pay your lawyer (this is public record by the way).

        The truth IS out there Alec and anyone who looks for it will find it, along with all of your online rants. People ARE researching you and seeing all of your dirty laundry.

        1. “The truth IS out there Alec and anyone who looks for it will find it, along with all of your online rants. People ARE researching you and seeing all of your dirty laundry.”

          Sounds like obsessive stalking to me, Sandy. Really, what do you get out of spending all of this time on someone you’ll likely never even meet? And if you ever do meet him, you probably won’t hit it off.

          I mean, I like Alec and all, but I don’t spend my life stalking the guy. And when I do defend him, it’s not simply because he’s my friend but because I just hate misinformation. For example, “On the other side we have just you…” What about me and all the other Axanar and Alec supporters? There’s hundreds, even thousands of folks out there who still stand behind this guy that you’re obsessively stalking, Sandy.

          I think William Shatner may have said it best:

          1. No Jonny, I don’t spend all my time researching and stalking him, remember that I’ve been here from the very beginning.

            When I say “on the other side all we have is you” to Alec, that because that’s all there is. You and every other Axanar supporter gets your information from him. I don’t see anyone else (except for Robbie but he never gives a straight answer or commits to anything) giving their independent account of what has gone down. It’s that simple. You all are in the Alec bubble taking his word like it’s engraved on stone tablets. There are dozens of people telling their stories about their first hand dealings with Alec going back over a decade. When this many unrelated people have similar stories about a person it becomes VERY difficult to just discount them as “haters”. Unless you’ve drank the Alec-aid of course.

          2. And yet, I have had direct dealings with Alec and report that he’s a good person who has treated me well, professionally, fairly, and warmly. Mike Bawden has dealt with Alec on a professional business level and reports the same. Many other people who support Alec have found him to be pleasant, upbeat, fair, and reasonable.

            And yet, you discount all of these positive opinions as being somehow invalid because we’ve “drunk the Kool-Aid” or something. It sounds like you’re doing exactly what you’re accusing us of doing: accepting only one type of information about Alec Peters as gospel and discounting or ignoring anything that doesn’t fit your mold of him. So I’d say you’re drinking your own version of the Kool-Aid…only yours is the Unkool-Aid.

          3. “I don’t spend all my time researching and stalking him”

            Ahhh, good to hear you aren’t a stalker, Sandy!

            “remember that I’ve been here from the very beginning”

            And then you remind us that you are, indeed, a stalker before even finishing the sentence. Nuts.

        2. Oh James Haines, try not being an idiot. Be being here from the beginning I meant of course that I was an early donor to Prelude.

          Well Jonny, as I said twice already, all of the information you and Mike get are from Alec himself. No one else has come forward from his side with anything. Of course he’s nice to you and Mike, you’re his mouth pieces and feed his narrative. Where are all these great people who worked on Prelude and are still supposedly on the team? Why haven’t we heard from them? I don’t believe anything Alec says or tells his PR people because he has lied so many times before.

          One last thing, this narrative that you and your backers that us “haters” need to get a life is just laughable. It takes 5 minutes to post on an article or blog or to Google Alec Peters. It’s not a life obsession like you seem to think it is. You really need to get some new material.

          1. “try not being an idiot”

            Awww… be nice, Sandy, some of really do have to try since it doesn’t come naturally to us like it does to you. 😛

      2. Oh please Alec. Your spin is just amazing because you know that:
        The financials your Defense team submitted WOULD have been introduced as evidence at trial by CBS/Paramount – and Alec WOULD have been questioned UNDER OATH about them. And said testimony would have been part of the Public trial record available for anyone to see/read
        ^^^
        That’s a whole different situation then your group of “independent group of donors (hand picked by you and supplied with a SUBSET of the actual financials that you alone have decided to share with them.)

        Again, if you were so certain you’d either prevail in court outright; or win on Appeal (hell, you yourself said you were ready to go all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court with this case); not to mention your views on the Star Trek Fan Film Guidelines that came about BECAUSE of this case; it strikes me as odd you’d accept a settlement that forces you to comply with said guidelines in making ‘Axanar’; WITH the one notable exception that you can make use of all the Hollywood/Star Trek actors that originally appeared in “Prelude To Axanar” – but that’s what you did – accepted such a Settlement.

        As to who’s word I believe when it comes to Christian Gossett or yourself as to what happened with regard to the production of “Prelude to Axanar” – since Christian Gossett is a person actually working professionally in the Hollywood film industry to this day – with multiple films to his credit VS a person (you) who dreams/talks big – but 1.4+ million dollars and 3 years laters has 2 minutes and 30 seconds of footage – yeah, there’s no contest.

    3. It really is amazing, Jonathan, how a small group of haters will continue to twist the facts to fit into their agenda. They just can’t live with the fact that after 13 months and 1000’s of hours of manufactured predictions, fabrications, and outright lies, plus a healthy dose of stupid memes, and videos of Alec going to jail, losing everything he has, and never making Axanar in any form didn’t come true.

      Some of them staked their reputations, and blogs on it. Maybe if they had reported the facts without having a vendetta, and by now had conceded they were wrong, their hate group wouldn’t continue to look so foolish….

      1. And they keep moving the goal posts. First he was going to be a pauper hunted down by the IRS who’d never get to make any form of Axanar. Then when he was allowed to not only make it but make it with concessions above and beyond the guidelines, the new theory was that CBS/P was only allowing him to do it because they don’t think he’d be able to get the money and because detractors insist that torch-and-pitchfork wielding donors were going to form a class-action suit…for reasons. And when none of that pans out and he makes it, they’ll move the posts again they’ll find something new to complain about…which you can bet will be criticisms about the quality of the sets, acting, special effects, script, etc. And when it wins awards again, they’ll see conspiracies everywhere.

        Jonathan, pour us some prune juice.

        1. Keep going with that Dexter, it’s still young in the game and far from over! Some of the blindsided donors won’t go after Alec or Axanar for whatever reasons, however there are plenty of pissed off donors who should make Alec’s future somewhat rocky and hopefully disrupt any more of his fly-by-night adventures!
          Next year at this time when the studio is shut down, Alec is evicted, and yet nothing has been produced in regard to Axanar _ you’ll be singing a different tune and it won’t be the Axanar victory march !

  6. …and maybe you could shoot ~30 minutes worth of footage,
    and EDIT it down to 15 minutes / act?

    …and perhaps at some point WAY, WAY down the road:
    (after the guidelines are revised) do a “director’s cut” anthology?

    🙂

    1. Alec is being watched VERY carefully by the studios, Not Herbert. If he violates the settlement terms, he’s back in court. I wouldn’t expect him to try to be cute.

      1. Well then, Jonathan, why don’t YOU make two fifteen-minute fan films of your own, in your own unique timeframe, different from any other production? I’m thinking, oh, the Tuesday BEFORE the Battle of Axanar took place? Nobody’s explored THAT, surely? I just called dibs on “The week before Archanis gets glassed” and “eleven minutes past three at Inverness V”, but I recall hearing nothing at all in canon about that Tuesday…

        1. Oh, I’m sure CBS is watching me closely, too. They have their EYE on me (get it?). Right now, I’m sitting back and leaving Axanar to the professionals. (Did I just say “professionals”????) 🙂

          1. Jonathan, did you just say professionals and Axanar in the same breath – that’s almost comical, unless your a donor !

          2. Wait-a-sec. Which lawsuit were you watching, Tony? I saw the one where the plaintiffs were repeatedly arguing that Axanar wasn’t an amateur fan film but a professional independent Star Trek production.

            Now you’re saying it WASN’T professional????

            Dude, make up your frickin’ mind! 🙂

      2. I think what Herbert means is that the whole movie can be made, and a revised 30 minutes of it can be released now, in accordance with the guidelines – Then, in an a more optimistic future, after the guidelines have hopefully been revised to be more flexible/reasonable, Alec can release the large portion of the film that we are not allowed to see right now, and Herbert can correct if I’m wrong in interpreting his message, if/when he sees my comment… P

        1. The problem is that the plan assumes that an unlikely scenario happens: CBS loosens the guidelines enough so that an additional 60 minutes of Axanar can someday be released. One of the reasons the guidelines were written the way they were was specifically to keep another Axanar from happening. While the studios might someday loosen the restriction to 20 or 25 minutes (from the 15-minute limit), I don’t think they’ll ever allow 90 to 100 minutes. Also, Axanar doesn’t have to follow the guidelines; they have to follow the settlement. The settlement specifies two 15-minute parts and nothing else. Even if the guidelines someday change, that doesn’t affect the terms of the settlement.

          1. From what is public of the settlement, nothing prevents from shooting enough material for a feature length film. The limit is onto public release. As long as the 30 minutes limit is not exceeded, it is OK. This leaves some questions: what about making-of, gag reel, deleted scenes, alternate ending, etc ?
            And finally, the copyright will come to an end and it would be possible to edit at full lenght. If the rushes exist from the begining, it would be an extraordinary legacy !
            Of course, I perfectly understand there is a significant cost difference between shooting for 30 and for 90 minutes.

            But right now, Alec has to find how to adapt the script to fit the limits. I would suggest to keep the titles as short as possible. For example, end credits should be condensed on still images during just a few frames for good readability on freezing.
            No use of fading, too much time consuming. Not so many space traveling transitions, same duration problem. Seconds are important…

            An other way could be to keep the story on hold at the end, leaving the possibility for an other team to continue (the guidelines do not prevent sequels of fanfilms from other teams, do they ?).

          2. As I’ve told others, Nicolas, don’t try to be clever or cute. Don’t try to find loopholes. Alec and his team will be meeting next week to figure out how to proceed. They’re smart people. They have the settlement terms in hand and access to a lawyer to guide them. No need to figure this out for them, my friend. 🙂

          3. Okay, I get that, but what about deleted scenes? Hollywood movie directors release deleted scenes with their films quite often, because the studio they work for told them they had to cut down their film to a certain length – Maybe Alec could do something like that with his film? or Maybe I should stop talking and accept defeat – I don’t know… P

          4. It’s not about accepting defeat. It’s about stepping back and letting the production team figure things out themselves without input from dozens or hundreds of outside sources. Prelude was made without outside input from the masses, and look how that turned out. 🙂

        2. That sounds like the best idea I’ve heard all year from an Axanar fan! Lets release Axanar the feature in yearly installments..
          Now, how’s that going to work, oh yes, let’s get this shell of donors who remain to cough up some more money, wait, let’s say another two years or more until Alec finally manages to get some place to shoot another Vulcan scene.. Then let’s say in another three years and more with more donors money applied, Alec can somehow manage to piece in another ten minutes of space battles and green screen work .. oh yes, it’s coming together now ! Then say after another milking of the few donors still alive, Alec is able to muster up the final battle with CGI and some green screen … Let’s go all out with the conclusion, say 20 more minutes of space battles and Alec Garth Peters walking into a super nova ! What a concept !

      3. Alec is being watched by a lot of people now, not just the studios .. He’s headaches haven’t even begun yet, I’m sure all those he sucked money out of are going to be his next court case !

          1. “It’s not about accepting defeat. It’s about stepping back and letting the production team figure things out themselves without input from dozens or hundreds of outside sources. Prelude was made without outside input from the masses, and look how that turned out. ”

            You’re right of course – I’m just trying to keep myself in a positive mood – As positive as I can be at this point… P

          2. Actually, I’m feeling VERY positive right now. Axanar is going to get made. Sure, it’s only going to be 30 minutes of film. But on the other hand, there is now ZERO chance of Alec losing the case and there being a permanent injunction that would require a successful appeal and possibly even a new trial (and that could take years…during which time, Alec could have lost the studio) to resolve. Instead, a production meeting is happening in just one more week!

            Rejoice! 🙂

        1. Jonathan, I know Alec and his team will handle this as required, no doubt about it. But I think some ideas need to be told because other fanmade shows might use some.
          Maybe it will be needed to change some codes of storytelling to fit 2×15 min and saving time with some tips is a possibility.
          Maybe teams creating sequels of sequels would finally obtain significantly derivative works and why not even become original concepts. In fact, a lot of projects are made by talented peoples and in some way, it is quite a waste to keep in a domain that restrictions render hostile for creation. I think in matter of fan-filmmaking, beyond Star Trek. The question is not to be ignored because the phenomenon is applicable to any similar situation. Other fanfilms from other shows, other studios, are potentially in the same situation and should be ready to adapt and avoid the same disaster.
          Then, you have some producers that chose to offer sets for other projects, while others choosing to develop only short stories instead of series to keep doing what they love. It is an evolution, and every further possibility have to be explored and evaluated. Axanar is out of it because of the settlement, but other filmmakers have a little more room for experiments. All I hope is that other studios will not follow CBS/P example and think better at handling fanmade peojects. Some “good practice” chart could be established between amateurs and studios to avoid such a mess again, but it would require some discussion first, especially not unilateral decisions !

          While it could be found somewhat provocative, my intents were not incitement to cheat, but observations according to the proverb “what is not forbidden is granted”. And I do not think it is playing smart ass, it is just that the guidelines let some doors open…

  7. One thing I’m sure of, after all of the money, labor, sweat, tears and legal stress over a fan film, even one as awesome as Axanar, I’m keeping my creative juices to original sci-fi in book form. Instead of “Based on Star Trek”, more like “Inspired by Star Trek.” My only legal stress is to get it copyrighted.

  8. I think the main thing it now comes down to is credibility and money.

    Alec has to prove he can put a team back together and get production rolling again. Obviously this is coming and takes some time.

    However…and this is my personal opinion…Alec needs to finish this on his own dime now…if any dimes are even needing to be spent.

    There is a fancy dancy soundstage sure…but that is Alecs issue…not an issue of the film production. Whether that makes him money and is self sufficient is on him. Not the production.

    If the soundstage prevents the production…sell it…and use that money to produce the film. Use one of the existing sets…and just makenthe fan film promised. That alone will raise more money than any other fanfilm has ever raised.

    Look at what is coming out by other teams…Alec has raised the bar no doubt…but other teams are still working with minute fractions of the money Mr. Peters seems to need. He seems to have forgotten the essence of fan film…by that I mean doing it because you love it…not the money rainbow at the end. I am not saying Mr. Peters isnt loving his Trek..or desiring to make a great movie…but he has got it mixed in with other larger business plans.

    Just go back to being a fan who wants to make a cool film…and the rest will sort itself out.

    1. “If the soundstage prevents the production…sell it…and use that money to produce the film.”

      Impossible suggestion, Brian.

      Alec doesn’t own the studio, so there is nothing to “sell.” Alec rents warehouse space in a corporate part in Valencia and has a lease that goes until the end of this year. Anyone “buying” the studio would be taking on the financial responsibility for a $12,000/month lease…and that’s a hard sell. Instead, Alec is trying to rent out the space to other productions, but that can be a long process of waiting and keeping up negotiations while the other side is themselves trying to secure funding.

      Don’t try to oversimplify this, Brian. There are a LOT of moving parts and a very complex and challenging script. Even Prelude cost $150,000…and that was for 20 minutes.

    2. How has Alec proven to you that he can assemble a film crew and produce anything – Hell in court he admitted he didn’t even know what a producer does – –
      Really, this is a guy you honestly expect to produce a fan film on his own, he’s a great talker and dreamiest !
      As for the fan film, you might as well understand that the budget is zero now and your going to have to pony up some real cash now – with past donors cut and running, the support is nowhere near enough to do Axanar ! What’s that mean to you ? The few remaining donors are going to have to cough up more money, nothing guaranteed will ever be filmed but more money to keep the warehouse rent and utilities up …
      As for the warehouse, there’s nothing to sell off except maybe the furniture, laptops, and whatever other foolish crap Alec has filled it with – who the hell is going to buy a half built bridge set ? The building holds no cash value to Alec, it’s strictly rented by him so there’s nothing to sell ..
      The studio can’t even be rented out to other projects because of incompetence by Alec Peters, the building codes haven’t been approved yet and without liabily insurance (not possible until codes approved) no other actual producer or film company is even going to consider this place … Its unfortunate for the donors who supported Axanar that nothing is ever going to come of mess, but the hand writing is on the hall ! It’s time to move on !

      1. “How has Alec proven to you that he can assemble a film crew and produce anything”

        Jonathan makes a coughing noise that sounds like “COFFF–PRELUDE–COFFF!”

        One wonders is Tony is trying to convince others or just himself.

        1. Oh, but don’t you know? Christian Gossett is the wizard who made anything that you found good about Prelude happen! (Corollary: If there was something you didn’t like about Prelude, it was all Alec)

  9. Nice ending, exactly the sort of tease you would expect someone on TV asking the most loaded question so far to their guest (be it an actor, musician, politician or whoever) and then after a dramatic pause on the interviewee… it goes to a break (or like this a “more next week folks”).

    Alec hit the exact reason I have always thought was the most likely when questions regarding the lack of any injunction on filming came up over the last year, why would you go and make any potential infringement worse for you when they already have what you did previously and what you have publicly said you intend to do.

    In my mind it may not make it necessarily any better but it sure can’t make matters worse!

    1. I stumbled onto the “cliffhanger” ending idea about eight months ago when I had a really long three-part interview with Ryan T. Husk about “Blade of Honor.” It was my most lengthy interview to date, but it was loaded with some of the most amazing information and insight. So I was trying to figure out how to get people, after reading such a long interview segment already, to return the next day for yet another lengthy segment.

      As I selected a massive chain of text to cut-paste from the Part 1 entry into a new Part 2 blog, I accidentally missed grabbing the question that went along with the first answer in the block of text I was moving. So after I pasted it into a new blog entry, I toggled back to grab the question, as well. But then I noticed that a question without an answer was a great way to say, “Come back for Part 2…” Since then, I’ve turned that into one of my signature stylistic elements of FAN FILM FACTOR…like putting certain words into ALL CAPS for emphasis and using exclamation points in many of my headlines. It’s just something I do. 🙂

      1. Every time I see anyone write in ALL CAPS in my head I read it, often even if I know what the person sounds like, in the voice of BRIAN BLESSED!

        GORDON… sorry I mean AXANAR IS ALIIIIIVE!!!??!!

  10. I’m curious, if Star Trek Continues can release their latest episode as “grandfathered” before the guidelines why can’t Axanar have the same status? They were all set to go before guidelines were released.

    1. Also I’m not the same Brian who suggested selling the studio. Hopefully you nor Alec confuse me with that guy, Jonathan.

  11. Foolish blogger! The Axanar Hate Cult ignores facts that don’t fit their holy dogma, so all this math is going to fly right over their heads, as usual.

    But, for the rest of us who aren’t logically-retarded, that was a damned fine job, Jonathan! 🙂

  12. Looking at all these comments, I gotta say…….this is probably the closest I will ever see to actual shat being thrown against the wall just to see what would stick……

    1. I’ve seen a few troll explosions like this in my day. The haters have been “triggered” hard. More prune juice! And let slip the blogs of truth… may the haters scurry before the blinding light for all to see. Oh, right… they already are. Well… carry on, then! 😛

    2. Then you’ve missed a lot, there’s been plenty of sh-t tossed on the Axanar walls the past year and most of it has stuck ! Unfortunately, most of the distractions have been from the Axanar group !

  13. I guess that was kind of my point…but you summed it up better. Simplify things.

    Focus on doing things as a fan would…not a professional production. Other teams are doing surprisingly quality work.

    And there certainly is value in the build out of the studio…will you make the full build costs back…no…but (IMO) there should be enough return to create 30 minutes of content…or at least get a good jump.

    And that is what I am getting towards…the fancy dancy studio is not needed to produce axanar…Mr. Peters even said as much…it was the director who insisted on it.

    So just let it go…remove that complication…recoup some funds…and focus on the film.

  14. “Actually, I’m feeling VERY positive right now. Axanar is going to get made. Sure, it’s only going to be 30 minutes of film. But on the other hand, there is now ZERO chance of Alec losing the case and there being a permanent injunction that would require a successful appeal and possibly even a new trial (and that could take years…during which time, Alec could have lost the studio) to resolve. Instead, a production meeting is happening in just one more week!

    Rejoice! ”

    The glass-half-full approach, eh? Alright, I’ll go for that, for now… P 🙂

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