ALEC PETERS discusses the AXANAR LAWSUIT and SETTLEMENT (Interview – Part 2)

In Part 1 of my interview with AXANAR executive producer ALEC PETERS,  we covered the past and the present.  We discussed what led up to the copyright infringement lawsuit from CBS and Paramount, what happened during the 13 months the lawsuit was progressing toward trial, and what led to the unexpected (to most of us, at least) settlement.

Now it’s time to transition toward a look into the future.  What exactly is Axanar allowed to do going forward, and what plans are there so far.  But first, there was one really important question that I think a lot of people–donors and detractors alike–wanted to know…


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?

ALEC: I’m not sure I’d characterize it as blame, but I do accept some responsibility for the lawsuit coming down in the first place. Looking back on it now, I can see where the success of Prelude to Axanar, our crowd-funding campaigns, when combined with some of my comments on social media, brought more scrutiny on us from the studios than for most other fan films, and that put us in the cross-hairs.

JONATHAN: So specifically, what are the terms of the settlement agreement?

ALEC: Unfortunately, I can’t share all of that with you. In fact, everything we can share with our donors–like you–and members of our cast and crew were contained in that e-mail that went out on Friday, January 20th.

JONATHAN: Well, there was something major left out of that e-mail that pretty much everyone is wondering about: did you or Axanar Productions have to pay any damages to CBS and Paramount as a result of the settlement?

ALEC: As I said, I can’t talk about the settlement beyond what was shared with our donors via email. There is no “official” position on this from Axanar Productions’ point of view and, frankly, we can’t talk about it.

JONATHAN: Can you at least confirm or deny whether this final settlement was essentially the same one you were offered by the studios back in March?

ALEC: There is a lot of misinformation floating around on the Internet. And claims that the final settlement offer was the same one that CBS offered last March..that’s absolutely not true.

There are also claims that we settled because the court had unsealed our financials, which is wrong. Actually, the confusion about Axanar Productions’ financials being made public was the result of an oversight. After our counsel contacted the Court about this, our attorneys’ understanding was that the Court was NOT going to release any financials. The Court sealed the same information on multiple occasions, and this order was simply because the Court had not noticed certain supporting declarations.

It is not realistic to believe that we did not intend to settle, then that order comes out, and suddenly the settlement talks that we have been having since the outset of the case conclude. The settlement took as long as it did because there were a lot of details to work out.

JONATHAN: So basically, the settlement is you get to make Axanar, but you have to comply completely with the guidelines…

ALEC: Actually, Jonathan, if you look at the e-mail again, that’s not it. There are some important differences we were able to share with donors in that correspondence.

For example, you’ll see that we’re able to use the cast from Prelude to Axanar, which is a departure from the guidelines which specify no actors who have worked previously on Star Trek. We will also be able to meet the commitment we made to backers who wanted DVD/Blu-Ray copies of Axanar…which I know was a concern expressed by a number of backers who contacted us after the donor e-mail went out on the 20th.

So, while this settlement may appear–on the outside–to closely resemble the guidelines for fan films published by CBS and Paramount, there are some slight modifications agreed to by both parties that allow us to get back to work and for the studios to be satisfied we’ll stay in line with their expectations for fan film content.

JONATHAN: So, if you can use the cast of Prelude to Axanar, does that mean they’ll be coming back?

ALEC: We sure hope so! We’ve stayed in contact with everyone–with the exception of Tony Todd, who will not be reprising his role of Admiral Ramirez–but until we had reached a settlement with the studios, we couldn’t provide any definitive answers to anyone involved with the production. I’m guessing that we probably won’t be able to have any substantive discussions with the actors or production crew until after our evaluations and strategy meetings are completed over the next few weeks.

To be fair to everyone, we need to take our time and build a solid plan with all parties, both the professionals who have made Axanar and the donors who have funded it.

JONATHAN: You sound more, well, understated might be the best word, or perhaps conservative (although I know you’re politically liberal) right now than the balls-to-the-wall, take-no-prisoners Alec Peters that we’ve all come to know and either love or loathe–depending on whom you ask.  Is all of this newfound carefulness driven by money…or, more precisely, the lack of money?

ALEC: Our financial situation is absolutely a critical factor. But I’m confident that between our plans for Industry Studios, the way we’re structuring Axanar Productions, and the support we’re receiving from our existing backers, that we’ll be okay.

The fact is, we’ve got a lot going on at Axanar Productions, and it’s my job to make sure everyone gets on the same page.

JONATHAN: When you talk about support from backers, does that mean we’ll be seeing another Kickstarter on the horizon (’cause I thought the settlement agreement says no more Kickstarters for the Axanar fan film)…?

ALEC: Well, we will be asking donors for their continued support. But we need to make sure our “asks” comply with the terms of our settlement agreement and the guidelines for fan films…assuming we’re trying to raise money for a fan film project. But there may be other initiatives undertaken for other projects. After all, I said Axanar Productions has more in its pipeline than just a single Star Trek fan film.

This is all part of why we’ve submitted our application to make Axanar Productions a 501(c)(3) organization. We want to develop multiple ways of raising money to fund our projects and to support fans who want to tell interesting stories about their favorite characters, places, times, and events.

It’s all work-in-progress right now. Talking about it in too much depth would take us into speculation, and that won’t help anyone.

JONATHAN:  Pardon me for harping on this point, but it’s a biggie.  If you’re asking donors for their “continued support,” it sounds like you’ll be asking 14,000 fans to give you money (which, as you know, I’m planning to do myself).  But isn’t that really just another name for “crowd-funding”…and the settlement says no crowd-funding?

ALEC: No. Not at all. In fact, the guidelines for fan films place limits on public crowd funding campaigns, but do not prohibit “private” fundraising, which is direct or private contact with people who will financially support you.

JONATHAN: Ah, yes!  John Van Citters’ famous “Uncle Alfred” analogy…where you’ve got a rich uncle who writes you a check for a million dollars.  Apparently, CBS and Paramount don’t mind a seven-figure fan film as long as one person is writing you a big check instead of tens of thousands of people writing you little checks.

ALEC: The term “crowd-funding” relates to websites that have built online communities of potential patrons who associate there for one reason: to fund projects and causes that interest them.  Donors come to you publicly.  We’re going directly and privately to our donors.

Big difference.

JONATHAN: What if a donor doesn’t want to be approached as part of a private fundraising campaign?

ALEC: They can always opt-out of our “Donor Update” emails, and they’ll be removed automatically. And they can unsubscribe from our Donor Page on Facebook. But if they want to stay informed (as they are entitled to as a donor), they will receive updates and will receive requests to continue supporting our projects and initiatives.

JONATHAN: Like PBS!

ALEC: Pretty much!

JONATHAN: So I see a lot of questions and statements on my blog (and on Facebook) questioning the way money has been raised and handled by Axanar Productions…

ALEC: Is that a question?

JONATHAN: No. [Laughs.]  I might be over the twenty questions I originally had planned, but most interviews take on a life of their own.  However, from the original list, I’ve still got three questions left…

ALEC: Okay.

JONATHAN: So as I was saying, there seem to be people who don’t like you personally, Alec, and as a result, have been pretty much cheering for CBS and Paramount to destroy Axanar Productions and you.  Now that that outcome is off essentially off the table, they’re urging donors to mount a class-action lawsuit or report you to the IRS.  Does this concern you?

ALEC: Does it concern me that there are people who have spent the last year of their lives trying to personally hurt me and those around me?  Yes. It’s very sad and childish.

Look, I’m pretty combative by nature, so I’m sure my refusal to give up when we got sued and my direct approach to confronting those who have been opposing us hasn’t helped matters.  But I do think it’s unfortunate that when most of us are all die-hard Star Trek fans, and Star Trek was founded on a spirit of inclusion, unity, and tolerance, that there has to be so much divisiveness in this community and about this lawsuit. I wish we could have found more common ground.  But you can’t please everyone.

As for a class-action lawsuit, since there really isn’t any cash to grab, and we have complied with both Kickstarter and Indiegogo guidelines, it’s unlikely any class action plaintiff’s attorney is going to take on such an effort. They’re big and expensive, and no attorney is going to waste his time when there are no fees or money to collect at the end.

And the IRS thing is just one more attempt to meddle in someone else’s business. Axanar Productions has hired an accountant and a CPA tax accountant to make sure we’re compliant with all tax rules and regulations. Whether our detractors want to believe that or not really isn’t my problem.

JONATHAN: Wouldn’t all this financial controversy go away if you just opened your books and made them public? And aren’t you going to have to do that anyway if Axanar Productions becomes a non-profit organization?

ALEC: That’s two questions.

JONATHAN: It’s a two-part question.  I’ve still got one more after this!

ALEC: Okay. I’ll let it slide. [Laughs.]

First off, we’ve established our Financial Review Committee to take a look at how the money raised through our crowd-funding campaigns was handled. They will provide a report that will be shared with donors.

In addition to reviewing how money was spent, the committee is also reviewing how money was handled and the systems we have in place for tracking expenses to make sure money is not misspent or goes missing.

And while that report will cover all of the money raised from donors and spent by Axanar Productions, it won’t cover everything. Just the funds provided by donors.

Once Axanar Productions becomes a non-profit corporation, we will have to file a Form 990 financial disclosure (like all 501(c)(3) organizations), but that’s not like the document that will be provided by the Financial Review Committee. In fact, that may be all the financial information we elect to provide to the public down the road given the problems some people seem intent on making based on the information we’ve provided in the past in an attempt to be more transparent than any other fan production out there.

JONATHAN: Okay, NOW for the last question!

ALEC: Oh, look a there time!  Gotta go!  [Laughs.]

JONATHAN: Not so fast, Garth!  [Laughs.]  As I mentally play Frank Sinatra’s My Way in my head, the line “Regrets, I’ve had a few…” comes to mind.  Alec Peters, in all of this long Axanar journey (or should I say “trek”?), is there anything you wish you’d done differently?

ALEC: Oh, hell, yeah! Lots!!! But that is what life is about: learning, improving and doing better the next time.

I certainly wish we had done what I had originally planned on and shot Axanar at the Star Trek: New Voyages sets. Instead, Christian Gossett–our former director–felt he couldn’t shoot at those sets because of the limited space and the volunteer crew. Ironically, Rob Burnett did a beautiful job when we shot the “Heroes” vignette there. You’ll see his work as an “extra” when we release Axanar.

If we’d done that, we would be finished with Axanar by now and probably avoided the lawsuit.

And speaking of Christian Gossett, regardless of the circumstances leading up to his departure, I regret that he left Axanar feeling the way he did, and wish I had done something to smooth that transition. At the end of the day, I believe we are both proud of the work we did on Prelude to Axanar, and how well that turned out. It saddens me to know that Christian no longer cared if Prelude to Axanar was allowed to remain on YouTube, and considered it to be an infringement. We are happy at Axanar Productions that the settlement allows Prelude to remain on YouTube, and no other infringement was found in the lawsuit from anything that Axanar Productions did.

I regret some of my statements on social media and some arguments I have had.   Sometimes passion leads to real frustration. In this day and age, it’s way too easy to publicly air your squabbles without having the chance to cool off, whereas having a phone call or in-person discussion might have cleared things up before escalating them. I am still learning about how to curb my reactions to those I disagree with in a more productive and less combative manner.  And for the most part, it is not worth my energy to spend time dealing with those who are only out to criticize me no matter what I do or Axanar does.

I also wish I had hired an accountant from day one! It would have made my life much easier.

JONATHAN: Speaking of which, remember that you already promised me another interview just as soon as you release those financials and the Rreview Committee report.  And when should we expect that again?

ALEC: Sorry, Jonathan.  You already asked your last question!

JONATHAN: Dude…

ALEC: Really soon now.  The committee is putting their finishing touches on it.

JONATHAN: Well, I’ll be waiting–and so will thousands of donors…and hundreds of detractors.  And I’m sure they’ll ALL have questions.

ALEC: Something to look forward to…

132 thoughts on “ALEC PETERS discusses the AXANAR LAWSUIT and SETTLEMENT (Interview – Part 2)”

  1. …it has always amazed me how certain people can claim to be star trek fans: i guess they stubbornly ignore the morals? =P

    i think it is a reflection of our so-called society: extremely polarized, with one side willfully rejecting truth, honor, and logic – in favor of “belief” in “alternative facts” which promote hatred, belligerence, and destruction

    Thank God (and Alec) for REAL Star Trek like Axanar! =)

    1. “i think it is a reflection of our so-called society: extremely polarized, with one side willfully rejecting truth, honor, and logic – in favor of “belief” in “alternative facts” which promote hatred, belligerence, and destruction”

      You realize the other side says the exact same thing about the first side, right? 🙂

      1. It is kinda’ like the Twix commercials where each factory claims to make the better half of the Twix candy bar.

      2. Just as all warriors from every side believe their God is on their side.. Somebody’s dead wrong.

          1. …i believe Gene (like myself) rejected religion, but embraced spirituality =)

            (not the same as atheism)

            we even name him for one of his spiritual concepts: Great Bird of the Galaxy <3 (Blue Avians?)

          2. Yes, I suppose atheism is too simple of a word for Gene’s belief structure. He certainly believed in spirituality, but he often thought that “God” was too convenient a solution for explaining anything that man did not understand.

            Harlan Ellison once said, “Gene Roddenberry had just one story idea for Star Trek that he kept redoing over and over and over again: The Enterprise meets God, and God is a child.” If you think about Gene-written episodes, Ellison was pretty spot-on, actually.

            And then there was this interview with Gene Roddenberry toward the end of his life when he discussed God and religion in his own words:

            http://startrekdom.blogspot.com/2007/04/gene-roddenberrys-atheism-in-his-own.html

          3. …good stuff! =) …too bad it only talks about (rejection of) religion, but not spirituality

            not many people know that Gene participated in this channeled info:

            https://www.amazon.com/Only-Planet-Choice-Phyllis-Schlemmer/dp/1858600235

            yes, OUTWARDLY all of those episodes are about meeting a “God-like” being, whom we find out, is actually a child of an advanced race…

            …but in so doing, we see that they are human too – with the spiritual lesson being: are we not all evolving towards “God-hood”?

            …and makes us think: who else have we mistakenly seen as”Gods”?

    2. Thanks “I am not Herbert”:

      Yes, EXACTLY. It amazes me how many so-called Star Trek fans don’t actually honor the principles of the show.

      And you are right, their actions are a microcosm of what is happening in this country, where civility and truth seem to have no place with a certain segment.

      1. I dont know if youll read this. But i for one Loved Prelude. The moment i watched, I could hear the KLingon Battle theme going off in my head like a Klaxon. I hope all goes well in the future for you and everyone involved Alec. I will look forward to whatever you make. 🙂 QAPLA!

      2. Hahaha! You crack me up Alec! The vitriol and hate and threats that come out of your mouth gives you no room at all to take the high road. There’s documented proof that you threatened to kill someone! Give it a rest mate. You’ve also changed your stories on so many things people should give you credit for “alternative facts”.

        1. “There’s documented proof that you threatened to kill someone!”

          Sandy, this is atrocious. You have now crossed a line. I am now going to trash all of your posted comments to Fan Film Factor from now on unless you apologize to Alec Peters for making this outrageous statement. Whether or not there is “documented proof” is irrelevant. No one makes accusations like that on my blog…to ANYONE. Period.

          An apology today or this will be the last time a post of yours shows up on this blog site.

          1. I can find the documentation if you’d like. I will not apologise for something that’s in the public record.

          2. There’s no threat to kill anyone anywhere in there, Sandy. So you either apologize to Alec Peters for making the unfounded accusation, or this is your last post ever on FFF.

          3. “http://wrathofdhanprops.blogspot.co.uk/p/you-are-lucky-you-arent-dead-friendly.html?m=0”

            That is your evidence? You have GOT to be joking. Also, welcome to the internet where that is practically a friendly “hello”. 😉

          4. Considering Sandy recently made light of Richard Hatch’s passing on CBS/PvA by saying, “Sad news. I guess Alec isn’t getting the band back together,” I think Jonathan can rule out the likelihood of it being within Sandy’s wheelhouse to behave with any decorum, now or in the future. Even Carlos had to qualify his brief encomium by saying, “I met Richard several times and always looked up to him, Axanar notwithstanding.”

            Richard Hatch was a legend in the annals of science fiction, and their unmitigated hatred of Axanar will not earn them even the thinnest of footnotes.

          5. Did Sandy really say that???

            Man, I’m going to need to give myself a warning for insulting someone directly on this blog, but what a waste of otherwise totally useful carbon atoms! I mean, Sandy didn’t have to be born a diamond or anything. He could have been a pencil or a lump of charcoal and still given more to the world!

            Okay, I’m now issuing myself a warning. But it was worth it.

  2. “Well, I’ll be waiting–and so will thousands of donors…and hundreds of detractors. And I’m sure they’ll ALL have questions.”

    Of course! And my big question is “How soon until we can start making private donations?” Alec kept his promise so many, many of us have one of our own to keep. 🙂

  3. Thank you Jonathon for the informative interview. And thank you Alec for being so candid. I do have a question though. If Alec goes for private funding, is he still limited to a maximum of $50,000 or does that no longer apply? The reason I ask is that $1.3 million has already been spent without any principal footage being shot and how much can be done for $50K? Also, for the rest of the Axanar production, does everyone work for free in order to meet the guidelines? Well, I guess that was more than one question. And just want to say that I am a huge supporter and did donate to the Kickstarter campaign and will probably donate again.

    1. John Van Citters’ “Uncle Alfred” explanation pretty much says that private donations can be over the $50K limit. Also, from the “Well, d’uh!” department, if the donations are PRIVATE, how will CBS and Paramount ever even know??? Alec could raise another $3 million (he likely won’t, but let’s assume for a second that he does). Assuming he never says how much he’s raised, how would the studios ever find out? I suppose the settlement agreement could require that they be allowed to audit his donation records, but I doubt it was that draconian. But who knows?

      1. it’s actually a common situation, were a private company has to find funding differently than a public company that can issue stocks. crowd funding is like the stock market, except the funders don’t get to own a piece of the company. so alec will have to raise funds the same way a private company would or any company before 1817.

    2. Gosh,
      This is the typical problem with you Axanar supporters, your inability to read and understand simple concepts. Does everything have to be spoon fed to you fools over and over again ? No! Alec Peters is not limited to $50,000 in donations ! Sell or refinance your house, cash in your 401k! You can give him millions to make his movie. This is a quality production! Scared the studios! Do it, do it now!

      Candid interview? Really? Let us read the deposition let us see the financials. It is not CBS or Paramount hiding behind non disclosure. I am sure they would give Alec written permission to release his info and vindicate himself!

      Thank you for you support fools. You are Quality.

      1. “It is not CBS or Paramount hiding behind non disclosure. I am sure they would give Alec written permission to release his info and vindicate himself!”

        The studios don’t have to give permission. Alec was always in charge of releasing his own financials, as the confidentiality designation came from his side, not the plaintiffs’. And of course, Alec will be releasing his financials and the review committee report in the next week or so…right, Alec?

        Anyway, Daniel, and I mean this sincerely and with ALL my heart: thank you for playing, and please enjoy this lovely parting gift.

        1. Jonathan,
          Thanks for admitting that point. We all knew that Alec was hiding behind that “can’t talk about details of the settlement” BS! You just confirmed it. Now talk him into releasing his deposition and financials.

          1. Oh, it’s true Alec can’t talk about the details of the settlement. That order was imposed on both sides by the Court. But Alec has always been at liberty to release his own financials…as he and his lawyers were the ones who sealed them under a confidentiality order. The studios couldn’t release them, but Alec could have. He simply chose not to…until now (or a week or so from now I’m hoping).

            But not discussing the details of the settlement–that applies to both sides, kiddo.

            Sorry you didn’t read what I wrote more carefully and intelligently, Daniel, and misunderstood what was pretty clearly written.

          2. Jonathan,
            I am sorry, I did not word that well. My understanding about the settlement is that neither party can release any information (specifically, about the other). I am sure the studios would not mind at all if Alec Peters revealed his information, such as HIS deposition and financials.
            Please, in the name of transparency, urge him to do so.

          3. “Please, in the name of transparency, urge him to do so.”

            Is it just me, or does this sound like the fox pleading: “Please, in the name of transparency, urge the farmer to leave the door to the hen house open….”?

  4. I have a question about the 15 minute rule. As I read it, the guideline just says no more than 2 parts of 15 minutes . But there is no clarification as to what the content of the 15 minutes can be. What if the 15 minutes does not have to include the title sequences and end credits. If the 15 minutes include the titles and credits, then the story content would be reduces by 30 percent and the episode would be only 10 or 11 minutes. If the 15 minutes does not include the title sequences and end credits, then the story content could be a full 15 minutes. What say you?

    1. John Van Citters already addressed this. You get 15 minutes. What you put into that 15 minutes is up to you.

      Personally, I’d turn the credits into a separate fan film and post it on YouTube with a link. It’s technically not even a Star Trek fan film if it’s just a bunch of words scrolling. But that’s just me.

        1. Well, a separate video for the credits will have almost no viewers, it could be unfair towards participants. That is why I previously talked about still shots in fast succession: present in each part, readable on freezing image by those interested. With a proper density (not only one column), a few seconds will do.

          1. Personally, I thinks it’s just as unlikely, if not more so, for viewers to freeze frame each credit screen then to click a button at the end that says, “View credits.” But that’s just me.

          2. As a matter of fact, I frequently do freeze image on credits and check on IMDB for some actors. Unfortunately, fast scrolling credits on SD videos are quite frequent and the interleaved images (of often poor font used) make it very difficult to read. HD video allows for finer text, but progressive images may distort display of fast movements => stills.
            Sorry to pinpoint on such specific detail, but I hope it would not become common practice. When your name is meant to be in those credits, you find it sad it is dissociated from the works because it is such a reward, far more valuable than any perk from crowdfunding campaign !

          3. Maybe Axanar could get the closing credits in by using subliminal flashing throughout the 15 minute feature, that way the people involved would know their name was included (perk titles too) and the audience wouldn’t have to suffer watching them ! Then again, maybe the entire Axanar two parter 15 minute feature could be shot in subliminal, and that way we wouldn’t have to suffer through that either …

      1. I have said this on a number of different boards and groups when credits have been mentioned… For any fan films going forward with basically a 30 minute combined run time I wouldn’t be bothering with lengthy title sequences.

        I would just have a title card and straight into the action (or even the title over the action) with simple and efficient list of credits at the end of part 2 which could likely last far less than a minute.

        Its surprising how many of the guideline friendly fan films which have been recently released are using up valuable time with old style opening credit sequences when mainstream TV have moved onto short to none existent titles or recaps; Take the later seasons of Stargate SG-1 or Atlantis or new shows like Agents of SHIELD or Gotham who simply put short animated title cards up or the likes of Stargate Universe, Once Upon a Time or DC’s Legends of Tomorrow who use where would have been titles for a catch up or series overview sequence.

          1. Most television programs–including the later Star Trek series, have similar opening credits sequences with the actors and primary crew listed (producers, co-producers, director of photography, editor, executive producer, writer(s), and director. But the full credits include dozens or potentially hundreds of more people…even for Axanar. That many names would be way too many to incorporate into the opening scene.

            (By the way, did you notice that entire into sequence for Serenity was one long take with no cuts? I love those! Two of my favorite examples are the opening credits for “The Player” and “Birdman.” And my new favorite is, no surprise, “LaLa Land.”)

          2. I have always liked the opening sequences for the first episodes of Stargate’s Atlantis and Universe for similar reasons, they are long tracking shots (one practical another part CG) leading straight into the action, especially SGU where it is edited together so its like one continuous shot leading up to the Gate.

            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=41fbEh1-gsE

            Ok so it takes over 2 minutes to get there but still.

            I’ve also always enjoyed Serenity’s opening sequence for similar reasons… If I were writing a fan film compliant 30 minute total 2 parter Serenity is the kind of thing I would be going for (no long sequences involving flying through space or watching a Champagne bottle fly by).

  5. “We will also be able to meet the commitment we made to backers who wanted DVD/Blu-Ray copies of Axanar…”

    So does this mean that those who want(ed) a DVD/Blue Ray copy will be receiving a +90 minute full length movie or just a 30 minute two parter? Thanks.

  6. Doctor Who had a strangely similar experience with [after] the characters Rory and Amy died, they had a child who grew up and more or less Timestalked the Doctor to deliver a posthumous message from the both of them. — It was never ‘filmed’ per se .. it was Storyboard Illustrated with Voice overs from the cast and crew. — you couldn’t even say it was animated.

    But it would certainly be one way to finish it off.

    I enjoyed the interview. CBS and Paramount still rank in the bottom of the barrel for tactics and drumming up drama.. but I guess Courtrooms are all about drama and theatrical fireworks. — I really wonder what the Bryan Fuller exit was about, creative or strategic miss steps on CBS/Paramounts watch? – its beyond certain ST: Beyond could have done better.. gosh I’ll never get those minutes of my life back.

  7. Dealing with difficult people.

    I grew up in the 60s and 70s and we had a word for people who just defied logic cooperation or civility.

    That word isn’t nice so I won’t say it.. but we used to say, all they are trying to do is get a rise out of you and could care less about the topic. The fastest way to move beyond them is just ignore them.

    Troll armies of Zombie Twits may make it look important to not ignore them, that they will win out over history. But really.. seriously.. if the facts are out there.. they will eventually be deleted from history and consigned to the Internet Archive of Snopes.. Snope heads do become famous.. in time.. and right fully so.. as poor examples of a human being.

    Let them have their personal public car wreck.. and move along, refuse to participate.. they really don’t need your help.. and its a very messy affair. — They will move along to the next fight they can pick, and find someone else to invest all their vitriol in. — they never expect to get caught or actually sued.. but the most successful of them achieve total personal financial ruin.

    You don’t want to end up feeling sorry for them.

    Move along nothing to see there.

    1. John, what is wrong with Snopes? They try to set the record straight on the urban legends that get circulated by email and social media. You make it sound like the people doing that work are poor examples of human beings. What do you have against that? Maybe I’m misunderstanding you.

      As far as disclosure of financial statements goes, aren’t audited financial statements required in order to secure the 501(c)(3) designation?

  8. “and could care less about the topic”

    Oooooooh, you’ve just committed Jonathan’s #1 grammatical pet peeve……the proper phrase is “couldn’t care less”

  9. Really good interview all-around, Jonathan – Keep on fighting, and I’ll do the same… P 😉

      1. That’s kind of what military drone operators do, which maybe means you’re next cosplay should be a telepathic Andorian Aenar remote pilot. 😉

  10. I’m just glad to hear something from Alec again. He seems to be doing well, which makes me happy 🙂

    The answers are insightful too. I look forward to Axanar and Industry Studio’s future. Can’t wait to hear what the final products that’ll be released will be.

    One minor, but possibly important question comes to mind though. The guidelines call for a maximum of two episodes of 15 minutes a piece tops; but what about clips like ones you’d have as extra’s on a DVD? I already read a great suggestion, I believe from Jonathan himself, of having any credits as a separate video; but what about outtakes, alternative scenes and possible bloopers or somethings like that? Would those be allowed as separate videos?

    1. Since bloopers don’t qualify as “sequels, episodes, parts, or series,” I would guess they, like any other fan film, would be allowed for up to 15 minutes or two parts. Of course, for Axanar, those bloopers would contain actors (JG Hertzler and Gary Graham) who are otherwise precluded from appearing in Trek fan films because of the guidelines. And bloopers likely aren’t given an exemption by the settlement.

      So…good question, but I’m not sure of the answer.

  11. Alec Peters seems genuine in his regrets.
    I wasn’t a supporter of Axanar until the lawsuit because I thought it was important for Trek Fans to speak with as many voices as possible to stop these guidelines and begining excericising the Power of No toward the corporation for what we really want.

    I am disappointed with the results.
    We still have the guidelines and I don’t think CBS/Paramount has learned anything.
    It’s our fault for not standing united against this.

    1. I suspect that, even if fan had stood united, CBS would still have imposed the guidelines and taken a wait-and-see attitude. Now that we’ve waited and seen, and the guidelines haven’t killed the fan film genre, they’ve got more ammunition to back up their argument. What we’ve got is the fact that many of the fan films released since the guidelines are continuing series. That’s the one guideline that seems to be violated over and over again…and the least justifiable for protecting the franchise while encouraging fan films (something the studios have stated is their goal). So if fans had to go to the mat to get just one guideline changed, I’d say THAT one (no ongoing series) should be the one in our cross-hairs. What do the rest of you think?

  12. Let’s see, “how much personal blame to you assume for the lawsuit” and Alec’s answer is “not sure I’d call it blame” … really, redirecting the blame again to someone else – what a line, does Alec think this crap up in his head !
    So let’s better this, Alec accepts SOME of the responsibilities of the lawsuit, even though he’s a one man band and makes all the decisions regarding Axanar, he’s admitting SOME of the problems might be his responsibility – misdirecting the blame to other parties, typically wannabe lawyer school 101 …
    Where just starting off with this interview and already we need hip waders!!

      1. Hey Brain, you go right on buying into this crap which Alec is pushing, it hasn’t changed a bit since the beginning of this mess !
        If he was (big was) going to be straight forward with his donors, then those financial statements would have been made public a long time ago.. There’s reasons behind the deflection, the numbers don’t add up and they never will, it takes time to adjust two years of incompetence to make things at least appear legitimate. I figure if you ever see anything in the financial statements, they’ll be multiple costs and expenses which will be directed to undisclosed items (hidden in the garbage) .. it’s easy to provide a cooked up book of experiences, however it’s when a that book is actually audited that the bullish-t comes out !
        Mark my word, if Axanar’s books are ever released (doubtful) it’ll read like a fairy tale ….

        1. “Mark my word, if Axanar’s books are ever released (doubtful) it’ll read like a fairy tale ….”

          Once upon a time, there was a brave Trekkie who fought two huge empires and dozens of angry trolls…

          🙂

          1. “Mark my word, if Axanar’s books are ever released (doubtful) it’ll read like a fairy tale ….”

            Once upon a time, there was a delusional Tekkie who thought he was a Hollywood Producer and believed he actually owned Star Trek the television series. Then because of his complete incompetence and inability to make the best decisions, he was sued by two huge empires for IP theft, talked the talk, however when it was time to walk the walk, this so called creative Trekkie Producer caved in like a house of cards.. The thousands and thousands of legitimate and intelligent Star Trek fans watched as this baffoon (let’s call him Alec Peters) called them all trolls and stomped his feet in discuss as his family tale little world came crashing down around him …

          2. “The thousands and thousands of legitimate and intelligent Star Trek fans watched as this baffoon (let’s call him Alec Peters) called them all trolls and stomped his feet in discuss as his family tale little world came crashing down around him …”

            So let’s see…

            “legitimate” – spelled correctly
            “intelligent” – spelled correctly

            Then we have “baffoon”, “discuss”, and “family tale”.

            I’m guessing your religion forbids spell-checking on Tuesdays, Tony?

        2. You know Tony, you don’t know what you are taking about. You have zero facts and ply your bullsh*t about our financials.

          I have an accountant, a CPA, and a bunch of Hollywood and business professionals who have seen our financials and think they are fine. But somehow YOU, who has ZERO knowledge, thinks he knows better?

          And I am sure you will disappear continue to hide behind the Internet and throw bullsh*t around when we do release our financials.

          Alec

          1. “And I am sure you will disappear continue to hide behind the Internet and throw bullsh*t around when we do release our financials.”

            SCOTTY: It’ll stick in his craw. He’ll never accept it.
            MCCOY: We don’t know that.
            SCOTTY: I tell you, he won’t. Then, Doctor, that’s the time we move against him.

            Or something like that. 😉

          2. Just when are you going to release those so-called accounting books, they should and could have been released months ago, however it does take time to move those numbers around and make them look legitimate and I understand that … So, I understand your delay, let’s get those numbers to jive … As for your accountants, in your own words all involved somehow with you and Axanar, you might as well had old Reece and Britto go through them, you have the same level of intelligence going through them ! There’s only one reason not to have these actual figures released, it was too close a couple weeks ago, and that’s because the incompetence within this project would stager the imagination! That’s also the reason no professional accounting firm is going to get a chance to review your numbers also !
            It’s really not all that bad of business strategy to stall this off, and who knows, some might even overlook another year of this divisionary tactic to release anything public, heck by then the studio least could be exhausted with nothing produced and you could just toss the blame back to CBS and the lawsuit.. Might even work !

          3. Alec,

            So you have an accountant, and a certified public accountant! Wow ! And Hollywood proffesionals! Wow again! Of course they can only work with the information you give them.

            Your not releasing all Axanar financial information gives the appearance that you are hiding something. Many, many believe you are. It would be such a simple thing to prove them wrong.

            Incompetence you can not hide, a possibility of misuse of funds you can.

            And do you know why we have “zero facts ” ? Because you hide the truth, silence your detractors, and change your stories on a daily basis.

            I worked in Law Enforcement for twenty five years. I had not heard of you until a co worker and fellow Star Trek fan brought you to my attention. We had discussions about the tatics liars used and how we detected them. A lot was thru training, but most was through a combined fifty years of experience. The things you have said, the tactics you have used fit nicely. Of course, nothing is 100 percent. I would like to give you the benefit of the doubt, but there is just so much negative information out against you.

            My suggestion would be an open press conference. One where those with concerns can ask questions, and you can answer publically and on the record (not the prepared and “cutesy” stuff on this blog ).

            If You are truley transparent, with nothing to hide. It could be a great media event and garner donations for your film.

            Even if you will not provide the documented information so many have asked for (which, if legitimate) would shut the detractors down , and would give you the chance to vindicate yourself. Not hard to prove the truth, much easier to conceal lies.

            If I am wrong about you I would publicly apologize on every outlet I have expressed a negative opinion about you. A lot of the “haters” would, It is called accountability.

          4. “I worked in Law Enforcement for twenty five years…”

            Argumentum ad verecundiam.

            Aside from that, the financials have already been promised to be released regardless of your demands. Your blustering here appears to be for your own preening for your “friends” to see.

          5. “That’s kinda what we all do here, isn’t it?”

            Some, perhaps. I’m here to subject people to my puns and sarcastic humor while getting the latest news about fan films. 😀

          6. “And I’m here because…why AM I here anyway???”

            Whenever I ask that question, it turns out the answer is something along the lines of my wife saying “I just need to shop in this store for something for just a minute…” 😛

        3. It’s much easier to believe Alec instead of you Tony. And most importantly I don’t doubt his intention.

        4. Hey Tony,
          While you’re trolling the Internet, look up “Dunning – Kuger” effect. I though I saw your name mentioned in the article(s).

          1. In case anyone is curious about how the Dunning-Kuger” effect applies to Tony, the following is from Wikipedia:

            The Dunning–Kruger effect is a cognitive bias in which low-ability individuals suffer from illusory superiority, mistakenly assessing their ability as much higher than it really is. Dunning and Kruger attributed this bias to a metacognitive incapacity, on the part of those with low ability, to recognize their ineptitude and evaluate their competence accurately. Their research also suggests corollaries: high-ability individuals may underestimate their relative competence and may erroneously assume that tasks which are easy for them are also easy for others.[1]

            Dunning and Kruger have postulated that the effect is the result of internal illusion in those of low ability, and external misperception in those of high ability: “The miscalibration of the incompetent stems from an error about the self, whereas the miscalibration of the highly competent stems from an error about others.”

            Sounds about right. 🙂

          2. Hey Milan,
            While you’re attempting (and rather badly) to apply some kind of creative cutesy pie post toward me ..
            You might be interested in knowing that in Shakespeare that Milton was the buffoon, so that kinda hits home with you !

          3. “You might be interested in knowing that in Shakespeare that Milton was the buffoon”

            Wait, weren’t William Shakespeare and John Milton two different authors? Was Milton ever IN Shakespeare? I don’t remember reading that play or sonnet, but there were so many! Or many they had some kind of more intimate relationship…not that there’s anything wrong with that! 🙂

  13. Jonathan, don’t have too many of those glasses of prune juice. (Yes, I do know that’s a warrior’s drink.) However, that would be a KLINGON warrior, NOT a human one. Unfortunately, for us, it tends to liquify our gastro-intestinal tract which has the unfortunate effect of giving us humans, a desperate and unstoppable urge to find a bathroom quickly!!!! ESPECIALLY, if you’re older!!!! LOL!!!!!

      1. Jonathan, Ahhhh!!! I just thought of something. It might not be a bad idea and make an even better mixed drink by adding some ex-lax but not sure of the right amount to get the perfect flavored drink, maybe the mint flavor would work the best but you don’t want mint to overpower the essence of the prune juice. Whatta ya think?? Hmmmm.

          1. Got a solution for that too. Depends!! LOL!!! Hmmmmm. I noticed that one of the contest entrants has shown up.

        1. After reading through most of Alec’s ranting and misdirection, the ex-lax is no longer required .. Everyone has already been blessed with enough sh-t for the day !

  14. Actually I think the first should be challenged in a court of law – telling free people that they have sold their bodies to CBS/P and their masters are forbidding them from being in fan films. CBS/P seem to have forgotten the slavery is against the law.

    And at this point, I don’t care what CBS/P say or do any longer. I’ll watch Trek reruns and whatever fan productions seems attractive. I did not see the last movie, I won’t buy the BluRay nor pay to see the new series.

    Revenge is a dish best served on the installment plan. My father bought a certain American car which proved to be a lemon. Guess which manufacturer’s car I have never bought because of that lemon many decades ago.

  15. I’ve been torn both ways on the whole Axanar mess. At first I was pissed at CBS, then at Alec, then at the fans. I still can’t get over how much money he raised. I was dang jealous. Then I realized how stupid that is. And I still can’t understand why fans are pissed when any donation to any fan film is a risk. There are scores of films that never get made or finished. Now you know how the big studios feel. Look at the last Crow movie. What trash! I think what finally turned me off to Alec personally was his comments on Facebook about politics. As a conservative, I do not worship Hollywood actors or their opinions. To me that was annoying. However, being a forgiving guy, I really hope he finishes Axanar and that it kicks ass. Not just for Alec, but for the fans who ponied up the dough. To whom I’d say either “get over it” or “great job”. Depending on if Alec can get the film done. So quit your whining, and don’t go protesting and rioting like a big baby. I say, forgive and forget, get on with your own life. Get a life for God’s sake. It’s a TV show. How I feel about Alec personally does not mean I can’t support Axanar in spirit.

    1. That, David my friend, I am going to print out and frame. Well said, and I admire you for evolving and being open enough to share it.

      As a side note, I’m a progressive, too, just like Alec…and David Whitney and I are Facebook friends. I see the conservative stuff the David posts, and I just ignore it. I assume he does the same for liberal ol’ me. It is possible to disagree and still get along. David’s still a great guy, even if we don’t see politically eye-to-eye on basically anything. 🙂

  16. Jonathan, I really want to thank you for this blog, for all the great fan films you have introduced me to, and for your unbelievably complete coverage of everything that has happened since December 2015.
    As luck would have it, I FOUND Axanar, and was likely one of the last donors the DAY BEFORE the suit was announced. And oh groan, that was a hard day. Not because of the money, which I gave freely, but because I knew it was going to take forever (seemingly) to solve the suit and get my film when I was already giddy as a school girl and drooling over Prelude. It was heart-rendingly painful.
    Alec, I am still nonplussed and at a loss as to why and how you have been and continue (in some small circles) to be portrayed as a Godzilla. Or a Gorn, on steroids. I don’t think you are a saint, but are you really the monster that detractors have portrayed? I don’t know you personally sir, but I have been through my fair share of ravening beasts, slavering corporations and truly evil psychotic and sociopathic people, and you have never struck me as one of these by look, word or deed.
    In Houston, I work downtown right next door to the Winston and Strawn offices here. Do you have any idea how hard it was not to just walk in and demand to know what was happening with Axanar and when this would all be over? Or to find out that one of my colleagues was having lunch with a W&S attorney, and not horn in on it to try and wheedle news of the suit?
    This has been such an emotional roller coaster for me, a humble simple fan, I can only imagine what your life (lives of everyone at the studio) has been like for the past year. The stress alone would do a lot of people in.
    I guess most of all I really want to thank you for sticking to your guns, for fighting the good fight, and for believing in Axanar enough so that at the end of the day, I get my story and my movie(s). I don’t really care how long they are; if you can blow me away as much as you did with Prelude, I can only imagine what you can do with a finished Axanar.
    I know this is a book, and I’m sorry, I’ve been refraining from comment and holding it all in for a long time. May I congratulate you and the team on a stellar job at settling it, and going on with your life as a film producer, and thank you, thank you from the bottom of my heart, for being able to finish Axanar. I can’t wait. But I will!
    Respectfully Submitted,
    Dr. Geoff Parker

    1. Yeah, so was I – Probably would’ve happened to if Alec had been able to make the film without interference from this lawsuit stupidity that CBS pulled :/ R.I.P. to Mr. Hatch… P

  17. Ok Jonathan I’ll give you spelling inconsistencies in my post, I’m usually more efficient than that –
    However I’m running behind now in this powerful voting poll and it’s effecting me …

  18. […i’m not a “hater”, but i play one in THIS satirical offering:] [eyesroll]

    “…me and the other haters will stop stirring sh*t, if you can ‘prove’ me wrong! ..heck, i’ll even ‘apologize’! REALLY!”

    “…REALLY!, *I* can tell you are lying/not lying, VIA INTERNET TEXT!”

    “…you KNOW you can trust ME / MY judgement: I’m pseudo-authoritarian!”

        1. I have had experience dealing with “concern trolling” ever since I first logged on to Usenet 25 year ago so obviously I’m an authority on the matter. Your posts have the same “smell” to them.

          I also have a lot of experience dealing with people since, well… birth, actually. Most people have that ever leave the house. Just something you accumulate with age, really. 😉

    1. Well, it’s mostly a headline without much of a story behind it…other than the controversy over whether or not Tommy purchased views (something about which I have no opinion). Prelude’s about to cross 3 million views, and I doubt I’ll cover that milestone either. However, I am currently putting together a series of blogs about the future of Star Trek fan films vis a vis the guidelines and the Axanar settlement, and I might mention the total views of those two fan films (along with Renegades reaching nearly 2.5 million views) as part of that article. At least then I can talk about total views within a larger picture of fan films in general.

  19. Terrific news.. Let’s get Axanar funded and in the can. The faster we can do that. the faster we can dedicate this adventure we’ve all been on to Richard Hatch. He was amazing in Prelude and really cared about his character in such a unique and wonderful way. RIP Mr. Hatch and long live Axanar!

  20. Both parts of the interview addressed the concerns I commented on earlier. I look forward to receiving the DVD when the movie is complete. I’m not a large donor (except in physical size!) but I’d be willing to donate a bit more to help get it moving again.

Comments are closed.