“Think of the children!” – Why I still believe in AXANAR!

Fan Film Factor has sorta become an unofficial meeting ground where Axanar supporters can get together, kick back, relax, and then tear into each other like rabid dogs.

Actually, we try to keep it mostly civil (with varying amounts of success and failure), but once every so often, a post comes along that just gets me a’typin’ and speakin’ my mind!

Such a comment came in early Friday morning from a detractor by the name of JO MOINE.  I had published a blog on Wednesday providing coverage of the recent donor memo issued by AXANAR PRODUCTIONS outlining their future plans and finally releasing their financial statement.  While some of the detractor comments were (not surprisingly) snarky, Jo Moine took it one step further.  She wrote:

Somehow that doesn’t make me feel any better. Can’t actually put my finger on why, though. Oh wait – Alec blew $1.4 million with little to show for it, and is asking for more money. Why would anyone think he would manage more money wisely at this point? If you are thinking of giving him more, Jonathan – please don’t. Think of the children!

“Think of the children!” she said.  Perhaps the comment was simply meant to be flippant, but having a six-year-old son myself, I seldom take any call to “think of the children” lightly.  And so I took a good, long look at myself…because what Jo was asking me to do had produced such a profoundly visceral reaction that I wondered why I felt so strongly.  Am I really just following a leader with my blinders on into financial oblivion?  Was I duped.  If I can’t justify my loyalty to this project and put the reasons into words, maybe I should just follow Jo’s advice…

So I asked myself: why am I still so loyal to Alec Peters?  Why am I and thousands of other Axanerds still so supportive of this project when there’s dozens and dozens of detractors out there badgering us to just walk away and belittling us almost constantly for refusing to do so?

It didn’t take long to come up with my answer.  And if you’ve been having any doubts of your own, or if you just want some reassurance that the detractors are, after all, completely wrong in their disdain for this project, this is what I wrote back to Jo Moine…

Jayden (almost five in this photo) helped the volunteers for hours sort patches into piles to pack into perk fulfillment envelopes. Note all eight of us crammed into the very small lobby of Ares Studios.

“Think of the children!”

My son loves Alec, Jo!  He let Jayden sit in the captain’s chair and play on the bridge and even gave him a toy to keep (some race car that was sitting on Alec’s desk that Jayden had started playing with during one of our visits; Jayden still has it).  Jayden is convinced that Alec is building the actual starship Enterprise (I tried to explain that it was the USS Ares), and he loves visiting the studio.  He had a blast sorting patches for the perk-packaging “party” we had back in July of 2015.

So when I donate more money to Axanar and Industry Studios, I am indeed thinking of the children…and also about the project itself.  AXANAR IS AWESOME!  Seriously.  I don’t care what you might think about Alec Peters; you can’t look at Prelude to Axanar with its nearly 3 million views and not acknowledge the incredible achievement it was that fans actually made this.

Were some of those fans also Hollywood professionals?  Sure.  But they were still FANS.  This wasn’t Star Trek by corporate committee.  This wasn’t negotiations with Chinese investors to make sure the new movie was full of explosions and motorcycle stunts to draw in bigger summer audiences.  This wasn’t a strategic business decision to leverage the popularity of the property into grass-roots support of a new subscription-based streaming video service for the network.

No, this was fans of Star Trek producing an amazing 20-minute film and then breaking all records on Kickstarter and Indiegogo in order to do it again even bigger and better.  Remember how exciting everything was BEFORE the lawsuit?

In terms of Trek fan films, 2014 and 2015 were amazing years full of hope and excitement–not just for Axanar but also STC, Renegades, New Voyages, Horizon, Farragut, Dark Armada, and many, many others.  Of course, Axanar was right there in the forefront…and it was so energizing and engaging (“Energize!” “Engage!”) to be a part of that movement.  As a fan, I hadn’t been this excited about Star Trek for years…and certainly not about anything coming from the studios.

So if you or anyone wonders why I have such loyalty and admiration for Alec Peters, Jo, it isn’t just for Alec Peters…it’s for ALL of Axanar, the team behind it, and everything they’ve accomplished so far.

Alec Peters didn’t “blow” $1.4 million.  That much is obvious to all of us except for a tiny few who keep trying to ignore the reality of real, physical things.  The studio itself looks amazing–an incredible transformation from what it looked like when I first walked in and saw everyone’s desks crammed into the small lobby (because no other offices were ready yet) and an echo-producing, hard concrete floor in an empty warehouse.

The super-sized Axanar green screen. Behold a marvel in the corner…

Now there’s offices, a three-layer sound-absorbing studio floor suitable for bracing sets to, a green screen wall the size of a basketball court, special track lighting and a powerful electrical grid, state of the art digital editing hardware and software, and a host of other useful resources.  The only thing still left to do is complete the sound-proofing, although the studio is still pretty sound-proofed with the floor and those tremendous elephant doors they built to cover up the noisy sliding metal door at the back loading dock.

This facility is 90+% complete using donor money.  Nobody “blew” anything.  The bridge set needs some final painting, and then TOS fan filmmakers will have one of the most amazing standing sets to film on–the only TOS bridge set west of the Rockies and the only one anywhere built on casters so the modules can be rolled in and out for different filming angles.  It really is an incredible set…and a very impressive studio!  Money was spent wisely and on the right things.

As a donor, I couldn’t be more proud.  And I’m also proud that Alec Peters stood up for himself and for all of us who supported Axanar through more than a year of litigation.  And I am ecstatic that he managed to get as much as he did in the settlement–allowing Axanar to actually get made (minus 60 minutes, unfortunately, but still featuring the original surviving cast) and also getting to keep this amazing studio.

Those of us who have “drunk this KoolAid” have now realized that it’s not poisoned after all…and it’s delicious!  Axanar and its fan base are still here, and we’re psyched!  The Axanar website got 72,000 unique visits during the month of February.  Compare that number to the hyper-critical  Axamonitor.com, which got barely 6.5% of that amount (4,700 visits) in the same month.  Heck, even Fan Film Factor in that time got nearly 20,000 visits.  The numbers are obviously on the side of the Axanerds!

Click to enlarge these comparative stats for February from SimilarWeb.com (Axamonitor’s numbers and graph line are colored orange).

So yes, the “Axanar faithful” are still faithful and more than ready to mobilize.  We’ve been waiting for our chance to donate again…not because we think Alec Peters will blow our money on sushi and car tires but because we are confident that our money will go into creating something great, something that excites us in a way Star Trek itself just hasn’t managed to do in recent years.

Has Axanar had its fair share of speed-bumps along the way (like a multi-million dollar, year-long lawsuit)?  Of course, it has.  Much of what was being attempted by Alec and his team (and by all other fan productions before 2016) happened in completely uncharted waters, so even without a lawsuit, “stuff” was bound to happen.  And hey, even Star Trek: Discovery has had its fair share of speed-bumps and its own delays…and it’s a 100% professional production!

The fact is that, no matter what headwinds have hit over the past 14 months, Axanar is still the uber-cool fan project that I fell in love with.  And not just for us donors, but for the “children” as well.  And I’m not just talking about my six-year-old son.  Part of Industry Studios’ ongoing mission will be to help young producers create their projects.  Student filmmakers will be able to use the resources of Industry Studios at a fraction of the cost of other facilities.  Heck, maybe Jayden will someday be one of those film school students!  I have a friend who was also an Axanar donor who has three children (the older two already teenagers), and the middle child is getting interested in film-making.  Axanar Productions intends to use volunteers.  What a great way for my friend’s son to get some hands-on experience on an actual set in a real studio.  In fact, in a few years, my own son Jayden might be old enough to help out, too.  How awesome would that be?

This was back in July of 2015. The bridge looks SOOOO much better now!

So, yes, Jo Moine, I AM thinking of the children.  And that is precisely why I will be donating once again to Axanar just as soon as I am given the opportunity…whether to the Kickstarter for funding studio expenses or privately to fund production of Project: AXANAR.

And I’d like to thank you, Jo, for giving me both the opportunity and a reason to look inside myself and really explore WHY it is that still believe so wholeheartedly in the project and the people behind it.  And I’m glad I could share my reasons with you.

101 thoughts on ““Think of the children!” – Why I still believe in AXANAR!”

  1. Well said.

    yes a lot of money has been spent and no we do not a have a film for that money, but it was said from day 1 on the first (feature film) Kickstarter that the funds would be used to outfit the studio. The allegation is slightly more accurate for the Indeigo campaign but only because the lawsuit made filming impractical.

    I would love to visit the Studio but being a resident of Damp Britain and out of work make that an impossibility at the mo.

    Looking forward to final film and all the other bits, will have to see if can find something to donate towards it.

    keep up the good work Jonathan

    1. Pound for pound, Axanar is worth it, Martyn.

      It was 90 degrees here today…and sunny, by the way. My son and I actually spent the day with a family from London who live in L.A. now (one of Jayden’s classmates). The mom, who used to work for the BBC, says she still thinks of the move to L.A. as “a very pleasant, long vacation.” But today, she commented that, were they back home, instead of wearing shorts and hanging out in the playground for hours, they’d be packing “wellies” (whatever those are), taking umbrellas, and having maybe 15-20 minutes in the park before it started raining again.

      On the other hand, Britain doesn’t get earthquakes. 🙂

      1. Wellies = Wellington boots, water proof rubberish boots for those days when all it does is rain.

        actually we do get quakes but they rare and are minor compared to what you get.

    2. Um, no it wasn’t – that was CHANGED (which you can do on KS) after the first feature film Axanar KS was started. (IE he didn’t mention the funds going to make a studion initially.) I know because I did Pledge to the first KS and that verbage was not there (Or I wouldn’t have Pledged.)

      All water under the Bridge though as I did receive a refund of my Pledge from Alec Peters so yeah, it seems if you still want one, just post the ACTUAL FACTS publicly and Alex will give you a refund in the hopes you stop doing so (although he never had me sign any sort of NDA like he did to others – although he did try and I told him I’m not signing a thing – but again, I guess what I was linking to (read: ACTUAL court documents in my KS posts) – that he gave m a refund so he could delete all my KS posts (which he did, or had KS staff do) as I was no longer a Backer.

      IMO – if you Pledge to any of his projects now; you KNOW what he’ll do with it (Read: Create his FOR PROFIT studio and list his living and other expenses as “Producion/Studio related”) – so that’s on you at this point.

      I really wonder why Johnathan Lane is promoting Alec Peters for profit business without demanding ad revcenue as Mr. Peters hasn’t really done ANYTHING ‘Star Trek Fan Film Related” (aside from maybe demanding and getting the CBS/Paramount to release their Star Trek Fan Film Guidlines) since 2014.

    1. “Jayden is a very cute kid… and cool too! (he wears Crocs) =)”

      Wait till you hear his first-ever podcast interview! Talk about cute.

      And Crocs are only for weekends. His school doesn’t allow them. 🙂

  2. Good point, Jonathan. My mind just boggles at the ridiculous amount of shade thrown at Axanar based on no factual evidence at all, or rather on someone else’s warped interpretation, concocted desperately to fit someone’s hate agenda. Even now that the lawsuit is no more, and the only party with any legitimate claim against Axanar is satisfied (CBS), the detractors still hate, hate, hate, regardless of the reality of the situation. It’s like the poor souls who still insist the Earth is flat, or the Moon landings were faked. Maybe they can get a Kickstarter going to get Bigfoot and the Loch Ness Monster to give Alec Peters some sort of revenge-wedgie to satisfy their white-hot rage-lust, or something, who knows?

    1. Hahaha… Reece, you crack me up.
      Well said though.

      As always Jonathan, thanks for saying what so many of us are thinking and feeling.

      Keep on keeping on.

  3. I will add this comment/question here since this is now it’s own post. Are you Jonathan Lane, admitting that Axanar Productions, which is registered as a for-profit corporation used illegal, unpaid and in at least one case, underage labor?? You cannot donate your time to a for-profit corporation, therefore any work performed for Axanar Productions must be work for pay and things such as child labor laws must be followed.

    1. I think I answered this above, but I’ve since shared your theory with my lawyer wife. Her response to you, Ronald, well…it wasn’t something I’ll repeat here. Think of the children! 🙂

    2. Way to scrape that barrel Ronald. I mean, all over the country, every day, children are visiting the offices of their parents or their parent’s friends? Are we going to prosecute every time a child helps staple some papers or carries a folder to the next desk? Are we going to fine people when they let their kids press the buttons on really cool equipment to make things happen? Are we locking people up because Timmy comes into his mother’s art studio and helps her paint?

      I’m not normally one for calling names or otherwise being nasty… but you sir, you are a freaking moron.

        1. Why would you approve Justin’s comment, but haven’t approved a single comment by Carlos Pedraza? Saying that an insult is justified simply because I pointed out the law reeks of Trumpism. Telling the truth does not make me a moron.

    3. I’m beginning to see why the nickname ‘Slow Lane’ is being used in fandom these days. SMH.

      Personally, I think Axanar Productions used illegal methods to try and get Axanar off the ground. All the more reason why this farce of a Star Trek fan film production SHOULD be closed permanently and the money refunded to those who were lured into donating into it.

  4. I completely agree, I love Axanar because it encompasses everything I as a fan love about Star Trek, unlike the new star trek which has in fact been everything I hate about corporate culture in America. And I’m happy to see you put those words to paper so well. All I want is some good star trek and I’m willing to pay whomever can make it, unlike the detractors I don’t believe in the corporate monopoly, thanks to Disney copyright laws have been stretched to the point that they no longer maker sense on a human scale so I chose not to recognize them as I would any bad law, as I am encouraged to by many great men through history. So as a good capitalist my wallet will speak for me on this issue and I will support anyone who can bring me good star trek and not whatever garbage market research comes up with.

  5. You rock, Jonathan! Ye, we want more Axanar. Can’t wait!

    BTW. Did you see what happened with the DS9 documentary Kickstarter? Blew past it’s top stretch goal of $500,000! Hooray! More Trek!

    1. Amazingly, they finished yesterday with $634,907…just short of the $638,000 record that Axanar raised on Kickstarter in 2015. But it’s harder raising money on Indiegogo (less site traffic), so it really is an incredible accomplishment! I for one am totally psyched!!!

      1. I for one am an Associate Producer – so nice to support a project that is fully licensed by the IP holder!

        1. I sure wish other fan films could be fully licensed. It’d solve so many problems. Did you know that Alec Peters actually spoke with John Van Citters about purchasing a license for Axanar months and months before the lawsuit? True story!

          1. Simply that Alec repeatedly reached out to the studios. He wasn’t doing anything behind their backs. And they had every chance to tell him to stop what he was doing. Instead, John Van Citters said stuff like this:

            “As I’m sure you’re aware there are a great many productions and everyone is pursuing new and novel strategies to make their films work and most are crossing lines. Unfortunately, what’s happened in the last 6-12 months with various productions has only complicated the landscape and made it more difficult to do anything on an official basis.”

            Did you see the words, “We’re not comfortable with what you are doing and would prefer you shut down or change you production”? I sure didn’t! I saw John say that most fan films “are crossing lines.” And of course, none were being asked to stop. Why would Alec Peters assume he was going to be the only one of those “crossing lines” who would get sued?

            It was e-mails like this one that led the judge to conclude that the question of willful versus non-willful infringement was very much not obvious from the evidence at hand and could easily go either way…which is why he left it for the jury to decide. The defense team was confident that e-mails this one would have convinced a jury to rule that any infringement was non-willful.

          2. So Jon, what you’re saying is, if Alec had the money, he could have very well won this case in trial?

          3. Personally, I think it would have been very difficult to win it outright with fair use being declared invalid by the judge before trial. But many people I’ve spoken with agree that Alec would very likely have convinced a jury of non-willful infringement, taking his potential judgement down from the millions into the low five-figures (if that). It would still have been a loss for Alec but also for the studios in that Hollywood would have looked at them spending a million dollars to make $10K or $20K by suing one of its biggest fans for, well, being a fan. It was looking like a lose-lose for both sides, with the very real possibility of things dragging out for another year or two at least through the appeals process. As I’ve said elsewhere, I am not surprised at all that both sides decided to negotiate from much harder line terms to a reasonably fair settlement. To be honest, I don’t think Alec could have hoped to have gotten more out of the studios, and I don’t think the studios could have gotten Alec settle had they offered less…as that had essentially been the case for the previous several months. (And no, I do not know the details…only that there was, in fact, movement at the end on both sides.)

          4. Hmm, okay – Well, I would say alls well that ends well, but I’m still missing that 90 minute film – Anyway, I digress though… P

          5. Y’know what? I wish Richard Hatch could have lived another 5 or 10 years…and I wish Axanar could have been 60 minutes longer. If wishes were horses…

    2. Tory you want more Axanar or Prelude to Axanar ?
      The only tease of Axanar you’ve ever seen was the Prelude documentary and a Vulcan chit chat accross a parking lot, both used by Alec as baiting for additional crowdfunding. Since Axanar hasn’t filmed one single frame of footage and realistically is now broke, because of complete financial incompetence, and is no closer to production than when the lawsuit settled several months ago, just when do you think you’ll be enjoying more Star Trek from these people ?
      Since the brainteasers of Axanar are now strictly focused to trying to save an albatross warehouse which is soaking whatever money they can scrape together for rent and utilities every month, there’s no reason discussing the future of Axanar, that ship has long sailed down the dark history of this black hole !

  6. Wow…not only did you shut a detractor up, you did it in such a way that they’ll actually look forward to your next entry regarding Axanar.

    I have to say…I was on the fence myself (no surprise there), but you’ve swayed me. I’m still not convinced a good story can be told in 30 minutes, but we’ll see if my opinion changes…if and when the movie (albeit abbreviated) is released.

    Well done, Jonathan!

    Doug

    1. Some excellent stories can be told in 30 minutes…just look at “Prelude to Axanar”, the better episodes of the animated Trek series, and mot of the best sitcoms. Heck, every episode of “Seinfeld” was only 22 minutes. And if you need more Axanar, then you’ll have an audio drama, illustrated script, and novelizations. Glad I could get you off the fence, Doug. 🙂

    2. Hey Doug, I have a bridge in Brooklyn for sale – let’s see if we can close on that while your in that swaying stage —

  7. I have a problem with Axanar now.

    I thought I was donating to building a studio because it was the most cost effective way of getting Axanar to come to life and that it would have great side-benefits as well. I did not realize how much more cheaply studio space even in LA could have been rented for. If there was a second fund raising drive for the studio itself with the disclosure that it was not needed for Axanar, I would not have donated because if I gave to every worthwhile cause, I’d be on the street tomorrow. The studio is a great idea but not one I’m willing to fund.

    Given the quality of Prelude, I believe that without the studio, the result would have been and will be 95% or closer to the result with the studio.

    Now with the current financial restrictions on getting Axanar made, I’m torn. I want to see Axanar but I don’t want to spend money to support the studio. As of this instant, my decision is to pledge no more money. I could change my mind but the ‘lean’ toward no further pledges is strong.

    Now if for some reason I missed the disclosure during the original fund raising that the studio was not really needed for Axanar, I’ll add salt and pepper and eat my words. Otherwise, good luck people.

    1. I’ve got an easy solution for you, Jerry. Don’t donate to the Industry Studios Kickstater. But when the opportunity opens up to donate to Project: Axanar (which will not be a Kickastarter or Indiegogo or GoFundMe campaign but rather a direct donation campaign done privately without a gimmick), give to that. Private funds collected will go directly to Project: Axanar and not to the studio itself. Personally, I plan to donate to both, but you are free to donate to one and not the other…or to neither, but that isn’t nearly as helpful. 🙂

    2. Jerry, have you heard about the fool and his money parting – this is one of those cases !
      Since the future of your Axanar film in which you contributed to is solely reliant on the success of this failed warehouse studio and the management skills of Alec Peters, I wouldn’t be getting your expectations up too much ! To put it simply, you’d have better odds winning the State Lottery back-to-back weeks than Alec producing Axanar now !

      1. Nothing motivates people to donate their money quite like having the satisfaction of proving a smug detractor wrong. And the more smug, the more satisfying the donation. 🙂

        Hey, detractors. Did you ever stop to consider that Alec is probably aware of this and that he’s working WITH Anthony Shuh and others like him to try to increase the donation totals?

        Sounds crazy, you say? Well, no more so than most of the cockamamie conspiracy theories the detractors have come up over the past year.

        1. “Smug” detractors Jonathan? Between you, Dave and Alec. Every time one those “smug” detractors calls you, Dave or even Alec out with case proven facts and not the “alleged” naraitive all of you keep spinning, all you can do is be a “smug” condensending mules anus who thinks Alec is the best thing since sliced bread. You won’t discuss it, you deflect and avoid it in hope we will just forget it. And you have the the nerve to call critics, detractors “smug”? Between you, Dave, Alec and a few other Axanar cheerleaders all of you have cornered the Market on “smug”. Congratulations Jonathan, your reply is the perfect example of what being “SMUG” is!!!!!!

          1. I believe the term you’re looking for is, “I’m rubber and you’re glue. Whatever you say bounces off me and sticks to you!”

            See? Now THAT was smug, dude. 🙂

          2. I was wondering where Rand got himself off to……

            Life must be interesting in Randworld, because I don’t remember it going the way Rand says it did.

          3. Randworld?

            Randavia? Randopolis? Randiego? Ire-Rand? (Ire…get it?) Randhattan? OrRando? Ranada? NottingRand (as in the Sheriff of…)? FinRand? IceRand? Rance? Irand? (It’s next to AfRandistan.) Randarctica? Randzibar?

            Seriously…anyone can play this game!

        2. If I’m working with Alec Peters I want my kickback in cash and upfront – lol
          Alec’s past business dealings don’t actually set comfortable with me, he’s always been very shaky with paybacks. .

        3. Jonathan, it’s quite apparent you don’t know the meaning of the word “smug”. Here are some definitions to help you.

          smug
          [smuhg]

          adjective, smugger, smuggest.
          1.
          contentedly confident of one’s ability, superiority, or correctness; complacent.
          _________________
          smug
          star see definition of smug
          adj pleased with oneself
          Relevance
          Synonyms for smug:
          complacent, egotistical, pompous self-righteous, conceited, egoistic, holier-than-thou, hotshot, puffed-up. self-centered, snobbish, stuck on oneself, stuck-up.

          Yes. this definition and its synonyms definitely describes you and your condescending behavior toward anyone that disagrees with you, your narrative of alternate facts and your rejection of facts based on the actual truth about Alec and Axanar.

          1. Lmao, Nice try Jonathan. Psychological projection?

            Let me remind you that it was you who FIRST started being a condescending, egotistical, pompous, self-righteous, conceited, ego maniac, holier-than-thou, hotshot, puffed-up, self-centered, snobbish and stuck-up blogger who defends a man who made outlandish claims he was going to make a fan film then spent all the money on crap he did not need to make a fan film. Then you attacked anyone who criticized that man and your hero worship of that man. Or criticized you for promoting and defending that man who took donor money and used it as personal income to financially benefit himself and his associates.

            Its usually the person actually doing the ” projection” that accuses others of doing so Jonathan. I seriously think you ought to look in the mirror.

            That says all I need to know about you.

  8. I like that shirt your kid’s wearing, Jon – STYLIN’ like a real Trekkie should… P 😉

  9. But what’s the point now? It’s not “Star Trek” anymore, and it can only be what, 20 more minutes? No one cares now. CBS killed it, along with all the others. Time to move on.

  10. Well, while I did enjoy Prelude to Axanar… Axanar (and Alec Peters) basically helped CBS destroy the future of fan films, and that is something I can not forgive he(as a sellout) or CBS for. I will not watch Discovery, nor will I donate to Axanar. Alec Peters and CBS are basically one and the same now. Star Trek is now dead. Congratulations Peters and Axanerds (which I was one up until the settlement), you and CBS killed Star Trek.

    1. Actually, I think Star Trek is still alive and well…for a 50-year-old franchise. As I said in this blog, there have been SIXTY Trek fan films released SINCE the guidelines were announced last June. That’s nearly TWO FAN FILMS PER WEEK for EIGHT STRAIGHT MONTHS!

      And Discovery, well, don’t count it out just yet. It could suck or it could be great. Sure, you don’t have to watch it. But just because you’ve checked out of the hotel doesn’t mean others aren’t still enjoying the pool and jacuzzi. 🙂

  11. I find it interesting on a few count’s

    1. Donor perks were ready to go out in 2015, yet most were shipped near the end of 2016. Which means those perks were intentionally held onto for over a year.

    2. OK, Alec likes kids as do most normal people. Yet pedophiles, pornographers and killers like kids as well. So I personally wouldn’t put my kid in a situation that puts him at risk.

    3. Until there are updated set pictures posted you’re just taking part in a bigger smoke and mirrors campaign to get more money from the fans.

    Not being mean in the slightest, just providing some very friendly observations.

    1. “Not being mean in the slightest, just providing some very friendly observations.”

      And bordering on libel. Don’t forget that.

      1. As was explained many, many times, the hold up with perk fulfillment was that the donor addresses and other customer management data was “trapped” inside an incomplete and non-functioning database called Ares Digital 1.0. Trust me, Admiral, Diana would have LOVED to have printed out address labels and just mailed out those perks…for months and months and months! She had to do so much extra work just managing all the incoming e-mails and complaints from donors. She would have saved so much time and grief had she been able to just print out–or ever hand address–each of those envelopes and drop them at the post office. “Intentionally” is far from the correct word.

      2. So this is the one that borders on libel. I see you trying to be clever, Admiral, but you and I both know what you did there. Do it again, and you are permanently barred from posting on this website. Alec Peters is a good man, and I have NEVER felt that taking my child to Ares Studios (he hasn’t been there since the name change) or letting him be near Alec or anyone else there has even placed him at any kind of risk.

      Right now, there are a LOT of people who are going to write you very angry responses and call you a lot of very nasty names. As a way to try to mitigate that inevitability at least a little, I STRONGLY suggest you apologize publicly here to Alec Peters…not because you don’t want to deal with the fallout but because 1) it’s the right thing to do, and 2) by not apologizing, you are dragging the other detractors down with you and damaging all of their reputations.

      3. The Axanar website posted other more recent set photos quite frequently. In fact, here’s Garth’s quarters.

      1. In regards to:

        1. All that was needed was amount donated, a mailing list & stamps Ares 1.0 wasn’t the problem. It was laziness pure and simple.

        2. I never claimed Alec is, was or would do any of those things. It’s just common sense as to things to be aware of.

        3. Nice sets, yet they are still quite a ways from being finished.

        Quite frankly people can get as angry as they want. It just shows they can’t read.

        1. “All that was needed was amount donated, a mailing list & stamps Ares 1.0 wasn’t the problem. It was laziness pure and simple.”

          So why do you think think Diana Kingsbury put in so much MORE work dealing with donor relations for an entire year than she would have just licking stamps? Sounds like selective laziness, if you ask me!

          Seriously, though, the mailing list could not be generated from the database. There were thousands of donors and no way to match who had given how much to be sent which set of perks. It was a total mess. Trust me, I was up to the studio many, many times and saw those piles of assembled boxes sitting there in the corner for months and months. There was no laziness involved, as assembling those packages is 90% of the work. Putting on the address labels is nothing in comparison. Calling it “laziness pure and simple” is, to quote a Vulcan acquaintance, not logical.

          As for number 2, the “Who…me?” attitude is almost more disgusting than that fact you said anything in the first place. Almost.

          And your last point is laughable and shows a total lack of understanding of the process of set construction.

  12. Thank you for stating the not so obvious to detractors and Trolls of AXANAR. Alec has been a champion of the fans for more than these two years. He has started and maintained a Local business, employed staff, and kept the money here, Even though his fans and supporters are around the globe (places that don’t even recognize our copyright laws.) He has been true to the fans and completely transparent, unlike studios, who would take there money and do all the filming offshore, then trey to make believe it is all done here in the U.S. all in the name pf profit! I applaud Alec for his convictions, and his continued support for the Fans everywhere. AXANAR has done more for the fans then the copyright holders have, and is still producing the movie! On behalf of the quiet fans I have to say thank you for Going Boldly, and please continue!

  13. I need to interrupt this comments section for a new FAN FILM FACTOR rule to go along with the “no personal insults” and “no swear words” rules. My family is now officially off limits to anyone wanting to score any kind of a point—against Alec, Axanar, me, whomever. You want to tell me Jayden is cute? No problem. You want to say anything that draws my wife or my son into any argument, debate, accusation, or gripe session…the comment gets trashed. No discussion. My boss has spoken!

    1. Does that mean you are going to delete this entire blog entry? You brought him up not us. This entire post is about drawing him into the argument.

  14. FYI Jo Dee Moine is probally a fake profile created by the detractors since her so called profile has no friends or anything listed on her profile.

    1. Not my concern, Chris. A third of my posters use nicknames to remain anonymous. Jo could call herself/himself Kermit the Frog or Beyonce and it wouldn’t really make a difference.

    2. Have you ever actually explored Facebook’s security settings, Chris Ross? Its not very difficult to hide most of your information, posts and friend list from non-friends.

        1. NAH!!!! Jonathan, not disappointing. It’s not worth it to argue with a computer anyway. ;>)

          1. Jonathan, I seem to remember a couple of episodes where that could have been said. But for some reason I can think of 2 that qualify. “The Ultimate Computer” or “Nomad” They are not the only ones that involve a computer, but they are the first 2 that popped into my head when I read your comment. It wouldn’t suprise me if I’m wrong. ;>)

          2. Actually, I had the quote slightly wrong. I forgot the “blasted.” 🙂

            “It’s a blasted machine, Spock! You can’t argue with a machine!”

            Does that help? Not “The Ultimate Computer” or “The Changeling.” Try again, my friend.

  15. I want more what we’ve seen so far. I want more of creative sci fi, from any universe/story line. While I love Trek, I really don’t mind if there’s great stories that aren’t called Trek.

    Also, I understand the progression and process of what has occurred since Prelude started. Like many others I’m disappointed that we won’t get to see a full length movie, but it hasn’t made me bitter.

    Two years ago I discovered Facebook and posts by George Takei and William Shatner. Through those I discovered Star Trek Continues & Kickstarter and then Axanar. (BTW I love feeling like a “donor/member” of a new Trek project and being to say, “I helped get that done.”) Before that I had no idea there were Trek fan films out there! I was one of those old folks, who had watched TOS in B&W when it first came out. I was waiting patiently for what I assumed would be a wonderful 50th celebration, but hadn’t any hopes for much else in the Trek line. Shoot, I’ve got so much fan Trek to watch now, I haven’t had a chance to catch up with it all! So, I’m in “hog heaven”, Trek-wise. In addition, thanks to Jonathan, we’ve also had a fascinating glimpse into the world of law and a case we care about as a learning vehicle.

    I really regret the short-sightedness of the studios, both the lawsuit and the lack of a decent celebration, but as the saying goes, “It is what it is.” Maybe Peters might have done things differently and we’d have had different results, but I really don’t see much point in playing “what if” there either. So we move on from here. I’m sad that there are folks out there who can’t seem to look to the future with anticipation. I’m expecting great things out of the Axanar team and I don’t expect to be disappointed. That’s because the work is being done by FANS! If they get professionals and/or previous Trek actors to help in the fun, fine..the end results will be that much better. If not, it’ll still be fun. Maybe fans are not perfect, but they’re human…just like the rest of us.

    Anyway, my primary regret right now is that I don’t have a lot of money to donate to new Trek endeavors, otherwise I’d give a bunch! LLAP

  16. I don’t think you have truly addressed the biggest issue that was raised in the comments, including the comments you deleted.

    Is there a concern, or how did Alec get around, regarding not paying you and others for the work you provided?
    I ask, not becuase you should be a money grubbing person, but becuase there is a possibly that Alec and Industries Studios could get in trouble for not paying for labor.
    It was pointed out that you can’t volunteer at a place you work, or rather can’t volunteer at a for-profit business.
    I know a place I volunteered at in the past had to end up paying a bunch of people for time volunteered because they did a couple of paid shifts doing similar work for the volunteer organization.
    Alex can do what ever he wants with his money but this is something he needs to consider.
    Now if the volunteering occurred before he incorporated Ares Studios (later Indiustry) then he might be ok but this should be a concern for him.

    1. Well, for one thing, I organized the perk-packing party; Alec did not. Also, as I understand it, it would need to be either myself and/or one of the other two volunteers who would need to put in a claim, and none of the three of us intends to do such a thing. And I should mention that Alec treated us all for lunch and let us take some swag home. No, that’s not the same thing as having us invoice Axanar Productions and getting 1099’s, but think about this. If folks want to try to nail Alec for this, how many independent convention companies are also in trouble for using volunteers of their own to check hand-stamps and provide crowd management at the smaller cons? Heck, even Creation used to use me as a volunteer back in the 1980s…and they were always for profit (LOTS of profit!).

      Oh, and then there’s other fan productions who use volunteer labor. Does everyone who works on Renegades now need to get paid? Shold James Cawley have been paying everyone at Retro Studios? What about the various Potemkin Pictures volunteers? Starbase Studios uses volunteers. Are all of these fan productions in trouble, too?

      1. I would say the difference between Industry/Ares Studios is that is a for-profit company, where as none of the other fan films are. And of course, if they have a similar set as Alec, with a profit studio and a non-profit production, then things get a bit messy.
        That being said, it’s not you missing $100 I would be concerned about, it’s the labor dept that could go after them. Now maybe some one would need to file a complaint, but maybe not.
        Just in the future, it might behoove everyone to do those perk parties outside of the profit based studio to rid the questions of legality and labor practices.

        1. Well, once Axanar Productions is a 501(c)(3), the rules will change somewhat. But yeah, in the meantime, probably best not to have perk-packing parties…even though it was a lot of fun.

          And by the way, just as an example, I don’t think Retro Studios in upstate New York ever declared itself non-profit. And Star Trek Continues paid people and also had free volunteers simultaneously for three years before finally getting their 501(c)(3). This isn’t meant to get either production into trouble. I just want to point out that Axanar wasn’t the only fan film not paying minimum wage to volunteers while having a full studio that was not, technically, a legal non-profit 501(c)(3) entity at the time. So anyone trying to crucify Alec for one day of unpaid perk packing needs to also consider the 12 years of New Voyages/Phase II and the first three or four years of Star Trek Continues. No one is Teflon in this discussion.

  17. Just the facts:

    1. Axanar Productions Inc. is a for profit California corporation and is required to follow labor laws. People performing tasks like stuffing envelopes are performing work and should be classified as employees. That means their hours must be tracked and be paid at least minimum wage plus any overtime on a regular pay day.

    2. Any child who works for a corporation is protected by child labor laws, which don’t allow for children under 12 to work at all – they can work in “entertainment” for a movie production. Even then they are limited to a few hours a day.

    http://www.employmentlawhandbook.com/wage-and-hour-laws/state-wage-and-hour-laws/california/child-labor-laws/entertainment-industry/

    3. Anyone who performed work for Axanar can file a wage claim against Axanar Productions, Inc for failing to track hours worked and pay on a regular payday. The employees can be awarded double wages plus attorney fees. Here’s the form:

    https://www.dir.ca.gov/dlse/HowToFileWageClaim.htm

    You can’t have people work for free in your for profit business, even if they do so gladly and willingly. You also have strict limits on child labor, and must follow all state and federal labor laws.

      1. Having a hard time believing Jo is making a thing out of this. Word of advice, Jo: Its not smart to dip into your company’s supplies, ajd then post…

        1. What’s really funny is that the claim, if filed, would be so SMALL! Let’s do the math. The three of us volunteers were there for maybe six hours total, with an hour break for lunch (which Alec paid for). So let’s say we each should have gotten paid $7.50/hour for five hours of work each. So Alec theoretically owes us each $37.50. And hey, if we take him to court, we could each double that to $75 each! Whoo-hoo. Lawyer costs are, of course, about $500/hour or more, so our attorney would make about 20 times as much as we would. 🙂

          Anyway, it’s such a minor thing. Each of us donated way more than the $37.50 (or even $75) that Alec might owe us. I know I won’t be filing a claim, and I can’t imagine my fellow volunteers doing so either. So yeah, it is hard to believe Jo is making a thing out of this.

          1. “It’s such a minor thing.” Does it bother you at all that Alec the lawyer does not appear to follow the law? Labor laws have several important purposes – to ensure pay equity, OSHA compliance, Social Security and Medicare taxes collected and remitted, child labor laws followed, to stop discrimination based on protected classes, and much more.

            Worst case scenario – suppose someone was injured in the course of working for Axanar? Are they covered under Worker’s Comp?

            Once a corporation chooses to hire someone to work for them it triggers a whole bunch of laws and regulation and paperwork and expense that I’m sure a lot of companies would rather just ignore. But it’s illegal. Wage theft is a crime. No big deal, right? So your patch party was just a minor thing – but how many other payroll hours has Alec saved by having people “volunteer” for Axanar?

            But HE got paid, didn’t he? Why couldn’t he pay everyone else?

          2. Star Trek: New Voyages’ Retro Studios operated for 12 years without being a 501(c)(3) and used countless volunteers while paying a few key people. And Star Trek Continues spent three years before becoming tax-exempt, paying some and not paying others. Alec Peters paid most people who worked on the actual production and had volunteers only very infrequently. So, Jo, if you’re this outraged at Alec Peters, then you must be even more furious at James Cawley and Vic Mignogna.

            Me? I’m not furious at anyone. 🙂

  18. I funded Axanar as I believed in the FILM! Although it’s now cut to 30 minutes It will still be AWESOME! Can’t wait for crowdfunding for other film ideas that will come out of the studio…..

  19. No… if its Star Trek, it can only be 30 minutes. If it is NOT Star Trek, then it can be as long as it wants.

  20. Alec Peters paid most people who worked on the actual production and had volunteers only very infrequently.

    From what has been said and posted about Alec and Axanar, it is more like he robbed most people blind and frequently.

    1. He never robbed me. I grew up in New York City and was mugged twice, had my bike stolen three times (well, three different bikes), and had my car broken into. I know what it’s like to get robbed. Donating to Axanar did not feel like that. 🙂

Comments are closed.