SOME PERSPECTIVE: a “BIG WIN” for AXANAR or “GAME OVER”? (Part 1)

Reality is not always kind or fair, and sometimes life hands you a Kobayashi Maru.  Over the past few days since ALEC PETERSannounced the departure of AXANAR PRODUCTIONS from INDUSTRY STUDIOS, there have been discussions, debates, and some knockdown/drag-out arguments.  Was money squandered?  Should Alec have just rented a studio or filmed the Axanar movie on the New Voyages TOS sets in upstate New York?  (Even Alec himself looks back and wishes he’d done that.)

But hindsight is a gift we are usually given way too late to act on it.  I should have bought Microsoft and Intel in 1991.  Hillary Clinton should have campaigned in Michigan and Wisconsin.  NBC should never have canceled Star Trek.

However, all the Monday-morning quarterbacking in the world doesn’t change the fact that there is an unpleasant reality right now for Alec Peters and Axanar Productions that must be dealt with, and it boils down to these four things…

  1. The donor money is all spent.  It wasn’t wasted (and I know some out there will never accept that statement, but this was an ambitious project full of both hope and risk, and sometimes there’s not enough of the first to overcome the second).  Nevertheless, regardless of how much some people might want to point the finger of blame and incompetence at Alec Peters, that doesn’t change the fact that—as of next month—there’s no more money available to pay the rent.
  2. There are still 8 more months left on the 3-year lease for the Industry Studios location, and that’s a commitment of $96,000 that Alec Peters simply doesn’t have.  He’s spent his fortune on this dream of his (and ours).  And anyone thinking that Alec was just out for personal gain needs to get themselves a calculator.  He’s auctioned off nearly his entire collection of screen-used props and costumes.  He’s put in six-figures of his own money to keep the studio lights on and rent paid over the past several months.  Forget about making out like a bandit; Alec pretty much lost his shirt (and tunics!).
  3. The Indiegogo campaign blasted off for two days and then stalled.  It’s at $21K as of right now, some of which goes to service fees and perks.  So at best, Alec might get another month or two of rent.  He’d hoped for more (as did I), and it was worth a shot.  But in the end, although $21K is nothing to sneeze at (other recent crowd-funding campaigns in the Trek fan world have fallen far short of that amount), it just wasn’t enough.
  4. Those wonderful Axanar sets need to live somewhere.  If Axanar Productions must vacate Industry Studios, what happens to the sets?  They cost $200K to build and are still very usable.  Should they just be tossed into a dumpster or maybe brought to the next Burning Man Festival?

So this is reality…and reality bites.  And while some people are looking back, Alec had no choice but to look at the present and try to salvage the future.

When Alec contacted me a couple of weeks ago as the Indiegogo campaign was slowing to a trickle and looking unlikely to break even 50% of its goal, the situation looked bleak.  With each passing day, Alec was running out of viable options to keep Industry Studios open.  The 501(c)(3) non-profit application was still tied up with the California Secretary of State’s office (fortunately, it’s since cleared that hurdle, but for a while, those delays were interminably frustrating).  And while there was interest in renting the studio by a few television productions, unfortunately Hollywood producers tend to move at their own slow pace, and expecting decisions to get made and deals inked in just a few short months turned out to be unrealistic in this town.  And that was really too bad because renting the studio out for even just a single week at a couple of thousand dollars a day could have paid the rent for a month.  And these productions were talking about multiple weeks-long rentals.  But alas, no one was ready to sign on the dotted line just yet.

Without money to pay the rent beyond what the Indiegogo brought in, the studio would be forced to shut down.  And worse, Alec would still be on the hook for another seven or eight months of rent that he couldn’t pay.  The landlord would likely convert the studio back into a warehouse, leaving the Axanar fan film with no place to shoot and also letting down the other two fan productions that had hoped to film at Industry Studios: Personal Space and Cholo vs. Vampires.

And of course, what would happen to those amazing sets?  Without a studio to house them, they’d need to either be put into storage or destroyed.  But storage still costs money, and who was going to donate to a campaign for paying thousands of dollars essentially for an oversized closet?

Alec was hoping that maybe the sets could be moved into a warehouse near Atlanta, GA, where at least there’s a growing film industry, and see if they could be used by productions down there.  The advantage of the sets being “similar” to a TOS bridge but not identical is that not only could a Star Trek fan film could use them for a different class of vessel, but so could an original sci-fi production or TV commercial or even an educational project for kids…all without worrying about violating a copyright because the bridge set looks significantly original.

Of course, the problem was still basically the same as staying in Valencia: rent.  And I told Alec that (much to his consternation, I might add, as I was being downright defeatist).  Maybe Atlanta would cost a fraction of what Valencia is costing now, but a fraction is still greater than zero.  I actually suggested asking donors if anyone had access to a warehouse or even a barn that could house the sets…at least until something more long-term could be worked out.  (And hey, anyone out there with warehouse space or a barn, would you like something REALLY cool to show off to your friends?)

So yeah, two weeks ago, it really was looking like “game over.”  Sure, Axanar‘s two 15-minute segments would still be made.  All they would need is a green screen to shoot in front of to make two more parts of The Four Years War mockumentary.  But the dream of what Industry Studios could be, and all the hard work and donor money that went into building those sets and converting an empty warehouse into a very impressive studio and sound stage…that looked like it would all sadly amount to nothing in the end.

Was there a way to beat the no-win scenario?


Next time, in the conclusion, I look at the deal that Alec was able to get from his landlord.  Is it a “big win” for Axanar Productions?  Or was it simply the rearranging of deck chairs on the Titanic?

135 thoughts on “SOME PERSPECTIVE: a “BIG WIN” for AXANAR or “GAME OVER”? (Part 1)”

  1. It’s dead Jim…

    Really though…sorry Jon. I know you were banking on this becoming big and being a part of something Star Trek. I know what it’s like when a dream dies.

    Alec was just the wrong guy to try to carry that torch. In 5 years this will be a memory to be talked about among Trek fans. In 10 years no one will really remember, and at the very least it will be a black eye for the fan community mentioned from time to time.

  2. I keep hearing that Cholo vs. Vampires is supposed to shoot at Industry Studios, but they haven’t had a social media post on their facebook since last year when their crowdfunding campaign collapsed….

      1. I saw where their Kickstarter failed November 2016, they couldn’t get the funding they needed and haven’t seen anything lately from them. Too bad looked like a really funny movie, don’t know if they meant it to be, but you sone sometimes horror movies can be roll on the floor funny without even trying.

    1. Peters sank Axanar.
      CBS/paramount did what any IP holder would do… went at someone who was trying to profit off what they don’t own.
      They were 100% justified and in the right.

      If Peters was really trying to make a film, it would have been done long before the lawsuit was even thought of.
      Instead, he saw dollar signs, and was enjoying the accolades of flying all over the country 9on the donor dime) and acting like a big time filmmaker, without actually having to make the film.

      The party’s over… time to pick up the check (of course, he’ll probably do a fundraiser for that too), and you Axa-suckers will give him the money.

      “A fool and his money are soon parted.” The True Story of Axanar

  3. If the sets get put in storage, they will die in storage. Renting storage space costs money. Eventually, if they don’t get used, they will get tossed. The smart thing to do would be to give it to someone who has the studio space to set it up for free, that would allow you to film when you are ready. But Axanar has burnt too many bridges (no pun intended). I can’t see Cawley giving up space, even though he has plenty to spare. Starbase Studios in Arkansas(?) could be an option, but again, I don’t know how big their space is. At the end of the day, a space has to be found, or else this film is going to be lost to time.

    1. Lots of opportunities for free studio space were explored…including, I’m told, Starbase Studios (which does not have extra space available). Trust me, if “the smart thing to do” were an option, this would have been an easy decision, my friend! 🙂

      1. There’s no legitimate fan film series which has a functional soundstage going to let Alec Peters (Axanar) within ten miles of their facilities!

      2. Considering how Alec treated Starbase Studios by whining that they leaked something of course they would say no. He burned so many bridges.

      3. I would double check on Starbase Studios, because I am being told this morning by people that have worked at the new studio that they do have space for additional sets, as their new space is larger than their old one.

        1. I’ve been told by the SS folks that they’re planning to use that extra space to build and house more sets for other parts of the ship, not another bridge (except for a partial Pike-era bridge that Glen Wolfe is creating).

          1. Oh, they may be planning on doing those things, but that could be a year or two from now before construction starts. How long is it going to take Alec to film something? If it’s longer than 12 months from now, I don’t know what the point is. At least their studio could hold them for a few months or more.

          2. According to a recent podcast, Alec was hoping to film the Axanar movie (at least part 1) by late this coming summer. We’ll see if that schedule holds (fingers crossed), but at this point, the plan is for way less than 12 months from now.

      4. Interesting because sources at Starbase Studios say they don’t want Alec’s sets anywhere near them. Think you might want to do a little more research on that one.

    2. Speaking from my own personal experiences in dealing with the guys at Starbase Studios…

      They would not house these sets for a multitude of reasons.

      Also they are expanding their own sets so they have no spare room.

  4. I’m confused on how they can still make even the two 15 min ‘episodes’ at this point. As you’ve stated here and I’ve read elsewhere the money is all gone.. how is he supposed to create this if there’s no money? I’ve also read that he’s not allowed to crowd source the funding of any ST projects like Axanar, so how is he planning on paying for it? If he’s somehow allowed to do a round of funding, it’s asking people that have already paid into it to pay again. That’s pretty shady at best. I’m also confused on how unless he somehow raises another million for it, how it’s going to meet any expectations.
    I try to give a lot of leeway on where the original crowdsourcing money went. It would have helped a lot to show where it went to, I understand that might be opening up a bag of worms. Regardless there’s a ton of questions on where the money from this latest round of fund raising is going to go. The studio for all it’s intents is now gone.. so why continue to raise money with it? It honestly should have been canceled and it’s donors refunded. Start a new campaign if you’re after money to do something else. Otherwise you’re not being honest and creating the door for people to claim scam. The way this whole mess continues to be handled is the reason why so many people are throwing shade on it.

  5. Hope abides and the Axanar story that captivated me as well as many many other fans deserves to live. I think the measures the Axanar folks have offered are probably the best that can be done in the short term and you never know what new opportunities may be around the corner. I hope Alec recovers financially and personally and can continue to be the soul of Axanar.

  6. Still rooting for an Axanar film here, even if it is only a 30 minute short film… *hopeful* / :/

  7. Alec spent all the money, Alec no longer has a Studio, Alec crapped out on his latest crowdfund campaign. Alec and only Alec is responsible for making his own no win situation.

    No one fan film producer has ever been as incompetent as Alec Peters. Every other Fan Film producer made the fan films they promised from the fans donations. They didn’t spend it on frivolous crap they did not need to make a fan film. They did not flaunt it and brag about how epic or professional it would be to CBS and Paramount’s face. They didn’t try to benefit commercially off IP that didn’t belong to them. After what Alec and ONLY Alec did to screw it up and not only for us but for all fan film in general there is just no way Alec will ever again be able raise money to make Axanar because NO one with REAL common sense will ever trust Alec again and that is Alec’s own fault.

    Everything after this is beating a dead horse, the only difference is it was Alec’s horse and he killed it. ITS DEAD JIM!!!!

    1. I’m getting tired of your broken record Rand.

      If anyone is a loser here it’s you. You back stabbed your friends, you’re not trusted by haters, and you are a joke to both sides.

      All your talk is shit because what you have is shit. Just like your friend Terry who’s “bombshell” never happened.

      1. Two warnings: one for a direct insult to another person (“loser”) and one for twice using the s-bomb. “Shat” or “sh*t”, people. I don’t ask for much. 🙂

        Next time, Charles, the comment gets trashed. Sorry, dude, but them’s my rules.

        1. I’ll tell you what Jonathan, I won’t be making comments here at all anymore. If you allow Rand to be a moron and insult Peters without recourse, then you are on your own.

          1. It’s possible to make comments without the direct insults, Charles. I don’t allow it from either side, and truth to tell, I like to think the Axanar supporters are above that kind of thing.

            I’ve also decided not to respond to the Rands and the Anthonys and the other detractors anymore because, frankly, they’re just not worth the effort to me. They mean little in the world. Granted, I don’t mean that much myself, but at least I’m getting 45K visits per month. Axamonitor just dropped below 4K (possibly far below). What this tells me is that the detractor species is dying off. The lawsuit’s over, and most of them have moved on with their lives. Those that are sticking around are just sort of the soap scum left behind clinging to the edge of the bathtub. And why should anyone argue with soap scum?

            I still approve their comments because I’d rather not be labeled as a censor or someone who only ever approves comments from people who agree with me. But if the comments directly call anyone a name or use a swear word (really, there’s only two, folks), then the comment has sunk below even the lowest bar I have to offer and just isn’t adding anything to the discourse.

            In general, I let the detractor comments speak for themselves. The detractors don’t realize it, but their snarkiness only serves to help Alec look better to the fence-sitters. The other detractors are already a lost cause, and the Axanar-faithful are a loyal bunch. It’s the fence-sitters who might still go either way. And they know snark and arrogance when they read it. The supporter comments are positive and friendly, hopeful, constructive–very attractive in an energy-of-the-universe kind of way. The detractor comments are dark and hateful, angry, venomous. They repel on a visceral level. The detractors themselves don’t realize this, of course. But show a chain of comments to anyone who is unfamiliar with the whole Axanar situation, and they’re likely to gravitate to the positive, friendly posts.

            Try it. Show a chain of comments to someone who knows nothing of Axanar…and say nothing to them about it (absolutely nothing). Let them read the comments and see what they say. I’m actually curious for folks to do this experiment and tell me what happens. (Not the detractors, though. I pretty much don’t trust those guys.)

    2. Rand

      Sorry but that is rubbish.
      Other fan films didn’t benefit commercially off an IP that didn’t belong to them.
      Well thats as you say “frivolous crap”
      not only has other fan films tried to profit from an IP that doesn’t belong to them
      One of them even earned the wrath of Shatner for falsely advertising his likeness more than once.
      And what exactly has Alec done for all fan films? there are still loads in production
      so the “Alec has ruined fan films” is utter nonsense

      You only attack him as you obviously for some reason need to feel wanted.
      and funny thing is you claim everyone else is a Liar, but think you need to look in a mirror.
      now go back to your little C/pVa and make some pie for your master

      1. “Other fan films didn’t benefit commercially off an IP that didn’t belong to them.”

        I like to see your proof that they have, because I would like to buy some coffee.

      2. B4 Love, the other fan films never profited from their productions, they used the IP of Star Trek to create their series, however unlike Axanar they never crossed the line with profiting or they also would have been headed to court and you know that !
        Star Trek Continues did actually post a photo of Captain Kirk on the Bridge of the Enterprise and was told by William Shatner to pull it, and they promptly did, they never complain about it or ever disputed it! When they were told to back down, they complied with Shat’s wishes and removed it !
        As for Alec Peters ruining fan films, everyone has a different take, however there’s no doubt that his arrogance against CBS has forever changed the Star Trek fan film landscape ! You can always claim that sometime down the road someone might have crossed the line, however this was on Alec Peters beat and therefore he’s the guy who’s rightfully getting the label, it is what it is !

      3. Steven and Charles, I find it admirable even if misguided that you two still defend Alec even when all the facts prove you both wrong yet you stick to the same lame excuses that Alec himself has made for the past three years. Yes That is admirable!

        * Court records prove that Alec benefited financially from CBS IP.
        * Alec used the Star Trek trademark to sell Axanar merchandise that was proven to be IP infringement by summary judgement ruling.
        * Alec himself had to admit he infringed as part of his settlement terms.
        * Summary judgement ruling from Judge Klausner ruled Alec has infringed and benefited financially.
        * Alec never ever needed to rent a warehouse to convert to a studio when there were many established studios with full amenities ready to be rented… Money WASTED on a “crapfest money pit ” that was not needed or even necessary. NOW look how that has turned out….. LMAO!
        * Christian Gossett never told Alec to build a studio and he in fact advised not to do it. Alec LIES!
        * Alec perjured himself in his deposition which is why he had to be deposed a second time.
        * Alec recently admitted he spent years trying to get CBS to give written guidelines for Star Trek fan films. The results are his fault.
        * Alec made haters with his rude behavior to donors legitimate concerns and complaints. That also known as BITING THE HAND THAT FEEDS YOU. That is the only thing Alec was good at.

        Everything is a proven FACT. Face it, Alec failed again, he is Garth of Failizar. Attack me all you guys want but you guys cannot dispute proven facts it was Alec who DOOMED and Killed Axanar not the detractors, not CBS/Paramount and certainly not the donors who withheld donating.

        ALEC HIMSELF KILLED AXANAR AND FAN FILM IN GENERAL.

        Now put that in your pipes and spin it. Yes, Quite Admirable!!!!!

        1. I need to add this also…. Steven…. regardless of what Vic did he got a warning twice, he listened and he complied. Vic didn’t get sued.

          Alec got SEVERAL warnings, he didn’t listen, he ignored them, he didn’t comply. Alec got sued.

          1. Ladies and gentlemen: Sean Spicer.

            Tell us more about Hitler and chemical weapons.

            (Alec never received a warning from the studios. That was stipulated to by the plaintiffs in their filings.)

          2. Jonathan,
            http://www.thewrap.com/how-1-1-million-star-trek-fan-movie-has-escaped-studio-shutdown-so-far/

            Printed in The Wrap August 2015:

            “We continue to object to professional commercial ventures trading off our property rights and are considering further options to protect these rights.”

            Looks like a CLEAR WARNING to me and not the only one Alec got but the only one that was made public. If Alec had heeded this very public warning he might not have been sued.

            BTW, I thought you were not going to engage the detractors anymore. Hmm, oh well, so much for that.

          3. “BTW, I thought you were not going to engage the detractors anymore.”

            I probably shouldn’t, but the alt-facts and outright lying is very annoying to me to have on my blog site. I should just trash the false comments, but I don’t believe in censorship except for rule-breaking. (Maybe I should add a “no lying” rule?) Obviously, that article you cited does not count as a “warning” as it was never even mentioned in any of the legal filings. A warning would have been a call or e-mail or in-person conversation from one of the studio executives that Alec Peters met with four times…not some anonymous and unverifiable quote from a news article. The Loeb & Loeb attorneys recognized this shortcoming, which is why they didn’t include mention of the article in any of their filings.

            In the end, the best proof I have that you are totally wrong is the judge–after shooting down the fair use defense (showing that he certainly was not on the side of the defendants) allowed for the jury to determine willful versus non-willful infringement and acknowledged the validity of the non-willful infringement argument. Smarter people than you have acknowledged that Alec wasn’t warned, so I’m going with the smart people…nothing personal.

            And with that, yeah, I’m done with the engaging with the detractors again. Maybe this time, I’ll stick with my resultion. 🙂

          4. The entire paragraph Jonathan:

            CBS has not authorized, sanctioned or licensed this project in any way, and this has been communicated to those involved,” a representative from the network told TheWrap. “We continue to object to professional commercial ventures trading off our property rights and are considering further options to protect these rights.”

            Clearly Alec got the warning and ignored it. So do not say he was not warned and warned publicly.

          5. Buying into the the Haterade version of The Wrap’s boilerplate, eh? Now I know you’re not just drinking the Haterade, you’re bathing in it!

            Do you imagine Alec in the meeting (which he ASKED for, BTW….) sticking his fingers in his ears, yelling “LA,LA,LA,LA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!I CAN’T HEAR YOU!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!” while CBS was delivering this warning?

            The only narrative of the actual meeting came from Alec. To date, CBS has not countered with their own narrative, nor disputed Alec’s version of the events.

          6. All true. So Rand’s one example has proven false, and yet he said, “was warned SEVERAL times.” Rand can’t even find one valid warning…let alone “several.” I really should make a “no lying” rule. I really should.

  8. Here’s a “wacky” idea.

    A couple years ago, I went down to Houston SpaceCenter in Texas. they had just acquired the original Galileo 7 shuttlecraft from the original series. It was being restored and needed a home.

    They have this big multistory “SpaceCenter” museum and a large two story cafeteria area which they decided to convert into a hanger deck based on the Enterprises hanger deck. It looked really cool.

    But a shuttlecraft with a bridge tour beside it might be even cooler.

    I doubt it could be used for on going production work, but it might be put out on loan for a finite period.. like the Galileo 7.. still owned by the restorationist.. but on long term loan.

    That might be a win-win, for Alec and a place like the SpaceCenter, Alec because he might eventually figure out a longer term plan.. and it would be a lot closer to Atlanta, Arkansas.. even upstate New York. And the SpaceCenter would get a themed exhibit which would eventually be retrieved.

    .. and it would be a place where the public could go to “see” the Axanar set anytime they like.. and think about what might have been.

    1. It’s certainly something for Alec to consider, but the sets apparently have to be gone in 18 days, and that might be too short a time to set up something with a government institution. (You know how quickly the government makes decisions, right?) 🙂

      1. I’m pretty sure its an independent venture, technically its offsite of the SpaceCenter in its own building.

        I don’t know anyone thre, but might be worth a phone call.

        18 days is very slim timing though.. anyone with anything more center should probably be given first chance.

    2. You have to ask yourself the question, why would the Houston SpaceCenter be interested in investing hundreds of thousands of dollars to house an incompleted bridge set (not even an actual Star Trek design) of a fan film which hasn’t even filmed one frame of footage, that virtually nobody has ever heard of, and has just come off a lawsuit which violated IP copyright issues.
      Right, that sounds like a rational decision for the SpaceCenter !

  9. The reality is that it doesn’t matter what happened to the money because it’s all gone.

    Axanar will not get made. I know where the sets could be stored within 50 miles of their current location, yet I don’t want them on my property.

    My fan film and reputation come first, neither will be tainted by anyone. It’s not personal, it’s professional and those two business traits are lacking in the Axanar camp.

    There are plenty of viable options. Alec needs money and damned good luck for any of them to pan out.

  10. Like everyone else, my 20-20 hindsight is perfect and of course he should have known then what we know now. So while I of course feel free to critique the decisions that were made, I also recognize that Alec is a human being, shocking I know, who makes mistakes, sometimes big ones, which makes him totally unlike the rest of us.

    So from my more-than-human, major-mistake-free throne in the sky, I wish him well and hope that we do get the full Axanar story.

    Sigh.

  11. Johnathan Lane wrote:
    “Reality is not always kind or fair, and sometimes life hands you a Kobayashi Maru.”

    Really? Alec Peters got over $1.4 million dollars from pledges; and had TWO FULL YEARS to produce “AXANAR” before the lawsuit hit. What was he doing for the majority of that time?

    – Parading himself and “Prelude to Axanar” at various Cons and film festival he could provide awards for. (Probably using Pledged funds given what the court documents and SWORN depositions stated)

    – Try to build out a FOR PROFIT studio (and restart his failed “Propworx” business); again using Pledged funds (again, per court documents and SWORN depositions .)

    Yes, sometimes life does hand you a “Kobayashi Maru” – but with regards to Alec Peters and “Axanar”; life didn’t hand him this – he took GREAT PAINS to create this result 100% himself.

    1. What was he doing for the majority of that time? Locating and building out the studio, building sets, having costumes and props made, installing the lighting grid, building the greenscreen. You’d actually know all this if you ever cared to venture over to Axanar’s website and read the Captain’s Log.

      When someone says “probably” like that, that means they don’t know.

      Keep yelling “FOR-PROFIT” at the top of your lungs……maybe it might actually come true!
      You know what’s stupid about that whole “FOR-PROFIT” bit? The accusation itself makes no sense, and assumes a future commission of a crime (if it is indeed one). He built a studio, and told people he was going to build it. People gave him money to do so. Stop trying to pretend that this was some kind of underhanded deal.

      I’d also watch out for accusing him of restarting Propworx using donor funds (unless you’ve got cold, hard proof).

      Finally, court documents without being adjudicated in a court of law remain nothing but allegations.

      1. Keep yelling NON PROFIT at the top of your lungs, pal.
        Court documents, and the judge, say that he PERSONALLY profited off of the Trek IP.

        3 years Axanar has been in this game, and still not non-profit filed…
        but it WAS FILED AS A FOR-PROFIT company.

        1. I haven’t been yelling NON PROFIT at all……

          I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again, court documents in the absence of adjudication at a trial contain nothing more than allegations.

          As for filing for non-profit status, you realize that takes time, right?

          But that’s not really what I was talking about in the first place.

  12. “But the dream of what Industry Studios could be”

    I still dont get what the above had to do with making an Axanar film…it was known from the get go that it was not needed.

    “Was there a way to beat the no-win scenario?”
    Yes…focus on making the Axanar film…and stop worrying about becoming a movie studio.

    Alec likely could have had his cake and ate it too if he would have just made the movie first.

    Make Axanar and the backer rewards on a budget of half a mill…and pocket the rest.

    There were so many ways to have made this a success.

    1. As I said, hindsight is 20/20. The world of fan films was MUCH different back in 2014 when the 3-year lease was signed. Was the U.S. bombing Syria a good move or a bad one? You’ll be able to answer that question much better a year or two (or three) from now. At the moment, we can only hope for the best. That was the case with Axanar building their own studio. Looking back now and saying “if only” and “should have” isn’t fair…unless you 1) have a TARDIS or 2) star in “Quantum Leap.” 🙂

    2. Brian II, I’m sure Alec wishes he had put his foot down and told Mr. Gossett that Axanar would be shot on the New Voyages set no matter what, and if he couldn’t do it, he’d find a director who would. Had he done that, we all would likely be enjoying Axanar now, instead of arguing over it.

  13. It’s shocking that a project with this much funding has collapsed. Just shocking. The level of incompetence must be staggering. How could anyone initiate such a project of this scope without first securing the blessings of the copyright holders?

    But let’s say that the lawsuit never happened. How would this have played out? With benefit of hindsight, would the film have been made without asking for more donor money?

    1. You can’t say “with the benefit of hindsight.” We never had that going in. Decisions were not based on knowing the future (and seldom are outside of time-travel plots on TV and in movies).

      Had the lawsuit not happened, filming was set to begin the second week of February (I’d already cleared my schedule to be able to escort an auction winner of a VIP tour of Ares Studios during filming a subsequent trip to Vasquez Rocks after spending a morning and lunch at the studio with the actors. The second Kickstarter had taken in $638K. The following Indiegogo campaign had taken in $575K. One would have expected the first 30-minute segment (first of three…possibly the first half of two; Rob was thinking he could stretch the budget to finish up 45 minutes in Part 1) to have been completed around the time of the 50th anniversary. Considering how little else CBS and Paramount were doing about the anniversary, one might have expected the quality of “Axanar, Part 1” to rally fans to a point of exuberant enthusiasm–just at Prelude did. So one might reasonably assume a subsequent Indiegogo in September/October of 2016 to take in nearly half a million dollars, as well…possibly less (as crowd-funding campaigns were beginning to contract even before the lawsuit), but I think fan support would have been really high after seeing the first part of the saga.

      So with another few hundred thousand to a half-million, the remaining rent on Ares Studios could easily have been paid through the end of the lease. With most of the sets already built, the remaining money would easily have covered another half-hour segment and possibly even finished it all up (45 minutes). The latter half was going to be very VFX-intensive, so it all depends on how much work Tobias Richter could have gotten done and how much he would charge. The actors and crew would also be paid, of course, but by that point, things would hopefully be running smoothly. From some discussions I’ve had with Rob Burnett, I suspect Axanar could have been completed in two parts, possibly with just a small ancillary crowd-funding campaign later on to cover a final push for post production expenses (like Renegades is doing right now with “The Requiem”).

      But hey, this is all conjecture. No Romulans are coming back through a wormhole with red matter to blast planet CBS into a crater and create a new “Lane-verse” timeline. As I said in Part 2 of this blog, we play the cards we are dealt. Thanks to the lawsuit, those cards kinda sucked much more for Axanar than for any other fan production.

      1. Thanks for the lengthy reply. I guess I still just can’t comprehend how such a costly and complicated production could have proceeded without first having approval from the IP owners or, at a minimum, the blessing of a reputable IP law firm. Would you agree that this one simple yet obvious omission is ultimately what brought the entire… um.. enterprise down? And please don’t say that the lawsuit could not have been anticipated. Anyone even slightly familiar with IP and copyright law could see this coming from 12 parsecs away. Why couldn’t they?!?

        1. Remember that Alec met with CBS executives on four separate occasions prior to them filing the lawsuit. And each time, they did not tell him to stop. They simply said, “If you cross a line, we’ll let you know.”

          That was one of the main reasons the judge in the case acknowledged that the jury could rule the infringement as non-willful (which has very limited financial penalties–Alec could have gotten just a 10K slap on the wrist). As for checking with an IP law firm firm first, no other fan production had ever done so–and there were hundreds of them going back decades (check out a fair number of them in my FAN FILM RATINGS section). And frankly, lawyers cost money. An IP law firm would likely have asked for a $5,000 retainer only to tell Alec that it was hard to say. They’d probably advise him to be careful, but the fact that a hundred other fan productions had never been sued by CBS (some nearly as expensive as his project) was a good sign. Also, Alec’s four meetings would provide =some legal cover. They probably wouldn’t advise him to be too loud about it–which ultimately, I believe, was one of the problems–but they’d tell him to proceed at his own risk and if anything bad happened, they’d represent him (for $500-$1000/hour).

          And suddenly, $5,000 of the donor money would have been gone…just like that. People had a big enough problem just with Alec buying a set of tires and some sushi! Can you imagine the anger if he’d paid a law firm thousands just to tell him “probably okay but we won’t know until it happens” and then he got sued anyway???

          1. “People had a big enough problem just with Alec buying a set of tires and some sushi!”? Are you friggin’ HIGH? You have just dropped a major bombshell that your pal Peters has been trying to run from for over a year – That he DIDN’T spend the donor money on personal expenses! Dude, this is the stupidest of stupid slips you’ve gaffed. And trust me, you’ve made a bunch. Better take this down before Peters goes ape-shit on your a$$. (Oh, but don’t worry – it’s already been screencapped. LOL!)

          2. Jonathan Lane said: “I never said “…with donor funds.” ”

            You do realize that you’ve just undermined your own argument, right?

            Your argument revolves around readers comparing the cost to donors of a law firm with the cost of sushi and tires, implying that the consternation over the latter makes the former imprudent. If, however, Alec paid for the latter out of personal funds–not co-mingled Axanar, Propworx, and personal funds–then you would be comparing two unlike groups: a reasonable expense for a million dollar professional fan film, paid for out of donor funds, and a personal expense, paid for out of personal funds. Thus, the argument collapses.

          3. Clearly you know more about the fan fiction community than me, so maybe you can explain why they appear to uniformly dismiss the value of legal guidance and advice. Of course CBSP was not going to give him clear guidance. Why should they? They had nothing to gain in doing so and could potentially end up losing quite a bit. The risk/reward ratio was not in their favor. So what if they piss off a few hundred uber-fans? That’s nowhere near enough to get their attention in a fandom that numbers in the millions.

            It’s funny that you and I have different interpretations of the results of the Peters/CBSP meetings. My take on it– and, again, all I know of it is what I’ve read– is that they were warning him that if he chose to proceed with Axanar, he would do so with the full knowledge that CBSP could at any time file suit against him for copyright infringement.

            Here’s the analogy that I read that sounds right to me. Cops do not stop all speeding cars on the highway but that is not an excuse when a cop stops you, the fact that you called the police station beforehand to ask them how fast they’ll let you go before they give you a ticket notwithstanding.

            In any event, thanks for keeping everyone appraised of this most curious and unfortunate story. Despite his missteps, I hope Peters learns from his mistakes and is able to produce whatever he wants in the future.

          4. “Clearly you know more about the fan fiction community than me, so maybe you can explain why they appear to uniformly dismiss the value of legal guidance and advice.”

            The police/speeding analogy is not as accurate as the guy who owns property with a really nice pond on it. And local kids come to swim in the pond. He watches them as they swim, and they see him watching them. Occasionally, they go over and ask if he minds them using his pond, and he says, “If I see you doing something I don’t like, I’ll let you know.” He never gives them official or written permission, but neither does he tell them to leave. Occasionally, he’ll tap a kid on the shoulder who seems to be getting out of hand or wandering away from the pond too close to the man’s house. But he never actually calls the cops.

            Fan films were a situation like this–not a situation like the speeding analogy you used. If you can understand this distinction, then you’ll understand why more than a hundred Star Trek fan films were created and released over 50 years with none of them ever seeking or receiving official permission. Well, actually, a few sought permission (Axanar among them) and never got it. But these producers finished their projects anyway. Alec was just the first one actually sued for it. But after nearly 50 years of inaction on Paramount’s and CBS’s parts, most fan productions probably felt like it was okay with the studio…even if they never said so.

          5. “An IP law firm would likely have asked for a $5,000 retainer…”
            “And suddenly, $5,000 of the donor money would have been gone…just like that.”

            Why would donor funds have been used in this way either?
            HE was being sued, it would ALSO have been unethical to use ANY donor funds for a lawsuit.
            Legal fees should have come out of his own pocket.

            You’re making a pretty stupid argument to justify him.

          6. Sorry but your analogy fails because it omits the most critical factor: the law. The kids in your analogy were not breaking any laws. The speeders in mine… were.

  14. I genuinely hope one day these sets can be finished and filmed on, if it be a Star Trek fanfilm or an independent project, and if the latter they survive from having too many changes so we can imagine what may have been.

    The fact that they could be used, as you said, as the Bridge of a TOS(ish) period ship which isn’t a sister of the Enterprise (or even the Ares) but look like she comes from the minds of the same designers has always spoke to me as a good design decision.

    In the televised TOS era we basically had the Enterprise bridge with little change (a taller back on the Captain’s Chair) and during TNG/DS9 Starfleet ships of the week had miss mashed different bridges even when representing the same design of ship.

    If they found the right place I would love it if they allowed other productions to come in and make changes here and there to lighting etc and make sets which are the same but different; like the Enterprise/Reliant/Saratogo/Grissom Bridges or the Enterprise-A/Excelsior/Enterprise-B bridges where things are moved round slightly and colours changed but they are very much the same space.

    The potential of “what could have been” with an Axanar feature aside, for me the death knell was CBS’ Guidelines, is now the potential loss of all that hard work from the designers and craftsmen who helped bring these sets to life.

  15. The dogma wafting from Haterburg is old and stale. Guess keeping a lynch mob whipped into a frenzy is difficult when they can’t back up their wild accusations with any reliable evidence. Funny that they would screech about Axanar when their own year-long hissy fit hasn’t produced any results either. By their own standard, they’ve wasted more time and energy on their own failed cause–and Axanar production continues regardless of all their efforts.

    1. Maybe you should ask yourself, Reece… WHY does Alec Peters even have a *cough* lynch mob? Really bad wording, Reece. These are people burned by Alec before and wanting to warn folks, not a lynch mob. Why have they been around since well before Axanar? Why is Mr. Peters banned from large fan sites like TrekBBS and the RPF? Why is he such a pariah in the prop collector community? All of this WELL BEFORE Axanar? Why is the “World’s Longest Thread” (hyperbole) on Trek BBS warning people about Alec and his shenanigans? 1500 pages. Check out reddit. Clearly he’s not doing something right if THAT many people have been speaking out against him.

      1. I don’t think I actually saw a count of people there, just a page count. I haven’t seen this particular thread, but I’ve seen how well and how long members of certain FB pages can rehash and circle jerk on the same things over and over, a 1500 page thread on a BBS isn’t that impressive.

        1. *shrug*. Believe what you want to believe, Dave. I’m sure you’re a reasonable man who doesn’t get all his information from locked-down FB/Donor groups where every uncomfortable question is deleted and met with a ban.

          1. What I do know Sam is that most of the questions have A) Been asked (and answered) before, or B) get asked in the manner of “Do you still beat your wife?”. I don’t pretend that Alec Peters is a warm, fluffy bunny rabbit who is nice to people in all circumstances, so why don’t you stop pretending that all the questioners were humble and courteous in their questioning, ‘kay?

  16. “NBC should never have canceled Star Trek.”

    CBS shouldn’t have taken a pass on Star Trek in favor of Lost In Space in the first place.

  17. Hello, Mr. Lane. 🙂

    I do understand and empathize with your frustrations with those among our fandom who continue to express their dissatisfaction with what which you support with admiration. Few would not experience similar frustration.

    I do also think Mr. (or Ms.) Karas has given here a respectful and salient explanation of the why those among our fandom continue to express dissatisfaction.

    Thank you for listening,
    Your fellow Star Trek fan.

    1. I suppose my only question is why there’s still detractors out there at all. The lawsuit has been settled. Alec is out of money. Rather than getting rich, he got poor, lost almost everything he had coming into this project, and is making the best lemonade right now out of the lemons he has. Yes, he’s raised $21,000, but it’s from people who truly support him and the studio. We want to help. We haven’t been conned; we’ve chosen to donate for positive reasons. And Alec is even offering a no-questions-asked refund to any donor to the current Indiegogo campaign who is not satisfied with the decision to change to purpose of the money from rent on the Valencia facility.

      I just don’t understand why the detractors are still making the same, old arguments they made last year. I sorta feel like shouting, “Hey, 2016 called…they want their lawsuit and accusations back!” 🙂

      1. It’s quite simple Jon. Alec is still trying to raise money for his ventures and the AxaMarines are still spreading his narrative. In the past few weeks two new Facebook pages have popped up, one to monitor AxaMonitor and another proclaiming to have the REAL truth on Axanar. We see new people being insulted and banned by Alec in his FB groups showing up in ours.

        It’s not about the lawsuit Jon, it’s about Alec Peters. As long as he continues his shenanigans we’ll be here.

          1. Thanks, but I’ve got a very rich and rewarding life Jon, and of course I could say the same to you for continuing to support Alec. You asked a question, I answered, and instead of giving an intelligent reply you attempted to insult me. Lovely. Par for the course really.

        1. Well, Curly, when lies are being perpetuated (such as the condition of the bridge set at the time the lawsuit hit), or stories distorted (The “Wee Axamonitor Comic” from 3/24/17 that I had to correct), the need for such groups becomes apparent…….

  18. 🙂
    Yes, I do very publicly support Mr. Peter’s choice to offer the no-questions-asked refund to donors in the current IndieGoGo campaign to those not satisfied with the decision to change the purpose of the donations.

    I’m not sure there will ever be real understanding between the continuing donor/supporters and the continuing activists dissenting. I could only speak for myself anyway. But I believe we can eventually learn to co-exist within our much larger all inclusive fandom where no fan is truer than another. And where we have always and will alway continue to have raging differences on everything. 🙂

  19. Posted by Johnpaul LeBrun in the AxaMonitor FB group in answer to your question Jon.

    “A question was recently asked in the comments section of a pro-Axanar blog, and it is one that has been repeatedly asked since the settlement of the lawsuit (indeed it has been asked for many years)
    WHY DO YOU (WE) CARE?

    The implied argument is that anyone who continues to criticize Alec Peters or ask questions about his activities or future plans is channeling the spirit of Inspector Javert – chasing down the bedraggled and humiliated Alec Valjean, refusing to allow him any peace even after the death of his beautiful dream.

    Let’s analyze the argument.

    First, is this a one-time mistake on the part of Alec Peters, an Icarian attempt to “do too much too fast?”

    No. There is a host of evidence – documented, archived, and bolstered by eye-witness accounts – that Alec has a history of:
    charismatic engagement with new groups of individuals
    poor business choices
    terrible customer service skills
    use of surrogates, shills, and sock puppet accounts to deflect attention from misdeeds
    refusal to provide consistent and truthful information
    dodgy financial choices
    insolvency
    This evidence indicates a pattern of behavior, one that should induce caution on the part of anyone who is interested in donating to one of his projects or investing in one of his businesses. However, due to his proclivities for re-invention and his ham-handed attempts to burnish his image, this information is not readily known, so it is important for individuals who are aware of the facts to be available to point others who may be interested in donating to a project he heads towards the relevant information they need to know to make a clear-headed decision. As Mr. Peters has shown a desire to repeatedly engage in the same questionable behavior, no amount of settlements and bankruptcies remove the need to inform the newest batch of “donors” as to what they may be “getting into to” so therefore, many of us will continue to be available, and actively monitor projects Alec creates or promotes.

    Second, are critics “attacking” Alec out of the sheer pleasure that comes from “trolling”? No. We are STAR TREK FANS. We love the story, we love the universe, and many of us love the sandbox that fans get to play in – the stories that can be told, the adventures that can be had, the freedom previously granted to fans to play with the stories and reproduce them for fun – not for profit.

    That universe has gotten a lot more difficult to navigate thanks to the actions of Mr. Peters. Long standing relationships amongst fan film groups have been strained, new restrictions have been put in place, and most of all a continual and repeated attack on the stories and shows that currently are being produced by the Trek IP holders has been fostered and promoted by Alec in his repeated fits of pique.
    Star Trek is something special, something worth defending. It is not meant to be a vehicle for someone to get cash to spend on their own whims, food, toys, personal advancement, or vehicle.

    Third, has Alec Valjean not really caused all that much damage?Are the critics chasing him over the theft of a “crust of bread?”
    Fan films are supposed to be a joyous celebration amongst devoted friends, not a way for someone to build a business, to build a career, to build a reputation, to live the high life with money ponied up by our fellow fans.
    Alec changed the way Trek fan films were viewed – instead of being a fun opportunity to pool personal resources to live out a fantasy, they became a way for dubious individuals to drain enormous resources in some quixotic attempt to make a “professional” film on the cheap.
    Alec changed the way fundraising perks were distributed. Instead of the previous binary – you got the perks or you didn’t – a new option was created – The Donor Store! Now you could give money to support the production, and then give MORE money to get your perk even faster. OR, you could just skip the support process entirely and exchange your money immediately for items, items that subsequently would see inexplicable delays in shipping for other individuals who had previously donated for them. hmmmm.
    Interestingly enough – this SAME MODEL was introduced in the latest Alec Peters venture, and he continues to “offload” merchandise that could be sent to individuals who have not received their “perks” for donations long ago given to a production that has long been complete.
    Alec changed the way the fan film community relates to each other. He (according to court documents) secretly “ratted out” other productions for alleged IP violations while simultaneously attempting to lead them in battle against the evil CBS, a fight he had already lost, and a fight that all but a tiny few had no desire to start in the first place. Subsequently he has publicly and repeatedly attacked anyone and everyone in the community who he feels has slighted him or whom has taken some other action he disagrees with.
    He has encouraged, or at the very least never prevented his surrogates and supporter’s attacks on other fan productions, up to making statements and spreading rumors that could be considered slanderous.
    He has introduced a vein of poisonous rhetoric, rhetoric that divides and inflames, rhetoric that has encouraged Trek fans to separate based on their opinion of a FAILED PROJECT.
    He has damaged the fan film community, and for that failing alone he deserves to be monitored and those who may choose to invest in him deserve to be informed so that they can make a clear-headed decision.
    He deserves to be excised from the Trek Fan Film community – for good.

    There are many more topics to discuss including his attempts to slander his former associates, his attempts to suppress critics, his attempts to conceal serious mistakes, and many, many more actions that justify future attention from his current critics.

    But in the end, the question should not be “Critics – Why do you still care?”
    The question – to those few remaining supporters of an individual who has blown through untold sums of money with NOTHING to show for it – “Why don’t you care?”
    Those four words could each be given emphasis and the simple question could have new meaning.
    “Why” Why, despite all the evidence, all the mistakes, all the chicanery, do you still wave the Alec Peters flag?

    “Don’t” Don’t you think that the issues raised by this saga give you a clear incentive to stop throwing your money away?

    “You” Instead of deflecting and interrogating, isn’t it worth examining your own motivations?

    “Care” What would it take for you to understand the impact of the waste of over a MILLION dollars?

    Why. Don’t. You. Care?”

      1. Think of them like a cult. They really do believe in the righteousness of what they do and say. Or just think of them as a junior high school clique picking on a single kid they’ve chosen to bully. Both are accurate based on what the detractors do and say.

        The dicky way they usually say it (Sandy’s post was an unusually polite one, but the vast majority of the time they’re just dicky) says more about the real reason they do what they do. They think it’s fun. They like insulting Alec and “Axatards” (as they call us–I simply call them “detractors”). It gives them a rush to think they’ve said something funny and clever in the echo chamber. All that, “saving donors from themselves” nonsense is simply a smokescreen excuse for their basking in the emotionally immature exuberance of being cyber-bullies.

    1. They don’t care because they can’t comprehend what 1.4 million dollars is. Obviously. What fan film has ever been granted such a generous gift by fans? A GIFT by FANS. 1.4 million dollars plus whatever he got at the countless conventions he went to. Say that slowly…he and he alone was husband to over 1.4 MILLION in fan donations. You decide if your dollars were spent wisely. I’m guessing 300 out of 15,000 is the vote.

  20. That’s kind of funny because because as a rule cults have a leader and to the best of my knowledge no one in what the Axanar supporters call Haters is not the side with a leader.

    1. Carlos Pedraza provides access to meeting places on Facebook (both public, private, and “secret”) and keeps the momentum going with Axamonitor. He’s still getting a few thousand views of his blog site each month, and he posts pretty frequently. He kinda rallies the few hundred “troops” of the detractor faithful and keeps them armed with ammunition from his blog posts which seldom seem to have anything positive to say about Alec (or me, for that matter) or Axanar Productions. Heck, even Hillary Clinton, when pressed to say something nice about Donald Trump during the debates, was at least able to say, “Well, it’s obvious that he loves his family very much.” Carlos and the rest of the detractors say nothing nice about Alec…ever.

      Anyway, I think I’m going to go back into “don’t answer” mode for a while. It’s nothing personal–it’s just that it’s Easter weekend, I’ve got a lot of stuff to prep for next week on FFF (two HUGE interviews will be happening!), and I’m working on updating my resume and portfolio for a job application for next week. Busy, busy busy!

      1. WOW, Jonathan…you really have no comprehension of how deep this goes. Carlos? Really? Many of us have been around 7/8 years before Carlos ever dreamt of Axamonitor. Have you even visited Trekbbs or RPF? Witnessed his abhorrent behavior in real time? The prop forum I belong to is 7 years old and was formed JUST because Alec was banning/being hostile to members of his Propworx forum. I assure you, Carlos is not a member there. How incredibly short-sighted you are to think that a Facebook group/wiki started it all and Carlos is the “leader”. What kind of weak-minded person needs a “leader” to guide their thoughts?

  21. “Think of them like a cult. They really do believe in the righteousness of what they do and say. Or just think of them as a junior high school clique picking on a single kid they’ve chosen to bully” …
    This claim has an actual mirror imagine of the remaining Axanar supporters now, they also pick out anyone who questions Alec judgement or leadership (hard to imagine leadership with Axanar) in regards to how this has played out! I remind you Jonathan that these so called “haters” where once financial supporters and devoted fans of Axanar, if it wasn’t for them Alec wouldn’t even had Prelude to Axanar and this studio foolishness wouldn’t even had been an issue! The remaining Axanar backers should realize that the legitimacy of the questions being asked to Alec Peters and concerned why the answers have gone unanswered ! This is another reason and red flag as to why no financial institution or bank would ever come near backing this pipe dream, it simply isn’t a feasible project and definitely does possess the talent of leadership necessary to pull it off ! So, think of these donors as the so called financial institution who are demanding answers to their investment, and basically they get nothing but tomfoolery from Alec and his few remaining Minions!

    “The dicky way they usually say it says more about the real reason they do what they do. They think it’s fun. They like insulting Alec and “Axatards”. It gives them a rush to think they’ve said something funny and clever. All that, “saving donors from themselves” nonsense is simply a smokescreen excuse for their basking in the emotionally immature exuberance of being cyber-bullies”. Again, these are the same people who three years ago were giving money to Alec to produce Axanar, there wasn’t no labeling them as emotionally immature or troublesome then! Alec had his hand extended as he was soaking up their money and all was good, but after years of nothing in return for their contributions and more and more fundraising campaigns on the horizon, questions were asked by the backers and suddenly the childish name “hater” was toss out by Alec ! Why? The more questions which were asked the more supporters were blocked and removed from the backer sites! Why? A majority of the backers only wanted to know what was actually going on with their investment, and it was an investment in a project, it wasn’t a free gift for Alec to do with as he pleased ! Suddenly trying to silence everything all the web site pages went quiet, the Facebook information stalled out, and poor Terry takes ALL the blame for not only the sites but also the perk delays ! So we have Alec, who is Axanar, now being attacked because he has to answer responsible questions from his backers as to what’s going on ! You can quickly see why he could never use any type of loan or bank for this business, the ducking and dodging of accountability would never float !
    One thing which will come from mess, both sides of the fence have definitely learned something about each other !

  22. Just because someone has a group on Facebook does not make them a leader. To the best of my knowledge no one gets marching orders on that page or even on CBS/PvAxanar I’ve never seen or heard about anyone issuing talking points send a group of supporters to confront the Haters or Detractors.

    No one huddles and plans how to get Axanar or anyone connected with Axanar. Do people share their experiences and why they no longer support Axanar or Alec.

  23. From the individuals I know everyone has an opinion, but no one directs or controls the conversation. I can imagine who you are referring to, but no one I’ve seen has ever said, “OK this is what you’re going to do or what we’re going to do.” No one, in fact most the people I know in the groups labeled haters are there only because someone at Axanar saw fit to ban them, for instance I was banned because on a lark I joined the old ISWCBS group and a week later I was banned from the Axanar Fan Page. I was told when I inquired to Terry that my name had been seen while he was screen capping, I was discussed and the order came down for me to be banned. So say I was irritated was an understatement, especially after my $100.00 donation and no one bothered to say anything I went to check the page and discovered. This took place in January 2016, well before Terry and Alec had their falling out.

    And yes the people you all label as haters and detractors hit both ends of the spectrum and every spot in-between of feelings about Axanar and the team from to yeah well whatever their loss to crook. Just like some Axanar supporters blame CBS and Paramount for every thing that happened to Axanar, vowing to never spend another cent on CBS or Paramount and pray Discovery fails miserably.

    Me, I’m somewhere in the middle, I don’t hate anyone, would like to have seen Axanar get made, but I don’t blame CBS or Paramount for doing what they felt they needed to protect their IP. And no one tells me what position to take, or what to say here or anywhere.

  24. What Bill Peterson has said.

    The sets to Axanar can be thrown in a rubbish pile and be set on fire for all I care.

  25. Oh Jonny, it makes you (and the others) feel better if you think of us as a cult, doesn’t it? You can’t imagine or accept that hundreds of people would independently come to the same conclusion about Alec Peters. The concept that a bunch of individuals all had similar experiences with Alec is unfathomable to you.

    Unlike your group of AxaFans, we have no leader. We have all come to our own conclusions. A large proportion of the people who are anti-Alec are from the prop community, long before Axanar. A few people have created places for us to gather and share information but that’s as far as it goes. No one organises us or sends out talking points, unlike the core Axanar supporters. This looks to me as a textbook case of transference on your part Jon. We are a cult so you “detractors” must be.

    Beleve it if it lets you sleep better at night Jon, but it’s not true. We may be a movement but we’re certainly not a cult.

  26. Dear, Mr. Lane,
    When I read the following quoted post I was disheartened and saddened.

    “-Think of them like a cult.”
    Sir? Please, this indicates that we in the Them are alike in thought and action. While some of we in the Them are as you see, that ‘some’ does not approach an accurate characterization of thought and actions of the majority. You must know that. You do, don’t you? There are some among them the Them and some among the Us who are mirror versions of each other in thought and action. You see this, right? Never for a minute have I thought that that the ‘extreme acting & talking some’ among you in the Us is ‘representative’ of the majority.

    “-They really do believe in the righteousness of what they do and say.”
    Mr. Lane, please, this presumes all of we in the Them to be the same. At best it is an inaccuracy encouraging dismissing as irrelevant all whom are arbitrarily summarily placed the Them group.

    “-Or just think of them as a junior high school clique picking on a single kid they’ve chosen to bully.”
    Why, sir, why? I do not take delight in bullying people nor even making people uncomfortable. I am ‘not’ unique. The majority of voices I hear among we the Them sound similar to mine. Sound similar to Brenda who is posting in these comments.

    “-Both are accurate based on what the detractors do and say.”
    And when I, as I have always done, advocate for respect of the supporter/donors…. and you? I am not unique in this, or in the minority, or alone.

    “-The dicky way they usually say it ….. says more about the real reason they do what they do.”
    They. If you are speaking of They who post in a dicky way, then of course. Dicky posters equally populate both sides of this issue. Calling attention to some dicky posters without calling attention to all of them is an incomplete picture, is it not? Shouldn’t we as fellow Star Trek fans stand against dickyness done by anyone on any side of this issue?

    “-They think it’s fun.”
    I agree. But, *I* do not think it’s fun. I do not think it’s fun to hear or read. And dickyness is well displayed by both sides of this issue. Shouldn’t we as fellow Star Trek fans stand against dickyness by anyone, on any side of this issue?

    “-They like insulting Alec”
    Well, I don’t. The vast majority of people I talk to on and off the boards about this don’t insult him. It is also disheartening to me and others I talk to when we are being called morons and idiots and losers and haters. Shouldn’t we stand against all insulting being done, by whomever it’s done, wherever it is found?

    “-[they like insulting] “Axatards”
    Never ever ever have I ever ever ever insulted the donor/supporters! No, I haven’t. Never Ever. I ‘Support’ the donor/supporters and speak out with, and for, respect for their advocacy. The majority of people I speak to on and off the boards do not ever insult the donor/supporters. Should not we as fellow Star Trek fans, in good conscience begin taking a stand against all disparaging being done? No matter who is doing it? No matter where we find it?

    -([Axatards]as they call us–I simply call them “detractors”)
    Please, Mr. Lane, ‘they’ who? How many people do this? I have Never used that word. I Always, and with Respect due, refer to the donor/supporters as DONOR/SUPPORTERS! The majority of people I talk to on the boards and off never disparage the donor/supporters.

    “-It gives them a rush to think they’ve said something funny and clever in the echo chamber.”
    Mr. Lane, you cannot be unaware that this happening on both sides of this issue.

    “-All that, “saving donors from themselves” nonsense is simply a smokescreen excuse for their basking in the emotionally immature exuberance of being cyber-bullies.”
    I have never seen this one before: “Saving donors from themselves”.
    Cyber-bullying is terrible and has representatives on both sides of this issue. You must know this. If we stand, and I feel we fellow Star Trek fans should do so, against ‘one’ or even one side that has people doing this, don’t you agree we should stand against all who do this? No matter what side they are on?

    The post I quoted was, to me, so disheartening.

    1. The reason I use the term “detractors” is because it’s a description of actions and not of feelings. “Haters” presumes to know what is in the heart of someone, and I do not know that.

      You, TYGR, do not detract. You are polite and reasonable. You question, certainly, but not in a way that presupposes guilt (like, “What made Alec think he could get away with stealing all of that donor money and living the high life?”–that’s not an actual quote so much as an amalgamation). This is all to say that I do not consider you or any of the more reasonable “conscientious” objectors as part of the Cult of the Anti-Axanar or whatever one might consider it to be. Many didn’t like the term “cult”…so feel free to replace it with “clique of nasty cyberbullies.” Cliques don’t necessarily have leaders, but they all too often have targets of their ridicule and venom.

      To give you an example, just take a look down the comments section of this Facebook group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/axamonitor/

      Here’s a few examples:
      “Alec is a bad dude! Just vile and evil!”
      “Well we all knew he was lying so whats the big deal..?”
      “‘Outside look,’ Alec? Seriously? I think you don’t know the meaning of the word ‘outside.'”
      “Well, in a couple of weeks he’ll learn what “outside” means all too literally when the landlord takes the keys and he’s locked outside in the parking lot.”

      And a few jibes about me for some reason…
      “Undisputed shill.”
      “He’s a hack!”
      “Lane is ‘always verbose?’ More like ‘vomitously soporific.'”

      And that’s just the comments on ONE post! Read down the page…it goes on nearly forever. There’s no end to the crude nastiness! There’s even a photo of excrement.

      And there’s also still this old standby Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/groups/CBSvsAxanar

      And of course, there are other “secret” Facebook groups that people sometimes insist on sending me crap from, but I can’t provide the direct links to those gems because, well, they’re SECRET! Yep, there’s actually secret places where the cult/clique member elites meet to share the REALLY good stuff. Is Alec Peters really THAT important???

      – – – – –

      Look, in the end, these folks are trying to sabotage a person’s business and livelihood. Whether or not he is a nice person (I think he’s nice…but whatever), and whether or not you might feel he is doing something illegal, the fact remains that that is why we have courts. And Alec has been through his share of lawsuits. He’s not in jail, he’s not a felon, and he has settled and/or moved on from most of his lawsuits. And whether or not you believe that a fan film should have built a “for profit” studio, Axanar Productions is nevertheless still very much a business, incorporated now as a non-profit and currently seeking tax-exempt status. So anything the detractors do now to sabotage that, whether it be blanketing Facebook with vitriolic posts and disgusting memes, sharing criticisms of Alec’s fashion choices or even sex life (I actually had a post on FFF advising me not to let Alec near my son!), submitting $1 contributions to the Indiegogo in order to post negative comments to the campaign (the Indiegogo people did NOT look kindly on that and kicked a lot of people off their site permanently), trying to impersonate donors for the recent vote (yep–someone even spelled my name wrong!)…all of these are just DICKY moves and even legally questionable. Sure, there’s a right to free speech in America, but that doesn’t protect someone from the consequences of it. If you yell “Fire!” in the middle of a crowded theater (and there isn’t a fire), you’ll still be arrested and charged with criminal mischief. And, well, libel is libel. Character assassination is actionable.

      Will Alec actually sue anyone? Probably not. He has better things to do. On the other hand, if it can be shown that certain people like Shawn P. O’Halloran were trying to actively sabotage his Indiegogo campaign (and Shawn did encourage that behavior in Facebook posts that were screen capped), and it can potentially be shown that the Indiegogo campaign failed to reach its goal potentially BECAUSE of such actions, then yeah, there’s potential damages there. I doubt Shawn has deep pockets–so I doubt Alec could ever fund Industry Studios on the damages he’d potentially win, but even getting a lawyer to handle the filings would cost money that Shawn probably doesn’t have…and it’s a reasonable cause of action to bring against him. If Alec were truly a dick, he’d file the complaint just to force Shawn to have to hire a lawyer. But guess what? Alec hasn’t done that and most likely won’t. He doesn’t need to sabotage someone else’s life and livelihood.

      But the point is that he could because this is a real business with real people involved (and not just Alec). But these detractors are treating it like a game of “whack-a-mole” where they’re the moles. Indiegogo takes down one fake $1 or $10 bid, and another goes up. Axamonitor.com is still writing nothing but hit pieces on Alec Peters and Axanar…and hundreds of people are still reading it. (I’ve pretty much stopped.) There’s public Facebook groups, private ones, secret ones, comments here on Fan Film Factor…isn’t it time to just move on? Industry Studios is done. The money is gone and is not coming back. The Indiegogo has $21.4K and won’t make its goal. Unless Alec pulls a miracle out of his back pocket in the next 14 days, he’s out of Valencia with two truckloads of set pieces–on the road to wherever–with no studio (“for-profit” or otherwise). If you’re a detractor, why not just declare victory and choose another whale to hunt?

      Sorry to vent again, but it just sticks in my craw. And yes, I know that not all Axanar observers are detractors. And from what I’ve seen so far, TYGR, you’re not part of the cult/clique/bowel movement of detractors still trying to sound the alarm (after the house has burned down), insult Alec (and me), and try to sabotage what’s left of his business. And so I apologize if I implied that either 1) all those with polite and reasonable concerns are part of the detractor brigade, or that 2) you are among that subgroup. I try not to paint with that broad of a brush, but in this case, I seem to have not made myself clear enough and therefore painted too broadly. I am sorry.

      1. “Business and livelihood”. Hmmm… Isn’t this suppose to be a FAN FILM? IOW, a hobby, using someone else’s IP, done out of love and joy? And “The money is gone.” Really – Who gave that money? And for what purpose? Wasn’t it FANS for a FAN FILM? But you call it a “business and livelihood”.

        Yes, this says much…

        1. Yes, it says that you didn’t bother reading what I wrote.

          You missed this: ” And whether or not you believe that a fan film should have built a ‘for profit’ studio, Axanar Productions is nevertheless still very much a business, incorporated now as a non-profit and currently seeking tax-exempt status.”

          Thank you for playing. Have a nice night.

      2. First off, fan film production should not be a business or livelihood, that’s what got Alec in trouble in the first place.

        Second, Alec has a long history of questionable business practices and dubious customer interactions. The creating of a company to ship Propworx items at an extra charge without being clear to customers and a spurious lawsuit against someone who disagreed with him (that he lost and then stiffed his lawyer on the fees, all publicly available) are examples of this.

        No one is trying to destroy him. People are just making sure everyone is aware of what has gone before. If I had done my due diligence before Prelude and learned of his antics in the prop world I never would have donated. Any current or future donors or partners need to see ALL the information, not just your glowing opinion of Alec. If this does in fact destroy his “career” then he would only have himself to blame.

        1. “If this does in fact destroy his ‘career’ then he would only have himself to blame.”

          That is truly the biggest load of horse hockey I’ve heard from you guys yet. You really think none of you would be culpable in trying to negatively impact Alec’s endeavors? No blame or responsibility at all?

          It’s really hard to debate irrationality and delusion…so I’m going back into non-response mode.

          1. Frankly, no Jon. If someone chooses not to donate to Alec or to hire him for something based on seeing my posts and comments about his past shenanigans I don’t see how I’m to blame for that. That logic is for Sean Spicer: The collusion with Russia isn’t the problem the people who leaked the info is the problem.

            This is the same thing. If I show people how he acted inappropriately as head of Propworx and they choose not to use his services, who is to blame? The person in question or the whistleblower? I think most rational people know the correct answer to that one.

          2. Hahaha! Oh you crack me up Jon!

            “However, a third party may not interfere with a validly existing business relationship between two parties. In order to prove tortious interference with business relationship, most jurisdictions require that the following elements be satisfied:

            -A valid business relationship or business expectancy existed between the parties
            -The defendant had knowledge of the relationship or expectancy
            -The defendant intentionally coerced one of the parties to terminate the business relationship, breach a contract, or withhold a valid business expectancy
            -The defendant was not authorized to interfere with the parties’ dealings
            -The defendant’s interference resulted in damages to the plaintiff.”

            Posting links to articles that are easily Googled does not even remotely satisfy any of those conditions.

            It’s called due diligence Jon (ask your wife about it). I’m just making sure the info gets shared so it’s easier to find by anyone who may be looking for it.

          3. Ok Jon, I’ll call your bluff.

            What specifically did you ask her and what was her specific response?

          4. You’re not permitted to say what you asked her? Really?

            It’s very important to know precisely what you asked if she thought that article pertinent. Several other lawyers I know actually laughed at the idea.

  27. “Sorry to vent again”.

    Hello, Mr. Lane,

    I have no doubt of the weight you carry being the main to possibly only place where donor/supporters, activist dissenters, and casual observers still come into direct contact on a regular basis. And, of course the ever present dicky posters from both points of view with their accompanying slings and arrows. I think few in your shoes would not find themselves needing to vent.

    So let’s take a break from all that and talk about Star Trek. Oh, I don’t mean where it got it all right or where it all went wrong or what is better than something else because there are already decades of ongoing talking devoted to that. And especially let’s take a break from how Star Trek relates to thiswholething going on. 🙂

    Me? I’m always thinking. Something or someone can offer me information or another way of looking at something, which I greatly enjoy. But I seem to be incapable of being told What to think. I will always be asking why & how & where, and researching, and coming to my own conclusions.

    So of course, Star Trek hooked ‘me’ with its sociology and philosophy. All five of our live action series (I have yet to watch TAS) and all our thirteen of our movies have insisted I think.

    And I was shocked in 2001 (when I met my first ST fans) to learn that other people liked Star Trek because of the science or because of science fiction/fantasy or writing or props or costuming or make-up & alien prosthetics or cosplay or conventions or nitpicking or canon or because it gave them a home or because it was a great entertainment. (and a dozen other things) And I thought to myself ‘who ARE these people’? Of course it’s the philosophy and the sociology that makes people love Star Trek! Clearly from 1966-2001 I had had a fairly narrow view of the show.

    Which actually mirrors the response Phil Plait aka The Bad Astronomer says ‘he’ had, except from his point of view with science:
    “But I was surprised much later in life to learn that some people liked Star Trek who weren’t into science! And I thought Who Are These People?! Of course it’s the science that makes people love Star Trek! And it turns out I had a fairly narrow view of the show.”
    🙂
    And you?

    1. Man, I so need to write another bio blog entry! It’s been over a year. You can start here, though:

      http://fanfilmfactor.com/2016/01/11/turning-down-a-job-on-star-trek/

      I’ve been a hard-core Trek fan nearly from the cradle–Enterprise doodles on my homework, toys, models, memorized episodes. But I really started interacting with other fans in 1983 when I joined STARFLEET, The International Star Trek Fan Association (www.sfi.org). I’m still a member 34 years later! In fact, for two and a half years, I served as the organization’s Chief of Communications, publishing a bi-monthly 48-page newsletter for more than 4,000 members around the world. STARFLEET has been around since 1974 and is still going strong…up to 5,100 members on four continents last time I checked!

      So I’ve seen all sorts of fans…and I know they don’t always agree. Heck, there were some folks in STARFLEET that weren’t thrilled with the administration or the Fleet Admiral when I was Comm Chief, and a few were quite vocal. Others were very supportive. So I’m used to defending a Big Kahuna. Alec Peters isn’t my first Alec Peters…if you know what I mean. 🙂

      Anyway, TYGR, I know what you’re getting at, and I appreciate the empathy for the slings and arrows. I kinda asked for this simply by being the hub or nexus where the two sides can meet and bash each others’ virtual brains in. And when I wander into the fray, of course I get hit. I’m not Cyrano Jones dodging his way through the K-7 barroom unscathed.

      Truth to tell, a lot of people (including Alec) ask me why I bother approving the detractor comments at all. Why not just keep things positive and supportive of Axanar and other fan films? And it’s a good point. I try not to disparage any fan film, so why should I allow folks to disparage Axanar? But to be fair, I’ve written a LOT of editorials about that one fan film, and there’s a lot there to debate. So I feel that it’s onlyfair to allow the other side to have their say, as well. I don’t have to agree, of course, but as long as they follow the three rules–no direct insults of another person, no swearing, and no invoking my family in any negative way–then I don’t see a reason not to post their comment(s). I just need to keep myself from responding to the detractors, as everything I say here can and is used against me in the court of public opinion.

      It’s a living. 🙂

      (No, actually, it isn’t.)

  28. “But to be fair, I’ve written a LOT of editorials about that one fan film, and there’s a lot there to debate. So I feel that it’s only fair to allow the other side to have their say, as well.”
    I agree 🙂 And important I would think.

    “I don’t have to agree, of course, but as long as they follow the three rules–no direct insults of another person, no swearing, and no invoking my family in any negative way–then I don’t see a reason not to post their comment(s). I just need to keep myself from responding to the detractors”
    I think that is a very good plan. Especially the last part — Keep yourself from responding to those slings and arrows!

    Your fellow Star Trek fan

  29. I think the problem arose when first it was called and “Independent Star Trek Movie, with professions in front of and behind the camera.” And the fact that Axanar was registered in CA as a for profit corporation, and the studio was going to be for profit to keep it going so they could make other Star Trek projects or that was my understanding from what was said in Podcasts and Captain’s Logs. I didn’t donate for the studio so to quote someone else I got no dog in that fight. I do hate it for the people who did donate in good faith only to have the studio be lost for whatever reason.

    Now it seems things changed after the law suit, because the moment it was filed, Axanar suddenly became just a “fan film”. So which is was an Independent Star Trek movie because it was my understanding I was not donating to a fan film. I was donating to an Independent movie about Star Trek. Now granted, I believed what I was told, took it at face value and made a leap of faith and trusted Alec with my money. Just like thousands of other people did and well giving the last round of crowdfunding I think it’s evident that a silent majority just walked away from Axanar leaving no comment pro or con.

    I think you’ll agree Jonathan that individuals on both sides have been dissed, I mean someone when to all the trouble of donating in individuals names to the last crowdfunding using fake names, and while there could be more than one Carlos and Shawn I suppose, why would they apologize to Alec for something they never said? You talked about a secret group, was that the Federation Council I’ve heard about? Oh wait a minute that’s a pro Axanar group isn’t it? I think you’ll agree both sides are equally guilty of throwing mud.

  30. Mr. Lane,
    You just seem to consistently miss the point of why Alec Peters has detractors going back years before Axanar. Maybe Alec is the nice person you think he is, maybe he sets out on his projects with the best of intentions, but things sour quickly. He also repeatedly shown that when things sour he lashes out at people. There are also constant contradictions that come out of Alec’s mouth or keyboard. One day the studio and Axanar are separate entities, the next day they aren’t despite what was said the day before. I will also point out that the best way to silence people who are criticizing him for not producing Axanar would have been to produce Axanar. Instead he attempted to build a studio instead of simply producing the film people wanted. The fact of the matter is that any studio should have come after a completed film project, instead of wasting the goodwill and money of the fans who wanted to see the film. You say you like Alec, well I like my brother-in-law, but I would never trust him with 1.4 million dollars to make anything. Liking someone does not mean they have the skills to produce in an industry they know nothing about. I don’t think Alec set out to con anyone, but I think he ended up conning everyone including himself. He has dug himself a hole he can’t climb out of and it would be better for everyone if he stepped out of the film industry at least temporarily.

    I think you seriously need to reconsider your cult comments about this situation especially since many of things you apply to the group you don’t like can also be applied to the group you do. You either need to step back and re-read from a neutral POV or at least realize that your side is not anymore full of angels than the other. Lastly when you say Alec wouldn’t file frivolous or false defamation suits you might want to research the Jason DeBord suit which went very badly for Alec.

  31. You called Alec’s critics a movement that needs to be flushed down the toilet. That is calling an entire group of people excrement and you know it sir. For someone who claims to want level headed, calm discourse that seems completely uncalled for.

    1. No direct insults of a person. I’ve allowed numerous instances of insults of a group on both sides of the Axanar issue. Feel free to check.

      And again, thank you for playing.

      1. When you insult a group that someone belongs to in front of that person that is a direct insult of that person. If someone verbally attacks Jews in front of me then that is a direct insult to me as Jewish person. You are creating a distinction that shouldn’t exist in order to insult people while still feeling ok about it. I can be fairly pedantic when I want to, but that is too much even for me. You might want to look inward and ask yourself why you think that sort of thing is ok. I am not going to lie and say I haven’t painted with a broad brush when discussing people on the otherside of a topic, but I also don’t try to claim that insulting the group as a whole means I am not insulting any individual directly.

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