A FAREWELL TOUR of INDUSTRY STUDIOS! (editorial and video)

This past Saturday, my son Jayden and I drove to Industry Studios in Valencia to help pack up the Axanar Productions items for a move east to a new production facility in Atlanta, GA.

It was a sad day for me because I really loved Industry Studios.  I’d loved watching it evolve from a stark, gutted building with no individual offices and a huge, echoing warehouse with loud concrete floors…into what looked like (to my eyes, at least) a high-end Hollywood studio and sound stage.

Jayden and I had watched for months with excitement as piles of stacked wood were cut, molded, and sculpted by industry professionals, slowly morphing into a starship bridge, a turbolift, a transporter, captain’s quarters, and a Klingon bridge.

Even though my visits weren’t particularly frequent, I still felt as though I were a part of Ares Studios (later renamed Industry Studios)—helping to fund it, volunteering to do everything from carrying carpet rolls up the stairs to assembling IKEA furniture, and even sorting and packing perks.  I watched all the work that went into making the dream of a studio dedicated to Star Trek fan film-making (not just Axanar) grow and take shape from basically nothing into a facility that fans could be truly proud of.

I can already hear the detractors typing feverishly about the hubris of starting a “for profit” studio based on donations obtained from unapproved use of copyrighted material owned by a Hollywood studio.  And I’m sure others out there are already halfway done with comments about the folly of signing a 3-year lease on a location with a $12,000 monthly rent when all Alec Peters ever needed to do was make a simple fan film, not build a full sound stage!

All are fair points when viewed with 20/20 hindsight—and all are arguments made and countered hundreds of times over.  But that’s not what I’m here to talk about today.  Instead, I want to give you a tour of Industry Studios…

What’s the point of offering a tour of a facility that, as of yesterday, was totally emptied of all the “cool stuff’?  The Axanar sets are off to Atlanta; why not give us a tour of the new studio?

Well, the answer to the second question is obvious: I don’t live in Atlanta.

As for the first question, well, that has to do with the Axanar donors….especially the doubting and disillusioned ones.  Y’see, for over a year, the detractors have been claiming that the money donated to Axanar wasn’t spent properly.  Now, you can argue that it shouldn’t have been spent on a full studio and expensive sets, but in my opinion, you simply can’t argue that it WASN’T spent on those things.

It always frustrated me to hear detractors belittling the bridge set (and the other sets) and saying that they were only “half-built” and wouldn’t have been ready for filming in February of 2016…or that they couldn’t have cost as much as $200,000.  And claims that the studio was somehow unusable, unprofessional,  or “not up to code”—or any number of other dismissive remarks—those were a real pet peeve for me.

Sure, I’d seen the full financials and knew that all of the donor funds had been spent properly.  And while I respect Alec Peters’ decision to keep the details of of the financial reporting simple to avoid being accosted with endless rounds of minutiae, I’m still frustrated not to be able to explain to you all exactly why I have no problem with how the donor money was spent.

And the only other piece of evidence I have that this money was spent on something real and physical and not just thrown away on tires and sushi (for the last time, people, those expenses were paid with Alec’s money, not the donors’), the only other thing I had to prove to folks how well Alec Peters could manage funds properly and build something that, when viewed objectively, was very  impressive…that was about to disappear.  Although Industry Studios will continue to exist, control of it will pass to Alec’s former landlord.  And the sets will soon be in Atlanta.

Still photos of the studio and sets simply weren’t enough to convey the scope and magnitude of what had been created there.  If only a proper video “tour” could be produced (it didn’t even have to be professional—just some silly blogger with a video camera and a six-year-old tour guide), people could finally see this place, all of it (even the bathroom!) for themselves.  If only the immersive feel of the bridge set and the craftsman-like quality of its wood construction could be conveyed, people might finally know what I know…and hopefully they would understand.

And so I asked Alec if I could bring along my camera when I showed up and take some video to show the donors exactly what they paid for.  Yes, some of the sets had already been moved out, but the bridge was still there, and it’s really the star of the show!

So I dedicate the following video to those Axanerds and Axafans who believed in Alec and his dream.  This is what you paid for (along with a Star Trek fan film—which would have been made here).  Yes, the video is nearly as long as Prelude(!), but I wanted you to see everything.  And no, I wasn’t really expecting Jayden to play tour guide; I only took him along for one last walk on the bridge.  But as you’ll see, he hijacked parts of the video, and I wasn’t gonna stop him!

And hey, this video is for the detractors, too.  And it’s nice and long and detailed for them so they can pick it over piece by piece, point to everything that shouldn’t be in there, and complain that Jonathan makes videos the same way he writes blogs.

In other words, there’s a little something for everyone.  So enjoy this exclusive farewell tour of Industry Studios as a home for Axanar Productions, and dream of what might have been…

29 thoughts on “A FAREWELL TOUR of INDUSTRY STUDIOS! (editorial and video)”

  1. That was pretty cool! And kudos to Jayden for his excellent tour-guide skills, and not playing with the tools and cleaning supplies (something my kids would have been mightily tempted to do at that age)!

  2. I gotta say Jonathan, that was a really baaaaaad pun!!!!!!! Couldn’t resist. LOL!!!!! ;>)

    1. Also, good luck to Alec making the move to Atlanta. Hope everything gets there intact.

      1. Jonathan, the sets will definitelh get tested in this move, and yep, saw you sneak in another pun. LOL!!!!0

        1. Earlier today, Jayden said to me, “Daddy, why do apples eat so much?”

          “I give up. Why?” I responded.

          “Because they have an appletite!”

          “Did you make that up yourself?”


          “I have taught you well, my young apprentice,” I said in my best Palpaltine voice.

          “Thanks.” Pause. “Um, Daddy?”

          “Yes, Jayden?”

          “What’s an apprentice?”

          Oh, well. At least he’s punning! 🙂

          1. Just don’t tell him “you’re fired!!” He might be traumatized. LOL!! (JK) I know you actually wouldn’t ;>)

  3. Thanks for the tour Jonathon. It was great to see, but also very sad to see. I hope another tour like this can be filmed when things get going in Atlanta.

  4. Great tour 🙂 Thanks for taking the time to do it!

    That’s the first time I’ve seen those button panels up close. All the buttons said “BUTTON” because I did a rushed mock up to check for layout and fitment. As you can see, they fit nicely!

  5. Johnathan lane wrote:
    “It was a sad day for me because I really loved Industry Studios. I’d loved watching it evolve from a stark, gutted building with no individual offices and a huge, echoing warehouse with loud concrete floors…into what looked like (to my eyes, at least) a high-end Hollywood studio and sound stage.”
    Funny, I thought all ‘High End’ Hollywood soiundstages were Soundproofed? (You know about ‘Soundproofing’ right – it’s the material that deadens/gets rid of echos in large areas; even though Alec Peters, by his own admission didn’t think Industry Studios needed to be Soundproofed.)

    Oh, and most ‘High End’ Hollywood sounstages in operation have electrical and fire code permits; something that I don’t think was yet issued for ‘Industry Studios’ as yet – but I’m sure the new Landlord will get that taken care of at some point.

  6. Had a weird notion.

    Xbox and Online gaming are usually preceded by a dramatized “mini-movie” to set up a Universe, and are licensed through the studios.

    Do you see where I’m going?

    I’ll just let that lie on the floor and walk away now…

  7. How do I apply for a production job with Axanar Productions. And no, I’m not kidding.

    1. Are you in the Atlanta/central-Georgia area? If so, just contact Alec directly. His e-mail address is on axanarproductions.com Apparently, over two dozen local folks have volunteered to help him upload and set up the new studio when the trucks arrive in Atlanta…including several from at least one other fan production. Apparently, there’s a lot of Axalove there in the Peach State!

      1. Alec Peters does come across as a very strong man whenever he wants to be. Good on him for that. Thanks to both you and your son for the video tour of the sets.

  8. Thanks Jonathan and thanks Alec for a monumental effort. I’m hoping all goes well and perhaps someone does the same for us at the other end of the road. Really quite an effort getting it all together. Thanks to the little Engineer. Such enthusiasm..

  9. If NBC had let the original Star Trek complete its five year run, instead of cancelling it after three years, chances are that there never would have been an animated series and the current thirteen movies. Let alone a sequel series and – despite their declining quality – four spin-off series.

    Given the current state that Star Trek fandom is now in, maybe it would have been for the best if such a scenario had happened.

    But, there is no sense in dwelling with ‘what ifs’ and other ‘what might have beens’. What’s done is done.

    Or as Captain James T. Kirk once stated. “That was the past. I’m concerned with the present and what lies ahead.”

    Which is why I’m taking a page from George Lucas and (even though I don’t like the man whatsoever) James Cameron by saying this.

    Twenty years past, I stepped away from the Star Trek franchise after a series of distasteful experiences. I was lured back into it twelve years later with the J.J. Abrams prequel reboots and the two Star Trek fan films Star Trek – New Voyages/Phase II and Starship Exeter. Once again, after another series of distatseful events and fan politics, and illegal acts, I have stepped so far away from the Star Trek universe. I know what you know. I’m happy with that. I made a decision a ways back to just let it have its life. Like the late Leonard Nimoy once said, “Star Trek has run its course”.

    Loosely translated, the Star Trek franchise has been urinated and defecated on by demented redneck fanatical liberal types who claim to be fans who care about Star Trek’s message of a better future, when in reality they are the exact and total opposite.

    Who wants to be equated and associated with that insanity and juvenille BS? I certainly would not want to be.

    If you don’t believe that, look at the moronic feuds between Star Trek and Star Wars fans, Star Trek and Space:1999 fans, and Star Trek and Battlestar Galactica(the original)fans. Let alone the feud between old school Star Trek fans and the J.J. Abrams-verse Star Trek fans. And the recent illegal acts involving Star Trek fan films – Starship Farragut, Starship Ajax, and Axanar.

    As the Vulcans would say about such toxic behavior, “Most illogical and most distasteful.”

    This is what happens when fandom gets out of control and egotistical fan politics get in the way of – and take the fun out of – fun things.

    Yeppers, Leonard was right. After a half a century, Star Trek has run its course. Like both the Terminator and Alien franchises.

    1. “…look at the moronic feuds between Star Trek and Star Wars fans, Star Trek and Space:1999 fans,”

      Ummmmm….Star Trek and Space 1999 fans? I mean, maybe Star Trek and Star Wars (although that’s kinda like a crosstown rivalry such as UCLA and USC or the Yankees and the Mets). But Star Trek and Space 1999? Really? I mean, I used to love Space: 1999, and I still love Trek. But I never got the memo about the feud. Why wasn’t I on that mailing list????

      1. SMH. It’s been documented in Starlog Magazine – back in the Seventies – and in John Kenneth Muir’s book Exploring Space:1999. Apparently, Star Trek fans felt threatened by the mid-70’s British science fiction classic.

        1. So let me get this straight. You were talking about something that’s bothering you recently in 2017, leading you to turn away from Star Trek fandom, and you go back 40 years to find an example of something that’s bothering you NOW??? I don’t think there’s many people left who even know the difference between an Eagle and a Swift or can tell you Sandra’s last name (don’t google it!). If the “feud” between Trekkies and Alphas (Moonies? 1999ers?) is still bothering you, Blue, I think you need to answer the phone. It’s 1974 calling, and they want that issue of “Starlog” back! 🙂

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