Yesterday, I was told by several folks to look at this posting from CARLOS PEDRAZA’s Axanamonitor.com blog site. In it, he had had the “scoop” on where the new AXANAR PRODUCTIONS studio would be located, how big it was, the amenities it offered and didn’t offer, and even photos of the outside and inside.
There was only one problem: that WASN’T the new studio. It wasn’t the right building; it wasn’t even the right city! Carlos listed the new location as Gainesville, GA: “…about 55 miles northeast of Atlanta, actually a bit closer to the South Carolina border than to Georgia’s capital.”
Now, I’m not sure where Carlos got his information from, but for the last two weeks, I’ve been preparing an interview with ALEC PETERS about the new Atlanta facility, and I already had a whole bunch of information and photos…and they didn’t match what Carlos had posted at all. This seemed, to me at least, both curious and a bit troubling. One of us had the wrong information…and I really hoped it wasn’t me!
So I contacted Alec. I asked him if he’d made any last-minute changes to the location of the space that he’d be leasing. He said no, he was still leasing the same place—the lease was signed, sealed, and delivered—and no, it was not the same one that Carlos was reporting on Axamonitor.com.
Then I asked Alec if he would mind moving up our interview so I could get the correct information disseminated before people started thinking that Axanar was moving into some dumpy building in an economically depressed town more than an hour away from Atlanta.
Originally, I was planning to publish my interview with Alec sometime next week when the moving trucks are supposed to arrive. But I heard that Alec has a whole slew of local volunteers lined up to help unload the trucks and unpack things, and to be honest, I was worried that some of the volunteers might get confused and think they’d accidentally shown up at the wrong building…as the one in Carlos’ photo isn’t even the right color!
Anyway, Alec agreed to expedite his answers to my interview questions, and I just received them. So here is the CORRECT information about the new facility in Atlanta…
JONATHAN – Tell us a little about this new studio. Where is it exactly? How big is it? Does it have air-conditioning? Is it sound-proofed?
ALEC – The new studio is in Lawrenceville, Georgia, which is 30 miles (about 45 minutes with traffic) from downtown Atlanta. It’s about 20 minutes from 285, the big perimeter road in Atlanta. Lawrenceville is a beautiful little town that reminds me of the town square in Back to the Future! But it is also a couple minutes from all the shopping you could ever want, and Discover Mills Mall is just 10 minutes away.
The studio is 6,000 square feet and fully air conditioned! And while not soundproofed, it is insulated, which actually serves as soundproofing. Also, once you start working inside of sets, soundproofing isn’t very important, as the walls of the sets serve to baffle the sound.
JONATHAN – What was the final tally of the survey of Indiegogo voters? How many of the 310 donors asked for a refund, and how much total of that $22,000 did you have to refund?
ALEC -Of the 310 donors, 139 responded to our survey. Out of those, we only had five people request a refund, which totaled less than $200 for the five donors together. By far, the majority said that they were fine with whatever we decided to do. 89 said they trusted us to make the right decision if we wanted to move to a new studio, and 11 said they didn’t care as long as they got their perks. 34 (less than a quarter of respondents) said they preferred us putting the sets into storage rather than setting up a new studio.
JONATHAN – How long of a lease have you just signed…and what will the rent and utilities be?
ALEC – I signed a 3-year lease. The financials are private since donors aren’t paying for the lease, and I personally guaranteed it. But it is a fraction of the L.A. Industry Studios space.
JONATHAN – Will Axanar now be filmed in Georgia? Or will some of it still be shot in Industry Studios in Valencia?
ALEC – We’re not currently planning on using the sets for the two 15-minute Axanar segments. Don’t get me wrong, we’d love to, but the plan right now is to shoot the segments in Los Angeles. It really comes down to how much we’ll be able to raise through our private fundraising efforts. We would love to have flashback scenes onto the bridge of the USS Ares.
JONATHAN – If you use the Valencia location, do you have to pay for the time you will be using it?
ALEC – Our agreement with the landlord in Valencia allows us access to the soundstage at an incredibly reasonable rate.
JONATHAN – How much of the $22,000 from the Indiegogo campaign will you have left after fees and perk fulfillment?
ALEC – Well, fees are 10% and Perks won’t be much. So we should have close to $19,000 I hope.
JONATHAN – What will that money be used for? And how much is this move across country costing just for the trucks and labor?
ALEC – The money we raised will go to pay for the move and setting up our operation in our new location. The three tractor trailers alone cost $12,000.
JONATHAN – Where will the money to pay the rent on the new facility be coming from?
ALEC – Well, we won’t be asking donors to cover our ongoing expenses. We’ve made some pretty significant operational changes, and I feel confident we’ll be able to generate enough cash flow to keep the doors open, the lights on, and the cameras rolling well into the future.
JONATHAN – So what are the plans for this new studio? You mentioned that you’ve been in contact with some other productions in the Atlanta area…which one(s)?
ALEC – We don’t want to get too far out ahead of ourselves, Jonathan. We have some projects in development of our own, and we are talking with some producers who are interested in working with us. We’ll be sure to keep you in the loop when any of those projects hit a significant milestone.
JONATHAN – Is it true that you’ve found nearly two dozen local Axanar fans in the Atlanta area who have already volunteered to help you unload the trucks and set up the new studio when you arrive next week?
ALEC – Actually, that is an amazing story. Here in L.A., it is really hard to get volunteers. L.A. is very spread out, and people have so many options on what to do. We have about four volunteers at any one time. But in Atlanta, we expect to have over 20 fans help move in based on all the responses we have gotten! It really is amazing the love for what we do.
JONATHAN – Can I finally show those photos you sent me of the new facility? (I’ve been holding them back—at Alec’s request—for nearly two weeks!)
ALEC -Please do!
JONATHAN – Okay, folks, here’s what the new Lawrenceville facility REALLY looks like (the business offices and the sound stage area)…