VIC MIGNOGNA can’t have it both ways (editorial)

Last Wednesday, STAR TREK CONTINUES announced that none other than actor JOHN “Q” DE LANCIE is going to guest star in the ninth episode of their fan series, “What Ships Are For,” which will premiere the last weekend of July.

And now I am about to get myself into a shatload of trouble!  But before I jump into the smoldering volcano of fan film frenzy and fanatical fealty, let me state the following up front:

I love Vic Mignogna (not romantically, just as a fan).  Yes, I’ve heard him called every name in the book by people who don’t like him.  I’ve heard vitriolic complaints about Vic’s ego, lack of integrity, and even his acting ability.  (And I’ve heard similar rants about Alec Peters, by the way.)  The fact is: I don’t care!  I think very highly of both of these men…and for very similar reasons.  But for right now, let’s focus on why I love Vic.

Every fan production has one bright sun at the center of its solar system.  And for STC, that has always been Vic Mignogna.  He’s a leader and inspiration to his production team.  He makes things happen.  He has set the tone for an endeavor where everyone gives 200% and does it all with smiles while having a blast.  You can see it in their behind-the-scenes videos, and I’ve seen it in person at cons I’ve attended where the STC cast is in attendance…with Vic right there in the middle of the enthusiasm.

I also think Vic does a fantastic job being James T. Kirk.  Many have attempted the role—from the late/great John Belushi to Jim Carey and even Carol Burnett to fan film actors James Cawley and Brian Gross.  Each has brought something different and unique to the character.  So before any of you criticize Vic Mignogna for his performance, imagine yourself trying to portray the legendary captain of the USS Enterprise NCC-1701 and tell me if you could do any better.  As far as I’m concerned, Vic nails it.

So regardless of everything else I am about to say in this blog editorial, let me state for the record that I am a big fan of Vic Mignogna and a HUGE fan of (and proud donor to) Star Trek Continues.

And with that, it’s time for Jonathan to jump into the volcano…

Vic Mignogna

A few weeks ago, a short snippet of an interview with Vic Mignogna was posted to YouTube.  In answering the question of why there were only three more episodes of Star Trek Continues, he began his answer like this…

CBS has always been very, very gracious to fan films, allowing them to exist and share their love of Star Trek…under one very clear condition.  And that is you’re not allowed to profit personally.  You’re not allowed to make money from somebody else’s property.  And everybody pretty much understands that…makes sense.

But a couple of years ago, another production came along, and they raised a lot of money under the guise of planning to make a Star Trek feature film.  And not only was the film never made, but they profited personally off of it.  The paid themselves salaries.  They rented a building that they were planning to rent out to other productions for profit, and flew around the world promoting a movie that didn’t exist, and just spent the money on other things besides that which the fans gave it.

And when that line was crossed after all these years and many productions, CBS basically said, “Y’know what?  Enough is enough.  We’ve gotta step in here and protect our license.”  And so they filed a lawsuit against that production.  And what came out of that lawsuit were some fan film guidelines.

Now, this isn’t the first time Vic Mignogna has recited this mantra.  He’s done many interviews telling this same story.  But I think the time has come for someone to finally say to Vic: you can’t have it both ways, dude!  Captains who live in glass starships shouldn’t hurl stone knives (or something like that).

I’m NOT saying that STC set out to make a profit.  Heavens no!  What I’m referring to is Vic’s very first sentence: “…allowing them to exist and share their love of Star Trek…under one very clear condition.”  Of course, now there are TEN conditions (actually fifteen, since one of the conditions contains six parts), and STC has chosen to release four episodes which go against at least FIVE of those conditions.

Pot, meet kettle.

Contrary to what some people claim or have heard, NONE of these four episodes being released this year was in any kind of production prior to the fan film guidelines being announced by CBS and Paramount in June of last year. Only the crowd-funding campaign itself (which raised about $200K) was completed before the guidelines came out.  Aside from that, there is no “grandfather clause” that would apply to these four episodes.

So when Star Trek Continues decided to complete their final episodes, they were also choosing, with full knowledge, NOT to follow these five specific guidelines that had already been announced:

  • The 15-minute limitSTC‘s first post-guideline episode, “Still Treads the Shadow” was 54 minutes long.  I expect that their remaining three episodes will also exceed 15 minutes each.
  • No ongoing series – two 15-minute segments is the limit.  STC is planning to release four episodes.
  • The title of the fan production or any parts cannot include the name “Star Trek” Star Trek Continues remains their title.
  • Creators, actors and all other participants must be amateurs, and cannot be compensated for their services – We know from their 501(c)(3) tax-exempt non-profit status application (on page 9, which I’ve screen-capped and highlighted below) that STC had previously paid $175,000 in salaries to actors and other professionals over the course of production of five or so episodes.  So one might assume they are again paying something comparable…

    However, it’s possible that the folks who were been paid previously are working for free this time.  But there are certain actors involved in STC who belong to the Screen Actors Guild (SAG), and they must be paid.  For any of them (including John De Lancie and Reka Sharma) to agree to work for free, it would get them kicked out of the trade union.  So at least someone was paid, and the guidelines say that no one is to be paid.

  • No one in the fan production can be currently or previously employed on any Star Trek series – John de Lancie, of course, appeared on several episodes of TNG, one of DS9, and a few of Voyager.  I think that counts as “previously employed on any Star Trek series.”

Keep in mind, I do NOT have a problem with any of the above!  More power to ’em!!!  You know I’m not the biggest fan of the guidelines, and I believe that Guideline #5 (the one about not paying anyone and not allowing Star Trek veterans) violates California labor law.  And the SMALL ACCESS protest campaign is trying to convince CBS to revise the “no ongoing series” guideline.  So I am NOT saying that STC needs to change anything about what they’re doing with their fan series.

And in fact, the folks at STC have pointed out that these guidelines are simply that: guidelines.  They are not “rules” or “laws” that, if violated, automatically get a fan production sued.  Any fan series is welcome to produce whatever they want to, and CBS and Paramount are welcome to take action or not take action as they see fit.

And yet, that same argument that Vic Mignogna is using in 2017 could just as easily have been used by Alec Peters in 2015!

Think about it.

In 2015 (and prior to that), the only “condition” that CBS and Paramount had was: “You can’t make a profit from your fan film.”  And if you’ll recall, that “condition” was never officially put in writing or even spoken aloud by anyone at either studio.  Fan producers ASSUMED it, but it was more of a “don’t ask, don’t tell” relationship.

In the case of the fan film guidelines, those ARE in writing, and quite clearly stated.  So while Alec Peters may allegedly have knowing violated a condition that wasn’t written down (don’t make a profit), STC is knowingly violating FIVE conditions that are written down.

I can already hear some of you typing, “But STC has a really good relationship with CBS and Paramount and has been talking to them all along” (according to some accounts).  Well, again, so was Alec Peters.  According to filings in last years lawsuit, it was confirmed by the studios that Alec met face-to-face with CBS and Paramount executives no less than FOUR times in 2014 and 2015, and they never said, “Hey, stop, don’t do this.”  Instead, they said, “We can’t tell you what you are and aren’t allowed to do, but we’ll let you know if you cross over a line.”  And they ultimately did…with a lawsuit!  (And before anyone starts mentioning that 2015 article in The Wrap, an anonymous media quote from an unnamed source is obviously trumped by an in-person conversation with actual studio executives.)

I suppose you can also argue that STC has always shown great respect for Star Trek and CBS’s ownership of it while some have claimed that Alec Peters made grandiose statements about how Axanar was the Star Trek that fans wanted to see and other such arguably controversial comments.  But it should be noted that each Axanar crowd-funding campaign stipulated, “Star Trek is a licensed property of CBS and so they have the final say in any Star Trek venture.”

And ultimately, Alec wasn’t sued for making grandiose statements…but I do understand the argument.  However, CBS spent a good deal of time composing those guidelines (or so I have been told by someone who was involved in the process).  For a fan production to release four fan films that blatantly ignore not just one but multiple guidelines…that takes chutzpah.  And it does put the studios into an awkward position.  If they try to shut down STC (which is already shutting down after these final episodes), then CBS and Paramount just look like bullies again.  But if they do nothing, they they risk strengthening a potential non-willful infringement defense (just like Axanar used) if there ever is another copyright lawsuit somewhere down the line.  So in that way, both Axanar and STC kind of thumb their noses at the studios…STC just does it more politely.

Now, it’s possible that CBS and Paramount will simply look the other way and do nothing as STC finishes up over the next few months.  It’s also possible that the studios might decide afterwards to put the kibosh on all fan films and say, “Y’know what?  Enough is enough.  We’ve gotta step in here and protect our license…again!”

There’s no way to know which outcome will happen…just as there was no way for Alec Peters to know in 2014 and 2015 what repercussions his decisions and actions would have in 2016.

Look, it’s not like I want Star Trek Continues to do anything other than what they’re planning to do: release three more full-length episodes between now and October and hope for the best.  I’m very excited to see John de Lancie guest starring in the next one…and I’m curious to see if there are any other surprise guest stars lined up for the final two episodes.  (I suspect there will be.)

No, my issue is much simpler than that: I hate hypocrisy. As I said, I love Vic Mignogna, but I can’t stand that he’s pretty much trying to live by a double standard.  Vic crucifies Alec Peters for knowingly and willingly ignoring the one “condition” that CBS and Paramount had about fan films…and yet here Vic is, knowingly and willingly ignoring five of the “conditions” that CBS and Paramount now have about fan films.

I think it’s fine that STC is choosing to break those rules and see what happens.  But Vic can’t have it both ways.  If it’s good for the goose now, then it was good for the gander two years ago.

If Vic Mignogna wants to do interviews and bask in some well-deserved glory before the fans, then I say go for it.  You’ve more than earned it, man!  But it’s time to stop making the accusations against Alec and Axanar.  Especially with the John de Lancie announcement this past week, this is absolutely a pot/kettle situation—and Vic just needs to own the fact that he’s choosing to ignore those clearly-started conditions…so stop complaining by saying that Alec did the same thing two years ago.

You may now start posting your angry comments.

218 thoughts on “VIC MIGNOGNA can’t have it both ways (editorial)”

  1. Why did the studios decide to sue Alec and not Vic? Or why are they not suing Vic now that they aren’t following the guidelines?

    Firstly I think it’s pretty undisputed that before Alec was sued there were no official guidelines, and Alec actually ASKED for guidelines. In that regard Vic is spot on, no hypocrisy there.

    The real crux of the matter is really why one and not the other? They both infringe copyright. They both crowdfund. They both hire and pay professional actors and crew members. They both have built sets and had places to keep them.

    So what is different between the two? One is a registered 501(c)3 charity and one isn’t. One principal paid themselves a salary and one didn’t. One claimed to be making the first fully independent Star Trek film and one didn’t. One spent donor funds on personal expenses and one didn’t. One used donor funds to set up a business that was to be used for making future profit and one didn’t.

    See a pattern here? I’m curious though why you think Alec was sued and not Vic. Clearly Jonny the studios felt that what Alec was doing was wrong and what Vic was doing (and continues to do) is Ok. Are you going to cover that in part 2?

    1. The reason the studios chose to sue Alec and Axanar came out during discovery: the Vulcan scene looked too good. It got the studios’ attention in a way that no other fan film had before. The studios became concerned that the line between fan produced and studio quality was now blurring into something indistinguishable, and they needed that trend line to finally stop. STC was paying people, too (possibly even Vic–as a SAG member, he’s not allowed to work for free), so was New Voyages on some of their episodes. The studios never really cared about how donor funds were being spent because it didn’t really affect the studios at all. CBS didn’t care about sushi and new tires (which didn’t even turn out to be donor-funded, as it happened).

      No, what the studios were concerned most about was that 4-minute scene and how, to a casual observer, you couldn’t really tell if it was studio-produced or not. That needed to stop. And that fact was stated in deposition by a studio executive.

      As for STC, now the situation is different. There are clearly-stated guidelines. Any fan film that ignores them without being challenged by the studios creates an instance of fact that can be submitted into evidence in a subsequent infringement lawsuit. And just as Axanar was only left by the judge with a non-willful infringement defense, so to would any future fan film. So the studios’ non-enforcement of their guidelines just leads to a perception by other fan films that doing things like STC is doing is okay with the studios. And that’s the core of a non-willful infringement defense.

      And no part 2. I decided to keep this as a one-part, 2,000-word blog.

      1. Bullshit on the “it looked too good” claim – Peters was sued because he was profiting off Trek, plain and simple.

        1. Warning on the use of profanity, Marcus. “Bullshat” or “bullsh*t” are acceptable.

          But what I said was, indeed, stated in deposition. It was leaked and it shouldn’t have been. But regardless, it’s now out there and can be discussed here. The fact is that, even if Alec were making a profit, the profit was tiny. The studios really don’t care about numbers like that. Even bootleggers of T-shirts or other merchandise aren’t usually bothered until they start taking in over $10K, and then they get a cease and desist letter first.

          This was simply a case of Icarus flying too close to the sun and getting burned. It was more important to the studios that there not be confusion in the marketplace, and fan productions like Axanar, Renegades, and Horizon were beginning to make that impossible. Renegades wasn’t sued because of Tim Russ’s involvement, but they did get a major tongue-lashing by the studios when they claimed to be a pilot for a new Trek TV series. Had Axanar not been a more convenient target, Horizon would probably have gotten the subpoena instead two months later. As it was, Tommy Kraft was contacted and told not to do a $250K Kickstarter for Federation Rising (this was three months before the guidelines), and Tommy complied.

          Marcus, you’re welcome to believe whatever you want. But trust me. I live in Hollywood and know people who were directly involved with the case (some you’ve actually heard of!). 🙂 This was never about any profit being made (Alec lost money) or salaries or tires or sushi. The studios don’t give a shat about that. It was about the perceived quality. That’s not to say that CBS or Paramount thought that Axanar was BETTER than the Star Trek the studios were making. But the line between the two was becoming increasingly less noticeable, and the studios worried that there could, sooner rather than later, be confusion in the marketplace and possible harm to the profitability of their tent-pole franchise property if people thought they could get new Star Trek with the same actors, same characters, same level of VFX and music and costumes and make-up, etc. as what the studios were producing.

          The only profit the studios were concerned about was their own…which had numerous more zeros in it than anything Alec Peters might have ever generated.

        2. Marcus – try reading the initial complaint filed by CBS and Paramount. They sued for Copyright Infringement, not anything about any alleged “profiting.” Sorry.

      2. I find it amusing that you pick one tidbit from the court docs while ignoring all of the other ones. Like where the studios claimed (based on information from Alec’s two depositions and sets of financials)
        that he was running a for profit business, paying himself a salary and personal expenses, and operating a donor store all generating personal gain. I think these are much more likely the reasons a business would sue a potential competitor.

        As far as my memory serves, the studios only talked about the “quality of Axanar” in the context of Alec talking about it. I’ve just searched through my complete collection of court documents and I could not find a single one from the plaintiffs that talked about the “quality” of the Vulcan scene. There was a lot about how it infringed on the Star Trek copyright but that is it.

        1. It wasn’t in the court documents (which were filed by the lawyers, not the execs). It was given during deposition. Technically, the depositions were to remain sealed and confidential, but details of that executive’s testimony were inadvertently shared publicly during an Axanar podcast. As such, it is now public information that I can discuss and share.

          You can, of course, choose to believe whatever you want to, Sandy-man. But the purpose of this blog isn’t to restart the debate about why Alec and Axanar got sued. I am simply pointing out that it is two years later, and now Vic Mignogna is choosing to go against the stated wishes of CBS and Paramount. Period. I’m not saying he can’t or shouldn’t do so. It’s simply that by doing it and then complaining that Alec Peters did the same thing, it comes off as a pot-calling-the-kettle-black bit of hypocrisy.

          1. No Jonny, Vic is not talking about the guidelines in that clip no matter what you believe. He is talking about a fan production supplying personal financial gain to the person running it. Complaining about that is not hypocritical because he never did that.

          2. And again…a swing and a miss of the point.

            Vic is accusing Alec of knowing, back in 2015, the one condition that the studios had for making fan films (don’t make a profit) and of then knowingly violating that condition.

            It it now 2017, and CBS and Paramount have established ten (actually fifteen) conditions for making fan films, and Vic is knowingly violating five of those conditions.

            Hypocrisy is hypocrisy.

            Alec just contacted me and asked me to add to this editorial that Vic is continuing to sell at cons unlicensed photos of himself that say “Star Trek” where he’s wearing a Star Trek uniform and holding a phaser…

            …pointing out that Vic is continuing to make illegal profit off of IP that CBS owns. I refused to add it to the blog because, as I told Alec, that’s NOT the point. This article is NOT a debate over who may or may not be profiting off of copyright infringement. I frankly don’t much care, and it just distracts for what is really at issue. Vic has a double standard and is not acknowledging that he himself is doing the same thing the he is complaining about Alec having done.

          3. FYI – The photos of Vic as Kirk are FREE. He has them printed and available at cons for people who want to buy his autograph. The charge for his autograph is the same flat fee whether he signs one of his prints or something a fan brings in from home. The Kirk prints are made available gratis as a courtesy for fans who may want them.

          4. Thanks for the clarification, Lisa. Another reason not to add it to the editorial. 🙂

            When all is said and done, this has nothing to do with profiting off of CBS’s IP…whether it’s Alec or Vic. It’s simply a case of making a decision and then complaining that someone else made that same decision.

          5. Oh, geez. I spoke too soon! I just got a PM from one of my legal eagles. Apparently, the use of the words “Star Trek” on the photo is a potential trademark infringement–even if the photos are given away for free. Take away the words “Star Trek,” and it’s probably fine. But the words “Star Trek” in that typeface are trademarked by CBS, most recently renewed in 2014. It’s not a question of whether Vic Mignogna is distributing the photos for free, it’s that CBS has the right to control how anything with the words “Star Trek” on it is distributed. The studio might not want “Star Trek” merchandise given away for free, as it potentially cheapens the perceived value of the trademark. It is possible that the studio trademark holder is allowing this, but it is more likely that they simply do not know. Unlike copyright ownership, it is required that a trademark holder vigorously defend their mark or risk losing it.

            Who knew?

          6. Lisa,

            I have a question: If the photos are free, and I wanted the photo, but not the autograph, would I be free to take one?

          7. That seems to be Lisa’s point, yes. But apparently, distributing merchandise with the words “Star Trek” on it–even for free–might be a trademark no-no. And if it’s used to generate revenue, even if it’s not being sold, that’s even more problematic.

            As an interesting parallel, “Prelude to Axanar” was also given away for free (via YouTube). No one had to pay to see it. But it was used to generate revenue through the sale of other products like Axanar T-shirts and posters and patches. Even though those did not contain any copyrighted or trademarked imagery (just like Vic’s autograph does not contain CBS’s IP)–and no, I’m not counting the coffee, as most of the other merchandise of Axanar was clear of CBS’s IP–the revenue generated was based on the distribution of a product that does contain CBS’s IP. And even though that product itself was given away for free (in Axanar’s case and in Vic’s), it was still enough for the Alec Peters to get sued over, and the same could happen to Vic.

            ven though Vic is giving away his photos for free, it could still be complicated by the fact that he is making ancillary revenue in part utilizing that merchandise. My legal eagle recommends that Vic consult a trademark/patent attorney to determine if he should at least approach CBS about it.

            Lisa, you might want to pass that along to him.

          8. So your sole bit of evidence that Alec was sued because of the supposed quality of the Vulcan scene is a podcast that leaked a confidential deposition and you won’t even point out which one? No written evidence? And we’re just supposed to take your word for it? Especially when that isn’t even mentioned once in all of the court docs?

            Fake news.

          9. Well, Robert Meyer Burnett just confirmed it, as well. But no, it’s hard to show a paper trail of something said during a deposition that was designated confidential by the court. Technically, even the fact that the information was leaked at all is a big legal no-no. But before anyone starts calling for contempt of court or jail time, it’s unlikely this leak will come to anything. There’s no real damages to claim, and most likely, CBS wants to be done with Alec and Axanar. To pursue this matter would necessitate confirming that the leaked information was, indeed, revealed in deposition. But, yes, it was. And it makes a lot of sense, too…MUCH more sense than the whole “profit” thing which wasn’t even mentioned in the original lawsuit.

            I’m sorry, Sandy, but the vast majority of the “fake news” surrounding Axanar has repeatedly come from the detractor side of the fence…as I used to point out regularly here on Fan Film Factor until it just got too exhausting.

          10. Ah, so we’re just supposed to take your word and Robbie’s word for it? When nothing in the public record corroborates it? Sorry Jonny but proof doesn’t work that way.

          11. Then the entire legal system breaks down and no witness giving testimony should ever be believed unless they bring along something in the public record?

            What a quaint idea!

          12. Don’t be dim Jonny, testimony in court becomes part of the public record. Ever hear of court reporters or transcripts? How quaint. You’re comparing apples and oranges.

            With no evidence in the public record there’s no way any anyone is going to believe you or Rob. Neither of you are credible witnesses. Produce the deposition or at least say which exec said it. There were only three on the witness lists so it had to be one of them.

          13. I’ll let Rob respond if he chooses to. Otherwise, Sandy, you’ll just have to let the public decide if they want to believe Rob (an eye-witness to the written depositions). I know I believe him. Also, based on the original lawsuit filing, what Rob said makes much more sense than blaming it all on some minor profit from selling Kharn Roast coffee. Go re-read that first filing (the complaint that had to be amended because it was so poorly worded). There was no mention at all of personal profit.

        2. “that he was running a for profit business, paying himself a salary and personal expenses, and operating a donor store all generating personal gain. I think these are much more likely the reasons a business would sue a potential competitor.”

          And I think you should read up on what a salary and expenses are.
          Hint: They are not generating personal gain.

          1. Haha! A salary isn’t “personal gain”? What a ridiculous thing to say.

      3. Can you tell me specically where in the court documents it says they sued due to the vulcan scene being too good?

        1. It was never in the court filings…and it was supposed to remain confidential. But the information was shared during an Axanar podcast, and so it became public inadvertently. I don’t remember which is the podcasts it was revealed in–and I don’t have time to listen to them all right now–but I think it was either just before or just after the suit settled.

      4. I don’t even think you attempted to fully investigate what happened. You seem to be assuming that STC doesn’t have permission from CBS.

        Vic and crew have been quite clear that the reason there are ONLY going to be 11 total episodes is that these were the ones that were already promised by the kickstarters/indie gogo campaigns. In other words, they were already financed and in production. After number 11, there will be no more STC episodes. At least none that comply with the new guidelines.

        1. “You seem to be assuming that STC doesn’t have permission from CBS.”

          That’s a safe assumption. If they had permission, they would say so, as would CBS. But that can’t happen because CBS doesn’t give permission for any fan film to exist. They can’t; it would piss off too many licensees who pay tens and hundreds of thousands of dollars for something that a fan film would be getting for free. Also, giving permission to any fan film would create a liability nightmare for the studios because fan films do not go through standards and practices.

          So no, it’s naive to believe that there has been any official permission given to STC. Is there a wink-wink, nod-nod? Possibly. But again, Alec Peters had the same thing after his four meetings with the studios. “We will let you know if you cross a line…” is way different than, “No, stop, you are not allowed to do this.”

          In the end, though, it’s simply about Vic owning the fact that he’s doing in 2017 what he says Alec Peters did in 2015: going against conditions clearly stated by the studios. And technically, back in 2015, there actually weren’t official conditions. But now there are.

      5. The Vulcan scene looked too good? <— Hahahahahaha! Can I PLEASE have some of what you're smoking?

        they sued Alec Peters because Alec Peters said MANY TIMES (prior to said Lawsuit), that 'Axanar' wasn't a 'fan film' – it was the fiorst Independent Star Trek film. Alec ALSO was openly SELLING Star Trek themed merchandise WITHOUT obtaining a license from Paramount – including Coffee – which he had even made a side agreement with a Coffee maker to produce.
        These things are what really crossed the line with CBS/Paramount legal – and what got him sued.

        1. Yep, Alec got sued for millions over a few hundred dollars worth of coffee, folks!

          And you can take that right to the bank…

          …of baloney. 🙂

          #FakeNews #WishfulThinking #SeriouslyDoYouReaalyThinkAnyoneWithaBrainCellBelievesThat?

        2. Can you show us in the Court documents where it says that? The reason for the action is very clearly printed on the first page after all the attorney info…

          That’s what I thought.

    2. Why are you bringing up the lawsuit and the strawman of “Why Alec got sued and Vic didn’t?” While Jonathon has actually answered that question, I’m going to point out that it has almost nothing at all to do with Jonathan’s commentary (beyond the fact of it happening).

      Do you not see the apparent hypocrisy in continuously calling out a production for allegedly violating an unwritten rule while flagrantly violating a number of the now-written ones? That’s what Jonathan is pointing out. Not why did Axanar get sued, but why keep pointing out someone wasn’t in CBS’ good graces when what you’re doing now is ostensibly not in keeping with their wishes.

      1. The snippet Jonny quotes above does not talk about the guidelines. It talks about making money from Star Trek. That is the reason Alec was sued and Vic wasn’t. That’s why I brought up the lawsuit.

          1. Exactly. The point is about assailing someone for violating a guideline, whilst deciding to violate several of the current guidelines. Which guidelines are irrelevant to the point being made. Ergo, straw man.

          2. Not relevant, nor, like I told Marcus, what the lawsuit was specified as. You’ve got all the Court documents, Sandy, why not go back and read page one of the initial Complaint…what does it say toward the middle right side? Copyright infringement, isn’t it?

    3. Lady Natasha Letitia Sarah Jane Wellesley Obstromsky Ponsonsky Smythe Smythe Smythe Smythe Smythe says:

      Simply put, Vics looks like a piece of crap filmed and acted by mostly real amateur actors, Vic being the worst Kirk ever.
      While Prelude and the Vulcan scene showed what you can do if you put the time and effort in.
      Axanar showed CBS what can be done on a smaller budget and how good it looked.
      CBS saw it as a threat considering that it showed what can be done on a smaller budget compared to the multi millions they spend.

      So see a pattern here – Yeah like anyone who sees someone do something better or a threat to their product they go and start a lawsuit.

      Quoting yourself “One spent donor funds on personal expenses and one didn’t. One used donor funds to set up a business that was to be used for making future profit and one didn’t.”
      Sorry but that can easily be said about Vic.
      Try and learn there are “MANY” different ways to “Profit” and “Do Business”

    4. This person has made some really good points. I actually find myself agreeing with everything.

      And I was also thinking: TOS looked damn amateur, ESPECIALLY by today’s standards, and STC looks amateur, just by the two standards of imitating TOS closely in look, and imitating is so closely in acting style. Meanwhile, Alec made something modern looking… and built that studio with crowdfunding (and I think that quite possibly, if he had used truly private funds to set that studio up, he would have been left alone.)

  2. That’s an interesting point, Jonathan, and one I hadn’t thought of before. I know Vic and Co. feel they have good reason to finish things off, and I’m certainly not going to dissuade him. However, he is doing (in a general sense) what he accuses Alec of doing.

    1. Yep. I totally support what STC is doing. Apparently, so does Alec Peters! But the hypocrisy is the only thing I’m complaining about. Just own it, Vic.

      1. Are you violating trademarks, copyright and guidelines when you have permission from the holder?

        Did it occur to anyone that that’s what’s going on here?

        1. That what’s going on here? That STC has some kind of permission? No, they don’t–not officially until and unless CBS makes an announcement establishing that…and I think I would have seen such a thing (or that hundreds of STC would all be posting links to it by now). No, there’s no permission, folks.

  3. *Standing ovation*

    I agree. STC was the first time I ever watched a fan film (which I then showed to my family, who are now huge fans of STC), and because of STC I found Axanar, this blog, and all the other fan films I now watch regardless of the production quality. For that I’m very thankful to STC.

    Because within fives minutes of watching any STC production, I literally forget that I’m not watching an original TOS episode, they’re just that convincing. And Vic’s mannerisms are so Shatner-esque that it’s uncanny. For those and other reasons, I think STC is probably the best all-around fan production. However, any “best of” mantle in life usually results in one of two outcomes: humility or hubris. This whole STC vs. Axanar kerfuffle has revealed, in my opinion, which outcome won.

    I hope Discovery proves our worst fears wrong. And if CBS has lied about Discovery’s Prime-ness the way Paramount lied about Into Darkness, and if Discovery is just another middle finger to the fans in the “race to the bottom” attempt to turn Star Trek into “generic space battle show” then at least I’ll still have fan films from people who actually believe in more than gold-pressed greenbacks. But it would be nice if we could have good fan films without all the showboating and infighting. And if we can’t have even that, then maybe Orville is the Star Trek we’ve been waiting for.

  4. I actually agree with you. Vic is not on his own with his hypocrisy though. I won’t name names, so the “sensitive” among us cannot feign injury, however; There is a bunch of sets part funded by crowd funding now turning a profit under licence as a museum. Non of the detractors of Axanar or Alec have a single issue with this. (Nor do I really). Yet the same detractors hold Alec at virtual knife point by (falsely) accusing him of wanting to do the same. When in fact he only wanted to charge enough to pay the damn bills and keep the doors open to all, post wrap up of Axanar. Something he has now succeeded in doing with RocketWorx in Atlanta. A studio that will be free to use for fan films in need of a place to shoot.

    Also, Vic knows damn well that Axanar was not made due to the lawsuit. It’s not like Alec grabbed the money and vanished! The money was sadly spent on keeping the studio while waiting to see what happened with the lawsuit. Alec had agreed, as a show of good faith, not to continue production. But Vic doesn’t left pesky facts get in the way of trying to sound awesome.

    Vic has also been selling Star Trek branded cast photos of himself and others from STC for years. That’s profit on someone elses property. Another rule he has broken.

    Anyway, great article Jonathan. Correct, sourced and well laid out facts and explanations, as always.

    1. “There is a bunch of sets part funded by crowd funding now turning a profit under licence as a museum. Non of the detractors of Axanar or Alec have a single issue with this. (Nor do I really). Yet the same detractors hold Alec at virtual knife point by (falsely) accusing him of wanting to do the same. ”

      Wait, you just said that it’s making money “under a license” from CBS. The detractors are complaining about making money without a license. CBS can do what it wants

      Vic selling photos of himself with “Star Trek” is the hypocrisy, not the set having been turned into a licensed attraction.

      That said if the money Vic mad went directly to the non-profit, things are different and he did not actually profit from those sales.

  5. Not an angry comment, but an observation. All remaining episodes finished principial Production before the guidelines where published, at least to my Knowledge. Assuming this, and reading a little Bit between the lines of the John van Citters Interview, i don’t see the hypocrisy. CBS Sems to be willing to let them finish their run. It should also be mentioned that Stc shortened their run from 13 to 11 episodes so they wouldn’t need another fundraiser to finish. So, to be honest, i think your cry for hypocrisy on Vic’s part seems both biased and far-fetched.

    1. Incorrect assumption, Christoph. According to STC themselves, no actual production had begun on any of the final four episodes prior to the announcement of the guidelines. It’s possible that scripts were written, but that’s been true of other fan productions that had to trim down to 15 or 30 minutes from longer versions. Pre-production is not the same as production. No shooting had begun yet.

      The fact is that STC decided, going in, to make each of these four episodes longer than 15 minutes, to do four episodes (not two), to not remove “Star Trek” from their title, to employ professional actors who must by SAG requirements be paid, and to invite a Star Trek veteran actor to be in their ninth episode.

      As I said, all of those decisions are FINE with me! But they do knowingly and willfully violate five of the guidelines. There’s no grandfather clause to rely on. This is a conscious series of choices made AFTER Vic and company knew the studios’ wishes. Renegades made one decision; STC made another. Nothing wrong with either. Just don’t rag on Alec for breaking a rule when you’ve decided to break the rules, too.

      1. So, I challenge you to find out….once again…if CBS gave STC permission to do with they are doing for a limited time. The guidelines are non-binding for the studio. They can do with they want with their own IP. That includes denying the Axanar production and allowing the STC production.

        1. They didn’t. I can’t go out and find something that doesn’t exist, Michael. Now, if you’d like to find the announcement where permission was officially given to STC by CBS to violate the guidelines, I would be happy to eat my words.

          But right now, the only fan film ever given official permission to violate any of the fan guidelines is Axanar (as outlined in the settlement).

  6. That singular ‘condition’ that Paramount/CBS had really cannot be assumed by anyone as ‘not making a profit with someone else’s intellectual or artistic material/property’ is part of copyright law. Indeed it is probably the biggest copyright No-No there is.

    IMO, Cawley was a better Kirk. 🙂

  7. Ok….how is having a high profile Star Trek star in a fan films staying within the CBS guidelines? Are they simply ignoring them? I mean that is specifically restricted, no?

    My layman’s impression seems to be a LOT of fan productions seem to be running in direct counter the guidelines, and only one production seems to be attracting CBS ire.

    I dunno, it seems the great sin of one project is it dared to be too good, a fan film version of Icarus getting too close to the Sun and those who continue to not be too good, are getting a free pass?

    The whole thing is turning out to seem pretty subjective,, I mean I know CBS has the “right” to be as whimsical as they want with how they protect their IP, but it sure seems like more chaos is being sewn than is being resolved since the guidelines came to be.

    1. Not chaos, per se. The guidelines are not inherently a bad thing (as I discussed a few months ago). I just think a few have gone too far into restricting. Most fan projects are complying with all except the “no ongoing series” rule (which is why I think that CBS should consider my suggested alternative wording of Guideline #1…it’ll protect them MUCH better in a future lawsuit).

      But STC is the notable exception at the moment. And more power to them! But as I said, just own the fact that STAR TREK CONTINUES 2017 = AXANAR 2015. Just own it.

  8. Sounds like a fair assessment of the situation. Also i would be amused if they did force STC to drop the star trek from the front of the titles, there’s something about Continues: a Star Trek Fan production i kinda like as a name, it’s got that “We’re back: a dinosaur’s story” sorta clunky charm to it.

  9. Lets be clear, Vic is a pathological liar. He is very much like Donald Trump. He actually has lied to my face and I have called him out on his lies to his face and embarrassed the hell out of him in front of his STC co-workers who knew I was right.

    Vic lies about Axanar “making a profit” or building a “for-profit stdio”. He lies about us violating rules that never existed.

    And when I invited him to the Prelude to Axanar premier in 2014 at the urging of Lisa Hansell, Vic stormed out furious that we could make something so good. He then claimed to the # 1 Star Trek website and a good friend of mine that “They must have embezzled money as that couldn’t cost $70,000 as I could have shot that in my garage”.

    So Vic we can now add hypocrite to his resume. He vilifies me for violating rules that never existed, and then breaks the rules that do exist.

    1. So I’m going to let this comment post despite the “Vic is a pathological liar” direct insult…only because Alec is directly referenced in the article and has been spoken about by Vic in many interviews with information that is, at best, not telling the complete story (creating a very different version of the “truth”) and is, at worst, false.

      That said, I don’t want this page to devolve into name-calling. Alec gets to do it here–once–and Vic (if he chooses to post) gets a free pass in his reply. But the rest of you, no jumping on the personal insult bandwagon! I will trash comments that do that, and no one will see what you type.

      1. I’ll ask this here…

        On the main page of the now defunct New Voyages site, on the left side, used to be a list of “CBS Approved” Fan Film Guidelines (which were apparently never actually approved by CBS, they were just never contested by CBS) which James Cawley now conveniently refers to as “a few unwritten ground rules” now that the page is gone…is it possible that some people, perhaps like Vic, believed that those “guidelines” really were approved by CBS and thinks Axanar broke what were never genuine rules in the first place? (By the way, if anyone has a copy of that list of “rules,” I’d love to see it…)

        1. All fan producers knew those “rules” were never official. They couldn’t be. At the time, CBS had to have an official policy of not recognizing the existence of fan films or giving them any implied approval. Saying, “It’s okay as long as you…” implied knowledge and approval of said fan films. Now things are different, but for over a decade, it was “don’t ask/don’t tell.”

          1. So then how did they get away with considering those “rules” to be “CBS Approved” or was it just with the hopes CBS wouldn’t notice or take issue with them?

          2. If you say something enough times, people start to believe it. CBS never said, “Hey, these AREN’T the rules,” so no one assumed they weren’t. But had CBS officially acknowledged there were rules for fan films, then a whole Pandora’s Box would have opened up. Eventually, they had no choice but to create guidelines, but that was never something the studio wanted to do…only something they ultimate felt like they HAD to do.

      1. Lady Natasha Letitia Sarah Jane Wellesley Obstromsky Ponsonsky Smythe Smythe Smythe Smythe Smythe says:

        Wow, that the best you can do sandy pandy?

    2. Quote from Alec: “And when I invited him to the Prelude to Axanar premier in 2014 at the urging of Lisa Hansell, Vic stormed out furious that we could make something so good. ”
      According .”

      Lisa Hansell has replied to Alecs statement. (about 10 comments down)

      Quote from Lisa: “I told Alec that I would be hanging out with Vic and several other STC people that evening and, knowing they weren’t bffs, I asked if I could invite Vic along. I neither urged Alec to agree nor cared tbh. Vic left during the Q and A afterward when I, who was seated next to him, reminded him that he had an interview appointment with Access Hollywood, so he quietly slipped out. He neither “stormed out” nor was “furious” at anything. “

    3. I was one of two parts that wanted Alec and Vic to meet to see if they could bury the hatchet with each other. I have many many thoughts having seen many behind the scenes aspects of both productions…what I will address is the meeting. No. Not once did Alec “humiliate” vic at the dinner. In fact, I was impressed with how both men-who are both alphas- stood their ground. At the end of the dinner it was an agree to disagree type thing…sort of like a Magneto/Xavier type thing.

      Both sides stated their cases about their perspectives on the fan production scene and couldn’t come to terms. It was tense and uncomfortable at times; both Alec and Vic are both too stubborn to blink on either side.

      But that’s what allows them to be forces of nature in their respective avenues of fan productions. Of course, the difference is- one production has completed over 11 hours of original episode content and one has inspired over 11 hours of forum content. But that’s for another time.

      1. “But that’s what allows them to be forces of nature in their respective avenues of fan productions.”

        They are each suns burning in the centers of their own solar systems full of planets.

        And here’s the kicker: both Alec and Vic aren’t just a lot like each other…they’re both a lot like Gene Roddenberry himself!

        And I still love ’em both! Thanks for posting, Todd–you are totally Spock to me (now that Leonard’s gone and there may or may not be a fourth Kelvin movie directed by Nick Meyer).

  10. It’s just like the kid I kicked out of my sandbox in my youth for not following my rules after he argued that my toys were his and could build roads however he wanted. Some of the other kids didn’t always follow the rules, but they helped build a cool fantasy city without upsetting the apple cart. Don’t get angry at the other kids because I still let them play with my bulldozer and you have to go home because you couldn’t behave. They understood it just like Vic Mignogna. Some people never will.

  11. I can see where you’re coming from, but here are some thoughts on this:

    1. I too “love” Vic and STC and, as someone else already stated, I think STC wins the title as the single best fan film (series), hands down. The sets, the love to detail, Vic’s Shatner impersonation, the music (though copyrighted, too), everything.
    2. Yeah, Vic sometimes takes it a little too far and seems to have personal issues with Alec. Which is fine to some degree, but seems to cloud his judgement sometimes.
    3. I love Axanar (or Prelude as a matter of fact, since I haven’t been able to seen or read much else about the rest of the story. Yes, there’s the Vulcan Scene, but that’s one scene – and honestly, while looking great, there’s still a difference to be seen to a full-fledged studio production. But that’s another matter), I loved Alec’s performance in Prelude (and am sad that he chose not to reprise his role in the upcoming Axanar 2-parter. Generally, I hate re-casting of roles…)
    4. Though I admire Alec for his work ethic, his enthusiasm, his vision, sometimes he takes things too far and takes it personal. And sometimes he doesn’t find the right words to express what he wants to say. Or he does and probably should’ve kept his mouth shut (like with the “first independent Star Trek feature film” stuff. And probably the thing with building a “professional” studio didn’t come across too well, either).
    5. STC (as well as New Yoyages) recreate the classic 60s Star Trek in excruciating detail. Something the fans love and want to see, but something CBS has absolutely no problem with (or so it would seem), since they think that that’s no competition, since it looks dated and they simply don’t see it as a threat.

    So, in conclusion (sorry for the long post), yeah, there probably is some hiprocasy on Vic’s part, but still (as a fan of both STC and Axanar) I’d say Alec pushed the boundaries, made some unclever comments, produced some very good stuff that’s more modern (than STC/NV) and professional (compare to other fan films) looking, and that got the studios attention and/or forced them to draw a line. Shat happens, I would’ve loved to see the full-fledged Axanar feature, but some things in life just cannot be had…

    1. I think you nailed it on point #5. The Original Series is no longer the “timeline” that the right owners wish to continue. They pretty much have killed it since 2009, maybe even earlier if you count “Enterprise” (your mileage may vary). You think otherwise? Then why with the 50th Anniversary did they do NOTHING with the surviving Original Series cast? Do you think Shatner or Takei would turn down a chance for free publicity?

      But Axanar hit a nerve. I don’t know if it was a B5/DS9 type of situation. Hell, we’ll never know the full truth of who was first and who “borrowed” from whom. Perhaps Axanar was a case of two groups deciding to do roughly the same thing at the same time. But because STD (I refuse to use the other acronym, get over it) is de facto by look and tone set in the “Kelvin” timeline, they had to hammer Axanar. Vic and STC got by because of the fact that TOS is almost considered “non-canon” now in CBS and Paramount’s eyes. Otherwise, Vic and his crew would have had the hammer fall down on them even harder than Alec did. He reproduced almost verbatum part of the 4th act of “Mirror, Mirror” in their production of “Fairest Of Them All”. And if they ever get the idea to, Vic could lose EVERYTHING in a lawsuit because of that.

      Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE STC, Axanar, and ST:NV/Phase II. But all three are eligible for lawsuits. Alec just drew the unlucky hand because of plans for STD, and James bailed before things could get ugly. But for Vic to try to take the high ground right now is not warranted or a good idea. All three of them are equally “guilty” and there is plenty of blame to share and go around. So let’s stop slinging mud and see what we can do to fix this horrible situation for the betterment of us all.

    2. I feel the same way. I was so astounded to discover the world of Fan Film Star Trek productions ( always increasing in quality ). Those were good times filling a void of none or not much Star Trek. I also feel that STC is the best production out there if you look at their production across the board. They really seemed to have captured the feel of the original series. But I also was looking forward to Axanar as well as it was an over the top promise that now won’t be as grand as it might have been. But then the axe fell and here we are. I’m over joyed that STC will get to finish their series and sad at what Axanar has been reduced to ( but still looking forward to what they do as I’m sure it will be top notch ). Is it fair? Well no. Life is seldom fair even in the realm of legal matters. The bottom line here is however since this property is owned by CBS they have a right to look the other way or not ( for whatever reason ) on anything they want concerning TV Star Trek. As a fan of Star Trek I’ll take what I can get ( or in this situation what’s left ) of the fan efforts ( even STC is reduced in the number of episodes they will produce because of this ). I can’t speak to the item about how Alec and Vic address each other as I only know them from the internet. It’s too bad they couldn’t have had a better relationship and it’s also too bad that STNV had to fold completely or that Renegades had to alter what they were doing. It’s also sad that the way things were is no more for all of the talented people out there that work on fan films. Clearly most of what they do is a labor of love and not strictly to turn a profit. I look forward to all of their future productions as we all fans and producers alike still have one thing in common ( and maybe this gets a little lost in all this difficulty ). Our love for Star Trek.

  12. A closer examination of STC’s 501c3 filing shows Mignogna admits to benefiting from donor money by accepting hotel rooms, and there are charges on the debit card accounts for a Japanese restaurant in the vicinity of their studios. Now, to me, those are legitimate business expenses, and Vic didn’t do anything wrong by accepting them, per se. The hypocrisy is in his denying that he took anything, while accusing Alec of doing the same thing. He’s not a “victim” here, any way you slice it.

  13. Has anyone thought of the fact production wrapped shortly after the guidelines were published and they have been in post production since?

    1. Never thought that because that isn’t the case, Dan. No production had begun on the any of the final four episodes prior to the guidelines being announced. “Come Not Between the Dragons” and “Embracing the Winds” were the last two episodes to film PRIOR to the guideline announcement last June. Everything else happened after.

  14. I always thought from the start that it was a kettle situation. Vic’s just angry that Alec is the one who pushed it to far, the details are really irrelevant. Because it was one of those situations were it was bound to happen eventually. I still believe that the studios are ultimately to blame for poorly handling the situation. Instead of drawing a clear line in the sand and telling people hey we don’t want you to make anything that will challenge our productions, they just make vague statements and dance around the actual problem. Even the guidelines don’t clearly address their actual concerns but instead attempt to hobble fan films so that they won’t aspire to greatness again. like tearing down the tower of Babyl and instead of saying hey don’t build such tall buildings, they put out guidelines as to the shape and color of new towers assuming that no one would build another tall tower under said guidelines. As if being honest would somehow have negative consequences for the studios. John Mills theorized that honesty was the highest moral obligation because without trust all other human activities are impossible. So if the guidelines do not directly pertain to the studios actual concerns then do they really serve them or do they do them a disservice. As Jonathan pointed out they now put the studios in a position where they have to defend their property, but their not based on the studios real concerns, so the studio is now forced to defend territory they may not actually care about.

  15. Oh let’s be clear USS Anchorage, Vic is pissed because Prelude to Axanar was so good. He stormed out of the Prelude premier in San Diego and even those close to him told me he was pissed how good it was, because he thought HE was king of the hill.

    His anger has nothing with the lawsuit or guidelines, which has has chosen to ignore, so cleaerly not an issue for him.

  16. I have to say I’m a fan of both STC and Axanar – Prelude was incredible and left me jonesin’ for more and it’s a shame that it will not be made. STC is a great take on the latter part of the 5 year mission from TOS. Both have some incredible and talented actors. The main bulk of any ire I have is directed squarely at CBS/Paramount for their role in all of this.

    And, based on the new Discovery show I suspect the real reason Axanar was targeted is because it’s too close to what they are doing with Discovery. And the quality, based on Prelude and on the Discovery teasers, is not there with Discovery IMHO.

    I do have to agree that it seems like Vic Mignogna is being a bit hypocritical.

  17. My completely unsubstantiated two cents is this:

    When the setting for the (still) upcoming new Star Trek series was determined, that is what made Axanar the target.

    Someone at CBS went “oh s**t”, especially looking at Axanar’s production values and were worried that Axanar would “affect” their show.

    So the whole lawsuit thing came up to either delay or stop Axanar from getting made so their (still) upcoming show would be the only material out covering the time period.

    (The prologue staying on YouTube is a bit of a mystery maybe they forgot to try to take it down or maybe they tried and YouTube did not since it’s not owned by CBS/Paramount.)

    Anyway this is my wild tin-foil hat theory on WHY Axanar was singled out.

  18. Just incase none of the Star Trek Fans Productions have noticed, the Star Trek ‘FANS’ don’t really care about the back stage antics. Most of us are just hoping for a new episode. I hope no one gets sued anymore and hopefully we can see another great show. We are getting a lttle fed up of Alec and Vic having a pop at each other. If they want to impress ‘us fans’ it will be with the great work they do. Alec has a lot of catching up to on this point as we’ve had no real visal updates since ..frankly i just can’t remember ??

  19. Since my name was invoked here by Alec, and I’ve been alerted to that fact by a handful of folks who directed me to this…blog…, I’d like to offer my perspective in regard to events for which I was personally present, FWIW.

    I was one of the STC co-workers to whom Alec refers in this statement:
    “I have called him out on his lies to his face and embarrassed the hell out of him in front of his STC co-workers who knew I was right.”

    That’s not how I would characterize it. In my view (and at the time being personal friends of both Alec and Vic), what I observed is two people with differing recollections on events of the past, both equally convinced that their view was correct. I don’t recall any embarrassment or the sudden realization that there were lies revealed.

    As for ” I invited him to the Prelude to Axanar premier in 2014 at the urging of Lisa Hansell, Vic stormed out furious that we could make something so good.”

    I worked on Prelude and wanted to see the premiere, of course. I told Alec that I would be hanging out with Vic and several other STC people that evening and, knowing they weren’t bffs, I asked if I could invite Vic along. I neither urged Alec to agree nor cared tbh. Vic left during the Q and A afterward when I, who was seated next to him, reminded him that he had an interview appointment with Access Hollywood, so he quietly slipped out. He neither “stormed out” nor was “furious” at anything.

    And now back to my regularly scheduled day. 🙂

    1. Thanks for clarifying that, Lisa. And by the way–completely off topic–might I congratulate and thank both you and Tim Vittetoe on doing spectacular make-up work on a number of different fan productions. You are, by far, one of the best things to happen to fan films…ever.

      Just wanted to say that while I had the chance.

  20. I see a lot of people are jealous because Vic, James, John and countless other actually accomplished the ONE thing that Peters has yet to deliver – a completed work of Trek.
    In fact, I heard scuttlebutt from a friend of mine who was in a fan film that Peters contacted him privately one night and got up in his face online wondering why he’s even friends with him and told him that that he’s talking crap and yet he’s the one that goes on the major crybaby defense I might add that “I have helped more fans films than anyone” – Helped, HA! More like hurt. The golden age of fan films are DEAD and the fan films were doing just fine before Junior here had to start trouble with CBS/Paramount. Thank god – there are OTHER fan films that are worth my time. The Axanar is project is like the “would have been, could have been, should have been” ideas lingering in the dust. #CompletedFanFilm

      1. As they say in the trades, Prelude was a pilot. Even your people called it a pilot for an upcoming new web series or was it a movie. All I see is one singular presentation for the general public to see. I have seen Phase II with a series, STC with a series, Intrepid, Potemkin, Farragut, Exeter, Valiant – all multiple chapters. Even the audio series got you guys beat like Excelsior, Outpost, Valkyrie, Ranger. I am surprised yet not surprised no one has thought about going THAT route. To me, on a professional level – the Axanar is like that film good idea at first but execution is horrible. When people had time put down other productions and films that GOT the job done, they could have a script yesterday – well several months ago. (sighs) I guess I will wait ’til Axanar – the new double 15-minute film short under the new guidelines. Don’t get me wrong – Prelude was spectacular with its visual effects and sci-fi actors we grown accustomed to now its like that quote – “One Day or Day One”

        1. Prelude was never a pilot because Axanar was never meant to be a series. It was, as the title implies, a “Prelude.” And it has won more awards than all of those other series you mentioned combined. Just sayin…

          1. Winning awards is ONE thing and that praise should go the people who really worked on that series like Christian Gossett and the actors who made sci-fi much cooler – God Bless them you got them. Following-up on the success is another. Last time I checked, I don’t see any awards from Axanar won for a screenplay. Farragut has won that for “The Crossing”. Axanar didn’t win the the premier award honoring outstanding local, regional, and cable TV commercials known as the Telly Awards – STC won that. And one fan film was nominated for a Hugo for Best Dramatic Presentation, Short Form. I feel you know who got that one. Awards are good to boost the value but at the end of the day – can you top that? The other series have and done it without a million bucks, some without well-known guest stars and some with just fans bringing a story to life. I prefer a follow-up track than a one-hit wonder personally… just sayin’ 😉

          2. Actually, Prelude to Axanar was made for under a hundred thousand…which is pretty impressive.

            But they, thanks for making that list, Tom!

          3. I just LOVE that “Everything good about Axanar sprung from Christian Gossett” trope. It disrespects so many other people…..

          4. Personally, I think it was all Tobias Richter.

            Although Alex Bornstein’s music was amazing, too!

            Oh, and those performances by Tony Todd and Gary Graham…and Richard Hatch!

            And, well, the editing by Rob Burnett was top notch!

            Really good make-up, too. And costumes. And kudos to the DP for that lighting.

            And Tommy Kraft knocked it out of the park with his compositing.

            Yep…it was all Christian Gossett, all right!

      2. Peters didn’t write that script…that was the amazing work of Gossett and his crew.

        1. Hmmmm…never heard that rumor before.

          BTW, I just read Alec’s new script for episode 4…very promising start! There are some very cool scenes in there…most that I can’t wait to see on the screen. I think fans will be very pleased.

        2. To “Trekcorps”, I very much did write the script. The idea was mine, the story was mine, and the script was mine. Crhistian re-wrote portions of it (including, to his credit, Tony Todd’s speech) and then proceeded NOT to give Richard Hatch the changes, so when Richard showed up, he didn’t have half his dialogue. Yeah, that is a good director right there.

          Let’s be clear, Christian Gossett was carried by the rest of the team, especially Rob Burnett and Bing Bailey. Christian didn’t do half the work a director is supposed to do, almost never went to the edit room to work with Rob, and ultimately left Axanar because he refuses to do the work he agreed to do.

          Of course, you have no clue what you are talking about, which is kind of par for the course for the detractors. Rob Burnett, Bing Bailey or Diana Kingsbury will back me up.

  21. Let me say up front that I’m not a fan of Fan Films. All of them that I’ve seen are basically fans playing dress up. Filmmaking requires more than enthusiasm, it requires talent. And not just acting talent. Writing, directing, cinematography, and a host of other things are needed.

    That being said, thank you for a refreshingly honest article.

    As a lifelong fan of Star Trek, Axanar was the first Fan Film I saw that looked like something I’d actually be interested in watching, and for that reason I completely understand why CBS freaked out. Axanar was literally light years ahead of any other Star Trek fan film out there, and probably set the bar too high for CBS’s upcoming series.

    1. I think of most fan films like high school musicals. No, I’m not seeing “Hamilton” on Broadway…and I go into it with that expectation.

      But having been involved in the production of two different fan series and one fan film, I know how much time and effort goes into producing even the crappiest, lamest fan film. Sure, there’s a whole other tier when you’re talking STC, NV, Renegades, Axanar, and Horizon. But just as I don’t fault a little league baseball team for not being as good as their major league counterparts, neither do I judge the low-budget fan productions by the standards of the big budget professional ones. It’s not simply fans playing dress up. If I didn’t believe that, I wouldn’t be spending so much time on this blog.

      1. Absolutely, and on that note I think some fan film egos got bruised when Axanar used the term “professional” in the technical sense; involving professionals who do this for a living vs. the colloquial meaning “well done”. That’s when I noticed people really getting their tail in a twist and attacking Axanar for this perceived slight. Axanar’s supposed crime has more to do with them publicly setting a very high standard for themselves and all that entails, good or ill.

  22. Lisa, the recollection wasn’t different. At that Thai restaurant you and Todd arranged so we could “bury the hatchet”, Vic said he NEVER said a bad word about me to ANYONE, and I confronted him about his 45 minute phone rant to Ralph Miller when Ralph appeared in a photo with me from the Renegades shoot on Facebook. We all sat there and watched Vic lie about that and me call him out on it. And I SPECIFICALLY addressed this lie with Todd Haberkorn after and how Vic refuses to acknowledge his lies. He, like Donald Trump, lives in a world where he can say anything and then claim he never said it.

    And when Vic “left”, the Prelude premier, he immediately started calling people we all know and complaining about Prelude to Axanar and how I “embezzled” money because Prelude couldn’t possibly cost $ 70,000 and he could film it in his garage. That’s jealousy pure and simple. It’s also defamation.

    I called both Lisa and Todd about his behavior and was basically told “We can’t do anything about the way Vic acts”.

    That being said, I like STC and think it is a very well done production on many levels. I have nothing against anyone on that team except Vic.

  23. The author of this article and Alec are amazing. You are trying to drag everyone down with you! They didn’t sue Vic because he wasn’t making profit, period. They would have. This wasn’t about quality because STCs quality and adherence to canon is impeccable – arguably better than his competition. I believe it is better. For any of you to go public with this argument is just your denying your own culpability for your own reputations sake. You are better than that…. or perhaps you aren’t.

    1. Hey, author here. You’re welcome to call me Jonathan or Jon or Jonny (or Yanni…as my old boss at the Jet Propulsion Lab used to call me). Not as thrilled with “Slow Lane,” but hey, knock yourself out. 🙂

      Anyway, as I said elsewhere, this isn’t about STC getting sued or not getting sued. They still could be sued, by the way. Remember, I’m comparing STC 2017 to Axanar 2015…and Alec didn’t see a lawsuit on his desk until just before New Years.

      This is simply about owning up to a decision. Vic has decided–for better or worse–to release four episodes which violate five of the guidelines. And at the same time, he is complaining about Alec Peters violating an unwritten guideline two years ago. That’s just hypocrisy. Anything else–profit, infringement, storming out, jealously, whatever–is irrelevant. The point today is just owning up to one’s choices.

  24. Jonathan,

    Thanks for taking this up in a way that few could.

    If Vic is going to violate CBS’s guidelines, then he should be upfront about the fact that he’s doing it and why… And If there is a special CBS dispensation to finish his show. I for one would like to see it.

    Vic of all people should be right here on the front lines championing both fan films and the people who want to make them.

    But Honestly the problem isn’t with Vic or Alec. The problem is with the guidelines. I think the one Universal Constant here is that we’d like to See STC Axanar, and everybody else make the films they want to make. It’s not so much the prohibition on actors that’s a problem it’s the prohibition on people like electricians and carpenters. Or those who want to work digitally but need access to a pro studio. with all the Bells and whistles, or access to cinematography people. This should really be no problem for CBS/P as everyone should be entitled to a safe working environment. And everyone should be able to make the best fan film they possibly can. Under the guidelines as it is. No Professionals can be employed/paid.

    Speaking as a former 80’s metal bassist I can tell you that when your singer hires, a 15 year old kid who loads your flash pots with black powder instead of flash powder it can put a real damper on The Battle of the Bands, and your chances of winning… (true story) Thankfully no one was hurt.

    So if Uncle Phil miss wires that phaser bank, and it burns down the garage. don’t say I didn’t warn ya.

  25. Beyond all the other exaggerations that Vic continues to state as “fact,” the one that burns me the most is his insistence that Alec was out for profit with Axanar and that even if there had not been a suit against Alec and the production, Alec would have been looking to make a profit.

    The financials were provided to the donors and all the expenses went towards the production of Axanar. When the suit happened and lasted over an extended period, the money was, unfortunately, used up trying to maintain the space for the Axanar production.

    The only, perhaps, questionable step that the team that Alec lead was the decision to consider a venture where the studio space would be rented to other small productions. Yet, even then, the stated goal was not for profit, but for payment of rent of the space and any equipment that the studio had on hand that a renting production wanted to access. This is in-line with non-profit organizations. So, using this as the crux of the argument for why CBS/Paramount sued Alec/Axanar is one that should be set aside as unfounded in law.

    Although not entirely philanthropic, it was a concept to allow those new to the field of film production and productions that could not afford other studio space the opportunity to bring their vision to life, and that is a wonderful goal. To have been completely philanthropic Alec would have to have paid all expenses and allowed free access to the space and any associated equipment, and that is not a requirement for a non-profit.

    Regarding taking a salary by Alec; it is still the case that all non-profit organization pays its employees (not its volunteers). Consider Goodwill and similar non-profits. Yes, there are (and have to be) volunteers to make the non-profit functional; but, if you think that the entire organization is run by volunteers, take a good look at their tax filings which (at least in Canada) are publicly accessible (some on-line). You’ll find many a person at each location that are paid, and that the managers, and upwards, are indeed paid. In fact in most of these organizations some of the C-level executives are paid very well indeed!

    So the tact that Alec was looking to make a profit for himself is ridiculous. Without any other employment-based income a (approx.) $34K “salary” over more than a year isn’t enough — definitely in California — to consider “grand theft” as is implied by many detractors. There most certainly isn’t the type of cash involved here that C-level execs make at non-profits. But, even then that $34K was reimbursed by Alec. If you must to call it something (and this is a stretch), call it a short-term loan.

    Furthermore, payment to actors, as Jonathan indicates, is a requirement of the actor’s membership in the Screen Actors Guild. There is nothing to say that the actor must request more than scale for the work; that is a negotiation between the actor and the production. Obviously, Vic finds no issue with paying professional actors and production staff, nor are other productions (Star Trek fan-based or other fan-based content), so why “rip a new one” when Alec is willing to do the same? He didn’t do it first (so has not set the precedent), and he, obviously, won’t/isn’t the last to pay professional actors.

    The number of volunteers for both STC and Axanar is/was high, and shows how much desire their is to see these productions reach fruition; and on an on-going basis. Other fan-based productions also have volunteers excited about each production they are involved in; so, Axanar wasn’t a “pay-to-play” venture in any stretch of the imagination. Nor are STC or any other fan-based production that I’m aware of.

    The “anger” that various fans have is being improperly directed. Although CBS/Paramount are the undisputed owners of the copyright for Star Trek, their attitude/approach to the Axanar production was unwarranted under the described circumstances. Their guidelines — yes one can ignore guidelines, but at “your own peril” — are, in some cases, draconian; yet others are common sense, and I don’t think that any reasonable individual can find fault with those particular guidelines.

    So, if there is some “entity” that the fandom wants to direct their disgruntled feelings towards, it is not those that are interested; now, in the past, or in the future; in producing fan-based content in the Star Trek ‘universe.’ Calm assessment of the guidelines and how to constructively show CBS/Paramount that their “golden child” is safe with “us” while allowing an “adjustment” to the more restrictive guidelines is a better way to spend that energy. That may come through interactive means (discussions with CBS/Paramount with a single representative that is the focal point for the fan’s feelings), or through what Vic is doing (less attractive method) of pushing the bounds to see how far CBS/Paramount will allow the rules to be stretched (not flaunted!).

    We may never get CBS/Paramount to reconsider their current stance, which would be unfortunate for both parties; but, to not even try presents a defeatist attitude. One that I don’t think most fans have.

    So, don’t take sides with Alec or Vic, or any other “faction.” Instead redirect your efforts to a discussion within groups on how to “ply” CBS/Paramount with sincerity towards respecting their copyright while obtaining looser guidelines that still respect their property yet provide a “playground” for those within the fandom with a vision they want to share.

    1. Outstanding, Rick. That was much better than the comment I was preparing to make: “If Alec and company were setting out to pocket the money, they kind of sucked at it.” 🙂

      1. Yep. Worst…embezzlement…ever! You’re not supposed to LOSE money when you try to scam people! 🙂

        That’s kinda the best argument that Axanar wasn’t a scam.

  26. I would say that there is also an additional factor as of why STC was sued and is the fact that C***B*S*/Para****mount have decided to embrace the Kelvin aesthetics as the canon for Start Trek otherwise, had they embraced an STOS aesthetics for the new series, you can bet STC would have been sued to death.

    The studios are full of truly incompetent people that are futilely trying to stop the passage of time, productions like L5, Axanar, Horizon, IronSky have proved that if you have a group of tech savvy individuals dedicated to a project, they can achieve on pennies-budget a level of quality that puts them high up with productions with 100’s of times more budget… and this will keep on repeating itself. On top of it, they have managed to alienate a significant fraction of the fandom, which are the ones that have kept the franchise valuable after so much neglect.

    I think the path chosen by Vic has been bad for fan productions, as instead of offering a unified set of support against the studios, he has fragmented it and polarized, debilitating the star trek fandom overall.

    I love STC, I love Axanar, Horizon and many others that have shown better script writing and quality than what C*B*S*/P*Mount have managed to provide in over a decade -compared to ‘in to darkness’ even the worst Voyager episodes are watchable- and to be honest, I have stopped having any interest in any official ST production but I would have had STC, Horizon, Axanar siding together rather than split appart.

  27. Jonathan,

    I don’t really know how to say this in a manner that you, Alec and most of the Axanar supporters will understand so just listen I’m not trying to be harsh (well maybe a tiny bit):

    1. STC & Vic are not getting any sort of special treatment by the studios. They are being treated in a manner that shows that when they respect the studios they are rewarded in kind. It’s clearly a concept that Alec failed and continues to see. That is why he is bitter towards Vic and anyone who speaks negatively of him.

    2. Axanar and Alec may have started with very good intents, yet over the course of time his delusions of having more actual talent than he actually possesses. Alec can bring people together but he can’t actually create anything on his own. He knows this and gets upset with other that do infact have talent because it makes him look inferior to others.

    3. He knew he was going to get sued because he kept running his mouth and wouldn’t be quiet.

    4. If he had done what he said what he was going to do i hey could have had this done..

    Enjoy 😉

    1. Obviously, Alec didn’t know he was going to be sued. As for the rest of your statements, well, I don’t agree with them either. But #3 is just, well, illogical. If Alec knew he was going to be sued, he would have contacted the studios before it happened to try to figure out a way forward. Indeed, he was doing that anyway. So no, what you said just doesn’t make sense, Charles.

      And again, another reader misses the point. This isn’t about who got sued, it’s about Vic trying to sell a story where he and Alec both go against the studios’ wishes, but somehow it’s okay if Vic does it and not okay if Alec does it.

      1. Actually it’s about reputations.

        In order to have good reputation one must state what he is going to do then follow through with that. < That's how a good reputation is established.

        To establish a bad reputation you make goals you set forward to do them and only compete some of them. When other see the individual is NOT following through, he can become side tracked into doing other goals that will in fact stand out to people who are not in the inner circle.

        When you Jonathan a know supporter of Alec's address this issue, you can not let your personal bias get in the way. Yes I do think you are trying to be fair in your own mind, yet you have a very hard time doing so. I'm not being mean or anything, yet maybe some introspective will help you.

        Maybe you need someone who totally non biased to do these blogs/editorials/reports as we the fans on the whole are passionate about Star Trek.

        1. “Maybe you need someone who totally non biased to do these blogs/editorials/reports as we the fans on the whole are passionate about Star Trek.”

          You realize I work for free, right? Most other people don’t. 🙂

        2. So, if I understand this line of logic, I can draw the following conclusions…..

          1) It’s okay to be a hypocrite if people like you

          2) Opinion Editorials should be written by people who have no opinions

          1. Dave,

            I mean actually have some one who doesn’t know of fan films or is connected to any side of the story do the editorials.

            An student studying journalism in college would be ideal.

            That way they are fair and honest from both sides.

          2. Bax, that is the antithesis of an opinion editorial. Jonathan is expressing his opinion, as is his right to do. After all, this IS his website! If you feel it should be done differently, then do it yourself. I certainly won’t stop you.

          3. Others who have disagreed with me have gone on to create their own fan film blogs, so Charles is welcome to do the same. In fact, maybe he can find one of those college interns to write the blogs for him! 🙂

  28. Vincent, I wish we all could get along. We try and work with everyone and you would think that would be everyone’s take. But sadly it isn’t. James Cawley, to his credit, was happy to share his sets, while Vic refused to let anyone near his. Cawley wanted to see lots of fan films, as we do. And we hope we will get fans to come to use our sets as Starbase Studios did. That was the perfect example of the way to do it right. They built a set and everyone could come use it. Hats off to them.

    I was one of the biggest donors to Horizon, because what Tommy did was impressive. And I love what John Atkin has been trying to do in resurrecting Yorktown and offered to help in any way we can. Now THAT film will be an amazing piece of history.

    But look, this isn’t a profession, and no one is getting paid (much). So if you are going to volunteer, or work cheap, you have the luxury of working for people you WANT to work with. One challenge is you work with people who are either fans with little skill but a ton of enthusiasm, or professionals who maybe love Star Trek, but often they have a hard time dealing with all the amateurs. Star Trek New Voyages was a revolving door of professionals who worked on the show and then left because they couldn’t deal with one thing or another. STC lost some very high profile pros for the same reason. And sometimes you have people you, as a producer, don’t want back. Getting people to actually do what they commit to do as a volunteer is often very hard.

    The pros respect when you leave them alone to do what they do well. Both Kirks didn’t learn that lesson, and in their desire to control everything, drove away really good people. Delegation and empowerment go a long way. You can’t control everything. You want to play the Captain? Don’t write, direct and produce as well. That is one reason why I gave up the role of Garth for the feature film. You can’t do everything.

    I wish we could all sit down and work together, but that will never happen. What you can do is find other fans films who share your passion and enthusiasm, and work with them. I love Nick Cook from Intrepid, Greg Locke from Star Trek Ambush, Vance Owen from Melbourne or the whole team at First Frontier. I will do anything for those guys. They are solid people who love Star Trek and get that all the Internet stone throwing bullshit is not Star Trek. Its about the love for Trek. I mean, does Vic get how un-Kirk-like his behavior is? (Although maybe very Shatner-like).

    The new studio (sponsored by Other World Computing) is all about making great stuff. And that means any fan film that wants to use it can. We are following the Starbase Studios model and hope we can work with everyone who wants to make their own dream project.

    Because ultimately, helping others is VERY Star Trek. (See City on the Edge of Forever).


  29. I think this comment section needs to read the link posted by James to the “New Yorker” article. I would also agree that Vic needs to own up to now being the one flagrantly thumbing his nose at Paramount/CBS.

    Honestly, both Vic and Alec come across as arrogant people–but so was Gene Roddenberry. Don’t care. I’ll watch the final four STC episodes, I’ll watch what Axanar we get in the end. Silly me, separating the art from the artist…

    But now I (good naturedly and teasingly) call out Johnathan Lane for having it both ways. “Shat” is a past tense form of “shit,” thus is not an acceptable substitute. 😉 That’s just a load a cow-pie!

    So, anyone else looking forward to “Farragut: Homecoming?”

    1. I am very much looking forward to Farragut’s final episode. Where the heck is it, Broughton??? 🙂

      As for “shat,” that’s just me poking fun at Bill Shatner. But yes, it’s a past tense of the verb. That said, it isn’t typically seen as one of the seven words you can’t say on television (of which only three are left, I think!). 🙂

      1. How deep is this pile of bovine excremental going to be. Alec finish Axanar if you do it within Studio guidelines, great. Vic, hope to see and watch your product, and hope the way of your path clears the lawsuit minefield and you exit the scene unscathed. Jonathan, thanks, keep encouraging fan film makers to cajole, plead, annoy, call, text, type, or employ any other means to get the Studio to loosen the tourniquet so Star Trek fan films can live long and hopefully even prosper ( not in the Ferenghi sense)

      2. Well, of course it’s poking fun at the Shat! Shoot!

        I’m pretty sure four of the list are still taboo, but I’m specifically thinking network. 😀

  30. So, we’re getting 12 episodes of Continues instead of 11? If that’s right, then, that’s AWESOME!!… P 🙂

  31. As a fan of Prelude to Axanar, STC (all the episodes) and New Voyages I am disheartened at the cheap shots that have been taken at each other at various times, however; I understand that creative people which the heads of all three of these productions are, tend to get very protective of their work. I have met Alec one time and found him to be outgoing, hardworking and totally dedicated to his vision yet very approachable to his fans/volunteers. I think he has received the short end of the stick and instead of sticking together the other productions left him hanging to take the heat while they continue to do their thing whatever form that takes at present. Big businesses ie; Studios, for instance, tend to warn those who annoy them trusting that it will serve to stop the behavior or actions they find objectionable. The telling thing to me is that big businesses, again ie; Studios tend to take direct action against those who they feel threatened by. So they were not annoyed that Alec spent money how he did, or that he made a fan film, they were afraid of the fact he made a quality film, lined up support and financial backing like a Boss and then opened a studio. I think the combination of these factors frightened them and they reacted badly to this perceived threat. But that quality though and the actors that were putting out great performances was something they couldn’t get done on such a small scale or found that it was easier to crush this perceived competition rather than rein it in or acknowledge it. Like Mr. Lane, I wish anyone who makes good fan made Star Trek the best of luck, just don’t throw someone under the bus for working hard on their vision for a Trek project.

  32. Regards James Cawley’s ‘museum’, I think it should be noted that Star Trek; Phase II shut down production before James opened up his exhibit. Thus, at least imo, James’s exhibit has nothing to do with the fan film fracas save in as much as noting the history of how it began. I don’t personally know James nor have I had the opportunity to visit his studios but I suspect he’s made licensing agreements with TPTB.

    1. Yes, James Cawley licensed his set tour with CBS Consumer Products. I’m not sure if that license precludes him from allowing fan productions to shoot there or not, but NV/P2 id shut down, and no other fan films seem to be filming on those marvelous sets…both of which are a shame.

  33. Well, if it seems not to be fair for the actions of a person to have another person pursue him for his wrong doing, the person is quite entitled to do so.

    But at the end of the day, it is not our decision in if it is fair or not. It is between to two people involved and we can only watch from the grandstand the outcome.

  34. I think this is more a matter of obeying the spirit of the guidelines rather than the letter, and I wouldn’t be surprised if CBS sees it the same way. While it may be true that the latest episodes were not in post-production when the guidelines were announced, I think the combination of STC’s verified non-profit status and the fact that the donations for future episodes had already been received made it almost mandatory for the STC cast and crew to make as many episodes with those remaining donations as possible. Does that negate this editorial’s premise of hypocrisy? Not entirely; but perhaps it can add some perspective.

  35. Well, the shame is on CBS, because the “Star Trek” films by JJ Abrams are far, far away from Gene Roddenberry point of view since they are action movies vaguely sci-fi. Vic Mignogna’s Star Trek Continues is way better and he really captured the Star Trek feeling I personnaly enjoyed with TOS.
    Please CBS, if you want to forbid or censor other star trek ideas, start having some.

  36. Jonathan, as ever, you have your AlecGoggles on. Vic has explained this on multiple occasions. You just refuse to accept the answer.

    The money raised for the remaining STC episodes was raised pre-guidelines. Vic chose to keep his commitment to his donors and complete the episodes promised as best he could. Did this break the guidelines? Yes, and Vic said that if CBS told him to stop he would. But Vic felt it was worth the risk to do what he said he was going to do without additional fundraising.

    As for your calculation of STC profits, I’ll leave that to the actual accountants. The fact is STC has actual non-profit status while Alec has been “doing the paperwork” for more than a year. I’ll believe it when I see it.

    When it comes to veracity, I’ll believe Vic. He has a proven track record of following through on his commitments and keeping his promises. The money people donated is showing up on the screen as 11 hours of great Trek. Contrast that with Alec Peters who changes his stories, moves the goalposts, and spent $1.4 million on a 5 minute scene, unfinished sets, and a warehouse rental. Who are you gong to believe?

    Your loyalty to Alec is admirable, but misplaced.

    1. Another customer completely missing the point. Was I that unclear, or are you simply trying to distract and confuse?

      I have no problem with STC violating the guidelines–whatever their stated reason. Even you have admitted that they are violating the guidelines. I’m simply saying that, if Vic is making the decision to violate guidelines, then it is hypocritical for him to complain that Alec Peters, two years ago, violated the one (unofficial) guideline in place at the time. Pot/kettle. Just that.

      1. Apples and oranges. Vic is meeting commitments he made to donors pre-guidelines and breaking some of those guidelines in the process. Alec broke the one rule for fan films in order to enrich himself. Who has the moral high ground here?

        1. Alec was meeting commitments he made to donors pre-guidelines, as well. Filming was scheduled to begin in February, 2016 (I had already cleared my schedule to take an auction winner of a VIP set visit out the Vasquez Rocks on February 13), the sets were nearly complete, the studio ready to shoot in…all because the donors had contributed their money specifically to those things–a studio and the first third of a 90-minute fan film. Apples to apples from where I’m sitting.

          nd of course, as we all know by now, Alec came out of all of this six-figures into the hole of financial losses…so he didn’t enrich himself at all. In fact, he empoored himself! 🙂

          1. Alec’s financial mismanagement isn’t an excuse for his intent to make a profit, as shown in the court documents. If he had made good decisions maybe he wouldn’t be in the hole and we’d have a film. (This is the part where Alec responds by blaming Christian and/or the lawsuit for his own poor judgement).

          2. And yet there wasn’t any financial mismanagement. There was a lawsuit that shut down production for a year while the rent still had to be paid. Bug zll the financial planning in the world can’t anticipate a year-long lawsuit. And before you say, “Well, he should have known he would get sued!” can you tell me with 100% certainty that Vic Mignogna won’t get sued? 100% certainty? You are THAT sure? Wow.

            The fact is that we all plan as best we can, but life can throw us curve-balls…and then we deal with those.

            With the gift of hindsight, could better decisions have been made by Alec Peters? Sure. I should have sold all my tech stocks in 1999 and bought them all again in 2003. That wasn’t financial mismanagement on my part, it was bad luck.

          3. And yet there was financial mismanagement. As I stated in a different reply, Alec had the money to make the full film for a year and a half before he got sued and all we got was the Vulcan scene. Go look back at the original Kickstarter. At $600K+ he had almost all of the money originally budgeted and planned a 3 week filming schedule. Instead he tried to build a studio. Financial mismanagement and scope creep at its core.

          4. That’s not financial mismanagement. Scope creep perhaps. But not financial mismanagement. That Vulcan scene brought in another $575,000. No mismanagement there. Just the opposite, in fact!

          5. Look at the timeline. If Alec had managed the money properly he wouldn’t have needed the second fundraiser.

          6. Ah, I get it: you think small. When the first Axanar Kickstarter blew past the initial goal, Alec and the team reevaluated what was possible. I’m certain the creators of the Fidget Spinner aren’t sticking to their original business plan either.

            Again, not financial mismanagement. But I await your next attempt to try to make it LOOK like financial mismanagement because I can tell you really don’t want to be wrong. I know; I don’t want to be wrong either. The advantage I have, however, is that I’m right. 🙂

    2. Well, that illustrates nicely the justification Vic is using for violating the guidelines. However, it is still a justification. And, as you say Jonathan, misses the point. Given that this is Chris Condon, it doesn’t surprise me much, as he is long on making assertions, yet walks away when shown the proof he’s wrong.

  37. Odd, left a long comment yesterday… and it never posted. I’ll give the synopsis then of my long post.

    Donated to both STC and Axanar; twice each. So, I am a fan of what STC is and a fan of what Axanar could have been (and might still be, but never the way that it was going to be).

    One thing about STC, they funded three vignettes and Pilgrim of Eternity themselves (using the Starship Farragut sets that they later bought and expanded). So far, they have given the fans and donors everything that they said they were going to give them.

    Here’s the deal though (IMHO): no one cared about some hardcore Star Trek fans making episodes from a 1960s era TV show. Compare that to Axanar raising a million dollars, for just the first part of the Axanar film, and building a studio, and calling it a fan film made by professionals (etc etc). I think if Alec had taken the initial $600,000+ from the first Axanar fundraiser and gone and shot on the New Voyages sets, like they considered, then none of us are having this conversation right now. There would probably be no guidelines and no lawsuit and there would be an Axanar movie (granted a different movie than Alec envisioned but the movie would be out there).

    I think the vision and scope of the Axanar project got too big for CBS/P to ignore. If they successfully funded all the parts of Axanar, you were looking at a $2 million movie that is in the Star Trek universe that CBS/P owns. Because, if CBS/P did not do something with Axanar, what would happen if the next person who came around raised $3 million? Unlikely? Sure. Impossible? No. At some point though, owners will put their foot down and say enough is enough. You’ve crossed the invisible line that we never told you about.

    As a fan, I am disappointed that we will not see the movie that Alec wanted to show us. With hardcore Star Trek fans like Alec, Bill Hunt, and Robert Meyer Burnett (and others) behind it, I am sure it would have been pretty cool.

    So, it is easy to sit here, with hindsight, and say that mistakes were made. No doubt there are things Alec wished he would have done different. Happens to all of us. Sorry it did not work out, but hopefully the Prelude continuations are great.

    Lastly, can we stop with the mudslinging? I don’t care who started it. Don’t we have enough of that in politics right now?

    1. Sorry about your previous comment not posting, Eric. I’ve been approving everything as fast as I can when I’m at my computer and not off doing the deeds of life! So far, no comment has gotten trashed, so I’m not sure what happened to yours. My apologies.

    1. So, tell me Alec. I posted a reply on this site (copied below) and you would not publish it. Same as many replies that many of us have posted for years. You selectively choose. And, as an attorney, haven’t you yet learned the lesson of “less is more,” and being quiet. I would have to believe that so many people are angry at you because of your defensive and arrogant tone.

  38. Folks,

    I have a different take on why STAR TREK CONTINUES is allowed to flourish while AXANAR was sued…

    Yes, it did come out in deposition “The Vulcan Scene” proved the potential for a fan production to muster the talent and resources to directly challenge the studio in terms of providing new TREK content which might absolutely cause confusion in the marketplace. But STAR TREK CONTINUES, which I’ve quite enjoyed when the writing was good (“Lolani” and “Come Not Between the Dragons”), will NEVER cause confusion in the marketplace, because, for as good as the production is, NO ONE will ever confuse CONTINUES with TOS. Shatner, Nimoy and Dee Kelly aren’t in it.

    “The Vulcan Scene,” however, has Gary Graham reprising Soval, in canon, 80 years after he was last seen in ENTERPRISE. As a casual viewer, if you just watched that scene, how could you possibly be expected to know it wasn’t from an official episode or film? That was the single objection to AXANAR…if the entire feature film was made such quality on display, the Rubicon would’ve been crossed…and the line between “official” and “fan-made” TREK would’ve been blurred forever.

    The amount of money generated by the AXANAR project was a surprise to everyone involved. Like most of us, our interest in participating had nothing at all to do with money. To me, I saw it as yet another cool personal project, like building a model starship, or penning an essay for an upcoming book, something I do for personal enjoyment and satisfaction. I wanted to make a STAR TREK feature film, because I knew I’d probably never be involved in creating official TREK, so AXANAR, beginning with PRELUDE, was the next best thing.

      1. Ahhhhh, now I see where you got it from Jonny!

        As Rob says above:
        “Yes, it did come out in deposition “The Vulcan Scene” proved the potential for a fan production to muster the talent and resources to directly challenge the studio in terms of providing new TREK content which might absolutely cause confusion in the marketplace.”

        That is not “quality” that’s called brand confusion and simply copyright infringement. By continuing the narrative that “Axanar was sued over quality” you get to rally the troops with the battle cry of “Axanar was sued because it was too good!”. It’s the difference between a subjective opinion and substantial similarity.

        Alec wasn’t sued because the Vulcan scene was too good, he was sued because it looked too much like studio Trek. Those are VERY different things.

        1. “Alec wasn’t sued because the Vulcan scene was too good, he was sued because it looked too much like studio Trek. Those are VERY different things.”

          Ooooo! I see what you did there, Sandy-man! VERY clever. You managed to sneak in an insult to CBS and Paramount by saying that studio-produced Trek isn’t good so therefore neither is Axanar. Very droll. Good use of sarcasm there.

          Of course, since the studio doesn’t believe that they are producing crap, if they perceive Axanar as looking too similar to their own product, then yes, they were suing over what they perceived as quality.

          But really good zinger at both CBS/Paramount AND Axanar, there. I am sure both studios and Alec Peters himself are feeling the sting of your great wit.

          1. You have a knack for putting words into people’s mouths Jonny, that’s for sure. That’s not what I was saying and you know it.

            You and other AxaFans are confusing the noun “quality” with the adjective. Yes, the Vulcan scene possesses the “qualities” (noun) of Star Trek but was not sued due to the “quality” (adjective) of the production. This is second grade stuff here, I thought you would have known the difference.

            Some might argue that it’s just semantics, but it’s the difference between something being “similar” as opposed to “good”.

            For easy reference:

            the standard of something as measured against other things of a similar kind.

            of good quality; excellent.
            “he’s a quality player”

          2. Nice try with the semantic argument there, Curly Boy. I’m sure it plays great with your fellow Axamonitarians when you dive into that particular echo chamber to get cheered, but not so much in the real world.

            So, if we take the noun definition you give, then that means the studios judged it against their product (which they would rightly consider the highest standard) to give an evaluation of how “good” it was against what they could produce. That is the exact opposite of what you’re trying to argue. Think I’m wrong? Try looking at the synonyms for that definition: “synonyms: standard, grade, class, caliber, condition, character, nature, form, rank, value, level; sort, type, kind, variety”. Almost all of those speak to some sort of judgement taken upon a thing when measured against something else.

            Perhaps, though you are thinking of this definition of Quality: “a distinctive attribute or characteristic possessed by someone or something”. In that sense, the Vulcan Scene does possess a Star Trek “quality”. But then, so does any other fan film, from Project Potempkin to STC and all points between. They all possess that quality, and they are all also copyright infringement. Nothing about Axanar stands out from the others on that count.

            So, again, nice try, but you’re waaaaaaay off target!

  39. Perhaps Lisa Hensel can clear this up.

    1. The Photos with Him as Kirk is Gratis. And he charges for the Autograph?
    2. Is the photo with him as Kirk in any way licensed by CBS?
    3. If so is there a fee paid to CBS for using the STAR TREK Logo?
    4. Is it the same story with the other photo’s containing logo and licensed characters?
    5 If licensing fees are not paid to CBS how are these not Fakes, Forgeries, knock-offs, Rip offs?
    6. If no fee is paid to CBS then how is he not profiting from their IP?

    1. As I said in an earlier reply, it’s been suggested that Vic at least meet with a trademark attorney to get some advice on this matter. (Erin Ranahan is due in four weeks and will be out on maternity leave, but Winston & Strawn has a number of excellent IP lawyers.) Obviously, none of us fans can properly advise Vic…and your last two questions can’t really be answered by the lay person.

  40. And to Chris Condon, the $ 1.4M also got Prelude to Axanar (generally considered the best Star Trek fan film ever), which you detractors love to ignore. And the whole reason we didn’t make the feature is the lawsuit. You love ignoring that too.

    We have a whole team of industry and business professionals behind Axanar. People with a lot more credibility than any of you detractors, none of whom has ever proven any skill at anything other than stalking Axanar online.

    1. Well, the title of “best” goes to Horizon if YouTube views are any indication, but that is a matter of opinion.

      All of us donors looked at the $100K or so it took to make Prelude and said, “Great! Make more!” We gave you another $1.3 million to do it. The scope changed and the goalposts moved but we nodded our heads and figured that you knew what you were doing. But you didn’t, did you? Because any other fan film maker I know of with that kind of cash may have actually made a film. With that track record of failure you have a lot of nerve to criticize Vic, who has kept his promises and put our donations on the screen.

      I’m not a detractor. I’m a donor, and I’m holding you to account.

        1. I always love the “Let’s pretend the lawsuit didn’t happen” aspect of this…..

          1. I haven’t forgotten, Dave. It’s just irrelevant. Alec raised $630K on Kickstarter in August of 2014 to make the complete Axanar film. He stated it would take 3 weeks to film. A YEAR later we got the Vulcan scene, essentially created as a fundraising video for the Indiegogo campaign.

            In that year with that kind of money Vic could have built sets and filmed maybe 3-5 episodes of STC. Instead Alec used the money donated to make Axanar to lease a warehouse and try to convert it into a for-profit studio.

            “We were 30 days from filming” is the “We have always been at war with Eastasia” of the Axapologists.

          2. It should be noted that Vic, also, leases a warehouse and that all of his sets except for engineering and the planet set were already completed before STC filmed its first episode.

            In that way, it’s not really an apples-to-apples comparison.

          3. Chris, if it was “irrelevant”, then why did you bring them up in the first place? Those two things you put forth as examples of how Alec’s answers “didn’t hold water”. I disproved one, and challenged you to bring proof of the second. Instead you left that group to head back to hang with your other Axamonitarians and say how it was like “talking to a brick wall”. Personally, I’ve never seen brick walls put together detailed timelines like I did, but then I never indulged in hallucinogens when I was young, either…..

            So, instead of asserting something is wrong (like you do again here), why not reply substantively and tell how my timeline is wrong?

      1. At an average of 11 minutes per view, is it wise to put much stock in the total number of views for Horizon?

        But since we’re talking about subjects that have nothing to do with the point of this article, when are you going to admit I shot down your “half-built sets collecting dust” argument, Condon? Also, you still haven’t told me whether or not Gossett had done a cost analysis to back up his assertion that shooting on the NV sets was cost prohibitive.

        1. How do you know it’s an average of 11 minutes per Horizon view? Isn’t it more likely that most people are viewing the whole movie and the rest are just bots upping the view count but lowering the average?

          1. The average comes from dividing the total time played by the number of viewers. I’m pretty sure it’s bots driving the viewership up, and that’s pretty much my point: I wouldn’t trust that Horizon has actually has over 6 million views.

          2. Is there any way to know for sure? I realize that this has been an accusation floating around for years that the Horizon views are falsely inflated, but is there a way to show that it’s actually happening? Or are we limited to just innuendo?

          3. I myself can’t say. I’m not trying to cast aspersions on Horizon or Tommy, because I really like him and his film. I do not know if someone is paying for a bot to inflate the numbers. All I can say with certainty is that there haven’t really been 6 million views of Horizon if the average viewing time is 11 minutes.

          4. Well, there’s either been 6 million views of 11 minutes each (in which case, yeesh!!!–that’s not exactly a ringing endorsement of the film!) or a smaller number of full viewings and a lot of bots.

            If I were Tommy Kraft, I think I’d be rooting for the bot explanation. 🙂

    2. With the amount of time you have taken replying to “distractors”, “haters”, discredit other fans films and their creators and those who you seem to say are “unprefessional”. You could have two, fifteen minute Axanar episodes by now and you would have the best response to the negativity.

      1. As Alec told me recently, it is possible to walk and chew gum at the same time. Also, Alec has been fairly quiet over the past few weeks as he’s been working on his first draft scripts. If anything, my editorial brought him out of “hibernation” temporarily. But he is focusing a lot of time and energy right now on script writing. Just understand that, even if Alec stayed off of social media completely, Axanar would not be done by now. It’s only been five months since the settlement, and most fan films on the level of Axanar take 1 to 2 years to complete.

  41. Hi.. I just saw Alec re-post your fine article here and left a comment for him on his board. It is likely it will be moderated out so I wanted to post it here. Here is how I addressed Alec’s bashing of others again…
    I have to tell you that I think you are so far off base it is incredible. First mistake – STNV didn’t make a set for profit. They had a set they made and used for fan films, and when YOUR actions made them question the use of it for future films they shut it down. It was at that point they went to CBS to license it for a profit. Why not, they had it. A true lemonade out of lemon scenario.

    Second error/misleading comment – STC had raised the money and owed it to people to produce three episodes. While they were not in production at the time of the guidelines, the money had been raised and committed and they were not in the habit of spending that money on themselves (like others did – who you ask???). The are shutting down right after so as to not throw it in CBS’s face. By the way, where is the money that “we” all paid you? Ummmm?????

    Both Vic and James have been very gracious to fans, including me and including critiques of their work. You on the other hand have edited everyone out, or blocked them when they have been critical. I’m sure this won’t get posted either so no one but you will see it. I will however get my message across to you.

    1. Oh, I’m happy to approve it. But again, you completely missed the point…which was, if you’re curious, Vic’s hypocrisy. (Why are so many detractors not getting that??? Everyone else is!)

      BTW, knowing what I know about licensing (I worked for Trek licensing as a consultant for 8 years), NV didn’t shut down and then go seek a license all after the guidelines were announced. There simply wasn’t time (three weeks) to cross all the T’s and dot all the I’s. Licensing deals take months to work out. So James Cawley was likely on the path to getting a license for his set tour LONG before the guidelines were announced.

      But you are correct, his sets were not built initially for profit. They were built to make a fan film…as were Alec’s. And like Alec, James Cawley likely hasn’t really seen actual profit. I know what James is paying monthly for rent, and in the time that the tour has been open, ticket prices began at $22 and are now listed as between $11 and $78. I wish James well, but I suspect that, most months, his sales aren’t covering his rent, utilities, and upkeep.

  42. Unfortunately, it seems that this particular chapter of the forum has devolved into a “he said, she said” situation where neither side is even listening at this point. It is interesting to note the amount of selective hearing going on…when several things are mentioned in a post and only 25% of the things in said post are addressed.

    Regardless, what was one person’s editorial article has turned into mudslinging, unsubstantiated claims, aggressive commentary, and quite honestly, falsehoods.

    I appreciate any support towards STC, of course – and towards my involvement in the project, but there are a lot of raw feelings permeating this minefield of a situation. Fan productions, at least where the Federation of Planets is concerned, seem to have become war zones where lines are clearly drawn, IDIC has no power, and people have turned against the companies that officially keep the Star Trek franchise alive – as is their legal and paid for right to do…in any way they see fit.

    We may not always agree on how CBS/P should handle their business, but guess what? We don’t have to take on that burden…cause it ISN’T our business. And if I were a betting man…I’d say that there are powers that be that very aware of everything in the world of fan productions…sometimes, silence speaks volumes. On certain subjects.

    Hope to see some folks at the remaining premieres of our episodes all over the country. Thank you for those of you who support us publicly and privately. Its because of your support as well as a grand respect for the legacy of Star Trek that has been maintained for all these years that we are able to get to the finish line and accomplish what few web series of any kind have been able to do: complete our vision.

    1. I’m right there with you, Todd. I knew I might be potentially stirring the pot by writing this editorial (although I really hoped for less vitriol and rhetoric), but I thought it was an important point to bring up about the pot/kettle thing.

      That said, I think the hornets were already buzzing and just waiting for a chance to start stinging again. In fact, they tend to sting each other even when there aren’t obvious “fight clubs” like this blog. Although I don’t bother visiting the detractor groups anymore, and seems to be MIA, the anger is still out there on both sides…as is evidenced by Vic’s recent interview comments and even in some of the pro-Axanar groups, as well.

      Like you, Todd, I would much prefer for everyone to just get along. Both STC and Axanar are excellent examples of fan films at their finest! And I’m happy and excited to see more of both of them…even if the end is near for each production. Star Trek itself only had three seasons before cancellation…and for many years, those 79 episodes were all we had (and they were a cherished gift!). So too are STC’s eight (and soon to be eleven) episodes. I plan to show them to my son Jayden after we wrap up TOS season 3 and the animateds because, as far as I’m concerned, you guys are cannon. And I want Jayden to see how the five-year mission ends before we get to the Motion Picture.

      I only wish more folks would be as enthusiastic about both productions.

    2. Todd… Great reply and thank you and your team graciously for all that you’ve done. Great work!

  43. And David, the CBS licensed Set Tour was in process BEFORE the lawsuit hit. James admitted it on Facebook. So your statement, and James now revision of history is total bullshit. Everyone knows James wanted out of Fan Films, as he told myself and others many times, including when we were at his sets shooting our “Heroes” vignette, in Nov. of 2015.

    So enough of the victim status that James is trying to cultivate.

  44. You indeed entered into a bit of a maelstrom here, Jonathan. 🙂 I am saddened by the whole mess with Axanar, the CBS lawsuit, etc. I really like all of the ST fan films I have seen, especially those done by Jim, Vic, and Alec. I hope that Alec is able to move forward and get his follow on films (or at least one of them) done by the end of 2017. I would like to watch it. 🙂

    1. Don’t rush it. I want to see it, too, but so far, only the first draft of episode 4’s script is finished. I read it. It’s a very strong start. But now comes the notes from various folks, edits and rewrites, discussions, more edits and re-writes. Lather, rinse, repeat. That’s pretty standard in the industry.

      Remember, Alec and the team get only one shot to make two 15-minute episodes. While it would be awesome to see something this year, I personally wouldn’t expect it. And before anyone says “Hey, how long does it take to make a 15-minute fan film?”–I donated to Starship Farragut’s finale episode “Homecoming” 18 months ago, and it’s still not done, and fans have been waiting for Pacific 201 for more than two years. First Frontier was filmed in mid-2015 and will hopefully be released within a two-year turnaround. Renegades filmed a year ago and is releasing its conclusion next month. So if Alec only just completed his first draft of the first part revised 15-minute script, we should be realistic with our expectations.

  45. the last fundraiser New Voyages did was to complete the Engine Room, and to make their layout be an exact replica of the way the sets were laid out When Star Trek was being made by Desilu.

    This was like right around and I think after the lawsuit hit.

    The pitch was that they would then be making more fan films. But obviously that didn’t So if James Cawley knew that he was giving up fan films. In favor of creating an officially licensed set tour. Isn’t that fraud?

    I tried a couple of times today to find it but apparently it’s been taken down. If anyone has a link to it I’d like to watch it again. In light of what we know now.

    1. I actually believe that James planned to make the engine room long before he burned out on fan films. So I don’t think the Kickstarter should be considered a fraud. And to be honest, all Kickstarters are risks. The Kickstarter site itself says the following:

      “…backers must understand that Kickstarter is not a store. When you back a project, you’re helping to create something new — not ordering something that already exists. There’s a chance something could happen that prevents the creator from being able to finish the project as promised. If a creator is absolutely unable to complete the project and fulfill rewards, they must make every reasonable effort to find another way of bringing the project to a satisfying conclusion for their backers.”

      In James Cawley’s case, he has opened up his sets to the general public. No, it’s not what he promised, but neither did he just pocket the money and run. He made a “reasonable effort to find another way of bringing the project to a satisfying conclusion for their backers.” Now, maybe it wasn’t as satisfying as some people would have liked, but James Cawley was never legally obligated to deliver what was described in the campaign.

  46. As a proud support of the many crowd funding campaigns. I think CBS really blew a great opportunity to cash in on a project. That they could have profited off of. The outpouring of fan support and funding. Showed just how well received the movie really was. They could have easily asked for script input and a percentage of profits made. Possibly, even been the vehicle to take it to the big screen and to dvd/bluray sales. Instead of wasting money on lawsuits. They could have created a new avenue to revenue for themselves. While still controlling the quality and use of their product. but, not incurring the cost of production or time. It just seems that they were very short sighted. I will not say. That I agree with all the things that were done. but, I stand behind Axanar.

  47. Jonathan, as a big fan of STC and long-time ST fan (saw it live in the 60’s as a kid) I get your hypocrisy point and I agree. If you are going to ignore the fan guidelines, don’t bash others who do the same as you and ignore OTHER guidelines. It doesn’t matter which guidelines you ignore, you are still ignoring them! Frankly I wish Vic would just stop mentioning Axanar at all and focus on the great work he is doing!!!!!

  48. Well that was interesting to read. While everyone seemed to miss the point of the posting, and delved into the usual “this is why alec got sued” retorts, i noticed “our friend” C.E. Baxter bring up “reputation, and how “having a good one” is so important.

    Actually, this is a commonly made mistake. I tell people the following every time I get asked about whether or not I care what people think of me.

    I say “there are two things that define us as humans, one is character, the other is reputation. Reputation is how others view us, while character is how we view ourselves. Only you get to decide which one you feel is the important one”

    I am sure there are people who think vic has a bad reputation, and i am sure there are many who think alec has a good one as well. How they view themselves is way more important in the long run of things.

  49. Jonathan Lane,
    Thank you for your blog, quite informative. Despite some people’s strong opinion of the issues and your statement of pointing out Vic’s hypocrisies, I think it’s great you’re open to allow us to express our thoughts. Could the venom displayed by Vic is because this fan-film ventures are coming to an end, and Alec was and still is an easy target to blame?

    From my point of view, I don’t think Alec and his team did anything wrong, and although he has made some statements about Trek’s quality of storytelling at the time; I think he was stating what most critics were saying, and assuring supporters his project would not make similar errors in narrative. I have to admit, Prelude to Axanar was The Undiscovered Country for me; it was scary to think a fan film could look like THAT, and for me was terrified of the thought it could be the beginning of other films competing with what Hollywood could do?

    In retrospect, I think Axanar proved with a great team of minds and supporters, we can make anything we put our minds to, and understanding what Star Trek fans want. Material which we’ll embrace, NOT RECON, the history and stories we know but update them to our era. Starship Exeter’s The Tressaurian Intersection, to me, is still the best Trek fan film I’ve ever seen, and Axanar would’ve been a game changer if nothing was altered.

    Thank you for your support for fan films and this blog,


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