Why one AXANAR detractor is now a FORMER Axanar detractor! (audio interview)

Some call them “haters.”  I call them “detractors.”  Any way you slice it, though, they are the Captain Ahabs and Khans of the fan film community.  They will chase ALEC PETERS ’round the moons of Nibia and ’round the Antares Maelstrom and ’round perdition’s flames before they ever let go of their anger and resentment for him and his fan project AXANAR.

And their wrath and indignation aren’t simply reserved for Alec himself but also for anyone who supports him and his production, anyone who stands up to defend him, and in fact anyone who has any connection to him and Axanar whatsoever…real or perceived.

Sometimes, the detractors just insult people, call them names, and/or create a few snarky memes.  Sometimes it’s angry tweets and posts on Facebook.  But occasionally it goes beyond that to attempts to sabotage people in social media through reports to Facebook and the like, online threats, or even interfering with people’s livelihoods.  Such a thing happened the week before last…and I wouldn’t have even known about it had not a member of Carlos Pedraza’ AXAMONITOR Facebook group contacted me privately to share his newfound concerns and disgust for the group.

I personally stopped visiting the Axamonitor Facebook group (and any other lingering detractor echo-chambers) many, many months ago.  It was a waste of my time, as the petty nastiness and cruel vulgarity in those groups was frankly nauseating.  And it wasn’t just the insults against Alec (or me).  These guys often turned venomously on each other, and the moderators had to frequently warn members to be respectful of other members (just not respectful of any Axanar supporters).

So when JOES DIAZ sent me an IM request on Facebook on Superbowl Sunday morning, I had no idea who he was or what had happened in the Axamonitor group.  When I found out, I was pretty disgusted myself…although not entirely surprised.

As we messaged back and forth, I asked Joe if he felt strongly enough about this incident, and about his fellow detractors, that he might want to do an interview to share his story.  He said yes, and the next day, we had the following very eye-opening discussion…

I can imagine how the detractors will react to this interview.  But maybe, just maybe, a few of them might hear Joe’s words and begin to realize that hating on Axanar and Alec Peters won’t solve anything…and perhaps it’s finally time to just settle down and move on.

41 thoughts on “Why one AXANAR detractor is now a FORMER Axanar detractor! (audio interview)”

  1. I have given up posting on these group pages because of hate & ignorance. They may speak the words of the Vulcan IDIC, Infinite Diversity in Infinite Combinations but don’t understand the meaning of these words. I gave a lot of money (for me) to Axanar for the film to be made with the full knowledge that nothing may come of it, (A chance I took) but I had hope & I still do, that the film will be still made at some time. If not so be it, life still goes on. Hate is a waste of energy & builds nothing only destroys what may be. Hating ALEC PETERS & his dream is the past,( & I never did) has no right to be in the present, as all the hate still cannot change what has happened. Logic dictates that nothing is real but within the mind & is a waste of time & energy clinging to an illusion. Something else that people should learn & understand “Structure, logic, function, control – a structure cannot stand without a foundation, logic is the foundation of function, function is the essence of control. I am in control – I am in control.” A little more logic & control with a little less of the “I” & the “Emotions” we all would get on a lot better! Live Long & Prosper……

  2. I don’t need to listen. I’m one of the people Joe had a disagreement with until the post was deleted.

    It actually had nothing to do with Peters directly for a change. Someone posted a picture of an Axanar branded model kit of a Vulcan ship asking how it was legal to sell them. After a number of comments establishing that Peters wasn’t selling them and it was the person who made them originally selling them.

    The thread then moved onto a debate about the “garage modelling community” and their obvious copyright infringement and if it was/should be acceptable. Joe was staunchly defending this community and couldn’t accept that others felt this was infringement and shouldn’t be allowed. There were others that were also firmly on his side.

    It’s too bad the thread got deleted because you would have been able to see how irrational Joe got and how he started attacking anyone who had a problem with garage model kit makers. He called it an “industry” several times and yet couldn’t understand why people might have a problem with someone making money off of someone else’s IP.

    1. This is the problem there is too much “emotions” & not enough “logic.” Everyone wants to force their way & ideology on to others which then inflames the ego to the point that all logic is lost. People read & understand the written word within the emotional state at that moment in time; this colors how they will respond. Thus things can get out of hand very fast.

  3. Those who have read Moby Dick know what happened to Captain Ahab and the crew that followed him. (Hint: the whale is still out there.)

  4. Like Mr. Diaz, I really enjoyed Prelude (purchased a retro backer kit to boot). Like him as well (I suspect), I backed the larger Axanar movie project. Unlike him, I don’t think I have the gravitas as an outsider to be either a detractor or hater, although I will state also that I too respect Carlos Pedraza. I think an adult conversation can be had as to how $1.6 million was used in the project, bracketing off personal polemics (you know, like how investors would evaluate a small startup that has received such funding). I regard both Jonathan and Carlos as more knowledgeable about Axanar’s balance sheet than myself, but I gather that such documentation as is publicly available appears to be not equivalent to what a million dollar project would produce for its supporters in the business world. If I am in error in this statement, I’ll be more than glad to stand corrected by published evidence. As much as I enjoy these fan films, and would welcome two more of them, perhaps an adult conversation should also be had as to whether an additional $200K should be injected by we fans into the two mini-Axanars (let potential backers decide it; if they say yes, so be it). No doubt one or two fans, or Mr. Peters himself, could self-fund the 2 films at whatever level they wished and be Guidelines-observant as best as I understand them. Carlos Pedraza once responded to a somewhat tongue-in-check quip that I made about this hobby having a thermo-nuclear level of personal invective; he typed that such invective was a byproduct of how talented and creative minds worked to produce something. I fear that this side-effect is the Alpha-Omega bomb (to steal plot shamelessly from another sci-fi franchise) that will blow this hobby to smithereens despite the hobby now having two studios to use (snatching defeat from the jaws of victory?). Hopefully Jonathan can inject some optimism to balance my somber musings.

    1. “Hopefully Jonathan can inject some optimism to balance my somber musings.”

      I don’t have to, C.W. Reality will do it for me. 🙂

      Seriously, though, take a look at the 30-plus fan films of Vance Major, the continuing productions of Project Potemkin. and tomorrow I have an interview with Aaron Vanderkley about his latest NX-01 era fan film “Good Men.” Of course, Axanar is still to come, but so is Pacific 201, First Frontier, the finale of Starship Farragut…oh, and a trailer that’s gonna drop this Friday that is gonna blow your mind.

      Fan films as a hobby are alive and well, C.W. Sure, the guidelines have probably ended the 6- and 7-figure “professional” fan films for good, but those were always the outliers anyway. Sure, they were awesome to watch, but CBS and Paramount do have the right to protect their intellectual property for another six decades or so. And at least fans now know what’s allowed and what isn’t. We can still push the envelope within those guidelines (most fan films never raised more than $50K or went over 30 minutes anyway). And to be honest, we can push the envelope beyond those guidelines and roll the dice, too. They are, after all (as many have said) only guidelines.

      But yeah, Trek fan films are alive and well, my friend. Trust me…I’ve got more than enough to write about!!! 🙂

    1. I stand corrected. Of course, that’s not the message of the interview. You folks are toxic, Sandy, and your members began threatening the livelihoods of the garage kitters for no reason other than you decided, arbitrarily, that you were to be the guardians of copyright enforcement and needed to stop these evildoers from making a living. I actually checked, and simply making add-ons to licensed products is not considered infringement of either copyright or trademark (which is probably why the industry has allowed it for decades). But even if it were illegal, that’s for CBS and the licensees to enforce, not a bunch of pissy Trekkers with an Ax to grind.

      And let’s face it, the only reason the garages kitters even got onto your radar was because one guy was making an Axanar ship. It’s like stepping on a land mine with you guys!

      Of course, the main point of the interview (which you didn’t listen to) wasn’t simply about your reaction to the garage kitters but how there is so much pure, venomous hatred in your group(s)….and for what??? The lawsuit is settled. No one won, no one lost. The money is spent, and arguing over how it was spent won’t change anything that happened. Axanar will either be made or it won’t be made. Period. Nothing you guys do or say will affect that either. So all you’re doing is…what exactly? Hating not just on a single person but on anyone whom you perceive has any positive connection with him or his project. Carlos even tried this past week to exploit the tragedy of the death of Alec’s former landlord at the age of 54, leaving two children, as a way to keep the “controversy” of Industry Studios going for yet another blog post. My God, people, it’s time to move on! I mean, can you guys possibly find any way to sink lower????

      No wait, stupid question. I know you will.

      1. Move on? Like you are? Seriously?

        If you really moved on you wouldn’t bother posting this “story”.

        You mention the livelihood of garage kitters, so you agree they’re making money selling unlicensed merchandise. This particular subject isn’t about Axanar for me, it’s about IP infringement. Any site or ad I see that is selling unlicensed merch gets reported. I no longer buy anything unless I can confirm it’s a licensed product. No one should be selling anything they don’t have a license for. Simple as that. It’s then up to the copyright owners to decide what to do after that. If they choose to ignore it then that’s their choice.

        The landlord story is actual news. It’s a tragedy he died so young and left a family. It’s news because it shows how he was unable to rent out the warehouse even with its “improvements” and news because it’s now even more unlikely that Peters will be able to shoot there or any cash will be funnelled back to Axanar to reimburse what was donated as Peters promised. There is nothing “low” about reporting that.

        1. Sandy, you are a piece of work, dude!

          The garage kitters are selling unlicenceable merchandise, not unlicensed merchandise. CBS can’t license intellectual property it does not own. For example, look at this garage kit:

          https://starshipmodeler.biz/shop/index.cfm/product/6001_38/12500-orion-class-type-vi—dreadnaught-conversion-for-amt.html

          CBS owns the USS Enterprise NCC-1701-D and its likeness. It owns the Nebula-class. It does not, nor would any court allow them, to own all possible variations of a saucer section and warp nacelles. That’s not even copyright but rather trademark, since it’s an image. And trademarks are very specific. CBS could no more license the “Orion” class than it could license a model kit of a Saturn V rocket.

          As for Alec’s previous landlord, Danny Luh, Danny owned several industrial properties worth millions (more likely tens of millions) of dollars if sold. The improvements Alec made to the facility included new office space, new walls and carpets, wiring for phone and internet, security system, new electrical system (much higher capacity than previously), new A/C in the office area, the lighting grid in the soundstage, soundproofed floor and elephant doors, and of course, the giant green screens. All of those things are very valuable improvements to the property. Plus Alec paid Danny nearly $350,000 in rent over the course of 29 months.

          The reason Danny wasn’t able to rent out the studio is not because it’s “unfinished,” but because its location 34.5 miles from Los Angeles is a bit of a schlep, and Valencia is still trying to cement its reputation as “Hollywood North.” The industry isn’t quite there yet, and so Industry Studios, or Luh Studios, was fighting a headwind that likely will begin to dissipate a bit over the coming years as the Valencia and Santa Clarita Chambers of Commerce put more resources into marketing their cities as a cost-effective alternative to filming closer to L.A.

          Had Danny wanted to finish soundproofing the facility, he could have done so for about $40,000. Alternately, he could have easily torn down the green screens and converted the property back into a straight industrial warehouse. In fact, the partial soundproofing would have been a strong selling (leasing) point for anyone wanting to use the warehouse area as a showroom. The building was used as an industrial showroom prior to Alec renting it, by the way. Having a showroom that muffles most of the noise from passing trucks in the industrial center’s parking lot is a definite plus.

          As for using the Valencia green screen eventually for Axanar, that was originally the plan when things were still in flux. However, it’s beginning to look like all of the production might be able to happen in Georgia, as there are many, many resources for the film industry in that state and Alec has made a lot of wonderful connections there. While there was an advantage to having low-cost access to the giant green screen in southern California, there’s also cost savings in not having to pay to fly people across the country from Georgia. If a green screen facility can be rented in Georgia for less than the price of travel plus low-cost rental in California, then that’s a good business decision.

          What was “low” in the reporting of the story by Carlos was the failure to mention everything I just said (Carlos loves to cherry pick the facts he presents). So the implication is that Alec somehow screwed over Danny Luh and his poor family by saddling them with an “unrentable” studio facility, leaving these unfortunate people begging for money to cover their funeral expenses…leaving out the fact that Danny owned millions (possibly tens of millions) of dollars worth of commercial real estate in the Valencia and Santa Clarita areas, most of it currently leased and generating cashflow in the form of monthly rent from tenants.

          So yeah…low.

          1. I there goes Mr. Greenjeans missing the point again……maybe he likes having his foreskin rubbed bliddy by the endless circle-jerk tuat is Axamonitor.

            And is that really the spin Chuckie put on the landlord’s death? How deplorable!

          2. Dave, please keep the criticisms at a less vulgar level. Although you haven’t violated any of my rules (so no warning), you’re making me consider writing a new rule. You’re allowed to disagree with Sandy, but please do so without sinking down into the gutter. Remember, that’s where I’m accusing THEM of being. WE’RE the ones holding the high ground. Don’t make it difficult for me to defend that statement.

          3. You do realize that will not be heard, don’t you, Jonathan?
            I’m sure Greenberg (we’re on a last name basis at his insistance) is doing the equivalent of putting his fingers in his ears and going “LA LA LAAA I CAN’T HEAR YOU!”
            He, nor Pedraza, nor anyone else in the upper echelon of the hater battalion are incapable of moving on. Pedraza will wring ever bit out of AxaMonitor that he can, Chris Condon will play with his silly little “Garth of Izar” Twitter page, and Greenberg will go on thinking he’s some kind of hero warning fans about the dangers of Alec Peters.
            Pathetic.

          4. Well, I’m assuming that not many of them are reading or listening, but about a thousand other people did so far (and climbing). The more people I talk to about the detractors, the more I realize how truly isolated they are from fandom…and getting more isolated by the day. Folks like Joe, who was a member of the group for a year, and Vance Major, who hung out on some of their groups observing for a time, have now officially cut the cord, disgusted by what they see there.

            And I’m beginning to realize an ironic truth. The detractors have created such a negative impression of themselves by everyone who is not, well, themselves, that they’re actually making Alec Peters look more sympathetic! It’s true. Alec’s star is beginning to rise again–slowly, quietly, but steadily–as more people look at how vile his “adversaries” are. Franklin D. Roosevelt famously said, “I ask you to judge me by the enemies I have made.” (Of course, FDR’s main enemy was Hitler.) Anyway, Alec can pretty much use the same quote.

            So when people who aren’t detractors (or are on the fence) come here and see the post that Sandy so graciously provided with his, as you say, “LA LA LAAA I CAN’T HEAR YOU!”–and when they listen to the actual interview–they begin to understand that, yeah, it’s really these anti-Axanar people who are rather sad and pathetic in their unending obsession with trying to destroy Alec and harping on the same tired old arguments that stopped being relevant over a year ago.

            So no, this blog isn’t intended for the hard-core detractors. They’re essentially a lost cause. But not every detractor is so far gone. Some might still be able to be rescued from the dark side.

          5. It’s not the choice of phraseology, Dave, so much as the imagery. Yes, it’s an echo-chamber, but I’d rather not picture the other image you’re creating. It’s pretty crude, and crude is something THEY do. I don’t do crude. 🙂

          6. As Kirk once said: “What does God need with a starship?”. It begs the question. And I’m not an AxaNut or fan of these guys. But I’d really want you to explain this to me. Why would a multi-millionnaire household need 25,000$ from GoFundMe crowdfunding for the funeral expenses? If they don’t need the cash, why are they doing it?

          7. An excellent question. My guess is that Danny might have been involved with the renovation of one or more of his properties at the moment, and therefore short on cashflow. Although rent is coming in (unless his properties are all vacant, which is certainly not Alec’s fault), there are also ongoing expenses such as property taxes, electrical, and maintenance fees. Obviously, his family can sell any one of Danny’s buildings and have millions of dollars in their pocket…even after taxes. But you can’t sell a building (or buildings) overnight, and funeral expenses are rather immediate.

            So don’t think that I’m calling this GoFundMe a scam or anything. But Danny’s family being tight on cash at the moment is by no means Alec Peters’ fault or responsibility and has nothing to do with the Axanar project. Were Danny that desperate to rent out the Industry Studios space because he was going bankrupt–and it wasn’t renting as a studio-then rip out the green screens and rent it as an industrial warehouse again. The cost to rip down the green screen is probably less than a thousand dollars, including the price of hauling away the wood.

          8. Jonathan, if I may use this metaphor: My Mom used to always say “Never get into a pissing contest with a skunk.” (Hopefully that imagery is OK for this blog)

            Danny Luh was a big boy. Alec didn’t “force” him to do anything with the Valencia studio. Danny made a contract. It was his decision. His choice. His property. No gun was held to his head. How can that POSSIBLY be blamed on Alec?!?!?!?

            Gaah. Don’t feed the black-and-white kitty. . . .

      2. Jonathan Lane….. In life we all have choices of our actions. Some people love to live in the past & at the slightest provocation will vomit up all the times they have been in their judgement, hurt. They are so full of their judgement of what should be or not be. If truth be told none of these haters are innocent of any crimes. They all have broken some law or rule as it is human nature to rebel, push limits. Their emotions keeps them in the past & in a state of toxic HURT. It festers, eats away at them till they can’t stop judging people & things however tenuous the connection is to the original hurt! It’s not logical but a choice that is made by them. Belief is dangerous if you don’t understand that it’s not fact but tied to an emotion. They go on about Alex & Axanar as if he did a major crime against humanity, all he wanted was to share his dream. It’s not him stuck in the past verbally attacking & threatening people, it’s all the hate that a lot of people choose to cling to.

        Move on! There is a whole universe out outside of Axanar to explore, learn to enjoy it…..

        1. The irony for the detractors is that, legally, Alec committed no crime whatsoever regarding Axanar! Copyright infringement requires a court judgement to be considered a legally liable act. There was never any such judgement. In fact, CBS and Paramount are now allowing Alec to utilize their intellectual property based on a mutually-agreed-upon settlement. As for spending the Axanar donations unwisely, there was nothing illegal about that either. They were donations, not investments. Alec could have taken the million dollars and bought three Ferraris and that wouldn’t have been illegal. It would have been a crappy thing to do, but it wouldn’t have been illegal. It would be no more illegal than if you handed a homeless person a $5 bill to go get a sandwich and instead they go to the nearest liquor store and buy a six-pack.

          The fact is that Alec tried very hard to spend that money in the best way he thought possible to get his production completed for the donors. He failed (so far), but no one can say he didn’t TRY…and try VERY hard!

          1. Jonathan Lane…..EXACTLY! If hate was water these detractors, haters would have drown us all! So why is there a need to hate so much as there is no benefit in such an act. It would be such a miserable world without the dream makers like Alec.

            I was first drawn to Star Trek because of it’s dream of unity, people, aliens of all shapes colors working together for the common good. I hope that those that followed Star Trek were more civilized than most, & followed the same dream but no, they are still living within their egos & negative emotions that do nothing but hurt…..The message of Star Trek has been lost….

      3. not true…………. winners CBS/Paramount losers …………..trek fans

        Just finished watching season one of discovery …there’s the real reason for the lawsuit and the Cough cough guidelines they rewrote and will continue to rewrite the rich history of STOS
        Axanar threatened that re-write

    2. Reading these comments and the original post is a bit strange for me.
      I ran into Pedraza on FB about two years ago when I began noticing that Pedraza would attempt to bust the momentum that Vic Mignogna and the Star Trek Continues production needed for their own fan film work.
      Every time Vic would post a comment to Facebook or to the web in support of something happening at Star Trek Continues, Pedraza et al would attempt to flood Trek space with click-bait usually encouraging the user to click to Pedraza’s own Trek new blog. I concluded that Pedraza and the Facebook group were primarily intended to drive clicks and traffic to Pedraza’s own blog.
      At one point in the Facebook group I began challenging incorrect statements in the Facebook group. There was much discussion by Pedraza et al regarding the corporate IP litigation surrounding Axanar. These opinions were generally critical of CBS and Paramount and were largely ignorant of the issues surrounding fan film production. Pedraza, Wheeler, and others involved with New Voyages (including the late GaryS) were really vicious people who didn’t really care about facts. They’re only about posturing and vindictive behavior. I lost much interest in Star Trek after seeing how these people behave.

      1. Losing interest in Star Trek because of the way that the detractors are acting is, I think, like losing interest in the Olympics because the Russians are getting caught doping. In other words, you might be overshooting the mark. Yeah, these detractors are highly toxic beings, but they don’t represent all or even most of fandom. Indeed, they only represent about 800 people (if that), and there are millions of Trekkers in the world.

  5. Well, aside from your political comments, it’s refreshing to know not everyone is beyond a wake up call.
    Now, my response to you Jonathan, I would say, it would be equally scandalous for you progressives to say you “Love Donald Trump”! Or at least, you despise an evil, law breaking, lying, Hilary Clinton. And, do I need to remind you of the name calling Coming from you and others on the left? Seems hypocritical of you to continue these digs against Trump, yet this post is about “detractors” and their bad behavior? Don’t you think it’s bad form?

    1. Not really. I was using that as a hypothetical example. My own political opinions are, of course, my own. I typically keep them off of this blog, as the point of it is Star Trek fan films, something I am pretty sure nobody in the Federal government cares about. Obama might have, since he was a major Trekkie. But I doubt we’d be even a blip on the radar inside the Washington beltway. If the occasional political comment does sneak in, however, well, it’s still my blog, dude. 🙂

  6. Oh My Jonathan!!! Sounds like the haters may have picked the wrong weekend to quit sniffing glue!!

    Model Kit enhancements!?! Now that really is crossing the unwritten bylaws…Why that’s definitely some high level Shenanigans, going on there. Gee from the sound of it there may even be some Kit-Bashing involved.

    It’s time that the hens on both sides…. Figure out that the law suit is done. and SETTLED/Agreed to. IDK if Alec will actually get the Movie out or not. But having tribbles over stuff like this is just childish.

    Sure there’s anger to be angry about – But rather than directing it at Alec Peters, direct i where it needs to go CBS Corporate – they are the ones that torpedoed something that actually felt like star trek.

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