Continuing drama for STARBASE STUDIOS…and my departure

Sometimes no good deed goes unpunished.  When last I reported on STARBASE STUDIOS, things looked like they would finally work out.  An agreement that had been in negotiation for three arduous months had finally been agreed to and signed by all parties. The Starbase Studios lawsuit filed by Glen Wolfe was dropped, and it seemed like things could return to normal.

The new owners of the sets would be GLEN WOLFE (50%), SCOTT JOHNSON (25%), and GLENN MILLER (25%).  KENT EDWARDS would no longer own any part of the sets but would continue to be involved with Starbase Studios, LLC, and working with fan filmmakers.

Although the sets would remain in their current location in Marble Falls, Arkansas until the end of this year, after that, plans were that they would be moved into a fantastic new building with heat, A/C, electrical, and best of all, bathrooms!  Free rent would be provided by the building’s owners, Glen Wolfe and his wife, and fan productions going through Starbase Studios would be able to continue using the sets essentially for free.  It was looking like Starbase Studios had gotten through the rough waters and emerged safely on the other side of the river.

Yeah, well, don’t get out of the boat just yet, folks…

I woke up last Sunday morning to a series of IMs from VANCE MAJOR.  Although Vance has decided to step away from fan films right now, he still seems to be stuck in orbit around the gravity well that is Starbase Studios.  Vance had been contacted the previous evening by an irate Scott Johnson.  Scott was furious because he had discovered that certain fan film projects and producers would be banned from using the sets.  Here’s the conversation that Vance sent me (he’s the king of screen caps)…

Click to enlarge if you can’t read the text.

I know nothing of John Snow, but I am familiar with Defiant, Dominion, and Melbourne…and I knew that at least two of them are planning crowd-funding campaigns soon to finance filming new projects specifically on the Starbase Studios sets.  So this was certainly not good…if true.

However, knowing how often the stories change depending on whom I’m speaking to, I decided to go straight to the source and ask Glen Wolfe directly what the deal was with fan projects being banned from the sets.  His brief and to-the-point answer:

I do not know anything about this.

(Glen Wolfe is a man of few words, folks.)

After explaining in more detail what I had read from Scott’s IMs with Vance, Glen added some additional commentary on the situation:

Oh, well this is the first I have heard of it.

(I love those quick and direct posts!)

Now, I’d seen this movie many times before over the past few months—he said/he said moments where the stories coming from Scott and Glen were so divergent that I didn’t know what to believe!

Fortunately, we’d been able to navigate these rapids before by using a group chat that had been setup in the final weeks of negotiations on the contract.  So with the approval of Scott, who also seemed to want to get to the bottom of all of this, I posted the following message to the group chat (which included Scott, Glen, Kent Edwards, Glenn Miller, and Vance Major)…with the following responses:

You’ll notice a couple of interesting things in that exchange.  First, Vance Major left the chat group almost immediately.  He called me, though, to explain why.  His nerves are frazzled from having to deal with all of this consternation and bickering, and to be honest, I didn’t blame him.  Frankly, it’s been exhausting for me, as well, trying my best to keep everyone talking civilly to try to move forward and save Starbase Studios.  Vance earned his rest, though, as he’s been at this much longer than I have.

Second, you might have noticed that Glenn Miller left the conversation before I could post my response.  This might even be the first he’s seeing that I was actually following his wishes by leaving him out of the conversation with Scott and Glen Wolfe.  In the past, getting those two together has yielded the best results.  Glenn Miller might not be aware of that, as was never a part of the conversations I’d had with Scott, Kent, or Glen Wolfe.

Anyway, things rapidly went from bad to worse when I woke up Wednesday morning to find these additional two messages…

Oy vey…

As the father of a 7-year-old, I recognize temper tantrums when I see them coming.  Glen Wolfe’s comment sounded like he was planning to back out of his contractual commitments, although perhaps I was misunderstanding his meaning.  As for Kent, it’s kind of hard to keep the name of Starbase Studios out of discussions about the sets and their use by Starbase Studios, LLC (and productions working through them).

I decided that some stern words and tough love were in order.  Maybe that was the wrong call on my part, but I felt that someone needed to stand up and try to inject some civility into this…and remind everyone that 1) there is now a signed contract in play among the parties, and 2) there is financial incentive on both sides to make this work rather than try to blow it to pieces with righteous indignation.  So I posted this to the group chat…

Ready to pat myself on the back for that literary masterpiece, Scott Johnson informed me that I had failed to notice that Glen Wolfe had long since left the group chat.  Well, poo!

I needed to reach out to Glen directly to try to bring him back to the virtual discussion table.  But before I could do that, Glenn Miller posted the following blitzkrieg that, I have to say, pretty much stopped me in my tracks.  I’ll let all of you decide if I’d earned this shellacking:

So, yeah, that happened.

Some people have asked me why I got involved in this whole mess in the first place.  The answer is simple: I offered to help, and that offer was accepted.  It didn’t take much time for people on both sides to come to me as they had also been coming to Vance Major to help with negotiations and getting their desires down clearly in revised versions of the settlement agreement.  So in short, I was involved because I was asked to be.

Now I’d been told, in no uncertain terms, NOT to be involved anymore.  That’s fine.  I won’t force an outside mediator on folks who don’t want one.  It certainly wasn’t the nicest way to get “fired,” of course, but I’d get over it.

It only took about 17 hours for Scott and Glenn to contact me again.  They’d been reaching out to Glen Wolfe with threats to “go public” (whatever that means), and they messaged me on Thursday afternoon asking to talk on Friday (today) to “…bring you up to speed, and get your thoughts.”

I messaged back and forth with them for an hour or so before having to take my son home from the playground.  Scott and Glenn certainly have a whole bunch of grievances, and from what I’ve heard from Glen Wolfe, he really doesn’t want to deal with them any more in any way.

The question for me now is: do I want to deal with them anymore either?

It was a really exhausting three months of negotiations to get that settlement signed to drop the lawsuit and move forward.  The whole situation actually caused Vance to have some medical stress issues.  As for me, well, I didn’t have to deal with things for as long as Vance did.  But that final rant from Glenn Miller (the one I just included above) really left a bad taste in my mouth.

When Scott and Glenn asked me to come back and advise them, I copy-pasted Glenn’s harsh comments saying that he’d sent a pretty clear message.  Glenn’s response was:

“Fair enough, I was harsh on you Jonathan. But, you bruised me by first saying I wasn’t needed, and then later volunteering my resources. It was also you inquiring about information and I pretty much told you we ourselves were not clear on the situation.  I asked for a day or two to get things straight amongst ourselves before we talked to you.”

In other words, no actual apology from Glenn but rather a quick lead-in before explaining, once again, why Glenn was so pissed off at me.  Was it worth it to dive back into this raging water?  Truth to tell, I was actually close to deciding to do just that because I really care about Starbase Studios and want to help find a way for it to continue.

Then Vance called me.

I’d e-mailed a draft of this blog to him to ask for his advice.  Then I read him the more recent conversation with Scott and Glenn from Thursday afternoon.  Vance hadn’t been aware of Glenn’s rant, and Vance certainly didn’t feel that what Glenn wrote later was anything even close to the heartfelt apology that was called for.

In Vance’s opinion, he felt that my stepping away from this madness was not only totally justified but something I should do to keep my own sanity and self-respect.  Vance is stepping away completely, as well.  “Scott’s kerosene and Miller’s the match,” Vance told me over the phone.  “And Wolfe’s not entirely blameless either.”

Vance and I did what we could to bring the various sides together and settle their differences.  It was exhausting.  But in the end, if these three people—Scott, Glenn, and Glen—can’t learn on their own to put their egos aside, trust each other, be nice to each other, and work toward a common goal, then maybe they shouldn’t be in business together.

After hanging up the phone with Vance, I posted one final message to Scott and Glenn Miller before finishing up this blog and going to bed (which I’m about to do)…

“I wish you both luck trying to find a way to work things out with Glen. I truly do. I just can’t stay on board this shuttlecraft any longer.”

With luck, Starbase Studios will survive, live long, and prosper.  But this time, I’ll only be watching from a distance.  Sorry, folks.

38 thoughts on “Continuing drama for STARBASE STUDIOS…and my departure”

  1. Thank you for this information. It arrived upstream of my contributing a little money to one of the new projects. Elsewhere online a knowledgeable Trek fan film participant has expressed concern that new film proposals will face difficulty finding funding due to the, well, volatile nature of this hobby. I fear he’s hit the nail on the head. Perhaps the new films outside of the USA will have better (or at least more consistent) results.

    1. Don’t give up just yet. Vance’s and my departure might be just the kick in the asteroid these folks need to get past all of this conflict. Or not. We can simply keep our fingers crossed.

      1. Jonathan: To manuever about to an adult issue: You probably are already aware of the Kickstarter page problem that the team planning to make a film called The Holy Core is experiencing. This AM Gary O’Brien sent an email that stated that the film principals had contacted Kickstarter in order to repair the problem so as to allow potential donors access to the page. I regard this team’s previous film, Chance Encounter, as excellent.

          1. Jonathan: Chrome browser works flawlessly to access the Holy Core film’s KS page. In middle-aged fashion, I had been using an ancient version of IE, which apparently was the cause of my problem. Thanks much to Gary O’Brien for emails.

  2. TBH this has been one giant crap pile from day 1 .. Good call on walking away better things to do then to get stressed over a bunch of bickering thats why i walked away from a lot of things.

    1. I does take a lot to get me to walk away from stuff. I really do like to try to help people if I can. But sometimes, the boulder is just too big to push up the mountain without help, and I didn’t see it coming from anyone who was left.

  3. This is not good.

    It appears to me that Glenn has taken comments out of context, and gotten pissed off for no good reason. He offered to stay out to “gather his thoughts”, you obliged, then he got pissed because he felt you were dismissing him for no good reason.

    I don’t want to cast blame, or point fingers, because it most certainly looks as if there are too many egos getting hurt.

    I just hope everyone involved will see how this is giving fan films a black eye, when owners of sets can’t even see eye-to-eye over perceived differences.


  4. High school drama should stay in high school and away from Star Trek. Do Trek fans really need to be involved in the blow by blow?

    1. I’m not forcing anyone to read my blog, Edward. This actually wasn’t a blow-by-blow. There’s a large number of back-and-forth messages that I skipped over in order to provide a shorter blog. But yes, I did feel this blog needed to be shared specifically because, just a few short weeks ago, I’d reported on the “happy ending.” Now…not so happy. I didn’t want someone to say, “Hey, Lane, I thought you said they’d worked everything out. But I’m reading angry posts by nearly everyone involved. Are you sure you told us the truth?” Yes, I did…the truth at the time. Unfortunately, now that situation has changed.

  5. Well, it’s obvious someone was not telling the truth. But, what was missing, was any evidence of wrong doing of Wolfs part. Is the whole argument based on hearsay from outside parties? Did I miss something from this blog? Oh well, don’t worry about explaining it Jonathan, I too, believe you’ve gone the extra miles already.

    1. Glen Wolfe hasn’t been a complete saint in all of this either, David. Everyone has grievances, and many of them are justified. But that only goes so far. Eventually, people need to decide if they want these amazing sets to continue to be used by fans and, if so, what they are willing to compromise on in order to get there.

  6. I am not sure to understand what caused all this nonsense.
    Are parts of sets missing ?
    Who first told about the blacklist ?
    Peoples not talking can’t sort out such intricate situations, mostly if there is misunderstanding or lying involved.
    This situation is just a pity and will just lead to consider fanfilms as a source of troubles by rights owners. Please stop this !

    1. Yes, parts of the sets are still missing. Although Glen Wolfe is contractually obligated to make the sets whole again, there is no specific deadline indicated in the contract for him todo this. As for the “blacklist,” it’s not been confirmed to me that any such list actually existed in the first place.

  7. Jonathan, I am sorry, I love your blog, but, on this one, I believe you made a mistake… You were involved, and your envolvement had a time. And this time, you should not get envolved again….
    The one who screemed “Houston, we have a problem!”, was wrong in envolving you again, but you should know that… After all, you did worked with them in reaching an agreement…
    About the usage of the sets, they do have a contract and all that jazz, but, In the end of the day, it is their ball and they will choose who can play…. yes, that is sad, but it is true… but they, as in the people who signed the contract…
    And a piece of advice, next time someone tells you some hard trugh, don´t say it will look great at your blog… because, actually, looks really bad…

    any way, keep the good work, fight the good fight, and be happy

    1. My response to Glenn Miller was said as much in shock as anything else. I was hoping that, in knowing that there was a chance that his words might appear publicly on my blog, that Glenn might reconsider the way his words would make him sound to others. Had he responded, “Look, Jonathan, I’m sorry. That was harsh. I’d rather not air our dirty laundry on you blog…” I would have respected that request because an apology was, indeed, called for at that point. Instead, his response was more of an “I dare you.” So be it. Petty on my part? Perhaps. But without including my “firing,” it would be difficult to explain my sudden withdrawal from any involvement with this situation and these people. So I made my choice, for better or worse. If it was a mistake, it wouldn’t be my first and probably won’t be my last.

      1. A responsible journalist would have written a follow up article stating the signatories of the contract were still having issues, and working towards resolving them. I’d really love to hear your explanation, or spin on why I should be apologizing to you. First, you casually dismiss me saying I am not needed for YOUR discussions to solve MY problem. Then, a short time later, without having the courtesy to consult me or ask me, you graciously volunteer my money for another round of legal fights with Wolfe. Yes, I took offense to this, and heck, when you are volunteering to spend my money and I’ve never met you, I don’t think that qualifies as ego. I articulate my displeasure and anger with your handling of the situation, and YOUR response is to threaten me with publishing the conversation in YOUR blog? Meanwhile, you were portraying yourself to Scott and I as a neutral third party who’s only interest was to help by perhaps mediating between us and Wolfe. While the truth of the matter was that you had already received screen caps of a confidential text between Scott Johnson and Vance Majors, and had already been in contact with Wolfe, and was well aware of the situation. Now I’m mindful that privacy is an endangered species in this day and age. But Vance should be ashamed of himself, those exchanges were friend to friend ….. and one of them was very upset at the time. As to you, well, I have a whole list of adjectives. I’ll just say first thing they teach you in journalism class is answer the 5 W’s, and try to keep your opinions out of the story. Guess you missed class that day. And yes, this little soap opera you’ve created has done wonders in solving the problem of the future of the sets and Starbase studios.

        1. I’ll just publish Glenn’s comment here as written. I said what I needed to in the blog. If Glenn does’t feel an apology is warranted, I doubt I’d be able to explain it to him. My family and I are off for the rest of the weekend. So if you don’t see any more comments here, it’s simply because I won’t be able to review and post them until Sunday night or Monday.

        2. I see a big misunderstanding here with wrongs, mistakes and misunderstandings here, I hope you don’t mind my interpretation of what I see here:
          1) Misunderstanding/Mistake: Not clear what role Jonathan was attempting to play in the first message, i.e. as a journalist or carrying or as a mediator. Mediation works by consent by all parties involved, and thus a mediation role should not get assumed. Something like “Hey Guys, I have been hearing lots of different things from lots of different people and I think we need to clear the air. In the previous dispute I acted as a mediator between all parties involved to help to clear the air and I would like to volunteer my services again if you would like them. If so is there a time on Wed or Thu when we can have a group discussion to do so?”

          2a) Mistake: Jonathan saying to Glenn that Jonathan “really only needs Scott and Wolfe”. This looks like a huge mistake. I can’t work out why you said this, it felt like you *were* jumping the gun and violating Glenn’s wishes. As I read Glenn’s previous comment, he asked you specifically to not continue this conversation until he had spoken with Scott, but your words here Jonathan imply that you will have the conversation anyway, as you only need Scott and Wolfe to talk to each other. Without knowing the context I can appreciate how Glenn or anyone else for that matter, that you were speaking with your journalistic hat on rather than your mediator hat. Also Glenn had already said no conversation for another few days until he had had a chance to talk with Scott, this means whether journalistic hat or mediator hat, that you don’t have the required consent to continue until Glenn comes back to okay it.

          2b) Misunderstanding: I don’t think Jonathan meant to imply Glenn that you should go. It seems to me that he wanted you to stay and that it was Glenn and Scott that really needed to talk with everyone else in the group watching and adding comments where appropriate. Jonathan wasn’t clear about what he wanted by saying “I really only need these two people” which can get taken as either “I need only those two people” as Glenn took it, or “I especially need these two people but I need others around as well”, and I think that comes down to how you read the words “really only need”, some people read it the first way, others read it the second, and pardon my psychobabble, but I think that difference comes down to different personalities, Sensor type vs Intuitive types, Sensor types tend to read words straight as they get written and Intuitive types tend to imply words without explicitly stating them because they intuit them there, aka with an implied but “I really only need these two people [but you would be helpful too]”, as a person with an intuitive (psychologically speaking) personality type, I know I always leave out key implied pieces of information assuming that everyone else thinks the same way I do and will get what I meant. Of course due to 2a) this makes the whole thing wrong, but I would like to clear up this tiny piece of potential misunderstanding.

          3) Mistake: Jonathan not messaging Glenn privately to clear up any misunderstandings, especially so after Glenn had left the conversation. What’s the point of talking to someone who has already left? As I have learnt from Star Trek, mediation revolves around private talks between mediator and individuals privately as well as with the whole group.

          4) Mistake: Jonathan stern words, and they look well intentioned, but you probably should have taken some of these individual points to private conversations and get things agreed privately first before stating them to everyone else (and remember the 1st point about you not having consent to act as mediator in this current incident), especially the money thing, yes, you weren’t actually spending Glenn’s money just stating an opinion that you thought Glenn would, whether for real, or as a bluff it doesn’t matter, but as a way to make Glen think about his actions, and you thought you were doing Glenn a favour by saying this and so I can see why you feel offended Jonathan, I hope you can realise and appreciate how it looks to Glenn.

          5a) Misunderstanding: Between Glenn and Jonathan. Reading Jonathan’s commentary here, I think Jonathan meant to say “Wow. Those expletives won’t look good on my expletive free blog, please could you refrain from using such vulgar language”, but Glenn interpreted it as a threat to silence him completely as in he thought Jonathan was saying “don’t you dare act in a mean towards me, as I run Fan Film Factor and I can make or break you when I tell this story” . So a complete misunderstanding, but Jonathan… I think you could have worded it a lot better especially given the obvious tense nature, and to not make it appear that you wear two hats at the same time, your supposed mediator hat that you thought you were wearing, and your Fan Film Factor hat.

          So yes, I see Jonathan mostly in the wrong here. I think Jonathan had good intentions though wanting to act as mediator. I don’t see how getting told that a dispute exists by Vance prevents Jonathan from potentially acting as a neutral third party mediator should you so wish it. As Jonathan tells it, he heard one side of the story from Scott via Vance, and then went to Glen to ask for the other side of the story. That seems neutral to me.

          I think Jonathan needs to apologise first for over-reaching, and then *maybe* Glenn can apologise for the misunderstandings and lambasting Jonathan over it even though Jonathan can understand why Glenn did so and perhaps can also appreciate the good intentions Jonathan had despite the big mistakes he made, and apologise for calling Jonathan’s intentions into question.

          1. Was there supposed to be a 5b there, Jack? I saw a 5a.

            Anyway, there’s a lot of backstory to this situation that I didn’t cover in this most recent blog, but I linked to previous blogs that covered it. However, let me take a few moments to clarify certain things that, apparently, are causing some major consternations among certain people in the fan film community…

            – I’ve been involved in the whole Starbase Studios conflict since last November when Glen Wolfe agreed to the compromise that Vance Major worked out, but then Glen’s lawyer “tweaked” the agreement and unexpectedly inserted a couple of “loopholes” that made Scott Johnson and Kent “Words” Edwards irate and determined to now go to court instead of working for a settlement. They were both concerned that Glen was just out to screw there over. Vance relayed their reaction to Glen who then said that they should just write it up the way they wanted, and he’d sign whatever they sent.

            At the time, Scott wasn’t able to afford a lawyer, but this seemed more like simple editing than legal services, so I offered to reword the problematic clauses so Glen would have something to sign that all sides would agree with. Little did I realize at the time that I’d spend another three months going back and forth writing no less than FIVE different versions of this legal agreement (all without any input from my wife who is not allowed to do any legal work for anyone who isn’t her client). So I was entirely on my own, trying to figure out what everyone wanted and working desperately to keep everyone from exploding into rages of indignation each time there was any misunderstanding.

            – I learned early on that misunderstandings were 1) the most obvious source of rapidly-exploding conflicts and confrontations, and 2) the quickest and easiest things to resolve. The obvious solution: get the story from both sides and then have them both clarify for the other what was really meant. And honestly, the faster these min-fires were put out, the less chance there was of them growing into raging infernos. This had already happened multiple times before I ever got involved. But once I stepped in to help, the wildfires became must less frequent and much shorter in duration.

            – One thing that was understood by Scott, “Words,” and Glen was that everything we discussed was entirely ON the record (able to be reported on Fan Film Factor) unless someone specifically said to keep something particular OFF the record, and I have honored that request multiple times over the past few months. But the majority of what we discussed, including details of the settlement, was on the record and reported here on Fan Film Factor in multiple blogs.

            The on-the-record understanding provided for two advantages. First, it meant I could hopefully get some good blogs out of this…preferably with a happy ending. I love happy endings and like to write blogs that show the best face of fan films to the world. So naturally, I was motivated to get everyone to a successful compromise so I wouldn’t look like a complete failure to my blog readers (as seems to be the case now…unfortunately). Second, it kept everyone on their best behavior. Knowing that angry rants could be fair game to report on, the people involved, for the most part, tried to keep their comments mostly civil. No one wanted to be the guy who ended up looking like an unreasonable, arrogant schmuck in front of the fan film community.

            – Glenn Miller came in at the end of three months of exhausting and often tense communications and negotiations. I’m still not exactly sure why Glenn was brought in, to be honest. We actually had a final version of the agreement that was hours away from being signed by everyone when Scott told me I had to make “major changes” (are you kidding me???) to add in Glenn Miller so he would become a 25% owner. This change, and other changes that Glen Wolfe’s lawyer made that, in turn, had to be fixed with more renegotiations ended up producing a flawed final document. Had I been a lawyer and not a blogger, I probably would have caught it, but I didn’t. And that is certainly something I need to apologize for.

            In the pre-Glenn Miller version of the agreement, Glen Wolfe was contractually obligated to provide a building to house the sets in. Now, he has no such obligation and seems to be choosing to walk away from the sets, keep his 50% ownership, but not provide a building for them. This is currently a HUGE problem, and one I was hoping to help solve. Now, they will all have to solve the problem without me.

            – – – –

            So onto your points above, Jack, in the order you made them…

            1) Because of my long-standing involvement and the understanding I had previously with Scott, “Words,” and Glen, I didn’t feel I needed to “reintroduce” myself and my services with a “…In the previous dispute I acted as a mediator between all parties involved to help to clear the air…” Everyone knows me and what I’ve been doing for everyone these past three-four months, and there was never any stopping point where I suddenly ceased to be an advisor to people helping to keep things moving forward.

            2) My judgment call here was based on those months of experience with misunderstandings mushrooming into huge blow-ups. In my opinion, having seen this sort of thing happen more times than I could count, Scott and Glen Wolfe needed to get on the same page asap. Was there or was there not a “list” of people banned from using the sets? Turns out there probably never was. But were Scott and Glenn Miller to talk to discuss their next move(s) based on that misunderstanding or misinformation, then suddenly the troops would be massing for a battle the never needed to happen. That’s why–in my judgment–it was imperative for Scott and Wolfe to straighten out the situation through talking with each other before Scott and Miller began taking the ship to red alert.

            I suspected (and worried) that Scott and Glenn Miller talking BEFORE getting the story straight with Wolfe would only make the situation harder to defuse later. Scott and Miller tend to play off of each others’ senses of anger and betrayal when it comes to Wolfe. So I felt it was vitally important that all sides understand and not misunderstand the situation before the match and the kerosene could start drawing up battle plans. And if Miller didn’t want to be part of straightening out the story with Scott and Wolfe, then fine. Scott could always relay the information to Miller later on. But at least Scott and Miller would be talking about the actual situation and not a misunderstanding.

            Now, I do apologize to Glenn Miller for coming off sounding like he wasn’t welcome to be a part of this conversation to straighten out the misunderstandings. I was simply trying to respect his wishes on the matter. He was always welcome to be a part of clearing the air. I just felt that the air needed to be cleared as quickly as possible…and certainly before he and Scott whipped themselves up into a frenzy.

            3) Yeah, I hadn’t noticed that Miller had left the conversation before I posted that I was only following his wishes. But please understand the timing of this. I posted my comment late in the evening just before going to sleep. I wasn’t exactly firing on all thrusters, so I didn’t notice that Miller was gone. I probably would have contacted him privately the following day, but instead I woke up to find quite a kerfuffle already in progress. Scott had already added Miller back into the chat by the time I woke up. (Remember, I’m West Coast time while Scott and Wolfe are Central and Miller is East Coast.)

            4) I can realize that it looked to Glenn Miller like I was committing him to paying for a lawsuit. That was certainly NOT my intention, and I apologize for not explaining that more clearly. I was simply pointing out to all involved how the path of compromise and working together leads to GOOD things, while the path of conflict and/or simply walking away in rage or disgust would likely lead to BAD things. I wanted everyone to be motivated to come together and work things out. I’ve never been trained as a mediator, but this approach would seem like a no-brainer, right?

            5) When I wrote “Wow. That will not look good on Fan Film Factor…” I was, quite honestly, shocked with what Glenn Miller had said to me. Others were likewise shocked, and many said I should have simply thrown a few expletives back at him and quit right there. Instead, I decided to remind Glenn that what he shares with me is, in fact, on the record unless he specifically requests that it not be. My hope was that, he’d take a look at what he’d just written, realize it was pretty harsh and would not make him look all that noble to the fan film community, and he’d apologize and say, “Hey, let’s clear the slate and try this again.” Instead, he doubled down. That’s his right; I’m not going try to force someone into self-reflection or civility. But just as Glenn makes his own choices, I also make mine. I wrote up the blog later that night but didn’t publish it for another two days, letting it sit in my mind and also waiting for feedback from Vance. Ultimately, I decided after much consideration to hit “Publish.”

            – – – –

            And speaking of Vance, I’ve been told that he has been getting a LOT of flack about sending his IM chat with Scott to me (and for all sorts of other things too numerous to mention). I have to say, I am shocked by this! I can understand people piling on the anti-Jonathan bandwagon (wouldn’t be the first time), but Vance Major is one of the nicest guys in Trek fandom…and the most helpful and good-intentioned. I worked for 3-4 months on bringing this whole conflict to a peaceful resolution, but Vance started TWO MONTHS BEFORE me!!! He spent nearly half a year trying to bring these two sides together! How anyone could think that Vance ever—either then or now—wanted anything but the best for Starbase Studios and the sets is mind-boggling to me. It’s like they walked into the last two minutes of Star Wars, saw the final ceremony, and said, “I don’t understand why these people are being given medals! It’s not like they did anything!!!”

            Yeah, right.

            Going forward, I still hope that Scott, Glenn, and Glen can get things worked out. Glenn Miller seems to think it’s pretty easy to do, and that Vance’s and my efforts to bring everything to a successful resolution were nothing more difficult than Glenn’s writing a $1,200 check to a lawyer. So let’s see if he was right.

          2. No 5b, hmm, I wrote this very late at night, after the sun had come up in fact (just as I do now), and edited quite a few times to try and make it as fair and balanced as I could and making sure I didn’t get Glen and Glenn mixed up and staying consistent by referring to everyone in the same way, i.e. first name only. On my first read through (late at night) I came down mainly on your side Jonathan, seeing mainly misunderstandings, but as I started writing and collecting my thoughts and reading through more and more the screen caps, my view changed as the list of (honest) mistakes started to pile up against you.

            I don’t have any official mediator training either, everything I know I have taken from Star Trek (and Star Trek had a lot of it, especially with Picard), so I feel I have learnt a lot from watching that and so I draw most of my analysis from that of how a mediator should act, not to mention DS9:The Storyteller.

            When writing my comment, the big two things that went through my mind were the issues of consent, and tone policing. Consent as I explained above even if you think doesn’t need reaffirming, it always helps to make sure you have a clear understanding between the parties involved; and tone policing, concentrating on the tone of the messages rather than the content, which your reply about FFF looks like it did.

            I do see this as one big misunderstanding and I hope things get ironed out, but the thing about mediating a dispute means that you act as a sink for the emotion, you understand the emotion involved and don’t tone police, and sure mediators can get a lot of flak, all part of the job, you just have to remain calm and crystal clear with all that you say.

            And while I get all that you say, your reply to my point 2 I think shows where you really overstepped your bounds as a mediator. Yes, you knew what needed to happen, but that doesn’t give you the right to force that to happen. As I see your job as mediator gives you the lowest “rank” when it comes to determining what should happen. Even if you can see what will probably happen, and what needs to get done to make sure it doesn’t, i.e. getting Scott and Glen to talk ASAP, that doesn’t mean that you try to force it, if Glenn says “later”, than you first need to make sure that Glenn (as a higher ranking Officer) gets listened to and respected, if it leads to a bigger mess, then that’s their prerogative, they have a right to do that. You can always suggest that you think it better that Scott and Glen just clear the air here, but the point here lies in making sure that all parties feel comfortable with the mediation process, Glen, Scott, and Glenn.

          3. I do acknowledge your point about my being a little too proactive (some would likely say “pushy”) in trying to bring Scott and Wolfe together asap to talk. My reason was solid, though. There was an obvious misunderstanding (or else someone was outright lying to me—could have been either Scott or Wolfe). But when there’s a misunderstanding, it’s like having a rotted beam on the frame of the house you’re building. You don’t want to start building the second floor until you’ve replaced the bad beam on the first floor…otherwise things are going to get much worse.

            Also, I’ve been just as pushy and proactive for the past 3-4 months…and for the most part, the strategy worked. We all fought our way through to an agreement that went through multiple revisions and countless blow-ups along the way. So my conduct last week was following long-established precedent. In other words, this is the way I roll, and up until now, no one (not Scott, Words, Glen, or Vance) had ever complained. That said, Glenn Miller came into the picture late, and I probably should have been more sensitive to his lack of familiarity with my methods. (Although I should mention that Glenn wasn’t completely unfamiliar with how I operated, as we’ve spoken on the phone a couple of times with Scott and Words, and we’ve taken part in multiple group IM chats.

            What I’m most concerned with now is that I’ve heard from multiple sources that Glenn and Scott are trying to convince people that Vance and I were out to screw them and sabotage this process all along. That just boggles my mind! Vance and I together spent a combined ten months of our time trying to resolve this conflict. At times, this was almost a full-time job. IMs and calls would come in to both of us at all hours. Often when these calls or IMS came in, we’d spend the first 45-60 minutes just trying to talk this or that person down from the ceiling so we could try to figure out how to fix the latest problem. We needed to clear time in our schedules for group conversations. And don’t get me started on the rewrites of those agreements! I’d spend hours and hours on each new version, trying to turn our mutually-agreed-to “general” compromises into specifically-delineated guidelines for a legal contract. Remember that I’m a blogger, not a lawyer, dammit. And my wife was not only completely hands-off but was actually kinda pissed off that I was putting in so much time to something that wasn’t paying me a dime.

            Did you know that professional mediators make tens of thousands of dollars??? I’m not saying that I, as an untrained/clueless “mediator” am worth tens of thousands of dollars. But I’m probably worth more than zero. Granted, I didn’t ask for or even want any compensation other than a happy ending to all of this. But my time (and Vance’s) was certainly worth more than Scott and Glenn conveniently forgetting about it and trying to rewrite history and claiming that Vance and I were out to screw them and Starbase Studios all along.

            No, I was never out to screw anyone…and neither was Vance. We were both dedicated to finding a peaceful resolution where everyone could work together toward a common goal. We were ready to keep our egos and tempers in check, be patient and civil, forgo the obvious threats and posturing, and simply keep our eyes on the goal and work as hard as we could to lead everyone out of the darkness into the light.

            In the end, though, Vance and I couldn’t be the only ones willing to do all the things I just listed. Scott and Glenn (and Glen) needed to do likewise. Right now, at least, it seems that the first two aren’t willing to do that. (And Glen Wolfe isn’t exactly making things easy for them either.) I hope I’m wrong, but from what I’ve heard has been said by both Scott and Glenn, it seems they’re more focused right now on pointing fingers of blame (at everyone but themselves) rather than working to diffuse the current tensions with Glen Wolfe and trying to move forward…yet again. I helped with all of that last time, this time I won’t be. We’ll see what happens…

        3. Glenn, you seriously need to reconsider if taking each single word/line of a text and trying to interpret it to fit some kind of paranoid view makes any sense. It doesn’t to me…

      2. I’m gonna have to go with Rafael on this one, after those first messages it would have been better to leave well enough alone and see what happens after the dust settles, and if there’s anything left to salvage then. Getting involved that early just fanned the flames. It was a bad call, but who hasn’t made those? Humans are gonna human, it’s the one thing they’re best at.

        “I know nothing of John Snow” I see what you did there 😉

        1. “I know nothing of John Snow” I see what you did there

          Yeah, I kinda felt I had to. 🙂

          As for the judgment call (or lack of judgment call) to get involved, that was all on me. Based on the past 3-4 months of being a part of this mess, I learned early on that misunderstandings were 1) the most obvious source of rapidly-exploding conflicts and confrontations, and 2) the quickest and easiest things to resolve. The obvious solution: get the story from both sides and then have them both understand what the other was really saying. And honestly, the faster these min-fires were put out, the less chance there was of them growing into raging infernos. This had already happened multiple times before I ever got involved. But once I stepped in to help, the wildfires became must less frequent and much shorter in duration.

          My judgment call here was based on that experience. Scott and Glen Wolfe needed to get on the same page asap. Was there or was there not a “list” of people banned from using the sets. Turns out there probably never was. But were Scott and Glenn Miller to talk to discuss their next move(s) based on that misunderstanding or misinformation, then suddenly, the troops would be massing for a battle the never needed to happen. That’s why–in my judgment–it was imperative for Scott and Wolfe to straighten out the situation through talking with each other before Scott and Miller began taking the ship to red alert.

          One of the things that I hinted at in the article was Vance’s comment about Glenn Miller being the match to Scott’s kerosene. I suspected (and worried) that that two of them talking BEFORE getting the story straight with Wolfe might only make the situation harder to defuse later. And if Miller didn’t want to be part of straightening out the story with Wolfe, then fine. Scott could always relay the information to Miller later on. But at least Scott and Miller would be talking about the actual situation and not a misunderstanding.

          And that’s the reason I felt it was so urgent to get Scott and Wolfe talking asap. The longer misunderstandings fester, the more likely they will explode and make solving the problem (if there even is a problem) a hundred times worse.

  8. If the sets go to hell fan films will be fine. The world won’t lose anything if these sets rot away.

    1. Oh, I think the fans will lose something very special. The role that Starbase Studios and these sets have played in Trek fan film history cannot be overstated. It would be such a shame if they no longer existed or were made available for fans to use.

  9. Since I was Banned apparently, let me just say this, if I may. I believe that the whole fight is rediculous, the purpose of Star Base Studios when I joined, was to allow any geek, nerd, outcast or mainstream Star Trek fan the opportunity to live out a dream. To not only walk onto the bridge of the Enterprise. In any normal situation the only place you could even see something like that would universal studios or huge theme park. Star Base Studios changed all that because not only could walk the bridge, you could command your own ship! Fight klingons, beam to alien planet, get hypo spray in the med bay, because you could actually do the unthinkable. You could make your own Movie. Further more if that wasn’t mind-boggling enough, Scott and Richard (at the time) facilitated what was once an think able dream to come true. The best part was it was free. I personally saw the wonderment and sometimes actual tears of joy from the people that came from states far and wide, with their families old, young, it didn’t matter. What happened to that dream, why did it all become about what guy didn’t like what thing, he said she said shit! I think what has happened is everyone has become so self centered and caught up in greed, ego and self worth that we have forgotten the dream. It’s not about us it’s about the people who don’t care who owns it or what productions are banned. All of this is putting the dream in the same category as any other Hollywood studio, and the fans are the ones that get hurt. I for one find being in the fan films is amazing, both my daughters think I’m a movie star and tell everyone at their school that I am. To them seeing daddy on the internet in a “real” movie makes me larger than life in their world. They show movies that I’ve done in their classes. They look forward to new ones. So tell u it breaks my heart and theirs and my Dad to hear the productions I’m in and Me specifically are not allowed to be there. I SAY THIS, FORGET YOURSELVES AND REMEMBER THE DREAM!

    1. You know something, John Snow? You’re right on many points!

      But I have not yet been able to confirm that Glen Wolfe ever intended to ban anyone from filming on the sets. Glen says that he never said or hinted at any such thing. So even if he’s lying (and I doubt he is), he’s now gone on record to say that no one is banned from using the sets if they go through Starbase Studios to set up the shoot. So there’s no ban for you or anyone else that I can verify.

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