DETRACTORS try to torpedo AXACON! (news and editorial)

Perhaps “torpedo” isn’t the right word.  Sabotage?  Interfere with?  Mess up?  Mock?  Belittle?  Bash?  Brutalize?  Bully?  Eliminate?

Whatever you call it, at least a couple of dozen AXANAR detractors (possibly more) seem to be making a concerted effort to convince the organizers of SphinxCon in Atlanta not to host the first AxaCon as a “con-in-a-con” on November 2-4.  Earlier this year, detractors had made similar efforts to pressure Eric L. Watts of Treklanta to disinvite ALEC PETERS as a guest…so much so that Eric asked to write a guest blog addressing their behavior.

The same day I was conducting my interview with ALEC PETERS about AxaCon and how it came to be an “add-on” to SphinxCon, the detractors were descending on the SphinxCon Facebook page with a wave of attempts to throw a monkey wrench into the works.  Last time it was Eric Watts.  This time they needed to get their message out to DAVE WEINER, the organizer and chairman of SphinxCon 2018.

Dave Weiner, Chair of SphinxCon

Dave lives in Decatur, GA with his wife Joanna and what he refers to as the “two house cats of the apocalypse.”  He has been active in The Royal Manticoran Navy: The Official Honor Harrington Fan Association since 2014.  He is responsible for TRMN’s online infrastructure and branding.

TRMN has held two conventions a year for the past 5 years–one in Raleigh, NC called HonorCon and one in Minneapolis, MN called MantiCon.  SphinxCon will be their first in Atlanta, although Dave and many of the directors and deputies have experience running and working on other cons (including Dragon*Con).

Dave wanted to share what’s been going on since this past Friday because it has been very disturbing to him as a fan and as a convention organizer.  Having now observed the detractors firsthand and their attempts to try to put a positive “spin” on their actions, Dave would like set the record straight on exactly what has happened.

To do this, he has provided me with a large number of screen caps of posts, messages, and other communications…and those will make up the majority of this blog.  You can then decide for yourself how you feel about all of this…

Before I begin, Dave asked me to include the following statement to open the blog:

I’ve kept this focused to the attacks on the convention about Alec and Axacon. The official position of SphinxCon is that we think Alec and Axacon will put butts in seats and help make us a financial success, which is our only concern and motivation.

Thing started getting ugly shortly after Dave posted the Axacon guest list on the SphinxCon site, which included Alec, Paul Jenkins (Axanar director), Steven “Admiral Slater” Jepson, fan filmmaker Mark Largent, and…oh, yeah…me.  Well, apparently, detractor SHAWN P. O’HALLORAN felt strongly that he needed to say a few things about that last choice…

Classy, huh?  It’s funny, but I don’t ever recall having said anything personally insulting directly to or about Shawn in a public forum.  (I challenge folks to find a screen cap.)  Unlike Shawn—who has turned the cyber-mocking of “Slow” Lane into a lifestyle choice—I don’t bash him back.  He’s a dad (like me), doesn’t want to be wrong (like me), and he’s a big fan of a lousy New York sports franchise that ends in “ETS” (like me—go Jets!).  I don’t feel like I need to add to Shawn’s anguish with the Metropolitans ten and a half games back in the NL East having just dropped three straight to the Dodgers.

Anyway, even though Dave Weiner had never met me, he didn’t want his convention Facebook page being used for such insults.  So he immediately deleted the post and wrote a new rule pinned to the top of the page:

Within 20 minutes, Shawn was back with this gem…

Although technically Shawn was only “relaying” what Wil Wheaton had said, this was still outright negative posting, which really doesn’t belong on a Facebook page promoting a convention.  So Shawn was banned.

Later on, in the Axamonitor Facebook group, Shawn admitted the following…

At least he’s honest about being really snarky; I can’t fault him on that.  Anyway, Shawn wasn’t the only detractor to jump onto the banwagon (yeah, that’s a pun).  Within the next 24 hours, Dave had to ban another 7 people for similar insulting posts, all of them familiar detractors names or sock puppet accounts.  There were also a number of posts/comments that were deleted without a ban, perhaps one or two dozen.  (Dave isn’t certain because he isn’t the only moderator.)  “And despite the rumors probably started by Axamonitor,” added Dave, “Alec is not one of them.”

But it didn’t end there…far from it!

As the insults and name-calling was ramping up, some folks decided to try a different approach: attempt to talk SphinxCon out of hosting AxaCon with a two-step strategy…

Step 1 – Ask what Star Trek has to do with the Honor Harrington series.  After all, they’re two such different franchises.  Why would fans of one possibly want to check out the other?  (Keep in mind that those attendees who go to SphinxCon and don’t care about Axanar simply don’t pay the extra $25.)

Step 2 – Plant “seeds of doubt” in the mind of SphinxCon about teaming up with Alec Peters.

The first one to do this was Matthew Miller of TrekZone Spotlight in Australia, who has an Ayer’s Rock-sized chip on his shoulder when it comes to all things Axanar.  Here was his oh-so-subtle attempt…

A short while later, another detractor followed almost the exact same script…

And once posts like this started getting deleted like whack-a-moles, detractors decided to switch to using the “Contact” form on the SphinxCon website…

As the day went on, it seemed like the detractors were getting more and more hostile as they began to use even Instant Messenger to get their point across (whatever that point might be!)…

Disturbing, right?  A big, loud middle finger followed by a humble apology and admission of drinking.  That’s new.  But it got even weirder when the day went on as this fellow, George Silsby, began coming to the defense of SphinxCon and Dave Weiner on the Axamonitor page.  George also reached out to Alec Peters to hear his side and seemed to be genuinely interested in making a fair and reasonable judgement.  But later in the day, George posted his conversation with Alec to the Axamonitor group (not that anything Alec said was confidential or even much of a surprise…it’s just nice to tell someone if/when you’re planning to post their IM conversation to a group of detractors on Facebook).

Anyway, I’ll leave you with this screen cap of a series of comments from George Silsby and let you all draw your own conclusions…

In my experience, detractors don’t change their minds so quickly or easily, but as I said, I’ll leave this to you to decide.

By Saturday, Dave Weiner was certainly disturbed by all of this buffeting behavior…but also a little curious.  Having now heard about the Axamonitor Facebook group from Alec, Dave checked it out, read a number of posts there (including George’s above), and decided to join the group in the hopes of talking to these people directly without having to do it on the more positive SphinxCon page.

A couple of hours after making the request to join the group, Dave was sent the following message from Shawn O’Halloran via Messenger.  You don’t need to read the whole thing, as I’ve highlighted in yellow the part that made Dave’s jaw drop to the floor…

It’s not that Dave was planning to go on a insult rant or anything like that, but he just couldn’t believe the hypocrisy!  Here was a group that regularly mocked Alec Peters with name-calling, disgusting vulgarities, tasteless memes, endless accusations, and God knows what else!  Heck, this whole mishegoss began when Shawn himself insulted one of his convention guests by comparing him (well, me) unfavorably to a homeless person covered in vomit.  And now Shawn had the gall to tell Dave “…no personal attacks, name-calling, etc.”???

Eager to welcome Dave, Shawn laid out the digital red carpet for Dave’s arrival…

And the initial comments from the detractors were indeed warm and friendly.  Some said they loved the Honor Harrington series, others wanted to learn more.  Sandy Greenberg even invited Dave to, “Come read the posts and the legal documents to see how the rest of the world views Peters, then stay for the pie.”

But Dave just still couldn’t get over the audacity and hypocrisy of that “Rule #3.”  Dave had spent the last 24 hours dealing with and deleting all kinds of angry and attacking posts and messages from these people littering his own convention page.  How dare THEY tell HIM not to do something they’d been doing to him, his convention, and his guests?  So instead of sticking around, Dave’s first post to the Axamonitor group was also his last…

Dave and I were both somewhat flabbergasted to read Shawn O’Halloran’s “what did I do?” version of the events I’ve just described that he posted in the Axamonitor group…

That posting by Shawn is one of the reasons I’m being so thorough in this blog.  You can read what Shawn calls “a joke about Jonathan Lane” at the top of the page and see some of their “questions” suggesting concerns that HH and ST don’t mix or that working with Alec/Axanar is risky for SphinxCon and decide for yourself if the detractors were paragons of virtue in all of this…


As I conclude this blog, I just wanted to mention a trend I’ve seen recently—a new strategy used by the detractors to justify their actions (which they’ve acknowledged in posts like this one are “assholish”…

(Carpetbagger, huh?  You detractors know that Alec went to law school in North Carolina for four years and lived in Atlanta from 1998-2008, right?)

Anyway, back to the strategy to justify their actions.  The detractors are beginning to use the argument that the Axanar supporters are “just as bad” (if not worse!) with their personal attacks and bannings and threats, etc.  But is this even true?

Well, certainly not in my case.  The biggest threat I ever make is to blog about someone.  Ooooooo…scary!  And folks make fun of Fan Film Forum for having a policy that gives, like, five “second” chances before we ban from the group.  As for personal attacks, as I said, I challenge you to find a screen cap of me calling Shawn O’Halloran anything derogatory, let alone a homeless person covered in vomit.

And even you you do manage to find a moment of weakness where I call someone an insulting name, well, that’s one.  Shawn and the detractors bash me almost hourly.  Take a look at this beauty…!

Actually, don’t tell Marcus Blazingstroke (the detractor who makes all of these mocking posters), but I really love his work…amazing Photoshopping!  He just did a version of “Bill and Ted” with me and Alec that was so awesome that I RE-Photoshopped it, reqrote the insulting  bits, and now it’s a real keeper…!

Anyway, let’s assume for a moment that everyone EXCEPT me is attacking and insulting and bullying and whatever.  So that means the detractors’ argument is now “Yes, we admit we are acting badly” AND “We think two wrongs make a right.”

To me, neither is something to brag about.

But really, I can’t imagine any Axanar supporter, let alone a dozen or more of them, doing something like ganging up on the organizers of SphinxCon and, a couple of months ago, Treklanta.  Seriously, what is the point?  It’s not YOUR con.  Why try so hard to sabotage it and/or bring down Axacon?

I just don’t get it, and frankly, I think any attempt to justify the detractors’ actions is going to sound as ridiculous as Shawn’s we didn’t do anything wrong post above.

But there might be at least some hope.  On Sunday, noted detractor JASON KOVALIK posted this farewell message to the Axamonitor group…

Is a glimmer of self-realization, shame, and possibly even regret beginning to shine through from the darkest depths of the detractors’ minds and hearts?  Might they finally be realizing that, after putting so much time and energy—hour after hour, day-after-day, week-after-week, year-after-year—into this one silly fan film that maybe, just maybe, they really have just wasted their time…and perhaps they should, as Jason is doing, finally move on?  Only time will tell…


I shall end by quoting a notification that was just added to the SphinxCon website…

SphinxCon supports the movement that is sweeping fandom that once a guest is invited and a contract is signed, that no convention should give in to a vocal minority that objects to a guest.

If your objection to that guest is that strong, you are free not to attend. 

Amen.

94 thoughts on “DETRACTORS try to torpedo AXACON! (news and editorial)”

  1. Wow…such hate and vitriol (and convenient excuses for the bile).

    It’s a wonder most of these people can even remember to breathe.

    Too bad a lot of people can’t have an epiphany as I did not too long ago, and realize Alec is just another guy trying to do something he loves, and share it with the rest of the world. He just happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time.

    It’s also too bad that these so-called “fans” can’t accept the IDIC concept, and just try to get along with their fellow fans.

    Respect is a two way street…give it, and you get it.

    Doug

    1. Then beam us up, Snotty. 🙂

      But be honest, dontcha think the detractors are crossing over the line a bit more than the Axanerds are? Yeah, they’re both slinging a lot of insults over the fence at each other like Hatfields and Dr. McCoys, but trying to gum up the works of AxaCon? Really? Isn’t that just a little higher on the inappropriate meter, Ken?

      1. I could dig and give examples of each side crossing the line but I don’t have the time and don’t really care anymore at this point. Alec, if you want people to stop talking about you just make the 2 15 minute episodes and stop acting like a puffer fish on social media. For a guy who doesn’t seem to like Trump you seem to act a lot like him online. Make the episodes and make them good. That’s all you need do.

        1. Y’know, fans have waited just as long for Pacific 201 and the finale of Starship Farragut, both of which were successfully crowd-funded in 2015. Why aren’t you getting on Eric Henry’s and John Borughton’s cases and telling them “just make the episodes”? I’m sure if more people did that day-after-day-after-day, month-after-month, year-after-year with vitriol and insults, those guys (well, at least one of them) might end up starting to sound a lot like Alec. Just sayin’…

          1. Probably because neither had a vocal public spat with CBS/Paramount or a direct hand in the fan film guidelines!

    2. Wow, an entire article on hater vitriol and you come up with that?

      Sorry Ken, false equivalency. You clearly aren’t paying attention. No one on the Axanar side is doing anything to the haters. We don’t harass them, stalk them, try and ruin their lives, businesses or productions. We simply defend ourselves.

      Your false equivalency enables the haters by justifying their actions.

      Alec

      1. In all fairness, Alec, Axanar supporters aren’t all 100% angelic. And you yourself have gotten in your fair share of good counter-punches along the way. But generally, you are punching BACK…and as someone who is also all-too-often in the detractor cross-hairs, I understand how challenging it is to simply turn the other cheek day-after-day, month-after-month, year-after-year. And having tried that approach (you and I both), we’ve learned that the “ignore it and just move on” strategy doesn’t work either. So I don’t blame you for being a scrapper. But you DON’T devote all of your time, effort, energy and resources into trying to hurt these people and mess with their professional and even personal lives. None of us Axanar supporters do.

        And THAT is where the false equivalency argument dies the death of reality checking.

      2. Peters, you do yourself no favours. You have routinely banned critics from your discussion groups and you reduce yourself to calling anyone with questions a “hater”. This includes people who have donated to you and that sort of attitude towards people whose money you have squandered really isn’t acceptable.

        What these “detractors” have become is pathetic. But make no mistake, there is a reason you had a backlash that goes beyond just the amount of money you raised. You would be better served trying to repair your reputation than doing what you are doing right now, namely continuing to engage in the childish spat instead of getting on with making the Axanar films and then moving on with your life. Why be a mud flinging monkey when you could just get on and make a couple of great fan films and let the work speak for itself?

          1. Because the mud flinging is undignified and cedes any moral high ground in my opinion.

  2. Next step for Axa-Critics, claiming Alec and Jonathan ordered the separation of refugee Romulan children from their Orion Syndicate parents at the Pluto Orbital Border Station, to be housed in domes on Titan.

      1. So much so that what James warns about probably would not actually happen, the haters would see that action as a positive thing (and claiming Mr.Lane and Mr.Peters performing that would be, in the haters’ eyes, as something to be hailed as heroic…..like trumps supporters do for him) ……

  3. I love your RE-photoshopped B&T poster remake. Most excellent, sir. 🙂 This is one of only a handful of blogs I read, and I must say, I enjoy your work. Carry on, Jonathan “Fast” Lane. 😀 …and don’t let the haters get you down, some people just see the glass as half-empty – if they’d turn off the cloaking device of hate, they might see the glass is completely filled.

    #IStandWithAxanar #GoJonathanLane #AxanarRocks

  4. I guess this is irony of some sort, but I have On Basilisk Station, The Honor of the Queen, and The Short Victorious War en route to NC from Amazon due to the recommendations of Kate Stark, Toby Woods and Bill Allen, all of whom enjoyed the Honor Harrington series. This is the first time that I’ve found new sci-fi in the midst of weekend controversy, and I’m not sure if this is how Mr Weber is accustomed to gaining new fans for his series, but in whatever event several “detractor” types really like his novels and more of us are jumping in.

  5. Wow, these detractor guys are nuts and their antics are nothing but a bad comedy. That is all I’ll say about that lot. I am a axanar backer and I am just waiting for it to be done and released.

    Love the rephotoshop of the bill and Ted poster.

  6. “Marcus Blazingstroke” for some reason saw fit to add me to the “cast” of his disturbingly large run of “posters” but I’ll say one thing, at least I’ve got the testicular fortitude to use my real name where he chooses to hide behind an alias…

    And no matter what Shawn’s actions are, just remember there are Axanar supporters who are suffering Mets fans too, and there’s no reason to rub in that My Entire Team Sucks…

    1. Hey, I’m from New York City myself, and even though I made the decision early on to take the #4 train to the Bronx instead of the #7 train to flushing (where my mom was born, by the way), I still decided to route for the football team that dresses like a Hess truck. I feel your pain.

  7. I’ve said it many times before, I’ll say it again; This behaviour has been the M.O. of the detractor group from day one. They always think they are right, everyone else is wrong and that they are the victims of foul play when their posts get deleted or they are banned “just for asking a question”. That last one is their favourite go to.

    Terry used to laugh at their whining when he deleted their hate posts and banned them. They would post venom and nothing but, then act all innocent when deleted and banned. Their cries of innocence fooled a few into thinking Alec is the devil, but not many.

    Sandy Greenberg’s idea of what the “World” thinks of Alec is a little over inflated. At last count there were over 7.4 Billion people on Earth and the detractor numbers in the high double digits (active posters counted only, not total membership). Even if we are generous and count the total membership of their echo chambers, it is not representative of 7.4 billion. It would’t even register as 0.0000001 of a percent of “the World”. My point is, Greenberg is so eager to point out the slightest discrepancies on Alec’s side, it seems hypocritical of him to make such a statement as he did.

    But then, that’s the detractor hallmark isn’t it: Hypocrisy?

    1. Dave Weiner did tell me that the supportive posts to the convention page far, FAR outnumbered the detractor posts…if that’s any indiction of how “the world” feels about Axanar. 🙂

    2. With respect, when Peters was first sued they had the upper hand. Their criticisms were often valid and Peters’ own militant censoring of his critics spoke volumes. Hell, his continual bitching to this day about “haters” does him no favours. Plus was came out during the law suit, especially his own evidence under oath, should alert anyone as to his motivations. He clearly wanted to use Axanar as a backdoor for building a business. So can we please stop pretending that his you-know-what doesn’t stink?

      That being said, what is really telling about the “detractors” is that once the legal case with CBS/Paramount settled that was the time for them to walk away. But they didn’t. They kept on and on and on to the point of ridiculousness, and in doing so they not only make a mockery of their complaints about Peters, but turned themselves into flat out stalkers. Personally, I find the lengths they are now going to not only desperately sad, but also very alarming.

    3. Not to mention given the way they casually ignore their own rules Sandy and the other detractors would be more apt to offer crow instead of pie.

  8. Well what a load of extremely sad people I do feel sorry for them. They purport to be fans yet seem to have missed the core message that Gene Roddenberry espoused of tolerance and hey lets try and be nice to other people.

    It has been more or less admitted by the studios that the reason for their response was not that Alex Peters was trying to make money or infringe copyright but he was going to produce a fan film as good or better than they could at a time when hundreds of millions of Dollars was on the table.

    As to all the money supposedly missing well it was not my money it certainly seems that it was not theirs and I have seen no one who did invest come forward and complain. I presume that the Accounts that were sent to them satisfied them. Obviously not cheap to convert a warehouse to a studio then have to leave it unused whilst legal action was in progress.

    So what motive do these people have? Is Alex Peters such a Knob as we say over here that he has annoyed what seems like hundreds of people on a individual basis? Could it be that by your support you too are tainted by his atrocious people skills? I find this difficult to believe. Admittedly I know neither of you on a personal basis but your excellent Blog has always presented a reasoned and balanced approach.

    I have always found on the whole Star Trek fans indeed most SF fans a cut above the average more intelligent creative and open than say any other large group with a shared interest. Perhaps by its very nature Star Trek attracts such people. These haters unfortunately do not seem at all representative.

    I can only ascribe their motives to envy Prelude was indeed a cut above the normal Fan film and Axanar would of no doubt been even better. So unable to compete or even cheer on from the sidelines these tiny minded people decide to tear down Alex’s Achievements and hamper him at every turn.

    I would say I am ashamed of their actions but to be honest they are just noise to be ignored. I cannot raise enough interest to feel sorry for them, perhaps they need to go and watch some Star Trek.

    1. Some of the detractors were once donors. A few even got their donations refunded (I can’t remember which). When Alec released the financials, he sent a summary, not the 26-page line-item spreadsheet. The detractors wanted the spreadsheet, but the main reason was that they wanted to comb through it looking for any and every little possible discrepancy. “This shows you went through six rolls of toilet paper a week! Who craps that much????” Yeah, Alec didn’t want to deal with that or having to explain why he chose this liability insurance instance over that liability insurance or why he purchased this kind of wood for the sets or why that much paint was needed for the green screen. Frankly, I don’t blame him. He’d be playing whack-a-mole for years with the detractor line-item challenges.

      Look, the main purpose of the financial summary was to say, “Look, anyone who thinks I made off with $1.4 million in fan donations and funded an extravagant lifestyle, tell me how I paid for all of the these legitimate line items. They didn’t pay for themselves!” And the line item totals are actually higher than the amount that was raised…which is why Alec had to put in so much of his own money (over six figures!). The goal of embezzlement is to come away with MORE money than you started with…not less. So if Alec was an embezzler, than he has to have been the WORST EMBEZZLER EVER! 🙂

      1. Well I had no idea that some of the detractors did fund part of it but surely that is the nature of the beast you take a punt hope that it will turn out but there are no guarantees. Really as an outsider the more I learn about america the more confused I become, it is a country of contradictions. You have millions of people visiting Las Vegas every year and just because they lost the dont demand their money back. I was at this point going to point out a few more absurdities but it would of sounded as if I was America bashing which is not my intent plus would of been a little off topic. Just let it stand that there are some things that lead people in other countries to stand around scratching their head. This is perhaps a very minor example of such.

        It is entirely understandable that anyone would rush to defend their creative output from the haters. It is not just the time and the money invested in such a project indeed any similar project as a creator you are holding up to the world part of yourself and if rejected it is difficult not to think they are rejecting you. Anyone who has even sold their own home can feel hurt when a prospective buyer doesn’t like their furniture or colour scheme.

        It is always always always counterproductive to defend yourself against such people. Firstly there will always be people who dont like it. You could open a shop with served free ice cream and oil massages from super models for a Dollar and someone would complain that the Ice cream wasn’t Gluten free (Whatever Gluten is? I still am not sure? apparently it makes your dick fall off) .

        Secondly you literally cannot win and yes I am using literally in its correct form Even Fifth rate politicians do not expend much effort in campaigning in their opponents strongholds or indeed in their own In the former they have to spend a disproportionate amount of time to hopefully change their vote and in the latter they already have it.

        Although this sounds like I am not addressing your informative response this is really about your remarks about Mr Peters playing Whack a mole. He should not engage and from the sound of his more recent actions perhaps now he is not. It matters not a jot if it adds fuel to the fire or they do get bored and start playing with some very interesting twigs they found outside after all this seems their intellectual benchmark. Opps see so easy to have a dig at them.

        Where he can win and win big is with Anaxnar. I am personally saddened that it won’t be the big extravaganza that it was going to be as I was really looking forward to it. But he has already demonstrated an ability to deliver big time with Prelude and I am sure that given his growing experience, that Axanar will be even better (Hey no pressure Mr Peters). Every hour spent expending effort on trying to change the detractors mind is an hour better spent improving Axanar.

        They are going to look extremely silly when Axanar sweeps the awards next year.

        1. It is possible to multi-task, Glenn. Remember that Alec isn’t on Axanar full-time. And some things can’t be rushed…such as the 2018 midterm elections and J.G.’s hair cut. Right now, budgets are being worked on…and not just by Alec but also by a line-producer who is, likewise, not working on this full time.

          Axanar will get made, God willing, but it’s not going to be whipped together over a long weekend or ready in a month.

    2. “It has been more or less admitted by the studios that the reason for their response was not that Alex Peters was trying to make money or infringe copyright but he was going to produce a fan film as good or better than they could at a time when hundreds of millions of Dollars was on the table.”

      Sorry, but that’s just nonsense. Peters said repeatedly that he wanted the LA studios to be used for profit making after Axanar and it’s even in evidence under oath in the legal proceedings that he had dreams of doing deals with streaming services. He saw it as a backdoor to a business. Only the most naive would argue otherwise.

      The detractors have become pathetic. But can we please stop revising history that Peters is squeaky clean? He isn’t. These detractors exist for a reason. You won’t find any other fan filmmaker with a legion of people hoping for failure and there is a reason for that. Something that Jonathan should consider when he writes pro-Axanar blogs rather than something a bit more balanced, and when I say balanced I don’t mean giving these obsessive losers air time.

      1. ” and it’s even in evidence under oath in the legal proceedings that he had dreams of doing deals with streaming services.”

        So you’d like to judge Alec on his dreams now? That seems a little extreme. Alec never met with Netflix or any other streaming service. He just dreamed about doing so.

        Alec wouldn’t be the first or only Trek fan filmmaker to hope to use a fan film or series to help propel him into the industry. That dream started as early as 1999 when a young Rob Caves made “Star Trek: Hidden Frontier” as a way of showing off his own abilities with CGI and film editing to the folks in Hollywood. Tommy Kraft dreamed of making movies beyond Star Trek, and he’s done just that. Sky Conway hoped to sell Star Trek: Renegades to CBS as a pilot for a new series.

        Wanting to turn a fan film into a business or a career is not unique to Alec Peters, Harry…just so you know.

        1. I’m not judging Alec on his dreams. I’m saying let’s just be honest. Originally he was hoping to use it as a backdoor for a business. This is indisputable. No more, no less.

          What others have done is irrelevant. This editorial is about Axanar and I just think that it would be better to be honest about things than trying to revise history. *shrug*

          1. Alec’s intention to turn Ares Studios into a revenue-generating endeavor was never “secret” information. In countless blog posts, Alec explained how the plan was to create a studio and sets that could be rented out to other fan productions for rates MUCH less than traditional studios, and possibly to be used also for professional productions (that would pay full price)…using that income to keep the studio going, paying for things like rent, utilities, marketing, and yes, salaries for full-time employees to handle administration, maintenance, PR, and the such. The studio could also be used to create a sci-fi film school to bring in industry sci-fi professionals to teach classes in lighting, sound, directing, writing, editing, etc.–using the Axanar sets to make student projects. (Yep, pretty much the same thing James Cawley is now doing in upstate New York.)

            Alec never intended to turn Ares Studios into an ATM. Considering the $15,000 monthly rent + utilities cost, the studio would be lucky to run in the black and still be able to pay salaries in the low 5-figure range. Alec was actually hoping to potentially augment the revenue from renting out the facility with possible educational grants and/or deals with film schools like USC and UCLA to make the studio resources available to their students at a special educational rate if the schools would guarantee a certain number of rental hours each month.

            It was an intriguing business plan, and it would have been something interesting to watch develop and evolve. Alec even spoke to CBS about making it officially licensed, but they nixed that idea (not really understanding the concept until years later when James Cawley did it).

            So yes, that’s all honest and was never hidden from fans and donors. In the end, Alec was not sued for “making a profit” or trying to set up his own studio. He was sued exclusively for copyright infringement, using CBS/Paramount’s intellectual property without permission. Whether or not he made a profit was irrelevant had he been allowed to argue for fair use, since fair use allows for the infringer to make a profit.

  9. While my finances do not allow me to attend Sphinxcon, I do support it in their decision to continue with their guest features policy. The committee has the right and authority to allow Whom ever they wish to include in their program.
    As to the detractors views. they have the right not to attend . but their bullying tactics are wrong.
    Jonathon, I support you and thank you for the way you try to show your own views and display honor in the way you do it .
    Giving time and effort to show facts not suppositions on a subject.
    Peace out.

    1. I’d also like to say that I support Sphinxcon and Axacon even if I can’t afford to be there myself.

  10. For once we agree Jonathan…even I think this has gone far enough. ‘ll never respect Alec for what I see as his bad actions but at this point there really isn’t much left to say. IF the two shorts get made there will be more to talk about but until the Alec and Axanar aren’t too different from the rest of us…fans interested in science fiction and self promotion. Invite me and I’ll promote my science fictional Opa skills!!

  11. Jonathan, this may not be a good place for this, but all the tactics these people use come right out of the liberal handbook. Make up stories, make them bad, be emotional, provide no facts and demonize and dehumanize your enemies. Be rude, be angry, be a real social justice warrior, on the internet, or behind a corporate logo or some fake group. It is some kind of viral disease that has infected people and seems to just bubble up and grab a subject. As if they were supposed to be going after Trump, but got derailed in programming by seeing Alec or Axanar. This is something like an example of an on line terrorist handbook training excercise. I had a funny feeling when you announced (and Alec did) that they were going to be part of SphinxCon, the vile creatures would slither out the swamp and find a iphone or PC to attack with. Didn’t seem to take to long. Wonder which brave SJW amongst them will go there with the secret camera to film all this for their propaganda minister? Sad when supposed “adults” sink to the level of gang warfare….

    1. “Jonathan, this may not be a good place for this, but all the tactics these people use come right out of the liberal handbook. Make up stories, make them bad, be emotional, provide no facts and demonize and dehumanize your enemies.”

      No, Brian, it is not the place. Nor is it true. BOTH the liberal AND the conservative “playbooks” contain this strategy…and each side accuses the other of doing it while turning a blind eye to their own side doing it (as you just have). It’s interesting, as your comment in and of itself qualifies as making up stories, providing no facts, and MOST OF ALL demonizing and dehumanizing your enemies (in your case: liberals). In other words, your argument actually serves to negate itself.

      1. Jonathan, we may have to disagree, as it is clear to me that the examples of our current politics shows a clear split with media and a certain party in a constant state of accusation, and the other in a constant state of defense. I see a clear parallel with what the detractors are doing with certain politicians claiming collusion, harassing officials and dissolving legal institutions that are interfering with their agendas. There are specific tools being used in all these cases, the “false accusations as truth” being a principal. Or are a lot of the blogs you have written defending against said “detractors” (like this one), not so? This whole debacle has been a microcosm of our societies treatment of others and an insane drive to destroy them at all costs. What they did was completely uncivilized.

        1. This blog is not the place to debate politics, Brian. The next attempt to post anything trying to make a political point will be deleted without being posted.

    2. It always amuses me when I see alt-righties banging on about “liberals” on Trek sites. I have to wonder what you have been watching for the past 50 years as Trek is about as liberal as you can get. But congrats to Jonathan for shutting this nonsense down right from the off.

  12. Jonathan, the business about general Sherman’s march to the sea can also be referred to in a more modern context taken from Babylon 5. Earthdome’s president Clark commited suicide and tried to do to earth what Sherman susposedly (according to the southerners) used. The policy signified by the 2 words Clark had written in the note on his desk: “scorched earth.” It took John Sheridan to stop it just barely in the nick of time with the help of the Captain of the Apollo. Let’s hope that #45 doesn’t try it. Trek fandom divisions are bad enough, but look what’s happening at Star Wars, that’s even worse, but not by much.

    1. Okay, U.S. politics seem to be creeping into this blog today. Let’s rein that part in a bit, people…please. As for the Star Wars fans, yes, what they’ve been doing lately is shameful. So yeah, at least it’s not just us Trekkies being dicks anymore. But really, is lowering the tide to sink all boats a better thing? Something to ponder…

      1. I agree Jonathan about the lowering tide thing. The fact that this country is polarized is part of the root cause of the inflexibility of both sides’ views. Whether we like it or not, it is creeping in everywhere. Even familes have split down the middle. We have lost the art of compromise. It’s become a dirty word to even go near. But we need the Star Trek equivalent, namely IDIC. Sorry about the earlier political reference, but was an illustration and I tried to keep the reference as brief as possible. We’ve forgotten IDIC in a lot of arenas unfortunately. All we can hope for is that things improve fast, but I know the human condition too, and know better. I hope I’m wrong, Jonathan. I must be getting cynical in my old age.

        1. I was having a conversation recently with a person visiting from Germany with his family, and the discussion turned to Trump (the Germans pretty much can’t stand him) and the effect his presidency seems to be having on America. This German gentlemen loves our country and our people. He lived in Florida for many years, and has traveled extensively around our great nation. And he does believe it is great and always has been. He finds our people warm and welcoming and very generous. (We shared our s’mores with him and his family as he and I talked politics.)

          “But the hatred,” he said. “What will happen to America?”

          “I have hope,” I replied. “I believe in our Constitution, and it is keeping things from becoming too authoritarian. In that way, the system is working; the dam is holding…every though it is being pushed to its limits at the moment. But it IS holding and doing exactly what a government based on checks and balances is supposed to do. As for the growing hatred, I believe we can get past that, too. We’re better than this…and someday, I believe, we will remember that fact and put much of this hatred behind us.”

          “Do you really think America can do that? Can any country recover from living with this much fear and hatred?” he asked me with true concern.

          “Yours did,” I replied.

          He said nothing, but he smiled and shook my hand.

  13. I have a suggested strategy for the haters.

    STOP. Just stop. Move on. There are infinitely more important things to get this pissed about.

    Wow, it’s so crazy it just might work.

    Seriously, this is getting so out of hand I’m surprised that they haven’t called you “Jonathon ‘Break-down’ Lane” yet. You know, as a sign of maturity. 🙂

    If we could harness all the nerd rage in this country towards fixing the economy, curing cancer, or abused women, etc. WE COULD ACTUALLY CHANGE THINGS IN A LONG-STANDING WAY. But, NOOOOOOO, it’s far more important to bleat at a fan-film that’s a hollow shell of what it could have been and also proving that Rose Tico is the Antichrist.

    1. You are so right about there being more important things to bitch about. Take Discovery for instance.

  14. Sometimes I like to stop back and contemplate the madness flowing so freely in the world today of which the obsession with Axanar is one example. I’m not of course thinking of reasonable support or opposition but rather to when it goes over the line into obsessive hatred. Both of these spoke to me albeit in different ways:

    “In an age of madness, to expect to be untouched by madness is a form of madness. But the pursuit of sanity can be a form of madness, too.” – Saul Bellow

    “Madness is something rare in individuals — but in groups, parties, peoples, and ages, it is the rule.” – Nietzsche

    Or perhaps my hero and idol, Don Quixote, speaks for me:

    “When life itself seems lunatic, who knows where madness lies? Perhaps to be too practical is madness. To surrender dreams — this may be madness. Too much sanity may be madness — and maddest of all: to see life as it is, and not as it should be!”

    1. “Whom the gods would destroy they first make mad” – Prometheus in Henry Wadsworth Longfellow’s poem “The Masque of Pandora.”

      It was also the name of a Star Trek episode about…Garth of Izar!

  15. I love that Bill and Ted poster. That’s hilarious.

    I’ve hated my fair share of things online {cough cough discovery cough cough}. But these people are ridiculous. The only time I ever fuck with a person’s livelihood is if they threaten me or those I care about. In those cases I really hope they post their employers information on their Facebook page. But to go apeshit like this over a damn fan film is just assinine. They know they can’t go after CBS the real villians in the story so they go after Alec and those who support him. If they threatened the people at CBS who are responsible for this ridiculous lawsuit the way they threaten Alec they’d be in jail. CBS’s lawyers would see to it personally with glee.

    I have no life to speak of. I’m a disabled veteran living with his parents on a small pension. I don’t get out much and I spend a lot of time perusing FB and YouTube. But compared to the pathetic little trolls on Axamonitor I’m a god damn man about town. I really wish I could understand why they get so much enjoyment out of fucking with Alec and those of us who support him. I just don’t get it.

  16. Jonathan can you tell me if there is a way I can donate a little cash to Axacon or Sphinxcon just to show my support?

  17. Uluru-sized. Or Ayers, not Ayer’s, if you prefer white privilege names written over the native name for a religious site.

  18. As usual, I had to stop reading and get some popcorn (it is just not as entertaining without popcorn for some reason lol)….. Mr.Lane, Thank You for going above and beyond to bring us these details (so many other issues get lost in the propaganda).
    One HAS to wonder what group home basement these morons live in (gotta be the same one, just cannot believe they have the ability to coordinate the foolishness across any other medium than crayon on wallpaper).

    Anyways, thanks for the smile…I actually found Myself chuckling…gj.

  19. Oh, I just realised I did not actually say My position in all this…My position is as it has always been, namely: I loved Axanar, My wife (who does not readily do trek), LOVED Axanar and was actually excited to see the finished product.
    The way I see it, something decent, fun and very well done was coming My way, and DAMMIT, I really wanted to ENJOY IT.
    So, we are waiting for “something”…but here’s the kick, I am still excited to see whatever comes out.

    If Someone did something wrong at some point with the production…..it’s between them and those who actually own the right to take them to task for it…PERIOD……other than that….I believe Mr.Shatner said it best : “Get a life, will ya people, for cryin out loud, it’s just a tv show”(I pulled a youtube link but thought better of posting as I could not exactly recall the rules….but I have respect for Mr.Lane and would not just assume I could do something….not sucking up, just truth)….or in other cases, a fan film……if you cannot enjoy (or let others enjoy) something without starting a hair pulling cry fest….maybe there is a nice fishbowl you can get your head stuck in…….Thanks for the effort Mr.Peters, thanks for all the efforts Mr. Lane…..somehow it just does not feel like I thank , enough, those who seem to care about us and spend their time on our behalf….

  20. “At least he’s honest about being really snarky; I can’t fault him on that. Anyway, Shawn wasn’t the only detractor to jump onto the banwagon (yeah, that’s a pun)”

    I’m confused… what’s the pun?

  21. I am no fan of Alec Peters. With what I read that came out of the court case I find him a very shady individual and would not trust him with a cent of my money. HOWEVER, I am bemused as to why these people have such a hard on for the man. It’s one thing to find Peters to be someone of poor character and/or someone you wouldn’t want to do business with and it is another thing entirely to devote every working day to harass and hound the man. I mean what will they be satisfied with? Seeing him at the end of a noose? A dead body in a hotel room?

    These “detractors” need to know how pathetic they have become. I was one of them in the very early days after the law suit, but I jumped ship early on because I could see they couldn’t separate their complaints about Peters from their obsessive need to see the man destroyed. What is most insulting to me is how pretend “journalists” like Carlos Pedraza pretend they’re doing the world a service. No Carlos. You’re playing out a vendetta. I don’t know what your beef is, but I suspect it is linked to your own history in fan films. The only people that read your Axamonitor blogs are people who are your disciples.

    From Gabe Koerner’s disturbing stalking (Gabe, why risk throwing away your career like that?), to the attempts to sabotage everything Peters does. Enough already. If Peters is to fail he will fail on his own merit. What is all this supposed to achieve? It’s harassment and nothing more or less, and frankly the “detractors” long ago lost credibility because whatever wrongdoing Peters may be guilty of they have well balanced it out by some truly loathsome behaviour.

    Can we please just end the childishness?

      1. I doubt they will, and that is what I find alarming. There is no legitimate excuse for stalking and harassment.

  22. Honestly, the idea of allowing Alec Peters – the man who killed Star Trek fan films and poisoned fandom – is as bad as Neville Chamberlain trying to initiate that appeasement policy with Adolf Hitler and the rest of Nazi Germany.

    All the more reason why I left Star Trek fandom. Like the Romans poisoning the wells, Star Trek fandom has been poisoned by someone who thought of his own personal gains instead of what the fans wanted.

    Star Trek has run its course and its time to retire it.

    1. If Alec Peters “killed Star Trek fan films,” Blue, then shouldn’t they be…um…y’know…dead?

      Just sayin’…’cause they just keep comin’ out, man!

    2. Well “Blue”, if you have left Star Trek fandom, why are you posting here on a page dedicated to, um, Star Trek fan films.

      I didn’t kill Star Trek fan films, since there have been more Star Trek fan films in the two years since the Guidelines than in the two years before! And if you bothered to read, it wasn’t Axanar that was the cause of the guidelines, it was EVERYONE, STNV, STC, Renegades. But so convenient to blame Axanar I guess.

      And I didn’t poison fandom. I am a positive force, supporting more fan films than James Cawley or Vic Minogna ever did (Vic never supported anyone but himself). The only “Poison” are the haters who can’t let go of a two year old personal grudge.

      So frankly, good riddance. Star Trek fan films and Star Trek fandom, are doing very well without you.

      Alec

      1. The guidelines were mainly because of Renegades. NV and STC weren’t as concerning as they weren’t raising nearly a million dollars and carrying on Star Trek storylines with the actors playing their established Trek characters (like Tim Russ as Tuvok, Walter Koenig as Chekov, and Richard Herd as Admiral Paris…not to mention all of the DS9 actors reprising their roles in “The Requiem”). In late 2015, Renegades announced twelve half-hour webisodes a year. CBS and Paramount did NOT like that one bit…hence the first guideline saying at most two 15-minute episodes with no seasons or ongoing series. That first guideline is proof they weren’t written for Axanar…since Axanar was never going to be an ongoing series (and was already tied up in court anyway).

        I just can’t figure out why people think the guidelines were written to stop Axanar when Axanar was already being sued. The guidelines are all about how not to get sued.

  23. Sigh. as my grandfather used to say all the time, “Did you know 99% of the constipated people couldn’t give a shat?”

  24. Fascinating, Jonathan, for a number of reasons.

    First, the story has long since ceased to be about Axanar, or about Alex Peters. Instead, we have two very different groups (largely) within fandom, who have coalesced around very different principles. Axanar as a production is irrelevant. Axanar as an alignment is now all important, and determines what is acceptable behaviour (“you can do whatever you can justify to your enemy.”)

    So, we’ve gone from love (and hate) of a fan film to a story about the fans. Funny how whatever happens behind the camera is now the only story. You, Carlos Pedraza, Alec Peters and other members of two obscure facebook groups have all become the show. As a lawyer and acadmic, I’ve found Axanar- The Fight to Make the Movie even better than Prelude. I can imagine some sociologists finding the ‘Detractors v Alec Peterphiles’ just as interesting.

      1. Jonathan, that’s not quite as absurd as it sounds. The conversation is no longer about Axanar but about social media groupings, solipsistic verbal violence and changing social mores. Forget the movie, this is tribalism at its worst.

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