ALEC PETERS talks about AXACON, the latest AXANAR financials, and the bridge set! (interview, part 1)

This past Friday, ALEC PETERS published a blog providing the latest “AXANAR Financial Update.”  (You can read it here.)  In the blog, Alec explains that Axanar Productions is now serviced by one of Atlanta’s largest and most prestigious accounting firms, Frazier and Deeter, and that Axanar Productions owes no taxes currently due to a business loss of more than $150,000 over and above the $1.2 million donated by supporters in 2014 and 2015.  This loss was money put in by Alec Peters personally to cover expenses not covered by contributions.

One would assume that a large and reputable accounting firm would not take on as a client any corporation with obviously shady dealings, potential embezzlement, tax fraud, etc.—and that they would do their due diligence prior to signing up any new client.  So the fact that Frazier and Deeter, which has in the past advised Pinewood Studios where many Marvel movies have been shot in Atlanta, decided to represent Axanar Productions argues against many of the spurious claims of “corruption” by Axanar detractors.

The majority of the numerical specifics of Alec’s update were included in a single paragraph:

There were $ 35,103.78 in Axanar expenses in 2017, of which approximately $26,000 was legal expenses left over from the lawsuit.  These were the only legal expenses from the CBS/Paramount lawsuit, as we received over $1M in free legal services from Winston & Strawn.  However, our pro-bono agreement was that we paid all actual expenses which consisted of deposition and expert witness costs.  I personally paid those costs as well as the other costs in 2017 in order to keep the studio and operation going.

While Axanar Productions had attempted to file for 501(c)(3) tax exempt status back in California, those plans were tabled after the move to Lawrenceville, Georgia.  Now, Alec and his advisers are considering starting the process of making OWC Studios into a 501(c)(3) since they’re working on an educational program for local high schools and colleges in the Atlanta area that have video and film programs.

In anticipation of that, and in preparation for the upcoming Axacon event from November 2-4 (get your tickets here), Alec and his team are also working to complete the amazing USS Ares bridge set.  There’s obviously a LOT going on with Axanar (in addition to ramping up to film the two sequel episodes), and I though this might be a good time to have a little chat with Captain Garth himself, Alec Peters…

Alec Peters

JONATHAN – So now that the donor funds are all gone, why bother issuing financial updates at all?

ALEC – Because it is important that people know how we are managing our finances, who is paying for things, and that when we do go to raise more money, we are doing it in the most transparent and professional way possible.

I am the first to admit we needed to be more buttoned up and have a production accountant when we raised money in 2014 and 2015.  Well, now we have one of the best accounting firms in the Atlanta film market handling Axanar.

And it was important that people know I spent $ 35,000 of my own money last year to pay Axanar bills.  We still have some knuckleheads who think I am living off Axanar donor funds because they don’t bother to read anything.

JONATHAN – So no one is giving any money to Axanar or OWC Studios at the moment…other than you, of course?

ALEC – No one is funding Axanar right now except me.  OWC Digital is still sponsoring the studio that bears their name, and they’re still very happy with what we’re doing both now and going forward.  And we’re certainly grateful for their support!

JONATHAN – But don’t you still need money to produce the final two Axanar fan films?  Where is that money coming from?

ALEC – Yes, we do!  But until we break down the script and get budgets from each department and decide where we are shooting what, we really don’t know how much we need.  We have two big production meetings in conjunction with Axacon when everyone will be here.

JONATHAN – But Axacon is November 2-4, and you start shooting in December/January (according to JG Hertzler in a recent audio interview I did with him).  Can you raise the money you need in that short a span of time?

ALEC – We will see!  I think what we need in order to do so is a good plan.

JONATHAN – A plan for production…or a plan to raise money?

ALEC – Production.

JONATHAN – But you’re doing a lot of work on bridge set right now before Axacon.  What specifically are you doing and how much is that costing?

ALEC – Well, we are finishing all the console panels, designing all graphics for all computer screens, choosing flooring, and installing lighting.  Overall it will cost several thousand dollars, which I am paying myself right now.

JONATHAN – And then the bridge is finished?

ALEC – Close.  Good enough for Axacon.

JONATHAN – What will be left still to do?   Tractor beam?  Medical staff?  Torpedoes?  Tuesday?

ALEC – We’ll need more lighting.

JONATHAN – What kind of lighting?

ALEC – Everything you need to light a bridge set.

JONATHAN – So which lights are being put in now versus what comes later?

ALEC – Practical lighting now, set lighting later.

JONATHAN – Can you explain to the readers what the difference is?

ALEC – Practical lighting are elements that you would see on an actual starship.  Set lighting would be the lights we use to light the set effectively to film.

JONATHAN – Who is going to do the work finishing up the bridge?

Dana Wagner

ALEC – There’s a whole team of us. Four people in the art department doing graphics, two guys in construction who worked on the upcoming fan film First Frontier doing construction with Dana Wagner, one of our key volunteers, two of us handling floor and three handling electronics and power.  Plus there are another half dozen volunteers doing all sorts of things.

JONATHAN – Does this mean you’ll be including some bridge scenes in the Axanar films???

ALEC – Maybe.

JONATHAN – Way to commit, Alec!

ALEC – I’m not trying to be evasive.  Those production meetings we’ll be having in six weeks really will solidify a lot of our plans.

JONATHAN – So, will you be able to use the money you make from Axacon to help pay for all this bridge work?

ALEC – Honestly I expect to lose about $5,000 on Axacon.  And that is okay.  But I don’t think there is any way we make money.

JONATHAN – You’re gonna LOSE five grand on Axacon???

Come back tomorrow when we talk about the Axacon schedule, whether or not the final two Axanar fan films have a firm release date yet, coffee shops, moon shots, and Carlos Pedraza.

13 thoughts on “ALEC PETERS talks about AXACON, the latest AXANAR financials, and the bridge set! (interview, part 1)”

  1. The detractors will be along shortly trying to explain how Alec has pulled the wool over the eyes of Frazier and Deeter. Just like flat earthers and chem trailers or moon landing conspirators, they will find ways to dismiss anything that argues against their claims. This will never change.

    It will be interesting to read Part 2. You left us on an awesome cliffhanger there!

  2. Alec you might give the axe to Axacon if indeed it’s a money loser.. Who is doing the marketing for it and are there any sponsers for it at all?

    Seriously there’s no need to lose funds. Perhaps you can merge a portion of it into another larger convention?

  3. I fell parallels between Axanar and Brexit. So much sound and fury signifying nothing just get on with it and make the damm thing and get us out of europe. At this stage I dont care if its Teresa May directing Axanar or Alex Peters hell let him get us out of Europe as well. Just get on with it.

    1. It’s easy to say, “Just get on with it…” when you yourself don’t have to actually do anything, Glenn. The thing about Brexit is that, if it were that easy to just clear the table, put all the dishes and utensils into the dishwasher, turn out the lights, and go upstairs, it would have been done already. But there’s a lot of moving parts to the Brexit break-up…and remember that no country has ever left the EU before! The biggest risk for the UK is exiting the European Union without collapsing your economy. I’m sure that, if Britain’s financial situation worsened and you were suddenly paying twice as much as you used to for any groceries and goods not grown or manufactured on your island, you’d be complaining that the guys in charge rushed getting out of the EU without taking care to do it right. And of course, the other reason Brexit is taking so long (aside from trying to protect the British pound), is that anything you blokes decide to do has to be approved by 27 different parliaments and other governing bodies. That’s a tall order, too!

      As for Axanar, people think back to Prelude and say, “Hey, you started filming in April and were finished by July. Just do that again. Why is this taking so damn long?” But these people forget that work on Prelude didn’t actually begin in April of 2014. It began years earlier. Alec was able to hit the ground running specifically because he had laid the groundwork and foundation months and, in some cases, years before.

      Right now, the last two Axanar fan films are in that same state of pre-production as Prelude was in 2013, which for many movies in Hollywood can also last for years before the director shouts “Action!” for the first time. And Axanar is really much closer to a Hollywood production than it is to an amateur fan film. In Prelude, you just didn’t notice all of the prep-work because it happened before nearly anyone was even aware of Axanar. But now you’re watching the sausage get made, and it’s not fast enough. Well, Glenn, I’m sorry it’s troubling you–just as I’m sorry that the speed of Brexit is troubling you. But the goal in the latter is to keep both Britain and the rest of Europe from collapsing economically…and I think that’s at least of some import, don’t you? As for Axanar, the goal is to make one of the best Star Trek fan films so far. But Rome wasn’t built in a day.

      If you don’t want to feel like you’re waiting forever, Glenn, then skip reading any blog I publish with AXANAR in the title. Distract yourself with fish and chips, cricket, and the newest Doctor Who. When Axanar is ready, we’ll let you know. 🙂

  4. Alec, Johnathan, & crew,
    Thank you for all your blood, sweat, tears, and anything else possibly sanity you’ve lost.

    I know you had a dream, Alec, it “IS” a fantastic one. Please, in U.S. Navy terms ” . . . steady as she goes . . .” I am sure our beloved U.S.S. Ares is a fast ship for you have sailed her into harms way. Suffering the slings and arrows of the outrageous misfortune of having to deal with the mentally unstable, Axa-haters.

    Now, with Moonves out we all hope Axanar can be seen in it’s entirty, but “WE” live in reality and know that is only a dream.

    Bravo Zulu on a job well, and having U.S. Navy core values and having the #Courage to #Honor your #Commitments.

    Sincerely & respectfully,

    Charles R. Williamson Jr.
    EW1(SW/MTS) USN(Ret.)

    A.F. & A.M., L.M.I.P.
    Warwick #336

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