Did MATT MILLER write a SONG about LIL’ OL’ ME? I do believe he DID!

Okay, folks, this was totally NOT on my Bingo card for, like, ever!

It’s been more than two years since I last wrote a blog about Trekzone’s MATT MILLER from Australia. And honestly, I was fine not talking about him ever again (except, of course, when he appears in a fan film that I’m covering, like this one).

But, man! When Matt takes the time to not only write a song about me but to have someone professionally sing and record it and then use it to kick off the latest video for his Matt Miller Fan Film Awards show—well, how can I not return the favor and sincerely thank him for thinking of me (apparently constantly!) enough to put in all of this amazing effort?

Anyway, without further ado, this is the song that opened this year’s Trekzone Awards. It’s only 2 and a half minutes, it’s totally surreal, but it’s definitely worth a listen…

Has a kinda JONI MITCHELL vibe, don’t it?

Frankly, I’d be way too embarrassed to ever do anything like that with the annual SHOWRUNNER AWARDS, as they’re meant to celebrate the achievements of fan filmmakers, not serve to extend some silly vendetta. But Matt’s gotta be Matt, I suppose.

And I personally wouldn’t be all that thrilled to win an award for my fan film knowing that the presentation was tainted by some cringe attack song at the opening. I’d probably think twice before showing the video to friends since I’d have to explain what the darn song actually meant. (And what did it mean, by the way? Which side is the “haters” and what “truth” will they see? I have no earthy idea!)

Matt was, of course, careful not to use my actual name or the name of ALEC PETERS (whom he calls “The Producer”—I am, of course, “Fan Film Blogger Dude”), although he does reference my AXANAR-inspired fan film INTERLUDE at one point. But I’m obviously living rent-free inside of Matt’s head for him to include this weird vendetta-ballad at the start of the video (which you can watch in its entirety here; I don’t mind if Matt gets more views, as he certainly needs them).

By the way, I do not typically cover the Trekzone Awards because one of Matt’s requirements for eligibility is that he doesn’t hate you, and he hates a LOT of people in the fan film community (including at least a couple dozen of my close friends—along with me, of course). So each year, there end up being many very deserving fan films that are capriciously excluded from even being considered for a Trekzone Award, as Matt selects all entrants himself and has only two judges: Matt and one other fellow from Australia.

For me, the Trekzone Awards are fine for those who are eligible (i.e. they pass the “Matt doesn’t hate them” test) and win, but they don’t reflect the larger Star Trek fan film community in any way. Fan films should always be inclusionary, not exclusionary, so I don’t waste blog space covering them.

Oh, and speaking of “truth”—since Matt mentions it in the video—and in the words of Detective Frank Columbo, “Just one more thing…”

Matt (and others) have harped on and on for years(!) about me allegedly “forging” PAUL JENKINS’ signature based on a page that I scanned and included on this video. Normally, I don’t bother discussing this whole tempest-in-a-teabag (not even a teapot) because it’s so ridiculously obvious that no signature was ever forged. But apparently, I need to point out to those without reading abilities (by highlighting in yellow below) the words “Print Name” in the screen cap from the video. Take a look…

Obviously it is extremely difficult to forge a SIGNATURE on a PRINT NAME line. I mean…d’uh!

Paul’s name was likely filled in on that print name line by one of our production assistants who was manning (or womanning) the front door during the weekend. These folks were in charge of making sure that everyone who entered the studio during the filming of Interlude signed our 3-page release form. Below is a copy of the page that Paul Jenkins should have signed (note that it does, in fact, have a line for “Signature”)…

Paul never signed it, of course, which is why I used the first page log sheet in aforementioned video. The person at the front door probably wanted a record that Paul was there and so filled in his name. Or maybe Paul filled out the first page and nothing else. I honestly don’t know because I have no idea what Paul’s handwriting looks like. But it’s obviously not a signature since it was put down on the Print Name line. Maybe now the “haters will see the truth,” but sadly I doubt it.

Of course, the fact that Paul never signed in on the day that he visited the Interlude shoot technically means that Paul was trespassing on a closed filming set. But that’s an issue for him and Alec Peters to work out, since Alec and ARES STUDIOS were the ones who owned the sets at the time that I filmed there.

Anyway, that’s all I have to say about that and about Matt and his obsessive foray into musical aggression…I mean, expression. If you’d like to share your own thoughts regarding this strange little ditty about everyone’s favorite “Fan Film Blogger Dude,” feel free to comment. I’m curious to read what other people think.

16 thoughts on “Did MATT MILLER write a SONG about LIL’ OL’ ME? I do believe he DID!”

  1. Sadly I saw Matt’s picture at the top of your article and all I could think was if Snoopy and Woodstock were there it would answer the mystery of what ever happened to Charlie Brown

    1. I thought he looked more like Lex Luther? An older, run down Lex, that is. Or, Bozo the Clown without the makeup?
      As for the “song”, …. Well, that was absolutely horrible, DUDE! LOL
      Talk about living rent free in someone’s head. SSMH (deserved the sadly shake my head) Ok, your turn Jonathan

  2. As I noted elsewhere, Matt Miller is not a fan of mine. I think his principal reason for disliking me is my refusal to meet a specific condemnation of you- after I declined, he blocked me. I have no truck with these kinds of silly games. I also think that the cachet of an awards show which is basically just one person deciding what they like is limited to, well, whatever value you give to Matt’s opinions. Not high.

    But I do think you’ve tied that very strong illustration of desperate animus with a much weaker, straw man argument about the Paul Jenkins signature, something that I think, now that you’ve engaged with the issue, is worth responding to very directly. If you were not seeking to represent that Paul had signed the release, then why did you include the image of the form with Paul’s name on it? The narration is to the effect that ‘everyone on set had to agree to these terms,’ and you’ve presented a document with Paul’s name handwritten onto it. I think that it would be worth very specifically explaining what you were trying to say with that juxtaposition, if NOT that ‘Paul signed this,’ which seems to be what many (albeit not favourably disposed towards you, for the most part) seem to have drawn.

    Or, in simple terms, ‘Jonathan, what were you trying to say with that image?’ Was it really just that ‘Paul was there and someone wrote his name on a piece of paper?’

    1. Pretty much. The segment was included primarily for YouTube in case Paul tried to pull another stunt like he did with Interlude when he forced YouTube to blur his face. I was extremely careful to say what I said in the exact way I said it, and as a lawyer yourself, you should appreciate the nuanced presentation of the truth. I never said that Paul signed a release form (because he never did). I simply said that everyone who came to the studio was required to sign a release form, and Paul was there. Two absolute truths. If people who weren’t paying careful attention wanted to assume that Paul signed a release, I wasn’t going to correct them. As for using the log sheet, again, that was an actual sheet from the weekend, filled out with Paul’s name in the Print Name spot…not the signature spot. For years, folks have been saying that I forged Paul’s signature. You can’t forge a signature on a “Print Name” line unless you state that it is, in fact, someone’s signature. I never did that. So no “crime” was ever committed other than by those people libelously claiming that I forged a signature.

      Now, was I being “clever”? Sure, guilty as charged. But being “clever” isn’t a crime. And in the end, guys like Matt Miller are in WAY more legal trouble that I will ever be, since libel IS an actionable civil tort. Each time that Matt falsely accuses me of a crime I never committed, the statute of limitations resets. And now that he knows that no actual crime of forgery was ever committed by me (as I have proof from his FB comments today that he’s read this blog), any time from here on out that Matt says I am a forger is knowingly libelous. Now, will I ever bother to sue some loser in Australia who is obviously on the spectrum and possibly mentally impaired? Probably not (although if I win the lottery, totally all-in). On the other hand, there’s lots of folks much closer right here in the U.S., and the Mega Millions jackpot is currently $203 million. 🙂

      1. I take you at your word for your intentions, Jonathan.
        I suppose what troubles me is that your objective was then to HEAVILY imply something- to the point where I think just about everyone thought you were saying it- to entrap people into accusing you of faking that signature? Or to make people do 2+2 and therefore conclude that Paul had agreed?
        Either way, it just seems a little farfetched. As an Australian lawyer- the jurisdiction where Matt is, and where you would have to sue him for defamation- my concern would be that you would be found to have induced people to believe that you were making the representation. You would be pretty widely estopped from any defamation action.

        Where I’m also losing you is, how would the presentation of the release form stop Paul’s copyright claim- UNLESS you were representing that he’d signed it?

        1. >> Where I’m also losing you is, how would the presentation of the release form stop Paul’s copyright claim

          It totally wouldn’t. But YouTube is a BIG company, and they don’t have a lot of time to carefully review everything that’s thrown their way. I was banking on that, to be honest. Of course, no claim was ever submitted, and the video is long out of the public’s eye at this point, any claim at this point is essentially a waste of time and meaningless.

          As for what other people out there thought, I didn’t really care (still don’t). I covered my ass in making sure that no firm claim that this was Paul’s signature nor that Paul had given his consent was stated. Implied? Perhaps. But that would be a VERY tough argument to make stick in a court of law, especially considering that nothing ever came of it (no claim ever submitted to YouTube). And of course, there are no demonstrable damages that can be asserted by Paul Jenkins, and he’s never taken any legal action against me anyway (too late now, at this point; statue of limitations has run out, I believe).

          As for the folks out there making libelous claims, well, you’re probably correct that most Australian courts would estoppel the living daylights out of me were I to try to sue Matt for libel…at least until yesterday. The above blog makes extremely clear what was and wasn’t said and done. No more ambiguity. There simply was no forgery. Period. So as of the moment Matt read this blog and referenced its contents, anytime from that point forward that he makes a claim that I forged a signature is pure libel, plain and simple. I’m guessing you’d agree, yes?

          So I stand by my statement that Matt Miller is putting himself at a ton more risk peril that I ever did myself.

          1. Jonathan, it’s a good question. I can’t see what matt has written, as he blocked me. However, as to who is putting themselves at greater legal risk, on the basis of your comments above, Matt may not face any risk because you may have just rendered yourself, as we say, libel-proof.

            This is a legal concept whereby a person of ill repute in a specific area cannot be defamed in that regard
            in this instance, you are telling people that you deliberately misled people in order to obtain an advantage in potential copyright and other disputes. As such, the argument would be that you have now got an admitted reputation for dishonesty, or misleading people. Accusing you of forging a signature when you already, as we say, held out to others that there was a signature when there wasn’t one couldn’t substantially worsen the reputation. The contrary arguement would be that forgery is a different area of reputation to lying or tricking one’s audience through misleading statements. If that were the case, then you could still be defamed and suffer damages.

            It’s an interesting legal argument. I think you’d be lucky to end up with nominal damages.

            But putting aside the legality, reflecting on things, how do you feel about the journalistic ethics? Was it right to mislead people? Do the ends justify the means ?
            I’m asking this question not as an attack, but because I’m interested in your reflection, a couple of years on, and whether you would adopt the same strategy again. Does protecting your creation clash with your role at Blogger?

          2. You have an intriguing way of politely trying to entrap people, Nadav. I have always been impressed by that quality in you…very smiling-sharkish. Excellent job, counselor.

            As for “journalistic ethics,” it’s an intriguing choice of words. Journalistically, I was extremely careful in that video to speak only truth. I was simply hoping that, were someone at YouTube to casually watch that section of the video with Paul, that they would acknowledge that two things were true: 1) everyone who came to the studio that day was required to sign a release form, and 2) Paul Jenkins was there. Did I expect them to conclude that Paul Jenkins had signed the release form? Frankly, I had no idea what they would conclude. It was very possible that they would quickly realize that 1) this was not a signature because it clearly said “Print Name” and 2) I never said that Paul Jenkins signed the form. Had YouTube endeavored to contacted me, I certainly would have been forthcoming if questioned and never represented anything untrue.

            As for viewers of the video getting the wrong idea, I actually doubt many people ever saw it. The video itself has only 800 or so views over three years with only about 40 people bothering to watch the whole thing and about 200 people checking out the short segment in question (likely a bump due to the hyperlink link in the blog to that specific time-stamp in the video, since the blog has had about 550 views so far). So considering that the video was 71 minutes long and the part about Paul and the log sheet lasted less than a minute, I’m not all that worried about my “reputation” as a journalist. The vast VAST majority of my reporting on fan films is entirely on the up-and-up, truthful and as accurate as I can make it. When I accidentally report on something incorrectly or mistakenly provide misinformation and it’s brought to my attention, I quickly correct it in writing and apologize if appropriate. And I never plagiarize another’s writing without crediting the source (unlike Matt Miller, of course).

            I’ve published nearly 1,400 blogs over the past eight and a half years, Nadav, and the majority of the fan film community holds me in very high regard (again, unlike Matt Miller). If you believe that something that was less than a minute of a 71-minute video on a single blog out of 1,400 blogs is enough to bring into question my “journalistic ethics,” then I think you might be setting a bar that is nearly impossible for anyone to overcome. Do you have any other examples of my ethical “stumbles,” Nadav, or are you relying on only that one instance? Like you, I’m asking this question not as an attack, but because I’m interested in your reflection and whether you would hold others to this same standard of perfection? Does singling out the smallest example of a questionable decision three years after the fact amidst a long career of total integrity clash with your role at lawyer…or define it?

    1. Oh, I wish! I’ve left Matt alone for two years, and he opens his awards show with a taunting musical number all about me. And that’s just the latest in what is an almost weekly barrage of insults and false accusations aimed squarely in my direction, month after month, year after year, for more than half a decade now. So ignoring Matt completely obviously doesn’t work either. Do I think this blog is going to make a difference? Probably not. But it did feel good to not turn the other cheek for a change. I’ll go back to my corner now. I engaged with Matt briefly on FB a few hours ago, it went about as I expected, and now I’m done for the next two years once again. Time to move on and back to fan films.

  3. Jonathan,
    As noted, about the only thing Matt and I have in common is having been born in the same continent. I’ll add that, whilst I don’t share private conversations, I very much agree with you re the plagiarism point, and I made a point of letting Matt know at the time. I don’t think there’s a question of comparisons.

    I’m not trying to entrap you- to the contrary. I’m asking because I’m interested, not to further any other agenda. I think it’s a fascinating question of the modern age of journalism, where the journalist is also, I think, an actor, a producer, and something of a protagonist in the story. When you’re writing about Interlude, are you a journalist, or something else?

    As to your last point- I’m not interested in cataloguing errors. Perhaps unfairly, I think that people tend to get judged by their highest and lowest moments, not just their average. If people lose trust, though, they don’t ask ‘does he lie all the time,’ just ‘is he capable of lying?’, or ‘do I trust him anymore?’ Fair or not, hard-won reputations of a lifetime can be lost in a mere moment. As you’ve pointed out, there’s no ‘no more ambiguity,’ but I think the fair analysis was that there deliberately WAS ambiguity, if not an attempt to have people reach a false conclusion. I don’t think that describes your work over 8+ years – I think I’ve read almost every one of those blogs- but it certainly may colour the trust that people will place in your reporting. I don’t think that’s for me to say, other than for me personally,

    As to the reach of your making of video, I think it’s been mirrored- you’re up at about 8,000 views from what I can see. I personally found it very interesting, and a great exposition of how a film can be made with gumption rather than dollars.

    1. “but it certainly may colour the trust that people will place in your reporting.”

      I think you give me WAY too much credit there, Nadav. Understand that what I do isn’t high-brow, hard-hitting journalism. People go to school for years, work at newspapers, on television, and in other news media for years, and build careers based on professional efforts, ethics, and standards that are set by an established industry.

      I’m a blogger.

      I never went to journalism school. I have a B.A. in psychology from Cornell, an A.O.S. in graphic design from Pratt Manhattan, and…well…that’s pretty much it. I’m a decent writer and have written a couple of professionally-published books, but I am not, by any stretch, a journalist in the traditional sense of the word. I write about Star Trek fan films and the people who make them…a niche of a niche of a niche. I conduct interviews both via text and video. Occasionally, I editorialize. But there’s seldom anything hard-hitting about what I write. It’s light fare at best.

      As such, people are not typically holding me to such high standards at you seem to imply. Like you, they just read my blogs to find out what’s going on the world of Star Trek fan films. Few things I report on require “trust” at anything other than a very rudimentary level. For example, if I say that Samuel Cockings has released nearly two dozen episodes of Trek Shorts and the number is 23, most people are good with that. (And he has.) But if I start saying that Sam has released hundreds of fan films, some people are gonna ding me for that. When I said last year that Ray Tesi brought in a team to remove the mold-infected wall at Neutral Zone Studios and replace it with new drywall, people certainly trusted me not to lie about such things (and I did include some photos). But the proof came out over the course of the next 10 months, as no new mold issues have been reported by anyone filming there or working there as a volunteer.

      As I said, I doubt anyone who matters is judging me for one minute of footage during a 71-minute video on a single blog out of 1,400 or so published over eight years. Sure, some people have a Biden debate moment that can alter the trajectory of their lives and careers. But those events typically happen in font of audiences in the millions. I’m lucky to get audiences in the thousands, Nadav…and more commonly only in the hundreds. And I’m fine with that.

      And hey, if it’s only one flub over eight years, I’m still WAY behind Matt Miller, who has shown bad judgement and tone-deafness to the tenor of the greater fan film community so many times that he’s become a punchline for shooting himself in the foot over and over and over again. So I’ve definitely got some wiggle room. 🙂

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