AXACON ticket prices LOWERED from $85 to $50!

AXACON is now exactly one month away, and ticket prices for the weekend convention have just been lowered from $85 (not counting online processing fees) to $50.

This price reduction is based on a different scope to the ticket being purchased.  Initially, attendees would be required to first buy a $60 ticket to SphinxCon (celebrating the Honor Harrington book series) and then add on a $25 Axacon ticket.  The attendee would then be able to attend BOTH conventions.

But although attendees for SphinxCon were allowed to opt out of Axacon and simply buy the one ticket, attendees to Axacon had to buy a ticket for both…even if they didn’t really care about or were completely unfamiliar with the Honor Harrington novels (like me).

The challenge for ALEC PETERS and the organizers of Axacon was this: they’re “piggybacking” their convention on top of an existing convention.  SphinxCon is paying all the bills for the hotel facilities, and Axacon is then using a small section of their convention area for a weekend of panels and events.  So it seemed logical to Alec (at the time) to require all Axacon attendees to buy a regular ticket for SphinxCon.  That way, SphinxCon would recoup some of the added costs for the extra hotel space.

Yeah, it seemed logical.  But then again, so did this comment from ERIC L. WATTS, the chairman of the annual TREKLANTA convention: “You’re looking at a minimum of $85 for admission to Axacon, which to me, seems rather pricey for what you get if you’re not interested in Honor Harrington.”

“Fair enough,” thought Alec.  “I may be a huge Honor Harrington fan, but we can’t expect everyone to be!”  After discussing the situation with DAVID WEINER, who manages SphinxCon, the two came up with the following new pricing policy:

Axacon-only ticket: $50 – can attend only Axacon panels and events.

SphinxCon/Axacon-combo ticket: $75 – can attend panels and events for both conventions.

In this way, SphinxCon still gets reimbursement for sharing their hotel space (half of each Axacon ticket), but Axanar supporters no longer need to pay for a separate SphinxCon ticket if they have no intention of going to the Honor Harrington panels.  Or they can buy a combo-ticket for both.  Also, information on one-day tickets will be posted soon, as well.

Those Axacon attendees who have already purchased a SphinxCon ticket and don’t want to use it will be given a refund.

You can order Axacon tickets here.

ALEC PETERS talks about AXACON, the latest AXANAR financials, and the bridge set! (interview, part 2)

Yesterday, I published part 1 of an interview with ALEC PETERS, executive producer of AXANAR, discussing, among other things, the financial update he just posted last week (you can read it here.)

Axanar had a net loss of $150K overall, funds covered personally by Alec, as they exceeded the $1.2 million raised from the various crowd-funders.  In 2017 alone, expenses for Axanar Productions totaled just over $35K, of which approximately $26K was paid to cover final legal expenses for items not included in the pro bono agreement with law firm Winston & Strawn.

Although Axanar Productions never completed its filings for 501(c)(3) status in California, there is currently some consideration of trying to make OWC Studios into a tax-exempt charity, considering the work they’re doing with film education in the local Georgia school districts.

Alec and I went on to discuss work being done towards the completion of the USS Ares bridge by a team of volunteers, along with future intended uses for the set and studio.  And then we began talking about the upcoming Axacon event scheduled for November 2-4 (order your tickets here!) when Alec dropped a bombshell that he expects to LOSE $5,000 on Axacon.  Rather than being a profitable endeavor and helping to fund production of the final two Axanar fan films, this convention is going to cost Alec quite a pretty penny!

And that’s where we pick up our interview, already in progress…

Continue reading “ALEC PETERS talks about AXACON, the latest AXANAR financials, and the bridge set! (interview, part 2)”

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…

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

J.G. HERTZLER suspends his campaign for Congress and talks about AXANAR! (audio interview)

In June of 2017, when I saw the headline that a former Star Trek actor was planning to run for the U.S. Congress, I wasn’t at all surprised to find out that it was J.G. HERTZER.

Even though his character of General Martok from Deep Space Nine (who eventually became Chancellor Martok, leader of the Klingon Empire) loathed politics, J.G. always seemed drawn to it.  The few times I’d seen and spoken with him at conventions, J.G. would invariably share his strongly-held progressive views on political issues and politicians in general.

So it kinda made sense that J.G. would combine his two passions—theater and politics—into his campaign to represent the 23rd Congressional District of New York State.  That said, I still scratched my head a little at J.G.’s choice to run simultaneously as himself and also as his “spokesman” Mark Twain (pen name of noted American author Samuel Clemens).  Clemens spent a portion of his adult life living and writing in J.G.’s upstate New York district, and the author’s humorous and straight-spoken approach to life seemed a perfect way to comment on the state of our union and the challenges facing it.

JG HERTZLER as 19th Century author Mark Twain

Unfortunately for the fan film AXANAR, however, J.G.’s choice to campaign as Mark Twain included a decision to also look the part, which meant letting his hair grow long and wavy (like the author).  This precluded J.G. from filming any scenes of the upcoming Axanar fan film sequels until after the U.S. midterm elections in November, as his character of Admiral Sam Travis had a distinctively short military-style haircut.

So naturally, as an Axanar supporter myself, I took notice when I learned last week that J.G. Hertzler was SUSPENDING his Congressional campaign!  Did this mean he was now free to cut his hair and do Axanar sooner?  Was he even going to do Axanar at all?  (He hadn’t been officially confirmed yet.)  And why would J.G. suddenly suspend his campaign less than three months before the midterm elections?

Continue reading “J.G. HERTZLER suspends his campaign for Congress and talks about AXANAR! (audio interview)”

AXACON adds more guests – TICKETS now available!

Things are beginning to get very exciting when it comes to AXACON, the “con-within-a-con” that is happening during the first weekend of November in Atlanta, GA.

In the last few weeks, some major new guests were added, and last week, tickets finally went on sale.  The guest list now includes GARY GRAHAM (who plays Ambassador Soval in AXANAR) and J.G. HERTZLER (who plays the surly Admiral Sam Travis in AXANAR)—both of whom are veteran television Star Trek actors—along with tribbles creator DAVID GERROLD.

Other announced guests include director/co-writer of the upcoming Axanar sequel fan films PAUL JENKINS, editor/sound designer MARK EDWARD LEWIS, art directors LESS QUESSENBERRY and ALEXANDER RICHARDSON, STEVEN JEPSON (Admiral Slater from Prelude to Axanar), and of course, writer/executive producer/Garth of Izar himself ALEC PETERS.  There’s also a growing number of notables from the fan film community including Stalled Trek creator MARK LARGENT, Chasing the Infinite Sky creator ALBERT J. MARTINEZ, Axanar fan artist MARK PAYTON, and your favorite Fan Film Factor blogger JONATHAN LANE.

Also announced is that Axacon ticket holders will be invited for a Friday tour of OWC Studios in Lawrenceville, GA, where the Ares bridge set is located.  Guests need to provide their own transportation to and from the studio, which is about 40 minutes from the hotel.

Tickets for the event can now be purchased.  Note that these are “add-on” tickets, meaning that a ticket for Axacon (either $25 or $50) can only be purchased AFTER you first buy a ticket for SphinxCon (which is a separate $50 ticket).  SphinxCon, a convention celebrating the Honor Harrington book series, is happening at the same location and is acting as the “host” convention (meaning they are paying the main expenses for the hotel facilities).  Axacon is happening in a special area of the convention open only to Axacon ticket holders.

The event will be taking place at the  Crowne Plaza – Atlanta Airport (free shuttle from Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport) on November 2-4, 2018.

Click here to purchase tickets for Axacon.


And come back tomorrow for a surprisingly candid interview with J.G. Hertzler discussing his recent political campaign, his haircut, and whether or not he’ll be appearing in the Axanar sequel films!

AXACON to be held the weekend of NOV 2-4 in Atlanta as part of SPHINXCON!

After a lull in AXANAR news out of Georgia for several months, it seems that there’s suddenly a LOT to talk about!  This past week, in addition to the announcement of a director for the two Axanar fan films, PAUL JENKINS, as well as editor MARK EDWARD LEWIS and DIT/colorist BING BAILEY, ALEC PETERS just announced the long-awaited AxaCon has finally been scheduled.  Here’s the official announcement…

The Manticore Company, LTD (TMCL) and Axanar Productions are pleased to announce that TMCL’s newest convention, SphinxCon will include Axanar Productions’ AxaCon as a unique“convention-in-a-convention” on November 2–4, 2018 at the Crowne Plaza Atlanta-Airport.

SphinxCon is the newest intimate Literary Military Science Fiction and Fantasy Convention in Atlanta. It is the Annual Convention of The Royal Manticoran Navy: The Official Honor Harrington Fan Association. AxaCon is the official convention of Axanar, the Star Trek fan film dubbed “The Ultimate Fan Film” by Newsweek magazine.

SphinxCon will provide AxaCon with a dedicated space for their panels and events. In return, AxaCon will bring in additional guests as well as a display of various television and movie props from Axanar Productions’ CEO Alec Peters’ personal collection. Peters is known throughout the sci-fi world as a collector of screen-used props from a variety of science fiction franchises, most notably Star Trek.

“When Alec made the proposal for us to host AxaCon, it made perfect sense,” according to David Weiner, Convention Chairman for SphinxCon. “We had already come to an agreement with Alec to offer a private tour of the Axanar sets at OWC Studios to our Manticore Premier members and Convention guests, so when he proposed adding AxaCon as a ‘convention-in-a-convention,’ everyone thought it would be a win-win.”

Alec Peters was equally enthusiastic. “I read the first three Honor Harrington books when doing research for Axanar and love the universe. The chance to host AxaCon with SphinxCon is really fantastic for fans. I think there will be a lot of crossover as fans of one franchise discover the other.”

Indeed!  Already, Alec is lining up guests to appear, including co-writer/director (and Marvel Comics writer) Paul Jenkins, Steven “Admiral Slater” Jepson, Stalled Trek fan filmmaker Mark Largent…and a certain blogger of your acquaintance.  Yep, Alec activated a seldom-used reserve activation clause and drafted me.

So it was only fair that Alec give me yet another interview to discuss this event…

Continue reading “AXACON to be held the weekend of NOV 2-4 in Atlanta as part of SPHINXCON!”

Major AXANAR news! (interview with ALEC PETERS, part 2)

Click here to read Part 1.

ALEC PETERS is pretty much a man who needs no introduction…at least in the fan community.  But if you’ve only just landed on this planet, here’s a quick run-down.  Alec has been the driving force behind the fan production AXANAR for half a decade, writing, producing, and appearing in the widely popular Prelude to Axanar fan film.  He worked ceaselessly over three crowd-funding campaigns to raise more than $1.3 million in fan donations to build out a studio and sets and begin filming a 90-minute Star Trek fan film detailing the final battle of the Four Years War with the Klingons at the planet Axanar.

And then Alec got sued by CBS and Paramount for copyright infringement.  He fought back, and after a year of legal proceedings, the lawsuit was settled just days before a trial was set to begin.  While the specifics of Alec’s settlement with the studios aren’t public, we do know that Alec is now allowed to make two 15-minute Axanar fan films with his original cast (if they choose to return) as well as other entertainment industry professionals.

That settlement came nearly a year and a half ago, and still there is no completed follow-up Axanar fan film or films.  With that in mind, let’s pick up where we left off yesterday as I ask Alec a question that both Axanar supporters AND detractors have certainly been wondering about… Continue reading “Major AXANAR news! (interview with ALEC PETERS, part 2)”

Major AXANAR news! (interview with ALEC PETERS, part 1)

“What’s happening with AXANAR?”  “When is it coming out?”  “Has the entire project just fallen apart?”  “Who’s the director?”  “Do they even have a production team?”

These questions and so many like them pour into comments, IMs, and emails to me almost weekly.  (In fact, the “fallen apart” one came in just last week.)  I’ve so wanted to share what I know, but I’ve been asked repeatedly by ALEC PETERS to please keep things under wraps for the time being.

A few weeks ago, I finally started asking Alec in earnest when we could do a proper interview and announce some of these big news items publicly.  Believe it or not, it’s actually been well over a YEAR since my last full interview with him!  Anyway, it took some prodding and nagging, but I finally convinced the man behind Axanar to sit down with me for an extended interview and update.

Let’s dive right in…

Continue reading “Major AXANAR news! (interview with ALEC PETERS, part 1)”

What’s WRONG with making a mockery of AXANAR… (editorial)

MICHAEL ILASI, a dedicated AXANAR detractor, announced last month that he was planning to create a “parody” of Prelude to Axanar using actual footage from the fan film…re-edited to be “funny.”

But what Michael released wasn’t a parody so much as a mockery.  It belittled ALEC PETERS and the other cast members of Prelude by showing their bloopers, adding banjo music, crickets, laughter, etc…and making it look like these were bungling idiots rather than actors trying to put in solid performances while flubbing the occasional line.

Michael called it a “fan film,” but I don’t think it qualifies.  A fan film should celebrate and honor something a fan loves—Star Trek, Star Wars, Doctor Who, Harry Potter—not try to tear it down or cheapen it in some way.  In fact, that’s sorta the OPPOSITE of a fan film.

Michael was using Axanar blooper footage released without permission last year by former Axanar marketing director turned vitriolic detractor TERRY McINTOSH, violating his non-disclosure agreement with Alec and Axanar Productions and releasing footage that was not legally his to release.

The arguments being employed currently by Michael and other detractors justifying the creation and release of this mockery film can best be summed up as follows:

  1. Alec can’t own the Prelude footage because it’s all Star Trek, and Alec doesn’t own the Star Trek intellectual property.
  2. Parody is protected speech under fair use.  Alec can’t do anything to prevent Michael from enjoying his First Amendment rights.
  3. Axanar is”open source.”  Alec even said so himself.
  4. Get over yourselves and laugh, fer cryin’ out loud!  They’re bloopers, not KFC’s secret recipe of 11 herbs and spices.  Lighten up.

You probably won’t be surprised to hear that I’ve got an answer to each of these attempts to justify and excuse what Michael did.

Continue reading “What’s WRONG with making a mockery of AXANAR… (editorial)”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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