I’l be doing a live interview on the SHANE PLAYS radio program tomorrow (Saturday) at 2pm Eastern Time (that’s 11am Pacific Time for me). Shane will be talking to me about the AXANAR lawsuit and settlement–was there a clear winner and/or loser?–and about what this all might mean for the future of Star Trek fan films.
The show broadcasts live in the Little Rock area on 96.5 FM the Answer, and people can listen online at http://965fmtheanswer.com. You can also call in. The show will be archived afterwards for anyone to listen to who wants to.
Oh, and for anyone who is curious about my computer situation, a new MacBook Pro has been ordered and is now on its way from Brooklyn, NY to Los Angeles, CA (I order most of my expensive gadgets from &B&H Photo). As I feared, the culprit was indeed the logic board on my five and a half year old Mac laptop. I will miss the 17″ screen (not made anymore), but time marches on.
My old computer will works at ultra-slow speed (it’s taken me 25-minutes to type this blog so far), so Fan Film Factor will likely remain “in hibernation” until mid-to-late next week. My apologies.
Hey, folks. My trusty ol’ Macintosh is gettin’ a little too ol’, so while I contemplate spending thousands on a new one (sorry, PC people, I’m never going back to Windows), the current contraption is going into the shop for at least a day or two.
This means a delay on any new blog posts (including my interview with Alec Peters), as well as approving and/or responding to any comments. As soon as I’m back at full power, I’ll make those two tasks my priority (after my family, of course).
In the meantime, if you’re looking for something to do on an otherwise pleasant Saturday, think about tuning in for my Axanar lawsuit update on the Shane Plays radio broadcast this Saturday at 2pm Eastern (11am Pacific). The show broadcasts live in the Little Rock area on 96.5 FM the Answer, and people can listen online at http://965fmtheanswer.com. You can also call in!
While we wait for my interview with Alec Peters for be reviewed and approved by the AXANAR legal team (yes, they’re taking the confidentiality aspects of the settlement agreement quite seriously…as they should), there was a posting made yesterday morning addressing some of the questions many Axanar fans (and detractors) have been asking.
ALEC PETERS answered four frequently-asked questions and also provided a link to a special blog about the Axanar financials (coming really soon…right, Alec???).
Late last year, STARFLEET STUDIOS (in Iowa) released the half-hour long Star Trek: Ravenand, with it, introduced the world to the new VOYAGER CONTINUESfan series. Set aboard the titular starship during its time traversing the Delta Quadrant, the series promises to eventually feature members of the entire USS Voyager crew. Their first episode, a short film called “Derelict,” will focus on just two characters: Seven-of-Nine and Harry Kim.
Last week, show-runner David Whitney began shooting scenes of “Derelict” with real physical sets (unlike the virtual CGI sets composited behind footage of actors in front of green screens). And a few days ago, photos from that shoot were posted.
The first thing I noticed was that Seven-of-Nine’s hair was brunette, not blonde like actress Jeri Ryan had worn her hair when she played the character on Star Trek: Voyager. Knowing that David Whitney had not been averse to using wigs (as his lead actress in Raven had filmed all of her scenes wearing a purple wig), I asked David why he hadn’t done the same thing for Seven-of-Nine?
It would have looked lame. I know people will complain. I don’t care. Seriously, a wig would have looked crazy. Of course Raven’s wig was awesome. Finding the actress with blue eyes was hard enough. Frankly, finding someone who could act, was pretty, and had the right kind of bone structure was a real find. Brown hair? No big deal. Jeri Ryan is a brunette. She dyes her hair. No, I could just not bring myself to ask her to bleach her hair. I’m really happy with her. What a nice lady.
If being an Axanar detractor were an Olympic event, MICHAEL HINMAN would have to change his last name to PHELPS. He is the administrator of the CBS/Paramount v. Axanar Facebook group where detractors of Axanar and Alec Peters go to…well…detract.
I visit the group occasionally when I feel my blood pressure has dropped too low, and I usually realize within about a minute or two of reading the comments there why I usually hit the “Back” button on my browser after about a minute or two of reading the comments there.
So imagine my surprise when I popped over there a few minutes ago to find a message from Michael Hinman that I actually AGREED with! In fact, I need to APPLAUD him for posting it!!!
I’ll reprint the post in its entirety in a moment, but first I need to explain a few things. If you’re a reader of the blog comments here on FAN FILM FACTOR, you’ve probably seen at least a few detractors doing their “thing” when I post blogs that discuss Axanar. And some of those comments can be a little–shall we say–intense, passionate, heated, crude, indignant, insulting, ranting, raving, vitriolic (the list goes on). And that’s only a taste of what you’ll see on their Facebook group. Trust me; it’s not pretty.
I can deal with all of the above–my only real pet peeve (aside from obscenity) is straight-out misinformation. It bugs the shat out of me, and can, at times, border on libel. I’ve even gone so far as to issue warnings a few times in the comments section and state that opinions expressed by the readers of Fan Film Factor do not necessarily reflect the views of the blog owner (me). Well, today it was Michael Hinman’s turn to issue the warning to his members…
Dave Heagney, Jr. is a fellow blogger and Facebook friend of mine.
Actually, I should correct that to say that Dave WAS just a Facebook friend and has since become an actual friend whom I speak with on the phone and look forward to meeting in person the next time I get up to the San Francisco Bay area. Dave is also a fellow Axanar supporter and has helped me immeasurably in serving as one of my moderators over on the Project: SMALL ACCESS Facebook group.
Yesterday, Dave wrote a blog entry for his site that was, quite frankly, nearly the exact same blog I was planning to write next week. I was gonna call mine “The AXANAR SETTLEMENT – Win, Loss, or Draw?” But Dave still hit on the same main points that I was going to. So rather than reinvent the wheel and just write a longer blog (’cause that’s what I do!), I asked Dave if I could reprint his editorial here–and he graciously agreed.
Yes, folks, there are still other Star Trek fan films out there, and DEIMOS is one of them. Formerly known as the fan series Starship Deimos, the umbrella”brand” POTEMKIN PICTURES has now dropped their fan series names (because the fan film guidelines prohibit it) and simply has tabs for each of their five endeavors, sorted by production crew. You can view episodes from all the teams on the Potemkin Pictures website. Deimos is based in Alabama and led by Potemkin Pictures creative head RANDY LANDERS.
The latest offering from the Deimos crew (their fourth production), the 11-minute long “The Archive,” features all of the main Starfleet characters plus a Romulan captain from their previous episode. Like the rest of the Potemkin Pictures fan films, what this low/no-budget production lacks in style and pizzazz, they make up for in heart and dedication. You can view “The Archive” below…
And so it ends…not in fire, not with a warp core breach and a huge explosion that rocks the very foundation of the world of copyright law, but with a quiet settlement between the parties with sparse details revealed to anyone not directly involved in the AXANAR lawsuit.
Press releases were issued separately by both CBS/Paramount and byAxanar Productions two and a half hours ago. They both said mostly the same things, each with a different “spin.” But details were sparse.
But Axanar just sent out an e-mail to donors with more specifics…and I’m a donor so I thought I’d share some of the details here. In addition to the studios allowing Axanar to be produced and released, we now know a few more key things:
The Axanar fan film WILL be permitted to use Gary Graham as Soval! (Wow.) It will ALSO be allowed to use the other professional actors who appeared in Prelude to Axanar (J.G. Hertzler, Richard Hatch, and Kate Vernon…Tony Todd has previously announced he would not remain with the production).
The new Axanar fan film will have to adhere to all the other guidelines, including being limited to only two 15-minute parts of a single story, not having “Star Trek” in the title, etc. No professionals can be compensated for their work on the production.
Public crowd-funding campaigns will not be permitted, but private donations can be accepted (I plan to donate).
Alec Peters and Axanar Productions will be allowed to create OTHER Star Trek fan films in the future beyond the Axanar sequel. (Whether these other fan films will be in the Axanar universe or the more general Star Trek universe is still unknown, but any future films will also need to follow the guidelines.)
That’s what we DO know. What was frustratingly absent from the announcements were two key pieces of information:
Was Alec Peters required to pay any kind of financial penalty to the studios? (After all, by settling the case, he is avoiding a judgment in the thousands and perhaps even the millions of dollars.) I have yet to independently confirm that.
What happens to Ares/Industry Studios? There was no mention of its fate in today’s announcement. I suppose if its still around in another month or two, we’ll have our answer.
But I want answers sooner than that…and I know you folks do, too! I’ve already left messages for Alec Peters (voice-mail, text, Facebook IM), and I’m gonna keep pestering him for an interview…today, if possible! And as soon as I get it transcribed, you’d better believe it’s going up on this website!
In the meantime, here is the full text for the announcement to the Axanar donors:
The following press release was just sent out by Axanar Productions. I am told there will be more details coming in an e-mail to be sent out to donors later on today. As soon as I receive that e-mail, I will publish it here.
Feel free to submit comments, but please understand that there is still a LOT we all do not know yet–including me. So any responses I post will, for the time being, be only conjecture. Rest assured that I plan to be in contact with Alec Peters and Mike Bawden as soon as I hit “Publish”….in three, two, one, NOW:
Valencia, CA – Friday, January 20 – Axanar Productions is pleased to announce that we have reached a formal resolution to the lawsuit brought against Alec Peters, and the fan film production, AXANAR, by CBS Studios, Inc. and Paramount Pictures Corporation.
Since the beginning of the lawsuit, over a year ago, we have expressed our desire to address the concerns of the studios, and our willingness to make necessary changes, as long as we could reasonably meet our commitments to AXANAR’S over 14,000 donors, fans and supporters. We are now able to do exactly that.
Terms of the settlement agreement include an agreement to allow Axanar Productions to continue showing PRELUDE TO AXANAR commercial-free on YouTube and to allow Axanar Productions to produce the AXANAR feature film as two fifteen-minute segments that can be distributed on YouTube (also without ads).
Additional terms of the agreement will be made available to cast, crew and donors through private correspondence.
For the next sixty days, Axanar Productions will be working through some final legal requirements requiring immediate attention. In addition, there are several pre-production issues that need to be re-visited before we can begin principal photography on our project.
Axanar Productions was created by lifelong Star Trek fans to celebrate their love for Star Trek. Alec Peters and the Axanar team look forward to continuing to share the Axanar story and are happy to work within the Guidelines for Fan Films for future projects.
Throughout this process, we will continue communicating with our fans and backers to ensure they are informed and involved until we reach completion of the production.
FOR MORE INFORMATION: Mike Bawden, PR for Axanar Productions – 563.359.8654 (firstname.lastname@example.org) Morey Altman, PR for Axanar Productions – +972.54.325.4350
In Part 1, we began our ten-year journey with the crew of STAR TREK: DARK ARMADA, a fan series out of the Netherlands created by Robin Hiert. Inspired by the early green screen fan series Star Trek: Hidden Frontier, Dark Armada attempted to build on the Chroma-keying advances of its predecessor to take low-budget, virtual set Star Trek fan films one step farther to make scenes appear even more realistic in a constrained green screen filming environment.
Gathering together a group of semi-professional fan filmmakers from the Netherlands and Belgium in 2005, Fan Trek Productions (as they called themselves) began filming their first episode in 2006 and released it later that year. The 8-minute episode “These Are the Voyages” was intended to be more of a learning activity than an actual pilot. Their first “real” episode (the 13-minute “Worst Nightmare“) would premiere two and a half years later in early 2009, to be followed shortly thereafter by the 15-minute “Choices, part one” toward the end of 2009. By that point, more than 40 different production people were working on a single episode, and the quality had increased considerably.
And that’s where we left off. As we enter 2010, Dark Armada owes its fans a sequel to “Choices, part one” plus an explanation of why exactly the series is named “Dark Armada…”