ARES STUDIOS launches new PATREON! (interview with ALEC PETERS, part 2)

Yesterday, I began speaking to ALEC PETERS about his new PATREON campaign for ARES STUDIOS. Officially launched last Friday evening, in less than a week, with 95 patrons as of this evening, it’s already nearly 25% of the way to its goal of generating $4,000/month in donations to help pay rent and utilities for the studio in Lawrenceville, GA.

Alec explained that Ares Studios is an entirely separate business entity from Axanar Productions, which will be producing the final two Axanar fan films. So crowd-funding through Patreon is allowed because the legal settlement with CBS and Paramount only covers the production of the two 15-minute Axanar sequel fan films.

And speaking of those two films, let’s return to our interview with Alec as he tells us why he hasn’t started filming Axanar yet (’cause we all REALLY want to know!)…

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ARES STUDIOS launches new PATREON! (interview with ALEC PETERS, part 1)

It’s been hinted about for the past few weeks, but on Friday night, it became official. ARES STUDIOS (formerly OWC Studios) in Lawrenceville, GA—home to the amazing USS Ares bridge set—has launched a new PATREON campaign to help cover the monthly costs of rent and utilities (about $4000/month).

For those of you unfamiliar with what a “Patreon” campaign is, it’s somewhat different than crowd-funding using Kickstarter, Indiegogo, or GoFundMe. In the case of those three, backers pledge a one-time donation of $25 or $100 or $500 or whatever amount, and they’re done. With a Patreon, donation amounts are much smaller, but they are MONTHLY and ongoing. That’s why, if you look at the Ares Studios Patreon, you’ll see perks listed for levels of only $2, $5, $10, and $20. By the end of the year, those amounts would total the equivalent of a one-time donation to a Kickstarter.

The new campaign was announced on Friday night during the first episode of what ALEC PETERS intends to be a regular YouTube livestream broadcast called REEL TREK, produced by Ares Studios to discuss all things Star Trek live with fan viewers. During the broadcast, fans donated about $120 as they posted their comments, but that was just the beginning. Toward the end of the program, Alec announced the new Patreon to about 200 live viewers, and a few folks started signing up to the campaign.

Only 24 hours later, however, the views of the archived live discussion had jumped to 4000, and Patreon sign-ups grew to more than 60 pledging about $535 per month ($6,420 per year)…meaning that the campaign passed 1/8 of the way there in just a day, with little fanfare or marketing so far.

Some detractors have predicted (hoped) that this initial surge would quickly fade to a trickle, with Carlos Pedraza reminding people that a crowd-funding campaign back in 2017 tried to raise $200,000 to keep Ares (Industry) Studios in California and only made it to $22,000. On the other hand, if the Patreon can get to that same number, it covers half the monthly expenses…and Paatreons don’t come with ending dates.

Anyway, this sounded like a good time for an interview with Alec about not only the Patreon but also those two 15-minute fan films he’s supposed to be working on…

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Update on THE CONSTAR CHRONICLES (interview with VANCE MAJOR, part 2)

Last week, I began chatting with VANCE MAJOR, the “Where’s Waldo of Star Trek fan films.” After completing nearly three dozen fan films featuring the (long) career of the character of Erick Minard, Vance briefly stepped away from producing Trek fan films. Briefly.

He returned to the fold early last year, announcing the launch of production on THE CONSTAR CHRONICLES. While these new fan films would also feature Vance playing Minard, they would now focus on various members of his crew, once again weaving a complex tapestry of stories that could be viewed individually or as one long saga. In this way, Vance skirts the “no ongoing series” guideline (kinda) because these will be individual, self-contained stories and not an ongoing series. In fact, The Constar Chronicles isn’t even the official name of the production. Ultimately, it will simply be a number of separate fan films which feature some of the same characters serving on the same starship(s).

Last month, Vance released the following trailer…

In Part 1, Vance talked about the filmmaking process so far on Constar. But then we left off with a most intriguing question…

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Follow-up: Yes, SHAWN O’HALLORAN, you ARE stalking ALEC PETERS!

Yesterday, I called SHAWN P. O’HALLORAN a moron and a stalker. Shawn didn’t like that at all. In fact, he got so upset that he wrote an 800-plus word Facebook response, culminating in the following hysterical rant…

Please excuse the vulgarity. I felt it necessary to show how off-the-handle Shawn had flown.

Unfortunately, the saddest part is that Shawn has COMPLETELY missed the point of yesterday’s blog. Whether he wants to face the truth or not, Shawn P. O’Halloran IS a stalker—at least according to this definition on Wikipedia:

Stalking is unwanted or repeated surveillance by an individual or group towards another person. Stalking behaviors are interrelated to harassment and intimidation and may include following the victim in person or monitoring them.

That’s almost word-for-word what they (the detractors operating individually and as a group) do to ALEC PETERS. Looking though his records (public or not), analyzing his business dealings, even following him around at conventions and live-streaming him and his girlfriend…that is MONITORING. Heck, the Facebook group is even named for the blog site: AaxMONITOR!

In Shawn’s case, the obsession with Alec has become socially demented and dysfunctional. I mean, Shawn spent his own money to research Alec Peters’ business records and even whether or not Alec owns his own house!

What normal person does that?

It’s not like Shawn is a journalist working on an article (Carlos Pedraza claims that alleged distinction). Shawn doesn’t work for law enforcement or the plaintiff’s law firm. He’s not a private investigator. He’s just some obsessively weird nobody from Las Vegas who can’t stop writing about, ridiculing, and prying into the professional and private life of some guy in Georgia. In other words: a stalker. (Victims of stalking don’t necessarily have to be famous or beautiful or even women.)

Of course, Shawn says his primary goal is to “keep the public informed” before they give Alec any more money. But that’s essentially bull poop. Shawn’s true purpose is intimidation and harassment, as shown here in Shawn’s original post announcing his “deep research” into Alec…

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AXANAR detractor/stalker crosses a line …again

I want you to imagine having a stalker…the kind of stalker who watches your every move in an effort to ruin your life…who goes through your personal and business records looking for ways to hurt you and your closest friends both professionally and personally. Like Arnold Schwarzenegger’s Terminator, this stalker will not stop. Day after day, month after month, year after year…he just keeps coming.

This stalker is also a moron, but I’ll get to that in a moment.

Last week, I reported on a possible hacking attempt into ALEC PETERS’ YouTube account and suggested that the prime suspect(s) was/were one or more of the AXANAR detractors who are laser-focused on sabotaging Alec and the Axanar fan project.

Man, did the detractors jump down my throat on that one…

  • “You have no proof!”
  • “Where’s your smoking gun, Slow Lane?”
  • “You owe us an apology!” (Wait, after you guys have called me every name in the book for nearly three years, I owe you an apology???)

Anyway, this time I not only have a smoking gun, I’ve got the full confession, courtesy of Alec’s stalker extraordinaire, SHAWN P. O’HALLORAN (the aforementioned moron…and I’m not using “moron” in a pejorative name-calling way; as you’ll discover shortly, he is truly lacking in intelligence in his chosen profession).

Okay, obviously we need a little background information first…

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Update on the AXANAR attempted hacking…

Earlier today, I reported that an attempt had been made to hack into the AXANAR YouTube channel…pointing out that the prime suspect(s) was/were most likely one or more detractors.

Very quickly, one of my readers, JOE DIAZ, forwarded me the following tweet from one of the people managing the channel…

Other comments on my previous blog entry were now pointing to this tweet as proof that there was no hacking attempt. Naturally, if I’ve misreported something, I need to issue a retraction. But I first needed to verify that I had, in fact, misreported it. So I contacted ALEC PETERS and the aforementioned THE REAL STOGGY to ask what happened.

Here, as far as I can piece together, is the order in which things happened…

December – After uploading a series of quick “Axanar -Live” update videos shot with a cell phone over the previous months, Alec began posting higher-quality Axanar updates to YouTube, generating tens of thousands of views. One update from December 27 is currently up to 96K views.

January 5 – With the videos being so popular, Alec decided to create two YouTube channels: Axanar and Ares Studios. Actually, there had already been an Axanar YouTube channel, but it had been mostly dormant for a long while. Last night, three volunteers were given Manager status (Alec remained the channel owner), and began adding videos to the channel. There was a LOT of activity.

January 6, 8:43am EST – The two channels were suddenly shut down by YouTube. The only manage working on them at the time was the aforementioned Stoggy, who had pulled an all-nighter, and panicked when he was suddenly locked out. Here’s what he told me…

Continue reading “Update on the AXANAR attempted hacking…”

Attempted HACK of the AXANAR YouTube Channel!

Earlier today, the AXANAR YouTube Channel was temporarily “terminated” (according to messaging displayed when users visited the web page). Numerous recent video updates with tens of thousands of views each were suddenly gone and inaccessible…along with Prelude to Axanar, the Vulcan scene, and numerous behind-the-scenes videos.

There was immediate conjecture that some kind of violation of the YouTube community guidelines or terms of service led the the termination of the channel. Needless to say, the fan film community exploded with activity as Axanar detractors salivated at the possibilities for happy dances and supporters panicked among uncertainty and confusion.

And then, less then three hours later, the Axanar YouTube channel was back up and running as though nothing had happened.

So what did happen?

All of this kerfuffle occurred while ALEC PETERS was at the gym on Sunday morning. When he got home—amid countless emergency IMs and e-mails from concerned supporters and team-members—he logged into his YouTube (Google) account, and all was restored instantly. Alec never received any notice or warning from YouTube or Google about violations. However, he did receive the following message (e-mail address redacted)…


In addition to the Axanar YouTube channel, the new Ares Studios YouTube channel was also deactivated and then reactivated with Alec’s sign-in. Most members of the fan community weren’t even aware that there was an Ares Studios YouTube channel (it’s still being set up), and so didn’t realize the extent of the hacking.

Although not confirmed, it seems that YouTube’s takedown was pre-emptive in avoiding the potential damages of a more serious, successful hack. Once the account was secured by the user (Alec), the channels were reactivated.

Naturally, the prime suspect(s) is/are one or more of the detractors, although there is currently no proof who specifically is behind the hacking. Obviously, Alec has changed his password and will continue to do so regularly.

But if I may speak freely for a moment, my friends…

Continue reading “Attempted HACK of the AXANAR YouTube Channel!”

The BLOGGER-BATTLE OF AXANAR! (part 3 of 3)

Congratulations, folks, you’ve made it to Part 3!  I’m assuming you’ve already sat through Part 1 and Part 2 of the debate about all things AXANAR between myself and Australian blogger MATTHEW MILLER of Trekzone.org.  The first two parts have received a few hundred views each, with lots of comments made on both sides of the Axanar controversy.  But now it’s time to wrap things up with some of our most controversial discussions yet…

We begin by shifting our focus from CARLOS PEDRAZA and Axamonitor to Matt’s own Trekzone.org blog?  Is he providing fair coverage, or does Trekzone suffer from the same skewed “telling only half the story” that Axamonitor (and some would say Fan Film Factor) suffer from?

Then we move onto one of the most controversial hot-button questions: have the Axanar detractors gone too far in their stalking and cyberbullying?  How far is too far?  And is the behavior just as bad on the supporter side, or is that sinply the false equivalency of “what aboutism”?  And what does coffee have to do with anything?

Of course, we spend a little time debating whether ALEC PETERS paid himself a salary or just reimbursed himself for out-of-pocket expenses.  And did other folks like VIC MIGNOGAM or JAMES CAWLEY ever earn anything personally from money paid by donors?

Moving on to the future of Axanar, we discuss the USS Ares bridge set.  After hundreds of thousands of dollars in fan donations and out-of-pocket payments by Alec himself, and after thousands of man-hours in labor…will the bridge ever be used to film any scenes of the Axanar story?

And finally, even if Axanar never gets made, does Alec still deserve credit for making it as far as he did…despite all of the headwinds, a year-long lawsuit from two billion-dollar corporations, a move across country, and the almost constant attacks by dozens of detractors?

And what if Axanar does get made?  What will it take to get a positive comment out of a detractor like Matthew Miller or Carlos Pedraza?

Is there ANY common ground to be had?  Find out as the Blogger-Battle of the Axanar concludes…

The BLOGGER-BATTLE OF AXANAR! (part 2 of 3)

Last Wednesday, we debuted Part 1 of a three-hour discussion and debate about all things AXANAR between myself and Australia-based Star Trek blogger MATTHEW MILLER.  We both have very strong feelings about the Axanar project and its show-runner ALEC PETERS, and we’ve never been particularly shy about sharing those feelings and opinions in various public forums.

But now we’re doing in it the same forum at the same time, voicing our disagreements directly to each other to see if there’s any common ground…or if the two sides of this controversy are destined to simply never come together.

Last time, we primarily discussed the building of Ares Studio, followed by some brief commentary about the fan film guidelines.  And just before ending Part 1, we left off having just scratched the surface of our next (BIG!) topic: the copyright infringement lawsuit.

In Part 2, we’ll be discussing the lawsuit in much greater depth, including…

  • Should Alec have fought the lawsuit as intensely as he did, or should he have just settled and moved on?
  • Did CBS and Paramount offer a settlement when the lawsuit was first filed?  If not, when did they first make a settlement offer…and what were their terms?
  • Why did Alec and CBS/Paramount finally decide to settle the lawsuit two weeks before trial?
  • Were the final settlement terms more favorable to Alec, to CBS/Paramount, or pretty much even?
  • What would have happened if Renegades, New Voyages, or Star Trek Continues had been sued instead of Axanar?

Then we shift gears to the Axanar supporter/detractor conflict…

  • Why have things escalated so much over the years?
  • What role have CARLOS PEDRAZA and his Axamonitor blog site played in exacerbating the tensions?  (Carlos tells us himself!)
  • Are Carlos’ blogs telling only half the story and thereby reinforcing pre-existing detractor biases?
  • Does Carlos rush to publish negative blogs and purposefully avoid reporting positive Axanar news like Axacon (which still hasn’t been covered on Axamonitor after six weeks)?
  • And what about Fan Film Factor?  Am I telling only half the story, too?

And now the Blogger-Battle of Axanar continues…

And check back Wednesday at 2:00pm Pacific Time for Part 3!

The BLOGGER-BATTLE OF AXANAR! (part 1 of 3)

Okay, folks, it’s the moment you’ve all been waiting for!  (Well, maybe not ALL of you…but at least a few hundred, I’m sure.)  Earlier this week, I revealed the “origin story” of this two-way interview where blogger MATTHEW MILLER from Trekzone.org and I discuss and debate all things AXANAR.  Now it’s time to put our money where our mouths are (Australia  and Los Angeles, respectively).

Today in Part 1, after a friendly introduction and a brief discussion of some of what we both feel are the inherent strengths of the 2014 fan film Prelude to Axanar, we jump right into some of the most controversial questions regarding this polarizing fan production, starting with the creation of Ares Studios with donor money…

  • Did “most” of the principal cast and crew abandon the project after ALEC PETERS decided to use crowd-funded money to build a “for profit” studio?  Or is that just a rumor-turned-urban-myth?
  • What exactly is a “for profit” studio anyway?  Is someone gonna go out and buy a 60-foot yacht with all the cash that comes in?
  • Was the decision to try to turn a Valencia warehouse into a soundstage a mistake in the first place?
  • Did CBS ever tell Alec (before the lawsuit) not to create a studio or not to make more Axanar?
  • Did the Axanar donors know (back in 2014) that they were donating to build a soundstage, or were they misled to believe they were donating only to produce a fan film?

And we finish up Part 1 with a couple of other hotly-debated topics…

  • Was Alec Peter sued by CBS and Paramount because Axanar was “too good?”
  • Were there “unpublished” guidelines for fan films before June of 2016?
  • Were the guidelines, once they were announced, intended to stop Axanar…or were they targeted on Renegades and the other “arms race” fan productions?

Sound intriguing?  Well, strap in for Part 1 of the Blogger-Battle of Axanar

Come back for Part 2 on Monday and Part 3 next Wednesday.