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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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…

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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…

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