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:
- Alec can’t own the Prelude footage because it’s all Star Trek, and Alec doesn’t own the Star Trek intellectual property.
- Parody is protected speech under fair use. Alec can’t do anything to prevent Michael from enjoying his First Amendment rights.
- Axanar is”open source.” Alec even said so himself.
- 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.