Axanar: A Star Trek Fan Production

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Re: Star Trek: Axanar (indie film project)

Post by Psia » 11/16/16

http://fanfilmfactor.com/2016/11/16/con ... ter-today/
Jonathan Lane, Fan Film Factor wrote:Well, it looks like there isn’t a settlement yet in the AXANAR copyright infringement lawsuit. And how do I know this? Because I now have confirmation that the defense will be filing a motion for summary judgment with Judge Klausner of the Ninth Circuit Federal Court later on today. (I don’t yet know if the plaintiffs are planning to do likewise, but if a settlement hasn’t been reached, then it’s a pretty sure bet.)

And how did I get confirmation that the defense will be filing their motion later today? Because yesterday evening I was asked to sign this declaration:

Image

It will be part of what I am told by the Axanar defense team will be a VERY long filing. There’s a philosophy in legal filings that it’s better to keep things short and sweet, and J. Bradford McCullough had the following to say in this 2011 article “The Ten Commandments of Summary Judgment Practice“:
  • 8. Remember the beauty of brevity.

    Less is generally more. Judges are busy and appreciate it when we get to the point. Do not say in 25 pages that which can be said in 15 – or 10.

Unfortunately, I know that that particular boat has sailed, as the Axanar filing will be anything but brief! How do I know this? Because one of the things they will be submitting is a 128-page “History of Star Trek Fan Films” that I prepared back in January. Yep, 128 pages…single-spaced!

Since we’re kinda in the “calm before the storm” while we wait for the actual filing later on today, I’d like to take a moment to talk about this document I prepared, how and why I prepared it, and how it will likely be used in the defense of Alec Peters and Axanar Productions…

Like many fan film followers, I first found out about the CBS/Paramount lawsuit during the morning of December 28 when The Hollywood Reporter featured an article about the studios suing a fan who made a Star Trek film of his own using donated money from other fans. “Oh, crap! Axanar is in serious trouble now!” I thought to myself. I wanted to help…but how???

It was the week between Christmas and New Years, and my family was staying out in Palm Springs with my wife’s parents. Jayden was happily playing with Mimi and Papa, Wendy was relaxing from (over)work, and I pretty much had little to do besides watching college football, taking the occasional walk, and sitting at my computer.

And then I knew what I had to do!!!

These were the days before I had Alec Peters on my iPhone contacts, although we did e-mail each other from time to time. But back then, I didn’t want to bother him. I knew how busy and frantic he must be, now at full red alert because of the lawsuit. So I began working on my own to create a complete list of all Star Trek fan films. After all, I’d already been writing the weekly “Fan Film Friday” blogs for the Axanar website over the past five months. There was a good place to start.

At the time, I didn’t understand the parameters of the lawsuit as I do now, and so I confused copyright with trademark. Trademarks have to be vigorously defended by the trademark holder or else they can be successfully challenged by violators. I thought the same was true for copyrights (it isn’t) and that by allowing fan films to exist unchallenged for 50 years, CBS and Paramount wouldn’t be able to succeed in their infringement lawsuit.

So in my mind, in order to save Axanar, I now had to show just how many Star Trek fan films existed that were never challenged by any Star Trek copyright holder–from Paramount to Gulf+Western to Viacom to CBS. As I said, I was wrong in my assumption about copyrights and non-enforcement. The studios can choose to sue or not sue anyone they want and it doesn’t affect their ownership or ability to successfully claim infringement. But my labors would nevetheless still end up being useful (or else my 128-page “magnum opus” would not be included in today’s filing).

So for the next few days of my vacation in the desert, I did endless research on Trek fan films. I began with the most familiar ones: New Voyages, Continues, Renegades, and added to that list with Farragut, Exeter, Valiant, and so many others. I jumped down a fan film rabbit hole, following suggested links on YouTube (the stuff that appears along the right column). I looked up stuff on Wikipedia and other fan wikis and, of course, on Star Trek Reviewed.

And I didn’t just list the fan films. In my mind, that wasn’t nearly enough. I needed to explain their backgrounds, who made them, and most importantly, how much of the Star Trek intellectual property each one used. Was there original music or not? Were the uniforms taken directly from Star Trek or new designs? Were the characters original or established? And of course, was any crowd-funding done and how much was collected?

Now, you might be asking the obvious question: “Jonathan, aren’t you just tattling?” That’s certainly a valid point, but the way I was thinking at the time was that all of these fan films are already out there and have been…some for many years. There’s nothing “secret” in anything I’m writing about. Many fan series even have their own websites and crowd-funding campaign pages. And heck, Star Trek Reviewed has the most complete and amazing list of Trek fan films anywhere! If CBS and Paramount really did want to initiate a crackdown on all Trek fan films, me NOT writing up my summary document would not have stopped them. They still had plenty of places to go to get lists of fan films to go after if that’s what they wanted to do.

And in my head, I also thought, “The only way to really protect fan films is to make sure Axanar wins this case! If the studios fail to shut down Axanar, then they’ll think twice before trying it again.” I had to help make that happen, and this was the only way I could think of to do it.

I was back home, and it was mid-January. I’d already compiled a list of almost 35 fan films, when I got the following Facebook IM from Alec Peters:
  • We need someone to do a comprehensive review of all Star Trek Fan Films for the lawyers. Not reviews of the episodes, but the facts. Names, dates, episodes, money raised, websites, etc. Erin asked for it.
I responded:
  • I expected you’d ask.
From there, I was working double-time (triple time, even!). I kept tracking down more and more fan films. I’d send along new and longer versions of the ever-growing document to Axanar attorney Erin Ranahan as I continued to expand the list. And to keep things organized, I put all the fan films into chronological order. For the longer running fan series, I’d list them from the date of their first release and then say something like “2009-present.” I included links to videos, links to fan film websites, links to crowd-funding campaign pages, and of course–being the graphic designer that I am–I even included an image for every fan film/series at the top of each page. By the time I finally finished, we had 128 pages, and more than a hundred fan films and series covering over 250 hours (my estimate) of filmed, posted, unlicensed fan video Star Trek.

I organized it with one film fan/series per page. Some pages were shorter than others, and a few of the more major productions got two or three or even four-page history write-ups. I went all the way back in time to the earliest fan films that were made while TOS was still in first run (mostly kids in their Star Trek pajamas playing in the living room and filmed by their parents on Super 8). At first, I wrote in a very dry, analytical way. But eventually, I began putting even myself to sleep! So I soon began to use my more whimsical writing style as I do here on this blog site.

In two cases, I actually said negative things about a particular series’ quality (or lack thereof)–not realizing that this document would someday go public. I figured it would just be a handy reference guide for the attorneys. When I learned yesterday that it had already been shared during discovery and would now be part of the summary judgment filing, I asked Erin if I could change or remove those two negative comments. In the eleven months since I first wrote the document, I’ve cultivated a much deeper respect and appreciation for ALL fan films, even ones that aren’t as good as others. And none of them deserves public ridicule in any way.

Unfortunately, once submitted for discovery, a document can’t be altered. It can, however, contain redactions. And so, if you take a look at the history and see black lines crossing out a couple of sentences and wonder, “What’s Jon hiding?”–well, I’m hiding my own unfair criticisms of two fan series that deserve to be appreciated on their own merits and not disrespected by me. And trust me, I didn’t say anything particularly nasty or hurtful. It’s just that any criticism is not warranted when simply creating an historical overview of fan films, and I didn’t want to sour fans on checking out those two series if they felt so inclined.

And what happens now? Well, we’ll likely have the final filing up on FAN FILM FACTOR either tonight or tomorrow. I’m guessing my fan film history document will be used to support a claim of non-willful (innocent) infringement, as the studios permitting this many fan films to exist over five decades would certainly have given Alec Peters the reasonable impression that his fan film would not anger the studios either. And if that assumption of Alec’s can be proven, then the statutory damages per violation if he loses the case go down from $150,000 each to only $200. So my 128-page document could literally end up saving Alec Peters $8.5 million! I’d call that helpful.

In the meantime, you all now kinda know the “secret origin” of FAN FILM FACTOR. I wasn’t able to discuss it previously because my document was considered (at the time) privileged and confidential. But now that it’s going public, so can I.

So the way FAN FILM FACTOR began was when Alec first saw an early version of my document. With such an immense collection of research on Trek fan film history, I had waaaaaaay too much for just a weekly blog on the Axanar website. Alec said to me, “Jonathan, you really need a blog of your own.” He asked Mike Bawden to help me set it up, and the rest is history…fan film history. Heck, one day I might even turn it into a book. At 128 pages, it’s almost that now!

I’ll try to provide an analysis of the motions for summary judgment once they’re filed, but please be patient. They’re likely going to be VERY long and tedious to read trough, and my family and I will be traveling to the East Coast this weekend and staying through the Thanksgiving holiday. I’ll post something if I can, but if I can’t, just know it’s because, instead of reading hundreds of pages of legal filings and blogging about them, I’m probably playing with my nephew and son and eating ridiculous amounts of turkey. Gobble, gobble.
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Re: Star Trek: Axanar (indie film project)

Post by Psia » 11/17/16

Jonathon Lane wrote:Yep, we can now safely assume that the two sides in the AXANAR copyright infringement lawsuit have NOT reached a settlement yet.

It came quite literally down to the wire! I checked with the court at 11:30 pm Pacific Time and neither side had filed any motion yet. I was wondering if they’d somehow managed to settle the case after all. But when I returned shortly after midnight, I found multiple filings from both the plaintiffs and the defense.

There’s a LOT to read through and analyze, but for right now, I just want to get the two main filings up for you all to look through. Please note, before anyone starts doing victory laps or predicting this or that outcome, remember that each side gets to respond to the opposition’s motion and then each side gets to then respond to that response. And finally, the two legal teams present oral arguments before Judge Klausner before he finally rules shortly thereafter. It is FAR from over, folks!

Okay, here’s what was filed last night:
Each of these filings goes on for 20 pages, and they both reference other documents (including my own “History of Star Trek Fan Films”). However, there is a downloading/viewing charge for accessing each document (up to $3 per document), and I want to see if I can perhaps get the supporting evidence documents directly from the defense team (for free) before I spend all my Google Ad revenue for the year just getting PDFs for all of you (and me, of course).

And finally, yes, I intend to provide an analysis of both of these motions–their strengths, weaknesses, and any surprises I found (and there’s quite a few). But I’m traveling next week, so I don’t know if I’ll have enough down time to write up something thorough enough until after I get back. We’ll just have to see, but thanks for your patience and understanding.
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"Let me tell you something. Don't. Don't let them promote you. Don't let them transfer you, don't let them do anything that takes you off the bridge of that ship, because while you're there, you can make a difference." - Kirk to Picard, Star Trek Generations

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Re: Star Trek: Axanar (indie film project)

Post by Psia » 11/19/16

Axanar Productions wrote:Axanar Productions’ Statement Regarding Recent Motions for Summary Judgement
By Mike Bawden, PR Director, November 18, 2016

In light of information contained in the Motions for Summary Judgement filed by both sides in our continuing litigation with CBS Studios and Paramount Productions, we think it’s important to provide some information to our fans and backers to help put everything into context:
  • 1) Alec Peters has put in approximately $ 150,000 of his own money into Axanar over the past year. He is currently paying the $ 15,000 a month it costs to keep the studio open, out of his own pocket, as he has been doing since this for the past 6 months.

    2) Alec has not kept a single dollar from donor funds, either in salary, or expense reimbursements. Any money Alec received was paid back through the money he has been putting into Axanar. This means, Alec has worked full time on Axanar for over 2 1/2 years and not received a dime in salary, benefits or expense reimbursements.

    3) Axanar now has an accountant who has taken all of the voluminous notes and records Alec and the team have kept and completed financial statements for the past 2 1/2 years. The financials will now be reviewed by our CPA/Tax accountant next week as she prepares our tax returns.

    4) We have decided to create an Independent Financial Review Committee, a group of industry professionals and donors, to review the financials and report back to the entire donor base. We believe that the report from this committee will give donors the confidence that the Axanar team spent the donor money wisely and that Alec has not received any compensation or expense reimbursements.

    5) Axanar has also retained a firm to prepare and manage our 501c3 filing, which should be filed shortly. They are currently waiting on a document back from the CA Secretary of State approving the change to our articles of incorporation and then they will file our application.

    6) While Axanar has not made one dime off of renting out the studio, that is the intention of the Axanar team, as we hope to continue to be able to pay the rent. Every single dollar raised by renting out the studio (which we now call Industry Studios) will go towards producing Axanar.
With everything going on concerning the lawsuit and the amount of disinformation being spread by people whose intention is to see Alec Peters fail, embarrass those who worked with him and make it impossible to share our vision for the story of AXANAR with the tens of thousands who financially supported this project, we thought it was important to give you our side.

As to where things will go after the lawsuit, we think it would be unhelpful to speculate on too much. But Axanar Productions remains committed to addressing the copyright concerns of CBS Studios and Paramount Pictures Corporation in a way that allows us to tell the story of AXANAR our fans and donors have supported. Once this lawsuit is resolved, Axanar Productions’ team will meet and discuss what kinds of modifications need to be made so we can move forward with production.

Once the plan is set, we will share that news with all of you.

Until then, thank you for your on-going support.
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"Let me tell you something. Don't. Don't let them promote you. Don't let them transfer you, don't let them do anything that takes you off the bridge of that ship, because while you're there, you can make a difference." - Kirk to Picard, Star Trek Generations

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Re: Star Trek: Axanar (indie film project)

Post by Psia » 12/14/16

SCHEDULING NOTICE TO ALL PARTIES AND ORDER by Judge R. Gary Klausner. Plaintiffs CBS Studios Inc. and Paramount Pictures Corporation’s Motion for Partial Summary Judgment [72, 85] and Defendants Axanar Productions, Inc. and Alec Peters’ Motion for Summary Judgment [75], calendared for hearing on December 19, 2016, have been taken under submission and off the motion calendar. No appearances by counsel are necessary. The Court will issue a ruling after full consideration of properly submitted pleadings. IT IS SO ORDERED.
Looks like the summary judgement cycle will bear fruit for both parties, after all. The Judge has decided he doesn't need a protracted jury trial to make his judgement. Which could now come at any time.
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"Let me tell you something. Don't. Don't let them promote you. Don't let them transfer you, don't let them do anything that takes you off the bridge of that ship, because while you're there, you can make a difference." - Kirk to Picard, Star Trek Generations

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Re: Star Trek: Axanar (indie film project)

Post by Psia » 12/30/16

Alec Peters wrote:Well fans, today is the one year anniversary of Axanar getting sued! A year ago today we were 30 days from the start of principal photography on the Axanar feature film.

We put that production on hold until the disagreement with Paramount and CBS could be resolved in a way that would address their concerns and yet allow us to tell the story of Axanar in a way that satisfied our obligation to our backers, donors and fans.

Today we are one month away from the trial.

I have always been one who sees challenges not problems. There will always be waves in the ocean that is your life, and the question is how you ride them. Some waves are bigger than others. And to some, like me, riding those waves is what makes life interesting.

This huge wave that is the lawsuit brought by CBS & Paramount, has offered me the greatest challenge of my life. We have the good fortune of being represented by the amazing and brilliant people at Winston & Strawn. We have brilliant, successful, talented advisors who are entertainment industry leaders that are huge fans of what we do. We have national organizations like the Organization of Transformative Works helping us and two brilliant experts on fan fiction that have written briefs for our case. But best of all, we have tens of thousands of fans who love Axanar and what we are doing.

So frankly, what do I have to complain about?

Life is good. I have found out who my true friends are, shed the baggage of people who aren't, had the opportunity to raise my game, learn a ton, and fight a fight that has literally made me a better person and businessman.

And all this, while sharing it with all of you, who I appreciate more than you know. Thank you all for a great ride so far. There is so much more to come.
Alec
I guess that I'm confused by mention of a trial in thirty days. As I understood the summary judgement would come well in advance of this.
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"Let me tell you something. Don't. Don't let them promote you. Don't let them transfer you, don't let them do anything that takes you off the bridge of that ship, because while you're there, you can make a difference." - Kirk to Picard, Star Trek Generations

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Re: Star Trek: Axanar (indie film project)

Post by Psia » 01/04/17

...and we are off to trial, after all.

http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/thr-es ... ial-960703
Paramount Pictures and CBS have scored major successes in their copyright lawsuit over Axanar, a 20-minute YouTube video and a proposed feature-length version touted as a professional-quality Star Trek fan film. But a California federal judge on Wednesday stopped short of declaring the Star Trek rights holders the victors in the closely followed case, reserving for a jury the key question of whether the works would be seen by lay people as substantially similar to older Star Trek films and TV shows.

The lawsuit was filed almost exactly a year ago after Alec Peters' Axanar Productions aimed to raise more than $1 million on Kickstarter for a prequel to the 1960s Gene Roddenberry series. Peters' work focused on Garth of Izar, an obscure character who appeared in a 1969 episode. Scripts were prepared for a film to be set around the Four Years War between the United Federation of Planets and the Klingon Empire.

Last May, the case survived a motion to dismiss and began drawing attention to whether Paramount and CBS could take ownership of everything from "pointy ears" to the Klingon language, especially in light of many fan-made works that have been permitted through the years without controversy. Despite some hopes expressed by Star Trek Beyond director Justin Lin that all this would go away, Paramount and CBS marched forward, and the parties each delivered summary judgment motions.

On Wednesday, U.S. District Court Judge R. Gary Klausner released his much-anticipated opinion (read in full here).

"With respect to the first core issue, the Court finds that the Axanar Works have objective substantial similarity to the Star Trek Copyrighted Works," he writes.

Klausner rules that the character of Garth is entitled to copyright protection, has well-delineated physical and conceptual qualities, and contrary to defendants' arguments, isn't obscure. He notes the appearance in Axanar of Klingons and Vulcans as well as the use of other copyrighted elements like a Klingon officer's uniform from the 1991 motion picture Star Trek VI — the Undiscovered Country. He also points to the fan film including settings from Star Trek copyrighted works such as planets Axanar, Qo'noS and Vulcan.

"Under the extrinsic test, the Axanar Works are substantially similar to the Star Trek Copyrighted Works," writes Klausner. "This conclusion finds strong support in Defendants’ intent for the Axanar Works. 'Defendants expressly set out to create an authentic and independent Star Trek film that [stayed] true to Star Trek canon down to excruciating details.'"

But that doesn't end the dispute, because under the second part of the copyright analysis, the so-called intrinsic test that asks whether an ordinary, reasonable person would find the total concept and feel of the works to be substantially similar, the judge finds that a jury will best answer this. Thus, he denies the summary judgment motion made by CBS and Paramount.

When it does go to trial (assuming no settlement), the defendants won't be able to lean on fair use as a defense. Judge Klausner takes a look at all four factors that comprise fair use of copyrighted material and decides they weigh in favor of the plaintiffs.

To the purpose and character of the use, the judge writes that Axanar attempts to "stay faithful" to the Star Trek canon with nary any criticism, seemingly shrugging off defendants' arguments of staging a "mockumentary."

To the nature of the copyrighted work, the judge writes that after 13 Star Trek motion pictures and six television series, these types of works "are given broad copyright protections."

Klausner also writes that the elements from Star Trek being used are qualitatively important "because they give the Axanar Works the Star Trek feel and enable Defendants to stay true to the Star Trek canon," and to the last factor of the effect of the use on the potential market, the judge notes, "The fact that Defendants distributed Prelude and the Vulcan Scene for free online and intend to likewise distribute their future works may likely increase the risk of market substitution as fans choose free content over paid features."

The judge adds, "Defendants further argue that the Axanar Works, through their promotional value, actually increase the sale and visibility of the Star Trek Copyrighted Works. But 'the boon to the [latter] does not make [Defendants’] copying fair.'”

"The Court thus finds that all four fair use factors weigh in favor of Plaintiffs," sums up the judge in denying the defendants' bid for summary judgment. "If the jury does not find subjective substantial similarity, Defendants did not infringe and fair use defense is moot. If the jury finds subjective substantial similarity, the Axanar Works are rightfully considered derivative works of the Star Trek Copyrighted Works. Rejection of Defendants’ fair use defense is consistent with copyright’s very purpose because derivatives are 'an important economic incentive to the creation of originals.'”

Klausner also leans toward finding Peters liable for contributory and vicarious infringement depending on what the jury decides on intrinsic similarity. However, the judge won't grant declaratory and injunctive relief at this time until the jury has a chance to put forward its own verdict. A trial could happen sooner rather than later as the parties have already submitted evidence lists, questions to sort prospective jurors and other preparation needed for one to occur.

Paramount and CBS are represented by David Grossman, Jonathan Zavin and Jennifer Jason at Loeb & Loeb. Alec Peters and Axanar Productions are represented by Erin Ranahan, Andrew Jick and Kelly Oki at Winston & Strawn.
Social media response from Axanar Productions:
This morning Judge Klausner made a ruling that the case will go to Jury Trial to determine if Axanar is "substantially similar" to the CBS copyrighted works. If it is, then the jury will have to find if the infringement is "willful" or "non-willful", and Judge Klausner already stated that "Peters’ actions demonstrate a respect for Plaintiffs’ intellectual property that makes a finding of willfulness on summary judgement inappropriate." If the jury does not find “substantial similarity” then the case will be dismissed.

Depending on the outcome of the trial, Axanar may choose to appeal the verdict to the Ninth Circuit, where Erin Ranahan is 5-0. The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals is also known to favor artist rights.

So the story of Axanar continues...
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Re: Star Trek: Axanar (indie film project)

Post by Psia » 01/04/17

Alec Peters, today, in response to the criticism that Axanar has ruined fan films for everyone else:
[Name redacted by Psia] ...you need to listen less to the haters and read more about this case from unbiased sources. Both David Gerrold and Marc Cushman will tell you that Axanar is not to blame for the Fan Film Guidelines. They were bound to happen. Axanar did nothing that Star Trek New Voyages or Star Trek Continues didn't do. They both raised hundreds of thousands of dollars, they both hired professional crew and actors and they both built studios, one of which, STNV in Ticonderoga, is the ONLY studio that has now been turned into a for-profit venture. Axanar just raised more money, and made a bigger impact on Star Trek fandom.

The state of the art of film making and the rise of crowdfunding, meant that sooner or later CBS had to deal with fan films. That they did so clumsily and after waiting so long, is their own fault. As I have said, if there is a spider on the wall, and someone takes out a bazooka and blows a hole in the wall, do you blame the spider for the hole in the wall?

David and Marc, and just about any of the professionals I deal with, will tell you that CBS had to deal with fan films sooner or later. They just refused to get off their ass and do it in a smart way. They delayed for years while I begged them to give us guidelines. And then when they do they overreacted. Franky at least one of the guidelines, limiting who can appear, is illegal.

Why did they only sue Axanar when STNV and STC clearly violate copyright in a major way? Simple, because we were too good. CBS has said that flat out. It wasn't how much we raised, or the fact that we gave out great perks (none of which had Star Trek IP on them) or had someone sell Axanar Coffee (again, no Star Trek marks). The simple fact is that Axanar looked like a real movie. There were none of the things that you typically see in any other Star Trek fan film that scream "fan film"!

I met with CBS on two occasions and sought their advice, which they were never willing to give. "We can't tell you what you can do and we can't tell you what you can't do" they famously said. And rather than pick up the phone and talk to me, they sued me. And considering that I had a 5 year relationship with them, volunteering my time to the CBS Archive and being an official auction licensee, you would think they would do me the courtesy of that. Because if they had called me and said "We need you to change X", I would have.

So forgive me if I don't buy into the bullshit "Axanar ruined it for everyone" nonsense.
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"Let me tell you something. Don't. Don't let them promote you. Don't let them transfer you, don't let them do anything that takes you off the bridge of that ship, because while you're there, you can make a difference." - Kirk to Picard, Star Trek Generations

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Re: Star Trek: Axanar (indie film project)

Post by Psia » 01/05/17

Axanar Timeline:

2245
  • Axanar is set in the year 2245. The NCC-1701 is assumed to have been launched at some point during this same year.
2253
  • The Cage happens in 2253.
2255
  • Prelude to Axanar, part III of The Four Years War documentary series, takes place in 2255.
2265
  • Kirk takes command of the Enterprise in 2265 (per Where No Man has Gone Before)
2266
  • Season One of Star Trek TOS is 2266.
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"Let me tell you something. Don't. Don't let them promote you. Don't let them transfer you, don't let them do anything that takes you off the bridge of that ship, because while you're there, you can make a difference." - Kirk to Picard, Star Trek Generations

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Re: Star Trek: Axanar (indie film project)

Post by Tregarde » 01/20/17

The Axanar case has been settled.
https://io9.gizmodo.com/thank-the-great ... 1791443160

End result....
But finally, the two parties have managed to come to an agreement. In it, Axanar Productions and Alec Peters, the man behind the films, acknowledge that Axanar and its prequel, Prelude to Axanar, “were not approved by Paramount or CBS, and that both works crossed boundaries acceptable to CBS and Paramount relating to copyright law.” The agreement allows Peters and his company to release Axanar, but only as two 15-minute segments that can be put on YouTube without ads. (I am sure one of the reasons that Paramount and CBS were so mad at this film in particular was because it might make money off ads.) Prelude to Axanar will still be viewable, but it will also not have ads.

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Re: Star Trek: Axanar (indie film project)

Post by Psia » 01/21/17

Here's the "official" statement from Axanar Productions regarding today's settlement announcement:

https://www.axanarproductions.com/9707-2/
AXANAR PRODUCTIONS STATEMENT REGARDING COPYRIGHT INFRINGEMENT LAWSUIT SETTLEMENT

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 those of you who are donors, you will be receiving an email with some "donor exclusive" information.

Thanks again for your support this past year.

Live Long and Prosper.
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Re: Star Trek: Axanar (indie film project)

Post by Psia » 01/21/17

http://fanfilmfactor.com/2017/01/20/mor ... r-lawsuit/
To Our Fans, Backers and Donors,

You have stood by us for over a year and today I’m pleased to announce that Axanar Productions has settled its lawsuit with CBS Studios 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.

According to the terms of our agreement with CBS and Paramount, we are able to share a little more detail with you than the general public. So, here are the highlights of the deal struck with CBS and Paramount (or, at least as much as we can tell you) …
  • Our settlement was finalized late last night and early this morning; we are letting you know as soon as possible so you hear from us first. There are several things we can not disclose to the general public, although we’ve been given the okay to share some of them with you.

  • Axanar Productions can continue to distribute PRELUDE TO AXANAR on YouTube and at film festivals and conventions – but not at official Star Trek events or conventions. All exhibitions of PRELUDE TO AXANAR must be non-commercial.

  • Axanar Productions can produce the story of AXANAR, but not as a full-length, motion picture feature. Instead, we are limited (as all fan films are now under the Fan Film Guidelines) to two, fifteen-minute segments that can be distributed on Youtube, etc. We also have to stick to the guidelines regarding the use of the name “Star Trek” in the title of the project, the use of an approved disclaimer, etc. 

    The two segments may use the services of Richard Hatch, Gary Graham, Kate Vernon and J.G. Hertzler but no other actors who have appeared in professional Star Trek productions. There are also strict guidelines put in place concerning the compensation for the production team (as in none) with regard to their work on the permitted segments.

  • Axanar Productions will not publicly fundraise for the production of these segments – that means no more Indiegogo or Kickstarter campaigns to support the production of the Axanar story – although private donations may be accepted. That may slow things down a bit, but we’re developing options that fall within the conditions of our settlement with CBS and Paramount and promise to keep you informed when we’re ready to go.

  • And finally, all of Axanar Productions’ future Star Trek fan film productions need to adhere to the “Guidelines for Fan Films” that were issued last June.
Also, according to the terms of the settlement agreement, there are still some legal details that require our immediate attention over the next sixty days. These aren’t major issues, but they are the first things we have to check off our list so we can get back into the business of making AXANAR. Once these issues are resolved, we will begin adopting the script to the new format and begin the entire pre-production process once again from scratch to match the new format.

All in all, we have a lot on our plate. And we’re happy to be back at the table!

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.

As you know, Axanar Productions was created by lifelong Star Trek fans to celebrate our love for Star Trek. Without your support, we wouldn’t be able to do what we’ve done so far or realize our dreams for the future.

Together, we can work together to make our vision of Star Trek a dynamic reality. Thanks so much for your confidence and support.

Live Long and Prosper,

Alec Peters
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Re: Star Trek: Axanar (indie film project)

Post by Scrattch » 01/21/17

Well, I'll be curious to see the finished product(s).

Not that the 'new format' matters much anyway, because what will happen is that some enterprising (pun purely unintentional) person will simply stitch together all the 15 minute "bits" to form a/the coherent whole.

If they stick the 'documentary' format they used in Prelude, this would work quite well.

Which, I will lay odds, will be kept in mind during the new production/reordering process.

Ultimately, this is a win for the Axanar team; at least they didn't shut the story down wholesale.
Also shows that the little guy won't always roll over for the Herberts without a fight.

We Reach, Brothers. We Reach.

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Re: Star Trek: Axanar (indie film project)

Post by Psia » 01/21/17

Scrattch wrote:We Reach, Brothers. We Reach.
:) :) :)
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Re: Star Trek: Axanar (indie film project)

Post by Psia » 01/25/17

https://www.axanarproductions.com/capta ... -answered/
Captain’s Log – Jan. 22nd, 2017 – A Couple Questions Answered

Questions will keep popping up, and so we want to make sure you all get the answers to those questions. Here are a few I have seen:

Q: Since the Guidelines do not allow DVDs/Blu-Rays to be distributed, what happens to the ones promised as perks in the Kickstarter and Indiegogo?
  • A: Donors will get the DVD/Blu-rays as promised! All perks are allowed to be delivered after we complete making Axanar in the revised format.
Q:The Kickstarter and Indiegogo said you would deliver a 90 minute movie, but now you can only make 30 minutes of Star Trek Fan Film. What can the donors expect here?
  • A: Oh there will definitely be 90 minutes of content that we know fans of Axanar will love. While adhering to the settlement agreement, we will also make sure we give Axanar fans what will make them happy and be as close as possible to what we said we would deliver.
Q: What will happen to the Vulcan Scene?
  • A: The Vulcan Scene will remain publicly available on YouTube, as well as being on the Axanar DVD/Blu-Ray.
Q: What will happen to the Studio?
  • A: The Studio was built out specifically to allow us to make Axanar. When we were served a lawsuit 30 days before the beginning of principal photography, we decided to finish the studio in order to be able to rent it out in order to pay the rent. We are now close to being able to rent the studio out. However, that will only allow us to fulfill the terms of the lease through the end of the year. If we are successful, and we can make money off of the studio, then we will use that money to help fund the obligations of Axanar.
Finally, if you haven’t read it yet, please read this:

Financials:
Thanks for your support!
Alec
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Re: Axanar: A Star Trek Fan Production

Post by Psia » 01/26/17

https://trek.fm/axp/s1

In this special supplemental episode of the official Axanar podcast, Alec Peters and Robert Meyer Burnett are joined by Diana Kingsbury to discuss the settlement of the lawsuit with CBS and what it means for the future of the Axanar film.

CHAPTERS

Welcome to the Supplemental (00:00:00)
Current Fan Films (00:04:44)
How Do We Move Forward? (00:07:14)
An Unexplored Area of the Universe (00:10:28)
The State of Axanar (00:11:48)
Love From the Donors (00:15:52)

HOSTS

Alec Peters and Robert Meyer Burnett

GUEST

Diana Kingsbury
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Re: Axanar: A Star Trek Fan Production

Post by Psia » 01/31/17

I like this guy.

phpBB [media]
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Re: Axanar: A Star Trek Fan Production

Post by Psia » 02/07/17

I'm completely shocked. :(
It is with great sadness that I report to all Axanar fans that Richard Hatch has passed away. 3 weeks ago I found out he had stage 4 Pancreatic Cancer. We knew he had little time left, but this is quite more sudden than we thought.

Richard was in good spirits when I visited him 2 weeks ago. He knew his time was short, but was comforted by the fact that his son would be taken care of.

Richard was a dear friend and a staunch supporter of Axanar. Kharn was literally one of his favorite roles from his 50+ year acting career. We will all miss him a great deal.

Alec
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As he was more than his role in Axanar, more on Hatch's passing is in our Times, Best & Worst forum.
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Re: Axanar: A Star Trek Fan Production

Post by Shank » 02/07/17

A loss to the acting world, and to Axanar in particular. What would have been, I now wonder, if CBS and Paramount had not been such assholes.

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Re: Axanar: A Star Trek Fan Production

Post by Scrattch » 02/07/17

Shank wrote:A loss to the acting world, and to Axanar in particular. What would have been, I now wonder, if CBS and Paramount had not been such assholes.
THIS. SO MUCH THIS.

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Re: Axanar: A Star Trek Fan Production

Post by Psia » 02/13/17

http://fanfilmfactor.com/2017/02/13/an- ... n-ranahan/

An interview with AXANAR attorney ERIN RANAHAN
Right after the settlement in the AXANAR lawsuit was announced, rumors were flying that the reason for this unexpected development was because the Court had lifted the confidentiality designation on Alec Peters’ financials. According to some detractors (well, most of them), Alec suddenly panicked that the jig was up and hastily rushed to settle so as not to let those financials become public.

You know me and rumors, right?

So I e-mailed Axanar lead defense attorney, Erin Ranahan, to see if these rumors were true or not. And she gave me a surprising answer. And then I asked her a few other quick questions, and she answered those, too. “Geez, if only I could get an official interview with you!” I e-mailed back to her.

A few seconds later, she responded: “Send me a list of questions and I’ll let you know which I can answer.”

Whoa! Did Erin just agree to do an interview with Fan Film Factor??? I didn’t even know that lawyers in big cases like these were allowed to give full interviews. Usually, all I see are quick sound bytes that don’t really say much.

And so I put together a list of questions, and Erin actually answered most of them. The couple that she didn’t dealt with items like the specific terms of the settlement, which are confidential.

So, is that rumor about Alec’s financials true? Read on…


Before I begin the interview, let me say a few words both personally and professionally about Erin. Although she was a real pit bull in her e-mails back and forth with the plaintiffs’ attorneys at Loeb & Loeb (some of those exchanges were included with filings made with the Court while the lawsuit was still going on), Erin was always warm and very helpful to me. Much more often than not, despite a ridiculously busy schedule, he would respond very quickly to my e-mails asking clarifying questions about this or that filing. (No, she wasn’t an official legal eagle, but she was sure an honorary one!)

On a professional level, I’d like to share with you a bit of her legal background. You can read her entire info page on the Winston & Strawn website. Erin Ranahan received a B.A. in Anthropology and Communications, with high honors, from the University of California at Santa Barbara in 2000. She received a J.D. in 2004 from the University of California at Los Angeles, where she was a staff member of the International Law Journal. (As a side note, my wife Wendy also got her J.D. from UCLA Law back in 1998.)

Erin is now a partner in the firm’s Los Angeles and San Francisco offices, where she focuses on copyright, new media, entertainment, trademark, right of publicity, and false advertising litigation. She has litigated complex commercial disputes in the entertainment industry, including contract disputes involving movie producers, distribution companies, and individuals. She has handled several high-profile intellectual property matters, including litigating matters concerning copyright infringement and the safe harbor provisions of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA). She has extensive experience litigating jurisdictional actions arising from California’s anti-SLAPP statute.

There’s lots more information about the cases she’s handled and the speaking engagements she’s had that you’re welcome to read on the W&S website. But suffice it to say, Alec Peters didn’t just get assigned some wet-behind-the-ears second-year associate. Erin Ranahan is the real thing and a top-level intellectual property litigation specialist.

And here’s what she had to say…
  • JONATHAN: Erin, thank you so much for agreeing to do this interview. This case was obviously very controversial and polarized a portion of Star Trek fandom. As such, you had literally thousands of Trekkies (including me) cheering you on, day after day, and at the same time a bunch of detractors saying some pretty nasty things about you and your law firm. How did it feel to have all of this attention focused your way as you wrote and filed literally thousands of pages of legal documentation?

    ERIN: As lawyers, at most, we typically expect the judge, their clerks, the opposing side, and the client to read our papers, but that’s it. Sometimes I will get my husband to read something to give me his thoughts (he’s a litigator too). I’d say in this case, it was actually quite flattering to have so many eyes reading the briefs we worked so hard on, whether they cheered us on or attempted to rip us apart or simply set forth our arguments, including everyone from the reporters from the Hollywood Reporter, Bloomberg and Law360, law students, legal commentators, professors, and bloggers from all over the place. I don’t take any “nasty” things people say about me personally, as we are simply lawyers doing the best job we can to provide pro bono representation to our clients who otherwise would have been in a very tough position trying to defend themselves in this lawsuit against two giant studios.

    JONATHAN: What was it that initially convinced W&S to take on such a significant lawsuit pro bono in the first place? One would think that, with two deep-pocketed Hollywood studios involved, that this case would likely require quite a heavy load of resources and not be a small commitment on your firm’s part. So why take on such a major case for free?

    ERIN: Our firm has taken on many significant pro bono cases that require a heavy work load in all sorts of arenas, including taking the Games Workshop copyright case all the way through trial. Every attorney at our firm, whether a partner or associate, is expected to devote a minimum number of hours per years, and most attorneys far exceed that requirement. Every attorney in our LA office met or exceeded their minimum requirement for 2016.

    As far as pro bono cases I have worked on at Winston & Strawn, I have worked on Section 1983 prisoner cases, criminal appeals, a case where we fought to allow an autistic boy to bring his service dog to school, an asylum case, and a trademark case in Colorado, including many others.

    When we first took this case, we actually believed there was a chance it could settle relatively quickly. But if it didn’t, it presented a great opportunity to work on a high profile and interesting case that presented many fascinating and complex copyright issues, while giving great experience to the many attorneys at our firm who pitched in. We also felt that, without our assistance, Axanar and Mr. Peters were at serious risk of being shut down, and we did not want to see that when they had put out such an impressive short, Prelude to Axanar, and had lots of donors who were counting on them to create more.

    JONATHAN: Alec Peters has, of course, had incredibly flattering things to say about you and your law firm. And he’s reported that multiple W&S lawyers have lent their services to this pro bono case over the past twelve months…even some of the top partners! All in all, how many attorneys at your firm have contributed hours to this case? And why were they so eager to do so? (Are there just a lot of Trekkies at W&S?)

    ERIN: There are Trekkie-lawyers at our firm who did indeed come out of the woodwork to assist on this case when they heard we had agreed to take this case on. All in all, we had sixteen different attorneys pitch in on various levels, including four partners and twelve associates. And that does not even include all of the paralegals and support staff that pitched in, including my amazing assistant, who stayed very late with me to file things on multiple occasions. The case was actually a blast to litigate in many respects—it can be a nice break for attorneys to write legal briefs about pointed Vulcan ears, the Klingon language, and fair use. It is also gratifying to have the support of Alec Peters and those Axanar fans that routinely expressed their appreciation towards us.

    JONATHAN: I read a number of those e-mail interchanges between you and the plaintiffs’ attorneys at Loeb& Loeb. The high level of passive-aggressive confrontation (and sometimes not so passive!) seemed almost constant…and I can only imagine how emotionally draining it must have been, particularly for you as point-person. As the case dragged on and the plaintiffs fought back tooth and nail for every inch, did you ever feel like pushing Alec Peters to just settle already and getting this albatross off from around your neck?

    ERIN: What you see in snippets of emails and in pieces of deposition transcripts does not reflect the relationship we had with opposing counsel most of the time over the last year. You are simply seeing the most heated moments, and as a litigator, you cannot take those personally or get too emotional about them. But most of the time those exchanges energized me as opposed to draining me.

    I actually had a great relationship with Jonathan Zavin, and we had many lengthy and respectful conversations about all aspects of the case throughout the case. I have nothing but respect for him.

    I would never pressure a client to settle unless it was in the client’s best interest, and that is the same whether it is a pro bono or a paying client. Opposing counsel are doing their job as we are doing ours, and unfortunately that leads people to become annoying at times to serve the best interests of the client, myself included. As much as I was also salivating over the potential of taking the fair use decision up to the Ninth Circuit, I could not pressure my client to take on that appeal when it presented risks and a delay that would take years to get through. And of course, any Ninth Circuit appeal on fair use would have required us to lose trial, which we did not plan to do either.

    JONATHAN: In the end, of course, the two sides did settle. Some detractors have said that the judge’s order (two days before the settlement was announced) removing the redactions from certain key pieces of evidence involving Alec Peters’ financials resulted in a rush to settlement on your side…with you personally signing the Joint Stipulation of Voluntary Dismissal the day after the ruling. Is that what happened?

    ERIN: That is not accurate. The Court had found the very same financials to be confidential and sealed them on multiple occasions (despite Plaintiffs repeated efforts to make those public). Here, upon receiving the Order you are referring to, we called the Clerk and realized that the Court did not notice that we had filed the requisite declarations to seal those documents. So it was simply a clerical oversight, and if the case had not settled the same week, it would have been corrected. Also, both sides had been in settlement discussions throughout the case. The impetus was that trial was in less than two weeks; it had nothing to do with that mistaken Order. The notion that we could have finalized a settlement in just two days is also simply not realistic.

    JONATHAN: So just to be clear, Alec Peters’ financials were NOT going to be made public?

    ERIN: That is correct. They would have remained sealed.

    JONATHAN: So if it wasn’t a sudden “panic attack” about Alec Peters’ financials being revealed to the public, then what did lead to the two parties settling after a year of impasse? Some (including myself) have hypothesized that Judge Klausner’s summary judgement the first week of January invalidating the “fair use” defense at trial was a game changer for both parties. Is that true? If so, who blinked first?

    ERIN: We were working to finalize the settlement for a long time, and it was in the best interests of both sides to do so before trial.
    Keep in mind that besides fair use, summary judgment did not go as Plaintiffs wanted. They still had not proven liability or willfulness, questions which the court found had to go to a jury, and the Court also declined to impose injunctive relief.

    Of course, having our fair use defense taken away before trial was disappointing, and legally I am confident that the decision would not have stood up under scrutiny by the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. The question should have at least created factual questions that would get to a jury, as cases with far more subtle forms of commentary than what Prelude to Axanar had here have been declared fair use (check out the Green Day and Cairou cases).

    The Court here said that it had “difficulty” seeing the commentary, but if a reasonable observer could disagree, it is supposed to go to a jury. And there were at least factual issues on both transformativeness and the impact on the market factors here, but the Court ignored those. If the Court was judging the “Pretty Woman” case before it reached the Supreme Court here, under its reasoning, it may not have seen that commentary worthy either. Justice Holmes of the Supreme Court famously wrote in the 1903 case that it would be “a dangerous undertaking for persons trained only to the law” to “constitute themselves final judges” of artistic merit.

    JONATHAN: So when all is said and done, how do you personally feel about this settlement? Does one side come out more ahead than the other? And would you have preferred to actually go to trial after putting in SO much work for twelve grueling months?

    ERIN: Every settlement can be characterized as a win for both sides, and a loss for both sides. This case is no different. No one ever gets everything they want from settlement, and it’s rare that anyone gets everything they want from trial, especially given that even a trial victory typically only leads to years of appellate practice.

    I personally feel that this settlement was the best option for both sides, and that both sides got things in settlement that they could not have achieved through trial. As far as preference of going to trial, though trial in this case would have been fun and a great experience, it is never our preference to go to trial when our client has a way to resolve this case through an acceptable settlement that would bring peace and finality much sooner.

    JONATHAN: What do you think the future holds for fan films–both Star Trek and other genres? Did this case make fan films more secure or more vulnerable to new legal challenges from big studios?

    ERIN: Fan films will continue to flourish like they always have in the Star Trek community—just those that are not parodies, satire, or other clearly protected speech will have to run a little shorter, which forces a new level of editing and creativity. The studios went a long time without suing anyone, and I would expect that, given the experience in this case, they won’t be running out to sue fan film creators any time soon. Fan films for the most part offer free promotion and enhance the brand, not harm it, so business considerations would make an onslaught of lawsuits like this highly unlikely.

    As far as any “precedent” regarding fair use, fair use is an incredibly fact specific inquiry. The Court’s ruling in this case foreclosing fair use before trial is problematic from our perspective in multiple respects, but is binding on no one (not even another district court in the Central District).

    JONATHAN: Once again, Erin, thank you so much for agreeing to do this interview. And thank you, as well, on behalf of myself and so many fans who have been watching this case so closely this past year. It’s obvious to all of us that you and your law firm brought not only your A-game but an inspiring amount of dedication and loyalty in representing your client. I realize that’s what attorneys are supposed to do, but I also know that isn’t always the case. This time it was, though…by orders of magnitude.
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Re: Axanar: A Star Trek Fan Production

Post by Psia » 03/08/17

Image

Ah. The not-so-long-ago time in Trek fan films. When James Cawley, Alec Peters and Vic Mignona were all part of one team.
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Re: Axanar: A Star Trek Fan Production

Post by Psia » 03/08/17

Sent out today.
A letter from Axanar Production's Alec Peters
Donor-exclusive details.


March 8, 2017

Dear friends, fans and donors:

We've been hard at work this past month, putting together a plan for Axanar Production's future following the resolution of our lawsuit with CBS Studios and Paramount Pictures.

There is still a lot of work to do, but our team agrees that now is the time to start sharing our new vision for the future with you.

Over the past month, the Axanar team has gotten together and built out a plan for what the future holds for Axanar, the film that we have spent over 3 years working on, Axanar Productions, the production company that we work under, and our sound stage, which we call Industry Studios.

We have also been putting together our financials, and asked a group of entertainment professionals review those financials. We are proud to be able to present the financials showing the use of donor funds and the committee's findings to you in this document.

You can download and view the entire report by clicking this link.

Our team is dedicated to bringing our project to life in the best, most enjoyable way possible, and bringing more great science fiction, fantasy and horror genre productions to life.

We have a great plan and hope you, our loyal fans, will join us on this journey.

Alec Peters
Axanar Productions
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Re: Axanar: A Star Trek Fan Production

Post by Psia » 04/18/17

From Facebook:
MAJOR NEWS!
Over the past month, Team Axanar has been working through the issues surrounding our studio lease in California and the disposition of the amazing bridge and other sets built for the AXANAR feature film project. As we have noted previously, our landlord has agreed to not only let Axanar Productions out of the lease, but to take over Industry Studios and continue to operate it as a sound stage. As part of this deal, Axanar Productions will still be able to use the facility as well as recover a portion of the investment we made to convert the warehouse into a sound stage. Those funds will go back into Axanar Productions so we can continue telling the story of Axanar and fulfilling our commitments to donors.

As you probably know, we are also approaching the end of our current Indiegogo campaign which has generated over $20,000 in new donations. Originally intended to help fund the rent and overhead related to operating the Industry Studios sound stage, we’ve had to change our purpose for the funds raised to cover our transition out of that space and our move to something new. We asked donors what they thought and a overwhelming majority of them indicated they were happy to let us decide how to best move forward. Fewer than 2% of all donors to the campaign asked for a refund.

So we are happy to announce that Axanar Productions will be relocating to Atlanta, Georgia at the end of this month. Atlanta is the third largest film production city in the US and our new facility will cost approximately 25% of our current lease, giving us both the time and space required to finish production of Axanar. The 6,000sf of space is in fantastic condition and is fully air conditioned, a must for shooting in hot Atlanta summers. We are very excited about the new facility and think it will make a great long-term home for both Axanar and the other Star Trek and science fiction projects we have planned.

So, Team Axanar will be loading trucks and moving out of our Los Angeles facility April 28-30th. If you are a Los Angeles local, we would love to have your help! In addition, we move into our Atlanta facility May 6-7th and if you are an Atlanta resident, we would love your help there. In fact, the team of another Star Trek fan film is coming over to help us unload the trucks and move in!

So if you are interested in helping in either location, please email me at alec@axanarproductions.com and let me know. There will be food and swag for everyone who helps!
"The food is good, the wine is excellent, the staff timely. All that is lacking is your company." - EQ2 Raven Mythic FAQ

"Let me tell you something. Don't. Don't let them promote you. Don't let them transfer you, don't let them do anything that takes you off the bridge of that ship, because while you're there, you can make a difference." - Kirk to Picard, Star Trek Generations

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Psia
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Re: Axanar: A Star Trek Fan Production

Post by Psia » 04/27/17

There's funny stuff here regarding a lead protractor against Alex Peter's and his production goals. There is also some info that gives me pause. For the pictures mentioned follow the link to the original blog.

http://fanfilmfactor.com/2017/04/27/ale ... interview/

Yesterday, I was told by several folks to look at this posting from CARLOS PEDRAZA’s Axanamonitor.com blog site. In it, he had had the “scoop” on where the new AXANAR PRODUCTIONS studio would be located, how big it was, the amenities it offered and didn’t offer, and even photos of the outside and inside.

There was only one problem: that WASN’T the new studio. It wasn’t the right building; it wasn’t even the right city! Carlos listed the new location as Gainesville, GA: “…about 55 miles northeast of Atlanta, actually a bit closer to the South Carolina border than to Georgia’s capital.”

Now, I’m not sure where Carlos got his information from, but for the last two weeks, I’ve been preparing an interview with ALEC PETERS about the new Atlanta facility, and I already had a whole bunch of information and photos…and they didn’t match what Carlos had posted at all. This seemed, to me at least, both curious and a bit troubling. One of us had the wrong information…and I really hoped it wasn’t me!

So I contacted Alec. I asked him if he’d made any last-minute changes to the location of the space that he’d be leasing. He said no, he was still leasing the same place—the lease was signed, sealed, and delivered—and no, it was not the same one that Carlos was reporting on Axamonitor.com.

Then I asked Alec if he would mind moving up our interview so I could get the correct information disseminated before people started thinking that Axanar was moving into some dumpy building in an economically depressed town more than an hour away from Atlanta.

Originally, I was planning to publish my interview with Alec sometime next week when the moving trucks are supposed to arrive. But I heard that Alec has a whole slew of local volunteers lined up to help unload the trucks and unpack things, and to be honest, I was worried that some of the volunteers might get confused and think they’d accidentally shown up at the wrong building…as the one in Carlos’ photo isn’t even the right color!

Anyway, Alec agreed to expedite his answers to my interview questions, and I just received them. So here is the CORRECT information about the new facility in Atlanta…


JONATHAN – Tell us a little about this new studio. Where is it exactly? How big is it? Does it have air-conditioning? Is it sound-proofed?

ALEC – The new studio is in Lawrenceville, Georgia, which is 30 miles (about 45 minutes with traffic) from downtown Atlanta. It’s about 20 minutes from 285, the big perimeter road in Atlanta. Lawrenceville is a beautiful little town that reminds me of the town square in Back to the Future! But it is also a couple minutes from all the shopping you could ever want, and Discover Mills Mall is just 10 minutes away.

The studio is 6,000 square feet and fully air conditioned! And while not soundproofed, it is insulated, which actually serves as soundproofing. Also, once you start working inside of sets, soundproofing isn’t very important, as the walls of the sets serve to baffle the sound.

JONATHAN – What was the final tally of the survey of Indiegogo voters? How many of the 310 donors asked for a refund, and how much total of that $22,000 did you have to refund?

ALEC - Of the 310 donors, 139 responded to our survey. Out of those, we only had five people request a refund, which totaled less than $200 for the five donors together. By far, the majority said that they were fine with whatever we decided to do. 89 said they trusted us to make the right decision if we wanted to move to a new studio, and 11 said they didn’t care as long as they got their perks. 34 (less than a quarter of respondents) said they preferred us putting the sets into storage rather than setting up a new studio.

JONATHAN – How long of a lease have you just signed…and what will the rent and utilities be?

ALEC – I signed a 3-year lease. The financials are private since donors aren’t paying for the lease, and I personally guaranteed it. But it is a fraction of the L.A. Industry Studios space.

JONATHAN – Will Axanar now be filmed in Georgia? Or will some of it still be shot in Industry Studios in Valencia?

ALEC – We’re not currently planning on using the sets for the two 15-minute Axanar segments. Don’t get me wrong, we’d love to, but the plan right now is to shoot the segments in Los Angeles. It really comes down to how much we’ll be able to raise through our private fundraising efforts. We would love to have flashback scenes onto the bridge of the USS Ares.

JONATHAN – If you use the Valencia location, do you have to pay for the time you will be using it?

ALEC – Our agreement with the landlord in Valencia allows us access to the soundstage at an incredibly reasonable rate.

JONATHAN – How much of the $22,000 from the Indiegogo campaign will you have left after fees and perk fulfillment?

ALEC – Well, fees are 10% and Perks won’t be much. So we should have close to $19,000 I hope.

JONATHAN – What will that money be used for? And how much is this move across country costing just for the trucks and labor?

ALEC – The money we raised will go to pay for the move and setting up our operation in our new location. The three tractor trailers alone cost $12,000.

JONATHAN – Where will the money to pay the rent on the new facility be coming from?

ALEC – Well, we won’t be asking donors to cover our ongoing expenses. We’ve made some pretty significant operational changes, and I feel confident we’ll be able to generate enough cash flow to keep the doors open, the lights on, and the cameras rolling well into the future.

JONATHAN – So what are the plans for this new studio? You mentioned that you’ve been in contact with some other productions in the Atlanta area…which one(s)?

ALEC – We don’t want to get too far out ahead of ourselves, Jonathan. We have some projects in development of our own, and we are talking with some producers who are interested in working with us. We’ll be sure to keep you in the loop when any of those projects hit a significant milestone.

JONATHAN – Is it true that you’ve found nearly two dozen local Axanar fans in the Atlanta area who have already volunteered to help you unload the trucks and set up the new studio when you arrive next week?

ALEC – Actually, that is an amazing story. Here in L.A., it is really hard to get volunteers. L.A. is very spread out, and people have so many options on what to do. We have about four volunteers at any one time. But in Atlanta, we expect to have over 20 fans help move in based on all the responses we have gotten! It really is amazing the love for what we do.

JONATHAN – Can I finally show those photos you sent me of the new facility? (I’ve been holding them back—at Alec’s request—for nearly two weeks!)

ALEC - Please do!
"The food is good, the wine is excellent, the staff timely. All that is lacking is your company." - EQ2 Raven Mythic FAQ

"Let me tell you something. Don't. Don't let them promote you. Don't let them transfer you, don't let them do anything that takes you off the bridge of that ship, because while you're there, you can make a difference." - Kirk to Picard, Star Trek Generations

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Psia
Owner of Psi'a's Hammer
Owner of Psi'a's Hammer
Posts: 5922
Joined: 06/06/07

Re: Axanar: A Star Trek Fan Production

Post by Psia » 04/28/17

Someone is excited. I just read this on the Axanar Fan Group.
J.G. Hertzler aka Chancellor Martok wrote:Alec....I will be in ATLANTA TONIGHT! TREKLANTA is happening....and I will be there all weekend. How can I see the new space? How can I get you on stage with me? How can I help make the new AXANAR episodes as soon as possible? And make them as brilliant as possible? Oh nevermind that last one...the answer is make it all about Sam Travis and leave it at that. Maybe a role for Kate....hey...Gary will be in ATLANTA also this weekend!!!! jgh
"The food is good, the wine is excellent, the staff timely. All that is lacking is your company." - EQ2 Raven Mythic FAQ

"Let me tell you something. Don't. Don't let them promote you. Don't let them transfer you, don't let them do anything that takes you off the bridge of that ship, because while you're there, you can make a difference." - Kirk to Picard, Star Trek Generations

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