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Captain’s Log – Jan. 11th, 2016

By January 13, 2016 Captain's Log

Monday, January 11th, 2016

Over the past week, members of the Axanar haters group on Facebook have been discussing coming to the studio, even breaking in and stealing from Axanar.   One individual even tried to gain access to the studio this past weekend.  Fortunately Curtis Short was overseeing construction work and he turned the person away.

While we ignore the haters generally, this past week this group that is obsessed with hating on Axanar on Facebook has been discussing actually causing trouble at the studio.  At least one of these threads was deleted by the admins, and our fans have reported a few more.

These types of discussions are incredibly irresponsible and attempts to trespass are flatly illegal. We are notifying Facebook about these actions and have talked to the local police as well.

TICONDEROGA, NY.: NOVEMBER 5, 2015 -- Alec Peters and Robert Burnett during the filming of Axanar vignettes at the Star Trek New Voyages Studio in Ticonderoga, New York, November 5, 2015. Photo for Axanar Productions by Garth Gullekson.

Meanwhile, our PR director Mike Bawden is in town and so we have been meeting on a communication plan moving forward once we get representation.  Much depends on what the law firm we retain tells us.  Till then we are minimizing any comments, so you will forgive us for our relative silence.

Also, Rob Burnett is starting to cut the “Heroes” vignette.  I will say again the footage is spectacular as the colors are amazing and it is shot in 2.39:1 aspect ratio, which is cinema wide-screen.

TICONDEROGA, NY.: NOVEMBER 4, 2015 -- Kelvar Garth (Alec Peters) and Captain James T. Kirk (Brian Gross) during the filming of Axanar vignettes at the Star Trek New Voyages Studio in Ticonderoga, New York, November 4, 2015. Photo for Axanar Productions by Garth Gullekson.

TICONDEROGA, NY.: NOVEMBER 4, 2015 — Kelvar Garth (Alec Peters) and Captain James T. Kirk (Brian Gross) during the filming of Axanar vignettes at the Star Trek New Voyages Studio in Ticonderoga, New York, November 4, 2015. Photo for Axanar Productions by Garth Gullekson.

Elba II

Tobias Richter’s wonderful VFX of the Enterprise over Elba II.

More tomorrow!

Alec Peters

Executive Producer

Join the discussion 23 Comments

  • JSR says:

    I really do not have any idea who these haters are, nor do I really care to know. But if this is a group of Star Trek fans, that just have something against the way Axanar is portraying Star Trek or the timeline, or simply something against you guys, then they clearly did not understand the basic message that Star Trek was trying to convey.

    This is not about living in a fantasy world, but I grew up with Star Trek and what I learned from it was that tolerance, understanding, and learning from one another can go a long way. You guys do what you do because you enjoy it and yes, you have asked for donations to make it all happen, but ultimately you still do all the work. I think anyone who is hating on you, should accomplish what you guys did, and then start, if they still feel the need.

    People often call me a cynic, because I call it the way I see it. Society as it is right now is a joke. What an empty life people must have, if they actually take the time to waste around on social media, and to destroy someone else’s vision. Cockroaches have more respect for one another I’m sure, than humans do among themselves.

    • Mr. Veritas says:

      How is the ‘Pew! Pew!’ in Axanar better than the ‘Pew! Pew!’ in Star Trek Beyond?

      • Alec Peters says:

        Well, if you had watched Prelude to Axanar you would know. Doesn’t take a genius to figure it out.

        And you haven’t even seen Star Trek: Beyond and you are already judging it?

        • Chris says:

          Agreed with your first point Alec, but based on the trailer, and the previous two films, I think it’s quite reasonable for people to have low expectations. And it’s partly why people (aside from a few idiots like the ones you mentioned in your log) are so excited for Axanar.

          • Sara says:

            I agree with Chris. I agree with the first part of Mr Peter’s comment too and I also agree that people’s low expectations of Beyond are completely valid. The “pew pew” in Axanar is likely to be different (And is, in the case doc Prelude.) to the “pew pew” in the reboot films because of actual detailed dialogue, which touches on diplomacy, humanity, technology, history and society.

        • Allen Hall says:

          Hey you guys are truly unique and have set a new standard for fan films. To steal a cheesy quote from a recent movie line, “they hate you because they ain’t you.” Simply put, I think they are jealous.. There is not a single shoddy edge in your enterprise visible to the outside world. You have stunned the fans and unexpectedly shook the foundation of the studios smug sense of superiority. How interesting would that have been to be a fly on the wall in some of their recent wake up call meetings, clearly you caught them in their corporate world off guard. Keep up the great work you are an inspiration for what is possible to all that follow in your footsteps.

      • JSR says:

        Axanar is set in the established time line, albeit prior to or similar to TOS. That, to me personally, already makes it better than any of the JJ Abrams incarnations. Again, this has nothing to do with bashing on the quality of the movies, the production value and anyone who worked on it, I just did not understand right from the get-go back in 2009, why the wheel had to be reinvented (except so money could be made by turning Star Trek into a Star Wars clone so that the troglodytes of the mass market could be used as a cash cow). As far as “Beyond” is concerned, I’ve read several reports that the script was altered a few times, because the original was “too Star Trek”. If that is true, then why even bother to call it that. The appeal of Star Trek to me always was that it was sci-fi that went beyond the typical good vs. evil approach. While Axanar is about a war, we ultimately know what happens, and if you pay close attention, it is about humans and Klingons developing some form of mutual respect for one another, even if it all started on a battle field. That goes far beyond “pew pew”.

      • Gonzalo Nieva says:

        For me, Admiral Ramirez’s speech is true Trek.

      • Fred Trafton says:

        Really? You think Star Trek is about the “pew pew”? OK, then, I’ve got some old Flash Gordon movies you’ll like.

  • caryl parker says:

    Outrageous that saboteurs would try to stop production of Axanar. don’t they know that we need more Star
    Trek, not less! caryl

  • brian333 says:

    The thing many haters, (and network executives,) seem to not understand is that Axanar is not in competition with any other Trek or Sci-Fi franchise. Sure, there are some who take the Trek vs. Star Wars, or TOS vs. TNG a bit too seriously, but the vast majority of us will watch Star Trek and Star Wars. In fact, the only times I missed a showing of the Trek shows was when they aired them in the same time slot as Babylon 5.

    So, the only time it’s a competition is when the networks force it to be. Otherwise, we’ll happily view all the Trek they can dish out and beg for more, even if there is a Star Wars/Babylon 5 crossover with Battlestar Galactica series on another channel. We have DVR’s now. The creation of Axanar will not turn anyone away from any other Trek project.

    Real Trek fans want all of the Trek projects to succeed. At the very worst, Axanar will fill the gap while the studios are in between other Trek projects. At best, it will attract new viewers to the franchise. No other Sci-Fi project out there will suffer by the creation of Axanar, but Axanar can be good for them if they just stop hating long enough to think it through.

  • …(REAL) Star Trek is progressive (love-based) …that will ALWAYS make you a target of hate =(

    …i’m worried that this is being fomented by (secret) gov’t-paid trolls for TPTB, as the social media prong of their hateful attacks =(

    legal, social, … what’s next? =(

    Stay Strong you guys, and Keep On Radiating the Axanar LOVE! <3

  • Misty says:

    You should post links to the threats so others can report them as well.

    And I see you guys have a law firm already, I thought I just saw that you were still looking for one!

  • Marcase says:

    The break-in/tress-pass and all out trolling against Axanar is just… bizarre. (And blaming Axanar for CBS current course of action is even more so).

    Alec, I’m looking forward to your book on the creation of Axanar (you know you’ll have to write it eventually 🙂 and I’m sure it will be an eye-opener for everyone in The Industry – professionals, fans and public alike. The many-many hurdles you guys have to tackle every day on what is in its core a non-profit, non-industry-threatening, fan production is astounding. Respect sir, for still boldly going forward !

  • Philip Stephens says:

    Hmmm, when hatred turns into actual action, that is pretty scary. You really have to wonder about the sanity of such people. To borrow a phrase from Mysterious Science Theater 3000’s theme song: repeat to yourself, “It’s just a show, I should really just relax”.

    It would seem that sometimes fandom really does turn into the dictionary definition of “fanatic”. Which is a real shame.

  • Kurt Hugger says:

    To Whom it may Concern:

    This message is in regards to the CBS/Paramount lawsuit against ARES productions.

    This action is very ill advised. CBS has known about this production of AXANAR from the beginning. The claim that ARES production is making a profit from AXANAR is false. I suggest that you download and read the last two ARES studios financal reports.

    Money is being spent on the studio building and the sets, yes. This is not proft, THESE ARE EXPENSES!!

    It is clear that the main reason that CBS and Paramount are concerned about AXANAR is because it is the kind of STAR TREK that so many fans want to see, are willing to pay for and are not getting from CBS/Paramount. Another factor is the high quality of the production do to the use of professionals both in front of and behind the camera.

    Some people see this as a threat to the upcoming movie and new series. I do not like the revamped Movies all that much, they are not STAR TREK. They are slick action/shoot em up films that do not include any of the messages or other good things that STAR TREK is known for and have made it popular for FIFTY YEARS!

    The people making AXANAR understand these things and are making STAR TREK the way it should be made.

    Rather then fight AXANAR Paramount/CBS should learn from it and understand what kind of STAR TREK people want to see, are willing to pay for and GIVE IT TO THEM!!!

    If you decide to do this you will make far more money from STAR TREK then you are now. If you do not, the people who support AXANAR and other well done fan productions may express their displeasure by simply not seeing the new movie or buying the new television series.

    This would be a shame because in the end we all want good STAR TREK, both Professional to make money for the studios and fan produced to tell the stories that the studios don’t wish to.

    Sincerely Yours

    Kurt Hugger

  • Ken Wood says:

    I hesitate to add this thought… but in this whole scheme, if the AXANAR production is shut down for using as the Plaintiffs say “infringing upon the Intellectual copyrighted STAR TREK WORKS”, then does it not stand to reason that they should (heaven forbid!) also go after Cawley Entertainment, Eugene Roddenberry, and all others that produce the TOS / TNG style of shows? They too are using the costumes as near exact as the TOS / TNG ones; the props are virtually the same design… the starships depicted are the same design ( CGI which is better than the balsa wood models of old); they build sets from the TOS / TNG era ENTERPRISE re: Bridge, Sickbay, Transporter Room, Engineering, et. al. Yet the powers that be at CBS / Paramount do not seem threatened by those productions, nor the fan fiction written stories.

    I submit that it falls upon the Plaintiffs to establish absolute proof that AP Productions is clearly making a profit from their venture. Are they going to also sue the actors who are portraying characters they have already portrayed in the “Commercialized versions” of the series / movies? Why did they not balk at STAR TREK RENEGADES? The make-up skills lacked for the project, yet Chekov and Tuvok were used, as were a Bajoran and Cardassian. From what I ascertain, any monies left over from these productions most likely goes to charities, or saved for future set building, etc. About the only “profit” these people end up with is the recognition of having done a well made Trek story, and the only “perceived threat” is that Fan supported productions end up “outshining” studio productions. Is there really harm being done? I think not. If anything, it becomes an attempt to get the Studios to produce the kind of stories we really want to see!

    If CBS / Paramount REALLY cares so much about the Franchise, they should look at these productions in the light that so many have already said: it only bodes well for the continuing interest in STAR TREK, and the vision Gene Roddenberry tried to put forth – See what Mankind can do if we all work together instead of warring on each other, and embrace the ideal of Infinite Diversity in Infinite Combinations. Oh my, I now will probably be included in the lawsuit for using a STAR TREK WORKS phraseology!

  • Doug says:

    Wow – these haters definitely have too much free time. If they’re truly planning to break into the studio then perhaps what they should be spending some of that free time behind bars. Then they can contemplate the level of stupidity and ignorance of their actions.

  • Stephen Cole says:

    Hmm. That issue seems to be getting more serious, I hope you have or are considering hiring a security person for nights/weekends when you all aren’t there. Certainly sounds like a bunch or red dots have banded together to cause trouble. This is why we can’t have nice things…

  • Fred Trafton says:

    Break-ins and stealing? God, how can this happen?
    On a more positive note, I’m glad you’re continuing work on the Heroes vignette. I thought you had more shooting to do in Ares Studios before you could finish it? Well, whatever … I’m sure I’ll like what I see when I can see it. Thanks.
    I’m probably the thousandth person to suggest it, but … you should play David Bowie’s “Heroes” while rolling end credits … especially now. But, you probably would have to pay for a license to use it … sigh.

  • Canoma says:

    Wow! Brian Gross really does look like William Shatner in that photo with Alec Peters.

  • Eman Zaman says:

    Everyone is entitled to their opinions, but going to the length of sabotage is insane! This irony is that this group may like Star Trek but they are essentially hooligans and do not uphold the values of the universe in which it resides. An embarrassment to themselves and to other genuine fans.

  • ValhallasAshes says:

    To be honest, this doesn’t surprise me. There are a lot of people out there right now that just have nothing better to do. A lot of these people have already expressed a negative opinion about crowdfunding and just can’t accept that they might be wrong. But rather than be quiet and see what happens with the more promising ones, feel that it’s their personal duty to destroy anything that has the potential to prove them wrong. There’s no exception to the rules they’ve created in their small narrow minds and god forbid they’re wrong or anybody has the nerve to even think of disagreeing with them. Generally small minded people with superiority complexes.

    The really sad thing about a lot of these people, is that many of these people are the same people who bitch and complain about industry stagnation, regurgitation of the same material/content/games and an overall complete lack of originality in the industry. And then don’t have the balls to put their money where their mouth is when an opportunity comes around promising to provide the very content they are demanding from the industry. Because they are not buying a product, but rather investing in the idea to have a product made. And “if” that product is made and succeeds, they get a free copy and whatever bonuses are included for their backing amount. And if it fails, they lose the money invested. Apparently this isn’t OK to them, completely ignoring the fact that this is the same way it’s done in the industry. The industry backs an idea (a pitch) and invests to have it made. If it succeeds, they get a cut of the profit. If it fails, then they lost their money with no recourse to get that money back. It’s a risk, that’s the whole point. If you can’t justify the risk, then don’t back it, keep your mouth shut and move on. If you can justify the risk and you do believe in the project and have faith in the ability of the pitchers to not only produce but complete the project, back it (but only back it for what you can afford to lose and are comfortable with), and keep tabs on it’s progress. It’s that simple. And for those who try to claim they’d rather have a cut of the profit instead of a free copy of the product, think about it. Use Star Citizen as an example.

    $105,781,684 / 1,167,648 backers = $90.59 (and that’s actually up from $60 average last year) average backer spending (and don’t think a small backer can get the same cut as someone who backed a larger amount. The bigger the backing, the bigger the risk, the bigger the return) -(minus) development costs average per backer (facilities + utilities (elect/gas etc) + equipment + staff wages etc) -(minus) taxes -(minus) etc = Very little money per backer

    Crowdfunding is only different from traditional funding in just one respect. You are pulling investments from many/many/many sources instead of just a few sources. So while a traditional investment opportunity has the potential to have significant returns and gains profit wise, in crowdfunding, the potential return per backer is very very small. So in crowdfunded projects, a free copy of the product + bonuses based on backing level is actually a significantly better deal. Especially considering that, such as with most crowdfunded games, backers usually end up getting the game for an investment cost that’s usually less than half the cost of the full completed product at full retail prices.

    That’s how this works out for a game like Star Citizen that is for profit. For a movie like Axanar and the tight rope they have to walk, it’s completely non profit. But just like charities, Non-Profit does NOT mean FREE. Yes it’s free to enjoy by people after the fact, but the development still has a cost. And in the case of a full production like Axanar, that cost CAN be significant. Again there’s a cost for facilities, utilities, equipment, staff wages, logistics, taxes etc. So again, this comes down to the 3 main questions:

    Do you want the content being pitched and would you like to contribute to that production?

    Do you believe or have good faith in the ability of the people pitching and promising to provide said content?

    Is there an amount of money to which you would be willing to contribute to said project with the understanding that should the project fail to materialize, you will lose said investment with no recourse to recover said losses?

    If you can’t say yes to all 3 of those questions at the very least for a crowdfunding campaign, then you have no business in contributing to said campaign. It’s as simple as that. But even if you don’t agree with a crowdfunding campaign, you sure as hell don’t have any right to intentionally sabotage it either. Whether that’s during the campaign, post campaign production and/or after-the-fact. You can express an opinion during the campaign, you can even discuss your views honestly in whatever way you choose. But outright sabotage is not only illegal, but also makes you liable to not only to production losses incurred by the producers of said product, but to any losses incurred to each and every backer who invested in said production. Crowdfunding and investment is legal and is the industry norm. Outright sabotage as these people have not only been discussing, but supporting/encouraging is downright illegal and dangerous.

    I’m sorry Axanar is going through this and as much as it pains me to say this, welcome to the club with the Star Citizen backers having to endure the same kind of hater nonsense. I wish you good luck on your endeavours and the best advice I could give you is to just completely ignore the haters. Don’t even bother giving them the time of day by acknowledging them. Anything you say to them, they’ll just twist to suit their agenda anyway. And nothing you do will ever satisfy them. Because they turn it into an agenda, there’s never going to be a means to make them happy nor shut them up. Just look at the press and comments about Star Citizen if you need proof. You best bet is literally to keep quiet and pretend it doesn’t exist. Anything you do to the contrary will only be used to try to hurt you. That’s the difference between a grievance and an agenda. Grievances can be reconciled. Agendas can’t. Sorry for the long-winded post. It’s kind of my style, lol. So good luck and I look forward to hopefully seeing the Axanar production successfully reaching its full end goal.

    P.S. I applaud the level of transparency you’ve shown with your project. Very few crowdfunded projects put such a high priority on transparency for it’s backers. Star Citizen, Kerbal Space Program and only a couple others come to my mind as having as high a level of transparency as you. You should rightly be applauded for that.

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