Caveat Emptor: Axanar Calls for Donations To Keep The Lights On – Again

In Editorial

I might’ve left the daily fight behind, but I’m still keeping across all the developments of the fan film called Axanar. And over the past week there have been some interesting twists and turns, not on the actual film… rather everything else that goes into making a business.

How does making a business fit in with making a fan film I hear you ask, well the simple answer is it doesn’t – not unless you want to profit off the intellectual property you’re paying homage to in your fan film. And profit Alec Peters had, that decision was handed down during the litigation that ended two years ago today, and it seems he’s at it again with the release of a Patreon campaign and forthcoming PayPal donation options.

While these crowdfunding methods have been announced as part of the Ares Studio modus operandi it reeks of Axanar through and through, with Alec releasing the campaign videos on the Axanar YouTube channel over the weekend. While this may not be in breach of the settlement agreement, it certainly does produce a foul odour of trying to use his subscriber base – who’ve signed up to see a Star Trek fan film – to get over the line.

Alec has been here before too, begging for other people’s money to keep the lights on at his Industry Studios – or is that now Ares Studio? – warehouse in 2017. In that effort he raised just over 10% of his $200,000 target, convincing only 300 of the supposed 15,000 flock to give him some money. However, because the fundraiser was on Indiegogo, Alec got to keep what he raised and decided to spend the money on moving to Atlanta.  Once there, Larry O’Connor – CEO of Other World Computing – agreed to foot the $4,000 monthly bill for the studio, presumably in the hope that Axanar would start happening and he would see some bang for his buck – including “several other productions and co-productions in the development pipeline.”

As we know that never happened, and eighteen months later the sponsorship contract either lapsed without renewal or was terminated.  All that OWC had to show for their ~$72,000 investment was an almost finished bridge set that’d been dragged from the other side of the country, some inventory lying around and a tour group visit from the Axacon convention.

What some people might not be aware is that the $4,000 goal Alec wants to reach before the middle of February – a mighty lofty goal – is only for the studio to keep paying the rent and the bills, it doesn’t involve any actual film making. Alec clearly doesn’t want to work like the rest of us so he’s pulled out the tin once again and is shaking it around the internet.

Caveat Emptor indeed.

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