Speaking on the record is something that Axanar's PR - Mike Bawden - and lawyers Winston & Strawn have flatly refused to allow due to the on going legal case, however today's podcast has been given the green light on the condition that the lawsuit is not discussed.
Before the interview though, I spoke with Mike on some of the more 'generic' topics surrounding this professional / fan production. He told me that "the character Garth of Izar captured the interest and attention of Alec Peters a long time ago. As a noted Star Trek prop authority and collector, Alec eventually ended up owning the costume for Garth from the original series. During his involvement in a Star Trek: Phase II (now New Voyages) production, Alec was encouraged to pursue his interest in Garth of Izar and the seeds for the feature film, AXANAR, were planted."
Mike commented that he was unaware of Axanar in the early days, but he did say that Axanar Production's position on the role and importance of fan films has been pretty clear, he continued that CBS and Paramount had allowed fan films to flourish for the past 44 years with many of those films using the main characters from the original series.
Mike said that the fan interaction with Star Trek (artwork, literature, cosplay or fan films) is part of what makes the franchise so special. When asked about the inclusion of Trek alumni he pointed to Walter Koenig, George Takei and Nichelle Nichols' appearances in Phase II and he believes that Ambassador Soval - "a minor character in the least popular Star Trek series" - would (not have been) a problem.
Regarding that lawsuit, Mike reaffirmed the party line - "we want to sit down with CBS and Paramount, understand what their concerns are with our project and then see if we can find some middle ground."
My chat with Alec became very tense when I attempted to ask questions about accountability and understand his position on comments from so called detractors. I have agreed to split this interview into two parts so that Mike Bawden can defend Alec's claims, and that will be available later in the week.