Reflecting on the Axanar Fan’s Perspective Podcast

Well, it’s been about half an hour since the third and final installment in the Jonathan Lane interview was released and overall the reaction has been lukewarm to my interviewing style and to the whole purpose of the podcasts overall.

Many, including Axamonitor’s Carlos Pedraza, have taken issue with my lack of supposed preparation and my lack of willingness to engage head on with Lane during his three hour mission to put the best possible spin on the Axanar saga. But I want you to hear in my own words why I made the decisions I did, and why the final product is what it is.

To the first and most reoccurring point, preparation… many of you are right, I should’ve known providing the topics for discussion, including focus questions, in advance would give Jonathan ample time to put together his reams of paper on the subject matter. I simply am not as invested in Axanar as he is and I accepted that it was going to be a one way street when it comes to the minutiae of the Alec Peters professional fan film.

I accepted that this joint blog entry / podcast was going to primarily be Jonathan’s perspective and I was OK with that, because I knew that his mannerisms and style of presentation would naturally galvanise listeners to the conversation – I knew that his condescending attitude towards my, and other “detractors” points of view would drive new listeners to my show – or newcomers to Axanar – to seek out other information, despite Michael Hinman’s best efforts on the Axamonitor Facebook group to insist otherwise.

To the runtime, and yes 3 hours is a helluva request of me to ask you to listen to – I get that… I wouldn’t listen to a podcast that long. And that’s why it was split into parts, and why it’ll be cutdown even further with a best of episode to come post Christmas running around twenty five minutes – somewhat of a standard Trekzone Podcast length.

As the executive producer I decided that the entire conversation (let’s stop calling it a debate or a battle hey?) needed to be heard first – because not only would the supporters of Axanar cry foul over the heavy editing, but I was reasonably confident Jonathan would not agree to that anyway. It’s quite clear how Jonathan likes to structure his blog entries, and again I was fine with that… because I set out to produce the Trekzone episode the following week.

Let me reiterate my position on this saga, Alec Peters was wrong using Star Trek IP to create a business model that had nothing to do with Axanar. He was wrong for using Star Trek IP on perks given to donors. He was wrong for profiting off his donors and loyal supporters – he paid for tyres, lunches, insurance, phone bills and flights across the United States out of donor funds (but that’s ok, because it was just a labeling error on the annual report.) And Peters was most assuredly wrong for pursuing legal action against CBS and Paramount.

But, Jonathan is right… Peters did achieve if not a victory, then certainly a capitulation from CBS in that they are allowing him to bend several of the fan film guidelines in order to get Axanar made. Will he do it? Probably not, because the costs he believes are necessary are too great, the sets, costumes and actors needed are still in a planning stage (except for 2 of the principal cast, who have signed on.)

If we see Axanar it’ll be mid-2020, but even then I think it’ll be too soon. The idea of Axanar keeps Alec going, not the actual production.

Save for any rebuttals to Jonathan’s remarks herein and a definitive outcome of the production, this is the final edition to focus on Axanar – the fan film that irrevocably changed the Star Trek fan film community.

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