With the melding of productions, sharing of resources and attempts at buying friendship happening over recent weeks, confirmation today as to the depths of the impropriety starting to envelope the Star Trek fan film world in the United States.
Not only do we see alleged sexual harasser Vic Mignogna being welcomed back into the fold by Ray Tesi and alleged serial grifter Alec Peters continuing to spam his emailing list with irrelevant content, including direct calls to action to pay his bills at the animal shelter, now we also have the man who conspired with Alec Peters to commit identity theft, attempting to whitewash history and continue his strong arming tactics.
We can also make mention of Joshua Irwin as well, who is espousing this philosophy of “we’re all in this together” and “we’re here to support each other”, which flies in the face of his actions several weeks ago when we weren’t “all in this together” and we certainly aren’t “here to support each other”, where he conspired with 18 others to exert editorial control over this website and it’s Fan Film Awards.
Ironically Joshua is quoted as saying:
There’s been a lot of drama in fan films. And there was a time when you had to be in this camp or that camp. But those days are gone, and that mentality is eroding away, and it’s a wonderful thing.Joshua Irwin on Fan Film Factor
This statement is in stark contrast to nineteen people’s actions just one mere month ago when those days were very much alive and well and attempts were made to bully this channel into submission or face expulsion.
One individual left immediately following the letter that was seemingly written by Jonathan Lane, likely embarrassed that he was hoodwinked into putting his name at the top of it. Another left a day later, with a final tearful word to me that he felt his entire production was in jeopardy if he didn’t side with the collective – and especially Joshua Irwin.
Yet another spoke with me for over an hour, adamant that the threatening context of the email was not conveyed to him, and that he strongly regretted putting his name forward. Two more individuals continue to attempt to deflect and ignore their part in this situation, both going so far as to ignore our contribution to awarding their films – despite everything – at the Fan Film Awards.
Trekzone understands, too, that there is one American production still out in the cold because they refuse to collaborate – but yesterday it seems that an extremely magnanimous effort was made to possibly chill those relations.
What a shame this is how it ends. What a shame these nineteen have ruined our coverage for the others who have no part in any of this and enjoyed what we were doing.
The past few weeks have reminded me of a time just after the Fan Film guidelines dropped. I celebrated them as a levelling of the playing field… a way for more productions to share the love, rather than two massive ones and a bunch of little regarded instances.
Six months after the guidelines, I met Aaron Vanderkley and introduced him to a worldwide audience and repeatedly checked in on his progress as he morphed his productions into a series banner of These Are The Voyages. I even flew to Perth to see his production in action at The Fall of Starbase One.
Over the course of six years I met many fan film producers, all of whom shared the goal of telling stories in the Star Trek universe… But unfortunately along the way politics crept in and productions moved closer and closer together, sharing resources, ideas and characters.
Axanar plays a role here, its sycophants spread amongst the community and influenced decisions and opinions. One sycophant in particular would spend an inordinate amount of time attempting to destroy me and these awards.
That individual clearly spreads more love than I, and he was able to rally eighteen other individuals together to issue a series of editorial demands a week after I sent out offers of nominations, and a mere twenty four hours before the deadline to accept. Once again, for the second year in a row the individual attempted to torpedo our efforts at celebrating Star Trek fan films – but where he failed last year, he gathered friends and attempted a much more direct approach.
Two parties rejected our nominations as a result, but we – once again – prevailed. We put on a damn fine show over the past forty minutes with months of prep work amounting to Trekzone’s Fan Film Awards achieving another rousing success.
We tried Kumbaya last year and got kicked in the nuts, we tried steering away from that situation and still got kicked in the nuts this year. That individual’s actions don’t surprise me, he is – after all – like a force of nature… nothing you can do to stop it, so you either steer clear or turn your bow into the wake and tackle it head on.
His ability to generate massive controversy behind the scenes, to form alliances and to work to undermine this channel are evidence of the type of person he is and by extension the type of people who would side with him. It certainly would have been nice to know that the hornets nest had been kicked over – for apparently months before hand – but the representative chosen to discuss the situation with me wasn’t able to convey the truth effectively. And another attempt was only made just mere minutes before the demand letter was received.
Many have said that they did not want to hurt my feelings, that they didn’t want to anger me or indeed even know how to approach me – but what kind of friend, who knows of that individuals efforts to undermine me, allows that individual to influence their decision making – and allow some perceived threat to simmer away deep in the background and does nothing? What kind of friend joins a group chat whose sole purpose is to destroy months of our efforts to give them prize packs and recognition?
Funnily enough, those who run their own race have nothing but positive things to say about Trekzone and Mentioning Trekkie Mentions and they are whom we have been here for today.
My subtle approach at tackling this situation over the past four weeks has not been understood, so let me blunt – for now, I’m stepping away from Star Trek fan films. There will be no monthly updates, no check ins on the productions whom I discovered, no updates from prolific producers, and definitely no appearances in any fan films.
You want to work with that individual, you go right ahead but I’m out. I don’t support bullying or strong arming… if you do, then this little niche of a niche isn’t for me after all.