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The situation: Worried workers at crowdfunding giant Kickstarter are organizing themselves into a union to combat serious structural and morale problems at the company whose platform made Axanar possible. But management isn't having any of it, saying the company is "better set up to be successful without the framework of a union."

1. Patrons Get Exclusive Peek at Peters' Museum Plans, Lane's Fan Film Budget

Only 14 Ares Studios patrons attended the YouTube livestream by Axanar producer Alec Peters and his surrogate, fan film blogger Jonathan Lane, last night. Here's what they learned:
  • Canadian Star Trek museum Trekcetera, may have closed, but after he sells off their holdings, Peters wants it to re-open as a new nonprofit organization, supported by the prop community.
  • Prop community loans. Peters says collectors like him may come together to lend items to a newly reconstituted museum in Drumheller, Alberta, for rotating exhibitions: "We can easily fill that [building]," he says.
Former museum was doomed. Peters says the Trekcetera museum, for which he is liquidating their holdings, was never going to be able to earn enough revenue to pay off its mountain of debt — more than $300,000
  • The collection's worth $175,000 at best, Peters says.
  • Better protection. Peters lamented Trekcetera's owners hadn't protected their collection better against liquidation by "borrowing" its holdings from legal entities other than itself, but possibly controlled by Trekcetera.
Profiting from museum's failure? Lane tried to criticize AxaMonitor's coverage of Peters' liquidation as an unfair characterization Peters was profiting from the museum's closure.
  • Making money: Peters admitted he is earning a commission off the expected $175,000 auction of the collection.
  • How much? In the industry, auction houses typically charge 10-15 percent in commissions from total sales. Based on Peters' estimate of Trekcetera's worth that would earn him as much as $26,250, not including buyer's premiums, if any.
  • A portion for new museum. Instead, Peters plans to offer some portion of his commission (as he does every time he makes such a claim, he refused to specify how much) toward establishing a new museum in Drumheller.
Auction date: The auction of Trekcetera's collection is planned for July or August.
Go Deeper »

2. Peters: I Don't Own ‘My’ Prop, Costume Collection

Image/Axanar Productions
PETERS' COLLECTION These costumes (Trelane, Khan and Garth) in Alec Peters' Star Trek props and costume collection aren't technically his if you're suing him.
Axanar producer Alec Peters often poses with items from what he says is his extensive collection of props, costumes and other film and television memorabilia.
  • Turns out he doesn't own much of it. At least technically. That's what he told his Ares Studios patrons last night in an exclusive YouTube livestream.
  • Peters' props and costumes are protected from being seized in a legal battle where Peters is personally named (See "Sorry, Mike Bawden" below).
  • Here's how Peters describes it:

“My whole collection is protected the same way. ‘Alec Peters’ does not technically own all my props and costumes. So if  something like this happens then those items can't be seized.”
  • Sorry, Mike Bawden: In a suit filed in Iowa this week, the former Axanar PR director loaned Peters $30,000 with Peters' prop and costume put up as security for the loan. But was it Alec Peters who put up the collateral or 'Alec Peters'?
Go Deeper »

3. Lane's Axanar Universe Fan Film, 'Interlude,' to Seek $18,000 in Crowdfunding for September Shoot

Image/Fan Film Factor
ASSURANCES Axanar surrogate Jonathan Lane assures patrons the $18,000 he wants to make his fan film, "Interlude," won't be paying for "tires and sushi," but will be paying for a lot of patches.
Axanar fans will be hit up for $18,000 to pay, not for the long-promised Axanar shorts by Alec Peters, but instead for Jonathan Lane's Axanar-based fan film, "Interlude," an eight- to 10-minute production.
  • The story starts literally where Prelude to Axanar left off, with Lane showing off VFX footage of two new Klingon D-7s chasing two Ares-class starships, the Artemis and the Ares (commanded, of course, by Peters' Captain Garth).
  • 'Avalon' directors create budget. Lane's directors, Josh Irwin and Victoria Fox, both experienced filmmakers, did most of the work figuring out costs. They produce the 'Avalon Universe' Star Trek fan films.
  • Food for cast and crew alone takes a big chunk — 10 percent — of Lane's budget.
  • Car rental and other transportation costs total $1,000.
  • Ares Studios rental. Lane plans to pay Peters $500 for two days on the Ares bridge set outside Atlanta, despite the impression Peters gives patrons that their monthly donations allows him to make the facility available at no cost to fan filmmakers.
  • Star Trek Continues sets in Kingsland, Ga., will be used for other shipboard sets, at $300 for the single day Lane plans to shoot there.
  • Uniforms will take a large part of the budget since they must be custom-designed and produced.

‘The [Axanar] uniforms look so much better than the Discovery uniforms.’


Jonathan Lane

  • Uniform Patches alone will take up more than 8 percent of the film's total budget at $1,500. Each officer's uniform requires no less than three custom patches.
  • Other costs, including the crowdfunding platform's service fee, contingency funds and post-production costs, make up the balance of the $18,000 budget.
  • Not-perks. Though the Star Trek fan film guidelines prohibit productions from offering crowdfunding perks, Lane optimistically expects to offer donors "thank you presents" if his campaign raises more than the required $18,000.
Crew signs on: Lane also announced who will fill some of his crew slots — none of whom can be paid, according to the guideline — besides directors Irwin and Fox. They include:
  • Visual effects will be done pseudonymously by "Lewis Alexander," a VFX professional who doesn't want other fan films approaching him for to work for free for their productions.
  • The score will be created by Emmy-winning composer Kevin Croxton, who also scored a kids' Star Trek fan film, "The Adventures of the U.S.S. Parkview."
  • Post-production sound will be completed by Mark Edward Lewis, who worked on Prelude to Axanar and is slated to edit the Axanar short films.
  • Local high school students will fill out many crew positions for free. "You just have to feed them," Lane says.

Short Takes: Patreon flattens, Shari Redstone shines for CBS

AxaMonitor graph
Patreon "progress". With patron and pledge growth essentially flattening out, it's not surprising last night's exclusive livestream for donors was only attended by 15 people.
  • Monthly pledges total $2,166, with recent progress at or near zero a day. That's still far away from the $4,000 Alec Peters needs each month to pay for the unimproved warehouse he calls Ares Studios.
  • Patron numbers have stalled out at 226, with no more than 1 new donor a day (some days zero or negative numbers) for almost two weeks.
  • Go deeper »
Shari Redstone shines at CBS upfronts party in New York, an indication that the rumored Viacom-CBS re-merger is indeed on its way. The New York Times reports Redstone, the head of CBS parent company, has wanted the two sister companies to re-unite for many years. And some Star Trek fans think that will solve the "problem" of having Star Trek's ownership split between CBS for television and Paramount for film (the movie studio is owned by Viacom).

In Case You Missed It …

Black Mirror's season five trailer has dropped, featuring Miley Cyrus. The three-episode season releases June 5 and also includes actors from from Avengers: Endgame and Aquaman. . From CNet.

Chicago collects 'Netflix Tax.' With more goods and services being sold digitally than physically cities are looking for ways to make up for lost sales taxes. Hence, Chicago's "Netflix Tax," which has collected $2 million from Sony, Eventbrite and Fandango, becoming the first big city to successfully tax digital streaming and service providers. Other cities and states are looking to cash in, too. CBS News reports.

Find Us on Super Geeks

Join AxaMonitor editor Carlos Pedraza every week on the Super Geeks podcast, and Geek of Thrones review show, both on Subspace Radio, Mondays  at 8 p.m. PST/11 p.m. EST. If you miss it live check the "rewind" section for recorded episodes. Super Geeks is hosted by George Silsby. Check out the Facebook page, The Real Super Geeks.
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