By now, you might have heard that Alec Peters’ Axanar, the non-Trek Star Trek Fan Film, is being sued by CBS and Paramount. I am still trying to wrap my head around the whole thing, but so far a few things seem to be coming into focus, for me at least.
Disclaimer: This is an opinion piece made by someone looking down from the cheap seats.
This is not a news article.
Look, it’s real simple. The envelope, the line, just kept getting pushed further and further.
At first, it was all out-of-pocket, and the only rule was don’t sell it. Then the caterer had to get paid, and that was OK because people gotta eat. Then someone outside donated to pay for the caterer, but nothing was being sold so no one cared. Then came the crowdfunding, and the big worry was that the production was driving that extra mile to the directors brother’s store to buy lumber, using the production to funnel a bit of the funds to friends or family. But nothing was being sold, so no one cared.
Then Peters wrote himself a check…
In a nutshell, Axanar’s revised 2015 Annual Report clearly shows Alec Peters drawing a salary of $38,000 for the year, or about 6.5% of the budget.
That Report was released on December 15, 2015. About a week later the lawsuit was filed. Coincidence?
The issue seems to be hard for a lot of fans to grasp. Surely it must be about the amount of money raised! Or maybe it’s that Paramount is jealous at getting shown up over quality!
No, I am starting to think it’s where that money was going.
The concept of ‘making no money’ has somehow turned into ‘not making a profit’, which is not the same thing. A hat tip to Michael Hinman over at 1701news.com for pointing this out. Seriously, it’s a great opinion piece, way better than mine, you should go read it. Continue reading »