Sunday, May 29, 2016

Telling Tales Out Of School

Well it seems that my last post caused quite a stir! I've heard a lot about what is being said about the public release of the meetings and the working draft of the proposed guidelines, and I feel I should say something about all this.

First off, since I posted, there have been public statements from Starbase Studios, Starship Valiant, and Star Trek: Ambush.

To Starbase Studios: I reviewed my article, and I did find a discrepancy. My first line about the Facebook chat implied that all eight of the producers contacted and invited to the chat were actively participating in the discussion. I clarified this with Mr. Peters, and my understanding is that he did invite all eight into the chat, released the first draft there, and half of the people invited chose to participate further. I have corrected the original post to reflect that, as well as corrected the information on the number of productions you produce. As much as the original post made it seem like Mr. Johnson participated beyond receiving the guidelines, that was an error in my writing which I should have caught in editing, and I do apologize to you for that.

That being said, I do not believe that the intent of Mr. Peters in relaying the information in my post was anything other than the reason I give below.

To Mr. King of Starship Valiant, I understand any consternation you have at what was supposed to be a private conversation made public. I would suggest speaking to Mr., Pedraza and asking him who gave him the conversation, as I did not receive any information as to what was said, let alone publish it. You deserve an apology, but it should come from someone who, at the moment, remains anonymous. Also, my understanding from Mr. Peters is that the rules as had been given to me had not been finalized, but were still under discussion, and my article reflects that.

While I have not seen it, I understand there is a tweet from someone in the production of Star Trek Continues stating that they were no part of the discussion. I also have a comment awaiting moderation on the original post which purports to be from Todd Haberkorn (as the commenter's handle is "unknown", but signed by Todd, I cannot confirm this) which states that he did take a phone call from Mr. Peters, but never received the guidelines. From the comment, he seemed to be expecting them in an email from Mr. Peters, which could explain why he didn't receive them. For the same reasons I gave to Starbase Studios above, I do apologize to the production of Star Trek Continues if I gave the impression you were an active participant. 
I have not heard of any word from any other production named my post. If I do, I will update this article with the information.  

In the interests of full disclosure, the one thing I did not say was that Mr. Peters did tell me that a member of the discussions had disclosed the guidelines, and it had made its way to Carlos Pedraza, who runs the website. He wanted to convey an accurate account in the event Axamonitor did go public with news of the discussions. I personally had no problem with doing this. The information he gave me, by itself, seemed fairly innocuous. If the guidelines were going to come as a result of the settlement negotiations, it seemed to be a no-brainer to reach out to other fan productions to get their thoughts on this (Indeed, I had actually been idly discussing with another friend on Facebook an idea of how to go about soliciting comments from other productions). Who knows if CBS and Paramount would have considered them, but I thought it was good that Mr. Peters was trying to bring them to their attention.

I had no idea that Mr. Pedraza not only had the guidelines, but details of the conversation as well.

I read the article he had posted. And, sure enough, he had portrayed it as Alec trying to rally support amongst the other productions, and apparently failing. He showed some of the more sensational parts of the conversation where some of the other producers were disagreeing with one of the proposals as originally written. He goes on to speculate as to what Alec's motivations were in initiating this discussion (to be sure, he speculates something more egregious than simply soliciting input).  What he didn't do was name any of the participants or disclose his source.

So, to recap, I wrote an article that stated that Mr. Peters reached out to some producers to get some thoughts on the guidelines which names the producers he contacted. Again, fairly innocuous. Mr. Pedraza wrote his using an unnamed source and detailing conversations that were private. Fairly incendiary, and apparently designed to embarrass Mr. Peters. Since Mr. Pedraza allowed his source to remain anonymous, and didn't name any of the producers in the parts of the conversation he chose to disclose, by itself the only person who could be burned by this is Mr. Peters. However, combine the two together (as the Axamonitor article now does) and we get something similar to when you combine glycerin with nitric acid.

Now, I have seen quite a bit of criticism of Mr. Peters and myself being bandied about in all the usual places. It all seems to be along the lines of since Mr. Peters revealed the names of the participants, that he's somehow the bad guy in all this. This seems to miss a fairly obvious point:


This discussion was intended to be private. Someone who had access to that conversation chose to disclose that private conversation to Mr. Pedraza, or to someone to forward to him. Believe it or not, I don't really blame Mr. Pedraza for doing something with the information. He received information that he felt newsworthy and posted it. I did the same thing. I do, however question him as to what his intentions were in doing so. He has professed that his interest in the case and reason for starting Axamonitor was concern over the future of fan films. I fail to see how disclosing the contents of the discussion furthered that end. In fact, by revealing insider information, he probably blew the only chance any fan film production had of of having any sort of input on the future guidelines. Either in his zeal to embarrass Mr. Peters he overlooked his professed reason for having Axamonitor, or that never was his true intention in the first place. I hope all the page hits you got are worth that to you.

But the real turd in the punchbowl is whoever decided to convey a private conversation that should have stayed so to an outlet that is not neutral. He either did it directly, and asked Mr. Pedraza not to identify him, or he passed it off to someone else, thus making it harder to trace directly to him. Personally, I despise people who act in such a manner. They are the actions of a coward, and I have no compunctions whatsoever in saying so. Whoever it was had been banking on remaining in the shadows. They didn't consider that the names would get named, or that they wouldn't have been had they never disclosed the conversation.

What amazes me the most is all this brouhaha is all over fan films. If there ever was such a thing as a First World Problem, this would absolutely be it! Outside of the furor created over this by the Anti- side of the Axanar equation, you know what most everyone is talking about? The guidelines themselves. They're offering opinions on which ones are good, which are bad, or how they could be better modified. These are the people who fan film makers make fan films for! They don't seem to care about who was in the conversation; they seem to be glad that the conversation is (or, at least, was) taking place. Perhaps this is who the cues should be taken from.

All this having been said, I stand by my original post. 


  1. Thank you for the commentary. I find the general desire to bring all the possible information a good thing. I do find it interesting that those who chose not to contribute are, the same ones that seem to have a grudge to bring out against all, not just Axanar and Mr. Peters . Tanya Loser microcon@fb. verification if desired by pm.

  2. Hey Dave, Appears the anti-Axanar folks ( documented ) over on their FB page emails demanding the admins of Star Trek: Beyond FB page take down the video of Alec Peters. Their FB page also have posts bragging about it. They have also taken to emailing links and screen captures to Loeb&Loeb's lead attorney Mr. Zavin and are b ragging about that too.


    1. This is why we can't have nice things.....

      You know, I have shied away from using the term "hater" because it is so pejorative, but in this case it applies!


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