March 19 2019
“The groundbreaking independent Star Trek film.” that was the tagline for the Axanar campaign that raised $574,434 on Indiegogo.
We have all heard how the Vulcan scene was apparently judged to be too good by CBS but what has to be remembered is that scene was shot with a lot of professionals either in front and behind the camera.
For the purpose of history, we look back at the Fan Film trendsetter New Voyages/Phase II, they ran for several years and it was clear that they didn’t have an almost 100% professional cast and crew and it shown at times as roles were recast and character looks changed episode to episode but that was all part and parcel of fan productions.
Then you look at the rest of the fan productions and none of them come close to being fully professional, many would have some professionals in the ranks but nothing close to 100%.
When you think about it, New Voyages was not only a fan production series but also a place that that fan production and independent Star Trek film personalities like Vic, Alec and Carlos all had stuff to do there as part of their occupations.
Back to Axanar and CBS couldn’t possibly have felt threatened by a small Vulcan scene potentially challenging Discovery, they were more likely concerned that Axanar was armed to the teeth with professional talent and a lot of money.
Think about it, you have owned a Television or Movie property for years and during that time you saw groups of friends doing their version of your property in their home garages or bedrooms and maybe a park for landing parties and they put it on YouTube
and you think that’s nice and then one day you notice that some people have raised a seven figure sum to make their “Independent” version of your property and they write about their professionals etc, wouldn’t you be upset by that and call for a stop?
People filming in front of basic sets or green screen with cords hanging out and uniforms that looked too big wouldn’t of bothered CBS, they would of seen people just having some amateur fun but by the time Axanar, Continues and Renegades were either made or being made, the game had changed.
What I am saying is that the standards of fan films slowly rose up and eventually the line between amateur and professional became blurred and then was stepped over and when you start using the term ‘Independent Star Trek film’ you know the amateur game is up.
Axanar’s Indiegogo campaign says it best, while they say they are not licensed by CBS they say professional twice and professionals once.
“Axanar is the first fully-professional, independent Star Trek film. While some may call it a “fan film” as we are not licensed by CBS, Axanar has professionals working in front and behind the camera, with a fully-professional crew–many of whom have worked on Star Trek itself–who ensure Axanar will be the quality of Star Trek that all fans want to see.”
Basically this piece today is to tell people that Axanar wasn’t hard done by, they weren’t a little competitor being squished by ‘a big, evil corporation’ but were stopped by a corporation who had every right in the world to stop them as their rights were being trodden on.
The fan film scene took a hit but it did not die, people figured out how to do more with less and places like Trekzone and Fan Film Factor still have productions to talk about.
That chapter is now closed, it has been explored over and over again, mined for all it was worth and Axanar’s Indiegogo campaign really says the final word on the issue or any issue regarding IP.
“Star Trek” is a licensed property of CBS and so they have the final say in any Star Trek venture.
Those who want Axanar to be run with honesty etc need to look at the now and see what makes sense and what doesn’t make sense and then discuss those points instead of going regularly going back to the lawsuit days.
Those who are running Axanar need to figure how to get to the finish line, they’ve aimed to climb Mt Everest in terms of studio and finances and now they’ve got to get up to the top, plant their flag, get down and then figure out what to do next.
Until next time, be good to each other.