Thursday, Jan. 7th, 2016
OK, time for an FAQ because of all the lies and misinformation going around about Axanar. We see the same nonsense over and over. The same questions, which are based on ignorance mostly. So here are the facts:
Q: How can you be non-profit and pay salaries?
A: Non-profit does not mean “volunteer”. Just like the CEO of The Red Cross gets $400K a year in salary, non-profits can pay salaries. Payroll is an expense.
Q: Why did Alec Peters get paid $ 38,000 as noted in the annual report?
A: Because Alec (as well as Diana) worked full time at Axanar, certainly 60 hours a week not including conventions on the weekends. That means Alec and Diana probably got paid minimum wage. And Diana deferred all her salary. Now go compare that to any Hollywood studio exec putting out medicore content, and tell us Alec and Diana were paid too much! That doesn’t even cover their expenses. We don’t expect full time employees to work for free.
Q: Is Ares Studios a for-profit studio?
A: Ares Studio is the term we use to describe the warehouse we have built our sound stage to make Axanar. There is no profit being made, and in fact Alec personally guaranteed the 3 year lease, so the last two years are a $ 250,000 liability he is responsible for. Axanar Productions has been paying for the building while we build sets and prepare the make the movie. Would we like to make movies after Axanar? Sure would, but that is all speculative. We don’t have any revenue from the studio and so such talk is nonsense.
Q: Why did Paramount/CBS choose to sue Axanar and not any other fan film?
A: One would have to ask Paramount and CBS. But it is of note that the suit was filed within weeks after CBS and Paramount got a copy of the Axanar script, a script that every person who has read it thinks is awesome. (One actor told the head of CBS casting this last month).
Q: Did Axanar get a Cease & Desist before the lawsuit?
A: No. We had no communication with CBS since our August meeting with John Van Citters of CBS Licensing and Bill Burke of CBS Consumer Products at which point they told us they would not tell us what we could or could not do. And contrary to popular myth, there are no guidelines by CBS. In fact they refuse to give any guidelines to fan films.
Ultimately it is not donors, who have all the information they need on our finances and how we operate, who are complaining. Axanar has been noted by both Kickstarter and Indiegogo for how accountable and transparent we are. And we publish a daily journal of our progress. Who else does that? No one. No other Star Trek fan film has released their finances for their crowd funding campaigns.