An Open Letter To Axnar's Alec Peters From Siike Donnelly


Siike Donnelly is a comic book  creator. He writes an open letter to Alec Peters, who recently responded to Paramount's guidelines for Star Trek fan films, considering his own planned and crowdfunded film Axnar.

Dear Alec Peters,

You don't own any percentage of the Star Trek IP.

Recap time. You have an idea for a fan-film. (Cool! I like fan-films!) Then you raised so much money for it through a crowd-funding site that you can now open a production studio, give yourself a salary, and make a feature film to something you don't own; all using the IP of Star Trek to do so. Yet, you see nothing wrong with this?

Let me guess, you saw other people make fan-films off licensed properties, a few that maybe even got away with it, and you figured you could too? I guess I can see how a stupid person would make that connection.

You know, we aren't so different. I'd say I love Superman and DC Comics as much as you love Star Trek. I even pitched DC/WB a story once about Superman in hopes to help raise awareness for Brain Aneurysm research, an ailment I suffer from. I was respectfully shut down, told that Superman can't be used to help every disease out there, especially during the Horn of Africa campaign they were running at the time.

I totally understood. It's their character, and it would be selfish of me, and arrogant, to push it further. After talking to friends, Richard Johnston and Gene Hoyle, we turned Superman into Solestar, and kickstarted him to success. Sadly, because Solestar isn't Superman, I've barely been able to help the Brain Aneurysm Foundation, with only a few small donations here and there. It sucks. Maybe it's not fair that Superman couldn't help me, but since I don't own him, I'd be an idiot to actually think that.

But still, I don't go off and crowd-fund my own Superman story and show DC/WB how much better I am at telling a Superman story than they are. Why? Because it's not true, for one. I may not like all their stories, or Eddie Berganza, but I know talented people work there. I just don't have an ego as big as yours I guess, Alec.

What you are, sir, is delusional. Like a bratty millennial, you feel you are OWED the right to make this film your way. Well, I'm glad reality is biting you in the stupid ass. If you keep pushing, then CBS might get so tired over this issue that they could ban all fan-films completely.

As of now, CBS has released guidelines to follow in order to make fan-films. Something YOU requested, in case you forgot. Then when you read them, you hit your dictionary, looked up the word "draconian" and used it correctly in a sentence. I'm impressed you knew how to do that, consider how stupid you must truly be to pursue this further. Because now it's clearly about your ego, and the future fan-filmmakers will be punished for it.

If you and your team were truly creative, and loved Star Trek, you'd follow the guidelines and deliver one heck of a Star Trek experience. Cause I promise you, if DC Comics was nice enough to let me write a one-issue Superman fan comic, with full art and all the fixings, with a small budget, and release it out there for FREE or for my charity, I'd respectfully and gratefully follow those rules and deliver the best I could.

But that's where we are different. My love for Superman allows me to still respect the rules. I write and publish stuff as often as I can to keep up a solid bit of writing work, I applied to the DC writer workshop, and I avoid even making prints or drawing their characters anymore out of respect for the rules. Because beyond the dreamy fantasy of playing in a universe that doesn't belong to you, there is a very real business side. I may not be great at business stuff, but I respect the rules. You don't. You're petulant. Petty. Pathetic.

Nut up, follow the guidelines, and move on before you do any more damage to the fandom you claim to be a part of, yet will only keep isolating yourself from. I promise, if you keep fighting this, you will be left alone in the end and you will come to loathe and hate the only thing that probably makes you happy right now, which is having the privilege to be a very small part of the Star Trek Universe, with backers and supporters that still want to see at least something finished and not scorned by the IP owners. So make that happen according to the rules that you yourself asked for.

I wish you luck, but after reading your interviews and seeing your reaction to all this, I'm gonna guess you'll pull a Keemstar: you'll cry and play victim while being neck deep in the filth you excreted. Don't be like Keem. Be a man. Your choice.

About Rich Johnston

Head writer and founder of Bleeding Cool. The longest-serving digital news reporter in the world. Living in London, father of two. Political cartoonist.

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