New Website Discloses Secret Axanar Documents

A trove of previously undisclosed Axanar data, including financial and donation records, internal communication, production archives, video and CGI footage and soundtracks, is being released by former chief technologist Terry McIntosh.

McIntosh resigned from Axanar in May 2016. Since then, Axanar CEO Alec Peters and his surrogates have maligned the former chief technology officer, prompting McIntosh to release what he believes are incriminating Axanar records still in his possession.

AXANAR RECORDS An extensive set of financial and revenue documents are expected to be available on Terry McIntosh’s “Axanar Disaster” website.

'The Axanar Disaster'

In an August 18, 2017, Facebook post, McIntosh said his website, “The Axanar Disaster,” provides:

A high-level overview of the donation and donor store sales records database, the preliminary (and quite comprehensive) court records archive from the [copyright infringement] litigation, and one or more BitTorrents containing content that [Axanar doesn’t] want you to see (which are NOT hosted on any computer within the United States or under my control, BTW).

Additional content, such as the detailed individual donation records, will be released regularly. Next up will be the records for Prelude to Axanar, which includes all of the original Kickstarter financials, BackerKit financials, Retro Package financials, and every other scrap of revenue records that I have at my disposal. Following this, in order of the fundraiser, will be the remaining records down to the last penny.1)

INSPECT THE DATA
Go to Terry McIntosh’s website, The Axanar Disaster, then click on the U.S.S. Ares patch graphic in the top right of the homepage, or the Visit Axanar Archive button at the bottom.

About the Site

The site’s About page explains its purpose: To provide raw data from Axanar’s own principals for readers to interpret. In a section labeled “Investigate the Facts,” McIntosh wrote:

Axanar failed due to the dubious actions and bad decisions of Alec Peters, Jr., long before it was sued into submission by CBS Studios and Paramount Pictures. Learn all about the debacle that led to the easily avoidable litigation in the participants’ own words and decide for yourself.2)
Former Axanar chief technologist Terry McIntosh

The homepage taunts: « Listen, can you hear it? It’s getting closer: A well-documented accounting … now in sensor range! » — The Axanar Disaster website

The Data

According to the About page’s second section, “Access the Data,” readers are offered the following for inspection:

  • Federal court filings and rulings in the CBS/Paramount copyright infringement lawsuit against Peters and Axanar Productions Inc.
  • Original donation records and financial documents.
  • Internal emails and private message histories among Axanar’s principal personnel.
  • Previously unreleased on-set, behind-the-scenes and visual effects footage.
  • Original production files and artwork.3)

UPDATES This article will be updated with each new release of documents by Terry McIntosh on the Axanar Disaster website.

Incremental Releases

The site as originally launched on August 18 offered only some of the promised information, according to McIntosh:

If you are experiencing sparse content then you are not presently approved for beta-release access to certain bits, but rest assured that a mind-numbing amount of content – I mean it, there are several terabytes of data to painstakingly sift through – is actively being organized for public consumption, so check back often!4)

Axanar Response: Where's the Beef?

Axanar spokesman Mike Bawden criticized McIntosh’s apparent motivation and the sparse number of records at the site’s launch:

We’re disappointed Terry has decided to do this and view it as another desperate attempt to get attention by trying to publicly shame Alec Peters. We’ve looked at the site and what’s currently available there and, true to our experience with Terry, promises he’s made on social media and claims made on the “About” page of the site aren’t paid off when you actually look at the information he’s made available.5)
Axanar spokesman Mike Bawden and producer Alec Peters

Bawden went on to question McIntosh’s ongoing hostility:

It continues to perplex me as to why Terry and others continue to act this way. I’m not sure what is gained by making this all so intensely personal. There seems to be almost no thought given to the people [other] than Alec who might be personally affected by these actions. … I always thought that as Star Trek fans, we could expect each other to act with a bit more dignity and empathy. I guess not.6)

Dashboard

From the Dashboard, visitors can access the areas in which McIntosh promised to continue to add data. The donor records, for example, took a long time to redact to preserve donors’ privacy, he said. The site’s sections include:

Financial Records

At launch, this section included only an overview of the financial records McIntosh promised. He did, however, identify the sources of the information:

The data … comes directly from the original [spreadsheets] provided by Kickstarter, BackerKit, Indiegogo, Ecwid (the Axanar website shopping cart vendor), PayPal records from two of Axanar’s known accounts (sales@ and donate@), spreadsheets directly updated by and shared between [Axanar fulfillment director] Diana [Kingsbury] and Terry at Axanar HQ, mailed-in cash, personal checks, money orders, bank wire transfers, and emails from donors which provided information to correct Axanar’s donor records.7)

« The $1.5 million in McIntosh’s records is at odds with the $1.4 million reportedly raised, as cited by Axanar’s expert financial witness in the lawsuit. » Fundraising Totals

Fundraising Totals

McIntosh said his records show a total $1,510,370.76 raised from the public via Kickstarter, Indiegogo, merchandise sales not accounted for by Axanar’s Donor Store, and merchandise sold through its online Donor Store.

Apart from Axanar’s crowdfunding campaigns, McIntosh said Peters also solicited money through PayPal for so-called “retro packages” — bundled packages of Axanar merchandise — as well as direct cash donations.

The $1.5 million in McIntosh’s records is at odds with the $1.4 million cited by Axanar’s expert financial witness in the lawsuit — a difference of $81,468.33, nearly matching the revenue produced by the Donor Store alone.

Donor Store Sales

The report filed in the lawsuit by Axanar’s hired financial expert, Christian Tregillis, reported sales of products in Axanar’s “Donor Store” totaled $81,317.26, a figure McIntosh’s website quotes, though he is investigating whether that figure is borne out by the records in his possession.

Unaccounted Revenue

McIntosh claimed his records document revenue unreported and unaccounted for, including:

  • Additional Donor Store sales.
  • An alleged “five figure” amount in sales and donations solicited by Peters at many Star Trek and scifi conventions Peters attended over the years.

Forthcoming Records

McIntosh went on to promise updates to the financial section “as additional financial data are discovered. … Totals and figures may occasionally fluctuate as data is verified and updated.”8)

A clip (no audio) featuring visual effects footage intended for the Axanar feature film.

Video Footage

McIntosh’s site also released previously unseen visual effects footage, mostly produced by German CGI artist Tobias Richter. The nearly 2 gigabyte archive included animatics (rough draft visual effects), as well as completed visual effects shots intended for the Axanar feature film.

BitTorrent logo

WHAT IS BITTORRENT?
BitTorrent facilitates peer-to-peer file sharing to distribute data and electronic files over the Internet. BitTorrent is one of the most common ways to transferring large files, such as digital video files containing TV shows or video clips, distributing pieces of a file amongst a large number of peers. While BitTorrent does not, on its own, offer users anonymity or security various services offer anonymity to torrent users.9)

McIntosh made a point of distributing the video archive using BitTorrent technology, he said, because the archive exists in pieces hosted on servers throughout the Internet. Because the files don’t reside on any single server, they lie beyond the legal reach of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act of 1998, which would otherwise allow for the material to be taken down at the request of those asserting copyright over the files.

Internal Communication

This section launched with an audio recording of a May 2014 conference call discussing post-production work for releasing the short film, Prelude to Axanar, which was to be the calling card for Axanar’s following Kickstarter campaign. The call included Peters, editor Robert Meyer Burnett, then-Axanar director Christian Gossett, who resigned a year later, sound designer Mark Edward Lewis and digital imaging technician Bing Bailey, who later was named by Peters as a so-called "independent" financial reviewer despite Bailey’s long association with the project.

McIntosh promised to add email and private messages to this section:

Eventually [Peters’] email accounts, as well as mine and others, will be on there. That’s going to take some work though, so it’s lower on the to-do list. The unabridged Facebook private message history between he and I dating back to early 2014 will be ahead of that.10)

Litigation Archive

McIntosh’s website also launched with a repository of documents filed with the court in connection with the copyright infringement lawsuit brought by CBS and Paramount against Axanar Productions and Alec Peters. The archive was not yet complete at launch, and McIntosh promised a full-text search capability in the future.11)

AxaMonitor offers a full archive of court documents through its Lawsuit Primer.

Music Archive

The website launched with audio files comprising the Prelude soundtrack, available through BitTorrent. McIntosh promised more files would be released in the future.12)

Source of Records

Except for the litigation archive, the data on McIntosh’s website came from a shared 1 TB Google Drive paid for by McIntosh. He said he gave Peters a few weeks notice the Google Drive account was going to be terminated and any data there needed to be backed up. McIntosh said Peters refused to reimburse him for out-of-pocket Axanar expenses, including the Google Drive and a hard drive he had purchased for Axanar.

When he resigned, McIntosh still had the hard drive he had paid for, containing data related to the production of Prelude to Axanar. He said he offered to return the drives once Peters reimbursed him for his expenses. Peters refused to do so, according to McIntosh.13)

Leverage Against Peters

Bawden called McIntosh’s account into question:

This … is the first time I’ve been made aware of this claim. My understanding was that when Terry broke with Axanar Productions, he copied all of the files and then wiped them out of the Axanar Production’s Google Drive so they couldn’t be used. Who owned whatever storage devices Terry copied those files onto is anybody’s guess, but I had the distinct impression Terry was keeping copies of those files for himself - presumably to use as leverage with Alec.14)

AxaMonitor

In the site’s Media section, McIntosh points readers to AxaMonitor as a source of “investigative reporting [that] has exposed many disturbing details on how Alec Peters Jr. squandered nearly $1.6 million in donated cash … without fulfilling the overwhelming majority of promises made to the original donors.”15) He writes:

As an accredited journalist and film maker, AxaMonitor’s editor, Carlos Pedraza, has been diligently exposing the ongoing public implosion of Axanar Productions since 2015 [Editor’s note: AxaMonitor was launched in February 2016].

… Hard-hitting pieces include reports on the continued hypocritical attempts of Peters to lay blame for Axanar’s failure on anyone but himself, despite being the sole decision maker and the only person with spending authority over the donated funds. Peters is also synonymous with irrational public attacks toward the many now-critical donors and former production members.16)

No Role

McIntosh has often been a source of information cited by AxaMonitor but editor Carlos Pedraza played no role in the launch of the Axanar Disaster website.

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Keywords

2) , 3)
Terry McIntosh, About page, The Axanar Disaster website, retrieved 8/20/17.
4)
Dashboard page, Axanar Disaster website, retrieved 8/20/17.
5) , 6) , 14)
Email from Mike Bawden to AxaMonitor editor Carlos Pedraza, 8/21/17.
7) , 8)
Revenue Overview, Financial Records section, Axanar Disaster website, retrieved 8/20/17.
9)
Adapted from the Wikipedia article, "BitTorrent", retrieved 8/21/17.
10)
Terry McIntosh comment, AxaMonitor Facebook group, 8/19/17.
11)
Litigation Archive, Axanar Disaster website, retrieved 8/21/17.
12)
Audio Archive, Axanar Disaster website, retrieved 8/21/17.
13)
Terry McIntosh comment, AxaMonitor Facebook group, 8/22/17.
15) , 16)
Terry McIntosh, Media page, The Axanar Disaster website, retrieved 8/20/17.