Image/Axanar YouTube channel

MAY 11, 2019 | 5 MIN READ

A Missed May Target, a Moving Patreon Goal Post

Axanar fans fail to step up to pay for Alec Peters to stay in the warehouse he calls Ares Studios

Did fans step up? In a perfect world, by May 1 Alec Peters would’ve announced that Axanar fans had stepped up to pledge $4,000 a month to pay the rent and expenses for the warehouse he calls Ares Studios.

Not Even Close

That didn’t happen. Not even close. It took three months just to get halfway to the goal; Peters launched the effort January 18.

Underperformance. The campaign underperformed even conservative projections, with the growth in donors and donations often grinding to a halt, and with the average donations dropping by almost 75 percent.

800-Patron Goal

In his Patreon pitch video, Peters put out what he thought was an achievable goal:

UPDATE As of May 11, the Ares Studio Patreon stood at 224 donors pledging $2,150 a month. The campaign has taken 11 days to recover the ground it lost when so many patrons dropped out.

« We only need 800 patrons to give us $5 a month to cover those expenses. That’s about the cost of a cup of coffee at Starbucks, or about 17¢ a day. » — Alec Peters, Patreon pitch video

As of May 1, the number of patrons stood at only a fourth of what Peters hoped for. The average donation, however, was a more encouraging $9.67, signaling individuals’ enthusiasm but lacking more broad-based support.

Stay or Go?

Peters has contradicted himself several times during the campaign on the question of whether he would stay in his current 6,000-square foot warehouse, or move by May 1 to a 3,000-square foot facility nearby for about $2,500 a month.

UNDERPERFORMING In mid-February, projections had the Ares warehouse Patreon at about 260 patrons by April 1. In reality, the campaign has yet to attract more than 224, falling on May 1 to 205. Click image to view full size. AxaMonitor graph from February 10

We don’t want to move. His Patreon pitch outlined a value proposition to prospective patrons Peters thought was worth at least the $4,000 a month to stay in the bigger warehouse.

We need to move. That’s the message Peters sent on his YouTube show, Reel Trek: “We really think moving into the smaller facility, no matter how much money we make, is the right move.”

New Moving Date

Are we moving? His planned moving date of May 1 has come and gone and Peters hasn’t announced to donors how he’ll be spending their money. One update video leads viewers to believe he’s planning to stay but he clearly hasn’t met the donation goal to do that.

Now Peters claims he has until August 1 to decide but won’t confirm which warehouse gets the title “Ares Studios.”

Why it Matters

As has become his M.O., Peters prefers opaqueness, keeping potentially bad news from donors for as long as he possibly can while distracting them with attractive visuals.

  • What happened with OWC? He has deliberately obscured the circumstances surrounding his loss of tech company Other Worlds Computing’s sponsorship.
  • Can’t afford the rent. He has continually claimed he can’t afford to keep paying out of his own pocket for the costlier warehouse.
  • Shiny objects. He oversaw erecting the Garth's Quarters set from Axanar in the bigger facility, likely with the hope that another completed set would spur enough donations to get him closer to the $4,000 goal.

What Hasn’t Panned Out

On the first of every month, enough patrons cancel to set back fundraising progress for half the previous the month. At this point it doesn’t appear any donors know, based on Peters’ public pronouncements, what his intentions are for the $2,000 he’s getting a month; the goalpost keeps moving.

MISALIGNED BRIDGE The U.S.S. Ares bridge set has been praised for its attention to detail. Except perhaps this one, as revealed in Alec Peters’ recent Axanar Update video. Image/Axanar YouTube channel

Not a Real Studio

Even Peters’ YouTube producer, John “Stoggy” Strekis admits Ares isn't even a real studio, lacking such basic features as soundproofing, greenscreen, lighting grid and the proper electrical system to power studio lighting — or even Internet service, because no one spends enough time there to justify the expense.

Studio Problems Highlighted

Peters’ own Axanar Update video shines an uncomfortable spotlight on the set and features of his current warehouse facility. In a segment showing the erection of the captain’s quarters set, rain is loudly heard drumming on the roof of the warehouse, for which Peters apologizes to viewers — hardly an inviting facility for a professional film production.

Peters also delivers the update while leaning on one of the stations on the U.S.S. Ares bridge, showing off a visible flaw in the construction of the set, as one piece is misaligned with another.

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