Journal

Vexatious (Part 1)

Vexatious (Part 1)

According to writer-director Paul Jenkins, there was a bigger reason he should have walked away from his documentary, The Battle for Axanar. The main subject of that film, Alec Peters, is a known vexatious litigant – and that meant things could get expensive in a hurry.

Latest News

Paul Jenkins, a creative professional with over three decades’ experience in the entertainment business is writing and directing INTO THE WORMHOLE, a documentary about toxic fandom gone awry.

An incredible journey into the ugly side of fandom

Join writer-producer-director, Paul Jenkins, as he investigates the disturbing rise in toxic behavior found in in our once-polite society. What starts as a simple question (“Why is this happening?”) gives way to a more complex series of issues that tear at the fabric of American society as Paul – a 32-year veteran of the entertainment industry – faces down the psychology of coercion that led to the rise of Q-Anon and nationalism, and has even pervaded the world of fandom.

Paul’s journey “into the wormhole” is a strange tale that reveals the costs paid by ordinary people as they lose their livelihoods, relationships, and sense of optimism to schemers and charlatans who take fans’ love of their favorite things and use it against them.

From his beginnings with the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, through his time at Marvel and the world of gaming, Paul helps us connect those dots on this journey through the weird and the wild as he shares personal insights from his own nightmarish turn with toxic fandom run amok.

These are the stories of broken promises financed with other people’s money.

Why we’re telling this story …

Originally entitled “STAR TREK – AXANAR” the fan film was forced to drop the Star Trek name from its title as a result of legal action brought against its producers by CBS Studios and Paramount Pictures, the owners of the intellectual property.

What’s It All About?

INTO THE WORMHOLE: The Battle for Axanar is a documentary project that combines exclusive interviews with footage acquired from well-placed, confidential sources who share their first-hand knowledge of events and circumstances investigated while making this documentary.

The documentary series explores the various aspects of toxic culture and how it pertains to the world of fandom – specifically taking one, ill-fated fan-film project known to Star Trek fans and Hollywood insiders by one word … AXANAR.

What may seem like simple over-the-top drama between nerds has deep rooted connections to years of toxic fan behavior. Paul will help us draw a straight line from the root causes of sports hooliganism to ultra-patriotic MMA fans storming the capital to disrupt a federal election.

Meet Star Trek’s “Tiger King”

In 2018, Paul Jenkins signed on to help a Star Trek “über fan” named Alec Peters finish a long anticipated fan film only to discover a number of previous challenges that prevented the project from being completed. While the fan project AXANAR had previously been hit by a rare lawsuit from CBS/Viacom, the owners of the intellectual property, there were thousands of existing fans who had shown their support by helping to raise over $1.7 million dollars to make the feature film.

What could possibly go wrong?

Paul soon learned why AXANAR seemed stuck in eternal production limbo, for it was none other than Alec Peters himself at the center of almost every setback, delay and controversy. Perhaps this was why some people referred to Peters as Star Trek’s own “Tiger King.”

And, as viewers will see in the fascinating re-telling of the cinematic misadventure that cost millions of dollars and harmed dozens of careers in the process, there were plenty of signs that things were wrong from the outset. But it was only when he decided to investigate what really happened to the money that Paul Jenkins discovered just why “fan” is short for “fanatic.”

From a string of failed businesses to lawsuits and allegations of misconduct in the movie props collecting business, Peters’ history in the Star Trek fan community is a twisted tale of anger, harassment, accusations and litigation.

This is what happens when you enter the wormhole and find it is deeper and darker than it has any right to be.

Project Details

INTO THE WORMHOLE: The Battle for Axanar is currently envisioned as a single, 90-120 minute documentary and companion website. The documentary will provide an over-arching view of the issues facing society in-general and genre fandom, in particular. The companion website (available to all “Project Insiders”) will offer additional, behind-the-scenes material for those people who want to learn more.

Production Timeline

The production is putting the finishing touches on preliminary research and beginning the interviewing phase with select eyewitnesses and experts. The legal challenges we’re documenting are also continuing. We expect to be shooting interviews through the summer and then combining that footage with other footage we’ve already acquired as we start editing in the fall. We will add footage pertaining to the lawsuits and legal maneuvering as it becomes available.

The finished documentary is now scheduled for a release in 2022.

Legal and Research Expenses

Unlike most documentaries, the events explored and discussed in this documentary are continuing to occur. Chief among them is the on-going legal dispute with the producer of the unproduced “Axanar” feature film.

Legal expenses incurred to-date already total over $100,000 and are expected to near $200,000 by the time things go to trial (if they go that far). For that reason, we are making a continuous appeal for financial support from backers and potential investors to make sure that the vexous litigation and bullying stops once and for all and that we are able to shine a spotlight on what really happened to fandom and this venerable franchise as a result of this behavior.

Project Funding

Because of the legal expenses incurred in prosecuting this case, the total estimated cost of this documentary project is estimated to run between $320,000 – $375,000. Money will be raised through a mix of contributions from backers and from private investors who will participate in the profits generated (if any) as a result of the project’s sale or distribution.

For those interested in backing the project, we are pleased to offer the following incentives/perks:

Pledges To-Date

Money Received

Pledge Levels and Perks

Supporter (up to $10)

Amount = up to $9.99

In addition to our eternal gratitude, your name will be listed in the closing credits of the documentary and in the appropriate section of the “Backers” page on the project’s website.

Preview Supporter ($10 - $15)

Amount = $10 – $14.99

You will be emailed an early access code that will allow you to view the documentary before it is officially released on a PPV platform (e.g. Vimeo On Demand).

Your name will be listed in the credits of the documentary and in the appropriate section of the “Backers” page on the project’s website.

Project Backer ($15 - $50)
Amount = $15 – $49.99

In addition to receiving a special preview code, you will be given exclusive access to the production website where you can review progress reports and review research material  (which may, or may not make it into the final documentary).

And, of course, your name will be listed in the credits of the documentary and in the appropriate section of the “Backers” page on the project’s website.

Project Insider ($100 - $130)
Amount = $100 – $129.99

Insiders will be invited to a monthly video conference call with the producers and director.

Backers at this level will also receive the special preview code and exclusive access to the production website. They will also be recognized in the closing credits of the documentary as well as in the appropriate section of the “Backers” page on the project’s website.

Collector ($130 - $150)
Amount = $130 – $149.99

Collectors will receive a Blu-Ray of INTO THE WORMHOLE with bonus features including a commentary track from director Paul Jenkins. Exclusive interviews with other individuals involved in the project will also be included.

This is in addition to the monthly video conference meetings, production website access, preview code and all other perks. Collectors will also be listed in the closing credits of the project as well as in the appropriate section fo the “Backers” page on the project’s website.

Director's Club ($150 - $200)
Amount = $150 – $199.99

Supporters at this level will be invited to a private screening of a rough cut of the documentary with director Paul Jenkins. Director’s Club backers will be given an opportunity to provide notes for consideration prior to the final edit and delivery of the locked cut.

Backers will also receive a Blu-ray of the finished project as well as a special preview code that will allow you to watch the documentary prior to its release on a PPV platform and exclusive access to the production website where you can review regular progress reports and review research material collected during the course of producing the project (which may, or may not make it into the final documentary).

And, of course, your name will be listed in the credits of the documentary and in the appropriate section of the “Backers” page on the project’s website.

Associate Producer I ($2,500)
Amount = $2,500

Backers at this level will receive credit in the finished documentary as an Associate Producer and share a title card with up to two other Associate Producers.

All other perks for lower contribution levels will be provided, as well.

Associate Producer II ($5,000)
Amount = $5,000

Backers at this level will receive credit in the finished documentary as an Associate Producer and share a title card with one other Associate Producer.

The backer will also be listed on the production’s IMDB page as an Associate Producer.

All other perks for lower contribution levels (with the exception of Associate Producer I) will be provided, as well.

Producer ($10,000)
Amount = $10,000

Backers at this level will receive credit in the finished documentary as a Producer and share a title card with up to one other Producer.

The backer will also be listed on the production’s IMDB page as a Producer.

All other perks for lower contribution levels (with the exception of Associate Producer I and II) will be provided, as well.

Investor ($20,000+)
Amount = TBD (starting at $20,000)

Investors will receive single card credits in the finished documentary as a Producer and will also be listed on the production’s IMDB page as a Producer.

All other perks for lower contribution levels (with the exception of Producer, and Associate Producer I/II) will be provided, too.

If you are interested in investing in the project, please let us know by using the contact form at the bottom of the website.

How To Provide Financial Support

Instead of running a crowd-funding campaign on a site like Kickstarter or IndieGoGo, we’ve decided to manage contributions through the production’s PayPal account. The form below allows you to make a “pledge” of support to the production.

That pledge will be reviewed by a member of our production team and then an invoice (or invoices) will be created in our PayPal account and sent to you according to the schedule you specify in the “Payment Plan” section of the pledge form. You can make payments to the production via PayPal which offers a secure, encrypted gateway for electronic payments, bank transfers and credit card transactions.

As always, if you have any questions or hesitancy, you can let us know by leaving a message with your pledge at the bottom of the pledge form or by using the Contact Us form at the very bottom of this webpage.

Thanks in advance for your consideration and support.

 

Pledge Form

Please identify which donation level you want to support.
Please provide the total amount you are willing to donate to this project. That amount will be divided over the number of months or quarters you wish to be billed over a 12-month period.

(Example: $120 = $10/month x 12 months)
If you would prefer an alternate billing arrangement, please explain in the comment/message section below.

Journal

Vexatious (Part 1)

Vexatious (Part 1)

According to writer-director Paul Jenkins, there was a bigger reason he should have walked away from his documentary, The Battle for Axanar. The main subject of that film, Alec Peters, is a known vexatious litigant – and that meant things could get expensive in a hurry.

read more

Latest News

Paul Jenkins, a creative professional with over three decades’ experience in the entertainment business is writing and directing INTO THE WORMHOLE, a documentary about toxic fandom gone awry.

An incredible journey into the ugly side of fandom

Join writer-producer-director, Paul Jenkins, as he investigates the disturbing rise in toxic behavior found in in our once-polite society. What starts as a simple question (“Why is this happening?”) gives way to a more complex series of issues that tear at the fabric of American society as Paul – a 32-year veteran of the entertainment industry – faces down the psychology of coercion that led to the rise of Q-Anon and nationalism, and has even pervaded the world of fandom.

Paul’s journey “into the wormhole” is a strange tale that reveals the costs paid by ordinary people as they lose their livelihoods, relationships, and sense of optimism to schemers and charlatans who take fans’ love of their favorite things and use it against them.

From his beginnings with the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, through his time at Marvel and the world of gaming, Paul helps us connect those dots on this journey through the weird and the wild as he shares personal insights from his own nightmarish turn with toxic fandom run amok.

These are the stories of broken promises financed with other people’s money.

Why we’re telling this story …

What’s It All About?

INTO THE WORMHOLE: The Battle for Axanar is a documentary project that combines exclusive interviews with footage acquired from well-placed, confidential sources who share their first-hand knowledge of events and circumstances investigated while making this documentary.

The documentary series explores the various aspects of toxic culture and how it pertains to the world of fandom – specifically taking one, ill-fated fan-film project known to Star Trek fans and Hollywood insiders by one word … AXANAR.

What may seem like simple over-the-top drama between nerds has deep rooted connections to years of toxic fan behavior. Paul will help us draw a straight line from the root causes of sports hooliganism to ultra-patriotic MMA fans storming the capital to disrupt a federal election.

Originally entitled “STAR TREK – AXANAR” the fan film was forced to drop the Star Trek name from its title as a result of legal action brought against its producers by CBS Studios and Paramount Pictures, the owners of the intellectual property.

Meet Star Trek’s “Tiger King”

In 2018, Paul Jenkins signed on to help a Star Trek “über fan” named Alec Peters finish a long anticipated fan film only to discover a number of previous challenges that prevented the project from being completed. While the fan project AXANAR had previously been hit by a rare lawsuit from CBS/Viacom, the owners of the intellectual property, there were thousands of existing fans who had shown their support by helping to raise over $1.7 million dollars to make the feature film.

What could possibly go wrong?

Paul soon learned why AXANAR seemed stuck in eternal production limbo, for it was none other than Alec Peters himself at the center of almost every setback, delay and controversy. Perhaps this was why some people referred to Peters as Star Trek’s own “Tiger King.”

And, as viewers will see in the fascinating re-telling of the cinematic misadventure that cost millions of dollars and harmed dozens of careers in the process, there were plenty of signs that things were wrong from the outset. But it was only when he decided to investigate what really happened to the money that Paul Jenkins discovered just why “fan” is short for “fanatic.”

From a string of failed businesses to lawsuits and allegations of misconduct in the movie props collecting business, Peters’ history in the Star Trek fan community is a twisted tale of anger, harassment, accusations and litigation.

This is what happens when you enter the wormhole and find it is deeper and darker than it has any right to be.

Project Details

INTO THE WORMHOLE: The Battle for Axanar is currently envisioned as a single, 90-120 minute documentary and companion website. The documentary will provide an over-arching view of the issues facing society in-general and genre fandom, in particular. The companion website (available to all “Project Insiders”) will offer additional, behind-the-scenes material for those people who want to learn more.

Production Timeline

The production is putting the finishing touches on preliminary research and beginning the interviewing phase with select eyewitnesses and experts. The legal challenges we’re documenting are also continuing. We expect to be shooting interviews through the summer and then combining that footage with other footage we’ve already acquired as we start editing in the fall. We will add footage pertaining to the lawsuits and legal maneuvering as it becomes available.

The finished documentary is now scheduled for a release in 2022.

Legal and Research Expenses

Unlike most documentaries, the events explored and discussed in this documentary are continuing to occur. Chief among them is the on-going legal dispute with the producer of the unproduced “Axanar” feature film.

Legal expenses incurred to-date already total over $100,000 and are expected to near $200,000 by the time things go to trial (if they go that far). For that reason, we are making a continuous appeal for financial support from backers and potential investors to make sure that the vexous litigation and bullying stops once and for all and that we are able to shine a spotlight on what really happened to fandom and this venerable franchise as a result of this behavior.

Project Funding

Because of the legal expenses incurred in prosecuting this case, the total estimated cost of this documentary project is estimated to run between $320,000 – $375,000. Money will be raised through a mix of contributions from backers and from private investors who will participate in the profits generated (if any) as a result of the project’s sale or distribution.

For those interested in backing the project, we are pleased to offer the following incentives/perks:

in Pledges To-Date

Money Received

Supporter (up to $9.99)
In addition to our eternal gratitude, your name will be listed in the closing credits of the documentary and in the appropriate section of the “Backers” page on the project’s website.
Preview Supporter ($10 - $14.99)

You will be emailed an early access code that will allow you to view the documentary before it is officially released on a PPV platform (e.g. Vimeo On Demand).

Your name will be listed in the credits of the documentary and in the appropriate section of the “Backers” page on the project’s website.

Project backer ($15 - $49.99)
In addition to receiving a special preview code, you will be given exclusive access to the production website where you can review progress reports and review research material  (which may, or may not make it into the final documentary).

And, of course, your name will be listed in the credits of the documentary and in the appropriate section of the “Backers” page on the project’s website.

Project Insider ($100 - $129.99)
Insiders will be invited to a monthly video conference call with the producers and director.

Backers at this level will also receive the special preview code and exclusive access to the production website. They will also be recognized in the closing credits of the documentary as well as in the appropriate section of the “Backers” page on the project’s website.

Collector ($130 - $149.99)
Collectors will receive a Blu-Ray of INTO THE WORMHOLE with bonus features including a commentary track from director Paul Jenkins. Exclusive interviews with other individuals involved in the project will also be included.

This is in addition to the monthly video conference meetings, production website access, preview code and all other perks. Collectors will also be listed in the closing credits of the project as well as in the appropriate section fo the “Backers” page on the project’s website.

Director's Club ($150 - $199.99)
Supporters at this level will be invited to a private screening of a rough cut of the documentary with director Paul Jenkins. Director’s Club backers will be given an opportunity to provide notes for consideration prior to the final edit and delivery of the locked cut.

Backers will also receive a Blu-ray of the finished project as well as a special preview code that will allow you to watch the documentary prior to its release on a PPV platform and exclusive access to the production website where you can review regular progress reports and review research material collected during the course of producing the project (which may, or may not make it into the final documentary).

And, of course, your name will be listed in the credits of the documentary and in the appropriate section of the “Backers” page on the project’s website.

Associate Producer I ($2,500)
Backers at this level will receive credit in the finished documentary as an Associate Producer and share a title card with up to two other Associate Producers.

All other perks for lower contribution levels will be provided, as well.

Associate Producer II ($5,000)
Backers at this level will receive credit in the finished documentary as an Associate Producer and share a title card with one other Associate Producer.

The backer will also be listed on the production’s IMDB page as an Associate Producer.

All other perks for lower contribution levels (with the exception of Associate Producer I) will be provided, as well.

Producer ($10,000)
Backers at this level will receive credit in the finished documentary as a Producer and share a title card with up to one other Producer.

The backer will also be listed on the production’s IMDB page as a Producer.

All other perks for lower contribution levels (with the exception of Associate Producer I and II) will be provided, as well.

Investor ($20,000 and up)
Investors will receive single card credits in the finished documentary as a Producer and will also be listed on the production’s IMDB page as a Producer.

All other perks for lower contribution levels (with the exception of Producer, and Associate Producer I/II) will be provided, too.

If you are interested in investing in the project, please let us know by using the contact form at the bottom of the website.

How To Provide Financial Support

Instead of running a crowd-funding campaign on a site like Kickstarter or IndieGoGo, we’ve decided to manage contributions through the production’s PayPal account. The form below allows you to make a “pledge” of support to the production.

That pledge will be reviewed by a member of our production team and then an invoice (or invoices) will be created in our PayPal account and sent to you according to the schedule you specify in the “Payment Plan” section of the pledge form. You can make payments to the production via PayPal which offers a secure, encrypted gateway for electronic payments, bank transfers and credit card transactions.

As always, if you have any questions or hesitancy, you can let us know by leaving a message with your pledge at the bottom of the pledge form or by using the Contact Us form at the very bottom of this webpage.

Thanks in advance for your consideration and support.

 

Pledge Form

Please identify which donation level you want to support.
Please provide the total amount you are willing to donate to this project. That amount will be divided over the number of months or quarters you wish to be billed over a 12-month period.

(Example: $120 = $10/month x 12 months)
If you would prefer an alternate billing arrangement, please explain in the comment/message section below.

Contact Us