Axanar David Grossman Declaration and Exhibits

Janet Gershen-Siegel

Jespah (Janet Gershen-Siegel) has been a fan of Star Trek since probably the first set of reruns of The Original Series. She has an eclectic background, including an undergraduate degree in Philosophy, a JD (she practiced insurance defense law for a few years in New York and is a lot happier since she retired from that in 1990), and a MS in Interactive Media, which is a real-live social media degree.

Along the way, she has about a decade and a half of data analysis work under her belt and currently works as a blog coordinator for a high-end wedding blog and also as a blogger for hire (topics include diverse subjects like ad retargeting but also the nursing job market), and has a shingle out to work on social media presence, with a focus on independent authors as she is also a published science fiction author. Plus, she has been a community manager for a large Q & A website since 2002, which is before that existed as a job title.

She was raised on Long Island so, when she is riled up, the accent gallops back out and she can sound like Fran Drescher with a law degree. She lives in Boston with her husband of over 20 years and more computers than they need.

She can always be bribed with pie.

Axanar David Grossman Declaration and Exhibits

The David Grossman Declaration was added as a part of the recent Application for an Ex Parte order.

Semantic Shenanigans Axanar David Grossman Declaration and Exhibits

There are a lot of documents here; we’ll get through them together, page by page, okay? This blog post paginates so it won’t load a ton of images every time.

Page 3

So the first page is a letter from defendant Peters. And the first thing leaping out at me is the following sentence:

We want you to know everything about our business, because only then can you fully appreciate what enormous effort it takes, and maybe find a way to help and be even more involved.

Because nothing says ‘fan film’ more than calling your endeavor a business.

And nothing says you care about donors more than, on top of asking them for their money, asking them to take time out from their own busy lives and volunteer their time, too.

And the state of California might have something to say about all that volunteering, as well.

David Grossman Declaration, Exhibit D

David Grossman Declaration, Exhibit D, Page 3

Page 4

So this page is just a Table of Contents although the pages are not labeled.

David Grossman Declaration, Exhibit D

David Grossman Declaration, Exhibit D, Page 4

Page 5

And then on this page we get into the discussion of the Prelude Kickstarter. Most noteworthy are the numbers:

  • The Kickstarter ran from March 1, 2014 to March 31, 2014
  • They raised $101,171, and received $91,006.72 from Kickstarter after fees
  • and They made an added $22,826.06 via the Backerkit add-on sales (their term for it)
  • Their total Kickstarter income (their word, not mine) was therefore $113,872.38
  • Except that number is not right. I just checked with a calculator. $101,171 + $22,826.06 = $123,997.06 and $91,006.72+$22,826.03 = $113,832.78. If anything was taken out of Backerkit before they received their $$, it is not reflected in the document. Hence we have the first instance of figures not adding up.
  • Prelude cost $123,285.26. Using their incorrect total, their shortfall was $9,452.48 “which was paid out of Kickstarter receipts” – and this is a phrase which makes little sense to me, as the total was the total, right? Hence the shortfall is whatever was not covered in the total. The shortfall had to have been paid from something else.
  • A big part of the budget was apparently makeup; they were quoted an initial figure of $400,000 but got Michael Spatola from the Cinema Makeup School, to quote a figure of $150,000

The figures were prepared on an Excel spreadsheet (according to the document).

I have been using Excel since May of 1995 and I still use it virtually every single day. And Excel does not make addition errors if the figures are input correctly and the cell range is correct. Therefore, it appears the figures may have been transposed when they were typed onto this page.

David Grossman Declaration, Exhibit D

David Grossman Declaration, Exhibit D, Page 5

Page 6

And then on this page, the defense added:

Also, there were several changes that were due to the inexperience of the production team. $2,450 had to be paid for damages caused to the rather expensive camera dolly because it was improperly loaded on the truck. And $1,500 was paid to the art team, because of a failure to properly inform them of the terms of the work.

Hence the document does not seem to clarify whether these figures are included in the figures on page 5, supra. This page also refers to perk fulfillment being more difficult than expected and that had necessitated the hiring of Ms. Kingsbury.

While hindsight is 20/20, the issue is with physical perks (and may be one of the reasons why the new Star Trek fan film guidelines expressly prohibit physical copies of completed films): you don’t need to mail out downloads. Because all you need are codes.

David Grossman Declaration, Exhibit D

David Grossman Declaration, Exhibit D, Page 6

Page 7

And then this page contains an image of an Excel spreadsheet purporting to show income and expenses. While the total is on the next page, some specific expenses leap out:

  • Hotels.com
  • Delta
  • Various meals
David Grossman Declaration, Exhibit D

David Grossman Declaration, Exhibit D, Page 7

Page 8

So then on this page, we see the totals. The most interesting expense paid out was $5,000 for special effects by Tobias Richter.

I did check the income figures and the total is correct. Assuming the debit total is correct, then the shortfall number works. Henceit appears the figure quoted on page 5, supra, was a manual transposition when the document was originally typed.

David Grossman Declaration, Exhibit D

David Grossman Declaration, Exhibit D, Page 8

Janet Gershen-Siegel

Jespah (Janet Gershen-Siegel) has been a fan of Star Trek since probably the first set of reruns of The Original Series. She has an eclectic background, including an undergraduate degree in Philosophy, a JD (she practiced insurance defense law for a few years in New York and is a lot happier since she retired from that in 1990), and a MS in Interactive Media, which is a real-live social media degree. Along the way, she has about a decade and a half of data analysis work under her belt and currently works as a blog coordinator for a high-end wedding blog and also as a blogger for hire (topics include diverse subjects like ad retargeting but also the nursing job market), and has a shingle out to work on social media presence, with a focus on independent authors as she is also a published science fiction author. Plus, she has been a community manager for a large Q & A website since 2002, which is before that existed as a job title. She was raised on Long Island so, when she is riled up, the accent gallops back out and she can sound like Fran Drescher with a law degree. She lives in Boston with her husband of over 20 years and more computers than they need. She can always be bribed with pie.

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