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June 24 2007

A report from the SoCal 'Can't Stop the Serenity' screening. Courtesy of Quotergal.

And if anyone wants to add their reports, bung 'em in the comments section.

If there is an annoying talker in a theater and I'm running the event, I'd ask him politely to be quiet, and if he couldn't behave, I'd ask him to leave. It's more important that someone like that doesn't ruin it for the rest of the audience, than he remain comfortable and not confronted.

I'm so glad I don't have that job though. I really think theater managers need to crack down on that kind of thing. I detest how bad it's become, with talkers and cell phone users and whatnot.

[ edited by ElectricSpaceGirl on 2007-06-24 17:37 ]
Nice writeup, QG! Glad you had a good time and how cool of you to pony up the mad cash for Equality Now :D Well done, you!
Photos from this year's events (and after-events!) are starting to be posted to the CSTS Flickr pool.
Ok, first I want to start with, more or less, what I posted last night to the global organizers' forum, because it's relevant to all attendees, too.

know we're not quite done yet this year, with a couple more left and everyone doing their tallying. But now that our own stuff in Portland is wrapped (except for the accounting), and I can sit back and watch the rest, I want to take a moment to say this now.

I am really very happy and proud of everyone. Year two! The random and freakish idea has had the year that officially marks it as an annual event.

You all are awesome. This is a good day. A nice little string of good days.

Thank you.

So, anyway, a reportish-like thing from here. I'm too exhausted to do anything but but and paste from things I've posted elsewhere, with an adjustment here and there.


Depending on how you count (they can do a couple different things with seating), Portland's screening on Friday was anywhere from 15-25 seats from a sell-out. No financials to report yet (we have some sales numbers, but that doesn't account for event costs, etc. so we're not talking money yet).

I am told it went well. It's always difficult for me to tell, but once I knew we were just shy of selling out, I was able to ditch that part of the nerves. So, yes, on my end it went well.

(Plus, I got to wear a wireless headset and feel like I was on the organizer side of Backup Bash.)

Doors on Friday opened at 7PM with the programming to start at 8, giving an hour for people to get settled, buy merch and raffle tickets, and here the occasional announcement. We had excerpts from the original Serenity electronic press kit playing with the sound off on the screen during this time.

At 8, I intro'd the evening and Richard Beer (from our venue) epxlained to the crowd what the Women's Film Initiative is, since they get 10% of our ticket sales this year. Next was Joss' "strong women characters" speech, which I used to segque into a talk by Scott Allie, Joss' editor at Dark Horse, by saying we had someone at the event who knew a little something about Joss writing strong women characters. Then the movie, and then the raffle. The guy hwo won the Reaver Throwing Razor Weapon prop leaped like two feet out of his chair.

We will have video, although I do not know how much or of what (and of what not). We will have audio, because we got a plug into the board.

Friday night's midnight Buffy Musical also was a near sell-out, which is good for us, because they're donating $1/ticket to Equality Now through our local fundraiser.

Watching Joss' speech before Equality Now in a room of 400+ Browncoats is one of the coolest things I have ever experienced.

A while back, we got email from a guy in Seattle. He had a friend coming into town from Australia, and they were planning to throw him in a van and drive him to Portland for our Friday screening. Because it would be his 21st birthday. And could we do anything for him as a surprise?

So just before 8PM, I asked if we had anyone in the room from another hemisphere. Maybe from Australia? So he got the full treatment. 400+ Browncoats sang Happy Birthday to him. I was later told that we made his mother cry.

(I later thanked the birthday boy for making the Portland part of this global event a global event in itself, just by being there.)

Many of us went almost immediately from the screening to the midnight Buffy Musical, across town, where Clinton made sure to tell everyone what a good time he had had at our charity screening, and that people should go to the second one on Saturday.

(After that, I came home and farting around online, mostly getting pictures posted. No sleep until 3:30AM or so.)


Early start because we had to be at the venue at noon to open the doors at 1PM for a 2PM programming time. Same hour pre-show stuff. My intro blah-blah. Women's Film Initiative. Joss' speech. Then, since we didn't have a guest for Saturday, we did the raffle. I said goodbye to our Bank Heist Money Display from the Prop Store, which I'd been keeping in my apartment. I hope the guy who won it didn't think I was kidding when I said we wanted him to send us pictures of it.

Then the movie. Based on audience reaction, a dozen or two people clearly had not ever seen the movie before.

Second screening ticket count was placed by the venue at 295. It oddly seemed more full than that. (For head explosion purposes, my threshold was needing more than half a house, and 295 is more than half of 450-460.)

After the movie was our post-event shindig in the outdor patio of a pub local to the theater. Pretty decently attended, not just the core Portland group we see all the time. (Pictures in the Flickr pool I posted here earlier.) We signed a birthday card for Joss and took Poloroids of people to go with it.

Home then. But only for a short while, because then for some of us it was back out to the second midnight Buffy Musical. This one, I think did sell out. Clinton made sure to mention that $1 of every ticket there was going to Equality Now through our screening fundraiser. He asked if I was in the audience somewhere and how we did. I said we have no numbers yet, but that we're "very good".

And then, once again, home and no sleep until around 3AM or so.

And now it's today and I'm not quite sure where I am. But I have coffee.
Oh, sorry, but an addendum: Scott Allie, Joss' editor at Dark Horse, announced that we should watch the interweb tomorrow (Monday). Joss and Dark Horse have some sort of announcement regarding fundraising for Equality Now.
RE: Portland screening...

Friday night I got to talk to Scott Allie, and I asked him about a continuation of Fray in some form. Long story short, Joss plans to revisit Fray at some point in comic form. A movie would be trickier since 20th Century Fox owns the rights to it. I asked about Fray merchandise -- action figures, t-shirts, etc. -- and Scott said, "Yes, why aren't there t-shirts?" So hopefully he will at least let Joss know that one person in Portland wants a Fray shirt.

In my conversation with Scott, I think he passed along some spoilers for Buffy Season 8 issue #5. I know what it's about, and I know what it's an allegory for but that others might not get because it's very personal for Joss. Interesting...

I still have to write a report on the event, but I can tell you that I had a good time, I got a lot of feedback from people who had a good time (I've read nothing but positive reports), and it was wonderful to work with such a good crew.

Joss Equality Now speech is amazing to watch with a big audience. That was one of the highlights for me this year. I even had to get someone to cover for me at the donations table on Saturday just so I could see it. I'm so glad it was included in this year's screenings.

More later. Gotta go find where I left my brain. And sleeeeeep.
FYI, you can use Google Blog Search to keep an eye on screening reports.
And not to inundate our Goners board further (hope it's okay, Gossi-man) but I thought I'd point out that members of Goners were CSTS organizers and volunteers - on that same thread, there are reports from greeneyes in Ottawa, samatwitch in Vancouver, and Lioness in Toronto (among others) about their events. (Wow, the Canadians really rule at Goners, don't they?)

Oh, and I did finally summon the courage to open up my Serenity blueprints, and they are (actually, physically) shiny. Numbered and signed by graphic artist Geoffrey Mandel and illustrator & set designer Timothy M. Earls, they are quite beautifully done - as are the other QMx products I've seen. We may frame them and hang 'em in our graphics studio... The graphic artist in me wants to see all possible Serenifly-related paper products made by QMx ASAP - including Blue Sun food and booze labels... (hint, hint...)

Speaking of that, a little bird might have mentioned that QMx might be planning on reproducing Mal's Serenity ship papers from Firefly - this time with 100% more official ship-type copy...

Can't wait to read other reports from CSTS screenings - looks like it's gonna be a good year...

[ edited by QuoterGal on 2007-06-24 23:35 ]
Can't wait to read other reports from CSTS screenings - looks like it's gonna be a good year...

Devin say (reg. required, but the same numbers are on the main site):

$41,473.28 (est)
Thirteen sites reporting (Dublin, Des Moines, Pittsburgh, Raleigh, Los Angeles, Adelaide, Boston, Champaign, Charlotte, Dallas, London, Madison, Minneapolis, Vancouver)

That says 13, but I think the list is 14.

[ edited by theonetruebix on 2007-06-24 21:04 ]
I know I'm not the first to say it, but it bears repeating: In the end, theonetruebix totally kicks the antibix's butt.
Nice pics so far - I hope scads of money was made. Ah yes, I remember the Hollywood theatre from when I lived in Portland; it looked like a fun time. Hopefully, next year if it's done again, I'll be able to afford to come up to Pasadena.
Theonetruebix, did you remain ambivalent about the Buffy sing-along after seeing it, or was the Dawn hazing done in a way that truly was just in fun?
Generally speaking, this sing-along experience was a much better thing than the one I described earlier, shambleau. But there's no question that not all of the "shut up, Dawn!" stuff is just all in good fund. Some people (and I stress the some there) just seem to have rather vicious amount of bile that, frankly, is kind of disturbing and a little scary to be sitting in the midst of.

I still have mixed feelings about it, but I'm certainly not as hard on the idea as before.
Thanks so much to everyone for the reports, your enthusiam is truly infectious. Sounds just way too cool for words. Off to check out the pics.
Too cool, hats off to all of the organizers for what sounds like another kick ass year for a great cause! I raise a glass to you all (its a big glass).
I'm glad the Portland turnout was over the b!x head explosion threshold. It sounded like the Arlington crew was happy with their turnout too. A movie poster signed by Ron Glass sold for $100 or so. The audience was much quieter than I expected. It was more than just a lack of distracting chatter-- people laughed only during the really funny parts. I think the exception was one whistle during Mal's shirtless scene. I expected a little more cheering, considering the alcohol on site, but it was nice in a low-key way. Certainly no one that I could hear was behaving in a way worthy of the special hell.

Kudos to all the organizers everywhere!
Well, we did have someone snoring during our screening Saturday night in Philly. I wouldn't wish the special hell on him, though. It was one of our organizers/MC for the night who had been up the previous night for that midnight screening AND up early the next day for the episode marathon. So post-midnight, he was pretty damn tired. The entire audience was very forgiving and someone woke him up as gently as possible... After all the work he did, who could blame him!?

I went to the screening with my sister and we had a blast. It was only my second time seeing Serenity on the big screen and her first, as well as her first Browncoat event. Only a few costumes, but they were well done. (We had an excellent Purplebelly and then a Coreworlder & Companion couple.) Our meet-up at a restaurant beforehand was so very relaxing, delicious and fun, then came the raffle and trivia contest. I'm very jealous of the winners and their shiny new possessions. We lucked out in more ways than one in Philly: seeing Serenity on the big screen, benefiting Equality Now, AND supporting a local theater/film school at the Bryn Mawr Film Institute.

Hope everyone had as much fun as I did. :)
Here's my report cut, pasted, and edited from my blog.

So Saturday night was Can't Stop the Serenity night for North Texas. I went with Chaucerian Girl, Jehara, V and her husband, C. It was so awesome that there just isn't a word awesome enough to describe it. Except for awesome. Which is slightly overused, but if I imagine Neil Patrick Harris saying it, along with a hypothetical high-five, I get all giddy with happiness.

I'm so weird.

Anyway, we got there around 6:30, picked up our tickets and then meandered over to Borders where Jane Espenson was holding a Q&A. We couldn't hear very well, though, so since CG needed food, we headed over [...this part deleted because you probably don't care...]About 8:00 we headed back over to the theatre to get in line. And I'm really glad we did because we got there early enough that it enabled us to get really good seats. We were in line for about two hours and we talked Firefly, Buffy, Angel, Equality Now and Juarez. [more stuff edited out you probably don't care about]

Finally, they let us into the theatre and it was a good thing too, because I was really hungry. Very nice theatre, too, with a great big movie screen the perfect size for showing a BDM. They started with the Cedric from Bedlam Bards (I think?) I'd never heard of him before, but he's really talented and the Firefly-themed songs he sang were terrific. [fan-girl gushiness edited out]Anyway, after Cedric, Jane Espenson came onstage for another Q&A. I sound so gushy and I'm really sorry, but she's so marvelously witty and humble and down-to-earth. They showed some clips from Shindig and a few Buffy episodes that were credited to her, only it turned out later, as she told us, that except for the Shindig episode, every single clip that played was actually written by Joss. She was a really good sport about it. I also liked the answer she gave to the question, "Would you ever consider doing a screenplay for a movie?" She said, and I'm not using quotation marks because I'm totally paraphrasing here, that she wouldn't because television affords the opportunity for her to go into much greater depth. She likened movies to a short story and television to a novel. Both are great story-telling mediums, but a novel allows you to spend more time with a character and, as a writer, she finds that incredibly rewarding. Someone also questioned her about whether she'd consider doing a radio-type show. There was a bit of debate about that because she felt like radio theatre was pretty much dead, but then this one guy raised his hand and said he was a truck driver and there was more call for something like that than she might realize. And then Jane was like "Really??" and then she made this hmmm..something to think about face. It was funny. Honestly, I enjoyed that part so much that I would have paid just to see her, but I got to see a BDM TOO. These Can't Stop the Serenity people just rule.

Next was the door prizes and raffle. I won nothing and neither did anyone else in my group, but J did score one of those cute little Chinese boxes containing many fun stickers and magnets. She gave me an I'll Be In My Bunk magnet. Which is funny except the magnet also has a knife on it, which seems very phallic and odd. Then they auctioned off the BDB (big damn bag). There were so many wonderful things in that bag and J and I both really wanted it, but alas, we are poor. This girl behind us got into a bidding war for the bag and J and I found ourselves really rooting for her to win it. We even scraped up $25 between us and passed it to her and I think someone in her group ponied up $100. She wound up winning the bag for something like $1100. I was really happy she got it and she even gave J and I an autographed CD, which we gave to CG because J knew CG would appreciate it more. It was so fun. I know I'm overusing that word right now, but J and I really enjoyed rooting for her to win.

And then the movie. Love the movie. I've seen it a zillion times and so has everyone who was with me, but that didn't stop CG from crying when a VERY bad thing happened to a certain beloved character, nor did it stop J and I from biting our nails during the big fight scene. And it was so cool watching it with an entire audience filled with BDFs (big dorky fans) like ourselves. The audience would applaud during certain scenes and laugh at others and you just know everything was a little funnier and a little sadder because we were all together. This was my first fan-type outing and I would totally do it again.

Oh, and costumes!!! There was a Wash and a Zoe who came together and they looked so great. And there was an Inara and a cute little Kaylee and more than one guy wearing a brown coat (in our really HOT Texas summer--very dedicated fan there). I'm not a go in costume person myself, but I was really impressed by the care they put into their costumes. These are the coolest people in the world.

Definitely will be doing this next year!!

I could enthuse more, but the real world (e.g. my job) would like me to return to it.

(is it me or does this read like a what I did over the weekend essay for high school English???)
Jane Espenson at the Dallas/Fort Worth CSTS- From the blog of Death Is My Gift!!

Friday I get a call from Devin Pike around 11am saying, "Jessa, uh...Murphy's law is kickin' in." I asked what was wrong and he told me that Jane's plane broke. She was still at LAX and she would be on the next flight out of LA to Dallas......

[ edited by mifeng on 2007-06-26 05:09 ]

[ edited by mifeng on 2007-06-26 05:10 ]

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