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September 13 2007

Nathan books for Serenity LA. The other day, Sean Harry indicated: "I'll be announcing a new guest very shortly. I think you'll all be very pleased." Today, Nathan's picture went up on the guest list.

For those who don't know, Sean is the guy behind STARFURY, a long-standing convention organizer in the UK. Serenity LA is his first venture into cons in the United States.

[ edited by theonetruebix on 2007-09-13 22:24 ]

That's cool! But I am very bitter because I live 2000 miles away and can't go. Boo hoo.

Why can't someone create a mini-Hollywood in the midwest so actors could work out here? Come on! I'm beggin' ya'!
Are the two rival cons going to book any of the writers?
Might be a good idea to briefly mention who Sean Harry is in the description text as a fair number of people probably don't know.
You == the awesome, sir :)
So glad I am going to this!!
Are the two rival cons going to book any of the writers?

Good question, Simon. I don't know if they're big enough draws, but really - you have Jane and Tim and such right on your doorstep of the event.
The writers could always pop into the parties or something. (Me, I'm still waiting for a con with Lisa Lassek.)

Meanwhile, a later post by Sean indicates that Nathan is scheduled for Saturday only, due to Desperate Housewives, although he will b doing the Sunday autograph session.
This is becoming the biggest Firefly con since the original Flanvention a couple of years ago. It should draw a lot of people, even fans of Desperate Housewives and Mad Men (for Christina, of course).
Gorram it! I sooo wish I had the time to go to this event as well as the cruise. Since we will be in Montana by November, we can't do two long trips in a month.
Awesome news! It wouldn't have been the same without The Captain.
Oh how I wish I had the money to go to this.
Am I the only one who finds a nightclub to be an setting for a con?
I'm so envious, my cousin will probably be going. The "no unauthorized filming or audio recording" from the audience seems harsh, aren't these events usually less formal? Thinking especially of all the material now circulating from the recent Dragoncon.
Am I the only one who finds a nightclub to be an setting for a con?

What is a nightclub during the daytime other than a big cavernous space with a kitchen and a bar and a bunch of little nooks and crannies? Looking at it that way, it could actually be a cool place to have a small con.
The "no unauthorized filming or audio recording" from the audience seems harsh...

This is speculation on my part, but I think the idea, at least in part, is that these types of cons are smaller and more expensive, and some of the justification/premise for that is to give attendees a unique experience. If anyone doesn't drop $200-400 on going can just sit and watch YouTube a few days later, does it undercut that?

(Not expressing an opinion on that either way, but I suspect it's part of the reason.)
BrewBunny wrote; "What is a nightclub during the daytime other than a big cavernous space with a kitchen and a bar and a bunch of little nooks and crannies? Looking at it that way, it could actually be a cool place to have a small con."

Yeah but you are missing something, most nightclubs are all about dancing and standing around, seating is somewhat limited or almost non-exsistant, being near the bar or at the outer edges. So is this going to be a standing event or perhaps everyone will just have to sit on the floor. Let's just hope they cleaned the floor. Or maybe it's like an outdoor show where you bring your own blanket or chair.

Onetruebix wrote; This is speculation on my part, but I think the idea, at least in part, is that these types of cons are smaller and more expensive, and some of the justification/premise for that is to give attendees a unique experience. If anyone doesn't drop $200-400 on going can just sit and watch YouTube a few days later, does it undercut that?

It's more about the actors having it in their contract that no video or recording will take place or the promoter may be held responsible. This is mostly because of what they might say or how they might say something that may get them in trouble. It's also part deniability if it's in a transcript the person who said it can always claim that the transcriber heard them wrong but if you have it on video or audio it's a bit harder to deny. This is pretty standard fare at most events. It will just depend on how much it is enforced at the event. Dragoncon doesn't enforce the no video/audio policies that much, so you see more from the larger cons like that than you do from smaller ones.

[ edited by RavenU on 2007-09-14 18:30 ]
So is this going to be a standing event or perhaps everyone will just have to sit on the floor.

Uh, or they put chairs out. That's not difficult to do. Heh.

ALso, on the recording point, I believe that at one point STARFURY offered DVDs of their events. Not sure if they still do, but the policy might date from when they did.
Zeppo, I agree with you. In my opinion there is a reason why you hold conventions at convention centers: because the hotels are comfortable, they know how to set up seating for large numbers of people, and there is plenty of room for vendors to sell fun stuff.
I'm sure the younger fans will enjoy going to a nightclub and having a different kind of experience, but I'm equally sure it wouldn't be comfortable for me.
The vendor issue is irrelevant in this case because I believe there aren't any.

I'm actually not following the rationale behind the "wtf? a nightclub?" thing. It's just an empty room. It's not a 200,000 people a day convention. It's not even a 5,000 people a day convention. It doesn't need a convention center. It just needs a space.

It's not like it's going to BE a nightclub during the day's con activities. It's just going to be a room.
A room that is big enough? Because la Cantina certainly wasn't at B3 and I don't relish at ALL a rehash of that event - especially if I'm paying a large amount of money to attend.

I'm real skeptical about this being held in a nightclub but I'm going if just for the novelty of it.

So many people say Sean Harry runs an excellent convention and so I'm just hoping to see that for myself:)
onetruebix wrote, "Uh, or they put chairs out. That's not difficult to do. Heh."

Places like nightclubs do not normally have a large supply of chairs on hand like hotels or covention centers, they would have to be bought or rented from somewhere for the weekend. They do not expect hundreds of people to be sitting in their establishment. If your lucky the club has seating for 100.

[ edited by RavenU on 2007-09-14 20:08 ]
Is anyone even bothering to LOOK at the photos of the space on the Element website, linked off the Starfury USA page? This isn't La Cantina sized. There's plenty of room for an event of this size.

And, frankly, it boggles me that RavenU actually seems to think that no arrangements have been made for seating. Heh.

Remember: The venue(s) in question are the ones owned by Claire Kramer et al, people with whom Sean has an existing relationship. This isn't just some randomly-selected space they're "hoping" will work for what they are doing.

[ edited by theonetruebix on 2007-09-14 20:19 ]
Yes bix it may boggle you, but it would not be the first time that some details in communication has slip through the cracks. Thus the reason for pointing things out. You seem to assume that everyone is aware of everything that is going on and all is handled. I'm pointing out it would not be the first time a detail is over looked by a promoter. Especially if one is in the process of running other events in the UK & US while preparing for this one. So I am willing to bet that there are other distractions to deal with and so something may get over looked.

BTW - It's Clare's husband that owns the establishments and just because he owns the establishment doesn't mean he has anything more to do with the event other than make the rooms availible for the time needed.

I guess we will find out what happens at the L event the week before. To see how that runs.

[ edited by RavenU on 2007-09-14 20:42 ]
B!x said: "It's not like it's going to BE a nightclub during the day's con activities. It's just going to be a room."

It is a room that will smell very much like a bar the morning after, and I am sure that that is not a problem for the vast majority of convention goers, but for a non-drinker like me it would be very uncomfortable.
I am sorry if I sound like a party-poop, but I know what I would enjoy. Naturally I hope everyone else has a wonderful time.
To be clear, RavenU and anyone else, I'm hardly the person to say don't raise concerns or questions. But, for example, when I've raised concerns/questions about an event, they've been based on something, and I've explained th basis.

This, on the other hand, just seemed (1) out of left field, without providing any basis for the suggestion and (2) predisposed toward an outright "they won't have seats", not a suggestion to "check and see about the seating".

It's one thing to raise the questions, it's another thing altogether to simply presume things are being done and/or not done. If there's a specific reason for the presumption, then mention it.

Otherwise, it's just some sort of knee-jerk nihilism. Heh.

[ edited by theonetruebix on 2007-09-14 21:25 ]
It wasn't out of left field, perhaps we are just in different fields. To me it was an obvious thing to mention. A nightclub setting is not known for it's mass seating but a convention typically is a seas of chairs lined up. This is not your typical convention environment, so it's only natural to wonder about items that maybe normal in one venue and not in another. This has gotten way to involved, for the most part I was joking about the seating cause everyone was talking about it being a large room but no one mentioned seating and so it dawned on me that what if it didn't dawn on them. Or has happened at events in the past I have attended what they ordered and what they got were 2 different things, this included at one event being short by 200 chairs. So is it uncommon for wires to cross, nope, I just tend to see more wires than other people do, maybe that is what makes our field of vision different. Like I said before the L event is the week before so he will have a week to smooth out any rough spots.
>Bix wrote: This isn't La Cantina sized.

Part of this convention is taking place at La Cantina, right? That's why I'm concerned about space. It was a nice enough place, and the employees were nice, but it couldn't hold many people at ALL.

When one thinks 'Convention', its usually more than a few hundred people. . .La Cantina can't hold that many, or even 150 comfortably. Element, I don't know. I've never been there.

EDIT: Having looked at the web site. . . It's an 8,000 square foot room? 1 room? For all convention attendees?

[ edited by leiasky on 2007-09-14 22:35 ]
I'm not getting all the crabbing about the venue either. If you aren't interested in going anywhere other than a standard convention center, then don't buy a ticket. If you have genuine "concerns" about whether Sean has enough of a clue to think of providing seats for the convention attendees, then post him a message on his message board. And as for the difficulty of renting chairs for an event in LA from all the way over in England, Google Always Has The Answer.

Not to sound snippy, but the constant "concerns" about Sean's convention are starting to sound a little churlish, which isn't much fun for those of us who are planning to attend.
I guess I will forever has to preface my statements with ...

{{sarcasm may be included}}

Wow you have to love the attacks on people for pointing out something so obvious. You know I never would have guest there were so many chair rental places in LA and I am sure they have no other events to do that weekend. What?? So not the point, the point was merely pointing out the obvious. People kept mentioning the room size, I simply mentioned the need for chairs in the room. Not to stir up such a pleasant discussion, just mentioning an observation.

How are these concerns going effect your fun, unless you already had doubts about the event and these suggestions are fueling thos doubts?

It's an untried venue and having been to a few off the wall conventions in the past, concern is only natural. You hope they work out but you never know. You have to be able to realize the promoter may not catch everything and bumps will be had. That maybe part of the excitement to some but for others it's a cause for concern. Not everyone can be Pollyanna, some people have fallen out of the tree one to many times, not to be rude or anything but just to point out a few potential bumps.

Sorry if it does not sit well with you when someone mentions concerns about an event and how it will effect that attendees ability to enjoy the event and are willing to speak out about it, which is rare in the first place.

I hope you have a good time at the event and not let other's perceptions influence yours.

Oh and BTW - Yes these points were brought up to the promoter when the event was first announced but like I said above there are always cracks.
I think the problem here stems from the fact that for those of us going, we've been in communication with Sean for months on his boards and in PMs. Sean has talked about seating, which presumably means "seats". The concerns about La Cantina don't factor: the event will not be taking place at La Cantina--a couple of parties for a limited number of ticket holders will be held there. I agree that I hope that means less than 150, but it's not like he's going to try to cram 500 people in there. I think if any of us attending had concerns about this convention, we'd be the first to bring it up (remember, B!x is in our ranks ;)). The fact that we aren't worried doesn't mean we're blind to potential problems, it just means we are getting decent answers to any questions we're bringing up.

I know Flan was one big mess-up, but Sean's been around for years and he's known for putting on well organized conventions. Could he have forgotten chairs? It's possible. Likely? I'd say no, as he is friends with the club owner (who has held many events in his clubs, and thus probably understands the needs for various events--and also has an event planning team on staff), probably understands that most night clubs don't have chairs, and this isn't the first time he's held a convention outside of a convention hall.

So while I appreciate the concerns some of you have raised about the convention, I myself am not too worried. Sean is running this with an air of professionalism that was lacking from, say Booster. Things can slip through cracks, of course but he has a proven track record and he hasn't raised any red flags at this point (unlike the sea of red flags we saw in the weeks before Flan II).

[ edited by Dizzy on 2007-09-15 18:57 ]
Sorry if it does not sit well with you when someone mentions concerns about an event and how it will effect that attendees ability to enjoy the event and are willing to speak out about it, which is rare in the first place.

{{sarcasm may be included}}

Why it is indeed very brave of you to keep speaking up in this manner! I trust that you're similarly brave with your "concerns" about the Browncoat Balls and the Browncoat Cruise? Or is Sean the only one you're so "concerned" with?

I hope you have a good time at the event and not let other's perceptions influence yours.

I have every intention of having a blast with my friends down in LA - invisible internet people don't have enough of a hold on me to ruin a good party IRL. ;-) But I do get a bit annoyed with negative nancies who seem to jump at every opportunity to insinuate that Sean is incompetent and/or underhanded. If someone has a personal issue with him, they can take it to him directly. But it's getting boring having to keep reading about it here.

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