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September 27 2008

Hallowhedon Convention announced for 2009 at Heathrow, UK. The 1st guest announced is Robia LaMorte, aka Jenny Calendar.

They mention Dollhouse but no Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog. I blame iTunes International. Hope the DVD is international. Sent them an email about Doc.

I might go to this if they can get someone from Buffy/Angel who I havnt already met! And if I can win the lottery! :-)
Me too Pauljt29 (about the lottery part).
Uh... wasn't LaMorte on a born-again Christian, anti-Jenny, anti-Buffy thing? Maybe I've missed the latest twist...
Robia has done other Buffy conventions prior to this and after being 'born again', never gave me the impression she was 'Anti-Buffy' when I spoke to her. I know she wasn't keen on the 'First Evil' angle in her return in Amends.

These look to be fairly new organisers (although associated with the company that do Collectormania) it will be interesting to see who else they sign up.
Can someone explain why these convention companies think it is ok to use my photos without asking or even informing me of there use. The license I have on flickr is a sharing for non-comercial use licence. So far Vulkon, Creation, and now these guys have taken photos of mine and used them for advertising. The last time I checked if they book an actor, the actors agent would send them one of their own headshots to use.
RavenU,

Have you checked imdb.com? Is your picture on her page?
Robia was apparentlya wlays a very religious woman; she just felt she'd been conned when she was signed up fior "amends" into doing something she specifically wouldn't want to do, appearing as the closest thing in the Buffyverse to THE Devil.
Well, not to beat an extremely dead horse (Nice imagery considering the topic) but...when I was looking to book talent for Carpe Noctem '08 I was informed that Robia no longer had interest in attending conventions for "Buffy" fans.

This wasn't just some fan repeating a rumor they'd heard, but came from someone "in the know" that I had contacted for help.

She also said, and I quote her email (Yes, I still have them. I can't make myself give up on it completely) here:

"For fees, flights, hotel, advertising, it takes roughly 150,000 USD, to START. You can't do a show without at least 50k in capitol as the days of actors letting you use their names to sell tickets is over, many of them have been burned."

Which explains why there are no longer fan-run conventions as it's impossible to fund them unless you're independently wealthy.

Shame, really, because that prevents many of us from being able to afford to attend. It also means that many cons are "group" type - sci-fi/fantasy in general, not show specific. (DragonCon, Collectormania, et al) I wish these organizers luck, and envy those fortunate to attend, no matter who the guest list ends up being.
Yes, I'm still praying for you to get that quarter-mil from a mysterious benefactor.


Someday I'd love to see Joss challenged to come up with an episode script featuring only the characters played by the actors who attended a given convention, past or future. Seeing some group photos inspired the idea. Interesting to imagine Glory Lorne Darla Harmony Adam Clem Gwen and Eve emoting for 44 minutes.
Which explains why there are no longer fan-run conventions as it's impossible to fund them unless you're independently wealthy.

No, there are still lots and lots of fan-run conventions around, although I can't think of any Whedonverse-related ones right now. Most fan-run cons, though, have been going for over a decade, and the profits from one are used to fund the next one. There just aren't many new fan-run cons, and most of them haven't been successful, although some are, especially in brand new fandoms. It's mostly a matter of needing a large group of fans behind the convention to fund and manage it, so it's not on the shoulders of just one or two people to try to come up with the money, and multiple fundraisers are often involved.

And just because someone's in a position to be "in the know" doesn't mean that they're not passing around a false rumor when they give "information." People in all sorts of positions can be dead wrong about things, and often are.


Someday I'd love to see Joss challenged to come up with an episode script featuring only the characters played by the actors who attended a given conventionI

At the last Dark Shadows con, they had an old unfilmed script from the 60s that had been tossed aside when the producers decided that they wanted to reach a future point in the plot earlier than had been scheduled, so the five or so actors who were supposed to be in that discarded episode did a dramatic reading of it on stage, forty years later. If they could do something like that, fleshing out discarded scenes from scripts or ideas that didn't fit in the season and have the actors perform it at a con, that would be really nifty.


Can someone explain why these convention companies think it is ok to use my photos without asking or even informing me of there use. The license I have on flickr is a sharing for non-comercial use licence. So far Vulkon, Creation, and now these guys have taken photos of mine and used them for advertising.

It's not just you. For over a year, Vulcon used a photo I took of James Leary at the 2002 Comic-Con.

There was a kerfuffle in the Torchwood fandom a couple weeks ago, with the pro writers arguing that they have both the right and need to take and publish things that fans post on the internet without the fans' knowledge or consent. Blah.
DaddyCatALSO Since "mysterious benefactors" are pretty much myth (Has anyone heard of this actually happening to someone in real life? Someone they don't know bequeathing them a large sum of money.) maybe I should just write a story. Something along the lines of "Must Be Tuesday."

As for the characters you mentioned, the reason those actors are the ones who do the cons the most often is because, bluntly, they're the cheapest. I'm not going to name names, but second tier actors (Not main stars, but more recurring than "guest stars" who only showed up in a handful of episodes) were around $2,000 - $4,000.

Most stars have a set fee for the weekend. Add in transportation costs (NOT a cab. You need someone to pick them up @the airport on both ends - where they're leaving and the airport nearest your con.), flight (I don't even want to think of what'd cost to fly ASH in now), hotel room (Some stars demand a suite, and many want a secured room) and per diem (They have to eat, too.) and...ouch.

That's part of why a lot of fan-based things these days are strictly get-togethers. That, and the disasters of some recent conventions (Again, not naming names. But I'm sure we all know which ones I mean) means a lot of the stars are a bit gun-shy. You have to have a solid reputation, and deep pockets.

Good luck to these guys.

deanna b "It's mostly a matter of needing a large group of fans behind the convention to fund and manage it, so it's not on the shoulders of just one or two people to try to come up with the money, and multiple fundraisers are often involved."

We were a group of fans. 'twasn't just me. I had 6 full-time "staff members" and a few who were going to jump in to help once we got the ball rolling. We had weekly "meetings" online through Yahoo - we were looking for affordable hotels with enough rooms (In Milwaukee, which is where we'd agreed to hold it), discussing guest lists and entertainment (I had a band tentatively booked - I just needed a set date. And it was a featured band from the show), and sheduling events.

We spent two years trying to put this together, but our biggest obstacle was cost - none of us had money of our own to put forth and we were coming up empty on finding sponsors or other fundraising opportunities. We'd talked of auctioning our memorabilia, but that would've netted us maybe a couple, three hundred dollars.

I've attended only one convention, but it was such a wonderful experience that I wanted to try providing that same thing for fans on my own. (It was a fan-run, one-shot deal.)

But, again, to quote my source, someone who works in the industry (And worked for the above-mentioned convention) and represents several of the actors (Or did at the time I contacted her):

"I don't ever want to rain on anyone's parade, however, not only is Buffy a difficult event to pull off these days, (even Moonlight Rising has postponed their show to 2008 as they couldn't sell tickets and this was their 4th event!) but the problems with Booster Events cancelling and filing bankruptcy has also made Buffy fans and investors reluctant to commit funds."

(FYIW: MR has cancelled their event, claiming that there wasn't "enough interest in the 'verse any more" to get enough people to buy tickets.)
Can someone explain why these convention companies think it is ok to use my photos without asking or even informing me of there use.

'cos they don't give a shit, frankly.

When it comes to putting on a Buffyverse convention, you need a) a LOT of money to do it and b) realise you might loose all that money, and be okay with that. That's why whenever anybody says 'fan run convention' I giggle. It's very, very low margin, and that's why I get a hump on when people moan about Sean Harry and chums.

The Do That Girl, this company has done a Heroes event before. I'm booked on their second Heroes event (although I don't think I can afford to go, hoho).

[ edited by gossi on 2008-09-27 23:47 ]
gossi - I know, I was venting. There are a few actors who want to know where every photo I take is used, not to mention which ones I can actually post. It can be a real pain and mess if someone uses a photo I took for a commercial purpose and the actor finds out.

anonymous1 - I found out where the orginally got the photos from, it was wikipedia. Which states the licensing terms right on the site. Ah iggnorance must be bliss.

deannab - yep Vulkon used a shot I took of J Woodward and put it on a flyer, that's how I found out about it. I emailed them and they had the nevre to say if it's posted on the internet it free to use. At which point I sent them the flickr copyright license terms, as well as a few legal documents telling them it was not free use or fair use.

**sigh**

What surprised me more was Creation using the photo of Ron, I mean they have bought the offical photo licesing rights from Firefly and Serenity, so why on earth would they need to take my photo and use it. That makes no sense at all.
We were a group of fans. 'twasn't just me. I had 6 full-time "staff members" and a few who were going to jump in to help once we got the ball rolling.

Only SIX?? I've never seen a successful fan-run convention with fewer than a dozen full-time experienced staff, and most I've seen have twice that. I can't even fathom how anyone can do it with only six.

And good programming heads can usually get the lower-tier guests to show up for free plus expenses, since they'll get money from selling photos and signing autographs.

While Booster has definitely hurt the chance of getting a new Whedon-related con going, it's hardly the first con to crash and burn, leaving ticket holders out of luck. It's perhaps worse than others just because of the large amount of money they were charging for tickets, but every large fandom seems to have had at least one memorable con where the promoter skipped off with everyone's money, including some "professional" cons like Booster was.

When the first Gallifrey (Doctor Who) con was held, Doctor Who fandom, as well as the show, was dying, and it was either a Who con or a club where someone took the money and ran a few years earlier, making people distrustful, but 20 years later, Gally's still going strong. They lost money the first year, but got a loan from local fandom to continue, and became solvent soon after. And it's still completely fan-run. Go figure.
I'll be interested to see how The Hub ( a Torchwood convention organised by the same company) goes. The company are an offshoot of Showmasters who run the very sucessful Collectormania signing events so hopefully they can pull this off. I have to say that there's no way I'd book a year ahead on the strength of one guest though .

Booster wasn't the first convention company to take a tumble
( though theirs was more spectacular than most) and certainly running a convention seems like a highly risky business. Especially if your star name invokes the work commitments get out clause and cancels.

The first convention I ever attended was The Harvest in London . It was great fun but I gather it was a financial disaster and a promised follow up convention never happened , leaving fans who had bought tickets in advance out of pocket. Luckily I have never been caught up in any of the convention related disasters and have had some fantastic times at events.

But there's no way on God's green earth that I'd ever try running one .The finances and logistics look like a nightmare and I suspect that the first thing you need on any team looking to host a fan-run event is a good accountant!
Info has come our way to suggest that Robia was never intended to be a guest at this con. Hopefully her website will update with this info today.

ETA:

Showmaster's has posted a copy of the contract they had with Robia. It's half way down the page.

Link:

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