Thursday last week…
…we were getting ready to head off on the #1 into Vancouver armed with some flyers, fresh-baked scones and two trifold boards. This was our first Con ever, and we were going to be advertising our new webseries, “Mind My Brains, Darling!“. It was exciting and a little daunting but nothing ventured, nothing gained!
Start with a bang
After checking into the Vancouver Airport Marriott in Richmond we immediately set out for La Fontana Caffe for the BC Browncoats meetup to celebrate the 5 year anniversary of the release of the film ‘Serenity’. We were late but they had waited to start “Done The Impossible“, a fan made film all about how Serenity had come to be made. It was great to see friends, watch a great film and also pick up an essential item. Serena had knitted a Jayne Hat teacosy which we needed to complete the display.
Friday 1st October – Day 1
We went down to the Sheraton to set up early and to check out what was going on. Registration wasn’t open and there was a lack of tables in the room. Lucky for us we managed to appropriate a table and set up. Our neighbour to the left, Mark the owner of Gaukler, Medieval Wares, already had his impressive display of medieval and ancient jewelry, finds and weapons set up. As a veteran of VCON and many other gatherings he was very friendly and helpful.
Several other vendors were setting up, too. Once we had arranged everything we went for a wander to see what was going on in the rest of the rooms. Soon enough it was time to costume-up and get into meet-and-greet mode. It was tricky at first but we soon got into the swing of it and started to demo the trailers and get talking to people as they passed.
To our right were Paul and Danielle from Wolf’s Head Productions, a film and video production company. I had contacted them before VCON after seeing them in the brochure and Paul came over to chat. He is a veteran film maker with a new series, “The Border Guardians of Ackernon”. They were screening Episode 1 at VCON which went over really well, and they sold out of all their DVD copies. Over the course of the weekend we talked several times and there will be some exciting things coming soon – keep tuned for more information!
I saw that Riese, a webseries we had been waiting to hear more about for a long time, was having a panel. We shut up the booth a bit early and went over for it, hoping to see some more of the series. Unfortunately there wasn’t a screening but the panel was really good. Alyssa Ciccarelli , Ben Cotton, Patrick Gilmore and Nicholas Humphries shared news about the filming, what has been happening since Syfy picked up the series and when we might see the newly re-edited episodes.
There was also a discussion about webseries in general with tips and hints from the panel about filming, finding actors and keeping hold of your vision for your work. They asked if anyone was making webseries and we told them about “Mind My Brains, Darling!”, which was very well received. The panel lasted an hour and afterwards there was a chance to mingle and talk to them. We spoke to Ben about his role as Herrick and he was surprised that he was recognisable out of his elaborate headgear 🙂
Alyssa and Nick were interested in “Mind My Brains, Darling” and stopped to chat about webseries. And Patrick tried to steal my new phone…We gave out some improvised business cards to the panel and a couple of other people who were interested and finished our first VCON day on a high note. That evening we went for a delicious meal at 4 Stones vegetarian restaurant then spent time printing out some real business cards, then uploaded the new teaser for “Mind My Brains, Darling!” – very Hollywood!
Saturday 2nd October – DAY 2
After a good ‘PJ’ breakfast at the Marriott, hubby drove back home to pick up our middle two kids who wanted to come to VCON while I opened up the booth for the day. I started to give out our new business cards when I spoke to people. It was much easier to give out a card than a flyer – so lesson learned! There was a steady amount of people and also time to talk to other vendors and look at the stalls. There were some wonderfully geeky things on display.
There were lots of people interested in “Mind My Brains, Darling!” and it was fun to talk to them and see the reactions when they watched the trailers. Some people had never heard of a webseries before and some had heard of us from other people at VCON, which was a really weird-in-a-good-way feeling. Most people were genuinely interested in the premise and enjoyed the scones that were on offer, too.
Shaw TV came to do a segment about VCON but we didn’t get an interview. Note to self: everyone on the booth has to wear corsets next year as they were the items that were filmed! 😉 Hubby did pass on a card to the reporter as she flitted past the table, though, so who knows?
I also went to the screening of “The Border Guardians of Ackernon“, which was really good. I missed the beginning but I’ve since watched the DVD and really enjoyed it, as did the audience at the screening.
It is very tiring standing up all day and talking to people! We went to the dance in the evening but we were all a bit tired so we decided to order pizza and watch “How to Train Your Dragon” – which was a great film!
Sunday 3rd October – DAY 3
Again we started with a ‘PJ’ breakfast at the hotel, and the kids enjoyed the buffet. We rolled down to the booth and began the last day. We hadn’t managed to get a late check out from the hotel so we had to pack up our things and get them into the car – and we were ably assisted by Alan Douglas who happened to turn up just at the right time (from our point of view, anyway :)). Alan is another Vancouver-based webseries creator and his ‘The Masked Roger‘ series is a favourite of ours. And Al is a Browncoat and a Guildie so his credentials are impeccable.
Some people returned to the booth to talk some more about the series, which was very heartening, and we gave out fistfuls of cards to newcomers. We decided to leave a little earlier than the official end of the day to beat the traffic. We said our goodbyes and had a final look around where we saw Alyssa from Riese again as she was spreading the word. Then we headed home more than happy about the weekend.
The whole weekend was very enjoyable and a huge learning experience on many levels, but here’s some of the stand-out moments:
- Watching people watch the trailers, seeing them reach the reveals and then the reactions afterwards. Priceless.
- Meeting Paul and Danielle from Wolf’s Head Productions.
- The Riese the Series panel and meeting them afterwards
- Meeting so many interested and interesting people in the vendors and visitors to VCON
- Stormtroopers, Sandtroopers, Jawas and Bobas in unexpected places
- Seeing Robert Picardo, the Emergency Holographic Doctor from Star Trek Voyager
- Enjoying the atmosphere which was fun, inclusive and deliciously geeky
- Catching up with familiar faces like Browncoats Jeff and Evelyn and Alan.
Only downside was having to be at the booth and missing some really interesting panels and then missing @Strawberryjamm because we had left early.
Will we go again?
DEFINITELY! It’s hard to know what we’ll be doing next October but VCON will be high on the list of things to do. It will always be the first Con we went to and we have so many great memories that it’ll be hard to top it. The staff were very friendly and worked hard to iron out any wrinkles.
This week we’ve been going following up contacts. Thank you to everyone who stopped by and had a chat – if you were one of those people please comment and say hi. Next year we’re going to do more – who knows? Maybe we’ll even have a webseries panel…!