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Posted: Fri Aug 02, 2002 9:56 pm
Sorry to pour cold water on this, but even with two cans of beer in my system I know this is just not doable. There are 70 people registered here. A tiny fraction of those are regular posters, even after I recently trimmed one-time posters. The "Star Fleet Community" is nowhere near as large as, say, Blake's Seven or Fanderson. If you're talking about "renting a space" you're not going to be able to charge people money, are you, because they'll have to have paid to get into the main event? So who's going to stump up the cost?As I've suggested before, the only slim chance you have of getting a group of people together would be to do something totally informal in another convention where it would be easy to meet up in a bar. Are the actors really going to turn up for free? Maybe. As for the media being interested - why would they be? Sure, the actors have been in other films, but with all due respect to them they're not A list celebs and I imagine they'd be the first to accept that. As much as I appreciate your enthusiasm for the series, Mike, you have to appreciate from an objective point of view that the vast majority of people don't come to Star Fleet sites to learn what the voice actors are doing these days. They come to get a little buzz out of remembering a show they thought no-one else remembered, then they move on. For some of us, the show has particular significance, but for others it just doesn't. And the others are by far and away in the majority.Let me put it this way. At the peak of its popularity, I went to some local gatherings of the Babylon 5 community. A very, very active UK community at the time. Want to know how many people turned up to the average meeting? 6. If that. From a catchment area that was basically The North. There's no way you'll ever see an out and out Star Fleet con - and Paramount would probably have something to say about it if you tried, incidentally. It takes hundreds of paying people to mount a con. It's not going to happen, Mike. I mean, how many pieces of fan fiction have you received at SFP? How many pieces of fan art other than lego? Nada, zip, zero, apparently. Some of my site is fan generated, sure. But you've been actively asking for stuff and don't seem to have gotten anything. What does that say to you?At the end of the day, it's great that some of us are remembering the series as a hobby. But you need to keep a sense of perspective about this - this I know. I realise that some of the above will sound harsh and I hope it won't be taken personally, but it needed saying because you could waste a great deal of time and effort which could be better spent elsewhere trying to set something up which would, I believe, be doomed from the outset. I'll be interested to hear what others have to say.
Posted: Fri Aug 02, 2002 11:10 pm
I've never been to a convention, meeting or any sort of fan event before, I've always been put off slightly by the Trekies and the Doctor Who fans (no offence like)I have been meaning to go to a Memorabilia event for some time but I have never gotten round to it. I'm looking out for when Garrick and Lisa do another convention though so I can get my Japanese Lamia doll signed by Lisa. That would just about make my Century.It's very commendable what you are planning to do Mike, but I would also echo Andy's comments about the limited appeal and possible problems securing jobbing actors to appear at an event that may pull in only a handfull of people.What I think might work was if you tried to arrange somthing unofficial within an existing convention. Lisa and Garrick appear to be regulars on the sci fi convention circuit, so just find an event that they are attending and then maybe we could all meet up at said convention. If indeed anybody actually want's to meet up, it's one thing to post on a message board, quite another to meet in the flesh, is anyone brave enough? I would actually like to meet you all before my interest in Star Fleet disipates, as it will in the years to come. Shane.
Posted: Sat Aug 03, 2002 12:12 am
Mike, correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't Memorabilia an out and out trade show? It isn't a convention in the sense of ones I've been to, i.e. a traders room but also dedicated speakers etc. So I don't think it actually would attract as broad an audience as you imagine - these are going to be the hardest of hard core fans, not the public. I'd never even heard of Mem until Gareth mentioned it. And having a broad range of stuff there won't really help your cause either - it'll just dilute interest. Without an actual stall, how will you attract interest to yourselves? Realistically, as you clearly intend to, you'll end up speaking to some of the actors if they have a spare moment between signings.As for launching products - Terrahawks launched through a press release aimed at sites like mine. That was it. I haven't even seen it in normal shops yet. Star Fleet doesn't have Anderson behind it. I seriously doubt you'd get any media attention beyond the level that Terrahawks achieved. Universal, for example, just releases Universal stuff (unsurprisingly). Mollin is dead in the water.I'm not thinking commercial success either - I'm thinking loss avoidance for yourself. I imagine you can ask tomorrow how much a stall is, but you still wouldn't have anything to put on it...?I agree that the fan base is very difficult to judge. But, you're almost defeating your own argument by saying that demand for videos is greater than those sold. That's just people wanting to get hold of videos to see if the series is like they remember it. It's not people who necessarily want to travel and pay money to chat about the series - particularly if they haven't been able to watch it on video!As you say, it's going to be very, very similar to chatting about it here. So why bother with the travel at all? I know from my own direct experience with other forums that there can come a time when a certain critical mass is reached and the forums take on a social aspect "in real life" - but we're nowhere near that, and not likely to be unless the videos come out.So you see, I think you're coming at this backwards. You're trying to raise interest in what is effectively a dead series without the means to actually raise interest in it - because I think they'll take a dim view of you selling pirated tapes at a trade fair (as an example). Dr Who, Blake's Seven etc - all had much, much bigger audiences and have had good video releases in the UK. Star Fleet hasn't. You say it's unfair to judge by fanfic - but that's an ideal indicator of whether there's anyone around who'd be interested in coming to a convention to chat about the show. Fanfic keeps old series going - Trek being a classic example. People who don't have that level of interest will never go to the trouble of going to an event to meet people - but I agree you might attract people if you could get some sort of visibility.To my mind, the sort of people who are into Star Fleet will find it on the Net. I know, because I've gone to the trouble of jumping into nostalgia discussions on other boards who HAVE found it in an attempt to encourage people to look into it. But there's a distinct lack of people flooding onto this forum because it's just nostalgia for them - plain and simple. They discuss it a bit in one thread on their own forums, and that's it, it goes away again.Let me ask you this. What exactly are you hoping to achieve from a real life meeting that can't be achieved here, given the relatively low level of active interest in the show? If you can do interviews with the voice actors, and they're available on the web for people to read, is there any point to arranging a meeting with them? If the answer to these is negative, then I just don't see what the goal is.There's a reason why I've expanded my site beyond just Star Fleet. Star Fleet did strike a chord with a lot of people which is why it's been my focus, and I agree, it's quite an unusual level of interest for such an old show - but then, as you say Mike, I've done a lot of advertising one way and another over the past few years. Now I'm trying to add a little variety to the site, because I know that Star Fleet isn't all that massively popular and to keep the site interesting, and myself interested in the site, I need to do other things.I would hope that if the series does come out again in a widely available way, a convention might become possible. But I also think that you'd have to mix it up with other 80s themes - and I know the 80snostalgia site had done meets before now, although I've never been to any.Finally, to end on an up-beat note. As I've suggested in another thread which Shane picked up on, an official re-release of Star Fleet in this country may not be a complete pipe-dream. I would even go so far as to say that there is a reasonable chance this could happen in the next year if things work out. More detail than that I can't give you, and it isn't written in stone by any means, but the possibility is there and I'm assisting with it as far as I can.
Posted: Sat Aug 03, 2002 6:07 am
If there is ever an offical release of SF I just hope that they actually go to the trouble of advertising it in some way. And I hope the Terrahawks releases haven't gone pear shaped as like Andy said there's no mention of the second Dvd volume yet, and according to the press release they were going to release the entire series on both Dvd and video. If Terrahawks fails then Star Fleet would not be looking to do that much better really.Regarding the meeting/mini con I don't think I would be quite as negative as Andy is about it, It's like saying I'm quite happy for people to post on the forum everyday but I wouldnt like to meet em in the flesh (no offence like) but yes the underlying point is that not that many people actually visit this board now, and I can't remember the last time we have actually talked about the show. When I first found the old board a few years back I was quite surprised at the amount of people who regularly talked about a show that I thought was totally forgotten. Shane.
Posted: Sat Aug 03, 2002 9:06 am
Apologies if I'm sounding overly negative, it's just that I've tried doing this sort of thing before for B5 - and if it didn't work for that, it won't for Star Fleet. The problem with it being such a small crowd is that if you don't get on with someone you don't really have anywhere to go and things could get difficult. But obviously if people want to get together then they will - I'm just sounding a note of caution because of my past experiences. Whilst I'm happy to support the on-line community, I don't feel that a social element will work and it's not something I'd go out of my way to get involved in.