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I typed most of this up yesterday, but then a glitch ate it. So here we go again.
Now one of my LEAST favorite things to do is to recreate a lost document. It's much worse than composing something from scratch. You're always trying to reclaim the "magic" of whatever you wrote on your first pass. And it never quite works. So if the following is magic-free, you know why…
… I came to OPENING CEREMONIES loaded for bear, with 5 Video tapes, 2 Audio tapes and color xeroxes of a Buena Vista Home Entertainment PowerPoint Presentation.
Karine got the ball rolling, welcoming everyone to the con.
Jen got up and awarded the FAN GUEST OF HONOR award to GOREBASH. He can protest all he wants, but the guy deserves this award simply for inspiring the Gorelisa Award. (And, oh yeah, there's also Station 8 the Gargoyle Fiendsite and ASK GREG too.)
Chris Rogers came up to pitch G2005 in Las Vegas, which sounds really, really cool. I loved Laurean's new mascot. I know that there's a traditional naming of the mascot contest, but I loved the name "Blue-Eyes". So if no one wins, I'll be okay with that.
Cindy spoke, and Liz, and then the Ceremonies were hi-jacked by Abram & Maui and the Clan Olympics. The first event was goofy fun to watch. Eventually things settled back down, and shortly it was my turn to speak…
And, boy, did I have a lot to say this year. More than usual.
Carol Wagner had assembled a welcome tape recorded by various members of the show's cast & crew: myself, Keith David, Producer-Director Frank Paur, Board Artist Troy Adomitis, Board Artist Vic Cook, Development Art Director & Producer Bob Kline, Development Art Director Dave Schwartz, Actor Crispin Freeman (a past Gathering Guest) and of course Ed Asner, the wonderful voice of Hudson.
I played my little, "Ladies & Gentlemen, Keith David!" trick. And everyone looked, just as they had in 1997 at the first Gathering. It's cruel, I know. But I'd never do it if I thought that Keith wouldn't eventually show up. Which he did. Although not for another 26 hours or so, unfortunately.
I made a little sales pitch for a few of the con's events. The Blue Mug that night, for example. But especially for the Radio Play. I had need of a huge cast and needed more people (especially females) to audition. On top of that, I was nervous that if I did get a full cast, they would outnumber the audience, so I also made a plea for people to attend the show.
I gave my thanks to Karine and her extremely hard-working staff: Rob, Ian, Shaun, Cindy, Patrick, Jen, Kaylee, Laurean, Liz & Carol. I also thanked a few select people who I know helped out: Kelly, Kathy, Christine, Steph and Alan. I'm sure I fogot a bunch of people then and now, and for that I apologize.
I plugged both G2005 in Vegas again, as well as ASK GREG, Gorebash & Station 8, reminding people ONE MORE TIME to please post Gathering Journals at Ask Greg ASAP after the end of the con. (So, have you?) I also pointed out A Fan's map of attendees at the back of the room.
Then it was time for hand counts. How many Gathering Con Virgins? [A goodly amount.] How many had been to at least two Gatherings? At least Three? Four? Five? Six? Seven? ALL EIGHT? The number of the latter was very gratifying. [I'm forgetting a couple people, but I think they included A Fan, Karine, Noelle, Lanny, myself (if I count) and at least a couple of others.] These are the troops that should really inspire the rest of you.
I then held up the materials that Buena Vista had sent me. Of course, they were probably IMPOSSIBLE to see even from the front of the room. But they included a few remaining postcards promoting the DVD's release from the THOUSANDS that were distributed at the San Diego ComicCon earlier this summer. (I ended up giving these to Patrick to pass out to the hard-working staff.)
Also on hand was Buena Vista's 7-Point PowerPoint Presentation Slide Show, which I've transcribed here [with a few comments]:
2. "Visually Stunning and Dramatically Stirring, Gargoyles Defines Fantastic."
--Ray Stackhouse, TV Guide
3. A Mythical World
--An Animated Series About Ancient Creatures Who Come to Life at Night to Protect Manhattan from Evil
--10 Year Series Anniversary
--Voiced by Well-Known Talent from the Star Trek Franchise Including:
*Brent Spiner [who doesn't actually appear in the first season. whoops.]
4. A Loyal Fan Base
--Gargoyles Was the 23rd Most Requested Disney Title of Q2 '04 [certainly, we can do better than that, right?]
--Chat Rooms and Fan Websites Are Buzzing with News of the Upcoming DVD Release:
"OMG! I can't wait. 10 long years and finally my fave cartoon will be on DVD!" - SportyShorty, IMDB Fan Posting
--Annual "Gathering of the Gargoyles" Convention Attended by Thousands of Fans [If you add 'em all up, sure.]
--Gargoyles Airs Every Night on TOON DISNEY CHANNEL and Saturdays on ABC FAMILY
5. A Product Fans Are Clamoring For
--Two-Disc DVD Set
--Includes All 13 Episodes of the First Season of Gargoyles [uncut, I should add]
--Special 10th Anniversary Edition [as opposed to all those other editions, right?]
*The Gathering of the Gargoyles [original documentary filmed at G2004]
*Original Show Pitch by Greg Weisman - Show Creator [previously available ONLY by attending the Gathering]
*Audio Commentary on Origanl Episodes 1-5 [Originally, I had been hoping for commentary on all 13 episodes. Budget constraints made that impossible, as Buena Vista truly has no idea how well this will sell. (We'll have to show them, won't we?) They came back to me saying they could only afford commentary on two episodes, suggesting either the first two episodes or the first episode and "Deadly Force". I went back to them, protesting that our pilot was five episodes and that it would just be weird not to at least have commentary on the whole thing. They discussed it and agreed. So we wound up with five episodes with commentary instead of two, more than doubling the budget. I then tried to convince them to do "Deadly Force," but they ignored me. Oh, well.]
6. On-Air Synergy Support
--Synergy Support from:
*TOON DISNEY CHANNEL
7. Pricing and Timing
--Perfectly Timed for Holiday Gift Giving and Gargoyles 10th Anniversary
--U.S.: Two-Disc DVD $29.99 SRP/$19.95 MAP
--CE: Two-Disc DVD $36.99
--NAAD: December 7 [THAT'S RIGHT!!!! THAT'S THE BIGGEST NEWS OF ALL. An official release date: DECEMBER 7th, 2004!!!!!!]
The point I was generally trying to make, is that this is really a make-or-break year for the fandom. The DVD is coming out. And you have yourselves to thank. Particularly those of you who have attended previous Gatherings. Disney took notice, and you're continued support gave me the wherewithal to push them. But now the ball is squarely in your court.
People are always asking me what they can do to get the show back in some way, shape or form. Now the answer is obvious. You want the show back? Prove it!!
Buy the DVD! You want the second season on DVD? Buy the first. Buy it for yourself. Buy it for friends, family and co-workers for Birthdays and Holidays.
More than that, SPREAD THE WORD!!!!! Even if everyone attending G2004 bought ten copies, that would only be a drop in the bucket. We need to reach out to fans who have drifted. To people who don't yet know about the fandom. To people who perhaps haven't even seen the show yet.
Disney has no idea how many units this thing is going to sell. Their downside is fairly protected, but the upside is potentially huge. FAMILY GUY sold so many DVDs that they're making new episodes. FIREFLY, a series that didn't last one season on television (despite its brilliance), sold so many DVDs that they're making a theatrical feature film. We would have to sell a ton of DVDs to match their success. But if we do, the sky's the limit.
You're my missionaries here. So support the fandom. Make ASK GREG a weekly stop… I'm going to try to coordinate efforts to boost DVD sales, so keep posted for news and updates:
Pre-Register to G2005 (or at the least purchase a fully-upgradable Supporting Membership).
[It's still the G2004 site for now, but it'll shortly turn over to feature info on G2005.]
Keep in mind that money that comes to the con EARLY is worth more than money that comes late. To afford multiple guests, the con needs funds earlier than later. That's why pre-registering is cheaper. Buy now, save money and the worst thing that happens is that you cannot attend and you've contributed a few bucks to the fandom you love.
[Keep in mind, I earn nothing from Gargoyles or the fandom - other than massive ego boosts. Nothing to sneeze at.]
But don't give up on attending G2005 either. You have a year to save up a Gathering fund. A year to arrange for roommates or pals for a road trip. Flights to Vegas are traditionally inexpensive from most locations. Again, bring in new newbies by showing them the show and addicting them. We want to break all attendance records.
Now, you may think I'm riffing here and have gotten off topic. But in fact, I said all this and more at Opening Ceremonies.
Right about then, I introduced the DVD Vid-Documentary Crew (David, Howard & Thierry). They were there to tape the entire convention. All the primo events. But they were also there to interview the fans about how Gargoyles changed their lives.
Then … finally… I got to what I like to call my own version of the Rocky Horror Gargoyles Show.
I showed the original Gargoyles Pitch Video.
The original Gargoyles Promo Video.
The original Gargoyles Presentation Video (narrated by Jonathan Frakes).
The original pitch for "The New Olympians" spin-off series.
The original pitch for "Gargoyles: The Dark Ages" prequel series.
The animatic/storyboard/leica reel for the "Bad Guys" spin-off.
That was followed by the Audio Tape of the never animated "The Last". This was a cross-over episode between Team Atlantis & Gargoyles featuring the voices of Marina Sirtis, Frank Welker, Sheena Easton, Cree Summer and others. As usual, the grunts of battle had different implications in a vacuum. And given the dirty minds of most of the attending, those implications are fairly self-evident.
And thus ended Opening Ceremonies. But Friday wasn't over. Stay tuned for more…