Tuesday, December 13, 2011
But we can grow that base!
Do you know anyone who reads SF/Fantasy/Horror/Manga or routinely watches similar programming, either it is live action or animated? Maybe it's time to introduce that person to your family of convention goers. Mentor them through a local convention. Guide them through the hazardous registration process, explore with them the map of activities (aka, the program book), navigate the expensive currents of the dealer's room and art show, lead them to the Sto'Vo'Kor or at least the con suite, and most importantly, introduce them to the friends you have made in the con-circuit. I know most fans when presented with a neo-con attendee, would likely bend his/her ear off telling them about the joys of conventions and do everything in their power to make them feel welcome and a part of our family.
If we want to keep the great variety of conventions that are now happening in Nebraska, we need to grow the base of fans that attend so we can afford the facilities we need. Believe me the hotels would rather book weddings; they are more profitable than us cheapo fans. So the next time you go to a local convention, bring a friend.
OSFest 5: The Gathering is July 27-29, 2012. I hope to see you their and your friend too.
Thursday, December 8, 2011
But learning something new and interacting with new and old friends is what conventions are about. Attend as many conventions as you can, so you can meet new people. OSFest 5 will be July 27-29, 2012 at the newly remodeled Ramada Plaza (72nd & Grover). I hope to see you there.
Tuesday, December 6, 2011
Thursday, December 1, 2011
The backbone of any convention's program schedule is the participants who volunteer to staff the various events and functions that go to make up the convention experience. Their expertise range from writing and collecting, through media analysis and costume creation; and they freely offer this expertise to everyone attending the panels they offer. Between now and July, I hope to feature as many of these great people as I can. Here are the first two.
Tuesday, November 29, 2011
Well this is a new catagory of GOH for us. We have a Horror Guest of Honor this year. Join us at OSFest 5 and meet the founder and head of the Zombie Research Society: Matt Mogk. While he holds a Masters Degree from New York University Film School, specializing in horror in cinema, he went on to receive advance combat and survival training from the French Foreign Legion
He earned a Masters degree from New York University Film School where he specialized in horror in cinema, before receiving advanced combat and survival training in the French Foreign Legion, the mercenary wing of the French Military.
Putting those two skill sets together with his lifelong interest in the Undead, Matt created the Zombie Research Society in 2007 where he is still their Head Researcher. The ZRS boasts a membership of over 60,000 zombie academics and enthusiasts on 6 continents, with dozens of local chapters. Omaha is fortunate to host one of those chapters.
But Mr. Mogk's talents don't end there. He has written two books: Everything You Ever Wanted To Know About Zombies and That's Not Your Mommy Anymore: A Zombie Tale. He also appeared on Spike TV's Deadliest Warrior, in the last episode of the third and final season: Vampires vs. Zombies. He along Max Brooks (author of World War Z) comprised Team Zombie.
Thursday, November 24, 2011
Well we finally did it, signed a contract with a new hotel – a bigger hotel – a hotel that should be easier to get to. The Ramada Plaza Omaha – Hotel – Convention Center/CoCO Key Water Resort will be the gathering point for OSFest 5. We will have more and larger rooms (no more converting hotel rooms into programming space), a large suite for our con suite, real suites for attendees to throw parties in, and a grand foyer to spread out registration (and hopefully speed things up.
Tuesday, November 22, 2011
Cynthia Martin (aka Cindy Martin) is a comic book artist best known for her work on the Marvel Comics Star Wars title, where she drew the covers of issues 92 & 93, then went on to pencil issues 94-107.
She began her career drawing on Ms. Victory Special #1 for AC Comics in 1985. In the early 1990's she did some very memorable work for Marvel's Web of Spider-man series as well as the afore mentions Star Wars title. She has also worked for: DC Comics (on both Wonder Woman and The Blue Beetle), Eclipse Comics, First Comics, Topps Comics (Jason Goes to Hell – The Final Friday), Dark Horse Comics (GoGirl), and a number of other small presses. She even did a stint drawing the Camp Horror Queen: Elvira, in her comic series. She was one of the few women working in mainstream American comics during that time.Recently she has been illustrating for Capstone Press and How to Draw Comic Heroes for Edge Books. She worked with Lela Dowling on Dragonflight: Graphic, a graphic novel set in Anne McCaffery's Pern universe. Her current projects include books for ABDO Publications.
"Martin's clean lines and strong sense of movement during action scenes set her apart from other Star Wars artists of the time. Her work displayed the influence of Japanese manga long before it became common in American comics." from her Wikipedia page.So join us as we celebrate the accomplishments of this distinguished artist, July 27-29, 2012 at OSFest5: The Gathering.
Thursday, November 17, 2011
Meet this entertaining author at OSFest 5 – July 27-29, 2012. And despite his self-described inability to write at David Copperfield's level, I know you find his writings intriguing and fun.
Tuesday, November 15, 2011
But what goes into having an art show? Lots of things. All of the artists need to be contacted so they know where to bring their art – or where to send it if they won't be at the convention in person. Organization and planning are needed to make sure nothing gets lost. And when you purchase that glorious image, the artists need to get paid for their sales.
There is also some special furniture needed to put on an art show, called art panels, or "flats." Most of the art is in the form of paintings or drawings, and they need to be hung up on something. Hotels get pretty testy about driving nails into walls to hang art, so conventions bring in flats. It is rumored that the first art shows just had paintings lying on the floor, and you'd walk around looking down at them. That didn't end well.
OSFest used wood frame flats for the past four years. They had been constructed almost two decades ago, and served well at conventions such as Concussion, Nuke-con, AnimeNebrasKon, oh and OSFest. But wear and tear had taken their toll.At OSFest 4 we decided to retire those venerable display boards and at OSFest 5, next July you will see art displayed on newly designed art flats. The design is very flexible, they will fit whatever room we happen to be using. It is also much lighter and compact for storage and transport. (Ask some of our volunteers how easy it was to move the old flats!) And they are intergratible with the art flats used by Constellation so either convention will be able to effective double its art show when possible.
Of course, you don't care about what the art is hanging on. The point is that a lot of work goes into producing the show, some of it as mundane as cutting PVC pipe to hang the pretty art, which is what you really want to see. So come to OSFest 5 and see what national artists have dreamed up for our enjoyment, you might even want to buy one or two to take home. See you in July.
Thursday, November 10, 2011
But you were there, Right? If so, you know what a great time it was and if not, why not? Fandom is a group adventure. A time to meet people, share what you love about the genres you have in common, and learn about genres you haven't experienced yet. Get involved in the fannish community. AnimeNebrasKon is the last Midwest convention for the year, so now is the time to plan your calendar for 2012. Look for one you like, get a membership, plan to meet the guests, for they are often really terrific people, then go and make new friends.
OSFest 5: The Gathering will be July 27-29th, 2012, while our hotel is not confirmed yet, it will be in Omaha (it is the Omaha Science Fiction and Fantasy Festival). You can keep up with our plans at file:///H:/OSFES/Blog/2012/www.osfes.org.
Tuesday, November 8, 2011
The last weekend of October brought us the latest edition of the convention that Joe Haldeman built; ICON.
This last decade has been a rocky time for this venerable old friend. Where ICON began its days as a Iowa City convention run by the Science Fiction League of Iowa Students (SFLIS), it was later moved to Cedar Rapids, Iowa as SFLIS gave way to the Mindbridge Foundation. Mindbridge is the fan support organization responsible for both ICON and AnimeIowa. A few years ago with declining memberships, Mindbridge decided to pull the plug on ICON. Then a couple of dedicated fans came up with a plan to save this stalwart of Midwest fandom. And for the last five years that plan has given the community an engaging intimate convention experience.
ICON 36 was another successful event and a fun time. Imagine if you will the lobby of the Marriott Hotel converted into a open air art show, a femaleized Dalek, and a plethora of room parties. Great conventions are made by the great fans that attend them. We may be nearing the end of the 2011 convention season in the Midwest but the 2012 season starts in a couple of months. Check out at least one of the area conventions, preferably one that you have not attended before, and meet some of those fans that make the convention great.
OSFest 5: The Gathering is scheduled to come together July 27-29, 2012. Come and have a great time.
Thursday, November 3, 2011
The first activity will help make the community stronger. This weekend at AnimeNebrasKon, we will be holding a Community Fan Forum. Join us Saturday at noon to talk about what is happening in the area and what you would like to have happen. Representatives of most of the conventions in the area will be present to listen to what you thought about their efforts and what you would like to see happen in the future.
If you can’t make that panel, there are other ways you can express your interest in the community. Join a forum, OSFES has one (http://osfes.org/Forums/index.php),
AnimeNebrasKon has another (http://forums.animenebraskon.com/viewforum.php?f=19)
and there are other groups with forums. But express your opinions or we won’t know what you want.
So let us know anyway you can. OSFest 5 will be July 27-29, 2012. Bookmark this blog or go to www.osfes.org as we keep making plans.
Friday, July 29, 2011
Yes we had our share of SNAFUs but I hope they didn’t mar your enjoyment of the weekend. If they did, please let us know so we can improve the experience for you next year. Go to the OSFES Forum at: http://osfes.org/Forums/index.php and let us know. Also if there was something you particularly liked, let us know so we can do it again.
Next year: OSFest 5 The Gathering will be held July 27-29, 2012. If it is anything like this year we need more people. If you are interested in helping run a convention or even just having a say in what happens; join the omaha_ne_scifi_con Yahoo group at: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/omaha_ne_scifi_con/ and we will let you know when our planning meetings are. Just remember is you voice a really good idea, you may be asked to carry it out – with all the help we can give you of course.
But right now we want your thoughts about the convention and how we can improve it. So either drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org or go to the OSFES Forum at: http://osfes.org/Forums/index.php and tell us what you think. Remember we only learn from our mistakes, so don’t be afraid to point them out to us.
We really can't say this enough. From everyone at the Omaha Science Fiction Education Society: Thanks!
Sunday, July 17, 2011
This year the Omaha Chapter of the Zombie Research Society will be holding a Jail and Bail fund raising event for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.
If you have never participated in or heard of a Jail and Bail, the concept is quite simple. You go to the headquarters of the people running the Jail and Bail to swear out a warrant for someone. A fee/donation is charged to fill out a warrant and you have to let the arresting parties know where the person you want arrested is, also how they will know who they are. The Officers then go and arrest the person named in the warrant, return them to the designated Jail where they must stay for a period of time or Bail themselves out (another fee/donation). Then they are free to swear out a warrant against you and the fun goes on.
What will make this event unique to the Jail & Bails I have seen elsewhere is that the Arresting Officers will be Hordes of Zombies. This should be a really fun event happening on Saturday of OSFest 4.0: System Upgrade. I hope to see you there.
Sunday, July 10, 2011
The Steampunk Society of Nebraska is a varied group of individuals drawn together under the banner of Steampunk. We have members drawn from many subcultures. Artists of many mediums, fashion designers, goths, makers, costumers, reenactors, academics, administrators, and just good ole salt-of-the-earth people can be found as members of the SSoN. We have been around for almost two years and have a membership of almost two-hundred people. We gather for occasions from picnics to socials to photo sessions and crafting events.
The Steampunk Society of Nebraska couldn't let an OSFest go by without coming out and sharing Steampunk with the community. We hope to spark an interest in the steamier side of sci-fi and fantasy and encourage people to join our happy little family.
Thursday, July 7, 2011
The Zombie Research Society (ZRS) was founded in 2007 as an international non-profit organization dedicated to raising the level of zombie scholarship in the Arts and Sciences. Their membership reflects the group's diverse backgrounds, interests, and research, but they are unified in their support of the ZRS' foundational principles:
- A zombie is a biologically definable, animated being occupying a human corpse
- The zombie pandemic is coming. It is not a matter of if but a matter of when.
- Enthusiastic debate about zombies is essential to the survival of the human race.
Omaha has a chapter of this organization doing the research and training called for by the parent group. Part of their efforts is the production of a podcast: Undead Air. They also have monthly meetings, the times and locations of these are published on their Facebook page.
OSFest is honored to have these fine folks bringing and sharing their talents with us this July 22-24, 2011. In addition to a Leukemia Society fund raising event, they will be sponsoring a Zombie makeup workshop, offering tips to survive the zombie pandemic, and discussing our current love affair with zombie books and movies. They are a great group and you will have a fun time meeting them. So join us at the Old Mill Crowne Plaza this summer for OSFest 4.0: System Upgrade.
Monday, July 4, 2011
Becky Potter is the president of the Nebraska Japanese Animation Society and convention chair of Anime NebrasKon, the oldest and largest Japanese animation (anime) convention in the state of Nebraska. Becky's leadership in the anime community started while serving for four years as the president of Otaku Jinrui: The UNL Anime Club. In 2004, the club decided to host a one-day event for a fund-raiser. When 300 people attended, the club committed to the event's continuation and expansion.
The event, Anime NebrasKon, now in its eighth year, has over 2,000 attendees, over 150 activities, and 60,000 square feet of convention space at the CoCo Key Water Resort - Convention Center in Omaha, NE. Becky has served as the convention chair since its inception, and works with 30 preplanning staff and an additional 45 staff members the days of the convention. All of the staff members are volunteers who work diligently for the convention attendees. "Our goal is to offer a great event that has something for everyone, no matter how much that person knows about anime. We're all fans of something, and it's great to come together to share that fandom. We want to build more than an event; we want to create lasting friendships and a strong community." To fortify that community, NebrasKon has networked with conventions such as OSFest to offer free mini-events and to promote other local organizations and activities.
When she's not working on Anime NebrasKon planning, Becky can often be found at events around the region as an attendee. She has served as a panelist on the topics such as the state of local fandom, the process of running clubs and organizations, and perhaps most notably, the strategy of becoming an effective evil overlord. Outside of the fandom scene, Becky works on her "real life" (but cool!) job as a Human Resources Project Manager at Union Pacific, and spends her spare time creating a fantasy-genre novel.
So learn more about this industrious local fan at OSFest 4.0:System Upgrade this July 22-24, 2011. We hope to see you there.
Friday, July 1, 2011
This year sixteen of science fiction's finest starships will be selected by the panelists and the audience to have at each other until one becomes victorious. The five panelists and the audience together will decide which starship in each match is the victor and which is debris.
Right now we need your help to choose the starships that will enter, which captains have enough moxie to command them, and what environments they will fight in. Please make your suggestions on our forum page by clicking this link. A copy of the rules can be found at http://www.osfes.org/programming_starship.html.
Will the U.S.S. Defiant commanded by Captain Jack Sparrow prevail over a Babylon 5 White Star commanded by Captain Crunch? You can help decide. Then watch mayhem unfold at OSFest 4.0 System Upgrade Saturday July 23 at 11PM. We hope to see you there.
Below is the video of last year's final round:
Thursday, June 30, 2011
Sarah Clemens graduated from Florida Atlantic University with a degree in fine arts and art history, and the conviction that she would always be an artist in one capacity or another. She has freelanced in logo design and book cover illustration and photography, worked as the curator of exhibits at a science museum and for the last fifteen years been a medical illustrator.
But the need for self-expression is most important, and she began creating her own challenges, in the form of large oil paintings of friends and family members. Her realistic approach was second nature, after so many years of meticulous detailing in medical illustration. She has shown her work at galleries in Palm Beach, Florida and Boca Raton, Florida, Scottsdale Arizona and Beverly Hills, as well as exhibiting at the Society of the Four Arts in Palm Beach and the Armory Art Center in West Palm Beach and the Mesa Art Center in Mesa, Arizona. A recent move to the Southwest has been inspiring, and trips to the Grand Canyon for intensive photographic shoots are sure to show up in her paintings.
All this and she plays a Theremin too. So come and make this expressive artist welcome at OSFest 4.0:System Upgrade this July 22-24, 2011. Just beware of cats with small dragons as their friends.
Monday, June 27, 2011
A recently discovered prophecy says that the Shroud has come to Earth but that prophecy, written in ancient Klingon, has been split into many segments and hidden throughout the hu'Man hotel known as the Old Mill Crowne Plaza. Members of the Klingon Bird of Prey IKV Raptor's Heart, who have been sent from Qo'nos to investigate, need your help in retrieving the segments and finding the Shroud if it is there.
Here's how it will work: segments of the ancient prophecy will be hidden in the Art Show, Film Room, Con Suite, Dealer's room, Workshop area, and at various panels. Suspected locations will be highlighted in the OSFest 4.0 program book, so read your book. Then go out and enjoy all that the convention has to offer while locating the missing segments. Once you have located the segments; assemble them to reveal the prophecy. Use that knowledge to locate the Shroud and return it to the members of the IKV Raptor's Heart at closing ceremonies.
Remember: collect the segments, assemble them to reveal the prophecy, find the Shroud, return it to a crew member of the IKV Raptor's Heart and receive Honor Eternal.
Friday, June 24, 2011
By Kelly Schultze
That's right! The date auction is back for its second year. By participating in the date auction, you're helping OSFest earn some extra money to keep the convention going and improve it for the next year.
This year we will be offering advance application in addition to at-the-door application. To be "sold" in the date auction, you must provide the following information.
Name: (Your real name is required, but you can specify if you would like us to call you something else)
Short bio: (Give us some fun information on yourself so we can properly introduce you to prospective "buyers")
Sunday, June 19, 2011
In 2006, Rachel Grubb and Brooke Lemke, longtime friends and actresses who frequently appeared in the same productions, had an idea. "What if we made films for women, by women, and about strong women?" Silent But Deadly Productions was born.
Two of their short films, A Broken Family and Young Eyes will be presented during OSFest 4.0 Independent Film Festival. In addition, their first feature-length motion picture, Why Am I In a Box?, will have its Omaha premiere Saturday night.
Why Am I In a Box? is a non-stop thriller that will leave you guessing right up until the end credits. Don't believe me? Join us Saturday night and find out for yourself! Their synopsis of the movie: "Ellen Farnsby is a modern-day Scheherazade. And if she doesn't tell the story of a lifetime, someone else will be writing her obituary. She is kidnapped by Paige, a failed novelist with an ax to grind. Jeremy is a video store clerk whose one talent is fooling himself, and others, that he's an artist. He and a pop junkie of a detective named Lydecker are hunting for Ellen. Will Jeremy and Lydecker find Ellen before a vicious maniac edits her out of existence? Will Ellen write a brilliant novel or end up a tragic movie-of-the-week?"
The OSFest 4.0 Independent Film Festival is a part of
OSFest 4.0:System Upgrade this July 22-24, 2011, admission to all of the films shown is included in your convention membership. To see our current lineup, visit the Film Fest page here: http://osfes.org/film_fest.htm
We hope to see you there.
Thursday, June 9, 2011
From 1977 until 1981 PBS ran a television series created by the late Steve Allen that featured interviews and discussions with some of the greatest figures in history. Everyone from Cleopatra, Ulysses S. Grant and Attila the Hun were called to his round table to talk about the issues of the day. From the Steve Allen website: "Meeting of Minds encourages the viewer and reader, who may be historically illiterate, to become more familiar with the great thinkers and doers of the past and to whet their appetites for more research and study."
At OSFest this summer we are inviting several figures that are part of the science fiction universes we love to that round table (okay more like a pair of rectangular tables) where they can share their collective wisdom about the happenings of today. Join Jules Verne as he invites Anakin Skywalker, Kevin Flynn, Kaylee Fyre from the "Serenity", Vash the Stampede, a Ghostbuster, and Ambassador JaPa from the Klingon High Council, to a spirited conversation. While Monsieur Verne will begin the discussion, come prepared with your questions for our panelists for the discussion will rapidly opened up to the audience, to you.
This should be a really fun event happening on Friday evening shortly after opening ceremonies at OSFest 4.0: System Upgrade. I hope to see you there.
Friday, June 3, 2011
One of the main system upgrades OSFES is making to OSFest 4.0 is a much larger facility. The Old Mill Crowne Plaza will allow us to expand the lineup of activities you have come to expect from Omaha's premiere genre convention.
The first thing you will notice is that each of the event areas will be larger, able to accommodate more fans at everything we plan. Instead of having one independent film in Main Programming on Friday night, we will have three days of continuous genre films created by fans just like you. And if you have an idea for a presentation, grab a camera and start shooting. We might feature you next year.
With a larger room for dealers, we will be moving the Artist Alley out of the common area and into our expanded dealer's room. We will even have room to hold workshops in the same room. And it will be away from programming so sound won't bleed through the walls and interfere with each other.
Tired of small gaming facilities, we are. Both the video and tabletop gaming rooms are double wide hospitality rooms. Each has a board room table and a lounge available, but don't worry we'll have enough tables in them to let you play as long as you like.
The con suite and party room floor will be moved to the top floor with an insulating floor between us and the regular hotel guests. So you can party to your heart's content. Just let our hotel liaison know you want to throw a party and he will arrange for you to have a room on the 6th floor so you can.
So join us July 22-24, 2011 as OSFest 4.0:System Upgrade inaugurates our new hotel. It's going to be a great weekend.
Monday, May 30, 2011
With great computer power comes great special effects – cheap. That means that more and more people are able to use this medium to tell stories with great visual appeal. Everything from YouTube wonders to fully imagined Hollywood style productions will be available for your viewing enjoyment in the OSFest 4.0 Independent Film Festival
Starting 3PM on Friday July 22nd and running continuously until 3PM on Sunday July 24th at the Crowne Plaza Old Mill, OSFest has brought together dozens of genre films produced by the folks who love them. Mitch Obrecht, the Festival Director, has arranged the films into six tracks.
- Documentaries like Trekkies and Six Days in Roswell.
- Short Films like Action Supremo, Play Dead, and A Cup of Hemlock.
- Fan Films like Star Wreck: In the Pirkinning, Star Wars: Spirits of the Force Trilogy, and Browncoats: Redemption.
- Action/Adventure/Drama like The Disk: Code Zero and Thieves Like Us.
- Freaky Fun & Zombies like Motor Home From Hell, Brian Keene's The Ties that Bind, and The Dead Matter.
- The Mihmiverse
with all six of Christopher Mihm's films.
Thursday, May 26, 2011
By Trudy V. Myers
I've been asked to organize a 'fanzine workshop' for OSFest 4.0. I was asked because I used to publish a fanzine, 30 years ago.
Back then, one had to read the slush pile, select the stories one wanted, edit them, re-type the hard copies into the proper format, take the proofs to the printer, collate the results, staple them together... How could I possibly squish all that into a workshop?
But technology has made things easier. Submissions could be made by email, editing done on the computer, and then the final product could be posted on the internet, removing the copy shop from the equation completely. I began to think it could be done. Now, would there be any interest in such a workshop?
Actually, I see this workshop as serving three purposes; it would give people interested in the editing end of publishing a glimpse of what's involved; it would give some fledgling writers a chance for their work to be critiqued by a fresh set of eyes; and offer some interesting reading to the general public.
So, how about it? Is anybody interested?
Writers, would you like to submit a short story set in some well-known universe (not your own) to a market that doesn't pay anything, just for the learning experience? We're asking for stories under 7,000 words, standard format. Please also put the universe of your story on the front page, under your contact information, and send the story attached to an email as a .doc or .docx file. The email address is email@example.com. We will make an effort to find an editor who is familiar with that universe. (If you write in an anime universe, it wouldn't be fair for your editor to be familiar only with Star Trek and Star Wars.)
The basic format of the workshop is about an hour on Friday, where we will hand out manuscripts to the fledgling 'editors', and give some basic instructions on how to choose what stories they want to include in the final product. On Saturday, we'll discuss our selections and decide on layout, editing and so forth. Hopefully, there won't be a lot of editing to do, because we'll have to take turns in the hotel business center to do it. One final meeting on Sunday, where –I hope – we'll have a techno-geek available to help us upload the stories, so everyone can see how it's done.
So, editors, are you interested in learning a bit about editing and publishing a fanzine? If you are, please send me an email at the afore-mentioned address, firstname.lastname@example.org and let me know what universes you are familiar with, so I can try to match you up with submissions.
This workshop may be a little intense, but I'll try not to keep from enjoying too much of the rest of the convention.
Monday, May 23, 2011
I'm sorry for not keeping up with happenings for the last couple of months. I have been busy getting the programming schedule pulled together for the Omaha Science Fiction and Fantasy Festival this summer. OSFest 4.0: System Upgrade is more than just a slogan; it's a commitment to bringing you the greatest possible SF fan experience possible. A lot of what we would like to do this year is interactive; we want to get you involved. Therefore I will be running a series of articles on our plans and how you can make the best use of them.
There has been a renaissance of fan groups forming over the last few years and several of them have agreed to share their fannish passion with us over the July 22-24 weekend. Interested in Medieval recreationism? We have Amtgard, The Barony of Lonely Tower, and the Kingdom of Riverheim coming do show us what they do. In addition to the typical fighting demos, these groups have agreed to show off their pageantry in what I am calling a Tri-Court. For one hour a medieval court will be held with each set of Royalties showing us how they administer to their recreational subjects. We will also have workshops on various arts and sciences the group pursue. Want to make a traditional set of medieval clothes for your next Renaissance Festival? Join the SCA in a T-tunic workshop. Amtgard will be teaching techniques in leather working, macramé and bead working. And of course The Kingdom of Riverheim will again teach people how to make chainmail.
But like I said their will be a wide variety of activities this year, many hands-on. Yet there will still be a lot of traditional programming and I will be talking about these in the weeks leading up to OSFest 4.0. I hope you will take some time and join us on our System Upgrade; July 22-24, 2011.
Saturday, February 26, 2011
By Trudy V. Myers; editor and publisher of Ship To Shore
Somebody suggested that OSFES hold a 'fanzine workshop' at OSFest 4.0. Remembering the hours and hours of typing and layout I used to do, back when I did fanzines, my first reaction was, "No way! Can't be done!"
Since then, the back burner of my mind has been mulling it over and … maybe it could.
Very early fanzines were just a collection of content – letters, stories, whatever – slapped together, mimeographed and disbursed. There was little or no editing done on the contents. There may not have been a coherent page-numbering system or a cover or even a method of holding the pages together.
Certainly, something like that could be done. Would doing it serve any purpose? Because if you're going to offer this as a workshop, there should be some purpose, something people will learn from participating.
I see 3 groups who might be interested in how such a workshop did; the writers who might have their stuff in the 'zine, the workshoppers who want to learn how to do a 'zine, and readers who might be interested in the final product. And if done right, a workshop could benefit all three groups. The writers might get a clue how their writing is doing; the workshoppers might get a glimpse into the life of an editor/publisher, and the readers might actually have something decent to read.
Plans are extremely nebulous right now, but these are my rough thoughts on how such a workshop might work:
- People who want to submit their work for consideration for the OSFest 4.0 fanzine would have to send them in early. I'm thinking we should keep the size of these stories short, maybe 2,000 words each, because I don't want the workshoppers to miss everything else happening at the convention as they try to slop their way through 100,000 words of stories in 24 hours!
- People planning to attend OSFest 4.0 who want to participate in the fanzine workshop would need to check in with The Publisher on Friday to get their assignment. They would be handed their share of the stories in the 'slush pile' to read and decide what was 'good enough' to be considered. They would be given a few basic instructions, such as "If a story hasn't caught your attention by the end of the first page, stop reading; you don't have time."
- In Phase 2 of the workshop, either Saturday night or Sunday morning, the workshoppers would meet again to make their final decision. Stories that did not 'make the grade' would be packaged up for the return home, perhaps with a few comments by the 'workshop participant' to the author. The others would be put together, pages numbered, a Table of Contents page added, and maybe a 'cover'. Then it would get shipped off to a copy shop for reproduction.
- Would the workshoppers need to gather together one more time to correlate the pages and bind them in some way? Or would we ask the copy shop to do that?
- At – or slightly before – closing ceremonies, the finished product would be available for sale at a price that would cover the printing costs.
I haven't worked out where the money comes from to get the printing done. And now that I've put some thoughts down on paper, I can see places where things could be done differently.
Any thoughts? Any interest? Speak now or I'll tell Programming to put this idea back on the shelf.
Wednesday, February 23, 2011
William Nicholas Stone Courtney, better known to Dr. Who fans as Brigadier Alistair Gordon Lethbridge-Stewart or just The Brigadier, died yesterday after a short illness.
Nicholas Courtney, the son of a British diplomat born in Cairo, Egypt in 1929, made guest appearances on The Avengers and The Champions before becoming a regular on Dr. Who. His first appearance on Dr. Who was in the 1965 serial; The Dalek Master Plan (most of which is missing, though a scene with Mr. Courtney still exists) as Space Security Agent Bret Vyon with William Hartnell. In 1968 he was the director's second choice for the role Colonel Alistair Gordon Lethbridge-Stewart in The Web Of Fear with Patrick Troughton. By The Invasion, again with Patrick Troughton, he had been promoted to Brigadier and formed U.N.I.T. This rank and organization would carry him through the entire run of John Pertwee and several episodes of Tom Baker. By the Peter Davidson era, the Brigadier had resigned from U.N.I.T. and taken a position as a school teacher. His appearance with Colin Baker was a "Children In Need" special called Dimensions In Time which is available on YouTube. Finally he donned his old uniform one last time to appear with Sylvester McCoy in Battlefield. He has also worked on radio plays with Paul McCann, allowing him to have worked with all the Classic Dr. Whos. His final appearance as the Brigadier was on a two-part episode of The Sarah Jane Adventures; Enemy of the Bane.
The interplay between Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart and whichever Doctor he was working with, took what could easily have become cardboard characters and breathed life into the roles. The world is a smaller place for the lose of his presence.
Sunday, February 13, 2011
Three duct tape dummies were taped together, including a full-body one. Several cat tails were produced with men relearning the art of using a sewing machine. Talks on how to create costumes with resorting to needle and thread, and how to present you costume on stage were given. And the Steampunk Society of Nebraska help several of us begin construction of steam guns.
We had nice weather, good facilities, and good attendance. To everyone who attended; everyone who taught something; and everyone who helped in the planning: Thanks you. Costuming in Nebraska is growing strong.
But the fun will not stop here. Costuming, cosplay, garb are all terms for the creation of a persona; a persona of someone you would like to be. You learn from others how to accomplice that vision. So to help with the interaction between visionaries, the Nebraska Iowa Costuming Community has been created on Facebook. Be a part, share you hobby, ASK how others do their incredible creations. And we will find you the venues where you can bring your visions to life.
Monday, February 7, 2011
If you need something to display your costume on or just hold it while you work on it, build a Duct-Tape Dummy. Wondering what you can do with fabric if you can't thread a sewing machine, we have a Non-Sewn Costume class. And Cassie has done wonders with having to prick her fingers on those sharp pointy needles. Need a prop to get your Steampunk outfit started, detail a squirt gun into a Steampunk Gun. If you have been collecting honoraries over the years and need show them off, create your own Klingon Honor Sash and wear them proudly. Feel like a cat in human skin, create a set of Cat Ears and Tail for your next convention foray. With Peter Jackson working on The Hobbit, now would be the time to get ideas about costumes from Middle Earth: Hobbits, Elves, and Dwarves, Oh My! Take scraps and build a wonderful head dress to compliment your costume-robe. Or just bring a project you would like some help on and we will have people ready to assist you.
But come and meet fellow costumers, even if you don't think you are one. They can be contagious and fun. See you Saturday!
Friday, February 4, 2011
OSFest 4.0: System Upgrade – coming in July.
OSFest is still months away but we are working hard to make sure our fourth convention has plenty of fun for everyone. Go to osfes.org for information on the (NEW!) hotel, registration, guests, etc. Coming in the next few days: details on our Science Guest of Honor. Hint - He can explain the physics of dark matter and has been to OSFest before. But you don't have to wait till the next convention to have fun...
Omaha Costuming Day is just around the corner
The event is FREE, but if you want to actually make something yourself to take home during a session, there will be a nominal ($3-$8) fee for materials. We've got some great instructors lined up to share their love for what they do, so come on out to join them.
For more details and a schedule of events see "Omaha Costuming Day" on Facebook.
The friendly folks at OSFES
Wednesday, February 2, 2011
On January 29, Aksarben Cinema presented Dr. San Guinary's Creature Feature Live! the first of what they hope will be a monthly event. For their first show, they did the 1957 Sci-Fi classic 20 Million Miles To Earth, starring William Hopper, Joan Taylor and Thomas Browne, directed by Nathan Juran, with visual effects by Ray Harryhausen. The movie is about the return of the first U.S. spaceship from Venus that crash lands in the Mediterranean Sea. The only survivor, Col. Robert Calder (Hopper), is rescued by local fishermen where they find out that a creature they brought back called Ymir has escaped and heading towards Rome.
Almost expected this being the first Creature Feature they had a few bugs to work out. The start time was supposed to be 10:30PM but people weren't let into the theater until 10:40 and then they had some problems with the timing of the show. The event was set up like the old Dr. San Guinary T.V. show where they had an opening host segment to introduce the movie. Local film historian Bruce Crawford read a brief acknowledgement from Ray Harryhausen and also had some actors perform a short sketch. As the night went on, they stopped the film in different places to do some more sketches and got smoother with the transition between film and sketches. After the movie, they moved the props out to the lobby, where they set up a met and greet with the actors and had photo ops.
Over all, it was a fun time, and I'm looking forward to future shows. Aksarben Cinema promises that they are working on other events similar to the Creature Feature and they announced that the next Creature Feature, on February 26, is going to be the original 1933 King Kong. The first show was sold out, so if you want to go to the next one, you might want to look into buying your tickets early.
Monday, January 31, 2011
Tuesday, January 18, 2011
As people get ready for the return of Creature Feature with 20 Million Miles to Earth on January 29th, there is another Ray Harryhausen classic film on TCM the prior Saturday. Jason and the Argonauts will be shown on Turner Classic Movies Saturday January 22nd at 3PM. Before the use of CGI, nobody could do creature effects like Harryhausen. In fact the creature scenes in 20 Million Years to Earth were so well done that the film had to be edited for television, just like the original King Kong had been. I hope everyone gets to enjoy these two great films by the stop-motion master.
Friday, January 14, 2011
Who are they: The Zombie Research Society (ZRS) was founded in 2007 and is dedicated to raising the level of zombie scholarship in the Arts and Sciences. ZRS Members represent diverse backgrounds, interests, and theories, but are unified in their support of the Society's three foundational principles:
- A zombie is a biologically definable, animated being occupying a human corpse.
- The zombie pandemic is coming. It's not a matter of if, but a matter of when.
- Enthusiastic debate about zombies is essential to the survival of the human race.
They are also responsible for the podcast: Undead Air.
So check them out and we'll see what this crew does to the Crowne Plaza this July 22-24 at OSFest 4.0 System Upgrade.
Wednesday, January 12, 2011
Friday, February 11 · 7:00pm - 11:00pm
Created By Steampunk Society of Nebraska
Last year's event was amazing
=- the gathering on Friday, the 11th of February -=
Come join Joe and Patty Carver for a Steampunk Victorian Valentines social. We will be gathering with all of our friends for a 1899 social.
Music will reflect the Steampunk genre as will the dress of the evening.
This is a free event in the potluck style. Bring yourself, a friend, a dish, snacks and/or drinks, but most of all bring a desire to socialize and have fun. Karaoke may be present as well.
There will be a contest at the event: "Sweets for the Sweets". Entries will be steampunk based candies, cakes, or other such desserts. The winning entry will get a prize.
Note: This event may have attendees under the age of 21.
Editor's Note: This would be a great way to view many excellent costumes and get ready for the Omaha Costuming Day on Saturday. Febr. 12th
Friday, January 7, 2011
Omaha has become the home to several fannish activities and groups in the last few years, I'd like to think this is the influence of OSFES but it is probably the effect of a pent-up demand that is finally manifesting itself. Whatever the reason there is now more things to do than ever.
One of those activities is the Gundam Modelers' Workshop at Krypton Comics. Gerald Ngau has organized a time and place each month for modelers to come together and share techniques and tricks. When pressed as to why he builds these scale replicas of giant robots, he responded: "Humm, I never thought about that, I assume when you buy a Gundam model you should know the story and the kind of mobile suit you like to put together. What I can think of in my own perspective is that I enjoy building Gundam models because they are fun to put together, they all come in color and snap together with out using any glue, super articulate great for display, and they come in all sizes and price (ranges), the technology that goes into making the model kit is the most advanced and detail I have seen, they have been around for 30 years and there is a huge follower all over the world."
The Gundam Modeler's Workshop meets the second Saturday of each month at Krypton Comics at 2819 South 125th Ave, # 261. You can contact Gerald for details at: email@example.com. But here are the guidelines as listed on the OSFES activities page:
• Bring your own Gundam (or any anime model kit.
• Bring your own paint and tool.
• Learn how to build a Gundam, share techniques on detailing and how
to post your model once it is complete.
• Showcase your best Gundam model.
• Bring any Hobby Japan or Gundam model magazine to help detail
your Gundam model.
• Exchange web site info.
• No glue require.
• Great fun for all age.
• Best of all the learning is free.
(Warning: We will be using sharp tools.)