Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Adopt a Fan

The convention scene in Omaha is once again becoming crowded (look at the convention history of the 1990s). What's different this time the various conventions are working together to raise the bar on Nebraska's convention experience. But that doesn't mean Omaha has enough of a current con-goers base to support them all.

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 is a Science Fiction Convention with Something for Everyone. If we have missed your friends interests let us know. We have a forum:   osfes.org/Forums/index.php, sign up today. Better yet have your friend do so also and the two of you can tell us how to make OSFest better. To help facilitate bringing a friend to OSFest, we are offering a Christmas Special this year. Between now and Christmas, you can purchase a membership for yourself AND one for a friend for a total of $50. That's a $60 value; we'll even throw in a certificate suitable to giving. Spread the joy, go to www.osfes.org/registration.htm and give the gift of fandom.
OSFest 5: The Gathering is July 27-29, 2012. I hope to see you their and your friend too.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

OSFest 5’s Program Participants (2)

It takes a lot of hard work on the part of a lot of folks to pull off a really great convention. The Omaha Science Fiction Education Society (the parent organization of OSFest) has been lucky in finding a lot of talented people to help us.

Daniel Nielsen is another area author that has contributed his expertise in the field of epic Fantasy fiction. He has participated on panels like: Writer’s Tech, Slash and Sparkle, and What If? (A discussion panel where the panelists drew alternative reality questions from a hat to talk about). Daniel is a self-described writer of dark fantasy; he has two books to his credit: Darksteel Destinies and These Old Bones, as well as an assortment of short stories and poetry. After discovering the joys of world building at an early age and his community library to feed his mythological cravings, Dan took to regaling his classmates with his fantasy worlds while still in school. With literary influences such as C.S. Lewis’ Narnia series and Glen Cook’s Black Company books, this is a new author you need to take the time to get to know.

Patrick Kennedy is an old hand when it comes to SF conventions. He has been doing SF art for as long as I have known him. He also put together the first 3-day SF convention in Nebraska: Electracon back in 1980. For the last two years Pat has graciously taken people on tours of our Art Show, explaining how various artists create their works and how individual attendees can take home a collection of it for their own. He also loves to talk about books, media, and of course art. He is still from Kearney, NE where he started Nebraska conventions.

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

A Little Bit of Hometown Horror

by Jason Burns
On December 4th I once again got the opportunity to be a part of The Dead Hour a web based horror anthology filmed here in Omaha.  This was my second time playing a background character in the show the first was in Fright Fest which kicked off the second season of The Dead Hour on October 18th 2011 and now I’m going to be in All Hollow’s Eve which will launch on January 17th 2012.

The Dead Hour was created by the same minds who made the indie horror movie The Wretched, Director Daniel B. Iske and Writer Scott Coleman.  The Dead Hour is same vein as Tales From the Crypt and Creep Show it stars Melissa Holder as DJ Raven a radio talk show host that bring her audience tales of horror and suspense.  The first season first launched on October 27, 2010 with the episode Donor followed by four more episodes Alcoholic Vampire, Cougar, The Hole and Cannibal Girls. 

Second season launched on October 18, 2011 with Fright Fest and will consist of 9 episodes which will end with Fireside Lounge on February 28, 2012.  The first four episodes have been launched with the next one being Gross Anatomy on December 13, 2011.

Season one of The Dead Hour was one of the shows we had at our 2011 indie film fest at OSFest 4 and season two will be shown at OSFest 5.  During OSFest 4 we also had a panel on Make-up and Effects ran by Ryan Lacy of The Spider and The Fly FX who is now head of make-up FX for The Dead Hour.

The Dead Hour is a work of passion for the crew and they volunteer their time and money to create it and are always open to anyone who what to help in any way they can for more information on what you can do for The Dead Hour click the link below.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

OSFest 5’s Program Participants (1)

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.
An Omaha native and published author: Matthew Rotundo is one such Program Participant. With Matt having the experience of attending the Odyssey Writer's Workshop, he has been asked and agreed to run a writer's workshop each year at OSFest. So if you are interested in writing, come out this July and see what challenges he will have for you. He was also the 2008 winner in the Writers of the Future Contest, and has had several stories published. So he is able to talk about the craft of writing, like in "Redshirts: How to Kill Your Characters"; and with his passion for movies he is a natural fit for media related talks; like "The Magnificent Seven & The 7 Deadly Sins" and "Star Trek: Back to Basics. Does the Reboot Work?"
Kansas City based ConBarbie; Sherri Dean, is also a published author but first and foremost she is a huge fan. She has many convention based experiences to draw on while she helps with past convention panels like: "Top Ten Tips For Getting Published", "Fantasy: Zombie Iron Chef: Brains anyone?", and "Bump: There Goes The Neighborhood". This lady knows her way around a convention and how to get the most fun out of the time she spends with friends. Join her for "How To Enjoy A Convention" panel sometime and learn something new.
But learning something new and interacting with new and old friends is what conventions are about. Attend as many conventions as you can; OSFest 5 will be July 27-29, 2012 at the newly remodeled Ramada Plaza (72nd & Grover). I hope to see you there.