So, we're 13 years in the 21st Century, and despite our best efforts, Fandom still remains! And every year, there are new traditions, old feuds renewed, controversies, and fun. What once was a monolith has now fractured into dozens of fannish city-states, trading people and concepts, and occasionally warring with one another.
5 Cons - A Fandom Documentary Series will look at the world of fandom as it is today through the experience of 5 conventions across the US and in Britain, plus how we interact with fans at home through the internet, local clubs, and more. From steampunk at the Nova Albion Steampunk Exhibition (http://steampunkexhibition.com/) to the excellent Midwestern science fiction fun of ConQuest in Kansas City (http://www.conquestkc.org/) where Chris is one of the Guests of Honor, and then on to Westercon, one of the longest-running annual traveling conventions, where we'll be working! (http://www.westercon66.org/). Every year, the Hugos are awarded at the Grand-daddy of all SF cons: WorldCon, with 2013's edition coming straight from San Antonio, Texas (www.lonstarcon3.org/) Finally, we'll be examining UK fans and pros at the World Fantasy Convention held in Brighton. (www.wfc2013.org/). Through interviews and footage gathered at these conventions, along with historic materials, audio, photos, and funkiness, we'll help you figure out what Fandom is, has been, and maybe even what it'll become!
In the end, these episodes will form a document of what fandom is today, at a time when the last of those first generation fans are still with us, legendary fans are still participating, when we're seeing Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram change the ways people fan, and when fandom happens in so many different forums. This is an interesting time for an interesting group of people.
What We Need & What You Get
To make these docs, it's gonna take a little bit of money. We're estimating that our costs will be somewhere between 5 and 7 grand, but we've got to have our own skin in the game, no? So we're settin' our goal at 3500 dollars to cover some travel, a couple of equipment upgrades, random things you never expect like shipping fees for photos, burgers for those nights you get yourself stuck on the road at 2am, and most importantly, gallons and gallons of Pibb Xtra for Chris while he's editing. We're shooting to get this out to you, yes YOU!, by December 31st, 2013, which is a tight timeline, but we know that you'll be happy with what you get!
We'll be giving downloads of each episode to every 25 supporter, plus offering Associate Producer, Assistant Producer, and Executive Producer credits! You could even get a '5 Cons: A 21st Century Fandom Documentary Presented by - ' and your name there!
We're going to be doing this no matter what, but to make the best project possible, and to best document this crazy time in this crazy hobby/lifestyle, we need some help!
We've been busy folks, publishing things like The Drink Tank (2011 Hugo winner - http://efanzines.com/DrinkTank/index.htm) and Journey Planet (2012 Hugo nominee -http://journeyplanet.weebly.com) and we've helped put on events, run lounges at conventions, and much much more. And while we've been doin' it, we've been hoping we could find a way to explain it to our families, and this series is our chance!
We're working with people around the world to make this happen. We're on the edge of a new time and the trail of a much different fandom is slipping away. We're hoping to capture the meaning of what fandom has been and what it will be, and the role that conventions play. Fandom is changing, as it always has, and looking at today is just as important as lookin' at yesterday... only it's easier because cameras shoot in the present tense.
We've put together other docs in the past that've played at festivals including ZerOne and Left Coast Live, narrative shorts in the Conestoga and Cinequest film festivals, and have made events happen around the world. This will be the biggest project, and the materials that we create will be available for everyone who is interested in finding out more about the meaning, and silliness, of fans and fandom.
Other Ways You Can Help
We're always looking for folks to help us get out the word, plus we'd love to interview anyone who's gonna be at any of the conventions we're at! We'd love to hear your stories, see your photos, whatever you might got! we want this to be somethin' that resembles what fandom is at its best: a giant come-together spectacular where ever'body plays a role!