Friday, December 08, 2006

Marvelous Sidebar (updated):

As you all know, I am a huge Firefly fan. Couldn't swing the big convention this year (or last year, though that was a bit before my conversion), but I truly envied all the shiny folks who bought their tickets months and months in advance for such a fun event. The Big Damn Flanvention II. No, that's not a typo.

It's a Browncoat thing.

So anyway, I'm browsing around the 'Verse yesterday evening and I come across this post on WHEDONesque about how, at the literal last minute, the convention people -- a group called Booster Entertainment -- dropped the ball and cancelled the Flanvention. Less than 24 hours from the kick-off. Seriously.

Hundreds...thousands?...of people had purchased tickets and airfare and hotel reservations and rental cars and God only knows what else to be at this thing and rub elbows with the actors and writers and such, and BE supposedly ran out of money. At the last minute.

The vast majority of these people can't even get refunds. Some people were already at the Burbank Hilton, where the event was supposed to take place. It was a disaster.

But...let us not forget that these are no ordinary fans. These are Browncoats. They do the impossible on a regular basis. They got a half-season TV show made into a feature film that earned back its dough. These folks even made Amazon's top 1000 with the documentary they made of that process, Done the Impossible.

These people are extremely organized, and they don't give up.

So, they're throwing a Backup Bash for those who couldn't or wouldn't change their plans. Yeah, they may have lost their money on that con of a convention planner, but they're by God gonna have a good time.

And then...the Big Damn Heroes showed up. First, it was Adam Baldwin -- my own adored Jayne. He showed even though he knew it was cancelled and he wouldn't get paid. He sat down in the Hilton's bar with those disappointed, furious, frustrated fans and had a drink and lifted their spirits until everyone was sure that the Backup Bash was on. Then, a few of the other actors/writers/people signed on for other events over the weekend.

And then...the other Browncoats kicked in. Ya know, the ones who weren't going anyway. The ones who could and did change their plans. The ones who just now found out about the Flanvention in the first place. They donated their own hard-earned cash so that the people stuck in Burbank could have their Flanvention run by the amazingly organized Browncoats who had already used their contacts in the Biz to get the big names there and to set up events and shindigs and food and lodging. They gave of themselves with no chance of return so that others who had been so blatantly ripped off could have at least something to show for their coinage.

In just over 18 hours, they raised $3200. That number is still on the rise.

You know, the vast majority of the time, I pity the human race for its lack of foresight, compassion, or logic. Individuals are capable of great acts, sure, but the bulk of humanity is short-sighted and selfish.

And then something like this happens, and I feel better.

Thanks to all the Browncoats who are helping each other out, and thanks to the actors and other personnel who are giving of their time for their fans. I know those Flan-goers appreciate it, but it's gotta be nice to hear that others appreciate it, too.

[EDIT: Here is a quick story from someone who didn't know it was cancelled until he arrived, but still managed to have fun anyway because the Big Damn Heroes showed up for free and some other well-organized big damn heroes managed to salvage the fiasco. Gotta love those Browncoats. Gotta love those actors.]


At 8:45 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

You know that I'm a BIG time fan of Firefly but I certainly hadn't heard about this debacle.

Kudos and applause to those folks for helping out those in need. I haven't gone to a lot of conventions but it's certainly no minor thing to fly out to one, what with, as you mentioned, airfare, hotels, time off from work, etc.

Wouldn't it have been so utterly shiny to hunker down at a bar with Adam Baldwin!! *grin*

At 2:12 PM, Blogger GutterBall said...

Oh, absolutely! That would have just about made my decade!

But it just goes to show that these actors know something special when they're a part of it, and even though the show is gone and there probably won't be another movie, they know where they're loved. And they pay it back with stuff like this.

And Nathan Fillion showed up today (yesterday?) with a box full of stuff from his own closet to give away, starting with people who had travelled the farthest. I'm talking everything from Serenity/Firefly money to his own Harry Potter book. Heh.

And Alan Tudyk showed even though he had been cancelled way earlier to work on a film. He wasn't even supposed to be there and he showed up just to make the fans happy. Good on him.

It's just a good story to hear about. It's people who are determined to enjoy their chosen fandom whether The Man lets them or not. Good times.

At 10:05 PM, Blogger Joely Sue Burkhart said...

What a great story. Now *that's* a convention I would love to go to!


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