AV Connection '03




av '02


People would justifiably expect that a second-year Convention would run so much smoother than the last year, that the memory of the last year would haemmorage from them, leaving them with a feeling of calm. Or some garbage like that. Well, the Con was bigger and brighter than last year. Better planned, with a lot more events going on. Of course, this led to a whole new host of problems that hadn't been brainstormed before-hand. So the little Con, that caused a little headache in it's year of birth entered the terrible two's. Tantrums and stressful confrontations occurred that no matter how much you tried, it just couldn't be spanked from the child, and spank we did!

Err... perhaps you should just ignore the last comment.



Mordak finally snatched up the Plectrum of Sealing. With this mystical item, he unlocked his Ax of Slaying, and totally messed up the analogy. This, is of course, a friendly reminder to read up on last year's Con, so you can get a feel for how both went down.


Now I can safely begin by saying my recollection of this Con isn't as concrete as it well-should be. I'll miss the finer points, that will no doubt be reminded to me. So with that in mind, let's give this a shot.

My journey this time begins on a crisp Friday morn. For whatever reason last Con, I neglected to turn up to help set up. Whatever the reason was, I'm sure it was pointless and mostly just apathetic. Anyway, back to the morn.

If memory serves, I got up at about 6:00: cloistered in a sleeping bag atop the showroom sheets awaiting the auction on Saturday. Of course, a below zero sleeping bag isn't enough to keep me warm, so I had a winter-weight quilt dropped on top of it as well. I woke up sore, and dehydrated. The BEST way to wake up.

So fifteen minutes after I was supposed to be up, I eventually writhed to the floor, and collapsed. I hadn't packed my bag like I had intended to the prior night, so that happened throughout my scramble. Hygiene was paramount, and I waste a good half an hour in the bathroom, showering and shaving. I... think I ate breakfast, which would aid me in things to come *forboding percussion* Ham and cheese muffins, or something. Quite good.

Because I knew that I would be marooned at the Con with nary a food to eat, my bag became a mish-mash of culinary disaster. A butterknife joined the dive into the pack, along with it's charge: an orange. A museli bar, sticky as all joined something much more 'attractive': two fruit buns. OHH. That's what I had for breakfast too. Stupid me. To wash this quasi-lunch down, add to the mix one bottle of water. Ehh... I tossed my clipboard and sketching gear in there too, but I didn't think they'd be of any use.

After dressing, and double checking the departure of the bus, it clicked that I had to purchase a new multitrip, or I couldn't get home tonight. As my unemployment seems to have gone on for an eternity, I went to my last vestige of currency. My Swiss Bank of bling bling. My- WHERE IN THE TEN LAYERS OF HELL IS IT?! OK. This is the part where I run around madly, tearing up the room I had prepared for the auction tomorrow in a futile search for $7. This happened a mere half an hour before my bus. Of course, I never panic during. That's quite dull actually. Panicking would have been a lot better to write about.

After a phonecall with Dad, then Mark - to assure there would be some scratch when I arrive, I slap on my Walkman, and set off to the bus stop. Not really a hike, just a few minutes away. Of course, the cattawaling from the terrible morning crew sickened me. Arriving at the main arterial to the city, I pulled my hat down lower, adjusted my windcheater, and waited for the bus on the METAL seats. A poor choice for Australia: steaming hot during Summer and butt-chafingly cold during Winter. So to avoid chafing of the posterior, I paced back and forth after mere moments of sit-itude.

I know I'm going on, but I'm setting the scene, and not all that much happened.

The bus ground to a halt, after I signalled. Like a well-trained... hulking piece of metal. I did my regular "be polite to people that have the power to plow your vehicle into the side of a convenience store" routine, then found a seat where I had to look at the least amount of humanity possible. The bus trip was mostly uneventful. I think there may've been a good song or two on at some time, and I'm sure my incessant tapping on the window sill drove more than one passenger barmy.

With the customary thanks for my arrival minus death to the disgruntled, and prone to striking transport employee, I set out for the University of Slight Disfigurement-t! *thunder* I arrived ten minutes or so before 12pm: the scheduled time that we were supposed to start setting up. Of course, after several patrols of the two levels to be used for the Con, I failed to find anyone. Camping with my eye trained on the stairs, like I did some days ago against James on Opposing Forces. Unfortunately, just like that game, I kept accidently capping Simon, my team-mate instead. None of the meatbags that staggered around were Stinys, or committee members. Of course, it hadn't clicked that the lass (Bec) that waited on the walkway nearby was one of the Stinys, but none of us perfect are.

Of course, I then get fragged by Neil. Oppertunistic. Came from behind. Coward. Upon establishing that only the four of us had arrived (it was Neil +1. There'll be a lot of names that don't appear. I suck at names). Right. So we decided to start setting up. Well, carting's more appropriate a term. Mark turned up in the process, and someone else... so I set out to help unload the van downstairs, while a larger group nursed the equipment at the locked Union Cinema. The elevator and I became fast friends. It gets slightly tiresome dragging everything up and down five flights of stairs. So as Neil unloaded gear, "we" slowly got everything upstairs. Audio equipment, games, drinks, Pocky: that kind of shite. Connell turned up in the process, and in turn, his gear was moved up.

At some point, the Union Cinema was opened by the Stewart. Heh... wait - that isn't funny. Writing all of this is screwing with my head. OK. So we double handled all the gear into the Cinema for safe-keeping. With a now-enlargened group of workers, we set about deciding on who would go where. Mark was yet to get the badges printed out, and Connell was conscribed into being the transport. Again. Poor Connell... I wanted to tag along, because of my superior being able to push a trolley and carry things skills, but all of this would have been far too complicated to explain. So as the number of people that would entreat to OfficeWorks, and KFC (Lunch was needed) exploded to six, I made my way out to the car.

This tactic seemed to work perfectly, as the number became three before they reached the car. Beurocracy thinning the number by levels of importance. My excuse was that I wanted a multitrip, but I knew that my presence was required. So, after a relatively dull car-trip, broken up by a small arguement about which venue to go to first, it was decided that we get all of the stationary first.

I'm pretty sure I said we should scare the normals to Connell as we walked in to OfficeWorks, and by the end I'm sure we had. Mark and Bec peeled off to get all the badges printed, while Connell and I snatched up a trolley and started to decipher Mark's scrawl. It was a pretty nice range of stationary... I guess... For someone that does all of his artwork off one HB pacer and whatever paper I find looking around that is. So after a small time, and eventually resorting to crossing items we had gotten from the list, heaven forbid, we came back to Mark.

After snatching up some whiteboard erasers that were nowhere near the whiteboard markers, we retired to wait with a partially full trolley at the desk of the print studio. They weren't done yet. After a load of pop culture remeniscence, and line quotage, they still weren't done. After complaining about food, and repeatedly checking the time they still weren't finished. Let's just say it took over two freaking hours. Time that was only partially spent well.

KFC came and went fast. All I got was a box of large chips. I had to conserve the $20 I borrowed from Mark. It had to be spread a little thin.

Right, now this is where things get a little hazy, but I'll give it a go. The food was deposited downstairs, where Neil and a small army of Stinys had done quite a good job at getting things set up. Most of the committee present were clustered around the centre of the room, that housed a quartet of couches, facing a small stage. So food was consumed, words were exchanged, and I got bored and messed around on a flat top trolley for a while.

I went back upstairs and helped Drew arrange the tables again, in preparation for the arrival of goods from Madman. Uhh... yeah. I did that.

So the next thing I remember is a small group of us began to stuff the badges. We proceeded to place a thousand of them into little plastic sleeves. Of course, they would have to remove them again to write a name if they hadn't preregistered, but that was neither here nor there. A few comments were made about Connell's Chii that appeared on the Saturday Day Pass. Eh. I'm sure there was some pretty neat verbal exchanges, but nothing that stirs the old grey mass.

Although there is something. Other than the accidental copies that had been made of pre-reg badges that caused slight discomfort, Mark had a few test badges made to trial the mail merge function in whichever Microsoft product he had used. It doesn't matter. All that matters was the badge. The test badges contained the faux name "Joseph Name", which I thought was pretty neat. Of course only in the sense that I would undergo a miraculous transformation from Staff to a member of the public, with the perks of both positions. That would happen later on.

I went around and handed out the committee and staff badges (which merely displayed the word 'Staff'. Poor staff.) , then went back downstairs and helped start the production of the showbags that would be dolled out to the patrons. We reached about 600 of 1000 bags before the stupid line broke down.

Oh yeah, Simon turned up at some point during the badge production, and got some guest passes for the gentlemen from OzForces that would be arriving tomorrow to document the event. So, it was getting near the time for Reset//0 (or however it's bloody spelt) to perform at the Governer Hindmarsh, the gig Mitchell had prepared for them as well as the Con performance on Sunday. Apparently it was important that we had a J band perform. Don't ask me: I'm just a mere art monkey.

So Simon gave Drew and I a lift to the gig. We had to clarify that the venue was right, and ended up doing so, and Simon left. He was none too impressed by the music on offer, and Mark declined on coming because of his oversensitive spectum. That, or he's a pansy. I'm the Ashtmatic, and still went. OK: forget that. On with the tale. So Drew and I waited outside for another car to turn up so he could put his bag away. I held on to mine, well aware that I'd be snatching the last bus home. I had forgotten to buy the multitrip, but I borrowed a ticket with one trip from Mark, and planned on buying the trip there with money I'd no doubt get from Dad in the morning.

We eventually go upstairs, myself being the seventh paying customer to get there, which I found odd as we were already about fifteen minutes late. So the crowd eventually started to swell, and we got to wait until 8:30 for things to actually happen. It was worth the wait though.

Although the structure we sat in was pretty much a roof on support poles, wrapped in plastic, with only a bar heater to keep it warm, and the volume of the instruments drowned out the vocals, I thoroughly enjoyed the rock that was created by the support band, Nine and a Half Incas. The long scores, indulgent solos and even their little eccentricities made for a pretty damn good performance, and I had the pleasure of telling the frontmen of the band so afterwards.

So as it had all gone a lot longer than I had expected, I toted my bag, and went to leave, stopped by a concerned Mitchell. It was already 11, so I planned to just walk home and get a small amount of sleep before helping setting up on Saturday. Mitchell then graciously offered to give me a lift home after getting the band's gear back to the hostel afterwards. I accepted, because the prospect of a twenty kilometre hike is never a pleasant one. So I stayed.

I was restless during the performance, and didn't really get to enjoy it as much I could have. Now I'm not saying that they were bad... I just didn't really enjoy myself. I was cold, and hungry, and hadn't slept much. Maybe I'm just trying to justify my opinion. I just didn't like their performance. The nachoes I polished off during weren't that bad though. I think the waitress gave me a larger portion than usual because I was polite. Eh, it's just a quirk.


So the band did give a performance right at the end worthy of some applause from me, and everyone began to leave. I just tried to keep myself occupied as the bands packed up, singing Dire Straits tunes and sitting away from everyone else. Mitchell departed with the band, and all that was left of the audience was Emily, Mark, Midori and myself. After some deliberation, and good intentions, Emily left with Mark, and took a cab back to the city. Midori and I waited for Mitchell to come back.

Oh we waited alright... for two hours. Two bloody hours. Midori and I entertained ourselves as well as possible during, just having simple conversations, and near the end me acting as a sounding block for Midori's displeasure. There was quite a lot of cursing. Eventually, we got sick of it, and Midori attempted to obtain Mitchell's mobile number. Once getting what was supposed to be it, we failed to get through.

So at 2:30, Midori was kind enough to let me take a taxi with her, what with me being penniless and all. So after she reached her port of call, she left me with the rest of the fare for the trip, and the driver went about going the wrong bloody way, and costing me all of the money she had kindly left me. There is no rest as far as misfortune goes.

So I slinked home, and quietly rushed about, before crashing in the sleeping bag.

Woke up stiff as a board. Of course I had set my alarm for 7:00, and got up maybe twenty minutes later. So I got to get up, and rush around with Dad, getting the house in a state worthy of inspection. Of course eating, primping and polishing for the day. Even so, I managed to get there half an hour before opening. There was a non-eventful busride, and twenty minutes of waking there too, but that's not that brain straddling.

I found Mark upstairs in the Unibar, printing out documentation that had been neglected the prior day, with many other things that would become apparent. The printer didn't have a proper perch for the paper, so I aided Mark by holding it. After waiting patiently through his plodding typing, I offered to type it, and not that long after he departed. Nathan, who had been in and out for a while, then became my paper holder, as request after request came in for print-outs.

Uhh... this is where it gets a little "Chris doesn't care anymore". Next time I'm drawing a freaking comic or two.

So to summarise the rest of the day: I skipped out on working my using Mark's 'Joseph Name' Pre-Reg mock up, avoiding work. Sat down to try the Manta Ray projector with a rousing game of Melee. The game still rules, but the projectors were... trash in a pretty box. After a short while James and Trav turned up, and joined me in my escapades. Mitchell was dressed as Dejiko. It was frightening. Stopped in on the OzForum guys and Simon once and a while. Spent a good deal of time in Screening Room 2: of course had to wait because they lacked sufficient cabling. Watched something then went and ate Hungry Jack's. He was quite upset. Returned for more loafing around, and ended up in the AMV Competition (SR3), to watch Mitchell and Andrew do their panel. It was hilarious. Due to lack of organisation, we didn't learn squat. Watched the AMV's (and very few GameMV's), most of which were tripe. Started setting up for the Quiz Night. Some guys broke the Piano. Everyone came in too early, and got to sit back and watch us set up, then eat Pizza, before starting late. I ended up being the Head of the Marking Committee. This basically meant in the end I did half the work, and had the final say on the answers. Power is nice. After it was done, I went home, and crashed.


Seriously people: this is the greatest part of all. I didn't go. That's bloody right, I didn't go. I passed out. That mishap on Friday really messed me up, and I just couldn't be bothered going. So I missed out. Of course, to be perfectly honest, it's most fun when you actually staff the Con rather than patronise it. By patronise I mean- ahh forget it. I enjoyed a wonderfully relaxing day. I loafed around, and did some more of that. The best Con day ever.

Oh, and as an afterthought: the house sold for a great amount of money, and Adam totalled his car. Saturday sure had it's low points.



Well folks, this little piece of writing being due, oh, about a month ago, I may have forgotten the odd bit of info. And I'm not exactly unhappy about much regarding the con, so I have little to whinge about in order to pad this article. Except this. Those of you who said they could be staff, that I contacted, then decided you didn't want to be staff without a good reason, shame, shame, shame. I'm Derryn Hinch.

Anyways, Saturday the 19th of Jult dawned bright and cloudy. I woke my brother, and we headed to town. There we bought enchiladas. Or was that toothpaste? I forget. We got to Adelaide Uni, and found a bunch of diligent people working hard alreay. We joined them. People turned up from before 9, when doors were scheduled to open at 10. This was annoying.

Once the doors did open, I must say pre-reg wroked like a dream. Badges were easy to find, and the line moved swiftly with little delay. Those buying tickets on the day got in quickly, too. It all went smoothly. Swimmingly even.

We were short on staff right from the beginning. I spent most of my time running around attempting to make sure everyone wasn't getting stuck for too long in any one place. Of course a lot of people did end up stuck for too long. Especially Brad in the staff room guarding the stuff. Still, nothing but staff stress came of this problem.

Traders were great. Did I say great? I meant awesome. Except for some nutters who seem to think its legal and or moral to sell bootlegs. SHAME! (SEE "Mark Morality" section 312 subsection 17b)

We had four anime type traders there, including _Madman_ (who were super great) On the game side we had Game Traders, who weren't able to sell stuff for some reason. Hopefully, we will have games and systems on sale there next year, as that would be sweet. You can see a shot of the traders hall _here_.

We had some documentary film makers what came along from OzForces, and we had a channel 7 crew turn up for the TV show "Control Freaks". This material gives us an immediate boost when it comes to arranging sponsorship etcetera for next year. We can show companies the stuff, instead of just giving them a verbal pitch. It shows we are a serious undertaking (serious in a "we actually get the event happening reliably" sense).

Screening room three, with all the couches for seating, was a big hit. Although screening 1 got the larger crowds, it wasn't anywhere near as cool. In fact, couches in general were well received. We had a few sitting around a handful of TVs with consoles in the video games room. People loved it.

Now. The quiz night. This was a pain. Although Mitchell is a good person and all, he does tend to go overboard a bit. This was one of those times. Ah well, all is forgiven.

Also, because we had spent too much time on the "big" issues surrounding the con, in the end we were unprepared for the individual events. The quiz was one of these. The questions were half finished, and we floundered a bit. Hopefully we can do better on this score next year, when we all start organising things much earlier. In fact, we already have to a degree. Still, the audience apparently enjoyed themselves.

The next day was much of a muchness, if a bit quieter. The cosplay came and went, I didn't get to see it but it was apparently good. I have included a photo of the winner, which you can view _here_.

Later that evening we had the band. Ask Mitchell what they were called, I forget these things sometimes. Although they weren't my style, they seemed to be well received by a large portion of the crowd. However there was a lot of negative feedback heard afterwards. Especially regarding sound quality, which I agree with, but I also recognise that not much could be done on that score due to shoddy equipment at the uni.

The bar was underused, although I must say it was a relief to have a drink while the band played. Still, we lost money on that, shich is bad.

The pack up was a pain. But we got through it, and listened to another "inspiring" speech from our now former fearless leader NEil. And thus ended the convention in the year '03.

A few weeks later, we have elected a few office holders. Connell received the convenorship, Drew the vice, Chris got secretary for being usefully anal, and we roped an accountant into being treasurer. Hopefully this bodes well for next year. By there powers combined, we could have Captain AVCon on our side.

Yes, yes, my most humble apologies for that joke. It was the worst joke I have made this week.

Now, I'm gonna go watch my new SG-1 DVD. Later folks.

blancmange Copyright '02-'03 Chris Schlatter and Mark Stoffels. All Rights Reserved.