The first annual Imaginarium Convention is over, and we are both exhausted and exhilarated. It was my first convention, so I don't have much to compare it to, but my gut tells me it went extremely well for a first year convention. Word of mouth seems to state the same, so that's quite exciting. We've also heard ravings about how well the convention area was laid out, with most of the panels and events being centered in the same hallway, making it easy to find the room you're looking for. It's so great to hear that so many people enjoyed Imaginarium, and it definitely makes us excited for the coming years.
When we volunteered to help our friend Stephen Zimmer with this event, we had no idea what we were getting ourselves into. We ended up being deemed "King and Queen" of the Film Festival, a title we will gladly be reprising next year and hopefully for many years to come. Working the Film Festival requires late hours as some of the films run until 1 or 2 A.M. but we don't mind at all because it's so great to be able to sit in on some of the films being shown, and to appreciate people's work with them.
In addition to the wonderful authors we met at Imaginarium, we also met some great filmmakers. And there were plenty of awards given out for the Film Festival during the banquet on the final day of the convention (see the winners HERE). But for us, the winner of most memorable moment from the Film Festival definitely goes to our friend and fellow Eastern Kentucky native, Jeffrey Reddick (creator of Final Destination and much more), who sat in on a short film he wrote called "Paralyzed" (Directed by Aaron Sims) and when we experienced some technical difficulties with the film, Jeffrey handled it like a pro, rolling up his sleeves and joining Eric on the floor to help fix the problem. So major kudos to him and his team for that :)
And I also have to mention Amy McCorkle's film "Letters To Daniel" which, in addition to its announced award, also had the best turn-out of the whole weekend. Also, "Scenes From A Gay Marriage" (Written and Directed by Matt Riddlehoover) which won the most awards, and deservedly so. Its characters were so well written and so well portrayed that you could have sworn they were real. And of course Jackie Gamber's short film "America's Got Superpowers" which was an awesome take on the popular reality competition show "America's Got Talent" and had a surprisingly touching theme.
To those filmmakers who we weren't able to sit with for their films, it wasn't because we didn't want to, but we just had so much to do during those times. In addition to running the Film Festival, we also ran errands for Stephen and his crew, opened doors for people with heavy loads, and other various odds and ends like making and holding up banners.
No matter what we were doing, we had a blast, because not only were we honored to be part of the beginning of something as epic as Imaginarium, but just being around so many like-minded and artistic people made everything awesome. You could literally feel the positive vibes in the air, and I think everyone there got the sense of belonging, which is a rare thing to be felt all around. Kudos to Stephen and the rest of the team for making us feel so at home, and for putting this amazing convention together. We really are excited for what's to come and can't wait to see Imaginarium grow even more epic with each coming year. :)
Speaking of coming years, don't forget to join us for Imaginarium 2015! It's gonna be awesome. I'll add the exact dates when they're revealed. Keep an eye out. ;)
I leave you with some photographic highlights from the weekend:
|Some shots of us in our shirts on day one.|
|On "guard duty" on day one.|
|Part of the vendor hall.|
|Watching the table for Hydra Publications.|
|Story time with T. Lee Harris in the smoking area.|
|Some shots from the Masquerade Ball on night two.|
|More shots of us working the Film Festival.|
|The Awards Banquet on the last night.|
|The final post, as promised HERE, & a group hug.|
See you at Imaginarium 2015!
Be the lightning,