Sunday, November 2, 2008

Burlington Vortex Conference 2008

Just finished the BVC 2008.  Had a great time acting as videographer, AV-tech guy, and occasional MC and schedule maven.  The speakers were a combination of people I'd heard of and people I hadn't, but all of them turned in good performances during their lectures.  Here's a list with an over-brief description of what the speakers did:

Tecumseh Brown-Eagle - linguistics and migrations
Stanton Friedman - Roswell expert
Heidi Hollis - shadow people, meeting Jesus
Frank Joseph - Atlantis in Wisconsin, Ark of the Covenant
Bonnie Meyer - contactee, alien invasion
Don Schmidt - Roswell expert
Jerry E. Smith - weather control, Spear of Destiny
Sherry Strubb - Wisconsin ghosts
Dr. Claude Swanson - the science of the paranormal
Peter Moon - Montauk project

There were a couple of other expected guests who couldn't make it at the last minute.  All of the people listed did two, hour-long lectures except Sherry who gave one, and Stanton, my favorite of the bunch, who gave three.  The only problem was that there were almost too many speakers for the time alotted.  (Even after the drop-outs.)  This happened mostly because the local theater had demanded -- and got -- a continuous schedule before dropping out.  (Leaving us holding the bag.)  That resulted in a constant pressure to get people on and off the stage in an hour.

As AV guy and videographer, I was there for nearly every minute of the 22+ hours of lectures over the weekend.  I made some new friends and lined up some prospective guests for Uncanny Radio.

There was a "meet and mingle" dinner on Saturday night in what used to be an underground speakeasy, and there were tours of the local tunnels and the haunted woods (both of which I was too busy to attend; but I live here and will get to go some other time).

Friday was pretty chaotic, as those of us working and/or helping out tried to deal with mechanical gremlins and the disruption of having to hold the events in the cleared-out Mysteries Museum, rather than the planned theater.  (Which cancelled at the last moment.)  Those obstacles made things tricky, but by the next day, Saturday, things adjusted and the schedule ran more smoothly.  Several attendees, Russ and Diana in particular, came through big-time in helping solve the video/display problems.  (Thanks!)

The whole event seemed very well attended to me.  The lecture room was extremely busy, and sported a crowd of 30 to 60 (or more) at every event.  The Cafe, with food, sovenirs, and signing tables, also seemed packed much of the time.

I spoke to some fans of Uncanny Radio, but didn't sell any books -- probably because I was too darn busy running the lecture room.  I'm sure I would have done better, too, if the book I'm doing with Nick Redfern (and friends) hadn't gotten hung up in producton.  It's called Uncanny Encounters: Roswell.  Look for it soon.

People seemed happy, despite the initial chaos, and numerous attendees expressed to me their desire to do it again next year.  Certainly I hope to do it again.  With luck, Mary and the SciFi Cafe did well enough to justify another year.  As long as they didn't run themselves into debt the way the It Came from Lake Michigan film festival did, they should be fine.

Next step is to figure out a plan for mastering and releasing DVDs of the conference.  Should we release the "raw" footage of the whole thing, or try to edit it down into highlights? Right now, noe of us are sure.  If you've got an opinion, leave a comment.

And I hope to see you all at the Burlington Vortex Conference next year!

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