My time at celebrations is very different than the rest of the team because of my Official Pix responsibilities, which on a good day, pretty much just overwhelms me, and not every day is a good day. This is the fifth celebration we have produced the autograph program for, so we have mostly good days, and this year I was actually able to go to the 501st Bash and Theforce.net parties, as well as the fans of the ForceCast party. All were great and I only wish I could have stayed longer as I never get tired of spending time with Star Wars fans.
Celebrations are also how we bring together the website teams that work on the sites and happily, this year we were able to fly everybody from Rebelscum, Theforce.net and the ForceCast to the show. With a few new people this year, it was great to see the teams come together have so much fun. I know the new members were in awe of the spectacle of the celebration and all conversation after has been all about C6, which we are all looking forward to.
For the Official Pix autograph hall, we fly in a large group of key volunteer leaders, like Anne Neumann who does a terrific job managing the line control and celebrity helpers, as well as family to help out. Many of my family are peripherally aware of my involvement in Star Wars fandom and just can't wait for the next celebration, even though the days are long and generally a lot of work. Our goal at the show is to present the very best autograph experience possible considering the large number of fans. There are a lot of moving parts to this and not everything is predictable, but we try to anticipate every variable that shows up. I hope we succeed at this for everybody.
Mostly, I'm there to manage the back office part of the event, which includes the interaction with the customers. This means I see the outside of the back room infrequently if all is going well. If it's really going well, I get to go out and spend a few minutes with the guys from the sites, which happily, have so much experience covering the shows, they don't need any direction or coordination from me. I also never fail to get to the R2 Builders room, which never ceases to amaze me, though the 1:1 props from the Begium builders group are truly incredible feats.
This year we focused a lot of work on the ForceCast and their live shows each day, and the continuing release of those and interviews after the show have been very well received. I'm really happy to see how popular the ForceCast has become, especially when I see how many fans are so positively affected by the efforts of Jason and Jimmy. As one of my goals with all team members is to fill wishes, you can see by the interview Jason lead with Mark Hamill, that one is checked off his list, like Jimmy's was when he got to interview Mark at Celebration Japan.
At the end of C2, I snagged the large Autograph Area banner that hung over the area and I've been carrying it around to serve as the place I personally collect autographs. This show had a number of new signers for us so it fared very well getting many new autographs. I still don't have George Lucas on it, though I was sure hopeful at this show. Someday.....