We’re all pretty much convinced now that the 2020 Con Season is a no-go this year thanks to Covid-19.
That is, in-person cons at least.
Many con organisers have been running virtual cons using platforms such as Zoom and although many of them offer similar services, the prices vary quite a bit!
For example; Company A (Not naming names) is offering a Star Trek virtual panel with Q&A and the possibility to purchase 1 minute solo chats, video messages and autographs. Prices for this event were roughly as follows.
Entry to 1 hour panel- $15. Solo chats- $65. Video messages $80, Autographs anywhere from $40 to $80. Now whilst some of those prices don’t seem too bad it does concern me that some of these organisers are charging the same prices they might charge at a normal event. What put me off of many of these events was the solo chat- $65 for one minute? What kind of chat can you have in one minute? Or even two?!
That’s when I stumbled across Coolwater Productions, run by Derek Maki who is a talent management agent. Derek and his staff have been running In-House cons since May.
They were advertising a Star Trek panel on August 8th with the actors below.
The event kicked off at 8pm UK time with a surprise visit from Doug Jones, AKA Saru from Star Trek: Discovery to help Derek kick off the event.
The panel lasted two hours and was a great thing to be part of. Lots of questions asked, lots of banter amongst the actors as well as many behind the scenes stories especially involving those who wore prosthetics as part of their costume.
Derek also ran a couple of polls during the main panel as well as a cosplay contest that had two different Borg cosplayers as runner up and third place and a very well deserved Saru in the new Enterprise style uniform as the overall winner!
Once the panel was over I then had a 5-minute chat with Sara Mitich. Its amazing how much you can fit into that time.
I asked Sara a number of questions- the first was surrounding Airiam’s fate and was she aware of it when she took the part. Sara replied that she wasn’t aware and neither was Hannah Cheesman who was Airiam in Season 2. In fact, they both only found out a couple of weeks before the scenes were shot.
Sara then went on to tell me how the two hardest scenes for her to film were both as Lt Nilsson. The first was Airiam’s funeral and the other was the scene where Nilsson replaces Airiam on the bridge and Capt. Pike tells her she has stepped up in a way that honours Airiam. Having played Airiam in Season 1, the emotions came easy to her.
I then asked Sara if she was given time to work with Hannah on Airiam 2.0. Sara answered by telling me that they were both given a whole hour, uninterrupted, on the bridge so that Sara could show Hannah everything that she had done but that she also urged Hannah to make the character her own.
My final question to Sara was regarding Lt Nilsson’s backstory. Sara said that she had ideas in her head but that CBS have already come up with a very intriguing backstory but she’s not allowed to talk about it! I cannot wait!
Derek then appeared and brought the chat to a close.
Thanks Sara so much, I had a great time and the first minute or so we spent talking about our DISCO CTP tee shirts and how they glow in the dark was a good laugh!
So how much did this all cost me? If it had been through “Company A” it would have been around $160 and that’s with a 1 minute chat!
Through Coolwater Productions I paid $94 in total. That was panel entry, the 5 minute solo chat and and autograph (inc postage). It was worth every penny and I can’t wait to see what events they have planned for September. Everyone had a great time it seems and all of the guests, especially Sara were amazing! Keeping prices at this kind of level means its much more likely that other fan will go back to them and not feel ripped off by the other organisers. I know I will….
I would like to suggest one thing though that I would not mind paying an extra $10 or so for. All of the other events I checked out allowed you to record your solo chats but I was unable to with CWP. I do understand their reasoning, but from the point of view of a fan, I’d like it purely for the memories. I quite often go back and look through old con photos and videos and would love to do the same with my solo-chats. Just something to consider.
I highly recommend Coolwater Productions. If you want to check out their website, please click the image below!
Derek, if you get the chance to read this, firstly thank you for putting on this event and is there any possibility of a similar panel with Rachael Ancheril, Rekha Sharma and maybe some of the guest actors from the Short Treks?