That's what we were going for boys and girls. You see, when we first conceived InvaderCON back in 2010, it was supposed to be a one time event. You know - put on an amazing show, walk out on stage at the end, drop the microphone, and yell "good night!" as we saunter off into the sunset.
THEN THIS HAPPENED.
Someone posted a video from our little convention featuring the key cast members from Invader ZIM doing a reading of an unproduced script from the cancelled series. The video went viral (by way of Nerdist.com and other websites) and suddenly the whole Internet knew about InvaderCON.
As of this writing, that video has achieved over 100,000 views.
INVADERCON II: DOOMCON
As a result of our new found Internet fame, people began contacting us about doing another InvaderCON. Folks were calling the office of Green Mustard Entertainment leaving voice mails. Others were posting on our Facebook wall and sending emails via the website. Even OTHERS were going "old school" on us... sending physical letters and post cards to the Green Mustard Entertainment mailing address.
So we reached out to Jhonen Vasquez himself with the idea that, if he agreed to do it, the financial risk behind a second InvaderCON (dubbed "the encore presentation") might be worth it. After numerous emails and an eventual phone conversation - Jhonen was in.
Since the first InvaderCON was on the East Coast (Atlanta) and due to travel requests on Jhonen's part, we opted to host InvaderCON II: DOOMCON in California. This was a MASSIVE undertaking on our part since our production team is based in Florida and Georgia. We made it happen, though.
Over 1,000 fans from 42 different states and 7 countries showed up near Los Angeles for two days of Invader ZIM fandom goodness.
The show was an expensive risk and a major stress on the Green Mustard Entertainment team - but it was worth it for us to see the fans and families that all appeared to share in the experience. Autographs, panels, breakfast, dinner, puppets, surprise guests, and more added up to a once in a lifetime weekend for the cast, crew, and attendees.
At closing ceremonies on the Sunday evening of "DOOMCON," we said that event was THE last one. We had captured lightning in a bottle twice... and you don't mess with luck that good.
TRILOGIES MAKE THINGS FEEL COMPLETE
Just like after the first InvaderCON happened, the Internet took off with MORE fans discovering the event after DOOMCON - all of them asking the same thing: "one more time!"
As a result, conversations started early in 2013 about the viability of creating a final event - FINAL DOOM - to make InvaderCON a bona fide trilogy.
The biggest problem, though, was time and resources vs. risk. While Green Mustard Entertainment is a company, it's NOT the "primary job" of any of the owners or staff. It's a creative fan convention company that designs events to support the geek community.
Ars gratia artis and whatnot.
InvaderCON, unlike our other projects (like Florida Anime Experience,) isn't an annual show in a local city. Normal conventions build a fan base in a specific area and continue to grow. InvaderCON's attendees (at both conventions) are only about 20% locals. Over 80% of InvaderCON attendees are from outside the convention's host city. This makes predicting attendance and budgeting VERY tricky and EXTREMELY risky.
When we did InvaderCON II: DOOMCON, we were forced to cut a lot of corners in order to play it safe and make sure the company didn't go into financial disarray from the event.
In short: InvaderCON is an amazing convention, but it has been a HUGE financial risk each time.
With over 10,000 fans on Facebook asking for another InvaderCON, we decided to see if all the Internet buzz was legitimate. Thus we have reached out to the key members of the cast and crew regarding doing it "one last time" and here we are. Kickstarter.
The financial goal on the Kickstarter is based on the base operating budgets of InvaderCON and InvaderCON II: DOOMCON. Simply put:
- Conventions space rental (at the host hotel.)
- Hotel rooms for the attending cast, crew, and event staff.
- Flights for the attending cast, crew, and event staff.
- Equipment/tech rental.
- Operational supplies (flyers, publications, lanyards, wristbands, etc.)
- Other event costs (advertising, insurance, etc.)
None of the Kickstarter funds are earmarked as profit (merch sales, autographs sales, etc.) We want to hit the goal that allows us to put on the show with all the bills paid without the stress/risk of the first two shows... thus allowing us to make this one amazing weekend of FINAL DOOM.
If the Kickstarter is successful, InvaderCON III: FINAL DOOM will take place sometime in the summer of 2014.
The question that EVERYONE has been asking amid the rumors of InvaderCON III: FINAL DOOM is "where will the convention be?" Here's our train of thought:
InvaderCON (2011) was in Atlanta, Georgia - the East Coast of the United States.
InvaderCON II: DOOMCON (2012) was in Los Angeles, California - the West Coast of the United States.
InvaderCON III: FINAL DOOM (2014) should be somewhere in the middle. Once the Kickstarter is complete and the event is confirmed to happen, we will create a survey of locations where we are willing to build the event. Here's the current short list of potentials we have talked about:
- Austin, TX
- Chicago, IL
- Denver, CO
- St. Louis, MO
NOTE: This is not the final list of choices, but you should get the gist of where we're looking at. We are not, for the record, looking at Pontiac, Michigan. Sorry Richard!
Here's the important part: ONCE THE KICKSTARTER IS COMPLETED SUCCESSFULLY, ONLY THOSE THAT HAVE CONTRIBUTED WILL BE ALLOWED TO VOTE ON THE LOCATION. If you help finance the convention, you get to have a voice on where we put it. It's that simple.
So here we are folks, and here's your chance to make InvaderCON happen ONE MORE TIME.
Risks and challenges
As mentioned earlier, the reason for the Kickstarter IS the risk that is involved with creating this show. Creating a travelling convention is a major financial risk and burden - thus we've turned to you (the fans) to see if there truly is a driving passion for a third InvaderCON event.
There are some other risks to keep in mind, too:
We are targeting the summer of 2014. This means any weekend from June to August of next year. This is because we want to make the event accessible for parents and children to visit when they are typically out of school. We also have to juggle the availability of the cast and crew that are available to the show. In short: we can't guarantee a date, but we'll do out best to make it an easily accessible weekend.
As mentioned before, we will let the fans who contribute to the Kickstarter pick the location. Once done, we'll do our best to find a good a viable location in that city to host the convention. If, though, no location and date can be found to meet the needs of the show, we MAY be forced to go to the second city choice (voted on by the Kickstarter contributors) as a backup. While we don't foresee this happening, it IS a risk to keep in mind.
Not all the cast and crew will be available every weekend. By planning this far in advance, though, we hope to be able to invite as many as possible to attend. No particular actor or crew member is guaranteed to attend, but our track record for the first two InvaderCONs has been pretty good so far.
Other than that - we don't foresee too many obstacles with InvaderCON III: DOOMCON. As a matter of fact, a successful Kickstarter for the convention would make it even EASIER for us to run... thus making it an even more AMAZING event.
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