Monday, 7 July 2014

Cheesemint at MCM Expo London Comic Con [May 2014]

Having had the pleasure of attending as an industry professional way back in 2011 and enjoying every minute of it, I was ecstatic when Cheesemint were invited back this year. This time, we had a 30 minute panel of our own as well as a table in the VidFest area surrounded by a lovely bunch of filmmakers and some great YouTube channels. 

Here's our recap video:



Matt and Adam show off our promotional wares!
Rather than industry professional, this time we had guest passes to make us feel important as we sauntered past long queues and into the Excel Centre with ease. Considering that this years queues seemed to go on forever and it was later reported that the final figure of attendees was an astonishing 102,000 people we were pretty grateful to be guests. Though, being on the 'other side' and looking after a table of our own instead of wandering around and soaking up the atmosphere like usual was surprisingly draining.

NAME FAIL! My name was spelt wrong but hey...I had a badge!



The first day we arrived, myself and Matt came armed with lovingly hand printed merchandise and audio equipment (Adam was due to arrive later with camera equipment and our shiny new promotional postcards!). When we arrived at our table, we said hello to our table neighbours (Hi, Flitter Films!) and began the arduous task of promoting ourselves to the endless stream of people who walked by our stand. It wasn't long before we found our first customer, a lovely chap named Jay who purchased all 4 of our Unlocked badges!

Matt and me soaking up the atmosphere at our table in the VidFest area!
The Friday night was the only preview evening, it ran from 2pm to 7pm however those 5 hours were more than enough to drain us! I was sincerely worried about appearing tired the following day; Saturday! Not only is it the longest day but we were down two 'Mints as Georgie couldn't make it and Adam was attending a wedding!

Though, I needn't have worried as Saturday was excellent. Sure enough, we were knackered by the end of the day but the atmosphere surrounding the VidFest area was awesome. We met some bloody lovely people and definitely want to be part of VidFest again. We took it in turns to look after the table while the other explored, took photos, recorded footage and attended other panels to support the creators we met.

Shout out to the guys who make Small Spartans! I will be writing a post about them soon!
Our panel was on Sunday, we were there predominantly to promote ourselves but also give our web series a boost because during its release and the run up to it, all of the 'Mints were completely drained and lacked the energy required to promote it, at the time we essentially uploaded it to YouTube and then crumbled into a big heap.

Yup...it's like we're famous or something!
Our panel went down relatively well...I think? It seemed pretty packed and although we waffled on a fair bit, people asked us plenty of questions, the 30 minute slot flew by and some fans in the audience asked Adam to do his "John voice" - which was bizarre but also kind of cool! We showed our YouTube Cheesemint channel trailer as well as some clips from series 1 of Unlocked. We got laughs in all the right places so...I guess we did okay! The video of the full panel will go up on our channel soon, until then...here's a picture!

Someone shut these guys up... (L-R: Matt, Adam, me)
I think the guys were nervous but luckily, I'd managed to quell any nerves I had as I was asked to be part of another panel earlier in the day. It was an impromptu panel made up of female directors, writers, vloggers and content creators including myself, Hazel Hayes, Susan E. Clarke (Chronicles Of Syntax), Lisa Gifford (3Some) and other lovely ladies who I forget because I was slightly overwhelmed (I'm sorry!).

 I was hoping to be asked lots of questions about writing, influences, directing etc. however it turned out people only really wanted to ask what the difficulties were in the industry as a woman....*sigh* - I managed to talk about equality though, I gave advice to other writers by suggesting they write their characters without a gender then assign those last or during the audition process. Which is something I like to do, unless I've written a part specifically for someone of course. Ms. Hayes made a great point that we all agreed with, "I think it's panels like this that are part of the problem".

Which, is sad but true. We need more panels and exposure for female writers, artists, directors etc. yet panels made up entirely of women reinforce the idea that we're separate entities from men and should be treated differently and kept separated. Regardless, it was an honour to be asked on the panel in the first place and to be in such esteemed company! I fully intend to do write-ups about all the awesome creators we met and their projects (Flitter Films, The Paradox Series, Cops And Monsters, Chronicles Of Syntax, Future Duck, 3Some...so many more!) but something else awesome happened a week after MCM for Cheesemint. We were nominated for a Limelight Award and attended a fancy awards ceremony...so more on that very soon!

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