Sunday, August 02, 2015

Winkie Newsletter Convention Report - Day Two

Second verse, same as the first. A little bit louder and a little bit worse...

Winkie Newsletter Supplement - Con Report Two, 2015
441 e-mail subscribers, 7 by regular post

Hello Oz Fans! I know you're dying to hear all the neat things that happened today at Winkie Con, so the annual Oz Winkie Newsletter supplement, aka Ye Editor Laura Gjovaag's Winkie Convention report continues with Saturday Night Fever edition!

Let's start with the news that everyone is interested in, the awards!

The Costume Contest winner in the children's category, repeating from last year, was Lauren McKittrick, who dressed as Dorothy in the hot air balloon. This was a step up for Lauren, who last year won for portraying the Wicked Witch of the East flattened by Dorothy's house.

Winning in the adult category was Joe Phillips, who treated the audience to an encore performance as the Cowardly Lion, singing his own version of "I Will Survive".

Winning in the themed category (which needed to be based on one of this year's themes) was Karen and David Diket, who dressed as Nurse Wilson and the Orderly from Return to Oz.

Winners of the treasure hunt were Leah Kissinger, first place, Gere Freeland, who took second place, and Ethan Reasinger, who took third place.

Quiz winners:
Rookie Category: Karyl Carlson
Standard Category: Rick Wiegand
Masters Category: Susan Hall

Research table winners:
Art, first place: Eric Shanower for a work featuring Ozma and Tip
Art, second place: Leah Kissinger for her Oz quilt
Fiction, first place: "Gillikin Witches of Oz" by Paul Dana
Fiction, second place: "Lollipop Tasting" by Clara Olshansky
Non-Fiction, first place: "Escapist Music of Oz" by David Diket
Non-Fiction, second place: "The Oz Influence in Editorial Cartoons" by Janet Cook

The winner of the L. Frank Baum Award, the single most prestigious award available to fans of the Wizard of Oz, was presented to Paul Bienvenue, a long-time Winkie.

The major prize of every Winkie Con, chosen by attendees at the convention each year, the Winkie Award, was presented to Ryan Bunch.

Going back to the general events that happened today:

As yesterday, the convention started promptly at 9:30-ish in the morning with people meeting in the courtyard to greet each other. Again, there was people bingo (this time ye editor could have signed 10 of the squares). The crowd grew very quickly and about 10 the crowd moved to one of four possible places: The auction preview, the annual quizzes, a workshop in the crafts room on character creation and a panel about collecting original Oz artwork.

Other exciting events during the day included a presentation on The Wiz, people learning to dance The Jitterbug, a showing of His Majesty, the Scarecrow of Oz, a concert, an interview with Emma Ridley (who played Ozma in Return to Oz) and even some rediscovered scenes from Return to Oz.

The Oogaboo room featured a demo of Munchkin Oz at 3 p.m., which had a few people drop in to learn how to play the game with open hands. It turned out to be a fun

The auction started at 11 a.m. and continued throughout the day, with good attendance. At the evening banquet, Bill Thompson reported that items in the auction brought in amounts ranging from $1 to $3,800. The total collected was "about $12,000" with the club keeping about $10,500 of that. Not a shabby return.

The auction was plagued by computer problems, for which Bill apologized at the banquet.

The costume contest started after 4 p.m. and was a little delayed... in part due to the problems with the auction computer. There were 21 entries in the contest. In addition to the winners listed above, the contest included: Janet Cook (Toto and Billina); Katie McKittrick (Yellow Brick Road); Aaron Almanza (Guardian of the Gate); Salomon Rojas (Omby Amby); Ruth Clawson (Ozma); Samantha Beeler (Scarecrow); Carrie Hedges (Gloria); Susan Johnson (Pon); Susan Hall (Blinkie); Gina Wickwar (Witch); Lynn Beltz (Witch); Veronica von Borstel (Elphaba); Jo Kiech (Scarecrow); Alex Ravenswood (Wicked Witch of the West); Charles Early (Wizard); David Hall (Cap'n Bill as a grasshopper); and Karyl Carlson (Blinkie from the silent movie). If I missed anyone, please dip me in the Well of Pumperdink.

The costume contest votes were quickly counted up while Yvette Lee lead a group of Winkie dancers in The Jitterbug for people's enjoyment. It was a fun time for everyone, and ended with just enough time left for people to dress for the banquet.

The banquet was at 6 p.m. in the top floor of the Regency Tower. The centerpieces of the tables were hand-made by Dave Kelleher and featured a variety of characters from Return to Oz, including Tik-Tok, the Scarecrow, a darling Gump, and even a Nome. The centerpieces were also put up for auction, and people bid on them from the start of the dinner until the after-party.

The evening program started a little late, as so often happens, this time due to the fact that the banquet ran long and people couldn't all teleport from the top of the tower to the ballroom. Instead, they kept the three elevators very busy. People who arrived learned there were extra props on display from Return to Oz, including one of the heads of Jack Pumpkinhead. Eventually the crowd was able to settle down and Anthony Tringali interviewed Emma Ridley, who talked about the making of Return to Oz, how much fun it is to be a non-animated Disney Princess, her friendship with Fairuza Balk and other great details.

After a nice break to walk around and chat, the Return to Oz "reunion" started. On the panel were Paul Maslanskey (producer), Justin Case (Scarecrow), Emma Ridley (Ozma), Joan Vinge (novelization) and Craig Miller (marketing consultant). Freddy Fogarty, moderating the panel, asked them first how they got the job working on the film. Paul talked about getting involved in the film and making sure it could happen. Justin said he'd been in a film scaring crows... to much laughter. Then he told the actual story, about being interested in the film and writing a letter to let people know he was interested only to hear nothing for a long time. Then he got called in for an audition, got the part and was told to "think straw".

Emma said her mother woke her for an important audition and she got the part. Joan talked about how her work on a storybook for Return of the Jedi took off and they sought her out for the novelization of Return to Oz. She also talked about how people think of Return to Oz as a very dark movie, but she argued that The Wizard of Oz is also very dark, with tornadoes and witches and such. Craig said he was involved very early in the process, but started out mentioning how creepy the Wheelers were on-set, as they liked to practice wheeling around the backlot and tended to stay in character.

Craig talked about the business of marketing and Disney's enduring desire to make an Oz movie. Following were a number of other stories and discussion. Justin mentioned that one draft of the script had him throwing an egg into the mouth of the Nome King. When Freddy mentioned that the prop egg was in the room, Justin asked if he could throw it.

Paul also talked about Will Vinton's contribution and meeting Vinton to find out whether or not it would work with the Nome King. He said it turned out to be a good choice, and it was noted that it was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Visual Effects, in part due to Vinton's work.

Freddy also asked if anyone had anything from the film. Justin said he managed to get a few pairs of the boots the Scarecrow wore. Emma said she was jealous. Joan said she still had a script. The panel continued into the night with a ton of fun stories and lots of audience questions answered.

The event ended about 10:30 in the evening, and everyone headed either to bed or the after-party. Ye editor stopped in at the after-party for a moment, to see that Munchkin Oz had been broken out and a rip-roaring late-night game was possibly in the cards. But the editor was too tired to stick around and see the action, and so called it a night.

****A Big Winkie Con Cheer!****

Congrats to Steve Koontz whose company, Roll20, won a 2015 Gen Con EN World RPG Gold Award (the ENnies) in the category of best software. The award was announced Friday night at Gen Con, and while we got the word yesterday, we were able to confirm the exact award today. Many cheers from Oz Con for Steve and his company! We miss you Steve, but we're happy you have a great excuse for missing this year's Winkie Con.

****OZ Con 2016 Tickets on Sale NOW****

Come to the Oogaboo room to get your tickets for Winkie Con next year! Checks or cash are easily accepted, credit cards will be accepted if the equipment behaves. Tickets are $50 for a three-day pass for adults and $25 for a three-day pass for children. Prices will rise starting Monday, so don't delay!

Next year's convention will be held July 15-17 in Portland, Oregon.