FedCon 20 - 2011 - Düsseldorf
Welcome to my report on the FedCon XX (20), which took place in the new Maritim Airport Hotel in Düsseldorf, Germany.
Guest Stars at the Press Conference
From left to right
FedCon Report - Star Trek Phase II
After a fantastic Phase II presence last year, where James Cawley (Capt. Kirk) was a guest star at FedCon, we wanted to do something special this year, too. With two episodes shown and a panel with Tobias Richter, we feel we have achieved just that. Star Trek Phase II has become a regular feature at FedCon and the feedback from people at FedCon has been very positive. This year, FedCon has moved to a new venue in Düsseldorf (north of Cologne) after many years at Bonn (south of Cologne). Additionally, FedCon has been expanded to 4 days, which allowed the organizers to fit in a few showings of Star Trek Phase II films, in the busy schedule.
Tobias Richter created an excellent film shown at the start of the Opening Ceremony. This little film was inspired by James Cawley (Capt. Kirk in Star Trek Phase II) showing both the new movie Enterprise and the classic Enterprise used for Star Trek Phase II. It was shown for the first time on Thursday night, without warning immediately after some advertising for a new Star Trek event park (also made by Tobias), just before the opening ceremony, it caused quite a stir with the audience....
961 Fans dressed up in Star Trek costumes
On April 30, at 1pm CET (GMT+2), those wearing Star Trek costumes were asked to gather outside for an attempt to beat the existing record of 571 people set in Atlanta by DragonCon.
Here is our video of the event:
On Saturday we had the Guiness Book of records attempt for the most Star Trek costumed people at the same place. I made sure I had my TOS costume on and my camera ready to film this event. Stephan was stuck in a long queue for autogrammes and he had all my video tapes. Anyway, he managed to give me some of my video tapes and I got ready to film the event. You can see my video on this website so I will leave it with the fact that Germany took back the record with 691 people. Stephan very nearly missed it and was counted at 690.
Due to the delay caused by the record attempt, we were told that the entire program was running about 30 minutes later. The costume contest started later and we assumed that Tobias Richter's Phase II panels would start later, too.
Nobody had told Tobias about this so he started on time, whereas we were a little late arriving at his panel, which was embarrasing as I had obtained permission to film it....
The German language presentation was excellent, with Tobias going into detail on how he created those excellent special effects. That video is now available with a German soundtrack. English language subtitles are planned so that our English speaking friends can understand it as well.
After Tobias's panel, we showed Kitumba to a fascinated audience. Considering Scott Bakula was holding a panel concurrently, it was amazing how many people stayed to watch it. There was a small technical glitch causing the film to be shown in 4:3 format instead of 16:9, but that did not detract from the film itself.
The version of Kitumba we had to show was what you would say was a rough cut. All the scenes were there and the story was complete, yet some of the audio and visual effects were either missing or incomplete. This led to scenes where you saw the Enterprise flying through a bunch of Klingon warbirds in a most spectacular scene, yet completely silently as the audio effects had not been added. On the other hand, there are no sounds in space due to the lack of air so this was actually more realistic.
There was an amusing scene where Kirk references something which happened in the recent movie - I am not going to spoil it for you, but watch out for it when you see the film.
I spoke to a number of people who saw the episode and they were amazed at the epic proportions of this fan-film with its massive cast and amazing sets making the Klingon home world believable, and its powerful story. The audience applauded the film every time it was shown.
For me personally, it was my girlfriend's (well actually, she is now my fiancé) response which was the most interesting. She is someone who avoids Star Trek and generally refuses to watch it because it is not based on reality (her words, NOT mine), etc. The fact that she had come to FedCon at all was quite an achievment and this meant that she had a chance to watch Kitumba as a non-trekkie.
She was impressed with the film saying it was good that it had a strong story and she actually enjoyed watching it. She found the complex story could be followed even by someone who was not familiar with Star Trek in general and she was impressed by the powerful acting, particularly the main Klingon characters. As she (Stefanie) is an English teacher, she compared the English with Stephan's german subtitles and later complimented him on how he had not simply translated it, but rephrased it to sound good in German, too.
So basically, if even she liked it, then that is definately a great compliment to the entire production team and proves that Kitumba is a great success.
I did point out that all the Phase II episodes have strong stories, but I have not persuaded her to watch "Enemy Starfleet" or any of the other episodes, yet!
When I heard that FedCon had allocated the early morning spot of 09:30 to show "Kitumba" for the last time, I thought that was the worse possible time as everybody will be up partying all night and never get up in time to watch it. We made an effort to be there on time ourselves expecting the massive Maritim auditorium to be pretty much empty... What a surprise, it turned out to be an excellent time as there were no competing panels and Kitumba was the only thing worth watching at that time. I estimated that there must have been almost a thousand people in that room watching Kitumba. I spoke to a few of them and they told me they had specifically chosen this time to watch it, as they then did not miss any of the other important stars. When it finished, there was a loud applause from the audience, they obviously enjoyed it. I met up with Frank, the Captain of a German Star Trek fan group USS Trinity, I have met before in Herxheim, just after Kitumba was shown. He was already a fan of Star Trek Phase II and he was very impressed with Kitumba. He told me this is the kind of Star Trek Paramount should be making, a much better plot than the recent movie they put out...
Altogether, I think FedCon was a great success, both in itself and for us with Star Trek Phase II. Our two episodes were both shown more than once and we had a great panel with Tobias.
Due to the various Phase II events, I did not take as many pictures as in previous years.
The file names indicate the exact date and time the picture was taken
(e.g. 20090501_180520.jpg means the picture was taken at 18:05:20 on 1st May 2009).
Please remember that although I am providing the images here free for online viewing, please do not use them on other web sites, etc. without my previous permission and a suitable reference (Copyright: Peter Walker, www.trekcon.de).