Return to Dragon*Con!

Posted in Diary of a Directrix, On the Fest Circuit
September 7th, 2009 by Devi Snively (The Directrix)

dragoncon_logoWow, so they say you never forget your first and I gotta agree.  Dragon*Con was my first convention 6 years ago and in some ways my first festival experience as a “serious” director.  Okay, maybe serious isn’t exactly the word, but when I kicked off the fest tour for Teenage Bikini Vampire, it was with a new understanding that this was no longer just to be a “hobby.” It was a life-force.  I’d found my calling as a musical romantic horror comedy writer-directrix and there was no turning back

Anyway, if you want all the lurid details, I wrote about that magical first experience HERE.

I’ve been to several Dragon*Con’s since that fairy tale weekend and all have been wonderful, but perhaps this year was the best of all.  It felt like coming home after several years away.

Of course it was wonderful to see old friends – Matt Foster, the best fest emcee ever, my writer/director buddy Todd Livingston who never ceases to inspire, my other dear director bud Jeremy Lanni whom I’d met here 3 years ago, Lloyd Kaufman and Doug Bradley whom always keep me on my toes, and some fun new faces  – The Shumway Brothers whose stunning Sci-fi short Enigma’s traveling with Death in Charge, Ian Fischer whose Magritte Moment made me melt into a puddle and force him to send me his horror film (turns out our films have traveled together for years, but somehow we never crossed paths before now) and the extraordinary Voltaire whose brilliant X-Mess Detritus is also traveling with my short and whom I hope to convince to build me a Sid Vicious ventriloquist’s dummy one day for Paige & Hadley’s Prom from Hell.

But this was more than a social affair.  It was graduation.  I was here with my most mature work to date and audience response was great.  I couldn’t imagine wanting anything more.  But I got it in spades.  Originally I was schedule to moderate a panel on directing with Tobe Hooper and George Romero, which was pretty nifty unto itself.  Only both wound up canceling at the last minute.  I have that effect on men I’m afraid. Sigh.

Deviant Retrospective!Fortunately, their fans’ loss was my utter self-indulgence.  I was rewarded with an hour restrospective of me!  I shit you not.  I was sure nobody would show, but I had a packed house.  For the first time possibly ever I sat in an audience watching Teenage Bikini Vampire, Confederate Zombie Massacre!, Raven Gets a Life and Death in Charge back to back to back.  It was surprisingly moving to see my own evolution.  It’s hard to watch some of those earlier entries now – so many mistakes – but still rewarding.  No regrets.  They were all made with love and I couldn’t be prouder of our deviant offspring.

dc devi ianQ&A was a blast.  We actually ran out of time and then there was even a small line to sign autographs of all things.  Really?

I thought I’d feel foolish, but I didn’t in the least.  It was an honor and a thrill.  People want me to succeed.  How amazingly kind of them.

I really didn’t think it could get any better.  But it still did.  That evening our short satire “I Spit on Eli Roth” had its world premiere opening for a panel on Torture Porn.  I was worried the audience might be peeved.  The film certainly isn’t targeted at those who crave graphic torture.  But audience response was fabulous.   Many congratulated me after.dicaliensilly

Okay, so now it can’t get any better, right?

The weekend was filled with wonderful moments – old friends, new friends, great films, yummy margaritas, costumes, spectacles of all sorts.  I even got work done on my new script and took advantage of the hotel pool, hot tub and gym.  Oh, and the milkshakes!

Still, the best was yet to come.  The awards show caught me totally off guard.  I could not have been more pleased to win best horror comedy – yay!  We were up against some brilliant films – evil penguins, grotesque horny witches, and manically depressed Frankenstein monsters – so this was a true honor.

And when  they announced a brand new award – the Spirit of Dragon*Con it never even occurred to me that maybe….

Matt described a director whose body of work the judges felt embodied the independent creative spirit on which Dragon*Con operates.  They ran a clip reel – it was Raven, then TBV, then CZM, then Death – talk about having your life flash before your eyes – for the second time that weekend, no less.   I confess, I became a total girl.  I have never been more moved.  It was like a lifetime achievement award before my career has even begun.  An award for the journey that has brought me and my wonderful team to this point.  The perfect launching off point for our first feature.

Listen up, trippin’ you’re the baby of the family now and boy have you got your work cut out for you.  Your legacy’s counting on you.  Make us proud.

Okay, yes, it’s cocktail hour and I’m getting silly, but Dorothy had it so right – there’s no place like home…

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