Nice and easy is how I would describe the last day of MCM London 2015. We glided in thanks to the super smooth queuing system and headed into the lobby to wait for the hall to open. The hall opened slightly later than advertised but this was no problem. Today was a day to make final purchases, look for last minute bargains and savour the experience until the next big convention.
We did a sweep of the con floor until eleven when we headed to our first talk of the day. We had decided to see Weeble in the Vidfest booth. I’ve seen him previously and really enjoyed the show he puts on, slightly manic, a bit surreal, a touch of toilet humour and thoroughly entertaining. It began with the previewing of a new animated short followed by an audience Q&A then a final sing song of Amazing Horse.
There were still more exclusives to be seen at the Super Bob panel. This looked exciting, the first English Super Hero film. Super Bob aimed to possibly successfully implant an English man into an American style superhero film, essentially a what if. We were treated to the films intro, and three sequences. Each showing different elements of the film. The clips gave a real feel for the film showing a lot of aspects that other superhero films gloss over, the realities and more mundaneness of being a hero in a more realistic environment. The tragedy of not being able to save someone, trying to have a social life, realistic romance, political bureaucracy, still having to deal with being a person, insecurities, but with good humour and real heart.
It was approaching lunch time and this was to be our first venture into the food hall. The hall was really big with lots of tables and chairs to sit at, a variety of food stands and plenty of floor space. I opted for a hotdog and nachos which was overpriced (to be expected) but tasty enough to satisfy me until I could get some proper food later that day. Previously the food hall had been confined to a section of the convention hall. This was a lot better, having more space for food which in turn (I think) allowed more space for the main convention.
We returned to the convention hall for a bit more shopping then I headed to the Vidfest Booth for Felicia Days panel. This was good although short, the room was packed and was hot hot hot! The host asked Felicia a couple of questions before opening it out to an audience Q&A. As it was the Vidfest stage there was a focus on her YouTube career. This was a really inspiring talk with an emphasis on encouraging being creative and just trying to be a create, a real DIY theme. Yet again another person who thoughtlessly spoiled Supernatural deservedly got a room full of hisses and groans. Felicia spoke of the inclusivity of Geek culture being who you are and true to your self regardless of what others think. Also props to the teacher who asked the final question of dealing with bullies allowed for an empowering and feel good finish.
I stayed in the room for Red shirt films who were up next. I felt a bit sorry for them as the room close to emptied after the departure of Felicia Day. I’ve seen stuff by Red Shirt before and am a fan of I am Tim. The panel was hosted by Red Shirt founder Jamie Mckeller. They showed off their recent Xmas viral hit a parody of the John Lewis Penguin Advert. Then followed up with a selection of clips and exclusives, it looks like there’s some good stuff on the way. Red shirts focus is on Geek programming with a mix of sci-fi, fantasy and gaming all combined with great humour. On the whole a good panel that unfortunately a lot of con goers missed out on.
We headed for our last panel of the weekend 🙁 Girls run the world. A good panel with a huge turn out, that was really interesting. I was quite keen to see this panel I like most of the panelists and thought it sounded like it should make for a really interesting viewing experience. When it first began I was unsure if this was actually going to be what I thought as it started like a Beyonce inspired girl power rallying cry. There were lots of empowering statements being made promptly being greeted by applause. (There’s nothing wrong with any of this but I was there to see some meatier discussion). It soon settled down into a more substantial discussion on female representation within the media. There were lots of good questions with interesting and insightful answers and lots of different perspectives. A really diverse panel allowed for many great perspectives. I thoroughly enjoyed this panel, one of the best of the weekend.
We finished the weekend by having a final stroll around the hall looking for any last minute bargains. I got very close to a couple of box set purchases but decided against it as I had probably spent enough over the course of the weekend. It definitely felt sad that another MCM was coming to an end. It was a truly brilliant weekend that’s left me inspired and motivated to get out there and create to make the transition from purchaser to creator and be on the other side of the table.
The event gets better and better each time I attend, they seem to have improved and learn’t with each event. There were no problems with queuing and the venue felt a lot less congested even though it turns out to have been a record-breaking weekend (more than 122,000 visitors). Although I heard there were some problems with visitors queuing for autographs. I had issues with trying to use the free wifi I think this couldn’t cope with the demand. Even using 3/4G was having trouble with so many people clamouring for Internet.
There’s a great balance between the stalls as well with a really diverse mix of creatives, crafters, artists, studios, independents and traders. It’s good to see creativity encouraged and not just restricted to the artists alley there were artist stalls all over the main hall. One of my favourite things about attending Conventions is being able to purchase unique products be it T-shirts, art or crafts. There was a lot of awesome stuff for sale! I didn’t like seeing the stands with miserable looking traders that looked like they were only there to make money, selling generic Gamer or Superhero merch. It’s not the products they sell, it’s the people selling who don’t really seem interested in the event or the attendees. I spoke to a number of traders who had a great time and love attending the conventions more of this please.
The Guests in attendance were all really strong and there was a good selection of panels, a lot of the time I couldn’t make up my mind what to do with lots of clashes which I think although a pain is a good thing.
I’m not convinced by the out of hours extra charges like paying extra for film screenings (which I did) or attending panels like Yogscast. This seems tight and I think should be included in the entrance fee. Although next time I would like to attend the Saturday night party. Such a fantastic weekend and not long now till the next convention, exciting times!