OzTrek 8: Assimilate – Convention Report

This is an event that Revenge of the Film Nerds has long been looking forward to, and it did not disappoint.   Thank you to Culture Shock Events for staging another fabulous, intimate convention, and for getting two very interesting and entertaining guests in for us all to spend a few hours with.

Culture Shock Events is very good at staging well-organised events that keep all participants regularly informed of what they can expect throughout the day.   They were very aware of time throughout, and went to great pains to ensure the event ran to schedule.   First up was the photo opportunity with the guest stars.   This was a great moment for me, for the first time ever getting to speak to a regular cast member from Star Trek.

While the photos were proceeding, we were also very lucky to get a chance to chat with Manu Intiraymi, whom played Voyager’s Borg child whom discovers his humanity, Icheb.   He was under no obligation to chat with us, so let me take the opportunity now to thank him for his generosity.

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kLtxUk387EM&feature=youtu.be]

This was then followed by the traditional auction, with some items disappearing for some extraordinary dollars.   Thankfully for my Bride and myself, we avoided the temptation to get carried away.   We did manage to pick up this little item at a bargain, an autographed photo of the late, great James Doohan.

After a break for lunch, we got to the gun stuff… a panel with each of the guest stars.   Manu was up first, and he gave an amusing candid panel, which also highlighted some of the independent projects he is currently working on.   Some of them I do hope get a distributor so that there is the opportunity for us all to see them at a later date.   One is a thriller by the name of Pieces which, from the scene we saw, appeared pretty intense.   I was then even more curious by Benjamin Troubles.   It is an interesting concept concerning a man who gets magical jeans, in which a $100 bill appears every hour.   The reel Manu showed featured him in some pretty intense scenes that I would love to see in context.

He was also quite a comedian, sharing his key star-struck moment meeting Tom Hanks.   It was of course a very natural response, but Manu definitely had the art of sharing an anecdote down.   I was certainly in stitches.

After this, we had a brief interlude with one impressively dressed fan……

 After this fun, the key guest star arrived, and immediately started joking with the Borg enthusiast that she assumed by now he was regretting the costume!!

Jeri Ryan was also a very candid and giving speaker.   Like Manu, she shared one of her more embarrassing star-struck moments, in her case meeting the brilliant Sidney Poitier.   She shared stories of working on set with the comedians that are Roberts Beltran and Picardo, as well as Ethan Philips.   Understandably, she found it difficult to maintain a Borg style persona around these characters.   Her career as a whole was discussed, including her work on Boston Public, Leverage, and Body of Proof.   It was a lot of fun to attend this panel, and my first Oztrek experience can  be concluded to be a brilliant way to spend a Sunday.

I would also like to share a few other interesting moments I have had today.   Myself and my Bride have now joined Starfleet, the international Star Trek Fan Association, and more specifically we are crew members of the U.S.S. Tydirium.   Check these guys out, there are a lot of benefits that come with joining.

Also, we had a very interesting chat with the winners of one of our double passes, who wish to take their interest in film making and wish to put it towards a good cause, more specifically, giving troubled youth some focus, a project to engage these youth in a productive project to refocus their goals.   As this project combines both the study of film with a worthy cause, we wish to link you to.   Find more information at Novel Ideas Inc.

Revenge of the Film Nerds wishes to once again thank Culture Shock Events for the invitation to attend today’s event.   Keep posted on this page for future competitions.   Culture Shock Events is giving us signed photographs of Robert Englund and Jeri Ryan to give away to some lucky readers.   We will also keep you up to date on upcoming events, the next of which will be Heroes and Villains out at Penrith Panthers!

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