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Interview: Lord Hastings Robert Bobbins III (Teslacon)

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Interview: Lord Hastings Robert Bobbins III (Teslacon) Empty Interview: Lord Hastings Robert Bobbins III (Teslacon)

Mensaje  Dana Miér Nov 02, 2011 11:24 am

Dear comrades,

As you know, I'm 'chasing' great steampunkers over the globe to talk with her/him about steampunk and about things they do to make this world better Wink

I'm proud to say that Lord Hastings Robert Bobbins III, the genious behind Teslacon, has been so kindly to answer all my questions Very Happy

This is the complete interview (I'm working in the translation Wink hope I can upload the interview in spanish in a few days), enjoy it!!

What is Teslacon?
I like to think it is more than a con, much more like a journey into a new realm that has yet to be explored. It's an event and adventure combined. We modeled it after a Disney theme park ride so everyone is dressed up, there are props all over the place and people are the characters they say they are. The entire weekend is immersible and takes you back to the period of the early 1880's. We also have large immersion events that make the members feel as though they are participating with the players in a large event that somehow will change the outcome of the weekend. We do anything and everything to make you believe and feel you era.

Who is Lord Hastings Robert Bobbins III?
Lord Bobbins is infact our version of Mickey Mouse, even Walt Disney himself. He is the keeper of the brand that is Teslacon. I don't want my face up there, but Lord Bobbins stands proud as the spokes person and story engineer for the weekend. He is an untypical British Lord who tinkers, invents and makes his living by designing weapons and machines that must stop the evil Dr. Proctocus...Lord Bobbins arch nemesis. If Bobbins creates something, the DR. will want to steal it. This year we are ramping up the story and the two will meet and talk for the first time in front of an audience.

Lord Bobbins is also responsible for visiting other conventions as a good will ambassador and marketing guy for his ships line. He is always in a black frock coat with some colorful vest on, and always seen smiling.

Can we know who is behind Lord B? We would love to know about your beginnings in the steampunk, and how you have evolved in steampunk and how did you come to organize the Teslacon
Teslacon was a thought, a creative spark. I have been to over 100 convention in my life, and while many have been wonderful, to many these days seem very humdrum, boring even. I think to many people have taken the approach to run things like an anime/or creationcon convention. Sure there are some panels. and events but they rely on people getting together on their own and making their own fun. I find that dull, especially if your paying more than $40 to sit and talk with friends-you could do that at home.

I created Teslacon to be different, not just another cookie-cutter convention. I also do not like the ala carte pricing so many have begun to emulate. First there is the membership, then some more for this dance, and more for this event and this one too. By the end of it you have spent well over $100 on all the additionals. I like to keep things simple. The only thing extra is the tea room- where the majority of the money goes to our charity. Next year we will offer a more pricey "High Tea" for the first time. But that will be it- you don't even have to pay extra for a concert. It's all one price.

I joined Steampunk as a group roughly 3 years ago. I never knew what it was called, but i always loved the look and feel. No I like to embrace the darker side of it more and spin stories that make imagination soar.

How many people are behind the Teslacon?
Myself, 2 web people (a designer and upkeep-manager for the signups), my partner who does the poster art and printing and about 2-3 others who help with things when I need it. I basically do about 90% myself until about 2 weeks before the con- then more kick in. For me it's about making it the way I want it to be. I love having help, but not everyone has the same vision or aesthetic I do, I have been designing for over 25 years and I know what I want Teslacon to be like.

How did you get the idea of making the Battle of Leviatans? I think all the steampunkers of the globe would love to live that experience Wink and makes your event one of the world's most special steampunk event!
The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen was a big help. They had this great ship but little was done with it in the film. Between that and a Nautilus style ship I wanted to have a battle that was exciting, fun and above all interesting. You get to meet the villain for the first time and experience what he can be like. You also get to see Bobbins interact with him, and the audience for that matter. Bobbins is far more serious when he is around the Doctor, but Proctocus is a little nuts, crazy and sadistic at heart. It has been very hard to create. Not to serious and not to silly, but very entertaining and lively at the same time. The hero's of this are my brother Scott and a student from the school I teach at Jonathan Schwark. Then there are the two sound guru's I have learned to trust with about everything, Dan and Aaron. I also received help from a fellow teacher Brian Alberth on the shoot and editing. This is only one of three events during the weekend.

next year there will be four main events if all goes well- and it will be even more crazy and exciting. Remember we will be on the moon!

We loved your "Captain's Table" dinners, where did you get the idea to create such activity? Do the guests actually stay in the role during the dinner?
We are on a ship - so we had to have one. Think the Love Boat...but in 1880! The crew and the characters acting staying in character ALL weekend. That is the trick, we never let our guard down. Even the underwater ambassador is in a role throughout the day.

Getting the money to stage an event like this one is difficult, do you have any sponsors for the event or do you assume the costs until all the tickets are sold? If you have sponsors, can you share with us how difficult was to get them in?
Luckily I know how to run a business fairly well, but people need to realize how expensive something like this event is. We ask people to sign up early, that way they get a cheaper ticket and locked in, we get the funding early and can make better decisions about what we need to do and how much to spend. The notion we would sell out 2 months ahead of the con was really weird. I thought maybe the week of. This next year we will be offering a new incentive for people, lower rates on your hotel room if you signup early. No other con has ever done this, and we know money is tight so we wanted to do something that would make a difference.

We do have sponsors, but they flucuate year to year. last year was Twinings Tea from London, this year is Celestial Seasonings. We do have a local Brewery that always helps out (Ale Asylum) and they are wonderful. getting sponsors can be hard- even daunting at times.

We know that Teslacon is one of the most important events in USA, but having so many visitors, what kind of activities you make to keep them entertained? Do you make props and clothing courses?
Do we! I think there are over 10 this year and I want more next time. We basically have 7-10 things going on at once - that does not include the tea room. We are not the largest, but at times the most immersible you can get. At least one panel per period is in the immerse world, so you can stay firmly locked in our own little slice of Steam heaven. there are also panels on many other elements as well- but I approve them all in the end, or create them depending on what we need done.

We see that your event has a lot of volunteer work, how much time do you need to organize the event? How many people volunteers to work at the event?
About 10-20 volunteers is all we have. the rest our actors who come in and are compensated. I do consider them volunteers though, they give of their time and experience for the greater good of the event. As for planning it takes me ALL year to get ready for it. - LITERALLY all year.

As steampunker, what you tend to do more? Buying the materials which you work with? or Recycling and transforming common objects? Do you use your knowledge for event decorations or activities? Are your volunteers involved in these tasks?
It depends on what i need - I am becoming good at taking silly objects I fin at the local store and spinning them into something I can use. I do have help with some things like Tea Romm decor, but usually I make the first one and they copy it for the room. I like I said before usually do it myself, that way I know it will be done in the style that I like.

There is still over a month for the event, and we've been seeing the Sold Out for weeks on your website, this situation sure encourages you to continue, and we are glad to see that you have announced Teslacon III (with a theme that seems very interesting), What can you tell us about the event at 2012?
WE GO TO THE MOON! I can't say it any plainer than that. Lord Bobbins takes you on the most incredible voyage of a lifetime. I have been planning this longer than this one actually. It will be the crowning jewel in my hat, and I will need an army to pull it off. We are actually using practical sets for this, not as much CGI, and we will be doing things that are very unconventional.

I will say this for now...we will launch and reach the moon, Santa Claus is part of the story and so is Queen Victoria, we WILL meet Moon people and there will be a Battle Royale like nothing the Steampunk world has seen. Both on film and in person. That will be the big one- it will make the Battle of the Leviathans look small (there are robots involved, tictoc men to be precise). We also plan on having 2 Balls and a special dinner on the Moon-event.

I heard I have the nickname "The Walt Disney of Steampunk", I at first laughed and then thought that was pretty nice. I figure if I can create a world where people can forget their problems and concerns for 72 hours and enjoy themselves in a style and manner that is different and more socially inclusive, I am proud to wear that description. I love this fandom deeply. After working on Star Wars and Batman and other films, I learned there is no greater gift than being creative in your own world. There are no George Lucas' and large studios telling us what to do. WE ourselves control our own destinies and can create anything we wish and want. Our imaginations are the only boundaries for us to play in and even then I like to break free.

I do want to let people know that we are expecting to sell out again about 2 months prior to the event. So if you are interested please sign up early. But now I will give you the first glimpse of what is planned for year four.
In 2013 Madison, Wisconsin will be the host to the first ever International Steampunk World Congress!

My hope is to create a one time event where people from around the globe can gather and meet for 4 days in what is to become the first Steampunk convention of its kind. I want people from every country to attend. Imagine meeting someone you have written to for over 2 years finally face to face. Meeting, talking and becoming part of the greater Steam experience.

The idea is simple, for all fans to write the first manifesto of Steam - literally we would write what we want to be known as and we vote like a general assembly would. The congress would convey in the Hall of Steam. We would ask all nations to bring a Steampunk inspired flag to the event and we would then display it where everyone would have their photo's taken, and the congress itself would be. It is a grand idea and a big one, but by meeting more people and getting more people interested in this I hope to make this a reality.

Do you have any advice for other Steamers who want to organize an event? It is always difficult to step in and take the responsibility of organizing an event or activity, specially of something that you love, and your experience could be used to support people who do not dare to make the jump Wink in your country you have many activities, and you can find steam events in almost every state, but in Europe, the scene is still very young, we hope that the example you give will
inspire others to start moving.

Have a vision. A clear concise vision of what you want and how you want it. Creating a convention is an act of will, and belief. If you want it bad enough, you can do it! Good luck.

Thanks again to Lord Hastings Robert Bobbins III, long life to Teslacon!!! If you want to know more about the con, visit the web

Captain Dana Harlock
Artesano de juguetes

Cantidad de envíos : 120
Fecha de inscripción : 20/09/2011
Edad : 42
Localización : En la Arcadia, sobrevolando Mataró(BCN)

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Interview: Lord Hastings Robert Bobbins III (Teslacon) Empty Re: Interview: Lord Hastings Robert Bobbins III (Teslacon)

Mensaje  Dana Jue Nov 03, 2011 1:32 pm

Finally I've finished the translation, can be found in this post: Entrevista a Lord Hastings Robert Bobbins III (Teslacon)
Artesano de juguetes

Cantidad de envíos : 120
Fecha de inscripción : 20/09/2011
Edad : 42
Localización : En la Arcadia, sobrevolando Mataró(BCN)

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