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Fandomonium in Tampa Bay Event and Film Festival 001
Introduction 01. Introduction
The Journey into fandom begins 02. The Journey into fandom begins
The story of the swag bag 03. The story of the swag bag
Role call 04. Role call
Independent film screening 05. Independent film screening
Interviews 06. Interviews
Photography shoot, closing and event score card 07. Photography shoot, closing and event score card

Fandomonium in Tampa Bay 001
Sunday, June 22, 2014

The Journey into fandom begins

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It took a major adjustment to my schedule to attend this event and film festival, and it meant that I had to give up aFandomonium in Tampa Bay. Click to return to the beginning of the review here on Tampa Bay Film. shift and lose money, as I usually work on Sunday mornings and afternoons, but I did it (I did not lose money, though, and I actually gained a little, as I picked up another shift at my other job, and it was all overtime. By the time that I attended Fandomonium, I had put in 55 hours that week, and I usually work 56). I made adjustments and got the time off approved two weeks before the event, and tried to get three of my model friends to attend. Alas, none of them could, so it meant that I would go it alone- at least publicly. Privately, I had something else in place.
Why I am I telling you all of this? It’s because the excuse that people are too busy to attend and support these events is nonsense. If you really want to go, and it is important to you, you will find a way. I certainly did, and, as you will soon discover, I did not regret it (although, in the days following the event, my boss at my second, weekend job is wondering if my photography business will interfere with my schedule there, and I know this because the coworker who covered my shift texted me about it, as well as some questions that he asked me during a phone call, and although it won’t, for now, it probably will later this year, at which time I will give them at least the appropriate two week heads-up; I think that he thinks that when I schedule time off to cover a film festival, that it is a paid shoot that I am getting paid for. I don’t get paid to cover events! I do so because I am genuinely interested, and because I believe in what I am doing, even if it means that I am not the nicest person to some people; I DO give my honest opinion, because everyone needs it. Take it. It’s for your own good! Anyway, that photography business is very important, too, as it is going to fund my independent film projects and events, addressing the lack of funds which has prevented me in doing work in those areas in the past. Once I get the fuel in that proverbial tank, the production and independent film business machine that I have put together over the past few years will finally start moving, and now you know why I am so dedicated and invested in independent film. I will be making independent films, and they will be what I want them to be, although I will work hard to make them the best that they can be. I will let the people decide if they are groundbreaking or revolutionary or not, although I am working on some very cool ideas right now which have never been done before).
Another thing to consider is this: We NEED to support these independent events and independent film festivals. These are OUR events, and not some large sell-out, over-commercialized mainstream event (film festival) which could care less about local art and entertainment, as well as us. The independent film festivals and events support US! These events and film festivals are what we make them, and we get out of them what we put into them! Also, these events are much-needed support for what we need to establish an independent film and arts community and a thriving industry. You have a responsibility to support them, and, you know what? It’s a win-win, because you might just have fun and meet some cool people in the process!
As my day on that Sunday began, I was dead tired. I did not want to get out of bed, as I had worked a lot that week. I made myself get up and get ready, however, and began by charging two DSLR cameras, a video camera, and other supporting gear. Two days before, on a Friday, in fact, I even spent a while strolling through a Walmart looking for a sachel bag for my swag- more on that, in a few minutes. I was ready, and I wanted to get there early.
As for what to wear, I had a number of choices. I had to wear a lot of equipment, so I decided to dress light and down. I put on some dark blue dress slacks, which would be cooler and would breath better than jeans. For shirts, I had figured that the “fan” theme should be supported, although I have never been much of a fan of anything or anyone, even things that I am into (I am only a fan of myself and in what I do, to be honest, especially since I always seem to be the one with the best thing going on, and I am being serious). I had dark blue and black T-shirts, including shirts for video games such as Resident Evil 2, Ridge Racer, Zelda, and Mortal Kombat. The event did not seem to be geared for video games, though (A major problem and oversight, IMO), so those were my backup plan. I also had some shirts for Star Wars and Star Trek, as well as some movies such as the Bank Job, but those did not interest me as much, especially after what Abrams did to Star Trek (It is my opinion that he raped Star Trek and cashed in, disrespecting the audience, especially since I do not believe that he knew the source material, and that he did not respect it; God help the bastard if he does the same thing to Star Wars and if Star Trek and Star Wars start to look and feel the same as a result, but I really don’t see how he could screw up Star Wars as bad as he did with Star Trek, because Star Wars has much simpler source material with only six movies, little science, and some odds and ends, and with Star Wars essentially being science fiction for those who are a little slower. Yes, it is also my opinion that Star Trek is superior to Star Wars, in every way, especially when it seems that Lucas ripped off a variety of sources when he came up with Star Wars. Regarding the Abrams “versions” of “Star Trek”, where he bends the Vulcans over and has his way with them, IMO, and don’t even get me started about that stupid “Red Matter” crap, I will explain in detail in my very, very lengthy and comprehensive “book” reviews of his two “Star Trek” movies on Frontier Pop, which reviews mainstream movies like Tampa Bay Film reviews independent films, and which encourage the readers to cross reference the reviews on both sites so that people know that I am as equally tough on mainstream movies and that I am not out to beat up on independent films). In the end, though, I chose something that was relevant to local independent film, which was a shirt for Lalino’s film, Brainjacked, which I was sure that he, as one of the event organizers, would appreciate. After all, I do consider Brainjacked to be one of the best independent films ever made in the Tampa Bay area, and I wanted to show my support (and, no, I was not kissing ass. I don’t do that. I am not Lisa. This is my honest opinion).
With getting dressed and my gear load-out complete, I stopped by the local Walmart for some extra cash, which I would need for my plans (I always have plans, and often plans within a plan, and backup plans, with backups for those plans, essentially meaning that there are usually over 32 plans for each plan. I am smart like that, and like to be prepared for anything, as long as the preparation and the support resources are cost-effective! I have a lot of things on my mind, usually, with lots of knowledge about a variety of different things and a genius-level IQ to drive it, and I am not the trusting type, from experience, so I do tend to analyze the hell out of things and plan and prepare for every possibility). After stopping by a hardware store for a clip for my swag bag so that I could be hands-free to operate my cameras, I was then ready to begin my trip into fandom.
As some of you may recall from my first experience trying to find the venue at the Tampa Pitcher Show (and you won’t because I have not gotten around to publishing the review for HHPS 2013, yet. I dropped the ball, even though the review was almost done, which I apologize for, and I will rectify that soon... Update, several weeks later: I finished and published the review for the HHPS 2013 film festival at the same time as this review, so you can now read about it), I had a hard time doing so, and arrived late that first time, but this time, I knew where I was going. This time, the trip would be a smooth experience.
I got an early start, and arrived at the Tampa Pitcher Show at 12:15 PM, 45 minutes before the start time. As I parked my car nearby and geared up with my extensive load-out, my third model, Melissa Maxim (From the Roxy and Lowie days of 2001-2002, Danford. Melissa began working with me in photography and modeling projects in 2001. Chris Woods once told me that Melissa used to hang out with Amanda Beck (the lead in his Bleed independent film), and that he knew her, but she told me, recently when I brought it up, that she does not remember him. Anyway, back when he told me that, Melissa and I were out of touch, and when she and I got back into touch, I was no longer speaking to him, so I can’t match up any account unless I had access to a time machine and could go back and forth, and since time machines, to my knowledge, do not exist, yet, there you go. Actually, if I had access to a time machine, I would go back and make it so that I never met Nolan, Chris, Paul, or the others in their gang, and it would have saved me a big waste of time, because, in retrospect, it is my opinion that none of them were worth the trouble of knowing; I regret knowing them. Seriously. It is my opinion that these people are useless in the future of Tampa Bay independent film), called me to inform me that she could not attend, but that if I needed her, to give her a call, and she’d be right there, ready to throw down by my side. She is tough like that...... I took her to a local fashion runway show recently, and her adventure is now a local legend (some of my friends, while I was still talking to them and hanging out with them, brought it up during a dinner at an Indian restaurant with horribly hot food and Indian waiters standing around with pitchers of warm water seeming to delight in our misery. I am not going back there!). I am surprised that the other girl did not get knocked on her ass when she assaulted Melissa by coming up behind her and yanking on her hair.... Yes, that is how jealous girls at local fashion shows treat models, I suppose (People, seriously, if my anecdotes within anecdotes in these reviews are distracting and annoying, let me know, and I’ll stop doing it and stick to the actual review. Like I said.... My mind is always going on about a variety of things, much like a super computer with a river of data running through it. It does give me an advantage in life and careers. Personally, I think that the layers make the reviews more interesting, as well as give a look into how my mind works, although I would never write some things, such as a novel, a stageplay, or a story, like this).
Any way, after rearranging my gear, which was a little awkward with straps containing two DSLR cameras, a back up camera, and a video camera, as well as a Galaxy S4 clipped to my belt, two 3DS XL’s clipped to my belt, a collapsible silver camera tripod, and a large swag bag also hanging from my belt, I began the hike in the noon heat, which was already overbearing, to the venue, which was not close by (for reasons which I will not go into here, I parked far, far away). During my long walk, Melissa called me, and after spending several minutes walking and talking and then ending my call with her, I finally arrived (Yes, I was that far away. I had a long talk with Melissa and ended the call all while still walking, before I reached the venue).
Upon entering the Tampa Pitcher Show venue, I was greeted by Rick Danford, who was surprised to see me, as I had not RSVP’ed, or confirmed, on the Facebook event page. I told him that I had planned to attend for some time, but that no one but my people knew about it. I then ran into Andy Lalino, filmmaker Marcus Kempton, and actor and event host Joel D. Wynkoop.
Getting there early was part of my plan, though, for one main reason. I wanted first dibs on the independent film DVD’s that they were certain to be selling there, and I was not disappointed, as all of the ones that I were after were there.
Looking over the tables of DVD’s, I noticed two ladies sitting at a table. They made a comment that I was loaded down with a lot of gear, which I was. They were there for the Florida Film Network, which was Dan Brienza’s organization, and I knew that Joe Davison headed up the Tampa Bay chapter, which was the original chapter since he and Chris Woods had founded the Tampa Film Network back in 2006 (and it was a nice little group back then. After the Tampa Film Network’s Quiet Place independent film project fiasco later in 2006, with filmmakers fighting and blaming each other for problems with the short film, as well as making up lies about people and spreading them around, and some less than enthusiastic support from filmmakers in general, Davison and Woods decided to end it, and there was a time when I could have acquired it, at least as far as the web site, as Chris Woods had told me that he and Davison had considered giving it to me; according to Woods, Davison had stated “Passinault owns all of those web sites, so we might as well give the Tampa Film Network to him”, which was actually cool of Davison, if he really did say that. Soon, after, however, it was not to be; Brienza, who was already doing networking meetings at the Tampa Film Review monthly film festivals, obtained it. Under Brienza, the reinvigorated Tampa Film Network was a success, although Brienza always put more emphasis on networking rather than screening independent films, which meant that his meetings could never replace the Tampa Film Review after the Guzzo twins failed with that, in my opinion, and he soon focused more on his Florida Film Network, which grew from the Tampa Film Network. Soon, the original Tampa Film Network became the Tampa Bay chapter of the Florida Film Network, and in an extremely ironic twist, Davison teamed up with Brienza and headed up the Tampa Bay chapter. There is more to this story, though, which I am about to get into). The Florida Film Network ladies told me something that I did not know, which was that Brienza was less involved with the Florida Film Network, and that Joe Davison now ran it all. Talk about full circle, with the added complication that Davison and I no longer got along, and that he now hated me (IMO) and thinks that I am out to destroy his “career”, as if I could destroy something which did not exist to begin with. Of course, it is also my opinion that Davison hates me because I stood up for myself and the rights of others, and not for anything that I actually did to anyone, because he started it, and so did his “friends”. I finished it, and if I am going to be hated for doing the right thing, and for being a good and honest person who wanted nothing more than to help out others, so be it. Since I did nothing wrong, I have nothing to apologize for, and it’s their problem. They can condemn me for whatever lies that they choose to believe, because in the future, I believe that their opinions and how they feel will be irrelevant. I’m not going away, and I will be supporting independent film, and that is the way that it is.
Anyway, as I circulated around the room, someone told me that Joe Davison had posted that he was planning on attending the event, and that it would be interesting in light of the things that I had recently written and posted about him. I replied that I intended to be both peaceful and professional, and that I expected him to conduct himself the same way. It would have been good for Joe to attend, though, especially as he could sit at the table with the ladies and help promote the Florida Film Network. He could do his job.
I told Danford that I had made secret security arrangements in case certain people attended and tried to make trouble, and that I was not concerned about who attended. I certainly was not going to be run off by unprofessional haters, bullies, and troublemakers, especially since I had not done anything wrong. In fact, it was them who were spreading lies about me in an attempt to discredit me, and who opened themselves up to legal liability (and I reserve the right to sue them). I was used to such duplicity and unprofessionalism among the insecure, neurotic minority of the Tampa Bay film scene. In the wake of the successful war in the local independent film scene, IMO, which my web sites waged and which saw their clique disband and the Tampa Film Review a failure, however, I figured that I had taught them a lesson, and that we could all now move on. They could not run me off like they had so many others, which, in my opinion, is the reason that a film scene never became a community, which will finally happen in the future without their interference (My differences with some in the Tampa Bay independent film scene is a long and complicated story. I will be publishing a series of articles on Tampa Bay Film explaining it. To summarize it, though, it is this simple. I did not start the fight, and I did not do anything wrong. I tried to support local independent filmmakers, I helped them, they repaid me by slandering me and spreading malicious rumors about me, other idiots believed those rumors and helped spread them around because they wanted to believe that the rumors were true and they don’t think for themselves, I stood up for myself and the rights of filmmakers, and it started a “war” which lasted many years and which, in my opinion, I won. Don’t take my word for it, though, find out for yourself. What they tried to do to me they will surely do to others, and, sadly, without me interceding with my fleet of Tampa Bay Film sites and other resources, they will probably succeed in sabotaging others and running them off. Fortunately, however, I will intercede, and their efforts to destroy the credibility of others and to make them quit will fail. Looking back, though, these people knew that I had a track record of successfully fighting scams and that I commanded a vast arsenal of online firepower in the form of fleets of powerful, effective web sites, so why they dared to start with me to begin with is perplexing. Maybe they really are idiotic, insecure, malicious douchebags who do not know how to size up an opponent before taking them on and bite off more than they can chew, because I certainly kicked their asses in a figurative sense, IMO).
At the moment, however, I was not thinking of all of that. I was interested in buying some DVD’s from the tables, and a few bad apples showing up and ruining things was not really a concern. Getting those DVD’s was.

The opinions expressed in this review are those of the author, alone, and may not be shared by Tampa Bay Film or anyone else named on the Tampa Bay Film web site, which includes, but is not limited to, affiliates, contributors, filmmakers, sponsors, and advertisers. Information in this review consists of opinions unless otherwise specified.

NEXT: The story of the swag bag.

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