Dreamwerks Convention

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Convention
Name: Dreamwerks Convention (based in Florida)
Dates: 1984-1996, then "combined forces" with Trek Expo from 1997-2006
Frequency:
Location:
Type:
Focus: money
Organization:
Founder: Jonathan N. Harris
Founding Date:
URL:
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Dreamwerks Convention were a series of actor-focused for-profit conventions. There were eighty-one of them. Think Creation Con but with a more organic, geeky origin.

In 1993, a newspaper journalist for the "Chicago Tribune" referred to them as "a slick, star-powered mob scene":[1]

From the former president (who later leveraged his access to the celebrities and such into a for-profit autograph business called "Space Debris"):
Welcome to the Space Debris website. I'm Jonathan N. Harris, founder and President of Space Debris, Inc. I started collecting autographs in 1975 when I worked at The Federation Trading Post in NYC, then, as far as I knew, one of only two Star Trek memorabilia stores in the U.S. My collection grew as a result of attending many science fiction conventions. In the early 80's my interest in science fiction evolved into businesses when I started SPACE DEBRIS and DREAMWERKS. As Dreamwerks' President, I have run 81 conventions since 1984 with hundreds of actor appearances. From 1997 to 2006 I joined forces with Starbase 21 in Tulsa, Oklahoma to co-produce their annual convention, Trek Expo. Through our combined efforts, Trek Expo became one of the highest attended conventions in the South. Space Debris sells the many In-Person autographs obtained through these and other events. [2]

End of "Dreamwerks," Due to "DreamWorks"

Despite the fact that "Dreamwerks" registered its trademark in 1992, it ran up against trouble when Stephen Spielberg began his company "DreamWorks SKG" in 1994. [3]

Profited from Fan Labor

Like many of these types of cons, they relied, at least in the beginning, on the eager participation and volunteer labor of fans.

1987

Scranton, Pennsylvania

Arrived on Friday night, April 10th via Allegheny Commuter at Scranton, PA.

[snipped]

On Saturday morning, April 11th, we woke up at 7:30 a.m. Got ready for the con and went to breakfast at a local deli, some of Laura's friends joined us at the deli.

We arrived at the convention sight around 9:00 a.m. The convention was due to start at 11:00 a.m. We helped set things up, and I had a chance to talk to the people who were running the convention. I asked permission for De to become an honorary member of the Grace Lee Whitney Fan Club, and if De could sign my plate. The plate had every ones autograph on it except his and Mr. Nimoy's.

The convention opened around 11:00 a.m. A line had formed earlier outside the temple. I had the job of taking tickets and doing hand stamps. People from Starlog Magazine came and also from the new movie Spaceballs, they showed slides and trailers from upcoming films. I missed most of the convention except for when De came on, I was helping with the con.

De was finally due to come on stage. Laura was introduced to Mrs. Kelley, I was standing by her, I had the membership packet and asked Mrs. Kelley if De would become an honorary member. She said yes. I was on cloud nine. De finally came on stage. The auditorium was filled, and the crowd cheered and applauded. He looked super, and gave a nice talk. He read the "Big Birds Dream," and the sequel. When he read the line, "he's dead Jim" the audience chimed in with him. He seemed genuinely pleased and laughed with us. He then had a question and answer session, I asked him a question. Too soon De had to leave. They took him out the back door since a large group of people had formed at the side door.

The con was then over Laura and I helped pack up the con things. Before I left, I cought up with the head of the con and gave him my plate. He said he would try and get the autograph for me.

[snipped]

At 11:30 pm, we watched Star Trek. Scranton's PBS station shows three ST shows in a row with no commercial interruptions except for the beginning and the end of the show, We went to bed around 2:00 a.m.

[snipped]

Laura had asked me to call her that night to make sure I made it okay. I called her in the evening, on Sunday night. She mentioned that De had signed the plate for me. Said that he had noticed that I had everyones autograph on it except Leonard's. I was very thrilled that he took the time to notice. Laura mentioned that it would be sent to me soon. All in all I had a very nice time at the convention, seeing good friends, and making new ones made it all the more fun. [4]

1993

Chicago

References

  1. ^ Sci-fi's A Smash: From A Klingon Wedding To A Visit From Quark, Droves Of Fans Get Together And Play Along, article in the "Chicago Tribune" by Leah Eskin, July 23, 1993
  2. ^ Space Debris website, accessed March 19, 2018
  3. ^ Trademarks and Unfair Competition by David Craig Hilliard, Uli Widmaier, Joseph N. Welch
  4. ^ by Page Eileen Lewis in Khan Reports #4

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