Slashcast Insider Interview with Bekkio
|Interviews by Fans|
|Title:||Slashcast Insider Interview with Bekkio|
|Date(s):||August 6, 2006|
|External Links:||online here as a transcript; WebCite|
|Click here for related articles on Fanlore.|
The Interview Series
I first was exposed to the [Harry Potter] books through some teacher colleagues of mine. I saw people reading them in the break rooms and substitutes reading them while they were having slow moments in the day and they tried to get me to read them. I said, "Oh no, I'm too busy. I don't have time to read the books right now." But there were a couple of things that kind of pushed me over the line, that made me finally go and decide to read them. First thing was seeing the trailer for Sorcerer's Stone. I just thought, "Wow. Cool. I need to read these books before this movie comes out. It looks great." And the second thing that happened is I was teaching summer school and I noticed one of my less successful students spending all of his free time in my class reading Prisoner of Azkaban. This is a student who I've never seen read anything voluntarily, but he was working so hard and he just had the hardest time putting the book down. So, between those two things, I finally got the books, read through, all the way up through Goblet of Fire within a week, and I was just absolutely hooked.... After reading the books, I was ready for the next one. Of course, we had a while to go and I started looking around online. I found Harry Potter for Grownups and I joined the group. Although, I felt I had a really hard time keeping up with the group. It was so busy, so productive that every time I would try to get a word in edgewise, three people already made the same comment I was about to make. Through Harry Potter for Grownups I found a notice about Nimbus 2003 and I thought, "Oh, okay. Well, I know Disney World, Harry Potter, that's a really good mix. I think I'll go to that." And it wasn't until after I got back from Nimbus that I really decided to kind of jump in, learned about Live Journal, got myself on LJ, and it just kind of went from there.
By the end, we had over 200 volunteers for Lumos ], we had a senior staff at the end of 12 people. We've had staff members come and go because of real life circumstances, either they couldn't attend or they had conflicts with work, but, you know, it was great working with such a big group of dedicated volunteers. All of us donated our time, we all spent lots of our own money to help make Lumos possible.
Emma: Now that the syposium [sic] is over, there's some criticism of Lumos floating around, on Live Journal in particular, and I wanted to give you an opportunity to address some of the critiques that people who went have been giving. One is about the programming, and since you're in charge of programming, you'd be a good person to address this. The particular complaint that I have heard is that the programming leaned much more towards the academic side of fandom than it did, say, the fanfic writers side of fandom or the slashy side of fandom, or that there weren't even, really, with the exception of Snape, any character-focused panels or pairing-focused panels. What would you say to that? Bekkio: Well, let me address the academic versus fandom sessions first. We spent yesterday looking over the surveys and we got comments on both sides of this, and I think the programming is a lot of whichever the attendee chose to attend. We had a good mix of both fandom and academic, and quite a few sessions that had a mix of both, as well. So, depending on what an attendee chose to go see, that would definitely influence the type of experience they received. As far as, you know, programming really Snape heavy, that was absolutely true, but we also received so many Snape proposals because of his focus in Half Blood Prince. I mean, so much of the last Harry Potter book is about Snape, so it kind of, you know, all the new material attracted a lot of the Snape fans who wanted to investigate the character more thoroughly. I think the best thing to do, if you want to see a particular subject in a future event, is when the call for proposals go out, submit a proposal. There's lots of different forms, and I think probably the easy form that someone could submit is a round table. That's not something where you have to go and read a paper, but rather, you facilitate a discussion, which what a lot of our attendees, that's what they're really looking for, is that interaction with other fans.