Sunday, January 1, 2017

Star Wars Rogue One premiere

With the premiere and holidays, I haven't had a chance to sit down and jot down a blog entry on the Rogue One premiere at Bangor Mall Cinemas!

I'll use my usual format to explain the planning of the event, the event and after!


The movie premiere night was Thursday December 15th and planning was well under way a month before that.  However, the original organizer couldn't manage the event so the Bangor Mall Cinemas Assistant Manager, Sue, took over.  

I met with Sue two weeks prior to chat with her about what we would do, what days, what hours and where in the theater.  I requested that we do exactly what we did last year, for The Force Awakens premiere as well as the Batman vs Superman event.  For those events, we had donations for photos. A professional photographer would snap the pictures and make them available on their Facebook Page for people to find them.  The table would be staffed with volunteers from Children's Miracle Network, so all the donation and money handling was done by them.  They could also hand out pins, wristbands and information on the services they provide to the community.  

Sue agreed that this would be an excellent idea.  And for me, that meant I could just focus on controlling R2-D2.  With R2 tucked into a photography area, we were safe from the crowd.

The only problem I had was I didn't have a photographer lined up.  I contacted Kelly Pearson at EMHS Children's Miracle Network to let her know what I was planning to do.  I also mentioned that I didn't have a photographer yet and was curious if they did?  She let me know that their volunteers would be happy to do this.  They could snap the photos and upload them to the EMHS CMN Facebook page.  Perfect!

From there, it was a matter of working out the hours Sue would like R2 available at the theater.  Once we had those hours set, Thursday - Sunday at a variety of shows, I shared that with Kelly at EMHS CMN.  She assured me it wasn't a problem to have a volunteer there to help out.  

On the day of the event, I reached out to my friend, Dawn, about her Target BB-8 display.  I have it at my home and the little guy is on my to-do list to repair the faulty motor and sound system.  I figured she would want BB-8 there to display at her Hot Topic table but we decided BB-8 looked much cuter snugly parked next to R2-D2  

Once I had everyone packed up (that still sounds funny to me as I write it), R2 and BB-8 were off to the theater!

When we arrived the theater staff were very helpful getting everything unloaded and into our designated spot!

We're here!

In addition to the droids, I had to put together and setup the backdrop stand and backdrop I purchased for the event.  Surprisingly, the instructions were well done and the large 10 foot by 12 foot backdrop was in place.

Backdrop setup!  Test pictures with my Canon t3i DSLR
The Media

The day before the event, my local ABC/FOX affiliate contacted me about doing an interview.  They wanted to chat about our charity work, how R2-D2 was built, how my BB-8 build was going and they also wanted to know more about 3D printing.  They came to the house, met the droids and saw the Ultimaker 3D printers in action.  The reporters had a lot of great questions and I am really surprised she was able to put so much information into the 2 minute video clip they did!  Here's the interview link

The Event

Thursday night was the premiere night, with shows at 7 P.M. and 10 P.M.

We had one live interview with local CBS station WABI  

We also had Jawas, a Darth Vader and a Stormtrooper running around!  Not bad for a little theater in Bangor, Maine!  We even had a brief performance by the Bangor Symphony Orchestra!  (They are having a Star Wars concert in March!)

Things went extremely well.  Volunteers were collecting donations, picture were being taken and kids were hugging R2-D2.  Once the 7 P.M. show was underway, we had a bit of a break until the theater would fill up again for the 10 P.M.   

My good friend Soubanh Phanthay of MemoryMaker Photography was in the booth beside me, promoting the upcoming Bangor Comic and Toy Convention.  We both planned to see the 10 P.M. show in the overflow cinema and pondered getting another great shot of R2-D2 and I in the theater.  The photo he took last year got a lot of really nice comments...

Here's what we took for Rogue One...(the audience even helped take the picture, staying very still for the long shutter time!)

The rest of the event...

I spent four days at the Bangor Mall Cinemas with R2-D2 and BB-8.  And while we were prepared for big crowds, Mother Nature threw us some really bad weather.  Friday was record low temperatures and high winds, making for dangerous conditions.  Saturday was a snow storm and we finally got some nice weather on Sunday.  And Sunday turned out to be one of our busier days.

I really was surrounded by some very wonderful people.  Soubanh was kind enough to jump in and help the volunteer photographer with photography tips, since she was a student.  I took advantage of the free time between shows to listen in to what he was teaching!  The EMHS CMN staff are to be commended for doing their part!  They really enjoyed the feedback from the visitors and we never got tired of the kids amazed looks near the droids.

Pictures of the event are at three locations:

MemoryMaker Photography's Event Page

EMHS Foundation Children's Miracle Network Page

and the few I had time to take are at Paul's R2-D2 

After Event thoughts...

This event went very smoothly once the planning was all sorted out.  The weather kept the attendee numbers down considerably but we all had a fantastic time.  

The only failure R2-D2 suffered was the battery trickle charger failed.  Thankfully I managed to get a 70% charger Thursday overnight into Friday.  With R2 parked for photos, the single 12 volt 18 ah battery was used the most.  It provides all electronic power to R2's lights, sound system, dome motor and such.   I generally get 10-11 hours of use on that battery, with the biggest user being the two 15-watt speakers for sounds.

I was able to quickly replace the charger with one from Sears, where I am a part-time employee.  The charger is a nice upgrade from what I had before, giving me a readout of what percent the battery charge is at.

As for our donation efforts, we raised $338.74.  When you figure we were asking for donations after people paid for movie tickets, drinks and popcorn...that's not bad at all!  

Thanks for following another one of my R2 adventures!