I Scream, You Scream, We all Scream for Screamfest!
Screamfest 2006 was a blast! No, not Screamfest LA, silly...(though I'm looking forward to attending that one too! ;-). I'm talking about the event in Orlando put on by spookyempire.com.
My adventure began with the journey to International Drive in Orlando, FL (almost a two hour drive). I wish I had left for the event sooner as I had not anticipated the parking situation I would face upon arrival. The Wyndham Resort's parking lot was just about at capacity around noon!
The parking attendant directed me to take a certain road. I drove...and drove...and drove. I began to wonder if there was a single empty space to be found on the entire property or if I would have to drive elsewhere and walk back to the hotel.
But eventually, as I was just about to come full circle around the property, a couple empty spaces appeared...an oasis in a desert.
With camcorder in hand, I was off to embark on my first Screamfest!
Perhaps it was because it was my first time at Screamfest, but as I approached the main hall where the event was being held, it seemed a bit chaotic at first glance....
Amid throngs of people in what seemed too small a corridor to hold them all, I was like a ship on a stormy sea looking for a lighthouse to guide me in the right direction. Where do you buy admission tickets for the event? Are the film screening tickets included in the event ticket price? Where do you get the screening tix?
After several passes up and down the hallway, I began to figure out the "lay of the land". Access to the main hall was available to anyone for free. Supposedly, you could only get into the trade show area and film screenings if you had paid for admission to the event for which you received a wristband.
But in reality, I didn't see anyone checking for wristbands as I entered the trade show area. And with so many people, I think the doormen would have had a hard time monitoring that very well by mid-day when things were in full swing. The screenings were probably more closely monitored though as you had to approach the "box office" booth gatekeeper to personally request your tickets.
Some horror legends were in attendance including makeup artist Tom Savini, as well as Lisa Loring (Wednesday from The Addam’s Family), some of The Lost Boys, and more.
And I was pleasantly surprised to see one of the Munchkins from The Wizard of Oz, Meinhardt Raabe! He was the Munchkin Coroner who proudly announced the wicked witch was dead! And keep in mind that Meinhardt was 21 when the movie was being made in 1938!
There was a great Q&A with horror celebrities George Wilbur (Michael Myers), Ari Lehman & Richard B rooker (Jason Voorhees), and Ricou Browning (Creature from the Black Lagoon).
Another highlight was listening to an interview with P.J. Soles from the original Halloween!
Screamfest Film Festival
Since I arrived later than planned, I missed out on some of the films that were screening early Saturday that I wanted to see. :-(
However, I did manage to catch some entertaining films including: the short Alone and Inhuman, a documentary entitled Kreating Karloff, and the zombie short Snow Day, Bloody Snowday.
Here's a tip that may help you out sometime at Screamfest or other film festivals that may operate in a similar manner...
Even though the film screenings are included with your admission, you still must go by the "box office" booth and request a ticket for the movies you wish to see in advance of their screening. And I advise you to do this as soon as you can, ideally when you first arrive at the event if possible.
I missed out on a couple films I was looking forward to even though I was present before showtime simply because the allotment of tickets for those films had been already been distributed. In effect, those films were "sold out" and I was out of luck. So, learn from my mistake...get your film screening tickets early!
Screamfest Trade Show
Of course, the trade show was a major component of the event. There were tons of horror related items for sale, makeup artists doing their thing, etc. I passed on the face painting, but did pickup up a few souvenirs while there...
All in all, it was a real scream and I hope this leads to more horror events being held in Florida!