Is it just me?

Discussion in 'Shows & Conventions' started by Kooka Lives, Apr 3, 2002.

  1. Kooka Lives

    Kooka Lives New Recruit

    Lately I have been feeling that the true fans are getting screwed. My main problem right now has to do with autographs. I am planning on being at the Star Wars Celebration II, which was not easy to figure out how to afford the trip (I had to convince my parents that it would make a fun trip for them to spend time with their grandson in order to get them to pay for some of it). I've spent several hunderd on tickets for everyone, we have hotels, airfare and car rental to share, I am planning on picking up the exclusive figure, plus a few extra for my friends and whatever other convention goodies there are. Then if I want to get an autograph I am going to have to pay fifteen bucks extra? This is getting crazy. I don't feel like the autographs have anything to do with the fans now. It feels like it's only about the money. All those poeple who have made money off autographs have screwed it up for the real fans. Now I have to figure if I can afford, and justify, getting more than one autograph. When I first started going to conventions they asked five bucks for a autograph, if they charged at all. I found that a little annoying, but I figured that was for the cost of the pictures and the time to come to the conventions. But fifteen dollars just to get a name put on something? That's robbery. For some reason I have yet to pay for an autograph from a writer, who do not make much money off their art form. It really takes away from the fan experiance in my opinion for the celebraties to charge for autographs. Shortly before X-men the Movie came out Tyler Maine (Sabertooth) was at a convention signing autographs for free and he was cool to talk to, giving time to the people as he gave them signed. That's what the whole thing should be about. It made me more interested in the movie and the actor. If I had not been a fan of the X-men already, I would have most likely been more likely to get into them after that.
     
  2. AmShak

    AmShak Senior Moderator Staff Member

    I'm not sure where you are getting the $15 figure for the autographs, I haven't looked that closely at the convention, but I beleive the going rate for major characters is now $20 and minor characters going for around $15.
     
  3. AmShak

    AmShak Senior Moderator Staff Member

    I see now where the $15 price comes from. Still, i have seen some of them charge $20.
     
  4. Kooka Lives

    Kooka Lives New Recruit

    Billy Dee Williams will be out here in a few weeks for StarFest, and he is going to charge $20 for his. :mad: It's crazy.
     
  5. AmShak

    AmShak Senior Moderator Staff Member

    the last two autographs that I got were Chewie's and Greedo's. Chewie was $20, Greedo was $15.
    I'm not sure that I have a strong opinion one way or the other about this. Of course I would prefer to get their autograph for free, but the entertainment business is strange.
    I feel that if you weren't paying the actor directly, you would be paying for it at the door. If they're going to get my money, I would prefer to give it to them directly.
    Now, if i could only find people that would pay me $20 to sign my name.
     
  6. Kooka Lives

    Kooka Lives New Recruit

    My favorite convnetions are the real Sci-Fi convnetions that do not focus on just one aspect of Sci-FI. The best part of these is when you get to talk with authors. Authors sign autographs for free by the way. Thye know that they would not be anything without the fans. I think actors nad actresses need to learn this as well. The authors have to do all their own publicity and get very little in the way of pay for how much work goes into what they do, but they are a lot closer to their fans.
    Here are some numbers to look at. At $15 an autograph, if the person can sign two autogrpahs a minute,120 an hour, that is $1800 an hour. That is more than I take home in a month working forty hour weeks. There is no way they need that much money to justify selling themselves to their fans. Like I said, I understand offsettign the cost of doing such thigns. But if they were to live with a thrid the price that would seem fair to me. It just seems like they are getting greedy. And it is us fans who get screwed.
     
  7. Deathstar

    Deathstar Visit vacation paradise!

    I see your point of view, however we can equate this situation to sports also. There are current players who will give you their auto for free. Then there are the retired stars who travel the convention circuits to supplement their income as they are not employed on a full time basis. So..I think this situation really has two seperate levels.

    1. Most persons connected to a SW film who attend a few of these conventions a year probably do it for fun and/or profit (or at least their expenses). Writes and Actors who tour the conventions perhaps are not under contract or work on a regular basis in their specialties. So, appearing at conventions will keep them in the limelight and also provide a little extra cash. I think it's great that these folks take the time to attend the conventions.

    2. The conventions that I have attended in past years, rarely have the George Lucas, Gene Roddenberry's (RIP) Ford's, Shattner's or Nimoy's attend because of their work load and contractural issues. Getting the autos from these folks would probably be for free, but unfortunately they are rarely (never) available.
     
  8. Barada

    Barada Saboteur

    I have been to a number of Sci-Fi conventions, and have received a number of autographs from the stars of Star Wars. I have paid between nothing for Warwick Davis up to $20 Canadian (about $12 US) for Dave Prowse and Peter Mayhew. I feel that for the price of attending Celebration II, there should be at least a couple of free autographs included.

    The difference between the convention circuit and Celebration is that we must pay our $15 per autograph in advance and receive redeemable certificates for any autograph we choose. I have two problems with this.

    First, and foremost, is that doing it this way makes it impossible for each celebrity to be paid per signature. Therefore, how is the money divided up? My bet is that a good portion of that money is going towards the organizers of the event, and not the actors in question. Now THAT gets me upset.

    Second, they are selling autograph certificates individually or as a book of 10 or 15 (I can't remember exactly how many). For the fan wanting to purchase a full book of certificates, why can they not entice us more by having a discount for purchasing that many? Ten tickets will cost $150 - which is a hell of a lot for 18 hours of standing in line for 10 signatures, and if you're lucky, a quick photograph?

    However, the fact of the matter is this. Just like the crazy prices scalpers and ebay sellers get for 'rare' SW toys, these certificates will also sell. Why? Because there are enough fans who love these movies enough to spend that money on them. I know I will be, as I doubt I'll ever get another chance to get Carrie Fisher or Billy Dee Williams' autograph ever again. As with anything else, if we pay those prices, they will never come down. As sad as it is, that is exactly what we will do.

    On a quick sidenote to Deathstar comment on the big stars, William Shatner attended the Toronto Sci-Fi convention last year. Don't assume their autographs are for free. It cost well over $100 just to sit within 15 rows of his speech and get one autograph. For just the autograph, I can't remember the exact number, but I know it cost more than $30. The bigger the star, the more they charge.

    Barada
     
  9. Kooka Lives

    Kooka Lives New Recruit

    Look into the actor/ess's film history. Billy Dee Willaims has been doing movies fuul time for decades. He will but out in my area if a few weeks, and he will be charging $20 per autograph. I don't think he needs to money. The only reason for an actor/ess to charge is bacause they are upset about not getting anyhting out of their autographs when the dealers will make hundreds on some.
    When some of these actor/esses can bring in four or five hours half my yearly take home pay, I don't feel they are doing it for the fans. I am sure some of them enjoy doing the convnetion, (Although the time Anothony Daniels was out here, he didn't come off as beign very friendly to fans. Then at the Star Wars Celebration he enjoyed hosting and not having to sign autpgraphs.) and that some of them do need the extra income they can get form this. But they could make a good day's pay by asking for Five dollars an autograph, making more fans happy, and be able to pay their bills just fine.
     

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