Two cons are better than one
‘Monsterama’ and ‘Spy Con’ go virtual together
Atlanta conventions Monsterama and Spy Con — fun for the fan in all of us — have decided to turn adversity on its ear in order to benefit the Motion Picture & Television Fund. Forced by COVID-19 related restrictions to cancel their annual in-person events — both originally scheduled to take place simultaneously over the weekend of October 9-11, the promoters have partnered to mount a virtual event online to raise funds for the charity. The combined events, keeping their original dates, are now scheduled online at virtual.monsteramacon.com and virtual.spy-con.com. Access to both virtual conventions is free, while donations to the Motion Picture & Television Fund (MPTF) can be made here.
“We’re really looking forward to sharing some great programming with fellow monster and spy fans all over the world,” says event co-chair Anthony Taylor. “Holding our event online has opened (it) up to a lot of guests who otherwise would not have been able to participate IRL.” Those scheduled to appear include actresses Caroline Munro (The Spy Who Loved Me, Dracula A.D. 1972), Lana Wood (Diamonds are Forever, “Night Gallery”), and Trina Parks (Diamonds are Forever, Darktown Strutters); actor/director Larry Blamire (The Lost Skeleton of Cadavra); Oscar-winning makeup artist Chris Walas (The Fly, Gremlins); James Bond film special effects director Steve Begg (Skyfall, Casino Royale); film directors Mick Garris (The Stand, Sleepwalkers, Hocus Pocus), Sam Irvin (Elvira’s Haunted Hills, Oblivion), and Robert Tinnell (Frankenstein and Me, Feast of the Seven Fishes); and many more. A full list is available on the event website at virtual.monsteramacon.com.
Monsterama was founded in 2015 as Atlanta’s retro monster, horror, and sci-fi convention and has held an event every year since. Featuring guests from the acting, filmmaking, literature, art, and comics fields, the convention normally takes place in early October. More information is available at MonsteramaCon.com. Spy Con was founded by the Monsterama team in 2018 to fill the void in fan events for spy- and espionage-related entertainment enthusiasts.
Programming for the online events includes panels on subjects such as television’s “The Outer Limits,” “The Twilight Zone,” and “Dark Shadows”; filmmaking; the origins of Dracula; monster art illustrations; and special effects in James Bond movies; as well as demonstrations on makeup effects, costuming, fabrication, and other arts; gaming; screenings; and a gallery of vendors. The complete schedule may be accessed via Monsterama or Spy Con.
“We’re also very happy to partner with the Motion Picture & Television Fund as our charity this year,” Taylor continues. According to their mission statement, MPTF supports the entertainment community in living and aging well, with dignity and purpose, and in helping each other in times of need. “As film and television lovers and fans, we think it’s a fitting cause to support the people who have done so much to entertain us as they age, or in times of need,” he said. Monsterama and Spy Con are utilizing the online platform Go Fund Me to collect donations for the organization.
In 1921, when MPTF was founded, it was a revolutionary idea — the notion of a whole industry (not just an individual corporation) taking care of its own. At the dedication of the Motion Picture Country House in 1942, actor, director, and then-president Jean Hersholt spoke of dreams yet to be realized. He understood that philanthropy can inspire people and institutions to be better than they think they can be. He knew that a combination of vision and resources can make amazing things happen.
The MPTF Foundation exists as a conduit to connect these dreams to reality. Their efforts realize the vision of their donors and joins their generous philanthropy with the growing human needs of the entertainment community. Those needs, like the entertainment industry itself, are changing at an ever-rapid pace. And, so they turn to members and friends of the entertainment industry to help them deliver on the MPTF mission and take care of their own. The passion and generosity of the community are vital to provide services to industry members today, and to make the dreams of tomorrow come true. The organization can be found online. —CL—
Monsterama/Spy Con Virtual Convention:
- Free for everyone
- October 9-11
- Hours: Fri. 4 p.m.-11 p.m., Sat. 10 a.m.-11 p.m., Sun. 10 a.m.-5 p.m.
- Monsterama website
- Spy Con website
- Fundraising benefit for the Motion Picture & Television Fund, donations can be made here.