Chatt, TN Chattanooga FanForce future updates

Discussion in 'South East Regional Discussion' started by Vesper2112, Aug 4, 2016.

  1. Vesper2112 FF President & CR, Chattanooga, TN

    Chapter Rep
    Member Since:
    Nov 14, 2003
    star 4
    Greetings!

    I've been making updates here for the past 11+ years. The Chattanooga FanForce (or Chattooine, as we call ourselves) is alive and well. We continue to have monthly meetings (2nd Monday of every month) and do more events than I can count. While we do a lot of costuming, we also do plenty of social stuff. Also, we not only do Star Wars anymore. We actually started that not too long after Episode III came out way back in 2005. I think it started with one of the Pirates of the Caribbean movies and has grown to now encompass a lot of the geekier stuff that we're all into. Harry Potter, comic book movies, Muppets, etc. If there's interest in costuming for a movie, we'll do it. It's all about having fun. Beside movie premiers, we also do things for the community. We've done events with the Chattanooga Lookouts, Barnes & Noble, Ronald McDonald House and SEVERAL other charities, Movies in the Park... I can't even remember all the various things we've been asked to help out with.

    Our website is the best way to get an idea of what we're into and what we do. On the front page, it has our history in photos dating all the way back to our very first meeting in late 2004. I can't speak for the other original members or even the current ones, but I personally helped start Chattooine as a way to make friends with Star Wars being at least the one thing we have in common. Obviously we had more than that and lasting friendships were formed.

    ConNooga (Chattanooga-based multi-genre convention since 2008) was created by 3 members of Chattooine. At the time, Chattooine was attending another local convention, but felt that the con wasn't really the right fit for us. We pondered whether we should just try and make our own using all of our experiences at cons we've attended in the past as a guide. With Chattooine being multi-genre already, we also wanted to make a convention that encompassed everything we all like. So while we're not DragonCon, it's very cool to be compared to them sometimes (a much smaller version). In fact, we decided to hold it in February so we're a full 6 months away from DragonCon.
    The Mos Nooga Squad (of the 501st Legion) was initially formed from members of Chattooine who joined the 501st to expand their Star Wars costuming in 2010. Since Chattooine had monthly meetings, it made it fairly easy to bring new people into the 501st simply by being excited about being in the 501st. It got to where we had to constantly let people know that Chattooine wasn't a 501st group. Yes, that's how integrated us and the 501st were at one point. The Squad name was even taken from our old forum name. In the end, FanForce isn't a costuming group, so we don't have strict standards whereas the 501st (and other groups) do. For that reason, it was best to not bring up 501st events anymore since not all Chattooine members could attend. While we no longer talk about 501st activity at the meetings, I do sincerely hope that the two groups can be as close as they once were someday.

    With all this said, I've been coming to these forums to see if there's any new activity. While several Chapter Representatives have expressed interest in wanting FanForce to be a more globally known name (rather than all the small individual groups we've been operating under), it's apparent that the original creator of FanForce has no real interest in being hands-on. So... as other FanForce groups have done, it's time to quit worrying about pushing ideas that aren't going anywhere. We've all been operating as individual groups anyway, so since there isn't any real activity here, I've decided to not make any more updates after this one.

    BUT REST ASSURED, Chattooine is still around. If you would like to see what we're up to, please look us up on facebook. Just look for Chattooine. We have our regular group page where most the activity is. We also have a fan page where we make event announcements and stuff. Anyway, we would LOVE to have you in the group!

    Thanks for reading, and thank you theForce.net for being there in the early 2000's. You allowed me to hook up with some people to help start this thing. We've since grown up, moved out, and are doing well. I'm sure I'll check back from time to time to see if anyone else posts over here, but seriously... we are very busy with plenty of opportunities to do things almost every weekend. So please... check us out on facebook and check the website for pics since 2004.

    MTFBWY
    -Jeff (Vesper2112)
  2. Vesper2112 FF President & CR, Chattanooga, TN

    Chapter Rep
    Member Since:
    Nov 14, 2003
    star 4
  3. Lord_Kosh Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Oct 20, 2005
    star 3
    Thanks Jeff.

    Facebook is not accessible from work, but the other site is, so at least I can see what is coming up.
    Vesper2112 likes this.
  4. Vesper2112 FF President & CR, Chattanooga, TN

    Chapter Rep
    Member Since:
    Nov 14, 2003
    star 4
    (ok, so I do peek in every now and then...)
    Gearing up for Rouge One, so... See ya over in Facebook land!
    However, if you DO want to costume with us, we'll be at our usual place (The Rave/Carmike East Ridge/soon to be AMC East Ridge) on December 16th at 7pm - ?? and again the next day at the same time. Gonna be good!!
  5. Vesper2112 FF President & CR, Chattanooga, TN

    Chapter Rep
    Member Since:
    Nov 14, 2003
    star 4
    Back again!
    Important update... The theater we've been using as a base (first, "The Rave", then Carmike, and now AMC) seems to have run its course. Now that it's an AMC theater, the regional manager isn't all that keen on having us there anymore. Rather than outright tell us to not come back, he laid down some pretty restrictive rules. Examples are: limited number of people (no more than 8), characters must be from the movie promoted (so no more general Marvel characters for Marvel movies... they have to be from that particular movie only), no weapons of any kind (the restriction used to be just guns), no masks or helmets, and our changing/storage space was eliminated.

    So yeah.... We saw it coming, though. For "Rouge One", we easily had 30 costumers there, BUT we stayed outside to stay out of the regional managers way (as we knew we were being evaluated). Maybe if the last movie of the year was something smaller than a STAR WARS movie, we might have fared better? Doubtful, but you'd think that a strong showing of characters that's only enhancing your paying customers' experience would be cool. I mean, sure, we were getting free seats after we put in our 3 hours of time, but we were also buying concessions. (shrug) We had a good run. 12 years at the same place. Maybe eventually that manager will move on and whoever takes over will call us back. Maybe another theater will pick us up. Maybe not... We've had to turn down a lot of events last year because of our "movie premier" events, so this actually might allow us to expand to new things. We've already got a lot of things lined up for 2017 including several charity events along with our annual Zooperhero day at the zoo (back in January), our Ronald McDonald House charity fair later this year, the 6 days of Boo at the Zoo in October, the Free Comic Book Day appearances, and several appearances with the Chattanooga Lookouts, including a special STAR WARS day on May 4th (for May the Forth Be With You).

    Currently, we've picked up a partnership with The Honest Pint as we host Sunday night Cult Movies, where we're doing a MST3K thing with movies like "Plan Nine from Outer Space". We also helped with their Valentine's Day variety show. We're also planning to do more material for our YouTube channel (whether it's skits, costume tips, meeting streams, etc).

    Since our monthly meetings have been at the theater for the past 12 years, 2017 will see us return to our roots with having meetings at a game store! Infinity Flux has offered to let us use their gaming space on every second Monday night at 6:30pm (same day/time as always!). Barnes & Noble (who we plan on doing a lot more with this year) also has offered to let us use space in the store for game nights or meetings. The February 2017 meeting was held at Mexi-Wing (where many of us went after meetings), so that's also an option. Each month, we'll announce where the meeting will be held when the Facebook event is created.

    Finally, we're all psyched for CON SEASON! Chattacon is in the books, and ConNooga (created by members of Chattooine) is this weekend, and we have the Dalton Comic-con, JAMPcon, and Anime Blast later this year (as far as local stuff).

    Be sure to find us on FaceBook! https://www.facebook.com/groups/chattooine/
    And check out the website for photos from all our past events: www.chattooine.com

    See ya next time!