Transcribed by Elaine Walker. All typos etc. reproduced to the best of our ability
(Continued from Report on Waycon ’79 – PART TWO: THE CON- Friday)
SATURDAY: Since Dolores and I retired to the hideout each night (too easy to be “hit” if I stayed at the Hotel) we had to drive in to the Con in the morning. We arrived in time to catch the morning film ‘Zardoz’ (“You know the old saying, If looks could kill? Well, here they can!”-Friend to Zardoz.) Although it lacked the continuous baseline of action neccessary to hold the attention of the average moviegoer its intellectual premise made it one of the few intelligent Commercial S.F. flicks around. I enjoyed it very much. At the end of the film Dolores and I headed upstairs to set up the Fanzine Display. The objective was to get it done by the time the panel on “Fandom and ‘zines” finished. While doing this we missed the first showing of ‘Cosmic Zoom‘, a marvellous animated short wherein the camera pans back from a boat on a lake until we see the universe. Then all the way back to the boat and on again down until we see an atom, back again to the boat and all supposedly between two gongs of Big Ben. Quite a stunning piece.
The “Fans/Fanzine” Panel were: (from left again) Leigh Edmonds, Annette Wilson, Roy Ferguson (Chair), Ian Nichols and Tony Peacey.
During lunch we showed ‘Cosmic Zoom’ again so I got to see it then. After that I set up my camera once again for Dr Millech’s Speech. Once again his talk was well presented and always interesting. His analysis of literary forms I found most educational. The refreshments break afterwards was a chance to catch up on lunch. I had now developed a great fondness for jugs for icy lemon squash. I absorbed a lot of this stuff during the Con but hardly went to the toilet at all. We found out when it was all over that Perth had been suffering a heat wave. Having recently driven across the Nullarbor I’d hardly noticed it.
Before showing ‘The War Game’ we put on an animated short that hadn’t been seen before; “Making of a Robot”. This proved to be a promo for Shell Oil and very funny. I had infiltrated the position of Projectionist, assisted by Bob, who was working very hard keeping WAYCON ’79 running smoothly. I got alot of help and advice from one of our out-of-state guests, Mark Denbow. We showed ‘The War Game’. Many people were deeply affected by this film, the audience rivetted by an old black and white scratchy flick bringing home to them the hidden aspects of nuclear war. The only comment, of the many offered (either serious or sensationlist), that we made afterward was in relation to the documentary estimate of nuclear action very likely to have taken place by the year 1980. It is thanks to productions like ‘The War Game’ that the film’s own estimate has been delayed as long as this.
The next item came as a welcome change of mood. My first time up front. The ‘Close Encounters’ panel was fairly short and direct with each of us speaking first of our Contacts and involvement with “Fandom” and then on our discovery of S.F. itself. This Panel were (Left to Right) Myself, Tony Peacey, Sally Underwood (Chair), Mark Hennesy, and Bevan Casey.
Ian Nichols’ talk was not as long as he thought and whether you agreed or not with it, was very entertaining.
During the afternoon Dolores had begun to “not feel well” and looked ready to be taken home. Was my trusty assistant being nobbled? I had continued taping and filming bits and pieces during the day and would not have seen anyone slipping things into her drink – or mine. I was feeling fine however and was looking forw rd to doing some first-rate filming at the Banquet Supper this evening. Before then, however, we had a good two hours ahead of us so I elected to take Dolores home and have dinner there. Tony overheard this and asked if he could get a lift to his place on our way, which he was most welcome to. He said he’d be coming back with Gloria, in her car, with his costume for the Ball. My costume, unfinished, had not arrived from Sydney in time to be ready for this, but I didn’t mind as filming would keep me well occupied throughout.
I got back from my delivery run with enough time to set my gear up in the Dining/Banquet area (the only time we used that was for the Ball), and shifted the speaker system there, also. By the time all the be-costumed folks arrived I had organized the tables in relation to my vantage point for covering anything that may happen and was again ready to roll.Nothing was due to happen, according to my informers, until the eating was done so I relaxed and joined in the happily munching throng. Once again I stood out like a sore thumb as I appeared to be the only one not in costume, but what with my camera and lights everyone had grown used to ignoring me. The food was plentiful, quite edible and well worth the cost of the affair, which was very cheap at $3.50 a head. When the speeches began I was tipped the wink by our M.C., Ian, and kept everyone covered with my “shooter”. The best shooting was done during the costume parade when I mounted the camera on “portafying” shoulder thing and balancing the floodlights on my head and trailing a long extension cord, I stomped around aiming it at people. (I suppose I should have entered myself as UFO from ‘Close Encounters’) Finishing my work for the evening I settled back to enjoy the prize-giving by Bob, awarded by our judges Leigh and Valma. The last item was a special awards presentation by Ray Raspa, president of FOC (Federation Outpost Colonies) to Bob Ogden and Roy Ferguson for their “services to fandom”. They received handsom certificates of Honourary Life Membership to FOC.
As things became social I moved all the equipment back to the main hall and then carried out my promise to show Ray’s ‘Star Trek Blooper-Reel’ for him. We attracted a large audience so, once I had reward the film and returned it to Ray I was able to sneak out under cover of the hubbub and join a happy discussion and humour group on the ballustrade landing. Leigh and Valma were there and we had a fine time with some excellent spontaneous wit (the standard being kept high by the thread of bad punsters having to “go over the ballustrade”.) It was at a late hour that night morning that I finally reached the hideout and slept.
(To be continued)
Note: If anyone knows if any of the footage described in this report has survived we would be most happy to hear about it.