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Winchest Midwest 2009 Review

Why should you spend your hard earned cash on a small convention that boasts no Jared, no Jensen, nor any of the actors or creative minds behind the show. What does attending this con buy you? Winchest Midwest provides an experience that conventions like Asylum, Creation and Eyecon can’t. Don’t misunderstand me, these organizers provide a valuable service, fan run conventions, especially small ones can not afford the fees associated with having the talent from a show or movie attend. The days of fan run conventions or even non profit conventions are dying; even one of the last major hold outs, Anime Expo is changing to a more “results driven performance model”, i.e. profits. Consequently, these conventions have little time to waste on activities that won’t maximize profit. They have to pay for the stars, employees and even provide incentives to the volunteers; there is no time for an hour long discussion on the impact of Classic Rock, as an example. This is where cons like Winchest Midwest come in. They are more like the convention seen in “The Real Ghostbusters” than a slick media con. Don’t let that comparison turn you off though, Kripke may have poked gentle fun at the fandom in that episode, but he also pointed out just as strongly that it is these grass root fans who really understand the heart and the message behind the show.

Winchest Midwest, run by Anteka and friends of Plastic Winchester fame, it is one of the better run fan conventions I have attended. It is the only Supernatural fan convention I have been at, but I have had a lot of other experience with fan run conventions from Gaming conventions to Science Fiction and Japanese animation, so I at least have a basis for comparison. One of the critical elements of any con is registration, some how it is always a problem with almost every fan run con I have, attended no matter what the size, so I was pleased when both pre-reg prior to the convention and sign in went smoothly. But the item that really stood out for me was the variety and the quality of the activities planned. Instead of being confined to just videos and fan based panels, the Winchest Midwest organizers branched out, having speakers from the Chicago Ghost Investigations, a 1967 Chevy Impala for the fans to examine, a brand new episode of Plastic Winchester Theater and a Ghost Tour of Chicago. The fan panels were also very well done, while you might not always agree with the fan panelists opinions, nothing is worse than going to a panel and finding out the speaker is unprepared or not in attendance. That was not the case with Winchest Midwest everyone who presented took the responsibility seriously and did a remarkable job of presenting video and slides to support their talk. Some of them were so fabulously done, that I couldn’t help but think that the Media cons could take a lesson from some of their presentations. Panels that were particularly outstanding, included the a review of the past season looking particularly at the endgame, analyzing the Hero's Journey, the mythology behind the demons and angels , the impact of the music on a scene which did not confine itself to illustrating just how music but also explored how a bigger budget could have enhanced scenes which had no music and a brilliant heart tugging tribute to work of Kim Manners, from his first performance as an actor through his directing of such shows as 21 Jump Street, Star Trek, the X-files and of course Supernatural.

So how do you know if Winchest Midwest is for you? If you’re favorite sites include Bardic Descant, Heavy Meta, Plastic Winchester Theater and Supernatural Cinematography, and you live with in a few hours of Chicago then you would probably enjoy yourself very much at a fraction of the cost of a Media Con. The Fourth Winchest Midwest will be held in the Chicagoland area, March 12 through the 14th, 2010.

Click here to take a look back at Winchest Midwest 2009 in pictures

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( 9 comments — Leave a comment )
Feb. 4th, 2010 12:48 am (UTC)
I can only agree with this; I enjoyed myself so much at last year's Winchest, I not only am looking forward to another one soon but I regret I was not at the previous ones. It was a great experience. the panels were informative and entertaining, and the enthusiasm was unabashed.
Feb. 4th, 2010 02:59 am (UTC)
I regret not just missing the previous cons - but practically missing out on the 1st three seasons. Where was my head

Feb. 4th, 2010 01:44 am (UTC)
I've never been to a con, but I've always wanted to. If my friend can, I will. I live in AK and this seems like it'll be worth the trip.

I'm going to look at the pics now...

Thx for the review!
Feb. 4th, 2010 03:01 am (UTC)
It's very reasonably priced too.


Feb. 4th, 2010 04:41 am (UTC)
I know! That's one reason I'm vying for this! ^_^ It's gonna be awesome, I hope.
Feb. 4th, 2010 02:30 am (UTC)
Sounds great! Too bad I no longer live in the midwest. :( Have fun! I want to hear all about it. :)
Feb. 4th, 2010 03:02 am (UTC)
I will definitely share. May take me a while to write it up ^_^ I still haven't written up Van Con or Chi-Con 2009

Feb. 5th, 2010 03:16 am (UTC)
WinchestMidwest will be my first SPN convention, and you have just doubled my anticipation! I can't wait!
Feb. 14th, 2010 07:27 am (UTC)
Well I look forward to meeting you as I definitely plan to attend

( 9 comments — Leave a comment )