(Long time reader... first post!)
My own views on the AMV, er, entertainment at the show:
Friday morning: tickets handed out. Usual line, nothing special, no mishaps, off to other things quickly.
Friday evening: whoo! BIG crowd in front of the Theatre by 7, bigger crowd by 8, and a big ANGRY crowd by 9. Slight cheers every time it looked like people were being let in to the Theatre, followed by annoyed silence when each one proved to be false.
Many attempts to get a rousing unified cry of "Let us in! Let us in!", all of which died out when it became obvious nobody was listening. In some cases, there was a very thin chance the crowd would turn ugly, and I half expected people on the theatre roof to get the vats of boiling oil ready to repel the invaders...
At one point a tech guy came out and yelled something about what was going on, but I was far enough away that I couldn't hear a thing.
To help calm folks down, two of us (I think Senta Miller was the other one) pulled out our laptops and played AMVs for the crowd. Laptop speakers don't really carry well, but hopefully we made a difference.
Around 9 PM (two hours after the scheduled start) they finally let us in, but still no videos. More entertaining of folks in proximity with the laptop.
The rest of the blokes out there start their own entertainment by flying paper airplanes from the 3rd balcony to the main seats, with a cheer every time one makes it all the way. One plane nails an audience member on the top of the head. (Ermac: that was a GoH? Ick!) One sails on stage and pokes a hole in the projection screen. The staff yells at us, then sends someone on stage to remove the still-lodged plane. Volunteer staff then show up at every exit, and those that throw the planes are forcibly ejected from the theatre.
10 PM, and the tech staff declare defeat. 15 minutes of protest, yelling, and general chaos result in four failed solutions and one that seems acceptable. Nobody is happy, but there is no happy solution. The showing is resheduled for 8am Saturday morning, with another showing 8am Sunday morning for those trying to get Masquerade tickets Saturday.
As a consolation, the Metropolis DVD is played for the audience, but the brightness is too low to see much of the movie.
Saturday morning, and I have no notion of what's going on in the AMV contest. I'm waiting in line for Masquerade tickets instead... and I fail. Oh well. See others' posts for what went on at the contest.
Sunday morning's showing seemed extremely calm in comparison, if the comments here are any indication. No lines/crowd in front, and the theatre was only 1/4 filled. The vids ran smoothly, and there was virtually no complaining. (though maybe everyone was just tired and resigned by then)
As for the AMVs, I found the technical skills to be much advanced over last year's collection, but artistically this year's batch didn't have much going for it. The action category seemed especially uninteresting. I'll have to reflect on the vids shown, and post my thoughts later.
Overall I felt it was a royal foul-up. I accepted what was happening, but I'm an extremely forgiving person. Even so, I'll probably make good on last year's resolution, and go to Otakon or A-Con next year instead.
....and a big THANK YOU!!!!!!! to the folks here at a-m-v.org. If it weren't for the AMVs downloaded from here, the Friday crowd could have been much uglier.