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CYBERPUNK CONVENTION 2019

ABOUT

The Teesside Cyberpunk Convention 2019 celebrates the importance of Teesside’s industrial landscape and the rain of the North of England on Ridley Scott’s vision for Blade Runner and the film's subsequent influence on the cyberpunk genre. 

The convention is a four-day event consisting of screenings, keynote addresses, talks, debates, workshops, markets and dystopian music nights. 

We will also delve into the current electronic/dystopian/experimental music/performance/gamer/cosplay, and AV underground scene on Teesside and the NE of England.

Most of all though, this is an event for the fans!

We want to invite the fan community to meet each other, discuss, debate, view, and party in all things Blade Runner and Cyberpunk on Teesside, the place that had so much influence on Ridley Scott and Blade Runner.

You may want to come and just take it all in, but there will be opportunities to participate so please look through the GET INVOLVED section.

We have been busy putting our programme together and will be adding further names and events over the coming months.

Have a better one.

Cyberpunk Team




 


Why Teesside?

Born in South Shields in 1937, Blade Runner director Ridley Scott’s family moved around the North-East of England before finally settling down in Greens Beck Road, Hartburn, Stockton-on-Tees where he attended the local Grangefield Grammar School (now The Grangefield Academy). On graduation from Grangefield, Scott attended the West Hartlepool College of Art from 1954 to 1958, obtaining a diploma in design before moving to the Royal College of Art in London and developing his reputation as one of the leading film directors of the 20/21 centuries.

Scott’s 1982 film Blade Runner - often cited as the most important science fiction/cyberpunk film ever made - is based upon the 1968 novel ‘Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep’ by Philip K Dick, a leading new-wave cyberpunk writer. Although ‘Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep’ is set in San Francisco, Scott’s epic re-sets the story in Los Angeles but in reality much of the film's aesthetic and film-noir atmosphere is based on Scott’s experience of Teesside, in particular the industrial flame stacks of ICI Wilton that became one of cinema’s most iconic images as Scott recreated their eerie glow for his dystopian vision of Blade Runner.

As Scott described himself:

“There’s a walk from Redcar into Hartlepool. I’d cross a bridge at night, and walk above the steel works. So that’s probably where the opening of Blade Runner comes from.”

Although Scott’s references to Blade Runner are often only externally referred to as relating to the opening sequences, the entire films atmosphere was influenced directly by the industrial architecture and Northern English weather of Teesside.

“It always seemed to be rather gloomy and raining, and I’d just think ‘God, this is beautiful’.

“You can find beauty in everything, and so I think I found the beauty in that darkness.”

From Tony Scott:

“I’ll tell you what my five favourite films are,…and the top of that list is Blade Runner, not just because my brother did it but because Blade Runner is such a brilliant film and it touches on so much of my past and I saw so much of Ridley and where we grew up, bringing in so much of his imagination and so much of his dreams come to the screen with that movie and most of all, you know the big stamp in terms of our background where we grew up was the rain. We grew up in the north of England and it was always raining,…..and the comics that Ridley used to read, so when I saw the movie I saw so much of him being brought to the screen”

Tony Scott (Film Director, Ridley’s brother) discussing Blade Runner in Dangerous Days: The Making of Blade Runner by Charles de Lauzirika.


Why November 2019?

Blade Runner is set in November 2019, and Cyberpunk’s other seminal anime film AKIRA is also set in 2019. Due to the significance of these dates and the fact that there will be so much attention placed on the films during this month in 2019, it seems fitting that the place that influenced so much of the genre’s success should itself host a major international convention to mark the occasion.

PROGRAMME

We are currently finalising our programme list of special guests, speakers, musicians, market traders and special events so bear with us! We are aiming to release the programme on the 7 July 2019, to coincide with ticket information.

However, what we can say at this stage is that we are honoured and excited to announce that Golden Globe winner and triple Emmy Award nominee, Joanna Cassidy (Nexus 6 Zhora Salome in Blade Runner) will be attending the convention. Joanna will participate in a special ‘In Conversation’ event, a Q+A panel and will also be one of the Cosplay prize winner judges! Joanna may also bring some photos to sign.

We are also delighted that Mr Paul M. Sammon, author of the Blade Runner bible, Future Noir: The Making of Blade Runner, will deliver a keynote lecture and attend a number of other panels.

From the Blade Runner community, we are also looking forward with great anticipation to talks and panels from Iain Souter (Blade Runner Worldwide and Blade Runner 2049 Worldwide Fans Groups) and Jaime Prater (Founder of Shoulder of Orion: The Blade Runner Podcast), who will record a special convention podcast.

Further speakers include Dr Robin Bunce (Cambridge University), who will chair a discussion on Blade Runner 2049. Robin is the editor of Blade Runner 2049 and Philosophy (due for release in September 2019).

News to follow on other speakers soon.

For the evening music events, we are super excited that CLINIC will be one of the headline acts for the Cyberpunk Ball. Together with our partners at the Tees Music Alliance, we have a series of ongoing conversations with other stellar performers and DJ/AV acts so will post news on here and on social media over the coming months.

For the Cyberpunk Market, we are also delighted to announce that Middlesbrough’s very own Interstellar Comics will be a key trader for the event. For news on how to get a stall at the market see the MARKET section below.

The following events are an overview of the festival, further details in July 2019 (watch this space)

Thursday 7th November

DAY ONE

Afternoon:
Registration

Evening:
Coach Tour of Wilton International (Chemical works inspiration for Blade Runner opening sequences)

Special Blade Runner Final Cut Outdoor Screening (wear warm clothes!)

Cyberpunk Social event at Base Camp, Middlesbrough 

Friday 8th November

DAY TWO

Daytime:
Talks, Q+As and Keynote address

Evening:
Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep (The Teesside Experimental Commission), ARC, Stockton-on-Tees

Joanna Cassidy (Zhora Salome in Blade Runner) ‘In Conversation’ with Paul M. Sammon (author of Future Noir: The Making of Blade Runner), ARC, Stockton-on-Tees

Cyberpunk Social event at Georgian Theatre, Stockton-on-Tees

Saturday 9th November

DAY THREE

Daytime:
Cyberpunk Market, Middlesbrough Town Hall Crypt

Talks, Q+As and Keynote address

Evening:
Cyberpunk Market continues with expanded 'Make up' department

Cyberpunk Cosplay Ball at Middlesbrough Town Hall (CLINIC announced as one of 1st Headliners) (Joanna Cassidy confirmed as one of Cosplay judges)

Sunday 10th November

DAY FOUR

Morning:
Talk by local historian at Greens Beck Road, Hartburn, Stockton-on-Tees (outside Ridley Scott's old house)

Ridley Scott 'Boy and Bicycle' Re-enactement bike ride to Hartlepool (Town of Ridley Scott's former college)

Ceremonial procession and Sound Commission whist cycling down Church Street and into Main Church Square, Hartlepool

Screening of 'Boy and Bicycle' (Ridley Scott 1965) in Main Church Square, Hartlepool (in collaboration with the Northern Art School)

Afternoon:
Transporter Bridge Sound Commission (whilst delegates and public cross Teesside’s iconic Transporter Bridge)

Screening of Blade Runner 2049 followed by Q+A with Dr Robin Bunce + guests (Dr Robin Bunce, Cambridge University. Author of Blade Runner 2049 and Philosophy)

PARTICIPANTS

Special Guests:

Joanna Cassidy

JOANNA CASSIDY

Joanna cassidy is an American actor. She is best known for her roles as the Nexus 6 replicant Zhora Salome in Ridley Scott’s classic 'Blade Runner' (1982), and Dolores in 'Who Framed Roger Rabbit' (1988). She has won a Golden Globe award, was nominated for three Emmy awards and was also nominated for a Saturn award and Screen Actors Guild awards.

Cassidy has also starred in films such as 'Under Fire', 'The Fourth Protocol’, 'The Package', 'Where The Heart Is', 'Don’t Tell Mom The Babysitter’s Dead', 'Vampire In Brooklyn’, and 'Ghosts Of Mars’. From 2001 to 2005, she played Margaret Chenowith on the HBO drama series 'Six Feet Under'. From 2011 to 2013, she played Joan Hunt on the ABC series 'Body Of Proof'. Since 2015 she has played the role of Candace Von Weber on the Bravo scripted series 'Odd Mom Out'.

Joanna Cassidy

KATY HABER

Katy Haber’s career in the entertainment industry began in England working for Producer Ronald Kahn for five years. During which time she worked on PRUDENCE AND THE PILL starring David Niven and Deborah Kerr, directed by Ronald Neame, and MUMSY NANNY AND GIRLY directed by Freddie Francis, and stage production of THE MATCH GIRLS.

Haber then worked with Sam Peckinpah on STRAW DOGS (in Cornwall and Twickenham studios), and then went to the US working with Peckinpah on JUNIOR BONNER and THE GETAWAY (with Steve McQueen), PAT GARRETT AND BILLY THE KID, BRING ME THE HEAD OF ALFREDO GARCIA, KILLER ELITE, CROSS OF IRON and CONVOY.

She then joined Michael Deeley at EMI FILMS as Post Production Supervisor on Michael Cimino’s award winning THE DEER HUNTER.

In 1981, Michael Deeley and Haber produced BLADE RUNNER with Sir Ridley Scott. She then returned to EMI as Executive in Charge of Production on Paul Bartel’s NOT FOR PUBLICATION starring Nancy Allen, before becoming Production Co-ordinator on James Foley’s AT CLOSE RANGE starring Christopher Walken and Sean Penn. Haber was also Production Executive on Michael Cimino’s THE SICILIAN.

As Head of Development at Consolidated Television and Head of Creative Affairs at Island World Productions, Haber developed MOW’s and reality programming. She co-produced SAM PECKINPAH MAN OF IRON a documentary for BBC/A and E and also co-produced 2 documentaries for Channel 4 in London, one on STRAW DOGS and the other on the PINK PANTHER.  

Guest Speakers:

Joanna Cassidy

PAUL M. SAMMON

Paul M Sammon is an author, filmmaker, and Hollywood Insider. His many articles have appeared in THE LOS ANGELES TIMES, EMPIRE and THE AMERICAN CINEMATOGRAPHER magazines. His dozen books include CONAN THE PHENOMENON (by Dark Horse Books), THE MAKING OF STARSHIP TROOPERS, and the ALIEN/ALIENS screenplay books.

However, Sammon’s best-known textual work is FUTURE NOIR: THE MAKING OF BLADE RUNNER. FUTURE NOIR has been in continuous print for 23 years, has appeared in three different printings, and was expanded in 2017 for the Revised/Updated Edition. Sammon was embedded on-set with BLADE RUNNER for 18 months; he is now considered the world authority on Ridley Scott’s ground-breaking SF masterpiece, while FUTURE NOIR has been acclaimed as one of the greatest of all “making of” books.

Additionally, Paul Sammon has worked on approximately 100 films and television programs. His job titles have included stints as a Studio Executive, Producer, Computer Graphics Supervisor, Unit Still Photographer, DVD Audio Commentator and actor. He co-produced the long-running Japanese TV series HELLO! MOVIES (1988-1992) and co-wrote the 1988 screenplay - in Moscow - for “Stereotypes”, the first jointly-made Russian/American animated film.

Sammon was also fortunate enough to work directly with Paul Verhoeven on ROBOCOP and STARSHIP TROOPERS, experiences informing his next book, which examines ROBO, TROOPERS and Verhoeven’s TOTAL RECALL.

Paul now lives on America’s East and West coasts.

JM PRATER

JM Prater is the founder and host of Shoulder of Orion: The Blade Runner Podcast. JM is a native of Chicago, Illinois. Studying film and video at Columbia College Chicago, JM has been a rabid fan of film and science fiction all of his life. A published author and filmmaker, JM started Shoulder of Orion out of a need for a voice in the niche fan community.

Personal website: www.designundertheskin.tumblr.com
Shoulder of Orion: www.bladerunnerpodcast.com
Perfect Organism: www.perfectorganism.com

IAIN SOUTER 

A former detective, Iain has known what it is to run the edge of that blade.

Lured in by the richness of talent involved in the sci-fi props scene, he sought active discourse on the deeper secrets waiting to be unlocked within his favourite movie’s many incarnations. Finding little outlet for this need, Iain founded the Blade Runner Worldwide Fan Group, with the sequel spawning a sister - the Blade Runner 2049 Worldwide Fan Group - and other niche groups, relating to “the greatest science fiction movie ever made” (fact!).

Iain continues searching for the evidence of what it is that makes us human.

He likes to talk and to share.

DR ROBIN BUNCE

Robin Bunce is a historian of ideas based at Homerton College, University of Cambridge. He is the editor of Blade Runner 2049 and Philosophy, he writes about political radicalism and is Cambridge University's expert on the Daleks.

IAN WOLF

Ian Wolf (one “I”, no “E” on the end), born Ian Dunn (one “I”, no “E” on the end), is a anime and manga critic, comedy review collector, and one of the few people to have come last on Mastermind twice.

Born in Stockton-on-Tees in 1986, Ian was diagnosed with Asperger’s syndrome at a young age. While his first experience of Japanese animation (anime) was Pokemon, he truly got into it when he began a Media Studies degree at Teesside University in the mid-2000s. This passion for anime resulted in him becoming a review for the website Anime UK News, the manga (Japanese comic book) critic for all 71 issues of MyM Magazine (published 2012-18), and the editor of the TV and film website On The Box. He is currently carrying out his New Year’s Resolution of reading one volume of manga every day until his massive backlog of books is cleared.

Ian’s other main passion is comedy, working as the “Data Specialist” for the British Comedy Guide (comedy.co.uk). He is most noted for collecting all the comedy reviews from every comedy show at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival since 2010, resulting in him winning the “Unsung Hero” award in the Ham Fist Prizes organised by the satirical magazine FringePig (the only person ever to be given this award). He also won less than 1% of an Edinburgh Comedy Award for taking part in Iraq Out and Loud, a 24-hour-a-day reading of the entire Chilcot Report from cover-to-cover. Other notable comedy achievements include being given an award in “Advanced Pedantry” by QI, for correcting Josh Widdicombe after he once named the wrong B-road wrong in a fact he gave.

Live Music:

Joanna Cassidy

CLINIC

A Grammy nomination, high profile tours with the likes of The Flaming Lips, Super Furry Animals and Arcade Fire and a lot of reverence from notable artists, both established and emergent, over the years have seen Clinic flirt with the mainstream and be cemented into cult firmament alike, without ever really courting either acceptance directly.

Their craft, one that has always bloomed in isolation and seemed impervious to the fickle tide of trend or fad - remains both resolutely eclectic and acutely focused. The junkshop-trawling analogue fetishism of the warm, smokey instrumentation that gives their songs such a vividly placeable sense of mood and atmosphere; the surrealist bent of Blackburn's lyrics - so steeped in their own personal mythology - and the band's over-riding commitment to never straying into the realm of the obvious or complacent are all long-standing elements of Clinic's work that are furthered, perfected even, on their new album Wheeltappers and Shunters.

Joanna Cassidy

STEEL CITY COLLECTIVE

Steel City Collective are a group of DJs and music producers from Sheffield, delivering the finest synthwave events in the north of England. Specialising in Darksynth, Outrun, Cyberpunk and Electro, their club nights are a nostalgia driven imagining of decadent and post-apocalyptic technological futures. Resident DJs and founders L.A. Rock and Jonny Lazer will take you on a journey into a macabre underworld that will uncover your deepest darkest inhibitions.

Guest Artists:

Joanna Cassidy

BONEFACE

He came from another dimension, where others looked just like him. Boneface's secret Lair is now located somewhere in the wastelands of Liverpool. His works of evil have been shown around the world, including galleries in San Francisco and Sydney. His mad campaign to conquer the entire world is slowly coming together...

Described as 'slimed pop-art', boneface's work is jammed with the colour schemes of early 90's Marvel and 50's monster comics. Featuring superheroes and villains, leather clad ghoul's and skulls galore, boneface combines dark imagery with badass characters. Just don't ask what's underneath their masks.

Market Traders:

Joanna Cassidy

INTERSTELLAR COMICS

Middlesbrough's go to gaming venue with a real community feel. open late and offering space for all table top gamer's alike from card games to miniatures games, with a huge selection of back issue comics and graphic novels in stock, sandwiches snacks and drinks available it is truly somewhere where you can spend all day and not leave.

GET INVOLVED

MARKET TRADERS

Do you have any Blade Runner Merchandise?

Do you have any Blade Runner Art?

Do you have any old Blade Runner VHS?

Do you have any ideas for a stall at the Cyberpunk Street Level Market?

Visit the MARKET section for more details


'TALK, DON’T TALK’ FORUM SPACE

Do you want to talk about Teesside’s influence on Ridley Scott?

Do you have a story to tell about Blade Runner or Blade Runner 2049?

Do you want to talk about Philip K Dick?

Do you want to talk about Cyberpunk?

Do you want to talk about anything else?

Throughout the Saturday of the Convention, we are running the Cyberpunk Street Level Market in the incredible Crypt of the Middlesbrough Town Hall.

The market is open to both the public and delegates.

As part of the Market, we are designing an area called ‘TALK, DON’T TALK’, a forum space that will allow you (delegates and public alike) to give a short talk/presentation on a Blade Runner topic that is dear to you heart. 


HOW DOES IT WORK?

Simply turn up, speak to the 'TALK, DON’T TALK' FORUM SUPERVISOR and book a slot to talk/present.

The talks will be 15min max.

Your name, time and title of talk/presentation will be posted on a large display board at the entrance to the forum.

Anyone can take part.

This is a first come, first served programme so arrive early to get a slot.

There will be time for some questions after each talk/presentation.

How many Questions?

MARKET

CALL OUT FOR:

COMICS, GAMERS, TATTOO, MAKE UP, HAIR, ORIGAMI, POSTERS, FALCONRY, LOCAL PRODUCE, RECORDS, ART, CLOTHING, VINTAGE, ANALOGUE TECH, BOOKS, FORTUNE TELLERS, SNAKE CHARMERS, RIDLEY SCOTT + BLADE RUNNER MEMORABILIA, CYBERPUNK MEMORABILIA, FAKES, CONCEPTUAL ART, PERFORMANCE, SHAMANS, RELIGION SELLERS, NOODLES, LOCAL CRAFT BEERS, PARMO STAND.

Throughout the Saturday of the Convention, we are running the Cyberpunk Street Level Market from 10am - 10pm in the incredible Crypt Space of the Middlesbrough Town Hall.

We want to create a market that references the atmosphere of the Blade Runner and Cyberpunk street level markets.

The market is open to the public and delegates, and will overlap with the opening of the Cyberpunk Cosplay Ball, that will start at 8pm in the Main Hall of Middlesbrough Town Hall (above the crypt space).

Due to the fact that the Cyberpunk Cosplay Ball starts at 8pm, we want to offer the attendees the chance to get ready for the big night in the market, so will invite a range of hair, make-up and fashion stylists to set up stall to take care of your every need!

For further details on how to apply for a stall, please contact info@cyberpunkconvention.com and put MARKET as your subject.

MUSIC

It can’t be a Cyberpunk Convention without nighttime action can it?

Taking the Taffy Lewis Bar as a start off point, we are putting together 3 nights of musical and AV experiences that will examine key Blade Runner/Cyberpunk themes, and the all important scores from Vangelis, Hans Zimmer and Benjamin Wallfisch and beyond.

Some of the music and AV components will be directly evocative of the original films and scores and related cyberpunk material, whilst other works will reflect the contemporaneous 2019 world of experimental music and performance emanating from Teesside and the NE of England.

As some of the organisers of the convention are based in Liverpool, expect a number of Trans-Pennine Express (Trans-Cyberian Express) linkages.

TICKETS

Ticket info will be announced in July 2019,
we will post news on social media and here

ACCOMMODATION


Holiday Inn, Middlesbrough
(This is an email link, quote CYBERPUNK CONVENTION’ as your subject!)

Jury’s Inn, Middlesbrough 
(Type in CYBERPUNK where it says: Add Promotional or Group Code.)



TRAVEL

Flights
Good news! Durham/Tees Valley Airport has daily KLM city-hopper flights to and from Amsterdam Schiphol so you can fly to the convention from anywhere in the world! The airport is a 20min taxi ride to all venues and hotels.
Other options are to fly to London, Manchester, Leeds, East Midlands, Glasgow or Edinburgh and travel from there.

Train/Bus
Check out train/bus routes online, all venues close to main stations/stops.

Car
Put location of hotel, talk, screening, or music event into your SatNav an go!

Walk/Bike
Yes please! Make sure you have warm clothing and See Through PVC coats and umbrellas (neon optional).

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