This post is following our Annual General Meeting which you’ll be able to read the report soon.
We decided not to remain silent in reaction to some events and to clearly give our opinion so that no-one think the EMG completely morally passiv.
Anyone is free to express himself after reading the following and respecting each other.
*The whole team of the Children of MacGyver*
//Open letter to major events, Stargate™ builders and general public//
In an association’s life, there is obviously ups and down… some donuts, tall funny guys or little and mean (or the contrary) but first of all, moments of life that are high in humanity and when they happen they can be really enjoyable, friendly and many tit for tat, or quite tense, unpleasant and especially on a knife edge.
So I’ll try to write this message while being as objective and opened as possible to avoid being cut in half.
Since the beginning of this project (6 years for me), the EMG and the building process (2 years) we worked on two very concrete aspects :
1. Create a Stargate™ replica as close as possible to the original, using original parts or copies of them. We had no rest looking for the most various and accurate sources in order to achieve the best model ever.
2. Doing our best to advertise the project to the most audience possible, have some assignments with major events about SF world, make rentals, partnership, etc… so the public would have access to our decor and, if possible to realize other ones in the future.
I have to admit that both of these aspects worked well (slowly but surely) although we consumed our social life doing it, starting with me.
We now have all the necessary sources to finish the gate’s building process and everything will set up from now until the end of the summer holidays. For those who might think the project was dead, no, that’s not the case, far from it, but we all have a lot to do in addition of this project, although it takes more than half of our free time. Yes the gate will be built and sooner than you can imagine, but unfortunatley we have been forced to hide some parts of our work’s progress or sources discovery after some events.
We also had a lot of support, mostly actors from the show, directors, the first film and future trilogy creator, the company in charge of the Stargate™ props auctions, various events about SF, Fantasy and Mangas, the biggest fans including some talented prop makers, SG groups around the world including cosplayers, and the public in general. Today I am proud of what we have accomplished by being so few people and being so unexperienced. But we learned, we searched for informations and skills that we didn’t had, unpretentious and sharing with our contacts. Not a single penny has been spent for a service, everything has been made by trades and all our expenses were made for raw materials except for our Backpanel.
There is well meaning people everywhere, we should just let them express…
One or two years after the beginning of the project, I’ve been criticized for having made a replica of an object bought to a fan. He said I should have asked for his permission (which I tried to do) so I made a mistake at this time. It’s hard to know someone’s feeling when it’s about props, as a fan, as copy-maker or as prop builder from scratch.
Since then, I have decided that I’d always be clear about my intentions and that each intermediary would be kept informed of my plans, for any aspect of the Stargate™ construction they might be involved in.
It was the case when I aked for some 3D Stargate™’s files on the web, at our beginning when I trade pieces with a contact in England who was building a Stargate™ too. And when we contacted most events on the subject in France, Swiss and Belgium, etc…
Of course, I contacted others set builders, (some had already built a Stargate™) to get their opinions about my project and be sure that it wouldn’t hurt them, because it wasn’t my will at all.
I’ve always quoted my sources. Whether for public or privates pics. Most times I gave these sources to those who where looking for them, as sharing. That way, I want to thank Bertrand for his 3d Stargate™, Cheech for his SGA segment pictures, Andy for trading Stargate™ pieces and his patience toward my novice practice, Stitchloft for his very high definition pictures, DbFx for their advices, support and welcoming me in their workshop despite they had very limited time, Philippe who will set us up in Paris for a big part of the building process, Bra’zat for his help during events and giving us reliable and high value sources even for a few hours, SIlitech for their advices about molding process and raw materials, several of my coworkers for technical help, Skua and his friend, the BCD for mutual advices, Brandon, Fabien, Antoine, Jérôme, Spoune, Marvin, Samuel, Lionel, Anders, for their help in 3D, technical advices and sources, whether past, present or futur and many handymen and friends from my family. All of this is only for the building process part, there is all the others for their support, welcome, kindness, help without waiting anything and for their unexpected friendship. I keep a mark of each of you because I know that without you we wouldn’t have been able to go so far.
Long wasn’t it ? That’s because I want my message to be understood.
Increasingly and seriously in a public way we are beginning to see people throwing us up roadblocks and mostly taking much of our content without helding to account, without contacting us, without even saying ‘hello, I take this”, without quoting us, without even thinking we worked hard on it… and this, is desappointing, if you could know how much it is …
Do not misunderstand me, I am very happy when other people are building their own Stargate™, model scale, human size, life size as well. That’s what my contact in UK is doing, I am making trades for Stargate™ pieces with him. To be clear, right away we have been honest to each other, deciding who sells what to who, who makes what with his SG, etc…
We received a lot of emails saying “I’d like to build a Stargate™ as well, how do I do ? Can you give me your 3D model and all your sources ?” At this moment we invited people to tell us what was exactly their project, we tried to give them informations and advices. We didn’t offered them everything, but we asked them to read our blog, and make up their own minds to build a SG. We were excited to follow their work and share it, hoping they will quote us for our previous work … I have to say that most times I had the feeling that we owed them as the way they asked us. So yes, sometimes we were not as much helpful as we would like to because we would like to be respected for what we have already done.
And then, strange things happened …. we went to foreign events to meet actors (as all visitors do), as always we spoked about our project, actors seemed once again very interested and curious to learn more about it. Everything was going well until the staff restrain us to meet the actors, to speak with them (what we paid our ticket for) and give them informations about our project. Why ?
When you are events organisers and have the WILL (and only the will) to build your own Stargate™, you don’t spit on those that are working on the same project over 6 years ! It is dishonest, that’s small and sad, because we could find so many ways to share instead of throwing up roadblocks, to work together instead of racing and be the faster to release our work by putting some sort of barriers on the other’s path …
That’s for one thing.
On the other hand, I think that when you are conversing to work together (between event and association), for a partnership, even involving a big financial support, whatever happens, you don’t stay naught until engaging professionnal people to do the same project on your own side. Why ? Because it’s totally against the reason why I begun this project, it begins to make me sick, it makes me sad. The idea was to say “If we don’t have knowledge, money or time, but a strong will, can we realize our dream, and if we can, side by side with those who share the same dream ?” and not “If we have the cash and we release before the others we win more than if we support them financially, right ?”
And others, others, others…
So, I just wanted you to know ; we are open to share our sources, giving advices, working together for any kind of project that is similar to ours, as long as everything is clear, as long as we don’t be in the way of each other. As long as we search together for a way to live in a good way side by side.
If you want to kill small associations that make good job, carry on with this, but you’ll loose your public pretty quickly.
I want to make some accuracies :
It is difficult to know exactly what’s happening in backstage for bigs events, because messages are passing by many people and sometimes decisions are made without everything to be clear. So I don’t mention the stakeholders because this message is not a call for boycott but a call for support from the public and fan, for small and bigger associations because you are making us live and would be able to bring pressure to see us often with new content.
We never declined any financial offer of any kind. We had a few ones, but no one replied to us when we asked for more informations. Most times when an event is supporting us by bringing us on their show, we remember it preciously to make a discount for their future renting when the Stargate™ will be done.
We always wanted to do things on our own, even if it meant to learn, and that’s why we took time. We permanently need workforce, even more right now, so if you’re near Geneva come lend us a hand even if you think you can’t do anything with your ten fingers.
We do not have money, our ressources are -8000€ now, and we are own the way to ends up at -30 000€. We will only be able to refund us and display new contents by renting the gate, and we hope we won’t loose contracts for others builds. We’d like to stand side by side with the new and the previous gates, because we are deeply respectful for the people who made them and did continuous reschearches like us to be more and more accurate (and safer for the public).
We are less present in conventions and festivals because the project is approaching to it’s end and we won’t be paid for our venue but licensed and paid (money that will return to the association to refund materials and making others projects) for our service provided with the gate. So, it’s a complete different budget and as we can’t see it finished, some are scared to bring us on their events. What is totally understandable.
We’ve always avoided any tension with other groups by being neutral most times in the pre-existing conflicts and we’ve been patient with most people that jeopardised us without realizing it.
We remember every persons that helped us so far (on our memory and on paper), because this project it’s us, but also them, even if you don’t see them.
We hope a warm welcome from the public once the project will be done because for the most part, we are making it for you.
Here we are, I want to thank those who’d took the time to read me. It’s mainly the association’s opinion in his globality, but I expressed myself before all.
We deeply hope to get at the end of this to see your eyes full of stars ! 😉