Some POSSIBLE good news re guests . . .

I emailed my contact in Chase's office yesterday regarding the possibility of getting him to appear at our convention, and we (the contact and I) spoke by phone about it this morning.

The great news is that he said David was "open to it". But he immediately countered that the problem, he felt, was that David might well be in Europe by the time the finale airs. I think I recall reading that Chase keeps a home in France, so I assume that he goes there to relax when not facing the tremendous pressures of the actual production season.

As we got into more detail, trying to nail down dates and so forth, my contact (let's just call him Joe, since I THINK he would prefer to remain anonymous for now to the board at large) indicated that the most likely air date for the first episode is Sunday, March 25th. He also indicated that the slate still calls for 8 episodes, MAYBE a 9th (but apparently not a 10th, as seemed possible at one point). When we actually got the calendar out, that put the finale most likely on May 13, possibly May 20th, if there is a 9th episode. Both scenarios discount the possibility that there will be a two-week interval between the pentultimate and last episodes, as has been the case the last 2 seasons. Joe agreed that that decision would come from the exeuctive ranks of HBO and not from Chase or the creative personnel.

So, with that bit of uncertainty, I pressed just a bit to discover exactly HOW open he meant by the phrase "he is open". Joe left me with the distinct impression (without saying the actual words) that, as long as this is a legitimate venture negotiated with some amount of competence, and as long as it doesn't conflict with his plans to return to Europe at season's end, he would do it. He also intimated, while jocularly avoiding using the name, that Chase has visited this site, has read some of the threads (the most extravagantly analytical of which he has found quite amusing), and is appreciative of the praise and fervent interest in his work that is expressed here. (Let's not advertise the fact of his occasional visits out in the general forums, however.)

Realizing that we both needed more certainty in the situation, Joe told me to follow up with him in mid December and that he would have a more definite idea then as to both Chase's availability and the actual air date for the finale.

So it's far from a done deal, but I'm very optimistic. I wasn't sure Joe would be up for facilitating something like this, since so many in his position (on the inside of something this prestigious) are intemperate, insecure folks who love to perpetuate their own fraternity of celebrity by excluding those who would seek to get too close. But through every communication I've had with him, he consistently comes across as a genuinely nice, gracious guy who hasn't let the magnitude of his work associations go to his head. I was made to feel very welcome to follow up with him by phone or email any time.

And I will certainly do so come mid-December. Fingers crossed that the dates work out.

In the meantime, he asked me if we had a name for this gathering, perhaps because I mentioned that HBO might even be interested in covering it as part of their inevitable finale weekend hype. So we really need to put our heads together to come up with a name and some other interesting itenerary for the weekend. I've got to run now but will return to this forum tonight or tomorrow to offer some more ideas on those issues.

Re: Some POSSIBLE good news re guests . . .

That is fantastic news (however tentative)! It certainly has me excited about the event, and his attendance would definitely be the kick in the ass, so to speak, for me (and quite a few others, I'm sure) to make the trek all the way from California. Keep us posted, please.

Are you in contact with any other possible guests?

Re: Some POSSIBLE good news re guests . . .

This is indeed wonderous news, Fly! I have been following the general planning thread for the proposed get-together, though not sure I would be able to make the trek but certainly desiring to do so. To get Chase and/or any other member of the team certainly would make the idea that much more tenable. I am truly impressed that this board, and certainly your tenacious and impressive personality, have helped perhaps get this thing going as far as it has. Online boards are a dime a dozen, but I have always felt that your work to establish this place was more work than many might put into such an endeavor and this possibility puts much credance into that feeling.

I would think that the general two week interval before the last episode, whichever that ends up being, would almost be a given the way HBO (and general televison) works. They will want to generate as much discussion as possible about such. But simply the idea that a 9th episode might be out there, and then the further chance that Chase and more might be interested in meeting with us, certainly seems to light a fire under all of us to assist in any way we can.

As for a name, I fear my marketing skills are never at their best. Something to do with being "made" perhaps? Or "the inner thought" behind The Sopranos? The later is really more in our line of thought as we have given over so much time to trying to determine what makes it so. Perhaps, "Melfi's Circle"...or better yet, The Chase Lounge in Melfi's Office...something like that. I'll keep giving it some thought.

Like I said, this is great news and certainly something to follow up. And to think mine and others meager thoughts on the man's work, and the work of so many others, might have been read...that's kind of nice, I have to admit. Not half as much as I am, and remain, impressed (though without the famed "Vito tangent") with his work! Very good tidings for a Friday night, to be sure. Let's hope it keeps boiling. :icon_biggrin:
"Leave the gun...take the cannoli." - Clemenza

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Re: Some POSSIBLE good news re guests . . .

jouster wrote:Are you in contact with any other possible guests?

Jouster, in the email I sent, I set out all sorts of contingency guests that I might like help contacting, hoping for a total of 4-6 people. But -- and this was strictly my decision -- I told him that if David were interested in appearing, my preference would be to have him as the sole guest for 90-120 minutes (or until he was tired of us:icon_mrgreen:) of Q&A on the Saturday evening before the finale airs.

My reasons for the contingency aspect were twofold. First, as far as I'm concerned (and many others, I think, share the view) Chase IS the Sopranos. As great as the other writers are, as great as the direction is, as great as the acting is, as great as the production design and cinematography are, IMO he is -- by far -- the reason that this show is the monumental work of art that it is. The things Joe has shared in conversation have only confirmed (in more detail) what we've all read about how Chase's fingerprints are on every single script and aspect of production. So if we are lucky enough to get him to appear, I wouldn't want his presence diluted with other guests.

Second, this was my first "feeling out" contact about the event, and I didn't want to overwhelm the guy by putting this big list of names out there and asking him to inquire about all their availabilities, especially since they are in the middle of production and will remain so right through the airing of most of the episodes next year. Joe works most closely with Chase, and I felt that made him the logical place to start.

That's not to say, however, that I'm against lining up other guests for an entirely separate segment of the itenerary, say that Saturday afternoon, or even Sunday afternoon. In fact, that would be great:icon_mrgreen:. But if we get a commitment from Chase, I would probably pursue any additional guests through someone at HBO. Once I can represent to them that Chase will attend, I think I could attract enough interest and credibility at the network to get their cooperation in trying to coordinate and line up other people. And that kind of job is much more suited to network personnel than creative show personnel anyway.

Just out of curiosity -- and this is really putting the cart before the horse, I know -- would you guys welcome HBO cameras there to film segments of the event for possible use in their weekend hype of the finale? One way or the other, any appearance by Chase will be videotaped, unless he requests otherwise. (As some of you may be aware, video production is my business, and I would personally cart my own equipment up there if necessary to be able to tape this. My plan, obviously, is to make DVDs available afterward to all attendees at a price designed to recoup my out of pocket costs -- which would include hiring operators . . . (I expect to be busy.:icon_mrgreen:)

Re: Some POSSIBLE good news re guests . . .

I certainly have no issue with cameras, Fly, if Chase doesn't. I'm not pretty but I ain't ugly neither. :icon_wink: Truthfully, the idea of a recorded session would be a treasure I am sure anyone that attented would hold dear. And I don't know how much assistance I might provide in that department as my experience is in front of a camera rather than behind it, but anything I can do, as always, you only need ask. And that goes for the whole event.
"Leave the gun...take the cannoli." - Clemenza

Think Tony Died? Consider this...

Visit my Blog at Hear the Hurd

Re: Some POSSIBLE good news re guests . . .

Jouster, I have not yet contacted the guy since late October, mainly because there has been NO expressed interest in the event from anyone at the forum in the interim. I'm getting the sinking feeling that only a handful of people really want to attend this thing.

Many of the folks who first expressed (in chat) last June that they would be up for this haven't even visited Chase Lounge since it moved here last summer. For example, billymac seems to have dropped off the face of the earth, and he was one of the most prolific posters in season 6a (and was also active long before at Sopranoland). ObservingEgo hasn't shown up here in many months and was certainly among those in chat who indicated he would attend. I can't recall now for sure, but I thought Chrisishot and SofiaG were also in chat that night and indicated they would be interested.

I have made this forum invisible to those with post counts under 20 on the theory that I'd like to limit attendance to those who have some kind of track record here (there are a lot of wierdos floating around the internet . . . take me for example.:icon_mrgreen:) But even if I imposed a much lower limit, I'm not sure it would help much.

Here are some hard numbers: only 177 registered members have visited Chase Lounge since it moved here in July of last year. Of those, only 65 have recorded at least one post, and only 35 meet the current 20 post minimum. That means only 35 people have even seen the "invisible" forum. And you can see for yourself how few of those have ever expressed interest in attending.

In contrast, a little over 300 people posted at least once during season 6a at EZboard.

I've been waiting and hoping that as April approaches we would get a lot of old members returning and a lot more posting activity that would lead to more people seeing and expressing interest in the event. That would enable me to make some firm commitments as to the kind of facilities we'd need, the maximum it would cost to attend, and the size of audience we'd have for Chase's appearance (assuming he agrees). I never expected nor required that it be some huge gathering in the hundreds, but I'd like to be able to count on at least 35 or 40 people, and that seems pretty far away at the moment.

I suppose I could open the special forum to those with a very modest post count (5 or over) just to see if that results in ANY bump. Beyond that, I'm open to suggestions and am relieved that someone else is still interested enough to bring it up.

Re: Some POSSIBLE good news re guests . . .

I would absolutely love to come to the event (especially if Chase is there) and I know at least two of my friends who would also love to be there. We are all saving up for interships in LA this summer and will probably have a hard time making it happen. If we can't make it, I would love to buy a DVD of the interview over the internet or something. Either way, don't be discouraged about the event. I think much more people will be interested than you realize, especially as the show starts up agian.

Re: Some POSSIBLE good news re guests . . .

Hi there Fly,

I'm afraid I am one of those who hasn't posted very much and you have my sincerest apologies. It think your idea to get to Jersey is a great one. In theory, it would be difficult, to say the least, for me to join you all there as I would have to come from the UK. My family lies in Boston so that would be a reason to get out that way but I can;t manage it often and was only there this past summer with husband and 2 kids. but who knows, there is always some hope and life has surprises sometimes, so I won;t discount it altogether. And, I will try to post more!
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