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KingRichard76

Whats YOUR opinion on paying for Autographs?

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KingRichard76    996

Silly topic I know to start but obviously theres enough people that go to conventions and signing events here to get an idea.

 

In life we have different things that make us happy, you get corporate executivves that spend their money on buying up small islands, ferraris, or a second, third or fourth home somewhere ridiculously pricey, then you've got musicians and the like spending all their royalties on drink and recreational products.

 

Then theres us, FanGirls/Boys who have grown up watching Films and TV Shows and when we were watching these on the big and then small screen we never thought we'd meet those who have brought us so much pleasure etc.

 

The other day I was approached by a National newspaper concerning Gillian Andersons appearance at London Film and Comic and how as a Fan I felt about paying for a photoshoot, talk and of course her Autograph. Theres a few people already who have most probably seen what I had to say and how I was all for it, and the journalist was more than fair with what he published and said - this in itself is giving very good press to Showmasters.

 

Of course theres the flip side of the coin where people dont see the "big deal" about "Someones" name or in some cases initials on an item - but for the rest of us this is more than the World.

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Spock    27

Let's face it, without the likes of Showmasters (who are the best in my opinion) we would never have the opportunity to meet these people who have defined our lives in no small way, through their talents and dedication. Something you can't put a price on, but if you have to, then well worth the money, I reckon.

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jael001    287

A few years ago I used to go to the premieres a lot in the hope of meeting actors I liked. A high percentage of the time I'd miss out on meeting them and getting an autograph unless I got there at some silly time of the morning and spent 12 hours or more standing in one spot. In fact for one premiere I actually slept in Leicester Square overnight and spent a total of 26 hours waiting and still missed out on a couple of actors I wanted to meet. I decided that I was no longer going to do that, no actor was worth that, I'd rather pay my money and be guaranteed to meet them and get an autograph in a controlled environment. For several years I didnt go on holiday at all, I spent any spare money on conventions and signing events rather than lying on a beach somewhere, and I never regretted a penny of it.

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etmuse    444

For me it's not really about the autograph itself, so I view it more as paying for the opportunity to meet the guest in question, maybe get a few words of conversation, and have a reminder to take away with me of the meeting. There are people I've met at stage doors, but that's always down to chance whether you'll actually see them, it's rare to actually get to talk, and can involve a lot of standing around in the cold. (And in a way I pay for the chance to meet those people too, in that I never go to the stage door of a production I haven't actually seen.)

 

There's a reason that, like jael001, I hadn't been out of the country in 5 years until last year. (And my foreign holiday this year involved a convention.) My money is far better spent on the convention scene - I've met some people I would never have imagined I could meet.

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but asking it here you will always have people saying yes, because that's what we all do. Personally I don't mind paying, within reason. For example, I wouldn't pay the higher price for some of the 'bigger' guests as they have done theatre, and to me the price isn't worth it to me, even tho i'm a fan, they seem to do it for money, and i would like to think they do it for the fans :-)! That being said, if it was some1 i really wanted i would pay it, albeit through gritted teeth :-)

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BigSi13    31

Currently, Showmasters do lead the way for fan events in the Signing forumla. There are other long standing weekend convention organisers who do a great job, but with Showmasters own weekend convention company Massive Events growing year by year, the market shapes more and more to SM/ME eventually being the leader in both formats. But this will only happen if SM/ME continue to evolve and listen to the peopel that put them where they are...the fans.

 

I know so many people who spend a fortune on going out on a weekend, but have little more than a hangover and embarrassing moment to remember if they want to. I have found my years of attending signing events and weekend conventions a fun time in the main. You generally meet some great people who want to have fun like you. So, to me, spending money on talks, photos, autos etc is the same as other friends of mine who go out and spend a fortune on drinks etc. Also, the outfits some of my female friends buy for nights out go out of fashion or become too small etc. Photos etc do n't go out of fashion...even if the clothes we wear in them do.

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GoldenGreen    745

Paying for autographs is a fairly modern phenomenon, whilst celebrities have been signing autographs for many years most of todays organised events have grown out of the fan based events for series like Star Trek or Star Wars. For many celebrities that attend events, this has become their career so if there is a demand for them then they should receive a payment, and hence the best way for this is through a payment for the autograph or a photoshoot. Effectively they are at work when they attend an event.

 

Alternatively, at a Premiere this is slightly different as part of their contract for a film will include participating in the PR for the film, so effectively they are being paid for their attendance already and will sign autographs for free.

 

Having been doing both for the last 20 years, both experiences are very different.

 

At a Premiere, you have a lot of waiting around, possibly even from the night before, or a very long day where for about an hour you may, or may not get an autograph, photo etc You are subject to a lot of factors, bad weather, people jostling you etc and even when you do get an auto it is often a quick squiggle. On the other hand how else will you get an auto of some Hollywood A Listers sure you could write to them through for the mail, but then you don't know if you are getting the genuine article.

 

At a signing show, you are effectively contributing to the celebs wages for the day, but in return you get a much better meeting experience in general with the guest, a nice high quality photo op and a good clear signature (in most cases at least !). Yes, you have to queue up, but nothing compared to waiting around for a Premiere.

 

Personally, I've enjoyed doing both , both have upsides and downsides and part I suspect will depend on what you personally want out of your meeting with the celeb. For example I've had much better meeting experiences with David Hasselhoff, Gillian Anderson and Simon Pegg at signing events, than at Premieres, but I got autographs from them at both types of event.

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Bagpuss1974    8

I don't have a problem paying for the autographs at all. These stars have to sit there hours at a time, sometimes they look bored so to help pay them for their time is a good thing really. Sometimes some are over priced but that has never stopped me from getting them. If you like a certain star and they aren't normally from the UK it is often worth it. But Showmasters are very well priced I feel.

Yes there is all the waiting around, the long queues, the up early in the morning to get there early, the travel etc... But I love it. If it is not for you then all the waiting around etc... will put you off. But if you are a fan of these events, can pay the money, love the autographs and love meeting the stars in this way this is the perfect way to do it. The everyman can now meet his/her stars....

Edited by Bagpuss1974
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Zahariel    965

Having never been to a premiere I can't comment on that - though I don't think it would be for me. All the crampt pushing and shoving and clammoring for that elusive autograph that turns out to be a squiggle... Getting to spend a few seconds one-on-one time with the actors at these events is worth the expense. Getting to meet all the cosplayers, fellow geeks who are all happy and friendly is more then worth the fees and you are almost certainly guaranteed to get what you want and then some here...

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Jid1993    178

I totally agree with most. I personally live in the middle of the countryside, would never get the chance to meet any of these guests if it wasn't for these events. Although I believe the prices for autographs can be a bit pricey, I get over it as I think of it more as meeting the guests.,and then the autograph is for free? Therefore I don't think of it as buying the autograph to be honest.

On the other hand, I personally prefer photoshoots to autographs anyways.

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SlippDigby    14

I have no problem paying for autographs, becasue to me, you are doing something that is totally out of the ordinary. Let's be honest, how often would you run into Charles Dance, Danny Glover, Chris LLoyd, Karen Gillan or any of the other such guest in the street? The number of stars we have met and chatted with in the past decade has made us almost blase about it (not really, we still get nervous about it, only not quite as much) these days. Do you know, when we first saw the SM Collectormania web page, we thought it was a practical joke. We just did not think that any organisation could get such a large collection of TV stars over, together in one room, in one weekend. We thought it was impossible. Would we be willing to pay for the autographes from the likes of Margot Kidder, James Masters, Richard Kiel, Richard Hatch, Paul Darrow...? Erm, yes...ready willing and able, as it turned out!

 

I looked at our collected autographs the other day, I wanted to incorporate the most recent ones from this year's LF&CC and I was amazed at the number of signatures we have. Having done this for over ten years now, it represents one of the main entertainment events of the year for us as a family. My son is a huge Doctor Who fan and has met so many stars from the show over the years that most of his friends have gone from not believing him to asking him who he is going to meet next.

 

Not mentioning anyone by name but, there is competition out there, one big one comes to mind, but to me they lost their once impressive record as soon as they got taken over by a bunch of chancers and now are not even in the same ball park unless you happen to be into Crossroads or Emmerdale Farm reunions.

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40£ for say GA isn't pricey...try 400$ for Stallone lol :/

 

(70£ is when it's starting to get pricey imo....unless it's Connery lol)

 

I almost get sick to my stomach when I hear the word "premiere" :

 

-Streep in Berlin (stood 6 hrs , feet in pain......she signed nada before going in , only talking to media which she could've done before.....10-15 mins signing isn't long , c'mon !)

 

-Jackie Chan in Fredrikstad (he sgd like 5 , that's it).......at least people like Depp or Cruise take their time.

 

No luck with Walken in NY either (no premiere though) , although maybe I should've waited longer but then again he prolly went out the backway.

Edited by 007 spells Bond
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scooby52    2

More than one thing signed I think is better as if the star has been in a lot of films people want alot of things signed and it does not take long.

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Matthewman    481

I have to say I agree about it not being 100% about the actual autograph. Just getting the chance to meet and speak to personal heros in a controlled environment without people pushing in or over crowding. This year i met mr Robert Englund and had the privelage to speak to him for about 5 minutes. This is something i will always remember and as a bonus now have an awesome signed elm street dvd set :)

 

In my honest opinion though, i think that £20-£25 can be a bit too pricey for us average punters, especially if you plan on getting a few.

Edited by Matthewman
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I don't mind paying for an autograph as long as its a reasonable price.

 

I've done both prems and signing events and to be honest I much prefer signing events. The prems you get to do a lot of waiting around for what seems like a quick blink and you'll miss it moment. You are up against all kinds of factors that could go horribly wrong. Also there is no way to know for sure that you'll get what you want signed. I was lucky at the Pirates of the Caribbean 2 prem as I managed to get both Orlando Bloom's and Johnny Depp's autographs. The HP Goblet of Fire prem was a disaster and I didn't manage to get any of the ones I wanted. In both cases we had queued from the night before. We were unfortunate at the GoF prem as we were placed in a awful spot which meant a lot of actors walked past us. It was also raining heavily so many rushed in to stop from getting too wet. The PotC 2 one we ended up in a brilliant spot so a lot of the actors/guests came past us and it was warm weather. Depp stayed and signed for as long as possible. I don't think he would have if it had been chucking it down.

 

Signing events I have met some amazing actors/guests and have been happy to pay. I do like that I can have a quick chat with them if it is quiet. I've had some awful ones as well (one in particular was more interested in talking to the crew that was next to him than me which I thought was very rude). I like that you are not waiting ages. I like that you are indoors away from the elements. I like that I can do other things while waiting to get my item signed. With a prem you are stuck once the barriers are in place.

 

I prefer signing events as I can have the freedom to do other things as well as get autographs. I can socialise which I don't find as easy to do at prems.

Even through I do prefer signing event my favourite actor/signing moment is actually from a prem. It was from the PotC 2 prem and it was with Orlando Bloom. As I held my photo out for him to sign (I was pretty much the only one in my section who was shouting for him bless his cottons. Everyone else wanted Depp or Kira Knightly) he spotted that I had a Lord of the Rings tattoo. He fansquealed at me and ended up chatting to me for a bit while he signed. He was so excited to be there and was really lovely talking to me. Sadly, I don't have a photo of the moment but I have photos before and after. It really raised my brother's opinion of him and it made my year.

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GoldenGreen    745

Just coming back on this as there's been a few recent posts. I think there are actually two questions here, there is a what is your general feeling about paying for an autograph and also there is what is a fair price to pay ?

 

There's been a tendency recently for £15 to become the norm , that is why it has been refreshing to see many Classic Doctor Who guests at recent shows charging £10, which not only seems a fair price, but actually means you may actually get two from them. On the other hand you might find a guest from another franchise who doesn't really have a lot of credits and was supporting cast charging £15 or £20. I guess you will always have people that can afford it, but I'm sure there is definitely something in charging what would be perceived by the majority as a fair price.

 

Then you have someone like Charles Martinet at LFCC Summer who would sign the first item for free and then after that was very reasonable (I can't remember now what he was actually charging, but I did come back with about 5 signed items).

 

So whilst I guess it would be fantastic if all were free, back in the real world perhaps it's more a case of fairer pricing across the board and maybe charing a little more for the bigger names, but to counter that maybe only £5 for an Ewok.

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Custer    4

It seems perfectly reasonable to me to pay a few tens of pounds to get an autograph from one of your favourite stars in a relaxed and friendly convention environment - and it seems fair for such stars to be paid for their time. It must be slightly annoying to sign items until your fingers get cramped outside a movie premiere, knowing that most of the stuff is going to be appearing on ebay a few hours later!

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Jockyank    6

I think that an unfortunate feature is that guests cannot be photographed writing the autograoh they are scribing for you. Being able to photograph the celebrity buys provenance for the autograph either confirming and enhancing a memento of the occasion or - let's be honest - the veracity of an autograph you may later sell.

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Raylenth    2,645

I think that an unfortunate feature is that guests cannot be photographed writing the autograoh they are scribing for you. Being able to photograph the celebrity buys provenance for the autograph either confirming and enhancing a memento of the occasion or - let's be honest - the veracity of an autograph you may later sell.

 

Actually it doesn't. But I'll get to that in a second, at Showmasters events you can take photo's of guests signing your item as long as they don't have a 'no photo's' sign up.

 

With regard to provenance all a photo shows is that someone got something signed. But it also depends on what purpose you need it for, if it's just for your records then a quick snap would be fine, you know it's you in the picture so it does act as a memento. If it's with the potential to sell your item on if you need to then in my opinion it doesn't prove anything as all - as I mentioned above it just shows that someone got something signed. There's no proof that the item the picture shows being signed is the one you would be selling. People could forge signatures and show a picture of someone meeting the guest as 'proof' that the celeb signed the item up for sale.

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Tony1975    497

I have had this debate many a time with my non-convention friends. Their argument being that you shouldn't pay for a signature just entrance fee to the event. I personally don't have an issue paying to a certain extent. I do feel however that the bigger names who are multimillionaires should not charge their fans so much. I would seriously have my doubts in paying more than £100 no matter who they were.

Edited by Tony1975
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john1980    376

Its simple really if you dont want to pay dont get the autograph. At the end of the day they are giving up their time that could be spent with friends/family or y'know working. 99% put the effort in so you enjoy the experience and if you are getting it just to sell it on later then of course you should pay for it!

 

There is an annoying get stuff for free culture growing especially when it comes to media

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Faerie Tanith    1,394

Personally, the way I see it is I will earn more money. I might spend an entire payslip at a con, but I will get another one next month. I won't have the opportunity to meet certain guests again, however, so I don't mind paying to get an autograph. Unless you're a collector, an autograph is something fans will keep forever and in 10 years, that £25 you spent to get said autograph won't mean a thing. The memories are priceless.

 

That said, the most money I've ever spent on a guest's autograph is £40, which I did feel was a bit steep (more so since I also got a photoshoot, bringing the total cost for said guest up to £80). But, again, it was someone I really wanted to meet, and I had a pleasant experience meeting them, so I can look at the autograph without feeling I wasted money. I'm not sure how I'd feel about paying more than that amount for a single autograph, but I'm sure there are certain people I'd be happy to do it for if I had to.

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I paid £135 for Mark Hamill and it was worth it... Still very new to the autograph scene but hey you can't take money with you when you finally go hooves up.... Don't worry about the money, theres so much buried under the sand...... :smile:

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I think what would be nice is, if you go for a photoshoot, you can then book an autograph for a discounted price. Paying for both at full price is beyond the finances of most people these day!

Edited by terryrfrancis

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