<![CDATA[GEEK GIRLS, INC. - Conventions]]>Wed, 06 Jan 2016 16:13:00 -0500Weebly<![CDATA[Interview with I Am Alone filmmakers!]]>Sun, 06 Dec 2015 07:06:56 GMThttp://www.geekgirlsinc.com/conventions/interview-with-i-am-alone-filmmakersby Jen
One of the highlights of this weekend's Phoenix Comicon Fan Fest was the screening of the new zombie movie I Am Alone, which stars Gareth David-Lloyd.  I was fortunate to score an interview with the filmmakers behind this unique project, Robert A. Palmer and Michael A. Weiss of Abstract Forces. 
Tell me about your film!  I wasn't able to make the screening yesterday but I'm looking forward to seeing it soon.
I Am Alone is a survival horror movie - we're calling it a horrormentary, it's an intimate story of one survivalist with elements of found footage.  Jacob Fitts (Gareth's character) is alone in the wilderness filming a reality show when he is bitten by a zombie, and he has no connection to the world around him - all he has is his camera and his survival skills to help him through the days following the attack.

What drew the two of you to the zombie genre?
We just love horror!  We've seen so many campy horror movies, we wanted to create something different and unique, a heartbreaking tale of survival in the wilderness.  We took into account the complaints we've heard about found footage films, such as an excess of shaky cam footage or unrealistic battery life - you'll see a linear story in this film, with an understanding that he is on a mountain alone with no way to recharge camera batteries.  There's a realistic shedding of cameras as batteries fail.

I Am Alone has gotten a lot of awards and attention at festivals - did you expect that with a zombie film?
It's more of a happy surprise!  It's only been four or five months since we started screening the film - in fact, the very first screening was in August in Montrose, CO, where much of the movie was shot.  We hosted a three-day event at a drive-in theater with a double feature of World War Z and I Am Alone, and people were coming from two hours away to see it!

So far, the movie has been a featured selection at the Terror Film Festival, Horror Hound Weekend Film Fest, Mac Horror Film Fest, the UK Horror Film Festival, and the Malta Horror Fest; we've also gotten awards, including Best Actor for Gareth at Scare-A-Con, Best Director for Robert at RIP Horror, and Best Zombie Movie at the Fright Night Film Fest.

We're in talks with distribution companies about a wide release in theaters, but we aren't going to take the first offer we get as we don't want to end up buried or as a catalog film.  We'd love to see it as a feature film in drive-in theaters or something unique like that!

The fan feedback has been amazing so far.  One Twitter user said he's never been moved to tears by a horror movie before.  That's all Gareth!  People may come to I Am Alone with an expectation of cheesiness, but in reality it's a very thought-provoking horror film.

How did you get connected with Gareth?
We actually met him at a con in 2012!  We were screening our short film People of Earth at the Fright Night Film Fest, and Gareth is very approachable.  We'd shared a copy of the film with him, and he told us to let him know of any future projects - we happened to be in the middle of our Kickstarter at the time, and once he saw the script he was on board!  The draw for him was the great character, and the opportunity to shoot in the beautiful Colorado wilderness - though it took him 26 hours to travel there from Wales, as he had to fly and then drive an additional six hours to the location!  We had only met him that one time, until he arrived on set we did rehearsals via Skype.  

I heard that Gareth hadn't seen the finished film until yesterday's screening.  What did he think?
That's true!  They showed it in Wales last week but he had promised to wait and see it for the first time with us.  During the Q&A after the screening,  he said, "I forgot I was watching myself!"  The audience will get lost in the performance - you may come into this film wanting zombies, but you'll come out loving Gareth!  You're not even thinking about zombies during parts of it,  you just get caught up in the story.

Will there be a sequel?
Yes, the film is a cliffhanger, and we definitely have a few ideas in mind as to where we'd like to take the characters next.  Fan reaction so far has been great, we just need to keep building the brand and getting the word out!  We filmed I Am Alone on a budget of just $30K, and it doesn't feel like a low-budget movie - we'd love to see what we could do with a bigger budget!
For more information on I Am Alone, check out the trailer below and the film's official website!  Look for our review of the movie early  next week!
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<![CDATA[Friday at Phoenix Comicon Fan Fest]]>Fri, 04 Dec 2015 22:26:26 GMThttp://www.geekgirlsinc.com/conventions/friday-at-phoenix-comicon-fan-festby Jen
I haven't been an Arizona resident for a full calendar year yet, but I'm already loving the quantity and quality of geek entertainment that can be found around town!  Phoenix Comicon takes place at the Phoenix Convention Center each June, but one geeky con event just isn't enough - so they have Fan Fest in December at the University of Phoenix stadium in Glendale.

So what's a geeky mom to do with her homeschooled progeny on the Friday of Fan Fest?  Take advantage of the less-crowded Friday morning environment to get our con on, that's what!  Here are my recommendations for a fabulous first day of Fan Fest:
First, check in and get your badge(s) and program guide.  Once again I'm thrilled with the low cost - a few months back, I bought a full weekend pass for just $30 and got $5 "Sidekick" badges for the kids!  Also, Phoenix Comicon's media relations department is fantastic, so they gave me a Media badge as well - and we may even have some celebrity interview opportunities later in the weekend, so stay tuned for that!
Second, check out the cosplay - there will be plenty of it, even this early in the weekend!  I didn't get many cosplay pictures today, so you get to check out my personal casual cosplay - I love these Riddler leggings from Black Milk, and couldn't resist this background (even though my 9 year old, who took the photo, cut off the Gotham City Police Department logo at the top).
Third, stroll through the vendor area.  I swore I wasn't going to spend any money this weekend, but there were so many beautiful geeky things!  I couldn't resist this Baymax/Adipose mashup by the talented Kathryn Hunkele of Plutonian Narwhal Designs, and I'll be going back to the Chick Lit Designs booth to drool over the phone cases and purses that resemble all my favorite books!
Last but not least, don't miss the geeky car collection out front (next to the food trucks, which are definitely the best choice for lunch while you're at Fan Fest).  I made my kids pose with the Impala, even though they've never seen Supernatural - and I may have actually fangirl squee'd aloud when I looked inside the car and saw the autographs on the glove box!  There were several other cars, including a Jurassic Park Jeep with Barney the dinosaur riding shotgun and a truly impressive DeLorean.

If you find yourself in Phoenix this weekend with nothing to do, go check out Fan Fest!  And stay tuned for more coverage of celebrity panels and other events over the next few days!
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<![CDATA[Anime Weekend Atlanta Gallery]]>Mon, 28 Sep 2015 17:28:43 GMThttp://www.geekgirlsinc.com/conventions/anime-weekend-atlanta-galleryAnime Weekend Atlanta was an absolute blast from start to finish, with so much amazing cosplay! This is just a small sampling of all the talented people spotted over the weekend.
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<![CDATA[Anime Weekend Atlanta 2015]]>Mon, 21 Sep 2015 19:56:35 GMThttp://www.geekgirlsinc.com/conventions/anime-weekend-atlanta-2015Atlanta-area folks! Are you just now starting to kinda miss the fun and chaos of DragonCon? Never fear, because there’s a con that’s conveniently held right when you get your strength back from battling crowds. Anime Weekend Atlanta starts on September 24th this year, so you can experience the magic of waiting in an hour-long line again! Yay! As an avid gamer, it’s an important part of my geek calendar for the year.
Anime Weekend Atlanta, or AWA for short is one of the largest fan conventions in Atlanta with over 20,000 attendees in 2014. That’s nearly a third of a DragonCon, for those keeping score at home, aka a whole lot of people. Taking place in the Renaissance Waverly Hotel and Cobb Galleria Convention center, AWA is super convenient for geeks in the northern suburbs of Atlanta.
AWA takes its name very seriously, making anime the #1 priority on its schedule. 
That being said, I’m a very, very casual anime fan and I still manage to have an awesome time each year.  The amount of programming put on at AWA is staggering, including topics such as crafting, cosplay, drawing, board gaming, video gaming, Jpop, dolls, toys, fashion, and plenty of subjects not typically covered by the DragonCon collection of tracks. My favorite programming is comedy-based, so I tend to look for panels with titles like “The Worst Anime”.
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Your best friend, the line...
One big feature of the con is the SOUND.  They take their sound systems seriously, and the amount of speakers wheeled in for the event is staggering. There are plenty of musical guests, so if you want to attend some of the most unique concerts around, now is your chance! At the very least, you’ll be able to hear the panelists from the back of a giant convention hall.
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Beware of popular panels!
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I found the princess! Take that, Mario!
Since this is an anime convention, it should come as no surprise that the cosplay is On. Point. The best places to walk around and gawk are the hotel lobby and the galleria walkways. 
My favorite food at the con is supplied by the food trucks, so get yourself in line for a hotdog.  If you can’t give up the food court experience, there’s always the Galleria Mall as well as the full-sized Cumberland Mall (especially handy if you forget to bring some crucial piece of cosplay).
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Fine food truck dining!
There are plenty of late-night activities-if you’ve got some extra dough after visiting the dealers, there’s a formal ball on Friday ($35-$45 at the door).  If you want to attend, bring your best black tie attire-they really, really won’t let you in if you aren’t in dress code. Saturday boasts the one big “party”, and I’ve heard rumors that the line is super short (no guarantees for this year, of course). I hope to make it to the Bebop lounge, which plays nothing but jazz music; it’s a welcome break after all those blaring anime themes. There are also “adult” panels which I hear get very entertaining. I mean, so I’ve heard…
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So, so many games for sale!
Other fun features include a crowded-but-not-TOO-crowded dealers hall, Super Happy Fun Sell (a big garage sale full of discount, gently-used geeky merch), a quiet Manga library where you can read to your heart’s content, a maid café where ruffle-y servers bring you games and snacks, a fashion show, and an arcade. 


I promise to get plenty of cosplay pictures this year, so get ready cosplayers!
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Plenty of Sailor Scouts roaming the halls...
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<![CDATA[How the Battlestar Galactica Cast Won at Dragon Con]]>Fri, 18 Sep 2015 15:11:55 GMThttp://www.geekgirlsinc.com/conventions/how-the-battlestar-galactica-cast-won-at-dragon-conby Brooke
This year at Dragon Con, the cast of Battlestar Galactica delighted its loyal fan base with a great turnout from our favorite crew. I had the pleasure of attending this year’s BSG panel on the final morning of the Con. Edward James Olmos, Tricia Helfer, Aaron Douglas, Grace Park, Jamie Bamber, James Callis and the great Richard Hatch entertained us for an hour with their very presence, even though half of them were hurting from the previous night’s party.
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Photo courtesy of Christina Joiner
Considering BSG’s most recent run ended six years ago, the cast’s ability to draw a full crowd and even induce happy tears at a convention is impressive. Of course, BSG has become a classic – many fans still hold the characters and stories of the crew of the Battlestar Galactica dear to our hearts. But how does the cast surprise and enchant us, year after year? 
1. The cast is a fixture on the Dragon Con scene. 
Several of the cast members have been attending Dragon Con for years. No matter which actors show up in a given year, they are becoming a vital part of the convention’s core celebrity guest list. You can tell they’re comfortable interacting with congoers, and do so frequently and willingly. 
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Posing with Edward James Olmos and Aaron Douglas at the charity event at Tin Lizzy’s.
2. They show up and they show out. 
The actors don’t just make an appearance. They DO Dragon Con. They have a panel every day. They party with the people. They interact with the fans like no other cast. 
This year, Aaron Douglas hosted a series of events at bars around the convention to raise money for the Lymphoma Research Foundation. He shook hand after hand, took endless pictures, told jokes over loud speakers, got smashed and charmed everyone’s pants off. Other cast members showed up at his events in support, generously chatting away with starry-eyed fans all evening. On Dragon Con Sunday, they were the stars of the Colonial Fleet party. They don’t set themselves apart from the crowd. They join the crowd.
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Aaron Douglas, close up and personal with our own Maria!
3. They talk about things that matter. 
At the panel I attended this year, Richard Hatch, Edward James Olmos and Grace Park wowed us with their insight and their graciousness towards their fans. We learned about James Callis and Jamie Bamber’s habit of late-night philosophizing. 
They all answered questions fully, eloquently and with no fear or hesitation. And, as expected, a grumpy and hung over Aaron Douglas cracked us up. “I feel like my liver crawled out of my ass and is punching me in the balls” is Dragon Con 2015’s greatest quote, and I don’t care what you say.
“I feel like my liver crawled out of my ass and is punching me in the balls” is Dragon Con 2015’s greatest quote, and I don’t care what you say.
4. They love each other. 
Their affection and admiration for one another is obvious. Edward James Olmos touched on the cast’s close friendship during the panel. More than any other cast I’ve seen at Dragon Con, these guys seem to have each other’s backs. They act like one big family, and the love is contagious.
BSG may have finished its run on TV for now, but as long as the cast continues to reach out to fans and keeps up its united front, the characters will live on. 

SO SAY WE ALL!
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<![CDATA[Hidden Gems at DragonCon]]>Thu, 17 Sep 2015 20:16:21 GMThttp://www.geekgirlsinc.com/conventions/hidden-gems-at-dragonconby Jen
Two weeks ago today, we were arriving in downtown Atlanta for one of GGI's favorite weekends of the year - DragonCon!  It was an amazing weekend, filled with celebrity encounters, fabulous cosplay, and tremendous fun.  But when the lines for the celeb panels are too long and crowds at the vendor hall and the art show are intimidating, what's a geek girl to do?  That's when it's time to seek out some of DragonCon's hidden gems - the panels that might not be as crowded, but provide entertainment, education, and more!
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Atlanta Radio Theatre Company presents a humorous take on Tolkien on Monday afternoon
The first year I attended DragonCon, I was overwhelmed by sheer size and scope of the event and nearly killed myself trying to do it all.  At the end of my third day running from hotel to hotel and panel to panel, I found myself sitting in a panel I'd chosen for no other reason than a mention of my beloved Lovecraft.  It was the Atlanta Radio Theatre Company's presentation of one of Lovecraft's horrible tales, and it was amazing!  I've made an effort to make it to one ARTC's performances every year since, and I've seen everything from original works to horror to this year's Bored of the Rings Tolkien spoof.  I'm never disappointed in their performances, and there are several to choose from every year - so I encourage everyone to add them to your "can't miss" list for DragonCon 2016!
The Sheraton is home to the Trek Track, with plenty of panels to keep Star Trek fans entertained - but within its halls, you can also find the Paranormal Track, with everything from Ghost Hunters to cryptozoologists - and my personal favorite, serious paranormal investigators who are more interested in finding the truth than sensationalizing every they see or hear.  This year, I saw several great panels by KyL Cobb and Richard Estep, two investigators with different backgrounds who share a deep interest in learning and presenting the truth about historical haunts, ghosts, and demons.  I enjoyed their lectures so much that I purchased a book by each of them, and reading their tales has helped take the edge off my post-con blues.
DragonCon is always amazing, and the growing crowds mean we may have to stand in line even for some smaller panels - but it's worth it to go off the beaten path and find something different to add to your Con experience!
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<![CDATA[Dragon Con 101]]>Thu, 03 Sep 2015 13:00:13 GMThttp://www.geekgirlsinc.com/conventions/dragon-con-1011Whether you're a noob or just overwhelmed by how big things have gotten, we've got Con advice from the Geek Girls who've been there and done that. Check out these links for great tips, tricks, and information.

CONVENTION SURVIVAL TIPS
1.      Take AirBourne/Vitamins/Allergy Medicine
2.       4 consecutive hours of sleep daily 
3.      Drink a glass of water after every line/panel
4.      Shoe inserts (good ones)
5.      Duct Tape, Sharpie, Safety Pins, & Super Glue
6.      Spray deodorant & baby powder
7.      Shower EVERY night
8.      Extra phone charger or battery
9.      BE POLITE
10.     Print a Map


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Basic Con Safety
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Con Etiquette
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ConSent
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Female Con Safety
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10 CONmandments
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Cosplay 101
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<![CDATA[Cos-Free is A-OK]]>Wed, 02 Sep 2015 14:00:11 GMThttp://www.geekgirlsinc.com/conventions/cos-free-is-a-okby Lauren
Alright everyone, this is it. GG Inc. is heading down to Dragon Con tomorrow!
OMG - HAVE SO MUCH TO DO STILL, SNACKS TO BUY, THINGS TO PACK, A COSTUME TO FINISH (AND 5 MEETINGS AT WORK TODAY BEFORE I CAN GO!) AAAAAAHHH /mental break down...
Let me take it down a notch before I hyperventilate.
I've had a crazy/goodish year. I got an awesome promotion, which comes with new stress and responsibilities. My husband and I bought our first house. My parents (whose health isn't great) have come to live with us. I've had pneumonia.  AND I have this website we are trying to make a real 'thing' - in our spare time... It's a lot. I'm sure everyone has had some life drama this year they want a break from.
I look forward to Dragon Con as my one guaranteed 'vacation' just for me each year. Even though I live in the Atlanta area, my girlfriends and I get a room downtown and go to 'nerd sleep over camp' every Labor Day weekend and party down. As you can tell from the previous Con articles, many of them are VERY SERIOUS COSPLAYERS - and Dragon Con is very serious about its cosplay. The people watching is fantastic. I envy the artistry and dedication and time everyone puts into amazing costumes, both subtle and intricate, to demonstrate their love of something 'nerdy' in a place where everyone loves that stuff too.

There is No Wrong Way to do Dragon Con

This year, with the exception of one group costume I am doing with my meetup group Geek Girls of North Atlanta, I am going costume free this Dragon Con. I've been stressed about it - intimidated by the creativity and enthusiasm of my friends and their projects. My cosplaying friends, I salute you...
But, I realized something. There is no wrong way to do Dragon Con (as long as you aren't a douche canoe to other people.) This weekend is about the people and the geeky things I love. I have the right to have fun on my terms. I have the right to be comfortable. I have the right to cosplay or not. Lots of people don't cosplay, actually. You don't have to either!
I'll be rockin' my nerdy t-shirt collection and Chuck Taylors (with insoles for support, I'm not stupid!) This year I supported a bunch of celebrity charity efforts with represent t-shirt campaigns, which I will wear proudly. (I'm bummed Felicia's anti-bullying shirt isn't shipping in time for Con, or I'd be wearing that too!)
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For Stand for the Silent and Paws and Stripes
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For KUSEWERA (which I hope ships in time)
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For TWLOHA
I also have a killer Tina Belcher shirt, and my 2014 GGNA shirt I designed which ultimately inspired me to start Geek Girls Inc. with my friends.
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Thanks Elaina, this shirt rocks!

Getting Down to Some Business...

The other thing I am doing at Con this year is promoting the crap out of this website. I was inspired by Felicia Day's book where she talks about hustling book marks at cons to drum up an audience in the early days of The Guild. So, we are going to be talking to people, interviewing cosplayers, taking pictures, reviewing panels, and tweeting and instagraming until our phones die (which they always do - seriously pack a rapid charger and/or your cables and carry them with you!!) I hope you follow us! Tell your friends!
We have shirts for most of the GG staff to wear over the weekend - if you see one of us say hi - we just might have a surprise for you!
So dear reader, enjoy your Dragon Con. It is yours. That's the great thing about Dragon Con over other big conventions. It's not corporate. It's about the people. It's about the love. It's the best time you can have with 63,000 of your best friends you've maybe never met yet.

Almost there...
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This will be be after my last meeting today.
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<![CDATA[Dragon Con Bingo]]>Tue, 01 Sep 2015 17:18:49 GMThttp://www.geekgirlsinc.com/conventions/dragon-con-bingoWhether you're flying solo, an introvert, or just bored---Convention Cosplay Bingo is the best way to spend your time in line and a great way to make new friends!  Feel free to print one out for this weekend's Dragon Con panels!
Hope to see you in line and compete in BINGO this weekend!!!
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<![CDATA[Dragon Con 2015 - Accessories and Con Crud]]>Tue, 01 Sep 2015 11:48:37 GMThttp://www.geekgirlsinc.com/conventions/dragon-con-2015-accessories-and-con-crudDragon Con is my biggest and most anticipated convention of the year.  This will be my 15th year in attendance, and I have loved every minute of it. This year was somewhat abnormal as my schedule was packed for a couple of months leading up to Dragon Con which meant I had to plan well in advance of the actual weekend. My biggest concerns with Dragon Con are health and accessories. I know, I know - these things don’t seem to go together. But over the years both of these areas have been huge problems for me.  
First, let’s deal with accessories. I have always been one to have a costume and forget to buy, or even if I buy, I’ll forget to pack my accessories. What I have learned over the years from my cosplay friends is that accessories are what can elevate a costume to the next level. Since I’m cheap at heart, and love to thrift for costumes, accessories tend to be what pull the costume together at the end. Once I have the completed look, I list out every piece of that costume, and it becomes my checklist when packing. In certain cases where there are a lot of small accessories that will only go with one costume, I will bag them in a Ziploc bag and tag them. This helps with organization during the actual weekend since I’m usually sharing a room, space is limited and I live out of my suitcase. 
Here is an example of my accessories list:
The most important item to me during and after Dragon Con is to not come down with Con Crud. For the first 10 years attending Dragon Con, I was either sick right after or the last 1-2 days of Con. GGI did an article dealing with avoiding Con Crud here. I’ve come up with a system that works for me and most of what I do is listed in the article. I will say that I’ve managed to avoid the Con Crud for the last four years. I’ve used this same method during other conventions and when traveling for work with great success. There are a lot more people in the hotel room this Con, so I'm hoping this method still holds true.
1.      Four days before Con, start AirBourne, and I continue through Con +2 days
2.      Hand Sanitizer - don't be afraid to do the slimy handshake of sanitization with others
3.      Lysol wipes - used at the hotel room and sometimes in panels
4.      At least 3 consecutive hours of sleep daily - 15 min power naps between panels does not count. 
5.      At least 64 oz of water per day
6.      Workout every other day of convention
7.      Allergy medicine daily (Benadryl if hotel is musty/moldy)
8.      Daily vitamin

My con count down preparation has begun. I can’t wait to hang out with my friends, see all the great costumes and attend some amazing panels!  I hope to see you there this year!
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