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Hard work puts on No Brand Con 2

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This weekend, Davies Center will be transformed into No Brand Con 2, a haven for fans of the arts.

No Brand Con 2 is described by senior Kevin Tambornino, who is in charge of guest relations for the event, as “three days of anime, video games, role playing, comics and independent films.”

Convention treasurer and senior Terence Clark said No Brand Con 2 also will have tournaments, including classic and recent video games and board games, such as Risk and Die Siedler.

The organizers are trying to attract a wide audience, he said.

Even if you aren’t interested in role playing or science fiction, Clark said the convention has an independent film showing Saturday morning with a talk afterward by its director, Brazil Grisaffi.

Grisaffi’s film, “Laughing Boy,” was shown at last year’s No Brand Con. The screening went so well last year, Grisaffi said, that Tambornino invited the film back this year and asked him to accompany it.

Grisaffi, who directed, produced and starred in the film, said he always looks forward to public screenings of the film, but this is the first time he has been invited to attend the film at an anime convention.

“I also enjoy sharing my experience in making and promoting ‘Laughing Boy’ with others interested in filmmaking,” he said. “Hopefully, I can offer good advice and prevent filmmakers from making mistakes and wasting money.”

In addition to Grisaffi, No Brand Con 2 will have guests from the anime world, including Tiffany Grant, who is known as the voice of Asuka from “Neon Genesis Evangelion,” an anime film.

The convention also will have a comic artist panel, featuring local and national talent in that field.

For those interested in shopping, the convention will have two rooms dedicated to vendors selling items that will stimulate the interest of the convention’s broad audience.

Compared to last year’s No Brand Con, Clark said this year’s event is noticeably bigger.

The convention, which has an expected attendance size of 300 to 500 people, is three days this year, compared to the two-day event last year, he said. It also increased the number and variety of its vendors.

Getting No Brand Con 2 running was not without difficulty.

Senior Sean Corse, who oversees the event’s vendors and registrations, said the convention has consistently had money problems.

“Last year, we had nothing to work with but the money in our pockets,” he said.

They were able to break even, but had no money left over for this year, he said. To fund No Brand Con 2, they relied on pre-registration.

“Our registration numbers increased 1,400 percent (from last year),” he said, “and we are able to spend it on cool stuff like T-Shirts, program guides and our wonderful guests.”

Clark said they also have problems with getting enough space for all of the events. The most costly components, he said, are the plane tickets for the guests and program guides.

Despite the money and space constraints, Tambornino said he is glad that, as students, they are able to organize an event such as this.

“Many (conventions) are run by large companies and get corporate funding,” he said. “We built this from nothing and turned it into a yearly event we can be proud of

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Hard work puts on No Brand Con 2