Friday, August 22, 2014


Recollections Interviews

Rhode Island Comic-Con 

 

The EASY and SECURE way to get multi-signed items
without having to travel around the globe!


Sample for illustrative purposes only and does not necessarily reflect any future offerings.

Including special signings with RARE and FIRST-TIME signers
from the Star Wars universe

Wattographs handles the Connoisseur Series in the following manner:

  • The initial offer is made for whichever series we create. We'll find out who's interested in participating, both from the collectors and the actors.
  • We'll then line up the photo(s) to be used for that particular piece so that you know ahead of time what you'll be getting for an image.
  • We'll take orders for a specific amount of time.
  • We'll have photographs printed up.
  • Items are sent to the actors directly or to our carefully vetted staff members to hand carry to the actor for signing. We DO NOT use third-party services to complete the signings. It's either directly with the actor or via one of our staff members.
  • Once items are off to be signed, we'll solicit payments for the next signer in the series in order to remain ahead with payments. We'll try and have a list of the signers already set up, so you know what you can expect for order payments.
  • Upon completion,  the item is either returned to us or sent on for the next signer.
  • Once we deem an item "complete" or we've gotten all the people on the image, we'll distribute them to all those who have ordered.

All items will contain—in addition to our exclusive holographic security label (a true hologram, not our company information printed over a "generic" hologram—a hand-numbered, professionally-printed decal placed on the reverse of the photo that shows the number of items in the edition for that Connoisseur Series offer, similar to the label at left.

 

 

 

So, in order to avoid any confusion as to how the "turn system" works:

 TURN #1 INITIAL COST
ONCE TURN #1 IS COMPLETE
(TURN #2)

ONCE TURN #2 IS COMPLETE
(TURN #3)

 Photo Cost—$25

Signer #1 Cost—$25

Signer #2 Cost—$25

Shipping Share—$5

 Signer #3 Cost—$25

Shipping Share—$5

 Signer #4 Cost—$25

Shipping Share—$5

 Etc., etc., etc. until complete

Expect that these pieces will all take some time to get completed. Our Hoth Troopers signing took several months to get finished. This was due to the fact that after we took orders and acquired photos, we sent the items to our staffer in Norway. He then sent the items out and each signer autographed the items, then sent back to our Norwegian staffer. Then, the items were forwarded on to the next signer. Lather. Rinse. Repeat! But, we kept purchasers apprised of each step in the process so that they knew where the items were. Our Ewoks CS piece was done in the same manner, typically one or two signers added to the photograph per month—this keeps it affordable over the long-term. We'll continue this process with the Connoisseur Series and will probably add a special web page where people can go and keep track of the process online.

We are currently estimating that we'll do one Connoisseur Series signing per year. This may change as the program progresses.

As far as signers, we will attempt to get some rare and never-before-signed combinations of autographs, but we don't anticipate people like Liam Neeson, Natalie Portman, Harrison Ford, Frank Oz or Ian McDiarmid jumping onboard just because of the series.

Potential "groupings" of signers that we've thrown around include:

Please note: Just because they are mentioned here does not necessarily reflect any future Connoisseur Series' offerings.

  • Jawas (ANH)

  • Jabba's Palace (ROTJ)

  • Stormtroopers (Original Trilogy)

  • Pilots (Original Trilogy)

  • Imperial Officers (Original Trilogy)

  • Max Rebo Band (ROTJ)

  • Jedi Arena (AOTC)

  • Vader & Snowtroopers (ESB)

  • Rebel Briefing Scene (ROTJ)

Our Connoisseur Series will be printed in larger formats than the typical 8-in x 10-in (20 x 25 cm) photos that we usually offer. This is to accommodate multiple signers and not have their signatures be crowded on a smaller image. We will generally use 16-in x 20-in (40.6 cm x 50.8 cm) or 11-in  x 14-in. (28cm x 35.5cm)  photos during these signings. Selected projects will use 8-in x 10-in (20 x 25 cm) or, if we have photos for the individual celebrity who's turn it is, we'll make them available as well. In other special instances, we'll allow you to send your personal items to that actor as well.Image Size Comparison

These will look great when completed and framed. And, they'll be a great conversation piece when compared to the regular "standard" autograph.

The plan calls for most of these items to be printed on larger sizes, but because we realize that size and storage might be a problem for some collectors, we will offer selected Connoisseur Series pieces in a smaller format, albeit at a more expensive price in order to get the maximum participation in this project. Additionally, we'll also offer special versions occasionally—like custom canvas images— to compliment a particular Connoisseur Series release.

All autographs will come with Orwell Interactive Media's (the parent company of Wattographs) custom Authentic Autograph Registered Certification (AARC) certificates of authenticity especially designed for each Connoisseur Series piece.

 

Wattographs uses Official Pix as our supplier of images for the Connoisseur Series. Official Pix currently holds the exclusive U.S. license from Lucasfilm to produce Star Wars photographs. This means that Official Pix has direct access to the entire Lucasfilm photo archive. This further means no blurry, second-rate images for your collection!

These photos are printed on real photographic paper with preservation in mind: "For traditional photo printing, we use only the highest quality Fujifilm Crystal Archival photographic paper. This paper has beOfficial Pix logoen carefully chosen because of its outstanding archival characteristics (60-year rated) and its ability to reproduce the full range of colors and densities from the original image. The luster finish is the perfect touch to complement any photo image"  -- from the Official Pix website


When looking at the price of a Connoisseur Series signing, let's consider the costs of obtaining autographs at the typical convention:

  • Transportation: Gas for your car if it's local, airfare or gas if you have to travel to it - anywhere from $5.00 to $500.00+ just to get there.

  • Admission: One-day cost, anywhere from $10.00 to $25.00. Weekend passes can be anywhere from $25.00+

  • Hotel: If not local, expect to pay $50.00+ per night

  • Food/Drinks at the Event: $10.00 should get you a daily junk food "snack" and something to drink. Multiply this by how many days you attend.

  • Autograph Costs: $10.00+ each, dependent on whether it's your item or theirs. The general trend is now $20.00 per signature, regardless of who provides the signing item. Overseas, autographs range from £10 and up, with the general trend going to £15 and higher.

Cost of obtaining a SINGLE signer at an event (conservative estimate): $60.00 for a local event / $405.00 for an out-of-town event, staying two nights at a typical hotel. This is the price for ONE person's autograph.

And, keep in mind that the chances of some of the combinations of people we plan to bring you would never appear at a single convention together or at a convention at all (at the time we did our Ewoks CS, only two out of the total amount of Ewoks had ever done a show). You'd have to take your chances hoping they'd show up at another convention at another time. You'd have to wait in lines of people, all the while hoping that no one bumps into your large-format photograph and bends it.

We'll be doing everything we can to keep these signings affordable. Obviously, this is a "business," so we'd have to make a profit on the whole thing in order to make it worth the time spent putting everything together. But, this would certainly be much less than if you'd purchased a comparable item from an autograph dealer.

We're estimating that the initial cost for the 16 x 20 photograph itself (again, keep in mind it will be a photo, not a printed lithograph) will be in the $20.00-$25.00 range. It might be slightly more expensive or slightly cheaper, dependent on how many people participate. Any 8x10 or 11x14 offerings will be priced about $5.00-$10.00 higher -- after all, we want the Connoisseur Series to be specially-autographed items in the larger format. Then, there will be an initial price for the first one or two autograph signers to be added to the piece. See the section above for the breakdown estimates on pricing and timing.

Following the initial photograph and autograph signer price, we try to keep individual signatures in the $10.00-$30.00 range as each person is added. We'll also add a small shipping and handling charge per each person's "turn," in order to hold down costs for shipping items to and from each actor.

Costs for each piece will not be all at once, but rather over time as the individual signers are added. This means that you won't have to lay out a huge amount of money all at once. You'll pay the initial fees, then you'll pay when we get ready to send the items to the next signer. It's almost like a "payment plan" over time as the piece gets more and more complete. We DO have to pay the actors up front, so we'll need your payments before the items get sent out for each round. With our first Connoisseur Series piece, signings were typically two actors per month. Later offerings try to get one person a month, but this will vary considerably as we try to match up schedules to have these pieces signed.

Please be advised that if you miss a payment deadline, your item will not be sent to that round's signer(s) and you will not get that/those individual(s) on your item. We will not send your item further until you have prepaid for the next signer. We are doing this in order to not have delays in keeping our schedule for getting the particular piece completed. One person not paying could effect dozens of other people, which is something we'd definitely like to avoid! Additionally, if you miss a signer, you will not receive the completed pieces's COA, but rather individual COAs for each person who has signed.

We prefer payments made via PayPal, as this allows both parties to have an electronic "paper trail" in the event of any confusion. We will, however, accept check or money order or well-concealed-in-an-envelope cash payments. You will need to email us ahead of time in order to pay with any non-PayPal manner. And, all payments MUST arrive before the cut-off date in order to allow us to keep our time schedules for the signing.

Getting items of a larger size autographed will result in them being sent in poster tubes, instead of shipping "flat." They will go to the actors for signing using "flat" packageing, but if you desire your item sent back to you "flat," there will be additional shipping charges for this. We anticipate that they would probably be expensive, based on the larger size going through the post as well as the cost of packing materials.

When each item is sent to the signer, it will be well-packed and protected as possible. You will have a final shipping fee added to the last signer's turn, in order to get the item back to you.

Wattographs thinks that this is the next logical step in the evolution of Star Wars autograph collecting. It will allow collectors to obtain investment-quality autograph pieces which are sure to be a centerpiece for any Star Wars collection (although we cannot make any guarantees about future value for any autographed items).

Please consider information on this page as a guideline. We reserve the right to change or modify the program as we deem fit to make it accessible for everyone.

Any changes to the program will be listed on this page, so we recommend that you bookmark it.

We're always looking for your comments to make this a better series for all Star Wars autograph collectors. As the series was implemented, we added many good ideas submitted by our customers to the program. If you have any comments or constructive criticism, please feel free to CONTACT us!

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