Ceremonies Concepts

This is the Academy of the IKV Melota.
This is where you will find useful information on HOW TO to many of the things that we assume are regular processes for our ship.

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This is not a completely organized paper unlike the prior items. This is more of a series of items to consider while planning your Ceremonies. This is to give you the benefit of our experience without the same teething troubles. This page shall probably change and grow over time unlike the prior Pages as I add and re-write items.
There is a script at the bottom of this file. You don't have to follow it, but you should certainly consider the voice of experience on this one.

Right Click / Save As to start a download of the Ceremonies Compilation video while you read this. You can then see the practical application of that which you are about to read.

IKV Melota Stage, daylight

IKV Melota Stage, night

The purpose of Ceremonies is many fold. You perform Ceremonies with the Membership of your ship to impress upon them their achievements. You perform Ceremonies with the Membership of your ship to impress mundanes and potential recruits with something that looks "cool". You perform Ceremonies with the Membership of your ship to do something that is simply fun anyway. You perform and then broadcast Ceremonies on the Interwebs as an example to others "HOW TO" be awesome. Thus Ceremonies are very important.
For years, the Batleth Tournaments held in the DFW area had a real simple "ceremony". Win/Place/Show was announced along with the winners of each weapon division. Then, one Tournament, it was decided to make a pageant out of the Ceremonies. Since that Tournament, "Ceremonies" has been spelled with a capital "C" because the Ceremonies themselves became a reason to participate. The Ceremonies became a truly separate Event that was awaited eagerly each Tournament. The Ceremonies Event came unto its own as a key element in the business of being a klingon club (ship).
To run Ceremonies after an Event, or as an Event, the Leadership needs to understand the reasons to have Ceremonies and some idea of pageantry to make the event more than just a "yeah, this guy won.". Adding some sort of ritual to the Ceremonies adds to the flavor. It also adds to the bonding element of the Event itself.
The IKV Melota traditionally has fairly scripted Ceremonies with specific ritual and goals in mind. We definitely intend to award the Awards, but the ritual to get there is a pageantry that is fun to do and impressive to the mundanes and potential recruits.

You can use tikki torches or use buried Folgers cans with a toilet paper roll in them for torches. This is what we did for an AO ceremony back in the early 1970's. Pour tikki fluid or kerosene into the cans. Possibly put the Folgers cans upon broomhandles instead of the tiki torches.

We prefer to time the Ceremonies with local sundown in order to use the setting sun and the lighting of the bonfire as a part of the Ceremonies.

IKV Melota, bonfire prep

IKV Deliverance, bonfire

Part of our Ceremonies is a bonfire. It may very well be that you cannot have a bonfire in your Ceremonies. Perhaps your ship is too deeply urban. Our ship is very deeply urban. However, for years we used private property well out of town for most of our Tournaments. Thus, we had big bonfires. The rule of thumb is that if NASA cannot see it from the ISS, then it is not big enough.
Sometimes, the bonfire is out, though. 2005 had a burn ban, no bonfire. In 2003, in one Tournament, it rained only during the Ceremonies and the bonfire had to be started later. From 2006 on the Tournaments have been in state parks. No bonfire allowed.
The IKV Deliverance usually has a pretty good bonfire going with all of that nitrate soaked wood. The IKV Bayou Serpent does not do bonfires. They, instead, have very large versions of the toilet paper based torch. The effect was light similar to a bonfire, but without the extra work and hazard.

Make sure that the line to and from the Bucket is from behind the bucket itself. The object is to see the faces (and kleavage) of those dipping. You definitely don't want photos or movies of butts as everybody dips away from the camera.
Try to put the bucket up on the stage or some other higher platform to minimize the leaning to the dip. Obviously, some leaning is needed if you have Kleavage Kweens that want to show their assets.
Use a large stock pot or tub. It should be metal to resemble the tub used on DS9:Apocolypse Rising.
Make sure that everybody has a mug in their hands before the Ceremonies begin. It hurts to have folks fishing for mugs while the Ceremonies are in progress. Be ready to accept nearly anything as a mug. The key is to get everybody to dip. We have the "regulation" mugs from ST:The Experience as well as 1qt measuring cups as seen in DS9:AR. If you use the measuring cup as seen on DS9:AR, take a dremel tool to wipe out the markings on the mug.
For those underage or not drinking, have them go through the motions of dipping. They simply don't pickup up payload.

Death Howl:
Audition your uniformed members to find out who does the best Death Howl. Let this person lead the Howl during each Ceremonies.

Use the Stage to announce the participants

Use flags and banners to announce the participants. Each ship should have its own banner. Each House or Clan should have its own banner. The picture shows all of the klingon ships that participated in that Tournament. Due to space constraints, not all of the family banners could be strung up with the stage. That does not matter, there were and can be poles, spears and other strung lines with the colors and symbols get the point across that this is a well participated event. Make sure that every banner is up.

Stage setup:
Line the stage with flags. Pole the flags or hang "clotheslines" to hang even more flags. Place torches to either side of the stage to illuminate it. Plant batleths in the ground to create a "corridor" leading to the stage. Or use something else to define an "aisle".
We suggest having a reflectorized version of your logo. Once the sun goes down, then the camera or bonfire lights glow back in the logo.
Line your crew on each side of the stage. All available uniforms must be in the Ceremonies for visual impact. Non-uniformed can be kept behind the camera if you want things to be "clean". Otherwise, place them on the wings of the uniforms to add to the attendance.

IKV Bayou Serpent Stage, daylight

Cardie, close-up

Keep in mind that a videocamera with its organic microphone placed in or near the audience will pick up the audience talking and you will lose the actual Ceremonies dialogue. It is nigh unto impossible to keep the audience quiet. It is very important to keep the Ceremonies short as the audience will get louder as time grows, and discipline wanes.
You should consider keeping a microphone attached to some recording device near the stage. During the video editing stage, the cleaner sound can be edited in. On the other hand, do not put it on the stage itself or the footsteps and movement upon the stage will overpower the soundtrack.
There is now an Academy Page (and video) about filming Ceremonies.
Also, don't forget that Video/photo Waiver as mentioned on the Websites Commentary page.

two programs
     program A is business and pageantry,
     program B is stump time

   lighting the bonfire
   Death Howl
   opening the bloodwine
   awards for divisions
   promotions if any (tell kaptains to keeps it short)
     thanks to the Landowner
     thanks to the kooking team
     thanks to the guests that drove in, raise weapons to the guests

Program B
   tap any "budding Warriors"
   general stumping

Lo there, do I see my father,
Lo there, do I see my mother and my sisters and my brothers,
Lo there, do I see the line of my people back to the beginning,
Lo they do call to me,
They bid me to take my place among them,
In the halls of Stovokor
Where the brave, may live forever.

Hom Salek, Sutai
Ship's Brewer
Commo Officer IKV Melota

Uniform Thoughts


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