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Bringing The Warriors to Birmingham - Interview with Victor Wright

By midlandsmovies, Dec 5 2016 03:28PM

Midlands Movies Mike speaks to Victor Wright, the organiser of the 2017 UK Conclave event that will be bringing the stars of cult classic The Warriors to the Midlands in April of next year.

MMM: Can you tell me a bit about yourself? Are you from the Midlands?

VW: Sure – I’m from a place called Kings Norton in Birmingham. I have two incredibly cool jobs, firstly I organise events around the UK and secondly I own Geeky Comics. The latter I write for as an author of both books and comics. I’m blessed with a very understanding partner, who also enjoys the conventions and my work as an author. It’s a good thing really as I can be away from home lots of weekends.

MMM: Cool. So how did you get into arranging this Warriors event?

VW: UK Conclave came about from being a lifelong fan and the desire to do something awesome for the convention scene in the UK. I met Michael Beck a few years back and thought then, how awesome it would be to bring the Warriors to our turf, so I am. And I have to say I’m not alone in my thinking – I’ve had a lot of feedback from fans across Europe saying this type of event was long overdue.

MMM: You’ve got a lot of the stars. How did that come about?

VW: Michael Beck (Swan in The Warriors) arranged it for me. After contacting him and discussing my plans, Michael agreed that the UK Conclave would be an event for UK fans not to miss. He spoke to some the cast on my behalf including James Remar and David Patrick Kelly who will hopefully be at the show too, subject to availability and working schedules!

MMM: What has been the most difficult hurdle you have had to overcome as the organiser?

VW: There’s not really (touch wood) been any major hurdles apart from committing to additional budget for more of the cast. That will depend on ticket and table sales, if both go well, I’ll throw more budget at the show to enable more guests to come to the event. I’d really love for all of the gangs to be there – now that would be awesome. Sadly a couple are no longer with us, but it would be possible to get some of the others of that I’m sure.

MMM: Have you/do you arrange any other film events?

VW: I do. I run lots of comic cons and horror cons across the UK. We have all kinds of stars coming to our events including Tony Moran (Michael Myers from Halloween), Jsu Garcia and Ken Sagoes (Nightmare on Elm Street), Zara Phythian (Doctor Strange) and Tonya Pinkins (Gotham). The list is extensive!

MMM: Regarding the UK Conclave. How many people help support you?

VW: If you mean our staff then there are about 15 of us who regularly work the events and then we usually have about 5 to 8 volunteers helping too. Some are working with me on a daily basis and others are just as and when we need them.

MMM: For a bit of fun, what names would you give to Birmingham Warriors gang(s)?

VW: A Birmingham gang, oh tough one. We already have the Peaky Blinders, The Zulu’s & Villains. I think I’d go for an analogy of my own gang from my next book ‘The Lawless Ones’ – there is a gang in that story called the Brooklyn Blades, so my gang would be the Birmingham Blades.

MMM: What attracted you to the film The Warriors in the first place? Do you have a favourite scene?

VW: I first saw the film when I was 16 years old. A girlfriend got hold of a VHS copy (I think) of the film and played it to me in 1980. I loved the grittiness to it. Throughout the 70s and early 80s, Birmingham (as much of Britain) was taken over with Punks, Skinheads, Teddy Boys, Mods and many other types of gangs – made up mainly from local kids who all shared similarities in either music or clothing tastes. I was one of those kids, so I associated with the film on a personal level and could feel the anguish and closeness of The Warriors. As for favourite scene, I think the bathroom and the Furies scenes were and still are my personal favourites.

MMM: Do you have any future plans?

VW: As an entrepreneurial type, I’m always formulating the next plan. If this event works, I’d like to make it a regular yearly convention, possibly take them on tour of the UK. As for other events with other personalities, I have some great ideas, but I won’t let the cat out of the bag until I’m sure I can pull it off.

MMM: Have you met the stars before and how do they feel about the continued love for the film?

VW: Only Michael Beck, who bizarrely enough was in Birmingham about 5 years back at an event. The cast feel the same way we do about the film – they formed a bond with it and each other that can’t be broken. David Harris summed it up for me recently; he said they all became real friends and still are today. What they never planned or thought about back then, was that they were about to create a cult classic, that 37 years later would still be growing in popularity.

MMM: Thanks Victor and we wish you and your “gang” of organisers all the best with the event.

The Warriors come out to play at Edgbaston Stadium, Birmingham on 1st & 2nd April 2017

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