Wednesday, July 27, 2011

SDCC: The Condensed San Diego Comic Con Part 1

As we fill up the Flickr and begin gathering toy stories for Cool Toy Review, I wanted to give you a run down of what the 2011 San Diego Comic Con was like.

Day 1: Preview Night - For me this is preview afternoon into evening. My plane touched down at 11:30 and by 12:30 I was in the show ready to run through it like a psychopath with an R2-D2 Droid camera phone at the ready. The objective is to give you at home an overview of the show, reveal new movie posters, booth displays and then hunt down the coolest toys as a sneak preview of what's to come, coverage wise. Responses to my flurry of tweets ranged from Brian of Horror Movie A Day telling me he is unfollowing me til after the show is done with to requests for pics of Minimates and Marvel figures. I was working my typing thumbs and hunting down things to shoot so fast I was covered in sweat. KW of Dread Central said he was waiting for my little (twitter) bird to off himself to avoid further torture. As it was, I had to reload several posts as there would always be two birds loading and two birds who died in transit, represented by upside down birds as if they'd keeled over from the stress. All this tweeting and picture taking is done in a sort of video game setting with fork lifts going forward and back, whipping around corners and beeping frantically at those walking by in a daze. Its a wonder that no one gets knocked on their ass at the very least. Highlights of my shooting include the giant alien device of "Men in Black 3", the "Ghostrider 2" bike, hunting down evidence of Conan's new project "The Flaming C", NECA's Evil Dead 2 figures, Diamond Select's "Alice: The Madness Returns" video game action figure line and an excellent Mohawk Storm statue at Sideshow! The day of shooting ends abruptly around 6, shortly after the throng of exclusives hunters hit the show floor. I'm off to an Activision preview event to meet up with the Dread Central crew, Joe Lynch of the new movie "Knights of Badassdom" (which seems to be about larping and demons!!) and a little console time with Prototype 2 and Spider-Man: Edge of Time which look mind blowing, as you would expect!

Day 2: I was going to run over to the show before it opened to get in some quality time with the little plastic people, but not having slept the night before had taken its toll and at the very least, I needed a full 6 hours rest and some time to post the awesome things I shot the day before. This meant my day would begin off-site at the Pacific Gasslamp to meet up with the actors and creator of the indie film hit "Bellflower", a story of bromance, failed romance and a car called Medusa, built to survive the oncoming apocalypse. It seemed I was the first to arrive as all the doors were locked and two of the actors were waiting outside. When we finally entered we were greeted with a 2 flight walk up; a special torture first thing in the morning. As I caught my breathe and looked out over the balcony I was joined by Jessie Wiseman who plays Millie in the film. We shared a moment of mutual revulsion at the creepiness of the ultra realistic Smurfs in the film to come. It was the texture of their skin that bothered her the most. I suspected they would be sticky to the touch and maybe secrete an enzyme that puts the victim in a hallucinatory state so they can eat him while still alive. I'd definitely watch that movie. I do hope Neil Patrick Harris doesn't get eaten though. The interview itself flew by with topics ranging from the drama of Shakespeare to the question of whose actor hair would win in a fight and then the obvious conversation closer...Robocop. Look for that vid as soon as I'm not hopped up on Dayquil to fight off my post SDCC plague!

I had a bit of time between gigs and running back to the show seemed futile, so I decided to hunt down some food when amid a crowd of fans came the beating of drums and from their center, a unicorn head popped up! This was revealed to be Lady Rainicorn from Cartoon Network's "Adventure Time", whom I followed to a pizza place decked out with AT trappings. I was given a coin for a free piece of pizza and soda and joined the fans on line to enter. Even in the heat and intense sun, this group never hesitated to sing their favorite songs from the show and express their undying love for Beemo (the sentient video game console). When we finally got in..a little scorched by the sun..we all got the foods promised and a little stuffed Jake with an SDCC 2011 stamped on his butt. Oh yea..and the pizza was goooood. Oddly my young line partners were adverse to sitting directly on the pavement across the street, opting for hovering above it in a sort of "cat ready to pounce pose" or maybe "monkeys grooming each other". I asked what germs they feared they might pick up from over touching of their butts, which launched into a conversation of causes for touching one's own but. Sometimes, you are just too damn sexy for your own good.

After some toy interviewing and more pictures where ever I could squeeze in on the show floor, I had to head out to a "Final Destination 5" happy hour and 3D film preview. When I asked a security person where petco park was, they pointed waaaaay off into the distance. With a sigh, I was off. This would be a re-occurring theme of the show, having to run from one end to another in 10 minute's time. After the third time, you don't care that you look like a sweaty mess when you arrive. The "Final Destination 5" footage was beautiful and gut wrenching all at once; like a series of Wile E Coyote calamities taking place as a suspension bridge crumbles, sending its living contents to their doom. This is the most excellent use of 3D in a horror movie that I've seen in a very long time. You may find yourself ducking to avoid the flying guts! I met up with Arlen Escarpeta (who enjoys a particularly juicy demise in this scene) to shoot the shit and had to bum him out by saying there were no new Ninja Turtles things to check out on the floor of the show. Major downer when we don't have any TMNT to look forward to. I'd also promised producer Craig Perry that I would catch up with him after seeing the fottage but my time was short so this one is for you Craig. HOLY SHIT!! I think that says it all. I was also briefly interviewed by Spike TV so let me know if you see me on there! The hostess seemed convinced I would relish the idea of being bathed in blood so we had a bit of a debate on the topic.

Next stop was the FEARnet party and sneak preview of their newest shows "Psychovlle" and "Todd and the Book of Pure Evil". "Psychoville" looks exceptionally fun with the sensibilities of UK hit Little Brittain and a story that seems to revolve around a sadistic party clown who seems confused that the parents who hire him don't want him to use the hooks and saws as part of his act. Go figure. After agreeing that we need to book an interview with Rob Lowe, the new master of horror, we were off to our own Dread Central/Magnet party! We did a quick red carpet with the creators and actors of "Tucker and Dale VS Evil" which stars Tyler Labine and Alan Tudyk (Wash from Firefly!) in a tale of two friends trying to decompress at their woodland vacation home when they are set upon by over-privileged teens who think T&D are the a-typical horror movie rednecks and proceed to off themselves while trying to battle them. It's hysterical and wrong in all the right ways. There were several celebs hitting the carpet that night including the boys from the "Falling Skies" TV series and Stephen Lunsford of "Private Practice" and the upcoming film "Beneath the Darkness". In the spirit of SDCC, Stephen showed up dressed as Nathan Drake from Uncharted! We also caught up with Rob Hall, creator of "Chrome Skull: Laid to Rest 2". The sequel looks to be more viscious and blood soaked than the first instalment! My apologies to Rob that I couldn't see it AT SDCC, but watching movies while at the show just assures me a place to nod off half way through. At SDCC, If I'm not running or drinking, I'm sleeping. I can't help it. Lights go off, my brain says sleep mode.

I'm going to split this into 2 parts so it's not too incredibly long...and so I can get back to posting all the coverage I shot and recorded at the show! Stay tuned for more.

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