And another WonderCon has come and gone. And there were definitely a lot of high and low points this year. But overall, it was a good convention both for Geek Tragedy and NPC.
– The ElfQuest fan trailer. We have video interviews with Wendy & Richard Pini as well as the lovely ladies who made the fan trailer, and those will be going up on the blog soon. Check back with us Wednsday night, though, as the full 5 minute trailer will be released on the Web after it’s premier at SAG.
-ThunderCats Reboot Panel. This was my last event on Sunday, and it was really awesome. There was a new trailer for the show that looked fantastic. Larry Kenny, the original Lion-O (and voice of Claudius in the reboot) was on hand and lead us in the ThunderCats battle cry. Well over a thousand people in the ballroom all shouting ‘Thunder, Thunder, Thunder, ThunderCats! HOOOOOO!’ was enough to make even this cynical correspondent smile like a kid and join in. Also, producer Ethan Spaulding let slip a little tid bit of information: there just might be a cry of ‘Tally Hawk!’ this season as well.
-Priest Round Table. One of the big changes this year is that Kyle and I got our Press passes independently of NPC; we submitted our credentials and work on our own. As a result, we got invites to some cool Press only events. The one that I went to was the Priest Round Table, where reporters sit together in groups at round tables (hence the name) and do quick, group interviews. We got to ask questions to starts Paul Bettany, Cam Gigandet, Lilly Collins, director Scott Charles Stewart, and creator/writer Min-Woo Hyung. This was a serious press event and I think I did well and held my own with the big boy journalists.
-Doctor Who Panel. The first big event on Sunday, and awesome for me since it was the first time I’d ever been at a con panel with Neil Gaiman speaking. New trailer for the new season, and a few looks at some of the eps., including the one that Neil wrote: ‘The Doctor’s Wife’. I also can state, without bias, the Neil has written the greatest exchange ever in Doctor Who history.
Amy: (frustrated) I can’t believe you left the Doctor on his own! What were you thinking?
Rory: Well. He’s a Time Lord.
Amy: (looking at Rory compassionately, like he’s a pet) That’s just a name. It doesn’t mean he actually knows what he’s doing.
-Security. Now, I realize that Kyle and I are just two old geeks spouting off on a podcast and a blog. I certainly don’t expect any special treatment, even if we do have Press badges. What I *do* expect, however, is some measure of competence from the folks running the show. And the staff that gets interacted with by the fans and press most is the rented security. The level of disorganization, mis-communication, and outright bad PR skills was truly overwhelming. When Kyle and I first arrived, we asked where Press needed to go to be let in, since that’s how it was done last year. No-one wearing a security blazer knew. I asked 5 differnt people and got five variant answers on ‘I don’t know’. One security member eventually told me that Press had to stand in the general line. Another told Kyle to go to the Room where Press had assembled last year, only to find that this was not the case either. Again, I’m not getting cheesed off here about some rent-a-cop not treating me like I’m Walter Cronkite because I have a blog, I’m talking about basic information that should have been known and basic PR skills here. And to drive my point home, I saw the camera crew from G4 getting the same crappy run-around. Not good at all.
-No Guaranteed Press Access. Call me crazy, but it seems to me that at a major show like WonderCon, where there are exclusive trailers and clips that you want people reporting on, you would want to have members of the press on hand to write about it, yes? Sadly, it was not the case with any of the sneak peaks that occurred in the Ballroom. Thirty minutes after the Green Lantern panel had started, I and a couple other members of the Press, from news sources significantly larger than we are here, were still standing outside and waiting to get in. And I got in line about an hour before the panel started. For Cowboys and Aliens, I arrived an hour & a half earlier, and the line was already past the point it was where I joined in for Green Lantern. By contrast, we were sent invites to press round tables to Priest and Immortal, asking us to RSVP. The end result? I got some good interview questions and a better insight into Priest and lost nothing by watching the Green Lantern clips on the Net the evening they were shown. Cool points to Sony/Screen Gems, none to Warner Brothers & Universal.
-Food Prices. $7 bucks for a hot dog? Really? $3.50 for a bottle of soda? When I can buy better food cheaper at AT&T Park, you know the price gouging is bad.
So, fun times all around. Although Kyle and I are kinda conned out for now. Thanks to all the gracious professionals that let us interview them, we appreciate the time you take to let us talk to you about your work and your worlds. And we’ll see you next year.