Wednesday, August 17, 2011

San Diego ComicCon International 2011, Friday

Friday the 22nd (Day 2):  Up at 5:30 to get dressed (one of my Steampunk outfits) and a mile walk from hotel to Convention Center since shuttles don't start until 8am and am in line about 6:30am for Ballroom 20.  First it's a line outside to get into the building and then at 9am (or when the Fire Marshal says so) the line moves in and from there, people move towards the line areas they are heading towards.  I figured I was about 1500-2000 people back in line to get into BR20.  The Hall opened at about 9:30 and then a steady flow into BR20.  I found an aisles seat down the center a little more then halfway down.  It was a good seat.  The guy who ended up sitting next to me was a little oblivious about common sense stuff, but a few quick reminders worked quickly (ie. don't take a call in the middle of a panel).  I was there mainly for the Torchwood Panel, but was also super excited about The Big Bang Theory, Eureka and Warehouse 13 Panels. 

Torchwood Panel:  Started just after 10am and was roundly and happily applauded to the stage.   Panel was made up by John Barrowman, Eve Myles, Mekhi Phifer, Alexa Havins, Bill Pullman and Jane Espenson.    One of the first things I remember John saying was that he loves conventions; he loves going to them and experiencing them.  He said he only buys his t-shirts at comic conventions really     It was discovered during the shoot for the first episode that Mekhi Phifer likes Wales but says that it really is too cold for him.  As he says, black men just aren't made for Wales, but they are made for Hollywood.  There is a lot of love in this cast and a lot of laughter.  Mostly I remember Eve and John being sexy, raunchy and lovely.  At one point they tried to hit on the same guy who walked up to ask a question.  Eve was saying how much she loved Gwen's leathers and slipping back into them was so comfortable and sexy.  When someone in the audience agreed with her, she held up her her hand like a phone to her ear and said,  "call me" then mimed writing down her number and said, "seriously, call me."  The audience loved it and it looked like John was laughing so hard he almost looked like he was going to fall out of his chair.  Eve kept saying that she loved her leathers so much it was actually quite hard to get her out of them.  I loved how much Eve, John and Mekhi were laughing together onstage.  Bill Pullman was a little more reserved, but when he did speak, he was intelligent and thought about what he wanted to say.  Alexa was very sweet and Jane is awesomeand full of the best kind of dry wit.

Walking Dead Panel:   Turns out I also should have been watching The Walking Dead on AMC cause the trailer for season 2 blew my mind.  They played the trailer twice because the crowd reaction was so big the first time around. It blew my mind the second time around as well.  It's based on a comic series and I ended up with a free issue while at the convention.  It's issue #86, so while it's really far into the series, I can see why there's so much to work with and what a solid foundation there was to work with for a series.  Apparently there is an actual zombie boot camp collage for the zombie extras in Georgia where they film.  I am very excited to watch this series now. 

Big Bank Theory Panel featuring   Chuck Lorry, Jim Parsons, Kaley Cuoco, Simon Helberg,   Kunal Nayyar,Johnny Galecki,  Melissa Rauch,    Mayim Bialik    Bill Prady and Steve Molaro  Oh, and the lovely Moderator =>   . Honestly, Jim and Mayim stole the show for me.  They were talkative, smart and witty.  When the moderator put questions out, they were willing to share insight and stories.  Mayim really did go to UCLA for a PhD program in neuroscience and when she went to audition for the role of Amy Farrah Fowler she put her PhD under the Miscellaneous section.  when she was asked by Bill Prady if she really had that degree, she said yes and left and got the call the next day that she got the part.  She had heard of the show, but never watched it.  She heard they were casting for a female version of Jim Parsons, and she said, "Who?".  So she Googled Jim the night before the audition and then did her best impersonation the next day.  Apparently there are also some science-y terms that are used on the show once in a while that make her wince because it's something that wouldn't really happen or be done like that, but she said for the most part, it's all good.  Simon and Melissa did their impressions of Howard's Mother, which was hilarious.  Jim loves the fact that science covers just about everything, and since that's the basis of the show, anything goes as long as it can be written into the fabric of modern science.  He says, "I mean, we've had a time machine on the show already."  But he came back to the idea that the show is really about these people and their loves and the challenge to play them to to stay organic and stay true to who they are, while still letting them grow.  It's quite apparent that the cast and crew have a deep love for the show and the characters. 

The Bones Panel was cancelled because neither Emily DeschanelDavid Boreanaz could make ComicCon for personal reasons (Emily is pregnant so I'm guessing that was her reason, I don't know what David's was) so I took a nap in my chair and flipped through my photos for an hour.  It was actually kind of nice.   The room chatted and took a break from panels and the convention for an hour in their chairs and in an air conditioned Hall. 

Eureka Panel featured Colin Ferguson, Salli Richardson-Whitfield, Neil Grayston, Felicia Day, Jamie Paglia and Bruce Miller.  Moderated by the awesome Wil Wheaton ; since he played Dr. Parrish on the show, he knows everyone very well and he was just as much a part of the panel as anyone else but since he is go good at talking and asking intelligent questions, I was happy to see him up there as moderator.    It's Collin!    It's Salli! Oh, the chair stand is the trend!   Neil peaks out for the all clear first   before making his entrance.   Felicia come out videoing us.  I think it's a growing trend that panelist photo and video their audience.  Since we do it to them, why not have them do the same?  Capture the moment!  Then tweet about it?  It was Colin's birthday!  We all sang Happy Birthday to him.   All 4,500 of us. How's that for a birthday song.  Something to record and tweet about for sure. 
 Colin talked about when he auditioned for the show and wasn't expecting to get cast because he always brings a level of goofy to his characters that most roles aren't looking for, but Jamie said, "Yes!  That's what I'm looking for!" and that opened up the door for the cast to bring out the goofy side of themselves and professionally goof it up onscreen  Like Colin is really, really good at physical comedy, so you see him falling down and getting stuff knocked into him. Painful, but hysterical.   Great questions from Wil.  Everyone is fun, smart, witty and engaging.  Everyone is also highly connected to their tech. 
This sequence of events tells the story of a girl who plays a part in which two male characters are interesting in having a relationship with her.  Wil first asks the question to Felicia , which male character is she going to pick? Him or the guy sitting next to her?  Yeah Felicia, no pressure.  Colin gets up to Moderate and there's a bit of musical chairs that happens.   Wil takes Neil's chair first  Wil starts making ridiculous Dr. Parrish eyes at Felicia  Neil grabs Colin's chair and hops over to the other side of Felicia  so that he can make his arguments and battle the of Dr. Parrish/Wil vs Fargo/Neil commences in all the hi-jinx style that a Eureka panel can bring.Who does she choose? Who is the best man?Who is she interested in?And when they were filming that one scene in the capsule in that one episode all crammed in, was that Neil's crotch Felicia was smelling?  She thought so. It's hard to keep a straight face, no one in the audience was.   One of the best convention moments ever.   So now Felicia has two guys with fake Doe Eyes on either side.  I'm not sure how she was able to concentrate on her story.   Did you know the character of Dr Holly Martin was created specifically for Felicia?  Yup.  Wil's role was created for him too.  Such a great panel, so much fun and what a fantastic group of people.  Very much a cast and crew family.   Jamie said there was a No Douchbag Rule for hires, and it seems everyone is really in favor of that rule and I think that really helps in building a group of people that aren't all icky to be around.

Warehouse 13 Panel  featuring Eddie McClintock, Joanne Kelly, Saul Rubinek, Jack Kenny and Allison Scagliotti with Neil Grayston as Moderator.  Yay crossover in real life too!  (If you don't know, Warehouse 13 and Eureka have crossed over onto each other's shows several times much to fans delight)  Hugs from Jack to Neil!   Oh, hug denied by Saul!    The elegant Joanne comes onstage.  The introduction of panels are usually very fun.... I like antics... and they usually get the audience hyped up.... like this move from Eddie.  He comes out, recording of course,    and just keeps going  We have a runner! Oh, outta breath a bit.  Running up and down all the aisles at top speed will do that.   Eddie said "nipples" while speaking and apparently there was a $50 bet with Allison that he would.  He said something about "Irish Nipples"Segue from that to Allison talking about in an upcoming episode she gets to play five versions of Claudia and she gets to sing and play guitar.  But she had to stop because Jack picked up a Tesla (awesome electric stun gun used on the show- well, a prop stun gun anyway) ... besides that, Eddie was full of praise of Joanne, her acting and her ability to give so much.  Jack went on to say that he felt so proud of working with such a talented group of actors and was so happy to see them tackle everything that was thrown at them so exceedingly well.     Saul is full of praise of the show and the abilities of Jack as a show runner to get notes to the network, being a dad to the writers and being on set 90% of the time. That means he can see, for himself, what is working and what isn't for the cast and can immediately work on a fix to get it right.    Saul goes on to talk about bringing Aaron Ashmore in as Steve Jinx and the show and cast needing someone who was deft at handling a range of emotions and situations that go from comedy to drama in the same scene. One of the fan questions was if you were going to get a tattoo, what would it be of.  Eddie said that Bruce, the original Great White Shark from Jaws is somewhere in the Warehouse and that's what he would get tattooed on his "manly arm."  Joanne said she's been trying to talk him out of getting this tattoo for the past four months.  Saul said that since if you have a tattoo, you can't be buried in a Jewish graveyard, his would say, "no longer Jewish."  Eddie leans over and says, "oh, you're Jewish?" To which Saul replies, "No, I just look Jewish.  My real name is Jim Scott.  I changed it cause I figured it wouldn't work unless my name way Saul Rubinek since I look like this, then I could get work."  Much laughter.  Jack says, "I would love to meet your great grandfather in the H.G Wells series; Shlomo Wiesefeld." To that Allison  said her tattoo would then be "Shlomo Wiesefeld".  Jack said his would be an expiration date to which the audience "awwed" and he "awwed back.  Joanne and Allison  said that whole banter thing was exactly like it is onset.  All the time like this.   Now ends my day of non-stop panels.  It is 5:30pm when I finally exit Ballroom 20.  It has been a full full day of really well done panels, but I am so ready to leave now. I've been sitting for 8 hours.

After the day, after the panels, I'm taking a quick break and photographing the crowd instead of being caught up in it. This is upstairs by the main escalator=>     .  Downstairs I found two guys dressed in scuba outfits remote controlling two flying sharks.  Awesome.  Insane costume nearby.... .

My Convention Buddy went back to Trickster for a noon panel about printer ink technology, free cocktails and free sushi.  Plus, they printed out (for free) any photo that she had taken.  We all loved this photo she had taken at The Huntington a few days previous to the ComicCon that had me and another friend in the background, so we got three prints of the same image made and now we all have one!  Then, she turned around with her tale of pulling winning lottery tickets for all these limited signings that morning and on a whim she got in line for the Torchwood autograph line.  Now I had just watched their panel and was currently enjoying The Walking Dead Panel, so I had made the choice not to try for any autographs.  My CB got a winning ticket, got in line, got all their autographs and when John signed her appointed item, his pens went all wonky and put out just a little too much ink.  He offered another autograph to make up for it.  She said don't worry about, but he insisted and she pushed forward on of the free postcards that was on the table..... yeah, she ended up giving that one to me at the end of the day along with Jane Espenson's autograph.    I love Jane, she is one of my favorite show writer.  Getting John's made me speechless.  I adore John Barrowman; as a human and an actor.   My CB is full of awesome and win. 

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