After Comic-Con Report, Part II. This part? She’s long.
Friday dawned early. To be fair, it really wasn’t all that early for me. I was awake at 6-ish but, as far as my brain was concerned, I had slept in longer than I had all week. Seanan woke up not long after and we attempted to take a quick dip in the pool. Attempted being the key word here. There was an “Out of Order” sign on the pool gate (I wonder if Veronica had been there earlier… hmmm.) and, when Seanan asked the nice pool man about it, he claimed he’d be done soon but that the pool wouldn’t be open until 8AM.
I flipped through the rest of the WB catalog but failed to find anything that was screaming at me to buy it right then (silly me because, like the VM messenger bag, these items were not available when I wanted them later in the weekend). Instead, I grabbed a few more of the Veronica Mars cards and one of the Adventures of Brisco County, Jr. cards and wandered around checking out the rest of the booths I’d missed from the night before including the Dark Horse, G4, and Sci-Fi booth. However, less than hour into the day and the floor was already way more crowded than the night before and I got tired of fighting with the crowd. I headed up to room 6CDEF figuring I’d get us an early spot in the line for Heroes. Only there was no line because people were being let in for the Star Trek panel. I grabbed an aisle seat close to the front, texted Seanan to let her know where I was in the room, and settled in to watch the panel.
Star Trek: Year 41 and Counting
I should apologize up front here. I didn’t turn my digital recorder on for this panel and I’m not going to remember most of the things that were said. I will say that it’s obvious that these folks are very used to cons because they were very at ease on the stage, had interesting things/news to share, and rarely needed the moderator to keep them on track. I wasn’t there for the panel and yet I found it both informative and interesting.
So what do I remember? That JJ Abrams has been signed to do the new Star Trek movie and everyone on stage seemed very excited about it. Even when a fan questioned them about JJ and how he had originally said he was a big Superman fan and then seemed to contradict that by turning in a script that didn’t stick to the comic lore, they stuck to their guns and said they have high hopes for the project. They also discussed an upcoming auction by Christie’s of New York in honor of ST’s 40th Anniversary. This was interesting to me because they talked about how this was the first time they were officially letting them put studio items up for auction. I’m not much of a Trekkie but it sounded like they’d have some cool things that true fans would love. If you want more information on the auction, check out Christie’s 40 Years of Star Trek: The Collection site.
There was also talk of what StarTrek.com is up to these days, including a sneak peek at the cover of the new Star Trek Magazine coming out soon (see the picture to the right). Though he had several things to say, I don’t remember much of what the webmaster had to say other than that the site would be working with the movie producers to bring coverage of the movie as more news is released about it. They are also heavily involved in the release of the Animated Series on DVD. Marco Palmieri and Margaret Clark, from Pocket Books, talked about some new books that will be coming out soon. I don’t remember the details about these but the audience seemed very interested. Then Luis Reyes from Tokyopop talked about the new Star Trek manga that will be coming out soon. I remember Luis’ talk only because he related a story about how he has a friend who is a huge ST fan and, when he told him about getting the manga, that friend congratulated him and them told him not to “f it up.” Luis’ hope was that no one thinks they f-ed it up. From what was said by the other panelists like Paula Block at CBS, who were overseeing the process, I’m guessing they didn’t.
That’s about all I remember. Once they got done updating us, people got to ask them questions and they had some hard hitting questions. Of course I don’t remember hardly any of them so I won’t even bother to try and capture the Q&A portion. The funny part about the Q&A was that they started asking people trivia questions for the opportunity to win giveaways and it is amazing what those fans know! I’d make fun of them but then I remember all the crazy details I know about Veronica Mars and my other favorite shows and I know I’m just as big of a geek…
NBC: Heroes Pilot Screening and Q&A with Cast and Producers
PROCEED WITH CAUTION: Spoilers for the Heroes pilot ahead.
For most of the ST panel, I had plenty of seats near me for the rest of the group. Then, near the end, a woman sat down only two chairs away from me. This screwed up the seating arrangements when Seanan found me not long after. Luckily there were still plenty of free chairs in the room and we were able to move to a new location easily enough. It wasn’t as good a location for pictures but at least we could all sit together. Then, when the ST panel ended and floods of people departed, we jumped one row up to get closer to the front. Of course, this actually put is right behind the obnoxious ladies dressed as fairies who claimed that their wings could not be removed. May I just say, if you are going to wear wings of the “can’t remove” variety, you should have the decency to sit where said wings will not block the view of the several hundred people behind you. It’s cool that you’re all into the costume thing but it does mean that you have to consider how your costume affects those around you. Also, said costume does not grant you the right to take up extra seats. The most annoying thing about it was that her wings FELL OFF because the SAFETY PIN attaching them didn’t like the twisting she had to do to restrain them to just the two seats she was occupying. Couldn’t be removed, my ass.
Ok. Sorry. Was having a moment. And it’s not quite over yet. In addition to the fairy ladies (who actually didn’t end up blocking my view all that much, we had a couple from State The Obvious-ville sitting directly behind us. I know it sounds like I’m just being whiny and bitchy at this point but, seriously, these people didn’t just state the obvious once or twice. I think they had something to say about every scene that we saw. So much so that I eventually wrote, “OMG! With the obvious statements! STOP!” on my notepad and showed it to Seanan just as they made another obvious statement. Which we promptly repeated to each other because it was just soooo ridiculous. Seriously, sometimes it’s understandable to “get” something from a scene and blurt it out as you realize it. It is not, however, to constantly blurt out realizations about exactly what you were just shown on the screen. Seeing a man hang himself and then declaring, “He hung himself!” just makes everyone around you want to smack you over the head with the Get A Clue stick or possibly the Shut the Fuck Up stick.
And the moment’s over. Back to your regularly scheduled post segment about the parts of the Heroes panel that did not annoy Rae.
Jeph Loeb, formerly a producer on Lost and producer/writer on Smallville (as well as a author of several comic books), was the moderator for this panel. I know that he’s a writer on the show but, given his previous credits, I’m guessing he also has at least a producer credit (don’t quote me on that!). Either way, he’s someone I personally like and admire in the industry so I was glad to have him as a moderator. Jeph’s one message to us was to, “Talk about it!” He didn’t care if we liked it or hated it (though I’m sure he’d prefer the former), he just wanted us to talk about it. I think Jeph’s getting his wish because besides Studio 60 this is the pilot I hear people talking the most about.
Jeph brought out the cast and introduced us to them before showing us the 72-minute pilot. When he brought out Leonard Roberts (who is quite the hottie!), he wasn’t sure if we’d meet him in the pilot we’d be seeing or not. He guessed yes but, as it turns out, it was Greg Grunberg that we met not Leonard. I only mention this because that’s the main part of the pilot that we saw that differs from the pilot that is, uh, circulating. Sadly Hayden Panettiere (Claire) and Greg Grunberg (Matt) couldn’t be there as they were actually working. To show us that they were there in spirit, Milo (Peter) and Masi (Hiro) were wearing “Grunberg is my HERO” and “Hayden is my HERO” t-shirts (see the picture to the right).
After the introductions were complete, the cast was marched off stage again so that we could get to viewing portion of the panel. The first few paragraphs here don’t really touch on any spoilers but, from this point forward, I will be discussing the pilot that I saw so spoilerphobes should beware of continuing. Skip ahead if you don’t want to know anything about the show itself!
With that warning out of the way, let me get right into my gut reaction to the pilot. I liked it. I think I can even say I liked it a lot. I didn’t love it but it left me wanting more and that’s a good sign, right? There’s a lot of potential and I am pretty much interested in every one of the characters we met. I like it when I don’t start the show hating anyone. I must admit that I haven’t seen the pilot that’s circulating (the shorter one that will be airing in the fall) but I did talk to a few people who had after the panel and it seems like the biggest difference in the two is that Greg Grunberg’s storyline isn’t in the shorter version. That’s kind of interesting to me because that seems like it would remove almost all of the terrorism overtones from this initial episode. I’m assuming they have to put them back in to some degree if only to explain why things were happening but I’m curious if it will change the tone at all. Of course I just realized that removing Greg’s parts removes some of the more amusing (and my favorite) scenes. I hope they manage to keep them intact on some level when we finally do meet his character.
The point of explaining that I haven’t seen the shorter pilot (and I probably won’t until Sept. 1 when I can download it for free on iTunes), is to give a background on why I felt like the pilot got a bit slow in parts but I’m not sure anyone else should put much emphasis on that opinion. I haven’t read enough reactions from people who have seen both to judge whether it was just me or whether it’s a universal thought. Some of it is likely due to the nature of pilots and the need to introduce everyone, especially when you’re dealing with a show and cast this large. Not to mention that, when the show starts, the cast is spread out and you don’t have too many points when their stories overlap just yet. I can see that changing even as soon as the last half of this episode so it should stop being a problem.
This also applies to my second issue with the pilot. The timeline was more than a little confusing. In case you didn’t already know, I’m very detail oriented and I also happen to be a clock watcher. So, I tend to notice when the timing feels off in between scenes and this is especially true when your scenes are intersecting and depend on each other’s timelines. All of which isn’t to say that the timelines don’t actually match up, I’m sure they do, I just was getting confused and had a little trouble following/pinpointing where we were at various points in the episode. At one point, I assumed some time had passed only to find out that wasn’t true based on what was going on with Claire. Another reason I’m eager to re-watch and see if I can figure it out… of course maybe I’m supposed to blame it all on Hiro who kept fucking with the time all day so he was probably throwing things off all around the world. Natch.
But enough with the issues, let’s get to the parts I loved. I adore how their lives are intersecting even though they can’t see it yet. This is something I love about Lost and I was glad to see it happening here. Not that it’s so unexpected at this point since our characters are obviously not going to exist in a vacuum but it’s still good to see it. I’d be lying if I didn’t say that Milo wasn’t part of what drew me to this show in the first place. What can I say, I like the guy and where he acts I will watch. I enjoyed where his storyline is going and I’m intrigued as to what the last scene implies. Do he and Nathan have the power to fly or does Peter have a different power completely? Or does he have any powers at all? Just knowing about his brother’s power is enough to keep him involved. I must admit that the scene with his mother was one of those that I found a bit slow and unnecessary at this point. I know it establishes some important character traits and, therefore, will probably end up being very important but it still took away from the action of the rest of the episode.
Hiro was probably my favorite character although I also liked both Niki and Claire. Hiro, though, had almost all of the humor in this episode and it was great to see him be the one who actually understood what was happening to him. It’s silly but I imagine someone who is into comic books would naturally be the one least freaked out by the knowledge because he’s already adept at suspending disbelief and believing in the impossible. So, yeah, I have a soft spot for him. And it should go without saying that I’m going to love Matt if only because I adore Greg. Oh, oh… the scene that squicked me out the most had to be Claire sticking her hand in the garbage disposal. Even typing out those words has me making weird faces and contorting my body into weird positions to escape the thought of the blades. Eeeeeeek! (Ha. I just realized that’s the exact same thing I wrote in my notebook as this was happening on screen.)
I’m starting to forget things. The kid was cute and damn but this show has a lot of hot guys (see the proof in the picture to the left). Who can complain about that?! (Oh, shush, there’s enough eye candy for you female admirers as well.)
So, there ya go. I liked it a lot. I suspect this will become one of my new favorite shows. It’s already made a good start. Here I am, talking about it. Before I get into the Q&A portion, here are a few quotes from the episode that I jotted down in my notebook:
- “I built it for the eclipse.”
- “This is Claire Bennet and that was attempt number six.”
- “I’m telling you, I think I can fly.”
- “You’re being a little dramatic, don’t you think?”
- “It’s destiny.”
- “Every hero must learn his place.”
- “I walked through fire and I didn’t get burned.”
- “Whatcha doin’ Pete?”
Moving on to the Q&A, which I taped so I’m just going to transcribe it… except I’m not too positive that I have the names right. We started out with Milo sitting down and, upon seeing the chocolate put out for the panelists, start throwing that to the audience. This caused Jeph to jokingly say…
JEPH L: No throwing car keys to the cast, no throwing hotel room keys to the cast.
(Asked the writing staff to stand and take a bow then introduced Tim Sales and Tim Kring.)
JEPH: So, here’s the deal, for those of you who got to see this… there were over 2000 people in this room and there were about 600 people out in the hall who got turned away. Then we turned away those people and I went out there about 20 minutes into the show and there were 200 more people standing in line and I said, “What’re you standing in line for?” And they said they were waiting for you guys to get up and leave so they could get in and take your seats. So, that’s the kind of phenomenon you’re involved with and what’s the message? Talk about it, go on the net, tell your mom, tell everybody you know, go down to the floor, do whatever you can… Monday nights, 9 o’clock, Heroes. Now we’re going to open up for some questions really fast because they want us to enjoy ourselves.
(Hmm, ok this may not work as I can barely hear the questions. Assume that all of this is paraphrased rather than direct quotes. It’s pretty close but sometimes I have to fill in the blanks because I can’t quite hear what’s being said. Also, I have no idea who is answering what… I believe either Tim Kring or Tim Sales answered this first one but I’m not sure.)
QUESTION 1: Something to do with how they handle making a show like this and not making it just like X-Men, etc.
ANSWER: Well, what we are trying to do is make a show that is all about characters. What you, in the audience, think about every day and what you do when you get up and go to work. You’re watching a show about people who are basically like you. It’s not about people who necessarily dawn superhero costumes and run around and save the world. These are people who are on a jounrey of discovery to figure out who they are and we start at the very beginning. As you can see in the pilot, the whole idea was to start the saga at the very conception that these people are somehow doing… again, it’s all about the characters. About people dealing with their own struggles in their own lives and having these… (I can’t hear the word – sounds like attacts but it could have been powers)
QUESTION 2: For Niki (Ali), I was wondering… are there two of you? What’s the deal with you in the mirror?
ALI ANSWERS: (missed some here) There’s definitely going to be a duality in my personality and that could possibly be a separate being or it could be a doppleganger or it could just be that I’m some horrible sociopath. (clapping covers up some of what she says) I’m really interested to see where it goes. (Someone on stage makes a comment about two of Ali is better than one.)
QUESTION 3: For Hiro (Masi), are you actually fluent in Japanese or do you just speak it for the show?
MASI ANSWERS: (Uhhhh… I have no idea what he says as he answered it in Japanese to show that he does indeed speak Japanese fluently. Much laughter and applause from the audience at this response. He does say something in English at the end but I can’t hear it over the hooting and hollering but it must have been funny because it starts up the laughter and clapping again.)
SENDHIL: (Commenting on the language thing) Yeah, they speak Japanese in Japan but they speak English in Calcutta. I don’t know what’s up with that…
QUESTION 4: For the creator, how long do you hope for this show to go on? (More was added to this but it was mumbled so I can’t really hear it.)
ANSWER: This show and a cockroach are the only thing that are going to be left. (Much laughter at this.)
FOLLOW-UP: Do you anticipate killing off any of these cast members?
SOMEONE ON STAGE: Oh, wai-wai-wait. (says somethign I can’t hear but everyone laughs)
TIM SALES OR KRING: Ask me during the re-negotiation period. (again with the laughter) (now answering the first part of the question) The truth is, we’ll be on as long as we can stay on. There is no central… we’re not setting up a central premise that has an end point so, as long as we can keep revolving around these characters and their own issues and their own problems then we can stay on forever.
QUESTION 5: So that was great, I totally want to go tell people about it. Where do I get a “Greg Grunberg is my HERO” t-shirt?
SOMEONE STARTS TO ANSWER: Uh, they’ll be… (to Milo as he starts to stand up) DO NOT TAKE THAT SHIRT OFF! (but he does and throws it to her)
MILO: I have to interrupt because I have a special cell phone message from Greg (see picture for him reading it): “I wish I was there but I’m making superhero magic on the set right now. Looking very strapping, making super-love to the camera, doing super-heroic dramatic acting and super-noshing on the super-craft service table. Everything’s super-dooper here on the set of Heroes. Don’t tell Tim I was noshing on craft service. (Milo glances at Tim in a sorta “uh oh” fashion.) Don’t believe a word Masi says, he’s a big liar. Well I miss you Comic-Con, let’s catch up soon. How’s Monday nights at 9PM on NBC?” (Much laughter at all of this and then Milo added something else but I missed it… something about wrapping up as fast as they can?)
QUESTION 6: For any of the cast members, when you first read the script and saw all of the different storylines come together, uh, what was that like?
ANSWER: (yeah the went through everyone really fast so I’ll sum up) Like nothing I’ve ever read before, every script I get is like: ‘Ooooh, ahhh, oooh, ahhh…’, Uh I’m a 10 year old and I’ve got super powers so that’s pretty cool for me (crowd loved that answer), (can’t hear this reaction at all because girls are swooning over him and Milo goes, “God, isn’t he sexy?!” to much laughter) unlike anything I’ve read-totally attractive project to be apart of, complicated conflicted characters – I love that about it – I find it fascinating, What was the question? (Jeph: You read the script? Him: No, I have it read to me.), it was awesome (this was Masi), a lot (of scripts) that were like really good/great comic books, fantastic-can’t wait to see what happens next-much better than Cats.
QUESTION 7: Wants to know if the show is going to be aired in Brazil and if Ali can throw him her shirt.
ALI’S ANSWER: (audience cheering for that) You’re not that lucky, honey. (laughter now) (someone yells, “What’s the webcam address?” – referring to a part of the pilot for her character)
THE REAL ANSWER: I believe it will be aired in Brazil but I’ll check on that. As far as I know, they are planning all of the world right now.
QUESTION 8: It is hard writing for such an ethinic cast?
TIM SALES (I think): No, I set out to get a cast that looked like America, like the World (cheers from the audience at this and someone yells, ‘Good Job!’). These characters just write themselves and the stories just come together and it’s amazing… isn’t that right, guys? (claps for that)
QUESTION 9: Confirms, Mondays at 9PM, and wonders about regular Monday mainstays and wonders what their chances are against those?
JEPH: Well, Monday Night Football is moving to ESPN so, ‘See Ya!’ And people are coming to NBC for it so they’ll be talking about us and I don’t need to worry about it because all of you guys are going to go out and TALK ABOUT IT, isn’t that right? (lots of cheers from the audience at that)
JEPH: You know what, we’re out of time, so I just want to thank all of you for coming here. Remember to talk about it!
And there ya go… it was a good panel and I enjoyed it and it definitely left a good impression for the show in the Fall. Plus, I covet the poster and could kick myself for not checking to see if I could get one at the booth! (Somebody tell me where I can get one?)
Adventures in Hall H
You know how people tell you some place is huge and you get it but you don’t really get it? That’s Hall H. Until you’ve been there, you can’t imagine how huge it is and why they put all the big hitters there. As soon as you get there, you realize that it’s not even worth trying to get close to the front. Certainly not if you haven’t been in the room all day and, obviously, we weren’t. After the Heroes panel, we took a little jaunt to get lunch and a quick stop by Ralph’s on our way back to the convention center. Once back, we split in numerous directions with three of us heading over to Hall H to try and snag semi-decent seats for the Snakes on a Plane sneak peek. We were somewhat surprised that there was no line to get into the Hall but happy to be moving so quickly. Once in the Hall, we ended up grabbing seats at the back perfectly situated to view the rear projection screens.
Seanan disappeared to the bathroom where she got lost on her way back. No, really. Shawn and I were wondering if she had decided to go back home to go to the bathroom and she was wandering around searching for us. While she was gone, I was amused by Alfonso Cuarón (you may know him as the director of Y tu mamá también and Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban) and his story from the filming location of Children of Men. Sadly, I didn’t write down the name of the guy who was on stage with him (and it’s not on the Comic-Con schedule), but they were cute together telling us about how they went to Alfonso’s hotel bar late one night and the bartender refused to serve them. They protested this and then said they’d just sit and talk. Then the bartender told them they couldn’t sit in the bar unless they bought something. They were stunned and went off on the bartender about how he wouldn’t serve them drinks but was also going to kick them out of the bar because they weren’t buying anything. I believe they threw in words about how Alfonso was a patron of that hotel, etc., etc. In the end, they went somewhere else to drink and talk. When Alfonso returned to the hotel, he realized that it wasn’t his hotel! So, he called and woke his friend up in the middle of the night to tell him how they were at the wrong hotel, yelling at the bartender.
Hmmm, yeah ok, another ‘had to be there’ moment, eh? It was funny, though. I was a little sad that we hadn’t gotten there to see more of Alfonso.
Then he was gone and there was a slight break in between panels. My memory is a little fuzzy about this but I think this is when the guys from Accepted came out and introduced us to the trailer for the movie. Now, we actually had tickets to a special screening of the movie earlier in the day but passed up on it to go to the Heroes panel. We probably should have taken the later tickets because the movie looks pretty damn funny. We enjoyed the trailer and perked our ears up when Justin Long (aka that kid from Galaxy Quest) invited us all to the kegger they were having across the street. Did you hear that? Justin Long invited ME to a kegger. Heh. Sorry, I’m never letting the joke go which is sad because it makes no sense and is only slightly funny to the two people reading this who were there. Whatever. We did not attend the kegger because… well we didn’t know exactly where “across the street” it was but we also had other dinner plans.
After this brief intermission, it was time for the Lucasfilm’s Star Wars Spectacular. This translates to the hall filling up with lots of people waving around lightsabers and an impressive number of Storm Troopers. I remember very little from this panel. We got a peek at the DVDs coming out soon with the original trilogy in the format in which it first aired. I distinctly remember this annoying a fan who had obviously spent the money on the DVD Trilogy that was altered per Lucas’ wishes (he asked whether there’d be another DVD release soon in HD format and whether fans should just wait for that). We also learned that there will be a Star Wars in the upcoming Rose Parade. This was why there were so many Storm Troopers present because these and other Troopers like them would be marching in the parade. What else? I believe we saw a preview of Star Wars lego game where you can switch bodies and heads around. It was cute. Then there was a preview of another SW game that was neat but I don’t remember what it was called and I’m not sure any of you care!
Let’s see, hmmm, oh, we also saw a sneak peek of a new Indiana Jones game which was pretty damn awesome. They are still working on this one so they couldn’t even say for sure what gaming systems it’d be available for – I believe they were predicting it for the next gen of sysems. They referred to it as a true simulation and game integration. The game never reacts the same way twice because Indy’s reactions are not programmed in, he’s actually learning how to react as the game progresses. This section of the panel held my attention both because I love Indy and because I work in the simulation world and we’ve just begun to get into the gaming aspect of it (although for less fun and more researchy, how a gaming approach can make learning more successful). Anyway, I bore you now. Trust me, it was cool. Especially because they showed us how it worked by putting Indy on a bridge and throwing boulders at him. Some of which he did not escape.
And that was it. I think. There were questions and answers but I only remember the angry DVD guy and the weird guy in Indy gear who wanted to know about IJ4 (they are still searching for a written version that they like). That’s about all I remember.
Hmmm, I do not recall what came immediately after this… I’m fairly certain the Accepted piece was earlier as I don’t remember Phil being with us for it but it could have happened at this point in the day too. Not that it really matters. All that matters is there was a brief lull while the Storm Troopers cleared out and more and more people made their way into the room. Then Kenan Thompson came out on stage to take over the MC-ing. He started out as a preacher and eventually turned into a stewardess and probably a few other things. Truly the one thing I remember best about him is that he overused the word ‘righteous’ throughout the panel. He needs a new word.
So, uh, first up was a look at the Final Destination 3 DVD release with special guests James Wong (director), Mary Elizabeth Winstead, and Ryan Merriman. They talked a bit about shooting the movie and how no theme parks wanted them to use their roller coasters in the movie as well as how long it took to shoot those roller coaster scenes and having to hang upside down in the coaster for days. Then they talked about the DVD and a special feature on it, the ability to control the fate of certain characters. So, essentially the DVD becomes a ‘Choose Your Own Adventure’ type of thing. They showed us an example of how it works and we were all very impressed by it. I’m almost tempted to buy the DVD of a movie I have no interest in seeing just for that special feature. After we saw a clip of it, they talked about how they had known about it all along and had filmed the extra scenes at the end of the scenes actually used for the movie. Then they were done and it was on to the main feature.
Snakes on a Plane!!
Kenan talked for a few minutes about how we (the fans) had already made this the most talked about movie of the summer. He gave examples of what fans had done… and I vaguely recall that he asked people who had made posters for the movie and done other things online to raise their hands. Why do I remember this? Because Seanan made a comment about NOT raising her hand. And, this my friends, is how I discovered that she had done a poster for SoaP. Where have I been that I did not know this?!
Anyway. After he was done talking about it, we were shown a video with all the things fans have done from songs they’ve created to posters to… well everything you can think of it. It was like a huge fan-made video tribute to the movie and it was MOTHERFUCKING AWESOME! Why hasn’t this made it on to YouTube yet?! (And, if it has and I just haven’t seen it, please link me up.) Getting a sneak peek at the movie was great but just seeing this video made coming to this panel well worth it.
Then it was over and Kenan brought out David Ellis, the director, and Jules Sylvester, the snake wrangler (see the picture to the left). Jules proceeded to bring out various different snakes and show them off to us. I think almost all the snakes we saw were snakes used in the movie. Jules told some stories about working with the snakes on set and about how they started with about 500 different snakes and left with almost double that number because that’s what happens when you “get snakes together.” Heh. This amused us greatly. Then Jules brought out a huge anaconda! It was crazy. See the picture below, note how many people were needed to hold it!
The funny part about the whole snakes on a stage segment (besides someone in the audience yelling that out and Kenan and David laughing about it) was that Kenan kept warning Jules to keep the snakes away from him. He pretended to leave the stage when he saw them lugging the anaconda up the stage stairs. He was pretty amusing during the whole thing.
But, enough of that. Next up was our sneak peek… HOLY SHIT! THERE WERE SNAKES ON THAT MOTHERFUCKING PLANE! We only saw a tiny segment of the movie but it was enough. I loved it and I jumped at one part because a snake scared me out of my seat. I think I loved the opening thing they did (a little intro just like you get on a plane only it included what to do in the case of snakes on your plane) as much as the actual clip. I grabbed one of the booklets from the SoaP booth that have all the instructions for what you should do and I can’t help but laugh whenever I look through it.
So, yeah, I’m telling you nothing about the movie here but do I really need to say anything that the title doesn’t say? Samuel Jackson kicks snake ass and it looks to be a fun time. What more do you need?
After our sneak peek and the snakes were long gone from the stage area, Kenan brought out Samuel Jackson and everyone cheered for him. All reports say this was Jackson’s first ever Comic-Con appearance and, well, he certainly got quite the experience. I was a little afraid of some of the fangirls who were up front and could be heard on the stage but he seemed to take it all in stride. I suppose he’s a big enough star that he’s used to it – you know, comments about the snake in his pants, etc.
Things I remember from the Q&A period… It was written into Samuel’s contract that they had to keep the snakes so far away from him during filming so he never actually got anywhere near the snakes that were used on the set. Kenan was amusing during this part because he was like, “What?!” and Samuel told him he needs to get a better agent. Heh. Then there was the guy who asked a question about Samuel working with aspiring directors and filmmakers. Sam’s response was that he’d work with aspiring directors, if they had the right check. Then came this comment, “You seem like an aspiring director without a check… you got a sister? (the guy seemed to indicate that he did have one) Is she goodlooking? (I think the guy then indicated she was a younger sister – and he was pretty young himself.) What about your mother? Can she cook?” It was pretty damn funny and there’s no way I can capture it here. There was more back and forth but that gives you an idea of how it went from there. Someone also asked about how realistic this was; was this really how snakes would act if they were on a plane? That one was kind of funny too because of how David or Sam were all, “Yeah, we talked to many snake consultants who told us this was EXACTLY how snakes would react if they were stuck on a plane.” Heh. Well, ask a stupid question…
However, the best part was at the very end. It may have even been the last question, when someone wanted to know exactly how the snakes got on the plane in the first place. Now, for a moment there everyone on stage seemed a little confused by the question. Was the person asking how snakes could get on a plane? When Sam realized that, no, the person wanted to know about the snakes in the movie getting on the plane he busted out with, “Spend your fucking money to find out!!! I’m not giving out no fucking plot points!!” Seriously? Best. Answer. Ever.
Then it was over and we all got groped (but not really, it just felt like a group groping opportunity) as we and 4500 other people made our way out of Hall H. I’m not sure why but we all were exhausted on Friday. Perhaps because we got up so early or because it was our first full day? Whatever the reason, it seemed to take forever to get back to the hotel and make our way to our restuarant of choice for the evening. We had a lovely meal returned to the hotel and tried to take a dip in the pool only to be informed it was CLOSED for the evening and then died in our beds. And that, my friends, was Friday.
Saturday is all about Vernoica Mars (or mostly about it) and that part’s, uh, in production and coming soon.
Quick Links: Part I, Part II, Part III (coming soon!)