I've never been on that stage in Hall H to moderate. I've handled the job on smaller panels in other rooms, and no matter what size venue, I've felt like I've been incredibly lucky to be asked to do some of the things I've been asked to do. For god's sake, I got to stand a few feet away from Edgar Wright, Jessica Hynes neeeeeee Stevenson, and Simon Pegg in a room full of (understandably) crazed "Spaced" fans, and it was amazing to see how much love that packed room was able to generate for the people who made this thing that they all loved so very, very much. Introducing "Mystery Team" and DERRICK Comedy to Comic-Con last year or trying to stay afloat in a conversation with the wicked minds behind "Paper Heart," those were things that I'd been hoping to do since seeing those films at Sundance, and going from that fest to a room at Comic-Con just underscored how very, very odd the entire experience has become.
This year, however, I've been invited to moderate two panels at Comic-Con, and both of them are in Hall H, and in both cases, I'm just as curious as anyone else about what we're going to get to see. I love that these aren't things I'm already completely sold on, because for me, the Comic-Con experience is about the great surprise, that moment where you go, "I had no idea I needed to see that right now" or "I had no idea this book existed, and I don't know how I ever lived without it" or "I will watch every episode of that TV show no matter what," a presentation that just plain sells something. That is, after all, what Comic-Con's Hall H has become... a parade of what's next, and this is the moment when the first audience gets a very focused look at what you're doing.
I'm not nervous about stepping out in front of whatever number of people Hall H holds. I think I heard last year that it's 16 million people, making Hall H one of the largest cities on Earth next week. That's a scientific fact. Seriously.
It's the filmmakers that I would imagine are nervous, knowing they're not the only ones looking to make an impression. I hope that I'm able, as moderator, to give voice to a genuine curiosity about these two films, and I'm the first to admit... I want to be wowed.
On Thursday morning, July 22nd, I'll be the first thing you'll see, and I apologize for that. It'll be worth it, though. Here's the description of the presentation, directly from the San Diego Comic-Con's official website.
DreamWorks Animation: Megamind - DreamWorks Animation makes its Comic-Con debut with Megamind. The characters Megamind and Metro Man are jettisoned to Earth as babies when their home planets are destroyed. Megamind crash-lands inside a maximum-security prison, where he evolves into the wicked and diabolical genius he is today, while the dashingly handsome superhero Metro Man grows into the universally adored savior of Metro City, beloved by every man, woman and child -- and especially the city's ace reporter Roxanne Ritchi. These life-long archenemies will rewrite superhero movie lore when they challenge each other to the ultimate showdown of Good vs. Evil! Megamind stars Will Ferrell, Tina Fey, and Jonah Hill and director Tom McGrath join forces to unveil footage from DreamWorks Animation's November 5 release. Hall H
Until I read that description, I didn't know DreamWorks Animation had never made a Comic-Con appearance before. Guess it makes sense they'd wait until they have an honest-to-god superhero movie.
I really like Will Ferrell and Jonah Hill, and I feel comfortable with them after the various sets and interviews and screenings I've seen them at, but I've never had the occasion to meet Tina Fey so far. Big fan of her big comedy nerd brain. And I like animation directors in general... I think they're fascinating guys, with a totally different skill set than live-action directors. They're just wired differently, and I've had some really amazing conversations about film in general with animators and animation directors over the years. I think I've always been fairly vocal about how much I love the animation community, and how I just want to see more and more of this pent-up creativity unleashed as people who grew up dreaming of how they could use animation to tell stories no one's ever attempted onscreen finally start making their own films.
Today, I'm driving out to Santa Monica to take a look at some of the materials you'll be seeing next week for the new movie "Skyline." And I'm walking into today's show-and-tell the way you will next week: cold. I love it. It seems this is a pick-up, a film that's sort of happened quietly, under the radar, and now it's time to introduce this team and this movie to the geeks at large, and let's see what they've been doing. That's going to happen on the second full day of presentations, Friday the 23rd.
Again... here's the description from the Comic-Con site:
Skyline - Universal Pictures, Relativity Media, and Rogue Pictures present an exclusive look at the sci-fi thriller Skyline, directed and produced by the Brothers Strause (Alien vs. Predator: Requiem), whose company Hydraulx has provided visual effects for Avatar, Iron Man 2, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, and 300. In Skyline, strange lights descend on the city of Los Angeles, drawing people outside like moths to a flame, where an extraterrestrial force proceeds to swallow the entire human population off the face of the earth. Colin and Greg Strause unveil an exclusive Comic-Con trailer and scenes from Skyline, along with stars Donald Faison (Scrubs), Eric Balfour (The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, 24), David Zayas (The Expendables, Dexter), Scottie Thompson (Star Trek), and Brittany Daniel (Club Dread). HitFix's Drew McWeeny moderates. Hall H
Wait, wait wait... this isn't a remake? Okay, never mind, I'm not interested anymore.
I'll be in San Diego from Wednesday morning through Sunday afternoon, and I'm going to try to bring you interviews and on-site observations, and you should definitely keep an eye on Twitter, and the entire HitFix team is going to be on-site, busting ass to bring you a wide array of coverage of the pop culture mutant explosion that is Comic-Con at this point. You can bookmark our Comic-Con hub and use that as your starting point for all of our coverage from the site, and obviously we're not the only ones down there. You can check in at UGO where Jordan Hoffman's put together a great hub of people who will be covering the event with some idea of what you can expect from their coverage, including iO9, JoBlo.com, MTV's Splash Page, MSN's Paralell Universe, Collider and Latino Review. Our friends at CHUD and AICN will be there, of course, and I expect I'll be running into familiar faces the entire time I'm in town.
And it is my understanding that there will be t-shirts.
Remember last year's shirts? This year, we're bringing a few different shirts to San Diego. One is tied to our new TV columnist, the esteemed and beloved Alan Sepinwall. It's my understanding it's a tasteful nude, posed with a box set of "The Complete Wire" for the sake of decency. I may have that wrong, though, so don't quote me.
And there will be a Motion/Captured shirt, too, and I'm not sure yet how you'll be able to get one or when you will first see them. It will be somewhere there in San Diego, someplace specific, and we'll try to have fun with it.
If you do come to these panels, I hope to make it worth your while. I think both of these have such great potential, and I look forward to hearing your live response to the presentations and then seeing your feedback here on the site as well as we do Comic-Con 2010, bell to bell.
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