Sonic Cinema

Sounds, Visions and Insights by Brian Skutle

By the end of the day Friday, my mother had a room at the Marriott for the night, while I had to go home so I had something to wear for Saturday. That doesn’t mean I wouldn’t like to have a room for next year though, or even would’ve minded staying in one this year.

But having a room in one of the main hotels was problematic. See, since she had a cart she was rolling around with and leaning on, she couldn’t really go up and down on the escalators. Which meant, elevators.

Yeah…that’s an issue when you have dozens of other people thinking/requiring the same thing. This meant waiting- at times- upwards to 30 minutes just for a freaking elevator, much less one with room. This is a serious issue for a convention that requires a lot of ability to move from one hotel (and one floor) to another every 90 minutes sometimes. Believe me, it was frustrating.

But my reasons for wanting a room were for more than convenience. Just walking through the Marriott after the Cinematic Titanic panel hinted at a nightlife to Dragon*Con that seems like a lot of fun, with a lot of costumed characters coming out at night. More photo ops to have, even if I hadn’t realized that it was my lens being dusty being why my BBerry pics weren’t coming out so well.

But onto day two…

Day 2: Saturday, September 4

One of the things I appreciated about Dragon*Con last year was the costuming people would do as their favorite characters in fantasy and genre for the weekend. But dear God, how do they stand it?

This year, my boy Ron and I were going to find out. A couple of months before, he and I decided to dress up one day as Jay and his hetero life-mate Silent Bob from Kevin Smith’s Jersey saga. I’ll let you guess which one was which…

The costumes were easy- all we needed by this point were wigs- and off we went. I went with the “Clerks” animated look for Silent Bob, since it meant wearing shorts to offset the black trenchcoat I wore.

Immediately, all the trouble was worth it. We felt like mini-celebrities as we walked around, got recognized, and got our photos taken both by ourselves and with others. We even worked out a few poses to use, though we kind of gravitated towards one where Jay smacks Bob, sending his face the opposite direction. At last, I truly understood the appeal of dressing up for something like this- not only for the psuedo-popularity involved, but for the excitement people feel when they see you. It was a good feeling.

Ron & I got down there pretty early to get him registered (we were able to get him registered through disability services as a “minion,” hehehe), and then headed over to the Marriott to meet up with my mom in the room. We took a few shots of us in costume, fine-tuning the look and working on the poses, before he & I made our way through a couple of the dealer rooms before the first panel at 11:30.

At 11:30 it was back to the Hyatt for the big “MST3K” panel, with the Cinematic Titanic crew joined by Bill Corbett and Kevin Murphy from the RiffTrax crew (all that was missing was Michael J. Nelson…damn him for missing out πŸ™‚ ) as well as one of the behind-the-scene members of the crew. It was basically an hour-long oral history of the show and its evolution over the years, including cast and production changes. Not a whole lot I hadn’t heard before, but an entertaining treat…especially when Kevin Murphy said, “Oh shit we forgot Mike!” They didn’t get to any audience questions unfortunately, but had replicas of Crow and Tom Servo to bookend the table they sat at, and they also posed for group photos before calling it a panel. Sadly, I didn’t get Murphy’s autograph, but in retrospect, that wasn’t nearly as disappointing as when I realized the tape I’d put in the camera to record the panel was practically full, meaning I didn’t, in fact, film the panel. Oh well, I have it on good authority it’ll likely find its way to DVD somewhere down the road…

After that ended, the three of us went our separate ways, with my mom heading towards the dealer rooms while Ron and I went to the Sheraton to catch a 1pm panel with Kane Hodder (Jason Vorhees) and Danielle Harris (the upcoming “Hatchet II”). Unfortunately, we would come to find out that this panel had been pushed back to 2:30, which would put it in conflict with a Q&A with makeup master Tom Savini.

We ended up hitting neither panels, however, as we went back to the Dealer Rooms to do more looking around, and also made a pass around the Walk of Fame, although neither of us would get any autographs at this time. We did stake out some purchases we would later make…or try to make…

If memory serves, it was around the 3pm hour when- after eating- we made our way to the Hyatt (after taking pics outside the Atrium Ballroom at the Marriott) to get a place in line for the 4pm “Firefly” panel. This is an advantage to having a handicap sticker on your badge- you are able to be seated first…

…Which is great, ’cause I would’ve kicked myself had I missed this one. If it weren’t enough to have Morena Baccarin, Jewel Staite, Summer Glau, and Sean Maher there in person answering questions and cracking wise, it was worth the price of admission just to hear Nathan Fillion and Alan Tudyk chime in via phone with a gag about Nathan borrowing- and crashing- Alan’s car. Yes, it took up a lot of time from answering questions from the people there, but it was all worth it at the moment when Morena and Jewel decided to have the packed room flip Nathan the bird for taking up that precious time. Thankfully, I have it *all* on video, hehehe…

After that panel ended, Ron and I broke off from my mother again to hit one of the downstairs Dealer Rooms, where I got a couple of t-shirts and Ron went looking for one for someone special. But the jovial attitude after the “Firefly” panel turned frustrated when not only did we run into a woman whose friends had left her stranded downtown- and if you have any doubts about Ron’s chivalrous nature, he let her borrow his phone for a moment to call someone (mine was down to nothing on battery for the second day in a row)- and when lack of communication on my part left my mother upset when she couldn’t find her car…because Ron and I had driven down in his car.

Things lightened up a bit on the way home, but there was still some palpable tension as Ron drove my mother and I home, and we planned our driving plans for the next day…

To be continued…

Brian Skutle
www.sonic-cinema.com

Read Brian’s First Blog for Dragon*Con 2010 here.

Read Brian’s Blog for Dragon*Con 2009 here.

Categories: News, News - General

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