Sonic Cinema

Sounds, Visions and Insights by Brian Skutle

Last year at Dragon*Con, it was less a communal experience and more just me going around, enjoying myself, and seeing what it had to offer. Yes, I met people there, but other than that it was just me- or me and Ron, or me and my mom- walking around and trying to get as much done as possible.

This year, I knew of friends who would be down there. Some of those people I met last year, I wanted to meet up with and say hi to again.

And then there’s Shelley. She friended me a month or two after last year’s Con, and we hit it off online. True, we’d only met up a few times in the past several months, but we definitely wanted to make plans to hang out this year, especially with our shared love of Joss Whedon shows. Even she and Ron hit it off as friends. I know- what are the odds, right? πŸ™‚

Well, you know what they say about the best laid plans- “Wow, look how neatly those plans are laid out…” πŸ™‚ Unfortunately, differing schedules kept us from meeting up for most of the Con, but it was still great being able to keep in touch with her via text. And hopefully, the year before *next year’s* Con will provide more opportunities to hang out.

I did meet up with her a couple of times. The first was with Ron on Sunday at the Walk of Fame, where she insisted on having her picture taken with us in our Jay & Silent Bob costumes (I know; there’s nothing worse than a beautiful woman wanting her picture with you…at least that’s what my expression often says when we get our picture taken together- I *swear* it’s not personal, girl :/).

The second time was on Monday, bringing me to…

Day 4: Monday, September 6

On Monday, all is coming to a close. Stars are on their way out. Dealers are closing out their weekend inventory. The halls of the hotels are less chaotic (albeit slightly). And people are on their way home.

Monday, my mom and I had a light day planned. I had only one scheduled panel I wanted to make; otherwise, it was just shopping and last-minute autograph getting. We got a late start heading downtown because of the laid-back nature of the day.

By the time we got downtown, the dealers and Walk were both open for business. I went first to the Walk, as I had a couple more ‘graphs to get. Namely, John DiMaggio’s. Illness had kept me from picking it up Sunday, but today, I was gonna wait however long it took to get it.

In the meantime, my mom and I actually chatted up Billy West, who couldn’t have been cooler. He had a wicked sense of humor and great deal of intelligence as we discussed modern Hollywood, politics, and “Futurama.” Like Kane Hodder and Tia Carerre, this is one of those special moments you know you’re gonna get at a place like Dragon*Con. I also got Phil LaMarr’s autograph, and my picture with him and Billy as I waited for DiMaggio, who was held up due to elevator problems. Figures…

…It was worth the wait. I told him how much I love Bender, and got my picture taken with him, although I forgot to inquire about his Hypnotoad cap. I want one!!!

After that, I met up with my mom, who was getting Jewel Staite’s autograph for herself, and we went over to the dealer rooms, although money was running low. An ATM trip was necessary for both of us…

…Unfortunately, I had to go over to Peachtree-freaking-City to find an ATM with money in it. But after dropping my mom’s money off to her at one of the dealer halls, I went to the bottom one of the Marriott myself to pick up a couple of DVDs I’d had my eye on (and I got a couple of trade paperback comics I’d wanted) before heading back over to the Walk of Fame to see if I could get a couple last autographs from Jeff Lewis and Sandeep Parikh from “The Guild.”

When I got there, though, they were in the middle of packing everything up, and heading out. I asked if there was any way I could get a quick autograph from them. They apologized that they didn’t really have anything out, but Jeff Lewis looked around, found a shot from the music video they’d shown on Friday, and got Sandeep and director Sean Becker to sign it. When I offered money for it, they said not to worry about. Such class acts these three. My mother had a similar experience with Eric Roberts last year- something like that just can’t help but make you feel good (and loyal) towards certain people.

After that, I got a bite to eat before heading to the car, getting my camera, and heading to the Sheraton for my final panel of this year’s Con- “Hollywood Ghost Hunters” with Kane Hodder and Danielle Harris.

Now, going into it, I knew that these two were co-starring in “Hatchet II” with a friend of mine from high school, A.J. Bowen (“The Signal,” “House of the Devil”). I’d forgotten to mention this to Hodder on Sunday, so I wanted to make sure that I mentioned it at the panel on Monday, and with both of them there, all the better. (Thank you Heather for reminding me Sunday night. πŸ˜‰ )

Was I in for a surprise…pleasantly. Turns out both of them are a part of a collective of filmmakers that seek out places with paranormal energy and investigate claims. It was a really fascinating panel, as people in the audience mentioned their own experiences along these lines, and I got an hour-long look at the supernatural that was far more interesting than if they were just talking about movies and projects they’d been in.

Afterwards, I went up front to say hi to Hodder and Harris (whom I got my picture taken with), and mention that A.J. had been in “Hatchet II” and that I’d known him from high school (I also got a bit of a spoiler about the film). Shelley was also at the panel, which was great to be able to talk to her and say hi again this weekend. She also had a gift for me. Well, for my mother- she’d obtained through a friend a collection of dailies (rough takes) from two “Buffy” Season Six episodes that she made a copy for my mother of to soften the blow of James Marsters not making it to Dragon*Con. Is this woman great or what? So sweet and fun, in person and online.

After the panel ended and I said my goodbyes, my mom picked me up outside the Sheraton and we headed home. By the end of the day, all of my pictures were online, and I was working on my blog, which- as you can see- is a lot different from the one I wrote last year.

Well, another year, another Con come and gone. Yes, there were some frustrations and disappointments along the way, but overall it was a greater experience than I could have imagined. And I’m already counting the days until I get to do it again next year…and share it with all of you.

Brian Skutle
www.sonic-cinema.com

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

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

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

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

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