Sonic Cinema

Sounds, Visions and Insights by Brian Skutle

I told myself I wasn’t going to wait so long on these blogs this year.

If you recall, last year it took several months for me to finish up my blogs about my Dragon*Con experience. The reasons for such a delay included a bit of laziness, but more often than not, an emotionally-wrought few months that, really, didn’t lend themselves to discussing Dragon*Con, despite the pure pleasure I ended up having by the end of the weekend. This year, I assure you, that you won’t be waiting until December for me to finish up my blow-by-blow about Atlanta’s own nerdvana.

And now, onto Day 2 of this year…

Saturday, September 1

Friday was a day that will live in infamy for not just myself, but my mother and Ron. It was a difficult day all around; if you don’t believe me, just go down to the “Day 1” link at the bottom of the blog and read all about it. That said, after a good night’s sleep, and a decision to go later than we normally would, Jay and Silent Bob…er, I mean, Ron and I made our way back down to Atlanta. After driving around in circles, seemingly, to find a place to park (the annual Dragon*Con parade required some re-routing), Ron and I made our ways over to the Sheraton to help my mother check out of the room. After piling her stuff in her car (and getting into character for a day of J & SB cosplay), we left the Sheraton, found her a parking spot, and went our separate ways.

For Ron and I, we made our way over to the Hilton and the Walk of Fame, which had elluded us amid the chaos of Friday. This, of course, is where fans go to spend money they don’t need to spend on autographs from their favorite genre people without being that guy or girl who “just wants to meet them.” Have I been “that guy?” I don’t think so, but I’m sure that I will be at some point. (There’s nothing wrong with being “that guy” or “that girl,” by the way. Well, from my end, at least. I’m sure some of the people there disagree.) The first thing we did was walk around the room, and get a glimpse of who was where, which lines were longest, etc. While in this area, Ron and I found ourselves being asked for pictures, such is the power of Jay and Silent Bob at Dragon*Con. Before we left, however, I did manage to get one autograph, courtesy of John Rhys-Davies, whose line was long, but it was well worth the wait to meet everyone’s favorite dwarf and talking tree (he was also Treebeard). He was the only autograph I got on this day, but that’s okay; quality over quantity was the overriding theme of this Con for me.

After our time on the Walk, Ron and I headed over to the truck, picked up my camera, and put back some of our stuff, and made our way to the Westin for what would turn out to be our only panel of the day: “Buffy & Angel Guest Q&A” with J. August Richards and Amber Benson. (Juliet Landau had a short film premiere at the time, and James Marsters was doing photo ops, including one with my mother, along with John Barrowman, with whom he had co-starred in the “Doctor Who” spin-off, “Torchwood.”) Now, going into Con, Amber Benson, who played Tara on “Buffy,” was, without a doubt, the person I was most excited about. Ever since her time on “Buffy,” she had been not only my biggest celebrity crush, but also, has become among my favorite actors and filmmakers because of her writing on a couple of “Buffy” comics, as well as her DIY indie comedies, “Chance” (more on that later) and “Lovers, Liars and Lunatics.” She had been running an Actor’s Workshop on Thursday and Friday, which is why she wasn’t on Friday’s panel. It also resulted in her losing her voice, but she was more than happy to be at the panel, and the Con, regardless. I already knew what to expect from Richards after Friday’s panel, but what I didn’t expect was how well he and Benson would bounce off of one another as co-panelists, seeing as though they were on different shows. It was a fast and funny panel to watch, and more than lived up to my expectations for Ms. Benson’s first D*Con panel, and Richards’s second of the year.

After that, Ron and I headed over to the Metro Cafe Diner for lunch. For those who haven’t been, it was a pretty nice place to eat; not terribly cheap (but then again, what IS in Atlanta?), but good food. It was nice to be able to sit down, and just relax for a bit, although, since we were in Jay and Silent Bob mode, we did have a few people come up wanting our pictures. Good times. Meanwhile, my mother was at the Atrium Ballroom at the Marriott for a 4pm panel with John Barrowman, previously mentioned as being from “Torchwood.” Evidently, he’s just as energetic and loopy and fun in front of a Dragon*Con crowd as he seems whenever we’ve seen him covering Comic Con on G4, of appearing on BBC America’s The Nerdist. As something of a “Torchwood” fan myself, do I feel like I missed out? Yes and no, but it was great to be able to just kick back and take some time off from panels and such.

After the Diner, Ron and I went over to the Hyatt for a 5:30pm panel with the lovely Rose McGowan, of “Scream,” “Charmed,” and “Grindhouse.” “But wait,” you may be thinking, “didn’t you say you only saw one panel on Saturday?” (Scans back over blog to get story straight for joke.) Yes, but remember, I also said it “turned out” to be our only panel of the day. Unfortunately, there was a scheduling conflict, and Rose McGowan was unable to make the panel. It’s not the first time I ended up not getting to see a panel after sitting down (Anthony Daniels from “Star Wars” was a no-show back in ’09), but it ended up being a good thing for Ron and I. We left the Hyatt, and headed to the truck to recharge our batteries (literally and figuratively), as well as put up the camera and tripod. My mother, on the other hand, stayed in the Atrium following Barrowman’s panel to sit in on the 5:30pm “Once Upon a Time” panel, which included not only a few of the actors from the show, but also Jane Espenson, a former Whedonverse writer whose presence eluded both Ron and myself this weekend. I’m glad that my mother was able to see her, though.

Following the disappointment with Rose, we decided to take the opportunity to do what had, ultimately, made our version of Jay and Silent Bob so popular in 2010. We put our stuff in the truck, and walked down to the corner liquor store where we, in true Jay and Bob fashion, hung out. This year, we didn’t really pose, and didn’t really get as much into character as we did back in ’10, but the magic was back, nonetheless. Within the first few minutes of us being at the store, we seriously had our picture taken about 10 times, and for the next few hours, that’s how it stayed. Honestly, I’m surprised we didn’t have to fight off any other hemp duos to do this, especially considering how many pictures of us from ’10 there are floating around. It was great times, although there were a few crazy characters around that made us, go, “what the Hell?” (I’m looking at you, bubble guy. And YOU, guy who kept getting into our pictures.) By the end of the night, we had met up with a friend from our days at Lassiter, and basically shot the shit, and traded Dragon*Con war stories. We also agreed to keep ourselves posted on going to one, particular panel on Sunday.

But that, as they say, is a story for another day.

Thanks for listening,

Brian Skutle
www.sonic-cinema.com

Dragon*Con 2009
Days 1-4

Dragon*Con 2010
Day 1
Day 2
Day 3
Day 4

Dragon*Con 2011
Day 1
Day 2
Day 3
Day 4

Dragon*Con 2012
Day 1

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