Tuesday, July 14, 2009

And On The Seventh Day, They Rested

Hey, now, guys. Guys. GUYS. /Film. Hitfix. All o'y'all. HEY.

What the hell is the problem?

Comic Con this year is scheduled with some of the biggest stars, previews and projects it's had in years. Peter Jackson's first appearance, 3D in Hall H, the upcoming slew of Marvelicious cinematic and published goodies, the most creative and well written shows on television, it's all gonna be there, Thursday through Sunday.

Through SUNDAY.

Yes, SUNDAY. The day everyone seems to have decided to call out as being in some way less because..... why again? Because Jake has decided to deprive us of his washboard abs? When has Sunday ever been a day of blockbusters? I must have missed that the past few years.

But you know what I didn't miss on Sunday? The amazing, smaller panels of interesting and worthwhile projects that don't have some A-Lister's stamp on it, or don't have hundreds of millions of dollars behind it, or haven't been adapted from a hugely successful Asian property. Things like, oh, say, I dunno.

Shaun of the Dead

I don't know if you guys saw this little romzomcom Britflick, came out in 2004? It was at SDCC before its release, a panel played to an audience less than half full. On a Sunday. Yeah, that's right.

A Sunday.

The attitude that seems to be permeating the online buzz-generating community right now just baffles me. In what way is the Sunday scheduling disappointing? There needs to be a day for the smaller projects, for breathing, for exploration. Sunday is that day. It's a break from the dog and pony show so you can see what's actually happening in the genre community, not just the Hollywood. This year also, Sunday will feature lots of television programming, including some with huge cult followings. Supernatural, anyone? Dr. Who with David Tennant's first and only appearance? Indie films that have the chance to break the mold and bring something new to the table, and tv shows fans care about.

Yeah, Sunday sounds like it's going to suck.

There is a bizarre sense of condescension and entitlement coming from the blogging community. People writing off Sunday and the Sunday panels, who are indicating they won't even intend to attempt to attend them, are being ridiculous. You're going to get up and bitch about the crowds, bemoan the overriding commercialism, and then skip the Independent film panels and write off the cult tv panels? Okay. That makes total sense. Have fun doing your write ups on the same panels that everyone else is doing their write ups on, posting the footage we'll be able to see in High Def on apple.com next month, complaining about how the Wrath of Con didn't live up to your expectations (if you got in), and sullenly eyeballing the teeming masses who clearly have no idea what they're doing. Enjoy yourselves.

Or save david's iPhone some storage and just don't go so we don't have to read the plethora of tweets that will invariably follow.

Additionally, it's not the convention's fault that studios didn't/wouldn't/couldn't schedule things for Sunday. They way I hear it, from various avenues, is that SDCC would in fact have loved to have provided fans with one big, high profile Sunday event to go out on, but none of the major studios or big projects would step up. They can't arbitrarily create content to meet your criteria. They also can't go around changing the schedule just because a couple thousand people on twitter complain about time or conflicts or wishing something was in a bigger room. That's logistically implausible, to say the least, and they have another hundred and fifty thousand people or so to take into account as well.

Everyone knows certain studios suck, right? It's taken as rote. One studio in particular has amazing properties that you desperately hope work out and then they treat them horribly. As a studio, they have a reputation (online, at least) for douchery. Do you honestly think that doesn't extend to their behavior and dealings with the other studios and the convention? Or do you think, maybe, it's possible that when you get giant commercial studios who are in it for the money and the advertising to try and schedule two days of sneaks, previews, screenings, and big name talent, that maybe one or two of them might be uncooperative? Maybe. Possibly.

Look, as an American citizen, I have a dual responsibility to my government. One is to abide by its laws while taking any and all advantage I can of the freedoms those laws afford me, and the other is to be intensely critical of that government's actions and policies, because that's my country, dammit.

As a fan, I have a dual responsibility. One is to support and partake in the movies, shows, games, books, et all that make up genre media, and the other is to be critical of the people and corporate entities who produce, market, and control that media. Tearing down and ragging on the SDCC is a chump move that displays a lack of understanding in how the convention is run and maintained as well as an inflated sense of ego. You have a website, you have a column, you have a twitter account. You're heard, by a minuscule fraction of the world's population. That fraction cares about what you have to say, though, so that lends your words weight. It's a small community, so being a big name in it counts for something. But you cannot think what we say or think influences major film studios' decisions on what day to schedule their panels. Be a fan, and be a critic, but for frakssake, how hard is it to be supportive of the groups who are actively endeavoring to bring you access to the things you care about? Why can't you just be excited as hell for the things we're about to be shown? You seriously can't curb the pessimism and complaining until after the sneak preview for whatever Keanu property is up next?

Okay, no, I'll make a concession there. If it's a Keanu property, feel free to commence bitchage now.


Robyn said...

1 - i think you are right in all your points ;)

2 - I didnt know David Tennant would be there! That has me most excited of all! :D (i havent been looking, honestly, because i dont want to be disappointed that i cant/couldnt see things)
Thank you for that news!

rht66 said...

Well first of all I happen to think that Sunday is for the real fans of Comic Con and if you look at the way it is scheduled, as one of those fans I think it couldn't be scheduled any better. I would even go so far as to say that I am looking more forward to Sunday than any other day.

For the people that will no doubtfully spend Sunday morning parting in some fashion and at some well known or not so well known locations, I on the other hand will be spending that precious time getting as much rest as possible.

I mention this only to make the point that this fact is in no doubt the reason why studios pretty much close shop on Saturday and leave behind a skeleton crew to manage their extravagant exhibitions on the convention room floor.

However for the true comic fan, which just in case any has forgotten, this is a comic book convention at heart. There will be some very good panels to see and I hope vehemently my chosen ones will run at near capacity. For there is nothing worse than to attend an event where the panel, staff and professionals or press outnumber the audience.

I also look forward to meeting with the dedicated vendors that know Sunday is the one day they will get to make their last deals and perhaps take an extra dollar off that one item that reached out from the corner of your eye and even though it's not what you came for, it has become a specter that's tied to your subconscious mind, and like all untangibles it consumes you and rears its vile head when you least expect it.

What do you do one might ask in this situation, well unlike most vendors at conventions or the county fair, by Sunday, the item that has caused you to nearly go insane is waiting for you like a lost puppy and when the same sales person looks you in the eye, the one that you've either asked a million and one questions about or has watched you as you have made several passes by their booth, just to get a different view of the object of your obsession, not to mention the diligent way in which you keep track of the vendors inventory on this one of a kind trifle. Which it may or may not be, it could be one of ten thousand items specially made for comic conventions, or it could be one of a hundred thousand, however to you it has become the decision of a lifetime and that person across the table knows just that.

The beautiful thing about Sunday is that person knows exactly what you've gone through and he or she wants you to have that item just as much as you do. Of course they aren't going to give it to you, but these are people who, for the most part started out as a kid by going to conventions and latter in life they decided they wanted to be that person on the other side of the table, and from years of experience they know when someone is holding out, not because they can't afford it, it's probably one of many reasons and one way or another that sale will be made.

Well that is a bit of drama but my point is, that is what Sunday's are for and why the real Comic Con fans will be there trying to be the first ones in the door. Which is why I have to be there to document that faithful day, because it is just as important as being there for preview night and documenting all the eager fans and volunteers waiting to kick off another San Diego Comic Con.

LoquaciousMuse said...

Rht66 is my new favorite person. Sorry tom lenk!

Brittanie said...

The one major panel I'm going to con for is on Sunday, actually, so... Supernatural!