The Paley Center for Media is currently celebrating the 30th anniversary of its highly successful and critically acclaimed PaleyFest, the annual television festival that honors “rich and diverse programming and the creative process behind the medium.” Last night’s installment of the festival featured the cast and producers of The Big Bang Theory, the highest-rated situation comedy on television, which features four overachieving scientists in their quest for knowledge (and their socially awkward adventures in between). Hosted in front of a sold-out audience in the Saban Theater of Beverly Hills, CA, the PaleyFest panel succeeded in entertaining fans nationwide by way of The Paley Center’s partnership with Fathom Events, which offered a live broadcast of the event to more than 525 movie theatres across the US.
You see it on television clips from the past, not so much anymore. Hordes of fans writhing to a frenzy, just to catch a glimpse of the band or performer that sets their soul ablaze. Teenage girls swooning at the sight of Elvis, screaming 'till hoarse as The Beatles exit a plane. Today's fans don't give that same impression. Many seem to be there just to get their faces on television, to extol to the masses that they were there, rather than being there. Many are desensitized to the experience, because they can access their personal lives at the click of a button. Knowing where they are, who they're with, and what they have to say on the topic of everything they care to share. Instances of overkill have become more and more frequent with the advent of technology. I myself have become immune to most events due to the nature of viewing them. Celebrity means less than the fiber content of a cereal being shilled. I haven't felt the excitement of actually being in the same room and getting to meet someone in 15 years. Having done interviews with celebrities, working with them, even eating with them has less (if any) effect on me than the time I got to meet, talk with, and shake hands with John Flansburgh of They Might Be Giants. I still remember exactly how it happened and how that memory has stayed with me over all these years. Again, I haven't felt that twinge in the back of my neck or chill of awe and inspiration in over 15 years. Until November 14, 2012. Like the great Peter Sellers movie taught us, the most important part of life? Being There.
The Paley Center for Media, known for leading the discussion about the cultural, creative, and social significance of television, radio, and other emerging platforms, made headlines last night at its Beverly Hills location by honoring its first online sitcom, Husbands. The web series, created by writer/producer Jane Espenson (Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Once Upon a Time) and writer/actor Brad “Cheeks” Bell (Pop Up Video), follows a young same-sex couple as they deal with the trials and tribulations that all newlywed couples face. In a red carpet event, the Paley Center hosted the creators, cast, and crew of Husbands for a panel discussion and preview of the first two episodes of Season 2.
At a little before noon on Sunday, the last day of SDCC 2012, Jane Espenson (BSG, Buffy), Brad “Cheeks” Bell (Pop-Up Video), Jenna Busch (Moviefone Minute), Sean Hemeon (True Blood), and Jeff Greenstein (Will and Grace) file onto the stage of Room 7AB and begin setting up for the panel "Espenson: An Anagram For Openness" (and I just realized that’s not metaphorical). The room is packed and the audience settling in eagerly awaits the discussion to follow which will focus on Jane and Brad’s new online series, Husbands, called the “future of TV” by Ira Glass.
With the popularity of YA dystopia literature like The Hunger Games taking the world by storm, the Fanboy Comics crew attended Hungry for Dystopia, a panel discussing what attracts today's authors to totalitarian futures, the inspirations behind dystopian themes, and the possible solutions offered within their stories. The panel featured authors Neal Shusterman (Unwind trilogy), Lissa Price (Starters), Paolo Bacigalupi (The Drowned Cities), Michael Grant (BZRK), Daniel H. Wilson (Amped), Gennifer Albin (Crewel), and Marie Lu (Legend trilogy), and it was moderated by Anna North (America Pacifica).
At San Diego Comic-Con 2012, leading animation studio Klasky Csupo provided Fanboy Comics with a sneak preview of their new digital slate for the upcoming year, and fans of their previous properties like Rugrats, Aaahh! Real Monsters, Rocket Power, and The Wild Thornberrys will be very excited by the eclectic group of projects. With 20 never-before-seen pilots, a digital comic book, and a multi-platform web series, Klasky Csupo has big things in the works for fans of all ages. Announcements regarding the digital properties and the studio's new digital division will be shared with Comic-Con fans at the company's 5:00 p.m. panel.
Not to start off with this old cliche, but how many times has this happened to you? You're traversing the corridors of a hotel when you turn a corner and see a man wearing only dance pants and a very well-made Elmo mask, either practicing dance moves or having a seizure. I can use the word seizure, because I have a brain tumor. That's our word.
As I sit here on a randomly snowy April morning listening to The Blues Brothers soundtrack, my mind drifts to the likes of The Nerima Daikon Brothers. Like Hideki and Ichiro trying to desperately save their precious daikon field by any means necessary, I'm reminded of two hardworking women scrambling to keep a huge anime convention together. Those two gracious ladies are Jeanie Rabatsky and Allison Milwid, since President/CEO Jim Gogol was rather sick during the pre-production portion of putting on Tekkoshocon X, which took place from March 21-25. A four-day con is a rare thing, but so wise it boggles the four brain cells I have left. The first night of the con was actually held at approximately 6 p.m. at the Hollywood Theatre in Dormont, PA. The genius of this, besides giving anime and manga fans an early start to collect their weekend passes, was to cut down on the lines for the following day, when hordes of preteens bombarded the hotel in which the convention was held. Atlas may have been able to shrug, but Jeanie and Allison had to wait until the con was over, packed up, and ready to go for the next one. Besides having to wrangle guests, volunteers, staff, and myself, they had their hands full. I must say, ladies, you did a hell of a job.
In this WonderCon panel, the forensic psychiatrists of Broadcast Thought, H. Eric Bender, M.D., Praveen R. Kambam, M.D., and Vasilis K. Pozios, M.D., joined forces with Mark E. Safarik, M.S., V.S.M., one of the senior (retired) members of the FBI’s Behavioral Analysis Unit, to explain the pathology found in the dark world of Gotham City's serial killers. These panelists compared and contrasted some of the deadliest real-life killers with some of Gotham’s most notorious.
Greetings, my fellow tributes!
With The Hunger Games feature film barely a week away from release, I know that if it doesn’t have Ms. Lawrence or Mr. Hutcherson slapped on the cover, it’s going to take a lot to grab your attention. Well, hold on to your mockingjays, because there is ANOTHER Hunger Games film in the works as we speak! I’m not talking Catching Fire; I’m talking about a feature-length fan film made by fans, for fans, with fans, which will cover unexplored events mentioned during Mockingjay, the third and final book of The Hunger Games trilogy. I’m talking about Star Squad!
MAJOR SPOILERS BELOW FOR THOSE WHO HAVE NOT READ MOCKINGJAY!!!
Each year the convention season gets longer and longer. Comic Cons are a big deal now; companies can promote new projects and fans just eat up the chance to meet their favorite creators. The last few years, however, a weariness has taken over the larger cons. SDCC has become massive, and, amidst all the excitement, it can be hard to focus on comics these days. These big conventions are filled with so many people and have so much going on that everyone is exhausted, stressed out, and you can rarely get in to see the panels or the people you want.