San Diego International Comic-Con 2014 Recap

SDCC 2014: Day 1 Recap or “How I just walked into Hall H” (Part 1)

I’ve been super busy catching up on post-SDCC work & life, so my recaps have been slow to come together.  So many pictures to sift through! Without further ado, my Thursday, July the 24th recap … or The “How I just walked into Hall H without waiting in line” Day!

One does not simply walk into Hall H (LOTR Mordor spoof)

Challenge (inadvertently) accepted!!

After getting a good night’s sleep on Wednesday, I was ready to take on Comic-Con’s first full day: Thursday the 24th.

SDCC 2014 Day 1 selfie

I had a custom t-shirt made in order to support my blog while at SDCC, so Day 1’s outfit was set!  The line for the shuttle was loooooong, so it took a while to get my day started.  I had my entire day overly planned, chuck full of options on what smaller panels I wanted to see.  Since I was on the Red Shuttle Route, I was let out next to Petco Park’s SDDC Interactive Zone.

SDCC 2014 Interactive Zone at Petco Park

SDCC’s Official Interactive Zone at Petco Park

Selfie-waiting-in-line-at-the-Amazon-Geek-Boutique-(titled)

I decided to check it out (deviation from day’s plan #1).  I wandered into Amazon’s Geek Boutique, which was promoting Amazon’s new delivery lockers with a Transformer’s themed giveaway.  It was my first non-shuttle line at SDCC!  I ended up winning a poster, which didn’t make the trek over to the convention center without the protection of a tube.  Lesson learned!

Amazon Locker at SDCC 2014

Next to the Geek Boutique, was the Pizza Hut area dedicated to the new Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movie.  I’m a child of the 80s that loved the TMNT toy-buying machine that were the cartoon series & arcade video games (see #4 of my top Multiplayer at the Arcade post!), so I have some very mixed feelings about the new TMNT incarnation.  There was a line for free personal-sized Pizza Hut pizzas, a couch made entirely out of Pizza Hut boxes, & a pizza shooter with what I am sure was quite the liability waiver.

TMNT-pizza-thrower

I skipped all of that & headed to the X-Men dome-thing sponsored by Norton Anti-virus.  Sure, why not?!  I took a quiz on an tablet which determined that I would be Magneto if I was an X-men.  Next, I was able to pose for this great picture.

Holding Wolverine's hand: I'm thrilled, he's playing it cool.

Holding Wolverine’s hand: I’m thrilled, while he’s playing it cool.

It was then time to head over to the convention center.

How I just walked into Hall H without (really) waiting in line

Is that actually the line for Hall H?

Tents for SDCC 2014's Hall H line appear empty.

Must be an optical illusion … or a different line?

As I was crossing the skybridge, I looked over at the tents for Hall H & saw that they appeared empty.  I figured I must be mistaken, but as I walked up to them only about 10 individuals were standing in chute 1.  Still sure I was looking at the wrong line, I asked a staff member who in fact confirmed this was the line for Hall H.  So, I said, “What the hell, let see what this is all about!” (deviation from day’s plan #2)  I stood in line for 5 minutes before I asked myself what in the world was in Hall H today that no one was in line. I knew people had camped out the night before in order to see Benedict Cumberbatch, for his first SDCC appearance, in the Dreamworks panel.  Surely there was something good after that panel, right?  I checked my events guide & saw that the next panel was for The Giver, followed by Paramount Pictures. Before I could finish placing my events guide back into my backpack, the line was moving!

I initially thought we would then be let into the convention center into a new series of zig-zagging lines, similar to the disillusion caused at Disney World when you have been waiting outside in line & you finally get inside the building/ride only to have a huge sea of continuing zig-zagging line awaiting you, only now with at-least air-conditioning.  To my complete amazement, we were ushered directly into Hall H as the preview of the upcoming Penguins movie was playing.  It was dark, but Hall H was definitely over 50% empty.  As if there was a massive exodus, once Benedict left the building. I happily reaped the benefits!Inside Hall H during SDCC 2014

As soon as the preview was over & the lights came on, signaling the end of the Dreamworks panel, I got up & made my way as close to the front as possible.  I finally found a spot in the second section from the front, next to the bathrooms.  Great seat & vantage point. Disclaimer: Unfortunately, the cellphone I ended up having to buy last minute the night before <see previous post for details> made most of my pictures look as if a drunken baby was trying to use the camera.  The focus was horrible, as was the aperture speed.  I cringe at the (lack of) quality of the majority of the pictures I ended up with, but at last I have some pictures!  Next year, I will bring a back-up digital camera!

The Giver panel

The Giver panel in Hall H SDCC 2014

This panel was interesting because I had not yet read the book, which made me part of the minority of the audience, understandably given this was the panel for the movie adaptation of the book.  What was really interesting is that the panel included the book’s author and actor/executive-producer, Jeff Bridges.  “The Dude” was amazing.  He has been trying to get this movie made for 20+ years!

Paramount Pictures Panel

So many mixed feelings! This panel was a medley of all the movies Paramount was showcasing, so it had a completely different feel than the previous panel.  Here is my wrap up of the lowlights & highlights:

Lowlights
  1. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2014)
    Disclaimer: I grew up watching TMNT in cartoons, playing the amazing multiplayer arcade video game [so fabulous & memorable that I wrote a post about it!!], so I am definitely coming into this whole topic biased.  I also inform you that I have not seen the movie, but its 19% on RottenTomatoes.com seems validating.  Michael Bay is at it again, & by “it”, I mean trying to ruin my childhood memories.  I spoke about my misgivings regarding TMNT back in a fabulous Female Geek Blogger’s G+ Hangout.  Things that had me very worried: mentions that the script originally had our beloved TMNT as neither Mutant nor Teenage.  I’m sorry, I didn’t know we could change the key aspects of a character at will.  Especially, key aspects in the TITLE!  To follow this means: Mighty Mouse is no longer bound by the limitations of being a mouse nor mighty, or that Two-Face doesn’t need to have two faces!  Nope, I can’t keep going with this insanely flawed logic.  Due to completely justified geek rage vented throughout the internet, these changes were reverted back to the way it was supposed to be all along.  A fellow TMNT fan even brought it up and asked what was with all this alien talk during the Q & A, only to have the following answer given by TMNT co-creator Kevin Eastman, “In TMNT #4, the Ooze is described as being of alien origin.”  Yeah, I’m not a xenobiologist, but I’ve seen enough on television & movies to know that just makes the Ooze alien, not the turtles MUTATED by exposure to the alien Ooze.

    TMNT co-creator Kevin Eastman at SDCC 2014

    Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle (TMNT) co-creator, Kevin Eastman on the movie panel in Hall H during SDCC 2014.

    Something that didn’t get changed back & should have IMO: Shredder is now a left-over Transformer special effect?!  Ugh.  I was not really pleased with the footage that was shared, either.  Don’t get me wrong, Raphael came off as bad-ass as he should be, but Mickey seemed akin to a Valley girl, which was just wrong.  Michelangelo is cool, not an absolute airhead.  And what in the world did they do to poor Donatello?!  He is not a rejected go-go-gadget lackey!  I just can’t.

  2. Project Almanac (2014)
    Time Travel + Teenagers = Mayhem.  Always.  Especially when the trailer includes the line, “I can fix this!”  No, no you can’t.  Or rather, it hasn’t really happened in movies before, so … Also, I just feel that if you have access to something that results in time travel, you should have at least learned a couple of basic rules, such as don’t go visit a sleeping past version of yourself because you create a paradox & no good ever comes from creating a paradox! (see Back To The FutureDoctor Who, and Harry Potter).
Highlights
  1. Hercules (2014)Hercules SDCC 2014
    Disclaimer: I’ve been a big fan of Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson for quite some time, but I went full-on fangirl when he surprised all of us by showing up to promote his movie, Hercules Let me set the scene for you: The screen shows the Hercules title, then the lights go out & everyone is waiting for the trailer only, as had been the case with The Mazerunner earlier in this panel, but then all of the sudden the lights turned back on & there is The Rock, 2 rows in front of me, coming out into the crowd with his music playing.  I was so busy fangirling that I didn’t start taking pictures (which came out horribly, so I didn’t include them in this post) until he was really far away & up on the stage!  He was there to promote his upcoming movie by renting out 3 movie theaters in the San Diego area to screen his movie one night before the scheduled World Premier on a first-come-first-serve basis for those with a valid SDCC badge & who followed his Twitter feed.  I took a video of The Rock’s “panel” but haven’t gotten a chance to upload it nor to create a Youtube channel to upload it to, etc.  So as soon as I get around to that part of my ever-growing To Do list, I will let you know because it was fabulous!
  2. Interstellar (2014)Matthew McConaughey Interstellar SDCC 2104
    How could this panel get any better after The Rock? Well, the lights dim, a clip starts playing of real scientists, astro-physists, & entrepreneurs talking about space exploration, the lights come back on & out comes this handsome fellow: Matthew McConaughey! This was a complete surprise for everyone in Hall H, as well as the first appearance for both Matthew McConaughey and Christopher Nolan!  The trailer they showed looks amazing & I will definitely be seeing this when it comes out.

Entertainment Weekly: Television Visionary Show-runners

EW panel Visionaries: TV ShowrunnersAfter the Paramount Pictures panel wrapped up, I picked up my things and headed as close to the stage as I could.  I scored great seats: just behind the press seats.  This panel turned out to be very interesting.  I’ve watched a couple of EW hosted panels online on Youtube from previous SDCC and have mostly enjoyed them.  This panel had the show runners who were previously writers on shows I loved (hello Veronica Mars, Alias, and Dawson’s Creek!) and currently are in charge of various shows I’ve been meaning to watch (Sleepy Hollow) or already love (Arrow, The Flash).

I honestly have not gotten into Vampire Diaries nor The Originals, but for no reason in particular.  I guess my TV card was already pretty full after adding Doctor Who.  I absolutely enjoyed the Star Trek movie reboot written by Alex & Roberto “Bob”, as well as the show Fox tried so hard to kill, but couldn’t Fringe, but I haven’t gotten around to watching Sleepy Hollow either.  After SDCC & watching this panel along with both main actors in other EW panels, I am definitely planning on catching up on season 1.

It was very intriguing to watch this panel & get some insight into how each learned how to be a show runner from their respective mentors: Tom Kapinos (Dawson’s Creek) & J.J. Abrams (Alias).  Greg Berlanti & Julie Plec know each other from college, while Alex Kutzman & Roberto Orci know each other from high school.  Rob Thomas felt a bit like the odd man out, but in a wonderfully quirky way.  This was such a great panel over all.


To be continued …

So much more happened that day, which I will continue in my next post on Wednesday.  I hope you come back to find out more about the Female Geek Blogger SDCC Meet-up & the San Diego Symphony Video Game Concert, because it was also really great.

I’d love to hear other’s Hall H experiences.  From what I gather, my experience is not part of the norm.

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