Fan Film, Fan Films

News: New York Comic Con 2007 Wrap-Up

NYCC-wideshotThe second NY Comic Convention was a hit this past weekend, sloughing off the bad planning and extreme crowd control that marred the inaugural 2006 edition. Instead, this year’s event gave fans what they’d wanted all along–a great con with lots to do, whether you were a collector, gamer, cosplay enthusiast or even a fan film fan. In order to bring you, the reader, the most comprehensive coverage possible–and to get out of changing diapers more than usual—Fan Cinema Today was at the Jacob Javits Convention Center all three days to see what there was to see.


Most of Friday, the convention was closed to the public, and was merely open to the trade and press. Nonetheless, there was info to be gleaned from sitting in on a few of those panels, most of which were “How to get more people into your comic shop”-type stuff. Even so, there were occasional bits that were of interest. Some of that will turn up in Wednesday’s weekly analysis article.

NYCC-BlinkyProductionsThe show opened to the public at 4PM, and on hand to garner lots of attention in the main entrance were the principals of the prolific fan film outfit Blinky Productions. Writer/director Chris Notarile, dressed as Blue Beetle, Niki Notarile, done up as Catwoman, and Tawnya Manion, garbed as Power Girl, spent plenty of time posing for fans’ photos and being interviewed by a camera crew from G4 Network. At least a few Blinky-ites were spotted at the con the next day as well.

The Comics Bloggers panel, run by Publishers Weekly‘s Heidi MacDonald, was understandably only interesting to people who blog—as evidenced by the moment that Chris Butcher of Comics 212 asked “How many of you in the audience are bloggers?”—to which the entire audience raised its collective hand. This led someone on the panel to quip, “Well, I guess we’ll all have to run home and write about this panel.” Oh the wit! Oh the knowing chuckles! Oh…brother. Still, as a comparative novice to those guys, I gained a few tidbits here and there; I’d never read any of their blogs before, but am now inclined to, particularly Ron Hogan’s Galley Cat and MacDonald, simply because they came off the best (As the old saying that I just made up goes, “When you talk too much, you tell people everything they need to know”).


NYCC-PerilThe big stories of the day were the Ryan Vs. Dorkman II fan film New York premiere and the debut of Paula Peril: Trapped In The Flames. That film was preceeded by a panel that featured director Bill McClellan (left), Peril creator James Watson (center), and actress Valerie Perez, known in fan film circles for her work as Lara Croft in the fan film Tomb Raider: Tears of the Dragon. We’ll be covering the Paula Peril debut and Atlantis Studios in depth later in the week, but it should be mentioned that both RVD2 and Peril were scheduled at the same time—late, at 8PM–so there was fretting among those who wanted to catch both; as it turned out, there was nothing to worry about.

Ya see, RVD2 was still being downloaded from a soooper-secret server somewhere by the folks at NY Jedi…or at least maybe it was. No matter how many times one went to their table to find out when/if the screening was taking place Saturday, no one seemed to know anything about it, except one helpful Jedi towards the end of the day, who explained that screening was moved to Sunday. Returning the next day a few times, again, nobody knew squat, so we at FCT have no idea if it ever screened or not (we bet not).


A fun panel, despite plenty of technical difficulties, was The History of Comic Book Movies. Curated by author Arie Kaplan and NYU Professor Eddy Friedfeld, the program revolved around movie and TV clips, starting in the 1940s and heading up to today. In an effort to keep things fresh, the duo largely steered away from the usual material you might expect; for instance, George Reeves appearing as Superman on I Love Lucy was used instead of a clip from his own show; similarly a few scenes from recent movies were taken from DVD outtakes rather than the feature films themselves.

Somewhat surprisingly, there wasn’t any fan film content; one would have thought the movement would have qualified by now but perhaps not. Nonetheless, with a few enlightening asides (apparently Michel Gondry wrote a Green Hornet script—the mind boggles) and gut-busting laughs (a screen test of Adam West and Burt Ward as Batman and Robin that would make the Ambiguously Gay Duo blush), it was a fun hour. As a bonus, comic genius Kyle Baker, of Why I Hate Saturn fame, sat in towards the end, present for a book signing of Kaplan’s Masters of the Comic Book Universe Revealed, since he was profiled within its pages.

A few asides from the show, most of which have nothing to do with fan films:
• Stephen King curses a lot in public. Fuck yeah!
• During the Dark Tower comic panel, host Joe Quesada, Editor in Chief of Marvel, described what it was like to watch King spitball ideas for the series, and it was a revelation—about King, sure, but more so about Quesada. In his role, I surmise he has to play the cheerleader a lot, but when I’ve seen him in the past, he came off a bit boorish. That one thoughtfully observed moment about King that Quesada described changed my entire opinion of him; of course, the ability to convey moments like that is likely why he’s an EIC and I’m a blogger.
• The new “Making of Star Wars” book due out from Del Rey in April is jaw dropping—without question, the final word on the creation of the original movie. Paging through a copy on their stand was eye-opening; it really is a dense reference work as well as a coffee-table book, because the type is tiny and there’s plenty of it. The $75 hardcover edition apparently has about 100 pages that isn’t in the softcover edition, including complete storyboards for an alternate ending I’ve never heard of where Obi-Wan lives.
• The hoped-for meeting of Fan Cinema Today and Fanboy Theatre never happened, but Fanboy Will’s flyers were all over the second floor veranda on Saturday.
• There weren’t as many vendors selling fan film bootlegs this year—only two that we spotted. While we feel you should only buy a bootleg if there’s no other way to obtain a movie you really want (and there’s usually another way), don’t spend a fortune. One vendor wanted $10 for The Lobo Paramilitary Christmas Special, which is only a few minutes long, and there was nothing else on the disc. That’s just wrong, particularly since it was likely taken from a grainy download file anyway.NYCC-Bootlegs
• Meanwhile, the other bootleg vendor was showing fan films on monitors, with signs noting that the DVDs couldn’t be sold—but that by arrangement with the fan filmmakers, they could give away copies as a bonus if you spent more than $50 at their booth. Keep in mind that some of these DVDs had anywhere up to 30 fan films crammed on them, hence 30 fan filmmakers per disc were supposedly contacted. Yeah, I bet.

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No Responses to “News: New York Comic Con 2007 Wrap-Up”

  1. HI!

    It’s true. Planets were in alignment against us for the entire weekend!

    With the the fact the guys couldn’t upload the 553 meg file fast enough and our own Internet issues (we’re getting our money back too, yippie!), the film needed 2 hours to upload, kaboshing Saturday’s showing. UGH. Then the same to download here. And mixed with all our connectivity issues, time just ran late into Sunday evening, but we finally were able to get the movie up at 5pm. YAY!

    I truly apologize for any fan-trauma that may have been caused as a result of the technical issues. ;)

    Tell ya what though, Let’s meet for coffee in NYC and I’ll bring my laptop for ya! :)


  2. Fan Cinema rocks. Thanks for the Blinky love.

  3. Hey There.

    Yes, we had technical issues getting the movie from the guys in California.

    Sorry about that! RVD2 is Definitely worth the wait! Thanks for visiting our booth!

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