KPBS Film Critic Beth Accomando reports on the shadowcast performance of Repo! at Comic-Con along with some other events surrounding the Con.
Related Story: Local Event: 'Repo! The Genetic Opera' Shadow Cast Tonight
KPBS-FM Radio Feature: Shadowcast During Comic-Con
By Beth Accomando
Air Date: July 21, 2010
Comic-Con kicks off tonight. But KPBS film critic Beth Accomando says the event has gotten so big that not everything is at the convention center any more and many groups are holding unofficial tie-in to Comic-Con events.
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(Tag:) Comic-Con begins tonight and runs through Sunday. The “Repo” shadow cast is Saturday at 11pm at the Reading Gaslamp Stadium Theaters. For more Comic-Con coverage go to K-P-B-S-dot-O-R-G-slash-cinema-junkie.
Each year there are more and more unofficial events springing up around Comic-Con. This year the creators of “Repo! The Genetic Opera” will host a special shadow cast screening of their film where all the action will not be up on the screen.
CLIP It’s literally an experience because you can go anywhere and watch a movie, you can do that anywhere. But to go to a theater and get two shows in one, that’s what a shadow cast is all about.
Find out more about shadow casts later this morning as KPBS film critic Beth Accomando reports on the ever-expanding Comic-Con experience.
During this weekend’s Comic-Con attendees can venture off site for a screening and performance of the film “Repo! The Genetic Opera.” The film’s about a man who repossesses your organs when you miss a payment. The film has inspired a cult following that takes audience participation to a new level. Cody Shoberg is a local shadow cast member who performs live with the film.
CODY SHOBERG (Rotti): The appeal is in the fans basically calling back at the show, the fun of watching the performers do their best to actually perform what’s going on screen, to recreate that and the interaction between is something magical to see.
San Diego’s Elective Surgery joins with the LA shadow cast for an interactive experience of “Repo! The Gentic Opera” this Saturday at 11pm at the Reading Gaslamp Theaters.
The pop culture celebration that originally attracted just a few attendees has now become so big that it can longer be contained within the San Diego Convention Center. This sprawling new Comic-Con has a college campus feel with attendees packing the local hotels like dorms and spilling out onto the streets for a 24/7 party feel. For the first time, Comic-Con is using multiple off site venues. Some panels will be at the Hilton Bayfront, the International Film Festival will be at the Marriott, and there will be early badge pick up sites in Mission Valley.
The 100,000 plus crowd is also a tempting demographic to tap into. Outside organizers are holding their own unofficial Comic-Con events. Behind the Convention Center you can catch a concert of gaming theme songs with Video Games Live. Then at Horton Plaza, the Zombie Defense Network is creating a Fallout Shelter for its party. 20th Century Fox, which skipped holding a film panel this, will instead have a mobile taco truck at a nearby parking lot to promote its upcoming release of “Machete.”
CLIP If you’re going to hire Machete to kill the bad guy you better make damn sure the bad guy isn’t you.
One of the other satellite events is a special screening of “Repo! The Genetic Opera” at the Reading Gaslamp. The film is about a man who repossesses your organs if you miss a payment.
CLIP “Say you once bought a heart or new corneas but somehow never managed to square away your debts. He won’t bother to write or to phone you he’ll just rip the still-beating heart from your chest.”
The film’s cult following has brought audience participation to a new level. When it screens this Saturday at 11pm, filmgoers will be treated to a shadow cast performance. Amy McCain is the cast director of the San Diego group Elective Surgery.
AMY McCAIN: A shadowcast is basically when they play the movie and you have a live acting troupe that acts out the movie as it’s playing. And if you are going to go to a shadow cast, you should expect not nice and quiet and peaceful, no this is an entire experience…
CLIP “Turn it up…” (then clapping and stomping)
AMY McCAIN: No this is an entirely different experience where people are loud, obnoxious, and you got people yelling at the screen, it’s literally an experience…
Elective Surgery made their debut in April at the Ken Cinema where Hannah Morris became a fan.
HANNAH MORRIS: It’s a lot of fun because they add little inside jokes and they really bring it into the crowd. Like Graverobber walked up to me and took Zydrate out of my nose.
CLIP “Zydrate comes in a little glass vile…”
During rehearsals, McCain reminds her cast to interact with the audience.
AMY McCAIN: I really want you to be up in the seats up in people’s faces
And that’s a lot of fun for performers like Maggie Leister.
MAGGIE LEISTER (Shilo): I love the crowd I feed off their energy I love how happy they are how into it they get all their callbacks and they know your lines better than you do I love the crowd.
AMY McCAIN: Let’s sing it loud and proud…[audience starts singing the anthem]
Elective Surgery will be joined by the L.A. shadow cast as well as by some of the creative talent behind the film “Repo! The Genetic Opera” for a highly interactive audience experience.
AMY Let’s get a little applause.
For KPBS, I’m Beth Accomando