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Arts & Culture

Comic-Con Saturday Scrapbook

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The day began with a Fox Atomic breakfast for the press at the Omni Hotel. Fox did not have any panels at this year's Comic-Con. When I asked the publicist about that, she said that they really only had one movie and they just didn't feel that a panel was appropriate. Plus she said that Fox preferred offering the press a more "intimate and interactive" experience with the talent. But I didn't feel much of an interactive or intimate experience when I was asked to cut my already ridiculously short "five minute" interview to two-and-a-half minutes. The publicist asked "so you got everything you needed, right?" I wasn't sure she was serious since I had just had a three minute exchange in a hotel hallway with Kevin Bacon. I think I might have preferred the less intimate experience of hearing the filmmaker and actors speak at a panel where they have 30 to 45 minutes to talk.

The breakfast was to promote the upcoming film Death Sentence, directed by James Wan and starring Kevin Bacon and Garrett Hedlund. The only problem was that the "exclusive clips" they revealed to the press (the kind of sneak peak usually offered in Hall H) was played on screens adjacent to an open terrace, and the glare and reflection were so bad that you could barely see an image. So it wasn't as impressive a sneak peek as on the huge screens at Hall H.

Death Sentence

In attendance at the Death Sentence breakfast was actor Garrett Hedlund.

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Australian director James Wan initially gained fame as the writer and director of Saw

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San Diego's homegrown Killer Tomatoes took over the booth next to mine and set down roots. This particular Killer Tomato was surveying Comic-Con attendees for suggestions about who might play Wilbur Finletter if the film were remade. Hmmm. Does that mean a remake is in the works for the deadly vegetables?

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Hey Donkey! Some fun in the booth with Shrek III masks.

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This is what Comic-Con is all about. Little Jake Kreutzkamp kept telling his dad Brad, "Look it's R2D2!" Jake looks a little underwhelmed here because we asked him to look at the camera and not at the Star Wars characters that had completely captivated him.

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The Star Wars booth was all about art this year. Bantha Tracks is the fan publication that started when the first film came out. I have the first issue of the fan publication since I joined the fan club when it first started and have been a card carrying member ever since. Here is a display of fan art that Bantha Tracks has been collecting over the years. You could also see fan films projected on the big screens above the booth and enjoy a series of Darth Vader masks done up by different artists, like the Cow Parade. It's called the Vader Project.

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Since I was running a booth to raise money for the student festival Film School Confidential, it was a treat to see that local Tijuana filmmakers Cathy Alberich and Aaron Soto had their film Algesia screened as part of the Comic-Con Film Festival. I have showcased a number of films by these Alberich and Soto, and expect them to create some more remarkable films.

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Simon Pegg and Nick Frost were at Comic-Con... but these aren't them. This is Randy Foos and Ryan Goff doing a spot on impersonation of the Sandford police officers. The real Simon Pegg and Nick Frost were available in the autograph area, signing in advance of the DVD release of Hot Fuzz on July 31.

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Here's another thing I like about the Con, the way it brings out the kid in everyone. As I was returning from my interview with Kevin Bacon, I caught sight of Death Sentence's director James Wan and actor Garrett Hedlund returning from the Comic-Con with a pair of Star Wars light sabers (I think they were both Yoda sabers) and seeming quite excited. That's cool. Kevin Bacon was only at the Con for an autograph signing but when I asked him what he thought of it he said, "Yeah it was everything I'd hoped it would be." People like Leonardo DiCaprio and Quentin Tarantino have also been known to wander around the floor unnoticed. DiCaprio's interest apparently leans toward comic books rather than light sabers.

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Comic-Con crash. This is how most people feel at the end of a busy day at the Con. My son fell asleep sitting up in a chair. Many people go without sleep and without regular food for the four-day event. It just seems hard to stop for such mundane things as sleep and food.