Production Blog

SEPTEMBER 01, 2009

SAN DIEGO COMIC CON PART 2

"We have done the impossible, and that makes us mighty."

The words of one Malcolm Reynolds, captain of a certain Firefly-class vessel, looped in my mind as the jet flew my colleagues Mike Bloemendal, Gavin Yap and I across the Pacific – from our tropical home of Malaysia bound for Los Angeles, and our ultimate destination …

THE SAN DIEGO COMIC-CON!

This trip was a surreal one. It was 22 years ago when I first heard of the Comic-Con, this annual pow-wow of sci-fi/fantasy fans, artists and creators, celebrating the arts they love.

Living in Malaysia, the Comic-Con seemed as unreachable as the Moon. It felt, literally, like a world away. But now, there I was, heading to my first Con, and not only that, to promote our "War of the Worlds: Goliath" movie! Double happiness!

We landed in LA on the evening of July 21st, to the familiar LAX welcome of grimy seats and fluorescent pallor.

We spent the night at an inn by the Venice boardwalk, our jet lag soothed by the sounds of the sea – our only respite from the coming madness that would be the Comic-Con.

And so it began. The next morning, we packed 1,200 pounds of posters, art booklets and T-shirts into a minivan and a U-Haul, and headed down the 101 for the two-hour drive to San Diego.

San Diego had a weird bazaar-like feel. Snarling traffic, flustered exhibitors hauling gear, and hordes of cosplay-decked fans. It was the eve of the Con, and it was already nuts!

The Mark of the Con was everywhere. "Avatar" banners hung from lamp posts, and outside the Marriott, an APC dressed in the livery of "District 9" loomed ominously – "Warning: Public Roads for Humans Only!"

We entered the Convention Center and immediately spotted our "War of the Worlds: Goliath" banner aloft above the Heavy Metal booth, like a guiding star within the vast hangar-like space. Thanks to Kevin Eastman, owner/publisher of Heavy Metal and executive producer of our movie, Booth 1629 would also be home to "War of the Worlds: Goliath" for the next four days.

And what a rollercoaster ride it was from then on. A head-to-head close-quarters-combat pit fight!

We met some 3,000 fans, and the positive vibe was overwhelming – considering all we had was a 2-minute trailer and 12-minute "behind the scenes" clip that had to compete with the massive marketing machines blaring away at the Con. Our "Goliath" had become a little David among giants. Nevertheless, we grabbed this rare opportunity to bond with our audience, to share the moment with them, and to listen.

And what memories!

Sitting in our first panel (courtesy of Kevin Eastman's Spotlight event), and pinching myself – is this for real?!

Roaming the streets of the Gaslamp District with the Immortal Peter Wingfield at 3am …

Talking Highlander plot points with Adrian Paul … What's the deal with Ritchie, man?!

Sharing UFO stories with Carl Macek (Mr Robotech himself) …

John Landis, wraith-like, descending on our booth …

Even Adam Baldwin grabbed a poster off us …

Joe covered a lot of ground in his earlier blog, but I will say this: Adrian Paul, Peter Wingfield, David Abramowitz and James Arnold Taylor were absolute princes. They did more than just meet fans and sign autographs – the weight they brought to our little movie meant a lot to the Tripod team slogging away since October 2007.

And to Kevin Eastman, who believed in this project from the start. And keeps believing, supporting and walking the talk. Kevin's an inspiration to us all. Never give up, never stop … he's a freakin' Terminator! "Come with me if you want to live!"

It was also sweet vindication to see sci-fi steampunk fans watch the clips and our pitch, and give a resounding thumbs-up. You guys are hardcore (and you know it!), and yet your support was clear and heartfelt.

Sometimes we're so deep in the trenches of production we can't see the forest for the trees – so take it from us when we say we draw strength from your belief in this project.

For those of you who couldn't make it to the Con, catch the trailer and the "behind the scenes" clip right here, at the official "War of the Worlds: Goliath" website: www.wotw-goliath.com

From Joe's original vision, to this current incarnation now shared and bled through the ranks of the Tripod team, "War of the Worlds: Goliath" belongs to all of us who love the proud tradition of H.G. Wells and science-fiction.

Thanks for believing, and we'll do our darndest to make this movie a great time for all and 90 minutes well spent!

So say we all!

Leon.

The Con beckons!
With Gavin at the Heavy Metal booth, Goliath's home at the Con.
Kevin Eastman announcing Goliath during his Spotlight session.
A "behind the scenes" look at our Goliath movie at Kevin's session.
With the Man himself!
Mike knows how to work the crowd! Can you say "free swag"?
With the Immortal Adrian Paul, who plays the Irish engineer "Patrick O’Brien" in our movie. Does this man ever age?!
Kevin with our wordsmith-producer David Abramowitz.
David (to Adrian): "Can you believe this? We're here! This is nuts!"
CARNAGE AT THE CON!
The voracious hordes press in for our limited-edition Goliath T-shirts.
Drastic security measures had to be enforced. It wasn’t pretty.
This Borgified Klingon had a bone to pick with the Highlander. And we aren’t exactly on Holy Ground …
Two Immortals make Joe nervous …
Meet the front line! The Bane of the Martians Joe, Gavin with his "cream of sumyung-gi" grin, the adorable Lisa, strong and silent Park Min, and booth babe Lindsey.
Our storyboard artist Robert Souza dropped by to feel the vibe.
The indomitable John Farris. This guy is built like a brick shithouse … T-shirt looks good on him, innit?
The LAW finally catches up with Peter Wingfield: "You're coming back with us to Mega City One! We can do this the easy way, or the REAL easy way …"
Peter Wingfield surrenders to Gavin's nimble yet firm hands.
The Con Aftermath … man, these guys look like I feel!
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