Friday, June 29, 2007

"Tron" and "Star Trek II: The Wrath Of Khan" 25th Anniversary Screening

Went to a special 25th Anniversary screening of "Tron" and "Star Trek II: The Wrath Of Khan" a little over a week ago. Among the guests doing a Q&A in between features (as well as after) were "Tron" Director Steve Lisberger, visual effects supervisors Richard Taylor and Harrison Ellenshaw, designer and futurist Sid Mead, and as a special surprise, actors Bruce Boxleitner ("Tron") and Dan Shor ("Ram"). These guys pretty much answered a round of questions from Mark Altman, the editor of Geek Monthly and producer of "Free Enterprise", and Robert Meyer Burnett, noted DVD producer and director of "Free Enterprise". Mark oversees American Cinematheque which sponsored the screening. From "Trek II", Nicholas Meyer was on hand to answer audience questions and had some really funny stories not only about "Wrath Of Khan" but his other most notable film, and one of my all time favorites, "Time After Time".

"Tron" was presented in 70MM and it looked fantastic! The all fan audience was great, plus applauded and reacted at all the moments. Same thing with "Wrath Of Khan", the best scene being when Kirk yells, "KHAAAAAAANN!!!" Everyone cheered, laughed, and applauded wildly. I really love going to these screenings. To see my favorites on the big screen again with a group of people who really appreciate them and participate in a fun, positive way.

Check out my pics from the event by clicking on the marquee photo above or here.

This is only Part One of the photos. I have a special "Tron" location shoot I'll be posting shortly. Stay tuned...

Monday, June 25, 2007

Happy 25th Anniversary!

25 years ago, between the beginning of June and the middle of July 1982, several iconic movies were released. It's really amazing how many of the classics we hold near and dear today all came out over the course of a month in the same year! "Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan", "Poltergiest", "E.T.", "Blade Runner", and "Tron" captivated, scared, and inspired us in a lot of ways.

Commemorating this milestone in part is the new header you see above. Always looking for new ways to express myself visually, I wanted to have a larger canvas to work with. Now when something cool is being planned or released, a highly anticipated movie I'm looking forward to is coming soon, some unwielding event is on the horizon, or I'm just pissed off about stupid stuff, you'll know about it in all it's billboard sized splendor.

The Late, Late Star Wars Celebration IV Report

Well the Star Wars Celebration IV has come and gone but some great memories of great times linger on.

Overall, Bill, Allen, and I had a fantastic time. The pre-event Wednesday tour of Hollywood went off without a hitch thanks to the ease of traversing traffic. IN Downtown LA we stopped at The Bradbury Building, filming location for "Blade Runner" then drove through the 2nd Street tunnel, scene of "The Terminator" climactic chase. In Burbank we drove past Warner Bros. and Walt Disney Studios. And of course I had to show off where I'm working now, New Wave Entertainment. Onto Pasadena where we checked out The Gamble House which became Doc Brown's house for the "Back To The Future" movies. Finally in Hollywood proper we journeyed to Mann's Chinese and The Kodak Theater, home of the Academy Awards ceremony. The final stop at The Chinese Theater marked our observance of the 30th Anniversary of the original "Star Wars" opening there. Too bad they didn't have a screening to mark the occasion...but I'll try and hold back on my continual 'missed opportunity' comments.

Celebration IV was certainly better organized than C3. Crowd and line management was handled with a lot more precision. One thing I noticed almost right away when we first entered the dealer's room on Day 1 was how much smaller it seemed than the one at C3. Probably about a third smaller. Although it was still pretty cool with lots of goodies to satisfy anyone who might have brought $5,000 in cash to spend....Bill!

Carrie Fisher's Saturday evening talk topped the programming, along with a special 45 minute preview and Q&A with some of the actors and director of the upcoming movie, "Fanboys". We all gave it a standing ovation at the end. The Star Wars "Robot Chicken" episode presentation and preview with Seth Green was too cool as well. And of course the "Clone Wars" CG series preview, which Allen went to but I unfortunately missed. I was glad to at least catch the trailer they showed when it appeared on the next day. Amazing stuff.

I would have to say that it wasn't quite as good as C3, but still pretty damned great and right immediately under the Indianapolis event from two years ago. C3 had the final movie of the prequels it came right before which added a certain amount of anticipation. The lack of any new movies or shows gave this a slightly less than blown out effect. In other words; Corner 1 - the fans were pumped about the 30th anniverary celebration. Corner 2 - the promoters, along with Lucasfilm, were kind of paired down a bit because they had nothing new to sell. The opening ceremonies on Friday night reflected this the most, with the presentation of the most voted for US stamp (Yoda) taking 45 minutes to unfurl! Even George Lucas video "hello" seemed all too short and like a foot note as opposed to really acknowledging this milestone. Assembling all the movie guest stars on stage at the same time became a little confusing for some since the announcer was four people behind when the first one was walking out from behind the curtain. A guy dressed as Boba Fett flew across the stage in a jet pack, which I'm sure caused everyone's eardrums in the first few rows to burst since it was indoors.

On your right is a link to my 'best of the best' photo gallery which tells the visual story of the fun we had at C4, complete with commentary. Enjoy, and here's keeping our fingers crossed for a Star Wars Celebration V sometime in the not too distant future. A Gen-Con coordinator commented to us the night before the event that they're already talking to Lucas about just such a thing for the 30th anniversary of "The Empire Strikes Back". Two words...DO IT!!!