Tales from the Con: Lost Part One
July 28, 2009
This past weekend I attended the Comic Con convention for the first time in many years. I’ve decided to devote blog space on the Film Method site to this incredible Con as a special tribute this week in place of a regularly scheduled podcast recording. I’ll be blogging my Comic Con memoirs for the rest of the week so get ready for 5 awe-inspiring installments of the Tales from the Con.
I think the last time I was at Comic Con was in 1998. I was with my brother Brian, who happens to be a tremendous comic book artist, and he had a blast. I have never really been much of a comic book or sci-fi fan. That being said, I must admit that one of the most influential movie trilogies for me as a budding filmmaker and storyteller was the first Stars Wars movies and now I am a huge Lost fan, go figure.
There is something about these two pieces of art that transcend the boundaries of sci-fi and I believe it comes down to two important factors, good storytelling and good characters, that is, characters we care about and even love. I remember attending a panel on The Simpsons at my first Con in ’98, which was probably the highlight for me, and I also remember seeing a lot of gargoyles at numerous vendor booths. I wasn’t impressed and didn’t see the need to go back until sometime last year. I remember reading my friend Travis’ wonderful blog and photos of his experiences at the Con and seeing how it had evolved in the past few years. There were numerous panels for upcoming blockbuster movies and surprise appearances by different actors promoting their movies and television series. Although the expanding influence of Hollywood is criticized by some, I have to admit that that’s reason I attended this year. The more I heard about Comic Con in the last couple of years, the more I realized that I should probably be attending every year. And then it happened. Lost happened. After seeing the footage of the Lost event on You Tube after last year’s Con, I knew that I had to be there this year. The crowd excitement, special video footage made by the creators of Lost for Comic Con fans, and the crazy antics of secret videographers being chased out of the auditorium made me want to experience it myself in person. Since this is the last year that Lost will be featured at Comic Con because of the last season ending in May 2010, I really had no choice in the matter. I wanted to be with the 6,500 other fans who had flown in from various parts of the world to be in community with them for this momentous occasion.
I arrived at 5:50 Saturday morning to join the already formed line of Lost fans. I was supposed to get there to join the line and hold a place for Travis who has faithfully held places in line for me, but as I was walking down the sidewalk of the convention center, somewhere around Hall F, I got a call on my cell from Trav asking where I was. He was already in line! So much for me saving a place for him. The next few hours went by fairly quickly. I brought my laptop so I could write a blog and load photos from the first two days. It was interesting to hear the theories that Lost fans around us were tossing around. Two Hurley look-alikes entertained the crowd with trivia questions and special prizes. They were giving away Lost Season One DVDs which I’m pretty sure everyone in the crowd already owned. Nonetheless, it was a good way to pass the time in line. The woman standing next to me claimed that she could identify horse people and theatre people by just looking at them so she spent some time scanning the crowd to test her powers. The woman’s husband was nice enough to take some photos of Trav and me sitting in line. Everyone was nice. Everyone was cool. Everyone was very patient and willing to wait as long as was necessary for a good seat at the most anticipated Lost event of the year. And you were there. No, wait, I was there. And it was awesome.
Around 10:15am the golden doors swung slowly open and the Lost maniacs were finally allowed into the magic kingdom. It was a madhouse and finding the best seat was difficult. You wanted to stake out a good seat so that you didn’t just waste your time looking for a good seat and then get a really crappy seat because you couldn’t decide. Travis found some good seats on the right hand side in the back of the second section from the stage. Not the best seats ever, but not bad considering the room expanded to what seemed like the size of a football field. A friend of Travis’ got into the venue early because he had a disabled badge and saved Travis a seat. Travis didn’t want to ditch me for the good seat, but I told him that he absolutely should. After a bit of hemming and hawing, he decided that he would, and what a good thing that he did because his friend was 4th row center! Holy crap! Since finding single seats is always easier than finding seats for 2 or more, I trolled around a bit and found a seat in the front of the section I was currently in. As I grabbed my bag from the old seat and was headed to my newly saved semi-awesome, but still off center seat, an absolute miracle happened to me. As I was skipping hurriedly down the aisle towards my new seat an angel from heaven came out of nowhere and said, “Are you looking for a single seat? Come follow me, there’s one right this way”.
As I followed the gracious creature down closer to the stage I began to realize the awesome position that I was about to be thrust into. A near-center seat in the front section off the venue. I couldn’t believe my eyes and after I grabbed my bag for a second time and ran over to claim my new seat I began to look around everywhere for the mysterious being who had disappeared. Now, I have a hunch that this was an actual human being, because he was actually standing very near us in line outside. It’s not like he swooped in and out for just the momentous seat occasion, but boy, this whole interaction had a distinctly divine feel to it. Life is good. I sat forward on my new seat for a full 10 minutes soaking in the view and getting my wits about me.The man next to me seemed to be a bit amused by my childlike gaze and fervor (his name is Josh and he makes squid hats. Click here for a link to his website). I kept saying, “I can’t believe how good these seats are!” and looking around excitedly like a giddy little girl.
After another 30 minutes or so of waiting, the time finally came for the show to begin. The lights dimmed and the famed image of the Lost horizon came up on the projector screen. Slowly all the Season 6 Lost characters faded onto the screen leaving a hole in the middle for a rear facing… John Locke! Woo hoo! Pure awesome. (to be continued)