The evening started with a pair of very quick stops. First up with the promotional party for Skydance’s introduction to their first original VR shooter game, Archangel.
I could describe it, but wouldn’t you rather see it for yourself. So here’s a link to trailer for the game they’re very proud to introduce to the world:
It was fun and fast.
After that, my writer pal Joelle Sellner and I head for the first evening get together of a group called ONE PLUS HUB where she introduces me to all of her friends. It’s their annual Thursday night beer bust that starts the evening off with a select couple brews on tap on the house. The upstairs private bar at the Quad Ale House is converted to haven for animation networks and production companies, writers and directors. Nickelodeon sponsors the photo booth, and I get a chance to meet a bunch of people in a medium I’ve always loved but seldom worked. Those who work in animation know how to have fun. The place is full of smiles and light-hearted. We rub elbows with people from Amazon, Cartoon Network, Funnytown, DC, the Hub, Dreamworks, and all the major players. It’s a great launching pad for a big night. I finally feel like the night has begun.
From there, Joelle and I head off to the Scholastic party (Goosebumps central) where they have a swag bag full of spectacular books perfect for my kids. Here, in the literary publishing world party, people dressed a bit fancier. These people are from a suit-and-tie world that’s not common culture at the nerd-extravaganza of clever franchise T-shirts and jeans. It was full of classy people in a contained outdoor deck with a large, square bar and small pool. Wine was the beverage of choice, and the guests gave off a slight air of elitism. I love what Scholastic does, and the people seemed pretty serious. It was a stark difference coming from an animation party where those guys and gals were determined to have fun. I didn’t stay too long, grabbed my swag bag, and left Joelle to talk about her new Lion Forge comic book Mer while I headed to one of the biggest parties of last year’s SDCC…
FANDOM, powered by Wikia at http://www.wikia.com/fandom, is one of the best destinations for huge entertainment-property fans on the internet today. In 2015, they rented an entire train car on the way to SDCC for Wednesday and invited fifty fans to take a free ride to San Diego on them and return ticket to L.A. They had live music, panels, internet influencers, and included food and drinks. That train ride went fast. Last year, they took over quite possibly the best party venue in the Comic-Con area, the rooftop bar and lounge at the Hard Rock Hotel directly across from the convention center called Float. This is the crème de la crème of private party spots. When there’s a party at Float, you don’t have to worry about stopping for dinner first. At Float, the meal and drinks are always well covered. In 2016, I hung with the Con Man cast and writers. As a Firefly fan, time spent with Alan Tudyk and Nathan Fillion is a fanboy’s dream.
This year, the crowd was more fan-based then Hollywood, but it was still a great time. I hooked up again with my friends from Con Man (PJ Haarsma and Shannon Eric Denton) and introduced them to another friend, Brian Walton, who is the new head of editorial at Wizard World. Wizard World is one of the top entertainment companies in conventions, entertainment, and geekdom. They’re perfect for each other, and my friend says if anything happens out of that, I’m all hooked up. So, I order a gin and tonic and celebrate. I love it when a plan comes together. Outkast takes the stage, and everything becomes about the concert.
Time to move on to the last private party of the night over at the nightclub, Omnia. There are two parties going on simultaneously. Downstairs is called the Rave of Thrones, where Hodor from Game of Thrones is on DJ duty. I heard him spin last year, and this year I want to talk with my friends, so I take to where the big FANDANGO party rocks the rooftop and Elle King performs live on stage. Famous movie quotes line the walls in neon, the music is solid, a ton of friends come through, and the swag bags have free Fandango movie tickets and FUNKO figures. The lights flash in all colors, producers and contacts from companies like Alcon Entertainment, Branded, and Defy Media were all around. We rock it there until 1 AM. Check out the Fandango streaming movies and videos here at https://www.fandangonow.com/.
On the way back to my hotel, I stop in at the best dance party every night, and that is Zachary Levi Nerd HQ, which was sponsored by the Syfy channel this year. I sweat out my whiskey and gin on the dance floor for an hour and call it a night. After all, I know for a fact that Friday is the busiest party night of them all by far. It will be a day long remembered, but I’ll tell you all about that tomorrow…
This is courtesy of Honorary FoF Member and screen writer Michael Tabb.