Part 1 of 3
I am a bit of a Guildie fangirl. That could also be an understatement. I try not to go too far in my admiration for Felicia Day and the brilliant webseries she created, but how far is too far, anyway? In August last year I wrote a new non-fiction book proposal. This was going to break the Internet and the world of publishing wide open – the first book about a webseries, EVER! And it would be from a fan’s point of view and contain all those ridiculous micro-details I’d collected. And it was called: “From Cheetos to Stripper Bus: The Ultimate Fan Guide to how Felicia Day built The Guild Empire Level by Level.”
How could it fail?!?
The proposal was well written and clear, and I had a great platform. I know that because several agents made those comments while simultaneously telling me that there simply wasn’t a market for it – it was too niche. Which is, of course, exactly what TV execs told Felicia when she pitched The Guild as a sitcom. Ironic’d.
I’m planning on how best to get the book published but in the meantime I’d like to share this chapter with you by way of preparation for The Guild’s appearance at San Diego Comic Con (SDCC). Don’t forget that all the details of The Guild activities are here on WatchTheGuild.com.
In 2009 The Guild rocked SDCC with wave after wave of….well, you’ll see. Make yourself comfortable and let me take you back in time….
How it all went down
Now, here’s a tricky thing. I didn’t go to San Diego Comic Con (SDCC) but when it was finished I felt like I had. In this chapter we are going to look at SDCC from three perspectives – The UberGuildies (cast and crew), the Comic-Con Guildies (fans who went to the Con) and The Left-Behind Guildies (fans who didn’t go to the Con but were following it all online). I could probably write a whole book just on this one event. This is where The Guild comes home – where they are accepted by their peers as the stars and innovators that they are… Yes. I still wish I’d been there.
San Diego Comic Con. A nerd-nirvana, and the setting for many awe-inspiring wonders and awesome costumes. Back in 2008, The Guild crew had been concerned about trying to find a booth so they could do some signing sessions and whether they should order a few keyrings to give away as souvenirs. When they heard of The Guild’s plight the California Browncoats stepped in and offered to share their booth, and 2008 was saved. (Browncoats rule – end of discussion!)
So for 2009, plans were set in motion early. In addition to signings they had their own booth (shared with the wonderful Jamie Chambers) AND their own panel, including an open Q&A, (neither of which they had in 2008). They also had a very special surprise planned. On the 17th July the full schedule for The Guild at SDCC was posted on WatchTheGuild.com:
“…Xbox Live and Microsoft, our sponsor, has arranged for our panel to take place on Friday at 10:30am-11:30am in room 5AB. We’ll be screening TWO videos, so you won’t want to miss it, I promise, we will be showing something that people are going to get excited over! We’ll be signing a special promotional poster afterward in the Xbox booth from 12pm-1pm, and after that we’ll be doing Game with Fame from 2-3pm, so come play with us! What a treat to promote the show and play video games, ha! ”
Hmmm – cryptic tease much?
The Fans plan, too
I don’t know about you, but I have always wanted to go to a Convention. As soon as Felicia had confirmed The Guild was going to be at SDCC in 2009 (straight after SDCC 2008) the Guildies starting making their plans. Even though there were months to go, talk on The Guild Chat often turned to SDCC 09 – it was going to be a big event for the fans.
As the date neared, plans were discussed and finalized about Guildies meeting up, where to stay and how to attack the Con to ensure maximum Guild coverage. Dani Figueiredo set up a Posterous blog so that fans could post what they were doing, who they had seen and so on. This was a really exciting idea for the ‘Left-Behind’ Guildies who couldn’t make it to the Con.
Those Left Behind
For the ‘Left-Behind’ Guildies (like me) it was exquisite torture. It was exciting to know that the people we had been chatting to all year (or more) would be there, reveling in the sights and sounds of the Con. But it was tinged with the sadness of feeling excluded (like having to practice the violin while your friends play tag on the street outside). Not being physically present didn’t have to mean missing out on all the fun, though. This is the age of the Internet, for cripes sake! My preparation for SDCC included posting a list of all the Twitterers and websites likely to deliver the goods for the ‘Left-Behind’ to use.
Tuesday 21st July 2009
Many of the CCGuildies arrived early and a meetup was planned for Tuesday evening so people could get together. Guildies Jenni, Nathan and Eva, plus Sam collected Dani from the Airport (she had flown from Brazil to be there) and they met up with Jamie Chambers and Edgar Garcia later on. Talk about life imitating art. A webseries about disparate people who played together online and then met up in real life now brought together people from all over the world who forged friendships online and then met up in real life…Luckily this meetup was a lot less awkward than Cheesybeards!
Wednesday 22nd July 2009
Technically this was Preview Night but there was also a signing at The Guild booth, which was great news for fans. That meant The Guild cast and crew had to work hard to get everything set up but eventually it was done to Felicia’s demanding standards:
And after they built it, did the fans ever come! A huge crowd converged on The Guild booth and chaos reigned. Everyone left satisfied but there was such a crush it was decided that all further signings should be transferred away from The Guild booth. Already things were stepping up from only a year ago – and the Con hadn’t even started properly.
Meanwhile, back in computer-land, the Left-Behind were monitoring Twitter for any news and were in no way being sulky about the whole “left-behind” thing.
Thursday 23rd July 2009 – A Birthday, a Party and a Hunt
After wishing Sandeep Parikh a Happy Birthday it was down to business for The Guild. There was a special surprise for the CCGuildies – a Scavenger Hunt with clues dotted around the convention centre. In the loot were tickets to an exclusive Xbox Live Party being held that night.
The cast signings were held at the free autograph area to avoid the over-crowding of the night before. Between the signings, organizing the booth and trying to keep everything on track, the pace for everyone was hectic. Felicia also had some Dr Horrible duties to perform:
What happened at that party, stays at that party but…it’s fair to say that a considerable amount of drink was consumed and fans did have the chance to mingle with the stars. Fans took photos with the cast and crew and were very happy to have the opportunity. One thing you can say for Guildies is that they are mainly very respectful of the UberGuildies and try not to get in their faces.
This does not apply to the likes of Mr Sean Becker and his partner in crime Mr Jared Hoy, however. Sean, whom you might remember from such things as editing and directing Season 2 and 3 of The Guild and Jared, whom you might remember from such things as The Guild Chief Lighting Technician, formed an alliance to produce the “Con-Quest” videos for Comic-Con. Episodes 3 and 4 were filmed at the Xbox Live/Guild party and they managed to trick some of the stars into talking to them.
Tomorrow: Just how do you get a passel of UberGuildies to a Panel in secret?
WorldofHiglet is the online persona of writer Mary R. Higgins, a born-again geek reclaiming her heritage bit by bit. A youth filled with sci-fi, horror and adventure in TV, films, computer games and books was crushed by years of office grind. Buffy brought her back into the fold after years of denial. Discovering Firefly sealed the deal. Now she geeks fulltime on her blog ‘the last geek bus home’ . Her first novel ‘Turning left at Albuquerque” is complete and she has just launched HigletFilms.com, a new webvideo entertainment site serving new, original videos every Monday.
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