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DJANGO UNCHAINED – Comic-con panel.

Posted on 14 July 2012 by Amber

We are here in Hall H today and we’re in it for the long haul.  First up is DJANGO UNCHAINED from Director Quentin Tarantino.

The movie is a dark, bloody fairy tale. The story of slavery before the Civil War.  Also on the panel is Jaime Foxx, Walton Doggins, Don Johnson, Christoph Waltz and Kerry Washington.


Quentin said that the first initial idea on the movie is a slave who is a bounty hunter who hunts white men, pre civil war.  The story became the perfect back drop for a spaghetti western.

The panel talked about the relationship between Django and Schultz being one of teacher and student or even Luke and Yoda. Schultz is there to help Django learn how to be a bounty hunter and how to shoot a gun. Later Django helps Schultz navigate the Mississippi south.

The crowd had a huge reaction for the film clip that they showed. It looks to be another true Tarantino masterpiece. The clip also featured some footage from Leonardo DiCaprio who is also in the film. Not featured was Samuel L. Jackson.


Kerry Washington shared that she had to learn German for the film. She originally learned the language through children’s songs. In the original script her character was supposed to whistle. After confessing to Quentin that she couldn’t whistle, they made the decision to use a lullaby in the film instead.  Kerry also had to learn how to rise a horse for the film.

Quentin shared that Jonah Hill was just added to the film. Jonah finished filming his scenes last week. From what we can gather Jonah plays a regulator (pre-cursor to the KKK) who is part of a group who enacts a raid against Django and Schultz.

DJANGO UNCHAINED has about one more week of filming left.

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Our Exclusive Interview With Director Ole Bornedal From The Possession At San Diego Comic-Con 2012

Posted on 14 July 2012 by Joey DC

Our Before The Trailer team is currently mixing business with pleasure at the 2012 Comic-Con in San Diego, California where they had the great opportunity of joining an exclusive round-table interview with the director of The Possession Ole Bornedal yesterday, July 13, 2012.

The story centers on a young girl who buys an antique box at a yard sale, unaware that inside the collectible lives a malicious ancient spirit. The girl's father teams with his ex-wife to find a way to end the curse upon their child.

The Possession stars Jeffrey Dean Morgan, Kyra Sedgwick and Natasha Calis, and is based on a real story of a family who purchased a haunted Dibbuk Box (wine cabinet) on Ebay when tragedy took its course.

The character-driven Danish director Ole Bornedal spoke about the right approach to tell the story of The Possession without producing another superficial, scary horror movie. His focus was clearly on the characters as he believes that when real people are challenged by horror then it is truly horrific. His reason for doing this film was because of the human approach to it, making real people on screen that the audience could relate to.

Listen to the complete interview below.

Or click here to listen.

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Our Exclusive Interview With Karl Urban From Dredd 3D At San Diego Comic-Con 2012

Posted on 14 July 2012 by Joey DC

Our Before The Trailer team is currently mixing business with pleasure at the 2012 Comic-Con in San Diego, California where they had the great opportunity of joining an exclusive round-table interview with Dredd's leading man Karl Urban yesterday, July 13, 2012.

The Pete Travis-directed action sci-fi takes place in a violent, futuristic city where the only force of order lies with the urban cops called “Judges” who possess the combined powers of judge, jury and instant executioner.

Karl Urban plays the ultimate Judge Dredd, who is known and feared throughout the city, and challenged with ridding the city of its latest scourge – a dangerous drug epidemic that has users of “Slo-Mo” experiencing reality at a fraction of its normal speed.

Karl Urban, a native of New Zealand, gave some insight into his British comic book based character and how he prepared for his role as Judge Dredd by doing a lot of tactical training in full gear with former British military guys in the pre-production stage, so he could get used to the uniform before the film went into full production. Urban felt that the script stayed true to the Dredd character especially because he didn't take his helmet off. The actor made sure to prepare himself well for his role that was played by Sylvester Stallone in the original 1995 movie, and bought a lot of Dredd comics to follow the character's evolution in the last fifteen years. 

Listen to the complete interview below.

Or click here to listen.

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LIVE BLOG from Sony Panel – Comic-Con

Posted on 13 July 2012 by Amber


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San Diego Comic-Con 2012: Our Highlights For Saturday’s Panels

Posted on 30 June 2012 by David


Are you going to Comic-Con this year in San Diego?  We hope that you have a great time.  Below is a highlighted list of movies and television panels that will be taking place on Saturday, July 14.

If you are not attending Comic-Con but want to stay up to date with the latest coverage, follow us July 11-15 for live blogs, interviews, the latest news and trailers from Comic-Con 2012.

Don't forget to follow us here, on facebook and twitter.


Saturday July 14, 2012 10:00am – 11:00am @ Room 6A
Enter the world of After Earth with an in-depth panel that gives you a behind-the-scenes look at the universe of the upcoming film and comic book. With the film now in post-production and set to hit theaters next June, screenwriter Gary Whitta (Book of Eli) and director of photography Peter Suschitzky (The Empire Strikes Back) will discuss the making of the film. They will be joined by comic book artist Beni Lobel (Spanish horror comic anthology Cthulu; G.I. Joe comic books; Torchwood: Web of Lies motion comic), and writers Robert Greenberger (Iron Man, Batman, and Hellboy novels) and Michael Friedman (Star Trek and X-Men novels) — the creators of the comic book After Earth: Innocence, which will introduce Kitai and Cypher Raige (played by Jaden and Will Smith in the After Earth film). Also joining the panel is Eisner Award winner Peter David (Star Trek novels and comic books; The Incredible Hulk), who is writing the After Earth prequel novel and also created the After Earth bible with Greenberger and Friedman. In After Earth, one thousand years after cataclysmic events forced humanity's escape from Earth, Nova Prime has become mankind's new home. Legendary General Cypher Raige (played by Will Smith) returns from an extended tour of duty to his estranged family, ready to be a father to his 13-year-old son, Kitai (played by Jaden Smith). When an asteroid storm damages Cypher and Kitai's craft, they crash-land on a now unfamiliar and dangerous Earth. As his father lies dying in the cockpit, Kitai must trek across the hostile terrain to recover their rescue beacon. His whole life, Kitai has wanted nothing more than to be a soldier like his father. Today, he gets his chance.



Saturday July 14, 2012 11:30am – 12:30pm @ Hall H

The Weinstein Company presents a sneak peek at the highly anticipated new film from acclaimed director Quentin Tarantino. Fans will get to see exclusive footage from Django Unchained and take part in a special discussion with Tarantino and the cast. You won't want to miss this!


Saturday July 14, 2012 11:30am – 12:30pm @ Room 5AB

This may be the first comic book film that isn't based on an actual comic book; instead, Save the Date uses the style and sensibility of indie comics by renowned graphic novelist Jeffrey Brown as a jumping off point to tell a contemporary story of the trials, pain, and happiness of modern love. Explore the challenges and advantages of working in film versus comics with cartoonist/screenplay co-writer Jeffrey Brown (Clumsy, Darth Vader and Son), director Michael Mohan (One Too Many Mornings), and producers Jordan Horowitz (The Kids Are All Right) and Michael Roiff (Waitress), and discover how the cast has been influenced and inspired by comics and geek culture, with Lizzy Caplan (Party Down), Alison Brie (Community, Mad Men), Martin Starr (Freaks & Geeks, Party Down), Geoffrey Arend (500 Days of Summer), and Mark Webber (Scott Pilgrim). Join them for a lively session moderated by Noel Murray (The A.V. Club).


Saturday July 14, 2012 12:45pm – 1:45pm @ Hall H

Global exclusive! Catch an early look at the highly anticipated action film End of Watch, with special guests Academy Award nominee Jake Gyllenhaal and Michael Peña who play police officers patrolling the meanest streets of south central Los Angeles, and writer/director David Ayer (Training Day). Also, based on the groundbreaking video game franchise from Konami, Silent Hill: Revelation 3D is the sequel to the hit film Silent Hill. Experience the world premiere of 3D footage from an unparalleled horror experience with special guests Adelaide Clemens (X-Men Origins: Wolverine), Kit Harington (HBO's Game of Thrones), director Michael J. Bassett, and producer Samuel Hadida.


Saturday July 14, 2012 2:30pm – 5:00pm @ Hall H

Legendary Pictures: Pacific RimFrom acclaimed filmmaker Guillermo del Toro comes Warner Bros. Pictures' and Legendary Pictures' epic sci-fi action adventure Pacific Rim. When legions of monstrous creatures, known as Kaiju, started rising from the sea, a war began that would take millions of lives and consume humanity's resources for years on end. To combat the giant Kaiju, a special type of weapon was devised: massive robots, called Jaegers, which are controlled simultaneously by two pilots whose minds are locked in a neural bridge. But even the Jaegers are proving nearly defenseless in the face of the relentless Kaiju. On the verge of defeat, the forces defending mankind have no choice but to turn to two unlikely heroes — a washed up former pilot (Charlie Hunnam) and an untested trainee (Rinko Kikuchi) — who are teamed to drive a legendary but seemingly obsolete Jaeger from the past. Together, they stand as mankind's last hope against the mounting apocalypse. Pacific Rim also stars Idris Elba, Ron Perlman, and Charlie Day.

Warner Bros. Pictures: Man Of Steel

The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey-From Academy Award-winning filmmaker Peter Jackson comes The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, a production of New Line Cinema and Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM). Jackson returns to Middle-earth in an adventure that begins 60 years before the events depicted in The Lord of the Rings Trilogy. The first of two films adapted from J.R.R. Tolkien's enduringly popular masterpiece, The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey follows titular Hobbit, Bilbo Baggins (Martin Freeman), who-along with the wizard Gandalf (Ian McKellen) and a band of 13 Dwarves led by Thorin Oakenshield (Richard Armitage)-is swept into an epic quest to reclaim the lost Dwarf Kingdom of Erebor from the fearsome dragon Smaug. The film's ensemble cast includes Cate Blanchett, Hugo Weaving, Ian Holm, Christopher Lee, Hugo Weaving, Elijah Wood, Orlando Bloom, Evangeline Lily, and Andy Serkis as Gollum.




Saturday July 14, 2012 4:00pm – 5:00pm @ Indigo Ballroom, Hilton San Diego Bayfront

The mischievous, unabashed Gallagher clan returns to Comic-Con for a completely shameless panel! Meet the cast and creative team behind one of the hottest Showtime original series, Shameless, moderated by one of the show's own consulting producers, Mike O'Malley (Glee). This scrappy, unique family is incredibly engaging, but being a Gallagher isn't always as easy as it looks. Cast and creators discuss how they capture some of their most shameless moments, plus be there when they reveal the top five fan-favorite moments from the past two seasons as voted on by you! Featured panelists include William H. Macy, Emmy Rossum, Justin Chatwin, Jeremy Allen White, and others.



Saturday July 14, 2012 4:30pm – 5:15pm @ Ballroom 20

Mixing romance, suspense, mystery, and humor, the Emmy and Golden Globe-nominated True Blood kicked off its 12-episode fifth season June 10 on HBO. The series follows the exploits of waitress and part-faerie Sookie Stackhouse (Anna Paquin), who can hear people's thoughts; vampire Bill Compton (Stephen Moyer); and vampire Eric Northman (Alexander Skarsgård). Oscar and Emmy Award winner Alan Ball created and serves as executive producer of the series, which is based on the bestselling Sookie Stackhouse novels by Charlaine Harris. The series and this panel also features Ryan Kwanten as Jason Stackhouse, Sam Trammell as Sam Merlotte, Rutina Wesley as Tara Thornton, Nelsan Ellis as Lafayette Reynolds, Deborah Ann Woll as Jessica Hamby, Kristin Bauer van Straten as Pam Swynford De Beaufort, Joe Manganiello as Alcide Herveaux and Chris Meloni as Roman Zimojic. Moderated by Tim Stack of Entertainment Weekly.…



Saturday July 14, 2012 6:00pm – 7:00pm @ Hall H

Producer Kevin Feige and special guests provide an inside look at the ever-expanding Marvel Cinematic Universe.



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San Diego Comic-Con 2012: Our Highlights For Friday’s Panels

Posted on 30 June 2012 by David

Are you going to Comic-Con this year in San Diego?  We hope that you have a great time.  Below is a highlighted list of movies and television panels that will be taking place on Friday, July 13.

If you are not attending Comic-Con but want to stay up to date with the latest coverage, follow us July 11-15 for live blogs, interviews, the latest news and trailers from Comic-Con 2012 and ofcourse get this BlueHost Black Friday Deal 2016.

Don't forget to follow us here, on facebook and twitter.

Friday July 13, 2012 10:00am – 11:00am @ Ballroom 20
Joel McHale (The Soup), Gillian Jacobs (The Box), Danny Pudi (Chuck), Yvette Nicole Brown (Family Guy), and Alison Brie (Mad Men) from the hit Sony TV comedy have graduated to the Convention Center in advance of their fourth season. Join your favorite Greendale study group for a panel and Q&A to find out firsthand what surprises are in store for the show's return to NBC this fall.

Friday July 13, 2012 10:45am – 11:45am @ Hall H

Kodi Smit-McPhee, Anna Kendrick, Christopher Mintz-Plasse, Travis Knight, Chris Butler, and Sam Fell discuss making their new stop-motion-animated comedy thriller, ParaNorman, made in 3D. Never-before-seen footage will be shown from the Laika movie that Focus Features is opening nationwide on August 17.

Friday July 13, 2012 12:05pm – 1:05pm @ Hall H
Boldly go Big Bang Theory! For the first time ever in Hall H, the mega-popular TV series returns to Comic-Con for a special screening and a lively discussion. Will Howard ("Froot Loops") Wolowitz return from space? Where do things stand with Penny and Leonard? And will unscheduled handholding affect "The Relationship Agreement"? From Chuck Lorre Productions, Inc. in association with Warner Bros. Television, The Big Bang Theory airs Thursdays at 8/7c on CBS. The Big Bang Theory: The Complete Fifth Season will be released on Blu-ray and DVD on September 11.

Friday July 13, 2012 1:45pm – 2:45pm @ Ballroom 20
Creator and executive producer Hart Hanson, executive producer Stephen Nathan and stars David Boreanaz and Emily Deschanel are on hand to discuss the shocking finale of season 7 as well as what's in store for Booth and Brennan in an exciting season 8. The panel will be followed by a fan Q&A.

Friday July 13, 2012 2:45pm – 3:45pm @ Hall H
Based on the bestselling fantasy book series A Song of Ice and Fire by George R. R. Martin, HBO's Game of Thrones series concluded its 10-episode second season on June 3. Created and executive produced by David Benioff and D. B. Weiss, the series follows kings and queens, knights and renegades, liars and noblemen as they vie for power in a land where summers span decades and winters can last a lifetime. Season 2 of the hit series told an epic story of duplicity and treachery, nobility and honor, conquest and triumph, set in an enthralling world of intrigue, seduction, and magic. Based in Belfast, Northern Ireland, production of season 2 also took place in Croatia and Iceland. Some of the cast featured in the second season and appearing on this panel are (in alphabetical order) Alfie Allen as Theon Greyjoy, Emilia Clarke as Daenerys Targaryen, Michelle Fairley as Catelyn Stark, Kit Harington as Jon Snow, Lena Headey as Cersei Lannister, and Richard Madden as Robb Stark. George R. R. Martin, who also serves as a co-executive producer and writer on the series, moderates with executive producer Carolyn Strauss.

Friday July 13, 2012 4:05pm – 4:35pm @ Hall H
In Resident Evil: Retribution, we learn more about Alice's mysterious past as she continues to hunt those at The Umbrella Corporation responsible for the T-virus outbreak, a chase that takes her from Tokyo to New York, Washington and Moscow, culminating in a mind-blowing revelation that will force her to rethink everything she once thought to be true. Aided by newfound allies and familiar friends, including the return of Michelle Rodriguez as Rain Ocampo, Alice must fight to survive long enough to escape a hostile world on the brink of oblivion. Appearing in person: Milla Jovovich, Michelle Rodriguez, Oded Fehr, Boris Kodjoe, Mika Nakashima and writer/director Paul W. S. Anderson. Please join them for a preview and discussion of this highly successful film franchise, based on the popular video game series, and watch never before seen footage from the latest installment, Resident Evil: Retribution, in state-of-the art 3D.

Friday July 13, 2012 4:35pm – 6:35pm @ Hall H
Total Recall-Welcome to Rekall, the company that can turn your dreams into real memories. For a factory worker named Doug Quaid (Colin Farrell), the mind-trip sounds like the perfect vacation from his ordinary existence. But when the procedure goes horribly wrong, Quaid becomes a hunted man. The line between fantasy and reality gets blurred and the fate of his world hangs in the balance as Quaid discovers his true identity, his true love, and his true fate. Based on Philip K. Dick's classic story "We Can Remember It For You Wholesale," this brand new take on some of his most visionary ideas is directed by Len Wiseman, who will join stars Colin Farrell, Kate Beckinsale, Jessica Biel, and Bryan Cranston on stage.

Looper-In the futuristic action thriller Looper, time travel will be invented-but it will be illegal and only available on the black market. When the mob wants to get rid of someone, they will send their target 30 years into the past, where a "looper"-a hired gun, like Joe (Joseph Gordon-Levitt)-is waiting to mop up. Joe is getting rich and life is good…until the day the mob decides to "close the loop," sending back Joe's future self (Bruce Willis) for assassination. Writer/director Rian Johnson will join Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Emily Blunt to discuss the film.

Elysium-Ever since writer-director Neill Blomkamp broke through with his first feature film, District 9, people have been wondering what he has in store for an encore. Be a part of the first audience anywhere to get a first look at his new movie, Elysium, as stars Matt Damon and Jodie Foster join Neill and producer Simon Kinberg on stage.

Friday July 13, 2012 6:45pm – 7:45pm @ Ballroom 20

Executive producer and showrunner Vince Gilligan appears with the cast of Breaking Bad, including Bryan Cranston, Aaron Paul, Anna Gunn, Dean Norris, Betsy Brandt, R. J. Mitte, and Jonathan Banks. In a panel moderated by TV Guide's Mike Schneider, Vince and the cast talk about what it's like to shoot one of the boldest and most intense dramas on television, and how they are preparing for the final 16 episodes of the series. Join the panelists for a one-on-one Q&A session and an official sneak preview of Breaking Bad season 5, premiering Sunday, July 15 at 10ET/PT.

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San Diego Comic-Con 2012: Our Highlights For Thursday’s Panels

Posted on 30 June 2012 by David

Are you going to Comic-Con this year in San Diego?  We hope that you have a great time.  Below is a highlighted list of movies and television panels that will be taking place on Thursday, July 12.

If you are not attending Comic-Con but want to stay up to date with the latest coverage, follow us July 11-15 for live blogs, interviews, the latest news and trailers from Comic-Con 2012.

Don't forget to follow us here, on facebook and twitter.

Thursday July 12, 2012 12:45pm – 1:45pm @ Hall H
Summit Entertainment presents a sneak peek at the highly anticipated conclusion of The Twilight Saga films. This is a must-see for fans interested in the story's final chapter. You will be shown exclusive footage from The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn-Part 2 and be treated to a cast and filmmaker Q&A session providing details on the epic finale.

Thursday July 12, 2012 2:15pm – 3:15pm @ Ballroom 20
Psych returns to Comic-Con for a fourth consecutive year, with a fan-focused event that will invite the audience to be not just viewers, but active participants. Psych-O fans can look forward to a hilarious and uncensored experience with the creative team behind the hottest fake psychic detective agency on TV. Psych stars James Roday (Shawn Spencer), Dulé Hill (Burton "Gus" Guster), Maggie Lawson (Juliet O'Hara), Tim Omundson (Carlton Lassiter), Kirsten Nelson (Chief Karen Vick), and Corbin Bernsen (Henry Spencer), along with Psych producers Steve Franks (creator/executive producer), Kelly Kulchak (executive producer), and Chris Henze (executive producer) will dedicate the afternoon to answering fan questions and interacting with the audience, sharing secrets & stories from the set in this "chat" with 4,250 of their closest fans. Attendees will see video clips produced exclusively for Comic-Con, a never-before-seen "first look" at the Season 7 episodes currently in production, and a taste of Psych's milestone 100th episode, "100 CLUEs".

Thursday July 12, 2012 2:05pm – 3:05pm @ Hall H
Walt Disney Studios hosts a Q&A panel featuring the imaginative director of Frankenweenie, Tim Burton (Alice in Wonderland); a special look at the world of Oz The Great and Powerful with director Sam Raimi (Spider-Man trilogy); and the illustrious voice cast of Walt Disney Animation Studios' Wreck-It Ralph, including John C. Reilly (Step Brothers) and Sarah Silverman (The Sarah Silverman Program), and director Rich Moore (Futurama).

Thursday July 12, 2012 4:45pm – 5:45pm @ Hall H
Sylvester Stallone and the legendary cast of the sequel to 2010's smash hit film preview the real-deal muscles, weapons, skills, and explosions that went into making a film even bigger and badder than the original. Terry Crews, Randy Couture, Dolph Lundgren, Jean Claude Van Damme, and Arnold Schwarzenegger will join the panel discussion.

Thursday July 12, 2012 6:00pm – 7:15pm @ Ballroom 20

The gasps from last season's finale can still be heard among Dexter fans as their worst fears were realized, Dexter got caught and by none other than Deb! What will he do? What will she do? What's next for America's Favorite Serial Killer? If the suspense is killing you, don't miss this incredible panel, where you'll be the first to see the Comic-Con exclusive first two minutes of the season premiere. Moderator Ralph Garman (KROQ Entertainment reporter) presides over a revealing interview and Q&A session with the stars and executive producers of Dexter. Featured panelists include series star/executive producer Michael C. Hall (Dexter), Jennifer Carpenter (Deb), and special guest star Yvonne Strahovski (Hanna). Also appearing are executive producers John Goldwyn, Sara Colleton, Scott Buck, and Manny Coto. Plus Dexter fans will be the first to see the world premiere trailer of one of the hottest series on television, Homeland, presented by executive producers Howard Gordon and Alex Gansa. The new season of Dexter premieres September 30, at 9pm ET/PT only on Showtime.

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Posted on 16 June 2012 by David

We had an amazing time last year at Comic-Con in San Diego.  This year we are planning to be even better.  

Last year we had great interviews including Dominic Cooper, Tom Hardy, Joel Edgerton, Jason Momoa and others.  We are hoping for more exciting interviews this year at SDCC.

Check out our coverage from last year. 

During the big announcements we will be live blogging on site to bring you the quickest and most update information. 

It's going to be a great time. Join us everyday from July 12-15 for tons of news, trailers, pictures, audio and updates.

As we learn information about the schedule and presentations we will post our schedule for the presentations, interviews and press conferences that we will be covering.

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The Dark Knight Rises To Premiere At San Diego Comic-Con 2012?

Posted on 06 February 2012 by David

Christopher Nolan's "The Dark Knight Rises" is one of the most anticipated movies ever. By now, all of "The Dark Knight Rises" fans know that the film comes out on July 20th. 

But what a lot of people are forgetting is that the world's largest comic-book convention (San Diego Comic-con) will occur one week before from July 12-15 in San Diego.

It makes perfect sense since World Premiere's typical occur about a week before the release that "The Dark Knight Rises" would premiere as a thank you to all of the loyal fans of comic-book and the Christoper Nolan series.   By chance there happens to be an imax movie theater right by the convention center.

What are your thoughts on this?

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Tips and Advice for First Year Press Attending Comic-Con International in San Diego

Posted on 27 July 2011 by Amber

As many of you know, this was our first year attending Comic-Con.  Not just our first year as press, but our first year, period.  We thought we had done all kinds of research on how the experience would play out, and we did, but boy there was still a lot of learning to do!

First of all, it should go without saying that one of the most important things you need to do is have fun!!  Look at that schedule and be sure you’re picking some panels that you’re interested in.  It can’t only be about serving your reader/customer but also about getting some enjoyment out of the experience! With that all-important one out of the way, below you will find the 10 most important lessons we learned as first time attendees and first time press.

1.  Stay as close to the site as possible.  As part of the press/professional crowd you’re not only there for your own pleasure, but to work.  This means you’ll most likely need to spend time each day transcribing interviews, writing articles and looking through the 100s of photos you took.  This takes time and sometimes a lot of it.  We learned the hard way that the last thing you want to do is tackle an hour plus commute at the end of your day.  You want to walk right to your room, sit down, get your work done and still have time and energy to attend those parties!

2.  If you’re adamant about covering Ballroom 20 or Hall H, arrive early.  Painfully early.  Waaaay earlier than you want.  Press does not get to enter in a special location or have reserved seats; you enjoy the full Comic-Con experience just like everyone else.  Here is a great example: We caught our 7:30 a.m. trolley from Qualcomm Stadium (the earliest train) and arrived at the convention center to an ENORMOUS line.  We split up; some went in line for Hall H, some for Ballroom 20.  The person covering Ballroom 20 ended up in a line so long at one point that they could no longer see the convention center.  They eventually ended up in Ballroom 20 SIX hours later and had enough time to cover ONE panel before departing for their late afternoon interview.  This leads perfectly into tip #3.

3.  You can’t cover it all and you can’t do it all.  Don’t set yourself up for disappointment.  You cannot be in Hall H in the morning and expect to be in Ballroom 20 in the afternoon.  You’ll spend your entire day in line and see nothing.  If you’re set on covering as much as possible you won’t get to the beach or the pool in time to enjoy it.  Be OK with that or work it into your day and sacrifice an afternoon of panels.

4.  Drink water.  Sounds dumb really, but it will impact your ENTIRE next day if you fail to do this one simple thing.  Of course everyone is different so the important thing here is to pay attention to your body.  Correlated to this, bring snacks.  The convention center has food available, but it’s mostly pizza, popcorn and pretzel related.  If you hunt you’ll find some other options but they all have one thing in common – high price tags.  You can walk offsite but prepare to battle crowds and lines just as long as those inside the convention center.

5.  If you do want to cover Hall H, Ballroom 20, or the Indigo Ballroom all day, have no fear you CAN use the bathroom!  They have worked out a great system with passes that allow you to leave during a panel to use the restroom or purchase food.  You just need to return to the room before the end of the panel to return to your seat.  More good news.  There will always be a nice, trustworthy person next to you or behind you to help watch your stuff so you don’t lose your seat.  Every time we needed to use the restroom there was a willing soul to stand watch over our bags, which at times contained laptops, digital cameras and digital recorders.

6.  Know your technology and bring the right equipment.  You need a camera with great zoom.  You most likely won’t end up in the first 10 rows of a panel so you’ll need to use that zoom to get pictures worth using. Bring a digital audio recorder.  You don’t want to change tapes during an interview and the quality is so much better.  HD video equipment is useful for press conferences, but bring a tripod with you.  In that same vein, don’t expect every interview, press conference or roundtable to allow video recording.  Also – when you’re in panels, videotaping of exclusive footage is prohibited.

7.  Bring a reliable Internet connection if you want to post or live blog during the day.  The convention center has wireless, but it is unreliable and spotty.  The 3G (4G was non-existent) on our phones was also spotty, so tethering wasn’t a valid option.  We were able to use our phones for live tweeting but it may be wise to bring an extra cell phone battery with you.  As you can imagine, outlets are at a premium and if you’re in Hall H or another panel room all day you won’t have time to use them at all.

8.  Use your social media resources well.  Follow key people.  We found @Comic_Con and @SD_Comic_Con to be extremely useful resources.  @SD_Comic_Con in particular was really useful for tracking down the wait times for various room lines and helped you determine whether it was worth it to bail on one line and try for something else.  @SD_Comic_Con also kept you laughing and entertained while in line.  Also, if you have questions while you’re on site, look for volunteers (they wear volunteer tags) or Comic-Con staff.  Avoid asking security staff questions, they likely won’t know the answer.

9.  Bring a team if possible and define the roles.  There were three of us at Comic-Con (Dave, Amber and Adrian) but there was still a lot we missed or couldn’t cover.  There will be times where you could want to cover five events scheduled at the same time.  Determine your priorities.  Also, even as first year press you will more than likely land interviews and press conferences.  These are great to cover but they will throw a major wrench in your plans to cover a room for the entire day.  Once you leave to cover that press conference you probably won’t get into anything else for the rest of day.  Noon interviews seemed to be tricky for us, but late afternoon events fit much more easily into our schedules.  Your schedule, however, isn’t determined by you – it’s determined by the people you’re supposed to be talking to.  Which leads to #10.

10.  Your schedule will change.  You may have an interview scheduled for noon, but that person has got a packed schedule and may be running late from another interview.  Be flexible, be kind and remember that the person you’re talking to has very little control over their own schedule.  Send emails to apologize for missed meetings, stay extremely professional at all times and roll with the punches.  Take advantage of those missed meetings and catch up on work or just take a walk in the park between the Hilton and the convention center!

These are the things we learned this year.  Ultimately you need to survive your first Comic-Con experience to learn your own lessons, and there will be plenty to learn.  If you have specific questions you want to ask us please feel free to email me at

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