Saturday, August 2, 2014

San Diego Comic Con 2014 - The Music Maven vs The H Hall Line

I’ve been home from San Diego Comic Con for 6 days and I’ve finally caught up on sleep, my feet have mostly recovered, and my voice has returned (apparently I talk A LOT during the Con).  We’ve been busy here at The Nerdy Girlie re-capping all the amazing things we did at SDCC – we’d be remiss if we didn’t talk about this year’s H Hall experience.  After all – you truly haven’t experienced SDCC until you’ve spent some time in the H Hall line.

On Wednesday we went over to the Town and Country to pick up my badge – I was the only one in our group that wasn’t press or didn’t have preview night (huge thanks to my Baker Street Babe Kristina for scoring my badge during the sale).  They started handing out badges early so I walked right into the Town and Country – picked up my badge – and I was on my way to the H Hall line!
Badge in hand and I’m off to the H Hall Line!

There’s been a lot of talk about Thursday’s H Hall programming – many thought it was a pretty lackluster line up for H Hall – but I only really cared about the  DreamWorks panel because…well…BENEDICT CUMBERBATCH!  There was a lot of hype surrounding Benedict Cumberbatch’s first appearance at SDCC and I knew that this panel was going to be my only chance at seeing him during the Con.  I knew I would never make it into H Hall for The Hobbit panel because of our SherlockeDCC party responsibilities – and the chances of him showing up to the party were slim – so that just left the Penguins of Madagascar panel to get my Benedict fix.
So, at 3:20 p.m. on Wednesday I joined the H Hall line.  I was 25th in line at this point and pretty happy.  I was a bit surprised that the line was so short at this point – where was the CumberCollective??? Clearly no one was quite as excited to see Mr. Cumberbatch as me – I didn’t care if it’s an animated movie – this was my chance to see the actor I love the most!  I was super excited and when I got in line it took about 5 seconds to figure out that I was sitting next to a Twitter follower and fellow Cumberbatch fan.  My Twitter friend, turned new real-life friend, Cheryl, made the whole H Hall line experience so much fun and helped make the hours go by nicely.
My view from the H Hall line on Wednesday afternoon – it was HOT and HUMID.

I knew this was going to be a LONG night.

What followed was 19 hours in the heat and humidity.  This was the hottest, most humid weather that I’ve ever experienced in San Diego.  It made for a really miserable experience.  I was lucky to have really cool people camped out next to me and we all took care of each other.  No one in our group cut the line, held spots for 10 other people, or behaved poorly – I wish I could say the same for the rest of the line, but sadly H Hall ethics can be a murky subject.  I wish I could say that the new wristband system that SDCC initiated made for a good experience, but on Wednesday night/Thursday morning there were clear flaws in the system.  Not sure how the wristband system worked on the following nights but I hope it had the outcome that SDCC staff intended.  Anyway, it was a really long night in the heat, everything was moist because of the humidity, and there were ants and spiders crawling all over everything!  In 25+ years of queuing in GA lines I will honestly say this was the worst ever.  But I knew it would be worth it once I got into H Hall.
The morning after – hot, sweaty, hungry, and tired…but still excited for Benedict!

Just a little after 10 a.m. Thursday morning they finally let us into H Hall!  At this point I was probably 60th in line because there was a lot of line cutting and holding of spaces ahead of us – which was disappointing since I had stayed in my spot all night and only left to use the bathroom.  Others went and slept in their beds and showered, and showed up just before they condensed the line.  But whatever – at the end of the day I know I put the time in and didn’t participate in any shady behavior.  Once inside I was in the 8th row and pretty much near the center of the room.  I was pretty pleased.  
I’m in!!!!!!!!!  Bring on Benedict!!!!!

Much to my surprise the H Hall never filled up for the first panel.  People were walking into the room right up until the DreamWorks panel started.  Weird, by H Hall standards, but there was a nice crowd once the panel started.  Craig Ferguson was the panel moderator and we had a nice sneak peak of DreamWorks’ upcoming animated feature Home.  It looked cute and we got to hear from the Big Bang Theory’s, Jim Parsons, who is the voice of the main character.  That was all great, my apologies to the rest of the panelist, but I was really ready to see Benedict at that point!  And then…it was finally time!
Benedict was introduced and there was a level of fan-girling that I’ve never experienced – and I’ve been in an H Hall panel with the Twilight cast!  Once things settled down we were shown several clips from the upcoming Penguins of Madagascar movie – everyone was in agreement that the Penguins have been the real stars of the Madagascar franchise and it was high time they got their own movie.  The movie looks great and as with any SDCC panel it’s insightful to hear from the makers of the film.  Of course whenever Benedict spoke there was utter silence in the room.  I didn’t really get the feeling that being at SDCC was one of his most favorite things to do – that may be just my own feeling and to be honest, when it comes to an animated film there really is just so much an actor can say about it.  The depth of the conversation comes from the actual directors and animators of the films – and Benedict and John Malkovich said as much during the panel.  I think another reason the panel felt a bit flat was the total lack of screening of questions from the audience.  Benedict was basically asked the same question four different ways – by the time the last person asked “What’s the difference between an animated film/live action, how did you prepare for an animated film, how was this different than other projects,” Craig Ferguson AND Benedict were a bit aggravated – there really wasn’t much more he could say and the whole moment was awkward for the panel and the audience.  Of course people were told NOT to ask about Sherlock or his other projects – so that really limited what people could ask him and that’s unfortunate because fans have so many questions.    But, in the end, it was still a good panel – John Malkovich was his usual quirky self, the other panelists were very gracious, and Benedict purposely got the crowd riled up when he said things like “I like to use my body.”  He’s a cheeky one that guy!
Here’s a bit of video I recorded from the audience Q & A’s.  I apologize for the shakiness – what can I say I was pretty excited for this panel!

So, was it worth 19 hours in line?  You bet!!!!  It was a fun experience with cool people and I got to see the actor that actually makes me want to watch TV or go to the movies.  My suggestion for his next SDCC – he just needs his own panel!


Unknown said...

So glad that you recapped this for us Tillie! I'm so happy for you that you got to see the man <3

Anonymous said...

I have always wanted to go to Comic Con and hopefully next year I'll get there. It's cool that you got to see Benedict! He will always be my Sherlock :) Nice post!

Unknown said...

My pleasure, Kristen!!! Thank you for reading!!

Unknown said...

Hope you get there, Emily!!!!!! SDCC is nerd heaven!

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