News for Sep. 03, 2005

Dragon*Con 2005 Report

9/03/05, 11:51 pm EST - Xoanon

Kikn regular {8thWonder} sends this in from DragonCon 2005: Wednesday night as I was parusing the boards I came across a post by Yellowstonetim on Atomic's Dragon Con Thread asking what city the con was being held in. Much to my surprise Altaira replied telling YST the con was in Atlanta just 90 minutes south of me! A trip to the Chattanooga CD and DVD exchange and I had the coin to go, threw on my Star Wars logo t-shirt, grabbed my knapsack and roared off to play with the geeks.

The convention looked to be a varitible cornucopia of fandom fun. I was impressed with the way they had registration laid out, and how fast I was able to get through. Basicly, registration was in one hotel, the Hilton, the dealers and organizations were in the second hotel, the Marriot, and the presentations were in the third hotel, the Hyatt.

I made my way through registration, actually meeting up with some folks I used to post on TheForce.net with while in line. Once I had my badge it was off to the KiKn/TORn King Kong presentation in the main Ballroom of the Hyatt. I got to the room for the presentation about 30 minutes early and found it mostly empty, so I took a front row seat. Shortly after that a nice lady came around and gave me a raffle ticket. Right on time the presentation started.

I want to thank MrCere and his crew for putting on a great presentation first off. It wasn't exactly what I expected after reading the story on the Latest News page, but I was glad to have seen it.

The basic intent of the presentation was a two pronged attack of "KING KONG IS COMING AND ITS GOING TO BE COOOL", and "Here's where to read the latest Kong news, view the groundbreaking behind the scenes Production Diaries, and discuss it all on the message boards." In detail the presentation consisted of a break down of the cast, a short history of KiKn, the trailer, and a screening of some of the production diaries.

The presentation was shown on a small 8' X 6' screen, using a laptop and a data projector. The slideshow was well executed and MrCere a capable Emcee for the show.

First up was a brief history of KiKn, detailing the relationship between PJ and TORn leading to the birth of KiKn. MrCere asked if anyone was participating in the messageboards and as expected I was the only one. Then the cast break down. Judging by the murmur that went up, the crowd was stunned to learn that Andy Serkis would be playing Kong, as well as Lumpy, but the biggest applause was resevered for Jack Black.

After the cast breakdown, we were shown the trailer, and as always it was great. The crowd seemed to enjoy the trailer immensely. Then, unexpectedly, MrCere did a very quick frame by frame of the trailer, giving the room a chance to look at various screenshots in detail. This kind of fell flat, IMO, but it was a noble effort. Perhaps with more time this could have been more in depth.

I couldn't help myself from interjecting a few times during the presentation, points about the trailer and PDs that were missed (like the fact that there is nearly 5 hours of PD footage)

Next up, and concluding the presentation was a screening of selected Production Diaries. The PD's shown were PD1 'Welcome', PD14 'Poop', PD36 'Big Primate vs Gandalf', PD46 'Jack Black's Hieght', PD105 'Watts in Kong's Hand', and PD123 'Son Of Kong: Into The Wolf's Lair'. As before, Jack Black gathered most of the laughs and applause, but Gandalf came a very close second. Overall the room seemed to really dig the PDs they saw, and it was fun for me to see them on a larger screen.

The hour had sped by quickly, and the room seemed to have a much greater grasp on what is coming up this December than when they came in. After the last PD was shown, MrCere held a raffle for some Tolkien items and a few KiKn hats. I ended up winning a Sideshow 'Siege Tower Troll' maquette bust. RAWK!! Thanks to the TORn folks for that!

As I was leaving the presentation I was stopped by a couple people who wanted to know more about the PDs and the boards. I spread the good word as best I could, and I think we may have a few new members after the weekend is over.

From there I made my way to the TORn/KiKn/Ringers table in the lobby of the Marriot. I picked up a vital peice of KiKn gear for myself and one for my honey and waited there for a minute to see if Jincey would make an appearance so I could thank her personally for her work with the chatroom, but alas, being the superbusy woman she is this weekend I was unable to catch up with her.

From there I entered 'The Danger Room'... the deadly clutches of the dealer area. I was there for one thing and one thing only. I wanted to finally see the Weta/Darkhorse stuff with my own eyes however, I was denied the goodness of Kong statues due to Darkhorse having limited space and being unable to display them. BUT... they did have this...

KONG: King of Skull Island Update
KONG: King of Skull Island by Joe DeVito

After quick 'gas is $3 a gallon' budgetary juggling, I took Devito's book home. It's so incredibly gorgeous it will be difficult to not read it untill im done with Kong Of Ages!!

The dealer area was CRAMMED with every imaginable genre item you could ask for. Swords, comics, S&M toys, prop guns, costumes, S&M toys, action figures, books, S&M toys, games, videos, dvds, posters, t-shirts, S&M toys, armour, boots, jewelery, and interestingly S&M toys, which fit the genre I guess, but were surprising to see.

The people at the con were a vast and varied lot. I saw costumes from every imaginable film, or television show, as you often do at such events. Dozens of Stormtroopers, a G.I. Joe Cobra Commander, Colonial Marines, Hobbits, Orcs, Wizards, an army of Schoolgirls (because nearly every anime show has at least 2...), S&M Masters and Slaves (ok, this convention S&M thing is beginning to really make me wonder), Robots, Terminators, Aliens, Vampires, Klingons, Vulcans, Romulans, and Jedi by the boatload, but my favorites were the recent additions of people dressing as Pirates Of The Carribean characters, some complete with 'dead pirate' makeup jobs. IMO it takes more careful research to pull off a good POTC costume than almost any other.

I made a couple rounds of the place checking out the cool stuff and people watching (and scratching my head in puzzlement much of the time) checking the KiKn table a few times for the elusive Jincey. I then decided I should call it an afternoon and headed home.

Overall I had a great time with the fans and I learned something very interesting about King Kong. Almost nobody knows it's coming. Be sure to get the word out to people of like mind, or complete strangers if you are strangely complete. Kong is still very much under people's radars, even the genre crowd, if today was any indication.

Again, Thanks go out to MrCere who put on a great presentation, and the entire DragonCon staff who really impressed me with the layout and smoothness of how things were run. Jincey, I had hoped to catch up with you, but it wasn't to be, I hope the whole weekend went well for you and all the TORn/KiKn folks!