Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Is it psych or is it Trek-v-Wars? Our WonderCon panel is online!

Before we get any further from that WonderCon weekend...

I want to make sure all our Trekland friends got to see this fun panel's video (below the fold) that my friend Dr. Andrea Letamendi asked me to be part of a few months back. Joining in on an actual comic-con type panel—you know, with panelists—is still a new thing to me, coming from the arena of the solo show from Trek and media cons.

But Drea wanted me to be involved as the "franchise guy" for Trek, and I met the other panelists that day (at left, with mod Brian Ward of Shout!Factory (center), Robot Chicken writer and Wars guy Hugh Sterbakov (right), and Drs. Drea and Ali Mattu).  It was amazing I made it in time with Friday LA freeway traffic snarls ...and this vid, recorded by Ali's front-row friend Lowen Baumgarten, shows me to all the world sneaking in as I barely make the opening intros, before I'd even got by to get a badge (how did WC even let me in?)

Seriously, Drea and Ali had a great plan of getting across some serious behavioral points and even concepts for storytelling, within the fun of the moment. But I came away from that hour at first feeling like it got caught somewhere between her pitch and the later trash-talk smackdown format it turned into—and I was concerned it came off as a mishmash.

But never fear—this is Trek and Wars. We had to run off as it ended, but random folks kept stopping to tell me all weekend in Anaheim that they loved the panel ... and now this video shows people were indeed having a good time. The fact that the Trek folk were outnumbered 2-1 and yet actually edged in the "winner vote" at the end tells the tale as well. (We did, actually, as this actual Yahoo News story seems to point out). Maybe that's the old bit of the Wars folk showing up "armed for bear" and the IDIC Trek gang just rolling their eyes at all of it, "Really?" It was also fun correcting or detailing even a few innocent misconceptions by our Wars brethren about Trek, which I think the audience appreciated—especially regarding any monolithic Trek reaction to artificial intelligence, whether android, robotic or (my inclusion) holographic.

Doubly fun was getting in a zinger that not only barbed the Wars crowd (since we had to go there), but also the old Shatner/SNL "Get a life!" wrongful Trek stereotype as well. (Thanks, reporter Eric, for getting that in.) In fact, Drea's title got a lot of mainstream media play before and after; driving down, it was one of just two KNX radio news highlights of the WC day mentioned.

But I had a blast meeting Dr. Ali from NYU and Hugh, albeit oh so briefly, as well as working with Drea and Brian. The SDCC gods willing, we might even revisit nurture-v-nature and all the rest at San Diego—so if you happen to make it down in July, take a look for us.

AND the right side of our house, with Lowell in full hand-held mode:

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