Wizard World Whirlwind Weekend

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Friday Touch Down
It was a whirlwind weekend as Wizard World Sacramento Comic Con touched down last Friday. I was there to attend in all my geeky glory. As you already know, my short film, Office Romance was one of the selections to be screened at the inaugural Wizard World Film Festival coordinated by Mr. Jeff Wexler. With that came the opportunity to geek out for the entire three-day event.

I used Friday to get my bearings and figure out how to maximize my time at the Con. I had to take into account watching other people’s films, our team’s film screening on Saturday, shopping for geeky goodies on the main floor, and catching the celebrity panels. There was a lot going on.

Just a word of advice. If you see something you want to buy, especially an action figure, just buy it on the first day. Don’t wait until the last day because no matter how many units they have in stock on the first day, they’ll likely be out by the end of the weekend. Not that I bought action figures or anything. No. Not at all. I’m a grown-ass man. I don’t buy ac-…never mind. Who am I trying to kid?

Saturday Screening
Saturday was much more crowded than Friday and I was grateful for my Pro Pass which allowed me to skip the line and breeze right in. Today was the day our team’s film, Office Romance, screened at the Hyatt.

We had a great turnout for our film and it looked great on the big screen. The audience laughed at all the right moments. We participated in a brief Q&A panel afterwards which was a lot of fun. It was a great opportunity to reunite with cast and crew, goof off a little bit, and give some background on our process, approach, and philosophy as indie filmmakers.

Wizard World Film Festival Sacramento Comic Con

Clockwise from top-left: Office Romance Co-star Rae Wright cosplaying as X23 posing with yours truly; Wizard World Welcome banner; Office Romance poster; a shameless selfie right before going on live TV to be interviewed by Amy Carabba and Cody Stark; the Good Day Sacramento poster in the Green Room.

The other highlights of the day were Bruce Campbell’s talk and the numerous cosplayers in attendance. Bruce Campbell’s talk was awesome. He spent the entire time clowning on other celebs and some audience volunteers. Hilarious. He was definitely a crowd favorite.

I have this new respect for and fascination with cosplayers. They work very hard to put together intricate costumes and then endure wearing them all day no matter how hot and uncomfortable it gets. They’re always very generous with their time allowing people to pose with them for pictures. I went a little crazy with Instagram, but it was so much fun. They were all so very nice and have inspired me to consider getting involved.

I was going to go to the Masquerade After Party at District 30 but by the time the Con was over, I was tired and decided to bounce. I knew I had to get up early to be on Good Day Sacramento to talk about Office Romance, plus Daylight Saving Time was kicking into full gear. I did not want to be a zombie the next morning so it was off to bed.

Sunday was a Good Day
I had a bright and early start on Sunday. OK, more like a dark and early start. Darn you Daylight Saving Time. It’s OK though, because I got up to be interviewed by Amy Carabba and Cody Stark (No relation to Tony, although that has neither been confirmed nor denied) on Good Day Sacramento. And boy was that enough sunshine to brighten my sleepy day.

Amy’s introduction of me was priceless. I totally didn’t expect it and it was really funny and flattering. Her check is definitely in the mail. Cody, a fellow geek, was really fun, too. He was very excited about the Con. We all talked about Office Romance as well as my experience appearing on Hawaii Five-0.

Big thanks to Scott Z for hooking up my second appearance on Good Day. Big thanks to Amy and Cody for making it a fun experience. You can check out the interview here:

[evp_embed_video url=”http://www.jasonfong.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/03/CBSSAC_goodday_compressed.mp4″ width=”640″ height=”356″]

Amy Carabba and Cody Stark chat with filmmaker Jason Fong about his new short film that debuted at Sacramento Comic Con!
Courtesy of CBS Local Media. ©2014 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All rights reserved.

After the interview at Good Day, I returned to the Con for its final day. It was Thor Day. No, not Thursday, Thor Day. That’s right, Chris Hemsworth himself was in the house and the line wrapped all the way down the street and around the corner. Again, I was so very grateful to have my Pro Pass. This Aussie sure has a huge following. I heard that about 1500 more tickets were sold for Sunday and by the looks of the swarm, I believe it.

I have to say besides my screening on Saturday, Sunday was my favorite day. I got to attend the talks by Ralph Macchio, James Hong, Stan Lee, and Chris Hemsworth. What I noticed about all of them was that they were charismatic, humble, witty, intelligent, articulate, fun, and thankful for their fans. Have you ever heard the expression “success leaves clues?” These attributes are great to have no matter what your profession. It’s no wonder they each have a huge fan base.

The other highlights of Sunday were ones money can’t buy. As I was standing in line for Stan Lee, these two boys probably around ages 10-12, recognized me from Smosh and asked if I’d pose with them for a picture. I think they were brothers. In any case, they were huge Smosh fans and knew me from a particular episode. What an honor to be asked. Of course I obliged. Big shout out to Otto and Gabriel (I hope I got your names right). As a side note, another fan discovered me on Instagram. He, too, could name the episodes I’ve been in and requested a follow. Again, I obliged. Big shout out to Devin.

Lastly, as the Con was winding down, a young woman tapped me on the shoulder and complimented Dennis and me on our work on Office Romance. She really enjoyed the movie and thought we did a great job. So, big shout out to Kelly, too.

Wizard World Sacramento Comic Con

Clockwise from top-left: Ryan Todd (Smosh) and me making a fugly face; Pro cosplayers Ivy Doomkitty and Vegas PG making a Jason sammich; Black Cat and She-Hulk making another Jason sammich; Leeloo and me hanging out.

You grind away at these artistic pursuits – acting, filmmaking, whatever. You do it because you can’t see yourself not doing it. And every once in a while, you stop, look over your shoulder, and wonder if anyone even notices. Then, out of the blue, four fans say “hi,” a little movie you made with some friends premieres at a major inaugural event, and you get to talk about it on live TV with some fun hosts. I tell you, it’s moments like these that make it all worth while.

Hey Wizard World, that was one great first time out in Sacramento. I’m glad you’re coming back next year.

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