31 July, 2009

TwiCon, Thursday

Well, day one is in full swing at TwiCon 2009. There were a bunch of glitches planning, lots of little hurdles to overcome as we worked through the details, and tempers and patiences were getting tight... but honestly, now that the fans are all here, it's been pretty rockin'. It's hard not to get excited about what you've done when 2,500 people are all smiles, wearing home-made Twilight shirts, and are screaming at anything Twilight related.... and there's a whole lotta Twilight related things around here at the morning, so there's a lotta screaming!

I got here Tuesday and it's been two very full days of organizing my panels, and finishing up last minute details to make sure it all runs smoothly. I think we're gonna be okay (I sure hope those aren't famous last words). The fans started arriving early today, and it was fun to play 'who's for Twilight, and who's for Mary Kay?' (There's a Mary Kay convention going on at the same time, so we're filling the Sheraton).

Registration opened at 3pm, and the lines were MASSIVE. I haven't heard of any fights breaking out or anything, so I really hope all is going as smoothly as it looks like it is. I met with my
chairs and panelists, and I think we're all ready for the events of tomorrow. I haven't finished my adaptation presentation yet... but meh... details. At this point I can totally wax on without notes...right? Right.

I've just come back from the welcome reception and parts of that were UBER fun. The energy at the beginning was infectious. It's always good during these events to take a step back, pause, breathe, and look around at what we've put together. I started towards the Lone Star Ballroom tonight, where the welcome reception was, and was greeted with tons of cheers. Music was pounding, the TwiCon logo was all over the ballroom, people were hugging, laughing, jumping up and down, and sporting SO much Twilight gear. I haven't seen this kind of mania since the London premiere in December!

It started with the members of the Hillywood spoofs coming out, in character (Edward, Bella, Jasper and Alice) and they re-enacted moments of Twilight, but applied them to the TwiCon audience ("Don't worry, Jasper, you won't hurt the audience"). Cute. They were so well-dressed, and stayed in character uber well, it was a lot of fun; like a Saturday Night Live sketch, but TwiCon Day One Live :)

The middle bit dragged, but it had all of the necessary information needed at a big convention, and I particularly enjoyed Kaleb Nation's video about not asking actors creepy questions, and keeping the stalking to a minimum. Fun.

The best bit was the Evil Iguana spoof of the ballet studio fight scene in Twilight. It was hysterical! I'll link it as soon as it's up. HYSTERICAL. First of all, Alice was played by a dude and just took it to the enth degree; it was hysterical. "It's going to happen Edward, I've seen it" and burrying Edward's head in 'her' bosom. Oh so funny... and Carlisle constantly referring to the fact that "I'm a doctor..." in a cocky, very un-Carlisle way, but in a very hysterical way.

More soon, but there's part one! I'm off to the VIP reception on the top floor, and last minute touch ups on details for tomorrow.

Watch this space! And follow my Twitter too; tons of us are Twittering about TwiCon... but I think I'm from a slightly different perspective, if you know what I mean...

More pictures soon too... they take FOREVER to load here!

29 July, 2009

MaggieParke.com downtime

MaggieParke.com is down for a bit. It's kinda making me crazy because one host won't release the domain and therefore I can't do anything with it, and I'm just not THAT computer literate or have the time to fight with it right now.... so yeah, I'll work on that after TwiCon is over!

Thanks for the patience!

TwiCon: Day One- travel and prepping

Well, I'm officially in Dallas for TwiCon 2009 after a rather harrowing journey. It was good for awhile; my original flight in Portland was delayed, so they switched me to a direct flight to Dallas (yay! Direct flights are always nice), I sat next to a cool guy who's in the Air Force, lived in Japan, had just come back from Alaska... a fun seat partner and good chatter, but then when I landed.... no luggage. So they switched me, but not my stuff. Then they informed me that they could locate one, but did not yet know where the second one was... Joy.

So I got to the hotel after wading through a sea of Mary Kay representatives (there's a Mary Kay convention here too... at least I'll know where to go when my eyebrow furrow gets too pronounced), and met up with my roommates for the next few days. After a shower, food, and a little mindless TV, things were better. They still hadn't located my bags, but as of this morning they had both, and they were at my hotel and are now in my possession! Yay!

So today is all prepping. Putting together the program details, making sure everything that I'm able to prep for is prepped for, and trying to maintain a normal level of sanity :)

I'm getting stoked. I think it'll be neat when the fans get here and really see the excitement, and use that energy in the convention. Right now, I'm just ready for it to start!

I'll try to keep things updated on Twitter too, and will post full reports after TwiCon if not during... it'll depend on my exhaustion levels, I think!

25 July, 2009

TwiCon: Webmaster's Panel

Hello All!

Well TwiCon is now only 5 days away- YAY, and also, YIKES!

At TwiCon we're doing a panel with Kallie and Kassie from Twilight Series Theories, Kaleb Nation from The Twilight Guy, Lisa Hansen from Twilight Moms, Michelle Pan from BellaandEdward.com, and Kimmy from HisGoldenEyes. I believe it'll be recorded so more than just the attendees can see it, but basically, I want to ask for YOUR help.

In the comments to this post, I'd like you guys to post questions that you'd want to ask these Masters of the Twilight Online World :) Maybe how they first got into Twilight, what's one of the hardest aspects of running a Twilight site, who have you been able to meet...anything! I'll collect the questions and ask the best ones (and sign your name and location if you want me to credit you with the question) during the panel on Friday.

Happy Questioning!

Get thinking!

17 July, 2009

Vampires for Dinner? Why not...

I'll certainly be posting about Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince, because I've got all sorts of adaptation stuff to comment on (Ginny and Harry's kiss... seriously?!), but first I'm sharing the adventures of dinner at the View Point Inn with Ashley and gang.

So I first met Ashley when she submitted a paper for TwiCon. She was stuyding something I was uber interested in, so I asked if she might want to help out with TwiCon planning. She did, she's cool, and thus she's my co-hort in formal programming for TwiCon. She and 10 of her friends and family are going on a massive Twilight-inspired trip to Portland, Forks, and all of the sights along the way and in between. Last night they were all in Portland (well, by the airport, and if the trip doesn't include a trip to Powell's, I'm not sure if you can say you've 'been to Portland'), and invited me to join them for dinner at the View Point Inn... aka the location of the prom in Twilight.

We all shlepped out there, missed the first exit, and therefore took a long, winding road to get to the Inn. I'm kind of glad for that though. It looked similar to the drive to the Cullen's house in the film; green caverns of trees with a road ploughing through, but every now and then we'd get a stunning view of the Gorge. It was great! Perhaps a bit longer, but worth it, methinks.

We finally arrived, and then the 'ooos' and 'ahhh
hs' began. It's a beautiful set up, hence why it was chosen. It's smaller than I'd expected, but it had that classic 'old grand lodge' feel to it, know what I mean? Like a ski lodge built in the 20's or something, and you expected men in tails and women in gowns to stroll through with a cigarette on the end of a stick. They took us through the foyer, through the main hall (beautiful! big log furniture, candles, hardwood floors, and the whole thing opened up to the outdoors), and out to the patio and our dining 'tent.' It was so much nicer than a 'tent', but that's the only word for it.

We had the option originally of the 'Twilight menu' or the normal menu, and believe it or not, we went with the normal menu (many more options... much better). I did get a kick out of the Twilight items on the menu- Edward's Elixir (I can't remember all of it, but it was a mix of blueberries, raspberries, pomegranate? and spritz), I ordered the Twilight Martini- basically the same ingredients but with vodka...so good. Also, we got the 'eternal love cake' which was a red velvet cake with chocolate icing. It was really good, but honestly the rest of the desserts
hugely overshadowed it. It was really pretty though.

We all got our own meals (bacon-wrapped pork tenderloin with apples was mine... aaa-mazing), and then we just got one of every dessert and passed them. Brilliant. I liked dining with this gang :) The fluffy cheesecake or the flourless chocolate cake was my favorite...

Anywho, amazing food aside, it was neat to see the film's location. The broad scope and large feel from the film actually turning out to be a quaint, historical, gorgeous spot, and to see how they changed the look. The 'Monte Carlo' arch is still there, but randomly shoved into a corner of the yard. It's certainly not a natural place for people to walk from to get to the Inn, but for the film, by having them walk from back there without a fence behind, it looks as though the property goes much further back; a larger scope. Also, there's a big pond in the middle of the yard with a fountain and whatnot, and we figured the gazebo must have gone over the pond in the film.

I'm also glad it wasn't freezing when we were there as it was in the film. Apparently during filming they'd put down coats on in between shots... I feel sorry for those girls in strapless silk dresses! Luckily it was warm, pleasant, breezy, and there was no need for a sweater at all except to ward off the mosquitos.

It was also neat to see how Twilight has seeped into this Inn's daily life. In the entrance area
there's a little gift shop with the expected trinkets like key chains and stationary, but now there's also two bookshelves full of Twilight items. Calendars, photos, t-shirts, the books, the dvd, Twilight-themed soaps... you get the idea. They've added Twilight items to their menu, and they have a section of the patio where you can buy a brick, and there's one for Edward and Bella. Cute.

I hope the Inn gets through this economic slump; it's out in the middle of nowhere so I could certainly see how it's problematic, but the food was phenomenal, the views unbeatable, and the staff rockin'. Definitely a good time, and it was good to meet my TwiCon cohort in the flesh before the madness that will be TwiCon. Oh girl...

HP: HBP soon. Webshots album here.

05 July, 2009

Fourth of July, Vampires, Wolves, and Baseball

(FYI: Sorry I don't have more pictures yet; they have to be approved for use and whatnot. I'll add them when I am able to :)

Well the Vampire Baseball event was yesterday in Portland, and it was brilliant. I was contacted by the organizers of Fan Trips to do some filming and photography for the event, so I've been inundated with planning, details, media stuff and seeing how all of these bits go together to make a very successful event. I was working for media planner Leigh Trapp, and with her son, Tyler; they were incredible. Seriously. If you were there, Tyler was the one running around, getting people screaming, doing the moonwalk on the dugout, and then organizing all of the actors, setting up the effects, running water to the players...he was all over!

Anywho, the event was a lot of fun. There were fourteen members, I think, of the Twilight cast and crew, there were fan games, autographs, coffees, a podcast, etc.

I got there a little after 7am and there was already a line at the front gate and music pumping from the inside (sadly that music kept pumping for the next ten hours; it was good music, but there were only about 10 songs... you can only listen to 'Can't Fight the Moonlight' so many times before you want to rip a speaker off the wall). All of the website owners were there, prepping for the podcast (Mugglenet/Twilight Source, His Golden Eyes, Twilight Live, etc.), the food was being organized (I walked through the basement of the stadium, past 17 million hot dog rolls, to get inside), and we were going through the plan of the day.

The fans started filing in, and they were awesome. So many homemade tshirts, Cullen Baseball shirts, painted faces, baseball socks, and lots of books. People were breaking into chants and cheers, and waving their books in the air (talk about a funny moment for me as a student of adaptation... at a baseball game, watching the actors, and seeing the books in the stadium... ahh the power of a book on fan mania and merchandising!).

Around 8:30 the actors started arriving and I was sent down to the field suites where they were having coffee sessions with fans. That was a lot of fun. Edi Gathegi was chatting with a couple of women about the relationships in Twilight, Rachelle Lefevre was twittering with some fans and taking pictures to post on their accounts, Peter Facinelli was wooing a big group and being his normal, comic-savvy self, and the room at the end was a fun fest. Solomon Trimble, Christian Serratos, Logan Welch, Michael Welch, Sean McGrath (frat boy), Catherine Grimme (young Bella), Ayanna Berkshire (Cora, the waitress), Alex Meraz (Paul in New Moon), and Kiowa Gordon (Embry) were in there with a big group of ladies completely enjoying themselves; hamming it up for their cameras, chatting with each other (you could definitely see the camraderie of the gang), and getting pumped for the game.

The fan games started during the coffees, and so did the heat! It was a scorcher! I felt bad for Rachelle's security in their suits! I was as hot as anything in a sundress, and I wish I had counted how many times I ran up and down the stadium steps in that heat; I definitely got my workout in! The cast took to the field to warm up, and I was rather floored at how good they were. It wasn't just connecting with the ball, they were hitting them way out, catching and throwing like pros... dang these people and their multiple talents!

The players were split into two teams: The Veggie Vampires Dances with Wolves (Peter's team), and Portland Purple People Eaters (Rachelle's team)...they came up with their own names. You'd have to ask them. The game was great. Everyone was having a good time, but obviously still competitive, and played wicked well. I was most impressed with Catherine Grimme... that girl is good!

There were lots of antics- a mock fight between the boys over a bad call, Rachelle replacing Peter with another pitcher as she didn't like his throws- and some fun effects too. There was a bit in the second inning where Catherine took a hit and immeidately was called 'safe', seemingly without running around the bases, so she looked like she had vampire speed! Really we filmed it the day before and Tyler sped it up with effects, but it looked great!

Peter's team won, and they were gracious about it... to an extent :) There may have been a few tossed gloves and well-intended tackles to the ground! Throughout the game there were pictionary games on the big screen, music, and all sorts of shenanigans. It was a lot of fun! I pretty much had access everywhere which was certainly a good time. I was on the field, in the boxes, taking hundreds of pictures of the actors, games, crew, and fans all day long.

It was neat to have a clear purpose through the day; to see the big picture and keep in mind that this was a fun, exciting and beneficial event, but still manage all of the small fires that exploded through the day. It was great, and not a shabby way to spend the fourth of July!

After the game there were autograph sessions where people could purchase autographs from each of the actors. I was with Christian Serratos and she was very cool. Friendly and happy to chat with everyone, and she enjoyed soaking JD on the field with a hose, he was another volunteer at her table. It was a nice, ridiculous way to end the ridiculous day... watching her tackle JD with a hose... haha.

I liked the laid back feel of the day; we were constantly running all over the place, and I think I subsisted on a handful of almonds and water until about 4pm, but it was still such a holiday/enjoyment atmosphere. I found it kind of disheartening to see the funds and particulars involved in doing an event like this, but I certainly understand the business aspects of the job, even if the job is playing ball on the fourth of July!

It's now just three weeks to TwiCon, and I think everything is lining up pretty darn well! Until then I'm de-Twilighting a smidge and focusing on chapters for my PhD...right. I tend to forget that I've this other giant project to do at the same time...

Pictures soon, I hope :)

01 July, 2009

Vampire Baseball

So I'm in Portland (YAY!), and have found that this city is just as rockin' as I remembered. It's gorgeous out, I've been able to finally relax a smidge and reorganize my work and contacts, and opportunities are abounding. I'm meeting with a director about an indie film on Monday, PA-ing for a few events here and there, and this weekend I'm managing a filming project for Vampire Baseball!

We're still working out the details of what that will be, but basically I'll be creating something like a video diary of the day; following the actors' coffees, arrivals, and play, fan reactions and all sorts of stuff like that to be projected on the big screen in PGE Park.

I'm sure I'll Twitter on the day, and do a write up afterwards; it's been awhile since I've been able to do one of those. Anyone gonna be there?