Sunday, October 9, 2011

My Daylight Misadventures at GeekGirlCon 2011

Despite having only one day off this weekend, I managed to attend the Saturday events at GeekGirlCon.  My cunning plan was to be at the Seattle Center by 9:30 AM.  I ASSumed the convention took place at Seattle's Experience Music Project (EMP), but this was a case of not completely reading the instructions.

Fortunately, I wasn't alone and met up with two other lost souls, Amy and Joanna, on a quest to find the registration desk.  We stumbled across another convention goer.  (They were easy to spot because they were wearing bright yellow tags, or were in full costume).  She directed us to the Northwest Rooms--on the opposite corner of the city center park. 

We still managed to arrive by 9:30, but the lines looked like this...

Since I'm in the midst of producing my third on-line graphic novel, I wanted to attend the Comic Books for Breakfast seminar.  But alas, due to the long line, I missed it.  The panel was hosted by the following ladies:  Jennifer de Guzman, Rachel Edidin and Mariah Huehner.

The first seminar I managed to attend was  Boobies and Blasters:  The Women of Star Wars.

Okay, you can stop giggling now. 

Despite the titillating title, (sorry, I couldn't help myself), this was a panel discussion about the growth of female characters in the Star Wars EU (geek-speak for "Expanded Universe," which is everything created and produced beyond the original films).  The workshop was hosted by this elite squad of female fans:  Mercedes Santaella-Lam, Misty Buxton, Deunan Berkeley, Sarah Silverman and Amy Sjoberg.  Amy is the co-owner of the Etsy Store Nerdventions and is currently working on a life-size replica of R2-D2.

GeekGirlCon, though, wasn't all about the gals.  There was the Very Special Dudes, or as one panelist quipped, the "Token Males" seminar.

The panel discussed their attempts at creating stories with strong female characters, often in the face of opposition from coroporate Hollywood.  These guys, token or otherwise, were:  Sean McNeil, Greg Rucka, Mike Madrid, Javier Grillo-Marxuach and Alan Kistler, the host & creator of Crazy Sexy Geeks and author of the Agents of S.T.Y.L.E column.

A huge line had formed outside the auditorium, for what I thought was the next seminar I wanted to attend, Tell Your Story Through Audio Drama.  But in the dim light and without my reading glasses, I saw the parenthetical phrase "Ticketed Event."  So I rushed to the EMP's admission desk and bought the next-to-last ticket available.  Joanna joined me at the end of the line after purchasing the very last ticket.  Talk about making just under the wire.  We sat together in the filled-to-capacity auditorium.

Several minutes into the interview session with Jane Espenson, I realized I was in the wrong seminar.  I decided to make this a "turning lemons into lemonade" moment and stayed for the rest of the interview.  I'm glad I did.  Jane was the convention's keynote speaker, with a background in writing comedy.  She was the writer for such geek-loved shows as Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Gilmore Girls, Angel, Warehouse 13, Dollhouse, The O.C., Game of Thrones, Battlestar Galactica and Firefly

Tell Your Story Through Audio Drama, discussed podcasting and was hosted by the following:  Julie Hoverson, Gwendolyn Jensen-Woodard, Kimberly Poole, Rhys Torres-Miller and Beverly Poole.  Despite missing this audio panel, I managed to make it to the Women in Webseries seminar.

Just about every gaming geek knows of Felicia Day's The Guild, now in it's fifth season.  (I'm way behind in my geekdom and just started watching it a few days ago).  However, several other women have joined Felicia in producing--not to mention acting and writing--their own webseries.  This panel included:  Mary Higgins and Josephine Hoy, Glynis Mitchell, Joanna Gaskell and Vanessa Driveness, Trin Miller, along with keynote speaker Jane Espenson, who's now producing Husbands.  Jane's webseries is about two gay men who had gotten drunk in Las Vegas and woke up married to each other--mayhem ensues.

The biggest concern among those of us in the audience was our lack of technical/photographic skill.  The unanimous opinion from the ladies on the panel was:  Don't worry about the technical aspects, focus instead on content.  In short--tell a good story and you'll build your audience.
And so ended the day at GeekGirlCon.  Activities and festivities lasted into the night, but that's a subject for another post...


worldofhiglet said...

Thank you for including our 'Women in Webseries' panel in your round up of adventures at Geek Girl Con.

I'm you enjoyed the panel and I'm glad you took away the point that getting out there and doing it is the important thing. Maybe next year you'll be doing a video blog from GGC? :)

Whiskey Tango Foxtrot said...

Seriously, Ted, thank you! We appreciate your coverage of our panel. I hope to hear more from you!

As a webseries creator, I think what I would take away from the "focus on content" part is that if you have a great script and good acting and direction, a lot of technical blah-ness can be forgiven...but if you have a great script (or if you have a few shekels to put toward the cause...), you might attract great tech talent if you look for it. :)

Ted Henkle said...

You're both very welcome! I was so glad to make the webseries panel discussions. I'm always looking for ways to improve my gaming movies. Best wishes to both of you in your endeavours!