Carter Witz recreated the stunning new lightsaber duel we saw in the Force Awakens. Excellent rockwork, with Rey positioned just over the edge as Starkiller Base splits apart. The trees made by Carter are also well done, though a tad skinny. I continue to see just how useful minifigure arms and hands can be to a wide range of creations. I also appreciate the base of this model, just the way the rockwork meets the blade border. Very sleek!
Yesterday as many of you know I took a break from my family vacation at Disneyland to make a one day pilgrimage to the holy land, San Diego Comic Con (leaving Disneyland to go to SDCC, #FirstNerdProblems). It was a whirlwind tour of just the exhibits, no time to see any panels or stand in line to buy stuff.
The first significant stop was happening upon the legendary Bill Plympton, who was kind enough to sketch me an addition to the BrickNerd Art Project. He was ultra cool and it was a pleasure to meet him. You can bet this is going to get framed and hung on the studio wall as soon as I get home.
I continued my long trek, weaving up and down the aisles of the show floor after that, which is no small endeavor, especially with already tired legs from two days of theme park walking. If you've never been to SDCC, there's really no way to describe or explain it. It's absolutely enormous, and there's so many enthusiastic nerds from all over the world collected in one space that it's almost overwhelming, almost. There's SO much love there, so much joy for so many things. From comics to movies and from toys to fine collectibles, there's something for literally everyone there.
The next significant event needs a little setup. Back in 2005 I worked on Guillermo del Toro's masterpiece film Pan's Labyrinth. After principal photography was done, I was cleaning and organizing the camera gear we used at CafeFX and I ran across the insert slate, the little board you mark with what scene/shot you're filming. Normally I would have just wiped it clean and got it ready for the next gig, but by then we were far enough into the film I knew that we were working on something important and special, so I set it aside. It sat on a shelf in my office for several years after that, and when the company folded in 2009 I kept it as a memento. Fast forward to a few months ago and I was digging around on my workbench in the garage and I happened upon it. Just days earlier I was watching a video tour of Adam Savage's man cave on Tested.com and saw that he has a special GDT shelf among his amazing collection. He has props and mementos from many of his films. So my first thought was "this needs to be on that shelf, on display where it can be appreciated, not collecting dust in my garage".
I tweeted a picture out, but got no response from Adam. While packing for this trip I happened upon it again, and thought "what the heck, there's an incredibly remote chance I'll see him there and can just give it to him" and tucked it into my backpack. Fast forward again to yesterday, as I continued my way across the hall. I made to the Prop Store booth, one of my favorite stops every year to look at all the props and fun stuff from movies I love. While admiring an insert slate from The Empire Strikes Back I remembered the slate in my backpack and recalled that Adam usually makes his way to this very booth during one of his famous Adam Incognito videos. Not 45 seconds later, while admiring a full body prop from Terminator 3 I see Kylo Ren in my peripheral vision. Just last week Adam posted a video about making the neck piece for that costume and I thought "no way". Then I heard him talking and it sounded like him so I said "Adam?" It was him. I washed back and forth between giddiness to have found him, and utter shock to have found him. I told him I had something for him and dug it out of my backpack. It took a moment for him to realize what he was holding, and to register that it was for him. But his reaction after was great, I couldn't see him smiling under his mask, but I could tell by his body language (and huge hug) that he was pretty stoked. He needed to get get going so we snapped a quick pic and he was on his way. I wandered off too, content that I had just won comic con, mission accomplished.
While I did make several stops at the LEGO booth, it was always wrapped with people hungry to collect their convention exclusives (I was not among them, no special sets for me) and an absolute mob scene. I would have taken some pictures, but you all know what a bunch of people look like, just imagine that with a large LEGO sign hanging above them. I did duck in to say hi to LEGO master builder Erik Varszegi while he was building a giant Batgirl, always nice to see him.
After that it was just a lot of wandering, napping Nerdly selfies (he's so narcissistic), short chats with old friends I ran into and sweating (SDCC is always hot, always). Content I had seen and perspired enough I made my way back to the Amtrak station to catch my train back to Anaheim, SDCC 2016 was over for me. Time to start planning for next year, maybe this time I'll mark the calendar and not plan a Disney Vacation to coincide with the same weekend, duh.
If you haven't seen it, and you've a fan of Star Wars (or corporate inspired pseudo dramas) you have to check out Saturday Night Live's brilliant parody of Under Cover Boss: Starkiller Base. Adam Driver reprises his role of Kylo Ren, and goes under cover while he tries to get a feeling for how things are going in the company. But if that's not funny and charming enough, how about a recreation in Minifigures by Powerpig In his typically pitch perfect style? This is just screaming to be animated.
I won't go into much detail on the character, you won't find spoilers here on BrickNerd, but he's a compelling character from Star Wars The Force Awakens. And while he's got a fierce temper and dark heart, but this version by torokimasa makes him absolutely adorable.