I have always wanted to attend a "highly anticipated" movie preview with the movie's stars, but up until I moved to California I never had the opportunity. Now I have attended the company screenings (specifically, Pixar) of films I have worked on (an awesome experience in its own right), but that just isn't the same as seeing a movie before its release with the actors who made it. Well Wondercon offered myself and my friend James the opportunity to do just that and we weren't going to miss it!
The program announced that tickets to a special screening of the movie Kick-Ass would be given out on Friday and Saturday. We knew these tickets would be popular (especially at a comic convention) so on Friday we arrived 20 minutes before the show opened only to find over 500 people ahead of us in line to get into the convention (and likely find the tickets). Luckily, no tickets were actually given out at the Kick-Ass booth that day, if the had been we wouldn't have gotten them. We learned from our first mistake and on Saturday arrived 1 hour and 15 minutes before the show opened and only had 100 people ahead of us. When the gates opened we rushed to the booth only to find another 100 people in line in front of us (not everyone from the previous line went to the booth, but many exhibitors who had their own booths on the floor skipped the first line and were waiting for tickets before the gates opened). For a few tense moments when it looked like they would run out of tickets (they were withholding many for prizes later in the day) before we would get there. Luckily, that didn't happen:
Step 1: Acquire tickets completed! We then enjoyed the rest of the day at WonderCon (including a panel with the stars of the movie) and eagerly awaited the screening that night. Luckily, James actually read the ticket that was given to us and noticed that the preview was overbooked so he went and stood in line 2 hours before the preview started while I called the family. I'm glad he did that because we were actually one of the last groups to get into the screening, and the line was at least 3x longer past us. The video below shows excited people in line who didn't actually get to see the movie, such a tease. Once we had seats the stars came out and interacted with us. On a side note, the girl next to me was interviewed by the host and asked why she moved to the city and she nonchalantly said "porn" (she looked like it too) to which the host was dumbstruck and the audience erupted in laughter; I was waiting for the host to ask me the same question just so I can give the same answer. Then the actors took their seats and the movie began. And it was AWESOME.
Of course, every piece of electronic equipment was confiscated prior to the screening so I have no actual pictures or videos from the event. But at the end of the screening the producers set up camera booths where they interviewed audience members about the movie. I knew these were used for publicity and thought it would be fun to say something and maybe get in a commercial (although unlikely). When I got in front of the camera they asked many standard questions ("what did you think of the movie" "what was your favorite scene" etc) and my answers were pretty standard. Then they asked what my favorite weapon from the movie was and for some reason, I'm not sure even today, I decided to actually reenact the scene with a Gatling gun, complete with rolling-tongue-stuttered sound effects. I walked away pretty high off of adrenaline and then a few minutes later suddenly felt completely embarrassed about what I just did. But I walked it off, enjoyed the rest of the night, and didn't think about it again.
Until the commercials started to play on TV:
Out of the 50-100 people who interviewed, they chose my 1/2 second of gunning to show on screen. In fact, I was the only guy in the entire commercial who was not accompanied by a girl (they obviously are targeting a female audience here who wouldn't normally see the movie). And even though it was only 1/2 second of video, people from around the country recognized (or thought they did) and my Facebook page was filled with questions like "did I just see you in a commercial". As embarrassing as it was, it was so worth it!
Finally, James and I determined that to see the movie that last less than 2 hours, we stood in various Kick-Ass lines for over 6 hours during the 2 days. And we would do it again in a heartbeat!