The Nerds asked me if I wanted to hang out at CinemaCon here in Vegas this year. Well, I love movies. I worked in a movie theatre. I’m trying to make a movie (check out Deal on kickstarter.com and contribute, please). So, CinemaCon. Why not? It’ll be cool.
I expected the normal convention stuff; free magazines and other swag, people walking around with badges that have impressive titles printed on them, etc. But then something happened as I picked up my badge. I was placed in a personal nirvana. Let me explain. I’m dating myself here, when Star Wars came out I was six years old. I remember staring at the movie poster hanging in the lobby of the local theatre. I didn’t even get to see Star Wars that day; I was there for Winnie the Poop or some shit like that (thanks mom).
But to this day I remember that poster, and ever since then, every trip to the theatre starts and ends with me roaming the lobby looking at the posters. It’s definitely where my addiction to Tyler Stout and Mondo comes from. The posters are the perfect teaser. Where else can a movie be perfect in a single glance? Your imagination and inner-theatre kicks in and you have the ideal version of that movie play out in your head. It’s an awesome experience.
So CinemaCon: When I wandered through the halls of the convention space and saw that it was lined with kick-ass movie stanchions, posters, 3D images and other various promotional elements for this summer’s crop of upcoming films, all I could think was, “Oh my God! Get out of my way – I’m heading to the nearest stall for a minute or two…” Okay, it wasn’t that drastic, but it was exciting. I remained calm and walked the halls. I saw items for The Amazing Spider-Man, G.I. Joe: Retaliation, Dark Shadows, Men in Black 3, Seven Psychopaths, The Avengers, Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter, The Hobbit, Prometheus and so many more, way too many to list.
It’s enough to think about how all these grails of Nerddom will be out in theatres over the next couple of years, but to come face-to-face with the promotional material for each one all in one place just blew my mind. It was a shoulder-to-shoulder, wall-to-wall display of promotions and marketing, and I ate up every tender morsel. It was wonderful eye candy with the promise of a cinematic escape. Yes, there were even some preview screenings. Unfortunately I am not allowed to talk about them, and even had to sign a waiver, so at this time I can only convey my experience with the marketing material for upcoming films. To be realistic, more than half will be crap, some worse than crap, but at that moment, looking at all the displays, it was a collection of the greatest movies ever. That kid in me lit up, made me realize why I love the movies and the experience that goes along with it.
So, my report from CinemaCon: It was the greatest convention ever! I’ve never been to a convention like it! I was blown away! I was swept away to a world, galaxy, land, place, town, time and saved by an incredible, amazing someone. It’s true. But seriously, I won’t go back, not this year. Next year, yes, I’ll go for the same feeling I got this year. There is no better feeling than going into a movie theatre for an hour or two of escape and enjoyment. At CinemaCon they know this, embrace it and are working at making it a better experience for all of us. Keep up the good work, theatre owners, and fight the good fight. Thank you. There is only one thing I would do differently next year: bring popcorn.