SDCC 2015: Hall H can be Cruel. Part 1


Let me start by saying that I’m a fortunate person. Very few people in the world get to do the wondrous thing that is Comic-Con, and even for that experience I’ve gotten to do some things that most of those few haven’t.

That having been said, SDCC is a cruel mistress. You will see incredible highs that make you want to drop everything and just move to San Diego, and you’ll likely also follow its siren song only to be crushed on the rocks of Geekdom. There’s no better example than that of Hall H.

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Hall H is Comic-Con’s premiere event venue where the world’s largest media studios roll out their upcoming attractions and build fervor for things that no one has seen before. It was 2 years ago that WB broke the internet with the announcement of Batman v Superman, then did the same a year later with exclusive footage. This year we were promised a HUGE presentation by WB and DC Films, (not quite the insanity of this year’s Star Wars absurdity), and it was delivered.

We all know by now that DC showed us an animatic montage of the upcoming film slate – including never before seen looks at The Flash, Cyborg, and the announcement of Green Lantern Corps, the first footage for Suicide Squad, and the big trailer for Batman v Superman. What you likely don’t know is everything that went into getting to be one of the lucky 6,000 in the world who get to be there in person.

Most of the footage we were to see at the panel was supposed to be for our eyes only. It wasn’t to be seen by anyone but us, building an even bigger desire for the exclusive and rewarding us for being so determined. The line for the hall started forming around noon on Friday afternoon… the panel was at 10:30 AM on Saturday. I and many others dutifully took our place in the cue to (hopefully) assure our place. We were told that we’d be given wristbands that guaranteed our spot in one of the lettered groups that were split up next to and behind the convention center for over a mile. As long as we came back to our group by 7:30 AM we wouldn’t have to be at the end of the line when they started moving us up to the final line.

Sadly, most of the things they told us were either misleading or inaccurate. We were informed that we’d be moved closer to con at 5:30, so that we weren’t so far away from everyone else or stuck out in direct sunlight ALL DAY. Then we were told wristbands would be handed out at 9:45 PM, allowing us to leave so we wouldn’t have to camp out. This wasn’t quite the truth.

There was no moving or condensing us. 5:30, 6:30, 7 went by before we were told that we were just stuck out on the man made peninsula by the marina. We were only allowed to hold a place in line if you had someone else there to do so, and then they could only hold it for up to 5 people. That would have been perfectly reasonable if enforced, seeing as someone had held spots for 400 people in an earlier line the night before.

Yep. 400 people.

Those directly behind that bump went from being in group A to group C, which can be the difference between getting in or going home. Then, the wristbands didn’t assure much of anything except that we MIGHT get in under the right conditions. Everyone that got their band COULD leave, but then everyone who stayed would have the chance to move up to fill in the gaps. Most stayed.

I chose to forgo a whole day of covering the con so that I could participate in this line. I knew the exclusive content would be of very special interest to our audience and I knew it’d be big. My phone decided to stop working all of the sudden, on top of the fact that there was no viable service where we were. That made it to where there was no way to talk to the outside, write stories, or even tweet about what was happening. The only info coming in and out of our part of the line was from the SDCC security people, and that was constantly changing and contradictory.

Since I discovered we’d all be camping out, I had no choice but to borrow a blanket and settle in. Thankfully there are worse things that sleeping on the ground in San Diego, but that didn’t mean it was a cakewalk.

Next: The Futility of Hall H

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