I’m about to go Rocky up in this bitch…

9 Oct

I can handle quite a bit of criticism.  Hell, I can even hear the occasional slanderous remark about me and shrug it off…to a point.  Well…that point has been crossed and I won’t let myself or my career be stepped on any longer.  The gloves are off and quite frankly, I couldn’t be happier!  Now some may read the this new post and think all kinds of thoughts.  “Why would he write this?”  “Who is he talking about?”  “What happened?”  It’s a blog people.  This is how some human beings vent.  I apologize to my friends, co-workers, fellow creators, and even the limited family that may read this.  Now, moving on…

Some may call this whining…some may call it irrational.  Some of my best friends, colleagues, and even family have talked me down on many occasions to not respond to some recent individuals within my own town’s film community (a community which I try to support but this shit makes it damn near impossible!) that, apparently, feel the need to keep concerning themselves with my past and my current life.  Individuals who do not even know me to an extent that would even warrant them to speak my name let alone my career and those that I work with.

Well…I have listened to my friends.  I have not spoken out much as of late because I keep being told “Don’t give them the satisfaction” and “They just want you to retaliate because they want the attention”.  I have even had one friend tell me it’s because these people are destined to go nowhere therefore they try and train wreck everyone else projects, names, etc.  This last statement is most def. true.  And it’s sad that no one else other than a handful of individuals has the balls to say anything to them.  For me…It stops here.  Cue “Eye Of The Tiger”.

Since I know they have been reading my blog, I will say this…IT STOPS HERE.  If I hear so much as a whisper from someone that my name exited your mouths, I will make sure to attend every single film function until we run into each other face to face.  Since you have been told on many occasions via messages, phone calls, and emails to mind your own business, worry about yourself, and your career, and just all around be a human being, and you can’t even do that…I guess you must need someone to tell you to your face.  I have no problems with that.

Back to my readers.  I always find it hilarious how hypocritical people can really be.  Especially when people like this want to try and ruin someone.  Do they ever stop and think about their faults?  Do they ever stop and think about who knows about their dirty laundry?  Well…they should start worrying about it.

A lot of you may find this post a bit disturbing, immature, etc.  At the same time, for those who know me, know I must have been pushed awfully hard to write something this straightforward without just calling these people out by name.  No…I will save that courtesy because I do have respect for someone’s name.  I am not spiteful nor hateful.  This blog is about my life and what I deal with.  Some people want to read it and get to know me better and for those who do not…put in a different WWW above and get gone.

This shit is ridiculous and needs to stop.  And there are several others who may be reading this and are guilty of being enablers.  You should quit as well.  In fact, there is an all around shit talking atmosphere polluting Portland’s film scene.  I know that it isn’t just Portland…it happens everywhere.  I hope those that are talking all this crap are ready for that move to LA.  Get ready to be bitch slapped by reality when no one writes you a courtesy blog and instead chokes you out in a bar because you ran your mouth.  Bazinga!
Bottom line:  You are adults!  And semi-old ones at that!  Act your fucking age!  Nuff said.

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Back and focused more than ever!

4 Oct

So it has been a few months since I have been on here and I feel I need to explain a few things…especially for those individuals just looking for a reason to gossip at the next independent film function.
Almost a year ago I was diagnosed with with the rarest form of Pneumonia in the world and was designated “Case #218” (sounds like a terrible horror movie title!) by the Oregon Health and Sciences University.  I quickly found out there are only two doctors in the states that know anything about this type of Pneumonia and by a pure miracle, one of them is at OHSU!
So after spending over five weeks in the hospital, spending four weeks with a temp. of 106.1 (pretty sure I have some massive brain malfunctions from that!), having seven different veins get blown out due to the meds they were giving me (one of them looked just like orange juice and was just as thick!), and getting a wonderful spinal tap, I was let go.  There was a catch though:  I would have this crazy thing for up to a year and a half!
So for the past year, I have had this “silent sidekick” riding around in my lung, affecting my daily life and overall health.  I worked on project after project, traveled for work, and ultimately pushed myself to the max.  Now comes the hard part….I hate to admit that I am human (believe it or not I actually think I am Optimus Prime…just without all the metal) and finally having had SEVERAL people tell me I had to slow down and worry about myself, I did just that.
Ontop of carrying around my “sidekick” (lets just call him Gotti!), I had the normal troubles that everyone goes through:  Debt, stress, and work.  Half the stress has always came from creating and producing projects and then dealing with the actors/actresses (mainly) and other crew who think things happen over nite (here’s a big hint:  THEY DON’T!!!..especially on projects of a massive scale!).  Also, I am only human (as I said…I hate to admit this), so hearing your name get mentioned on occassion in a negative manner by individuals you may not even know or barely know, can hurt the feelers.  Of course, if you are involved in the Portland film scene, this happens quite a bit.  Best harden up.
My debt came in the form of…well…the medical bills.  $212K worth.  Well luckily, as of recently, most of it has been taken care of thanks to me being a medical study now (I’ll get to that in a second).
So…I decided to take a bit of break right after I came home from VIDCON this last summer.  I called it “J. Lee’s sabbatical”.  Well, it would have been fine and dandy had the cops not came a knockin’ to inform me that I had a non-paid traffic ticket (Don;t judge me…I know not everyone reading this always remembers their tickets!) from 2008 from a surfing trip I took out on the Washington coastline.  It seemed the judge felt it necessary to issue a warrant because I had not appeared in court for him to throw his gavel at me or something.  So to shorten up this story a bit, they threw me in jail, denied me my doctor’s appointments, chucked my meds in the trash, and tried to throw away the key.
A normal speeding ticket would only warrant a fine…but…this judge really didn’t like me.  Not only did he give me a speeding ticket, he tacked on a “failure to appear in court”, and a “driving with a suspended license”.  Now, normally, all of these charges would only be a $500 fine and MAYBE one night in jail (not likely…except I have the worst luck in the world).  Not for me.  The judge wanted to break me off for 70 days!!!
I won’t get into how ridiculous our justice system is in this post.  But I will say that being in jail SUCKS!  Especially when it’s a 150 year old jail filled with drug addicts and woman beaters.  Needless to say, I had a few shuffles with a couple bruisers.  Good times.
If it hadn’t been for a selected few individuals, most notably, THOSE EPIC DUDES, David Townsend, Kebby Jones, Drew Garrettson (my brother from another Mother), Sarah Garcia, and Heather Davis, I do not know what I would have done.
The day before I went into see the judge, my amazing friends (they are considered my family…and my only family at that), compiled my medical records, my proof of employment, my proof that I HAD paid on my fine, and even letters of good character.
A miracle even happened the weekend before court.  An older man came into the jail and was put in my cell.  He was in on a DUI.  While playing cards, the man became to have a seizure and stopped breathing.  The guards acted so slowly that it was shocking not even bothering to come into the cell.  They just called an ambulance.  I was the only one who knew how to do CPR and so administered it.  The man began to breathe again and they rushed him to the hospital the second the ambulance showed up.
When they brought me in to see the judge, the man who had suffered the seizure appeared in the courtroom.  I wasn’t to shocked because he had told me his court date was the same as mine.  The judge looked at all the papers that my friends had compiled for me yet still was going to sentence me to the full 70 days (the jail gets paid $37 everyday you’re in their BTW yet to sit out a traffic ticket you only get $25 per day taken off).  In the midst of the judge speaking, “seizure dude” interrupts him.
I half expected the judge to grow Wolverine’s claws or shoot lasers from his eyes but instead he listened calmly as the man told the story of him having a seizure and what had followed.  I was amazed when I watched the judge fully change his opinion of me being a “ruthless renegade of the law” and completely abolish my charges!  Shocked I was!
Well, this concludes most of my two month absence.  Maybe one day soon I’ll write about jail life, how (according to OHSU) I am a medical marvel and may help cure this new type of Pneumonia, or try to explain why my friends will ALWAYS have a place in my heart…even in the face of a Zombie attack.  Instead, for now, it’s back to working on the MASSIVE trans-media project of “LEGENDARY” (in which 200 pages of the novel are done!), helping produce an absolutely amazing script by one of my best friends in the world, and writing/producing an AWESOME secret project for charity that will dawn the web soon!
All I can say is, I missed a lot of people, I learned a thing or two, and I am stoked that all my new TV shows have started!  If anyone has questions for me…feel free to email at jleeforthewin@gmail.com or drop me a line on Facebook!
GOOD FRIENDS FOR THE WIN!!!

Reflection…

24 Jul

The past few weeks have shed some massive light on dark corners of my life.  It’s no secret that some days you feel up and others down and who you surround yourself with effects you daily.  As of late, I have surrounded myself with the best core group of friends I have ever had.  Edd Blott, Luis Garcia, Adam and Heather Davis, Aris Juson, Helenna Santos Levy, Barry Morgan, Leah Cevoli, Drew Garrettson, Kevin Martin, Rick and Val Strange…the list could go on for some time.  And to top it off…we all are in the same biz!

Even with some good reflection…I can think of things I need to do to better myself.  One of the biggest things that pops into my head is the fact that I am 27 years old and single when almost everyone around me is in a relationship or married and has kids.  It can, at times, get a little depressing.  Top that off with me still being sick and it’s an algorithm for a wonderful case of depression.

This is one of the main reasons I have been wanting to be around my friends so much lately.  They make me want to laugh, be goofy, and just try and enjoy life.  If it’s one thing this years has done so far, it’s bring some awesome new people into my life.  Friends in LA, friends in Portland.  It’s awesome to feel loved and at times…needed.

I think this is why it saddens me a little bit to be taking some time to get myself better.  Why does THAT sadden me?  Because I feel almost obsolete in this world if I am not being a workhorse or being creative.  I LOVE what I do.  I LOVE writing.  I LOVE filming.  And several people have told me to take a break for a month or so and focus on getting better.  I can honestly say for the past few weeks I have not done that.

We all launched a new Youtube channel where we can just be silly.  We can write skits, do parodies, and film some cool things we love to do without the strain and eyes of other peers.  It’s refreshing and fun and we don’t have to be all uber professional!  Too many people think that you need to be in the world of indie film these days.  It’s a sad state of affairs.  This new YT channel has also let some of us get things off our chest in a way.  It’s been healthy.  And we will continue to crank content out weekly!

But back to this small state of depression I have been feeling.  I realized that I have a self destruct button when it comes to relationships..or just being happy in general.  Now..I won’t blame it ALL on me..but def. some things.  I get comfortable and it scares me.  I’m not quite sure why.  Maybe it’s because I have never really been stable in my life and when things aren’t “moving” I feel stagnant and dull.  Maybe it’s because I think sometimes that life should play out like a movie.  I could always use the cop out and say it was my childhood…but I won’t blame that (even thought I had some horrible times as a kid).

This is one of those dark corners that tends to refuse light, regardless of what gets thrown at it.  Relationships are the biggest thing and I need to figure it out.  I reflect back on quite a few relationships I have had and can pinpoint the exact moments where each one went wrong.  There’s a reason why I am 27 years old and single.  Not that I don’t mind being single…but there’s so many things I would rather enjoy with someone.  I think a lot of this stems from recently having someone tell me something that has made me doubt myself in this aspect.  I have always been one who is full of confidence…but not lately.  It has somewhat disappeared entirely.

Hopefully over the next few months I can try my damnedest to come to a conclusion with all of this.  Some sort of reason.

Now..I am sure some of you are reading this going “What an emo post!”.  Well…you can f^*k off!  This is how I figure things out.  I write about my life.  It gives me a clear head.  So…with that said…I bid you all farewell for a bit!  Please feel free to leave a comment or two!

 

PS…I went with all my boys to see “The Dark Knight Rises” on opening night.  The movie was glorious up until the final act!  It was at this point I almost wanted to demand my friggin’ money back!  I never thought that another movie would disappoint me as much as “Prometheus” until TDKR!  Not even a cowl and cape can disguise what crap it was!  This summer has been the worst to date for films!  Here’s hoping “The Expendables 2” and “Total Recall” will try and save face for it a little bit!

VIDCON 2012 – Part 1

4 Jul

So, myself along with “Legendary” director Barry Morgan, BTS and Youtube up and comer, Annie Bardosnski, and actor Brian Macewand, headed to Anaheim, California for Vidcon 2012 last week.  We were invited to screen the “Legendary” trailer and wanted to set up meetings with studios and distribution /production companies.  The trip…ended up ebing a massive success!

We arrived in Anaheim and stayed the first night at the Anaheim Plaza Hotel.  The festivities got started with Annie and Barry downing a fifth of Fireball and hittin’ up the pool where Annie tried to drunkenly beat up Barry!  Hilarious!

The following day we woke and hit up Downtown Disney.  We wanted to swim more and the Disney Hotel’s pool and water slides caught our attention.  A quick step towards the gate as someone left let us prop it open and get in where we enjoyed poolside service, several water slides, and the most amazing Tiki bar I have ever been too called “Trader Sams”.

Disney Hotel’s wonderful pool area that we snuck into!

That night, we met up with several of the “Legendary” cast at the VIDCON pre-party at the Anaheim K-1 Speedway!  We pulled in and new we were at the right spot when we saw tons of Youtube and new media fans holding signs up and sporting shirts that said things such as “Felicia Day…I love you!”.  We were joined by “Legendary’s” Executive Producer, Guido Orio, and one of ‘Legendary’s” actors, Drew Garrettson.  We made our way through the crowd and that’s about the time when a helicopter came in and landed.  Drew Baldwin of Tubefilter exited to announce that the “Streamy Awards” are returning.  What an entrance!

Fans in all their crazy glory!

…And more craziness.

The pre-party was fun and laid back and they served free margaritas!  “Legendary’s” Leah Cevoli was holdin’ down registration as she helped out one of the party’s sponsors, MOBLI Helenna Santos Levy met us outside and we headed in and mingled with all types of people.  I met a cool babe named Lindsay MC who told she’d been traveling around the country and posting her “episodes” on Mobli’s site!  Check them out!

http://www.mobli.com/lindsaymc

“Legendary’s” Direcor Barry Morgan and Actress Helenna Santos Levy.

When everyone got a bit burnt on the party, we bailed and found an AWESOME dive bar in Anaheim where we continued the night’s festivities with talk and pool!  I repped portland pretty hard by drinkin’ nothin but tall boys of PBR all night!

We miraculously found a dive bar in Anaheim and it was dope!

The one and only Helenna Santos Levy!

The next night brought us to the  “W Hotel” on Hollywood BLVD for a red carpet event called the “New Media Vault Summer Kick Off Party”.   Helenna Santos Levy, Barry Levy, Leah Cevoli, and Stephanie Thorpe met us there and we also invited some of our Portland transplants who are now living in LA!  “Forty Weight’s” Maren Mcquire and Joe Antone, Guido Orio and his wife, Eve, Mckenzie Coffee, and Drew Garrettson, all showed up.  Portland was rollin’ heavy up in that place!  We had several photo ops, met many industry peeps, and just had an all around grand time (even though a drink was $17)!  A big thanks to Damian Pelliccione of “Web Tv Workshop” and “new Media Vault” for setting the event up!

Orio, J.Lee, Brian, and Barry being themselves.

Helenna Santos Levy And Stephanie Thorpe!

Maddie D. and myself!

Portland in the house! J.Lee, Brian Macewand, Mckenzie Coffee, Barry Morgan, Guido Orio, Joe Antone, Maren Mcguire, and Drew Garrettson.

Leah Cevoli, Annie Bardonski, and Hels!

Friday saw Day #1 of VIDCON for us!  We arrived at the Anaheim Convention Center at about 11Am and collected our badges and goodies and met up with Hels, Orio, and Drew.  The first place we headed into was the expo hall.  It was packed with people, booths, and large showcase sponsors like Machinima and Maker Studios.  Machinima had an awesome main stage erected just to the left when you walked in!

“Whats Trending” W/ Shira Lazar live show on Machinima’s main stage!

Hels and I ran into one of new media’s greatest men and a wonderful friend of both of ours at the “Big Frame” lounge area, Mr. Paul Kontonis!

J.Lee and Paul Kontonis, who just launched Openslate!

Orio and I branched off to go check out a panel on building an audience and watch the “Legendary” Trailer’s first screening.  The panel was pretty awesome yet it was geared mainly for the younger Youtube crowd.  The ladies from the popular channel “The Hillywood show” talked mainly, sharing their experiences and thoughts on building and maintaining an audience.

“Building An Audience” Panel

Barry and I also got to snag a first look at the new animated series, “Scottish Ninjas”, which is friggin’ amazing!

The “Scottish Ninjas” Booth.

J.Lee with “Scottish Ninjas” co-creator, Rob Mullin.

Hels introduced us to several of Machinima’s “Bite Me” cast and crew (which happens to be my all time favorite web series so this was quite a big deal for me!).  Everyone hit it off and we pretty much hung out for the majority of Vidcon!

The “Bite Me” Direcotr, Jarrett Lee Conaway and the entire cast, along with Hels and me!

Orio, Dani Lennon (Bite Me), and Hels.

I also had the chance of chatting with Felicia Day and Wil Wheaton towards the end of the day.  Afterwards, they played the game “Tabletop” at the Geek And Sundry booth to a mass of fans!  Cool peeps!

Wil Wheaton of “Star Trek”, “The Guild”, and “The Big Bang Theory” fame.

Felicia Day of “The Guild” getting ready to begin her panel.

Everyone was playing tabletop games at the “Geek And Sundry” booth.

The day ended with us checking out the Vidcon concert in the arena and then meeting up with Jarrett Lee Conaway (Bite Me’s Director), Al Thompson (Family guy, A Walk To Remember), Tim Street (New Media guru, Nickelodeon’s “All that”), and Heather Abbey (Alphabird) and slingin’ a few back in the Hilton Lobby’s bar then directing traffic to the Dennys down the street!  What a day!

The Arena was packed as several Youtube personalities took to the stage and got the crowd hyped. i have no idea who half the damn “Youtube clebs” are!

The Hilton Hotel Lobby Bar….glasses were dropped, people fell into the fountain, asses were grabbed, and Annie Bardonski accosted TONS of drunk men! Ha!

VIDCON PART 2 COMING SOON!

My stressful statistics….

16 Jun

I thought this small new blog post might give other individuals an idea of what it’s like to be a creator/producer of a full scale new media project of large caliber.  So…here’s some numbers for the past two months.

18 – Number of hours my eyes stay open working per day.

6 – Number of Redbulls consumed in a 10 hour period…Daily.

14 – Number of hours staring at computer screens per day.

7.5 – Hours spent each day on the phone discussing talent, marketing, shooting, etc.

4 – Number of other projects that must be completed each week to pay the bills.

24 – Hours that my Facebook stays open.

4 – Snide remarks or discrediting comments I hear about myself or the project I am working on, weekly.

30 – Uplifting and motivational comments and remarks I get from friends to keep me moving forward.

42 – Movies or TV episodes that get played while I work, weekly.

 

All in all, worth it.  But it def. takes it’s toll!

 

Creating a monster (and trying to keep it alive!).

8 Jun

Well…It’s currently 3:39Am and I have tried to fall asleep about a hundred times!  In the past month I have averaged about three hours of sleep daily and have no idea how I really function per day.  I guess I am just on auto-pilot.  But…today marks the first day of shooting some “showcase” scenes for LEGENDARY and the thought of this gnarly bloody battle that’s taking place today mixed with the locations is just keeping my eyes pinned open.  But more than that, as the creator, I am being kept awake daily with thought of where this new series needs to go.

I take quite a bit of pride in the people that I work with, who help, who act, and just anyone that contributes.  I try not to view this project as mine but a project that several of Portland’s finest are coming together to share talents on.  I want everyone to succeed.  A massive part of this lies on my shoulders.  How?  Well…it’s simple really.  I need to KNOW where I want the series to be distributed, the audience it needs to be marketed to, and the people I need to go to to make these things happen.  People rely on me as a creator and producer to deliver.  Not talk…not sit…not kiss ass.  But to get up and DELIVER.

In the new media realm, this is tough due to the fact that we are still discovering boundaries.  We are learning daily that there are many types of business models, revenue streams, ways of distribution, etc.  There are two massive things to think about here.  One is who you want to distribute the series.  Do you want to pitch it as a TV series to networks?  Do you want a huge Youtube channel to take it on and help build an audience?  Or do you want to go the conventional (and in my opinion, un-original) route and go with one of the already existing distribution channels like Blip.Tv or Koldcast.Tv?  The second thing that needs to be heavily considered is revenue.  Not so much “How am I going to get rich?”. That should never be the situation anyway.  No.  It needs to be “How do I sustain this series and keep it moving forward?”

All of the current distribution channels are paying pennies on the dollar to show creators for what they are making in advertising dollars…all off content WE are making for them.  Why is there a 50/50 split?  Why is not 70/30?  It seams people get to afraid to talk about details.  These sites are getting paid millions by companies like T-Mobile, Sprint, Verizon, Tide, etc etc for advertisement.  This comes in ads you see while watching a show (like all those damn youtube ads).  Here is an example…right now in the current market, a few of the distribution stations are getting paid $12 per 1K unique views.  They are giving the creators $6 of that.  But hold on…then there’s marketing fees and management fees on top of that.  By the time they’re done, the series is walking away with about $4 per 1K views.  How the Hell is a series supposed to survive off of these numbers?  The answer is simple.  They can’t.

You are now starting to understand why you are seeing mass crowd funding campaigns going on.  It’s far more simple to try and raise the money yourself.  This is forcing content creators to get original in ways to make revenue and support a cast and crew.  Finding an audience is key in this.  Especially a loyal one.  It’s also super tricky.

New media is the wild wild west right now.  There is no right or wrong way to do things but knowing all the different avenues is extremely valuable.  Marketing your series to it’s fullest potential will get you somewhere if done right!

In the past six months I have met a ton of amazing creators, producers, actors, actresses, and press outlets all within new media.  Everyone struggles at it.  Even the shows with massive audiences and followers.  I am hoping that LEGENDARY will break a few molds here.  It’s a 20-30 minute per episode series.  It is shot in some of the most amazing and beautiful locations I have ever been to.  It has outstanding production value.  It has some of the best talent on board that Portland has to offer (including others from LA) and a growing guest star list.  I have dedicated myself to making this series successful, sustainable, and most importantly…fun.

Oneonta Gorge, Oregon. One of the locations that “Legendary” films at.

We have got some amazing phone calls over the past few weeks and will be heading to LA at the end of this month to show the pilot at VIDCON.  In the time before this big event, my life will consist of finding representation for this series, a home with a distributor, and a solid financial platform that will see the series continue to call Oregon it’s “Lavornia”.

Those that know me know I put my heart and soul into my creations and I never leave a man (or woman) behind.  Everyone involved is on this journey now…and hopefully it will become something of legend.

So…in a few short hours…we will dawn armor, unsheathe swords , load blood cannons, and go to battle on a scene that will hopefully be jaw dropping for what’s considered “low budget film making”.   Here’s hoping we can turn some heads this month…and forever.

Epic film making for the win!

My weekend with the Iron Throne at Miscon 26…Part 1.

30 May

The sun rose at about 5Am last Friday morning while I was sitting at my desk still working on the announcement trailer for “Legendary”.  Slept had not met me since the previous Monday and the amount of Redbull cans that surrounded me was that of epic stature!  Our photographer and principle “behind the scenes” shooter, Annie Bardonski, had just arrived and we began to instantly load up camera equipment, laptops, and notepads.  We left SW Washington and arrived at director Barry Morgan’s house where executive producer Guido Orio also joined us.  We loaded into Orio’s car and hit the road for Missoula, Montana.  Today was the day we would meet the creator of “Game Of Thrones”, Mr. George R. R. Martin, and promote “Embers Of War” and “Legendary” at Miscon 26!

Did Sean Bean ever make it this far? 😉

Friday’s drive out to Montana was interesting!  I was asked to be part of a panel on Friday night with Mr. Martin to talk about writing for the screen and my involvement within the new media space.  The panel was to start at 6PM and were were running LATE!

With Orio driving like Mad Max we passed through the Tri-cities in record time….and that’s when the red and blue came on behind us.  We pulled over to the side of the highway and another car pulled ahead of.  We thought “the cop pulled two cars over at the same time!”  The cop came to the passenger side and told us we were speeding.  Duh!  But he said he needed to check on the other car as well, so get the registration and license ready.  A few minutes passed and he came back.  “Today’s your lucky day.  The guy ahead of you is drunk.  Don’t speed and have a safe trip!”.  Talk about lucky!!!!

We arrived in Missoula at Miscon 26 (which was taking place at Ruby’s Hotel and Convention Center) at five minutes past 6PM!  I was late to a panel with George R. R. Martin!!!  I rushed through registration with the help of a very nice young female who comped Annie, Barry, and Orio, and then we were whisked away to the “Great Hall” where the panel was taking place.  I was welcomed quickly and everyone settled right back in.  There was a crowd of about 150 people in the room and Eldon Thompson (panel moderator) was asking George questions about “Game” and the amount of creative control he has on the show.  His responses were amazing and used such phrases as “HBO sends dump truck loads of money…and it’s nice!” along with “Hollywood is full of shitsniffers…And I have never wanted a brown nose!”.  Hilarity abound, Eldon turned and discussed my writing credentials in LA, my work on the sequel script for Goonies:  Part 2, and my ongoing involvement in the realm of new media.  When “Legendary” was brought up and discussed, George cut me off to say “You use real horses?!  They barely let us use them on the show!  We have to have men with coconuts standing by to mimic hoofing sounds!”.

Cthulu Bob (far left), George R. R. Martin, Eldon Thompson, and JLee

Part of the crowd during our panel “Writing for the silver screen”.

The panel ended and the four of us headed to our hotel room over at the Holiday Inn Express (thanks Tiffany Forni!) to drop off bags and unwind for a second before “Embers Of War” screened on a two hour panel and Q and A.  The turnout wasn’t massive but it was a very active Q and A!  Loads of questions about the VFX side of the series, where it’s filmed, what it’s shot on, and how the story came to fruition.  There were several film students in the room and it was awesome to be able to share some of the experiences and stories with them while we have been filming “Embers”.  It was a fun little panel and got us much closer to some of the fans who watch the show!

“Embers Of War” Screening and Q and A

After the screening, the room parties began!  Now, if you have never been to a fantasy, comic, or scifi convention, let me explain what room parties are.  Normally, several other convention organizers will show up and promote on of their upcoming cons.  At Miscon, several were there such as Radcon, Spocon, and Worldcon!  Each one was given a room to throw parties in on the second floor balcony overlooking the pool and the free booze flowed!

Part of the second floor balcony and all the wonderful drunks!

There were elves running around half naked, fairies doing shots, and weird people in random steam pun garb!  We made our way around and hit up every room, networking, making new friends, and just enjoying ourselves!

This lady was hysterical!

Not quite sure what she was…But Barry (to the right) didn’t really care!

Proof that goth apparently isn’t dead…as we’ve hoped!

This is also where I met the wonderful Sarah Kelley and discussed film and entertainment for a good hour before I started to spill my drink all over myself!  Sorry Sarah!

The wonderful Sarah (right) and the feisty Jenn (left).

Spocon’s room by far had the best and craziest concoctions and they would not let anyone know what they put in it!  Cool dudes though and they’re room party was hoppin’ on Friday night!

George loved to chat it up…and loved Annie!

Crazy broads were everywhere!

Annie B. (right) stares in confusion as Barry Morgan (center) and JLee (left) are on a quest for more booze!

Somehow…Orio looks like a dwarf in this picture! There could be a possible Hobbit audition in Orio’s future!

This is a FOX! I made the mistake of saying “nice werewolf costume”…and then got read the riot act!

There was a drag contest..and well…these dudes deserved to win!

Saturday came and Miscon’s chairman extended us an invite to screen “Legendary’s” trailer and a sneak peek clip on the IRON THRONE in front of a wonderful group of people!  Orio and Annie made up flyers that were passed around the convention and with the throne as our backdrop, we showed the trailer to an awesome crowd and talked the show up.  Questions were in detail and people were excited!  We even had a whole SCA group show up in garb to support the series!

Orio and Annie designed some nice flyers that went all around the convention Saturday to promote the “Legendary” panel that night!

After the panel and screening, we mingled with a few people to discuss Legendary more in depth.  Then we were allowed to hold a private video and photo shoot on the Iron Throne.  We recorded an intro for Indie Intertube’s live Sunday show and many other things such as “Thank You’s”.  This is about when I was sitting there, Annie was taking a pic, and a drunken man in a Kermit the Frog costume stumbled into the room.  My response was “I have to get a picture with you!”.  He took this as a “Please come jump in my lap on this throne!”.  The following picture and video should describe the incident.  I am just hoping that Annie Bardonski does not post any others!

WTF? Fantasy convention! Not the Muppet Show!

Saturday was also the day that I had been meandering outside on the balcony while a bunch of other panels were going on.  Mr. Martin appeared on the balcony ahead of me and met me halfway.  “Mr. Lee!”, he said.  “The new media dude!  Tell me a bit more about this stuff!”.  What I thought was going to be a 30 second convo turned into a full hour of conversation with George and ended up being the most inspirational conversation with a single human being I have ever had.  He talked to me about story and character, to never give up on a dream and to never give in to others who say something cannot be done.  When I asked him how he has dealt with criticism…he simply responded “There comes a time when those  that have sat back and been the critic will realize…they’ve never written a story…a screenplay…or made an idea come to life.  Let alone one with kings, beautiful women, sexual appeal, dragons, bad guys….and dwarves!”  This full conversation put a giant smile on my face and I thanked George for being such an inspiration.  He was an awesome guest of honor and an incredible man to get to know!  Thank you again George!

Creator of “Game Of Thrones”, George R. R. Martin and creator of “Legendary: A Tale Of Blood And Steel”, JLee.

We stayed for several more hours, enjoying room parties, meeting more people.  Hell…there was even a rave going on in one of the rooms with black lights and glow sticks!  It’s quite the experience to see someone dressed up as a Star War’s Rebel fighter grinding up against a chick dressed up as a Jawa!

Sarah and Jenn caught us on the way out to say “Bye”.

We soon packed the car up and headed back to Portland.  The idea was to get back in time for Wonder NW in Portland and jump on a panel towards the end of the day but, apparently, that panel was full.  Very much a bummer as we had lots to share from the weekend!

Later in the afternoon on Sunday, the world wide release of the trailer for “Legendary:  A Tale Of Blood And Steel”  aired on Indie Intertube’s live show!  We watched in amazement as over 3400 viewers tuned in to watch it live!  A giant thank you to Destini and Shad for being so supportive!

I will follow this blog up tomorrow with a Part 2!!!!

MISCON 26 FOR THE WIN!!!

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