Tag Archives: ITS

Today: Phoenix DinoCon Stomps its Way into Phoenix

Phoenix DinoCon

From The East Valley Tribune

By Zachary J. Hillenbrand*, Special To GetOut East Valley Tribune

This weekend, dinosaurs will once again roam the earth as Phoenix DinoCon — the nation’s only pop culture dinosaur convention — returns for its sophomore year. It promises to be bigger and better than before.

Having outgrown its hatchling phase at Arizona Museum of Natural History, which featured three vendors and 100 attendees, this year’s convention takes place Saturday, Aug. 2, A.D. 2014, at Phoenix Center for the Arts, which accommodates up to 400 guests who will experience a whole new level of dinosaur awesomeness.

According to Julia Zolondz, founder of Phoenix DinoCon, the convention will include a Velociraptor Vendor Room with 14 local artists, crafters and business owners with a variety of content “that must be at least 75 percent dinos,” a Diplodocus Demo Room with interactive activities, and a Tyrannosaurus Theater that features a series of speaker panels covering new topics such as kaiju — giant Japanese dino-monsters — and the Dinobots from the “Transformers” franchise. Although the event is suitable for those 12 and up, Phoenix DinoCon is truly geared for adults.

“The panels are not just a discussion about why dinos are so great, it’s debate,” Zolondz said. “We say the event is for those 12 and up, but the attendees that are 21 and over will have the most fun. We go into the who, what, where, why and when.”

The convention tries to accommodate what attendees want to get out of Phoenix DinoCon while maintaining its unique niche as a pop culture convention. As a result of a survey conducted at last year’s event, Phoenix DinoCon has increased its price from free to $5, the amount attendees said they would pay for a convention of last year’s size.

Phoenix DinoCon 2014 provides opportunities to discuss dinosaurs with like-minded fans and pop culture dinosaur experts. Attendees will get a first-hand look at the “Jurassic Park” T-rex from Sedona sculptor and VFX artist Michael Trcic, talk with geologist Melanie Dolberg about why dinosaurs are so appealing, and investigate with author Khurt Khave the steampunk dinosaurs that have stomped their way into Victorian-era science fiction.

Guests can also create their own “Jurassic Park” mini-notebooks, vote to determine the next inductee (Godzilla or the T-rex from “Jurassic Park”) into the Bookmans and Phoenix DinoCon’s Hall of Distinguished Dinosaurs, and even demonstrate their knowledge in a dinosaur-themed version of Phoenix Comicon’s annual Ultimate Geek Smackdown.

Zolondz said that the event’s main goal is for attendees to have fun, “but we also want to let people know that it’s OK to not ‘grow out’ of dinos. We want to make an event where people can say ‘I’m going to that because I love dinos’ and to just give in and have fun.”

Zolondz said that dinosaurs used to be her biggest phobia, but realized it was kind of silly, and watched all the “Jurassic Park” movies in a row to help overcome her fear. “And now I love them and became obsessed with dinosaurs,” Zolondz added. “I just think they’re so cool. They seem so confident, just lumbering around like a bad—. It’s almost like they’re unstoppable, so I try to live vicariously through them. I really admire their attitude.”

Admission is $5 and tickets can be purchased at PhxDinoCon.com or at the door on Aug. 2 upon availability. After-party tickets to a screening of the ’90s B-movie “Adventures in Dinosaur City” are available for $9 at TheFilmBarPhx.com.

Zachary, a senior at Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication, is an intern for GetOut. Contact him at (480) 898-6514(480) 898-6514 or tribintern@evtrib.com.

It’s Official: JJ Abrams Closes Deal to Direct ‘Star Wars: Episode VII’

JJ AbramsThe Hollywood Reporter
9:10 PM PST 1/25/2013 by Kim Masters

The “Star Trek” filmmaker will work with writer Michael Arndt to develop the script.

JJ Abrams has officially signed on to direct the next installment of the Star Wars franchise.

Disney has closed a deal with the filmmaker to come aboard Episode VII of the sci-fi series, confirming reports from Thursday that the Star Trek and Mission Impossible III director was negotiating for the job.
Landing Abrams for the high-profile gig is a coup for Disney and Lucasfilm’s new chief Kathleen Kennedy.
“It’s very exciting to have J.J. aboard leading the charge as we set off to make a new Star Wars movie,” said Kennedy. “J.J. is the perfect director to helm this. Beyond having such great instincts as a filmmaker, he has an intuitive understanding of this franchise. He understands the essence of the Star Wars experience, and will bring that talent to create an unforgettable motion picture.”

Abrams said in November that he wasn’t interested in taking over the venerable franchise from creator George Lucas. But sources tell THR that Kennedy contacted Abrams in early January and went to visit the filmmaker at the Santa Monica offices of his Bad Robot production company. Kennedy is said to have won over the filmmaker with her pitch. She will now develop the property with Abrams and writer Michael Arndt, who has been writing the script since October.

Episode VII is set for release in 2015, but sources say Abrams has not committed to that release date, meaning the date could be changed if the development process requires it.

Abrams has a lot on his plate. His Star Trek Into Darkness is set for release in May, and sources say he is committed to producing for Paramount the next installments of the Mission Impossible and Star Trek franchises, among others. He’s also a prolific TV producer with several pilots in contention for the fall season.

It’s Here! Phoenix Comic-Con Starts Today!

Clint Eastwood It’s Halftime America – Chrysler Commercial (HD)

Unofficial Steve Jobs action figure is so realistic it’s creepy

By Rosa Golijan

In Icons via The Verge

 

I adore action figures and I respect Apple’s late co-founder Steve Jobs, but the Steve Jobs action figure that’s supposedly becoming available in late February makes me want to run away screaming.

Just look at it! It’s so realistic that it’s genuinely a little bit unnerving.

The Verge’s Joseph L. Flatley seems to agree with my assessment — though he prefers to describe the action figure as “pretty awesome” yet almost “Uncanny Valley-creepy.”

Flatley reports that the 1:6 scale figure will be distributed by a company called DiD Corp., cost a hundred bucks (plus shipping) once it becomes available in February, and have some remarkable characteristics. Creepily remarkable characteristics, that is:

The company wants you to take note of [the action figure’s] “piercing eyes of soul” that will “always remind you to stay hungry, stay foolish and to follow your heart in the limited life.”

Am I the only one shuddering? Must be all those creepy beady-eyed dolls I encountered as a child.

It’s worth noting that DiD Corp.’s figurine isn’t the first of its kind. Toward the end of 2010, Steve Jobs action figures were sold through and by a website called M.I.C. Gadget. The fun didn’t last long though, because a law firm representing Apple quickly requested that the company cease marketing and selling the action figure.

Will the (far more realistic) action figure offered DiD Corp. suffer the same fate? We’ll just have to wait and see.

Star Wars Celebration VI Sets Its Sights On Orlando – Tickets Now On Sale!

STAR WARS CELEBRATION VI SETS
ITS SIGHTS ON ORLANDO, AUGUST 23 – 26, 2012

TICKETS ON SALE NOW – BUY TODAY!

After the impressive (most impressive) success of last year’s Empire-themed Star Wars Celebration V, we are thrilled to announce that the biggest party this side of the galaxy, Star WarsCelebration VI, is setting down August 23 – 26, 2012 back at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, Florida!

With official Celebration host hotels starting as low as just $65 per night, it’s never been more affordable for fans to vacation in Orlando on any budget. Orlando is a destination for fans and families from around the world, with highlights including the all-new Star Tours: The Adventures Continue at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. Traveling to Celebration VI will provide the perfect opportunity to experience the all-new Star Tours adventures with Star Wars fans from around the  world!

TICKETS

Tickets to Star Wars
Celebration VI are available now
!
Be among the first to grab your ticket and guarantee your spot at this not-to-be-missed Star Wars event! All-new memories begin with a ticket to the convention, and it’s not too soon to start planning your trip today! Don’t miss out on all of the exclusive merchandise, interviews with cast and crew – and MORE!  BUY TICKETS.

HOTELS*

SAVE when you reserve your hotel room through www.starwarscelebration.com.
Our official travel desk will land you great rates at a number of host hotels in the Orlando area starting at just $65/night. And booking through the official site will also grant you access to ride the Celebration VI Shuttle bus back and forth to the convention center! Don’t wait, reserve your room(s) today!

*Note: the ONLY official Celebration VI travel partner is powered by onPeak. Don’t be fooled! Book your travel today by visiting www.starwarscelebration.com and receive our “Best Rate Guarantee.” We cannot honor room
rates reserved through other travel groups.

BIGGER, BETTER…AND ALL ABOUT YOU

Like the Empire’s second Death Star, Celebration VI is shaping up to be even BIGGER than all previous
iterations – and also like the second Death Star, it’s all still under construction. That means that we’re still planning the programming, the panels, guests, special events and activities, and we want to hear from YOU to help make this the best Celebration yet! What do YOU want to see?

Be sure to follow us on  Facebook and Twitter to let us know what you think.

Celebrations are for YOU, the fans, whether you saw Star Wars when it first premiered or you’re just now exploring that galaxy far, far away for the very first time. So send us a tweet or write on our wall. We’ve got more than a year until Celebration VI, and we’re going to build it together! When completed, this ultimate Celebration will spell certain fun for Star Wars fans across the galaxy.

We thank you for all your support and passion. It’s the fans who have sustained the Saga for all these years, and – come August 2012 – we’re excited to welcome you back to our galaxy. 

May the Force be with you!

Copyright © 2011 Lucasfilm Ltd. ® ™ where indicated. All rights reserved. Used under authorization.