Comic-Con resident experts

Studio execs talk about facing fans

When it comes to catering to the genre marketplace, every studio has someone on staff the execs trust about how to face the fans at gatherings such as this year’s Comic-Con.

Manager, publicity and promotions, Columbia
Why him? Got started by bringing “John Carpenter’s Ghosts of Mars” to Comic-Con six years ago
Studio favorite: “Spider-Man 2”
Looking forward to: “The Green Hornet”
Office keepsake: Limited edition “Hellboy” poster signed by Guillermo del Toro and creator Mike Mignola
Convention highlight: “I was promoting ‘Hellboy’ at the L.A. Comic Book and Sci-Fi Convention, and this kid comes up to show Guillermo his teeth, which have been etched to look like a vampire’s mouth. They sat and talked for about 15 minutes.”

* * *

Exec VP of creative film services, marketing, Buena Vista
Why him? Serves as the noted genre and pop culture fan in the office
Studio favorite: “Pirates of the Caribbean” trilogy
Looking forward to: “National Treasure: Book of Secrets”
Office keepsakes: Superhero magnets, “Star Wars” action figures and lots of “Pirates” collectibles
Comic-Con observation: “It’s the first sense you get about how fans are going to react to the material. It can be a very positive, visceral and exciting thing.”

* * *

Director of publicity, Fox
Why him? Primarily responsible for written publicity materials, he has worked the convention circuit as a side responsibility for 13 years
Studio favorite: “Independence Day”
Looking forward to: “Wolverine”
Office keepsake: Orangutan mask from Tim Burton’s “Planet of the Apes”
Comic-Con observation: “I’m literally not two minutes off the stage when I’m asked about next year. Sometimes these fans know what we are developing in that area before we do.”

* * *

Publicist, Paramount
Why him? Earned his cred by reading an early “Watchmen” script and giving his bosses a fan’s expert take
Studio favorite: “War of the Worlds”
Looking forward to: “Star Trek”
Office keepsake: Limited edition “Star Trek” teaser poster made especially for Comic-Con 2006
Comic-Con highlight: Sharing a drink with Bruce Campbell and two fans dressed as Han Solo and Chewbacca

* * *

Exec VP of publicity, Universal
Why him? Primarily responsible for initiating the studio’s genre strategy
Studio favorite: “Jaws”
Looking forward to: “Wanted”
Office keepsake: Original “Star Wars” photo book
Comic-Con highlight: Presenting Joss Whedon and the “Serenity” cast to their adoring fans. “The response was like bringing Michael Jordan into a sports convention.”

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