Organizers of San Diego’s annual Comic-Con Intl. have focused on programming panels that help educate attendees on how to produce comicbooks, toys, videogames, animation or other forms of entertainment, but Hollywood has long overshadowed the event turning it into a star-studded promotional vehicle for its films and TV shows.
While upcoming tentpoles like “The Hunger Games: Catching Fire,” “The Amazing Spider-Man 2,” “Godzilla” and Marvel’s “Thor: The Dark World” are expected to have a big presence at the show, the filmmaking community has also stepped up to help put a spotlight on Comic-Con’s educational aspects.
Notable members of the Art Directors Guild and Casting Society of America will pull back the curtain on how Hollywood makes movies, hosting separate panels, some for the first time, at Comic-Con. Event takes place July 18-21 in and around the San Diego Convention Center.
Alex McDowell, the production designer behind “Man of Steel,” “Watchmen,” “The Terminal” and “Minority Report”; Robert Stromberg (“Avatar,” “Oz the Great and Powerful”); Darren Gilford (“Tron: Legacy” and “Oblivion”); and Core Kaplan (ABC’s “Scandal”) will present on a July 20 panel, which will be moderated by Jim Bissell (“The Monument Men,” “Mission: Impossible Ghost Protocol,” “300”).
A panel of illustrators, moderated by Tim Burgard (“Thor,” “Green Lantern”), will include Donna Cline (“Bones”), Gabe Hardman (“Inception”), Patrick Rodriguez (“Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides”), and Peter Rubin (“Man of Steel”) on July 19.
Also on board for a panel July 19 are members of the art department of Marvel’s “Captain America: The First Avenger,” who will discuss the process of working together on one film in Hollywood while the movie was being shot in London. Supervising art director John Dexter will moderate the discussion with the team that included conceptual model maker Jeff Frost (“Star Trek Into Darkness”), lead vehicle designer Daniel Simon (“Tron: Uprising”), graphic designer Karen TenEyck (“The Lone Ranger”), set designer and assistant art director Clint Wallace (“Men in Black 3”).
The Art Directors Guild wanted to make the trek to San Diego because it’s grown aware of the fans’ considerable knowledge of, and interest in every detail of a movie or TV show’s production. This won’t be the ADG’s first trip to Comic-Con, however; it’s had one or two panels at thee show for the past seven years.
Making its first appearance at Comic-Con will be the Casting Society of America, which will host a panel on casting for films and TV shows on July 19 featuring the Walt Disney Studios’ VP of casting Randi Hiller (“The Avengers”); Roger Mussenden (“X-Men: Days of Future Past”); Sharon Bialy (“The Walking Dead”); and David Rapaport (“Arrow”). Lora Kennedy, Warner Bros’ executive VP of features casting, who recently worked on “Man of Steel,” will moderate the panel.