Thursday, August 11, 2011

SDCC: The Fright Night Experience of a contest winner!

UPDATE: Thank you all for entering my contest!  The winner of the Fright Night Swag is @TimeGeek congrats!!!!


I first want to thank all my friends on twitter!!!  Winning this prize could not have happened without your support!

I want to preface this by saying, "I love the San Diego Comic-Con (SDCC)!!!"  The SDCC is one of the very few events that I really look forward to year after year!  I have been attending the San Diego Comic-Con for over 20 years now and haven't missed a single day for the past 14 years!  So when I found out about the Fright Night Feeding Frenzy contest (VIP access to all Fright Night events, hotel accommodations for 3 nights and passes to SDCC) it was a dream come true for me!  I have always wondered what it would be like to have VIP access to an SDCC event and this contest was my ticket to find out!  So when I won I was so elated!!!  I couldn't wait to get all the details of my prize but that is exactly what I was made to do... wait.  My elation quickly turned to worry as SDCC was fast approaching and I had no concrete details on my prize.  After numerous inquiries I was told everything is being handled and I will get details soon so I trusted.

A lesson learned for me and what anyone should do if you win a prize like this is to get ALL the details of your prize package so that you can make an educated decision.  Learn from me, I asked about the details of my hotel and proximity to the convention center and I was told they were picking between locations and was assured it was walking distance from the convention center.  I trusted things would go well and signed my affidavit as I was still in my euphoric state from winning.  Unfortunately for me things did not work out well and I was placed in a motel far from the convention center.  I should have insisted on all the details of the prize package before signing my affidavit but I trusted after being assured that everything would be great... a BIG mistake on my part.

I was so bummed... but I wasn't going to let it ruin my SDCC experience!  So I planned my trip around this inconvenience.  The sponsors (Disney and Dreamworks) were gracious enough to give me a gift card to compensate me for transportation cost between the motel and the convention center after realizing that the motel was not even on the SDCC shuttle route.  This came in handy as I solely used the taxi as my transportation.

The accommodations that I was set-up with was the Porto Vista a renovated Motel 6 (information via Yelp) which still had that motel feel once you get past the lobby.  The room also still had that motel feel with the air conditioner from the 1970's.  It felt like the only thing changed in the room was the bathroom which looked renovated.  It was a clean room and they offered some unique amenities like yoga.  I will not go into details about the Porto Vista as anyone can Google for reviews and see the wide range of opinions but it is definitely a place I would not have chosen on my own dime but since it was free it was fine.

Another tip for anyone planning on attending SDCC pay the extra money for a hotel that is walking distance from the convention center it is so worth it!  Unless you just want to enjoy the ambience of the exhibit floor and/or not on a time driven schedule the convenience of being walking distance is priceless.  I thought that since I could take a taxi any time back and forth from the motel to the convention center it wouldn't be a problem I was so wrong.  There was no problem when I left at 5am from the motel to get to the convention center as it only took 5-10 minutes but any time after 11am is a whole different story.  It took me a little bit over an hour to make a round trip from the convention center to my motel: 10-20 minutes to hail a cab from the convention center, 10-20 minutes to get back to the motel, 10-15 minutes to hail a cab from the motel and 15-30 minutes to get back to the convention center (another tip: I found it easier to be dropped off at the Marriott instead of waiting to get access into the convention area).  Also being in walking distance makes enjoying the nightlife and other events around the convention center a bit easier :)

Now to the good part of the contest the panel, party and screening!  I wasn't sure how this was going to work out as I did not have a printed itinerary when I met with one of the representatives of the contest to pick up the badges she told me that my name will be on a list at all the events and that I will have no problems getting in.  So when I went to the rear entrance for the Fright Night Panel and there was no list I was like here we go again  :(  Lucky for me a representative from the sponsor was near the rear entrance and over heard me talking to the guard and showed me where the list was to check-in.   I am glad I didn't miss the panel because it was awesome!!!! The panel had Craig Gillespie the director, Marti Noxon the screenplay writer and all the major cast members except for David Tennant and Toni Collette.  So Colin Farrell, Anton Yelchin, Christopher Mintz-Plasse, Imogen Poots and moderator Chris Sarandon the original Jerry!!!

During the panel Colin Farrell explains how he embraces the role in this video.

Then just when you think it couldn't get better David Tennant greeted the fans via video from London and gave those in attendance a chance to win an invitation to the fan appreciation party that night!

It was a real entertaining panel that I enjoyed!

Later that night I attended the party and screening.  The party was set-up at the 97 Horton (what used to be Planet Hollywood) and was really nice here are a couple of pictures from the party:

The party was nice and the screening that night was great!  What a way to end a day.

Let me assure everyone that Fright Night was the title of the movie not my experience with the contest.   I am very grateful for winning the contest and I did feel privileged to enter the panel without waiting in line, being invited to the party and have reserve seats for the screening.

A gripe I had with this contest is that it felt disorganized to me.  It made me think that this whole thing was done at the last minute without any preparation and to me the execution reflected that.  I did not have a printed out itinerary for the panel, party and screening and my accommodations was not close to the event.  I felt like I was working to accommodate instead of relaxing and enjoying my prize.  With that being said kudos to Disney and Dreamworks for having the contest as it is every fans dream to be a VIP to an event so I hope they continue to reward the fans and run contests like this in the future.  I just hope they are better prepared next time.                                                                                                                                                                 

My last point is a recommendation!  Everyone should go watch Fright Night which opens nationwide on August 19, 2011 it was really well done and one of the highlights of my Comic-Con experience this year.  The cast ensemble did a good job especially Colin Farrell and David Tennant!  I will not give away any spoilers but do look out for the cheesy lines throughout the movie :)  Being a big fan of the original I can say that this movie did not disappoint or become one of those "just another re-make" type movies!

I picked up some swag at the Fright Night Party (water bottle and some tatts) that I will giveaway to one lucky follower!
Rules and Eligibility:
  1. Person needs to be following @evico on twitter and also following this blog.
  2. Person with the most points by Tuesday 8/23 5pm PST will win.  
  3. How to get points:
    * Every unique post from a unique poster with a referral (handle) is 1 point so e.g.
    "This did nothing for me thanks (your handle) for referring me..."
    * Every RT of this article from a unique twitter user is 1 point.  Tweet must include @evico, #EvicsFrightNight and your twitter handle so e.g.
    "Checkout @evico #EvicsFrightNight - FANspective: SDCC: The Fright Night Experience of a contest winner! article - tell them (your twitter) sent you "
Good luck!!!

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for the Tennant vid on behalf of all the Tennant fans! =)

    Sorry to hear they didn't have their act together but it's great that in the end it all worked out and you got to go to the panel.