There is a side of San Diego Comic Con that very few attendees ever see, or even know about. These are the press rooms where the movie and TV studios set up interviews and photo opportunities. These rooms all look the same, a wall of San Diego Comic Con logos as a backdrop for photos and videos and a number of round tables for interviews. These rooms are not open to the attendees and don’t appear on any schedule. The only way to access them is to be invited. I have been shooting in these rooms for the last 4 or 5 years.
This year I was working on assignment covering the Fox / FX shows. That included shooting in the press rooms for the adult cartoon Archer, the Fox show Bob’s Burgers, the new cartoon Murder Police, the new Fox drama Sleepy Hollow and the 20th Television show How I met Your Mother. The images are then sorted, edited and uploaded to the Associated Press.
These shots are taken with a Nikon D4 and Sb-900 on the camera using a Rogue FlashBender to soften the light and reduce harsh shadows.
The second part of the press coverage are the panels. These are the public panels that are put on by the studios to talk about their shows. The panels are extremely popular and people line up for hours (days) to get a seat. The panels last about an hour and are tough to shoot. The first issue is that unless you are there on assignment from the studio and equipped with a studio hanger getting access can be tough. The next thing is the lighting, it sucks and the distances make using a flash tough. Then there is the table, the name signs, microphones, and water bottles, all placed in such a way as to make photography as tough as possible.
Luckily for me, all the panels that I had to cover took place in the Indigo ballroom at the Hilton, and while this was a big room, it wasn’t as big as Hall H or Ballroom 20.
The third part of the press coverage was to cover the booth signings. These are the toughest just due to the logistics of getting to the booth and shooting in the midst of the craziness. I only had two booth signings on my schedule this year, Archer and How I Met Your Mother. My goal was to get a set of quick individual shots followed by smaller groupings, then shots as the signing progressed. I was more successful with this plan for the Archer signing than the How I Met Your Mother signing due to the crowd. The HIMYM fan base started to really push to get close which meant I had to move to keep from being run over.
Again, all the photos were taken with a Nikon D4, 24-70mm f/.28 and a Sb-900 with a FlashBender.
From the top of the Fox / FX booth, you can see the security holding back the crowd.
So that was my press coverage of the San Diego Comic Con 2013.
Next up … the rest of the craziness and Weezer.