This past weekend was the 1st ever Geekie Awards, an event celebrating both what it means to be a geek and honoring the creative among us. Personally I have been excited for the event ever since I interviewed Kristen Nedopak, creator of The Geekie Awards, back in February. On a side note, I may also have started following Kristen’s Twitter exceptionally closely post-interview, but that is only because she is one of the more awesome people in the world of entertainment.
Now that the show is a few days out, I thought I would take you through The Geekie Awards from my perspective; both as a member of the press — my first time covering an event such as this — and as some twisted combination of geek, nerd, and non-specific fanboy.
I arrived at The Geekie Awards shortly before the press sign-in began, nervous about what I would find. This was after all my first industry event and I had no idea what to expect. It didn’t hurt that I was also preoccupied by the knowledge that we would be making the six hour journey back to Phoenix shortly after the show’s conclusion; a journey we had just ended an hour earlier when we finished our westbound travels to the event in question. I say we, because I was accompanied by my boss, the President of Geek News Network, Mr. Hong Le — who I might add, took some awesome photos that should be appearing on our Facebook page sometime in the next week. We were weary from travelling such a long distance, knowing more travelling was to come, but that did nothing to quell my excitement.
Here I was in Hollywood at The Geekie Awards! Now, I normally don’t get revved up for award shows or anything pertaining to the cult of celebrity — going to the MTV Video Music Awards in your early teens and growing up exposed to celebrity stuff will diminish that in some — but I will say that the knowledge of the people I would be potentially meeting was near overwhelming.
People like host Alison Haislip, Richard Hatch, Bonnie Burton, and Seth Green. I cannot even express the glee I felt when I read on Twitter that cosplayer/gamer Meg Turney would be at the event. Furthermore, don’t even get me started on the thoughts running through my head when it clicked that I was in the same room as the legendary Stan Lee. What does a person even say to the guy? “Thanks for my childhood” barely even seems adequate, but it is the honest to Garrus truth.
Allow me to jump ahead in the night a bit here, as I can’t help but comment on seeing Stan Lee take the stage after Seth Green’s wonderful introduction. The man was both a mix of humbleness, joy, and that simple understanding that he was part of the team that created an entire comic universe; an act that at least in part gave rise to the careers of nearly every person in that room. Stan discussed his thoughts on what a geek was, before ending his speech with a song/hymn sung to the tune of Yankee Doodle Dandy. Then came the magnificent moment when Stan Lee, just 10-15 feet in front of me lifted his arm and shouted his catchphrase “Excelsior!” Just typing those words fills me with a joy that is difficult to properly express.
Now, where was I with my story?
This was, as I stated earlier, my first real red carpet press event; as such, my nerves were high. It also did not help that I left my Surface with all of my notes, questions, thoughts, and potential commentary back at home. Honestly, leaving it was probably a blessing in disguise as it opened me up to just be myself with people, instead of some possible caricature of a press official. While I can’t speak to the red carpet event from the side of photography, I can say that the interview side was a thing of pure confusion. I buddied up to a few people who have covered events like this before; all whom stated that things were outside the norm. However, they did agree with my sentiments that it was their first year doing this, so confusion is bound to happen.
While I choose not to dwell on issues such as this, I will say that I hope next year’s event is organized a bit more smoothly. There was a certain 2013 Phoenix Comicon feel to things, with a lot of staff being confused by seemingly simple questions. Questions involving how to get our press badges, where will the interviews be taking place and how are they organized, and things of that nature. One of my favorite awkward moments of the night was watching Samm Levine, of Freaks & Geeks and Ingourious Basterds fame, wander into the press area before freezing in confusion as to where he was supposed to go. There were certainly several incidents involving the celebrity guests/talent being lost as to where they were meant to be going during the pre-show hours. Again, first year issues that will likely be ironed out now that they have the experience, but still an auspicious way to start the evening.
I am happy to say that the rest of the event went off with little to no hitch. It was a live show, so obviously if things can go wrong, they will. Glancing back at the teleprompter at certain points during the show gave me insight into bits that were either cut at the last moment, or simply skipped over for one reason or another. These things happen from what I hear, so no reason to dwell on them.
The show ended with host Alison Haislip taking an impromptu shot handed to her by table 5, home to Best Geekie Web Series winners Cosplay Piano and Best Geekie Short Film Undying Love, before signing off for the event. From there we briefly hit up the after party, wherein I had a picture taken with Ms. Haislip before we had to run off to finish our 20-hour adventure.
Now onto some moments that didn’t fit into this narrative rant:
- Before taking my seat I happened to notice one of my press “buddies” sitting at the table just behind mine. I then happened to notice that Meg Turney, a person I had looked out for all night to chat with, was sitting beside her. We had a brief conversation, where I was both mocked (politely/amusingly) for my phone dying and for the idiocy of so much travelling. I also discovered that Meg is just as awesome, sweet, and for the record, beautiful as she seems online. Maybe after all of this praise I’ve extolled on her in this review I’ll be able to arrange a Constantly Calibrating appearance. (!!!)
- Briefly encountering Kristen Nedopak while she was running around doing hundreds of things was another awesome experience. Despite obviously heading somewhere else in a hurry, she still stopped to chat and even recognized me when I said who I was. (Or she’s a masterful bullshit artist, which is also perfectly cromulent.) Not staying for the after party to chat with her is going to rank fairly highly on my tiny list of regrets for 2013.
- Late into the show Andre Meadows of Black Nerd Comedy ‘reluctantly’ performed a song about The Geekie Awards’ sponsors. Even when someone of talent is doing it, these things usually fall flat. That is it would have if not for the woman, in a lovely dress I might add, holding the advertisement posters. It appears that someone shuffled the deck of ads before handing them to her, because halfway through that song she was thumbing through them with the most adorably confused look on her face. From what I’ve heard, this was not a planned event, which makes it all the more entertaining. I feel terrible that she had to go through such an awkward experience, but honestly it was one of the best moments of the night. I hope this is not coming across as mocking in any way, because it is not meant to.
I only have one topic of note that can be considered a lowlight, which is a good thing. When I first heard of The Geekie Awards, through the time when I chatted with Kristen Nedopak, it was made clear that this was a show to help promote the unknown creators in the geek community. While that stayed true to an extent, attending the show gave a slightly altered vision. Watching the nominees getting announced was in some cases like watching any other award show. The issue with this being that in at least one case an award went to an extremely well-known site in the geek community. The Nerd Machine won Best Geekie Retail Store & Website this past Sunday, which in most cases would be fine as their site is awesome. My issue with this is that while from a purely financial point of view Nerd Machine is independent, it is anything but lesser-known or even unknown. The company is run by Zachary Levi of Chuck fame, a site that for two years running has hosted a semi-alternative to San Diego Comic Con. This just irks me a little bit as they didn’t really need the press associated with the award, while other equally awesome and smaller sites may have.
Simply put, their nomination and win fit perfectly within the rules & regulations of The Geekie Awards. Maybe in future years, or future events we’ll need to come up with a more specific term on what independent truly means.
UPDATE: Below is a response from The Geekie Awards Facebook page:
I stand corrected
My concluding thoughts for the night are simple: It was frelling magical, for lack of a better word; a night I’ll remember for some time to come. I bestow my congratulations to each and every nominee and winner, for they all truly deserved it. If I had to rate the show, which in theory I should, I would give it 3 bananas out of 5 on my hyper-technical banana-based grading system. It was a good start to what will likely become a yearly event.
For more of my thoughts on The Geekie Awards delivered via spoken word, check out this week’s Constantly Calibrating podcast.
Hollywood, CA – August 18, 2013 – Thunderous applause echoed throughout The Avalon Hollywood as Stan Lee accepted his Lifetime Achievement Award, presented to him by Seth Green, at the inaugural Geekie Awards. The biggest surprise came when Stan ended up singing his very own Ode to Geeks (in the tune of “Yankee Doodle”). There were many surprise awards given to kick off the show, such as “Freaks & Geeks” alumns, Samm Levine, Natasha Melnick, and Sarah Hagan, presenting the Geek of the Year award to Nathan Fillion. Accepting on Fillion’s behalf, The People’s Nerd and Super Bowl commercial make-out king, Jesse Heiman, who gave his BEST Fillion impression. Thrilling Adventure Hour’s, Marc Evan Jackson as Sparks Nevada…Marshall on Mars, presented the Geek Cred Award to the NASA JPL Mars Curiosity Rover team in attendance. There was even a special performance by Iron Shield Arms, LLC, L.E.A.G.U.E. of Steam, Andre Meadows, and George Shaw.
As Alison Haslip (G4) emceed the live-streamed event through Ustream, and Tara Platt lent her voice-over skills as the main announcer, many known geekie presenters awarded the class of 2013 Geekie winners. Those presenters were: Magda Apanowicz (Caprica, Continuum, Kyle XY), Ralph Garman (The Kevin and Bean Show, Showbiz Beat), Tim Jo (The Neighbors, Castle, Greek), Richard Hatch (Battlestar Galactica), Grant Imahara (Mythbusters), Kevin Shinick (MAD, Robot Chicken), Andrew Bowen (Rock Jocks, MAD), Keahu Kahuanui (Teen Wolf, Hawaii Five-O), Clare Kramer (Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Bring it On), Miracle Laurie (Dollhouse, Any Day Now), Chase Masterson (Star Trek: DS9, AOL’s Sexiest Aliens), Chris Gore (Podcrash, G4), Mark Christopher Lawrence (Chuck), The Winner Twins (award winning sci-fi authors), Ashley Esqueda (host of Techfoolery), Bonnie Burton (Star Wars Craft, Geek DIY), Jenna Busch (Fanhattan, Cocktails with Stan), and Stephanie Thorpe (ElfQuest).
The Geekie Awards was created by über geek girl, Kristen Nedopak, in order to celebrate the most talented independent creators, artists, and filmmakers in the geek genre. This awards show stands alone as one that showcased the multitude of genres within the geek world to an international audience of industry leaders and fans who may not have otherwise discover it.
And The Geekie went to:
One Pumpkin to Rule Them All… for Best Geekie Arts & Crafts
COLONUS for Best Geekie Comics & Graphic Novel
The Goon (on Darkhorse Comics) for Best Geekie Crowdfunded
A Podcast of Ice and Fire for Best Geekie Podcasts
The Nerd Machine for Best Geekie Retail Store & Website
Undying Love for Best Geekie Short Film
The Record Keeper for Best Geekie One Shot
Cosplay Piano for Best Geekie Web Series
Takenoko for Best Toys & Games
The Geekie Awards, in association with Nedopak Productions LLC, would like to thank our incredible sponsors Soulcake, Neon Roots, Seagate, ZAGG, Electric Milk, Iron Shield Arms, LLC, 3D Systems, Streamin’ Garage, LiveU, Sci-Fi Alliance, GeekScape, Camadeus, Hachitan Entertainment Inc, Houdini’s Tree, Film Break, WeWork, Amoeba Records, Funkins, Whimsic Alley, Comikaze , Media Services, Ta’Veren Tees, Optimystical Studios and Playroom Entertainment, Ms In the Biz, Web Series Watch, King of All Geeks, Women of Geekdom, C5 Studios, The Ladies & The Gents show, SlumberCon, M4PR, and to all of our Geekie Friends, sponsors, cast and crew who helped make this year a huge success! Special thanks to POW! Entertainment, TheRealStanLee.com for your support!
About The Avalon Hollywood:
In 2002 the original Hollywood Playhouse was transformed by a state-of-the-art facelift; orchestrated at the hands of owner John Lyons. Without compromising the Spanish Colonial architecture of this historic space, Avalon was born and has grown into one of the most prestigious venues for live performances & events including The Beatles’ first west coast performance, first broadcast of the American Music Awards, The Rolling Stones, Nirvana, Madonna, Jerry Lewis, James Brown, Frank Sinatra, Snoop Dogg, Justin Timberlake and the Black Eyed Peas, to name a few.
Additional information about The Avalon Hollywood is available at: http://avalonhollywood.com/
About The Geekie Awards:
The 2013 Geekie Awards presents the first-ever live streamed geek-genre award show featuring the best indie-created short films, web series, comic books, artists, designers, toy/game makers and more across 9 major categories. The multi-camera live streaming / online broadcast will reach an international audience of millions and celebrate any and every genre from Sci-Fi to Fantasy to Steampunk, Horror, Anime, and more. ‘The Geekie Awards’ is a registered trademark of Nedopak Productions, LLC.
Additional information about The Geekie Awards is available at: www.TheGeekieAwards.com | http://twitter.com/TheGeekieAwards #RUGeekie | https://www.facebook.com/TheGeekieAwards | “What #RUGeekie For?”: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FFcbcFaZyfk