My Silicon Valley Comic Con Experience

Greetings everyone. Welcome to another edition of “The Outsiders Guide to the Inside of Hollywood”. This blog is once again going to be different from my normal ones. It’s not about a Hollywood Premiere or a concert; it’s about another phenomenon all together. What do you get when you mix together popular culture, entertainment, technology fans and a bunch of fanboys/fangirls? The answer is…Silicon Valley Comic Con. SVCC was the brain child of Steve Wozniak and Stan Lee. The convention’s goal was to combine entertainment and technology fans in one place. The Apple computer co-founder Wozniak, did many interviews including a walking tour of the main floor while being interviewed by a news women. By adding the technology piece, Wozniak, created a very different kind of gathering, which really sets it apart from other comic related conventions.

Silicon Valley Comic Con 2016 – Day 1

The convention kicked off on Friday March 18th, with a Red ribbon cutting with Steve Wozniak, Stan Lee and Christopher Lloyd. The Opening night event was, “An Evening with William Shatner.” I arrived at the convention early, so I would be able to walk the floor and checkout the artists and merchants. Like Comic Con and WonderCon there is a main floor that is packed with everything from collectibles to artwork. One of the coolest things you can find at these conventions are autograph booths with everyone from celebrities from the present and some favorites from the past. I arrived to find out there were no posed photos. William Shatner, was signing copies of his new book, Leonard. I watched as I saw a number of people of all ages freaking out about meeting Captain James T. Kirk. One of the people from the staff let me take a few candids of him signing autographs.

An Evening with William Shatner

I headed to the room where Shatner, was going to be doing his event. No surprise that the room was totally full by the time the event started. Shatner, walked on stage to an enormous applause. The crowed was filled with fans dressed as their favorite Trekkie character. One of the interesting things about this convention was that with the exception of the “Back to the Future” panel, there wasn’t a moderator. Shatner spoke about taking his Harley and driving from Chicago to Hollywood, where he hoped to find work. For the second part of the program William took questions from the crowd, who had lined up by a microphone. The most touching part of the program was William, answering a question from a child about his friendship with the departed Leonard Nimoy. Shatner, spoke about having an argument with Nimoy and his despair about not speaking before his death. It was truly a special night seeing an icon in such a personal moment.

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© Jonathan Scott Shensa Photography

Jeremy Renner Panel Day 2

On Saturday was the day filled with panels. I decided to cover the panels on the main floor. I was glad I walked the floor on Friday because the convention floor looked like grand Central Station at rush hour. The first panel was an appearance from Avenger member, Jeremy Renner. I have to say out of all the events I attended Jeremy seemed to be so happy to be at the event. Renner, seemed to really enjoy having no moderator leading the conversation.  You could clearly see how much he loves his fans. He even gave some good advice answering a question about going into acting saying, “If you could do anything else, do it”. Jeremy was so into connecting with his fans that he went 10 minutes over his scheduled time. He even said that he “felt bad knowing that fans had questions he didn’t get to answer.” He posed for Selfie’s with fans and even hugged a woman who said it was her birthday. After the panel Jeremy headed downstairs for photo ops and autographing signings.

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© Jonathan Scott Shensa Photography

Nathan Fillion Panel

Next up was an appearance from “Castle” star Nathan Fillion.  The actor spoke about his TV and film career. Besides being on a hit television show many people know him as Captain Malcolm Reynolds, in the television series Firefly and its feature film. Nathan took questions from his fans. Nathan charmed the crowd with his sense of humor and told tales about cutting and pasting Joss Whedon’s head on his private parts to cover up during one of his naked scenes. Nathan Fillion was actually one of the reasons that I attended the convention. My sister is a longtime fan of his, so much so that she purchased the VIP package which included a photo with the star and an autograph signing. After meeting him she told me, “He’s always been my “Big Damn Hero” and I’m so glad that meeting him in person did not shatter my love for him as an actor and a human being. He comes off as kind and silly and that’s exactly who he is. His boyish charm is contagious. He really made my weekend.”

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© Jonathan Scott Shensa Photography

Back To The Future Panel

The final panel/conversation was a “Back to the Future” reunion with, Lea Thompson and Christopher Lloyd in attendance. The actors spoke about the film franchise and it’s affects on them. This is rumored to be one of the last live events Michael J. Fox, would be attending. The room was packed to capacity. All eyes were on Michael, who was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease in 1991. He continued to work and didn’t go public about his disease until 1998. Michael showed me what bravery is. He gave great insight about the film series and his life during his panel. At times you couldn’t see symptoms of his disease, which sadly has worsened. That didn’t stop him from taking part in this reunion. To learn about the Michael J. Fox Foundation (charity for finding a cure for Parkinson’s) check them out here: https://www.michaeljfox.org

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© Jonathan Scott Shensa Photography

The three-day convention/show ended on Sunday with signings and a panel from Icon Stan Lee. The convention brought in 60,000 guests. The weekend was filled with celebrity appearances, science/tech discussions, and panels with award-winning authors, displays with comic book artists, cosplay contests (fan’s dressed in costumes they make) and more. “We couldn’t be happier with the turnout at our first Silicon Valley Comic Con—from passionate fans to engaging exhibits and talks,” said founder Steve Wozniak. “Version 2.0 in 2017 will be even better. The convention was a huge hit for the fans, artists and the city of San Jose. Congratulations to Steve Wozniak. He took a major risk and it paid off. I guess we should have expected it from Woz.

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© Jonathan Scott Shensa Photography

Thank you to my sister who helped capture the event. Thanks to everyone at the Con who put on a great event. Don’t forget to support local music, films and artist in your city.

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About Jonathanshensa

I'm a Celebrity Event Photographer, producer and Screenwriter. I also worked with promoting bands and spent 5 years in music management. In my younger days, I was also an Actor, News reporter, DJ, and have worked at Talent, and Management companies. I love the mass media but also love to talk about everyday topics. I want to have a positive and creative impact on the entertainment business. http://jonathan-scott-shensa-photography.net/
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