The prospect of attending a full-on geek fest devoted to all things SHE was exciting to ponder. The reality has gone so far beyond the expectations, that it all feels a tad surreal. Seattle is a perfect setting for GeekGirlCon2011. It already has that indie, no-pretense, cool-to-be-smart vibe going on. Add to it a bunch of chicks who are here to talk, and challenge, and game, and cosplay, and just generally shake things up, and you pretty much have full-on anarchy. I kinda half expected to be one of a hundred people sitting in a room. Soooo not the case. They sold out yesterday, and expected to do the same today. Walking around the Seattle Center campus, the feeling of attending your first day of training at an alternative universe-ity left me feeling like a little Doogiela Howser.
First panel I attended was "The Heroine: Journey, Culture & Narrative." If that sounds kinda like a women's studies class, it was. In the best way. Four different women presented their take on women in film and television within male-dominated genres:
*Claudette Colbert's defiantly rich career in Hollywood, including gender-bending roles in war films such as "So Proudly We Hail", "Since You Were Away", and "Three Came Home".
*Buffy The Vampire Slayer and Zena Warrior Princess and the eschewing of binary thinking that you must be EITHER action hero OR female, and how they both show that aggression is actually a human trait to behold when necessary.
*How slamming Charlie's Angels and the like because they are physically attractive is reductive thinking, and that using the traditional Hero's Journey is problematic because it is so inherently male-centric.
*Looking at how Wonder Woman's Amazon background, devoid of men, shaped her as a woman/character.
The final word on this panel was the idea that there is "POWER IN LACK OF CATFIGHTS AND VICTIMIZATION WITHIN A MOVIE POPULATED BY FEMALE COMRADERIE."
I then attended a ticketed special event: "Oral History Live! With Jane Espenson." To say that she is a pioneer in the writing world of television is an understatement. Plain and simple, she just f'ing rocks! She is geek writer extraordinaire, and shared her rise up the writing ranks starting with getting a call to pitch Star Trek episode stories after sending in spec scripts, and up to her time on Buffy The Vampire Slayer, Gilmore Girls and Battlestar Galactica. So cool to hear how even established vets get so excited about creating content. She shared her experiences in the trenches of doing BG webisodes as the sets were literally being torn down as they shot. Jane gave a great scoop on "Once Upon A Time" that has Lotusfilmgirl doing a furious re-write for submission....
Saw a rough cut of "History of the Universe As Told by Wonder Woman" that made me beyond proud to have jumped aboard their Kickstarter campaign several months ago. People should be VERY excited about this one. The kickass panel included Gail Simone (comic author rockstar!), and Trina Robbins (comic book author high priestess!!!). They both talked about how GeekGirlCon felt like being at Woodstock, seeing the start of a revolution evolving before your very eyes.
I had hoped that by coming here to Seattle, I would get some fuel to go back and attack the storylines of the projects I'm working on. It has truly given me so much more. Total game changer.