We really should be careful about such an attention getting headline because someone will inevitabvly say “yes.” It all came from Peter Sanderson’s comments in our year-end survey:
Comic-Con 2008: What if the Writers Guild of America strike goes on and on, into June, when the directors and actors unions’ contracts expire? What if the actors then go on strike, too? What if the directors, who have only gone on strike for literally five minutes in the past, join them? What effect does that have on the San Diego Con, which has increasingly become a showcase for movies and TV shows? Sure, producers and PR people will still hold panels in Hall H to preview new product. But don’t the fans go to these panels to see the actors and the “star” directors and writers? Will it become easier to get into Hall H? In other words, just how many of the 100,000 plus attendees at Comic-Con come for the media other than comics? We may find out this year.
This got picked up by EW, then WIRED, then everybody and yesterday the San Diego Union-Tribune asked the same question but with a startling enhancement: an interview with San Diego PR Guru David Glanzer who says things are motoring along at their usual breakneck speed.
“We’re still dealing with everybody,” said David Glanzer, a spokesman for San Diego’s comic book convention, now a major showcase for upcoming films and TV shows. “Nobody’s indicating anything to us other than what’s standard.”
Writer Peter Rowe takes this as confirmation that the con may be doomed to a lesser degree of glitz, but we say: NOT SO FAST.
For one thing, the DGA
strike looks to have settled their negotiations already. How this will affect the WGA strike is unknown. As for a SAG strike…well, no offense to our thespian friends but…we can’t see it.
At this point it’s quite likely — but depressing — that the writer’s strike will last at least as long as the last one — six months. Networks are filling the space with reality programming, so we could just see more stars of Beauty and the Geek and How Clean is Your House on parade at Comic-Con (These shows have the strongest tie to the core demographic, in our opinion.) There are a number of movies in production that will still need to be flogged, as well, WATCHMEN for one,
So our prognosis? If the strike doesn’t end soon San Diego may be a little less manic, but not a whole lot less.
But that’s not even the really IMPORTANT question:
What does this mean for your chances of getting a hotel room?
As widely reported , the precious postcard has gone out and the hotel reservation system goes live on February 6th at 9 am PST. Room anxiety and alternative plans are already being floated, in some cases literally: people are beginning to look favorably on renting one of those houseboats in the marina.
We checked most of the major travel sites, and there are many rooms available — but few that are close or below $300 a night. You can stay at the once-again-luxurious US Grant for $540 a night, but the Omni and the Hyatt are already booked for the con.
There will be few additional hotel rooms to alleviate the crunch this year: The Hard Rock is open but rooms are $800 a night. NEXT YEAR, the new giant Hilton opens, which may make things a bit more bearable, with over 1100 new rooms! But by then, Hollywood may be a desolate place where feral children scavenge for gasoline and Tina Turner watches gladiator battles in her backyard. And that will be the year Mel Gibson comes to the Con!
Our advice? Book a room now. Just to be on the safe side. We did. There will be plenty of swapping going on later.