Horror Film Director

COMIC CON 2012…Contest Winners


Posted on July 25th, by Darren Lynn Bousman in blog, inspiration, opinion, Ramblings, THE DEVIL'S CARNIVAL. 7 comments

Fans make the world go round…

For those of you who have been to Comic-Con, I need not tell you how exhausting and overwhelming the entire experience is.

 

It is a celebration of all things… well… cool.   Comic books, horror movies, big summer blockbusters, toys, and let us not forget scantily clad Princess Leias.

 


I have been attending the Con for almost 6 years.  Each time I leave, I tell myself, that’s it, I am done, I am not coming back.  But a year rolls around, and the geeky little boy that lives inside me comes to the surface and pulls me back to San Diego, to once again brave the crowded convention floor, rubbing elbows with Storm Troopers and Zombies.

 

This year, I traveled to San Diego to promote THE DEVIL’S CARNIVAL.

For those of you, that have not been following my exploits.  The Devil’s Carnival is a new musical film that Terrance Zdunich and myself have created then embarked on a 60 city road tour to promote.  For lack of a better explanation, it is another passion project film, that has been financed and distributed in a less than conventional manner.

For the last few years, Terrance and I have done MIDNIGHT screenings of REPO! THE GENETIC OPERA with much success, so it was only fitting to bring our new venture to the costumed freaks of the Con.

While I was excited to be back, I found myself not wanting to leave the hotel room, or worse yet, hit the Comic Con floor.

I could jokingly tell you that my reasons dealt with the overwhelming smell that permeates the convention.   There are moments at the Con that smell like everyone in San Diego farted at the exact same time… Or, I could blame the INSANE lines that wrap around Hall H, or the overpriced toys…

 

But, I would lying.   The real reason is much more narcissistic and self-important.

I AM SPARTA:

In 2005, I was 26 years old.  I had a full head of hair, and my gut didn’t extend inches past my belt line.  I was still a kid… Wet behind the ears, optimistic, and… and I just directed SAW 2.

SAW 2… A massive sequel, being massively promoted by Lions Gate.  I remember the morning of the Con, a black town car arrived at my shitty apartment to pick me up to drive me to San Diego.

I month earlier I could barely afford gas for my shitty ride, and now I suddenly had a car picking ME up, and carting my ass hundreds of miles away to take me to an event, where I had a movie I had just directed was being promoted.

Nothing can prepare you for walking on the convention floor and seeing a MASSIVE BANNER draping from the ceiling.  SAW 2 – Oh yes, there will be blood…

The tagline should have been OH YES, there will be tears, because I almost broke down like a little baby.  This was mine… or, at least partially mine.  I had co-written something, and created something that was on display for all of Comic Con to see.  There are no words…

A year later, I would return to Comic Con, and once again, I would be picked up by a car, and whisked away to promote SAW 3.  This year the banner was bigger, and the fans were more rabid. This year I was actually going to do a panel…  Me… some douche-bag from Kansas City, was going to be on a panel at COMIC CON!

I couldn’t walk the convention floor without being stopped every few minutes by fans asking for pictures or autographs.

 

It was awesome.

I continued to attend the Con every year.  Each year promoting my upcoming films… each year peddling my wares…

It was a strange thing for me… I would consider myself a FAN BOY much more than a filmmaker… All I wanted to do was walk the floor, and take pictures of Storm Troopers, and CosPlayers.  I wanted to buy new comics,  and see what new toy line Neca or Mcfarlane were releasing.

In 2008, I would once again attend Comic Con.  However this year, no car would pick me up, no… this year, the car was upgraded to a private plane… Yup, ‘twas a scene out of ENTOURAGE.

Paris Hilton, Alexa Vega, Terrance Zdunich and the gang joined me for what was probably one of the coolest nights of my life.    The world was my oyster…  and Comic Con was my bitch…

AND HOW THE MIGHTY FALL:

In 2009 I returned.  Though I didn’t really have a movie to promote, TZ and I decided to bring REPO! back.  We four-walled a theater and held a midnight screening.  While it was a sellout, there was something lacking…

Possibly the private jet, or maybe the lack of banners hanging from the ceilings of the convention floor.  Regardless, I was in pre-production for MOTHER’S DAY.

In 2010 – I would once again take the Con by storm… or, so I thought.

2010 came and went, and there was nothing to promote.   Instead, I walked the convention floor making excuses for MOTHER’S DAY, and the lack of exposure it was getting.

Next year… Next year…

I am not sure the moment that Comic Con stopped being fun, and started instead to bring about a horrific sense of anxiety…

2011 was worse than 2010.  I could barely even get a badge…

The CON itself was awesome, as always… the smell of body sweat, and flatulence a sweet perfume…

But I was a ghost… Walking through the convention unnoticed…   Nobody cared…I also noticed I stopped caring… Four years ago, I was a gitty fan boy, hyped on Comic book heroin, now I found myself becoming increasingly bitter… Comic Con was a reminder how far I had fallen.

Just three years prior, lines stretched blocks to get into our panels… Now, I couldn’t bribe my way into a party.

But… But… But… I took a private jet here once…

So here we are, 2012…  The Con is in full swing, and I sit in my hotel room, inches from an anxiety attack.

It was a pathetic moment.  Sitting in my hotel room, not wanting to leave…

Why?

It had nothing to do with not being noticed… It had everything to do with when I was noticed it was for a movie I directed 6 years ago…

I was embarrassed… ashamed…

Ahh… there you are… that debilitating depression I know all too well… my old friend… let us sit awhile and comfort each other.

I AM A FUCKING TOOL:

What if I fell into obscurity?  What if I DID became a ghost? What if all that I had created was forgotten, and none of it really mattered…

What if…

And then a moment a realization…

I was so concerned about my lack of presence at Comic Con, that I wasn’t seeing the big picture.  Every single night on tour with THE DEVIL’S CARNIVAL was our own personal COMIC CON.

What I had loved so much in those early years at the Con was the sense of community.  For one weekend a year, it was cool to geek out, dress up, and not give a fuck… It was okay to like girls who looked like anime characters.  It was completely acceptable to be able to recount every episode of Star Trek…  Being strange was not only embraced, it was ENCOURAGED!

Somehow I was blaming Comic Con because I was no longer relevant.

And then it happened… I had a cliched awakening in that same hotel room I was confining myself in…

I have spent the last three years going around the system, fighting the distribution model, and yet here I sat ass-hurt that I was no longer apart of it.

While there was no banner proudly proclaiming “Hey, look at this!  This is cool! It has my name on it!” I had something much more important:  the dedication of a die hard fan base, that allowed me to live within COMIC CON every single night…

I was apart of something that at its very essence was the heart of what made Comic Con cool.  A community of like minded weirdos.  A meeting place for them meet, and thrive!

Returning to Comic Con 2012 made me forget my plan for world domination…  I found myself caught up in the hype…  Looking at all the promotion for all the movies… How amazing it must be to not have to get in a van and travel the world for your movie to be seen…

How great a feeling it must be, to not have to make your own merch, and fold it, and box it…

 A REALIZATION:

Comic Con was not about being seen, it was about making an impact on your fans that will last long AFTER they leave the convention floor.

Comic Con exits for the fans…  it exists for people like me…

Here I was being a baby because once again I felt like a failure… Yet a mere three blocks away, fans… My fans… THE DEVIL’S CARNIVAL fans were forming a line that would wrap around three city blocks…
These fans who spend countless hours perfecting their costumes, from a movie most of them had never seen.

They were standing in a line, on a Friday night in a town where there was no shortage of things to do…

Comic Con 2012 was not a failure… It was a victory…  It was a wake up call, a moment of disillusionment transformed into a moment of clarity…

I had no banners, no booths, no displays this year at Comic Con…  I couldn’t bribe my way into parties as I once had…

What I did have however was an ARMY of supporters… Supporters who came to Comic Con not to dress up like Princess Leia, but instead THE PAINTED DOLL… A group of fans who opted out of putting on their Storm Trooper costumes, and instead, painted their faces white, and transformed into THE SCORPION…

It’s easy to get sucked back into believing that if you are NOT mainstream, you are NOT cool…

I walked the Comic Con floor feeling the antithesis of cool… I passed the Lionsgate booth, and hung my head in shame… I passed the Anchor Bay booth, where nary a BARRENS (my latest film staring the great Stephen Moyer) poster hung, and wanted to cry…

Someday I hope to return to San Diego and once again see my movies being promoted at the Con… Maybe even return to Hall H where I will premiere an exclusive scene…

But until that happens, I will embrace what I do have.  And that is a community of liked minded freaks who like me, live Comic Con every day of their lives.

No Hall H to drop this exclusive, so let us use this website.  Here are the winners for the IN ALL MY DREAMS I DROWN contest.

For those unaware, we asked fans to do their best Lucifer, or Tamara… Film it… and Upload it…

A huge thank you to all the Devil’s Carnival fans who submitted themselves, reminding Terrance and I that we do not need a convention floor, or a 70 ft poster to reach them.

Hail!

dlb





  • Laura

    there is a picture of a girl in hench girl outfit at comic con 2012 on IMDb I was proud to be a Repo! fan when I saw it

    here it is: http://www.imdb.com/comic-con/photos/comic-con-2012-cute-crazy-rm2563025664

    Just thought you would want to see it DLB

    • http://www.darrenlynnbousman.com darren

      awesome!!

  • Jim

    Devil’s Carnival was a blast and I cant wait for more.

    Darren, thanks for the many years of entertainment. You have plenty to be proud of and lots of fans supporting you.

    Jim

  • Salyx

    You’ve been touring a lot and talking with a billion fans, so I’m sure you don’t remember me. It had just hit midnight, so it was my 32nd birthday. I thanked you and told you to keep making the art that moves YOU. The art you make now may require you to fold your own merchandise, but that makes it so much more personal. It means I got to meet you, chat with you, take some pictures, and hear about what moved you to create what you created. It’s a night I will remember until death or insanity takes me. That’s priceless.

  • http://dimension4studios.com AcidRayneSideshow

    Just saw The Devil’s Carnival in Memphis! Loving the fan compilations of soundtrack songs…’bout lost it on the one posted here seeing Anthony Head. Love it. Love it. Love it. Can’t wait for the next installment. P.S. BADASS hench girl costume from comic con!

  • FADED PAGAN

    WOW…THAT WAS SO INCREDIBLY HONEST OF YOU, THAT’S WHY YOU ALL ARE SO AWESOME, YOU DONT HIDE SHIT FROM YOUR FANS, AND YOU DO WHAT YOU ARE PASSIONATE ABOUT..THAT IS MORE THAN MOST PEOPLE CAN DO

  • http://wesleyalley.blogspot.com/ Wesley Alley

    You have achieved so much and your career is far from over. Keep you chin up and your head high. your doing great things, and making the things you want to make. Your movies. Your way. Its an honor to make movies and even bigger honor to make your movies. You are a great film maker and a great inspiration to us all!!!

    http://wesleyalley.blogspot.com/

    Thank you!!!!