Monday, February 25, 2008

David and Gillian and Chris, Oh My! An X-Files report from WonderCon

This past weekend, it was an X-Files frenzy at WonderCon. Cast members David Duchovny and Gillian Anderson were on hand along with series creator Chris Carter and long-time X-Files writer/producer Frank Spotnitz to talk about the upcoming movie. Park Bench reader and fellow X-phile Jenn S. agreed to be our (much cooler) Katie Couric and serve as The Park Bench's Chief X-Files Correspondent. She shares her account of the day with us below. Enjoy!

Ah, WonderCon. At 5:30 a.m. on Saturday morning, some friends and I walked the few blocks from our hotel on Mission Street in San Francisco down to the Moscone Center to take our place in line for the day's panels. Admittedly, we expected a few other people to be there since we'd been stalking other groups of X-Files fans online and knew their plan, so we weren't very surprised to see clusters of people lined up in front of the door, clutching Starbucks cups and talking excitedly about David Duchovny, Gillian Anderson, the second movie, the show, and pretty much everything else XF. Everyone was giddy and impatient and couldn't wait for the day to begin, even though we knew we had a long wait ahead of us. After being pushed through several lines and crowded into a small waiting area, the doors to Hall A opened, and the HUNDREDS of Philes that had amassed tried to walk-not-run (security threatened to remove anyone who ran in the hall) to the best seats in the house.

I was one of the lucky ones. My friends and I grabbed the second row, right in the center, with a perfect view of the stage and only about 15 feet from it. It was ridiculously cold in the hall (even with a long sleeve shirt and a heavy track jacket on, I was shivering), but the atmosphere was great, and it filled up in no time.

While a lot of people were only there for the XF panel, I also was happy to see the other ones. Stephen Strait and Camilla Belle came to talk about the upcoming film "10,000 B.C."; there was a preview of Pixar's "Wall-E," Disney's "Prince Caspian," and the next installment in the Narnia series; and best of all, Anne Hathaway and Steve Carrell did a panel on "Get Smart" which was hilarious and a lot of fun.

Finally, it was time for the XF panel. The crowd screamed as one of the event organizers placed the name labels on the panel table one by one, and then finally, out came Frank Spotnitz, Chris Carter, Gillian Anderson, and David Duchovny. The crowd went WILD -- the panel looked shocked to see so many people there and so happy to see them. Chris Carter spoke first and told everyone to "Take a look at this" while the lights were cut, and in the pitch black hall, a rough-cut trailer was put on the big screens. I think it's pretty safe to say that everyone got chills, and we all shrieked our excitement the first time Scully and Mulder appeared in the footage.

The panel itself was great. David and Gillian seemed thrilled to be there, and also really comfortable with one another. They spent a lot of time, while Frank or Chris were talking, just joking and laughing with one another on the side. Chris Carter says that XFII will "scare the pants off you" and also "let you see Mulder & Scully together in a whole new way". Gillian admitted that she had a rough few days back on the set and that she struggled with allowing herself to be Scully again after so much time trying to do anything but Scully. David said that his scenes with Gillian are the hardest because he wants them to be the most perfect and they carry the most weight. Chris Carter was asked whether he plans to make any more XF movies after this, to which answered, "Right away!" That got a pretty big cheer.

Everyone was in great spirits, and it was obvious how happy they all were to be working together again after so much time away. I think that feeling was palpable, and the audience picked up on it and fed energy right back to them. David made fun of Gillian for how much she loves the episode "Bad Blood"-- "She mentions it all the time. Every day it's like, 'Bad Blood, Bad Blood, Bad Blood!' or 'Hey, do you remember this from 'Bad Blood'?" Gillian giggled and explained that she just thought it was a really fun episode with a great script and that she liked how they got to play one another's versions of themselves.

The panel went by way too quickly, and at the end, David came back to say that people had been asking him if there was still an audience for the film, and how grateful and glad he was to see us all there. "I believed you were out there. I knew you were," he said. And the crowd went wild.


venusflesh said...

I was one of the girls lined up near the front door with the Starbucks cups. :D
It was such an incredible experience! I was probably right in front of you-- I was in the front row, center, with a white leather jacket and red pants. :)

jenn said...

venusflesh, I recognized you straight away from my time lurking on Haven. In fact, we were pushed into that crowded little line while waiting to get into Hall-A-- you were standing RIGHT next to me. Of course, I remain incognito, so none of the people I recognized actually recognized me... :)