Wednesday sees the start of Comic-Con International -- however, if you're reading this, chances are you already know that. In fact, chances are you're going, in which case you've probably already planned out which panels to attend (but if you're not, then don't worry; there will be exhaustive coverage on Spinoff and Comic Book Resources to ensure that you won't miss a thing). Behind all the big-name appearances and panels promoting the latest movies, TV shows and transmedia properties, however, there are some other panels you might've missed in the rush to check out Joss Whedon's panel or see what Felicia Day and the cast of Community are up to. Here are five panels that are more interested in the way things work behind the scenes that are worth checking out in between the star turns.
12:00-1:00 The Pitching Hour— Jermaine Turner (director, Disney/ABC Cable Networks Group), Ted Biaselli (VP, The Hub Network), Jill Sanford (director, Disney original series TV animation), Derek Hoffman (VP, Donner Co.), Valerie Alexander (screenwriter), Carina Schulze (Chatrone), Charlie Chu (editor, Oni Press), Lindsay Rostal (game producer, The Odd Gentlemen), Jennie Kong (VP, Miller PR), and your moderator Dan Evans III (freelance development exec, Kaijudo: Rise of the Duel Masters) will take an idea from conception through production for various media. This process will include creating a pitch document, obtaining agents, and getting a pitch meeting. The panelists will explain, through hypothetical example and humorous stories, the process that new creators should adopt to make their way through the creative battleground of the entertainment industry. Knowing that each project is unique, there will be a Q&A to allow the audience to really hone in on the solutions to obstacles they may encounter. Also on hand is Brendan McFeely (IP lawyer, Kane Kessler) to give creators insight on protecting their ideas as they navigate Hollywood. Room 5AB
6:00-7:00 The Science of Science Fiction: Canon Fodder— Aliens, robots, wormholes, superheroes...there's more than a little science in all of these, but how can that science be kept straight and consistent across multiple movies and seasons of TV shows? Panelists Jon Spaihts (writer, Prometheus), Jane Espenson (producer/writer, Battlestar Galactica, Caprica), Zack Stentz and Ashley Miller (writers, Thor, X-Men: First Class), Jaime Paglia (producer/writer, Eureka), and Dr. Kevin Grazier (science advisor, Battlestar Galactica, Defiance), talk about the ups and downs of respecting the science in ongoing science fiction TV and movie series. Moderated by Dr. Phil Plait (writer/host, Phil Plait's Bad Universe, Discover magazine's Bad Astronomy blog), and courtesy of The Science and Entertainment Exchange, a program of the National Academy of Sciences. Room 25ABC
2:00-3:00 ASIFA: Hollywood's State of the Industry— What do the pros think of the animation scene today? Is 2D ever coming back? Is there a Stop-Motion Renaissance? How do I get a job? Panelists include Tom Sito (Beauty and the Beast, Shrek), Jamie Kezlarian Bolio (Lion King, The Illusionist), James Parris (Spider Man, Benjamin Button), Ramin Zahed (editor Animation Magazine), Josh Scherr (Uncharted III: Drakes Deception, Jax & Daxter), and a stop-motion animator from Laika's upcoming ParaNorman. Join the discussion! Room 32AB
7:00-8:00 And Then What Happened? Serialized Shows That Ended Too Soon— You saw every episode, you followed every storyline, you hoped against hope that they'd get another season...and they didn't. What would have happened if the show had kept going? Hear writer/producers Andrew Chambliss (Once Upon a Time), Scott M. Gimple (The Walking Dead), Ian Goldberg (Once Upon a Time), Javier Grillo-Marxuach (Lost), and Jose Molina (The Vampire Diaries) talk about the stories that weren't to be on such shows as Dollhouse, FlashForward, Firefly, and The Middleman. Room 7AB
7:00-8:00 Building Props for Sci-Fi in the 21st Century— Sci-fi props already have the advantage of a sharp aesthetic, but in this day and age, how do you take sci-fi prop making and the replica making that tends to follow to the next level? Andy Gore (QMx), Jack Kenney (Warehouse 13), Andy Siegel (Avatar, The Amazing Spiderman, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo), John Eblan (Star Wars Episodes II and III), and Nick Robatto (Doctor Who, Torchwood) discuss how your favorite props are made, from concept to execution. The panel will discuss the impact of accelerated production schedules and technology on how TV and movie props are conceived and created. You will also learn the various types of prop making, from working props and digital modeling to 3D printers and the use of advanced materials. Room 24ABC