[Back from the Simpsons which was enjoyed]
I forgot to mention the first volume of biographies for the hall of famers which included Charlie Grant, Bob Booth and Craig Shaw Gardner. All campers got a copy. I started with Gardner's which I'm enjoying -- not too surprisingly, it's got a good bit of self-deprecating humor. Since Grant was unable to write one, they've assembled a variety of his personal writings which form a sort of life story.
By going to the Lobster Pot, it's true -- we missed the Hawaiian shirt competition. Well, we weren't anywhere in the running. We saw some amazing sartorial flair. It gets more competitive every year.
Saturday we slept a bit later, poked around the dealer's room, then went to the panel in honor of Charlie Grant. Everybody had such wonderful things to say about the author, the editor, the advocate of horror -- but most of all about the man. Such generosity lay behind the sometimes irascible exterior. I remember reading the compilations he put together especially, back when there didn't seem to be much horror beyond King, Straub and Tryon. They were a good introduction to other voices and started the impetus toward the horror boom of the 80s. I remember him as the voice of the Sandman during the roast when the Heathers sang "Mister Sandman" back at Necon '99 (I think?). Not in the spotlight, but essential.
We went out to lunch afterward and were a bit late getting back, but caught some of the GOH panel, but we were ready to heckle Phil during the Film Biz panel. Phil of course was excited about The Girl Next Door, for which he had co-written the script. Dallas AKA Jack Ketchum was also excited -- in addition to The Girl Next Door, his novels Red and The Lost are also so to be released feature films (so is Offseason, but he's not too happy about that one). Fans will be glad to hear the name Lucky McKee is attached to both of those, so a good sign.
Paul Wilson talked about the ups and downs of his books' translations to film, from the big budget Michael Mann fiasco of The Keep, to Dario Argento's singular adaptation of Pelts ("he added those strippers") and a near escape for the Repairman Jack film:
Ashton Kutcher is Repairman Jack, the avuncular neighborhood helpful guy. A bit different, eh?
Next up: croquet! we were medal-winners in previous years, but we didn't do so well this year. I got to the finals, but didn't finish in the running. Ah well. A little nibble and then it was time for That Darned Game Show -- the annual event in which Doug and Craig try to sap every one's will to live by explaining arcanely Byzantine rules in detail for an hour or so before the game begins (and sometimes an hour after it ends). Why does everyone sit through it? Because the annual roast starts right after it. So once Chet had won the Cthulhu backpack, the roast began -- for lucky Jim Moore. It was a pretty gentle roast as almost no one had a bad thing to say about him, but they did tease him plenty. Afterward, I got my tarot card reading from Sèphera, then we headed back over to the quad for more of the usual.
Well, we got that but a whole lot of unusual, too. Phil had announced his plan to shoot, edit and show a film by midnight. He'd told us the night before that we might be called on for film duty. Sure enough, Gene ended up filming in a scene with our new pal (and fellow UATW writer) Jason. Of course that was about 2am, so the plan wasn't quite working out, but Phil's enthusiasm never flagged. We did, and finally headed back to the hotel, vowing to stay on campus for sure next time.
Sunday morning we caught the short film of Dead @ 17, with a script by Rick Hautala, before Cortney's presentation on Trail of the Screaming Forehead. That's going to be a separate post, so suffice to say now that it was wonderful and funny. After the town meeting there was only the farewell picnic -- which seems to last a long time because it's always so hard to say good-bye to everyone. At least I finally got a chance to chat with my pal John Douglas and meet their new puppy Kayley.
It was a long drive back, but at least it wasn't raining. We have our bag of freebies to go through and the hall of fame bios to read, and well, as usual, tons of work. So I should be getting to that right about now.