George Lazenby (in plaid)
Remember my last blog about hiking to the Hollywood Sign? No, well go read it!
For the rest of you, I headed back to the same area yesterday. I had a ticket to watch On Her Majesty's Secret Service, the third film in the Alex Theatre's five-week event series "James Bond 007 50th Anniversary" which featured an appearance by that film's Bond, George Lazenby. The trail leading to The Batcave is on the way to the Alex Theatre in Glendale. And since my New Year's Eve mission this month was to "Visit the Batcave", I did just that!
The Batcave I'm talking about is the actual shooting location used in the 1960's Batman TV series starting Adam West and Burt Ward. It's located in an area just east of Hollywood called Bronson Canyon. I discovered this area last month while researching ways to get to visit the Hollywood Sign, my March NYE mission.
Now I've been a Batman fan for practically all my life, through both comic books and the 60's TV series. Watching it as a little boy, the infamous camp humor of the show was nowhere to be found. Instead, all I found were the brightest colors of the Dynamic Duo fighting against the forces of evil. Caped Crusaders to the rescue!!
So when I discovered where the actual Batcave was, where they shot the scenes of the George Barris-designed Batmobile roaring out of a secluded cave that was supposedly outside Wayne Manor, I was more than thrilled to check the place out for myself.
So nearly a month after I was here, I was back again! Back to the Camp Hollywoodland sign in Bronson Canyon to trek up the other pathway leading away from the Hollywood Sign and onto the bygone lair of Batman's secret underground headquarters.
Viewing the trail on Google maps, it was certainly a much shorter hike than the hike up to the Hollywood Sign. But I was surprised by how much shorter. It's about a ten minute walk from where I parked. Just up a curvy hill and you're there.
Me and The Batcave
I'll be honest. The entire moment was a little anti-climactic, not the least of which was due in part to the fact that there were a lot of cars parked in the area! Apparently, I showed up on a day when a music video was gonna be shot here. Also, it looked different than how I remembered it. I'd been told by a friend who'd been there that it'd be different, but it's a lot more striking to actually be there and see the difference.
I asked a nearby security guard if it was okay to roam through the area, and he said it was fine since they hadn't started shooting yet. I walked to the cave, walked through the cave, found more set ups for filming, and was pleasantly surprised to find a beautifully framed view of the Hollywood Sign from the other side of the cave. There's a road that circles around that leads you back to the front of the cave and that was the end of my tour.
I brought with me a small die-cast model of the 60's Batmobile and a DVD movie titled "Return to the Batcave". I had hoped to showcase them in the foreground of a shot of the Batcave somehow. But there were no rocks or low hills in front of the cave that I could use as a stand to put them on, the ground here being very level and plain. Plus there was production people walking around and the winds today were really gusty, so the notion went away fairly quickly.
But I was glad I got here in the afternoon, with the sun was behind me and flooding The Batcave area with a lot of natural light. I'm sure I got better shots at this time than if I'd decided to avoid freeway traffic and get here in the morning.
So that's my short visit to The Batcave. All told, I was there for probably just over a half hour. Nothing like my hours-long trek to the Sign. It was a productive little trip. And with some Adam West Batman action figures coming out this summer that might inspire better ideas for some pictures, methinks I'll be back...TO THE BATCAVE!
You can see the rest of my Batcave photos at my Flickr site.
New poster debuts at Con
At the last minute, I got the chance to attend Comic-Con in San Diego for my fifth straight year and probably my tenth visit overall. With rehearsals for Fiddler on the Roof every other night of the Con, Friday the 13th was my day for a day trip to Geekdom's Holy Mecca. And within three hours of being inside the Exhibit Hall, something happened that had never happened before.
I was tired of it!
For the first time that I've ever gone, the inherent amount of sensory overload that is Comic-Con really got to me. And not just me, but when I met up with friends there that morning, all of us seasoned vets of the Con, we all agreed this time it was a tiresome experience.
But would we never go if given the opportunity to go? Of course not! We'd always go. You can't not go to Comic-Con if you have a pass. That's just silly.
Fotos on Flickr!
Here's a few of the 130 shots I took at the Con. All of them are posted on Flickr where you can also see my photos from past Cons.
Video of the Long Line of Hall H!
I also took video while at the Con. Every year, both the media and the fans talk a lot about Hall H and especially about the long line you have to wait in to get into Hall H. Hall H is the largest hall at the San Diego Convention Center and it's where all of the major studios have made their big movie and television presentations complete with cast and crew in attendence. Everyone from Steven Spielberg, Ridley Scott and Joss Whedon to Harrison Ford, Robert Downey, Jr. and Charlize Theron to the casts of The Big Bang Theory, the new Star Trek film, Buffy and Firefly have shown up to meet and greet with the fans while talking up their new big films or TV shows.
With all that talent and the opportunity to ask them questions one-on-one, fans are willing to get in line very early in the morning for a chance to be let in and sit in one of those 6,500 seats inside Hall H. And because of the policy that folks can sit all day long if they desire without fear of being asked to leave at the end of each presentation, people will get in line at 3am just to see The Big Bang Theory cast that's scheduled for, say, 3:30pm. With that strategy to compete with, the ritual of getting and waiting in line for Hall H has become legend.
Finally, I leave you with several links to a few favorite articles I've found so far about this year's Comic-Con. Enjoy!
The Firefly 10th Anniversary Panel in Full - Video of the reunion of the cast, crew and creator (and "The Avengers" director) Joss Whedon of the cult "post-apocolyptic futuristic western". Great video if you're a fan of the show, Nathan Fillion and Castle and/or Whedon. It's especially neat to see what happens in the last fifteen minutes.
Man of Steel, The Hobbit & Pacific Rim Panel Live Blog - Text blog written as Warner Bros' big presentation of major films in production took place, describing film footage that debuted, surprise announcements and reveals as they happened.
Joss Whedon's "Dr. Horrible" to Air on the CW - Internet series to network broadcast. Is that a first!?
Halloween in July: Images from the San Diego Comic-Con - A great set of photos!
San Diego Comic Con International 2012 - And in case you missed it above, here's the link again to my photos posted on Flickr.
All About Me
A fan of Star Trek, Star Wars, Harry Potter, Batman, comic books, Blu-rays, Disney, soundtracks, taking pictures, theatre and...Barry Manilow!