In case you were wondering what was going on during the video introduction at the Writers' Block panel, Future_Dwight was kind enough to provide this clip (thanks to the OT convention links page).

Category:Convention -- posted at: 4:23pm EDT

We woke up pretty early on Sunday morning (since my two roommates have IMHO overly complicated morning rituals) in order to get to the BLOGGERS' BREAKFAST on time.  It was set to start at 9am, and the place was surprisingly crowded.  I guess I shouldn't have been surprised, since this was one of the "big" events that people had to choose between with their different ticket levels.

Donuts, coffee, and juice were provided, which was a nice touch (just don't get caught in that stampede for the Krispy Cremes).

I felt sort of bad for the bloggers present at the event, since most of them got lost in the shuffle between Jennie "Tanster" Tan and the cast members.  Seriously, who would you rather ask a question? Random blogger, or Brian Baumgartner?  As you can imagine, most people chose option "B."  But hey, that's what you paid the big money for, right?

Brian explained how he got started blogging, his decision to write as his character, and his undying love for OfficeTally.  Bobby Ray Shafer was a bit more brief, partly because he'd lost his voice for most of the weekend.  Kate Flannery popped in a bit later, talking briefly about her TV Guide blog.  I guess Andy Buckley was just there for moral support, since he proclaimed his complete and utter ignorance of all things computer related.
(For the full audio of the panel, download the podcast below)

After the BB, we headed across the campus to the Scranton Cultural Center for the big WRITERS'S BLOCK panel.  I had an awesome seat for this event, as the press was assigned the upper balcony.  I sat front row center, with no one else in front of me.  I struck up a conversation with the three people around me, and found they worked for one was in charge of video production, another for writing copy, and the last was in charge of the whole Dunder Mifflin Infinity website.  Very cool.  A few minutes later, a woman came up and said everyone had to get out of the first two rows because NBC wanted them... my new buds said I could stay, though, so I was the only one down there with them.

It was very cool hearing the writers discuss the show, since we rarely seem to get their point of view in any of the extra material.  Greg Daniels, Mike Shur and Jennifer Celotta did most of the talking, although Mindy Kaling and B. J. Novak (a surprise drop-in) also got most of the audience questions.  (For the full audio of the panel, download the podcast below)

After the panel, we got to see the first 8-10 minutes or so of BRANCH WARS, which I thought was hilarious.  By all accounts I should have hated it -- most of the humor was totally "over the top" and silly -- but I found myself laughing louder than I have in a few weeks.  Maybe it's the return of director Joss Whedon... I don't know.  I just know that I was digging it and look forward to this Thursday.

There was a final VIP cocktail party next, and I managed to sneak myself in and chat with most of the writers.  B. J. Novak was only there for about 10 minutes or so, and he was getting mobbed, so I had no chance to talk to him. Writer Mike Schur (a.k.a. Cousin Mose) was also getting mobbed.  The lesson here? Acting is better than writing :)

With that, our magical weekend came to a close.  Sigh.  We'll always have Scranton.

Category:Convention -- posted at: 10:37pm EDT

I posted all of my pictures to the FLICKR account. 

Have fun!

Other photo collections from the convention:

Adam's page
Alison's page

Category:Convention -- posted at: 6:55pm EDT


Well, today was pretty crazy.  Woke up-- still raining.  Since Adam and Laura were hungry/thirsty, we hiked to the Steamtown Mall and found the famous food court home of the "Scranton Welcomes You" sign.  The place was essentially deserted, and we were goofing around taking pictures... I suddenly looked over and frigging Mindy Kaling was standing two feet away from me (also getting her picture taken with the sign).  I got up the courage to ask her to talk, but alas, she didn't have time for me right then.

Walking back to the main square, we hung around the autograph tent for a while, sneaking pictures of Phyllis and Bobby Ray, Melora, Angela, Ed and Mindy (again) as they signed autographs for the people lucky enough to have tickets.  I did the paparazzi thing and yelled "MELORA!" to get her attention, and it worked-- she looked right into my camera.  Good stuff!

At three, Creed and The Scrantones hit the stage and played a few tunes (including the theme song, and the song Creed sang during the deleted scenes from "Booze Cruise").  Craig Robinson got up on stage next, singing a Daryll-rific version of Radiohead's "Creep."  Unfortunately, I had to take off for the press conference at four, so missed the rest of the show.

The press conference... wow.  Me and about 30-40 other members of the press got to ask the cast anything we wanted.  I got up the gumption to ask them about the writer's strike (they all laughed when I said I was from the TWSS podcast... they thought I was joking).  Greg Daniels didn't have a specific number of how many episodes they had in the can, but they eventually said that every month of the strike would knock three episodes off the schedule.  I'll post the audio from the press conference eventually.  After the conference, I got to go around and talk to EVERY. SINGLE. CAST. MEMBER.  Only for a few seconds, but I got them to record little bumpers for the show, which you should be hearing sometime soon as well.  Definitely very cool to shake everyone's hands and introduce myself. 

At around 5:15 pm, we moved across the hall into the PUBLIC Q&A session (download the audio podcast below).  Crap, that place was packed... it was essentially a basketball arena, and it was filled to the top of the bleachers on all sides.  With my press pass, I wormed my way into the "photographer" area directly in front of the cast... essentially sitting 4-5 feet away from them during the entire show. Great, great times.

After the event, I tried to find the Lackawana College campus, as it was hosting the "cast lookalike" contest and Scrantones encore. Needless to say, I got lost, and when I finally got there, I spent 10 minutes running up and down stairs trying to find the frigging bathroom.  I walked around for a few minutes, but I just had to bail. I was wiped.

Tomorrow, I plan to hit the "Blogger's Breakfast" and then the "Writer's Block" sessions (more audio to come).

Peace out.

P.S. Adam got a hug from Melora Hardin. He's ready to die now.

Category:Convention -- posted at: 12:11am EDT

Well, we made it here in one piece, despite a ridiculously long and tiring drive.  Five minutes after pulling into the parking lot, though, we saw Oscar (we waved, he waved back).  Going into the hotel, we saw Leslie (Stanley) standing by the registration desk (he shook hands and made fun of the sleeping bag I was carrying at the time).

About 10 minutes after that, I went back downstairs and ran right into Brian (Kevin) coming in the front door-- he was kind enough to pose with me for a picture, but I looked like someone's "special" illegitimate step-son.  Ah well.

Walking outside immediately after seeing Brian, I bumped into Bobby Ray (Bob Vance).

They're EVERYWHERE! :)

I'll keep you updated.  In the meantime, check out Adam's FLICKR page for updated photos of our journey (mine will have to wait until I get home).

EDIT: Around 5:30 PM, there was supposed to be a "kick off" party here in the hotel.  Not sure what's going on with that, but Phyllis Smith, Leslie David Baker, and Bobby Ray Shafer were being mobbed in the lobby.  I got a few paparazzi shots, but my ancient camera eats through batteries faster than Kevin through M&Ms... long story short, it died on me.

I don't know if anyone reading the blog is going to be AT THE SHOW, but give me a shout here if you'd like to try and do a meet-up.  Last minute, of course, but what the hell.

EDIT 2: It's about 7:30 PM, and Adam & Laura have left to the "casino night" event.  Sadly, as a reporter, I am unable to attend this function, so instead I will go to sleep (something I haven't done for about 30 hours).  Only one other cast sighting-- I saw Creed & "The Scrantones" jump on the elevator.  I guess he must have been in a hurry, because he didn't stop or pose for pictures with anyone waiting nearby.

Category:Convention -- posted at: 3:04pm EDT

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