SDCC 2022: Pandemic Edition #1 | Festivals and awards

The activation of the CBS sitcom “Ghosts” was the “Summer of Ghosts” at Petco Park. You got your tarot cards and/or palm reading, got to participate in some archery and had your picture taken. Doing each activity meant you received patches, which could then be traded in the “camp” commissary for items ranging from the odd (an arrow through the neck referencing the show) to the practical (a metal cup).

Through word of mouth, I heard good things about the “Severance” activation of Apple TV+. The series centers on the nefarious Lumon Industries, which uses a medical “resignation procedure” to separate the non-work memories of their employees from their work memories. Our group of 15 was delayed at the entry point when a press person tried to enter the activation without a face mask. Face masks were required at all SDCC activities unless actively eating or drinking. Although this activation was not an official part of SDCC, its first requirement was to wear a face mask. This person gave three different excuses, but in the end the activation team insisted that a face mask be worn and the person complied. According to the activation team, the actors have SAG requirements in place.

In past SDCC weekends, you could get to a screening at SDCC just by walking around Reading or Horton Plaza. That part of SDCC has been lost. Architect Jon Jerdes’ Horton Plaza, which helped revitalize the Gaslamp District after opening in 1985, closed in 2020. That meant yet another off-site venue, one commonly used for screenings for SDCC was no longer available.

For this iteration of SDCC, there were free screenings, but you may need a car to attend. On Friday, CinemaBlend and AMC Theaters sponsored a screening of a new horror film, “Barbarian,” at AMC Mission Valley as part of the AMC Thrills & Chills program. Collider and Hulu had a screening of “Exchange” the previous night. For the surprisingly funny “Barbarian,” writer/director Zach Cregger and one of the stars, Justin Longwas at the screening for a short presentation about the film, and posters were given to all those present.

While Jerde’s Horton Plaza is gone, the family-owned yogurt shop that has kept me alive, fed and hydrated for every SDCC survivor. The Sweet Things Frozen Yogurt store on the Promenade level of the Hilton San Diego Bayfront mat shut down during the pandemic. Jake Scornavacco, managing partner, organized a GoFundMe fundraiser with a goal of $50,000 and managed to raise $26,997. The closing was, “really nerve-wracking for our family. The store has provided for our family for a long time. It’s the heart and soul of our family … Comic-con guests, they feel like family because of their loyal support,” said Scornavacco. “From a sales perspective, this is our best comic. And it’s not just about sales for us.” Getting to see their regular comic customers, some who may come daily or even twice daily, gives the whole whirlwind weekend a family feel. “So many people were so happy to offer their own support and were so generous to use their hard earned money to support the local businesses in the area.”

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