Comic-Con is well known for its massive events like movie trailers and panel discussions with A-list Hollywood stars -- but there is so much more to it than wherever the Marvel and D.C. executives are going to be hanging out.
If you don’t want to deal with the madness that is Hall H or Ballroom 20, where the “big ticket” items tend to be held, there are a boatload of panels to enjoy that offer interesting information that’s either fun, useful or both.
You can find information on everything from tips to helping your children embrace their comic-loving personalities to how time travel really works -- and even meet a few folks who built a machine that took men to the moon.
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Here are a few of the “other” things to enjoy during Comic-Con 2019 that you might not have known about.
Comic-Con Film School 101
10 a.m. -11 a.m., Marriott Grand Ballroom 6
Comic-Con Film School is back for another four-day, nuts-and-bolts class on how to make a movie for very little money using available video hardware and software. Whether you're shooting your first Apex Legends fan film or that story about the leather-clad girl who hunts Basilisks, this course will take you from script to final product so that you too can enter your own movie into the CCI:IFF. This first class covers the specifics of preproduction on the cheap, including screenwriting, scheduling, location scouting, crewing-up, and getting equipment for nothing. Panelists include Valerie Perez (producer/star of the Paula Peril series), Jack Conway (creative producer of Next Generation Esports), Vera Vanguard (writer/producer/star of Breaking Barbi), Nick Murphy (writer/director of All Night Skate), Josh Perilo (creator/writer of Hindenburg), and Sean Rourke (writer of Ballistica).
Raising Fankids: Teaching Young Geeks to be Self-Confident and Successful
12 p.m. - 1 p.m., Grand 10 & 11, Marriott Marquis San Diego Marina
Pasquale Piro (middle-school teacher, father of two) hosts a panel with Alissa Piro (high school teacher, mother of two), Brandon Maze (high school teacher), Jordan Harcharek (high school student), and Anabel Lee Krebs (high school student) discussing techniques and experiences that help kids grow up nerdy without the negative connotation.
The Science of the Acme Product Catalogue
2 p.m. - 3 p.m., The Theater, Comic-Con Museum
The FGGGbT Brain Trust (Daniel J. Glenn, Dr. Michael Dennin, and Ben Siepser) break down the technology utilized by Wile E. Coyote in his relentless pursuit of the Roadrunner. From giant magnets to rocket shoes, jet-propelled unicycles, and Super Speed Vitamins, they will show you what is possible in the world of cartoon physics.
Batman and the Secret Origin of Bill Finger
4 p.m. - 5 p.m., Room 23ABC
Tom King (Batman, Mister Miracle) and Marc Andreyko (Batman '66 Meets Wonder Woman '77, Supergirl) lead a discussion and Q&A with Marc Tyler Nobleman (Bill the Boy Wonder: The Secret Co-Creator of Batman) on his nine-year campaign to add Bill Finger to the Batman credit line and the unprecedented documentary Batman & Bill, which has been compared to (no joke) everything from This Is Us and Serial to Rocky and Citizen Kane.
Comic-Con Film School 102: Production
10 a.m. - 11 a.m., Marriott Grand Ballroom 6
Day 2 of this course on micro-budget moviemaking focuses on the specifics of production, from shooting techniques, to lighting on the cheap, to crew positions you need (and don't need), to costuming, props, and set decorating for as little money as possible. Panelists include Valerie Perez (producer/star of the Paula Peril series), Jack Conway (creative producer of Next Generation Esports), Vera Vanguard (writer/producer/star of Breaking Barbi), Nick Murphy (writer/director of All Night Skate), Josh Perilo (creator/writer of Hindenburg), and Sean Rourke (writer of Ballistica).
Psychology and the Potterverse: Even Muggles Can Cast Their Patronus
12 p.m. - 1 p.m., The Theater, Comic-Con Museum
Expecto Patronum! Keith Beard, psy.D. (professor, Marshall University), April Fugett, ph.D. (professor, Marshall University), Britani Black, psy.D. (instructor, Marshall University School of Medicine), Carrie Dean, m.A., and Kasey Kessler, m.A. (Marshall University) discuss their findings from a study examining personality with a person's selected Patronus charm based on the Harry Potter movies and the J. K. Rowling's books. The research results demonstrate how personality informs one's choice of a Patronus charm. Additionally, specific personality traits associated with liking or disliking specific Potterverse characters will be reviewed.
Science and History in Comics
3 p.m. - 4 p.m., Shiley Special Events Suite, San Diego Central Library
Combining text and image can make complex or abstract subject matter more appealing, winning over even the most reluctant reader. Learn how graphic novels can be used to supplement lessons in STEM and history and bring awareness to underrepresented and marginalized perspectives. Panelists include Jim Ottaviani (Hawking), MK Reed (Science Comics: Wild Weather), Ben Fisher and Emily S. Whitten (The Underfoot: The Mighty Deep). Moderated by Tracy Edmunds (Educational Consultant and Curriculum Specialist). In conjunction with CBC Graphic Novel Committee.
Sounds of Horror: Inside Hollywood's Most Terrifying Film Scores
8 p.m. - 9 p.m., Room 9
From the spine-tingling scores for Us, Get Out, and Ma to the gritty and horror-filled themes in Pet Sematary and Hellraiser to the ultra-spooky cues in Critters and The Head Hunter, horror films wouldn't be nearly as terrifying without their musical scores. Composers Christopher Young, Michael Abels, Gregory Tripi, Russ Howard, and Nick Soole pull back the curtain to reveal how they created some of the world's most frightening film music.
Comic-Con Film School 103: Working with Actors and a Crew
10 a.m. - 11 a.m., Grand 6, Marriott Marquis San Diego Marina
Day 3 of our course on micro-budget movie-making deals with how to direct actors, organize a crew, and keep them all happy without anybody making a dime. Panelists for the class include Valerie Perez (producer/star of the Paula Peril series), Jack Conway (creative producer of Next Generation Esports), Vera Vanguard (writer/producer/star of Breaking Barbi), Nick Murphy (writer/director of All Night Skate). Josh Perilo (creator/writer of Hindenburg), and Sean Rourke (writer of Ballistica), and actors Megan Rees, Kelsey Walmer, Dylan Rourke and Bradley Upton.
They Came for the Moon: 50 Years of Apollo 11 from Those That Built It
3:30 p.m. - 4:30 p.m., Room 5AB
To commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 mission that first put humans on the moon, this panel brings together some of the engineers who actually built the spacecraft that got us there. Moderated by Benjamin Dickow, president of the Columbia Memorial Space Center, and science educator Ray Hedgpeth, several former members of the Apollo program, including retired engineer Jerry Blackburn, talk about the excitement and challenge of getting astronauts to the moon. The discussion will include rare photos and delve into how sci-fi and comics from the '40s and '50s drove the dreams of these professionals during the '60s The panelists will be joined by a current aerospace engineer to give a glimpse into what the next 50 years may hold. The Columbia Memorial Space Center is located outside of downtown Los Angeles on the former NASA site where all of the Apollo spacecraft and all of the Space Shuttles were designed and built.
Time Travel in the Quantum Realm
6 p.m. - 7 p.m., Room 25ABC
Movies make time travel look easy. All it takes is a flux capacitor or some Stark Industries ingenuity and you should be able to safely zip back a few decades, right? The Fleet Science Center brings together Christopher Markus (writer and co-producer, Avengers: Endgame), Elizabeth Simmons Ph.D. (physicist and Vice Chancellor of Academic Affairs at UC San Diego), Eric Michelsen Ph.D. (physicist and Lecturer at UC San Diego), Kim Griest Ph.D. (physicist and Professor Emeritus at UC San Diego) and Clifford Johnson Ph.D. (Professor of Physics at USC) to talk about how time travel and the quantum realm could be more accurately portrayed in fiction, and how close we really are to making it a reality. The big question is: What would you do with your time machine?
Comic-Con Film School 104: Post Production and Distribution
10 a.m. - 11 a.m., Grand 6, Marriott Marquis San Diego Marina
The final day of our comprehensive course on micro-budget moviemaking will revolve around what to do after your movie is shot. Panelists will go over the basics of post-production on your home computer, as well as what software to use for editing, graphic design, sound design, visualFX, and finally, how to optimize your movie for uploading to the internet. Panelists for the class include Valerie Perez (producer/star of the Paula Peril series), Jack Conway (creative producer of Next Generation Esports), Nick Murphy (writer/director of All Night Skate), Josh Perilo (creator/writer of Hindenburg), and Sean Rourke (writer of Ballistica).
Hollywood and Emerging Tech: The Evolution of Entertainment 3.0
3 p.m. - 4 p.m., Room 24ABC
A diverse panel explore where Hollywood and technology is headed in 2019 and beyond. They'll discuss the future of content distribution and access from some of the top providers of tech and content. Moderated by Forbes contributor David Bloom. Featuring participants from Paramount, AMC, Netflix, Disney, the TV Academy, and NBC/Universal.