Warner Bros and DC won over their global audiences with their massive virtual event DC FanDome, that featured major trailer reveals and announcements, and panel discussions on comics, shows, and movies and much more.
With many events like the San Diego Comic-Con taking the virtual route this year because of the global pandemic, the idea sparked in April for DC to launch a similar event of their own. And the event’s first installment on 22nd August turned out to be a great success as FanDome drew in over 22 million viewers from various countries. As fans gear up for the second wave of FanDome in September, here are a few facts that reveal what went behind its creation.
10 Jim Lee Designed The Hall Of Heroes
Rather than just looking like a Zoom conference call, FanDome’s panel discussions sought to use more personalized settings. The panelists and hosts were sent special kits that included green screens and special instructions for shooting their segments.
Veteran DC artist Jim Lee who currently serves as the company’s chief creative officer designed the virtual Hall of Heroes stage that was used for most of the conferences and discussions. The stage was influenced by the comic-book Hall of Heroes that features in the Watchtower, the Justice League’s headquarters. It mainly features three gigantic statues of the trinity of Batman, Wonder Woman, and Superman.
9 Many Of The Employees Were Working With Each Other For The First Time
Warner Bros TV’s chief marketing officer Lisa Gregorian and Warner Bros Picture Group’s president of worldwide marketing Blair Rich said in a Variety interview, that because of the short notice and suddenness of the event, WB tried to get as many employees as they could on their feet.
Marketing employees from various divisions like film, TV, and video games were involved. Gregorian added, “Many of the employees [were] meeting for the first time. They didn’t even know each other and they all worked for Warner Bros.”
8 Emphasis On Minority Representation
While the panels discussed comic book culture and its various aspects, it was planned for the FanDome to have discussions on socially-relevant discussions too. Early comic books mostly revolved around white superheroes but now the trends are changing, with an emphasis on representation. Cultural conversations were sparked around Blerd (black nerd) and Latinx issues in the second edition of the Blerd and Boujee House featuring actors like Candice Patton and Damaris Lewis, along with an exclusive online dance party.
In an attempt to reach out comfortably to their non-English audiences, the FanDome also involved 14 hosts from 13 countries.
7 Musical Guest And Hosts
Apart from actors, writers, and comic geeks, the Fandom also featured significant musical artists. For instance, the vocal group H.E.R and singer Estelle were featured as hosts for the August lineup of events.
As for September, Grammy-winning reggae artist Ziggy Marley is slated to perform some of his latest hits in a special rooftop concert for the Blerd and Bougee segment.
6 Undisclosed Expenditure But Most Likely A Profit For WB
Warner Bros has not yet revealed the total cast that went in setting up the grand virtual celebration that was DC FanDome. However, as a Variety article stated, a source with adequate knowledge of the event disclosed the fact that hosting FanDome cost WB way lesser than its expenditure in other events like San Diego Comic-Con. Some of the obvious reasons behind this are the lack of travel and lodging fees.
With WB amassing such incredible viewership, it’s likely that the company might host a few more events like FanDome in the future.
5 Throwback To Vintage Media
Classic editions of Detective Comics and Action Comics were also available for the audience to read. As for the September lineup, several old scripts of a Superman radio play from the 1940s have been recovered. This event would feature a live reading session of some of the episodes with an all-star voice cast of Tim Daly, Eric McCormack, Henry Winkler, Alfre Woodard, and Jason Alexander.
4 Two Weeks For Shooting, Three Weeks For Post-Production
To make the August debut successful, all the panels were recorded over a period of two weeks in late July. Meanwhile, it took three weeks in August for the production teams to compile the entire eight-hour-long footage for the FanDome.
The video reels and footage featured over 300 people on screen and roughly 250 people behind-the-scenes. The post-production went on till one week before the event’s debut on 22nd August.
3 Honoring Dwayne McDuffie
One of the halls of FanDome for streaming content and guest panels is called the Dwayne McDuffie Dakota Theatre in honor the late comic book legend Dwayne McDuffie. He has been a pioneer in creating several black characters to make comic books more representative and diverse, along with writing several animated shows like Static Shock, Teen Titans, and Justice League: Unlimited.
In September, the Theatre would feature a screening of A Legion Of One, a documentary dedicated to his life and legacy that was originally released alongside the film Justice League: Doom.
2 It Was Initially Supposed To Be Like An Actual Comic-Con
The initial plan for DC FanDome was for it to act as a true Comic-Con with certain areas beyond the Hall of Heroes for merchandise, cosplays, and separate panels for DC shows and animated features (rather than all panels happening at the common Hall).
After initial announcements of the schedule in August, the fan feedback however was of the consensus that all of this would be a tad bit too much to watch in one day. This prompted executives like Rich and Gregorian to simplify the experience.
1 Resurgence Of Milestone Comics
Founded by the aforementioned Dwayne McDuffie, Milestone Comics was truly a milestone in the history of comic books, having introduced several black superheroes like Static Shock, Rocket, and Icon. The FanDome saw the announcement of new plans to revive Milestone with a panel that was planned as an undisclosed surprise for the final day.
The panel saw the participation of Jim Lee, Static Shock voice actor Phil Lamarr, and Milestone’s writer Reggie Hudlin. Hudlin announced that Milestone classics would soon be available in digital archives along with many new storylines on Rocket and Icon, as well as a possible Static Shock live-action film in the feature.
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