One of the many thrilling dynamics of San Diego Comic-Con is having access to brilliant, creative minds that would otherwise be locked away on closed sets or in studio offices. Hearing them talk about their craft is a rare opportunity to not only gain an endless stream of behind-the-scenes information about the media that fans love, but also to get the inside scoop on fascinating roles that are possible in the arts and sciences of the entertainment industry. Beyond geeking out and unprecedented access, on a personal level, SDCC is a chance to catch up with the cast and producers who have opened their hearts to their fans.
For the past decade, the creators of Supernatural have had a very high profile presence at SDCC. "Supernatural Sunday" was known for its long autograph lines, a packed Hall H panel, and the hundreds of interviews from Supernatural's press room. While last year's emotional 2019 farewell Supernatural panel marked the end of the show's command of the Hall H stage, the show's creative team still showed up for fans this year during #ComicCon@Home.
Nightsky virtually attended all of #SPNFamily's appearances this year. Four (see Update below!) Five unique panels ranged from updating fans on the team's current projects, to exploring Supernatural's potential impact on fans' real lives, to just having fun with pop culture trivia!
"The Boys Season 2" Friday, July 23, 3:00-4:00 PM
Join executive producer Eric Kripke, along with series stars Karl Urban, Jack Quaid, Antony Starr, Erin Moriarty, Jessie T. Usher, Laz Alonso, Chace Crawford, Tomer Capon, Karen Fukuhara, and Aya Cash, with moderator Aisha Tyler, for a behind-the-scenes look at the upcoming second season of The Boys. Executive producers Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg will also make a special appearance. Based on The New York Times best-selling comic by Garth Ennis and Darick Robertson, The Boys is a fun and irreverent take on what happens when superheroes - who are as popular as celebrities - abuse their superpowers rather than use them for good. The even more intense, more insane season two finds The Boys on the run from the law, hunted by the Supes, and desperately trying to regroup and fight back against Vought.
Nightsky captured the highlights for you, and shares the video of the hour long discussion:
"AMC's The Walking Dead" Friday, July 24, 1:00 - 2:00PM
The Walking Dead will make its 11th San Diego Comic-Con appearance with a panel spotlighting "A Certain Doom, " which will air as a standalone episode later this year. Moderated by Chris Hardwick (Talking Dead), the panel will feature TWDU chief content officer Scott M. Gimple, showrunner and executive producer Angela Kang, executive producer Greg Nicotero, who directed the episode, and cast members Norman Reedus, Melissa McBride, Jeffrey Dean Morgan, Lauren Cohan, Josh McDermitt, Seth Gilliam, Ross Marquand, Khary Payton, and Paola Lazaro. In The Walking Dead episode 1016, "A Certain Doom, " Beta engages the final battle of the Whisperer War.
Nightsky's recap focuses on Supernatural's connection to the TWD zombie franchise and shares the video of the panel:
Composer Squares Game Show Sunday, July 26, 4:00 - 5:00 PM
Film & Television composers participate in a Hollywood Squares-like online game show where two film music fan contestants compete to win a soundtrack prize package. Watch as Lorne Balfe (Mission: Impossible - Fallout), Ryan Elder (Rick & Morty), Chris Lennertz (The Boys), Jongnic Bontemps (Call of Duty WWII), and Sonya Belousova & Giona Ostinelli (The Witcher) answer trivia questions on topics like the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and even the Golden Girls. Contestants are Sapphire Toth and Gareth Hughes with hosts Anne Cecere (BMI) and Chandler Poling (White Bear PR).
Here is the 30 minute game show panel in its entirety:
The largest Supernatural panel took place late on Sunday (Supernatural Sunday redux!). Five Supernatural actors joined three psychologists and two writers to discuss how Supernatural might help fans deal with the current, turbulent social atmosphere and their own life traumas.
Supernatural Therapy: Fighting Internal Monsters like a Hunter IRL Sunday, July 26, 4:00 - 5:00 PM
Supernatural might be coming to the end but the incredible benefits that the SPNFamily brought to the world don't have to. Join psychologists, Dr. Janina Scarlet (Supernatural Therapy), Dr. Lynn Zubernis (Family Don't End With Blood), Dr. Billy San Juan (Supernatural Psychology), writers Deric Hughes (Arrow) and Henry Alberto (Little America) and Supernatural actors Rachel Miner, Ruth Connell, Lauren Tom, Andrea Drepaul, and Austin Basis as they discuss how we can continue to be hunters IRL even after the show ends, how we can stand up to injustice, face mental health challenges, and how we can Always Keep Fighting. Dustin McGinnis (Superhero Therapy podcast) moderates.
During the hour long discussion, each panel member reflected on their personal circumstances and how superhero stories, and Supernatural specifically, inspires people to strive to survive and work toward the betterment of society. The following kernels of the panelists' thoughts introduce the themes of their answers. They are not exact quotes and certainly do not adequately summarize the deep ideas shared during the panel, but they do give a snapshot of the discussion.
What can we learn from Supernatural and our superhero shows?
Dr. Scarlet: We learn one person standing up for what’s right can make a world of difference. We learn that villains can be defeated when all the heroes band together.
Dr. Zubernis: The mantra of the show is Always Keep Fighting. Reality right now can seem overwhelming and retraumatizing, just like the Winchesters' reality on most days, so we need and can to turn to them for inspiration
Rachel: The positive of superhero shows is that they go outside the status quo, giving our imaginations the notion that there can be something better, something more. The negative is that sometimes people believe that these triumphs can only happen on TV.
Dr. San Juan: When we experience anxiety, trauma or depression, we become the villain or the victim of our own stories. Watching our heroes go through those things, reminds us that we are the heroes of our own stories. How does the hero deal with these things?
Andrea: The whole world is on a dark night of the soul journey; the heroes’ journey is portrayed on Supernatural. How do you find your own inner pillar of strength? There is a disconnect with people understanding how they can translate to their reality what they see on TV.
Austin: TV shows normalize our worlds right now. Watching television can provide a much needed escape to reality.
Linda: Be extraordinarily kind to yourself right now. When things get overwhelming, just go back to your breath
Derek: Mental health matters. We have to take care of ourselves.
Ruth: We need uplifting content right now. It helps us cope.
Henry: More people are experiencing the isolation that specific communities have always felt so I’m hoping that we all come out of this with more compassion.
How can people help others fight against the "monster" of the pandemic, like the hunters do on Supernatural?
Dr. Zubernis: Allow people the space to grieve losses, large and small. Media characters show resilience but also grief and vulnerability. It’s important to see those things. It’s a great normalizer to allow ourselves to feel those things.
Lauren: Get out of yourself and try to be of service. That can be one of the great healing activities.
Rachel: My hope for this time is that we all realize we’re all bound to each other. There is no escaping suffering; we’ve all experienced suffering and we’re never alone.
Dr. Scarlet: We're experiencing empathic distress; we feel almost paralyzed by grief because we see and feel so much grief. Our heroes also face the biggest odds and overwhelming problems. The way that they begin is by taking the first few steps. The more we take actions to help other people, the better we feel.
Austin: The pandemic monster has forced me to figure out who I will be in this new world, and how I will respond to other people's reactions to the pandemic.
Words of encouragement?
Rachel: Random Acts posts resources that can help.
Ruth: Keep dialogs open. Surprising understandings result.
Derek: Communicate and let people know how you’re feeling. You’re never alone.
Henry: Find the light beyond the darkness and pursue it.
Andrea: We’re all learning the same lessons, fighting the same battles. We’re not going to be free until we’re all free.
Lauren: These times require courage.
Austin: Take a moment to think before we judge. Where is someone coming from; what have they been through that brings them to the place they’re at right now?
Dr. San Juan: When we stand hand in hand, we can make our dreams come true.
Dr. Zubernis: It's important that people realize that they're not alone. Representation matters.
Dr. Scarlet: You are each part of the solution. You have probably already saved someone’s life by a kindness and you’ll never know it. Your work has just begun.
Here is the full panel. It's an hour rich in insights from several people connected to Supernatural:
Update: I found another #SPNFamily connection to #SDCC2020! In one of last year's autograph lines at SDCC, I met Melanie Scrofano, the lead star in Wynonna Earp. She was very excited to tell me that she was in Supernatural a long time ago, so I looked it up. She was the "near dead girl" in "What Is and What Should Never Be" 2.20, so Melanie is #SPNFamily! Seems Melanie has been in harm's way from the supernatural her whole acting career!
SYFY: Wynonna Earp Sunday, July 26 5:00 - 6:00
I encourage you to explore Comic-Con@Home for yourself. Explore panels that address your specific interests! Besides watching the SPNFamily panels, I learned about the history of Saturday morning cartoons, and that NASA will take us back to the moon in the next 3 years in preparation to go to Mars by 2025. I listened to TV and blockbuster movie location managers describe their fascinating experiences scouting locations; Robbie Amell talk about his thought-provoking comedy, Upload; and Hale Appleman talk about The Magicians. Find what interests you and take advantage of these wonderfully entertaining and educating panels! The full schedule and links to the YouTube videos of each panel are listed under "Programming" on Comic-Con@Home's Home Page. The Home page will also take you to the Online Exhibit Hall, Exclusive Merchandise Shops, Tumblr Art Show, Free download of the SDCC Souvenir Book, Fan Activities and much more!
Go back and listen to the "teases and spoilers" the cast and producers shared at Comic-Con 2019!
We'd love to hear your SDCC@home experiences! Did you find #SPNFamily on any other panels? What were your favorite panels? Share below!