A Whovian Adventure

ImageAt the end of March, a friend of mine celebrated his 25th birthday and it was one of the most memorable and uplifting event I’ve had in a long time.

I’ve recently joined the ranks of the Doctor Who fandom.  I’m not entirely caught up with the series; I’ve just begun the fifth season of “New Who,” and just met the Eleventh Doctor (Matt Smith).  I’ve loved every part of the series so far; even those devastating moments that have left me an emotional wreck.  Bad Wolf Bay, anyone?

I didn’t expect to get into this series as much as I did.  On the whole, I still think I prefer Sherlock when it comes to the work of Steven Moffatt, but, as they say, first impressions are lasting ones and Sherlock was part of my world long before Doctor Who.  I dug the more quirky, silly tone of the first season and I fell pretty hard for Christopher Eccleston‘s ninth doctor and sincerely would have loved to have seen him there for another season.  However, it wasn’t long until I was just as enthralled with David Tennant‘s tenth doctor.  So, when it turned out that the plan for Ben’s birthday outing was going to be Who-themed, I was intrigued.  He is, after all, a massive ImageWhovian himself and has seen the show in its entirety (New Who, anyway).  Almost every gift was Who-themed (including several sonic screwdrivers) and off we went into downtown Ellicott City for a Doctor Who Scavenger Hunt.


The suggestion was made that we dress up as the various characters.  Just for fun.  Undeniably, photo shoots ensued.


Photo taken by Michael Mongeon.


We had all three Doctors present.



Photo taken by Michael Mongeon.

As well as Donna Noble and Rose Tyler . . . and an honorary Tennant himself.


Photo taken by Michael Mongeon.

Donna is my favorite Companion.  “Best Temp in Chiswick.”  I love her interaction with the Doctor and the friendship between them.  It was so much fun pretending to be her for the day (I only wished I’d had more time to put a better costume together).  I may Cosplay as Donna again at a future con!  (I’ll be at Awesome Con D.C. this weekend, but I’ll be representing Genre Wars: Resistance Rising.)


“Stop bleepin‘ me!”
Photo taken by Michael Mongeon.

We may have created a paradox . . . or two . . .


Photo taken by Michael Mongeon.


Photo by Robin C. Farrell

It was a great day.  Many happy returns to Ben and the Doctor.
Maybe next time we’ll have a Captain Jack Harkness, an Amelia Pond, a River Song…who knows?


Photo taken by Michael Mongeon.


Pictured in Photos (in order of appearance/L-R): Nathan Moe, Ben Hart, Justin Moe, Michael Mongeon, Robin C. Farrell, Jessica Mongeon, Tiffany Mallett.  And David Tennant.

Beautiful. Powerful. Dangerous. Cold. My review of Disney’s “Frozen.”

Born of cold and winter air
And mountain rain combining
This icy force, both foul and fair
Has a frozen heart worth mining
Cut through the heart, cold and clear
Strike for love and strike for fear
There’s beauty and there’s danger here
Split the ice apart
Beware the frozen heart. . .

I didn’t really register those lyrics in the opening of Disney’s Frozen the first time I saw it.  I enjoyed the music of it – I do recall being impressed by the use of a men’s choir and the overall sound of this song as their opening number.  After getting the soundtrack, however, and listening to the lyrics themselves, it really struck me how smart this song is; in and of itself, the lyrics are well written and the musicality of the piece is quite pleasing, but setting it at the top of the film frames the story and tells us, the audience, right up front, that there is a certain sense of understanding between the people of Arendale and their harsh, winter climate.   What’s more, it essentially explains the theme and story that the movie is about to show.

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Of Elves, Gamers, and Paintball.

“There’s a little bit of ‘geek’ and ‘hero’ in all of us.”

Even if I hadn’t heard about Rise of the Fellowship through the grapevine of friends and current and future colleagues, its likely that this film still would have crossed my path.  I am a Lord of the Rings fan—both Tolkien’s literary masterwork and Peter Jackson’s cinematic adaptation (which I rambled on about just a few posts ago)—as well as a fan of fantasy and sci-fi in general and an independent filmmaker myself.  However, I’m not generally a fan of parodies or spoof-style movies so I had some initial concern that Fellow’s Hip—as it was called then—was going to be something more along those lines; a perfectly pleasant romp that, while clever in its delivery, still just retold the same story with a different setting and vernacular.

I was delighted to find, though, that this was not the case at all. The film is distinct and entirely its own, which, truly, is its biggest strength.

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Taking Shape

It’s been a hundred years since I’ve given a legitimate update.  But here’s the thing: I’ve been fully engulfed in Genre Wars: Resistance Rising.


I want to start off by saying that it is my delight and privilege to be a part of this project.  From the start it’s been this intangible, but fascinating concept that we’ve been attempting to really grasp and bring into reality.  The process has been amazing for me, personally; the collaboration with Justin and everyone else has been tremendous fun.  The amazing part now is seeing it really start to pick up some traction.  I can see heads turning as the project gains speed and a whole new level of excitement begins as what we’ve been holding onto for so long, we are now really able to start sharing with others.

The last few weeks have been an absolute whirlwind of activity for us.  We put a small featurette together (Genre Wars: Resistance Rising FIRST LOOK), we’ve officially cast over half the characters, the sets are beginning to take shape and the scripts, as Justin has mentioned previously, have nearly reached completion.

But the real highlight was last Saturday.  Picture this:

A calm, quiet morning.
The sun drapes across the green, empty field in soft, golden sheets.
There’s a crunch of tires over gravel as the first car pulls into the driveway.
A Pirate emerges along with a 1920’s Mobster and a Mech warrior.

Here we go.

Even long after the Genre Wars concept had been introduced and developed, the possibilities seemed endless; how many different culture-clashes we could create and the fun we could have with the mismatches.  All great in theory of course, but on June 1st, we really got the chance to see how it would look in reality when we gathered a significant group of willing participants, all in full costume and lined them up next to each other.


As we had hoped and predicted, what we got was magical and transformative.  There is no feeling greater than the moment when something you’ve been brainstorming about, developing in your head and obsessing over suddenly takes real shape.  No matter how many projects I do, that transition from elusive concept to reality never gets old.  And I don’t think it ever will.

Our group consisted of Steampunks, Fantasarians, Mechs, Nenjin (or Kabathan-style ninjas), Mobsters, Pirates, modern-day Mercenaries and Vampians.

GunSlingers_01 Aerial-02-copy BTS-02

It was an all-day affair, but, as the saying goes, time certainly flew by as we were having our fun. Everyone who came out to participate was enthusiastic and committed to being there.  The resulting photos and footage are excellent.  Our two photographers, KC White and Jenna Miller (of Jenna M. Miller Photography) really stepped up to the plate and produced some amazing work.  The photos really shine, and especially because of the make-up artistry of Jessica Mungeon and Felicia Douglas.


This photo/video shoot helped put into perspective what it is we’re trying to do.  Several times during the day, people said to me, “I didn’t realize this was going to be such a big deal,” and, “when is the next shoot going to be?” and, “can I read the scripts?”  This was all rewarding for me, personally, because it meant that what we’ve been working towards is becoming clear to others and the excitement, the interest that Justin and I have had in this story and these characters and this world is starting to rub off onto others.  They can see what we see now.  And it’s awesome.

So what’s next?

There will be more shoots, both conceptual ones like this, and of the full cast once the roles have all been officially filled.  There will be more interviews; second looks, third looks and a teaser trailer.  And a poster.  And a full-scale map of Kabathan.  And, eventually, t-shirts!

What are we doing?  We’re bringing something tangible into the world and we’re at the point now where we can finally start really sharing it with others.

It just doesn’t get better than that.

Group Shot 01