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Studios Hail Revenge of the Nerds

25 Jul, 2006 By: Stephanie Prange

In no previous year have I seen studio interest in San Diego Comic-Con International so fervent. Walking the floor on Friday, I ran into several familiar faces — almost like a VSDA convention of years past.

Comic-Con has gathered some of the excitement that the old VSDA show used to engender — with booth giveaways and costumed characters roaming the aisles. The stars turned out at panels and autograph sessions to great fans, just as they did at the old VSDA conventions.

The main difference is that studios are now courting consumer taste-makers rather than video retailers. The studios, somewhat rightfully, think a geek with a Web site or a few blogs has more of an effect on the DVD-buying public than video retailers.

Whatever the reason, the revenge of the nerds is in full swing in the entertainment business. A LucasFilm executive made jokes about the quality of the DVD of the original Star Wars, with company representatives handing out “Han Shoots First” buttons to attendees. Fans cheered enthusiastically when Warner unveiled the Richard Donner cut of Superman II. (By the way, if you're not a geek, you won't know the importance of these events.) And for some reason geekdom has a particular fascination with Snakes on a Plane (go figure).

These are most certainly the most enthusiastic entertainment fans in the business. They put the fan in fanatic. And the studios are right to take the pulse of this vanguard.

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