As promised—first hand report from my buddy Kris Bochum--
So...Paleyfest. i have been going to the Paley Festival for over 10 years - I’ve seen so many panels, including the first Buffy panel. Sdo it was great to see the reunion one as well. The tickets did sell out lickety split! There were so many people trying to get Paley tix the day they were available that the whole system crashed. So, I didn't actually get tix from Paley; I got mine on ebay - and for a very pretty penny, too, I might add.
So, I took a whole day off work to go, and my brother and I headed down to Hollywood around 11 am. And good thing we did too. Sunset Blvd was closed off for many, many blocks due to a protest. It took us about 45 minutes just to make our way from Hollywood and Highland to the parking structure! Egad! When we got down to the Cinerama dome, there were already people in line - one with tickets on one side (about 50 in line), one with no tickets in the "standby" line (about 20). we asked a few people when they got in line: 12 midnight & 3 am were the two times that were crazy. We went next door and shopped at amoeba records for awhile. Then, yep, we got in line - around 2:30 pm. where we stayed... it was pretty fun. lots of fans. some weirdos. Some rude-o's too. They let us in around 6 pm - and it was really nice to sit in seats, rather than on the sidewalk. Lots of rows were taped off, so we ended up kind of in the back. We were in the center though, so we thought we made out ok, considering.
Then we had to wait again, for about another hour. there was a woman behind us, she was with some organization - I want to say whedonopolis but I don't want to be wrong. Well, she was sitting right behind me and she was very very loud and at one point she stood up, walked to the end of the aisle and started shouting at the top of her lungs: 'Garth! Garth!' jean, I am telling you, I don' think I have ever seen (or heard) someone so absolutely rude before. I really couldn't believe that security didn't kick her out. Anyway, the hour passed and the president of the Paley center came out and talked about the Paley center and the son of the founder and the sponsors, and then about "Buffy." finally!
Matt Rousch from TV guide was the moderator. He was ok, not great but it helped that he was a fan and had actually watched the show and knew all about it. We were shown "once more with feeling" and it was really great seeing it on the big screen. Unfortunately for me personally, the woman behind me thought she was at a rocky horror picture show and was throwing in lines in between dialogue. I don't mind the singing with the show - quite the contrary, I’m all for it! But the endless one-liners were really obnoxious.
After the viewing of the episode, Matt Rousch came up and in order, he introduced the guests: David Greenwalt, Amber Benson, Seth Green, Charisma Carpenter, Marti Noxon Michelle Trachtenberg, Emma Caufiled, James Marsters, Nicholas Brendan, Sarah Michelle Gellar, Joss Whedon. (Alyson Hanigan and Eliza Dushku were no-shows).
Lots of questions were asked by the moderator, and then the audience got to ask some. Unfortunately, the first guest question took up about 20 minutes: what's your favorite movie and what's on your ipod?
To Emma: how'd you do that speech in the body, where you just break down? She had to pee really badly!
To Sarah from the mod: once and for all - Angel or Spike? She didn't choose.
Joss said he and David called Sarah Jimmy Stewart, cause she was so professional and always hit her mark. Sarah was asked about the comic book: did she know that her Buffy character had sex with a woman? Sarah laughed and said she had just found out 5 minutes before the show started. Joss said, well, experimenting and all that, hadn't we all been to college?
To amber: what was your reaction to 1) yours and willow's relationship? And Tara’s demise? She said she thought Tara and willow had the best relationship on the show and was glad that it happened. As for dying, she didn't get to answer so much as she was interrupted many times.
To Charisma: Angel or Buffy? Angel, as she got to do much more on that show.
After it ended, hundreds dashed for the stage for autographs. To their benefit, everyone stayed and signed autographs as long as they were allowed to (the Paley center people kicked them out). It was a lot of fun, I have to say. And I had heard a lot of bad things about Sarah Michelle Gellar, but she was very gracious and sweet and seemed genuinely sincere and happy to be there. Below are some pics for you, from the show. Remember, I was way in the back, so the lighting is kinda funky.
Not to worry, Kris-- For more PaleyFest Buffy and the gang photos, here's a link to MediaBlvd Magazine,
where another pal, photographer extraordinaire Christina Radish, shows off her considerable talents.