Panel Name: Alan Tudyk
Topic: Tudyk spoke about his upcoming web series Con Man as well as his past roles in projects such as Firefly, Serenity, Dollhouse, and Death at a Funeral
Featured Guest: Comedic genius, Alan Tudyk. Moderation by Buffy the Vampire Slayer’s Clare Kramer.
“Ladies and Gentlemen! Alan Tudyk!” Acting moderator Clare Kramer announced at a morning panel May 23rd at Denver Comic Con 2015. The man of the hour stepped excitedly up onto the stage, a big bag of goodies over his shoulder. He grasped his mic and raised it to his lips, only to find— in true Tudyk fashion— he was holding it upside down.
“Not a bit. That actually just happened,” he said with an embarrassed laugh and sat down next to Kramer to start the event. Before Kramer opened the panel to audience questions, there was quite a lot of talk between the two Whedon actors about Tudyk’s upcoming project Con Man. A roar of applause rose from the crowd at the mere mention of the web series. “My experiences is where it started. My first convention in England… I went with Nathan [Fillion] and there was a guy taking photographs who stuck his hand in a bucket of ice and said ‘I’m sorry. I’m going to need twenty minutes,’ so I was thinking, ‘This is bizarre.’ ” Tudyk said, referencing the convention talked about in his Indiegogo Campaign. Attending his first convention was truly an outsider experience as the only science fiction Tudyk was familiar with was Star Wars and Star Trek: The Next Generation, a “gateway show,” as Kramer called it. “I was experiencing it as an outsider looking in and that’s where the craziness was taking place.” This craziness, is what inspired the script for Tudyk’s soon-to-be-shot web series. “I just don’t think there’s a place like this. I don’t know where this is that people are so accepting of one another and supportive of one another and encouraging of one another,” Tudyk said about conventions and that in contrast to the actors who visited them it showed “what buffoons we are, especially me. It created this character Wray who’s… lost in his life and he doesn’t get how great he has it quite yet.” Tudyk described Wray as a character who doesn’t understand conventions. He will be a sort of lens in which to explore the world.
“…We all had high hopes while we were doing [Firefly] because we loved it…We got it. Fox didn’t get it,” Tudyk jabbed about his time on the short lived science fiction series. A series of boos filled the room with an added, “Too soon!” shouted from someone in the back. This “not getting it” is what led Tudyk to put the wellbeing of his new project into the hands of his fans. He didn’t want to risk a network not understanding the world he was writing and canceling it without further thought. If there’s one thing Tudyk doesn’t need more of, it’s a canceled television show.
It was then Kramer opened the panel up for audience questions. Tudyk seemed to beam onstage, pulling his bag closer to him. “I have stuff for people who ask questions,” he said excitedly. These incentives ranged anything from small prints of the spaceship featured in Con Man to one lucky patron who received a signed, empty deodorant package. “You can put anything in that!” Tudyk joked as the fan walked away with their new prize. Tudyk got the idea to bring gifts for his fans from his Firefly co-star Nathan Fillion, who brings watches engraved with his signature. “That’s what happens when you’re Nathan Fillion.”
At a later panel, one fan asked what advice he had for creators interested in making their own web series. “Make it yourself,” he said. “It’s changing obviously, if you listen at all to what’s happening with television… Network TV is kind of on the decline because of Netflix because of Amazon Prime and all these different people are coming in. Vimeo where we’re showing Con Man is also getting into the game. They’re starting to produce their own shows and I think YouTube is going to take a bigger hand… in making shows exploiting— if that’s the right word— the talent that they have… But that’s the place to go. Web series is the way to go.” The fan went away with a signed bottle of Scope mouthwash.