Comic-Con 2011: 'Chuck' Co-Creator Chris Fedak (Q&A)
Fedak opens up about why the annual San Diego convention is key for a new show, bumping into Joss Whedon and his secret weapon: Jeffster.
With hundreds of thousands of people attending San Diego Comic-Con every year and the July 20-24 event quickly approaching, The Hollywood Reporter chatted with the big names in television to discuss their favorite memories and tips for attending the annual event. THR’s Live Feed will talk Comic-Con with actors, writers and producers in the days leading up to the event so check back soon for interviews and the latest news on panels and screenings.
Geek Cred: Chuck
Comic-Con panel: Chuck, Saturday, July 23, 10-10:45 a.m., Ballroom 20
The Hollywood Reporter: How long have you been attending Comic-Con?
Chris Fedak: I've always been a big fan of movies, books and comics but I’d never gone to Comic-Con before Chuck. We screened the entire pilot because nobody had seen and people went crazy when they realized Yvonne Strahovski and Adam Baldwin would be working in the Buy More protecting Chuck Bartowski (Zach Levi). We knew we had something special and it was perfectly designed for the Comic-Con fan base.
THR: How important is Comic-Con for a new show?
Fedak: Comic-Con is the beginning of buzz -- if a show screens and there's a real reaction from the audience it has a great impact on the Internet. Comic-Con folks who watch a pilot, they essentially become your first fans and first adopters. It’s really great to start the spark at Comic-Con and get people talking about what’s coming two or three months later when the fall season starts.
THR: What stands out from your first Comic-Con?
Fedak: [Chuck co-creator] Josh Schwartz and I were walking the floor and we bumped into Joss Whedon, who was just wandering around. Because it’s not industry it puts you in the mindset of being a fan.
Comic-Con 2011: Full THR Coverage
THR: What tips do you for throwing a kick-ass panel?
Fedak: Have Vik Sahay and Scott Krinsky in your back pocket. What you need is Jeffster. We've always turned our Chuck panels into a performance -- it's an audiovisual experience: We did “Fat Bottom Girls” and they did a Lady Gaga bit last year. I’m obsessed with Disney rides and I've always thought our panel should start off like a ride. Our panels are a love letter to fans and I will always say that any one of our fans equals five fans from any other show or movie.
THR: Who would be on your dream panel?
Fedak: My dream panel would be Misfits of Science mixed with A-Team, moderated by Magnum P.I.’s Tom Selleck.
THR: What’s the best thing a fan at Comic-Con has said to you?
Fedak: A lot of people quote the show, which is fantastic. I always love someone who's really a true advocate for Jeff or Captain Awesome and it’s fun to hear from people who advocate for any particular character because our show is filled with so many great characters; many of them could be stars of their own show.
Comic-Con 2011: ‘Chuck’s’ Zachary Levi (Q&A)
THR: If you were to attend Comic-Con in costume, what would it be?
Fedak: I’m the Where's Waldo of showrunners: My polo shirt, worn jeans and tennis shoes is a pretty good disguise. Although there was a point where Josh and I were walking the floor and two young girls walked over and said, "Wow, in the flesh." I couldn’t believe they were talking about us.
THR: If you could reboot any show, what would it be?
Fedak: Misfits of Science.