The Geekie Awards 2015
This past weekend marked the 3rd annual showcase of The Geekie Awards in Los Angeles. For those who aren’t familiar with the event, The Geekie Awards "is an award show by geeks for geeks™, aimed at putting the true geek culture in the spotlight as a collection of valid, respected, award-winning genres for storytelling and creation. In an industry filled with award shows for established celebrities, we honor talented, independent creators and give them the opportunity to receive recognition in front of a worldwide audience and leaders in their respective industries. We inspire creativity and hope and foster cross-market innovation. Our mission is to create a fun, action-packed, unforgettable broadcast event tailored to all of the things we geeks love: entertainment, gaming, products and art—delivered via the latest digital technologies."
While I have known of The Geekie Awards since its debut in 2013, this was my first year getting to check it out in person. I wasn’t quite sure what to expect, although I knew there have been a lot of talented geek industry who helped with its inception and execution – so the "by geeks" is definitely true! I arrived in time for the red carpet with #AlmostKirk of Geek and Sundry, dressed as Phoenix, and settled in for where the night would take us. I definitely wouldn’t rank it as one of the best events I have attended on behalf of GeekxGirls, but it had a lot of good things going for it, so let’s look at that first:
-The Geekie Awards showcases a wide variety of genre relevant artists – fashion, video games, web series, cosplay, websites, art and even trailers. It’s unusual to see an event that uses "Geek" as the essential defining link, and that so seamlessly integrates artists of different walks of life. I interacted with a lot of interesting people in a variety of roles – actors, Youtube personalities, cosplayers, fans and upper crust Hollywood types as well. It was an intimate setting where people mixed freely in an upscale atmosphere.
-The production value was high, despite a few minor technical difficulties. I was delighted for the show to feature a time travel theme in honor of Back to the Future day (October 21, 2015) – actors on stage portrayed Dr. Who, Bill n Ted, and Marty McFly and it was a lighthearted silly mashup that was true to the source material. The props were well constructed, the show was quirky and cute and there was a good mix of live material vs content they had filmed and edited beforehand.
-The Geekie Awards had an impressive number of celebrities, including Kevin Smith and Jason Mewes, who were in attendance to accept a lifetime achievement award. They were unsurprisingly the best part of the evening. Watching Kevin Smith direct the animated Jason Mewes as if he was in the Daredevil film was a joy to watch - they didn’t miss a single beat, were absolute professionals, personable geeks, and are entertainers of the highest order. The rest of the list of nominees and presenters was none too shabby either, boasting industry actors, directors, and writers going back decades in Hollywood – as well as tons of fresh talent that we geeks love to obsess about on the internet.
-50 cosplayers were invited to attend for free, so the ambiance was great! Many cosplayers even participated on stage, including the Nerds Like Us/Club Cosplay Spaceballs brigade, Bai Ling and more.
-The Player Piano NES piano was there in person! Ooh, ahh, fangirl!!!
-Even if you weren’t at the event, there was a great streaming component on uStream. There were a lot of chances to get in on the fun through social media, and I am positive that the online outreach will continue to grow each year.
-It’s geeks getting awards for doing shit they love. That one should be obvious.
With that said, not everything about the awards show was great. I (and many others I spoke to) had some negative things to say about the evening as well, and I’d be remiss if I did not give an honest review of the showcase. So, then:
-The event was poorly organized to say the least. There were obviously some issues between the staff of Nokia Club and the staff of The Geekie Awards, their communication and their task delegation. When guests arrived they had trouble figuring out where to go, and the staff wasn’t particularly helpful in directing them (because they didn’t know, either). At one point, we (obviously) lined up to get our photos taken in front of the red carpet, only to be moved by a staff member to a line that was meant for picking up tickets. The line consisted of confused and aggravated attendees, nominees and press alike, none of whom were trying to pick up tickets. Everyone was obviously annoyed and on edge during the red carpet portion of the event, except perhaps the highest VIP. We found out later that to have your photo taken on the red carpet, you had to submit headshots and a resume in advance – which would have been nice for someone to tell us either before the event OR at the event. There were no ins and outs of the event after the doors were opened, so many of these frustrated folks became increasingly so after they entered the venue only to be told they couldn’t come back inside should they leave. Trying to get information through email from the staff members before the event was equally difficult and frustrating.
-The Club Nokia, while a cool venue, is Hollywood through and through. $15 for a single beer?? I know The Geekie Awards has no control over something like that, but it was a tough pill to swallow for many of the lower income struggling artists there.
-There were quite a few technical issues with their photobooth, their audio during the event and issues with the stream, while minor on their own, added up to be inconvenient.
-The host was absolutely unlikable, unfunny and uncomfortable to watch. None of his jokes landed and every moment he was on stage provoked pained groans from the audience. I am not sure who the guy is or why he was chosen as the host, since the other actors on stage were all far more enjoyable. I don’t know anything about the guy, but if his performance at the Geekies was any indication, in the future I’d avoid any projects I saw his name attached to.
-After speaking to many of the people at the event, the system for becoming a nominee seems to follow that of many other awards shows. That is to say it is extremely political and not entirely unbiased. While there were a handful of nominees who I was very excited to see, there were many that were passed over for the nominee stage that were very deserving of being there. Of course it is impossible for everyone to be up on stage, and I understand that – but there did seem to be some pretty definite preferential treatment given out to friends of the people on the board of judges.
I definitely have some concerns with how the event was run, but overall I quite enjoyed myself and even if I don’t return next year, I am happy that this event exists in the first place. I hope to see it continue to grow and geeks getting the recognition they deserve for the passion they put into their art.
The Geekie Awards
Article by: Geek Girl Mistress Zelda
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October 21 2015