At 1:00 p.m. on Saturday, I had the privilege of being on a panel entitled: "Discovering the Daikaiju Genre" with Martin Arlt, Kevin Horn, Jay Johnson, and J.D. Lees. After the morning's festivities, I was brimming with excitement--so much so that Martin, who served as the panel's moderator, had to reign me in a little at the start. No "practiced cool" persona for me!
At any rate, we settled into a comfortable groove of sharing memories of early exposure to giant monster movies. It was a rare treat to listen to these gentlemen talk about the lengths to which they went to see Godzilla films. Some had seen movies such as "Godzilla vs. the Thing" as first-run showings in theaters. I was able to talk about seeing 70s flicks such as "Godzilla vs. the Cosmic Monster" in the Detroit area with my dad. All of us seemed to have the shared experience of scouring TV listings in search of upcoming monster movies. The experience was enhanced by the participation of the audience, who reported similar activities, like waiting for "Godzilla Week" on their local TV station.
Kevin Horn, Jay Johnson, me, J.D. Lees, and Martin Arlt
It was a special part of G-FEST XVII. Being able to converse with people whose work I greatly respect and enjoy was unforgettable. A couple of times I caught myself wondering, "How did I get here?" The answer, I suppose, is simple: the chance presented itself, and I decided to go for it. I would encourage you, whatever pursuit you are following, to get off of the sidelines and get into the game. You'll have a lot more fun, and end up doing things you never imagined you would do...like being a G-FEST panelist. Who'd'a thunk it?