2017 was the year Ana and I had baby Ember in July so some travel leading up to, and certainly, was cut back substantially just as I bolstered our PR efforts on Screen Rant to cover more in our main verticals.
Still, despite having to pass up dozens of exciting opportunities, I managed to do attend some incredible events throughout 2017 and knock a few items off my bucket list. Here are the highlights, in order:
- February 2017 – New York – For Hugh Jackman’s last movie as Wolverine, Fox let me host a contest and bring a fan to New York to interview Jackman for Logan. His name is Sean Harrigan and we’ve been pals ever since. You can catch his writing and hear him on the radio on Cinescape.
- February 2017 – Atlanta – I got hear frequently for set visits since its one of the top production destinations and this one was for another Marvel Studios feature: Black Panther. Since Atlanta’s Pinewood location was full for other movies (Avengers) this one was actually being shot at Sony Studios and right next door was the cast of Stranger Things shooting season 2.
- March 2017 – San Francisco – I finally got to visit Pixar Studios! Every year there’s at least one Pixar movie in theaters and therefore, one long-lead interview event to preview the film and chat with its amazing creative team and artists. In previous years, I’ve sent various members there for The Good Dinosaur and in 2018, sent someone for Incredibles 2, but I went for Cars 3. The day after our time in the studio, we went to Sonoma Raceway for interviews, press conferences, and racing!
- April 2017 – Orlando – Last year I traveled to London for Star Wars Celebration Europe and my first ever Celebration event. This year, less than a year later, I got to do it again but in Orlando and participate in my first ever Galactic Nights event at Walt Disney World. This was my second time a the theme park having gone with Ana the previous February for the Zootopia junket.
- April 2017 – Iceland – One of my top three go-to destinations that I’ve never been to before was Iceland and I got to go for EVE Fanfest 2017, but first to spend a few days in the countryside with Ryan and Angela who rented an SUV and got an amazing AirBnB near one of the hot tourist sites.
- May 2017 – Los Angeles – Disney Parks Canada reached out for the first time ever and brought me out to Disneyland California – also a first – to participate in the grand opening of the Guardians of the Galaxy: Mission Breakout! ride. It was amazing and I got to have a conversation with Marvel Studios boss Kevin Feige while there.
- June 2017 – Atlanta – It’s become an annual event travelling to Atlanta since Marvel Studios made it their home for film productions. This year was the biggie though and we got to see the set of Avengers: Infinity War and grab some great photos along the way!
- September 2017 – Budapest, Hungary – Working with National Geographic (NatGeo) for the first time allowed me to visit the set of Mars season 2.
- October 2017 – New York – It’s been a long time since I went to my first NYCC staying at my business partner Ben Kendrick’s place many years ago. This time he wasn’t able to make it but we had our own giant media room and film crew in the round table VIP area. This was a wonderful learning experience for next year.
- October 2017 – Montreal – I travel to Montreal all the time for work, and this year, 3-4 other times for Valnet, but this time I went to visit an Electronic Arts studio for the first time. Specifically, the new studio EA Motive where the story campaign for Star Wars: Battlefront II was being developed.
- November 2017 – London – In 2016 I visited the set of Justice League during E3 2017 so had to fly to London from Los Angeles. I did that trip again, but this time with my mom, for the Justice League junket. We attended the screening and a cocktail part in the Warner Bros. lot in LA and checked out the Chinese theater before flying to London for a wonderful dinner, a preview of the Justice League setups (featuring a room for each member of the JL) and then did the press conference the next day. Wonderful food and great people, and I got to visit my mom’s home country with her! We even did the London Eye!
- November 2017 – Hawaii – Another first for me, visiting the beautiful Hawaiian islands. I went for the Jumanji film junket and got to visit the ranch where Lost, Kong: Skull Island, Jurassic Park and many other greats were shot. And I got to interview The Rock, Jack Black, and Kevin Hart on camera!
- November 2017 – Orlando – visited Walt Disney World just for a day to preview the Star Wars Galactic Nights events coming in December.
- December – Orlando – I had the opportunity to visit Disney World two more times at the end of the year, first in November for a preview event of the next Galactic Nights, and then in December I brought my brother as a Christmas gift and ‘thank you’ for his work helping paint my home. We did Galactic Nights and spent three more days visiting all the main attractions at all the parks.