PRIDE – Congratulations, America

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Today is an auspicious day.

The Supreme Court ruled, in a narrow margin, that the practice of banning same sex marriage is unconstitutional. Short of a constitutional amendment passing, it’s now the law of the land. We here at the Ace of Geeks stand for, and have always stood for inclusion. It’s right there in our welcome statement. We believe you should be an ambassador, not a gatekeeper. That’s why we fought against Gamergate, and it’s why we’re inclusive of fandoms that often get shoved to the side, like Bronies and Furries. And it’s why we’re so happy, here today, to welcome America into a world of love and acceptance, rather than the path of intolerance and hate so many people are so desperate to follow. The words of a book written thousands of years ago should not be dictating what happy, loving couples can do today. Since this is a momentous day, and we’ve basically spent all day celebrating on the staff page, we wanted to give a space for those of the staff who wanted to say something to do just that. Here you go: Continue reading

First Look at Civil War’s Crossbones, Falcon

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The latest from the set of Captain America: Civil War is a first look at costumes for both Crossbones and Falcon — and don’t expect any spandex singlets for Crossbones in this Marvel Cinematic Universe!  To check them out, hit the jump, and click the images to expand!

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Civil War has Ant-Man, is Basically Avengers 3

Marvel put out a press release today announcing the full cast of Captain America: Civil War…and it is a lot of people. There’s a full team of Avengers, plus all of Cap’s supporting cast, plus Ant-Man, plus Black Panther, plus Sharon Carter and whoever Martin Freeman is playing. I haven’t seen a movie this stuffed that wasn’t called “The Avengers” before. And since the storyline of this film involves the Avengers and the consequences of their actions, I’m left to wonder how this is a Captain America movie at all. The good news is, it’s Marvel. They haven’t made a misstep yet. We’ll see, when the film comes out on May 6th. View the full press release after the jump.
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Who will be the All New, All Different Avengers?

Marvel released a nice little teaser today for their Free Comic Book Day issue of their All-New, All-Different Avengers, with two members revealed and four in shadow. So who will be the newest members of the Avengers post Secret Wars? Here’s our thoughts, with some educated guesses and some rampant speculation. Hit the jump to see more.

Let’s start by talking about the characters that are clearly identified. First of all:
 KAMALA KAHN IS AN AVENGER!
You have no idea how happy this makes me. Kamala’s acceptance by the Marvel fanbase, and her ability to bring in new readers, is fascinating and groundbreaking. But as someone who absolutely loves the character, and how much she nerds out at the site of superheroes – can you imagine Kamala’s reaction to getting to join the Avengers? Oh man, I absolutely cannot wait for that issue. 
The other great thing about Kamala’s inclusion is the role she’s likely play in the story – as the audience’s in. We’ve talked about Kamala’s ability to connect with audiences, so what better way to bring in a new audience than to give them a central character that’s easy to identify with? I expect we’ll see a lot of this tale from her perspective, which is fantastic.
 FEMALE THOR AND FALCON CAPTAIN AMERICA ARE STICKING AROUND
A lot of people cynically assumed that Marvel would use Secret Wars to reset their status quo and undo some of the changes that have been happening in the universe recently. Instead, we get Female Thor right up top, and a silhouette that’s clearly Sam Wilson (with the wings and the shield) directly below her. This is great news, and means that, even with the major changes that are probably happening in Secret Wars, these two new and interesting character changes are not going back to square one. Bravo, Marvel, for sticking to your guns despite some fan backlash.
Now, who are the rest of the team?
NOVA, BUT WHICH ONE?
The flyer on the bottom right just feels like Nova. The pose, those arm bands, most comic fans would identify the character outright as Nova. But the question becomes – which one? The Sam Alexander Nova that was launched by Jeph Loeb has been the Nova for a while now, but Richard Ryder’s following is huge, and if they were going to launch Nova in the films (say, in Guardians 2), they might decide to go with Ricard instead of Sam. Admittedly, since we can’t see the headspikes, the costume looks more like Sam’s – and the writers may want two young characters for the audience to identify with. We’ll have to see, but my money’s on Sam for now.
SUPERIOR OR INVINCIBLE?
Top left looks an awful lot like Iron Man. Since the Axis crossover event, Iron Man’s been a bit…well, evil. He’s calling himself the Superior Iron Man now, and wearing a white armor that looks like it was designed by Steve Jobs. Art for Secret Wars has already shown us that version of Iron Man going up against an Iron Man from an alternate universe that looks more like classic 616 Tony Stark. So which Iron Man are we seeing in the Avengers? My guess is, the more heroic Tony. The silhouette shows a lot of angles coming out of the armor, where the Superior suit is all curves. That leads me to believe that we’ll get classic red and gold Iron Man back before the end of Secret Wars, and he’ll be serving as an Avenger. Business wise, it makes sense – with this many unfamiliar characters on their flagship team, Marvel will want a proven money maker.
And now, for the out-of-left-field pick…
In the upper right, that sure as heck looks like Doctor Doom. “Doctor Doom?! An Avenger?!” you say. Well, there have been stranger members of the Avengers, and Doom has been a “good guy” before. Add that to the fact that Secret Wars will be pulling characters from a multitude of universes into the Marvel universe proper, and there’s a chance that this Doom may be from a What If, or 2099, or some other place where he wasn’t all bad. Still, I don’t think there’s a Doctor Doom out there without an ego the size of Mars, so we’ll certainly be seeing some interesting clashes of personality with Iron Man, at least.
And finally…
That’s Spider-man in the middle, as much as I might hope it’s The Scarlet Spider. Peter Parker is the safe bet. But we know for sure that Miles Morales will be joining the main universe post-Secret Wars, and Marvel is already putting some awesome and diverse choices in this line-up of the Avengers. So yeah, my money’s on Miles. Will I be surprised if it’s Peter? No, but I’d still be willing to bet that Marvel will continue to put their money where their mouth is on diversity, and stick an African American Spider-man in the center of the cover on their big Avengers relaunch. We’ll see.
What do you guys think? Who will be an Avenger, and who would you like to see?
Mike Fatum is the Editor in Chief of the Ace of Geeks, and a co-host of the Ace of Geeks Podcast. He’s really excited for the world of Marvel post-Secret Wars, especially as evidence mounts that it’s not a reboot.

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Ellie’s Brutal Guide to Being an Extra


Comic book movies are more prevalent today than ever. And where there’s a comic book movie, there’s a casting company needing to fill scenes with extras. And where there’s a casting company needing extras, there’s a horde of geeks ready to strike.

It’s like “If You Give A Mouse A Cookie,” but far more annoying for working professionals in film.

With Captain America choosing to shoot in my town of Atlanta, the geek community has been blowing up my Facebook and email. With that comes all manner of annoyance at the attitude being an extra is being treated with. So time to air some grievances, and give some tips for those of you insisting on applying.

Being an extra is a JOB. It is a professional JOB. Yes every geek in a hundred mile radius is going to want to apply for a role in a comic book film. And you will all think you are capable of being an extra. And you want to do it because it is ‘fun’.

First off, extra work has it’s fun moments, but it is work It is a lot of sitting around and waiting. A lot of standing on your feet til they hurt. A lot of repeating things over and over and over again, perfectly every time. You have to be able to hit a mark to not screw up a shot. It is not easy. It often can take a very heavy toll on you. I’ve gone home many times after 15 hours on my feet in pain so bad I could cry. It is a job you need to be dedicated to because you are willing to put in hard work. It is not something to take lightly simply because you’re a fan.

Not to mention the biggest thing, a set- especially a Marvel one- is a secure and secret thing. Your phone needs to stay in your car or where you will never touch it. Your mouth stays closed until after the film’s release. These are very real and very severe situations that productions are taking less and less lightly. If you talk, you will be breaching a contract with serious legal consequences. You can be fined, sometimes more than you will make in a lifetime. The biggest recent example would be the extra who leaked Batman pictures. They were looking down the barrel of a $5mil fine.

Acting is one of those jobs that for some reason anyone thinks they can show up and do. Even moreso with being an extra. No one walks into a CEO’s office and goes “it’s cool I got this, no worries.” No one walks into a surgeon’s OR and takes over for them. As with any job, you have to learn how to do the job and do it within the company’s rules. Being an extra is no different.

But since I’m certain comic book fans will apply for every single casting opportunity they can, regardless of my warnings, let me clarify some things so that you can be more educated and be less of a headache on the casting department and production. Film is a tight knit community, and you can (and will) be booted off a set with a black mark that will never let you return. Alternatively, if you follow these rules and don’t screw around, you may find yourself with the chance to do more of this in the future.

So here is my brutally honest guide to being a good extra…

1) ONLY APPLY FOR THINGS YOU ARE 100% QUALIFIED FOR. Do not apply to portray a guitarist if you own a guitar, but you’ve never played. Don’t apply for blondes if you have black hair. Don’t lie to yourself or them about your measurements. Casting directors often are asked to fill roles in a specific way, and lying will hurt the production as they are then stuck with something they didn’t ask for. Imagine if you ordered a steak and were instead given a a loaf of bread. You’d be really annoyed, and you’d send it back. Now imagine every second of waiting for that steak to come back costs you thousands of dollars. Film is a fast-paced environment. Nobody has time to replace you because you lied.

2) BE QUIET AND LISTEN!!! This is the biggest annoyance on every single set I’ve ever been on that extras don’t understand. Especially in scenes with stunts, being able to hear each other on a set is crucial, not only for the production but for safety. If a stuntman can’t hear his partner tell him when he’s going to land the hit because you were too busy chatting; you may have just caused a severe injury. If they can’t get the shot they need before you’re talking, you’re wasting time, and I don’t need to tell you how much we hate that. Unless you have been injured, there is no reason to speak on a set. No socializing. No asking questions. Just do what they ask of you and stay quiet while doing it.

3) DON’T FIND THE CAMERA. STAY WHERE YOU ARE PUT. I have watched people step in the way of stunts and key scenes just to try and get some screen time. You are not there for your screen time. You are there to enhance the screen time of the lead actors by filling the world around them. If you are told to walk from A to B, you ONLY walk from A to B, no detours. Yes, it would be nice if they got your pretty face in a scene. However, chances are you will be blurry, cut out, blocked by a lead actor, or any other manner of your face not being seen. You are there for the production, not yourself. So do your job for the scene and leave ego out of it.

4) NO PHONES. Jesus H. Christ NO PHONES! NO PHONES! NO PERSONAL PHOTOS OF ANY KIND! NONE! ZERO! ZIP! ZILCH! NADA! You are not going to be the first person who thinks they can get away with a clever selfie with someone in the background. You are not going to be the first person to think ‘I’ll just keep these pictures just for me”. Phones are forbidden. This is not a hard rule to follow. Leave it safely locked in your car. The end.

5) DO! NOT! TALK! TO! THE! ACTORS! You are not there for a chance to say “Hi” to a lead actor. You are not there to ask to take a picture with them. Some actors will be really sweet about this and oblige, but it is insanely unprofessional and in some cases will get you kicked off set without pay. It’s not worth it. The actors are there to do their job. Job. (Yes i’m going to keep repeating that word until people respect it as a profession) They are working and they need to focus on work. Do not distract them. If there’s an actor working themselves up mentally for an emotional scene and you pop in to ask for a picture, you have knocked them out of their job and have wasted their time and the production’s time. And at the end of the day they are tired. For all the work you did, they have done more. There is never an appropriate time to ask for a picture on set. Again, you are there for the production, not yourself.

(Editor’s Note: There are times – very, very rare times – that an actor will come over and spend time with the extras of their own violition. These people are awesome, and yes, THEN you can talk to them. But ONLY then.)

6) FOLLOW THE RULES! Every set has different rules. Whatever they are, you learn them, and you respect them. That’s it. No flexibility. I don’t need to elaborate on this because it’s a pretty simple thing.

7) DON’T INVOKE ANYONE’S NAME! The whole reason I began writing this all is quite a few of my friends have asked for me to recommend them for casting, or asked if they could put my stage name on their application because I’ve worked in film. The answer is and always will be: No. I’m sure the same goes for anyone else you may know that works in the film industry. We work in a job everyone wants to pop into for fun. If we allowed everyone right by, our careers would be at stake and we’d be miserable. If you’re someone a film worker wants to recommend for something, trust that they have already done it, or will. I don’t appreciate people trying to use me to get onto a project, and I know I’m not the only one. Unless a person has specifically told you “When you apply, put my name in your email” then do not ask them. It’s disrespectful and shows a lack of concern over your friend’s job. For many this is our career. If we recommend you, we’re responsible for you, so helping a friend who may screw up on set can ruin everything we’ve spent our lives working for. Not to mention, as much as we may love our friends, not all of you can be an extra. Don’t put your friends in the position to say that to you. Don’t ruin a friendship for your ego.

If you insist on applying for Captain America, or any other comic book film, do it because you are willing to work hard, follow the rules, be quiet, and respect the production and the NDA (Non-Disclosure Agreement) that is apart of your paperwork when you start. Don’t work on it because it’s ‘cool’. Work on it because you want to help a production fill the roles they need to make scenes look how they want. Do it because, as a fan, you want to help make this movie the best it can be. Don’t do it because you want a piece of it.

If you can’t NOT be a fan about it, do the production a favor and don’t apply. Just watch it when it comes out and support its box office numbers.

Ellie Collins is a working actress and an author who’s had roles on The Originals, and is soon to be starring the webseries Donors. You can find out more about her writing at http://www.empirevalleyseries.com/

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Scarlett Johansson signs on for Ghost in the Shell

It’s been rumored for some time, but now it’s official: Variety is reporting that Scarlett Johansson will star in a live action adaptation of Ghost in the Shell. The film is to be produced by Dreamworks, and will be directed by Rupert Sanders, who’s previous directing credits include Snow White and the Huntsman and…well, just that, it turns out.

So yes, with white-washed casting and an inexperienced director who’s only known for a terrible film, this has disaster written all over it. I can’t wait to see what English name they’ll give her – Mary Carter or something, probably. Look, Hollywood, we just dodged the Akira American remake bullet, why do you keep doing this?