The big story today is, quite obviously, the first Ghostbusters trailer in nearly thirty years. Once again the familiar tones of Ray Parker Jr.'s iconic theme, the familiar sights, the jump scares, and the laughs are on the big screen and it's a glorious thing.
What might be buried under the lead today is the tremendous branch that Sony and the newly-formed Ivan Reitman production company Ghost Corps extended to a select few fans, and the great lengths they went to make a memorable day for them. It's unfortunate that not everyone was able to attend, but when I refer to a select few there was still quite a gathering of fans from all around the country that were given a rare pass inside the gates of the Sony Pictures Studios, allowed to view the trailer with select members of the press in advance, and get to meet and thank some of their heroes - who were just as thankful and gracious in return.
The morning on Wednesday was chaotic, a very complicated press and marketing day with a lot of moving parts that, make no mistake, usually does not accompany a trailer launch but rather the proper premiere of the film. But the chaos was good natured, more of a buzz of excitement rather than an uncomfortable clutter. As fans arrived, some having driven through the night and the wee hours of the morning to make a 9am arrival time, they walked onto the studio lot and immediately caught a glimpse not just of the original 1959 Caddy Ectomobile, but its new "modern" counterpart waiting in the courtyard during their walk. It wasn't uncommon during that walk to hear gasps, backpacks and purses drop to the floor, and Ghostheads in full regalia go running toward the cars and immediately start posing for photo opportunities.
Sony laid out a spread of props, coffee and pastries for the fans and the press as they waited - many fans who have have discussed so many topics at so much length over the internet for years but were only meeting in person for the very first time. I have to admit, in the years that I've spent covering Ghostbusters and trying to be an industrious member of the community, I've been somewhat of a hermit in social gatherings and meeting people "IRL" as the kids say. Do they still say that? Whatever, it's irrelevant, Sony's Cary Grant theater quickly became overrun by flight suits, proton packs, and a whole lot of smiles.
Everyone was led into the theater and seated - fans were placed in the front rows, proton packs were catered to with care, and Ivan Reitman was up first to greet everyone and introduce Paul Feig. After quick introductions everyone was treated to the trailer...
I was so thankful that when fans chanted "one more time" because I was so overwhelmed with the first viewing of the trailer - after all this time, after all this waiting, it was too much of a blur to completely comprehend. A surreal experience where, by the time you realize you're watching a new Ghostbusters trailer, you're looking at the end sell cards at its tail. On the second viewing, I was able to have more of a genuine reaction (something that happened as well in watching The Force Awakens over the holidays, you're able to absorb more on the second viewing after so much anticipation).
Following the trailer viewing, a Q&A discussion with Ivan Reitman, Paul Feig and writer Katie Dippold commenced. It was a lively conversation, with so many great details that were revealed about the production process and the things that we've yet to still see. That entire discussion will be heard as a bonus episode of the Interdimensional Crossrip tomorrow.
The theatrical presentation came to a close and everyone flooded into the walkways of the lot outside, and back to the comfort of Ghost Corps' front yard which houses both Ectomobiles. Group photos were taken, autographs were signed, interviews for EPK, the Ghostheads documentary, and several other outlets were completed. And then Reitman took a position at the top of the stairs to the Grant Building and held court, presenting the franchises with certificates of their registration with Ghost Corps, shaking their hands, and posing for photos. After all of the certificates were handed out, more photos were taken and the crowd started to disperse. Paul Feig shook so many hands, graciously thanked everyone, and signed as many autographs as he could before his representatives shooed him away. During the Q&A, he made a point to talk about seeing the original Ghostbusters film for the first time and how much it impacted him. His love for the film, especially for all of the technology, is abundantly clear in the trailer and how he speaks of the film to come, and certainly was evident in the energy and enthusiasm he had for all of the fans on site.
That event in and of itself would have been extremely generous of all involved, but that's not where the day ended. Fans were then invited into a dining area near the theater for a catered lunch that featured themed foods and of course, gourmet Twinkies for dessert. As fans sat at giant roundtables and discussed everything that had just occurred (some lively discussions, some more tempered as exhaustion began to set in for some of those who had been up through the night), the room buzzed again as Ivan Reitman stepped in and went from table to table to have quick quality chats with each. As he sipped his coffee and the fans ate, they talked about the new film, the future of the franchise, and even shared laughs over how his other films like Meatballs were responsible for so many childhoods.
As shuttles and cars began to leave and the crowd thinned, the smiles were still present. It truly was a wonderful day in which the warmth, the love, and the respect between everyone involved was incredibly evident and it once again was clear that the fans are coming first. With so many dedicated fans, so many franchises, and so many active members of the community, not everyone could be included - but the gesture on the part of the studio and the production company was enormous and most likely only the first indication of many more things to come, in which I'm sure a greater number will be able to feel the love.