For those of you who give the whole Twilight phenomenon the "talk to the hand" gesture, there are several types of Twilight fans: namely the Twilighters, which are the regular folks who love the books, and the Twerds -- those crazy geeks who own every piece of Twilight movie merchandise plus every version of the books, and can quote lines from the movie and answer ridiculous trivia questions like, "What was the name of the restaurant Edward took Bella to?" at the drop of a hat. (The Bloated Toad, duh!)
Twerds and Twits (short for Twilighters, natch) came out for this past weekend's Creation Entertainment Twi/Tour 2009 event, held at the Wigwam Resort in Litchfield Park. Yeah, you heard that right. The faaaar West Valley. That was strike one against the con, and there were two more big ones: first, most of the originally announced celebrity guests canceled, leaving the stringers (smaller characters such as Laurent, Billy Black and Eric Yorkie) to pick up the slack.
Read about the con and peep some pics, and a Twilight parody video, after the jump...
Saturday's guest speakers included Edi Gathegi (Laurent), Michael Welch (Mike Newton) and Gil Birmingham (Billy Black), who appeared with two hunky members of New Moon's wolf pack. The latter's rippling muscles were enough to appease some of the girls who were disappointed they wouldn't be meeting any of the Cullens this weekend, and the rest of the guests were amazingly genuine and funny.
Second, let's say the event was "cost prohibitive" for this particular franchise's main audience. Really, would your mom have shelled out between $65 and $250, plus souvenirs and photo-ops, for you to attend a teen vampire movie con for the weekend when you were a teen? That's a lot of hours working at Burger King if you had to pay your own way.
But that didn't stop the most dedicated Twilight fans from turning out for the weekend-long convention!
Edi Gathegi and the infamous coffee drink.
|Edi Gathegi and the infamous coffee drink.|
After graciously accepting questions like, "Um, how was it to work with Robert Pattinson [Edward]?" and "Are you Team Edward or Team Jacob?" the celebs started getting cheeky. "I'm Team Jacob," declared Welch. Why not Edward? "He sparkles. Even Zac Efron doesn't sparkle!"
Edi Gathegi, after receiving a cold coffee frappe from an Irish fan, quipped that it was a poor move on her part since now we'd know who put the rufies in it.
We did get to rummage through the cool merch in the Vendor's Room, though, which included vampire-themed jewelry from Taken by Twilight and 39 Stars, promos for Scorpius Dance Theatre's A Vampire Tale and The View Point Inn (where the prom scene was filmed), tee shirt and movie photo booths, etc. etc. Fans could even visit Essence of Twilight for lotions and sprays that smell like their favorite character. Edward? Sun and honey. Alice? Citrus. The werewolves? Sweat and fur (just kidding -- it's more like woodsy incense).
Other con events included trivia contests, fan panels and screenings of The Hillywood Show's Twilight parody. The troupe, created by sisters Hilly and Hannah Hindi of Las Vegas, parodies famous films and characters on YouTube. Their Dark Knight and Pirates of the Caribbean went over ok, but the Twilight parody brought them up to 2 million fans.
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[UPDATE: The week after the Phoenix Twi/Tour event, Creation partnered with Summit Entertainment to make Twi/Tour the Official TWILIGHT Fan Convention, so next year's event should be bigger and better!]