Monday, January 9, 2017

"Batman & Bill" panel at Television Critics Association Winter Press Tour

In 1997, I moved to Los Angeles to try to sell three screenplays I'd written. In late 1999, I moved back east with three unsold screenplays.

File it under "bizarre" that I most recently came back to LA not because of a film I'd written but rather because of one I appear in. One, in fact, that is about me.

The Hulu feature documentary Batman & Bill tells the story of my nine-year effort (including the 2012 publication of my book Bill the Boy Wonder: The Secret Co-Creator of Batman) to get Bill Finger's name added to the Batman credit line. The film releases in May.

On 1/7/17, I joined filmmakers Don Argott and Sheena Joyce, Bill's only known grandchild Athena Finger, and Athena's lawyer/sister Alethia Mariotta in Pasadena to participate in a panel at the annual Television Critics Association Winter Press Tour.

I saw actors from Hulu shows I have not seen including Michelle Monaghan, Alexis Bledel, and Aaron Paul.

The banquet room in which the panel was held was capped with blinding light and lined with long tables of journalists who have seen the film; they asked us questions for about 20 minutes. One of the journalists said I am even more obsessive than I admit. Then we mingled at a cocktail party.

A highlight: a Hulu exec told me his favorite part of the film is how the audience learns the last of the big twists of the story via my then-11-year-old daughter.

Overall, this new experience was lovely if whirlwind. It remains a tremendous honor to have a role in this story—Batman's story, Bill's story.


This wasn't a premiere but before I left, my wife made me a red carpet anyway.

The night before our TCA panel, I hung out with one of my best friends from college, Justin. We have a tradition of hunting for late-night donut shops and this time, the only one we found open was a place serving gourmet donuts and appropriately called Donut Friend.

Apparently all networks/companies participating in TCA get a day to themselves to present their upcoming offerings. Naturally each begins setting up the night before; here is a room where Hulu put out spreads of snacks.

Another room sported Hulu pillows. Here they are prior to distribution.

Don and Sheena chatting with a journalist.

My badge, perhaps implying it takes talent to be yourself.

The meat of the day was a blur and therefore I didn't take photos. Here is one from another source. And two courtesy of Hulu:

 I am not wearing a cummerbund made of flowers; 
those are on the table in front of us.

Here is the room where the cocktail party was held (and the pillows were arranged on various couches)…less than an hour after it ended. They break down these things so fast.

Among the coverage that posted same-day:

Thank you again to Perry Seaman, Melinda Casey, Rob Gati, and the rest of the Hulu team for making this happen.

6:15 a.m. the morning after

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