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Nathaniel Finestone

I'm bigger than almost everyone

Millenial Media Moguls: Doing the convention circuit like a pro with Barabara Dunkelman

I love Cons. Awesome Con, like all the rests, sparks fervor among it’s attendees like any other, to the point where it seemed as if most of the neighborhood had been taken over by costumed characters of every description. Having been to so many I can say authoritatively, these types of cons are usually about 90% similar to each, which is something I enjoy, but awesome con turned up the awesome in a myriad of ways. Near the front of the convention center there two huge areas for gaming, one for table top and one with video games of all types set up for fans to enjoy. The show floor was as replete with comics and other memorabilia as any I’ve seen with some extra guests as well. Booths set up by NASA, National geographic and the CIA rubbed up against those giving out 5-hour energy bottles and trying to sign up guests to a Dungeon and Dragons themed bed and breakfast. However a special highlight for me was that as part of my Awesome Con coverage I was lucky enough to get a chance to chat with the ever effervescent Barbara Dunkelman of Rooster teeth productions. Rooster teeth is a web video and community website which boasts the longest running web series of all time: Red vs Blue. Started back in 2003 in founder Burnie Burns’s living room, over the last decade and a half Rooster teeth has grown into a behemoth of web video production with hundreds of employees working on tons of different projects across tons of genres. Barbara Dunkelman An Ottawa native, Dunkelman moved to sunny Austin Texas back in 2011 to work as Rooster Teeth’s community manager and has since risen to be their Director of Social and Community marketing as well as on camera… Read More

Millennial Media Moguls: Danielle Finestone

Disclaimer: Danielle and I are first cousins and have known each other our whole lives   Millennial Media moguls is a series of interviews with millennial entrepreneurs, young people who are making a living in jobs that didn’t exist a generation ago. Creating unusual jobs for themselves that seize on the new opportunities of the twenty-first century economy. Though also a part time employee of Yelp and sometimes a social media consultant, Danielle Finestone makes the bulk of her income from her Instagram page. Danielle is the owner operator of ToFoodies; a page which depicts delicious food from all over Toronto. ToFoodies started as a passion project of hers only 3 years ago born out of her love for Toronto night life. After years spent in the industry, a year ago Danielle quit her full time job at a major record label to take on ToFoodies full time. In that time she has made enormous strides toward growing her brand with currently over 72,000 followers. Nathaniel: So start at the beginning. How did ToFoodies start? Danielle: It wasn’t a straight path that brought me here, although it seems that way in hindsight. I did my undergrad at Ryerson in the Radio and television arts program. My specialty was in studio television since that’s what I wanted to go into. I interned like crazy -- every summer I had a different internship that opened me up to everything going on in the entertainment industry in Toronto. I interned at Yelp, MTV, Sony Music Canada and the Marilyn Dennis Show, and each one of those introduced me to a lot of people in different sides of the industry. N: Would you say your education played a big role in setting you on the path you’re on now? D: Getting an education really… Read More

A tale of fandom – Montreal Comicon Power Rangers panel

I have been to a lot of Comicons. At last count I believe Montreal Comicon 2014 was my eighth. Philadelphia, Ottawa, New York, Montreal, Bangalore, London and Manchester being the first seven. The thing with Comicon is that it isn’t about the celebrities and guest appearances; it’s about the fans. Sure a lot of money changes hands at Comicons, people pay for autographs, for photo sessions, for merchandise and artwork, food and all kinds of other things. But the reason everyone goes to Comicon is because they are all fans. Geek culture, nerd culture or whatever you want to call it, is coming into the mainstream more and more every year and yet to a lot of attendees, being a fan of specific types of media is still a cause for ridicule out in the real world. Whether real or imagined the sense of persecution has not faded from the conscious of the nerd community. In my opinion that sense of persecution is what fuels the dozens of conventions that go on in cities all over the world calling themselves Comicon. Comicon is the place where we gather, where dressing up as whatever you want isn’t met with derision but celebrated, where fat guys in green pants and glasses become small time celebrities and anime cosplayers are the norm rather than the exception. To comicon attendees this is all fantastic and part of the fun but this doesn’t translate nearly as well in the outside world, if it did, we wouldn’t need comicon. And yet what makes Star Wars any less deserving of mass following than say, NHL hockey? As a self-professed nerd I would say it isn’t. And yet no one was ever bullied, teased or otherwise mocked in grade school for wearing a hockey jersey, the same cannot… Read More

Manchester Comicon – How to catch a White Walker in his Natural Habitat

This story would be somewhat incomplete if I didn’t mention that opening day of Manchester Comicon was weather-wise, as typical a day of English summer as one could imagine. Meaning that it poured rain like the wrath of god. Yet despite the gloomy state of the outdoors, indoors was as fully alive and engaged in as much cosplaying, shopping, video gaming and general wonderment as ever. Those who didn’t have tickets had to wait in line for almost 90 minutes just to get in, even if you did buy a ticket in advance you still had to wait half that, all in the pouring rain. Luckily I had gotten a press badge in advance so I only had to wait for about 15 minutes along with the rest of the press and VIP ticket holders. Something i’ve learned from being a veteran comicon goer is that planning is essential. As soon as you arrive you have to scope out exactly what you want to do. For me this was stalk the two actors from the hit show Game of Thrones who would be appearing. James Cosmos and Ross Mullan who play Lord Commander of the Nights Watch Jeor Mormont and the White Walker(all except the one from the pilot episode) respectively. Getting to their panel was relatively easy, I just went 40 minutes early catching the tail end of an interesting voice actors Panel featuring Bryce Papenbrook and D.C Douglas who have both voiced characters from animes and video games and the whole of a panel dedicated to Ian McNeice. Famous for playing Winston Churchill on numerous occasions including on long running sci fi franchise Doctor Who and Fulton Greenwall in Ace Ventura. Then the main event (for me at least), the two stars come out to thunderous applause, luckily… Read More

Searching for Canadians at London Comic Con

Last weekend I experienced the luxury of MGM’s London Comic Con at the ExCel Center in London’s Victoria docks. I’ve attended many Comic Cons before, some on behalf of the Herald and some on my own, yet each time I find myself even more amazed by the epic costumes, enthusiasm of the fans, and humility of the present stars. As expected, cosplay (costume play) was alive and well at the Comic Con. I spoke to a man dressed as Isaac Clarke from the Dead Space franchise who had spent three months hand-making his costume. I became increasingly more impressed by all the cosplayers as I heard their stories of time and dedication: One man, dressed as Master Chief from the Halo franchise, spent the better part of a year making his costume, customizing each green plate to fit him for maximum mobility. Present on behalf of the Herald, I was on the lookout for other Canadians. Alas, if there were other Canucks in attendance, I didn’t find any. I confronted a man wearing a Montreal Canadians sweater, hoping I had finally found a fellow Montrealer: He said he’d never even been to Canada, but had always wanted to. The same story went for a girl in a team Canada hockey jersey from the London Olympics and a man in a Canada t-shirt. It appeared to me that dressing like a Canadian was just another cosplay outfit. Even though I was unable to locate them, Canadians were present as the featured talent of the event. Saul Rubinek, one of the stars of Warehouse 13, received a thunderous applause for his portrayal of Agent Arthur Nielson. I got a chance to meet up with Elias Toufexis, the voice and screen actor from the NDG section of Montreal. He was part of a panel of… Read More
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