First up was a trip to G4techTV to tape a segment for them. davetronbvg picked me up at the hotel and drove me to their studio. I changed into the costume in the small studio, which was set up to light and mike one guest, and we talked for about 45 minutes about different kinds of guys and their preferences in computers and other electronic stuff. Dave said, afterward, that he had to walk away a couple of times because he was about to bust out laughing. The segments will air as part of a series of 4 shows on Filter, starting the second week of November.
Once I'd gotten back into street clothes, Dave and I went to Babalu, a Cuban restaurant not far away to meet Steven Lisberger. Steven's a very nice guy who spends most of his time these days indulging his passion for woodworking. He's done a lot of thinking about the future of man in the age of the computer and Internet, especially what effect it will have on the development of kids and on society as a whole.
Steven's not that knowledgeable about computing, though. I spent a fair amount of time explaining what makes a mainframe so good at what it does and why it's nothing approaching obsolete in the real world (unless you're a Microsoft salesman), and why I think Bill Gates should be strung up by his toes, and what's the difference between a mainframe and a traditional supercomputer and a supercomputer cluster and why it's important. In turn, he had practical tips on how to make the next costume (in my copious free time) and how they did the ones in the movie. (Yup, stenciled.)
One thing I did point out was that, while TRON had elements that were moderately silly in 1982 (the biggest being that programs weren't fighting each other then), it wasn't so silly any more. He said they thought it would be one possible outcome in the future. He was right, of course.
We hit it off quite well. As we parted, I offered to let Steven pick my brain about real-world computing, and he promised he would.
Dave took me back to the hotel, after I found out I wouldn't be on Kimmel that night. We'd originally planned to stop by his employer for a short meeting, but that turned out to be unnecessary, since I wasn't going to be on. As it happens, the subject of that meeting happened anyway, even though I wasn't on the show! Neat.
I waited a couple of hours, mainly poking at the computer and reading. evilzug called, and came by a bit later with an assistant. I'd gotten back into the TRON costume by this time, and we talked for an hour or so about costuming and the effect it's had on my life. I changed into the Xinchub costume, and they shot a bit more of that while I talked about the costume and Schlock Mercenary. Then, I said "what the hell?" to myself and decided to go down to the show in it. I walked out while Tom was taping, then we parted ways and I went down to the studio.
The costume was a hit with the staff. Several folks asked if I was giving up the TRON bit (hell no!). I explained why I'd made it, and who the character was and where he'd come from, and that that was why I'd shaved off the mustache and hair on the top of my head. One of the producers grabbed Jimmy's camera (a Leica Digilux 2...must be nice to have money) off of his desk and took a couple of pictures.
After the show, I was at the front of the green room when Jimmy walked by. He swept past as he usually does, then stopped, walked back, and looked me up and down...then asked me into his dressing room so he could get a better look. He took a couple of pictures of the top of my head, too. He thought I was a real nut to have done that. He had to play a bit with the flash's output level, but finally got one he liked. We talked a bit, and I talked a bit more with other folks working on the show. Jimmy's dad, aside from looking a lot like Wolf Blitzer, is a really nice guy. I told him I was beginning to really feel like part of the family. Finally, Jimmy and his girlfriend left, and I headed back to the hotel for some much-needed sleep.
It was a very long day (as my days in LA usually turn out to be), but a thoroughly enjoyable one.