At the end of 2012, I saw that an award show for geeks was being developed and that it would showcase a wide variety of creators from many facets of the geek community. Though I didn't enter myself, I have been doing my part as a Geeky Friend and Sponsor to help spread the word of The Geekie Awards to those who come to KentuckyGeekGirl.com. If you stopped by my table at Lexington Comic & Toy Convention, you saw my bookmarks to help promote The Geekie Awards, which will be held on August 18 in Los Angeles, but will also be streamed lived on the internet.
The Geekie Awards are the brainchild of actress and content creator Kristen Nedopak, let me know that Friday July 26 is the last day to save on tickets for the awards show, ranging from $25 to $200 for a full VIP experience, using code TGA2013. If you can't attend in person, there will be a live stream of the event, so don't worry about missing out. Hosts and presenters include Seth Green, Jenna Busch, Grant Imahara, and Bonnie Burton, who have all been excellent advocates for the geek community using the power of their celebrity. I'm proud to be a sponsor for The Geekie Awards and I hope to see it grow into an annual event which will showcase the best in the world of geek.
My full interview with Kristen is after the break!
Kentucky Geek Girl: First, tell the readers about your background. What is your niche in the geek
Kristen Nedopak: I am a Producer/Writer and work on camera as a host and actress, so I have a background in entertainment. I am an artist and huge cosplayer as well. Fun fact! I was also a User Experience Designer for 15 years, working for companies like Microsoft and The National Guard (yes, I was a super secret government spy!), so I have a fun crossover into the tech world too (though Entertainment is my love.)
Around 2009-ish I wanted to be IN the types of shows I loved--Sci-Fi/Fantasy in particular--so I started creating my own work in these genres. I began with hosted shows on YouTube, covering everything from TV reviews to events. A lot of fans know me from Think Hero TV. Then I began writing and producing more scripted work. It was actually creating then trying to publicize my own indie geek work that led to The Geekie Awards!
KGG: Could you explain The Geekies to those who do not know?
KN: Think the MTV Movie awards for geeks. It's an award show first and foremost--a broadcast live ceremony where our talented winners will be accepting awards on stage. But because we are all about indie artists and discovering new, "unknown" talent, it's a bit like a film festival too. You enter your work and our panel of judges chooses the nominees and winners. Our "Academy," if you will. We don't go out and find people (because then we only find folks who can afford to publicize), they find us.
As I mentioned above, my work in web series and film led to this show concept because I was frustrated that there was no award show for geeks. Hollywood in general only recognizes these genres as big money making blockbuster films and such. You'll never see a superhero movie win an Oscar. The misconception is that these genres are all about action and pure visual entertainment, but that's not true. Yeah maybe some of these big Hollywood films skimp on good writing, but there is a whole culture of indie artists making films, series, comic books and more that are written brilliantly! Yes world, video games have awesome story lines too! Aside from getting talented people seen, the agenda is to show the mainstream media that "geek" is just as impressive as the work we see at other shows... And these artists didn't need 500 billion dollars to do it.
KGG: What facets of the geek culture are represented by the awards?
KN: As many as we could cover! Films, web series, comic books, podcasts, trailers, music videos, art, craft, websites, toys, games. Because our categories are so vastly different in application, we also created what I call "category honors." So, someone at the show will win Best Art / Craft, but we also give out honors specifically to best t-shirt design, best craft, best 2D illustration, and more. We want more people to be recognized than just 5 nominees (we announced these in June! http://TheGeekieAwards.com/2013-nominees)
KGG: What was your motivation to create The Geekie Awards?
KN: I covered that above a bit, but really I have always been the type of person who wanted to help others succeed. I work hard and eat up industry knowledge, then I find a lot of pleasure in sharing it with other positive people, so they can succeed. When I work with amazing talent, I will hire them over and over and promote them to all of my friends. It makes me happy to see people who rock at what they do shine. I knew years ago that I wanted to run a charity or maybe set up a foundation for artists (I was an art major), but this kind of combines everything I love into one. It's a sustainable business for me (and it is a LOT of hard work, wow!), it's got that element of fun entertainment, I'm helping people be discovered and then add the geek theme on top. It all clicks for me, and to be honest (and a bit cheesy), I feel this is what I was born to do.
KGG: How you think that The Geekies differ from other awards?
KN: We will have all the elements other shows have: the stage production, red carpet, celebrity presenters at an event (The Avalon Hollywood... It's beautiful!), but I also wanted a touch of Comic Con and E3. Everyone will get badges that have augmented reality codes on them where they'll be able to download a free iPhone app and shoot robots with a laser gun (sponsor Neon Roots). Our award is a 3D printed vintage Sci-Fi ray gun--Geekie! (sponsors Soulcake and 3D Systems). We are in talks to have the restored Star Trek Enterprise bridge there for photos, and we have booths set up were folks can buy fun merch. Then there is the non-exclusive aspect. VIP tickets to hang with our celebrities and nominees can be purchased by anyone. Overall, we want it to be more fun than any other show, and we follow the same branding as my pals at The Nerd Machine do--fans are invited to play too!
KGG: I know that you've been involved in a great deal of web series. How do you think that web series contribute to popular culture?
KN: Yes! For those who haven't seen them, my last series was The Skyrim Parodies (http://skyrimparodies.com) The digital space allows creators to have a direct connection to their audience. No networks, advertisers and any big corporations in the way. Just you and your fans. So, it's created a culture where nothing feels hidden and your work isn't filtered down before the audience sees it. I love it! I personally want to talk to my fans. I want to write, produce and edit my own work, and upload it that day. The money isn't there yet, but it does allow more people to be seen, rather than jumping through the hoops of a network to have or be on a show. I have seen the most amazing work on shoestring budgets though, and that's exciting. People are out there busting ass on their own dime and putting brilliant work out there without a huge team behind them. And we celebrate them at The Geekies!!!
Thank you, Kristen and best of luck with The Geekie Awards. You can follow them on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and Google+.
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