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Celeberate the Beloved Ghostbusters Franchise at a Special Fan Event

Written by: Abel S. Pinedo

June 10th, 2019

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This was a great day for Ghostbusters fans worldwide. In celebration of the 35th anniversary of the release of the original film, Sony Pictures held a special Ghostbusters Fan Fest on their historic back lot. Upon arrival I met fans from all around the world who had gathered to share their ghost-busting love. I also got the chance to listen to some very special guest speakers and pick up some exclusive merchandise. It was definitely an exciting day!

As soon as I checked in I was immediately greeted by the classic Ecto-1, the legendary vechicle of the Ghostbusters. Fan groups from around the country were also present, many of them with their own variations of the classic car. Their dedication to the iconic vehcicle was truly admirable. And as I sat and admired all these cool vehicles, looming overhead was a giant inflatable Stay Puft Marshmallow Man.

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I found my way to the main stage where a band was warming up the crowd. Nearby assorted vendors were selling exclusive Ghostbusters merchandise. K-Swiss, the athletic shoe company, was selling two exclusive new running shoes, themed after Stay Puft or Slimer. As an added bonus, Dan Aykroyd would be signing the shoes later on in the day. Another company, Bixler, was selling GB themed jewelry including an exclusive green slimed 35th anniversary pendant. Playmobil had an impressive display of their entire line of GB themed figures and playsets and IDW Publishing had a healthy supply of their GB comic book lineup.

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Next up Dan Aykroyd himself was leading his own solo panel. Dan is a firm believer in the supernatural. The panel was primarily focused on his thoughts on ghost hunting and he referenced multiple sources for those interested in learning more. He was first exposed to the supernatural through his father and grandfather who both had a passion for it. He went on to explain that all the terminology used in the films is genuine. Finally he did take a few questions near the end of the panel, most of which actually centered on the supernatural and not his famous movies.

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The next panel was devoted to the toys made by Kenner during the time of The Real Ghostbusters cartoon. I remembered seeing so many of these in the toy aisles back in the day. My favorite moments were the images shown of concept toys that never got made or of toys that started out one way versus their final product. Mostly due to financial reasons, many of the larger vehicles were compromised in their original vision.

Also of interest was An Inside Look at the Ghostbusters video game. You may or may not know that the 2009 game served as an unofficial sequel to the films. The game will soon be re-released in an all new remastered format. While we didn't get to see any footage, we were treated to some still showing the original version of the game, versus the newly remastered version. Some of the effects have been greatly enhanced but it's still pretty much the same game. I for one am just glad that a new generation will get the chance to play this awesome title.

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Next up were the other two big highlights of the day. First up was the Ghostbusters Directors Panel where Ivan Reitman, Jason Reitman and Paul Feig talked about their experiences making their respective films or in Jason's case, not saying much as he hasn't started filming his yet. But he was able to share a few minor insights into what he learned from running around the set of the original when he himself was a child.

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The day ended for me with Reflections on the 1984 Ghostbusters where Ivan Reitman, Dan Aykroyd, Ernie Hudson and William Atherton shared a look back at the making of the film and their favorite memories. It was touching to hear each of them share an anecdote about working with Harold Ramis. Reitman in particular felt like Ramis was his secret weapon. Since Ramis wasn't a part of the original Saturday Night Live cast, Reitman felt that Ramis would be his unknown comedic weapon to unleash on the world.

At the end of the day all I can say is that I had an amazing time. Seeing the real Ecto-1 up close, listening to all the stories from my favorite ghost busting legends, and getting to spend time on the iconic Sony Pictures back lot. It was all an amazing experience for which I am truly grateful. I can't wait to play the HD release of the awesome Ghostbusters video game, and I am counting the days until the new film!

About the Author: Abel S. Pinedo a.k.a. "Honest Abe" has written reviews for Dark Horizons, JoBlo and MusicTap. He has worked in the entertainment industry for over a decade. He can usually be found at his keyboard ranting and rambling about the human condition or watching Beavis & Butthead.

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Aykroyd talked about writing the script with Ramis and how thorough Ramis was at taking a deep dive into researching the supernatural, despite the fact that he was a skeptic. Hudson and Atherton said how Ramis kept them grounded. When Aykroyd and Bill Murray would cut up, go off script and just go nuts, Ramis was the voice of reason. Hudson in particular said that Ramis would look at him and shake his head, smile and say, “Ernie, just go with it.”