Page 1 - GETTING THERE
GOLDENEYE: ROGUE AGENT COMMUNITY DAY @ EA LA
THURSDAY, JULY 22, 2004
Wake up early since the flight is leaving Vancouver for Los Angeles at 10:40am.
Discussion/argument with wife about clothes to wear. She says shorts, I say pants. I leave the house wearing pants.
Arrival at airport only to be greeted by a massive lineup that if in a straight line, would have gone out the doors and half way to the parking lot. I jump the que since I'm only traveling with carry on luggage! Ticket is for a one Graham Douglas. Well that's not my actual last name and now we've got a problem. Down to the customer service booth! A very complicated procedure to change the name as it turns out. After a couple phone calls and substantial manager assistance I'm on my way 45 minutes later.
Through customers and screening and down to the gate. Ah nice Starbucks coffee. It doesn't matter that after two sips they call passengers to begin loading! Here I go. All 3 seats behind me vacant so I move and have a row of my own!
Quite a stir in the plane as the pilot announces we're passing over Mount St. Helens to the left side of the plane. Lots of pointing and excitement. The wife of the man in front of me bolts to the other side of the plane to look while getting in the faces of the other passengers. Oh look! She's waving to the husband. Quick! She's frantically waving him over. He's slow on getting up with his age and decides to sit back down as he realizes the moment has passed. Oh, the disappointment!
Arrival in Los Angeles!
Looking for Dan Lamorena who should be waving a sign and wearing a GoldenEye Rogue Agent shirt. Nope, can't see anyone like that around. Hang on, there's a guy on the other side of the glass and he's pointing at me. He recognizes me. Hmm. I think about it afterwards and realize he must have recognized my face from my website! I get in a Lincoln Town Car with the Huffman brothers from BondMovies.com who beat me to the back seat. Short ride of about 15 minutes to the Ritz Carlton which sports a gorgeous water feature out front. Wow EA is giving us the VIP treatment for sure. [VIDEO CLIP]
Nice sunny day in LA and a bit of free time until 6pm when we will be going to the EALA studio. Apparently Venice Beach is only a fifteen minute walk from the hotel so what the heck! Great idea at first. I grab a map from the Concierge desk and walk to the street. Scratching my head and asking myself why didn't I ask them where I should be walking? Okay going left seems sensible enough. About 30 minutes later looking for anything on a sign that indicates Venice Beach. Bikini's even would give me a hint that I'm close but I don't see any babes. A bit of pessimism sets in after realizing my sunglasses are at the hotel and I have no sunscreen. After what seemed like an hour walk I see Venice Beach signage! I get to the beach and watch the surf, but at the same time I'm wondering, where are the people and shops that I remember from 1992? I've overshot the Venice strip. So you know what that means...
I start walking AGAIN. After about fifteen minutes, a way off on the horizon I see crowds of people and colorful awnings. Great, another ten minutes walking to get to the strip and then more walking to check out the strip. Finding the strip was really only half the battle actually. I still had to make it back to the hotel for six o'clock remember. The map was a real joke. I literally couldn't find one street during the entire walk of the Venice Beach strip!
My face feels hot and I'm getting a bit grumpy. So, I stop for lotion and directions. The lotion worked out okay but getting directions was a different story. The lady behind the counter calls over her husband. The strategy? Not sure because he had no clue how to give directions. He kept pointing and saying, you are here! Here where? He was pointing to a blank part of the map!
One hell of a walk back to the hotel. Yes mom I have big blisters on my heels again! Moral of this story? Get directions from the person handing you the map. I had more luck getting around in Greece than I did on this day! Fifteen minute walk to Venice Beach my ass. The bellboy had the nerve to ask me how Venice Beach was! Well I outta....
Time to meet Jon Long! He's the man I must thank for this great opportunity. Other invitees to the GoldenEye: Rogue Agent Community Day start filtering down into the lobby. Meet and greet time and I pass out some business cards. I learned that a couple of guys from the UK are coming also! In particular I enjoyed the company of the guys from XGPGaming.com
. Actually these guys are meeting for the first time too! I hope they like each other or what will happen to their site? Hmm, did they consider the possibility?
We arrive at the EALA headquarters. Sign in time! There was time for some gaming in the games room which featured a Nintendo 64 with GoldenEye. Now here's a big regret of the trip looking back. I saw Battlefield Vietnam and I jumped to that station. The guys in our group were expecting me to be all over GoldenEye! Nope I was planning on showing off the Gameshark codes the next day. Little did I realize but this night would be the only opportunity to play GoldenEye. Was I just ducking the competition? I don't think so. I can't say that anyone asked to play me and perhaps thinking there weren't active GoldenEye players in the group was a mistake on my part. Oh the adrenaline rush of playing an unknown player. Didn't happen on the trip I'm sad to say.
After some gaming, we make our way up to the GoldenEye: Rogue Agent floor of the building and into the board room. Nice dual plasma televisions and sound system! We sit in our leather chairs surrounding the table as Dan Lamorena plays the trailer from E3 which features the Hong Kong level in action. My thoughts? The graphics and environments are breathtaking! Of course the sound system was making me drool. Yes, I love the sound of guns! After the video we go around the table and introduce ourselves and talk about our websites. People will remember me as "that GoldenEye guy" I hope! Sparing no expense, EA supplied up with a massive pile of extra large pizzas, salad and pop. A perfect meal for us gamer types indeed.
After eating we vote on more gaming or watching a bond movie in EA's theater room. After losing the vote we head down to watch the movie Goldfinger. Yep I was sulking a bit! With no wife around this was a time for gaming! Anyway, watching Goldfinger really did help me get into the right frame of mind for the big day. I must say though, I spoke with Jarrett Lantz from CGNO.com
before the movie started and we both agreed that we wanted to be in the games room instead. Should have ducked out for some practice with that PS2 controller! That isn't to say the movie wasn't cool however. After all, we are talking about a pretty kick ass theater and sound system.
Back at the hotel. Called the wife and looked over my questions for the Executive Producer Patrick Gilmore and Senior Producer Chris Plummer. Excitement and nerves this night. Nothing that a bit of late night HBO porn can't temper however.