I don’t get to report on nerd news this awesomely adorable nearly often enough:
Miles is 5 years old and suffers from leukemia. His one wish in his difficult life is to be Batman. So the Make-A-Wish Foundation, the city of San Francisco, CA–and numerous other individuals and businesses–have banded together like a Justice League of charity and good will. And on November 15, Miles will get his wish.
Every day the internet produces an astounding amount of goodies and gems. Most hilarious, some amusing, but all worth at least a few seconds of your time. We here at Nerd Bastards try to bring you the best bits of news and nerdery the webz has to offer, with a bit of snark thrown in. But sometimes not everything makes the cut. Monday through Friday we’ll be bringing you our inbox leftovers, our forgotten bookmarks, the nerdy bits that simply slipped through the cracks. You can submit items to Nerdy Bits by emailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
ABOVE: At Star Wars Celebration Ahsoka Tano and Aayla Secura battled each other while wearing bikinis. Yep, I’ll be in my bunk. [FashionablyGeek]
Every once and a while you come across a news story that makes you smile and lights up your day – as well as restore your faith in humanity. This is one of those stories and it just happens to involve a famous actor. Ron Perlman, who physically brought Hellboy to life on the big screen in not one, but two movies went through that brutal make-up job again to make a young kid’s Make-A-Wish request come true.
Spectral Motion is a special effects company best known for working on the Fantastic Four, Hellboy, and X-Men films and they’ve been helping the Make-A-Wish foundation fulfill children’s wishes. One little guy, Zachary, wanted to meet and become Hellboy, and did he get his wish granted in style. When Perlman heard about it he agreed to once again become the demon, horns, hand and all, and spend the day hanging out with Zachary as he got his makeup done.
Here’s a report of the day from Spectral Motion,
In the past three weeks, Spectral Motion has been honored to host two wonderful Make-A-Wish children, Caleb and Zachary. Zachary loved his visit for two very special reasons. It was Zachary’s wish to meet Hellboy and also to become Hellboy. When the Make-A-Wish Foundation contacted Spectral Motion with this request, Mike thought it would be fantastic to have Ron Perlman reprise his role for the day. Ron loved the idea and donned the makeup once more (with the assistance of Lufeng Qu and Eden Elizalde) and also ordered a Hellboy sized meal of burgers, shakes, and fries for Zachary and his family and the entire Spectral crew to enjoy. Later in the day, Zachary was transformed into Hellboy with the assistance of makeup artists Lufeng Qu and Neil Winn. Both of the Make-A-Wish days were a complete thrill for the families of the children, as well as for the crew at Spectral Motion!
I’m as cynical as they get. I’m the kind of guy that isn’t happy unless I have something to bitch about. With that said, I’m a sucker for sob stories. Especially ones involving sick children… and Star Wars. Suffice to say, today’s story had me weeping like a bitch.
Pictured above is 7-year-old Matthew Grammer. Matthew was diagnosed in January 2009 with ALL, or acute lymphoblastic leukemia. The little tyke has responded well to treatments and may very well beat the leukemia bitch back.
A year ago, The Make-A-Wish Foundation (A foundation that grants the wishes of children who have life-threatening medical conditions) of Oklahoma met with Matthew and granted him a wish. Instead of asking for a trip to Disney Land, a mound cupcakes, or a sculpture of Betty White made of bacon (OK, that’s my make a wish) , the little dude, who love Star Wars, asked for a larger than life R2D2 in which he could sit inside and drive.
The Make-A-Wish Foundation of Oklahoma commissioned Little Mountain Productions of Tulsa to construct the drivable robot. A year later, a 6-foot tall R2 unit rolled into Matthews school.
Although the performance didn’t stick to the “Star Wars” story perfectly, Matthew couldn’t have cared less. He was too busy driving R2D2 and saving the day during a skit put on by Bishop Kelley’s senior class during the private school’s winter homecoming pep rally Monday afternoon. WATCH BELOW:
So, the littler duder got to be R2D2 and be a hero in front of his whole class? This puts a lump in one’s throat, does it not?
Godspeed Matthew Grammer. May the force be with you!
Comic-con is pretty much the Olympics of the convention season for Nerds everywhere. Now you can throw in an Olympic-style torch relay in costume to Comic-Con . . . complete with light sabers.
George Lucas announced he is backing “Course of the Force,” a “Star Wars” themed race from Santa Monica to San Diego’s Comic-Con, with 500 participants walking or running quarter-mile legs to raise money for the Make-A-Wish Foundation. Instead of a torch, participants will carry a “Course of the Force”-branded light saber supplied by Lucasfilm.
The event, which is being announced tonight on NBC’s “Late Night With Jimmy Fallon,” is the brainchild of Nerdist Industries’ Peter Levin and Chris Hardwick, who are co-producing it with sports marketing and events firm Octagon and entertainment dot-com Machinima.
Levin, CEO of Nerdist, came up with the idea last fall after realizing that, other than speculation over what companies will present at Comic-Con, there was a dearth of announcements leading up to the fanboy fest, providing marketers with a chance to take advantage of the buzz leading up to the show in a unique way.
Levin also wanted to spotlight a charity at a time when it’s increasingly difficult to generate attention.
“Everyone wants to wait to spend their messaging equity at the show,” and announce projects, said Levin, who has attended 17 Comic-Cons. “But once Comic-Con takes place, it’s difficult to rise above the noise in San Diego. You get drowned out.”
Levin approached Nerdist founder and chief creative officer Hardwick, with whom he merged his growing pop-culture newsletter GeekChicDaily last summer.
Hardwick has been a fixture at Comic-Con for years with his live podcast shows and roles moderating panels for AMC’s “The Walking Dead,” CBS’ “The Big Bang Theory” and “Doctor Who” screenings.
“My immediate reaction was, ‘Why wouldn’t you do this?’ and ‘Why hasn’t this been done before?’?”
Hardwick said, adding that
“Comic-Cons were the only safe havens for nerd culture to celebrate openly and dress in costume without fear of being laughed at or made fun of. ‘Course of the Force’ is the yellow brick road to Oz. That’s really what it is. Not only are we celebrating within the (San Diego) convention center but we’re celebrating just getting to the convention center.”
Lucasfilm signed on to support the event, scheduled to take place July 7th through the 11th before Comic-Con kicks off on July 12, after Levin and Hardwick approached the company last fall.
“When you tell people about it, it isn’t hard to sell at all,”
Hardwick said. Naturally, it helped that Make-A-Wish Foundation would benefit; the charitable organization will receive 100% of the event’s proceeds.
“Fans have demonstrated an amazing ability to combine their love of ‘Star Wars’ with a commitment to helping others,”
said Kayleen Walters, senior director of marketing for Lucasfilm.
“The ‘Course of the Force’ light saber run is a worthy cause we can all get behind” because it “combines fitness with helping others, principles that aspiring Jedi Knights can embrace. We have long supported the Make-A-Wish Foundation, and this is a great opportunity to raise funds and awareness while letting Star Wars fans celebrate their favorite saga.”
Drew Carey, Jim Gaffigan and the Finnish Dudeson Vikings already have committed to take part in “Course of the Force” and wear costumes of their favorite “Star Wars” characters.
While the race will wrap with a party and live podcast at San Diego’s Balboa Theater the day before Comic-Con officially begins, event happenings will be documented online with simultaneous coverage on YouTube channels and websites run by Nerdist and Machinima.
Each leg will be feted with “Star Wars”-themed parties, contests and live Nerdist shows capping off each day with celebrity guests. Participants will receive a customized Hasbro “Star Wars” Ultimate FX lightsaber.
Levin and Hardwick already have their sights set on growing “Course of the Force” next year by expanding the route of the race to start in San Francisco from Skywalker Ranch, outside San Francisco.
“Logistically, Octagon said let’s get this first one under our belt and execute it really well,”
Levin said. Octagon is the sports and entertainment marketing arm of Interpublic and has managed official Olympic torch relays in the past.
For the first year, however, a video will be lensed at Lucas’ ranch and distributed virally “to generate momentum” for “Course of the Force,” Levin said.
“It’s the kind of thing we’d like to expand but we need to nail in year one,” Levin added. “We do want this to become a fixture in the lexicon of pop culture. Anything we can do to extend the San Diego Comic-Con experience and do something positive along the way is truly one of these win-wins for everyone kind of event.”
There are sure to be more Hollywood stars signing on as this news hits the Internet, who would you like to see holding that saber high while trotting toward Comic con?
Would you like to own that Darth Maul-esque Stormtrooper helmet? Would you like to help out the charity, Make A Wish Foundation? Well, here’s your chance as there will be a charity event where people can buy Stormtrooper helmets that have been worked on by various of peoples (ranging from artists to celebrities). The event is known as the TK Project and the 501st Stormtrooper Legion are the folks behind this nerdy charity. Click here to check out more on the project/event and click after the jump to see some of the helmets (such as an Ewok helmet, a Slimer one, and hell, there is even a LOST one) that will be available to buy. (more…)
When you were a kid, did you wish you could see how fast you might do your own Kessel Run? … Oh, you did, too; don’t lie. Well thanks to a set design company, one child soon will get to imagine himself in the cockpit of perhaps the most famous spacecraft in Star Wars. (more…)