By Judy Shields
Photos: The Hollywood Times
CULVER CITY, California (The Hollywood Times) Jun 10, 2019 – “thoughts are important man, what you put out there is what you become, positive energy, right, keep it high. Keep that light on it and don’t succumb to the dark thoughts.” “With the way the world is today, I don’t know if any of us are in the right universe. But there are millions of parallel universes and we are just lucky I think to live in one where we get to inhabit the Planet Earth, the most beautiful blue sphere in the multi-verse. Sometimes we are in the right place and sometimes we are in the wrong place, but there is nothing we can do about it except, meditate and be mindful and make this universe a better one.” Dan Aykroyd told fans that gathered in the Gary Grant Theatre at Sony Pictures Studios this past Saturday.
Dan Aykroyd sat down to swap stories and discuss what originally got him interested in the paranormal in the first place. It was hosted by Bill Murphy (Ghosttown.tv).
This was one of those times that all fans in attendance had to agree how lucky they were to be in the audience that day.
There was nothing Aykroyd wasn’t going to talk about, his words. Bill Murphy did an excellent job with the Q&A part of it and the audience members had the opportunity to ask Mr. Aykroyd some questions.
Bill Murphy: “What’s next for you in the Ghostbusters universe”?
Dan Aykroyd: “We got the anniversary edition coming out that is going to have all kinds of extra footage on there. There will be a vinyl release of the album. Lots of neat merchandising ideas for toys and of course the Jason Reitman script that we will be making this summer, I was very moved by it.”
Bill Murphy: “Is there anything you are willing to share with us”?
Dan Aykroyd: “It magnificently passes the torch to a new generation. I see some children here and you know what’s happening, is that you’ve got grandparents who pass it on to another generation. We have grandchildren and great grandchildren that are being inducted into the Ghostbusters cadet core, so it helps to pass it along to the next generation.”
“The good works that the Ghostbusters do around North America for charities and children causes, they lend their vehicles and jumpsuits and the whole look and I thank you for that.” [Applause]
“We are all here and I want to take advantage of our presence here,” Dan Aykroyd said.
Dan Aykroyd talked about the passing of John Belushi, which Dan was actually writing Belushi into the Ghostbusters’ script. “Phyllis Krystal, a gifted clairvoyant had went into a deep trance and Belushi appeared stepping with one foot on one side of the window seal and the other foot on the other side and he couldn’t move and he said ‘I need to see my Nana,’ so how would Tigrett know that was what Belushi called his grandmother. Al Franken went to Bungalow number 3, where John died and spent the night there. He said that John sat on the bed next to him and appeared to him physically for at least two minutes. A couple of weeks after Belushi’s death.”
Bill Murphy said he had met Isaac through Michael (Bill’s brother) and that Michael had taken him to Isaac’s house and met Issacs wife (Dan Aykroyd said “Maureen”) and Bill said yes. Dan Aykroyd said “Maureen Starkey, married to Ringo, I know, Isaac used to say ‘here is Maureen Starkey, she was married to Ringo, she is my greatest piece of Rock and Roll memorabilia.’” The audience erupted into laughter on that one!
Bill Murphy: “Michael mentioned to me that there are urns from four corners of the earth, that were embedded into the walls of the House of Blues.”
Dan Aykroyd: “Maybe, we took dirt from the crossroads and at every House of Blues under the stage has dirt from highway 49 and 61 crossroads. Which is the region that is supposed to be where Robert Johnson sold his soul to the devil to acquire better vocals and guitar skills and get hit records and he did. That is the great crossroads legend. I miss the club in LA it was beautiful, now there is just an aluminum and glass tower going in there.”
Bill Murphy: “Last night you showed some outtakes, is there anything from either one of the movies that was edited out that you would have liked to have seen in film”?
Dan Aykroyd: “Yes, Bill Murray and Sigourney. Bill had some stuff he worked out with Sigourney, which was some great dialogue, but you couldn’t have put it all in there. Second movie, with his interaction with the babies, a lot of that was cut out. Harold and I, because we had to sell exhibition and our theatrical science on script mostly.”
An audience member brought up that ‘Nothing But Trouble” was completely underrated and Aykroyd unbelievably went into character voice mode as Judge Alvin ‘J.P’ Valkenheiser, just amazing!
Aykroyd, Ivan/Jason Reitman, Hudson Among Stars At First-Ever Extraordinary Live Event at the Sony Pictures Studio Lot Celebrating Ghostbusters’ 35th Anniversary
Stars of the 1984 Original Film, ‘Ghostbusters II,’ and ‘The Real Ghostbusters’ Series Including Maurice LaMarche, Frank Welker, Dave Coulier To Attend; Activities Planned Include Photo Ops, Autographs, Screenings, Costume Contests, Panels and More.
Ghostbusters fans were delighted to attend the first-ever Ghostbusters Fan Fest, presented by Wizard World. The premiere live event was held Friday, June 7th at The Globe Theatre in Downtown LA and Saturday, June 8 on the famed Sony Pictures Studio Lot in Culver City, California.
What a great fan festival it was. Magical from the moment we all lined up to get our lanyard to wear proudly around our necks, the awesome collector’s Guidebook, to seeing all the Ghostbusters cars, a live band playing by the entrance, Ghostbusters chapters from Arizona and the OC and the Stay Puff Marshmallow man.
The entrance to the Sony Lot was lined in green barriers and there were all types of vendors from the Footlocker selling 35th anniversary Ghostbusters shoes and toys from Playmobil.
The festival kicked off at noon and ran all day and into the night around 9 pm. A program was given out with all the times and places, a table of contents that consist of Wizard World Celebrates Ghostbusters with the Fans; Programming Schedule; You Know Who You’re Gonna Call by Erik Burnham; Ghostbusters 35th Anniversary Quiz by Stephan Manchir; The Ghostbusters Legacy by Violet Ramis Stiel and A Behind-the-Scenes Look at Ectotron, the shared 35th anniversary of Transformers and Ghostbusters, Hasbro and Sony Pictures have teamed up to create a multi-media crossover!
The first step was for Dan and Luis to come up with some concept artwork. This amazing artwork was based on a not-final toy design specs for the new Autobot named Ectotron. The concept art was presented publicly for the first time.
One of the panels, held from 5:30 – 6:30 pm was called “Reflections on the 1984 Ghostbusters at the Calley Park Main Stage. It included Director Ivan Reitman, Ghostbuster Dan Aykroyd and Ernie Hudson and actor William Atherton (“Walter Peck,” Ghostbusters).
Ernie Hudson “you get the job, you do the work, you envision it a certain way and you don’t think, if I say this line people will remember it an amazing 35 years later. Then a guy says the line ‘This job is definitely *not* worth eleven-five a year.’ Even today people will say how well-structured Winston was in the Ghostbusters.”
Dan Aykroyd said “from day one I wanted Eddie Murphy and John Belushi in the movie and I was writing John’s line and wanting Eddie,” (Ernie cuts in and said “Thanks Danny”!) Laughter. Dan went on to say that it worked out better that way.
Harold Ramis was brought up and Ivan said he was an amazing guy and very smart. He partnered Harold Ramis and Bill Murray in Stripes and knew he would be great for the part.
They each had wonderful things to say about Harold Ramis and he is very much missed by his fellow actors and fans.
Ernie said he had been acting 15 years before Ghostbusters and said that Harold Ramis helped him out during the filming of the movie and was always there to keep him balanced and he appreciated him for that.
Annie Potts was featured on the screens to thank the fans for attending and she was sorry she could not be there with us all! That sure was nice of her.
Stars Dan Aykroyd (Dr. Raymond Stantz) and Ernie Hudson (Winston Zeddemore), director Ivan Reitman, Jason Reitman, the director and co-writer (with Gil Kenan) of Sony Pictures’ upcoming 2020 Ghostbusters film, and Ghostbusters theme song singer-songwriter Ray Parker Jr. are all confirmed to attend. The Reitmans and Paul Feig (director, Ghostbusters (2016)) will conduct a first-ever Director’s Panel spanning all four films on Saturday.
The panels were all quite entertaining and truly worth waiting all day for and the price of admission.
Ivan Reitman said “we were a pretty cocky bunch of guys and we were pretty confident that we were making a special movie. We did it so quickly and we didn’t have a chance to think about it. Every once in a while you get one of those movies were everything sort of works out. The scripts turns out just right and you don’t have to reshoot and everything goes together when it is edited the very first time and all the crew members are right. What a perfect combination of people for this movie.”
“That was the feeling going into the opening weekend. In 1984 we were number one that weekend, we ended up being number one for every single weekend the entire summer except for once. At some point in August, there was a new Clint Eastwood movie that knocked us out, but we came back to number one the next weekend after that. It was a very good week and summer and I thank you all very much.”
Other popular guests from the Ghostbusters universe scheduled to attend include William Atherton (“Walter Peck,” Ghostbusters), Joe Medjuck (producer, Ghostbusters, Ghostbusters II, The Real Ghostbusters, Ghostbusters: ATC), Sheldon Kahn (editor, Ghostbusters, Ghostbusters II), Maurice LaMarche (“Dr. Egon Spengler,” The Real Ghostbusters), Dave Coulier (“Dr. Peter Venkman,” The Real Ghostbusters), and Frank Welker (“Dr. Raymond Stantz,” “Slimer,” The Real Ghostbusters). Violet Ramis Stiel, daughter of Ghostbusters writer and actor Harold Ramis, and author of Ghostbusters Daughter: Life with My Dad, Harold Ramis, is also expected.
Father and son Ghostbuters directors Ivan and Jason Reitman took to the stage and shared some never before seen clips from the original 1984 Ghostbusters film and they were really funny indeed. They shared moments about that film and Jason Reitman taking on the new 2020 Ghostbusters movie. Both directors said that Bill Murray and Sigourney Weaver had a copy of the script and that got a thunderous applause from the fans. Jason Reitman said filming was starting in about four weeks. This one was going to be about younger actors. He didn’t want to give away too much. Here is an outtake of Dan Aykroyd from 1984 Ghostbusters film:
Dan Aykroyd seemed to be all over the place, I spent quite a bit of time following him around and I got tired and started to believe there were more than one of him.
He was signing autographs at one of the vendor spots with a huge line, but he greeted all his fans with all types of goodies to sign, mostly posters, Ecto-1 model cars, some Stay Puff Marshmallow toys, books and some articles of clothing.
There were actually a few car visors and small car parts. Some fans brought him gifts, like t-shirts, mugs, hats and other small items. Mr. Aykroyd even got up off his chair to take a photo with a young girl in a wheelchair, what a Guy.
He ended up over at the Footlocker booth signing the Ghostbusters 35 anniversary sneakers.
Even his daughter Belle showed up to visit her famous father. He finished autographing a sneaker and spend a little time having a conversation with her. He had a huge smile upon his face. I bet he is one cool Dad!
I ran into him strolling along with his wife Donna and a Ghostbusters fan stopped him for a selfie and Dan was more than happy to stop and pose for him.
There was also a young woman, who I saw earlier in the day setting up for painting something on a blank canvas. When Dan Aykroyd was signing the 35th Anniversary sneakers, this young , talented artist brought her newly painted masterpiece for Mr. Aykroyd to sign. He appeared taken by her painting and gladly said he would sign it and told her how great it looked. I wasn’t able to get her name, but wish I had. It was a great Ghostbusters painting indeed!
Ghostbusters Fan Fest presented by Wizard World was the ultimate celebration of the franchise. For the 35th anniversary of the legendary film (and the 30th anniversary of Ghostbusters II), fans were able to participate in exclusive panels with the stars and original crew members, meet the Ghostbusters creators, talent and crew and experience Ghostbusters augmented reality gaming.
Other planned Ghostbusters-themed activities included a screening of the original film, a special musical performance by Parker, costume contests, meet-ups, documentary screenings, laser tag, interactive photo booths, exhibitor booths, and food trucks.
Other cast and crew who participated included, from Ghostbusters: actors Mark Bryan Wilson (“Slimer”), Billy Bryan (“Stay Puft”), Jennifer Runyon (“female student”), Timothy Carhart (“violinist”), Steve Tash (“male student”), Tom Morga (stunt double, “Dr. Egon Spengler,” others), Tony Cecere (stunts); crew: Steve Johnson (visual effects/sculptor). From Ghostbusters II, appearing are actors Robin Shelby, Tim Lawrence (“Scoleri brother”) and Jim Fye (“Scoleri brother”).
Jeffrey Godsick, Executive Vice President, Brand Strategy and Global Partnerships for Sony Pictures said: “We’re thrilled to be opening up our doors to Ghostbusters fans for the first time. For fans, this is the ultimate event – an insider’s look at the franchise from the people who created it and are bringing it into the future. As Winston Zeddemore might say, when someone asks you if you want to go to Ghostbusters Fan Fest, you say YES”!
John D. Maatta, CEO of Wizard Entertainment said: “The Ghostbusters Fan Fest is an extraordinary homage to all that is great about the iconic Ghostbusters. It is exciting news for Ghostbusters fans that Sony Pictures and Ghost Corps have worked with us to create this once-in-a-lifetime event.”
On Friday evening, June 7, fans attend a special 35th Anniversary screening of the original 1984 Ghostbusters film with introduction by Aykroyd and Ivan Reitman.
I believe the best way to have experienced the original Ghostbusters movie was with true fans because where I was sitting, just about everyone around me, including me, were saying the words that were coming out of the speakers to most of the dialogue from the movie. Especially Bill Murray’s lines, we all got LOUD! It was extraordinary to say the least.
I loved it and they also had strobe lights that would go on and off during the roof top scene.
I ran into two gentleman fully dressed in their Ghostbusters costumes and did they look great. Their names were Jeremy and Billy from the Southland Ghostbusters, a local franchise, which they are officially recognized by Ghost corps sighting. They have been part of the group for about five years now and built their first proton pack in 2011. They met each other via their wives. They look great don’t they?
There was green cotton candy and plenty of Ghostbusters Fans dressed in their Ghostbusters attire and real-looking protone packs on their backs. I was truly amazed how many men and a few women had gone all out with the creation of Proton pack and attire to look so much like their favorite Ghostbusters character.
Following the June 7-8 event, Wizard World will continue its Ghostbusters touring experience at its conventions throughout the country featuring a pop-up shop featuring exclusive Ghostbusters merchandise. Details will be linked at www.wizardword.com.
The original 1984 film starred Bill Murray, Dan Aykroyd, Sigourney Weaver, Harold Ramis, Rick Moranis, and Ernie Hudson and was directed by Ivan Reitman and written by Dan Aykroyd and Harold Ramis.
Ghostbusters 1&2 Anniversary Steelbook® is available NOW which includes recently unearthed deleted scenes, alternate takes, rare interviews, new commentaries and much more! Get yours today!
About Sony Pictures Entertainment
Sony Pictures Entertainment (SPE) is a subsidiary of Sony Entertainment Inc., which is a subsidiary of Tokyo-based Sony Corporation. SPE’s global operations encompass motion picture production, acquisition, and distribution; television production, acquisition, and distribution; television networks; digital content creation and distribution; operation of studio facilities; and development of new entertainment products, services and technologies. SPE’s Motion Picture Group production organizations include Columbia Pictures, Screen Gems, TriStar Pictures, Sony Pictures Animation, Stage 6 Films, AFFIRM Films, and Sony Pictures Classics. For additional information, visit http://www.sonypictures.com/corp/divisions.html.
About Ghost Corps
Ghost Corps, Inc., a subsidiary of Columbia Pictures Industries, Inc., is focused on expanding the Ghostbusters brand with live-action feature films, animated motion pictures, television, merchandise, and other new entertainment products. Ghost Corps is headquartered on the Sony Pictures Studios lot in Culver City, Calif.
About Wizard Entertainment, Inc. (OTCBB: WIZD)
Wizard Entertainment, Inc. (www.wizardworld.com) produces comic, gaming and pop culture conventions across North America that celebrate the best in pop culture: movies, television, gaming, live entertainment, tech, comics, sci-fi, graphic novels, toys, original art, collectibles, contests and more. A first-class lineup of topical programming and entertainment takes place at each event, with celebrity Q&A’s, comics-themed sessions, costume contests, movie screenings, evening parties and more. Wizard Entertainment has also teamed with Sony Pictures Entertainment to find the next generation of movies as well as to engage in a number of strategic initiatives. Fans can interact with Wizard Entertainment at www.wizardworld.com and on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram and other social media services.