Breaking Down BiteCon

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For those of you playing at home while fans attend a convention it can be hard to keep up with what’s been said. And even if you do find some quotes, it’s difficult to understand the context in which things are said, which can alter the meaning completely. So here’s a breakdown of all the important bits of information you might have missed over the weekend.

The Bite Convention guests included: Keahu Kahuanui, Max and Charlie Carver, Sinqua Walls, Arden Cho, Seth Gilliam, Melissa Ponzio, Linden Ashby, Orny Adams, Felisha Terrell, Haley Webb, Eaddy Mays, Brian Patrick Wade, Gideon Emery, Jeff Davis and Tyler Posey.

Before I recap the most important moments from the weekend’s shenanigans (and hopefully clear up some stuff) I have to take a moment to thank everyone involved in this weekend. The girls who organized BiteCon (I interviewed a couple of them earlier this year) worked so hard to make this convention amazing for everyone that attended as guests or fans. All that work paid off because this was, with-out-a-doubt, the best convention I have been to in YEARS.

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When I say it was the best convention I’m not talking from a technical perspective because as something new begins there are always a few growing pains. But considering this is the first year for BiteCon AND that it was an entirely fan run event it was pretty smooth sailing. Seriously I expected A LOT more problems but there is nothing particular logistically that I feel is worth complaining about.

The short story:

  • It’s true – everyone is even more attractive in person.
  • Jeff told Seth Gilliam that there is some history between Deaton and Talia. (Not sure on the specifics).
  • Orny Adams was the only cast member who didn’t have to audition.
  • Episode titles usually come from Jeff – ultimately all decisions lie with him.
  • Posey really wanted a body swap episode but Jeff shot it down (as did the other writers during the writers panel).
  • Eaddy Mays WILL make you cry with her Victoria Argent headcanons and her genuine interest in fandom.
  • Angela Harvey (writer) said, and I quote, it’s going to be “hella awkward” with Malia joining (interacting with) the pack.
  • THERE ARE NEW WOLVES IN TOWN!
  • The writers DO think about how media affects culture but they are also affected by the realities of production (eg. Availability of actors, locations, budget constraints).
  • Apparently we will be learning even more about the Hale history.
  • Jackson was NOT supposed to be Peter’s son but elements of his story were incorporated into Malia’s (the full moon car crash).
  • Not to burst anyone’s bubble but apparently the Sheriff does not have a name (yet anyway).
  • The titles sequence will change, Shelley Hennig (Malia Tate) will be a series regular and they are currently working on another.
  • Malia Tate is physically the toughest of the group at the moment – due to her fight or flight reflexes from having lived in the woods all those years.
  • There was talk about a spin-off about young Derek and the Hales.
  • The cast of Teen Wolf would totally lose at Quiz-Up.
  • According to Hypable’s Not Another Teen Wolf Podcast, Kira’s lacrosse number is 15 and Liam (Dylan Sprayberry) requested 9.
  • Both Haley Webb and Felisha Terrell believe that Kali and Jennifer were romantically involved, if not there was definitely that potential.
  • Posey GUSHED about new youngster Dylan Sprayberry, who will play Liam in Season 4.
  • Posey and Hoechlin just shot a scene, which we are going to love apparently (they’re brothers now).
  • There is A LOT of love between everyone involved in this show – seriously they really like each other so much. It’s beautiful.
  • Keahu thinks that Danny has an anonymous blog about werewolves, he is essentially Beacon Hills Gossip Wolf. (Now that’s a spin-off I would watch).

The Long Story:

Over the weekend, in the city of Los Angeles, at the Four Points Sheraton LAX a bunch of people got together to celebrate how much they love a stupid MTV show about teenage werewolves. The Bite Convention was all about loving Teen Wolf and it was one of the most amazing fandom experiences I have ever had. There were people from all over the world, with MANY differing opinions but there was one thing that brought us all together – on both the fandom and the production side – we just really love Teen Wolf.

Conventions are always fun but it was pretty clear that BiteCon came from a fans perspective and personally I think it made for a more genuine experience. The actors were likely to say hey (perhaps even stop to chat) as they wandered though the halls of the hotel and some of the writers had drinks with fans in the hotel bar. Jeff even made his way into the vendor’s room and purchased some fanart (he actually paid for it even though the fans tried to give it to him for free).  The panels were moderated by the Not Another Teen Wolf Podcast girls, who are just super fans and the Official Social Media team were taking pics and filming tid-bits for the After After Show.

Anyone that thinks the fourth wall is actually a thing was put in their place this weekend and guess what? The world did not implode. Actually, I’m pretty sure it was a positive experience for both sides. It was also kind of surprising. Fans were shocked by how much the Teen Wolf folks were interested in and appreciative of fandom and those on the production side seemed genuinely surprised by how much we love Teen Wolf. It highlights the massive miscommunication between fans and TPTB because it really shouldn’t be that shocking.

We may have different ideas about some things but we’re all coming from the same place and we all want the same thing – for Teen Wolf to be the best it can be (of course sometimes we don’t agree what that is, but that’s all part of the fun). After this weekend I can guarantee that the people involved in this show really do want it to be amazing and they really do love it as much as we do

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Tyler Posey – who is a ball of excitement and joy – was continually flawed by the response to his character. Before anyone tries to accuse people of favoritism please remember that Posey was the only member of the principal cast in attendance AND he was there for 2 of the 3 days. If it seems like things were Posey focused, that’s because they were for good reason. Plus he is actually the cutest person in existence and he definitely deserves all the love and respect you can give him. He might not completely understand fandom but he sure as heck appreciates it.

In fact, everyone from the Official Teen Wolf camp that was in attendance was super supportive of fandom and fan works. It was wonderful.

“You make this show better. What you’re doing on Twitter and Tumblr not so much Facebook – but it makes us better.” – Orny Adams

“Teen Wolf means nothing if you’re not here, and you’re not posting, and you’re not writing.” – Eaddy Mays

At a convention you’re kind of in a little bubble of joy and excitement, but on the outside it’s hard to get the truth of what’s really been said. And you know fandom has a tendency to jump to the worst possible conclusion automatically for reasons that I will never fully understand. Above it a limited rundown of the things I thought were interesting but it doesn’t even begin to encompass the overall experience that was BiteCon.

And what a truly amazing experience it was. It was amazing to hear the writers, in this case Alyssa Clark, say that they DO think about the social effects of the media they create. And although Angela Harvey’s comments about “actor’s hired” were worded in less than ideal way they did show that TPTB are working from a place of disadvantage. They don’t have the control that people assume they have and while I don’t think we should EVER STOP criticizing representation in the media it really does mean a lot that they try.

Jeff Davis declined to have his questions screened – so people could have asked anything they wanted (apparently everyone is just really concerned about what happened to Jackson). And all the writers were willing to laugh at themselves – they know that they are not good with dates and birthdays and ages. I think we have reached the point where we just have to accept that we are probably not going to get definitive answers to these questions.

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Although on the topic of ages Jeff did say that Derek was NOT underage (in the state of California) at the time of his relationship with Kate. The direct quote, according to the Not Another Teen Wolf Podcast twitter is: “I would certainly suggest that he wasn’t a minor, at least in California.” (The audio is available here).  That means he was over 18, but as I said about ages – and dates – is really not his strong suit so take that with a grain of salt. Or just do like the fandom did with the Sheriff’s name – make a decision and collectively decide to ignore anything else Jeff says about it (his name is John).

Perhaps the most surprising thing to come out of the weekend is how excited the writers are for Malia Tate. I HATED “Eichen House” – as did all of my fellow Teen Wolf fans at The Geekiary – but we’re also big supporters of female characters so I’m going to beg you guys not to judge Malia based on that episode. Everything they said about her is really intriguing. She’s physically tough but also brings a little humor to the gang (I’m reluctant to say pack because we don’t REALLY know her status quite yet – although I’m pretty sure Scott would invite her into the pack even though Peter is her dad).

The general vibe I got about Season 4 was that it’s a lot lighter, simpler and a lot more adventure driven than all of Season 3. That coupled with the return of lacrosse and the promise of a powerful trio of women has me more excited about Teen Wolf than I have been in a year.

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The highlights of the event for me were the fan fiction panel with Eaddy Mays, Tyler Posey tearing up while receiving gifts from fans (Donations in his name to LLS and the Pages for Posey book), and the real live wolf! Is it next year yet? Because I am ready.

For me, and everyone I have spoken to, BiteCon was a truly amazing experience but I know how confusing it can be on the outside of this kind of event. So if you have any questions or you want further clarification on anything you have heard please leave a comment (or hit us up on Tumblr or Twitter) and I will try to clear it up for you ASAP.

Photos by Tiffany Chen (tifferini.com)

Author: Undie Girl

Undie Girl (aka Von) has a BA (Hons) Major in Cultural Studies. The title of her honours thesis was “It’s just gay and porn”: Power, Identity and the Fangirl’s Gaze. She’s currently pursuing a Masters of Media Practice at University of Sydney. Von’s a former contributor The Backlot’s column The Shipping News and a current co-host of The Geekiary’s monthly webcast FEELINGS… with The Geekiary.

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