Traffic, train killings, snarl Comic-Con plans
Somewhere between L.A. and Comic-Con -- According to our Web video editor checking an online traffic site, I'm currently going 3 mph on the San Diego freeway somewhere south of San Juan Capistrano.
An epic traffic jam that rumor has it is the result of an overturned semi somewhere ahead has backed up the ever-dicey 405 into an image worthy of a global-warming poster. I left L.A. at 8 a.m. It is now 2 p.m. I'm thumbing this into a BlackBerry and breathing fumes. I have crawled past three cars -- emergency flashers on -- that have died and been abandoned in the middle of the freeway.
This isn't just "oh boy, can you believe the traffic"-traffic. This is a story you tell your children -- about how you were right there when the Great Gasoline Wars started. When desperate marauders dressed as Frodo and Aragorn wielding collectible swords began robbing traffic-stuck Jetta owners to siphon their precious $5-per-gallon petrol and continue their quest to an annual fan convention.
The wiser among us took Amtrak, but even that has been fraught with peril.
"It took Kristy six hours to get there because somebody got killed on her train," says one studio executve, calling from his own Amtrak ride.
Dear lord. Train killings. That's what the entertainment industry is facing to get to San Diego. It's as if we have become Depression-era hobos, or part of some 1970s mystery movie -- "Murder on the Comic-Con Express." (I suspect Chewbacca did it, but then, there is something creepy about that Dumbledore...)
The studio exec adds, "Hey, can you moderate a panel? Our moderator is stuck in traffic in Oceanside and might not make it."
Dude. I can only dream of Oceanside.
At any rate, for THR Comic-Con coverage from those actually present at Comic-Con, see this landing page, which will link to coverage in Risky Biz, the main site and, eventually, hopefully, here.
UPDATE: Here's a local news video from the accident scene. Seems a Vons truck flipped over and exploded, sparking a four acre fire in Camp Pendleton and blasting 60,000 pounds of food onto the freeway. For awhile, the freeway was shut down, backing up traffic all the way to Orange County.