‘Comic-Con Episode IV': Holly Conrad’s costumed spotlight

April 12, 2012 | 4:56 p.m.
Holly Conrad, in and out of costum

Holly Conrad, in and out of costume. Credit: Wrekin Hill Entertainment/NECA

Morgan Spurlock’s new documentary “Comic-Con Episode IV: A Fan’s Hope” has plenty of familiar speakers — Joss Whedon, Stan Lee, Olivia Wilde and Kevin Smith are among the commentators on fanboy culture — but the most memorable voice might be the droll, self-deprecating Holly Conrad. The amateur costume designer is one of the Comic-Con pilgrims followed by Spurlock’s cameras. Hero Complex caught up with her too.

Hero Complex: What was your first thought when you heard about the documentary — did you have anxieties about the tone or motivation?

Holly Conrad: I didn’t really at all. Even when Morgan first called me and told me I was in, I knew this was a movie made for all of us, and with Joss Whedon behind it how could it not be awesome? Plus at the time I was still finishing the costumes, so, one big problem at a time.

HC: What feedback have you gotten already from friends and strangers?

Conrad: Everyone has loved it so far that’s seen it. And honestly not many of my friends and family have seen it, only my boyfriend has. Not even my best friend who’s in the film with me! So it’s really going to be exciting for them to see it with me in L.A. and we’re all going in costume, of course. As far as strangers go, I’ve had tons of random emails and feedback from really supportive people who want to make it in the industry or already have, and that’s what I think this movie is really about, inspiring people to keep trying or having those that have already made it be inspired to encourage others. It’s like an explosion of inspiration and awesome. At least I think so.

HC: What’s next for you? In the film there’s a hint that you’re going to be working on the “Mass Effect” movie — is that underway yet?

Conrad: No, not yet. I’ll be thrilled when things do start, though, it’s such an awesome opportunity.

HC: Watching the film, which of the other stories or speakers really resonated with you?

Conrad: What’s funny is that every subject in the film has been amazing. We all get along so well, I think in part because we all have similar interests and such a passion for being part of the geeky community. Also it was great seeing the sort of Jedis of the nerdy world (the ones that made it) talk about their past, like Frank Miller, etc. They were where we are now, and that’s a really encouraging thing to see. We all have to struggle to make it to our dreams.

HC: What’s the film’s message about Comic-Con, in your view?

Conrad: In my view, I think the film is about how it’s OK to have dreams and act on them, and that it’s OK and totally socially acceptable to a fan. A fan of anything, comic books, movies, it’s all cool now, and it’s good to be passionate. I was passionate about games and making monsters, and that’s an awesome, positive thing now.

– Geoff Boucher

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