‘The Geekie Awards’: Kristen Nedopak Talks Building a Better, Geekier Awards Show

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Last year, the All Geek to Me team descended on Hollywood, California, strapped on uncomfortable dresses and high heeled shoes, and made our way to a little theater just a stones throw from Hollywood Boulevard for an evening of nerves, networking, and geeky insanity. We were attending the first annual Geekie Awards, and now Kristen Nedopak, organizer of the indie geek awards show, is back for round two.

“When I first told people about the show, the reaction really depended on who I was talking to,” says Kristen. “The geeks were really into it. In fact, the first reaction I got was, ‘There isn’t one already?’. Then the industry folks were all, ‘who are you?'”

After a successful first year, though, people aren’t saying that nearly as often. The second year of the star-studded affair has taken shape, and this Sunday, they’ll be rolling out an even bigger red carpet than before.

A first year production, especially one as monstrous as The Geekie Awards, is going to have its hiccups, and though The Geekie Awards went remarkably smoothly (at least from our perspective in the audience) last year, that doesn’t mean the team behind the show is standing by their format, and refusing to make changes. “I called it … if you had the Oscars/Royal Wedding/Something at Disney World, that’s kinda what it feels like,” says Kristen. “There are so many different pieces that you have to coordinate together, and they all have to work together. So last year I really got a sense of the important pieces.”

Organizer, Kristen Nedopak, on stage at last year's Geekie Awards.
Organizer, Kristen Nedopak, on stage at last year’s Geekie Awards.

This year, they’ve taken all the feedback from attendees, and folded as many of the suggestions as possible into the production. While you still won’t be seeing an open bar (sorry, folks), they’re pulling out all the stops to make this year’s nominees feel like rock stars. She tells me they’ve got a bigger red carpet, dedicated photographers, and of course, more celebrity guests. Says Kristen, “This year is gonna be mega organized.”

And that organization will be needed, since this year’s show started out already nearly twice as big as its predecessor. They opened up new submission categories back in May. That, plus the bigger publicity and greater awareness of the show meant nearly twice as many submissions, and even tougher competition in the already close categories.

“I want everybody to know that, even if you didn’t make the top five, the scores for so many of them were so incredibly close,” Kristen remarks. “It’s a horrible problem to have: too much good content. This year, we’re blown away by the talent that people have.”

All those submissions eventually boiled down to the top five in each category who will go head-to-head this Sunday. Winners receive, not only an awesome trophy (it’s a 3D printed laser gun, what more could you want?), but some incredible opportunities in the days following the show. Last year’s comic book winner was not only picked up and published by Dark Horse Comics, it was featured in an episode of The Big Bang Theory on CBS. And The Pumpkin Geek, winner of the Arts and Crafts category, was hired by Legendary Entertainment to make thousands of pumpkins for one of their events. Kristen says she saw the amazing things the winners were able to do, and decided to step up the way the award show can help out.

“We’re actually going overboard, trying to do more things for nominees,” she says. “A lot of the sponsors are providing things for them, they’re providing more opportunities past the show, whether it’s panels or autograph signings or meeting with people at companies. Dark Horse is letting the winner of comics have a one-on-one meeting with Mike Richardson, which is really amazing. We’re really trying to push their success not just at the show, but after the show as well. Those are the things that really mean everything to me.”

But the fun (and the perks) aren’t only for the nominees. Folks in attendance, both in person and those watching the live stream at home, will get loads of awesome entertainment. Not only are they stepping up the show’s production and stage performances, but they’ve even worked in a few exclusives during the (now shortened) commercial breaks. There will be exclusive content from a number of big names, including ABC, who will be providing exclusive footage of their new LARP-reality show The Quest.

Stan Lee accepts the Geek of the Year Award at the 2013 Geekie Awards.
Stan Lee accepts the Geek of the Year Award at the 2013 Geekie Awards.

With the first year behind her, and the second fast approaching, I asked Kristen what her hopes were for the future of The Geekie Awards. In addition to a bigger venue and continuing to improve the show, it’s content, and it’s ability to help indie geeks, she really just wants to keep doing what they’re doing.

“A lot of other shows are driven by networks, they’re driven by advertising, and they’re not available for people to see. We really wanna stay online, we really wanna stay live streamed, and we really kinda want to stay at an independent level,” she says. “To do that, we just need everybody’s support. [We’re] not a giant network, even though we seem like we could be because my team is amazing, but at the end of the day we’re an independent production too. We just work non-stop, 24/7, everyday of the year on it, and that’s how we get it to happen.”

The Geekie Awards will take place this Sunday, August 17th, at the Avalon Theater in Hollywood, CA. To purchase tickets to the live show just go HERE. You’ll also be able to live stream the entire event on Twitch.

For more information about The Geekie Awards, its sponsors and this year’s nominees and presenters, head to their website. And don’t forget to follow them on Twitter and Facebook. You can also follow Kristen on Twitter.

 

Tricia Ennis

Tricia Ennis

Tricia is the owner and editor of this website, but it's not like she's holding that over anyone's head or anything. Lover of cats, comics, television, and the occasional horror comedy. Find other thoughts and absurdities on Twitter, and her personal blog. Fully expects to die brilliantly in the zombie apocalypse.
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