Ah, Supanova we meet again.
My third year in a row.
I tell myself every year that I won't attend another convention and then they announce somebody I can't refuse. So once again, I am saying this - no more conventions until David Hewlett is on the guest list. Although, I would really be tempted by Michael Hurst - but I'm hoping I can see him in a show in New Zealand and meet him afterwards.
Previous years I've had to get up at 6am to be first in the door, but this year our first panel wasn't until 2pm so we decided not to get there until midday. Yay! As train lines were being worked on on select stations, it was going to take me five trains and two replacement buses there - and the same back. So I'm grateful I didn't have to get up too early!
So we arrived at midday and had to line up to collect our wrist bands. I hadn't expected such a large crowd to still be waiting for tickets and to get in the door at that hour. After waiting in the ticket and the door to get in lines, we made our way to the token line. Supanova, naughty naughty, had changed the layout from last year so we were mucho confused as to where everything was. We found our way in the end, lined up, waited and bought our tokens for a photo with Dean O'Gorman and autographs with Rose McGowan and Eliza Dushku.
I asked for the 4.50pm token for Dean but it had sold out - f!!!!!!!!!ck! - but luckily, considering I was only there to get a photo with him, the 2.20pm session still was available. After forking out $180 for tokens, we lined up firstly to get the autograph with Eliza before we would have to run off for the photo and first panel.
More under this cut -- plus pictures :)
Eliza's line was HUGE! As one of the most expensive stars on the day, we knew she was going to be popular. When we got in line, we had to snake around, go under the ropes and find the end. We managed to just sneak in before the volunteers had to tell people that they had a second holding line of people to get into the actual line. Craziness. Eliza was on a break when we were lining up so we had a bit of a wait.
I could see Dean O'Gorman sitting nearby. His autograph line would have many people and then they'd all disappear and he'd have none. I had made him two Magic Eye prints (based on his photography) and it took me a long time to decide whether or not I wanted to give them to him. I'm very much against giving presents to celebrities for the most part. I'm sure they get thousands of unwanted crap every con that they have to smile, pretend they like and either keep it or throw it. Still, I was really proud of what I'd made so I thought that I may as well. If it ends up in the bin, so be it. I still think they're cool lol.
I didn't have a token for an autograph but when his line was empty, I braved up and walked up to him. I was shaking so badly and my heart was beating fast. I'm not usually too nervous but I think it was just the worry of being kicked out of line, him not being able to see it and all else, just him thinking the present sucked.
I told him that I had a present for him and hoped that he could see it. I had been inspired by the depth, texture, complexity and overall emotion in his prints. I wanted to see if I could get the same level of detail in my Magic Eye prints. It wasn't so much as a gift as it was an appreciation of his work. I really had fun making them and was inspired by his work. The Magic Eye prints photograph well and maybe sometime I will share them, but for now, I hope he appreciated the efforts I went into making them. And most of all, I hope he liked them.
- -- For those of you who don't know Magic Eye. It was a huge craze of the 90s. You may remember it from an episode of Seinfeld. It's digital art. Go to http://magiceye.com/ for examples --
I was so relieved that Dean could make out what they were. SO RELIEVED. Dean asked if there was an app to make them. But no, there isn't. I had to cut around every layer and put it all together one by one by one. So that includes every rock, finger, arm, leg, thigh, body, hat, gun, details, walls, texture, background etc etc They were all cut out by hand and took a lot of patience) I actually made them both on Easter Day. They took around five hours - plus time before and after of trial and error, and fixing simple mistakes. I showed my friends and family and made any changes that needed fixing.
I had wanted to meet Dean because I've been a fan of his since his Hercules days. Iolous was always my favourite character - both Michael Hurst playing the older Iolous, and Dean his younger self. I was the cool chick in Year 7 who was obsessing over middle aged men - can you say cool?! I do believe that in those days, I said that I wanted to have a boy and give him the middle name Iolous. Yes, I loved it. I have the box sets now and it still brings back many memories. I even still have the official book from the first couple of seasons.
I had wanted to tell Dean this story but didn't have time:
- When I was living in Holland in 2010, I didn't have a TV so I could only watch TV on my laptop. I was mainly watching Aussie/Kiwi shows at the time but when a lot of shows ended their season, I needed something new to watch. I had remembered on one of the Hercules audio commentaries, Michael Hurst had mentioned that Dean was starring in a comedy series called Serial Killers. Sadly, I searched for it and there were no episodes I could watch online but I did come across a show called The Almighty Johnsons (which Dean was also in). I've always been a fan of Norse Mythology, nerdy I know - Loki has always been my favourite of the Gods - so the concept of the show interested me straight away. I was able to find watchable links and immediately loved the show. Funny enough, because I was mainly watching Kiwi TV when living in Holland, I started to get a bit of a New Zealand accent - even though I've never been there. When I say certain words, I can sometimes hear the slight accent to this day. So I was living in Holland with an American and my Australian accent had turned slightly Kiwi. Go figure.
We spoke a little bit about Hercules vs Young Hercules. I never really got into Young Hercules. I had liked Ian Bowen (he played Young Hercules in Hercules TLJ) but I disliked the way Ryan Gosling played Young Hercules in the series. I thought he played the character too smug. Which has nothing to do with Ryan as a person or as an actor - it was more to do with the character itself. I always thought Hercules was meant to be humble - and I don't think Ryan played him like that. It may also have been a character choice made by the producers or anybody else involved. And granted, I could be wrong as it was a long time ago but that's how I felt at the time - if memory serves me correctly.
Dean's line got busy once again so I rushed off and went back to my friend waiting in line to see Eliza. Eliza's line still hadn't started moving yet. I wasn't getting an autograph, but my friend had bought in his copy of one of her DVDs to sign. I don't recall her talking with any of her fans. She may have but I don't remember hearing her say a word - granted her line was huge and she had a lot of people to get through so I don't blame her. I'm sure she's been told to keep it brief. I only remember her sitting there, looking smoking hot and drinking coke. And also, I should mention that the friend I went with is incredibly shy - maybe the two other people I saw with her were shy to. She smiled and seemed nice enough though.
We were going to go to Rose's panel but, as I couldn't get the later photo session for Dean, I had to rush off to photo booth B and line up for my photo. We would have only made it for the last 10 minutes of her panel anyway, after having waited so long for Eliza, so there wouldn't have been much point anyway.
I was second to last in line - I wish I had been last :\ - I went in, got my photo taken and Dean thanked me again for the prints. Short but sweet.
We didn't have time to pause as we were straight off to see Michael Rosenbaum's panel which started at the exact same time that I was getting my photo taken. I saw another friend as we were rushing and quickly said to him, 'Hi. Sorry I have to rush. Nice seeing you again'. --- See, chaotic.
We were late to Michael Rosenbaum's panel. I don't think we were very late but he was already talking by the time we got there. They had changed where the panel's were too so we had to find it. I didn't like how far away it was. It makes commute time much longer and that's the last thing you need when you're on a timeline.
I had always liked Michael in Sorority Boys. I didn't watch much of Smallville as I absolutely hated it - I've never been into superheroes - so I had hoped that the focus wouldn't be too much on the show. Wishful thinking as 99% of questions were about Smallville - as expected. I always partly feel sorry for actors when, even if they've done so much, they're only asked about one particular project. But hey, it's an convention, it's the nerdy things that make them able to attend these events in the first place.
(Still, I'm proud that I spoke to Sir Patrick Stewart - at Oz Comic Con last year - about Masterminds rather than Xmen or Star Trek. I like to think he appreciated me talking about something different)
My verdict of Michael is that he's very charismatic. Let's see how much of it I can remember.
As always, a girl asked for a hug. He hugged her and her friend Princess Leia. He then mimicked something Han Solo said. He mentioned how a guy in the audience asking a question looked like a guy from Glee. I couldn't see him but both Michael and the guy wanted to know which actor he was speaking out.
He was asked if anything funny happened on the set of Sorority Boys - the question I had been waiting for - but funny enough, I don't remember much of the answer. He said something about it being a movie about guys in drag and then mentioned the actor - not Barry Watson but the other one - but I can't remember what he said about him :\
He mentioned The Flash. I don't remember much about it. But there was something about an episode (of Smallville? - or maybe The Flash) where Lex meets the Flash - or someone he plays in something else - and one of the guys behind the scenes really found that amusing that his two characters were battling it out. I know nothing about the Flash or what it is - I'm guessing it's an animated TV show? So I don't remember any of the answers/questions about it. Sorry :\
Some girl called him pretty and he said that Tom (Welling) is pretty, he is just "decent". Bless him. A guy in the audience was on his phone and Michael called him out on it saying how bored he must be. The guy looked up, said he wasn't bored and then went back to playing with his phone. This amused Michael.
Michael walked around and got close to people when they asked a question. I prefer this as you can get better photos. It was funny though because he'd sit down to people if there was a spare seat, or he'd suggest people move to these better seats so other people don't look so alone. I like those actors who you like but don't really know much about them but they make you like them so much so that you even consider getting a photo/autograph with them. That's how I felt with Michael. I took to him. If I had had time and money, I probably would have gotten a photo with him. I'd hope in his glasses, but anywho ....
He spoke about something he worked on where he had to be in a car and go underwater. He had to be strapped down so he wouldn't float up but he was freaking out so much that as soon as they said action, he was just panicking.
A kid asked him how did he let his hair get onto the show. Michael said that hair grows and that's how it got on the show. He told the kid to touch his hair to make sure it was real and his own. It was later followed by another kid asking if he wore a bald cap throughout the series. Michael said something like how would you feel if you had 'shaved your head everyday for eight years and have no one recognise you for it?' He then went around asking people how they'd feel - and he said, 'of course not, because you're a girl'.
He also asked a kid who was in a Superman costume to which he pointed out. Earlier on, there was a kid in a Superman tshirt and Michael said he'd buy the kid a Lex tshirt, even though there aren't many/any.
He was asked if he watched any of Smallville after he left the show. There was something about how they kept mentioning Lex even though he wasn't around anymore and how they tried to drag it out and it wasn't working. Michael kept asking to the crowd how they felt about Lex and things like that to get the audience to cheer but he was never happy with the response. My theory is that not everyone there was a Smallville fan - and I do say that a lot of people were there as The Hobbit panel was next.
He spoke about how he's now directing. He was asked about a show called Breaking In - audience member called it Getting In - to which Michael asked if that's what it's called in Australia.
He was asked about working with Christopher Walken. He told the story about how he went up to Christopher and asked him what he should call him - Chris, Christopher etc - and he responded, call me (gah, straining to remember! it was something like Danger - I'll add in this when/if I remember). So the next day on set, Michael called out 'hey ??' Nothing. 'Hey ??' And Christopher turns to him and goes, 'what the hell are you talking about?' Michael's impersonation sounded dead on. It was a really funny story.
The last question was more of a statement - but anyway - from a kid who said that his father was a big Lex fan and he had given his son the middle name of Lex after him.
There were probably more questions, and more may come to me in the future. But for now, that's all. He said he wanted to stay and chat. And was sad that he didn't have another panel the following day. Still, he thanked everyone for coming.
What most annoyed me about his panel was so many kids asking questions. I understand that you can't really ignore them but I feel like, with such a small amount of time, kids questions are usually stupid and unnecessary. Also, as we were sitting in the back row, towards the end of his panel, so many people came in and were standing at the back. It was obvious that they were there for the next panel, but they were so rude as most of them were talking and not paying attention. It was hard to listen to Michael when you could hear other people talking. I wished Michael would have politely told them to shut up.
Next up was The Hobbit panel with Stephen Hunter (Bombur), Graham McTavish (Dwalin) and Dean (Fili) hosted by LOTR actor Mark Ferguson. Mark introduced all the other actors and welcomed them on stage. He said something about Dean being a "favourite of the ladies for reasons that (he) won't get into".
Dean got the most screams - who knew he was so popular? I guess being in such a huge picture puts you into the spotlight. I'm happy to have been one of the few Hercules/The Almighty Johnsons fans in the crowd. Not to say that I didn't enjoy the Hobbit but I would have liked a separate panel for Dean on his own. My question would have been, "Was there going to be a separate storyline arch for Anders in The Almighty Johnsons if Dean had been available during shooting?" I wouldn't have expected him to be able to give details, but I would have been happy with a yes or a no. Time got the better of the panel. I only thought of my question afterwards ...
I also couldn't see any of the actors for the most part, so for a lot of the time I didn't know who was actually speaking.
A guy with no shirt on asked Dean what it felt like knowing (HUGE SPOILER from the book) to which the crowd gasped and Dean chose not to answer. - ie, what a bastard the shirtless guy was -
They were asked what their favourite scene to shoot was - and they couldn't talk about it because it's in the second movie. They were asked if they were anything like their characters. Stephen said he liked to eat, Graham said he based the character on his Dad and Dean said no because he hasn't done anything as heroic in his own life.
They were asked how they got into acting. Stephen wasn't good at sports so he did plays at school, Graham I can't actually remember and Dean was spotted by a casting agent when he did a school speech. Dean also said that he's always been into photography and always done it.
A kid - grr - asked how did they make Gollum so scary, to which they pointed out was Andy Serkis. Graham said something about Scotland - and I know he mentioned how gorgeous New Zealand was.
Dean said he was overwhelmed when he first joined the movie because Andy was directing him and he felt more like watching the movie. He had to do a scene where he was in a harness and they had to get the shot because he couldn't wear the harness for too long or he'd pass out. They were all sad at the end of filming because like any other workplace, they became a family. They all got along well otherwise. Graham mentioned how Andy was on set as the second Director as how any of the action scenes filmed were usually done with Andy.
Another kid -- grr -- also asked if it hurt when the goblin king fell on them. Dean said he had (somebody - Bombur maybe?) fall on him and that was painful enough!
They were asked which character would they most like and hate to be stuck in a barrel with. Dean said Bombur would be bad. Stephen was wearing a fat suit, plus a fake stomach and fake arse so there wouldn't be much room in the barrel. He said that the idea behind the dwarfs looking stocky with the big hands, feet and build, was because when they were shrunk down on screen they wouldn't look like hobbits. He said that it was difficult to do anything with the fake hands on because you couldn't feel them. So it was difficult when using a sword and juggling plates. He said he was grateful to be taller than Fili.
They were asked if they had taken any souvenirs from the set. Stephen said he did a cave scene with Adam Brown (Ori) who was remarkably good at stealing coins from the set. They were shooting a scene and every take he'd stick a coin in boot. By the end of the scene, they had (they split the coins up) 24 coins each for the three of three (I think it was with the actor who plays Bofur also - the three in the scene anyway). I think it was also Graham who mentioned that he had a lot of coins too.
Dean said if he could play any other character it would be Galadriel. Funny.
Dean mentioned how Martin (plays young Bilbo) would pull faces when Aiden (who plays Kili) and he were filming trying to get them into trouble. Stephen said that Ian McKellan (Gandalf) would do the same thing.
Stephen said that he read five pages into LOTR and stopped. Said it took him ages to read it later on - but loved it. They joked how Dean waited 'until he could read better' before he read it. But Dean had read the Hobbit as a kid. Graham hadn't read either the Hobbit before filming but had read LOTR.
They seemed to all get along and joke together.
After The Hobbit panel, we rushed off to get in line to get our Rose McGowan autographs. My friend was getting one for himself and I was getting one for a friend of mine. Rose was on break when we got in the line. I went off to get my Dean photo - very nice - before trying to find my friend in line again. We waited about thirty minutes before she came back and the line started moving. I told her how I was getting signed for a friend of mine because she was working and couldn't come in. She asked where she worked. I said McDonalds. She replied saying that that makes sense as she was wondering who has to work on a Saturday. And that was it, I thanked her and left.
I couldn't believe how many people were still about. The crowd had died down but there were still plenty of people all over the shop and we probably left around 4.30. I believe there might have been something Cosplay related still on somewhere ...
In line for Rose, I snapped some photos of Barbara Eden (I Dream of Jeannie) and Natalia Tena (HP, Game of Thrones). I was paranoid that I'd get told off so I took them quickly - so sorry they aren't so good.
That's all I remember. If any information is wrong - sorry - I'm just going off memory. I will try and find some youtube clips when I have time and update as needed.
Thanks to all the volunteers, people I spoke to and sponsors.
Until next year ...
PS. I'm very disappointed that I didn't get a photo of David Hasselhoff. So annoyed with myself. I saw him but didn't get the opportunity for a photo :\