Thursday, 10 July 2014

EVENT: Melbourne Oz Comic Con 2014 - Part 2

 

So now onto Day 2!

You may think that it's really easy for me to to remember things. It really does take a lot of effort for me to listen and take it A LOT of detail! I have a short attention span and can forget things quite easily - so that's why I like to write overly detailed write ups on events that I attend. I like to go back and read through them and go, 'oh yeah, I did that' or 'this happened' or 'I remember that' etc etc.

Sunday details under the cut!

x

 Please note this is a VERY text heavy entry!


Saturday we had decided to skip the earlier panels (which I know think wasn't the best idea) so Sunday I thought I would make the earlier panels and go home early as I had made plans in the afternoon.

Plans for Sunday were:
10am – Dante Basco & Olivia Hack panel
11am – Dean O’Gorman panel 
12 noon – Gary Jones & Torri Higginson panel
1pm - Yvette Nicole Brown panel
1.15pm - AUTOGRAPHS WITH JAMES, DANTE & OLIVIA

I had planned on catching the early train and getting in at 9.15 so I had plenty of time to catch my first panel. But my train was delayed (no biggy) but then it was cancelled so I had to wait 40 minutes for the next one - which meant that I would get to Parliament station at 9.46am - which scared me! So once my train arrived, I walked as fast as my legs could take me to the event, through the doors, through the crowds, up the stairs and around to Stage 2.

I had originally planned to see the Game of Thrones panel with Daniel Portman & Kristian Nairn but they were on Stage 1 - and to get from Stage 1 to Stage 2 would have been quite difficult to do and not be late to Dean's panel - and with Dante and Olivia being oh so nice the day before, I thought it would be quite a fun panel to attend.
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So Dante and Olivia's panel ...


 

I don't really know where to start with this panel with I'm not a fan of animation - and technically, it was an animation panel. I know Dante from Hook and I know Olivia from The Brady Bunch Movies so with questions being so focused on their animation work - which was to be expected - I often found it hard to follow what they were talking about - especially Dante because he mentioned a lot of words which I didn't know if he was talking about a character, title, place or something else from the animation world. So it was quite hard for me to keep up.

My biggest complaint though - which has nothing to do with Dante or Olivia themselves - was that I was meant to ask a question. I was fifth in line but the lady who was working the mic must have forgotten me and the girl who was fourth in line because she kept going to other people instead. So I was so glad to be able to see Dante and Olivia after the panels so I could ask them my question (but more on that later)

To sum it up:
  • Olivia said that they are very lucky to do animation work because so many people want to get into voice work but they haven't been able to. And Olivia nor Dante could explain how they got into animation - it kind of just happened. Dante did kept repeating that Olivia was born into it - which had something to do with her Father but I can't remember why.
  • Olivia spoke about a role she did - I think it was Bratz, but don't quote me on that - which moved to Canada. Then she got an audition to do the voice of the character she had originally done for a video game. So she had to mimic the voice of the Canadian actress who had to mimic Olivia's voice for the role in the beginning. She said it was very odd but she landed the job in the end although she joked that they should have just given her a call in the first place.
  • Dante spoke a little bit about - I think it was a web-series - where he played Rufio.There was something about how he was there in costume and he had to be kissed or something - which made him feel violated - but then it went down this weird wacky road which I couldn't follow. And Dante said something along of the lines of 'how he must sound crazy because if you haven't seen it you can't really describe it - just like GoT'. Olivia said that he lost her an hour ago with his story haha.
  • They spoke about their voice work and how doing the fight scenes are the toughest because it takes a lot out of you. But also doing emotional scenes can also be tough and you can feel exhausted afterwards. So you really put a lot into voice work. 
  • They both said they enjoy voice work more so than acting because you don't have to worry about hair, makeup and costumes. Sometimes you're in the booth for four-five hours and sometimes you're there for five minutes. Dante said they usually have a lot of food and drinks available - and Olivia jumped in and said, 'if you're lucky!'
  • Dante spoke a little about how he gets recognised by his voice - like when he's gone to get a coffee and someone asks him if he's (insert character name). He spoke about how no one thinks his voice has changed since Hook (he was 15 - he's now 38) So he asked the crowd if he still sounds the same - which everyone said yes. He remarked how he must have either have sounded like a mature old-man at 15 year old or he must still sound like a 15 year old. Olivia said that it was a good thing that he can play both old and young characters because that's not a skill that all voice actors have. She said that usually they get females to do young boy voices because of the problems when a boy's voice breaks. She said that she once worked with a cast that was all young kids - which is rare because they have to worry about child labour laws, schooling etc - but they kept having to bring in new boys to do the vocal work because the boys voices kept breaking.
  • Dante spoke a little about doing a 'hip hop show' which no one else thought it was but he bought his own 'flavour' (I guess you'd call it) to the role.
  • I think it was The Last Airbender (don't quote me on that one) which Olivia said she had spoken to people on the Saturday about it and no one seemed to have liked it - except, Dante added, that he knows people who have never seen the series who said they enjoyed the movie. Apparently they said words weirdly or something. [I know nothing - I've never seen it!]
  • Dante spoke a little about (I think it was) fighting moves or origins. I'm not too sure exactly, but I remember he said that tai chi comes from water, and something from fire. I guess it was in relation to the air bending series - but once again, I don't know because I couldn't really follow.
  • Dante looked at the screen behind him and Olivia said, 'that's you!' and then he later looked back at it and she said, 'that's still you!' Too funny! 
  • Olivia said she didn't know why OZCC choice the photo on the screen because she was about 18 in it. She's now 30-something.
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After Dante and Olivia's panel, I left the room to line up for Dean O'Gorman's panel.

 

I had seen and met Dean before (see Supanova 2013) I'm not a big fan of The Hobbit - my love for Dean comes more from Hercules/Young Hercules and The Almighty Johnsons - so I was excited to see Dean on his own rather than a specific Hobbit-centric (IE, with other Hobbit actors) panel.

To sum it up:
  • Dean said he had a lot of fun filming the barrel scenes in The Hobbit 2. He also said Bombur was the perfect size to fit right snug into the barrel so once he was in there, it took a lot of people to get him out. He told the story about going down the river and heading towards a waterfall.
  • When asked how it was like to act like a prat in The Almighty Johnsons he said that he's always thought of himself as quite a prat so he thinks the writers were just writing to suit him. He also said he was surprised that anyone watches kiwi television in Australia because no one in New Zealand's tends to care and watch it. He said not many people are fans of Shortland Street here.
  • He said he sometimes get recognised by some random things he's been in but most of his NZ work no one has ever seen. He said he loves working in New Zealand though.
  • When asked 'what is acting' he said that it was a really hard question which he doesn't think anyone really knows the answer to because what is art? He said the best tip he has is to make the words sound believable because there are many bad performances out there. He said with The Hobbit it was hard because he had to imagine how he would act if he saw a real dragon - but he also said that that gave him a bit of freedom to play around because there's no standard emotion because he's playing a dwarf in Middle Earth so no one knows how they would behave because it's not set in the real world.  
  • He did a great impression of James Nesbit - Bofur in The Hobbit.
  • He said it was hard to move in his Hobbit costume. He said having fake hands was incredibly hard because you couldn't feel anything. He said that bloopers of the actors trying to go to the bathroom with their fake hands on would be incredibly funny!
  • He said he doesn't really know where his inspiration for his photography comes from. He spoke a little bit more about that but I can't remember too much what he said. He also mentioned that his father is a painter.
  • He said he'd like to do a movie with Aidan Turner - Kili in The Hobbit movies.
  • He said the most famous people he has ever met is Ian McKellan - as he thought that he was a pretty big deal as coming from Xmen and Lord of the Rings. Also Elijah Wood (he said Woods but any who), Billy Connolly (who he said is very funny) and Cate Blancett (he said she is quite attractive and he found it really hard to talk to her because of that fact). He said he also went to a royal gala and met Prince William. He asked Dean if he had worked in the studios. Dean thought he meant the London studios but Prince William meant the Wellington studios. Dean said no and there was this look of confusion before PW said that he should visit them. And Dean said, 'thanks mate ... I mean, your highness'. He said that Mark Hadlow - who plays the Hobbit Dori - was in the navy (or army) even though he's never seen battle (he worked in the admin office - not sure if it was a joke or not) but he  probably freaked out and cried when he met the royals. He wore his official uniform when he met them.
  • He gave some recommendations of places to a girl who is going to New Zealand this year. He mentioned a lot of places that I can't remember but he suggested she could do the Lord of the Rings tour. He said he hasn't done it himself - but she could do a road trip although, he said, some of the location sites would be quite hard to see as you'd need a helicopter to get there.
  • He said that it was weird to film the eagles scene in the first Hobbit movie, because he and Aiden had to ride this blue foam thing and look really heroic doing it. Aidan did the blue steel look.
  • Aidan also would laugh and look at the camera but never be told of. Martin Freeman (Bilbo) would also pull faces and such but as he's the main star, he could get away with it.
  • Dean said it was embarrassing when he would be told off because Peter Jackson - the director - would be watching on a screen far away and if you did something wrong, Peter would say it over the loud speakers so that all the cast and crew could hear. So Dean was really worried that he was going to be fired. But then he heard Peter tell Ian McKellen to make some line more believable so he was more relaxed after that.
  • He also got told off when he had to do a stunt where he had to jump on the back of a goblin - I think it was. So he had to jump on the back of a stuntman and he kept jumping over him or hitting in on the face or landing awkwardly. He said it was really hard to do.
  • He said that the 'at your service' took about 47 takes, I think. He said after an actor does about 10 takes you really worry that you're going to get fired - But it was to do with the technical side of things not his performance.
  • One of the dwarves was sick during the shoot. I want to say it was Jed - but I'm not 100% sure. He had a scene with Orlando Bloom (who plays Legolas) but whoever the dwarf was threw up in beard and then passed out
  • Dean said that he was relaxing in the cool room (the actors would sit in this cool room because their costumers were so hot). Anyway Dean was sitting there with some fellow actors and the actor who played Bombur closed his eyes. Someone working on the movie (maybe it was a producer or something, not sure) came into the cool room and told Dean to be quiet and at that moment Stephen Hunter - who plays Bombur - let out this huge fart. Dean said it was funny - but the guy who worked on the movie didn't find it funny at all.
  • Dean said he wouldn't want any of the dwarf beards especially the ones that were made from yak hair. He said that the actors would go to lunch and get food stuck in their beards and a makeup lady had to fish the food out with chopsticks. He also said that the beards couldn't get wet - the water would run straight off it - so they had to covered in this thick gel to make them look wet during the barrel scene.
  • Dean said he feel into acting. He went to a really sports mad school and as that wasn't for him he started acting as a way to also get out of classes. And he was spotted by a scout when he was doing a play - and I guess the rest is history.
  • He said that he bought his coat when they were in Berlin doing some press. He said that it keeps him warm but it's hard to get out of - as he struggled to take it off mid-panel. 
  • Dean said the people working on the shoot were really nice and would always ask how he was and if he wanted coffee but when it came time to shoot they were just rush rush rush. 
---

After Dean's panel, I left the room and lined up again for the Stargate panel with Torri Higginson and Gary Jones.

 

Stargate Atlantis is one of my favourite television shows. I've seen a lot of SG1 - but mainly the earlier seasons - I don't think I watched any once Jack left the series but I'm not sure. And I've only seen around two episodes of Stargate Universe. So I'm not the biggest Stargate fan to begin with but I was actually really excited for this panel.

I had no idea what either actor was going to be like. Gary, I had little knowledge of him apart from his character. And I never liked Torri's character on Atlantis. I can only say that I would have liked her character a lot better if she had been more like Torri - because I thought she was absolutely lovely! She won me over straight away :)

To sum it up:
  • A question was raised about Richard Dean Anderson being crazy. I'm unsure where this question lead or why. But I remember that part.
  • Torri said her favourite places to do conventions are France and Australia. She said the French give her wine - which Gary said he demands we bring wine to his table (their was controversy when mentioned that Australia isn't known for its wine). Torri said Australia because we're so laid back. She said we are fans but we're all chill and cool about it.
  • Torri said that she normally does smaller Australian conventions but this one was quite big. She said that she has released how much the audience really is important after just having finished performing a one women show. She said that every night was different because she was feeding off the audience.
  • Gary said he hasn't really encountered any freaky fan encounters except he said that in a big group of people the odds are that one of those people would be crazy. But he said that most people are either those who can easily hold a conversation or there are those that are nervous and it makes them have to do a little more talking. Torri said she has experienced it. She spoke of some guy who found out her phone number and would call her so much she had to change her number. She said everyone now knows that if he shows up at a convention, she just runs and won't have anything to do with him. She said it's a shame that there are people out there like that but she also said that yes, in a big group the odds are that one person will be crazy but it's quite rare.
  • Gary was asked to host an event so he went to all the trouble of being in costume and hosted as his character to a room full of journalists in the gate room. He was then asked if he would do the same at a convention. He agreed. Someone asked if he was nervous and he wasn't because he just thought he was going to be in front of a bunch of journalists. But they opened the door and there was a sea of people. 
  • Gary said that at one convention he had a security guard with him at all times. He needed to go to the bathroom during a con so the security guy had to call up two volunteers working at the con to go with Gary and the security guard to the bathroom. So the two female volunteers waited outside the room and the security guard went in and checked that all the stalls were empty before allowing him to pee. He said that that was really odd.
  • Torri said that that also happens on set because they everyone has to always know where you are on set so if an actor goes to the bathroom, all the crew members will be told over the walkie-talkies. She said there was a code for it like 101 or something like that that they'd say so everyone would know.
  • The Stargate fans dubbed him as the Chevron guy. He was asked to do a convention and he couldn't figure out why any fans would want to see him because he thought that the camera just bypassed him and he was never fully shown. But he was reassured that the fans wanted to see him.
  • Gary lost count of how many times he had to say chevron on the series.
  • Torri said that many pranks were played. The Atlantis cast used to look into trailers of the cast members from SG1 just to see what they had over them. She said that Rachel (who plays Teyla on Atlantis) put a camera in Amanda's (Carter on SG1) trailer once. Not sure why.
  • Gary said he was told that his character was a one off role with the possibility of recurring - which for a Canadian actor, he says, is like three episodes. And he stayed on the show for ten years which is almost unheard of.
  • Gary said that he was almost fired at the beginning at the series. His first day, they had everyone arrive at 6am. So he sat in his chair in the dark for hours and hours. Then went to lunch and came back and sat in the chair for hours and hours. Then they became shooting in the gate room and Gary decided to close his eyes and the director threw a coin at the glass. He waved his finger at him. The next day of shooting, the same thing happened again - and after the director threw another coin at the glass he indicated strike two. Gary said that his friend (she plays someone who hiccuped on the show - I'm not sure who she is as only a true fan would know) got a call saying could she be ready at the last moment to replace the technician in Stargate, if needed
  • Torri and Gary both said that going on each others sets felt weird. Gary called the Atlantis set art deco and the SG1 was all metal.
  • Torri said that Richard Dean Anderson told her at the beginning of the show that if she screwed up the techno babble on her first day that they wouldn't write anymore for her after that. Gary said that Amanda Tapping - who plays Sam Carter on SG1 - came into the show wanting to impress and nail her techno-babble at the beginning. And because she did such a good job, they gave all the techno-babble to her from then on in because they knew that she could handle it.
  • Someone asked if David Hewlett is exactly like his character Rodney McKay. Torri said absolutely! They are both as neurotic but except that David has more humour than his character. They also said that David talks very fast and is good at techno-babble speech.
  • Gary said that he got a script where he had to name about six or seven planet names in a row. And they were all like PRX-459 or PCR-834 or something like that. And he decided that he would just make up the planet names during rehearsals because he figured no one would care. But then it came time to shooting and after they rehearsed it, the writing supervisor came over to him and asked him what he was doing. She/he told him that he had to know the names because they were going to the planet and they would know if the planet names were wrong! Somehow he managed to rattle out the names during shooting though - luckily!. 
  • I don't remember the question or how it came up but Gary mentioned that Chris Judge (Teal'c in SG1) likes to fart a lot. Big man. Big farts. (eww! just eww!) I quote. Torri said even she remembered that and remarked, "what a glamourous world we live in". Gary said, "we're just like you!"
  • Torri said her favourite days on set was naked day - which I couldn't tell if it was a joke or not. I figure it was a joke but I really don't know. Gary joked how between him, Jason (Ronan on Atlantis) and Chris (Teal'c) no one could tell the difference of them standing there naked. Even though he's a skinny white guy!, he joked. (I think the whole thing was just a joke thing - but eh, quoting anyway)
  • Torri said she's just about to work on (I think it's a web-series?) that is a cross between Firefly and The Office. It's called Nobility. And every career is flawed in some way. They're all screwed up people. She seemed very excited to go work on it - she was flying home the next day to start filming. She said they have either previewed or plan to preview it at a convention. Gary is writing a sitcom. 
  • Someone asked if they ever attend a con incognito. Gary joked that no one knows who he is anyway. And said right now he's going incognito. But they both said it was too much work.
  • At the end of the panel, Torri got her phone and took a photo of the panel. Gary and her than took a selfie with the crowd. I'm not sure if you could see me or not but I smiled all the same.
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After the Stargate panel, I lined up for Yvette Nicole Brown's panel.

 

I've never seen Yvette in anything but I read some of her tweets and I thought she came across as such a lovely, funny, genuine and down to Earth person. I had also heard good things about her panel. However, I knew I had a very limited amount of time because I wanted to go and see Dante and Olivia in the 1.30-3pm autograph times - but I thought I would stay in the panel for as long as possible before going to line up. 

I ended up staying for about 5-10 minutes before rushing off. You could really tell that the crowd loved her and she loved the crowd. I didn't hear many questions but here's a bit of what I did.

To sum it up:
  • Someone asked how she liked working with Ken Jeong in Community. And she said that she loved him. She said that he's a doctor so he would cure you too and he has two twin daughters.
  • She was asked what it was like playing Ursula in Once Upon a Time. She said that she's such a fan girl that she would often just hang out at set because she liked everybody so much. She said that she really worked on her character because apparently there as a statue of Ursula that came alive who was voiced by another actress so she wanted to know what they did and try and mimic that - I guess.
  • She said that she learns all the big news regarding Community off Twitter. If they're re-newed, cancelled, someone joins the cast etc her news feed goes nuts!
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So after rushing off,  I headed to Dante and Olivia's line but it was capped so they wouldn't let me line up. I was told that I could line up to meet Jason Marsden - the ladies working there told me that he was lovely. I actually thought about meeting him the day before - his autographs were also free - because he seemed so adorable. So I definitely had considered it. I figured though that I probably would get through the line by the time the Dante/Olivia line got a little bit smaller and opened again.

It was kind of funny and weird with the Dante/Olivia line because - as I'd been in it the day before - I had an idea of how fast it would move. It only took us about 30 minutes to get to the front of the line last time - so when the girls working there said that the line was capped because they wouldn't have time to sign anymore autographs I thought it was a joke. If the autograph session started at 1.30 - and you had a 30 minute wait from the back of the line, that only makes it 2pm - so they would have a whole hour left. But any who - that was just my observation.

So I lined up in Jason Marsden's autograph line.

 

I wish I knew him from something though because it was a little awkward for me when I didn't know his work. The only thing I kind of knew him from was Fairly Odd Parents. I don't think I've ever seen a full episode but I know of it sort of so I decided to get the above postcard signed.

But he was very sweet, short and good looking :) He said that he was feeling good and being treated like a rock-star. I said for us it's mostly about waiting in lines. He said that at San Diego Comic-Con you stand in lines for about 8 hours - which is crazy! - so I said I would never go. The guy next to me also said that he chose to go to a Stargate convention instead of Comic-Con when he was there in San Diego because of the craziness. I thanked him and left. 

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Luckily I was able to jump into the line for Dante and Olivia afterwards. I was warned that they may not get to me before 3pm - but I was like 99.9% sure that I would make the front of the line way before then! I do think it only took me about thirty minutes to get to the front. 

So first up was Olivia. I could tell that she didn't remember me - which was fine because I would have been more shocked if she HAD remembered me! She asked if I was enjoying myself and how long I had to wait. I said about thirty minutes (which she said wasn't that bad) and asked if I was there yesterday - I said yes and she said how crazy long the lines were so I was lucky that I didn't have to wait long! It's all in good planning ;)

Firstly, I wished her a Happy Anniversary because I had seen on Twitter that morning that she said it was her and her husband's wedding anniversary. I didn't mean it to sound creepy or anything. I promise I don't stalk. I actually rarely check my social media (bad me!) unless I'm on the move (like the train that morning). But I told her that I like her tweets and Instagram - also didn't mean to sound creepy - she asked what my Instagram handle was and she said she would remember it.

I then said that I didn't get a chance to ask her a question at her panel so she said to ask it now. My question was if she could do an Australian accent. And she could. She totally rocked it! 

She then signed my A Very Brady Sequel DVD (photo here in Part 1). She didn't know where to write because there isn't much room on the cover. But I thanked her and told her I had paid for a photo with her - so she told me to come around and I said I'd see Dante first and then do. So I thanked her and moved onto Dante.

Dante also didn't remember me - which, same thing, I would have been shocked if he had. He looked at me in the same intensive way. I got a postcard signed from something. I'm unsure what it is meant to be but he wrote "Free Nation" on it any who (photo here in Part 1) because obviously I couldn't get my Hook DVD signed twice.

He asked how I was doing and I might have asked him back - who knows. But then I asked him if he could do an Australian accent. He said he was really nervous because now everyone was looking at him and he'd probably screw it up. So I told him how when I was living in Holland (living with an American at the time mind you) I was watching so much New Zealand TV that my accent molded into this weird Kiwi accent - which I LOVE! I love when my kiwisms come out even though it's quite rare these days. 

That got us to talking about the differences between Kiwi vs Australian accents. He thought they sounded quite alike but I disagreed - and then me and the girl who was sitting beside him, were doing our best Kiwi accent impressions such as 'fush' and 'six'. Dante concluded that the Kiwi and Australian accents are different but similar. I thanked him and told him I was coming around for a photo. 

So I had to squeeze past the back of Dante's chair and wait for Olivia to finish up with who she was signing for. The guy next to her was very lovely and pushed for my photo to be taken right away - bless him. 

Olivia and I then had to find good lighting. I wanted a selfie - which is rare for me as rarely do I do selfies but I really wanted that 'I just randomly bumped into you on the street and I want to take a selfie' photo. Random, I know. 

We took two photos. I was shaking and I don't know why - methinks it was all the eyes looking at me :/ Eek! I don't do well with a crowd looking at me. Anyway. Photos done, we hugged and said our goodbyes.

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And that was it. It was time for me to go. It was around 2.30 when I finally left for the day. I thought about staying for later panels but I hadn't eaten all day and - not wanting to spend any money on food and wait around - I decided just to leave and do the plans I had made. 

I got to my train station and ducked into the roast chicken place for some hot chips before I passed out while waiting for my ride. I eat so much gourmet vegetarian food haha! Although my after-con pumpkin ravioli at Spaghetti Tree was highly disappointing the night before :\

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All up it was an amazing weekend! I want to thank Kim from Melbourne Mum again for the tickets. This con makes the first I've ever attended the full weekend, the most panels seen (8 total) at a con and the least amount of money I've ever spent ($10 for a photo with Olivia). I was going to get a photo with Richard Dean but I didn't think it was worth it for a whole two second snap.

And that's Day 2. I hope you enjoyed my write ups!

I only have 1 or 2 more cons to attend ever and then I'm done. I will have met everyone I've ever wanted to meet. Granted, a celebrity may be announced who I simply cannot say no to meeting - but for the moment, I only intend to meet David Hewlett (which I may go VIP for! Whoop!) and - maybe - Michael Hurst (whose dinner I might attend! Whoop!) next year.

^_^ 

x

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