Tuesday, 15 April 2014

EVENT: Supanova 2014

So last Sunday, I attended my fourth Supanova convention - think Comic Con but less crazy and not as many celebrities. I'd seen photos from Saturday and it looked so crazy busy! I knew Sunday would be less busy because with Lucy Lawless only appearing on the one day, it just made it so.

And this was the first year that I didn't have a crazy big schedule of things to do. It was actually quite a nice change - especially as I actually had some time this year to look around at the shops.

I've a bit of a Nazi when it comes to scheduling so I made the schedule and it looked like this:
- arrive at 10.30
- queue for tickets 
- queue at the token line
- Dwarf (The Hobbit) panel at 12 noon
- James Callis panel at 1pm
- Photo Ops with Emmanuelle Vaugier at 2.15
- Autographs and Shopping time 
- Photo Ops with James Callis at 4.05pm

But .......



Please note: I'm going off memory, so small details may be incorrect but I try to do my best to remember.

What I did was over estimate times - as I was going by the crowd of years past - so we arrived a little earlier than we could have. The token line was dead so we were about to go meet Veronica Taylor, who does the voice of Ash in Pokemon. We were getting an autograph for my friend's friend.

There was quite a line to see her. The meet and greet was short and sweet. She signed a photo - but was kind enough to offer a free signature to my friend for doing such a nice deed as getting the signature for her friend.

Afterwards, we did a bit of shopping and then headed to our first panel - The Big Dwarf Panel with Mark Ferguson, Mark Hadlow and William Kircher. We'd seen the three of them sitting at their tables to sign autographs when we were waiting for Veronica Taylor. Mark F was on his ipad as no one was waiting in his line, Mark H came out and shook everyone's hands and said hello - such a charmer, and William sat eating lollies. 

Anyway, so the panel ....

The panel was quite dead - but that was expected considering how dead the convention was - so it was sometimes a little awkward when not many people had their hands raised for questions.

Firstly, let me say how hilarious the panel was! Everyone was in stitches.

To sum it up:

- The actors came down the middle of the aisle so when they went past our aisle, we had to stand up for the Mexican wave.
- The screen in front of them said 'sit down' so William got "angry" and started yelling at the screen that was telling them what to do. You had to be there but it was a great laugh!
- The make up took 2.5 hours every morning.
- There was something like 2.1 million hours of footage shot.
- Mark H and William both enjoyed playing the trolls. And the trolls lines were some of their favourites. Mark H also liked Adam Brown's line about waiting chips.
- There was a scene in the deleted scenes and all the dwarves are naked playing in a fountain. Peter Jackson desperately wanted that in the theatrical release, but the other producers wouldn't have it. Adam Brown also was peeing off the side of the mountain - but that didn't make it in the film.
- Mark H said it was quite scary having real life dead fish poured over them in the barrels. He said it was a weird experience.
- William enjoyed the barrel scenes a lot. He said it was a lot of fun, like a ride, and all the stunt guys were very jealous - they mostly only did the very dangerous flips and stunts like that. William and Mark H also said that a lot of their stunts were their own.
- They also mentioned how they were filming a scene where they had to ride in the barrel and then hit the side of the sand and get out of their barrel. But their costumes would soak up the water so they were too heavy to move. Mark H started shouting as if an invisible Bombur/Stephen Hunter was in his barrel and basically yelling out to 'the fat bastard to get out of the effing barrel'. (I hope someone put's that up on YouTube because it was so funny!)
- William and Mark H spoke a lot about how they had to walk like a dwarf. The fat suits were made to make them look heavier and shorter - so they had fat bellies and fat arses. They got a girl to go up on stage and learn to walk like a dwarf. The three of them walked like dwarves - with the girl in the middle - and William said it just looks like he's 'a dirty old man' following her home. She then sat beside Mark H on the couch and he hugged her. Twas sweet. Kind of creepy but sweet.
- Mark F spoke a little how he had this one scene where he had to be tied to a spike and be flung into the air after "Sauron" tries to strangle him with his sharp claws. Mark was on this spike and the man playing Sauron was hesitant as to how to grab his neck in the scene. Peter yelled action and the man just full on grabbed him - then he was shot up in the air and Mark F fainted the first take. He woke up and everyone in the cast and crew were gone - Peter Jackson had called a coffee break.
- When Mark F was explaining the above scene, Mark H said 'Christopher Lee?' and Mark yelled 'Sauron not Saruman' 'Have you even seen the movies?' To which Mark H cheeked and said 'No. Not in ten years'.
- Mark H said he was very insecure at the beginning of filming and he didn't want that to read on screen. He then stated to say how honest that was and started to fake cry as if at a doctors office. And William says 'look what you've done?!' to the person who asked the question.
- Mark H was given his nose and some other prosthetics as well as one of his weapons (the ehm balls). William was given on of his weapons (a spear thing?). He mentioned how he has a 15 year old daughter and if a boy comes home to ask his daughter out, he'd get out the weapon to scare him. William said he was most excited by his lego figurine as 'you haven't lived' until you've seen yourself as a lego character.
- Mark H fell asleep leaning against the side of the stage door. Peter came over and took a photo texting 'you won't have a job for long'
- Mark H commented how Martin Freeman (Bilbo) would like to pull faces when the camera was on Mark. He also said how lovely he was to work with.
- They remarked how much of a World War II fan Peter Jackson was and he has a huge replica. He also owns the Chitty Chitty Bang Bang car.
- The actors would sometimes complain about how heavy their costumes were - how hard they were to run, even walk, in. They made them loose all this weight at the gym and then they stick them in fat suits. So Peter bought in a pack from World War II to compare how much more they weighed. William said as much as they liked to complain, they had such an amazing time shooting. They'd be sitting at the lunch table and look over and see all these incredible actors and consider themselves so lucky.


We had no time to spare between panels so off we raced to James Callis' panel.

We missed the start so the first thing I remember hearing is 'so let's start the questions'. We makes me think he was a little nervous to just stand up there and talk. But he was very charismatic, very charming and just a lovely lovely man.

To sum it all up:

- He mentioned how Trisha/Number 6 had to hide out of frame during shots and eloquently rise up to enter the scene. James had to do it once in an episode and said that no one wanted him to do it again haha.
- I felt so sorry for him as no one wanted to ask questions - the room was small - so I asked a question. I was SO nervous. I thought of my question so finely eloquent in my head but I stood up and was a mess. But he said that his favourite role would be one he worked with with Bob Hopkins in Old Wicked Songs. And he said he's a number of bad stuff and that's for everyone to make up their own mind about.
- He said he loved working with the cast - especially Aaron Douglas and Edward James Olmos. He said that the writers let them be creative and improv a little - to which Edward was a pro at ('so say we all' scene).
-  He said how much fun he had on Bridget Jones' Diary. He mentioned how Hugh Grant came up to him and told him he was a bit funny.
- He spoke about playing a cylon vs playing a cylon who thought they were human. And how people were so annoyed when they found out they were a cylon because they'd been playing a "human". He said there must be somewhere that you could bet on such things as who's a cylon and whatnot. He said he knew he wasn't a cylon because there's no way that cylon's would be so stupid =D
- He mentioned a scene where he had to be naked with Trisha and Lucy Lawless/Number 3 in a scene but it never made it to air. They were supposed to be torturing him in the scene but Lucy couldn't keep a straight face.
- He spoke about his work on Eureka and how he watched a lot of old 40s movies to get inspiration for his accent - how they spoke very fast it was almost impossible to understand them. He said he lives in LA now but didn't want to adopt the modern day American accent for the part - I remember he said 'dude' as an example.
- ON EUREKA: He said how he was excited to be a part of the show but at the start they didn't know what to do with his character, so James would come into work for an hour a week and just stand in jail on screen. He said it was easier once the writers knew what to do with his character. He was happy to come back for Season 5 but wasn't aware at that time that it was the finale - as the show had been cancelled.
- He mentioned how he's filming a mini series in Melbourne at the moment which will be out next year. He is not playing an Aussie. He said he's been staying in an apartment next to a construction site.
- He was very happy with the finale of Battlestar Galactica. His favourite episode to film was Six Degrees of Separation because he got to run around and be silly - IE bashing on the keyboard when he's meant to be a very intelligent character.
- He spoke a little about how much he loves The Fifth Element. And how he has gone behind the camera a lot before in his career and will in the future - but he can't talk about any work in a convention setting.


After the panels, we went to line up for Emmanuelle's photo op for my friend. She was in and out quite quick so we went to line up for Verne Troyer's (Mini Me from Austin Powers) autograph - also for my friend. You know what, I didn't realise he was actually so tiny. I knew he was short but he's a lot shorter than I imagined. He looks almost fragile. But he was such a lovely and kind man. He shook my friend's hand and thanked her for coming out to see him. 

We then went to get James Callis' autograph - which my friend so kindly bought for me as a (very very early!!) birthday present. So I spoke to James a little about his role on Relic Hunter, his accent in it and how he got his arse kicked by Tia Carriere in it - basically she didn't through no punches.
It was very short and sweet sadly. I wish I had said more but everything I had planned to say I had forgotten about. But he said he liked the quest I asked at the panel - so there's something.

Afterwards, we did some more looking around, grabbed some food because we had to do go to James' photo op. I was a little late - meaning it was about 4.15 when I got there and they were trying to get rid of him for the next photo op. So I just snuck in there. I had heels on so I kind of ran up to him quickly - I discovered I can run in heels, which makes me very happy. I asked if he would smile showing his teeth. I know it's totally weird but I saw a lot of photos of him not showing his teeth and I love his smile when he shows his teeth. It wasn't meant to be creepy at all. Anyway, he smiled with his teeth and he said he doesn't do it often so it was just for me. I thanked him and said it was a pleasure and that was it. I went back and showed him the photo afterwards. The smile is the best. He should smile more often.

  While waiting for my photo to be developed, we went and spoke to William Kircher - the other two had gone home already so we thought we'd go up and tell him how much we enjoyed his panel. He told us to watch the third movie because it'll be great. I asked him if he had a fun day and if anyone crazy had reached over and tried to grab him. He told us to add him on facebook and check out his band >
We spoke for a little more but we said our goodbyes. Talking to him was my highlight of the day. He was so unbelievably sweet, kind, generous and funny. If you ever get the chance to meet him, do so. 
 And that was it. We went home.
Fun. Crazy. Good. Day. 
6 months (maybe less ... maybe) until my next convention
and 7 months today until my birthday. I'm going shooting - but more on that later ;)


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