August 2014~ Secret Cinema- Back to the Future!

Secret Cinema advertised what was to be their least secret film yet. Back to the Future.

 

As usual, it promised to be a completely interactive event. Attendees were encouraged to dress in 1950s clothing, register on the website and be given an ID and job. I was allocated the name John Williams (My 2nd Great-Grandfathers name funnily enough) and was told I worked in recruitment. To be honest I never really used the ID but it was there if you wanted to.

 

Our little group met at Stratford Station and walked to the event which was taking place in the old Olympic Park. On the way we encountered actors playing out various parts. We were also yelled at by a Hill Valley Policeman for jaywalking!

 

Upon entry we were directed to Old Man Peabody’s farm where we were given a wristband, had contraband confisctated (:-( ) and told to hand over our communications devices. That was never gonna happen!!

Once through, we entered Hill Valley itself. The Lyons Estate, home to the McFly and Tannen families and Doc Brown’s workshop. Once passed that we entered Hill Valley itself. Secret Cinema had done an amazing job in recreating everything, from Lou’s Cafe, to The Clock Tower and The Cinema. We wandered around looking at all the different shops before heading off to the fun fair. I had a go on a couple of sideshows then we headed off to Lou’s Cafe. Luckily we found an empty table and took up residence for the rest of the night.

 

Prior to the start of the film, actors played out a variety of parts from the film, including the encounter with Biff and Marty at the cafe. Then, Marvin Berry and the Starlighters took to the stage to sing a few songs before the start of the film.

 

Then the film began….key scenes, including the scene in the parking lot of Twin Pines Mall were played out before our eyes. It was nothing short of awesome! Near the end we even had Doc Brown on top of the clock tower, zip-lining down to the ground as in the movie. People were interacting and discussing the film whilst it was on, it was great! A random lady even wandered up, gave me a kiss and then vanished. You don’t get that every day!

Once the film was over the crowd applauded for a long time! Then the music began again and went on until 11.30pm. We left and made our way home, exhausted but convinced we had just spent the evening in 1955!

 

 

 

July 2014~ LFCC ’14

Showmasters hit the ground running earlier in the year by announcing a big guest….Stan Lee. Little did they realise the interest it would generate. Ticket sales shot up so much that different passes had to be created. Comic and regular. Leading up to the show itself, many more big names were added including Carrie Fisher and John Hurt. The final guest count was near 100 I think!

As always I went for the regular gold pass. It was helpful as always but not as helpful as it had been in the past due to the sheer number of people that turned up.

I attended the preview night on the Friday and collected my Gold Pass. This saves time on the Saturday. My plan was to get three or four of my autographs and photoshoots out of the way to save me rushing on the Saturday and Sunday. I did this with no problem and was able to meet Edward James Olmos and Jamie Bamber of Battlestar Galactica and Robert Hays who was in Airplane, one of my all time favourite films.

I left feeling that everything was fine for the next two days…..boy was I wrong!

I turned up at 8.40am as I do normally with a Gold Pass to find the biggest queues I had ever seen! They seemed to stretch on forever! It didn’t help that all the Gold Passes (comic and standard) were in one line with the Silver Passes. Made getting in a bit more difficult.

The day began ok. I managed to see some friends, meet my cousins (who are big Firefly fans) and get most of my autographs done. But the crowds grew and grew to a point where I had to leave for a while, because I was either going to pass out or flatten someone. It didn’t help that it was the hottest day of the year so far!

The crew were getting stressed, and I had a run in with one at a photoshoot which really made me mad. Looking back though, the guy was stressed so I don’t blame him. I spent the rest of the day chatting with friends or wandering around buying merchandise and looking at Cosplayers.

I was hoping that Sunday would be quiet as normal! Yeah, right!!

Although it was quieter than the previous day, Sunday seemed a lot busier than normal. I met the few guests I needed to meet that were only there on Sunday and managed to leave by mid-afternoon. There were a lot of stressed, unhappy people. Mainly because of the sheer number of people trying to meet Stan Lee. I’m glad I chose not to now!

Even though it was manic, I believe Showmasters have learned from the experience and I’m already looking forward to the next event!

Guests I met: Edward James Olmos and Jamie Bamber from Battlestar Galactica, Robert Hays from Airplane, Summer Glau from Firefly and Kate Dickie, Sibel Kekilli, Ian Beattie, Finn Jones and Kristian Nairn (again) all from Game of Thrones.