July 2017~ ThroneCast

ThroneCast is the post-episode discussion show created for Sky Atlantic to follow Game of Thrones. It is recorded at Sky Studios the afternoon before the new episode airs. It is presented by Sue Perkins, along with Jamie East. Each week sees a celebrity fan or two join the show, plus someone from the cast (past and present). Anyone can apply for tickets through the Applause Store.

I’ve been wanting to go to a recording for a while but they normally fall on a work day, during term-time but as the show is on later this year I was able to apply. I was lucky enough to get a couple of tickets so invited my mate Fudge along.

We arrived at 11.45am. The line was short (about 7 people) so we joined it. After about 45 minutes, a group of young ladies in red Applause Store jackets turned up and started giving out wristbands. We got ours, numbers 52 and 53.

At 1.45pm (after begging to be let in to use the loo) we were taken through security to a holding area (via the loo) and made to wait. Luckily there were refreshments and a big-screen TV playing a GoT best moments episode.

Just after 3pm they began to take us through to the studio. It was done in batches of 20 with the first 2 batches consisting of priority ticket holders.

The studio had 2 seating areas. One that was like a set of old church pews and then traditional stadium seating. We were front row, centre of the stadium seating.

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Once the audience was in, the warm-up guy got everyone in the mood. Firstly by going through some basics of studio etiquette and then lots of fun and jokes. He also did this during the couple of intervals we had.

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We then watched the episode. Season 7, Episode 2, Stormborn. I won’t go into details of the episode here, but suffice to say it was awesome. Once the episode was over, Sue Perkins came out and did a brief intro. Until now, I had never realised how funny she is!

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Then the episode began recording. The guests this week were comedian Tom Davis, radio DJ and TV presenter, Rickie Haywood Williams and actor Dean Charles Chapman who played Tommen Baratheon. It lasted just over an hour, including a couple of intervals plus two or three reshoots for different audiences.

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What followed was a blow-by-blow breakdown of the entire episode and was extremely funny. At one point, Sue asked the audience “Who would like to see Cersei become the Mad Queen?” I was the only one that responded yes. A point which Sue picked up on during recording….I’m “The bloke” she mentions!

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It finished at about 5.55pm, after filming an alternative ending for the Aussie audience.


It was an awesome experience and I would happily go again!

 

 

 

July 2016~ London Film & Comic Con 2016

LFCC has not been great the past few years (see previous posts) and I was wary about attending but nevertheless volunteered to help on the USS Iceni stand to raise money for charity.

It seems Showmasters have finally listened! The layout this year was so much better than in previous years. They had actually hired the whole of the venue it seemed and whilst it took a while to get from A to B sometimes, it actually helped a lot.

I wasn’t really going to see celebs this year. Normally I see around 20. I had initially had 8 to see over a weekend but this quickly became 9 when the announced a young actress from a great new show called Stranger Things. I won’t go into what the show is about on here but I suggest you check it out for yourself. If you like the 1980s, ET, The Goonies, Stand By Me and Stephen King then this show is for you. All the kid actors were great but Millie Bobby Brown, who played Eleven stole the show. I’ve worked with kids for nearly 30 years and don’t normally get phased by them but her performance freaked me out. There has to be an award somewhere in her future and I really hope the show gets a second season. As for how she handled the convention itself well all I can say is that Millie did a better job at the event than some big, A-List celebs I could mention. She took time to interact and was doing awesome poses in the photoshoot. A lot of big names and regular con guests could learn a lot from her. I must meet the rest of the cast now. Hope they get invited!

There was some awesome cosplay on display as usual (pics below) and a really good exhibition of costumes from Suicide Squad.

Overall it was a great event. I ended up meeting Jack Gleeson (Joffrey in GoT), Fay Marsay (The Waif in GoT), Kae Alexander (Leaf in GoT),  Michael Emerson (Ben in LOST), Laurie Holden (Andrea in TWD), Mads Mikkelsen (Hannibal and Galen Erso in Star Wars: Rogue One), Harold Perrineau (Michael in LOST), Millie of course and finally, the biggest let down of the weekend, Famke Jansen. I heard many conflicting reason as to why she seemed so grumpy but her photoshoot was a waste of money. As an actress surely you can act happy!

Anyway, photos below!

 

 

 

March 2016~ Game of Thrones Blu-Ray Launch

My mate Mags and I were lucky enough to get tickets for the launch event of the Game of Thrones Season 5 Blu-Ray/DVD. It took place in the Impact Screen of London’s famous Empire Leicester Square Cinema.

Having been to one or two of these before, I thought it would be nothing more than a private screening. I was wrong.

HBO had gone all-out for the launch, with red carpet, security, the full works. A number of celebs were also in attendance.

After receiving our wristbands we found our seats (and complimentary snacks) and got ready for the screening.

HBO had remastered the eight episode of the season ‘Hardhome’ which involves a huge battle scene. It was great to see it on the big screen!

After the screening there was a Q&A session with Daniel Portman (Podric Payne) and Ben Crompton (Eddison Tollett) which was very interesting and informative.

On the way out I managed to ‘acquire’ two GoT poster boards for my collection…

 

February 2015~ Game of Thrones: The Exhibition

At the end of January, Sky Atlantic announced that the Game of Thrones travelling exhibition would finally be coming to London for 8 days in February, but tickets would only be available to Sky customers. I managed to get tickets after a major hiccup with the Sky website.

On Tuesday 17th February, myself and my friends Mags, Suvi and Martin headed off for the O2 by boat. It was a good experience, but I’m glad it was free as I wouldn’t pay for something that brief.

The main part of the exhibition consisted of viewing a variety of props and costumes of main characters in season 4 of the show. There were a few interactive opportunities, including being burnt to death by a dragon, being turned into a white walker and climbing the wall (this was so busy that we passed it by….over an hours wait). There were also a couple of chances to sit in the Iron Throne and have your photo taken.

There were also a couple of cosplayers wandering around too.

October 2014~ Game of Thrones tour of Northern Ireland

I finally decided to go and visit my friends Paul and Kerry in Belfast. We had a very busy week but being that we are all big GoT fans we decided to do a few Thrones based activities.

The first thing we did was visit Castle Ward which was used for the set of Winterfell in Season One. We paid for an archery experience which was an hour long and was led by the guy who was the archery advisor for the first season. We donned costumes (original HBO leftovers I might add) and spent an hour hearing anecdotes and shooting recurve and longbows. The session ended with a bit of sword play and mock beheadings. We made sure we took plenty of photos!

Later in the week we decided to visit a few places used in filming, including The Dark Hedges which was used as The Kingsroad in season one, Ballintoy Harbour which doubled as Pyke Harbour on The Iron Islands and a quick swing by the GoT studios in Belfast.

October 2014~ LFCC Winter

Last con of the year for me and a quieter event compared to the madness of the summer one.

As normal lots of costumes on display and I again helped with the charity stall for our Starfleet Chapter, the USS Iceni.

It was a chance for me to get a few more names on my Game of Thrones canvas and to meet Alan Ruck who played (among others) Captain John Harriman of the Starship Enterprise-B in Star Trek Generations…..such a friendly guy!

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.