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!

 

 

 

February 2016~ London Film and Comic Con Spring

After seemingly knocking their Milton Keynes show on the head, Showmasters have attempted to build on the “success” of their flagship summer event.

Although (for once) the event was quite quiet, and (downstairs at least) you could move around without wanting to punch people, there were still issues around seating etc. which did not help my back!

This was something that at previous week, Walker Stalker got right. They had manned seating areas for people with mobility issues and a dedicated quiet area. This meant that seating in cafes was freed up for others.

Also, busy guests placed near each other leading to bottlenecks!! This lead to lots of overcrowding at certain areas.

The guests I met were great. Billy Dee Williams, Denis Lawson, Greg Grunberg and Jessica Henwick, all from various Star Wars films (among other things).

SM get awesome guests. The best in the country to be honest, but if they don’t consider their client base a bit more they will eventually lose custom which will be a shame for fans.

July 2015- LFCC 2015

Well, where to begin! This looked to be a promising event with so many great names on offer including Sigourney Weaver, Michael J Fox, Bill Pullman, Hayley Atwell etc.

Whilst it was nice to meet them and see old friends, in all my 20+ years of attending cons I have never felt so unsafe in my whole life. It was way too crowded. Stairwells were blocked, lifts failed and it was too hot. At one point I was trapped for over an hour on the top floor due to lift failure and stairwells being blocked. This lead to inevitable delays in photoshoots etc. Crew did there best, although there are a few in need of a serious attitude adjustment. One in particular reminded me of a hobbit in need of a shave and a shower!

On the up side, the guests were amazing. Probably the only real reason to go to these particular events if I’m honest.

June 2015- Collectormania 23

It was back to Stadium:MK for what many people believe to be the last Collectormania in MK. To be honest, I’m kinda glad. Personally, I don’t think the stadium is suitable. For the first time in a while I had my brother and his family with me. He is disabled and had great difficulty in getting around and with the photoshoots upstairs he was even more put off.

Whilst I managed to see a few guests and get some signatures on my various canvases, for me, the most fun was had watching my niece and nephews in costume. My nephew Charlie was dressed as Darth Vader, and once he had the mask on he thought he ruled the place. Even England footballer Jack Charlton had to get out of his way. My niece Jessica was dressed as Elsa and loved seeing the other Frozen cosplayers. Little Lewis was dressed as Captain America and flatly refused to have his photo taken with a rather attractive Agent Carter cosplayer. Will have to teach him!!

The rain, the building works and the incompetence of Stadium:MK staff led to a not so pleasant time for my brother and the family. CM:MK needs a rethink!

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!

October 2014~ Destination: Star Trek London 3

This hugely anticipated event was announced mid-year with the promise of reuniting the entire Star Trek: The Next Generation bridge crew and have the chance to have your photo taken on a replica of the Enterprise-D bridge. As well as the bridge crew a plethora of other names were also announced. There were tickets available for all budgets and whilst many people complained, it was down to the individual as to how much they spent.

On the whole the event was an improvement on the first, though it was noticeable that the people crewing the autograph section had no idea what they were doing and were not Showmasters crew who, it turns out were only crewing photoshoots. Unfortunately, Jonathan Frakes cancelled which upset a lot of people and Patrick Stewart had to scale back what he would take part in due to him being unwell. Fair play to him as could easily have cancelled!

The event was laid out much more effectively this time and they even had a viewing area which I enjoyed very much. A trek museum was available for people to wander around and you could also have yourself turned into a Vulcan or Klingon as did my friend Mags. There were also 3 stages at which you could hear a variety of talks and displays.

I had a ticket for the first night official party on ‘Risa’ which took place at the Fox Excel bar next door. It was a big improvement and a couple of highlights were hearing The Enterprise Blues Band perform.

The bridge shoot was great fun and along with many of my friends we had a number of photos taken and had quite a crowd watching us.

Once again there were many great costumes on show, but unfortunately we did not manage to break our own world record for most people in Trek costume.

On the Sunday afternoon, a few of us (mostly members of our USS Iceni chapter) were interviewed by Tom Felton, who played Draco Malfoy in the Harry Potter series, for a documentary about fans and conventions that he was making.

As normal for me I had lots of professional photos taken with a variety of guests. See below!

Overall, I really enjoyed the event and am really hoping that another event is put on in 2016 for the 50th anniversary of Star Trek.

Since the previous DSTL event, many of the members of the Facebook group banded together to form another group….the USS Riker’s Beard, in honour of the character Wil Riker and the actor who portrayed him, Jonathan Frakes, who was due to be in attendance at the event.

The Riker’s Beard group grew out of those people who stayed (and partied) at the Custom House Hotel at the previous event. One member, James Dillon, painstakingly recreated a bridge set, captains chair and transporter set, all of which would be on display at the hotel, now named USS Riker’s Beard, for all to see and enjoy.

 

 

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.