And on that delightful note I shall continue with the last of my Chevron 7.4 convention report...
I mentioned before that I was new to this particular convention, it cost a little more and was a bit more of a cattle experience when you took part in photo sessions and queued for autographs, it lacked a little in the whole party atmosphere of the Wolf con, but on a whole it was a great experience. One thing different was that they 'auctioned' guest encounters with each guest on both Saturday and Sunday. There were two ways to enter: simply write your top bid, ala ebay style, on a piece of paper under the guests name and just before the talk 10 people were chosen from the list or buy raffle tickets for the two remaining places. Already on a very tight budget (I was even surviving on Pop Tarts, crisps and hot cross buns as my food source for the weekend) I ummmed and ahhhed for quite some time until finally deciding on taking a punt on the latter option for two of the guests I most wanted a more intimate experience with....no not like that....jeez!
Clutching my ticket I went to check the board between guest talks and squeezing through the melee of people, elbows may have been used a little, I glanced at the winning raffle numbers, then at my ticket...then back at the winning numbers, then once again at my ticket. On the third time of reading the three digit number on the scrap of paper in my hand which excactly matched the one on the board I let out a sound which can only be described as 'squee'.....A coveted place at the table with one Mr David Hewlett was mine.
As the twelve disciples sat the messiah entered the room...okay, so I may be exageratting somewhat, but there was an energized and excited atmosphere in the room.....and then, as he sat (in the chair next to mine I might add) David belched 'Never drink a can of coke on stage' he excused himself.
One lady in the room had a McKay voice message which she played and David said how originally the message had just been a advert for Stagate Atlantis but they changed the script, he also commented that it had been tiresome to do as there had been tons of names to read out to personalise the message.
David is a total film buff and had mentioned 'Brick' in his talk he had been really impressed with the style and young actors, although he was having a bit of a senior moment when it came to their names at which point I helpfully jumped in (it was Lucas Haas and Joseph Gordon Levitt). I suggested he try and catch 44 Inch Chest if he wanted to see a group of truly talented British actors just doing their thing, he seemed enthused. He also mentioned a film he loved which involved getting a steamer through a jungle (though in my own senior moment I can't remember the name....Edit it was called Fitzcarraldo by Werner Hertzog...from David on Twitter) logistically he was impressed since the filmmakers had to actually get a streamer through a Jungle, something I get the impression David would quite like to have a go at.
We talked about the books he liked to read, I had asked about The Shining, which he had read recently, and he was suprised that so many people had read it when they were teenagers (or in my case 11) as it scared the crap out of him. He particularly liked the moving hedges and thinks that's where the idea of Doctor Who's Blink came from. He rattled off a few titles of other favourites and had a few more senior moments about some of the titles of others, though he has since put up a recommended reading list here and here , huh...I feel some frequent visits to the library coming on.
He chatted about Baz and how 'I didn't do anything for the first year', subtley alluding to the fact that babies don't do an awful lot (eat, sleep, crap...that kind of thing) and apparently he happily observed as the sprog 'peed in his own face.' He then told a story about a time when Baz was younger and he was holding him. Babies are floppy when they're little and his head was lolling all over the place, suddenly Baz held his head up and slowly turned to face David...which David demonstrated for his audience...at which point the kid apparently just stared at his father, prompting David to hold out the child to Jane 'Take it back, take it back' prompting a 'Please don't call our son it' from poor Jane as David checked for three sixes on Baz's head. There is a scene in ADB where Mars gives David a similar 'devil' stare and is apparently a comment on what happened with Baz.
I asked if he managed to swipe anything from the Atlantis set. He had his eye on a ZPM, but when he had tried to get one they had all disappeared, David has a theory that Flanigan has them since he was sighted on a few occasions hanging out nearby the ZPM's. He also would've liked one of the banner's of McKay from the Game which he would've hung in his bathroom at home, now that wouldn't have been at all creepy for those using the bathroom, no, not at all. He did manage to get one of the control panels for the gate, but as the cast were told the props were needed for the movie they weren't allowed to take anything. (which of course is now unlikely to happen and MGM seem to have been selling off all the props anyhoo...grr)
And too soon it was all over, I'm sure there was much more, I know David mentioned that picking scripts is sometimes more about location and money than quality...case in point 2004's Boa vs. Python...He likes Jellybeans and is a fan of Alan Rickman. Unfortunately I didn't have my notebook (not sure I would've been allowed to take notes anyway) and so these are just the part's I can actually recall.
David seemed to enjoy himself, he always seems to have plenty to say, keeps your interest, is very funny and is great at interacting with his fans...not too shabby at acting/directing/writing either.
After the talk I was heading back to my seat in the hall ready for Ryan Robbin's final guest talk and to make some notes from the David encounter, when I found the results for the other guest encouter I'd bought a ticket for were up. Seems like my luck was well and truly in as my ticket matched the winner once again...this time Brian J Smith was going to have to put up with my inssessant babbling for the best part of an hour.
Hmmm, Brian J Smith, I mentioned he's had a close encounter with a non-ugly stick right. So once again I was fairly excited...in a very British way of course...to be in this talk, also since I'd just been in David Hewlett's I'd missed all of Brian's talk on stage. Again no notebook, I hadn't even made it as far as my seat in the main hall, so this is once again this is made up of memories and surreal flashbacks.
When Brian sat down and asked if anyone had any questions there was a silence followed by nervous laughter, so I stepped up with a general 'what's your favourite movie?' to kick things off. He answered with Glory (Matthew Broderick) and said it was a great film about hardship and had a fantastic score, by James Horner if I remember. He likes listening to film scores and is a fan of classical music aswell as bands like James and King of Leon.
He talked quite a bit about SGU and that he likes the way the characters are 'real people' reacting to the hardships and extreme situations they have been thrust into. It's not always clear as to who are the heroes and villans and their actions to events have an air of 'how would you deal'. He did say that he would 'airlock the stones' as he likes the idea of being more cut off from Earth. I think everyone would agree there, as the stones do appear to be used a fair bit. I asked what would happen if he wrote an episode and Brain said he's not really creative that way, but he create a desperate situation such as a fire so everyone would have to move to a different part of the ship, since there's much which hasn't been explored, and 'away from the IKEA beds' which got quite a laugh...He admitted that thing appear quite conviently out of those boxes which were brough through the gate 'We need thermal gloves...go check one of the boxes...Oh yeah, there they are'.
He talked about the 'sand' aliens from Air Part 3 and that he was intrigued when the 'dust' took on the appearence of Scott's face, he wondered if there was a significance to that and if there's a skill or sense which his character has which may be explored in the future, that would certainly give things a more interesting dimension in SGU. Someone asked about alien's in the series and if there was going to be any which Brian said yes. He talked about a new alien which is going to be scary and is, if I recall correctly, a creation from the FX team from District 9.
I asked about any pranks which had occured on set and Brian regaled a tale involving Robert Carlyle and Louis Ferreira. Ferreira had set up a mini camera in Carlyle's trailer, it wasn't connected but had the appearence of a working camera. It took a while for him to find it but when he did poor Robert was a little freaked out wondering who could be filming him. Those in the know kept quiet and naughty Ferreira set up another camera in the make-up van for Robert to find also, making him believe it was the make-up girls secretly filming him. I assume at some point the jig was up and can only wonder how Robert Carlyle exacted his revenge.
He filmed Poirot during the hiatus from SGU, and originally wasn't going to get up to much during this period, he had a lot of fun filming it. I asked what else he was doing with his spare time and Brian said 'hitting the gym' since he needed to be fit for filming...that'll be for all those sex scenes I guess ;-)
Some bloke in the room started prattling on about the religious conotations of Stargate which got a bit heavy and he also started on about the probability of alien life using actual statistics of planets in the universe and beyond...I just attempted to bring the conversation back to something more Brian related (I wasn't there to hear some bloke's uber geek after all) and asked about what TV he likes to watch....Battlestar Galactica was the answer and that he likes to watch things in box sets rather than in TV so you can cut out adverts....I hear that...Anyway, that's about as much as my brain retained....I thoroughly enjoyed the two guest encounters, both Brian and David were very chatty and seemed comfortable in the small group.....And there it was all done, conventions are a rather intensive experience and expensive too but, bloody hell it's worth every penny.
And for your enjoyment an assortment of pretty pics and con party shinanegans:
Tina & Philippa
Brian, Sharon & Ryan get their party on
Random Jaffa and Ryan on the inflatable bungey
The gang: Sah, David, Tina, Christina and Philippa...and Tina's 'Eye of the Tiger' ala Supernatural