The organisation for the Perth Supanova event is improving.
For instance, they have taken over more of the Robertson Pavilion at the Claremont showgrounds. And they have split up the presenters to much better effect.
Last year I got to see Tom Felton and James Masters but they had sandwiched poor Batman artist and writer David Finch between them as a buffer to get the crowd out. I understand the need to clear the room for each presentation but until this year they always had the problem of the crowd waiting to get in would bump up against the crowd trying to get out (some of whom also wanted to get back in), as there was only the one way in or out of the presentation room.
This year the organisers had a designated entrance and a designated exit; you came in from outside the pavilion only once those within had left via the exit that lead to the cafeteria section. Leaving via this way was a bit of a squeeze but at least there was no one trying to go against the flow and no need to make comic book makers feel like they were being used; I’m sure they get enough of that working for a big company.
To further insure that comic book makers were not used in this manner they split up the venues; film and TV stars in one venue, comic book makers in another. Sensible I say.
In addition to better organisation of the talks the entrance to the event was better. For all the years I have been going (3 times now out of the 4 times they have held this in Perth) they had two queues outside to get in. There was a prepaid line and a buy on the day line all leading to the one way in. One line would stretch north, the other south. Last year I bought a ticket at the door and I got in sooner than a lot of prepaid people. It was strange how I got in that year. I reached just inside the front of the venue where I used eftpos to buy a ticket and then had to go back outside with this ticket to see one of the wristband distributors who then took my ticket in exchange for one of the wristbands and with this now in I could go back inside, this time past the ticket sellers and all the way in. strange like I said but this line moved faster than the pre-sold line which also was strange.
This year, those buying tickets on the day were lining up to visit ticket booths set up separate from the venue so once they had paid and had been given a wristband they could walk straight inside. The other line also ended at a location away from the main doors. Here too they were given armbands and then could stroll inside. No bottle neck at the door resulted as in previous years, which is much better. Top marks for this.
The cosplayers always make the event. I love their dedication to their craft. I saw one young lady dressed up as I don’t know what – her friends were all recognisably manga inspired so maybe she was too; she sort of looked like an older version of Charlie Chaplin but as part of her outfit she was carrying an afternoon tea tray laden with a tea set and treats. I heard her say that the tray weighed little but she was getting cramps in her shoulders from holding it for so long.
I wished I had got a shot of the cosplayer dressed as She-Ra; she looked too young to have ever seen it the first time it was on TV but it was great to see someone in such gear.
In addition to cosplayers and looking at the many stalls I went to a few seminars.
At the first seminar I went to the compeer instructed us not to make marriage offers or anything similar to the guests, and we didn’t. Actually it was last year when we had James and Tom that a lot of ladies asked for hugs. James explained at the time why not; could lead to orgies.
I caught Mercedes McNab. I got in early and got a pretty good seat. She talked a lot about Buffy and Angel and just a little of what she was doing now which involved Geek Nation. I asked if she saw what happened to her character in the comics Buffy Season 8 to which she responded yes and thought it was rather good the idea of Harmony becoming famous and having her own reality show. Mercedes even has such a little dog like Harmony does in the comics which is either life or art imitating one or the other.
In response to the question about what is the strangest question ever asked Mercedes mentioned how just in Sydney she was asked would she prefer to be attacked by a horse sized duck or a flock of duck sized horses, or something like that.
I also caught Christopher Lloyd and this was one of the most amusing seminars; and I also got great seats, having lined up for them for over half an hour. The line to get in to see Christopher was huge.
I got seats in the second row in the far right block of seats (please don’t read anything political in that; it was just where seats were not filling up at the point when I came in). The whole auditorium filled up and people were standing at the back when Christopher came in. The seats for him were right in front of the two rows of VIP seats in the middle block of chairs. Unlike the Mercedes session where a microphone was passed around by a compeer, this time they went for a stand up mike, so you had to line up on the right hand side to ask a question. The microphone was right in my line of sight where I was seated.
It must have been the second question when it happened. The young lady asked if Christopher and the cast of Back To The Future had anything planned for the date of October 21, 2015. Christopher either didn’t hear or understand the question; maybe both. So he came closer. And closer. In the end he was right in front of her and my block of chairs. The poor girl, embarrassed, repeated the question as best she could for Christopher to understand. He gave a simple one word answer; no.
But having travelled all this way across the stage with a hand held microphone he then stayed right there directly in front of my block of chairs. Best seats in the house (take that those of you in the VIP chairs – which incidentally were not full and never were in all of the sessions that I attended).
Christopher liked to ramble with his answers, which was rather amusing and two of his questioners looked familiar. One was dressed up like Marty, and this had Christopher saying Marty in that Doc Brown voice. And then when someone came in up in Doc Brown fashion complete with the shirt Christopher gave us more lines in his Doc Brown voice. He even shook hands with this Doc Brown look alike who even had the right shirt on under the lab coat. Christopher told us that he had kept a copy of that shirt.
Christopher touched on all of his major significant roles including his first film One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest, and Star Trek 3 and Addams Family and even the recent Piranha films.
This was a great seminar and did I mention how I had great seats? I just took photo after photo of Christopher since I was so close.
I went all the way to the other side of the Robertson Pavilion, pushing through the throng, to catch Ashley Wood. I remember buying a few issues of Automatic Kafka and Popbot way back when. He was interesting and encouraged us all to follow our dreams. He had positive things to say about Todd McFarlane. The attendance was small however.
I then journeyed back to the big auditorium to catch Tricia Helfer a few minutes into her slot. I could have sat closer but I wanted to be able to exit fast to come back for Yvonne Craig. However, looking out the window I never saw a line forming like it did for Christopher Lloyd.
Tricia rattled off an impressive list of voice over work she has done, a lot of it attributable to her having done Battlestar Galactica. Plus she has appeared in Chuck, 2 and a Half Men and Burn Notice and recently appeared in a clip for the Black Keys. Somehow she finds the time to do stuff online over at http://www.actingoutlaws.org/
Tricia spoke about a recent pilot she did about rescue dogs. Sadly this has not been picked up but she nominated it as one of her favourite roles and shared some humorous anecdotes about filming with dogs. Also mentioned a time when modelling and with all the hair spray her nostrils stuck together; glamorous.
Unusual fact; when on Two and a Half Men, she met Jon Cryer, who revealed that he was asked to audition for Gaius Baltar. I wonder how that might have turned out?
I raced back and around to get back in for Yvonne Craig, which I thought would have been better attended but maybe it was the time of day. It was after 4pm. Since attendance was so small and no VIP seats were being used the compeer asked us all to move closer and so I ended up in the second row of the main block of chairs.
Yvonne was wonderful and spoke about her involvement in Star Trek, Man from Uncle and of course her time as Batgirl.
Star Trek she did not enjoy being on; “get in line to hate him” was what she said William Shatner. Also the green body make up that she wore was fraught with difficulties including having the make up artists shave her eyebrows. And then her improvised 2 minute alien dance was not recorded.
On Man from Uncle she fell in love with David McCallum; he even picked the lock on her trailer when she locked herself out which just increased her infatuation.
I didn’t know that she had starred in two movies with Elvis Presley. She even went round to his place to place and had dinner with him; he fell asleep while watching TV with her. Yvonne then turned off all the lights and went to leave but accidentally hit the panic button. The police promptly turned up as she tried to leave.
We all wanted longer to hear more about her Batgirl experience. Fun fact: Adam West had to have his armpits constantly dried with a hair dryer. Her own outfit had to be reshaped to take advantage of one, or rather two of the reasons she was hired.
She regaled us with quite a few tales of Vincent Price and being the Price fan that I am I listened quite attentively to these. She described him as erudite and wonderful to talk to and he was her favourite villain guest star. I loved the tale of how she ran over his feet with her bat cycle.
One last obervation; Matt Smith has caused a major resurgence in the Fez. I saw so many people wearing them. I’ll post some more pictures of some cosplayers tomorrow.