Supanova Sydney 2012 – Fourth Verse Report

Supanova 2012 –Fourth Verse Report

Sunday 17th of June 2012

First of all, thank you to SupaNova for granting Media passes to Revenge of the Film Nerds and giving us the opportunity to ramp up the coverage of the event.

Without further ado –

THE CONVENTION

The day dawned with some truly impressive sunshine, after the constant rain on Saturday. The whole day was blessed with beautiful weather.  Attendance has definitely ramped up this year for the 10th anniversary of Supanova, and it shows with the crowd and line that stretched far into the distance.

Before opening, I had a walk-around inside the convention centre and looking at the goodies on offer. This year, the shops have welcomed in two additional fandoms in their midst and merchandise, Game of Thrones, and Hunger Games –  I spotted ‘The kings hand’ badges along side some figurines.

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Supanova Melbourne 2011 – Fourth Verse Report

Melbourne!

The events that led to me visiting Melbourne for the first time for Supanova can truly be labelled as the epitome of ‘impulsive’.  About a month ago, I was talking to fellow PhD colleague KB about my experience at Armageddon 2011. To keep it simple, the conversation eventually led me to check out the Guest Star line up for Supanova, and lamenting about how the Guest Star line up for Melbourne was always infinitely more awesome than Sydney – and then –

I saw two names:

Simon Pegg and Nick Frost

This was my face:

And this is roughly what happened afterwards:

FV:  Oh. My God.

KB: What?

FV: Simon Pegg and Nick Frost will be at Melbourne!

KB: Let’s go to Melbourne!

FV: Done!

KB: It’s going to an adventure!

FV: An Adventure to spend our Sparkling Time of Youth!

KB & FV: *arms in the air * WHOO HOO!

Within days, our tickets were all booked and ready.

(And yes, Tom Felton of Draco Malfoy fame was also there but – meh.)

It was going to be a no- brainer anyway – the Melbourne Guest Star line-up was very impressive. In addition to Nick Frost and Simon Pegg, there was of course Tom Felton and also a very nice lineup for Fantasy fans, with amazing authors Isobelle Carmody and Robin Hobb being there.

Plus, I just wanted to go to Melbourne.

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I know this blog post is about Supanova so I’ll keep my waxing poetical about Melbourne to a minimum, but I have to say -something- because it’s impossible not to mention anything about this lovely city.

On the first night, KB and I took a tram (a tram!) into the Melbourne CBD and took a walk along the Yarra River and enjoyed the sights. The night lights were beautiful, with even a ferris wheel in the distance.  I was looking longingly at the various banners promoting the Melbourne Comedy Festival, which had kicked off a week prior.

During the three days I was there, I did a bit of everything – I  walked through the Royal botanical gardens, saw flinders st station,  went to the famed Rockpool Resturant, ate an Spanish doughnut, saw the Lord of the Fries store, walked everywhere. Went to chapel street, visited the arts centre Sunday markets. It was quite a bit stuffed into technically two days.  The city is such a place of heritage, and was beautiful. There were also still horse carriages operating, which induced a childhood glee in me.

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SUPANOVA! (9th April)

Yay!

Me being the duffer that I am, I told KB that Supanova started at 9am (It was actually 10:00am). So we were up at 6:30 and were at the gates by 8:00, in Arctic like winds.  I felt terrible but in hindsight, it worked out fine, considering how the line absolutely exploded at 9:00 and there was limited entry into the Simon and Nick event. After hearing about UrbanFantasist’s unfortunate experience at the Brisbane Supanova, I was a bit apprehensive as to I knew from the Star line-up there was going to be more people.

It was a lot of chaos and confusion in the beginning, but that was more the issue from Security, who refused to open the massive gate of the Melbourne Showgrounds to let the volunteers to organise us into lines. The Melbourne volunteers did a wonderful job controlling the crowds. If you guys remember saying that Supanova Sydney had an -anaconda-of a line? Well, Melbourne was a virtual -leviathan-of a line. Even after 12, there was still a line that stretched out into the distance.  It was insanity.

These are pictures from when I was already inside the grounds:

The line goes on and on and on.


I think I would have coped with being in the freezing winds a bit better if there wasn’t 5 pre-teens who were quite clearly Tom Felton fangirls right behind me. Look, generally I have no problems with fans AT ALL. There is something quite special being part of a fandom and sharing that love with other people. There’s nothing quite like the geek-out moment of sharing fav movie scenes or even wax poetical about the wonderful performances by certain actors/actresses.  I do it ALL THE TIME (I regret nothing! XD)

BUT when those girls who did NOT stop squealing into my ear for two hours:

Fangirl 1: OMG, I saw him at the game (AFL) last night he had his hair down. It was slicked back in Brisbane, I like it better down. He was sooo hot. SQUEEEE

Fangirl2: I am going to show him my nails! (I saw: It was D and M alternating on each nail…)

Whenever the line moved an inch – they were screaming and almost hyperventilating. I do understand their enthusiasm, but… my god… ahaha.  There was so much more moments but I’ll spare you. I do have to thank them for making this visit unforgettable.

It was awesome though– and I had the greatest time. I wore my technicolour Rex T shirt with pride. Sample: is it NOT AWESOME. Come on, T-Rex breathing rainbows.

The highlight:

Simon Pegg and Nick Frost Exclusive Q & A PAUL session

For those who are not familiar with whom Simon Pegg and Nick Frost are, they are two best mates who are co-stars in the popular ‘ZOM ROM COM’ ‘Shaun of the Dead’ and ‘Hot Fuzz’, prior, they starred in the series ‘Spaced’, which was a popular series with frequent movie homages and references. Both are also self-confessed geeks. Yeah, that’s it, and they get paid for it. Lucky sods.

Nick and Simon’s roles in the aforementioned media have cemented them in the Sci-fi/ geek fandom as major popular figures. Come on, Zombie movie with Queen music, you MUST be a genius. ‘Shaun of the Dead’ is easily one of my top 5 movies, and ‘Hot fuzz’ is hilarious. They play off each other easily, and the humour is very natural – it also helps when said co-star is your best mate and also a ‘ex roommate’.Simon Pegg is probably more known in general from recent blockbusters as ‘Scotty’ in the new ‘Star Trek’ Movie (Reboot universe) and also as the voice of Reepicheep from ‘Narnia: Voyage of the Dawn Treader’.

They were in Oz to promote ‘Paul’, a movie about two alien geeks who meet a real alien during their road trip.

I was impressed with how everything was so well organised and coordinated. There was a separate line for the session, and the event was in a completely separate room with only one entrance. Only 3000 people were allowed in and they were led in through groups and were allocated seats.

After much anticipation:

TAH DAH!!

It was cool that we were all expecting them to suddenly appear onto stage and then they came running from the back suddenly. 🙂

The entire hour of the Q and A session was fantastic. In short – it was hilarious. Both didn’t hold back when answering questions and they were funny! It was rude at some points but I was loving every minute of it. Ahah, I know it seems weird to mention but yeah, they were funny.  They didn’t take shit from no one and weren’t afraid to rib the question asker a bit.

Especially when the questions began like this:

‘I have a question for Simon’

Nick: Ok fine I’ll F*** off then (shuffles to one side)

Then

‘So Nick just a question…’

Nick: Sticks finger up at Simon (Simon steps back)

There were a few people that asked questions who were just – odd to say the least. There was a person who was an ‘aspiring actor’, and one who reminded me of Sheldon A LOT started with ‘I’m a bit annoyed since my question was partially answered but I’ll press on anyway’ and another who said ‘I was thinking about how to make my question memorable so – PENIS’.

It’s quite clear that Simon and Nick are also fanboys and geeks who had managed to score the best job in the world and doing what they truly love.

There were a lot of funny moments which I’ll share called:

Simon getting asked who he would shoot shag or marry, two of them being Nick and Chris Pine.

Simon: Well, I could shag Chris Pine, because he’s so pretty, because you know, it’ll be worth it, plus, I’ve already done it with Nick.

Nick: Not all the way though, just fingers…

Simon and Nick’s favourite food on set

They looked at each other and Simon said ‘Together now, one two, three’

Both: SLIM JIMS

(I’m guessing it was a common question…)

How Simon knew Nick was going to be his best friend when they first met

Question: Um, can you please do the renactment of the mouse droid sound here?

S: Actually, there’s a funny story with that when I first met Nick, when I first moved in, we were there in a group of people just sitting around and then I started moving the salt and pepper shaker and making the noise the Mouse droid does from Star Wars and Nick was the ONLY ONE who looked at me, and said ‘I know what that is!’ And I knew that we were going to get along just fine…

Simon’s Guilty Pleasure

S: Hmm, hum… well, Nick once caught me drinking cream. No, I’m serious, it was the middle of the night and Nick came out and here I was at the fridge drinking cream with a straw (does hunched over deer in headlight impression over imaginary tub of cream). It was so… It would have been less embarrassing if Nick had caught me masturbating.

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The merchandise stalls were all very standard and were pretty much the same as Supanova Sydney.

The cosplays (Costumes) were a definite plus. In terms of numbers, it’s about the same as Sydney, but the variety was… o.0. I didn’t get as many pictures as I’d hoped because my camera decided to cark it.  But I got the ones I wanted most anyway. There was also a Flash cosplay that I wanted to take a picture of, but he was moving too fast. No, seriously. I went to get my camera and he was GONE.

Pictures!!!

Who is this through I see through the crowd?

It’s inspector gadget!

Including the gadgets~! Including a torch!

Aha the guy was like: Wait… there’s more!

Yoshi from game ‘Mario Brothers’

San from anime movie ‘Princess Mononoke ‘

Marluxia from the game ‘Kingdom Hearts 2’


Nina Sayers from movie ‘Black Swan’ – I was very impressed with this one. XD Very unique choice


Cinderella from the Disney Film


Red Ranger from ‘Mighty Morphin Power rangers’ – the original and BEST series. When i Saw him, I ran to him shouting ‘Red Ranger!’ and he stopped lol.


Pac Man + ghosts from the game

Cats  from the Musical ‘Cats’ I’m guessing?

The car from Back to the future!

The TARDIS from Doctor Who! This was my favourite, HANDS DOWN.


Two face and Joker from Batman

Supergirl and THOR from Marvel and DC.


Mad Hatter from the 2010 Film adaptation of ‘Alice in Wonderland’


Na-vi people from the film ‘AVATAR’


Mine sweeper guy!

To finish off, Simon Pegg and Nick Frost, signing autographs! Then they had to run off to do Filming for Good News Week, which is going to be aired like in…. 10 minutes… WHOO HOO!!

KB and I also had to see how long the Tom Felton autograph line was. It was insane. There were fans outside the cordon jumping up and down trying to see him.  We then walked around looking at various goodies and taking photos.

Melbourne is a wonderful place, and I had a wonderful time at Supanova. I wouldn’t have visited the place if it wasn’t for Simon and Nick, since the only selling difference to Sydney was the Guests. But the atmosphere was well worth it. Yes, even the fangirls, I can say that rabid fangirls do exist in RL.

I’ll definitely visit Melbourne again. I’ve already vowed to go back for the Melbourne Comedy festival, another event, which I have watched religiously and taped on my dodgy VHS for 6 years on TV in Sydney and also there’s a Tutankhamen exhibition on now till November.

Not that I’ll need an excuse to go back to Melbourne.

FourthVerse

Armageddon 2011 – FourthVerse Report

After an awesome introduction to conventions at Supernova 2010, I was really looking forward to attending another popular culture convention. I had received a few quizzical looks when I told fellow colleagues and friends that I was going to ‘Armageddon’ during the weekend. I suspect a few were thinking it bit odd that I was looking forward to the onset of the apocalypse.

Unfortunately, because of work, I could only attend the Sunday session of Armageddon. I was kinda gutted because I missed out on the group photo with John Rhys Davies with FilmNerd, Bride of Film Nerd and UrbanFantasist. Ah, real life, thou art a heartless B*tch (bonus cookies if you recognize the fandom reference).

The immediate different between Supernova and Armageddon was clear as soon as I arrived. The line was much shorter even when I arrived at 8:30 to meet with FilmNerd and his lovely wife, compared to the absolute anaconda of a line from Supernova. Also, the number of people who arrived in cosplay was also considerably less, in stark contrast to Supernova, where just wherever you turned, there was a fun costume just waiting for me to take pictures!

FilmNerd had given intel the day prior saying that the crowd was considerably smaller than Supernova, as well as the variety of merchandise stores. So I told myself that I would be good, and keep my spending to a minimum

If there were one thing to learn about conventions, especially popular culture conventions, it would be this:

Resistance is futile.

Doors opened at 9:00, and we all did a whirlwind circuit of all the stalls, and made our merchandise purchases, which was basically a shopping spree. I am proud to say that I am now a proud owner of a TARDIS cookie jar!

And it was only 9:30.

Unfortunately, my camera decided that flash was the way to go, and not just any normal flash. Really powerful flash, which made everything overly bright. Turning it off resulted in fuzzy pics. Maybe it’s a sign to get a new camera (muahaha – except for the ensuing price tag) So apologies for the poor quality of the photos.

However, the amount of effort and detail people put into their costumes never ceases to amaze me.  I’m actually tossing up the possibility of dressing up for Supernova. As who I’m not sure about, but hey, I’ll find something. Hey, you’re only young once. Maybe a Jawa. I loved those little ones from Star Wars. 😛

I’ve posted pics of the original characters (what they looks like in their original mediums) beside the photos because they looked pretty darn close! XD

Let’s begin with FilmNerd going as The One. Does he not look cool? XD

Deadpool from the Marvel Universe (so hardcore, the mask covered the guy’s head completely and he had to unzip it from the back to breathe…

Who ya gonna call? Ghostbusters! I wish I’d taken pictures of their packs because there were glowing lights and everything!


Batman Universe family! (so cute!)


Ninja Turtle (specifically Raphael 🙂 ) He was my favourite when I watched the animated series…


Zatanna from DC Universe – she was a vendor who sold really cute hats from Pokemon and Mario and was nice enough pose.


Sci-Fi Crossover! Tusken raiders, Stormtroopers, Darth Vader and … a Dalek. Just shows that trans-universe invasion ain’t above them


‘Anakin’ getting p0wned by himself (?) It was really cool the improptu battle they had.I love how at the back it has ‘Alternate reality’


Link and Ganon from ‘The Legend of Zelda’

Justice League! Wonder Woman sold me the Tardis Cookie Jar!

Coach and Rochelle from Left 4 Dead 2 (a zombie game) They seemed quite surprised that someone recognised them (bwahaha)

Elcie from the Anime ‘The world god only knows’

Dead Master from ‘Black rock shooter’

A ute converted as an ‘x wing’ theme, complete with its own R2 D2


I also attended the John Rhys Davies panel. His talk was amazing.  It was so varied to say the list, he was talking about parasites and then to physics and then to literature and history.  The way he talks is really riveting and he commands people’s attention.

At one instance he was talking in-depth about the possible impact WW2 had on Tolkein’s writing and the allegory of LOTR for a solid 15 minutes, and then he stopped and then said:

John: It’s a Sunday and I’m preaching a sermon!

At this moment I was tempted to say ‘No, keep on going!’

Amusing note: I was sharing the news of getting the cookie jar with a friend and the awesome fact that it makes the whooshing sound when I close it, who then sent this sms.

‘Can you take a cookie out, close the lid, it goes back in time then the cookie from the past is back in it again?’

So in theory, I am in possession of a cookie jar with never-ending cookies.

Overall, Armageddon was a nice event, considering this was the inaugural event in Sydney. The cosplay crowd was a lot smaller and the anime/manga presence noticeably so. It was not as exciting as Supernova, but I actually had a really good time, going with FilmNerd and Bride of FilmNerd, both people who share the same amount of enthusiasm for our respective fandom’s and who take in looking at the mechandise and revel in the atmosphere. It’s the good company that makes the event really. XD

I’m really looking forward to Supernova. The guest line-up for Melbourne is amazing (Simon Pegg AND Nick Frost!) and at Sydney, there’s Ianto from Torchwood. Regardless of location, I’ll be there.

Signing out,

FourthVerse