20 July 2011

Supanova 2011: Supastar Guests

We have reached the final post of my Supanova wrap up, which I've deliberately left til last cause I'm slack and I knew it would be a big undertaking. But first, before I go any further:

Yep. Ok. Now, with that out of the way, pop below the cut to see my wrap-up of the celebrity-laden part of my Supanova experience.

The day started off relatively early (9.30am on a weekend is incredibly early for me, okay?), and luckily I was able to scam a stall-holders pass to get in to the convention before doors opened. WIN. As soon as the doors were open and it was all officially 'on', I was right at the front of the line to buy my autograph tokens. Last year the lines had been so mental I hadn't even considered bothering to get an autograph, and with the inclusion of Tom Felton it was only going to be worse. So, got in early, got everything sorted, and it was all good. They'd put the celebrities in an adjoining pavillion instead of cramming everything in to the one like last year, and it was a GOOD MOVE. Far less claustrophobic than last year.

The celebs eventually got herded into their poor, demoralising cattle pens and started signing things, so I went along and joined James Marsters' line. Everyone in the line was pretty chill. No crying. I couldn't have handled crying. Had a good old chat to his 'handler' person while waiting for it to be my turn. Nice chap. Got my photo signed by James, and he is a truly lovely human being. I can only imagine how awkward these sort of things would be for the 'talent' sometimes, but he was very engaging and didn't just churn through the autographs. I barely had time to get all 'OMG it's SPIKE!' before he'd started up a conversation about Firefly (I was wearing a Browncoats shirt) and then Torchwood. Walked away thinking 'What a BRO!'.

There was a selection of photos to choose from, and they were all pretty cheesy/bad, so this was the best of a bad bunch. Oh Buffy. So unashamedly 90s. Gels! Gels on all our flashes! Many coloured gels!

I thought it would probably be a good idea to get all the autographs out of the way early, as I had panels to attend and 'work' to do, so I went back over to my gear stash at the Monster & Robot Industries table, grabbed my Gareth David-Lloyd & Sean Maher photos and went to get them signed.

Now. I wouldn't really consider myself the type of person to really get star-struck (except that one time, but I was 10 and it was Harry Connick Jr, what was I SUPPOSED TO DO?), but I did not survive the GDL encounter as well as the Marsters one. He didn't have much of a line, so I went up thinking 'Ho ho ho, no one else waiting, I'll get to have a big ol' chat to Ianto, how nice'. He signed my photo, smiled and said 'Thanks sweetie'.

SWEEEEETTTTIIIEEEEE. I like to think I didn't just grab the photo and run, but I really can't remember what happened after that. He was nice though. And he's kissed John Barrowman. Double nice.

He had a slightly better selection of photos, though not that many as 'Ianto'. Just 'Gareth' photos. Which is fine, but I like character shots. Possibly just me. Well, actually it clearly was just me, I went back the next day to get a photo signed for Krys, and all the 'Gareths' were gone!

Went over to Sean Maher's table, got my photo signed, he said 'Oh Jacinta, that's such a pretty name' and I was like 'THANKS SEAN MAHER, THAT'S NICE OF YOU I JUST MET GARETH DAVID-LLOYD HE'S SO GREAT'. Heh. Poor Sean Maher. It probably could have been Nathan Fillion sitting at that table and I still would have been like 'HI NATHAN FILLION. HOW GREAT IS GARETH DAVID-LLOYD?'

Sean Maher had the best photo selection out of eeeeveryone. As Simon, looking super dapper. As Sean, looking super hot. It was win/win/win all round. I obviously had to choose a Simon. 

After that, I did some 'work' for a while, then it was time for the panels. Sean's was first, and I have nothing to report, as he spoke so softly that no one could hear his answers to any of the questions. You could just tell everyone wanted to get up and say 'Tell us awesome stories about how funny and godlike Nathan Fillion is!' but they didn't. Oh, one person sort of did. But then I couldn't hear his answer anyway. I didn't bring my big lens on the first day, so I didn't take any photos at the panels which I regret quite a lot. In previous years if you wanted to attend panels that were one after the other you could just stay in the theatre, but this year they were kicking everyone out and then letting people back in. That was a BIT annoying, as GDL's panel was after Sean's, and after we left, and then re-lined up, and then got back in, we were further back than we were initially. Grrr. Gareth's panel was quite funny. He had rewards for good questions, and threatened to take belongings off people who asked crap questions. I probably should have taken notes, it was like a month ago now, and I can't remember any of the questions. But he was good, and gave a good amount of time to each question.There are some videos on YouTube, but the sound isn't great.

That night was the 'James Marsters In Concert' experience, which truthfully we only bought tickets to for the lulz. No photos from that either, cause as the threatening voiceover said before the show we weren't allowed to take photos or video as the performance was a private moment between us and James. Or something. They actually had people walking up and down the aisles making sure people weren't filming on the sly. Hardcore. Thankfully, other people have TOTALLY bootlegged his shows!

So, as you can see (hear), he wasn't really as bad as we thought. Can sing ok, can play the guitar ok, is a bit ordinary at the whole 'writing lyrics' thing, but hey. He tries. And no one would get anywhere if they didn't try. *cough* Anyway. 

The biggest reaction of the night was when he closed the show with the song above. He intro'd it as being about Michelle Trachtenberg (aka Buffy's little sister), and we all thought 'Aw, that's nice. How nice'. By the end of the song we'd all squirmed so much we'd just about fallen off our seats. Have a listen again, or check out the lyrics here. She was ~16 when they were on the show together, and he was ~40. Each to their own and everything, but....DUDE.

The next day I was back slightly less bright and early, but still in time for James' panel. This time I DID bring my big lens. Hurrah for me! I had a purple wristband with MEDIA written on it in silver texta (very official) so I was allowed down the front for happy snaps. I stayed for the whole panel, and it was a far nicer vantage point than being halfway back in the room. Again, I remember very little from the panel, but someone put up a video of most of it on the YouTubes:

The lighting is always pretty iffy in these sorts of things, but thankfully the lights were far better than when I tried to take photos of Karl Urban at the 2009 Supanova, so the shots turned out ok.

My next port of call was Screamocalypse 2011 aka the Tom Felton panel. Despite not really being into Harry Potter, I am a big fan of Tom Felton after that weekend. He was so wonderfully gracious with his time and his answers, and he seems like such a genuinely level-headed young man. Admittedly, I didn't stay for the whole panel. There was a lot of screaming initially, and after someone asked a question he'd say 'Thanks lovely' and the entire audience would go 'AWWWWWWWW' in unison. Multiple times. It got a bit much. But once again, there are videos up on YouTube, which makes for convenient viewing MINUS the eardrum-tearing screams.


I want to squish him. Here are some photos:

So, after a big day of photo-ing and shopping and etc etc, it was time to head off to the After Party. It was being held at a local pub, and wasn't ALL of the guests, just James Marsters & Gareth David-Lloyd. All good as far as I was concerned. We thought it would be a fun night of drinking and hanging out and funtimes.


We arrived a little after 7 thinking 'Oh crap, we're gonna be late!' The organisers were yet to turn up, so we all milled in the front bar for about 40 minutes waiting for them. Eventually they turned up, we were given a couple of drinks tickets, but by that point I'd had a couple of ciders while waiting, so had to be on the softies for the rest of the night. Boo. Was quite a while before the celebs turned up, in the meantime we were given finger food to snack on while we were waiting. The food wasn't that great, but I assume the kitchen probably had it ready to go for when the party was SUPPOSED to start, not an hour later, so I don't blame them for the tepid chicken mini-drumsticks. There was a Justin Timberlake dvd playing on the pub tv which we watched until the chaps turned up an indiscriminate amount of time later. James came over to our table first, and we had quite a good little chat about various things but once he was led away to another group by the Supanova hosts, we checked our watches and realised he'd been at our table for five minutes. We weren't overly stoked, but sort of shrugged it off. Gareth did the opposite circuit of the room, so came to our table as one of the last for the evening. We'd been waiting (and rewatching the Justin Timberlake dvd that was replaying) for over an hour for him, so when he came over it was like 'Thank GOD'. That was fairly short-lived, as he put his drink down and excused himself to go to the toilet. He had clearly been sampling MANY of the fine ales available at the pub, so he was fairly drunk by the time he got around to us, which we thought would result in a very funny conversation. It did! He was hilarious, and although I can't repeat most of what he said, it was probably one of the highlights of the weekend.

Sadly, it went for four minutes.

Essentially, we paid $150 to get two free drinks, watch a Justin Timberlake dvd and talk to some celebrities for ~10 minutes. There were just too many people there for everyone to get a decent equal amount of time. If there had been less tickets sold, a better punter to celeb ratio, and the thing hadn't started later than it should have, then it probably would have been ok, but it turned out to be poor value for money. I wasn't really keen on the party as just an opportunity to LOOK at them, I could have done that easily with the autograph and photo ops over the weekend. I went because I enjoyed their work, thought they were interesting, and wanted to interact with them away from the convention environment. Essentially I could have spent four minutes talking to Gareth at the signing desk, it would have been pretty much the same and far less expensive. Unless I knew things had been improved, I probably wouldn't waste money on one of these events again. I know other convention companies in Australia offer significantly more for the same price (sit-down meal, access to the celebrities for HOURS), otherwise I may have perhaps just shrugged the whole thing off as 'Well, I guess that's how these sorts of things are run'. I've heard since that the identical event in Sydney was even worse, and they didn't even get free drinks to deal with the pain. Egads.

So while that was a bit of a downer to end the weekend, overall it was probably my favourite Supanova in terms of guests. Obviously they can't cater to everyone all the time, but this year there were a lot of guests I was interested in, so I had a lot of fun. Looking forward to next year already.


  1. I love me some Felton. Not enough to brave the squealers, but all the same. Pity he got bugger all to do in the last film.

    at least I can watch him being another little bitch in rise of the planet of the apes.

    I love supanova. I might even dress up next year. WE SHALL SEE! Is 28 too old to cosplay? ...probably.

  2. There's some of the anime costumes that I'd be totally into wearing, but that would mean I'd have to WATCH the anime in case anyone asked me about it, and I don't see that happening.

  3. Lovely recap! You really lucked out with the guests, that is an EXCELLENT selection of people.

    Bummer that the festivities ended on a low note. You'd think with the insane amounts of money these things cost they would be super organized but I've heard more often than not that isn't the case. All the same, I do need to get my ass to at least one convention. I think I'm committing some kind of nerd crime by never having been to one.

    I get your preference for character shots to actor shots -- it's nice for someone to sign a picture of him/her as the character you know and love them as. But hey, it's not like the alternative is bad in any way AT ALL. ;)

    Thanks again so much for going through the trouble of getting me Gareth's autograph! It really means so much. I still have that Instagram page of the autograph pic opened in a tab on my browser and I keep randomly looking at it and flailing all over again. =P ♥

  4. Haha, no problem! The only difficulty I had was trying to choose which autograph to get for you. Given your current Dr Who kick, it was the closest I could get. :)