Empire BIG Screen – Day 1
Posted by geeksyndicate on August 12, 2011
So here it is at last the BIG SCREEN as Empire throw’s it’s hat into the UK con scene in a big way. I swung by today to get a feel of what to expect for the rest of the weekend and here are some of my thoughts.
On my walk through the O2 the first sight that told me I was here for a film convention was the iconic Delorean from Back to the Future. Sadly I didn’t see Doc Brown or Marty.
Moving into the main space affectionately named ‘Hollywood Bouveland’ I spent some time getting my bearings and having a wander around to see what was on offer. There were a lot of slick and well presented stands and dealers etc and a lot of space to move around.
[images of HB]
Before I went any further I was dragged kicking and screaming (ok that might have been a lie) into the Uncharted 3 experience. This essentially allowed you to go hands on with the multipayer mode of Uncharted 3 which was a lot of fun. Personally I would have loved to check out the single player experinece but it was still enough to make want to pre-order the game as soon as I got home.
After I left the adventures of Drake behind I took a look at the offering from the London Film Museum which was several glass cases filled with costumes, props and statues (scary aliens) from some of the more well known films. Although not part of the London Film Museum exhibit special mention goes to the Men in Black 3 weapons display cabinet…desperately wanted one of those bad boys to take home with me.
Most of the major films that were either out now or on way had some kind of presence there. You could watch trailers from John Carter, In Time, Happy Feet 2, Sherlock Holmes 2 and more. Speaking of Mr Holmes there was a stand mocked up to look like a Victorian style sitting room complete with fire place and comfy armchair where one could relax and enjoy the trailer for the upcoming sequel.
I then swung by the team promoting the Troll Hunter film, which ever one seems to be loving at the moment. They helpfully handed me a Troll Hunter survival guide, leaving me in no don’t how to deal with any marauding Trolls.
The guide also folded out into a very handy ‘Know your Troll’ reference guide.
Although I didn’t see any footage of the film I got a lok at the Troll Hunter truck and the lads were kind enough to let me hold their Bazooka (no puns please).
Now I come to the high of my day which was a Bond in Motion, a stunning display of cars from the James Bond films. I was gutted the suckers were protected by glass so I couldn’t sit in any of them which I would have have killed my best mate (sorry Dave) to do. My photos aren’t doing them justice as they just looked spectacular.
I’m not a car nut but seeing the DB5 from Goldeneye and the Goldfinger’s Rolls Royce up close and personal was not a sight I will soon forget. It would have been cool if they had a Connery lookalike and Oddjob maybe to take you around the cars but hey I’m just nit picking now. The guys running the exhibit told me that this was a small selction of the bond cars they would be taking out on a tour from January next year. The Bond in Motion will be the largest offcial collection of James Bond vehicles the world is ever see and will open at the National Motor Museum, Beaulieu. Just seeing what they had at the BIG SCREEN I would say if you were a Bond fan this would be well worth keeping an eye on their website for more info on the tour.
Another mention goes to the Paramount Saloon who were there promoting Cowboys and Aliens and were really throwing themselves into it the fun of it all and seemed to be having a blast with the punters. They had a mini saloon complete with a gunslinger, barman,showgirls and a sheriff to keep the peace. They were running a comp their where people could win prizes by spinning the wheel with the barman. Credit to the Paramount Saloon staff who never slipped out of their act the fews times I swung by their set up. I was even propositioned by one of the showgirls…the shame of it!
In the way of dealers and stuff to buy, unlike other conventions I’ve attended there, wasn’t much there to be honest but what was there was good stuff. The guys from Dark Bunny Tees were there attending their first ever convention with their movie inspires t-shirts which seemed to be going down well.
There was also a a large comic stall (though not much in the way of bargains for the comic fan), A great stall selling movie posters which had been given a fine art spin. To my shame I didn’t catch the name of either stall and my photos of it didn’t really come out well but have no fear I will resolve both those issues on tomorrow’s visit.
Overall I thought the Boulevard was well laid out and a fair amout to see and do as there were a few things I have yet to try. However given the event runs over three days I’m not sure there’s enough to keep me occupied over the three day period. To be honest though most of the people who I spoke to saw it as a bit of break inbetween waiting for the next film or panel to start. Still I think next year it would be cool to see more vendors here, although space wise it might get cramped fast if they do.
Although I didn’t attend any films today (that’s for tomorrow and Sunday) I did attend a Sherlock and Merlin panel. I thought out of the two the Merlin panel was hands down a winner,despite the twenty five minute wait between panels when we were told it would be ten. There was definitely and more bang for you buck for Merlin. Not only did you get a series 4 trailer and a clip from the opening episode there was also an interesting Q & A from the panel which compirsed of two of the show’s creators Julian Jones and Johnny Capps as well as Prince Arthur in the form of Bradley James. The Q & A was pretty informal and the panel were happy to take questions from the crowd. Soms of the tidbits from the panel were
- Series 4 will be a lot darker.
- Uther will be shown as a broken man after the events of series 3, leaving a power vaccum in Camelot. Is this the series we see Arthur finally take the throne…who knows?
- Bradley promised that we will see more of Arthur’s knights as the series elves more into their characters.
- Originally Emila Fox who plays Morgause was only supposed to be in the show for one episode but she was so good and worked so well with Morgana that they kept her in the show.
- Apparently Bradley’s first calling was not to be an actor but rather a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle.
- One of Bradley’s favourite characters was Alvarr and thought that no other threat in the show matched the threat he potentially posed. Bradley hoped that Julian and Johnny could find a way to bring him back.
On the flip side the Sherlock panel featured clips of the first series, no footage of the second series and the Q & A with Mark Gatiss was a lot shorter and with no audience interaction. Steven Moffat was scheduled to join him on stage but I’m guessing was off filming Sherlock or Dr Who. Tidbits from the panel were a little scarce though it was fun to see Mak Gatiss being throughly charming.
- When questioned about more involvement from Moriarty Mark merely replied “You’ll just have to wait and see”
- We will be seeing more of Mycroft.
- The Hobbit shut down production for three months to allow Martin Freeman to honor is filming commitments to Sherlock.
- The themes of the the episodes are Sherlock not in Love and not in Love, Sherlock in fear and Sherlock in Death.
I would be lying if I said everything was flawless about today. I overheard quite a few disgruntled con goers (especially the diamond ticket holders) complaining about the lack of organisation and how they were being sent from from place to the other only to be sent back again. I encountered a few of those problems myself and it was one of the reasons I missed out on a later panel. However this is the first time they have tried to pull of a con of this size, at the O2 and hopefully Friday’s issues will give them a chance to use it as a proving ground for Saturday and Sunday which will inevitably be a lot busier.
Today was more of me getting me convention feet wet as I was only there for the morning and some of the afternoon. So far I’ve enjoyed what I’ve seen and it’s a different vibe to the other cons I’ve attended as I didn’t really get that con vibe where you feel like your in your own little world for that weekend. I hoping that will change tomorrow when I will be hitting the con in full force joined by fellow GS team member Liz, so keep an eye on our twitter and the website for more updates.
GS Reporter: Nuge