Fan Expo 2015: Friday!

Fan Expo Book

Where do I even start? This was my first time going to Fan Expo and it was all pretty spontaneous. I only actually got my tickets the Monday before it was happening and originally planned to only go on Sunday. Then I was looking through the schedule and there was a lot going on on Friday and decided, why not?

And you know what? I’m so freaking glad I went! Friday was pretty much non-stop for me. I took the train in and, since I’d bought my tickets online, I had to go exchange them for wristbands which wasn’t nearly as confusing as I thought it would be as there were tons of signs all pointing to where people needed to go for certain things.

So, skipping all the boring stuff about trying to figure out the map and me getting lost, the first panel I went to was The Boondock Saints panel with Sean Patrick Flanery and David Della Rocco.

Sean and David for BlogThis panel was amazing! If any of you have read my review about the first Boondock Saints film then you know I’m a huge fan of these guys so seeing them in person had me completely freaking out (internally of course). The panel lasted for an hour and was better than I could ever have imagined.

Both these guys are hilarious! Rocco (David? That sounds weird to me) sat back for most of it, but when he did talk it was golden with discussions about peanut butter and salad dressing.

Sean was amazing and answered every question genuinely. Also he likes Tim Hortons which, as a Timmy’s addicted Canadian, this made me very happy.Sean Patrick Flanery and David Della Rocco 3

They talked about various projects and antics they got up to, Sean talked a bit about his book coming out next year, and it sounds like Boondocks 3 is definitely in the works so I’m incredibly excited about that.

Also at this panel I met the two girls who run boondock_girls on Instagram and you guys should definitely go and check them out!

From there I went to a panel called “Steakpunk 101”. I didn’t actually learn what Steampunk was until recently and I didn’t really understand it at all until I went to this panel. However, I have an idea for a novel that I’ve kind of unintentionally been incorporating Steampunk in to and am glad I now understand it better so things make more sense.

There was a Steampunk vendors booth there and when asked where it was located they told everyone:

“[It’s between the Daleks and the Stormtroopers. Listen for the Daleks, but if you hit the Stormtroopers you’ve gone too far].”

Amazing.

It was a really interesting panel featuring several members from different Steampunk societies and groups and I really enjoyed it. I learned a lot and am looking forward to exploring this topic more for my novel.

After that it was on to another celebrity Q&A, this time with Graham McTavish from The Hobbit and Outlander. Now I’m going to be totally honest and say that I didn’t know he was in Outlander as I haven’t watched. I want to, it definitely looks like a great show and I hear all these great things about it, but I just haven’t had the chance yet.

Graham McTavish 2

That didn’t make any difference to how fantastic this panel was. I’m not sure what I expect to happen in these Q&As, but I definitely don’t expect the actors/actresses to be as funny as they are. He spoke a lot about both The Hobbit and Outlander and the crazy stuff that had happened both on set and off. Two stories in particular stick out in my mind:

After being asked what the most physically demanding scene he’s had to film was, Graham McTavish said that it happened during The Hobbit. In the scene where they’re running from the Wargs in the field they’re loaded down with all this heavy gear and shoes that are too big to add dwarvish proportions, they had to run. For weeks.

Yes, apparently filming this scene went on for weeks and they would run and run as fast as they could in all this gear and these shoes he said felt like flippers and they’d get to the end, feeling like they were dying, and Peter Jackson would go, “Alright, that was great, but can we do it a little faster?”

Everyone died. I feel so bad for the actors having to film this, but that’s absolutely hilarious. The other story also involves Peter Jackson.

Apparently Peter Jackson owns an old tank that he’s restored and Graham and some others were over at his place firing guns and just hanging out (the police had been warned beforehand) when Peter Jackson decided to take the tank for a spin. It started out innocent enough until he started driving it through Wellington!

Graham McTavish 4

Now I tried to picture what this would look like and I couldn’t. I also couldn’t stop laughing. Just imagine being one of the people living in Wellington when this happened and you look out your window to see a massive tank driving down the road at night.

Apparently the police showed up later and Graham McTavish said they seemed kind of bored. I guess this is a regular thing with Peter Jackson which I think is something I should be surprised about, but after all these years of hearing and reading similar stories, I’m not.

After his panel I went to one called “Writers Unite!” Jim Zub, Ray Fawkes, and Charles Soule were the guys running the panel and they basically talked about comic book writing/designing, what that process is like, sending it off to people, making connections, etc.

Anyone who reads this blog knows I’m a writer of many things (mainly novels). But what some of you may not know is that I’ve been interesting in trying to create a comic/graphic novel/zine or something along one of those lines.

This panel helped me so much and the ideas haven’t stopped flowing. All of three of these guys weren’t originally looking at comic design as a job originally (one of them even went to law school!), but that’s where they are now.

This panel not only helped me with ideas and understanding comic book writing better, but it also really helped me with my novel writing since they talked about not making it right away and the different things they went through. Zub, Fawkes, and Soule were amazing and I highly recommend checking out their twitters which I have listed below with everyone else I talked about in this post!

The last panel I went to on Friday was for James and Oliver Phelps AKA The Weasley Twins!

James and Oliver Phelps 18

Even though I was there at the panel, it didn’t actually hit me until Saturday that I had been in the same room as two of the guys from Harry Potter! It was such a surreal moment.

These two guys are hilarious which definitely makes sense after playing two jokers for so many years (they did the first Harry Potter when they were just 14!). They answered a bunch of questions and told some great stories including one where none of their school friends believed they were in Harry Potter even when the dyed their hair red.James and Oliver Phelps Panel for Blog 1Another was the story of how *spoiler alert* James found out Fred died in the final book. Apparently they were given no heads up and they were actually on a train on holiday somewhere just after the seventh book came out. James was reading the book and got to the part where his character dies! How horrible would that be?!

James and Oliver Phelps Panel for Blog 2

Someone also asked them which death was the hardest in all the films. Hmm, yeah, I wonder? Fred’s of course!

I would love to tell you more about all these panels, but I was a little too in awe and blogging was kind of at the back of my mind. The main thing I kept thinking was “I am mere feet from [this person]” and it was insane.

Of course it wasn’t just panels all day. I wandered around the vendors area in the North building for a while (which was crazy busy and amazing!) and I bought these:

Pop Vinyl and Shot Glass

This is a Connor MacManus Pop Vinyl figure from the Boondock Saints and a Walking Dead shot glass. For anyone who doesn’t know I collect both of these thongs.  So far my shot glass collection has far more to it than my Pop Vinyl collection which really isn’t saying much as I have this Pop figure and a Daryl Dixon one.

I also saw a lot of people in amazing costumes! I saw a lot of anime characters, a lot of Walking Dead characters, many bronys, and so a huge array of others! Including this guy:

Sauron 2

I don’t know how this guy was doing it. I was in a tank top and shorts and I was dying of heat so kudos to this guy for walking around in full Sauron gear.

I didn’t take anymore pictures of cosplayers because it was either too crowded or I was too in awe of what I was seeing and by the time I remember they’d already be gone.

Seriously though, to anyone out there who cosplays, well done. I applaud you. I don’t know how you do it. The amount of time and money that must go into these costumes is crazy and I can’t even believe it. Amazing job.

I had such a great time at Fan Expo on Friday! It was so much greater than I ever could have imagined and I’m so glad I decided to go.

I’ve never blogged about a convention before, but had planning on blogging about the Supernatural convention and decided to practice with Fan Expo! I’m hoping if I go to any conventions next year I’ll have a professional camera and know more about what I’m doing.

I’ll be posting about Sunday soon! Hope anyone who was also at Fan Expo this past weekend had a great time!

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Names of the Week

Abraham

Male
Nickname: Abe
Pronunciation: Ay-bruh-ham
Origin: Hebrew
Meaning: Father of Multitudes
Well-Known Abrahams: Abraham Van Helsing (Dracula, Bram Stoker), Abraham Ford (The Walking Dead), Abraham Kenyatta (Zoo), Abraham Woodhull (American Revolutionary Spy), Abraham “Bram” Stoker (Novelist)

Chloe

Female
Alternate Spelling: Cloe
Pronunciation: klo-ee
Origin: Greece
Meaning: Blooming; Young Green Shoot
Well-Known Chloes: Chloe (Uncle Tom’s Cabin, Harriet Beecher Stowe), Chloe (Sleepovers, Jacqueline Wilson), Chloe Tousignant (Zoo), Chloe Ardelia Wooford (Toni Morrison’s birth name), Chloe Grace Moretz (Actress)

Jackson

Male
Alternate Spelling: Jaxon
Nickname: Jack
Pronunciation: Jak-sun
Origin: England
Meaning: Son of Jack
Well-Known Jacksons: Jackson Brodie (Case Histories, Kate Atkinson), Jackson Belleville (Gilmore Girls), Jackson Oz (Zoo), Jackson Rathbone (Actor), Jackson Pollock (Painter)

Kristen

Female
Alternate Spelling: Krystin
Nickname: Kris
Pronunciation: Kris-tun
Origin: England; Danish
Meaning: Christ-Bearer
Well-Known Kristens: Kristen Gregory (The Clique, Lisi Harrison), Kristen Green (Gone Too Far, Natalie D. Richards), Kristen Stewart (Actress), Kristen Connolly (Actress), Kristen Nygaard (Soccer Player)

Mitch

Male
Pronunciation: mi-ch
Origin: England
Meaning: Who is Like God?
*Often a short form of Mitchell*
Well-Known Mitchs: Mitch Morgan (Zoo), Mitch Albom (Author), Mitch Grassi (A Capella Singer), Mitch Pileggi (Actor), Mitch Ward (Soccer Player)

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The Hobbit Book .vs. The Hobbit Films

The HObbit vsAs a writer, a lover of books, and a lover of films, one of the things I always take special notice of films adapted from books. Sometimes they turn out great, absolutely amazing (see: The Fault in Our Stars)! Other times… well, other times we don’t talk about it.

Today though, we are going to talk about it, it being The Hobbit. I actually really enjoyed The Hobbit films and I absolutely love the book. If I’m being honest, the movies actually made the book more enjoyable for me because I could picture the characters in my head (which is helpful when twelve of the characters are dwarves with similar names!).

But I’m not here to go on about how amazing the book was or how fantastic the films are, those things will be written in my individual reviews of them. I’m here to talk the differences between the films and the book.

Well, the first and probably most obvious difference is that there is ONE book and THREE films. Why? Some people say it was a money grab, that Peter Jackson was just milking the film to be like Lord of the Rings. Personally, I think it’s because Jackson knew it would make a better trilogy than trying to squeeze everything into one, two-hour film. I mean, I can’t even imagine Bilbo leaving the Shire at the start of the film and somehow they pack everything into two hours so that they can reach the Battle at the end. Not possible.

The next difference, and probably one that stands out most in my mind, is Tauriel. She was not in the book at all. Peter Jackson included her because this is the 21st century and you can’t release a major film series that has no strong, female characters. Admittedly, her being a strong, female character was overshadowed a little bit when they stuck her in a love triangle, but hey, more on that when I review the second film.

Tauriel

The barrel scene in the film is also completely different from in the book. In the film we see the dwarves and Bilbo escape in the barrels and drift down the river. In the process Kili gets injured and this leads into a whole new storyline. Does this happen in the books? Well… sort of. They do escape in barrels, but the barrels are sealed and the elves actually deliver them themselves without ever knowing it.

*Slow clap for the Elves of Mirkwood*

Legolas, Elrond, Radagast, and Galadriel are not in the book at all, but all play quite a large role the films. Everyone who’s seen Lord of the Rings knows who Legolas, Elrond, and Galadriel are, but I doubt most people who read The Hobbit were expecting to see them in the films. As for Radagast, he was hardly even mentioned in the books, but played quite a large role in the films.

Finally, Azog is dead in the books. No really. One of the main antagonists of the entire trilogy does not exist in the books.

Whaat

Right? I was so confused when I realized this. Bolg, Azog’s second-in-command is the leader in the book, Azog was killed over a hundred years before the events in the book take place!

Now, these aren’t the only differences between the book and the films, and there are more lists out there just like this one. However, despite these changes, I genuinely enjoyed the book and the films. I like them for different things and in different ways, as I usually do with books and movies, but I still like them nonetheless.

Have you read The Hobbit? Seen the films? What did you think? Was there anything that stuck out in your mind?

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