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Expo 4400 panel report

Went on the Saturday, and was pretty excited to go to the 4400 panel. fuskyb, blazelion and I all sat in on that and I have to say the area for it was woefully underpopulated - maybe 50 people in a hall section that could sit probably 300 - despite having 2 major characters and two well loved recurring ones. Pretty sad to see, can't have been very motivating for the actors, especially since the later Heroes talk, which only had the actors for two minor (though much loved) characters was packed. The 4400 just doesn't get enough love it seems, people tend to have heard of it but not much more. :(

Back to the talk. It was sometimes hard to hear everything so might I can't recall everything well, apologies for that. The panel last about 30 minutes, rather short. It began with Billy Campbell walking out, and then Jeffrey Combs who took full advantage of the stages mini-catwalk strutting down it, followed by Jacquieline McKenzie and Richard Kahan taking a bit of twirl down it too. Generally it seemed kind of hard to hear Billy's replies, his microphone was playing up and his natural voice seems much softer than as Jordan. I was kind of surprised to hear the difference in Jeff's voice too, pretty different from any of his characters even if I can't think how. It also appeared the actors had a hard time hearing some of the fan questions and Jacqui must've had great ears because she tended to repeat the questions to her fellow cast.

Question asked:
What ability would you like to have? Jacqui said what amounted to teleportation, so she could blink and be back in Australia having tea with her mum. Richard said being able to see the future sounded cool. As for Jeff and Billy's abilities I almost forget because there was some confusion at first, that Jacqui picked up on, about the question being related to themselves or their characters, which already had powers. I'm not sure if this was where it came up but Jeffrey pointed out how the S2? trading cards had gotten it wrong and labelled Burkhoff a returnee. Ah yeah, Billy said the ability to see people naked lol.

What's your favourite episode? I know it got asked but I missed the reply. :/

What was the scene that surprised you when you read about it first? I think it was Jacqui who mentioned this one but hard to remember since her and Richard kind of bounced off each other a fair amount on stage, the full on passionate love scene in the Season 2 opener which wait a minute was for Diana & Marco, at which Richard certainly expressed woah I'm gonna have to go to the gym. But the due to the filming the scene wasn't done in order, so the were saying how they'd tried to act appropriately because, Jacqui pointed out they knew their characters were supposed to be shagging like bunnies lol. so they were playing in moments for all the rest of the seasons scenes and then the opener one got cut, never filmed and so they were presuming all those moments they tried to add in only really made sense to them!

Do you get much input into how to play scenes for your character? blazelion got this in as the last question of the session, sadly the answer was just no, not really from Billy. The short of it was they have to make what they can with what they get given because their job is to work with the script and there's very little actor input. Jacqui and Jeffr expanded on this explaining how it works differently on different sets and shows and that whilst the writers might come in and see them act it and change it on the spot, the actors don't really get the chance to do that, quite possibly because there's minor tension with the writers since they're generally out in LA, visiting occasionally, with the rest of the cast being closer knit because they're there filming in Vancouver together.

Most surprising changes over the seasons? For Jacqui - Conchita's height, because she had to crouch done in the miniseries to be at the same levle but now she's growing so much and catching them up. I think Richard one was S4, the writing in of an apartment for Marco, which Jacqui pointed out was very smooth, not very geeky and Richard said it was probably better than his own, bless him. For Jeff it was reading about the prosthetics in The Ballad of Kevin & Tess, because he hadn't expected anything full for the show and then he had a 6 hour makeup test, was thinknig they'd say it was too much, too monstrous but they loved it and fortunately the artists got it down to 3 1/2 hours.

There was something about how Richard plays Marco, how his character is mostly exposition but he tries to find ways to express Marco's character in the way that's delivered, little things mixed in the performance to get a sense of who he is.

There was also a question or two about pranks played on set. Really do wish I'd taken notes, I think they mentioned Jacqui had a fear of spiders (because in Australia they could be could be deadly) and how someone put fake one in her boot so she took something out and then saw it and was freaked out. Billy is the big onset prankster but not owned up to many yet so he wasn't ready to share them so much.

Also apparently Joel is like the giggle monster when filming, always says others looked like they were about to laugh as an excuse, but then Jacqui suggested it's because he does travel between Vancouver and LA so she thought it was fair, him relieving tension from long hours travelling back home to family.

There's probably more I forgot which is a shame, but figured there should be other Expo reports to fill in details. I completely forgot my camera, though it's not much use anyhow but blazelion tooks some pictures of the panel which are uploaded here.

Comments

( 6 comments — Leave a comment )
fififolle
Oct. 28th, 2007 10:22 pm (UTC)
Fascinating stuff, thanks for sharing. What a shame there weren't more people there. Sounded fun, though :)
lily_lemony
Oct. 28th, 2007 11:03 pm (UTC)
Glad you had a good time! Thanks for the report. I never realized that about Jeff's cards until I looked again. How odd they labelled him a "Returnee"!!! Kevin's voice (and probably the Star Trek characters if you've heard those) is a lot more "gruff" than Jeff's normal voice, which is gentler.

Nudging blazelion for you. I need some more pics for the Jeff blog! :)
blazelion
Oct. 31st, 2007 10:41 am (UTC)
Yeah, sorry about the delay. I've been in Cyprus on a research trip. I just arrived late yesterday. I'll upload them later today and post a link here..
blazelion
Oct. 31st, 2007 11:35 am (UTC)
Actually, I forget... I posted them on facebook. Have a look there, the album's called "London visits". Copy them and post them for yourself. :)
missyvortexdv
Oct. 31st, 2007 01:27 pm (UTC)
Thanks for posting the photos up, I've uploaded them to photobucket now. :)

How'd the trip go?
aresnz
Nov. 1st, 2007 11:08 am (UTC)
Thank you so much for your report and the pictures. Knowing me I would have forgotten a lot of what was said too. Too bad they didn't allow recorders of some sort so as to help record all that was said. How sad there was such a small crowd to see them. I think the show certainly deserves a lot more respect then what it receives. I think the Eureka people had a good crowd too. (like that show as well) Anyway, thanks again.
( 6 comments — Leave a comment )

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