Saturday generally had been confusing, getting signatures was an experience I'd never done before. I got in line only to realise I needed my Wolf print to get signed and another print generally because I didn't know you only get one chance to line up and get all of them at once. Got back in line and had post it's for the personlisation, but the queues do drag, and this was mainly waiting for Rainbow who has a very involved signature, and being the nice guy he is wanted to actually chat to every guest at least a little at the same time. Aarons sig was amusing because he hadn't got his photo and name on the Wolf graphic – he signed it a couple of ways but for mine I got “Aaron did wolf.” Oh and there was Joe nearly going into the women's bathroom on a break and him and Jason taking their bathroom breaks at the same time - probably the only truly private have a chat with your mate in the whole place – they both had to be retrieved to get back to autographs. Must be such hard work sitting there and signing one after another glossy photos for several hours.
Jason came on a little hungover (and jetlagged I'd imagine) and said he was a little nervous of being infront of everyone, but he seemed fine and did well answering questions – he's really great with crowds. It's pretty hard to imagine him as being so because he's quite a hefty possibly intimidating guy.
The Ronon vid was played before he came on, really fab vid, to some song Chancer the mighty – has a hilarious bit from Aurora too that sticks out, where Ronon comes up on screen from behind Teyla (as in comes up from below the camera) set to a line about every womans desire... ;)
What came up during his talk? His childhood, about how he's a momma's boy (aww!so sweet) because his mom raised him alone. He used to get bullied at school (nope, he wasn't always this big and tough looking at all) with racial issues in there as to why. :( The people he's relied on have been his mother, who sounds wonderful, and he obviously dearly loves – he described how he looked forward to going home from the minders to spend time with her cooking them food on the days that happened, as she worked really hard to support them both - and Tristan, his best friend who came with him to the con (people had guessed at the meet and greet was either his stunt double, Jason's brother or other relative) and had pulled him up from everything when high school had been bad for him, shown him a great time. I think it was mentioned they'd gone travelling together after high school but it was difficult for me to hear the talk at this point and I couldn't catch some details.
His hair came up and he told how he'd grown it for a role, gotten told I think that he wouldn't get much work with it but then got a role quite soon. This was another hard to hear point of the talk, people correct me if I'm wrong on any details, but what I caught seemed to be he'd dreaded it six years ago when his hair was much longer and it'd been as it is now for about three years.
Ronon's gun got mentioned too, and the fight scene on his first day between him and Rainbow, with Rainbow meekly looking up in re-enactment of meeting him. The gun in Runner was originally made out of stainless steel and weighed a good 5 lbs, really hard to hold up as he had to. Later on they made it out of rubber, so there are multiple ones and he said it's really fun but doesn't get used often because it costs $1000 to have him fire it, in terms of special effects. Anyway, his first day on set he came hulking in in all the costuming, armour and weaponry and looking real grubby, and then he also had to do the fight scene with Rainbow, which he said was really early in the morning, 2am possibly, and so muddy it was all they could do to stay upright, so obviously if it looks cool he's pleased.
There was a question of what he'd do if he wasn't acting and it was cool to hear that if he wasn't acting he thought he'd be helping out with community work with less well off kids. I think there was also something about water stunt work, I'm sure his uncle got mentioned regarding that – I should have taken proper notes.
Jason doesn't like hot weather, doesn't own a tv, reads french poetry and is a rugby fan. Combine that last fact with an earlier answer by Craig and I'd say there's one fic that so need to be written - Grodin's journal + Ronon getting introduced to Rugby. :D
Jason said he thought Dex would do anything for Shep, didn't seem unhappy with the idea of Weir/Ronon nor Teyla/Ronon as far as I remember, sure he brought those both up himself. And after the Haka being done at the meet and greet, he got pleas for it again since not everyone gets to go to that. He'd hurt his hand the night before at the Saturday party but still did it anyway, which was so sweet of him (though the Haka is pretty scary to witness).
Someone asked about rituals for preparing for scenes, which I believe he didn't have any apart from watch the other guys mess around and crack them up. He also got asked the nearly obligatory “Have you met anyone from SG-1” if which he'd only properly met Chris Judge, to which people asked who'd win in fights, and he said “Always Ronon baby!”
He described how in Lost Boys Rachel was meant to hit him on the mouth in the lettuce taunting scene but she accidentally hit him full on in the eye! Plus, he expressed his awe at what her stunt double did, getting thrown across the table in the scenes, no pads or anything – and that was shot twice as well! He said SGA was his first action role, quite different from other stuff he's done. The wardrobe helping him out getting into it with the initially heavy stuff and then it moved towards lighter cooler summer wardrobe. Quite a number of the wardrobe things, the bracelets/wristbands for Ronon he has made as well, so it sounds like he has quite an active role in deciding/helping out with his costuming which is interesting.
His dreadlocks - he was talking about how he'd had them as they were for I think 3 years at least, and had been told it'd be difficult to get work with his hair like that but obviously got a role pretty much after that, and also that you could send little trinkets in (because he had shells and some stuff on/in his dreads) and he'd probably wear them so you could see them on the show which was amusing to hear.
Jason also had a Landrover from UK, some model that's hard to get in America, that he parked in Joe's drive knowing Joe'd love to drive it. He even told him he could, but he didn't leave the keys with him because Joe can't handle the right hand side drive and drives a Merc usually :p. And his best prank was leaving presents in trailers toilets...but let's not go into detail with that. Asked if he'd do drag and it was “Hell yeah!”
There was an unfortunate question about Allies, which spoiled it for quite a number of people – Jason rather amusingly described the being wrapped up in latex as like giants condoms, with lube goo all over, whilst next to McKay. LOL.
Also for the Ronon “Epiphany” scene, that was a stunt double on wires, who got yanked back too hard and hit his head, getting knocked out from it! Kind of understandable why Jason didn't get to do that one but he does do a lot of his stunts, he jested “unlike Rachel.”
As to who would he kill off? Jason was too nice, couldn't think of anyone, however if it was just hurt he said McKay, because he's gets on everyone's nerves and is always getting beat up on show anyway.
With Ivy being the casting director for both shows, we mainly got a lot of talk about how you cast people etc but the most interesting bit for me was where she told us who they were considering for Atlantis leads. There was Teri Hatcher for Weir but she turned it down for another role [Desperate Housewives] and even Dean Cain (presumably for Sheppard) - but I must say it's a relief we got Joe and Torri instead, much nicer to have more original, less well known, but wonderful actors get a chance in a new show. Besides, I'm not sure if either Dean or Teri would have fit – I can't picture them as the two characters, though maybe it's just hard now we've got other people in the roles. Who knows.
How the casting works: occasionally they'll invite well known, already proven, people to a role without an audition - like Mitch Pillegi, Ben Browder and Claudia Black - but mostly it is a case of they send out brief character description and get lots of files with photos back. People come in to audition and they whittle down the choices until they find that one person who sticks out as right. When you do your job right people don't notice, do it wrong and you're first to come under fire, hence casting can be a tough job.
She commented she thought SG-1 and SGA were the best shows, over BSG presumably and over Farscape. Can't say I agree and she did admit to having seen only a little of farscape. What I can't quite see how she can claim costuming for SG is better than farscape but hey it's great she has such a passion and belief in the shows she works on.
Someone asked how you get into it casting and she told of her show biz family, how she'd acted but realised there was little money in it, and got into casting instead randomly. Mainly it requires you to watch a lot and keep up with people, and really notice not just leads but secondary and bit actors to catch the ones who'll be upcoming stars later on. Sometimes they get people who look perfect but not got enough talent, judgement of if it can be developed, but sometimes they're not there yet and have to be passed on because unless they're going in the right direction it's not the casting people's job to teaching them how to act – they are looking for the ready made product to pick up. Edward Norton tried to get a friend on the show but wasn't willing to appear on it himself in order to have incentive to cast an unknown, which is apparently not done – if you want a favour like that you can't rely on your big name unless it's gonna go in the credits in exchange. Think she thought he was cheeky to ask for such a thing.
Yet again Chuck was mentioned, someone asking if gate guy and other recurring extras will ever be named. Ivy said not really likely, some people just get called several times, little reason for a name (and the idea behind why people want a name is he's had lines too) but she kind of indicated maybe it's better he doesn't have a name, can't kill him off so easily!
Ellie got asked the drag question, too, but said she tried to stay more feminine and didn't really want to look like a guy. Happy Gilmore came up but I can't recall why, working with Adam Sandler I think, but what was said is lost now. The high point of her acting career was apparently Adams Family Values, but she also worked as secretary on “Sixth day” and had a tale to tell about that. On set she saw Arnie picking up a model plane, starting to play with it all “zzrrrrrrrrrrrrrommm” etc and his excuse was that it was exact replica of plane in the film. ;) She made some smart comment back and he said something including eat your words, and she did a little motion of doing so which he'd found really funny. Just strange, but ROTFLMAO!
Obviously he got asked about rumours about leaving, which is hard to comment on, but fairly quickly the questions went onto more personal amiable topics like if he prefers music or acting. He said acting was like you're an instrument for a director or writer and music has more control, you deal with the instrument and create from nothing, more liberating and free. Would he like to write, he said yes, and people were asking if he had ideas to pitch about Ford's fate and he was saying writing for Stargate is pretty difficult but he'd love to – obviously that'd be quite a motivator, write the story, get to act it and then get paid too.
Surprisingly I don't remember anyone asking if he'd got his contract renewed in any way, but sounded from his answers like he didn't know anything of Season 3 at the time, which wasn't surprising when they'd have still been planning the episodes/arcs etc.
And here is Rainbow's best prank pulled. Not sure if everyone will consider it that funny, it's edging on cruel maybe, but it didn't sound like Rainbow got on so well with Dean Marshall, who kept making some comment that irked him each time they saw each other on set. Rainbow evidently got fed up with this and hence the fairly clever prank. He slipped Dean a different script, another colour as they change each time additions are made, so it looked authentic. Them he watched Dean read it, face growing more and more incredulous as he got further into the new scenes for Sgt Bates that he'd added in- the steaming hot gay love scenes. Certianly priceless.
The T-Rex scene came up, with alfirin_kirinki the only vocal Fordie about, (because I was being too shy) throwing him a beanie dinosaur on stage. Someone asked about favourite sweet, only he's not a chocolate person but he does love haribo and had eaten far too much already that weekend. There was also the story of his family film when he was younger and everyone was doing fake hippiness, saying “Hi, my name's Cloud” and Moonbeam etc, and then he said “I'm rainbow,” being the only one who wasn't joking. Aw.
Personal item (for going to Atlantis) would be iPod filled to the max.
The recurring theme of pranks brought up his initiation by Edwards Olamos during the miniseries. There's the incredibly dramatic scene where Tryol stands up to Adama, saying he has his men in the compartments they want to flush out, and faces him, standing real close – during which he had trouble keeping a straight face coz Eddie had pointedly eaten the most stinky fish and other foods at lunch to create the worst bad breath possible to be opposite him for. :D
We also got the recount of Paul McGillion's Star Trek story via Aaron. If you've not heard it, there's clips of Paul doing it himself on youtube somewhere and Aaron managed to recite it just the same for us, even though it's not his story, the cheeky monkey!
What was both sweet and funny was how his son thought the ships etc were real and when he went on set he thought he could fly the vipers, bless! Plus Aaron mock annoyance that everyone, his son included, though the coolest dad out of all the kids in class was not him acting with flashy vipers on screen etc, but the Coca Cola truck driver! Hehe.
We got a little mention of how he had stayed at Jamie's [Bamber] and was confused by English plumbing – but all was said and acted in a comedic way that can't be conveyed, just trust me Aaron is a funny guy, great to listen to.
Then we got the quiz! Questions kindly made up by one of the stewards or con organisers I believe. The prizes for it was a boxset and a few other cool things I've forgotten. Initially it was three right answers in a row, but then later it got upped to four once they proved too easy and finally he was evilly begging for the hardest questions possible to make it as hard as possible. Of course, it being a convention, someone will know the unimaginably mundane details like what planet so and so went to in X episode of BSG 90. There was also a drawing of Tyrol with the laura, done by a friend of his who'd printed 30 limited ed. Was a really lovely line drawing. I think one of those was a prize in the quiz but the rest were up for sale.
When asked about future of the character, he said he trusted writers, but was pleased they had moved on from the Boomer/Tryol relationship, so Tyrol can be about more than just that. Very coolly he shared the fact that the dogtags they wear as crew members on show are personalised, but writing is so small you can barely read it and they're under shirts most of the time, making it pointless apart from a character point of view.
He told another on set BSG tale, about one of the actors fiance, who though lovely girl but painfully shy and read out an announcement wrong, as Socinus as sky nuts or something odd, and everyone was amused, except for her, as she ran off crying! Then he ran out of stuff to talk about towards the end of his Sunday talk and it descended into random funny stuff about pylons, ducks and his taking the piss of CSI:Miami's Horatio...
On Sunday we got treated to a recount of him and Ben [Browder] flying F16's, them getting all ready and how he'd not had anything to eat just incase. They were waiting on runway but then there was a problem, so they had get out. Ending up wait and seeing, they found out they needed a new plane, so the wait got longer because they insisted writing his name on the new plane... by then he'd had lunch so you can see what was going to happen once they got in the air.
There was also question about the dorkiness and Shep as a professional scary bastard – and he was surprised people saw Shep as dorky, but people were saying “No, don't change! We love him that way.” Which prompted discussion on McKay going more gungho, becoming the hero, while Shep discovered his inner geek – character paths crossing over. I think there was him jokingly wanting to steal McKays role in there, all the glory and cool stuff his character gets, and the suggestion from someone of Joe as Starsky from Starsky and Hutch.
Someone asked if he'd been surfing in the UK but he said he's not so keen on the cold water, and would need a10mm wetsuit, but it could be a good excuse to go to Ireland for surf, just he'd much prefer surfing in warm LA waters by the sound of it. :) The Conversion makeup got brought up and he said how was like beauty spa treatment, relaxing almost, even if it was hours of stuff getting glued on.
Beanies second question was about what role would you steal if you could, and the answer was something on Deadwood (never seen the show myself but heard good things, sounds cool). Quite sad to hear he'd read the script, wanted to go audition but was being held by a contract - “Thought Crimes” I believe - incase it got picked up as a show, until the December of whatever year it was and the audition for Deadwood was in December too. Short story is he couldn't make the timing work so he missed out on his chance, but then again he got Atlantis instead. Still, he sounded like he really would have loved to be on the show.
Also somewhere in there he got asked about theatre (or maybe it was tied to what he was doing in the hiatus, yeah, because indie films came up – though the answer was pretty much he's been playing, with sports and stuff. :D) and he had said he'd wanted to do some and his agency had said “Nah, that doesn't turn much money in for us. So how about not?” Joe fired them. Go Joe! :D
He got asked if he'd go through the gate on Sunday and said “Hell yeah!” (to which someone asked what about backwards?!) and he was really into the idea, even if he could die, that addition totally wouldn't stop him. He's very much a you live life up while you can guy, is pretty cool. Had a statement to make, took off his sweater - pulling up his tshirt a bit in the process, which got a cheer and then aww of disappointment when people realised he wasn't taking that off. too - to reveal a tshirt saying “I heart black people.” Rainbow definitely has a sense of style with his clothes, was coolly dressed all weekend, had his hat and shades and scarf with him at the start (hangover essentials?).
What was quite amusing was at the Saturday night party. They played I'm too sexy when Craig and Jason where on stage - and what made it more funny was the rest of the weekend Jason was the one lifting people/chairs up and generally being the strong big tough bloke - and Craig lifted him up on his shoulder and spun him round! It was bizarre to watch because Craig's pretty average size, kind of buff but not as much as Jason at all who's fair bit bigger and larger, and it was just too funny.
People seemed to mainly ask about TV with Craig on Sunday. There was something about Queer As Folk and 24 – I can only presume since his imdb doesn't have either it related to him staring on them, I'm fairly certain he was open to working on the first show. For Dark Angel he had only nice things to say about working with Michael Weatherly, but “declined to comment” regarding Jessica Alba, hmm. ;)
Aaron called Joe a fucking monkey, in defence of Craig's honour, because Joe signed over Craig's head on Beanies steward photo print. Anyway, can't you just imagine a Shep monkey rather than bear. ;D
There was the standup routine performed by Ellie on Sunday, where she told us to shout cultural reference if we didn't get any of it. Hard to recount but she did a sketch about wanting to be a safeway lady when she was younger, happily beeping things through the checkout, then about bikini waxing and it being more like a gaza strip, and why didn't they offer the hitler moustache and call the normal natural state the italian boot – “God got the borders wrong down there”. Plus there was improv on astrophysics with Janine (Janna galaxy) holding the mic doing hand actions from behind to lead the conversation – which was later copied sort of by Jason with help on the Haka from behind and Ellie frisking him!
Fooling around with the Silers wrench prop happened a lot – especially Aaron in Rainbow's Sunday talk. :D
Overall, I was surprised it was mainly woman but then there are more blokes at the convention than online in fic, and there were lots of slashers around, which is predominantly a female appreciation after all.
Photo ops were pricey, though I admit I could have more likely afforded one with less dvd buying, but luckily Angie paid for group one and we all got reprints. Have to say I'm a little disappointed with how everyone else is all huggy in the photo we got and I'm next to Aaron who's doing a heroic stance, kind of cool but didn't realise there was such a big gap between me and the guests, and Ivy who to be frank is looking quite poserish there...
Sunday afternoon rounded off the convention with goodbyes, thank you vids (poor aaron didn't get one since he was a last minute addition) and the auction, mainly just signed stuff, though a SG-1 print went for £200. They announced the raffle too, I had no. 42 so was feeling geekily lucky but didn't win a thing. Number 42, you owe me!
Getting back, had spare hours at Liverpool Street Station and let me tell you there's little you can do when lugging about a rucksack and a backpack, only shop I felt I could go into without getting eyed at was this cool little DVD store which had pretty good offers (6 DVD's for £30 used up last of con budget plus this weeks food budget LOL) and I got Scanners 2. Yay! Explanation: something I now know to be a bad 80's scifi gore/horror film, but bought for David Hewlett-ness and he was indeed best actor in it as is usual for bad films he's in – wonder if that is some kind of sneaky plan, “Look at them, they're all so bad, but me - I'm fab!” ;)
And that's it. I didn't cover everything, tried to, but if anyone things of anything to ask I might still remember, who knows.