This time I really don’t have a lot to tell, since somehow I missed most panels. I had a gold ticket for the first time and ran from photo session to photo session. Plus, I wore an elaborate costume this time and also participated in the costume contest, so wandering about and getting photos taken and enjoying the attention was a priority for me this time😉
That doesn’t mean that I didn’t take any photos, so are a few photos from Friday:
Since my last post I got two terrific autograph successes.
Dan Hennah‘s was one of my most wanted autographs. He is, of course, the production designer and art director for the LotR and Hobbit trilogies, was nominated for 5 Oscars (for LotR, LotR, LotR, King Kong and Hobbit: AUJ) and won the Oscar for RotK. He kindly signed the photo I sent him (though his signature is a bit smudged), and answered my question about his favourite set – it’s Edoras – on the back of the Hobbit hole WETA postcard I sent him (and signed there again). I’m absolutely over the moon about this autograph
And today I got an autograph of John Williams, composer of the Star Wars and HP soundtracks (among many many others). An amazing success, since he is a real legend! I knew he didn’t sign photos anymore and sends out index cards, so I just sent a letter, no photo. He signed an index card and wrote a few notes on it So cool!
Since my last post I got two replies on the same day:
I just had to send to him again, since I had only sent photos from Les Mis the last time – while he was filming Jupiter Ascending – but I found the movie Jupiter Ascending and the Abrasax characters very interesting, so I wanted his autograph on photos from that movie, too. He replied very quickly, within 3 weeks.
He plays Bill Ferny Sr. in Hobbit: DoS, so a great addition to my LotR/Hobbit collection, especially since he added a cool inscription, and kindly answered the questionnaire I sent him. Btw.: he’ll be at HobbitCon 2016, and challenged Mark Atkin to a gummy bear eating contest. Seems like a fun guy!
added the full scans to the pages Hobbit and Other movies.
I got a few autographs via mail since May, also I bought a few, and then there was a bunch of LotR autographs I purchased in December/January, which I never posted. So I’m just gonna post the signatures now. I uploaded everything on the respective pages.
First the autographs I got via mail, in alphabetical order:
Alexander Ludwig (Cato / Hunger Games)
Eddie Redmayne (Marius / Les Míserables –> see “Musicals”)
Eleanor Tomlinson (Demelza / Poldark –> see “Other TV shows”)
Howard Shore [composer / LotR & Hobbit]
Lara Pulver (Isabella / Robin Hood –> see “Other TV shows” & Irene Adler / Sherlock)
Louise Brealey (Molly Hooper / Sherlock)
Then the ones I bought recently:
Ben Mitchell (Narzug / Hobbit)
Brian Yang (Charlie Fong / Hawaii Five-0)
Mary Nesbitt (Tilda / Hobbit)
Peggy Nesbitt (Sigrid / Hobbit)
Pierfrancesco Favino (General Glozelle / Narnia)
Sean Astin (Sam / LotR)
And just a few of the 19 LotR autographs I purchased early this year:
Calum Gittins (Haleth, son of Hama)
Ian Hughes (Irolas)
Sam Comery (Éothain)
I got a few autographs since my last autograph related post:
Simon London (Feren / Hobbit)
Third time’s a charm in this case. Simon played the Mirkwood elf with the horn in Hobbit: DoS and who tells Legolas that Tauriel’s been banished and participates in the battle (he’s around when Thranduil decides that enough elven blood has been spilled and calls back his troops).
Jane Abbott (riding double for Liv Tyler)
She and her horse Florian were the ones doing the pre-Bruinen scene, fleeing from the Nazgul. She also played a rider of Rohan.
Stephen Fry (Master of Laketown / Hobbit)
I already got his autograph earlier but back then there were no photos of him as Master of Laketown; so I decided to write him again and also got an autograph for my aunt who’s a big fan of his books.
Wes Studi (Eytukan/Avatar)
I absolutely love the movie Avatar and I’m still trying to get autographs of the main cast, so when I saw that Mr. Studi started signing again, I wrote him and thankfully he signed all three photos
Natalie Dormer (Anne Boleyn/Tudors & Cressida/Hunger Games)
I didn’t like her role Anne in the Tudors because I liked Queen Catherine of Aragon too much, but I loved to hate her and Natalie did a terrific job in that show. I also liked her very much in Mockingjay part I (and her haircut was really cool ;)).
John Cornell (Glenstorm/Narnia)
Another autograph for my Narnia collection. The spanish/latin-american actors who played the Telmarines are all very elusive but at least I got another one of the centaurs now.
I’m afraid this time there won’t be a long report this time. My camera crashed right before the first panel on Sunday morning. Actually I think it crashed during the game show on Saturday evening, because at the end the camera suddenly went black; I switched battery when I got back to the hotel, and I managed to switch it on again. I thought everything was okay, and I made a test photo Sunday morning at the con, and it worked, so, no problem… until I switched it on again at the first panel… and it didn’t work.
I think it’s kind of a mechanical error. So, the camera is broken and it was just Sunday morning. The Con weekend wasn’t entirely ruined though, since one live-saving angel, I meant helper, let me borrow her camera on Monday.
Long story short, On Saturday evening I thought I’d rather do it the next day, then my camera crashed and I was too annoyed and got a cold and the day was ruined anyway, and on Monday I had fever and a hellish headache… and now I’m back to my everyday life, so no long report, I’m sorry.
But I have a few photos to share (The photos within the text are just a little teaser… at the bottom of this post are many more) and of course, all in all it was a terrific convention, the HobbitCon still is the best convention out there! And the best thing: There will be a HobbitCon 4! Hell yeah!!
There were so many hilarious and great moments… just to mention some stuff:
– the Sylvester McCoy’s panels, basically one big hilarious, crazy moment! This guy is just incredible. Where does he get the energy from?😀
- he (still) hates Sebastian who outshone him in that scene where he was “alone with a stuffed animal, thanks to the wizards of WETA”
- hedgehogs may be the only animals, the vegetarian Radagast would roast😉
- answering the question, who his favourite doctor is: “me”
- what would it be like if Radagast and the Doctor met? Scary and weird, meeting himself.
– John Bell
- Cute kid! I think he really enjoyed the attention and was one entertaining guest I’d like to see again next year!
- demonstrating how Richard Armitage “dances like a dad”.
- in general his many funny faces… hence the many pictures of him (also because I took so many photos of the others on the last two cons)
– Jeffrey Thomas
- Very cool. Although I’m afraid I missed the panel with him and John Bell on Sunday because I was frantically trying to fix my camera -.- I’d love to see him again, too.
- answering a question to what music the dwarves would listen: Thror was a massive ABBA-fan from a very young age.
– Mark Ferguson
- with his “moustache of authority”
– the 9/13 dwarves
- I think I can only repeat what I wrote about the first and second HobbitCon. They really are family and that familiarity extends to the fans to some degree. Such a relaxed and fun bunch of people. It’s a pleasure to watch them interact. Plus…
- Adam Brown literally has made the most incredible experiences. His casting story for that commercial had everybody in the main hall laughing till we cried. Almost as good as his “left testicle” story last year. Oh, and the mailbox story from Dean O’Gorman at the first HC. I’m saying almost… not quite. But it was hilarious! Let’s see if I remember all: Before shooting the Hobbit he had never gone to a gymn, but went to a casting for some commercial, that required him to run on a treadmill. So he did, assuring the casting director that he knew how to run on that machine. When the man said “go”, he just started running – and ran against the handle, because obviously he should have switched it on first. Anyway, then he ran and ran as fast as he could, with a riding helmet on his head. Only to get told, “well that wasn’t very fast”. When he left, with the riding helmet still on (which was needed for the casting/commercial), he was so exhausted that he fainted outside, and only woke up two hours later, getting called by the casting guys that they needed the riding helmet.
- Mark Hadlow shaving Mark Ferguson’s “Pornobalken” (the moustache he had due to a promise to his son, to be seen with a moustache in a very public place) on stage during an impromptu scene they played.
- (and Adam Brown googling on his phone what a “Pornobalken” is… or rather its translation by Mark Ferguson, porno bar. You can imagine his face! :D)
- Adam Brown about Jed Brophy: “I sometimes think Jed is actually CGI“
- Graham McTavish in a kilt… wow.😀
- Mark Hadlow singing “Nessun Dorma”!
- Grahaim McTavish about the ending: If Dwalin could have changed it, he would have died instead of Thorin, Kili and Fili. Didn’t surprise me at all.
– Luke Evans
- Wowwowwow! What a revelation. This man is so down-to-earth, funny, kind, and boy this man can sing! I was seriously smitten after the first day, and he just kept singing every request (I think five times?) I mean, I really liked his voice before, but I had no idea whatsoever that he was such a talented singer. I will most definitely watch Beauty and the Beast when it comes out! But he absolutely should record an album. Can somebody please start a petition?😉 (just a little treat: https://www.facebook.com/video.php?v=886176424766689… gives me goosebumbs just listening to that again. I think I was done for after he sang “Music of the night” from Phantom of the Opera).
- about meeting Lee Pace in New York by chance: Lee Pace said: “Bard”. Luke said “Thranduil”. And they walked on by.
- about his new fame: One time he stranded in a small Italian village at 3 a.m. in the night, and an Italian boy whispered to his friend: “Bardo!”
- Luke and John acting the bell tower scene with a dragon in the audience (*deep sigh* and I didn’t have a camera…)
– Costume contest
- wowwowwow! There were many many great costumes, but most impressive were, in my opinion, the costumes that won. Thror, Thrain and Thorin as a group, and Hitzi’s Thorin solo. These armors were truly stunning! I’m really sad that I didn’t have a camera on that day!
- Fili -> “I just can’t wait to be king”! That was hilarious!
Maybe I’ll remember more tidbits later. The photos above are just a little teaser… here are many more:
Hasn’t been a very good time since June (only autograph-wise, though, otherwise it was), so I’m gonna post the few successes in one post. One autographs of the three I bought, so they don’t count really as successes.
Craig Robert Young: This was a surprise success, since I sent my letter in 2012 via the Hawaii Five-0 set but
since his role, Dracul Comescu, got killed after one episode, I didn’t think he’d get the letter. So I’m surprised, but very happy about this
Joel Tobeck: He played the orc Guritz, aka “Skully” in LotR. I decided to add to my LotR collection a few minor characters and since I “miss” the good old prosthetic LotR orcs in the Hobbit, he was on my list, too.
Manu Bennett: Speaking of prosthetic orcs and CGI orcs – I still don’t like the look of Azog and would have preferred him to be a prosthetic orc, but since there are even worse CGI orcs in the Hobbit (:-/) Azog is growing on me. Plus, he’s one of the main characters, so I needed to add him to my collection. Plus Manu Bennett did, of course, a great job; it’s not his fault that the orc looks aren’t as convincing as they were in LotR. So I’m very glad that I finally got his autograph, with the help of Andrea who got this autograph for me at RingCon this year.
Yay, I got another Hobbit autograph: From Sarah Peirse, who had a small but noticeable role in Desolation of Smaug, named Hilda Blanca: the woman from Laketown who first sees the dwarves when they arrive and later gossips about them. Mrs. Peirse kindly signed the photos I sent and answered the questionnaire
Thanks a lot Mrs. Peirse, and thank you Dani for posting the address!
Just a short update, since I more or less stopped collecting (what’s the point if my letters get lost).
I bought a signed Trading card with Mark Harelik‘s autograph; his role Kashyk in ST: Voyager is one of my favourite guest roles, and I gave up on the letter I sent him.
Here are my HobbitCon autographs: Mark Atkin, Sadwyn Brophy, Ken Stott and Richard Taylor.
And after three months of nothing in the mail, I got one very kind reply from John Rawls this week, who played the orc Yazneg in the first Hobbit movie, and kindly signed my photos, answered my questionnaire and wrote a nice letter. I’m really delighted about this success, after this long dry spell, but I’m done getting my hopes up and be disappointed, so for now, I’ll stay away from this hobby.
Oh my god, it’s time again! HobbitCon II! The first one was one of the best weekends I’ve ever had so far, and as soon as they announced (unexpectedly) a second HobbitCon I knew I had to go there. So I lay on lookout for two weeks when it was clear that the ticket shop could open any day, and I managed to get my ticket approximately 15 minutes after the shop opened. I didn’t expect to do better (or similarly good) than/as my ticket number 10 last year, but number 5 of the Silver tickets is pretty awesome. My expectations were astronomically high after I had such a blast last year, but this Con has been equally awesome – I really don’t know how they do it, but it’s really really special.
It’s a pity that both Aidan Turner and James Nesbitt couldn’t make it (the latter being announced at first but then cancelled), but with William Kircher and Ken Stott there were still two more dwarves than last year. Plus, one very amazing icing on the cake: Sir Richard Taylor, founder and head of Weta Workshop!
What a day! As I said, my expectations were astronomical and I was partly worried to be disappointed, because: How could this be as awesome as this wonderful convention last year?
I think I’ll mainly let images speak this time [edit after writing the report: yeah… right…], since everything is a bit blurry and I can’t really remember details of what the panels were about (lol) because there were quite a lot of similar questions as last year – understandably, but that makes it hard to recall the differences😉
First panel: Mark Hadlow (who was, just like last year, incredible. Such a funny and a bit crazy guy!) and Stephen Hunter.
At some point Mark, acting angry or sulky, went to one of the decoration figures in the background – I guess they’re supposed to be elves – to pout/complain to „her“ and ended up „kissing“ her.
Mark showing the audience how Graham McTavish uses to bully him (the hand up there being Grahams face, obviously ;))
A flash of anger, and Stephen helping him to calm down.
Second panel: Sir Richard Taylor. It was such an honour to finally have him on a LotR/HobbitCon! I really liked that some people (I joined in) gave him standing ovations when he came on stage. He’s really a legend and an inspiration for me.
And a down-to-earth guy who told quite a bit about the history of WETA (for example how he and his wife started out sculpting in margarine… yes, the stuff we put on our bread), and he said some very inspiring stuff, for example, how passion counts more than talent, and that one should never ever give up.
Jed found the person whom Richard transformed into an orc earlier this day.
Third panel: William Kircher, John Callen and Peter Hambleton. I had no idea William Kircher was such a funny person – and that he actually still remembered quite a few Khuzdul sentences. Of course Bifur only speaks Khuzdul, but still, I reckon it’s quite a difficult language to remember after a while (although I still remember Gimli’s curse towards Haldir – no, I can’t write it, I just know how to say it, so I guess it’s possible ;))
John Callen presenting his hearing aid (and his face)
Fourth panel: Adam Brown and Dean O’Gorman (the only one who’s changed a bit, physically, with longer hair than last year). I love to capture their expressions, so this was a great panel to take photos😉
Adam and Dean got asked how Ori and Fili would propose to their girlfriends and they acted that scene (with Adam beating around the bush shyly for a minute and then suddenly storming up to Dean and „kissing“ him wildly. I’m afraid I didn’t see that coming and my camera didn’t focus fast enough, I only have „aftermath“ photos, this being the first:
Adam and Dean demonstrating their awkwardest hugs, first the one with each other when they first met, then Dean’s with Peter Jackson.
Adam told us how he let out a high pitched scream when he got (accidentally) startled by Orlando Bloom.
Also, he is terribly afraid of fish (and the fish in the Laketown scene were all real, old, stinking fish), and when he did the scene, he was supposed to lift his hand as soon as it was done to show that everything was okay, and Andy Serkis and the crew were really worried when he didn’t react to their calling out to him (simply because he wasn’t able to move a bit)
Dean had to recount his letterbox story (if you don’t know the story, see here).
After that I, for some reason, assumed that I could take a short break before the Opening Ceremony, and totally forgot about the photo sessions. I only realised that later on before the games show, when someone in the row before me had a photo of Ken Stott – whom I, btw. also had totally forgotten… when the dwarves from last year were all standing on the stage during the Opening Ceremony, and Mark Ferguson announced another dwarf, I was seriously puzzled, who that could be. How could I forget my third/second favourite dwarf!?😀 However, at this point, I was terribly afraid that I missed my only chance to get a photo with Ken and with Richard Taylor… but thankfully I discovered that they would to photo sessions on Sunday also. Phew!
The Opening Ceremony was a great event, as every year, and I liked how much the audience cheered for Richard Taylor (and Ken Stott for whom it was the first convention ever).
The Blunt the Knives song was played and the dwarves sang along and, as you can see, Dean and Jed „danced“ along.
The Game show was – surprisingly – on the first day. It was, just as last year, so much fun!
After Jed and Mark, Dean was announced to come on stage but instead Stephen came out, very active and cheerful, obviously imitating Dean, and afterwards Dean came on stage as Stephen.
I forgot the name of Jed + Mark’s team. Here’s Stephen + Dean (=Filbom(b))
First round: the well known buzzer game
Jed after unsuccessfully trying to cheat (question: how old was Bilbo when he went out on that unexpected journey. Someone in the audience obviously signalled him 55, and in this photo he’s just explaining the difference between five fingers and two)
Next game: both teams are one person and have to say their phrases one word each. Jed and Mark began having an entire dialogue before Mark Ferguson managed to chime in and stop them (because the other team was supposed to play the other part: one person wants to take the other on a date… to Mordor :D).
Third game: they were to audition, each of them posing as an animal. Jed Brophy (1) as an ostrich (which kept putting his head into – or symbolically on – the ground) and Mark Hadlow (2) a kangaroo (which kept slapping his „tail“ at Mark Ferguson’s ass). Stephen Hunter (3) was a (very bored and indifferent) wine-bottle-unicorn.
And then a a funny question from Dean’s panel earlier (or a serious question which turned out funny) led to one of the most hilarious scenes in the Game show. Dean had understood „giraffe“ instead of „dwarf“, so now he got to play a giraffe in the game show (4): Dean was being carried by Jed until the latter went onto his knees, then Stephen took over.
Dean clearly won that round. „His“ giraffe was most hilarious.
And one photo just for fun… I love Dean’s hair in this one😀
The next game was a (rather slashy) „fanfiction“ that Mark „wrote“ and the actors had to act the parts… and eventually all the dwarves got „strangely aroused“ by one another. I don’t know if Stephen posed as his own role but I think the others did. So here’s Dori, his heart beating for (?) edit: was it Kili?
One totally recognises Fili here, right?
Nori’s drunk – and Fili and Nori clearly attracted to one another
„Thank god!“ (I think it’s exactly the moment and the exact words Dean uttered when Mark Ferguson changed the scene and they did not have to „kiss“:
Here’s Kili shooting or rather hitting at (?) (whatever character Stephen resumed)
In the last round, they had to improvise a scene with Mark shouting an emotion every now and then which they had to act on immediately…
On further notice: I don’t know who told us, but the SEE will probably feature a scene with Beorn and the dwarves introducing themselves one by one. Also I think Graham told us that there were interrogation scenes with Thranduil and the dwarves in his throne room. I really hope that makes the SEE cut.
Plus, I think William Kircher told us something about the third film… and I forgot, what.😀 Was it that the Laketown dwarves will still manage to join the other dwarves in the next movie? I’m not sure. Maybe someone can help me out.
After I totally forgot the photo sessions on Saturday, I was eager to take the opportunity on Sunday.
Sunday began with a panel of Ken Stott and Graham McTavish.
I think it is incredible how much the image of the actors and the characters can blurr – I only speak of their stage behaviour of course. Even though I’d love to just talk with one of the dwarf actors for an hour or two privately, of course I’ve never done that and don’t know them better than that stage appearance at the two HobbitCons.
But just going with this, I think there’s really a lot of Graham in Dwalin and Ken just needs to open his mouth and say something and I immediately think of Balin. These two are the most extreme cases though. You don’t really recognise Dean in Fili (or the other way round) – except, of course, his attractiveness😉 , and while William Kircher seems to be a bit crazy as is Bifur, it’s a different way of crazy, so the same goes for him.
For Jed, Mark and Adam, it’s the first extreme again. One can totally see Adam in Ori, Jed in Nori and Mark in Dori. Plus on stage they have this sibling „mode“ (and they have it down to perfection!), which puts a lot of Ori in Adam etc. Most ad“ori“ble! The sibling thing also goes for John Callen’s and Peter Hambleton’s Oin and Gloin. While they’re not as easily recognizable in their characters, one can easily see their roles when they’re on stage together. Plus, I think John Callen would make an awesome wizard… This leaves Stephen Hunter. Since his role is a tiny bit taciturn, I’m not sure how much of Stephen is in Bombur – although it was repeatedly mentioned that they both love food. But, oh how I would have loved to see him and James Nesbitt interact on stage! Hopefully James can make it next time (not to mention that hopefully there will be a next time!).
Okay, back to the panels. The second panel: Jed Brophy and Stephen Hunter.
Jed being his usual self, always in motion…
Here, showing how the chasing-or-rather-being-chased-scene in Erebor was filmed, with Andy (or Peter?) yelling „here’s the dragon, now here’s the dragon, no, here…“ or something like that.
They brought swords but didn’t actually cross them… Jed and his son Sadwyn did.
Stephen had a chat with the background decoration.
Jed and Stephen demonstrating the dwarf training from that video of the dwarves that went viral some time ago (see photo above of Graham’s panel)
Aaaaand scene 88.
The third panel: Royd Tolkien and Sadwyn Brophy. Right now I’m not so sure why I didn’t stay til the end, though it was very interesting… I guess I wanted to be at the photo session with Ken Stott early.
After that the autograph session started, and I think that’s my one negative experience, because it was not really organized. Instead of making two lines for Silver tickets and normal weekend tickets from the start, they let a mixed line form up. Also I would have preferred the Silver tickets to be sorted by number (which I assumed would happen, but it didn’t, so I had to wait quite some time before I got in… and then it took even more time waiting for the autograph. I was to get autographs for friends, so I started with Peter Hambleton, for whom the line was shortest (of the five people I wanted to get autographs of). That was one of the nicest moments of this con for me, even though he probably told that to a lot of the people in costumes, but he asked me if he could take a closer look at my costume and actually got up and walked passed the table to do so. He asked me if I participated in the costume contest. I don’t but he said I should be proud of making this costume anyway. I guess I am, it’s the first time I actually feel a bit proud of a costume I made. Especially after Sir Richard Taylor emphasised in his panel on Monday that individuality was one of the most important traits and my head gear certainly was most individual. Until this panel I always felt a bit uncomfortable about it because it’s a makeshift because I simply don’t see how to do a neat elvish helmet out of leather (at least with the limited tools I use). But I think it’s pretty possible that an elf would wear this. At least my elf character does ;))
Hopefully I get to „pimp“ it a bit til next year (not to mention that there hopefully will be… yeah I know I already wrote that.). I planned to do a much more complicated costume, but I had to give up (after cutting out approximately 2000 leather scales I simply started sewing them too late). Maybe I get to do this til next year.
Then I went to Royd Tolkien. I already had his autograph, too, so I just got two for friends. Such a charming and not to mention good-looking guy!😉 Afterwards to Dean, for whom the waiting line was the longest. And then I really could have kicked myself, for not bringing one of my WETA books for Richard Taylor to sign. I had to get the only photo instead. I really hope he’ll do another convention (HobbitCon 2015, please?!) and then I’ll have to get another autograph. I really don’t know why I didn’t bring the book, but I’m kinda angry with myself for that. The day after I actually thought about getting the Creatures book, I think the second in the Hobbit Chronicles line, which I don’t have yet, to get another autograph, but of course the two merchandise booths which had any books, didn’t have these books. So hopefully next time!
Back to Sir Richard. The waiting line for him wasn’t the longest at first, but he was certainly the slowest signer I’ve ever seen. Which isn’t a bad thing, because he wrote half a page or even a page full (for the intelligent people who brought a book), and at least a long dedication for the ones with photos. Plus he exchanged a few words with everybody and he took photos of the people in costume, including two photos of my costume, one of the full costume, and one detail photo of the collar (which was actually the part of my costume I’m most proud of). I made a collar similar to the one Legolas wears in DoS, with the leaf-shaped scales. He told me that Weta ended up molding them instead of using leather. I think I had read that, but it was nice of him to tell me that he would have loved to make my costume (which is kinda funny since I based it on the costume they made for the Mirkwood hunters. Except the head gear. That’s a relict from the above mentioned Helm’s Deep elves-helmet-dilemma).
After getting his autograph I got Sadwyn’s for myself and since I had one more Silver ticket autograph spot left, I gave Ken Stott the photo from the earlier photo session to sign – he was giggling while he signed it since I had asked him to look terrified and I „threatened“ him with my sword for the photo. Well, I was grinning quite madly, so it wasn’t that threatening, but he does look scared.😀
A few photos of the dwarves and Sir Richard during the autograph session. The one of Mark I actually took when Richard Taylor was the last one signing (as I said, he was pretty slow) and the others were finished, and Mark just grinned into my camera in the right moment.
After that the costume contest took place, with a pretty awesome jury, including Royd, Jed, Sadwyn (btw. I really like that name!), William and Sir Richard Taylor!
This here is one of my absolute favourite photos. Richard Taylor was the last juror and they gave him standing ovations and I utterly love how they bow to him. It gives me goosebumps just looking at the photo!
Here photos of most of the contestants – I think I only missed the last two.
I left after the last contestant had shown his costume, since the contest was taking place from 18 to 19:00, followed by the one panel I wouldn’t wanna miss at all: With Jed, Stephen, Dean, Mark and Adam, ergo a panel were fun was guaranteed – but Sir Richard’s photo session was to take place at 1900. So I wanted to be one of the first so that I could go to the panel as quickly as possible. After the photo session I went there and my seating row was completely taken, so I asked the people who were sitting on the outer fringe, but they were in the right place, and then I went to the other side, the inner fringe and actually the person sitting right next to the corridor, i.e. the best position for photographs, was in the wrong row. So I actually should have thanked her for saving my seat – although she wasn’t too happy of course to be sent to her own row in the back (where someone else had taken her seat). Not my problem though. Yes, I am very happy and was very lucky to get such a low ticket number.
One question for Dean was about a nudity scene and that one only sees his butt and the fan said that it is also very nice to look at, so Jed had to go and check it out😉
Adam recounted his most frightening moment in his career. If I recall it correctly, he was doing a play and wore a speedo and pretended to go swimming, making swimming movements, also in the audience, only to realise one day that his left testicle was hanging out. Needless to say noone will ever forget Adam Brown’s left testicle (it was also mentioned repeatedly on the next day). And needless to say, the audience and the other guys just cracked up about this.
We learned that Adam Brown actually is in a Happy Potter movie. He’s one of the students raising their wands in the 6th movie, when Dumbledore is killed. The other actors didn’t know this either.
You have one guess: Which dwarf actor are these guys imitating?
Yup, that’s right.
More random photos:
John Callen and Peter Hambleton „crashed the party“. I think it speaks volumes if actors, even the ones of an advanced age do something like that. They must have genuinely enjoyed being at this convention, and I love them for giving us such funny moments and generally a wonderful weekend.
Still more random photos:
Poor Adam got asked, if Ori had to choose between saving Nori or Dori and there was no other way, whom would he save. He turned the tables and let the audience decide whom Ori would kill, and Nori lost out (third photo: Fili stabbing Nori).
The last panel of the evening was with John Callen and Peter Hambleton.
As always a pleasure to listen to them. Although I have no idea what the context of this photo was…
I actually only realised what John Callen did there, when I looked at the photos later in the evening on my laptop.😀 Then I understood why Mark Ferguson reacted so shocked.😉
What a bittersweet day… I really wanted this convention to last a week at least. It’s so much fun and so sad that it had to end already.
While the main actors were in the second autograph session, Mark Atkin, Thorin’s stunt and scale double, had his panel.
He told us how he was a bit starstruck when in his first scene on set he sat next to Sir Ian McKellen and was directed by Peter Jackson, and he thought to himself, that he oughta quit now, because how could that get any better. Also how he met Richard Armitage and again, was starstruck and didn’t really wanna bug Richard, while the other actors and scale doubles were already chatting merrily, and then I think it was the lady who was responsible for continuity etc., who just took him by the arm, „delivered“ him right to Richard, told him „this is your scale double“ while Richard was just sitting there, and tieing his shoe laces or something, and then left Mark standing there feeling even more awkward.
Also he demonstrated how they trained sword fighting, first with rubber (or other plastic) swords and very slowly, then faster and finally with real swords.
In the end he and the guy from the stunt workshop (Ben, I think?), did a very funny slomo version. Not quite earnest, as you can see😉
Here are two photos of my favourite costumes this year. Actually the only photos of fans that I took, apart from the costume contestants. Aren’t these Mirkwood guards *breathtaking*?!
Then the second panel: Graham and Ken.
We learned, that Dwalin would never be the same after losing Thorin and that he didn’t want to fight ever again, and for that reason didn’t go to Moria with Balin, which ended in him losing Balin as well. What they said about survivor’s guilt was pretty intense, it gave me goosebumbs.
On a funnier note, the latter told us, how once he and his sweetheart didn’t want to leave Berlin immediately after a premiere but rather spend another day there, so they asked the driver to „take too long“ to the airport, thus „miss the flight“, and how the driver winked and agreed, but then they were told that the plane was actually delayed for them so that they could reach it. So they accepted the fact that they weren’t gonna stay another day after all, and went to the airport only to find out that something with the paper work went wrong and they actually missed the flight so they had to take a flight the next day (such a pity! ;)). And the next day there was fog, so they actually had to spend another day in Berlin. At that point Ken threw his arms up in the air mimicking their joy about this „inconvenient“ delay.
Afterwards, Sir Richard Taylor, who showed the reel again, and the range of movies Weta worked on, and then answered questions again, as in his panel on Saturday.
I couldn’t resist taking a picture of him tugging his shirt. I think it’s an endearing trait, that he’s obviously still nervous when he’s in the limelight, or was nervous for so long that he adopted that quirk.
And the next panel: William Kircher. Actually I have to revise my opinion of him a bit, because I thought it to be pretty cruel to insist that the obviously very shy girl had to come onto the stage. I really didn’t like that. Not all people are entertainers. And she was already trembling at the microphone in the audience, so putting her on stage was just cruel. (If you are her and happen to read this: it was brave of you to do this, instead of just sitting down and hiding. You did great!).
Here’s Mark Ferguson, posing as a timid German, Klaus.
Live advertising of the cosplay contest at the next RingCon, right before the Closing Ceremony.
Well actually right before that they played the music video of I See Fire and quite many people in the audience sang along –> goosebumps.
And then the Closing Ceremony. Graham had to say goodbye in the beginning of the ceremony, because he had to catch an earlier plane.
Here’s him and Mark doing „the McTavish“ dance move.
Then we got to see the winners of the audience costume award and the the art awards, and the 2nd and 1st winner of the handcrafting award was actually a girl of… I don’t know… maybe 4 (yes, four, I didn’t forget another digit) years? Everybody was absolutely bewildered and amazed.
Also the stunt workshop and the Middle Earth choir performed on stage. During the second performance of the choir – they sang the Misty Mountains song (the title song of the first movie, not the song the dwarves sang in Bag End) – I actually got tears in my eyes. It was really beautiful.
And then we had to say goodbye to the actors. One of the funniest moments was when first Royd and Mark Atkin took a selfie on stage and then Sadwyn joined them and they did another selfie – and I had to laugh when we saw one of them gesturing that they ought to extend their selfie with every actor who was to join them on stage. That would have been really funny, but I think they didn’t.
The main actors appeared on stage I think in the same order as in the Opening Ceremony, with Ken being second to last and then Richard Taylor who received standing ovations immediately. It was really beautiful and I get goosebumps every time this happens. I loved how he was celebrated as main celebrity on this convention. I do hope he’ll be back next year!
All photos of the Closing Ceremony until that point:
And then the dwarves came back… and sang “Misty Mountains”.
Goosebumps! Perfect ending of a wonderful convention!
See ya at HobbitCon III (?!!!!!!!?)!
…or should I say world premiere-like event? Because it actually seemed bigger than the world premiere in LA. I was so excited when the premiere was announced because I had hoped for something like this, but I never imagined so many actors to come. The date was announced before there were any hints about the guest list. The next step was a short lineup – short, but certainly high quality, since it included Peter Jackson, Martin Freeman, Richard Armitage, Evangeline Lilly, Luke Evans and Benedict Cumberbatch. Even only Benedict Cumberbatch had been on this list, I would have come to Berlin, so it was a „must-do“ for me any way.
But eventually there were announced: Peter Jackson, Martin Freeman, Richard Armitage, Benedict Cumberbatch, Evangeline Lilly, Luke Evans, Sylvester McCoy, Mikael Persbrandt, Aidan Turner, Ken Stott, James Nesbitt, Adam Brown, Graham McTavish, Dean O’Gorman, Ryan Gage, John Bell and Ed Sheeran. Which was already great, but I learned of two more cast members to join the premiere, the day before (while we were trying to catch Benedict at the „12 years a slave“ film presentation): Orlando Bloom (my reaction: :-O :-O :-O) and (while we were standing at the red carpet, at some point during the 10 hours): Andy Serkis.
So my goal was to get Benedict’s autograph (of course), and Peter’s and Orlando’s. They were the three most important because via mail more or less impossible to get. And I wanted to get Ryan Gage’s autograph, he was the fourth actor missing in my collection, and my two letters to him seem to have been lost on their way.
But I take two steps back: I had some vacations days left this year, so everything seemed to work out, when I got ill last Monday, with fever for three days, which made me worry about my plan to go to Berlin. But I was determined to not let this damn cold ruin this one-time-opportunity. And thankfully the cold retreated. Not fully, but enough for me to go.
So I booked my train ticket for Sunday and a few hours after that, Nicole told me that on Sunday evening Benedict would present his movie „12 years a slave“. Obviously, I was thrilled – two chances to get Ben’s autograph… many of you know how I felt that my trying to get Benedict’s autograph was cursed, because neither all of my VV attempts, nor all my tries to get his autograph with help of nice people who were to meet him IP.
And I was relieved because I had booked an early train on Sunday, so I would be able to bring all my stuff to my aunt’s and get there to the film lounge in time.
It was a bit chaotic and I don’t really wanna write a lot about this disappointment, but after approx. 9 hours (which we spent partly in front of a hotel and partly in front of the film lounge) in the cold and for some time also rain, Benedict arrived to this presentation through the back door – and left through the back door. So this was a complete failure.
Well, I like to think positive and thought back to the STiD premiere where we spent hours in front of the hotel without any success one day, and the next day at the premiere was super successful. So I took the failure with Benedict for a good omen (or tried to ;)).
I arrived first (of the 6 or eventually 7 people – Nicole, Katrin and their friends), at 7.40, and the entire first row was already taken. But right then when Andrea and the others came, the barrier had been prolonged towards the street, so we got ourselves places in the first row in a potentially great position, since the actors had to leave the cars on the street and walk all the way to the cinema over this long red carpet, instead of leaving the cars right in front of the „stage“. Those of you who have watched the livestream, you probably saw that the actors walked a short distance, 10 or 15 meters maybe, from the street to the curve after which followed the 100-something meter straight carpet. We were standing right in/behind this interior angle at the beginning of the straight line.
And then we waited and waited and waited… and it rained and rained some more, and it didn’t stop for more than a couple of minutes. We feared that the actors would „run“ straight to the part of the Red carpet with a roof over it. But it was such a big premiere, that it was likely that the actors couldn’t ignore all of these people waiting in the rain for hours.
It was a very drizzly rain, eventually a bit stronger, eventually a bit fainter. It wasn’t as cold as the days before, but I was glad that I was wearing 6 layers of clothing😀 and I was even more thankful for the big fleece blanket that I had brought (after feeling really cold during the Hunger Games: Catching Fire premiere). So I basically wrapped myself in this blanket, sat on the backpack in which I had brought the blanket, and stayed there for most of the time. And most of the time a) I didn’t really get wet because the blanket prevented it, and b) I wasn’t cold. And I even manage to sleep for a few minutes😀
When it was getting closer to the show time, we got nervous because it kept raining… and there wasn’t any wizard, at least not greater than the Brown, to stop this „deluge“ But of course, we were mistaken. It only rained until the raining stopped: We had forgotten that Peter Jackson was the greatest wizard! Okay, maybe the raining didn’t fully stop, when he arrived (first, with Martin Freeman), but from that point on, it was so faint that it wasn’t gonna ruin our photos and autographs, until the last actors reached the press area.
„Funny“ enough, I totally missed Martin Freeman who was one of the first. Why? Because I only saw James Nesbitt and a few steps behind him his daughters (who play Bard’s daughters in the movie), and not at all Martin, who apparently was just between them.
They were more or less running towards the press area and didn’t give any autographs, promised to come back later but of course they only went back half way, so we didn’t get any of these four. I would have loved to get the autographs of Peggy and Mary Nesbitt, so it really is a pity. But there wasn’t much time to be annoyed (and then we still had hope that they would actually come back).
I don’t know in what order the rest of the actors came, so just a few „episodes“ that stood out (almost random order):
- When Dean O’Gorman came to my spot, for some reason he didn’t have any pen. Andy Serkis was standing right next to him and had just signed my photo, and when Dean asked if anybody had a pen, I just said „Andy!“ (and because noone else had a pen in that moment, Andy gave him his pen to sign.
- When Adam Brown signed my photo (of him, Jed and Mark at HobbitCon), I asked him if he remembered and he laughed, affirmed that and asked me if I would come to HobbitCon next year Of course I will😉
- When Richard Armitage came around the corner onto the long straight, he was, for one moment, stunned by the length of the carpet and all these fans waiting there. I don’t know anymore whether I could hear him or just read his lips, and if he said „wow!“ or „oh my god!“, but he did, pausing for a moment, before taking on the masses
- I think it’s weird how many people didn’t know the actors. Why go to a premiere if you don’t even bother looking them up? One time it was really „funny“, when some guy behind me held out a photo to sign for Ryan Gage… but it was a photo of Aidan Turner! I hadn’t seen it before, otherwise I maybe would have told him that that wasn’t Aidan, but only heard when Ryan told him „That’s not me.“
And a few moments later he saw my photo and told me: „This is me. You should show it to that guy.“ And he signed it (which was great because he was the 3rd of the Hobbit people missing in my collection til then, whose autograph I got at this premiere. After that, he even took a photo of us Such a nice guy! And very handsome😉
- Aidan Turner reached for my photo to hold it while signing it and since I was holding it too (beneath the photo, so he didn’t see it), he actually grabbed my fingers and with a pitying tone he told me that my fingers were freezing cold. Yup, that happens ;D
- It was pretty chaotic to figure out who would come next because as I explained, we were standing in/behind that bend, and some actors first signed on „our“ side of the red carpet and then changed to the shorter other side, and then back to our side to continue their way on the red carpet, and others came from the shorter other side and then changed to our side. So it was a bit tricky to figure out who was next. And at some point, Ken Stott was coming our way pretty slowly, and right behind him Benedict Cumberbatch (who had already signed for a while on the short other side and then changed back but started in the beginning on our side so we had lost sight of him for several minutes). Now, Ken Stott was slowly signing and Benedict was catching up… and Ken Stott first looked at every photo and commented now and then, so he just started signing for me and Benedict already was signing next to him…. I was SO afraid that Ben would skip a few to continue ahead, and it was so close that I actually wanted to pull back my photo while Ken was signing *lol*
- but luckily he finished just in time and Benedict signed for me. And not just the usual „BC 2013 x“, but I had somewhat of an unusual photo (of him doing mocap of Smaug), so he wrote more on the photo. My heart was pouncing and I was stunned. Still am. I’m so happy that the curse was finally broken and I finally got his autograph
If I decipher it correctly, it says „Don’t try this at home!“😀
So, a resume:
I did not get: Ed Sheeran (who apparently only signed Hobbit posters and not the photo of him, and I didn’t react quick enough to hold out the Hobbit poster I had. Sylvester McCoy (whom I didn’t even see), Martin Freeman (see above), James Nesbitt and his daughters (:(), and Katie Jackson (I wasn’t sure if the girl following Peter was Katie… although I had prepared a collage for her, and for the Nesbitt girls, because I had thought that they would maybe accompany their dads). Such a pity, especially regarding the three girls. BUT
I got – and this is the most wonderful result for me:
(I uploaded the full scans to the Hobbit page (LotR -> Hobbit) – I’ll gladly send you the password if you ask for it ;))
Richard Armitage (2x, one on my favourite Thorin poster and one on my favourite North & South pic)
Aidan Turner (on the same pic)
John Bell (2x. He’s a funny and very kind kid – and he was wearing a kilt :D)
It was so worth the trip and the wait!
Oh, PS: Again, I managed to grab one of those banners (the ones on the barriers, I’m afraid not the nicer ones on the poles).😉
PPS: A general note: It was a very „quiet“ premiere, which I thought was great. Of course people can scream and yell the actors’ names, but at the Catching Fire premiere some girls really screeched like crazy… that was not at all nice for the ears, almost unbearable (without putting ones fingers in ones ears) but literally cringeworthy. This one was different and I think this is also much nicer for the actors. At least we didn’t hear that much shrieking.
22.05.13 – 23.07.13
John Bell (Bain / Hobbit)
1/1 photo signed
This is actually a new one. His autograph I didn’t have before and really wanted it (since there aren’t many signatures missing in my Hobbit collection). I’m looking forward to seeing him as Bard’s son Bain in the second Hobbit film! He did a great job in Wrath of the Titans and I’m curious how he’ll do in such a blockbuster as the Hobbit!
Added this autograph to the Hobbit section
14.05.12 & 30.09.11 (!) – 20.07.13
Jed Brophy (Nori / Hobbit & Snaga+Elf+Rohir / LotR)
6 / 2*3 photos signed and personalized
Wow, now these were unexpected successes. Jed Brophy never signed during the main shooting of the Hobbit, and after sending my first letter in 2011, and having forgotten I did so, I sent another one in 2012. Earlier this year I sent a letter via his agency after there was a success posted via that. Then I got his autograph at the HobbitCon and was content with that… and on Saturday suddenly two letters from New Zealand arrived – both with 3 signed and personalized photos (which means it must have been the two letters from 2011 and 2012 that I sent via the Hobbit set). Now apparently I have a whole bunch of his autographs😀 Including one exactly like the HobbitCon autograph. I’m more than content now (although I assume that it’s possible that I’ll still get another success from him… I’m wondering what photos I sent there. :D)
Added 4 pics to the Hobbit section and two (of Snaga and one combined of him as Elf and Rohir) to the LotR section.