August 29, 2010

Fan Expo-losion: DAY 1: Panels and Displays (August 27th)

In my last post, I outlined my frustration with the organization of the attendee lines at Fan Expo, but being stuck outside afforded me some perks. For example, I got to see the Warner Bros. staff unloading the car driven by the Winchester boys on SUPERNATURAL.

Despite the stressful line situation, once I got into the North Building of the MTCC, I began to meet and greet some really great filmmakers and vampire authors that Fan Expo had connected us with at Horror in the Hammer. I also got to check out the Tron: Legacy display. First, I was greeted by two cute Tron models at the Intercontinental Hotel. Later, I saw them again at the display which had on hand costumes from the film, a look at the upcoming video game, and display cases of other future merchandise including clothes and toys.

I think they were poured into those pants.
Is that a Tron beach chair?

I couldn't stay long taking in all the displays as I had panels to attend for Horror in the Hammer. First up, I attended the Q and A with the cast and producers of MEDIUM RAW: NIGHT OF THE WOLF (review). Despite some of the negative criticisms I mentioned in my review of the film, this panel showed me that writer/director/editor Andrew Cymek and his cast really love independent film and are dedicated to making the best possible product they can from an independent point of view. Moderated by executive producer Mihkel Harilaid, the panel consisted of Andrew Cymek and co-star/producer Brigitte Kingsley; however, cast members including Landy Cannon and Sandi Ross, and were in the audience both posing questions and offering answers. As usual, the panel welcomed questions from the audience but – in a refreshing turn of events – also engaged the audience with their own questions about why they we like horror, what we want to see in independent film, and what motivates fans to try out movies that may not have headlining celebrities or big production budgets. While the questions posed to the audience sometimes risked turning the Q and A into a focus group, thankfully this line of questioning lead us into some really interested discussions about how Canada's film industry disadvantages independent producers of genre films. It was an engaging and at times very candid, spirited, and uproarious look into the film making process. It really made me appreciate the film even more, despite its faults.

For those of you curious to see MEDIUM RAW: NIGHT OF THE WOLF for yourself, it can currently be seen on Super Channel in Canada and will be distributed on DVD in various markets through Anchor Bay.

On the author front, I introduced myself to a number of the vampire writers in attendance including Nancy Kilpatrick. All of these vampire authors, except for Karen Dale, participated in the “Evolution of Vampires” panel on Friday evening moderated by Kilpatrick. Despite a large panel of seven authors, the group had great chemistry and offered very insightful perspectives on how the vampires have changed from a romantic, horror, and comedy perspective. Stay tuned to the Screamwave Horror Podcast for a full recording of the panel.

L-R: Rio Youers, Alyxandra Harvey, Kelly Armstrong, Nancy Kilpatrick, Joe Garden, and Sherrilyn Kenyon (not pictured: Max Turner).