Friday, 12 August 2011

Empire BIG SCREEN: Day One

So I've decided to live blog the ass off this here BIG SCREEN weekend. I've no idea if it'll work, but if you don't try these things you'll never know if it's worth doing. It's a bit like naked kite surfing in that sense.

Anyway check back here for semi-regular updates throughout today, and if it's not a complete and total crushing disaster we'll do it all again tomorrow. In the meantime:

9.44am: I'm at the O2!
Here's proof:
This live blogging is easy. I'm off to find some pastry.

11.06am: The ILM Panel
I just got out of the ILM panel, otherwise known as The Anthony Daniels Show. Daniels, who I'm amazed hasn't changed his name by deed poll to C3PO yet, chaired a discussion with two ILM digimonkeys who were constantly surprised just how little he knew about the films that made his name. They had some interesting stuff to say about how some of the effects were done in the Star Wars series, although if there was anyone in the room who isn't as versed in the franchise as they are I'll be amazed.

There was a splendid moment when Daniels asked the room if anyone wanted to see another three Star Wars films, only to be met with awkward silence, but the ILM guys rescued things with tales of hidden lawnmowers in the Naboo sets and that kind of nonsense.

A nice man asked me on the way out if I'd like to order the Star Wars Blu-ray box set, which I suspect will be a recurring question over the next few days, but I politely declined. Doesn't he know I don't own a Blu-ray player?

Right. I'm late for the Ray Harryhausen chat so off I pop. And I still haven't found the pastry.

12.30pm: The Ray Harryhausen Panel
I just had my first geekgasm of the weekend listening to three blokes talking about a 92-year-old man. One of Ray Harryhausen's friends and colleagues and two current stop-motion animators described some of the techniques the animation genius used in his time, and chatted with passion about his legacy, and I could have listened all day. But more excitingly than that (extreme nerd alert), they brought some of Ray's original models along, including one of the skeletons from Jason And The Argonauts.

To see the detail on these things up close, without them being behind a sheet of glass, was amazing. And just to be sure I made a proper mess in my nethers, Caroline Munro of The Golden Voyage Of Sinbad and, more importantly, The Spy Who Loved Me fame was there to look beautiful and be delightful.
That's Caroline on the right.

Pastry update: I can see that people have pastries but I can't tell where they got them. This is killing me.

1.50pm: The Greatest Movie Poster Of All Time
In the world's most misleadingly-titled panel, three poster artists - Graham Humphreys, Tom Hodge and Olly Moss - talked about some of their, like, well most favouritest film posters. I've never heard of Gareth or Tom but the latter calls himself The Dude and drinks from a hip flask during panel discussions.

Sadly the panel never came to a decision on the greatest movie poster of all time (it's Back To The Future), although we did get to see this amazing polish Crocodile Dundee II poster:
And in pastry news, I found one but it was stale. HOW AM I EXPECTED TO WORK IN THESE CONDITIONS?!

2.55pm: Kim Newman talks Dracula, kind of
Poor old Kim Newman's Dracula panel consisted of himself and three empty chairs. It didn't matter a jot though because that man has more information in his brain than everyone else in the O2 combined, and much of it spilled out in the form of his own unique view of horror. He had a fair amount to say about Transformers too, which was peculiar.

By now I am existing entirely on a stale pastry and a horrible flapjack, so if I pass out from low blood sugar I apolo

4.41pm: Home time
OK, well I think I've seen all that BIG SCREEN has to offer me for today. There's a secret screening in an hour which may or may not be Drive (which I'm dying to see), but I'm prepared to take the chance of missing it because I really need to go and eat something that isn't made of butter. Also The Human Centipede director Tom Six is ten feet away and I don't know if he's washed his hands.

Join me tomorrow for more of this cabbage, and find out how I get on taking part in a panel upon which I am totally unqualified to appear. In the meantime, here's the lovely face of James Warren, PR legend who is largely to blame for my presence here:
Thanks James!


  1. I'm not sure if I can cope with these new high quality photos!
    Wish I was there

  2. I love Olly Moss' posters he has on Flickr, really cool artist

  3. I had a wander around the (free) Big Screen stuff earlier today (because I'm a cheapskate). The stands for films were a bit disappointing, nowhere near enough free crap. Sony's was probably the best as they'd actually brought along a few MIB3 props. Also, HARRY POTTER ANIMALS ZOMG I PETTED CROOKSHANKS...ahem.

    The secret screening might be Drive!? Grr, I was humming and harring about spending monies on the secret screening but couldn't risk the money on it being something I'd rather not see. Will it (maybe) be Drive the next two days? Or is it meant to be a different film each day?

    Anyhoo, did anyone else spot this rather feminine Anakin Skywalker on the SW booth?

  4. I want your cabbage and I want it stuffed like a vine leaf.....