On February 14, 2012 I shot a set for Fringe. It was episode 18. At the time, I was sure I would see several more Fringe sets to shoot...and while I did come across 3 more sets after this, I never had an opportunity (or desire) to shoot them. I naively believed I had more chances coming...those chances never arose.
So this set of photos, could possibly be the LAST SET of photos I might have from Fringe EVER.
Now personally, I want the show to come back obviously. It is my favorite Vancouver shot series. Ontop of that, the crew during their 3 years here, has been mostly all class with lookie-loos, fans & professionals alike viewing their work.
Do I expect it to be back? YES. This isnt a "Yes, because I want it to" this is a "yes, because FOX & WB will reach an understanding that makes it possible" feeling. It will only be a 13 episode season. I am not naive enough to think they are rolling out a full season order. I also expect FOX to be VERY up front with the shows creators, crew, cast & fans that this will be it, there will be no season 6. But they will give them a 1/2 season to give the show a real send off, a real definitive ending that will resolve as many questions as they can. FOX is getting a lot of flack from fans that they are "screwing over" Fringe repeatedly. I can see the reasoning for this logic, but in reality, I think the people in charge at FOX have actually tried to keep it alive as long as it can.
Truth is Fringe is a thinking mans shows. Its a show you have to pay attention to & has many moving parts. Unfortunately, society doesnt want that from television usually. It is more happy with brainless reality shows. Lets face it, even those of you who watch shows like American Idol or Dancing With the stars will admit, its braindead tv. There is nothing to it, its fluff entertainment. Sadly, this is what sells.
I think its been to FOX's credit they have given Fringe 4 (probably 5) seasons despite lowering ratings. Someone at FOX obviously understands the quality vs quantity dilemma & is willing to back it, despite it being an obvious cash strain.
Getting back on track here... this is the last set of "new" photos I might have if worse case scenario happens & FOX pulls the plug.
I posted a few other photos from this set in this blog post http://canadagraphs.weebly.com/1/post/2012/04/fringe-shooting-a-few-scenes-with-walter-peter-olivia-astringenterr-i-mean-astrid.html of multiple cast photos. This blog is for individual shots..... so enjoy.
Another Fringe set featuring in order....
Jasika Nicole - "Astrid Farnsworth"
Anna Torv - "Olivia Dunham"
John Noble - "Walter Bishop"
Joshua Jackson "Peter Bishop"
and a couple bonus shots of the Waltermobile.
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The last Fringe set I stumbled across in season 4 (and dare I say... if FOX does the unspeakable..the last set I'll ever see) was back in February & judging by the time compared to the last shoot I saw (only a few days prior) this should be for episode 418, which airs TONIGHT!
This was a major moment for myself. I had photographed Olivia, Lincoln, Peter, Walter, Broyles, Nina & even a couple of their alt-world versions... but I had never photographed Astro... sorry, I mean Asterisk, till this day.
For the 1st time in my experiences, Jasika Nicole was on set shooting. I had met Jasika a couple times in the past, once on set where she was in fact not working but just passing by, and a couple times at the airport. But this was the 1st time i had seen her working on Fringe.
Also kind of fitting (if this IS my last Fringe set) that they had the whole main gang together for it. Walter, Peter, Olivia & Asirin, all together for once.
There wasnt a lot to the scene I can really tell you other than Olivia & Peter come walking from 1 direction, while Walter & Asteroid come from his car & meet them in the middle. They then converse a bit, and head inside a building.
Below are some of the photos I took that day where 2 or more cast were in 1 shot.. A few Peter & Olivia shots. Walter & Ostrich shots. Peter, Walter & Ashram shots. As well as the whole group in 1 frame, Peter, Walter, Olivia & Claire.
I will post more photos from this days shoot later. Those will be solo shots of Olivia, Walter, Peter & ASTRID.
The Best Actress in a Sci-fi of 2011 as voted by you the fans was.. Erica Durance - Smallville.
The final season of the long lasting CW hit Smallville saw its leading lady Erica Durance's character Lois Lane figure out the identity of Clark Kent, head to Egypt, become a superhero herself & have a wedding with the man of steel. The popularity of the Smallville cast in our awards over the last 2 years has always been considerable, in fact, if it were not for many Smallville challengers last year being removed from voting because of bot cheating that tainted no less than 3 different shows results, she could have possibly won Best Actress last year. With no such scandals this year (thanks to some wonderful knowledge from a friend on how to minimize such things), Erica Durance was able to compete in the finals & went on to win.
Ms Durance won this award handily, as last years Best Actress winner Anna Torv from "Fringe" finished a distant 2nd. A strong showing by Sanctuary fans pushed their leading lady Amanda Tapping up to 3rd. Close behind her was 4th place "Lost Girl" actress Anna Silk. There was a considerable gap to 5th place "Lost Girl" Ksenia Solo, 6th place Jasika Nicole "Fringe was next, ahead of 7th & 8th "The Secret Circle" ladies Britt Robertson & Natasha Henstridge
Early on Amanda Tapping & Anna Silk looked poised to fight it out for 1st. But around 1/2 way thru, the Smallville fans finally took notice & started to rally their challengers. Erica recorded 350+ votes in 72 hrs at 1 point, 1 of (if not THE) the largest vote pushes of the entire awards. The nominations process for these awards were early on in the contest, and this might explain the interesting void of a notable challenger in many of this years categories, "Lost Girl" star Zoie Palmer was not even nominated. Oversight on whoever originally nominated her castmates?? Side note, the gap of 442 votes between 4th & 5th was the largest single gap in votes in the whole awards.
Final vote results
Erica Durance "Smallville" 1213
Anna Torv "Fringe" 918
Amanda Tapping "Sanctuary" 858
Anna Silk "Lost Girl" 839
Ksenia Solo "Lost Girl" 397
Jasika Nicole "Fringe" 361
Britt Robertson "The Secret Circle" 278
Natasha Henstridge "The Secret Circle" 265
Now that 2011 has expired, it is time to look back at the year that was. I didnt travel too much this year, but that was ok, as elite names were roaming the streets of Vancouver throughout the year... now only if I had ran into some of them.
20 - Ellen Degeneres
I managed to get the talk show icon twice on her trip to Vancouver, including the 1st autograph I got in which I had to run 4 blocks to get after being given up to the second info on where she was. Few if any autographs I got this year took more energy out of me than that 1st 1 I got from her. Next day, she signed again and was happy to do it.
19 - Axl Rose
For a long time, I had heard nothing but horror stories about the lead singer for Guns N Roses. So I was not eager to go for him. However, this past time thru Vancouver, not only did the band actually play the show they came here to play, but Axl was even a willing signer. Pretty much anyone that went for him here got him.
18 - Simon Pegg
While here for Mission Impossible 4: Ghost Protocol, Mr. Pegg was the most often seen of the films stars. Whether it was at the airport, his hotel or the movie theatre, the Hot Fuzz star signed whatever was asked more often than not.
17 - Henry Cavill
The new Superman has been very good here so far. Although he is strict about limiting his autograph to 1 per person each time you see him, he has still been terrific in the interactions people have had with him.
16 - Cast of Sanctuary
Never had a bad experience with this cast, this year was no different. Whether it was at the Leo Awards, the airport or a charity event, each member of the cast was exceptional.
15 - Cast of The Secret Circle
This cast could have made the top 10, if it werent for 1 exceptionally bitter & sour life hating senior cast member of the show. That exception aside...the rest of the cast has been terrific with us.
14- Matt Barr & Aly Michalka
I miss Hellcats. Not just because of the campy cheerleader drama storylines. But because 2 of the nicer celebs we have had in Vancouver in a long time left when the show did. While some other cast members were a lot less thrilled to interact with fans during the shows 1 year run, Matt & Aly were as accomodating & friendly as you can expect. Class acts.
13- Cast Of Supernatural
Much like Ms. Torv from Fringe, the cast of Supernatural, whether its Jensen Ackles, Jared Padalecki, Misha Collins, Jim Beaver or the recurring characters of the show have been quite good to us Vancouverites when we run into them. Long as the regulars respect the no asking them on set policy, they are more than receptive to signing and chatting with us away from set when we see them.
12 - Leo Awards
This years award ceremony for BC film industry was not as spectacular as past ones I had hounded. Much of that was because of an unexpected change of venue & the loss of 1 or 2 shows since last year. Still, a list of names came out that made the effort worthwhile.
11 - Amy Adams
I had heard that Ms. Adams was a very willing signer, but till I saw it for myself, I didnt understand just how good she was. She willingly signed for everyone till there was nothing left out there to sign. She did it too with a smile. Wish all movie stars could have that level of appreciation.
10 - Booboo Stewart, Myanna Buring, Julia Jones, Guri Weinberg
This past year, the final installment of the Twilight Saga series, Breaking Dawn 1 & 2 was filmed here. In the years prior, some of the bigger names in the film were at times, pretty decent signers. This year however, there was VERY FEW great interactions with the cast. The names above were the very few I can say were outstanding. Considering how massive the cast was, its sad you can count the great experiences on 1 hand. Not to say ALL the others were terrible, but that they didnt neccesarily stand out as great.
9- Cast Of Fringe
The cast of the hit FOX show Fringe is generally friendly (the occasional grumpy Mr. Noble encounter not withstanding) the true star from a fan interaction aspect is usually Anna Torv in past years. Despite seeing the regulars probably 100+ times combined over the shows run here, she still willingly signs for us, even at the absurd time of 5:30 AM. This season, Seth Gabel became a regular and skyrocketed up along side his Fringe co-star for terrific interactions. Joshua Jackson, Jasika Nicole & others are terrific as well.
8 - John Schneider
Although from an excitement standpoint, getting Mr. Schneider wasnt overly high for me (I was a Dukes of Hazzard fan..but not a massive fan), it was how wonderfully personable he was each & every time that won me over. My 1st interaction with him was 1 of the rare "I wasnt expecting that" situations where we were at the airport for persons unrelated, and saw a sign for him there. Knowing he was coming in for an episode eventually, we waited to see if it was him, it was. He happily signed then. Seeing him 2 more times after, he was just as gracious each time after, even at the Smallville wrap party, where some of the bigger stars were nothing short of rude, Mr. Schneider was 1 of the ones that made the fans waiting out there happy.
7 - Cast Of Once Upon A Time
Usually when new TV shows roll into town, odds are someone on the cast thinks more of themselves than they actually are. Not so with the cast of the new ABC fantasy drama Once Upon A Time. Each & every cast member I have met has been terrific with interacting with the fans & the pros. It was the overall attitude of this cast that made me hope for it to do well...I'm glad it is succeeding, this cast deserves it.
6- Sharlto Copley
The District 9 star is simply, awesome. How awesome is he with fans? After a flight that was the better part of a day, he stopped, chatted with fans at the airport, did photos with, and even cracked a few jokes. So awesome he did an autograph session for a local African import store "African Breese Imports" just because they asked...and at the autograph session, he had no qualms signing stacks for fans, collectors or dealers alike. One guy plopped down 30 or so photos, Sharlto went thru the entire stack, not once groaning about doing it and thanked the guy for coming afterwards.
5- Callum Blue
Being a huge Dead Like Me fan, I still get a bit excited when I meet any of the cast. This past year, I had a 4th (or 5th?) chance to meet Callum Blue. He was in town reprising his Smallville role as Zod. What made this meeting stand out more than others prior though was how it went down. I first learned he was going to be coming back..I then contacted him thru a site I knew he was a member of that I too was a member of. He replied back with when he was coming. I then tried, several times, but without success, to cross paths with him naturally. So I gave him another message & he told me what day he would be off. So I tried that day, called his room & he answered & came right down. In the pouring rain, he stood, signed, and chatted with my friend & I for several minutes.
4- Chloe Moretz
At 2010 TIFF I had Ms. Moretz high on my list of people to get...but she cancelled. This year however, Hit Girl was there, and made up for the year long wait. One of the best signers at TIFF. Even with volunteers telling her she had to go, she still kept signing.
3- TIFF - The 2011 Toronto International Film Festival
Individually, several of the events from Tiff could make this list, and a couple I did list individually. But for the mostpart, the entire event of the Toronto International Film Festival falls under 1 event for me. So thus, why it is going here. This years fest was certainly my most successful from a star power aspect, and total wise, it was close to my best. Stars like George Clooney, Megan Fox, Madonna, Nicolas Cage & Ryan Gosling made the event quite successful for me. It was the newer names I wasnt as faimiliar with before going that made some of the more cool moments though, like Chris Pratt, Ezra Miller, Dominic Monaghan and Sarah Bolger who all made me fans of them with the way they handled their attention.
2 - Tom Cruise
While I did get a disappointingly low total of 2 autographs from someone I was told "signs everything", a lot of that wasnt any fault of his or really mine either. It was just dumb luck. Still, I managed to get 2 from him, which was still 2 more than most hounds in Vancouver got from him. The 1 and only night outside the trade & convention center unfortunately turned out to be the 1 and only chance Vancouverites got to get the Mission Impossible star. He made the waiting worth it though, as Mr. Cruise strolled over to a crowd of 20-30 people (which swelled to 75-100 when extras & crew came over too) around midnight & did a 20-30 minute meet & greet with fans, taking photos & signing autographs. Each interaction he made feel special, he asked fans to make sure their photos turned out and even acknowledged autograph requests with a level of respect, and not just a "ugh, fine" mentality to it.
No disrespect to Mr. Cruise, but at the end of the day, a rare, hard to obtain signature is a bigger deal on average than a classy, easier to obtain star.
Anytime you get someone of Madonna's level of fame, its probably going to make your best list. The Material Girl has been known for quite awhile as, at best, an unwilling signer. However, when you are promoting a movie you directed & has been panned by many critics, you are on your best behaviour.
That is what fans in Toronto got when the pop icon was there to promote W.E. this past Summer for TIFF.
Madonna signed probably 75-100 autographs on the red carpet, and signed at dinner a bit later after her event as well.
Some honorable mentions should go out to the likes of Patrick Gilmore, Rose McGowan, Daniel & Henrik Sedin, Ben Cotton & Lyndsy Fonseca.
So, that concludes 2011. Some amazing successes for me. Granted, there was some downright failures as well. I somehow never got Matt Damon despite him being here for 2-3 months. All my Saoirse Ronan autographs were ruined by an ugly fading silver sharpie. I missed Robert DeNiro AGAIN by mere inches, and same with Brad Pitt this time.
Who will grace the list at the end of 2012? Going into 2011, there wasnt a lot of "sure things" I could see making the list. To be honest, most of the list is a complete surprise, simply because I didnt know going into 2011 these people would cross my paths.
PHOTOS CONTAIN VERY MINOR SPOILERS. Nothing season spoiling, and likely, even episode spoiling. But simple spoilers of who did scenes with each other recently. If you want to know absolutely NOTHING about upcoming episodes...do not read on or look at the photos.
This past week I managed to stumble onto 2 different Fringe shoots.
The first day they were in the West End at an apartment where lots of police tape was in use for the scenes being shot. I saw a lot of cast on set, but only had a chance to get photos from Seth Gabel because of timing. Also on set that day were Anna Torv, Jasika Nicole & Lance Reddick. I also saw John Noble at the set, but he was not dressed in character. He was at the set with his real life son, I assumed at the time he might have been just showing up for work, but never saw him after that...so perhaps he had just wrapped..or was passing by & said hi (I've seen it before with this cast)
The next shoot was 2 days later in the Yaletown area of town at another apartment. This time there was scenes shot in plain sight in the alleyway. The scenes involved Anna, Seth & Lance at another situation that had crime tape, Boston PD cars, the swat team, and an Observer. They also shot some scenes inside the lobby prior to that, but I dont have much insight on what that entained.
In any case, I took photos of course. As always, like with the other sets I have shot this year (links below) and in previous seasons...feel free to post them on your site WITH THE TAGS...or you can get them without the tags for purchase.
Probably the most fascinating photo of the bunch for me is where Lance is signing...and behind him...an Observer. They are everywhere.
Other Fringe sets from this season...
Torv & Noble - http://bit.ly/r5RR2N & http://bit.ly/pDqAzP
Torv & Noble videos (mild spoilers) http://bit.ly/qCEvAA
Joshua Jackson returns to set for season 4 - http://bit.ly/q2j7E0
Cast going to & returning from comic-con http://bit.ly/qp8ISX
The majority of the cast from the FOX hit show "Fringe" went down to the 2011 San Diego Comic-Con this weekend.
In total, Anna Torv, John Noble, Jasika Nicole, Blair Brown, Lance Reddick, Seth Gabel & a suprise addition of Josh Jackson went to the event that has become a major promotion tool for TV & movies alike.
On the way to SDCC we saw only 3 castmates head out.
Jasika Nicole was her typical cheerful self, even at the absurdly early times they had people going out at. She got a good laugh when she heard another local autograph hound say "I think we just got Nobled" referring to co-star John Noble who also came in around that same time & gave a very fake "I just want to check in first" reply to us when asked for autographs. John is a real jekyl & hyde situation. I told someone once "Its like Walter & Walternate really exist" because you have 1 man that is 2 completely different people depending on the situation. Whenever I see Mr. Noble at set, hes quite pleasant. When I see him at other places, hes anywhere from "not receptive" to just downrtight unpleasant. This particular time Mr. Noble checked in and sure enough, as was suggested earlier by the other hound, we got "Nobled" as he put on his sunglasses, broke out a big shit eating grin...and proceeded to walk by our displayed photos without stopping. Generally, someone or all of us might proceed after him a bit in hopes of coercing him to change his mind, but we really didnt have time for that, as the shows central figure, Anna Torv was also there.
Torv actually arrived before the other two, but like Noble, said she wanted to check in first, but unlike Noble, is known for following up on commitments like that when asked. Sure enough, the Aussie leading lady did just what she told us she would do & came out to us. She chatted with us for a bit, said she had a terrific off season, and asked us how ours was. When we said we never really get 1 since somesthing is almost always here, and hockey season was so long this year, she then got kinda sad and started talking about how upset & disgusted she was watching the riots on TV. I said to her "I'm sure thats not the Vancouver you tell all your friends that your living in all year" & she was essentially in agreement & said how shocked she was that it could happen here. Eventually, we wrapped up our little chat & let her get on her way.
We never managed to see any other cast leaving town. Whether they were even in Vancouver yet, cant say for certain.
Upon returning, we again saw a friendly Anna Torv. Again, stopped to sign, and chat. Was telling us how she got to keep a couple promo posters which she said were for "me and my mom". Even after a whole weekend of being tugged at left & right to do this or that and signing countless autographs, she still did it here for people she sees week in & week out, with no hesitation & pleasant demeanour... and that is why Anna Torv will be added to my top 20 best celebrities list (a long overdue omission) on my next update.
This weekend a variety of shows & movies had panels at the San Diego Comic Con. That included ventures from Vancouver. Mostly our TV shows.
I will have more detailed blogs later this week, which will include any interesting comments they had to say on any topics of discussion.
Although I did miss several mmembers of Once Upon A Time (ABC) & Sanctuary, I did manage to nab a few of the other stars on their way out.
Saw Fringe (FOX) stars John Noble (didnt get any pics of sadly), Jasika Nicole & Anna Torv as they went on their way out of town.
From The Secret Circle (The CW) we saw Thomas Dekker, Brittany Robertson, Phoebe Tonkin, Natasha Henstridge & Adam Harrington
From Supernatural (CW) we saw Jim Beaver (didnt get any photos), Misha Collins, Jensen Ackles, and Genevieve & Jared Padalecki.
We did manage to snag 1 Once Upon A Time star, as Lana Parrilla made her way thru.
Only non-TV star we nabbed on her way down to SDCC was Grindhouse & Scream star Rose McGowan.
Check back after Monday for more detailed blogs on who we saw, with evne more photos.
Season 3 of FOX sci-fi hit "Fringe" has ended with the episode "The Day We Died" & the show, as it often does, created as many or more questions than it answered. If you have not watched the season finale yet, I suggest no longer reading this blog till you have as spoilers are posted in here.
The episode starts with a scene where we see Peter in the future, apparently in the year 2026. This of course was possible after Peter enters the doomsday machine in the episode prior with Olivias assistance & is (so far unexplained) launched into the future to see what the actions of the past create. In this episode we see many characters older, this includes Olivia Dunham's niece, all grown up (played by Emily Meade) & following in her aunts footsteps as a rookie FBI agent. Broyles has moved on to become a Senator. Astrid is now a field agent with the FBI. While Peter, is now a member of our worlds seemingly created Fringe division. A group called "End of Dayers" is trying to speed up the process of destroying the world as a terrorist simply known as Moreau (played by Brad Dourif) attacks places based on "soft spots" that will create more vortexes.
In 2026, our world is still alive, but barely. The alternate universe was destroyed in the battle between the worlds. One notable survivor from "over there" was Walternate however, who apparently came over to our world prior to his worlds destruction. All the key members of our world still appear to be alive in 2026, but with Walternate's world destroyed, he is on a quest to destroy our world & make his son Peter suffer as he has, by taking away what he cares for more than anything, his now wife Olivia. While the FBI & Fringe division work on trying to stop more attacks by the terrorist group, Walternate lures Peter to their old home. Once there Peter discusses with Walternate all thats happened & hopes to convince him to stop. When Peter realizes rationalizing wont work, he tells his father he wants him to come with him or he will arrest him. It is then that Walternate shows his son it was all a trick. Walternates image was nothing but a holographic projection. Meanwhile in Central Park, Walternate is actually there & is about to take the next step in his plan, getting revenge thru killing Olivia. Walternate eventually succeeds in killing Olivia in the future & a funeral is held for her, where all the members you expect to see in our world are at the service.
The loss of Olivia hurts deep for Peter, and it is left to Walter to figure out how to avoid the inevetable destruction of our universe. Walter realizes that the doomsday device was created by himself as a warning sign, so Peter could see what the future would bring if the current path was followed. Walter theorized he went back in time & planted it to be found in the future. Its implied the lore of "The First People" was infact created by him & other trusted members of the group.
With the knowledge of this now in Peters mind, he returns to the present with 1 goal, to merge the two worlds together, with 1 sole purpose....to avoid the destruction of both worlds. When he comes to, he finds Olivia, alive & well, and realizes he must merge the two worlds to work together. As Walter & Walternate, as well as Olivia & Faulivia face each other in our world, Peter explains they must work together, then vanishes.
Neither side shows even a shred of concern that Peter has vanished into thin air, despite all 4 parties there clearly having deep ties to him. Outside the Statue Of Liberty, a group of Observers is seem staring at a bright greet SOL & explaining that they should not remember Peter, as he never actually existed.
With that, the season ends & many questions for next season are created.
The most glaring is- Does this mean the end for Peter Bishop (aka- Josh Jackson) on the show?? Of course, fans will theorize all summer about the meaning of all this & whether or not Jackson will or wont return to the show.
An article that you can read in full here http://bit.ly/l9Kwrd with executive producers Jeff Pinkner & JH Wyman clearly states Josh will be back to reprise the role of Peter Bishop...how that will play out, clearly was not stated however.
Some other questions I think need answering are...
If Peter doesnt exist & seemingly never did, does Fauxlivias baby no longer exist either??
Can Walter & Walternate work together?
Will Olivia or Fauxlivia ever remember Peter somehow?
With the mission seemingly accomplished to save the worlds, what can a new season have in store??
How will they write Peter back in?
With the knowledge now that time travel is theoretically possible in this world, will this lead to other time travel based storylines down the road & how will that affect current world situations?
While I generally dislike the idea of leaving major characters "in limbo" for cliffhangers, thie fact the producers came right out & went "dont panic, Josh is still on salary" quells that considerably. Usually these concerns are over contract squabbles, this seems to simply be more of a logistics issue. When you are dealign with a show where simple logic is continually bent, warped or downright discarded, this is nothing more than a minor blip for bringing him back. Reality is he will be back, just when & how is the question.
Only thing known about the 4th season so far, is that Josh Jackson is eventually going to return. Outside of that fact, nothing is easy to predict. Which is just the way the writers for the hit show like it, keepign the audience guessing.....and for the rest of the summer & perhaps well into next year, they certainly will do just that.
20- Getting Jerry Seinfeld two nights in a row
TV icon & comedian Jerry Seinfeld came to Vancouver for a couple shows this past summer on his current tour.
I have gotten Mr. Seinfeld before, and really, if it were not for hearing a few horror stories from around the continent, I likely wouldnt be including him in my top 20 for this past year.
Jerry had 2 shows here & it was night & day for how he acted after each show. Going in he told us "get me after the show". So we came back after the show & Mr. Seinfeld signed a moderate handful, but got far from everyone. Many went away empty handed as the funnyman signed for a handful before leaving. I managed 1 that night but was hoping for more. So I went back the 2nd night.
The encore night was much better, as Mr. Seinfeld stood outside for about 5 minutes signing, and everyone ran out of items. Another 3 for me the second evening took away the disappointment of the day prior.
It was after me reporting on getting him that I was made aware that several people had been shut out by him in other cities recently. He has apparently been elusive at venues where the option to get in unconfronted is an option. I heard from others at the city right after here, this was the case there as well.... which made me all the more thankful that he played a venue with only outside entrances.
With 2011 just around the corner, a new batch of bests should arise by the end of the year. With the likes of Mission Impossible 4, Twilight Breaking Dawn, Underworld 4 & Superman already slated for here, and the rumour that part of Die Hard 5 might come here, big names will certainly be in stock in Vancity in 2011. But, just like this past year many stars were here, its rarely the case of the big names that garner the best attention. The few times they do, they are worth noting though.
19- Benji & Joel Madden of Good Charlotte at the airport.
This past summer, the brother from Good Charlotte came to Vancouver for some hanging out time.
For a long time they were considered terrible signers, and we had not heard anything recent about them, so we prepared for the worst. My friend who got the tip of them coming in was hesitant to get too many things (which for him is rare), but I hastily raced to various used CD stores to get stuff for them.
Total, there was 5-6 hounds there all with CDs at the ready. All with blue sharpies, and proof cams at the ready. The old GC I had heard about would have snapped at such a scenario. I have heard on multiple occasions in multiple cities, the band arguing & even being physically aggressive towards hounds. So we were prepared for the worst.
Instead, we got a friendly, meek & personable Benji & Joel. They not only signed, they did multiples without complaint. A situation NONE of us expected, but were all happy to partake in.
18 - Getting 3X Olympic Gold Medal winner Hayley Wickenheiser at her tournament
Sure, I know, I got like a dozen Hayley's at the Olympics. So whats the deal with getting her 1 more time thats so special?
Well, first, theres the fact that it was after Olympic photos were out, thus giving us a good chance to get autographs from her on items from the 2010 games. The games that will, because of where they were, always be the most special to me. Second, it is 1 of my favorite athletes of all time, so I am always finding new things I want to get done.
But what topped that was how cool she was about it & how she essentially held up her speaking engagement to sign for the group of us. She had an autograph session in a hotel that was housing her & some of the teams playing in her tournament. It was open to the public, so a handful of us went. Hayley the day prior had told 2 of the hounds to "bring everything tomorrow" & they did. I only came with 5 items and soon felt grossly underprepared as I watched my friends roll about 20 & 50 items each on her.
Hayley did it all, said she didnt care what they were doing with it & even suggested she hoped they got good $ for it, and chatted at length with us in between piles. She took photos with my friends & their kids with her Gold medal.
At the end, my friends both gave her collections, 1 in CD form, and 1 in actual print form of many of her greatest moments. She had apparently told them the day before that she had not seen much or any of the items they had... so they both did different things to show their appreciation to her. As you can imagine, she was thoroughly impressed & thankful.
I dont know how many sports you can find where the undisputed best player of all time in that sport would sit down & sign 50 items for someone, without complaining and expecting nothing back.
17- Vancouver actors going to & coming back from Comic-Con
Every year a variety of Vancouver based shows send a few of their cast to San Diego for the annual Comic-Con event.
This gives Vancouver autographers a good chance to clean up on some of the more elusive of casts. Shows like Smallville, Stargate Universe & Sanctuary, who primarily shoot in studios are easier to find when there is only 1 flight in & out of town (granted some did take connecting flights thru other places.)
A literal plethora of action happened going in & coming out. From Smallville, we got the likes of Erica Durance, Cassidy Freeman, Justin Hartley, and Tower Prep/Smallville cutie Elise Gatien. From Fringe we got Anna Torv, Blair Brown, Lance Reddick & Jasika Nicole (also saw Josh Jackson & John Noble, but neither were too receptive on departures). Supernatural stars Jensen Ackles & Jared Padalecki were terrific on departures, as was Sanctuary star Amanda Tapping returning. We also saw a few others from shows I was not prepared for like Eureka & Psych.
There was plenty to get, and often, you would miss 1 person getting another as they would come & go in groups. But in the end, it was still worth the effort, as there are no less than 5 people from that weekend that I got that I have not been able to get since.
16- Getting Lady Gaga after a show
Lady Gaga did 2 shows in Vancouver this past summer. The first night, she signed for everyone outside after the show.
I am not going to sit here & tell you I was "really excited" or "thrilled" to get her, or even that she was coming. Personally, I think shes grossly overhyped. That being said, I really had to respect the P.R. job she did after her first show here. She signed, signed some more & didnt care what the item was or who was handing it to her.
With the venues security actually trying to prevent me from getting an autograph, she reached for my item with a seeming purpose as to say "I dont care. Just hand it to me". She signed without hesitation for several minutes, and didnt shy away from the flashes of cameras.
Although she was less willing to sign the 2nd day, the 2 time Grammy Award winning artist was still a willing signer the day after her show & the night of the 1st show. For someone of her status, at the peak of her career, to sign 2 out of 3 days is pretty decent.
With 2 autographs on the trip, I consider her trip to Vancouver a success.
15- Getting Tom Welling... TWICE
In the 10th season of Smallville I have gotten Tom Welling to sign TWICE. In the 9 seasons prior- ZERO.
Long regarded as the worst signer in Vancouver, Welling this season has quite literally gone into a signing frenzy.... if you count about 8-10 autographs this season a frenzy. Prior to this season I only knew 2 people who had got the current Clark Kent in this town. Suddenly, this year I know of 4 people who have gotten him now... funny enough, each of us have got him on multiple occasions.
My first epic shocking moment came back in late July, only a week earlier Mr. Welling had outright denied me... as he had many times prior over the years. So I was not expecting a change in results...but this time, there was a good luck charm in tow I didnt know about. See, Tom was coming back from a trip to L.A. with Matt Barr, a cast member from the TV show Hellcats that Tom produces. Matt as I will tell you later, is quite chummy with us. So when I saw him with Tom, I was hopeful that maybe Matt's persona would rub off on Tom.
I broke the ice with "will you sign TONIGHT Tom" *emphasising the tonight to remind him that just a week earlier he turned me down standing in practically the same spot* with a somewhat unimpressed roll of the eyes, he reached over, grabbed the pen & signed. I was in shock for a minute or two. I walked over and snapped a quick photo of Matt & Tom going their seperate ways, then joked with Matt as he left that he was my good luck charm. I got him on a magazine that i had, no joke, carried with me on & off for TEN YEARS.
Proof Matt is my good luck charm would come a bit later in the summer/fall when at an event for the Smallville's 200th episode party, Matt was in attendance and wouldnt you know it, Tom signed for everyone that waited it out that night...all 4 of us. It was without a doubt, the largest "autograph session" Tom has done for any experienced autograph hounds in Vancouver ever.
14- Jensen Ackles, almost any given weekend.
When the biggest star of a hit TV show comes thru an airport, they expect some level of notoriety. Some handle it poorly, some handle it well.
Jensen Ackles, for the mostpart, handles it quite well. The man who plays the sharp tongued Dean Winchester on Supernatural has been quite good about the growing attention this past couple years. For the first 4-5 yrs here, him & his castmates came thru Vancouver with little to no attention on them most days. now, any given weekend, odds are, there will be at least 1 person out there waiting for them.
To top it off, the recently crowned "Best Lead actor in a drama" on the highly popular SpoilerTV polls is not just willing with signatures & photos with, but he is quite willing to give an opinion on most anything if asked. In fact, I have on multiple occasions have opted not to post things hes said, because I didnt know if its something that might come back to bite him in the ass later if the wrong people in the wrong position were to read it.
It was the attitudes of Ackles & his co-star Jared Padalecki that have made me a fan of the show. I started watching it because of them, and found it to be one of the best shows on....but I never would have given it a chance, if it werent for their off screen actions.
13- Steven Segal signing day after day
A lot of actors who are iconic names tend to be grumpy as their star fades. Steven Segal is not one of those people.
The action icon has been in Vancouver for awhile doing a show/series of movies. In the early days of shooting, he was staying at a local hotel, and would be seen at least once or twice a day on average. Every time, he would willingly sign for whoever asked. Even those who he knew he had already signed for.
Since moving to a permanant residence, he has not been seen around much, but for his efforts in the early days of shooting here, Segal earns a spot on the list.
12- The cast of Hellcats around town.
Sure, Ashley Tisdale is a bit unfriendly at times, but she does show flashes of niceness. Her aside, the cast of the new CW show Hellcats is pretty great.
Aly Michalka (along with her now guest starring sister AJ) is the real star of the show, and her off screen personality is absolutely spectacular. With the exception of 1 evening recently, she always seems up to the task of signing, chatting or taking photos with whoever is asking, regardless how many times she knows shes seen them.
Matt Barr has been elusive in the past few months, but when he is seen around, he is a willing signer & chatter. Barr is one of the few stars who if he sees a hound or pap will make the effort to give a head nod or a hello before you see him. He also holds the distinction of being at the same place on BOTH occasions where I got Tom Welling this past year.... so hes also a good luck charm it would seem.
Heather Hemmens is quite pleasant. Says alot about her acting that she can pull of the ruthless Alice character after you meet her. Sweet & friendly, Hemmens has been known to be so nice that she was still signing for me, while a driver (not even HER personal driver, but a hired one by Ms. Tisdale) was grabbing at her arm trying to make her go.
Robbie Jones seems to always be all smiles. Recently upon returning from California, he was spotted by a larger than usual group & willingly signed for everyone & joked about how cold it was here & that he wasnt used to the weather.
As a unit, this cast has been great. The few minor souring experiences with Ashley are more than made up for by Michalka, Barr, Hemmens & Jones.
11- Getting Misha Collins on the set of Supernatural
There is an unwritten, enforced rule on the set of Supernatural. Dont ask people for autographs there.
While this rule is predominantly enforced on the regulars for the shows two top stars Jared Padalecki & Jensen Ackles, its implied on everyone with the rest of the cast as well.
So I was more than excited when I had the lucky break of being able to get Misha Collins, who plays the angel Castiel on the show, on set, in wardrobe. It was my first time meeting Collins with items to get signed. I had met the man 1 time prior, the season before, but was not yet aware of who he was, since I hadnt got to that point in the show yet.
Another hound broke the ice, by encroaching into the area where Misha was, and with approval from Mr. Collins, we were allowed to wait for him as he came out of a tent to sign for us. After he signed, he chatted for a bit, and took a photo with me, in his Castiel wardrobe, then went back to the set.
A couple of unamused glares from the security on the set mostly rolled off me as I was sincerely excited to get the 1 main cast member from the show that had eluded me to that point.
Since then I have gotten him a couple more times, but that first meeting with him was the most memorable for the situation & how he dealt with it.
The cast of Fringe made their way to Comic-Con on Friday & Saturday morning, and I dare to say, there was a gender specific gap between the attitudes given from them.
While the ladies, Anna Torv, Jasika Nicole & Blair Brown were friendly, accomodating & happy to see people. The boys Joshua Jackson, John Noble & Lance Reddick were far less receptive. It is the first time I have encountered any negative attitude from this cast...and I am a little concerned its going to be a recurring trend.
We first saw Blair Brown on friday & although she was next up to the counter to check in, she stopped & accomodated requests for autographs fromt hose waiting. Shortly there after came Anna Torv. She signed for a few people before checking in, then again after checking in.
The next day was a different story. First up was Lance Reddick. As the first one it, it cant be claimed he was in a rush, yet he hastily answers "I only have time for 1 each guys" before he went to check in. Considering he was on the same flight as the others, and the next castmate wouldnt show up for about 15 minutes...what was he in such a rush for?? Shortly there after Jasika Nicole showed up wth her girlfriend & she willingly signed for those waiting before & after checking in. A little while later John Noble would show up. Noble hastily shooed off 1 request for an autograph from 1 of us before getting into line to check in. Upon checking in, he made his way to the security gate, where he begrudgingly signed 1 each for 3 of us there, before hustling off. His demeanour was that of someone that just didnt want to be bothered...considering how great he had been so many times before, I considered this a 1 off bad day at the time. A little while later Joshua Jackson would show up...he certainly was the last 1 to show up for the flight, so his excuse of "I cant, sorry" was a bit more sincered than those earlier who used the same excuse...yet, with others still showing up for that flight, it can be assumed, with no luggage in tow..he wasnt going to miss his flight.
Upon returning, the cast was again divided by gender. Again, the ladies showed to be the class. While we never saw Blair Borwn, Jasika Nicole & Anna Torv again signed willingly, and without concern for any schedule or the fact they just did a day of signing at Comic-Con. Lance Reddick was more personable than when he left, happily signing, although his autograph, once a nice, spaced out full name signature has been reduced to an "La R~" since Comic-Con. Understandable after a weekend of signing 1000s of items. Joshua returned with a little bonus in tow, Inglourious Basterds star Diane Kruger. The pair signed, although Pacey..err I mean Peter Bishop was unwilling to sign certain items. He was in a better mood than when he left, but still not the chipper, willingly obliging Josh that I had seen so many times prior.
Lastly, John Noble returned. When he left, he was not terribly receptive to signing for a relatively small crowd of people. On returning, he was even worse. When he showed up, he walked by where Sanctuary star Amanda Tapping was signing & when asked for an autograph by a girl there, he simply replied with "hi" & kept walking. When 1 person finally caught up to him, he signed begrudgingly & apparently according to reports was angry & belligerant with the autograph hound. I havent seen this side of him before, but now twice in 2 days there was a sour, abbrasive demeanour to John. Because of his hasty & not overly receptive behaviour this weekend, I didnt manage a single photo of him.
Just remember Fringe fans, check out my Polls section to vote Fringe as the best locally shot TV program. Also, yhere is a brand new FRINGE AUTOGRAPHS gallery on the side to check out.
I occasionally argue with inanimate objects, but I usually win. So its all good.