Day 2 started for me at the previously impossible Princess Of Wales Theatre. A venue everyone loathed, dreaded & hated with an utter passion for its lack of space for people to stand. Well, shocker of the festival.
The 1 thing TIFF seemed to do better this year than previously... they closed down Kings St & made the whole street an area to stand. This made it MUCH MUCH MUCH better. I'll someday have to thank Tom Hanks, who the rumour goes, is the one who complained about the old POW set up & said it was not fan friendly.
The 1st premiere of the day for me was a a film with Kristen Wiig, Sami Gayle & unfortunate no-show Hailee Steinfeld.
"Hateship Loveship" The new set up was appealing to the stars, both of whom walked over & signed for a good portion of the crowd. I got 1 from each of them
After an extended lunch break, my friends & I went back to POW to stake out a good spot for the next premiere. "12 Years A Slave" had lots of name appeal with Benedict Cumberbatch & Michael Fassbender starring in it. But it was 1 of the people who had a very small role in the film, and was a producer on it that drew the crowds out. Brad Pitt.
I will say it right now. Brad was a champ. He got out of his car about 100 feet before the planned drop off area the TIFF personnel had set up so he could get out of his car & start signing. He signed for almost everyone that was in the 1st or 2nd row who could get an item near him.... of course, problem was, you couldnt move to save your life, as the street was at times, 10 people deep. So the hope of getting him & quickly moving to another spot was a fruitless venture. I managed 1, after he skipped me & I told him "c'mon I've been here 2 & 1/2 hours" which he stopped what he was doing, and said "wheres the guy whos been here 2 & 1/2 hrs" at the sae time I was saying to him "Brad, please" he clearly recognized the voice, and happily signed for me before going back to his stroll down the line. He must have signed for 20+ minutes.
Michael Fassbender was also a champ on the carpet. Maybe not to the extent of Brad, but everyone that wanted 1 from him seemingly got him..
Oddly, the movies star Chiwetel Ejiofor not only didnt come over, but didnt even acknowledge the 1000s of people waiting.
From there, I rushed over to the Nicole Kidman premiere just as she was working her way down the carpet. I chose a spot that had a nice 3-4 foot space between two morons on ladders in row 2 (yes, row 2.). The photogretards cried "hes pushing" to the security, then the 2 or 3 people in the row infront of him (you know, 2-3 feet away from him...enough room for 5 people to squeeze in, parroted his whining) & before I knew it, the security people were all standing around that area looking thru the crowd to see what was going on. Of course, there was going to be no time to explain why the 2 guys standing 4 feet from the carpet on 3+ ft ladders were in the wrong, so I just moved 3 feet over, but it was too late, as that space filled quickly with others & I never got near Kidman.
From there I went & checked out the back of the POW for the Pitt movie leaving.
I managed another Fassbender, but was disappointed when Benedict Cumberbatch, who must have arrived super late showed, and signed on 1 side, but didnt come over to our side. I, like several fans followed him. Great thing about T.O. downtown is, traffic doesnt go too fast sometimes. My friend & I caught up to him at a light 2 blocks away, he asked him if he could sign while they waited for the very long light. he declined saying "not on the street". We then attempted to find where he was going, but eventually our foot speed couldnt keep up with his SUV speed.
Walking back, we stumbled across Hugh Jackman & Jake Gyllenhaal having dinner before their film "Prisoners".
A good crowd was already there, but with no one on high alert I found myself a nice row 2 spot behind a photographer right near the rear SUV door. In front was a little girl with just a notepad, so I asked her mom if she wanted a photo instead & gave them a photo of Hugh & Jake to get signed.
Jake did his best Jake Gyllenhaal impression & left without even lifting his head. But Hugh came out, and while the autographs were nothing even close to what I got 15 years ago, he signed a good 10-15 autographs on both sides of the exit.
On my side, he of course stopped, signed for the little girl which made her & her moms night. Then signed for me. Before he was about to get into the car I yelled at him about a girl standing behind me who was literally on her moms shoulders trying to get him. He turned, looked up & signed her magazine, then bent down, trying to look thru the crowd to say hi to the girls mom. Classy thing to do for someone who had a premiere to get to.
I had a string of not so much luck for awhile. Getting to the Parkland premiere too late to find a good spot for Tom Welling and then got a spot for Zac Efron, but he skipped over me & stopped signing shortly afterwards.
I ended my night going all the way up to Isabelle Bader theatre for the "Last Robin Hood" premiere with Susan Sarandon, Kevin Kline & Dakota Fanning. I missed Dakota & Susan going in, but saw Kevin. The Oscar award winner happily signed for those who asked. On the way out, Susan, another Oscar Winner came over to the whole TWO of us that were there & signed. However, the diva Dakota Fanning, who USED TO BE nice, snubbed us. Two people, and she didnt even muster a "no" or even a turn of her head to acknowledge someone was there. Well, guess whose film I WONT be going to see. Wonder how the production companies Big Indie Pictures & Killer Films would feel knowing her ONLY job there, promote their film, alienated people instead of promoted it.
Dakota Fanning should really take lessons from the two Academy Award Winning castmates she had in this film. Her turn to the dark side was 1 of the larger shocks to me of the festival.
2013 Toronto International Film Festival is days away - and here is who I hope to track down at this years TIFF
September is a monumental month for autograph hounds in Canada. Its the start of the NHL pre-season, our most popular sport across the country, as well, the Toronto International Film Festival takes
TIFF 2013, the 38th annual festival, takes place from Sept 5-15 & as usual, I'll be there taking in the opportunities to get autographs from some of the largest names of TV & movies. As always, there is a lengthy list of notable names with films there. Academy Award winners like Meryl Streep, Julia Roberts, Jessica Lange, Marion Cotillard, Nicole Kidman, Kate Winslet, Sandra Bullock, Nicolas Cage, William Hurt, Adrien Brody, Colin Firth, Kevin Kline, Robin Williams, Jim Broadbent, George Clooney, Juliet Binoche, Judi Dench, Marcia Gay Harden & Tilda Swinton are all in 1 or more films at this years festival. Popular stars of this generation like Daniel Radcliffe, Chris Hemsworth, Benedict Cumberbatch, Hugh Jackman, Scarlett Johansson, Emilia Clarke, Ralph Fiennes & Dakota Fanning also have films at the festival. Theres then an even longer list of "hey, I know them from something" names.
With so many names, so many shows going on over only 10 days, you need to prioritize if you are planning to catch celebs...and that means picking & chosing who is most important to you. Whether as a fan, or a seller, you need to generate a list of who you want to get the most, because you simply cant get everyone.
(please vote on the poll below for who you most want me to see at TIFF)
So here is my list of my top 20 for TIFF 13. Its a mixture of who I want to get for myself, or just want to get to say I got them or for financial benefits.
(note - not all names are guaranteed to be at the festival, so please dont take my list as a guarantee of their arrival... it is merely who I would like to get if they are there)
1- Melissa Rauch (The last 3 years in a row I have gotten my #1 on my list. Johnny Depp, Michael C. Hall & Chloe Moretz. This year, I am picking someone that was not on the initial guest list... so theres a good chance getting my #1 wont even be an option. )
2- Benedict Cumberbatch (If Ms. Rauch doesnt show,
Benedict, the man who brings Sherlock Holmes to life, will be my #1)
3- Michael C. Hall (Former #1 target of 2011 is still high on my list since the last season of Dexter is under way)
4- Emilia Clarke (Hot girl who walks around naked 1/3 of the time on Game Of Thrones? Yeah, like I wasnt going to have her on the list)
5- Chris Hemsworth (As Thor, hes become a household
6- Jessica Chastain (back-to-back Academy Award Nominations. Shes gonna win 1 sometime in the next 5 years)
7- Brad Pitt (If he comes, he will be sought after target for no other reason than to right the fact I haven't gotten him the 1st 2 times I saw him)
8- Hailee Steinfeld (Always some newcomers to my list every year, this year, Hailey has grabbed my attention as someone to nab, 2010 Academy Award nominated actress)
9- Meg Tilly (This Golden Globe winning recluse was most recently on the hit Bomb Girls. She is making a rare public appearance this festival for the 30th anniversary of The Big Chill)
10- Magda Apanowicz (My crush of her character on Hellcats not withstanding, I've quite liked her work on everything I have seen her in, most recently the Canadian sci-fi hit Continuum)
11- Lorenzo Izzo (Saw her a couple years ago at TIFF & was so taken aback by how gorgeous she was, I had to find out who she was. Now that I know, time to get her autograph.)
12- Karen Gillan ( I may not watch Doctor Who, but I know enough to know I'd be a fool not to go for her)
13- Scarlett Johansson (A household name now adays.
ScarJo will be on most peoples list, regardless if they ae fans of her work or not.)
14- Kurt Russell (Grindhouse & Miracle. Thats all)
14- Julia Roberts (Academy Award Winner should be enough to make the list...but I just want to get her really because of Pretty Woman)
15- Joel Edgerton (I've met Tom Hardy, I've met Jennifer Morrison, I've met Nick Nolte. So obviously I need to meet the final piece of the "Warrior" main cast)
16- Brendan Gleeson (Huge In Bruges fan, so excited that 2 of the 3 are at the fest)
17- Ralph Fiennes (see Brendan Gleeson)
18- Meryl Streep (when a legend this big is at any event, even if you dont care for them...you go for them)
19- Jennifer Aniston (met her once many many years ago & had nothing of note to get signed, now I will.)
20- Hugo Weaving (V For Vendetta, that about says it
21- Liam Neeson (even though hes a prick, still love most of his work)
22- Marcia Gay Harden (kind of an off the map 1. Really only want to meet her because of the amazing job shes done this year on The Newsroom)
23- Mke Myers (met him several times, but still always excited to meet him again)
24- Kate Winslet (Titanic is all I really know her from. But isn't that enough reason to go for her?)
25- Daniel Radcliffe (I loathe the Harry Potter franchise. But that said, I like money. So I will go for this stiff)
- Nicole Kidman, Jackie Earle Haley, Michael Fassbender, Mila Kunis, Olivia Wilde, Judi Dench, Tom Welling, Keanu Reeves, Tobey Maguire, Pierce Brosnan, Jude Law, Katheryn Winnick, Peter Sarsgaard, Alia Shawkat, James Van Der Beek, Metallica, Alice Cooper, Hugh Jackman, Sandra Bullock
Notables not on my list
- Reese Witherspoon ( she isnt going to sign more
than 2 or 3 autographs anyways...just long enough for the cameras to get pictures of her interacting with the "common folk" so why waste my time. Shes a bitch, thats the nicest thing anyone who has ever met her can say about her)
- Glenn Close (got her 2 years ago. I really am not impressed enough by her work to care to chase this fairly elusive signer)
- Jake Gyllenhaal (the lesser talented of the Gyllenhaal siblings, hes a douchebag. I'd rather ask homeless people for their autograph than giving him the satisfaction of ignoring me)
- Zack Galifinakis (outside of the Hangover, has he done ANYTHING to warrant such a big ego? No? Thats what I thought. When he comes back down to reality, maybe I'll care. Till then, his self importance of himself makes him irrelevant to me)
- Owen Wilson (really untalented, terribly unfunny, and a
bit of a prick. Cant be bothered)
- Keira Knightley (I got her last year & was really underwhelmed by her. Maybe once her ego comes down to reality I'll place more value on her. For now, shes a mediocre actress with too much of an ego & an abysmal autograph.)
My 2012 TIFF saw me go 10/25 (got my #1 Johnny Depp)
My 2011 TIFF saw me go 9/30 (got my #1 Chloe Moretz though)
My 2010 TIFF saw me go 8/20 (got my #1 Michael C. Hall)
How will TIFF 2013 go? Who will I get? Who will I miss? Will Ms. Rauch show up? Will my 3 year streak of getting my #1 continue to 4 years?
I will update this blog as the festival goes on. I will TRY to do it everyday, but as those of you who read my previous years blogs know, it will probably be more of every 2-3 days.
Twilight Saga is ending finally! Breaking Dawn Part 2 Is finally in Theatres. Canadagraphs rundown of my experiences with this franchise, fandom & cast
This week, a movie franchise starts its epic final run. Of course, I am talking about the Twilight Saga series. The 5th & final movie in the franchise, Breaking Dawn Part 2 will complete the 5 movie run that started with the filming of "Twilight" in February 2008.
Although I knew nothing of this franchise when it first rolled into Vancouver to start filming the 2nd part of the franchise "New Moon" in March of 2009, I knew there was big hype on it, and I learned a lot about it, the actors involved, the storyline and more than anything.... obsessive fandoms.
In the early days of New Moon, there wasnt throbbing swarms of teenage girls & moms staking out the stars every moves as they would endure later on, but simply me... and shortly after, a couple other autograph hounds & a pap.
In those early days, it was actually possible to see Robert Pattinson go out for a walk. My 1st actual encounter took a few days.It was the young Taylor Lautner, as I caught up with him 1 night, along with several fangirls who knew him even with a hoodie over his head. Soon, sightings of the movies main & secondary stars seemed to be a daily thing. I ran into them at grocery stores such as was the case with my 1st Ashley Greene encounter, I ran into them at restaurants, as I did several times. Of course, there was also the planned run ins, at restaurants as the cast would occasionally get together, or for events such as the party for Kristen Stewart celebrating her 19th birthday at the Chill Winston bar in Gastown.
There was events almost weekly the cast were at. Mostly concerts. Whether it was cast mate Jackson Rathbone playing a concert with his band 100 Monkeys that many of his castmates were attending at the Granville Island's Backstage Lounge, or friend of Robert Pattinson, Sam Bradley doing a show at the now extinct Richards On Richards club, they were around, and not at all hard to find. There was the night friend of Nikki Reed, Sage Dill did a show at the Metropole bar with Robert & Kristen in attendance along with Nikki. That was the 1 and only night where the stars really felt under a microscope while they were here. Robert was getting pressured by fans left & right for photos & a few words in the limited 15 minutes he spent in the very small bar. It should have been a sign to some of us of what was coming in the future for him.
While the first couple weeks of New Moon cast hunting was low on results, by the end of their run here in May of 2009 for New Moon, most of the cast knew the regular autograph hounds as well as they probably knew some of their castmates. We watched as they went from uncertain of our intentions early on, to accepting of us, and on occasion, taking the time to socialize with us about things. It really felt like the cast had an understanding of their celebrity & were ok with it. We even managed to the get the grumpy & snarly Kristen Stewart to crack & by the end of her time here, was telling us "I dont care what you do with them" in reference to getting multiple autographs while willingly signing everything we had outside the Loose Moose bar on Nelson street, a place many of the cast went often in their time during New Moon. They had won me over, and I vowed to see New Moon when it came out...and I did. It would be the ONLY Twilight film I would ever see in a theatre. I saw Twilight on video, shortly after Kristen Stewart, the 1 hold out from the cast for signing, did finally. I went out, rented the film, then of course, went to go see New Moon when it came out as I said I would.
A few months went by when the vamps & wolves were rolling back into Vancouver to take on part 3 in the saga "Eclipse" I was eager for it. I had done quite well from a financial point during New Moon. I thought "worse case scenario, it will still be ok" with Eclipse. Little did we know how wrong we all would be.
The Twilight hype was still growing, and with New Moon having just finished a theatrical release, and the DVD coming out shortly, hype for the Twilight franchise was at epidemic levels. Fans were even moreso clamouring for any news, positive or negative on the budding romance of the movies stars Rob & Kristen. Far too much attention on the franchise & ideal weather made for a bad bad combo when they returned.
In between New Moon & Eclipse, Robert Pattinson had run off to New York City to film, and Kristen Stewart had gone to Los Angeles to film. Both of them were sought out day & night by fans and paps in both cities. While it wasnt uncommon for the 2 starts to sneak out in Vancouver & have a night to themselves (solo or together or with other cast) once in awhile, it was practically impossible for them when they were in the 2 largest celeb spotting spots in North America. They came back to Vancouver quite sour on their celebrity status. When they got to Vancouver, they simply were DONE with being RPatts & KStew. Because of their unwillingness to just go out once in awhile, the few times they were seen anywhere, mobs of paps and fans would flood whatever area they were spotted at. This only made things worse for them. They actually made their poblem worse. They should have had people around them, explaining to them how to minimize the pressure that was clearly building around them. But they didnt, and they handled it how they felt would be best, and the result couldnt have been further from what they probably wanted.
Filming in the summer, there was a far different feel to this shoot than New Moon. Instead of 3 or 4 autograph hounds, a couple paps & a few fans at their hotels & such, 20+ paps were here at its peak, 50+ fans outside the hotels, along with those of us who were around during New Moon. You had a lady willingly driving people to the sets and hotels for money. You had a different rumour or outright lie created daily by some "source" about how things were in Vancouver for the cast. Truth is, the 1st month or so they were here,some of those claims of crowds so large, cast couldnt go out were not all that exaggerated as was proven the 1 day Peter Facinelli left the hotel to go to the 7-11 across the street & it took him about 20 minutes to do it. The cast were practically ghosts for the early goings of Eclipse. Few would dare leave the Wall Centre hotel to go anywhere without being driven away from the hotel via the underground garage. Going for a walk was no longer practical for them. However, despite all that, most every cast member was seen once or twice, and the most hardcore fans who would spend several hours out there a day every day, eventually saw every cast member... minus Rob & Kristen who were legitimately in hiding by the end of the 1st month.
After 4-5 weeks all the out of town paps & gossip reporters packed up and left town with their tails mostly between their legs. All the fans on summer vacations had left, and what was remaining was a fairly controlled crowd. On weekends, there MIGHT be 20 people total at the hotel, during the week, sometimes there was no more than 3 or 4. But gossip sites & mags kept reporting how bad the cast had it up here. They were allegedly unable to even leave their hotels because of the throngs of people.... despite the fact, those throngs had left.
In an "only Summit would do this" piece of brainiac planning, after the massive tidal wave of fans left, the people at Summit did something they SHOULD HAVE done from day 1, and moved the cast, minus Rob, Kristen & Taylor, OUT of the Wall Centre and to a private residence building not far away. Now away from the hotel, the cast were more free to go out & see things. While the rare few fans still hanging around the Wall Centre were hoping for a Rob or Kristen sighting, the rest of the cast were free to mostly do as the pleased. You could see Peter Facinelli & Kellan Lutz go out together, or newcomer Xavier Samuel going to a movie, or the Wolfpack members going for a walk together, they were around...and for the mostpart, unnoticed, except for a small group of those who knew where they had moved to.
The cast became a bit easier to find in the last couple months here, except for the mostly hidden Robsten. They were still sticking to staying in most of the time, despite the fact on many nights, there was few if any people at their hotel, and even fewer paying attention to some of their favorite sneak out spots.
While some new friendly faces like Bryce Dallas Howard, Jack Huston, Xavier Samuel & members of the Wolfpack, who I cant recall seeing even once during New Moon graced us, the bitterness of the big 3, Nikki Reed, Elizabeth Reaser & even a lesser extent at times Kellan Lutz soured many who had followed this previously friendly group. Just as the cast of New Moon had sold me on their product, the cast during Eclipse decided I wouldnt spend 1 cent on them...and I still havent seen the film.
By the time the cast came to Vancouver in early 2011 to do Breaking Dawn pts 1 & 2, they had already been filming for awhile in New Orleans & Brazil. I had hoped with the franchise being "out of sight" in that there was no film actively making the franchise a household name like when New Moon was still in everybodies minds while Eclipse came thru to film, the hype for the films would be lessened. Weather was again, poor. This SHOULD have been a situation where things could have been good. Sadly, the cast didnt get the memo about how popular they were at the time.
While there was some extremely pleasant newcomers to the franchise like Guri Weinberg, Casey Labow, MyAnna Buring, Joe Anderson, Judith Shekoni & Tracey Heggins, many of the main cast were still being quite unwilling to interact with people. Even Ashley "I only get roles because of my looks" Greene was often giving the cold shoulder to people, despite being absolutely unknown outside the Twilight fanbase. At least 1 newcomer to the franchise Mia Maestro was also, quite unpleasant. It was a far less happy cast than even the 1 that left after Eclipse.
Luckily, there was plenty of projects in town occupying our time, so we rarely spent a lot of time focusing on the cast. Mix that with them filming a lot outside of Vancouver, and they really didnt have to endure being spotted much in Vancouver, because they really were not here all that much.
I actually cant recall even seeing Robsten, or either of them individually for even 1 sighting except driving in or out of their hotel for work. Eventually, they were wrapping and the cast, which had already mostly left, trickled out of town with little fanfare & I was actually thankfull they were gone. I wouldnt have to deal with it anymore....... except until they returned for re-shoots.
A few months later, the crazy train rolled back thru Vancouver for 1 last encore. They brought Robsten, Taylor, Ashley, Kellan and a couple others back for a few days. Funny enough, I saw more of Rob & Kristen on their arrival than I did the entire shooting of BD 1 & 2. A few days later, they were all gone again. This time, for good. It was officially the END, and I could not be happier.
This franchise helped launch a lot of the success my website, youtube page & twitter accounts have now.
At one point I was ranked in the top 500,000 websites on Alexa thanks to Twilight Saga New Moon.
I had a video that was in the top 20 for a month in the entertainment category on Youtube because of New Moon.
I probably have 300-500 of my 2500+ followers on twitter still, that I would never have got at all because of Twilight.
I met some wonderful fans of the franchise while it was filming here, and on twitter. Not all of them are crazy. Some of them were quite logical, hard working people, who simply love Twilight with the same fanaticism as I show for some sports teams. I might not get it, but I understand that devotion to an entertainment product.
I learned a lot about marketing that I didnt get from a course, age demographics, shelf life of a hot product, and how some fans might read things into something you say even if there was no suggestion in your statement implying such a thing. Of course I learned as well, rabid fandoms have some messed up fans as well.
This franchise put a lot of Vancouver celebrity bloggers on the map. They might still be specks on the map, but they are on it now. More have followed since. Some have left, some have survived, some have repackaged their gimmick 3 or 4 times since then. Some were fanatical fangirls going in, some were unknowing of what a Edward Cullen was, but we all learned a lot about the franchise, and a lot about celebrity blogging/reporting and its probably helped some of us. Who knows if the celebrity scene in Vancouver would be what it is now without Twilight. I doubt it would. It didnt just open the door, it kicked the door off its hinges for making some Vancouverites more involved in autographing, papping and blogging about the going ons of the Vancouver movie & TV scene. We will probably not have another epic franchise like this stroll thru Vancouver in a long time, if ever.
Thanks to the fans of this franchise who checked into my random bloggings section often to see what my most recent encounters with the cast entailed of. Especially thanks to those of you who promoted my pages on your blogs, websites or elsewhere. Of course thanks to those who bought the countless signed items I had from the cast.
In closing. IT. IS. OVER..... and I couldnt be too much happier about it.
You can find MOST of my past Twilight related blogs here
New Moon specific blogs here
Eclipse specific blogs here
Breaking Dawn 1 & 2 specific blogs here
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This is the blog section for celebrity encounters & set reports on events that dont have their own sub-category on the left side.