2012 Leo Awards autograph report - Not too shabby...condisering the fan unfriendly set up
The 2012 Leo Awards took place Friday & Saturday May 25th & 26th at the Fairmont Hotel Vancouver.
This was the 2nd consecutive year the historic Hotel Van housed the awards. Last year, they had the red carpet out on the very busy Georgia Street. While this was great for publicity for the awards, it was a major safety concern as traffic tends to zip by on there & there was several (including myself) instances last year of people needing to step out onto the street to walk by, thus risking their lives somewhat. The red carpet dominated about 4/5 of the sidewalk. This year, they went with a safer approach, which was too far in the other direction. They had the red carpet upstairs in a ballroom, 2 floors up... and while the public was allowed to wait around the check in counter outside the red carpet area, they were not allowed in this time to wait on the red carpet.....meaning, the ONLY red carpet pics this year, will be the very limited number that the very few reporters & bloggers who were accredited opt to put out there. This is IMHO a disservice to the nominees who often would appreciate any free press they can get, and the awards themselves.
For an event that has always been a very fan friendly event (even when those fans were protesting a show being cancelled, as was the case in 2007 with CBC series jPod), this was a small smudge on their image. Next year, I suspect they will need to work on a new design for how to have things. Even several of the nominees & presenters we chatted with seemed VERY dismayed and shocked at this turn of events.
The limited access this year however didnt stop the "in the know" people of the city, who figured out where we could go & made good of what we were given. When I got to the hotel, my friends from www.outlaw-hobbies.com told me the bad news & worse, 1 of my top 10 names that I wanted to get, was already in, Ben Cotton. I became a huge fan of the adult themed puppet mockumentary "Sunflower Hour" this past year when I saw it at the Vancouver International Film Festival. So I made a couple cast images to get signed, since most of them were expected to be there. But I had already missed Ben. I was then given the news "you can go upstairs, you just cant go inside... maybe he's hanging around up there" so I went up, didnt see him though.
I returned to the lobby, JUST IN TIME to see the next celeb roll in. "Sanctuary" star (Winner - Best Lead Male in a Feature Length Film) Ryan Robbins was coming in. We got Ryans attention & he proceeded to sign for us, and enthusiastically talk about his other project "Falling Skies" & he was asked about if he was going to be on AMC's "Hell On Wheels" & he wasnt sure if he could talk about it much but said yes. He was terrific as always, and quite candid & open as he told us about a pretty serious accident he had on the set of Sanctuary this past year that left him not doing well for a couple weeks.
After that we went back upstairs to see who we missed as several people seemed to come in. I 1st managed to get another "Sunflower Hour" star (winner - Best Supporting Actress in a Feature Length Film) Johannah Newmarch. Upon seeing my cast item I was working on, she went inside & found Ben Cotton for me. Ben signed and chatted about the movie & how much fun it was to do. I asked him if he had any other projects on the go, and he told me not currently... so dear god, SOMEONE, give this brilliant acting specimen a regular gig. He was 1 of the few shining lights from Hellcats.
It didnt take long before things started rolling along at a pretty frequent pace. Next up was "Vampire Diaries" star (nominee - Best Lead Actress in a Feature Length Film - Hannah's Law) Sara Canning, now a member of Vancouver shot series "Primeval New World". She signed for me & the others there, and stopped to chat a bit with a couple people. She was 1 of the bigger people I was hoping for, so it was exciting to get her out of the way early on.
Then things became a scramble. I might have (some/much) of this out of order. At some point, I got "The Killing" star (nominee - Best Lead Actress in a Feature Length Film - Sisters & Brothers) Kacey Rohl. Like Johannah & Ben prior, she had just great things to say about doing the film Sunflower Hour and loved the pics I had. Around that same time, another "The Killing" & "SGU" star (nominee - Best Lead Actor in a Feature Length Film - Sunflower Hour ) came by, Patrick Gilmore. Mr. Gilmore was his usual jovial self. He willingly signed what we had and chatted with us for a bit. Sometime a little later a bunch of the cast of "Sunflower Hour" came back out & right towards where I was... seemed they were trying to help me get Ben Cotton's autograph, but I already had him. They then stopped and by this point a few other autograph collectors had made their way upstairs, and there was new people looking for autographs from the likes of Patrick Gilmore. While that was going on, I was introduced to Aaron Houston (nominee - Best Screenwriting in a Feature Length Film - Sunflower Hour) and had him also sign my cast poster photo. I then asked him when it might get a DVD release, he said "soon" and I told him I have been impatiently waiting for it, as I have wanted to see it again. He promised it should be "in the next couple of months in the States, then up here" for a DVD release, which I was a tad disappointed to hear, but long as its out SOMEWHERE, I wouldnt groan too much where I got it from at this point. One of the last people I would get was Peter New (nominee Best Supporting Actor in a feature length film) to sign my Sunflower Hour item, leaving it completed by the main cast, minus Amitai Marmorstein (who was not there).
The most bizaare event of the evening, and if it were not for Robin Dunne dropping his pants on Georgia Street last year, I would suggest strangest moment in my history at the Leo Awards, Patrick Gilmore signed the stomach of 1 of the local autograph hounds after they chatted about his tattoos, which included 1 from a Harlem Globetrotter who had signed his arm & he had it tattooed over. Patrick even had Ben Cotton photograph the event while his guest/date this evening, the often entertaining in her own right, @KeepinltLeal (1/3 of the entertainingly odd "music" group "Coupla Hot Chicks...Maybe 3") stood by probably regretting getting dressed up for such an affair as she witnessed Patrick sipping champagne while signing a guys body. In typical Gilmore fashion, it became of course, a tweet of his https://twitter.com/PatrickGilmore/status/206546263917862912 in the documentation of his evening that he tweeted that evening (Seriously, if you dont follow him on twitter.... do it, more often than not, entertaining tweets) as he showed the world the adventures he was having (really, Patrick is 1 of twitters best celebrity tweeters 93.5% of the time). Only at the Leo Awards would you see a nominee for Best actor in a feature movie sign the chest of a male fan while drinking champagne & then have that said actor boast about it on twitter... this is why the Leos are 1 of my favorite events annually.
As the evening went on, eventually we would nab several of the "Sanctuary" cast as they showed up for the shows big last hurrah at the awards. Outside of Ryan Robbins, we also got Christopher Heyerdahl (Winner - Best Performance in a Youths or Childrens Program - The Haunting Hour) to sign, and he said he's really enjoying working on the AMC series "Hell On Wheels". Robin Dunne (nominee - Best Actor in a Drama Series) would come by a bit later, and although he seemed rushed (he was 1 of the awards hosts as well as nominee) stopped to sign for those there. Emilie Ullerup (nominee - Best Supporting Actress in a Drama Series - Arctic Air) also took the time to stop and sign (finally) which was a big relief for me, after I tried to get her at a fan expo not that long ago but was told from her she cant sign there for free, and I suggested how about the Leo Awards & she said sure if she is nominated. So in the end, it all worked out. One of the last people to show up was Amanda Tapping (nominee - Best Actress in a Drama Series) and she still had the time to stop & sign for everyone. Agam Darshi was also there, but I had nothing for her and watched as she signed for a couple other people who did have things for her.
With "Hiccups" being nominated for a few awards, former "Corner Gas" stars Brent Butt & Nancy Robertson were there of course. Butt seemed a bit hesitant to sign at first, but eventually stopped and did so, while Nancy stood there for the mostpart watching her husband sign for everyone till 1 of the other hounds came up with a Hiccups photo. Shortly after, I got wedged my way by Brent (we were standing in a very crowded confined space near a wall) to go get Nancy as well. She was so amazed by my "Dead Like Me" photo I had she almost forgot to sign it. Everytime I have pulled a DLM photo on someone, they have been amazed by them.
"Arctic Air" had several reps there, besides Ullerup, Carmen Moore (nominee - Best Supporting Actress in a Drama Series) was asked by a few fans to sign & she did so happily, while I tracked down Stephen Lobo (nominee - Best Supporting Actor in a Drama Series & Best Supporting Actor in a Feature Length Film). Sadly, Kevin McNulty, the only cast member I actually needed (on my Robson Arms cast items) wasnt there. Somehow, we never saw Pascale Hutton, even though she was apparently there.
I saw "Once Upon A Time" cast members "Blue Fairy" Keegan Connor Tracy (nominee - Best Guest Actress in a Drama Series) & "Hansel" Quinn Lord (nominee - Best Actor in Short Drama Film - Last Christmas) there as well, but I had nothing for Keegan, and didnt see Quinn till it was too late.
I saw "Robson Arms" & "Once Upon A Tiime" star Gabrielle Rose. I asked her for an autograph & she was willing to sign, but it was going to take me a few moments to figure out where the item was (by this point, things had been pulled out of my binder, moved, misplaced etc) and said I would get her after she checked in. UNFORTUNATELY, they sent her along the table till she was right at the door, and once out of sight, I was also out of mind, and missed my chance. I saw "The Killing" star Tyler Johnston as he was heading in & didnt have time to get him to sign the item I got for him. I saw another "The Killing" star Brandon Jay McLaren show up, but had nothing for him sadly, although I wish I had the "Tucker & Dale VS Evil" photo 1 of the others had.
All in all, almost 40 autographs at this years Leo Awards made it a venture worth my time. my nearly complete Sunflower Hour poster photo (gonna have to track down Amitai Marmorstein now) being my favorite item of the evening.
I will do a report on the actual winners (actors and films/shows... and maybe a couple others) soon.
Here is some of the pics of the evenings successes and adventures.
Best Of TV Awards 2011 Best Actress in Sci-fi Winner is.. ERICA DURANCE - Smallville
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.
Your favorite Male & Female TV Characters of 2011 are..... Dean Winchester and Lois Lane
Since January 24, 2011 my site has hosted a league and playoff tournament to find out my readers favorite Male & Female TV characters.
After almost 6 months, over 29000 playoff votes counted, over 28000 regular season votes counted, plus thosands more that were discarded for various reasons....we have some champions.
144 characters, 80 male, 64 female characters started out with hopes & dreams back then. Early on, it became clear there was 8 or 10 characters whose fans had become quite determined to push their favorites to the top. I guess its no surprise, considering my site talks primarily about Vancouver based shows, most of those characters were from Vancouver shows.
Smallville had 4 characters in Clark Kent, Lois Lane, Oliver Queen & Chloe Sullivan who early on emerged as serious contenders. A twitter campaign by Olivers 1st round opponent thwarted his chance to go far. Clark Kent had an indominable regular season, but once the playoff format of no multiple voting was in place, his support tailed some. Still Clark pushed thru to the mens finals, before finally falling. Chloe managed to hold on till the elite 8 of the womens tourney before she finally gave way to her castmate, Lois Lane....the eventual winner of the womens division & the only undefeated contestant in either side of the tournament.
Supernatural super hunter Dean Winchester looked unstopable early, while the shows other characters like Sam Winchester, Bobby Singer, Castiel & Crowley all started slow, but gained momentum as things rolled along in the regular season. In the playoffs Castiel went out early, losing to eventual finalist Clark Kent in round 2. Crowley would meet the same fate in round 3, losing to Clark Kent. Bobby Singer came within 1 game of knocking off his buddy Dean Winchester in round 3, but eventually gave way to the man who would eventually go on to win the Mens title, Dean.
Fringe lead female character Agent Olivia Dunham looked poised to also take a run at the title in the regular season, as was agent Astrid Farnsworth who won her division in the regular season. Astrid could not continue the success in the playoffs, bowing out in the sweet 16 round of the womens division. The shows male counterparts Peter & Walter Bishop both had strong regular seasons, playoff success didnt follow them as much, with each bowing out before their own division finals. Agent Olivia Dunham pushed thru to the womens final, before eventually being swept by womens champion Lois Lame.
Sanctuary lead character Dr. Helen Magnus had a slow start & only barely got into the playoffs with a losing record none the less...but once there, she proved to be a formidable opponent as her fanbase caught on to the game & pushed her to the final 4 of the womens tournament before losing to eventual champ Lois Lane.
Stargate Universe had many challengers in the playoffs. But playoff success was limited for the SGU crew. With all the contestants, including 3 regular season division champs in Eli Wallace, Dr. Dale Volker & Vanessa James, from the now cancelled show bowing out by the sweet 16 draw of each side.
There was some success for shows not from the 604.
The Big Bang Theory had 3 male playoff contestants, with Dr. Sheldon Cooper, Raj Koothrappali & Howard Wolowitz all making it. None however found a terribly successful playoff formula. However, lead female Penny made it to the final 4 on the womens side & even had a 2-0 series lead before falling to Agent Olivia Dunham.
How I Met Your Mother had 3 division champs in the regular season. Robin Scherbatsky, & Lily Aldrin on the womens side. Both however fell in the womens sweet 16 round. On the mens side, Legen..wait for it...DARY ladies man Barney Stinson made it to the mens final 4 before falling to Clark Kent.
The Simpsons mastermind Homer Simpson made the mens final 4 finals before bowing out to eventual champion Dean Winchester.
Several other challengers like Richard Castle from Castle, Dr. Gregory House of House, Daphne Powell from No Ordinary Family, Penelope Garcia of Criminal Minds, Seeley Booth from Bones & Turanga Leela from Futurama also flirted with some playoff success before leaving in the elite 8 rounds of their respective genders.
In the end. Dean Winchester from Supernatural won the mens tournament over Clark Kent of Smallville, while Clarks main squeeze, Lois Lane defeated Agent Olivia Dunham from Fringe for the womens title.
So congratulations to your 2011 favorite TV character winners
Mens- DEAN WINCHESTER (Jensen Ackles) "Supernatural"
Womens- LOIS LANE (Erica Durance) Smallville
Last night was the Gala event for the 13th annual Leo Awards. The best of British Columbia's TV & movie industry gathered to hand out their top awards. This years event was held at the Hotel Vancouver, after a scheduling change prevented them from holding it at their usual place, the Westing Bayshore. With the change in venue came a few challenges.
The most notable challenge was the red carpet set up on Georgia street. In the past, at the Bayshore, the carpet was set up along a very quiet and spacious sidewalk along side the hotels convention centre. This set up was great for everyone involved, as it was spacious & well lit with natural light when it is sunny. This year however, the red carpet was set up on the sidewalk of a mains treet that dozens of people use every minute. The carpet itself took up about 2/3 of the sidewalk, leaving a slim 3-5 ft ledge for fans & onlookers, uncredited media, autograph hounds & passer bys to navigate, with a lane of a busy thoroughfare just behind them. Thankfully for the awards there was no incidents with traffic hitting any people, despite many people, myself included, occasionally using the 1st lave of the street to walk in.
The cast of "Sanctuary" was the front & centre draw of the television side of the awards for the mostpart. With the loss of "Stargate Universe" this year, the gang from Sanctuary made up a lot larger portion of this years TV representation. SGU did have 1 representitive there, Jennifer Spence, a nominee for Best supporting actress in a drama, but failed to win, losing out to Lucia Walters from "Life Unexpected" in their 1 & only nomination as well. Ryan Robbins did bring home a solo award for the Sanctuary cast in the Best Supporting male category.
Many of the more notable Vancouver based shows won some awards as well. Fox sci-fi hit "Fringe" lead all TV shows in wins with 3 (tied with Sanctuary) for Cinematogray, Production design & best guest actor for Michael Eklund. "Supernatural" won for best visual effect. "Smallville" won for best program in its final season. "Human Target" won for best stunt co-ordinator.
Smaller shows like "Blackstone", wich won 2 awards walked away with the more notable awards for TV acting. Carmen Moore won the best actress award. The best actor went to Callum Keith Rennie from "Shattered"
In the movie side of the awards, "Gunless" walked away with 4 awards including best prgraom, cinematography, production design & stunt co-ordinator. "Altitude", "Transparency" & "Fathers & Sons" won 2 awards each, the latter taking home best supporting actor Jay Brazeau. Several movies snagged 1 award each, including "Life, Above All", "Amazon Falls" which April Telek took best lead actress, "Tucker And Dale VS Evil" which Tyler Labine took best lead actor & "Repeaters" which Alexia Fast took best supporting actress for.
Other notable winners were Paul McGillion for best lead actor in a short drama movie "A Fine Young Man" (which lead the way with 4 wins in that section..including best program), Shirley Broderikc for best actress in a short drama "The Closer You Get To Canada". "Mighty Jerome" won 4 awards, including best documentary program. "The Haunting Hour" won 4 awards as well in best youth or childrens program, including best show & best performance for Richard Harmon.
"Hiccups" had 5 wins, including best comedy program & best performance for Nancy Robertson, that was the most of anyone at the awards.
Below are some pics of the presenters, nominees & winners as they arrived for the awards.
Pictured "Blood & Chrome" & "Hellcats" star Ben Cotton. "The Listener" star Lauren Lee Smith, "Robson Arms" star Gabrielle Rose, "Intelligence", "Smallville" & "Alice I Think" star Michael Eklund, "Tucker & Dale VS Evil" & "Reaper" star Tyler Labine, "The Killing" & "Tucker & Dale VS Evil" star Brandon Jay McLaren with "Whistler" & "Tucker & Dale VS Evil" star Jesse Moss, "Wolf Canyon", "Harpers Island" & "Health Nutz" star Ali Liebert, "90210" star Dustin Milligan, "Smallville" star MacKenzie Gray, "Robson Arms", "Supernatural" & "Amazon Falls" star April Telek, "Stargate Universe" & "The 4400" star Jennifer Spence with "Kingdom Hospital" star Ben Ratner, "Twilight Saga Eclipse" "Kingdom Hospital" & "Dead Like Me" star Jodelle Ferland, "Charlie St Cloud" & "Whistler" star Amanda Crew, "Sanctuary" "Stargate SGI & Atlantis" star Amanda Tapping, "Sanctuary" "Dawsons Creek" & "Dead Like Me" star Robin Dunne, "Sanctuary" & "Dan For Mayor" star Agam Darshi.
10- Anytime I saw Tom Hardy
Quite literally 6 months ago I did not know the name Tom Hardy. With a role in Inception firmly on his resume now, and a 3 month pit stop in Vancouver to film This Means War with Chris Pine, its hard not to know the man who has already been penned in to a role in the upcoming Batman movie The Dark Knight Rises now.
What makes Hardy so memorable is, he truly likes everyone. He doesnt let Hollywood politics decide who he will & wont be nice to. Some of the people Tom was friendliest with while here were autograph hounds & paps. Always said hi, chatted with us & didnt at all seem phased by the cameras being focused on his work while he was on set.
Everytime I saw him, he made the meeting memorable. Whether it was chatting for 20 minutes about filming stunts on other films, or play sparring with a pap while in fight make up just after a scene, Hardy was always an adventure to meet.
Even with the miserable Reese Witherspoon trying her hardest to make people hate the film, Hardy and his free caring personality likely won over far more people than Witherspoon alienated.
9- Getting Stargate Universe cast going to & coming back from Gemini Awards.
The entire cast (minus 1 or 2) of Stargate Universe went to Toronto for the Gemini Awards & a couple promotional events. Knowing now that the show was going to be prematurely cancelled, I am glad I took this 1 last chance to meet them.
Almost every single member (Alaina Huffman being the 1 exception, as her husband frowned with disapproval) was happy to stop, sign & take photos with all that were out there. Robert Carlyle & Louis Ferreira chatted with us before departing, as did the likes of Julia Benson, David Blue, Ming Na & Brian Jacob Smith.
Upon their return, the group was just as excited. Patrick Gilmore regaled us in how the weekend unfolded. Telling us about stories with cast members in the hotel playing human bowling. Elyse Levesque talked about the show & that her group "Coupla Hot Chicks...Maybe Three" would soon be working on a new video. Julia Benson chatted at length about Canadian television & many of the challenges of it.
Each cast member seemed genuinely happy to see us. It is a rare thing for us to have an entire cast be so great. I am truly disappointed this show was unjustly cancelled so soon.
8- Roger Waters in Vancouver
One of the largest living music icons came to Vancouver this year. Roger Waters, of Pink Floyd fame was here for a show.
Waters just the day before coming to Vancouver made a very public statement on his facebook page telling anyone who would listen, that he would no longer be signing anything but albums, and would only personalize, in an effort to prevent reselling.
With little to no notice, the hounds of Vancouver were ready for this still. Armed with albums, CDs & official tour merchandise, the man who just 2 days earlier told the world he didnt want to sign for professionals, willingly did it every time he was seen. In fact, his only issue was whether the item was something official or not. If it was an album, CD or item from the tour, he would sign it without hesitation. Items that he may not have received any payment for however, he did abide to his newly enforced rule.
Even on his 3rd time stopping, with many of the same faces coming up, neither his handler or him griped about it, he did it with a smile on his face & thanked most people for coming...even though he had to know that most of them were still professionals.
Funny story, I had the chance to go for him in Toronto, and didnt. I admit, it was one of the less smart things I have done in my hounding career...certainly near the top of the list for this year.
7- The 2010 Leo Awards.
Sure, its not the Academy Awards, but in Vancouver, there is probably no larger annual awards event than this. The Leo Awards celebrate TV & Movies in British Columbia, and it actually gets a reasonable list of talent at it.
With stars like Twilight castmates Chris Heyerdahl & Jodelle Ferland, former Smallville star Kristin Kreuk and Sci-fi stars Amanda Tapping, Lou Diamond Phillips, David Blue & others there, it gives local hounds a chance to see a lot of the local actors that you dont always get to see because of their shows being primaraily done in studio.
This year, I did far better than my last endeavour to these awards...mostly, because I was more prepared. Getting lots of autographs from the cast of Sanctuary, Stargate Universe, as well as Jodelle Ferland, Lorne Cardinal & Kristin Kreuk, the day was a big success.
It was also the first time I would meet the girls from "Coupla Hot Chicks.. Maybe Three" (Elyse Levesque, Devon Weigel & Leah Gauthier) so, all in all, pretty great day.
What I really like about this event is that the public is welcomed to stand right up near the red carpet, where the entertainers do their interviews & can get autographs & photos right there. Considering it is at a venue that has on multiple occasions over the years gotten in actual fist fights & called the cops on autograph seekers, it really says a lot about the class the Leo Awards has to essentially tell the staff at the venue "back off its all good".
6- Getting Simon Pegg at the movie theatre
Recently, Vancouver has had some notable names in town for films. While the attention for filming Mission Impossible 4 will certainly be centred on Tom Cruise, his co-star, Simon Pegg made the biggest impression so far with the locals,
On his arrival to town, Pegg signed several items per person at the airport. Later that week, he tweeted he was going to see a movie. The detective skills of the group went to work & 3 of us summarized it was going to he at this theatre & this was the showtime that made sense.
Sure enough, the Hott Fuzz & Shaun Of The Dead star, came out from the movie & was greeted by 3 of us waiting for him. He happily took the time to sign and do photos with. He joked with us that it was some good detective work.
He thought so much of our skills, he tweeted about it moments later. http://twitter.com/simonpegg/status/10519962170953728
"Kudos to the enterprising young Canadians who figured out what cinema I was in and waited in the lobby. That's quality stalking that is."
I have seen Pegg 1 more time since then, and he againw as all class, signing without hesitation... even with the handler for Jeremy Renner there chirping about people selling. Neither Renner or Pegg seemed to care. Maybe 2011 Pegg can make the list again?
5- Stephen Colbert brings The Colbert Report to Vancouver
Yes, this did happen during The Olympics. I am aware. But this was not an official Olympic event, so it is technically, a different event.
Stephen Colbert, the satirical pundit on the Comedy Central hit show "The Colbert Report" brought his show to Vancouver for 2 days during the Olympics. Colbert brought the show up north after his show & the city of Richmond had some back & forth banter when Mr. Colbert (a major sponsor for the U.S. Olympic Speedskating team thru donations from his fans at Colbert Nation.) attacked the city for unfairly giving Canadians the chance to practice on the Olympic rink and not other nations in advance of the games.
With a setting in the middle of a field in a small park only a couple minute walk from the Olympic Village, Socchi World, Canada Hockey House & GM Place, it was a huge party type atmosphere at the free admission event. Thousands of fans came both days to the event. many came with signs, and some, like myself, came with items for him to sign.
The first day Mr. Colbert arrived moments before his taping in a van & pulled up along the impromptu road to the impromp pathway they had set up for him to get in. Colbert got out of his van & immediately starting signing for fans. With a mob like mentality of dozens of people pushing & clamouring to get their item infront of Mr. Colbert, he never once got annoyed, concerned or upset over the mob like mentality, infact, seemed to perhaps eat it up. He signed his way thru the mob & signed down the fence till he was into his tent where he prepared for the shows. Upon leaving the venue after the show ended, Colbert was less receptive to signing, as he only signed 2 total items (1 being mine) & was soon on his way.
Day 2 he again showed up, with security a little more prepared this time, the autograph chances were more limited upon arrival. But he made up for it during breaks & after the event, as he signed everytime he would go to or come out of his tent during breaks on the backside of the stage where some people chose to stand, since the front was literally 100s of people deep. After the show ended, Stephen did 1 final massive signing, where he went all the way around the back, back across the front, around the back again, along the pathway & off into his van. It is hard to imagine that anyone didnt get an autograph from the man if they truly wanted 1.
4- Getting Jim Beaver to sign his book "Life's That Way"
As a huge Supernatural fan, when I found out the man that plays Bobby Singer had a book out, I was curious. When I found out the material in it, I was eager to find it. I am not a big reader of books. It was in fact, the first book (that wasnt filled with stats or top lists) that I had purchased in more than a decade without the intent of reselling it.
The book is a collection of emails (most of them in the raw form, some revised slightly) to his friends & family over the course of a year updating them on his wifes battle with terminal cancer that eventually would claim her life, their daughter coping with the major changes, and his own feelings & fears. It is a very moving, and real book that makes you cry as often as you smile.
My next goal was to get it signed....but that turned out to be more of a challenge than I ever expected. It appeared after I bought the book, tracking down Mr. Beaver turned into quite the challenge. On no less than 2 occasions, I thought I had him. Even with back up on 1 occasion, he managed to sneak by (not on purpose).
On the last unsuccessful mission, I actually let my friends paranoia get to me & thought maybe Jim was being deceptive in tweets to avoid being seen coming in. What happened next I would rather not get into again...but lets just say, Jim & I had some words in private (not bad, just miscommunication & just dont feel like repeating the details) where I explained how I felt about a situation, he described that he meant no ill will...and it ended with him offering me a time & place to get the book signed.
It was early morning & he was heading back to Los Angeles after filming an SPN episode, and sure enough, he came out of the drop off vehicle, instantly saw me standing there & immediately came over to sign my book, my photos & my friends photos. He apologized for any confusion, I apologized for even making an issue out of it. He went on his way.
Most stars would simply shrug their shoulders at your misfortune & would not think twice of it. But Mr. Beaver went beyond what was expected by responding to me, then exchanging messages & offering a solution. You really cant ask for much more form someone.
3- Conan O'Brien in town with his Legally Prohibited From Being Funny On TV tour.
While 2010 saw the end of the shortened Tonight Show With Conan O'Brien, it was a sort of blessing in disguise for his fans in other areas of North America. After a couple months of sitting around & tweeting, the man who has become "Coco" to his legion of fans decided to take his show on the road.
O'Brien embarked on a 32 city tour. The idea of the tour was not for him to get rich, but to give his devoted staff, many of whom followed him from NYC to L.A. when he changed NBC timeslots, work after the sudden firing. Coco had 2 Canadian stops on the tour, 1 in Toronto, and 1 in Vancouver. The Vancouver stop ( a 2 show stop) was the 2nd on his tour & came just a day or 2 after TBS announced they had signed the funnyman to a deal to man a talk show for them.
I was lucky enough to see his first performance here in Vancouver, and from someone who often gripes about the price of live events, the $100 price tag for my last row in the lower level ticket, actually seemed like a deal by the end.
What made the event more special was the fact O'Brien was exceptional with autograph requests, photo ops & even joked around with photographers & fans alike when approached. By the 2nd day of his show, Conan was familiar with me, and still, didnt hesitate to sign for me, or take a 3rd photo with (1st looked dreadful, 2nd had too much light...so 3rd time was the charm). Stories of him signing & taking photos with fans on the patio of the restaraunt he ate at the day after his 2nd show tells you all you need to know about how cool he was.
Shortly before he left town, I saw him 1 last time out with a friend getting into a cab after hat shopping. Most celebs dont go out of their way to acknowledge people they have only seen a couple times. O'Brien however, in a cab on his way back to the hotel, several blocks from where I had just seen him, rolled down his window, gave me a smile & a wave as he drove off to his destination.
2- The 2010 Toronto International Film Festival
If I took the names that were there individually, probably 1/2 my top 10 list would be made up of this event. But I decided it was 1 event, and even though the likes of Sam Worthington & Michael C Hall probably deserve their own spots, they go in with this entry.
Like the Olympics, it was a long, nearly non-stop event that saw me get little sleep. unlike the Olympics, every day started & ended with a 1 hr bus ride to & from to where I was staying. Also, unlike the Olympics, where the amount of autograph hounds numbered in the low teens, this was an event where the hounds numbered in the 20s or more at times.....along with 100s or 1000s of onlookers & fans.
The likes of Sam Worthington & his "I dont care what you are doing with it" attitude, signing everything put in front of him & doing it with a smile, and some smart ass comments, like when he called me a "lying fucker..... I dont care, just curious really, its all good" after I insisted I didnt know what his graph was worth, then proceeded to keep signing, or how a really cute Japanese girl asked him to take off his sunglasses for a photo with & without hesitation he repllied "sure, if you take off your top" & although I am sure he was serious in the trade off, he didnt actually demand the trade off & still removed his glasses for their photo with anyways, made the lack of sleep most times worth it.
It was exciting to get Michael C Hall, who was my top priority going on & see that he was a really nice guy on top of it. Even in the press row of his after party, Mr. hall took the time to answer a couple quick questions for me on camera & posed for a photo with.
With the effort every adventure at TIFF takes, getting ANYONE, at times seems like a small victory. Like the night I got ONE autograph total. Sally Hawkins. She ho was a mere couple inches away from leaving me shut out that night, but came back to sign for me when she realized I was the only 1 standing out there with an actual item of her to sign. Good thing she did, because the rest of the night still goes down as my WORST TIFF night ever. Names like Clint Eastwood, Anthony Hopkins, Matt Damon, Woody Allen & Josh Brolin were out, 3 of themw alked right past where I was, NONE of them stopped to sign. if it werent for Hawkins, it would have been a complete disaster.
Of course TIFF has all sorts of cool 1 off fluke hounding ventures. Like when I got Jill Hennessey on a street corner after her & her sister had done an impromptu busking performance infront of a building for a TV interview. Or meeting Yeardley Smith at 1 party, while waiting for people coming to another party across the street. But at the end of the day, its the premieres, the airport & the parties where success is had mostly.
While all anyone really cares about at the end of the day is how well the Eastwoods, DeNiros, Springsteens & Hopkins of the festival were, its the small little victories that make the Fest fun & rewarding. A 4 hr nightmare trip thru Hamilton & Toronto transit inconveniences that shut you out of 2 other events can be redeemed slightly by 1 great outing at the Easy A premiere & running out of items for Emma Stone... an event that I didnt originally think I would be doing because of scheduling conflicts. Or the night that I got over 20 autographs from two A list celebs at 1 premiere, Megan Fox & Mickey Rourke both were exceptional signers that night & I did so well with them, I started helping out other hounds with their stacks.
My stats this year were up from my first TIFF. While the quantity of elite names I got was smaller than I really hoped for, it was still IMO a great success, a lot of that can be put on the shoulders of Sam Worthington, Michael C Hall, Mickey Rourke & Megan Fox.
1- The 2010 Winter Olympics.
I looked forward to this for 8 years, and it lasted less than a month. Now almost a year has gone by & I have had a chance to reflect on it, it was pretty awesome....even with the severe foot aches, lack of $$ & occasional lack of sleep.
How many times in your life do you get to experience a massive worldwide event in your hometown? For most, MAYBE once? Maybe. For me, its been twice now, Expo 86 was the first major event in Vancouver I experienced. It wasnt a hounding venture, but it was a major building tool in my youth. Now the 2010 Winter Olympics. A combination of hounding & elite sports in my town for 17 days? Its as if Christmas came 17 days in a row for a sports fan & autograph hound.
For every Lindsey Vonn, Sidney Crosby, Wayne Gretzky & Katerina Witt I hounded during the games. The names people know & idolize, there was the likes of Shiva Keshevan, Britteny Cox & Slovakian Womens hockey team, who in many cases, probably wouldnt be recognized in their own countries, let alone Vancouver with 2000 other notable names roaming the streets. They were often just excited that someone recognized them & I loved that rarely seen humility in an athlete. They truly appreciated anyone that noticed them, they didnt scurry away into an awaiting vehicle, or look for an alternate pathway to avoid people, they ate it up. It was those experiences that overshadowed the Jaromir Jagr, Shawn White & Steve Yzerman's of the games.
I got to experience hounding the Gold Medal winning mens & womens Team Canada hockey teams...on their home turf the day they won their medals. Theres literally a handful of people & I really do mean a handful, in the entire city who can claim the same. It is certainly an experience that might never happen in Canada again, at least with the elite of the elite in the tournament.
My totals during the games were far less than I had envisioned (budget had a lot to do with it) but I got a lot of cool items signed, some were profitable, some were clearly for keepsakes, and the best thing of all is, 75% of them I got less than a 10 minute walk from my house.
With 2010 in the books now, 2011 will be full of new experiences that I probably never expected to have. The only real sure thing I knew going into 2010 was that the Olympics were coming, but I did not know how good or bad they may be. Everything else on the list... was an unknown surprise before the eyar started. Can 2011 be better than 2010? Unlikely. But, I also didnt think 2010 would be as good as it was either. I guess we'll see in 12 months just what was worth talking about.
The 2010 San Diego Comic-Con saw an appearance by 2 members from the Canadian Sci-Fi show Sanctuary.
While co-star Robin Dunne didnt come thru Vancouver this year (show is on hiatus right now), there was a sighting of Amanda Tapping (Dr. Helen Magnus) returning.
The former Stargate SGI, Atlantis & SGU star went down to Comic-Con evading the radar of all the hounds out this weekend, but upon returning, we managed to catch the Sanctuary star & Producer.
She seemed to be in a rush, but still didnt deny any requests for autographs, taking the time to sign a couple per person. This feat seemed even more admirable when Fringe star John Noble came by right behind her, was called out to by 1 of the fans & just simply said "hi" & kept walking.
Amanda is one of the stars from here I have probably met the most, and she has always been great. Here are a couple pics of her stopping to sign, despite being rushed to go.
Do not forget Sanctuary fans, check out my polls section to vote on the best vancouver based TV show poll that Sanctuary is in.
I occasionally argue with inanimate objects, but I usually win. So its all good.