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.
This past weekend I saw a few different stars from a few different productions that were shooting in Vancouver, leave town for the Christmas hiatus.
Of course, high on every Vancouverites celeb watching/spotting/graphing list is the Supernatural duo of Jensen Ackles & Jared Padalecki.
This was the 1st time in quite awhile that I had caught up to them both at the same time. For months, I have caught 1 of them here, another there, but it had been many many months since I got both of them at the same time.
They arrived together coming in a door far down from where we expected any arrivals for that flight to come in and if it wasnt for Jared standing out in a crowd....we may have missed them.
One of the other hounds noticed them way down at the end coming in and we instantly went inside to get to them. As they checked in, we waited arounf for our chance to ask them after check in for some autographs.
1st up was Mr. Dean Winchester. Jensen was his usual happy self and signed lots for the small group of us that was there, he said he was happy for the break. Never really talked about what his plans for the break were too much, but he wished us a happy holidays, as we did him & let him get on his way.
A couple minutes later, Sam Winchester strolled thru. He was a little more talkative. We said we havent seen much of him lately & he said its because hes just been "hanging out & being pregnant".. which of course we then congratulated him on. With Genevieve having recently being up here, we were a little surprised his wife & mom-to-be wasnt with him on the trip. He then told us she had left a few days earlier. She was with family back home & that he was gonna meet up with her very soon. Like Jensen, he wished us a happy holidays, as we did with him & he was on his way.
The pair then went on their way & oddly enough, were not seen together departing LAX hours later. Somewhere along the way, Jared vanished, while Jensen was seen coming thru.
Below is pics of the SPN duo. Supernatural is up for awards in 8 categories on the Best Of TV Awards 2011
http://canadagraphs.weebly.com/best-of-tv-awards-polls.html including Best sci-fi show, Best sci-fi actor, Best non-human character or prop, Favorite Character..as well, Jared & Jensen are both up for Sexiest Actors. Semi-final voting has almost wrapped...the FINALS will start early in the new year.
The 2nd video from the Supernatural filming the other day. Told you there wasnt much to it.
Even less to see in this 1, as you really can only see Jared for most of it, since Jensen is behind a post.
Thanks to the anonymous filmer of these videos who asked not to be credited (wise move - considering Cliffyboy claims he lets fans take pics). Wonder if these FAN vids will send Clif into an ALL CAPS RAGE and just try to stop anyone from taking pics or filming now. Dont worry Tiny, I'm sure the company thinks your still doing a stand up job of blocking SOME photos from being taken, as well as representing the company in a good light by making disrespectful gestures at people on camera and boasting about it on the internet. The CW must be proud of that.
So Thursday there was a couple scenes done for Supernatural downtown.
I was lucky enough that someone with a little handheld camera phone taped a few seconds of 1 of the scenes for me.
There isnt much to the scene. Just Dean walking away while Sam stands there.... but, I suppose its better than nothing for all of you.
I'll post it on youtube sometime later this week for those who arent having luck seeing it here for whatever reasons... so dont try posting this on youtube, or your own personal sites...it will get taken down... as some of you are already aware of. Simply link to this blog.
So yesterday there was a Supernatural shoot not far from my house...so I went and squeezed in a couple hours at the set.
There was not a lot to shoto (with my $500 semi decent camera...you really need the $1000+ type stuff to shoot from that far away and have great shots every time) because the crew decided to put up screens at a variety of angles & made set personnel stand around the outskirts of the scene to minimize angles for both the pros & fans alike to see, let alone shoot, what was going on... which wasnt even anything season spoiling.
It appeared to be a scene where where Sam & Dean walk out of a hotel (earlier they were shot going in...but I didnt get anything off that scene) and Dean walks away on Sam. Not exactly season spoiler, like I said...but the crew acted like they were protecting the ending to Casablanca....and as much as I love Supernatural, the greatest episode of this show isnt fit to even be accidentally put in the same class as an iconic movie. This brings me to a point where I am going to ramble on on a moderately related, but not too likely interesting to most of you, topic.
When one crew member takes it upon themselves to start a personal brigade against photographers or fans from seeing or shooting something. It isnt winning over anyone for the show. TV is all about eyeballs on the TV sets. TV industry is a VERY PR heavy industry. It relies heavily on fans being happy...and trying to shun them, and prevent them from seeing whats going on, all to inconvenience 4 people that 1 person on the crew doesnt like, is absurd. You did more harm than good by your over the top antics. I've been told "its distracting to the actors"... and while I did watch an actor once have a bit of a fit over such a thing.. the vast majority are oblivious to people photographing it....since they are 100 ft away. Also, NO, they are not "in the shot". Unless your camera can see around corners with some magic futuristic camera that can bend around solid objects, that too is BS.
As for you Clif. Since I know you are fascinated with what I say & do...you will read this at some point. Yes, I am aware you dont like me. I even know why. I am even ok with it...I didnt at anytime think you & I were going to be hanging out together trading cupcake recipes. YET, the 1 and only time you asked me not to bug the guys, I respected your request...and yet, you STILL feel the need to take a pot shot on twitter at me. Seemed uncalled for, and unprofessional. ESPECIALLY, considering, like I said, the 1 and only time you asked me to not do something, I did as you asked. I have both publicly in person, and on twitter, invited you to discuss your problem with me the proper way, man to man...which I think for YOU would be ideal...but you opt not to accept that proposal, then wait a year and take a shot at me on twitter out of the blue. Seems random, and not terribly wise for you to do.
Anyways, I didnt get a lot in the way of photos. Infact, most of what you are seeing here was screencaps off a video a friend gave me to see if I could do anything with....but, hey, its free and I suppose, its better than nothing...right?
I occasionally argue with inanimate objects, but I usually win. So its all good.