London Film and Comic Con 2014

July 14, 2014

Every year in July I make an annual pilgrimage to London at attend the London Film and Comic Con. This year promised to be the biggest yet including guests like Carrie Fisher, Michael Biehn, Casper Van Dien, Dina Meyer and Stan Lee in what is purportedly to be his last European Convention.

Friday 11th July 2014

I travelled down to London on the Friday checked into my hotel, the Imperial Hotel, Russell Square (not the best hotel I have ever stayed at but a reasonable price in a central location just around the corner from the Russell Square Underground Station).

I headed over to Earls Court where the convention was taking place at about 14.30 in order to meet Stan Lee and get his autograph, I entered the building paid my money for his autograph and then……he went to lunch for 30 minutes. Oh well nothing major just had to wait a while but I got to met him in the end and got a signed picture.

After meeting Stan I decided to wait and get my Gold Pass now rather than pick it up at 6pm when the show officially opened. I started queuing up at 15.30 and they started to hand out the passes at 4pm even though I was only a few people back in the line it still took over 30 minutes to get to me and give me my pass (I always feel that showmasters events are let down by the organisation skills by some of the people who work for them,it does not take much to find someone’s name on a list cross it off and issue them a pass!!!).

After I get my pass I go back to the hotel for a while to rest before returning to Earls Court. When I get there at 17.50 the Gold Pass line is out the gates, I remember when Gold Passes for this event used to be very rare being limited to 75 or 100 issued now they sell as many as they can (which looked like at least 1000) which devalues them quite a bit as even though you get priority in lines there are so many Gold Pass holders in front of you there is still a long wait. Rant Over!

When I did get inside I got to meet all the guests I planned on and they were all very nice and friendly.

First up was Curtis Armstrong, he played Booger in the Revenge of the Nerds Movies as well as the TV Show Moonlighting. I was one of the first people to meet him and we chatted for a couple of minutes.

Next was Michael Madsen who has had a prolific career mostly playing hard men, he is most recognisable for Reservoir Dogs, Kill Bill and Donnie Brasco. He was also friendly and when I wished him a good weekend before I left he looked at me like he genuinely appreciated it.

Then I went over to the two stars of Starship Troopers Casper Van Dien and Dina Meyer, Casper was very talkative telling me about his 20 year old son who is 6ft 7inch who likes boxing, very random but interesting all the same.

Then I met Robert Hays best remembered for the Airplane movies, he was funny and friendly and said I owed him $5000 for signing a picture, I said I would pay him tomorrow and he laughed.

I then went over to meet Milo Ventimiglia from the TV Show Heroes and Rocky Balboa. He was very friendly taking time to chat and comment on my Heroes poster which has now been signed by quite a lot of the cast.

Next was Tyler Mane, he played Sabre Tooth in the original X-Men movie. In front of me was a woman who would not stop talking, and I mean would not stop talking she was going on for over ten minutes with no concept about how rude she was to the line behind her who were waiting to meet Tyler. The fact that the conversation was so random made matters worse I am sure the guy did not want to know why you moved here to be with your boyfriend or which pubs you like to drink in or what type of tea you have or how you have met Kane Hodder, even when Tyler politely said I think the next guy in line wants to get an autograph she carried on. I finally got to meet him and he was great.

The final guest of the night was David Hewlett from Stargate Atlantis and again he was very friendly chatting with everyone.

Before I left I wanted to get a photo shoot ticket for Michael Biehn for the next day as I did not get one online before the event. This was the longest line of the night, I waited over 40 minutes to get it!!!

I took my stuff back to the hotel and headed out the Wyndham Theatre and was able to get autographs of both Carey Mulligan and Bill Nighy after their performance of Sky Light.

I then went back to the hotel for the night.

Saturday 12th July 2014

Got to Earls Court just before 9am and went straight in and over to Michael Biehn’s signing desk as he and Carrie Fisher were the only autographs I needed today. He did not show up there so went over to his photo shoot which was due to start at 9.30 and after waiting for 30minutes were told he was delayed and the shoot was rescheduled to the afternoon.

Carrie Fisher was due to arrive at 10am so I entered he line and was one of the first there, we waited, and waited and waited but she was nowhere, I even had to leave at one point to get a photo shoot with David Hewlett (he was great by the way)and was able to regain my place in line afterwards.

Her manager or agent or whoever he is kept coming out and getting people to lay out their items on the table, adjust the table by an inch, move the table cloth by an inch, move the chairs. He was a scruffy little man with stains down his t-shirt, I later saw him walking around and physically push people (including women) out of his way, what a pathetic individual. Eventually Carrie Fisher came out at 11.30 an hour and a half late and my feet where really aching at that point from standing so long. She signed my picture and that was it.

By the time I got out of Carrie’s line Michael Biehn had arrived so went over and got an autograph from him.

The rest of the day was spent getting photo shoots and attending talks.

First up was Robert Hays

Then Carrie Fisher (she had her dog with her, luckily not in the photo!)

Then Stan Lee

Then I went over to the next hall for a talk on Sherlock in attendance was the creative team behind the show including Steven Moffat, Mark Gatiss and Sue Vertue. When I went out at 12.30 there was still 1000’s of people queuing to get in and they did not look happy as the sun was blazing down (I later found out that Showmasters had over sold the event and people who had been queuing up for hours and who had paid for tickets were not being let in!!! very bad way to run a convention).

I then went back to a talk on Starship Troopers with Casper Van Dien and Dina Meyer which was very funny and interesting.

Then more photo shoots with Michael Madsen

Michael Biehn

And Casper Van Dien and Dina Meyer which was delayed by over an hour, more frustraition, but the stars were ok, but Dina Meyer was over heating due to the lack of air conditioning in the hall. In fact the whole place was boiling you could see some people changing t-shirts as they walked around is was that warm.

And that was it London Film and Comic Con over for me, I left at 18.00 back to the hotel to freshen up before heading out the Theatre Royal Haymarket to see Daytona staring Harry Shearer, Maureen Lipman and Oliver Cotton. It is a story about a long lost brother that turns up after 30 years with some important news to what he has been up to. To be honest it was a good play but a little predictable.

I was able to meet all the cast after the show and get them to sign my program.

I then went back to the hotel for the night.

Sunday 13th July 2014

Before heading back home today I went on the Warner Brothers Harry Potter Studio Tour at Leavesden Studios – I will not talk about it hear as I plan on writing a full blog post about the experience, but needless to say if you are a Harry Potter fan you should go there.



One Response to “London Film and Comic Con 2014”

  1. Tony on July 9th, 2015 8:54 am

    Nice Blog Mark.
    Met those guys last year too at FCCL.

    Have fun next wekk 🙂 will be there too


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