Archive for September, 2011

I know we are, we are the lucky ones … (Lyrics “Lucky” by Bif Naked)

When we booked TitanCon, we wanted to join the coach tour and visit film locations together with Miltos Yerolemou and Kristian Nairn. Never give up hope: got from No. 5+6 on the coach tour waiting list to be bus passengers this very day!

This is MUCH better than ordinary ring card girls, isn't it? ;-)

This is MUCH better than ordinary ring card girls, isn't it? 😉

First coach stop: Tollymore Forest – what a beautiful place. I can understand why they did shoot several of the Game of Thrones scenes here.

This is the view the wolf pups had ...

This is the view the wolf pups had ...

Our group passed some families on the way, one little boy, staring at us in amazement, said to his father:”Ohh, look – millions of people!”

We visited all the locations where something/someone took their last breath:” Here died the stag”, “… and here is the place where the dead dire wolf …” Phil also showed us where the Other finished the poor ranger in the woods (first episode) – even staged the scene together with Kristian Nairn.

Great walk, just ONE downside: we got rained upon a bit. Poor Kristian – he trusted the weather forecast …

The Others aren't so different from us! They even wear jeans.

The Others aren't so different from us! They even wear jeans.

 

Rooflessness

Yay warm and dry bus! Next stop: Inch Abbey (King of the North!) and according to Phil also the place where Catelyn Stark slapped Jaime Lannister … hard. Err – where are all the roofs??

 

This time our group passed some cows on the way, staring at us in amazement … 😉 As a bonus, the rain finally stops and there are some ripe blackberries to be found.

Some serious fighting and feasting

And on to our last stop: Castle Ward, the courtyard of Winterfell. We were greeted by several fearless warriors from the Clann Ulaidh who were banging their swords on their shields. Life is good. Surprise: Art was there as well, together with his parents and brothers. After our fearless greeting delegation warriors have shown us their fighting skills, some of the extras and the actors talk about where what was filmed. Since the shooting of the first Game of Thrones series things have changed in Castle Ward, like there is a lot less straw lying around. 🙂

There is time to walk around and have a look. Kristian is sitting around in his T-Shirt, at least the tip with the hot air hand dryer in the toilet does help a bit … Later at the feast he is almost dry.  A lovely idea is the medieval archery workshop: 3 shots for everybody who is interested. Art is a darn good bowman – he must have this from his Mom and Dad. My Husband does well, too! I shoot the lawn at the first try – it just looked suspicious. I swear.

But now: Ladies and Gentlemen, THE FEAST! There was song and laughter, wine and roasted pork, chicken, several kinds of salad and bread. The 2 girls who filled the plates with food were wearing blue gloves, what of course immediately resulted in Firefly quotes:”Two by two, their hands are blue …”

Did I mention what an awfully nice family Art has? I do now. We were offered seats, fresh cups and wine and chatted with Art’s Mom while Art was supplying everybody with “Enslaved by Peadar Ó Guilín” printed on it. By the way: Peadar certainly is the funniest and friendliest enslaver I’ve met so far …

Time to say …

Back to Belfast where we disbanded: some went home or to their hotel and the hard core went to  the next pub. What a weekend! Could do this again. It is always fun to meet nice people. Big thanks for the impressive organizing and the entertaining hosting. Greetings to NI, Ireland, Sweden, England and Cologne!

P.S. Hope that nobody of the coach passengers did get a cold – Kristian? Are you hale and hearty? 🙂

Pictures? What about more pictures?

Here are a few more photos we took as long as our camera did let us:

Our fearless welcoming committee, the Clann Ulaidh!

Our fearless welcoming committee, the Clann Ulaidh!

Actors, Re-Enactors and Phil at the court where the Lannister coach arrived ...

Actors, Re-Enactors and Phil at the court where the Lannister coach arrived ...

Ladies and Gentlemen: Miltos Yerolemou!

Ladies and Gentlemen: Miltos Yerolemou!

Just outside Castle Ward: Find all 5 Parkinson family members, if you can!

Just outside Castle Ward: Find all 5 Parkinson family members, if you can!

Three-fifths of the Parkinson family.

Three-fifths of the Parkinson family.

Yes, it is still cold - especially in a T-shirt. Note the wet trouser legs ...

Yes, it is still cold - especially in a T-shirt. Note the wet trouser legs ...

Swinging swords around is a really good way to get warm again!

Swinging swords around is a really good way to get warm again!

There already are some really nice pictures taken by some really nice people out there:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/jacmac/sets/72157627766620918/

http://yfrog.com/h8nsqlyj

http://www.flickr.com/photos/mollydot/6196807732/in/photostream/

And there also seems to be some video material from the 2nd  Game of Thrones panel:

 

 

 

Since my husband and I both didn’t bring our mobile phones it is great to have a nice hostel staff who is willing to wake us at 08:00 am. We have enough time to shower and to notice before breakfast that we didn’t bring any hairbrush either. Wait, wasn’t there something about taking pictures later at the Con? Good Lord.

Arriving at the Europa Hotel, snatching a quick peek at Guards! Guards! A Discworld Board Game (developed with love and patience by Leonard Boyd and David Brashaw in only 20 years) before it’s already time for the opening ceremony and the first panel Game of Thrones: Season 1 in review, where not only the actors Maisie Williams (Arya Stark), Sophie Turner (Sansa Stark), Art Parkinson (Rickon Stark), Miltos Yerolemou (Syrio Forel) and Kristian Nairn (Hodor!!) were present, but also storyboard artist William Simpson.

It was really nice to hear some details about the filming – the handling of the “wolves” for example: how Sophie sometimes had a hard time with her dynamic and spontaneous “Lady”, how Art enjoyed doing the scene where he calls the wild “Shaggy Dog” back. We heard about the suffering of the Hungarian stuntman who acted as Lannister guards in the fight scene with Miltos and also of Kristian’s pain concerning certain glue residues from a certain prop. New (for me at least) was the fact that Maisie is right handed, but for Game of Thrones had to learn sword fighting with the left hand. Respect!

Smile time

Very fast forward was the photoshooting of everyone with the actors: a loooooooooong queue, “Next!”, “Hi, hello, nice meeting you”, “Smile!” – OK. Ach, damn: still haven’t got the chance to buy a hairbrush … Probably that was the reason Maisie said: “Love your haircut!” 😉

What is really admirable: Around 200 people lining up, everybody getting 3 pictures taken – a smile marathon for all the actors and William Simpson. The thought about having a photograph taken where we all make faces came too late when husband and I were already outside. Well, maybe next year!

Raindance

We couldn’t make it in time to the 99 Minute Film School Film Workshop by Elliot Grove via Skype from London, so we sneaked in, thought to hide in the last row and listening snugly to the wisdom of a professional film maker.

That WAS the plan.

But we were discovered and asked very friendly to come to the front seats and ask Mr Grove some questions. My mind went sort of blank. I remember asking questions, but I am really NOT sure if they have been of the intelligent kind … 😉

Oh, and husband talked Mr Grove into having a look on our Evil League of Evil Contest entry “Cellyman” done for Joss Whedon’s Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog. (If there is anyone willing to watch what we came up within a few days, just check Vimeo for “Cellyman”. Today we would probably change a gazillion things in it, but at that time it was fun just doing this vid.)

Water Dance

After that it was watching Miltos do some Water Dance with his old fighting buddy Joseph Campo (Get Joe on the show). Various pupils were taught by Miltos how to place their feet correctly, swing up to the left, up to the right, to turn and to block behind your back – which just looks very elegant, if you do it right. It really takes some courage to go up to the stage and do this! To make it even more enjoyable, a certain left hand fighting girl came on stage and assisted “Syrio Forel” in the sword fight lessons.

01:00 pm: Lessons done, Lunchtime awaits us – watching other people fight seems to make really hungry …

Completely panelled

In the afternoon there are more Game of Thrones panels: Among other things we learn that the Game of Thrones equipment department would really going to miss some swords if some of the cast had their will. Maisie and Sophie both regretted that there weren’t more scenes in Winterfell showing the Stark family life. That would have been nice, but just didn’t fit into 10 episodes. G. R.R. Martin had originally favoured  a total of 12 episodes, if I did get that correctly? Now also joining the panel: Callum Wharry, the actor of Tommen Baratheon. I  hope we all will see more of him and Art in the next seasons!

Zombie time

Right: Zombie make-up workshop with Joeleen Balance. Boy, there is a lot of latex involved! Don’t try that at home unless you have lots of grease (like Vaseline) on your face. EVERYBODY has facial hair (women have just very fine one). Eyebrows are offlimits, too – except you want a real smooth face and like the pain.

The real deal was the expertedly blended in black colour around the eyes – before that, it was more a lizard man look, due to the green colour on the model’s latex mask.

There is something written on my picture …

Signing session was great, we asked Miltos to write “I’ll be back – Syrio Forel” on the front and Art was so kind to write “Graduation Class 2011” in addition to the signatures on the back of the second picture – because we were just looking like a school class there, with William and Kristian being the teachers and Miltos the pupil just about to play a joke on someone … 😉

Please do the sexy walk again

The masquerade was versatile: from sexy wildling haute couture, intricate gowns to a real 2 in 1 costume (Hodor carrying Bran)! I also found the idea of a heart tree costume very original. The jury (Maisie and Sophie – very versatile, too) declared Hodor/Bran the winner.

So many pretties ...

So many pretties ...

 

Fhtagn?

A milestone of audio drama is the group Wireless Mystery Theatre: Not only can they convey the dark atmosphere of the lovecraftian stories The Dunwich Horror and the Music of Erich Zann but also revived the golden radio days with their oldfashioned radio advertisements and jingles (everything played live). Very enjoyable – if anybody is interested:

http://www.wirelessmysterytheatre.com/

Cold – naw, hot!!!

Sitting and listening to the otherworldly horrors made us shiver, so we went with others to the hotel lobby to sit in front of the warm fire and chat a bit. When we returned there was some serious disco dancing going on, Maisie and Sophie included. We hadn’t been dancing for MONTHS, have missed it so much! (And Joseph Campo did the Moonwalk – hey, that man can dance, knows how to act and to handle a sword: Get him on the show, come on!!) Definitely one of the best bits today, so we weren’t sad that we didn’t win anything at the raffle draw. Luckily a friend of us won – congrats, Dennis!

All the dancing got us tired in the end, so we went home to the hostel. Still so happy that I started singing in the shower – in the presence of earwitnesses, uh oh …

P.S. Our quest for a hairbrush has finally succeeded: the 4th shop we visited DID have one, YES!!!!!!

Dashing sword fights, zombie beauty tips, cthulhuoid horrors, archery, good food, tempting looking boardgames, disco time, lovely actors/costumes/enslavers, a good cause, sunshine and rain: We had it all!

Back home in (surprisingly sunny and hot) Germany from TitanCon. Now it’s looking to the left again, if you don’t want to get run over by a car. So what was it like in Belfast?

FRIDAY

Sadly we missed  the culture part of BELFAST CULTURE NIGHT almost completely. The bus from Dublin Airport to Belfast was late and so were we – didn’t make it until all the readings in McHugh’s Bar had been finished. Nevertheless a wonderful evening thanks to Phil, Sweden and the Guinness Brewery! 😉

P.S. It is just a LITTLE bit unsettling if the first thing you hear when entering the dark hostel that you have booked is a woman’s scream … Yep, horror movie night …