|Burbank 2002 Staff Reports: Mary|
Mary's look at the Burbank con...
By Mary Wood
Since fan-site awards with questionable voting procedures are all the rage these days, welcome to an off-center view of the 2002 Burbank Farscape Convention! As there were so many people to offer thanks and recognition to, I came up with my own mini-award show. Let's get to it!
... Would be the untold dozens and hundreds that aren't high-profile actors, directors, producers, and writers, yet are just as responsible as those folks for bringing Farscape to life. Yes, Claudia may be the actor that makes us all tremble in awe, but it's Steve the lighting guy who helps enhance that performance. The sound folks, the assistant directors, the B-unit directors, the editors, the makeup and costuming department, the set designers, the camera operators, the grips and gaffers, these are the real artists and all of these folks deserve as much recognition as those who write and act out the stories we all love so much. If an actor had a bad week, it's the editor who saves the day and makes an off-performance look spectacular. If the director just can't seem to get the feel he wants in a shot, it's the lighting guy who moves a key light from here to there and poof! The whole mood of the shot goes from "what were we looking for?" to perfection. Big, big, big bow to all these folks.
Most in Need of an Advil and a Barf Bag:
... Our own Dani Moure. We met up fine at the airport on Wednesday afternoon, (which I'm sure many of you know by now is the first time we've ever met In Real Life in our almost 2 year partnership with this site). We had a fine dinner at the Crocodile Cafe where Dani found it amusing that every other restaurant in the US feels it has to insert "cafe" in their title to feel hip, even though they really aren't cafes by his definition. It turned out neither of us hated the other enough to change rooms, then the poor dear wakes up with a migraine on Thursday morning. I tried to assure him it was all right - I needed the rest after my long drive and needed to do some homework anyway. We chilled out in the room and watched TV until 3pm as Dani declared that our daytime TV is just as awful as in the UK.
Best Tour Guide:
... PKTechDude. Sick of being sick, Dani and I headed to Kinko's Copies to use a PC (substitute for neither of us having a laptop with 'net access), I get a call from PKTechDude; "I'm in the hotel lobby! Where are you?" PKTD lives in LA and his current superhero secret identity is "limo driver." I told him where we were and, happily forgoing Thursday night pre-registration for whatever PKTD might have in store, we hopped in the limo and were off. I was especially glad for Dani, as I had been worried that he was taking his first ever trip to the US and would probably spend it all in the micro-universe of the con and the hotel. We had a fantastic burger meal at a classic dive of a diner 'round the corner from Fox Studios called The Apple Pan. Dani was delighted to be eating at a real American greasy spoon just like the stereotype! (The food really was fantastic). While we ate, PKTD turned in his limo for the night and came back to join us in his Jeep (the other coolest way to cruise 'round town). He then gave us a whirlwind tour of LA and Hollywood as only a limo driver "in the know" can give. We cruised West Hollywood, cruised Beverly Hills, saw many a film studio lot, many a film location, many a celebrity point of interest, stopped at the La Brea Tar Pits, got some great Hollywood history and fun factoids, and of course, ended the tour at Charlie Chaplin's old studio, now the home of Henson. What a way to kick off the weekend!
Best at Getting our Attention Award:
... Goes to our own SunKrux. Dani had been seriously worried from Wednesday night through Friday morning how he would meet up with anyone he knows, since we're all online nicknames to him. The Farscape Webmaster's Association almost claimed this award as Dani and I spotted his name on a sign on their table ... "We're looking for these people!" But SunKrux killed all the competition when Dani and I walked past the entrance to the auditorium to overhear a voice from inside ... "DANI!!! MARY!!! WHERE ARE YOU!!! You shut up and sit down! DANI!!! MARY!!!" Needless to say, we popped our heads in to find this small, energetic woman standing on a chair addressing the entire audience looking for us. And that kids, is how we first met SunKrux In Real Life.
Going the Furthest for his/her Craft Award:
... Wayne Pygram. Some time ago he was becoming gravely ill. He mentioned he was ill during the last convention. Problem was, no one could figure out what was going on. Many months into it however, doctors discovered he'd developed an allergy to wheat and certain kinds of grain. Yet still, he kept up his stint on Farscape through all of it. How many of us could put up with the long, strange hours that the folks on Farscape do? In heavy prosthetics and adding to the long hours, makeup time? And while we're withering away from some unknown illness? The poor man said that one of the downfalls to getting well and gaining healthy weight back was that he suddenly had trouble fitting into his Scorpy suit. By the end of filming, they were having to us pliers to get the thing around his head. I shudder to think if my job involved strapping into headgear so tight they have to pull it together with heavy-duty tools.
The Energizer Bunny Award:
Goes to Anthony Simcoe! The man was, in not so many words, absolutely insane. I tend to wonder if he's like that all the time or was simply making sure we got our money's worth, but from what other guests say, I think he's like that all the time. His long, rock band hair has been replaced with a buzz cut and he was quite fascinated throughout his talk with being able to inspect his own beginnings-of-a-bald-spot by tilting the back of his head to the camera and viewing it on the giant screen behind him.
Number 96 of course!
Gerry Kortegast and Farscape lighting man Steve Edwards teamed up with Wayne Pygram and Anthony Simcoe to create this monster of a rock band named after a cheesy old Aussie soap opera. Gerry on bass, Steve on Guitar, Wayne on drums and Anth as the lead vocal/guitar man, these guys did nothing short of bring the house down. I was expecting 4 guys playing garage band and quickly ate those words. If you can track down their Demo CD, I strongly advise it. I'd compare and contrast, but I hate comparing one group to another like that. Plus, it's the kind of modern rock that I usually don't like on the radio these days, but I do like their sound - and not because they're Farscape related, but because they don't just blend with the drone I hear on the radio.
Creating Order out of Chaos Award:
EmeraldCity. She knows why.
Lani Tupu. I've decided that the reason Crais wore that constrictive electrical-tape-wrapped pony tail is because Lani just so stunningly good looking to begin with, if he wore that gorgeous hair down, we girls would simply melt into goo when we were supposed to be seeing Crais as mean and frightening.
Even Better Looking in Person than On Screen Award:
Kent McCord. The man is a magnet, pure and simple and an absolutely stunning presence.
Me, Myself, and I Award:
... Almost everyone who asked Claudia Black a question. For $350, I expected that Claudia's one hour on stage would be spent with Claudia talking about Claudia things. Not other people telling Claudia all about themselves and their favorite things, and their personal problems, and things that generally say "Me! Pay attention to me, Claudia!!!" Whatever happened to saving that for the autograph line?
And now, for a Public Service Announcement:
Food as gifts to celebrities. In this day and age of psycho-stalkers who look just like honest fans, is it really so wise? I don't have reason to believe anyone might be stalking me as a celebrity and even I won't take candy from strangers - or any other kind of food for that matter. Yes, I realize you're so-and-so's biggest fan. Maybe even the president of his/her fan club. Refer to the president of Selena's fan club.
Hardest Shoes to Fill Award:
... Gigi Edgley. When Claudia Black was asked about her stint as Chiana ("Unrealized Reality"), she noted that the last person who attempted to do what Gigi does for a living wound up in the hospital for his efforts (Anthony Simcoe, "Out of Their Minds"). Literally. Claudia didn't quite end up being rushed to the E.R. trying to emulate Gigi's breathy Chiana voice, but said it sure wasn't a cake-walk either. Here's to you Gigi, for being by far the most physically irreplaceable cast member on Farscape!
A Special Thank You To...
The staff of Creation Entertainment for physically dragging guests from table to table at the cocktail party. I mean, think of the absolute corruption if Gigi or Anth or Raelee had been allowed to spend the time they wanted to spend with the fans? They might have enjoyed the experience too much - not to mention the awful social ramifications if the fans enjoyed themselves more than they did.
Ricky Manning. Pursuant to the previous thank you to Creation, I'm going to go out on a limb here and guess that Froon's contract with the Creation guest handlers (sort of like animal handlers at the zoo) read something like "&*^%$##^&&*!!!"
Most Deserving of an Award Award:
Raelee Hill. The woman is just plain cool. Raelee comes to the con a newbie to the show, yet you'd have thought she was old hand at Farscape cons. She certainly made an impression on Dani at the cocktail party!
Best Presentation of an Award Award:
Those who were able to present the Roswell awards in under 30 seconds; fulfilling that duty quite nicely while still allowing others to have their turn at the stage to ask guests questions in the limited time provided.
The American Humane Society would like to thank...
Everyone who left their pets at home or in kennels in safe, comfortable environments, understanding that animals are animals, not fashion accessories.
Most in Need of a Cold Tablet and a Day Off:
... Gigi Edgley. She seemed fine at the Saturday evening cocktail party when I set her on Dani and she bounced all over him. And I doubt any fan cooties would have caught on that quickly**. But come Sunday when she did her stint on stage and especially by the time of the autograph line, "Ener-Gigi" ... wasn't. Man that has to be one of the suckiest times to be sick! From the reports I'm hearing about the NYC con though, it sounds like she was back to her old self by the following weekend.
** Ok, I take that back. As I finish this I'm getting over a bout of strep throat that knocked me off my feet in a matter of hours. Great. I'm picturing the 2003 convention; the Creation people hurriedly wheeling the talent up and down the aisles in plexiglass biocontainment boxes.
Best Entrance Award:
Gigi was the last speaker for the weekend and when told by the creation staff she had a package backstage, she reached behind the curtain to grab it and yanked out Farscape's resident torturer of fans an evil genius, David Kemper. No intro, no one ever said his name. No one had to. He wasn't on the schedule and yet he got the biggest welcome from the audience. No doubt, there were a few not-in-the-know folks out there in the midst of the shouts and screams thinking, "I don't think that's Ben Browder..."
Best use of Light and Darkness Award:
Disney Theme Parks. Ok, so it's not Farscape related, but the day after the con, me and my favorite Disney Fanboy - Dani - went to DisneyLand for the day. We mutually decided that one of the things that makes their rides so superior is knowing when to turn off the lights and make us ride in pitch black!
All in all, a more than fantastic con experience!