Saturday, October 03, 2009

VCon Day 2

The day started with another trip to the art room, this time to buy something for my wife. The encounter with the two volunteers at the room's purchase coordination/bag check table would have tried the patience of a saint though - a mother-daughter team where the daughter was constantly bitching at the mother and occasionally being rude to me and other con-goers.

After taking care of my purchase, I got out of there and headed over to the 2-hour Advance Previews session. Nothing as grand as Comicon in San Diego where they actually get movie teasers - in this case we had a movie critic who comes up for the con every year from Hollywood to give us the scoop on movies coming up in the next two years. It was one of those 50-50 type of sessions - about half of the news I'd heard before from other sources, but the other half was new, and the guy was entertaining enough with some of his insider gossip. All in all, the session was worth while.

From there, I went on to the Pacific Northwest as a Setting session which ended up being a disappointment (for the short time I put up with it). The first 15 minutes or so were bogged down with the host and a bunch of people in the room rattling off names of movies or TV shows that have been or are being produced on BC's Lower Mainland. Okay - fair enough for a minute or two, but not that long. Sure, they diverted once or twice in the direction of a worthwhile discussion, touching on the darkness of the area during winter being key in setting mood - but they didn't really expand on this; then they asked why so few stories are set in this neck of the woods (with rare exceptions like Spider Robinson's Very Bad Deaths and Very Hard Choices). Problem is, instead of flushing-out these topics, they kept drifting back to the whole what's filmed here nonsense (made worse by late arrivers who repeated what had been said earlier). So I bailed in fairly short order.

At that point, I headed up the street for dinner at Vera's burger shack on Denman. Had to get there via Robson Street - realm of the hipsters, fashionphiles, the rich, the famous (we've seen Robin Williams there, as well as Nathan Fillion a couple of times), the gawkers, the tourists, the showoffs, and the wannabes. The Scene. Along the way I passed something of a sight. A group of people in their 50s-60s was standing around talking - two of them normal enough, but the other two... She was wearing makeup so heavy and badly applied that it looked like she'd tried to put on kabuki makeup while drunk. Her hair was a gigantic frizzy triangle. And her coat was a puffy fur jacket (don't get me wrong, I'm not one of those hippies that have a problem with fur - I've lived in places so cold people respect the wearing of fur) that looked a little too similar to the mink coat in Ghostbusters 2 that came alive. For his part, her gentleman was sporting a puffy white pirate shirt (where's Seinfeld when we need him?), black leather pants, and a black ankle-length coat like a Catholic priest, or Neo in The Matrix, might wear. Now, if they'd been at the con hotel, I wouldn't have given them a second glance. Costumers. Not my thing, but I've got no problem with it if they want to do it. But this wasn't the con hotel. And they weren't costumers. Nope. They figured they were the cutting edge of fashion. And people say geeks are weird.

Back to the con for the informative Where Are They session with a UBC astronomer giving an update about the search for Earth-like planets.

I finished the evening at the Worst SF Movies & TV of All Time session. Pretty entertaining for the most part, but they left out a couple of productions that I think rank among the worst ever made: Invasion of the Star Creatures (Amazon women from space with giant carrot men facing off against two half-assed Abbott & Costello rip-offs are never a formula for success) and Babylon 5 - The Legend of the Rangers: To Live & Die in Starlight. If only I could forget them.

One day left.

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