SAN DIEGO – The little booth that TORn called home for a week became an edearing little feature of our life at Comic-Con 2003. Calisuri put the thing together with some help of course and the idea was that it should look like a Gondorian tent, which it did.
Our humble, low-budget booth with less than comfortable camping chairs had its own charm.
When CC finally came to a close on Sunday, the mysterious voice asked everybody without an exhibitor badge to leave immediately. Unlike most days, people split willingly.
The days have blurred together now but one evening when the main convention floor was shutting down, Andy Serkis stopped by our booth for a moment. He was a BUSY guy during the convention and despite being willing to accomodate fans, he was looking a bit tired. (This might have had something to do with the rumours from very reliable sources that he danced the night away with the WETA guys until 4 a.m. and made a 7 a.m. television appearance with Richard Taylor the next day but who knows for sure.) Anyway, he was a guest of CC and doesn’t wear an “exhibitor” badge around the floor so the good-intentioned security folks pestered him to leave.
Our own Saruman passed him a badge as I tried to explain to the security person that she ought to be a bit more careful about who she is kicking out. It was honestly embarassing for CC. Anyway, she pretty much got in my face and tried to blame me somehow which really started to tick me off and then she thought he was “Wolverine or somebody?”
Serkis then went and posed with the Sideshow/WETA Gollum which was a great photo op (brought to you by yours truely for TORn and also on Serkis’ own website, liked by TORn). When the camera were not on him, just moments after a group snapped the friendly pose, he started french kissing Gollum and probably deliberately managed to stop doing it everytime I almost got a picture.
Anyway, to make a long story short (too late I know) Sunday finally came and it was time to tear down the TORn booth. Strangely, there was a bit of meloncholy in the air as our tented haven and hell folded up nicely for its trip back to TORn storage. We found various items like carefully stowed garbage, peanut shells, a few items staff had scored from the CC dealer’s floor and even an extra “Don’t Make Me Get My Ring” t-shirt.
The CC folks were busy tearing down sponsor banners (including the sweet new TheOneRing.net two-sided red one), “street” signs inside the giant cavern, rolling up carpet and driving forklifts all over the joint.
Our humble tent suddenly looked pretty inviting compared with Sideshow’s elaborate ringwraith, Uruk-Hai, cave troll and Gollum, not to mention hundreds of pieces of sculpted art. Worse was New Lines Mount Movie which may have been the most elaborate set on the floor, although that could be argued.
While helping Calisuri load up his car I witnessed Lou Ferigno signing an autograph for the worlds oldest living security guard and two gothic looking youngsters (late teens maybe?) with full sized beheaded army soldiers on their backs.
We sat again in our wildly uncomfortable fold-up camping chairs, chatted and eventually said our goodbyes. Chances are good the tent will be making an appearance at a TORn event near you, still saturated with the spirit of Comic-Con 2003.
ASTIN’S LEGACY: Quickbeam sat in on a round table discussion with LOTR actors and took great notes that I never found the idea place for in a story and actually can’t find now at all! (So sorry Quickbeam!). Sean Astin spoke with Quickbeam about his own legacy in movies and talked specificly about his wife’s thought that when Astin is gone these Lord Of The RIngs films will be watched by his kids and grandkids. Astin was emotionally moved while relating the tale and was close to tears in the interview room. A rare and precious moment.
MORE ASTIN: During a busy signing day in which fans showered him with gifts: “It has been awesome. Sometimes you forget how passionate the fans are. In the last half hour I find myself marveling at them. They have reminded me.”
SALA BAKER ON RETURNING TO CON: “This is crazy! It absolutely rocks. Fans are amazing and fans are the reason (he was at Con.) We have these little cults of fans and it is just amazing.”
ANDY SERKIS ON CON: “This is my first Con and it is an absolute blast. No time for sleep. No sleep…no sleep.”
RICHARD TAYLOR ON CON: “The fans coming to Comic-Con have the same passion and enthusiasm that we tried to put into the films.”
There is yet more to tell regarding my *OVERVIEW* of the entire CC.