ORC 2007 Images

Garfeimao writes: Saturday began with a charity brunch with Billy Boyd and help from BillysLoonsCharities. The selected charity this time around was the Epilepsy Connection in Glasgow, which Billy said was a small group that really appreciated the help this would generate.

There were items donated from within the community of Billy’s fans, from Creation, and from Billy himself. Some of the big ticket items were a pair of Billy’s Favorite jeans, which went for $1000 I believe, a bicycle jersey he wore during filming “The Flying Scotsman” which went for $325, and the drum head from John Crawford’s drumkit at Beecake’s first ever gig in Glasgow last month, which went for $3000. The auction as a total raised about $8700, so well done to the donors, bidders and the auction winners.

The Sideshow was then the first bit of actual programming on Saturday. The panel was introduced by Dusty, and included Heath, Scott, Jarod and Quoc. They brought samples of all the newest LOTR items, including the giant Sauron bust, Lurtz and Frodo premium statues and the new action figures of Legolas, Aragorn, Faramir and Boromir. They were able to show David Wenham the Faramir character, he seemed genuinely surprised and happy about it. Apparently he did not know he was now an action figure.

After Sideshow came Billy Boyd, and his silly antics. He’s so bubbly and goofy, and always knows how to play with an audience, which is pretty much what he did for most of his hour. At one point, he ended up sitting on the podium on the side of the stage, and I’m so glad the thing could hold his weight and did not break.

I can’t even begin to describe just how cool the lads are from Beecake. They include John Crawford, Billy Johnston and Rick Martin. Now, I missed the offsite concert on Friday due to hosting the costume contest, and I missed the Saturday night concert because of the Scholars dinner, and I’ve not even had a chance to listen to the CD yet, so I’m not fangirling the band. Well, not much.

No, these guys are cool for the way they conducted themselves all Saturday long. They’d played in Hollywood on Friday night, rather late, but still showed up with Billy at the Charity brunch on Saturday morning. After Billy introduced the auction items he brought, he went and toured all the tables where the fans were sitting. Meanwhile, the band stood off to the side near the auction table and chatted with any and all fans who approached them. They didn’t have to, but they were more than pleased to chat with people. They signed some items, took photos and just talked for the rest of the morning. Then they came out to watch Billy onstage for a while, rather than get some rest of food.

After Billy and David did their stage talks, they were setting up an autograph table. It was decided that the band would sell CDs and t-shirts and sign them, to coincide with Billy’s autograph time, so people could get all of them on the same item. The band helped bring out the boxes full of CDs and shirts, and helped set everything up. It didn’t take long to realize these were going to be VERY popular items. The line for Beecake CDs and shirts was as long, or longer, than the line for Billy and David’s autograph. I sat there with one of our volunteers and Billy’s convention agent and sold Beecake items for two hours, while the band members signed away. When the line was finally over, at about 7pm, I took that picture of me with them. You’d never know to look at them just how long they’d been going all day long, or how crazy it had been at that moment, or the fact that they then had to go set up for the evening concert.

So, to the members of Beecake, I send a big, big thank you from myself, TheOneRing.net and all the fans who attended ORC for your gracious welcoming of all that attention.

TORn staffers, friends, and the scholar track panelists all grabbed a bite to eat on Saturday night. This is a tradition started by TORn staffers Balin and MrCere, and while Balin is no longer with us, the tradition continues. Besides, we were all tired and hungry and ready for a little sit down time.

It’s always nice to get caught up with the Badali Jewelry people, who introduced their new line of Geek medallions. Adding to their Scifi Geek, Uber Geek and Bar Code medallions, there are now medallions for TORn, Ringers and TORn Geek. I’m the proud owner of several of these, and wore them the entire weekend, along with my set of “Good Luck at the Oscars” pins. Also present was our hard working Art Show staff, Master Costumer Judy Grivich, Ringers’ Cliff, Carlene and John, TORn staffer Arwen, and the Sideshow gang. The Sideshow gang would later be dubbed the Dark Pit of Mordor at the dessert party, something to do with all that black.

Andy Serkis was a real hoot on Sunday. He got there early enough to look around the art show, and just loved it. He’s an artist himself, so he was quite pleased at this aspect of the show. He also got to see the Middle Earth Idols winning entry, which was Smeagol/Gollum, and he laughed throughout. He was also seen fooling around with a certain Tuxedo clad Smeagol statue in the photo ops room, so by the time he took the stage, he was in high spirits.

Andy went on to give a good 20 minute talk about the development of filming gollum and how no one could initially figure out his exact role in the making of the films. At first, cast and crew sort of thought he was just there to give a reference point so they could then film the clean shots without him and just imagine what he’d just done. They all knew Gollum was going to be CGI, so it wasn’t clear at first that Gollum would be taken directly from Andy’s performance. But after time, everyone settled into how things ran, and the genius of Gollum in the Two Towers and Return of the King is the result of all that hard work. When he was approached for Kong (it was on April 20, which is his birthday, and the day Peter and Fran gave him one of the Rings), he knew that everyone would know what his role would be, to bring the big Gorilla to life and to interact with the actors in a real time way.

Andy then went on to answer questions for half an hour or more, but it was one question from one of our lovely Japanese guests that got the best reaction. She asked Andy how many characters he could play at one time, all interacting with each other. So, Andy proceded to play Gollum, Smeagol, Kong, his cat, and himself all at once. It was quite silly and garnered a standing ovation. During the photo op sessions, the dessert party on Saturday night, and the autograph session, it was clear that Andy really enjoys being around the fans and all the interaction. He’s a lovely man and I was so happy he was able to attend.

Late on Saturday night at ORC, several of us had planned a Bash in the bar to remember Balin, and we called it Balin’s Bash. After the dessert party, the bar filled up with fans, drinking and laughing the night away, exactly as Balin would have liked it. Once Sideshow showed up, they hit the pool table, and played each other for a while, until M.A.R.S. Productions showed up. It then became Team Sideshow versus M.A.R.S. and the contest was on.

Just so you know, Rachel ran the table for 5 consecutive shots, and apparently Heath was not so happy about that.