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Calgary Expo/Comic Con 2015


  • Calgary Expo/Comic Con 2015

    I know that it has been about a month since the Calgary Expo, but I so wanted to share it with all of you.

    I figured out I was at the comic con for about 26 hours in 4 days (this does not include waiting time to get into the Expo), I am sure that I was with the Weta people either in their booth or at their session for 80% of that time.
    I'm thinking Weta would say 99.9% of the time. I'm sure I saw Mike do this at least once, when he saw me . . . .
    Although Mike is way to kind to every think of doing this.

    The booth was very different this year, not nearly as many large "decorative characters", nor as many displays. It did allow it to be much more open and spacious.
    Which allowed for more people to view the items that were there and for more people together around and talk to the Weta folks.

    I really liked the way the Weta Artists were up on a "stage" making it easier to see them, even from farther back.
    Mike told us that it was much easier and much less time consuming to set up this Weta booth. Plus, it will be much easier to change as they work on different movies as well.

    As I had purchased the Deluxe pass we got in an hour after the Gold Pass holders, but an hour before the regular pass holders.

    I arrived at the Calgary Expo 2.5 hours before the doors were to open for the Gold pass holders, I so wanted to get to the Weta booth, get my name down to have Warren put my Hobbit ears on, and to get all the prints that I needed, or at least as many as I could get in a day.

    Got into the building and as quickly as my Hobbit feet would take me, just ask Idril, Hobbity feet don't slow me down, I got to the Weta booth.
    I was the first one that Warren put Hobbit ears onto.

    As I have now worn Weta created Hobbit ears3 times, I knew what to expect, but what a difference when a professional puts them on compared to when I put them on. :B The glue stuck much better but you could hardly feel it, and it was nice that none of my own hair was not caught in all the glue.
    Thanks Warren

    As Warren was putting on the Hobbit ears, he discussed what he was doing and why, what adhesives he was using (which I will be purchasing before I go to the Salt Lake City CC in Sept.). It was a most informative discussion.
    I asked Warren if I could get a picture of him and I together, remember this is the first 30 minutes of meeting him. Had it been after the first day, I think he would have been asking me. Just the type of wonderful and out going person he is.

    On Warren's table was a Hobbit foot, from the Hobbit, not LotR, Dwarf arm, a hand etc. I stated to Warren that I wish I had a pair of Hobbit feet like he has on the table. Warren informed me that it cost nine thousand dollars to make a pair of Hobbit feet. I guess I will be sticking with the ones I have.

    However Warren did show me how each hair was individually "punched" into the feet and then let me have a go at it.

    We then discussed wig/beard making and the tools required. This is the beard he is presently working on it has only taken Warren a few hours so far.
    The wigs he does can take him 300+ hours and wow does he do the double knots quickly.

    As I stretched the netting, he showed me how to do the ventilating:

    It will become more apparent later as to why this was so interesting and in many ways important info for me.

    I figured Weta was getting tired of me by now so I went a checked out a few other booths and then went to Jewel Staite's, Kaylee from Firefly, panel. As I know there are a few Brown Coats on the forum, I really wanted to include this as well.
    Talking about a down to Earth actress. Wow, just wow!! If you are ever able to get to one of her panels I would strongly advise taking it in.

    If they were to start up Firefly she would drop what she was doing in a heart beat.
    There was not practice time for Firefly. The first day they were there, the films rolled and were filming. No actor bonding time etc. that all happened as they got together each day to film.

    Then of course headed back to the Weta booth.
    This was one of 3 "statues" that were at the Weta booth.

    The CC ended at 20:00 and yes we stayed until the end, then headed over to the Irish pub, as the moot was to start at 21:00.
    dback25 did an outstanding job of setting it up and the "Welcome Weta signs". Thanks so much dback. I know who will be setting up the moot for next year.

    Down the seats along the wall: Stacy (Weta) -- 2 of dback25's friends they left early so Ron and I moved down making us closer to Mike and Stacy -- Ron -- Me -- Warren (Weta) -- Lisa (Weta) -- A person that won a contest a while back and therefore is "close to Weta"
    Opposite seats: Eric (Weta), Mike (Weta), it would be dback25 (Flamer), but he is taking the picture, then Brittannie (dback's sister), Troy (Warren's assistant for this CC) and the husband of person that won contest . . .

    It was a most wonderful evening, Weta people are so down to Earth and very outgoing and easy to talk to.
    One of the "stories" that was told was of the spending some of them had done when they had arrived in Calgary. Both Warren and Shari purchased cowboy boots, Warren wore his the entire time, he stated they were the most comfortable boots/shoes he has ever worn. They also bought a Sheriff badge with "Mike" on it. As Mike arrived later than the rest of them, I believe they stated they met Mike at the airport and right away pinned the sheriff's badge onto his black leather jacket. Yes he left it there the entire time. Warren then stated how much he wanted a cowboy hat, and Shari stated that she really wanted one too...
    The evening came to an end as the Weta people had to get up early the next morning.

    I dressed up as Gandalf (no pictures this time around). Went straight to the Weta booth, as if there is any where else to go.

    dback had an errand to run, so we waited around the booth until he got there, as we knew what was going to happen.

    Steve (dback) had purchased white cowboy hats for Shari and Warren and of course gave them their hats before the booth got too busy.

    Warren had dback look as though he was signing books at the table. dback did sign the hats though.

    This is where Warren's hat remained for the rest of the Expo:

    Tren's hat sat for the rest of the CC.

    The day was spent, looking at other booths, talking to Mike, listening to Mike talk to others, hanging around and listening to Warren talk to people. Looking at Weta items and talking to dback and Brittannie, of course in the Weta booth.

    I also attended Graham McTavish's panel with dback25 and Brittannie.
    Another extremely good panel. Very humorous as well.

    Due to wearing a costume I had never worn before and due to the beard being in 9 different sections, each with "individual hairs" that need to be glued on, I did not arrive when the Gold passes were able to go in. I was even later than those with normal passes were allowed to enter. I figured that Weta could stand a bit of a break from me hanging around any ways.

    Once again I headed straight for the Weta booth as I needed their expertise once again. Warren was busy putting on Hobbit ears, so I snagged his "Expo assistant" to help me. As parts of my beard just would not stay on.

    Mike came over with one of Daniel F.'s books and the Troy and Mike tried to figure out just which dwarf I was trying to look at. (as no sane person would ever go through AUJ frame by frame looking at all the dwarf women and their beards and dresses )

    Now you know why I was so very interested in how to create a proper wig/beard.
    The outstanding part to all of this, is Troy was kind enough to give me his "business card", fool doesn't know what he got himself into, and stated that he would be more than willing to help me when ever he could.
    I have now been in contact with him a few times, as I just couldn't remember all the info he and Warren had said to me. Thanks to Troy I know have the proper equipment and supplies needed to create a beard on "netting" so that hopefully come SLCC I will have a 1 part beard that will be super simple to put on and take off and that will look much better. Thanks to both Warren and especially Troy.

    Finally got dback25 into a picture;

    Saturday Night was Weta's session in which Warren and Troy spent much of their time turning a "person into and orc" which was an amazing transformation to watch.

    While Graham McTavish talked about the process of getting into his prosthetics etc. and
    Mike discussed different aspects of Weta.
    There was also a question and answer time. In which you could ask Graham, Mike or Warren a question, all the while Warren and Troy were changing a human into an orc.

    Warren made the prosthetics, painted them all. He also made the wig.

    I had as much fun as Graham is having when this picture was taken.

    The victu . . . errr I mean person before his transformation begins:

    Back of the head is being placed on.

    Being in a small room and in the front row was awesome. There were about 160 people in the room.
    This way you can see just how expressive Graham's face is, as well as the others of course.

    I am so glad that Graham was part of this session. Warren places all his concentration into what he is doing and tends to stop when speaking.
    I think that Graham added a lot to this session for this reason.

    Warren answering a question, which was good as it gave me a clear shot
    of the front of the orc face.

    Often when Warren stopped to answer a question Troy kept on working. It seemed
    like he was more than just Warren's assistant for this CC. They worked so well

    The adding on of the chin piece.

    Warren answering another question as he puts on the wig.

    Luckily it was near the end of the evening . . .

    . . . as you can see it has been a very long day.
    Graham looks three quarters asleep here.

    The orc transformation is now complete:

    The orc and dwarf together . . .

    The session was amazing!!

    LOL Mike, Warren and Troy almost didn't recognize me, as I was in "normal" clothes. I told them there was nothing "normal" about my shirt, and that I was dressed up as a "Weta Groupie".

    Troy and myself:

    It is the shirt that SJD made for the New York CC that I am wearing.

    There were no interesting sessions on Sunday so I mainly hung out at the Weta booth and listened to Warren, Shari and Mike talking to other people and pick up as much info. as I possibly could.

    My question and answer session that occurred many a time through out the 4 days:

    Noble Collection did not do an exclusive to go with BotFA release, is Weta still doing one to go along with BotFA EE?
    Yes, as far as Mike is concerned it is the best of the 3. So can't wait to see it.

    Is Weta thinking about doing another article about the "making of a sculpture" as the sculpture is being made like they did with Faramir?
    Most definitely. A few of the things that Mike and I talked about came back to getting the forum up and running again. After talking to Mike for the 4 days I was very certain that there would be a forum up and running in not too distant future. And here it is. Thanks to Weta, Magnus, and our wonderful Mods.

    Is there a 1:6 from LotR being worked on?
    - Yes there is and it is a baddie. That is all I could get out of Mike on this subject.

    As we all know there is #35 Hobbit hole to come out in the 2nd quarter as well as The Green Dragon or at least the main area. We also now know that the "final book" in the Hobbit series is now on the Weta site for sale. However every time Mike talked about book he always stated "the 2 books Daniel is working on" of course I couldn't get what the other book was about.

    Mike did comment on Weta picking up a few other "contracts from WB" so that they can expand a bit more. Got to love the tid bits that Weta tosses our way but never clarifies.
    • Weta will be continuing the seated mini line.
    • Yes the dwarf line will be completed, since the Expo, Weta has released Oin.

    dback25 maybe able to add to this, it has been awhile since the questions were asked and answered.
    Last edited by Minuialwen; 20 May 2015, 14:43.

    • Idril
      Idril commented
      Editing a comment
      Great write up Dawn. Thank you so much. Looks like you had loads of fun!

    • Glassary
      Glassary commented
      Editing a comment
      Thanks Min! Love all the tidbits and detail you out into your reviews. Btw your ears were awesome and lady dwarf (dwarfess?) was uber kewl.

    • Orc from Morc
      Orc from Morc commented
      Editing a comment
      Thank you very much for your great report and photos Min.
    Posting comments is disabled.



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