Come now, don't be shy, step into the light!
Due to loading times only a few of the total 271 photographs I took at the HobbitCon 2014 are shown below. Chose from the sub galleries below to see more photographs. Clicking on any of the shown thumbs gets you to the respective subgallery.
Bonn (Germany), April 19 - April 21, 2014
Professor Rudolf Simek
Sir Richard Taylor
For reasons beyond me HobbitCon does not feel like a convention at all. Yes, you can get autographs and yes, you can get your picture taken with the actors and yes, there are panels, but most of all it is a gathering of family! And that does not exclude the actors.
Take for example, Ken Stott. He had never wanted to do a convention because of what "horrible" stories he was told, yet curiosity won over when he heard about the first HobbitCon. "I don't know what I was afraid of..." He said at one point during the convention, "... You are all so lovely...", Which about sums it up.
Everyone is indeed just lovely, friendly and easy to make contact with. The "oldies" help out the con virgins and some kind souls even hid Easter Eggs to be found on Easter Sunday all throughout the con grounds and in the main hall. Of course, there are hiccups, schedules are mixed up or queuing times can be quite long, but all of that is just secondary. Go with the flow, as I like to do. Breathe in the atmosphere, the creativity and that people get wonderfully along despite coming from various different cultural backgrounds. Take it home and use it in your life.
Legendary are the parties at any of the Fedcon organised conventions and also legendary is that actors participate, but here all did. Thanks to Graham McTavish there is a new dance, "The McTavish" who himself claimed when saying goodbye at the closing ceremony that he hadn't danced in like.... Well, since last year at HobbitCon. I think that is testament enough how much fun the actors have as well and the convention not being just "another job". I, too danced away and sang loudly along at Tommy Krappweis' concert. Apologies to those who had the unfornate fate to be close to me.
An absolute inspiration for me was Sir Richard Taylor. I love his enthusiasm, his passion and his sincerity about not just his own work. It was a joy to observe the man during the autograph session with shiny eyes and a lit up face every time someone in costume showed up, asking politely if he could take a picture.
His process to hire is a delightful change from what most of the employers of this world do. It is not the grade you have achieved in the class or the level of talent. Most of all it is the passion you show for a profession and the tenacity to follow it through despite failure and despite throwbacks. It is the bite, he wants to see in a possible candidate, the uniqueness and the creativity and not what is taught to thousands of students who hand in the very same examples of the works they've done, just because they are told that is what you must be able to create. Many companies could learn a great deal from that.
I know all too well because I am a self-taught lateral entrant in programming having had a hard time to get employment in that profession since I have never seen a university from the inside. My passion for it did not count as well as my willingness to learn and test even into the wee hours of the morning. So did not my talent to deal with numbers, bits and bytes. But I bite as well and about 15 years ago I just said "screw you" and got self-employed (against the advice of many friends and family) because I wanted to fulfil my personal dream and work in the profession that is also my hobby. As you can see, I still live; I make a living and most of all I am happy with what I am doing!
A costume malfunction, caught in the act and a Buster Keaton moment - The perils of being an actor
I do not want to go into too much detail of Adam Brown's costume malfunction. It's just too personal and too embarrassing. Just, it involved a pair of Speedos, a couple in the audience and one certain Adam Brown involving said couple in the play... You should have seen the other actors' reaction on stage while Adam was not just telling the tale but also showing what had happened.
As a side note we also learnt, that by all means, The Hobbit was not the first big budget production, Adam appears in. He is also in Harry Potter.... - .... In the background as an extra with a raised wand. I am still checking the films frame by frame to find him. Yes, in case you wondered, I am absolutely bonkers.
Equally embarrassing and funny was what had happened to Dean O'Gorman while shooting a nude scene. Self-conscious about being filmed nude, he encouraged himself by "knowing"...
- They only film from behind
- It's in the middle of the night
- Nobody is at the beach
...Him, and the filming crew, did not expect 20 something trucks from the local country club to show up with full blown headlights for an impromptu beach party. Caught like a deer in the headlight comes to mind or caught in the act would be a fitting description as well, all the while Dean re-enacted his reaction at that time on stage to the HobbitCon audience, which by then was already lying under the chairs laughing so hard, tissues were needed.
John Callen faced a completely different challenge during a play on stage at one point in his career. While deeply immersed into his performance, the stage set decided to get a life of its own. It just dropped onto poor John. Luckily, the set included an open window and guess what, the open window of that set ended up right there where John stood. Buster Keaton would have been proud!
Conclusion! If you want to become an actor, beware! This can be an embarrassing and life-threatening job!
Of course the infamous "Comedy Panel" was a must visit where the actors could prove their animal qualities amongst other hilarities.
Costumes Galore And ... Oh Yes! Megan!
Contrary to last year's HobbitCon, this year featured a costume contest on stage with no other than Sir Richard Taylor, William Kircher, Sadywyn Brody and Royd Tolkien, amongst others, judging the efforts.
I can only applaud to the people who put so much effort into making their costumes. Whether on stage or off, many were ready to get directly teleported to Middle Earth.
Two of the costume contest winners were one Thorin Oakenshiled and one Thranduil with better half, I had also spotted at the Hobbit Desolation of Smaug Berlin premiere. Well, at least the Thranduil. I'm not so sure about Thorin Oakenshield.
Even Richard Taylor could not contain his enthusiasm. While handing out the rewards to the winners he said,
"... I've been doing this for the past 10 years...But the quality and creativity I've seen here, beats it all..."
"...The Thorin even got all of the proportions right, including the boots."
At any convention there is always one fan or a group of fans getting everyone's attention. Normally it is in an embarrassing kind of way, either they pursue actors on the convention ground, or they fish for compliments, so the rest of the audience, rolls the eyes and palm faces. Not this time, though.
This time there was a Russian male fan, who asked at the panels a lot of questions. Apologetically, he said "me again" and of course, due to his accent, Mark Ferguson had nothing better to do than to rename the poor guy. When he spotted said fan at the microphone again, he introduced him to the actors as "this is Megan". The fan was a good sport, although I am still undecided whether he had got the joke.
This year's HobbitCon had all what had made the first one so popular and wonderful. I am usually not someone making gifts, bringing chocolate and the likes, but this time I could not do nothing. Both, last year's HobbitCon plus the Berlin premiere literally screamed for a tiny little reward and thus I decided to hand out a photo book with pictures I took from those two events. Normally the actors do not find the time to take many pictures at such events. So I hope I could give them a bit of memorabilia.
The crowning end was of course the actors performing the Misty Mountains song.
All of the invited guests were absolutely lovely and I hope to see them again at a possible HobbitCon next year. I keep my eyes glued to the HobbitCon website!
The Hobbit DoS Premiere