Sunday, April 18, 2010

Starfest 2010!!!!!

Starfest has been happening in Denver since 1977, so I have no excuse for having never attended until this year. To be fair (to me), I only just heard of it last year (and even that was after it had concluded), so I made sure I didn't miss it this time. I've never attended any sort of comic or sci-fi or horror festival or convention, though I'm a fan of many elements of these genres. I always felt I'd feel out of place amongst the super-fans that I assumed would frequent these events. I was wrong. It was awesomely fun.

The festival/convention takes over the Marriott DTC and Hilton Garden Inn in Denver. Everywhere you look you see people in costumes, booths set up by model-makers, make-up artists, authors, fan groups, and toy sellers, artwork, special celebrity guests, and all manner of experts in the fields of sci-fi, horror, and comics. There are tons of films screening, events and panels. There is nothing I can say to do justice to the girth of activities that take place over the two and a half days it runs. This year it was April 16-18. And I only attended one day (Saturday). Please check out the website and seriously consider attending next year. I think you'll truly enjoy it.

I went hoping to do some interviews, but the celebrity guest schedules were so packed, it was just insane. And they all seemed so happy to be participating and interacting with fans. I was able to get portroids of many of the guests (and even got to interact with a bunch who I didn't photograph).

Here are the special guests I met and portroided:

R2-D2 was there with a bunch of great fan-made droids (including the mouse and gonk droids). In response to a tweet I posted about meeting and portroiding R2, my friend Darryl  Duffy quipped "these aren't the portroids you're looking for".

Tim Rose
I got to spend a little bit of time talking to Tim Rose. He was a designer, engineer, and puppeteer on Return of the Jedi. He designed and operated Salacious B. Crumb, Admiral Ackbar, and Sy Snootles. I asked him how he felt about Sy being replaced in the Special Edition version of the film by a CGI character. He said he wasn't happy about it and went out of his way to make sure he had the original on VHS. We discussed them finally releasing the originals on DVD and our mutual joy at that. He also was a puppeteer on The Dark Crystal as one of the skeksis.

Garrett Wang
Garrett Wang from Star Trek: Voyager, on which he played Ensign Harry Kim.

Christopher Judge
From Stargate SG1, in which he played Teal'c, Christopher Judge.

Marina Sirtis
Marina Sirtis, who played Counselor Deanna Troi on Star Trek: The Next Generation.

Summer Glau
Summer Glau was the most popular guest at the convention and had lines that snaked around the event hall. She went from the autograph booth to the photo station back and forth most of the day and with a smile for every guest. I was able to get this photo in the tiny window between one of these transitions, and as she had been with everyone else, she was very nice to me (as, I should say, were all the guests. Very gracious and friendly and seemingly genuinely happy to be there). Summer played River Tam on Firefly/Serenity and was also on Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles (as well as many other shows).

Those were all the portroids I took. I did get a few photos of some of the general environment:

A victorious Rogues Gallery

I think this is a Dr. Who something or other

Lost In Space robots

Game afoot

Droid builders

Autograph lines (at a light time)

The Academy of Sorcery

Some sort of battle scene (Tri-Wizard Tournament?)

Balcony decorating contest

More balconies

Yet more balconies

Industrious zombie

The line for Summer Glau

The line for Summer Glau (continued)


I'd like to thank the staff at Starfest, as they were all very accomodating and friendly and helpful. It was a great experience all around. I can't wait for next year's!!

See you there!

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