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Serenity

10th and 11th May 2008

Guests

 

Event Report

We were delighted that despite two hiccups (damn you, Desperate Housewives and producers who took forever to settle the writers strike!) we were finally able to make the Fillionites and Browncoats happy by bringing you Nathan Fillion, Ron Glass and artist extraordinaire Jason Palmer. The weekend started off with a fun-filled (read champers-a-plenty) cocktail party, hosted in the middle of the city with a stunning view of Chinatown and an even more stunning view of attendees dressed to the nines (read cleavage-a-plenty - even I am guilty of that one). Everyone had a great time not only meeting the special guests, but chatting with everyone else. As expected we finally kicked the last ones out at 11.30pm.

We arrived at our Sydney venue at 7.30am to see a queue already forming (I suspected that the lure of Captain Tightpants was very strong in these ones). We set up the venue and put together an awesome toy, t-shirt and autograph-filled Dealers room whilst the Platinum VIPs enjoyed a delicious buffet breakfast where spoonfuls of scrambled eggs were intertwined with hilarious one-liners and stories from the special guests. Before we knew it the doors opened and people were streaming in to chat, shop and pore over the amazing works of Jason Palmer. The photo sessions flew by with a screening of the pilot episode of Pushing Daises. This was followed by Jason's talk, where he discussed Joss complementing his Firefly works and asking him to do more (!!) and how he was asked to do a Star Wars drawing of Padme, and ending up drawing all 30 dresses!

Jason's talk was met with thunderous applause, and this applause continued for the phenomenal trailer for the Aussie fan film Bellflower, which had everyone stunned at how fantastic the effects were; and I must say everyone was left wanting a little more. After a quick lunch or the pilot episode of the bloody and brilliant Dexter (depending on if you stayed or left) we welcomed the charismatic Ron "Shepard Book" Glass, who though mourning the Lakers' loss from earlier that morning, delighted the audience with tales from his very interesting life.

We followed this with an auction to support our beloved charity, The Hemophilia Association, which saw many fevered bids and an outcome that was more than we expected. Then came the moment that everyone, including the Hub Team, had waited a long, long time for: Mr Nathan "Captain Mal Reynolds" Fillion. I think everyone would agree that it was absolutely worth the wait. Nathan enthralled everyone with his stories and recollections of his personal life experiences and those from his career, particularly his time on daytime soaps and, of course, all about his time on Firefly and Serenity. Nathan wound his talk up when he auctioned the shirt off his back, an event which caused hysterics in the audience. As he ran the auction, he decorated the T-shirt in a truly unique style. My personal favourite was the belly button and snail trail.

We concluded the day with an autograph session where everyone had a chance to chat to Nathan and Ron, and all those who purchased a piece of art from Jason Palmer went into the draw for the gorgeous Mal or Book banners. The guests pulled out two winning tickets, as well as the winning ticket for The Hub cast shot raffle. At six the day came to a close and we rushed to the airport (along with a few of the attendees who needed another day of Serenity/ Firefly goodness) to head down to Melbourne.

Melbourne started off fresh and early with a yummy buffet breakfast with the Platinum VIPs and the guests (sadly we are always at the venue setting up for the day - boo hoo) which I was told was not only a great meal, but also a ton of fun for everyone there. Again the line at the Spring Street Theatre was huge by the time we opened and everyone rushed in to begin their shopping and oooing and ahhing over Jason's prints. We followed the same schedule as Sydney and after a welcome we screened the pilot episode of Reaper whilst the photo session took place.

Jason took to the stage and showed the slide show of his work ( I like want like one of everything) and shared his experiences with the audience, then Philip a member of the Bellflower crew took to the stage and gave us some insight into the fan project and along with the trailer showed some footage of a walk through of the set and the Bellflower. We broke quickly for lunch or for those who stayed the pilot episode of Chuck.

Ron Glass took to the stage at the conclusion of his intro and after removing his shoes ( sore feet from pounding the Melbourne pavement that morning) prowled the stage sharing his stories and taking endless questions from the audience. The entertainment of his talk was extended by Nathan's heckling from the back of the auditorium. When Ron left the stage to thunderous applause we launched into the auction and again were delighted at the generosity of the audience, especially Bev who has been an awesome supporter of all our auctions.

The auction was followed by Nathan Fillion's explosion onto the stage with anecdote after anecdote that not only bought laughter but also a tear to the audience. He particularly talked about his role in Saving Private Ryan where he played the 'wrong' Ryan who thought his young brothers had died. Nathan was jet-lagged and impressed and overwhelmed by the scale and detail of the film (he had to wear WWII underwear as part of his costume). He cried on cue 17 times, and Tom Hanks remembered him when they met again a couple of years later. All-in-all, a totally memorable experience.

As in Sydney, Nathan auctioned the shirt of his back and challenged Melbourne to meet Sydney's price of $400, this t-shirt had a nautical theme and Jason Palmer jumped on the stage to add a pair of angel wings on the back of the T-shirt, we are delighted to say that the T-shirt went for $400 as in Sydney. Nathan then moved in to the autograph room where he and Ron signed for three hours until everyone had everything they could possibly want. Again The Hub cast shot was raffled to a delighted attendee, Jason gave away two more banners of each of Mal and Book and everyone left happy.

The cocktail party which turned into more of a pizza party took of at 7pm and unfortunately the air-conditioning on our floor gave out so by the time the guests arrived, it was sweltering and the condensation was running down the windows yet the evening was a blast with Nathan, his girlfriend Lisa, Ron and Jason making sure everyone got to spend time with them. Again it was hard to break up the party as we kicked the last of the guests out at midnight, you ladies know who you are.

All in all the event went wonderfully, with the guests, attendees and the team all having a great time. Thanx to you all for everything.

 



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