Calgary Comic and Entertainment Expo 2014 – Part 2

Missed Part One? Check it out here!

Photo Credit: D. Koch 2014

Our Four Days:

Wow. I don’t know how else I can put the four days of running, panels, photos, transcripts, tweets and meet and greets. By Sunday night I was exhausted and twitching with geek-like excitement. If I could unscrew my legs and put a fresh pair on, I could have done another week of the Calgary Expo.

The majority of our time was spent in panels although we did a bunch of floor walking, checking out the cool costumes and vendors. We did transcripts of a bunch of panels and I was considering writing details on all of them. Instead, I’m going to take the best pick from each – short and sweet.

  • Barry Bostwick, when asked if he has noticed changes in acting for television shows:

You make less money now… it’s harder to actually get a job, because everybody wants to do TV… Burt Reynolds and David Hasslehof are who I am up against. I’ve been trying to convince actors in my age range to move away from California so it makes it easier for me to get their roles.

  • Anthony Daniels, on the reception of Star Wars:

When we made Star Wars, nobody knew what would happen. All the cast thought it was a silly film, but they were dedicated to their work… nobody really understood George’s vision.

 Then the film opened, and a few people went to see it, and they ran out – they got their friends and they ran in, they ran out and grabbed more friends and, not that the word existed, but it became “viral” to where it is today. And the reason became viral, aside from it being easier to watch it on multiple media types, the story of Star Wars carried the audience up, up and up, and brought us to today and the future was the audience, and then it was your children, and now it’s your children’s children. And the love and affection and devotion you have shown everybody in the film, everybody in the crew that you may not even recognize when you see their name on the roll… but you contributed to the whole thing, the saga… and who knows where we’re going next. I will end with a really heartfelt thank you to all of you. You’ve been there for me.

  •  Matt Smith, on how he sees the world after playing Doctor Who:

It categorically changed how I see the world. As an actor you try to experience things that your character does, if you’re running a bath, run a bath as the Doctor would run a bath – and it’s just a far more interesting bath. Go for a walk in the park as the Doctor would go for a walk in the park, I recommend everybody try this.

  •  Karen Gillan, on what would be in her perfect burrito:

Diced chicken breast, avocado, pepper, maybe a cheeky sauce.

  •  Vivica A. Fox, on the filming of her legendary fight scene in Kill Bill:

It looked and felt incredibly realistic… It took four days to film… There weren’t a lot of tricks; other scenes used wires, Uma’s and mine fight was the most brutal because there were no tricks. We performed 95% of the fight. The only part I didn’t do was when Vernita Green crashed over couch and into coffee table. I wanted wanted to do it, but everybody said no.

 After the last day of filming, I counted my bruises, I had over thirty on my legs and arms, I was so proud! We went through a little house in Pasadena and destroyed it. The fight went through the entry, hallway, front room, fireplace, into a dining room set, kitchen, through another dining room set, back into the front room and we just destroyed the whole place… it was so cool.

  •  Michael Rooker and Laurie Holden, on their character’s deaths on The Walking Dead:

MR: I wanted to go out the way I came in… Fighting, none of that emotional stuff. If Merle could have jumped up from the grave and smacked Daryl in the head, he would have.

LH: I’m glad Andrea went out the way she did. It came full circle. She needed to go out on her terms – it was her choice to take her own self out with her gun. I loved that she was with Michonne and they healed that. I loved that she was able to relate with Rick and Daryl and didn’t want anyone else to die – I felt like if there was any confusion about her intention or motivation, that in that one particular scene you saw her heart and who she was. It was the perfect death for me.

  •  Sigourney Weaver, on putting her stamp on pop culture through her role in the Alien franchise:

When the decision was made to make Ripley a woman, it was made not because they were feminists, but because no one would ever think this young woman would be a survivor. It expressed something in our culture, and continues to express something in our culture all around the world about the underdog and our ability to find reserves and resources in ourselves. It touched on a cord about who we are.

  • If we saw a reboot of the Alien movies, who would Sigourney want to play her character?

I’m gonna play my character.

Photo Credit: D. Koch 2014

The Venue:

The Calgary Comic and Entertainment Expo (casually called the Calgary Expo) dominated a good portion of the Calgary Stampede grounds; the majority of events were held within the BMO Centre – a 300,000 sq. ft exhibit complex, Boyce Theatre and Corral – 25,100 sq. ft of space offering 8,000 seats and the Big Four – 118,000 sq. ft used for more exhibitors, guest signatures and photo-ops.

Last year, this was the entire event. I was only slightly surprised to see the addition of a 95,000 sq. ft pavilion tent that housed additional panels and a children’s area full of… kids.

Last but not least, Calgary Food Trucks. Two words: Oh my. The lineups were so insanely long, but the food was worth it. I ended up putting my big glutton shoes on, and tried a dish from every truck. But it’s okay because we were there for four whole days, right?

You can check out our interactive map of the venue here.

Tourist Tips:

If you’re planning on visiting the Calgary Expo next year, here are a few things to remember:

  • Exchange your tickets for wristbands early! Calgary Expo offers an exchange day prior to the event which is clearly publicized. This is the best time to do your exchange so you’re not waiting in the line day-of while your favourite panel is starting.
  • You’re going to be walking on hard concrete for hours on end, with little to no seating unless you hang out in the panels (and expect plastic chairs), so bring super-comfy shoes, or a few pairs.
  • BMO Centre is kind enough to offer lockers with in/out privileges. The price was $5 a day while we were there. They’re big enough for a standard-size backpack or ten pairs of shoes, for the stylish.
  • If you are planning on doing it up right and wearing your best costume, Calgary Expo has weapon and prop storage. I left my oversized sword and foam handguns at home so I’m not sure the price or time limits for this service.
  • There are a few food options on site. Inside the BMO Centre and Big Four the options are the same (same foodservice contract, I would assume). Burgers are decent, but the lineups and mashed-up crowds of people are pretty crazy. Also, expect to eat on the floor. We ventured outside to the YYC Food Trucks and tried each of them. As I said prior, these queues are also long – but you’re outside with a good view for people watching and you quickly move up the line. One thing I noticed was the lack of vegetarian options. Don’t expect much other than a kid’s cheese pizza and some cold veggies.
  • Be prepared to get close. Calgary Expo had a record attendance of almost 100,000 people this year. That gets a bit intense in close-quarters, but if you keep eyes-forward and remain polite you won’t have any problem.
  • If you want to go to a panel, line up early. As press we were able to fly in and out of all the panels without having to stand in lines. Whether you have a regular or VIP pass, line up at least a half-hour before your panel begins. They usually open the doors ten minutes before the event and it is rush seating. VIP tickets have their own section but if the panel is popular (like the Dr. Who panel), the sections will fill up fast. Better be safe than sorry.
  • Get the four-day pass. I know it seems like a super-long time to be at the grounds, but if you can get off of work for all the days, do it. You may not be on site for the entire time but at least then you will have access to the entire event and not just a few select days. There are so many panels and events every day and the last thing you want is to miss something because you only purchased a pass for one day and you want to participate in three days worth of content.