Here are the notes I made throughout Oz Comic-Con in Melbourne, held this past weekend at the Royal Exhibition Building in Carlton. What a great weekend!
Hope you enjoyed my Twitter updates and amusing Facebook photos from the event, too!
• You know it is Comic Con weekend when the train carriages are half filled with pedestrians, half filled with superheroes
• After complaints last year that there were too many people in one small space, this year Oz Comic Con was full in atmosphere and not in lines, which is exactly what you want at a convention
• From little Supermans to big Iron Mans, costumes were vast and impressive
• Best exhibition stall name: Rick James Bricks (Lego stall)
• Best stall – Zombie kissing booth
• Line around the block for William Shatner’s general session – more than 1000 in attendance
• Very charismatic on stage and starts the session with a joke about how to throw a boomerang (you get a dog that can go grab it for you) “The secret behind throwing a boomerang is a good dog”
• Happily answers all audience questions
• He says as an actor you get used to people telling you what to do, what to say, where to stand. He regrets not making more of a fuss when they told him Captain Kirk was going to die. He heard Marlon Brando just did what he wanted. He wished he’d been all Brando like ‘Nope. No Captain Kirk isn’t going to die. I won’t do it’.
• Thinks these 13 episode seasons are half seasons – they had to do 26 episodes!
• Killing Kirk was purely for financial reasons. The studio was only making about $30 million per film, and they thought Next Generation would make them a lot more money. It ended up making them about the same.
• He always tried to catch the stage hand off guard and walk into the door, as he drank his single malt
• Shatner said there were no plans to turn the Star Trek series into films, he believed it was the blooper reels from the first two seasons doing the rounds that made people interested in the franchise again
• Has a new spoken word album coming out in a couple of months as a follow up to “Has Been” that he did with Ben Folds (which features my favourite version of Pulp’s “Common People”). It’s called “Ponder the Mystery” and he worked on it with Billy Sherman of “Yes” fame. Shatner wrote the lyrics and Billy wrote the music
• He spoke about making his documentary “The Captains” about all five Captains of Star Trek, and since the actors were dispersed over LA, New York and London, Shatner called up the CEO of an airline company in Canada to ask if he could lend him a private plane for the trips. Luckily the CEO had grown up watching Star Trek, it was the inspiration for him to study aeronautical engineering, and led him to rise up the ranks of the company. He gave it to him – which would have cost more than the budget for the entire documentary
• Crowds gathered to hear Elwes for one main reason and they got their wish – the first question – or request – was to hear him recite the line ‘As you wish’. Cary obliged.
• Cary spoke about growing up with a single parent and that with his mother working all the time the television became his friends. He particularly loved comedy and looked up to Peter Sellers. This is where his passion for acting started
• He felt so lucky to have been involved in The Princess Bride. He says you might be right for some roles but if you’re already booked for another project or the schedules don’t match up then you can’t do it
• Rob Reiner and his producer flew to Berlin to see Cary where he was working about the part in “The Princess Bride”. Rob said “If two Jews come to Berlin, you know we’re serious”.
• His favourite scene to film in “The Princess Bride” was playing ‘mostly dead’.
• “The Princess Bride” is William Goldman’s favourite films that he has written (from a body of work that includes “Heat” and “Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid”.
• When Mel Brooks called Cary to offer him the part of Robin Hood in “Men In Tights” Cary thought it was a practical joke and hung up on him
• Cary does a mean Mel Brooks impression
• Cary wanted Dave Chappelle for the role of Ahchoo and was so pleased he got it
• When asked what made him want to get involved in the first “Saw” film with two Australian filmmakers straight out of film school, Cary said he saw they had vision, had brought a life size doll with them on the plane to LA (and paid for its seat) and even had a working bear trap. He was convinced.
• They asked him to come back for the fifth “Saw” film but Cary requested he only come back for the last one to bring symmetry to the story
• When asked whether he enjoys playing heroes or villains, Cary said there were some villains he did not enjoy playing at all – mostly serial killers that are based on true stories. He said he learnt a lot but also learnt things he didn’t really want to
• He says comedy is a lot harder than drama
• Cary worked with Charlie Sheen on “Hot Shots!” and is possibly the only person to refer to him as ‘a really sweet guy’.