Nerd Expo 2019 Recap

Nerd Expo 2019 Recap

By Veronica Nunez
October 14, 2019

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Nerd Expo was held on September 21, 2019 at the Pasadena Convention Center.  I only stayed for a few hours, but I really enjoyed the live concert by Ragnarock on the lower level.  They played some great songs from the 80s including the theme to The Neverending Story which you can watch here.

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My primary intent for attending Nerd Expo this year was to add Ray Park’s autograph to my Darkside hockey jersey.  The room he was in for signings was on the lower level where the Nerf shooting was happening, too.  Some of the kids were rapid firing and hitting their targets with ease.  It was a very popular spot with the kids at the show.

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Matty Cardarople was another special guest doing signings and photos, but he also made an appearance on the Main Stage prior to Ragnarock’s performance.   You may have seen Matty on Stranger Things as the arcade attendant in season two and as the video store manager in season three.  He seemed as shy and awkward, but very nice, on the stage as he does on screen.

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Nerd Expo is organized by Nerd Bot, and it’s a small convention which had some good live music, special guests, and fun cosplays.

James and Oliver Phelps Panel at Silicon Valley Comic Con

James and Oliver Phelps at Silicon Valley Comic Con

Veronica Nunez
October 10, 2019

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James (Fred Weasley) and Oliver Phelps (George Weasley) from the Harry Potter films appeared at Silicon Valley Comic Con in San Jose, California on August 16-18, 2019.  They had a great panel talking about the practical jokes the cast played on each other, and they gave a detailed account of a prank they played on the intern in the hair and makeup department.

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The twins did clarify a rumor that they had once switched characters for a day which required reshoots.  They said that there are hundreds of cast and crew on set each day, and they would never intentionally do something to cost the production time and money.  I remember reading about this joke a few years ago, and I’m glad to hear that it isn’t true.

 

I think it’s great that they received a copy of the book when filming each film which the cast would sign.  The books became school yearbooks in that way.  Oliver tells a fan that he has George’s missing ear.  James thinks this is a bit weird and tells the audience that Oliver has the ear prosthetic displayed on the plaster mold of his head in his (Oliver) house.

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Tom Felton always gets their names wrong even now, but they don’t correct him because they think it’s funny.  When they first started the first film and did the table read they still didn’t know who was playing Fred and who was playing George.  They had to ask the casting director, but they don’t know if the director/producers even knew who was playing who until that moment.

 

James and Oliver talked about the wide reach of Harry Potter around the world even if people haven’t read the books or seen the films, they still get recognized for Harry Potter.

Lining Up for Star Wars The Force Awakens

Lining up for Star Wars:

The Force Awakens

By Veronica Nunez
October 9, 2019

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I’m not sure how I heard about the line for Star Wars : The Force Awakens, but I know I signed up on Eventbrite.  The line up was organized by LiningUp.Net.   I had already bought Star Wars marathon tickets for an AMC Theater for my niece and myself, but I wanted to see what the line up was all about.  I signed up on the first day in the forecourt of the historic TCL Chinese Theatre Imax. I brought my folding camp chair and a bag of snacks and found a spot to hang out.  The line event began on December 5, 2015 and ended on December 17, 2015 with the first show of The Force Awakens followed by an after party inside the TCL Chinese 6 Theatres on the 3rd level of the Hollywood & Highland Center.

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This little dog’s cape was amazing!

You’re immediate thought may be “It’s going to be stinky with all those unwashed people.”  That’s not true.  Here are the logistics for how the Line Up is run in the time of internet pre-purchased tickets.  You sign in with the organizer manning the check-in table.  A release is completed and signed when you first sign up/check-in at the table.  You can leave the line for a short time (to smoke, go to the bathroom, grab food) as long as it’s a short-time, I think about 20-30 minutes.  If you leave for a longer time, you need to check-out with the check-in/out table.  So it’s easy to run home to take a shower, get more clean clothes, etc.  The organizers tabulate the amount of time each person spends in line.  The person who has the most hours gets to select their seats/tickets first, the person with second highest time selects their seats/tickets second, etc.   I believe it was the Star Wars: The Last Jedi line they added a QR code to our name badges to use an app to tabulate the hours.  It was easier for the organizers and for the rest of us, because there was more than one person who could check us in/out.

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Even Santa Clause stopped by to say hello!

It was easy to make some friends, but I began the day by just hanging out with myself and observing the crowd.  I read a little, played on my phone, and people watched.  In case you are unaware, the block of Hollywood Boulevard between Highland and Orange is very tourist heavy.  Many of these tourists come into the forecourt of the Chinese to see the famous hand and footprints.  The weather was nice for December around the mid-70s, but I brought a lap blanket, scarf, beanie, and warm gloves.  There were other newbies like myself as well as veterans from past lines (beginning with Episode I) some of whom hadn’t seen each other for several years.  The purpose of the line is obviously to see the newest Star Wars film, but with pre-purchasing of tickets, it isn’t necessary.  LiningUp.Net uses the line up as a way to raise money for the Starlight Children’s Foundation.

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LiningUp.Net organizer, Peter Genovese doing a press interview.

The forecourt of the TCL Chinese Imax Theatre is private property which is “fenced” off from the public once the theater closes for the night.  They have their own security personnel stationed in the forecourt to keep people out.  The staff of the TCL Chinese was fantastic in supporting the Line Up group, allowing us to use the restrooms throughout the day and night.  Being able to sleep on top of the hand and footprints of Hollywood’s famous past and present is an amazing opportunity.  We had fun calling “dibs” on certain celebrities’ hand prints each night.  I’ve slept on Natalie Wood’s prints and Marilyn Monroe, but I sat on Denzel Washington’s prints a lot during the Line.

I didn’t camp overnight the first weekend and worked the following week, but I took some vacation time so that I could camp out all day and night for the second weekend through to opening night.  Of course the temperatures dropped significantly the second weekend of the Line Up, and I hate the cold.  I’m a Southern California native, of course I hate the cold.  It was also raining off and on so that didn’t help me to keep warm.  I had packed the free rain poncho I had received in my swag bag from the Oscars bleachers in 2013, so I put all of my stuff onto my chair and placed the poncho over everything to keep them dry.  I then went to the “$10 souvenir store” (in reality everything is $5—every single day so don’t believe the hawkers they have outside) to see if they had any umbrellas as I had left mine at home.   I did go home after 2 days to take a shower and grab my regular umbrella for the rest of the week.

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There are a lot of news outlets who came to cover the Line Up, so be prepared for that.  You don’t have to do press if you don’t want to, but you may be on camera which may be an issue if you called out of work saying you’re sick as some people have done.  We also had some special guests stop by the Line Up such as Anthony Daniels (C3-PO) who spent quite a bit of time taking photos with us and telling us a story about C3-PO footprints in the forecourt.  Ray Park (Darth Maul) stopped by when it was raining a little (it had been raining off and on all day), and did a little lightsaber “sparring” with a few of the Line members.  I may put some short (and shaky) video of that on my YouTube page.

There was a lot of noise from the tents being set up on Hollywood Boulevard for the Red Carpet Premiere which was scheduled for December 14, 2015.  We had to clear the area by 6am the day of the premiere, and we were all given time in line during the premiere festivities until we were able to return.  The premiere had closed off 3 or 4 blocks of Hollywood Boulevard to traffic.  On the day of the premiere, there were security stations with metal detectors on every corner.  This made it impossible to line up on a side street during the time we were cleared out from the forecourt.  I didn’t return to the Line Up after the premiere except for a brief visit to say hello on my way to the Star Wars marathon at the AMC Theatres in Burbank.  I made some great friends during my first Line, and these became deeper friendships during the following Lines and beyond.

You can get more information on the Star Wars Lines at LiningUp.Net.  Like their Facebook page here.

Please check out the great work the StarLight Children’s Foundation does, and please donate here.

You can see me in some of the press coverage here and here.

Marvel Avengers S.T.A.T.I.O.N.

Marvel Avengers S.T.A.T.I.O.N.

August 15, 2019

 

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A recent trip to Las Vegas gave me a day to finally check out the Marvel Avengers S.T.A.T.I.ON. (Scientific Training and Tactical Intelligence Operative Network) located at Treasure Island Hotel and Casino.  I accessed the Avengers STATION by way of the street entrance which is on the Strip (Las Vegas Boulevard) instead of going into the casino.  The entrance and exit for the interactive exhibit is a store which has plenty of photo opportunities with various character cardboard standees as well as huge wall murals of the Avengers Characters featuring the images of the actors who play them rather than the comic character images.

I prepaid for my ticket via Groupon which included the 3D (lenticular) commemorative ticket (an $8 value) and an Agent ID Card.  I highly recommend this deal if you are interested in the ticket and ID card.  I checked in around 1:40pm and was assigned a 2pm tour time.  The tours are self-guided, but you are let into the attraction in groups of approximately 20-30 people.

I wandered around the store and took some photos of the various photo ops.  There is also a green screen photo booth in the store which takes cash and cards.  I chose the $10 option (though my card was only charged $9), and followed the directions.  There were 42019-08-19 10.38.36 photos taken and the machine gives you clues as how to pose.  You also see what the scene is on the screen in front of you so you can pose accordingly.   When all four photos were taken, you have a choice of printouts.  I chose the 2 strips of 4 photos plus one 4×6 inch print.  You select the photo for the 4×6 print from the four options you have taken.  The prints will dispense on the side of the machine. 

I checked in a few minutes before 2pm at the photo area which is also a large green “screen” wall.  They have a few toy props you can use, and you are given a photo ticket.  Then small groups are led into a briefing room where S.H.I.E.L.D. agent Maria Hill will give you instructions.  Then two doors open for to the entrance of the attraction.  Many of the displays are interactive and you can play a game to test your reflexes, or sit on Captain America’s Harley Davidson for photos.  There are electronic displays which change on a loop working as a dossier on each Avenger as you walk through the attraction.  There are also many costumes on display including seven Iron Man suits and the Hulk Buster suit.

There’s a fun Hulk photo-op where you can give your best Hulk roar or “smash” which is perfect for a Boomerang app or short video.  You can also test your strength as well as watch how Br2019-08-15 14.19.09uce Banner’s brain changes as he morphs into Hulk.

 

 

You can try to access uniforms (costumes) of Maria Hill, Nick Fury or Black Widow, but you will be denied and the reasons for denied access change.  Apparently, I was denied access due to some Hydra nanotechnology being detected.

Ants on the floor will guide you to Ant Man’s location.  It’s okay to step on them; they’ll move out of the way.  Thor and Loki have their dossiers in a room together where you can test if you are worthy to pick up Mjolnir.

After checking out the Iron Man suits, groups of S.T.A.T.I.O.N. trainees will fight Ultron.  After you fight Ultron, you exit the attraction and enter the store where you can view the photo you took at the entrance. This is also where you can purchase and/or pick up your Agent ID card with the one of the Avengers and your choice of name. 

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I feel like I rushed through the attraction without reading any of the dossiers and other information, and I was still inside the attraction for over an hour.  Being a self-guided tour there is no time limit and you are free to turn around and go back to previous rooms if you feel you missed something.

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I definitely will be going to Marvel Avengers S.T.A.T.I.O.N. again, but I will take my time to read everything and do all of the photo ops inside.

The Marvel Avengers S.T.A.T.I.O.N. is wonderfully and thoroughly themed and is a must for any Marvel fan. If you are staying at Treasure Island they currently have a 2 for 1 ticket deal which doesn’t include the commemorative ticket nor the Agent ID card.  I understand that buying tickets via Treasure Island has an $8 service fee for each ticket as well.  I paid $38 on Groupon for my ticket which included the commemorative ticket and an Agent ID card.

 

Coincidentally, when I returned to our room at Bally’s Captain America: Winter Soldier was on tv so I watched it for the 20+ time to complete my Avengers themed day.

 

The Orville Experience at San Diego Comic-Con 2019

Outside San Diego Comic-Con: The Orville Experience

by Veronica Nunez, August 7, 2019

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We had planned on spending all of Saturday during SDCC inside the convention center seeing various panels, but there had been an announcement on Twitter from Orville producer Tom Constantino (@TomConstantino) on Friday about some “surprises or special guests” at The Orville Experience after 5pm on Saturday.  We guessed that the some cast members would likely be making an appearance due to their panel and signing all ending before 5pm that day.

We had planned on seeing The Orville Experience anyway, but we changed our panel plans for Saturday afternoon/evening to make sure we got to the offsite in time.  We left the convention center immediately after The Orville panel, grabbed sandwiches to eat in line, and arrived outside the offsite around 4pm.  There was a very small line, and they let in groups of 10 or so people in at a time.

It was lovely to be in a well air-conditioned room, and the space was much larger than I was expecting.  There were so many costumes on display as well as storyboards and concept art.  There was also a video of the animation process for sequences.  The detailing on the costumes are absolutely incredible as is the detailing on the model of The Orville ship.  The ship model looked to be about 2 feet long and was beautifully displayed.

As it got closer to 5pm, you could see that no one was leaving the building and they had stopped letting people in.  Photographers were let in and set up around the group of costumes set up below “The Orville Experience” signage.  I placed myself directly behind the gun prop display, but lost my space when I stepped back to get one of the “The World of The Orville” books.  The cast arrived to take some photos, and Seth MacFarlane did an interview or two.

It was very crowded at this time, and I was getting a bit warm in the crowd.  I took a few more photos of some of the displays, but I still wasn’t able to get to see everything there.  There was also a GIF/photo op by the exit, but I slightly regret not staying to do it.

The Orville Experience was set up by some of the production department with about 2 months’ time to work on it.  Not having experience in displays showed in that the font size on information placards was too small to read from behind the ropes.  Costumes were displayed along walls along with storyboards and concept art, and they had rope barriers set up to keep visitors from getting too close to the costumed mannequins, which I completely understand, but the small font on the information placards made them very difficult to read.  Also, there were a lot of shadows created on some of the art and their placards from the costumes.

The Orville Experience was voted best offsite in San Diego Comic-Con Unofficial Blog’s Shruggie Awards.

 

DIY Stranger Things Skirt

Stranger Things Inspired Skirt

July 25, 2019

finished skirt

Less than a week before San Diego Comic-Con, I decided to make a Stranger Things inspired skirt.  It had been on my mind since last October when I attended my “niece’s” Stranger Things themed birthday party.  I ordered a vintage floral bedsheet off of Ebay which was brand new in its original packaging. Unfortunately, due to the packaging I didn’t see that the floral pattern was only along the top edge and not throughout the sheet.  I quickly found 2 more bedsheets, 1 twin size and 1 full size, on Ebay and placed the orders crossing my fingers at least one would arrive in time.

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Cut pieces, pre-stained

 

Bedsheets can be great for making skirts and dresses from, especially in this case since I want a vintage style/color/pattern.  I also didn’t have much time before we left for San Diego, and I would be hand-sewing the skirt because I don’t know how to use a sewing machine.  The two sheets arrived a day apart, and though the full size would have been easier to work with cutting wise, the twin size had a better pattern and coloring.  The twin sheet I used was by Room Concepts in the Michele pattern, and it was a “flannelette” 50/50 cotton-polyester blend.  I had four days until we left for San Diego.

I washed both sheets in hot water to remove any sizing and smells they may have from their age, and dried them on high heat as well.  I used a skirt I have to make a rough pattern (I have a pattern packed away somewhere from when I made my Star Wars skirt, but I couldn’t find it) on some butcher paper we have.  I also traced a rough oval using my hand for sizing reference to add pockets to my skirt.  I used this pattern to cut the fabric.  After the fabric was cut, I tea-stained the cut pieces to get the colors a bit older looking and a bit darker.  The sheet had a cream color background, but I wanted it to be a bit more brownish.

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Original fabric on the left and tea-stained fabric on the right 

 

 

 

 

I washed the pieces again after tea-staining, and there was an unfortunate amount of fraying along most of the edges, but I cut larger than normal edges in case this happened.  The tea-staining made the fabric more wrinkled than before so I had to iron the pieces prior to painting the alphabet onto the back and front pieces.  I used the Soft fabric paint by Tulip in Ebony and a natural bristle ¾” paint brush I had on hand to paint the letters.  I started with the back section of the skirt in case I screwed it up.  This was done at midnight on the Saturday night before San Diego Comic-Con because we had been at a friend’s birthday party all afternoon/night.  I got up early on Sunday morning to paint the front section of the skirt since the back side was now dry.  We don’t have a lot of space for me to lay both sides to dry where my cat, Nick Furry, can’t get his hair all over it.  I let the paint air dry on its own for about 2 hours, then I used a hair dryer to get the spots which were taking longer to dry due to thicker layers of paint.

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Back side of skirt

While the front side paint was drying I temporarily altered a full-length white petticoat/crinoline I had on hand.  I do have a shorter one, but it’s a dark-ish blue, and I felt that it was too dark to wear under the sheet fabric.  Tea-staining does help with the transparency issue most sheets have, though the flannelette is thicker than most sheets.   I used a lot of safety pins to pull up the outer layer of the petticoat to the waist, then I “hemmed” the underskirt/lining with safety pins from the bottom.  Pinning from the bottom helped give some extra poof, too.

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Front side of skirt; note the frayed edges

Since I had been thinking about making this skirt since October, I had purchased two small battery operated Christmas lights from Michaels during Christmas time.  They’re the LED and the perfect classic shape, but I wished they had a blinking option.  Sunday, Monday (after work), and Tuesday morning I sewed all of the pieces together, but I hadn’t given enough space to slide the 1” wide elastic for the waist (due to my painting the letters too high), so I had to use some thinner elastic which isn’t as strong.  Like I mentioned before, I don’t know how to sew and an elastic waistband is all I can really do.  The flannelette fabric is also stretchy, and I have no experience working with stretchy fabric

We were leaving for San Diego at 11am on Tuesday so it was crunch time.   I tried on the petticoat and skirt to see if I needed to make further adjustments to the petticoat.  It did need another 2 inches shortened on the interior lining, but the skirt was ready to have the lights pinned to it.  I wanted to have one battery pack in each pocket, so I put the battery pack inside the pocket and safety-pinned the lights going from the battery to the end of the light strand.  I pinned from the under the skirt putting the pin through the two cords which made up the light strand.   I need to get a third strand or maybe one much longer strand of lights to make the skirt better.

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Please excuse how tired and sweaty I am in this picture.

I received a lot of compliments on my skirt when I wore it on the first day, Thursday, of Comic Con even though I only had the lights one when I was on the exhibition floor or when I was volunteering in the Hall H line later that evening.  You couldn’t see the lights in the bright sunlight, but they still had a great effect.  Some of the nice comments I didn’t even hear as people would say something to their friends as I passed by them on the Exhibition floor, but my boyfriend was walking behind me and he heard them.  So the moral of the story is to not let your inexperience keep you from trying something.

Starcourt Mall : A Stranger Things 3 Pop-up

Starcourt Mall : A Stranger Things 3 Pop-up

July 6, 2019

 

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A group of us managed to get tickets for the Starcourt Mall pop-up to celebrate the release of season 3 of Stranger Things in Los Angeles this past weekend.  The pop-up was only open Friday, July 5 through Sunday, July 7, 2019.  The free tickets were for time slots spaced 30 minutes apart.  There was no description of what this pop-up was about except a mention of it being an immersive experience and photo-ops.

 

We had a total of 8 people, but we split up our for the photo ops.  We arrived 15 minutes before our appointment time, which is what was recommended by organizers.  Once checked-in and wristbanded, we could get a free scoop of the new Stranger Things themed flavor U.S.S. Butterscotch ice cream (by Baskin Robbins) from the Scoops Ahoy “boat.”  They also had free bottles of water and a large character wall for photos.  There were restrooms behind the character wall.

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Then we got into another line where we could get a free can of New Coke from a vending machine.  There was also a pressed penny machine where each person could get a free pressed penny (pennies provided) of a Stranger Things image of their choice.  In total, we waited approximately an hour and a half before getting inside the “mall.”  There was a DJ playing 80s music while we waited in line, and we were in the shade provided by the building so the wait wasn’t as bad as it could have been.

They took us in small groups inside the mall, and our group was eight people so there were only a couple of others taken inside with us.  Once inside the building, you see a central court complete with planter in the center of the room and store facades.  The first actual room you go to is the Flash Studio where they had various 80s era shirts, jackets, and accessories to get you glammed up for a Polaroid photo.  You could also take or have the staff take photos on your phone/camera.  The next room couldn’t take all of us so the others went into the Hawkins Community Pool and our personal group stayed in Flash Studio and took more photos on our phones.

Once we got into the pool, we played with beach balls and Hawkins swim tubes and took lots of pictures.  There were two “lifegaurds” in the pool to make sure we obeyed the pool rules posted on the wall, and they posed for pictures, too.

From the pool, we go into Eleven’s bedroom complete with replica props from season three.  We were only allowed to spin the bottle, play with the CB radio, and sit in the chair at the desk.  This room is small, and we took our own photos before we taken in our “photo group” into next room.

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It was a black room with a bathtub in the center.  I climbed inside the tub for the photo and wore a blindfold.  They took a photo and GIF length video and both were emailed a few minutes later to the address I provided.

 

The next room was the Russian laboratory, and there was one man inside yelling at us in Russian when we touched the controls on the consoles (which our guide, Andy, told us to do), and Andy played along, too, ordering a pizza from the phone on one of the consoles.  Two more “Russian” looking (if you’ve seen season 3, you’ll know what I mean) men walk into the room from another door and lead us to another room.  We’re now on a “hill” for a photo-op.  I got really excited to see the Mongoose bike photo prop I got to stand with.  There were a few photos taken of each photo group.  We had two in our photo group so we were given two printed copies, and we provided an email address where they would send all four photos to us.  Once you leave this room, we are back in the central courtyard area where we had entered the building.  I took more photos of the street-facing side of the building while we waited outside for the rest of our group.

This was a great immersive experience which lasted about 45 minutes, and I wasn’t too annoyed with the hour and a half wait.  They did allowed a few people in via standby, but I heard those lines were over two hours.  This is something I hope would be at San Diego Comic Con next week, but it would also really need to have reserved appointment times.

John Wick : Chapter 3 – Parabellum Red Carpet Premiere

John Wick : Chapter 3 – Parabellum Red Carpet Premiere

By Veronica Nunez

Black Carpet after arrivals
Black Carpet after arrivals

The third installment of the John Wick films held its red carpet premiere at the historic TCL Chinese Theatre on May 15, 2019.  Those of us who had lined up early with our fan passes were placed into a small area at the entrance to the red carpet (black carpet in this instance) where we could possibly get an autograph or selfie with the arriving celebrities.  Most of the fans bunched up on the end where the carpet began.  There was a large empty spot near the street, and that’s where I placed myself as I would be able to see the premiere guests exit their vehicles.  I was a mere three feet from the drop-off entrance of the black carpet.

Fan area

Some surprising celebrity appearances were David Hasselhoff, Alex Winter (perhaps not that surprising), and Gavin Rossdale.  Gavin Rossdale approached the carpet entrance from the opposite corner (cars pulled in from Highland Avenue east of where I was).  He was walking with his girlfriend, and, I believe, the rest of Bush were behind him.  I looked to my right, and there was Gavin walking in my direction.  I yelled “Gavin!” in surprise and he smiled and waved.  I didn’t ask for a photo, but took a few of him while he walked.  He and his girlfriend left the premiere shortly after they arrived, and as they were leaving, other fans were screaming his name and he turned his head.  I waved and yelled “Bye, Gavin!”, and he waved and smiled.  I discovered that Bush has a song on the John Wick : 3 – Parabellum soundtrack shortly after the premiere.

I knew Keanu Reeves’ car was arriving as his handler was telling the Los Angeles Police officers that he had Keanu coming right now and he (Keanu) will want to go across the street (that’s where autograph hunters and fans were lined up).  He needed the police to help stop traffic so that Keanu could cross safely.  Mark Dacascos and David Hasselhoff were the only other celebrities to go to the fans across the street.

During the celebrity arrivals, I was texting with a friend, and I sent him the pictures of Halle Berry.  He mentioned that if I got some pictures of Keanu Reeves, he would score major points with a friend of his who loves Keanu.  I texted him quite a few pictures of Keanu as you see here.

After the arrivals were finished, we waited to be given our tickets to go into the theater for the screening.  I didn’t get into the screening as they had run out of tickets. I was a little annoyed since other premieres with fan areas will give you your ticket prior to sending you into the fan area.  I still had a great time, but I wasn’t thrilled to pay the $17 parking fee after not getting into the screening.

Good Omens Screening

Good Omens screening

By Veronica Nunez

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On Friday, May 17, 2019 Cinespia hosted a free screening of the first episode of the new Amazon Prime Video / BBC2 show, Good Omens.  Good Omens is based on the book of similar name (Good Omens: The Nice and Accurate Prophecies of Anges Nutter, Witch) collaboratively written by Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett.  The television show stars David Tennant and Michael Sheen and is written by Neil Gaiman.  Miranda Richardson, John Hamm, and Frances McDormand help round out the series cast.  The series is six episodes and were released on Amazon Prime on May 31, 2019 in the United States, but it is being broadcast weekly in the UK on BBC Two later this year.  There isn’t an official date for BBC Two, but it’s been said that Neil Gaiman has said Good Omens will begin broadcasting on BBC Two in November or December 2019.

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As mentioned above, we attended a free screening of the pilot episode hosted by Cinespia at the Hollywood Forever Cemetery.  I hadn’t been to a Cinespia screening prior to Good Omens, but absolutely look forward to attending another screening this summer, scheduled permitting.  Cinespia usually hosts screenings of movies during the summer.  The films are projected onto the side of the mausoleum, and there is usually a DJ playing music before the film and a photobooth or two.  Bring a low chair and blankets, pack a picnic or you usually can buy food and drinks there, and watch a movie under the celestial stars near dearly departed Hollywood stars.  Check out Cinsepia.org for more information and this year’s scheduled films.

Because the Good Omens screening was free, it was especially crowded, but we were also given free concessions, and there were plenty of photo booths and photo ops around the area.  There was a large section at the front and center of the mausoleum reserved for VIP, and there were security there.  I recognized the security staff from red carpet events around Los Angeles, so I knew this was a section for invited celebrity guests.  I did manage to spot Josh Groban arriving to that area.  They had seats and blankets along with large baskets of goodies supplied.  They also had a dedicated bar in their section.   Neil Gaiman came and gave an introduction to the show prior to the screening.  I was a bit surprised they only showed the first episode as screenings for television series usually consist of two episodes, but with only 6 episodes for the series I can understand why we only got to see the pilot.

I enjoyed the episode, but I won’t go into detail since it hasn’t aired in the UK, yet.  I haven’t watched the rest of the series, yet, either.  It was really funny, and I love the friendship between the demon Crowley (portrayed by David Tennant) and the angel Aziraphale (portrayed by Michael Sheen).  (Note: There was a full moon the night of the screening.)

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Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindewald Fan Event

Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindewald Fan Event

By Veronica Nunez

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We got up at 3am on a Saturday morning to attend a special fan event at the Universal Studios Hollywood theme park on November 3, 2018. We were wristbanded and given tickets to Universal Studios Hollywood upon check-in.

The event began with an Imax screening of Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindewald at the AMC Theatre at Universal CityWalk.. There were donuts from Voodoo Donuts and coffee and tea available for us before the event as well as gorgeous tote bags containing buttons and keyrings.   There were costumes from the film’s characters on display while we waited to be allowed to enter the theater.

After the screening we walked to Universal Studios and enjoyed riding some rides prior to the press event with the cast members of Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindewald being held in front of Hogwarts Castle. We had been told that our wristband may get us into a viewing area for the press event, but that wasn’t the case even though there was room in the roped off area.

I did get a few photos of Eddie Reddmayne while he was giving interviews in another area of Hogsmeade prior to the main press event.

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Eddie Reddmayne

We ended up leaving shortly after not getting into the press event as the weather had gotten warmer than we had expected and we were tired since we’d been up since 3am. It was a really fun fan event, and it was completely free!