A Day At Supanova Sydney 2011

FILMINK geeks out at this year\'s Sydney Supanova...



It was only my second visit to the growing pop culture expo known as Supanova, and within five minutes of entering, I was grabbed by Catwoman to be in a photo. The first of many random people wanting me to pose, the leather clad girl may not have been Halle Berry but she purred into my ear telling me she liked my Terminator outfit. It was that kind of day.

Supanova has travelled nationally with an array of special guests for a decade. It\'s Australia\'s own version of the grand Comic-Con, just on a much smaller, Australian scale.

Late June at Sydney\'s Olympic Park Dome in Homebush, I joined a colourful mass of people, many dressed in costumes of their favourite science fiction, horror, television or anime characters. I walked past the Ghostbusters, Xena, Darth Vader, Boba Fett, a group of guards from Resident Evil, a samurai warrior, Flash Gordon and more than a few Japanese Manga girls.

Drifting up and down the aisles of the stalls set up inside the arena, there was everything on show including how to make your own robot, drawing lectures and even a FILMINK booth featuring a chocolate wheel. There were book readings with sci-fi and fantasy authors present, also a stream of comic book artists ready to pass on skills.

However, it is the special guests that draw most of the attention. None more so than Tom Felton, soon to be seen in Rise of the Planet of the Apes and a Harry Potter stalwart who created a frenzied reception during his onstage Q&A and photo signings.

To say he was very popular is an understatement; fans camped in line to have the first opportunity to ask him a question or buy a photo. Girls, and maybe some boys, gushed, while screaming could be heard around the auditorium whenever Tom appeared.

Also on the agenda were the veteran trio from the television cult classic I Dream of Jeannie. After taking off my cyborg outfit, I was lucky enough to speak to them all individually. Larry Hagman discussed the new Dallas, mentioning his part is bigger than just a cameo. The soon to turn 80 star said he enjoyed working in film as much as television and has fond memories of writer Sidney Sheldon. Barbara Eden recalled her days with Clint Eastwood in Rawhide and said her favourite film she\'d done was 7 Faces of Dr. Lao, while Bill Daily was just happy to be there.

Fans of Joss Whedon, and there were many, got their dose of \'Whedonverse\' through James Marsters (Buffy, Angel) and Amy Acker (Angel, Dollhouse). The latter looked stunning and recalled the experience of being directed by William Shatner in the 2002 film, Groom Lake. \"He was exactly like you would imagine, charming,\" Acker says. \"It was low budget and quick, while after the wrap, Bill called me in to loop the entire movie in order to completely change the filmed script.\" Working on Dollhouse, however, was Acker\'s favourite experience. \"We actually thought it was over after the first season, so being asked back was a bonus even if my role became completely opposite to season one.\" (She rocked an eye patch and caused torture to a significant character).

James Marsters was enthusiastic about everything... except Joss Whedon! \"He doesn\'t like me at all,\" the actor laughed. \"When we did Angel, I was only supposed to do five episodes and then get killed, but audience response put pressure on him, so I avoided Joss after that so I could stay!\"

A good talker and appreciative of his fans at the Q&A session, James spoke highly of his latest role opposite Australia\'s own Alex O\'Loughlin in Hawaii Five-O. \"I\'m a recurring character in season two of Hawaii Five-O and fighting Alex is much more complicated than anything I did on Buffy. Alex is hands on and trained to hurt, I love the guy.\"

Part of my day also included an informative discussion on the brilliant Australian thriller, The Tunnel. Star in the making, local lead actress Bel Delia, was joined by her director and producers to chat about the making of this ingenious horror pic and its inventive funding and distribution model. Not giving too much away about a sequel, the foursome happily transpired stories from the set and signed copies of the just released DVD.

The Supanova event is only going to get bigger and should be earmarked by anyone with a taste for something different and a chance to nerd out with likeminded people.

Supanova will hit Brisbane in November later this year. For more information, head here.      


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