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Reflections on Fan Expo Vancouver 2017

16 Nov

215d2-fanexpovancouverBy Ed Sum (The Vintage Tempest)

The variety of nerdy interests represented at Fan Expo Vancouver every year will differ. They have certainly become the crossroads of where all kinds of pop culture can converge, hence the X in their #FXV hashtag. While previous shows may feel more jam-packed than recent, this year’s event only affirms what I suspected from 2016 — this local event is getting connected with various television productions which film around the Lower Mainland of British Columbia. This event is settling into a groove most will approve and I can only imagine it will get better. Although years away, I’m sure the organizers will have something grand planned when year ten hits. But that’s four years away.

This festival moved from April to November two years ago, making the expense of staying at hotels a touch better during the offseason and offering to both exhibitors and fans a chance to rest before setting up for the next show. Epic Photo Ops deserves special mention for effectively managing the lineups for those seeking a memento with their favourite group of (or with a particular) performer.

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Grant Gustin does not appear at many conventions so those hoping to meet him will have to do so at this show. As The Flash in The CW‘s flagship show, I can imagine he’s not easy to meet. To see both him and the entire STAR labs team (minus Jesse L. Martin) on stage is usually a San Diego Comic Con Hall H scale event, and fans of the show got it at Fan Expo in Vancouver, BC Canada! This panel was packed, and anyone there saw the sweet chemistry he has with Candice Patton in real life too. The star of this panel, however, was Zoe Patton, a cute canine which no doubt won many hearts. Viewers who saw this week’s episode, “When Harry met Harry,” got to understand what the Council of Wells was about, and Tom Cavanagh talked about how this segment was pieced together.

When considering the number of television and film productions going on in this corner of the world, folks hoping for a celebrity sighting will find attending this event better than to wait during a film/television shoot. A chance to interact with a star is never guaranteed when the set is a workplace. From the massive list of CW comic book based shows (Riverdale, Arrow, The Flash, Legends of Tomorrow, Supergirl and iZombie) to movies like Deadpool 2 — which ended production the month before — just who will attend are decided months before. Attendees will have to hope there are no sudden changes the week before due to work (or family, like Stephen Amell had) obligations coming up last-minute. I’m sure there were attendees hoping to spot Ryan Reynolds or Kevin Smith (who did appear in 2016).

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Updates & A Foodie’s Guide to Fan Expo Vancouver 2017

7 Nov

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By Ed Sum (The Vintage Tempest)

Residents far and wide will soon be descending upon Fan Expo Vancouver (Nov 10-12, 2017) in British Columbia. Now into its sixth year, they are having a Steampunk exhibition where folks can learn about this subculture and their Artist’s Alley looks bigger than the retail/exhibitor’s space! In the television world, The CW is being very well represented. The big three — Arrow, The Flash and Legends of Tomorrow — is the spotlight. The list is long and on the week of, adjustments have been made: Maisie Richardson-Seller has been added, and due to work commitments, Stephen Amell, Caity Lotz and Michael Shanks are unable to appear.

This media side will have fans who are not residents of Vancouver get to meet these performers without having to go stalking around in an active film set and herded away by production assistants. People are allowed to watch, as long as they are not in the view of the camera.

I’m always anxious to return to this show to revisit a few places to dine in! After attending this event for five years now and visiting almost all of the inexpensive diners around the Coal Harbour area, I feel I can finally offer my picks. This list will also be updated should I discover a new establishment worth mentioning. By clicking on the operation’s name, you will get to see the original review of these operations:

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The Vintage Tempest’s SPARK Animation Vancouver 2017 Preview

24 Oct

By Ed Sum
(The Vintage Tempest)

Vancouver, BC is just one of a few hubs for aficionados of the animation industry to congregate to celebrate this medium. The Spark Animation Conference and Film Festival (Oct 26-29, 2017) lets enthusiasts, creators and innovators get together to appreciate this medium. This year’s event looks exceptional, especially with it closing with two highly anticipated Asian films that will eventually get a proper theatrical release in North America. But there’s more to this event than these two movies.

Comedy is the spotlight with Big Bad Fox by French filmmaker, animator and cartoonist Benjamin Renner. This laugh-out-loud collection of stories about Rabbit, Duck and Pig are by no means variations of Warner Brothers famous trio. There’s a different personality to them and this film is worth checking out Saturday night, the 28th of October. If people do not see it at this festival, I’m sure it will make its rounds elsewhere as GKIDs is handling distribution.

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Look Back: 2017 Victoria Japanese Cultural Fair

22 Oct

sillyjames.jpgBy James Robert Shaw
(The Wind up Geek)

If there is at least one thing I have in common with author Nancy Singleton Hachisu, 7th dan kyoshi of Kendo Alexander C. Bennett and media mogul Dave Spector, it is sharing their love of all things Japanese. One could call us Japanophiles. But in the end, we all can manage to hold independent critical thoughts on issues pertaining to the country we love.

At Victoria Nikkei Cultural Society’s Japanese Cultural Fair, someone can become a Japanophile very quickly in the space of a single day. This annual event has been hosted for some time now by the Esquimalt Recreation Centre, a fitting place for any festival or convention starting out. But from what I have seen, this centre may have issues with crowd control in the future because of the large the number of attendees I saw come through.

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