Our Saturday was quite different than anything else we would have expected to be doing on a Saturday, let alone our first Saturday in Vancouver. We got free press passes to Fan Expo Vancouver 2012 (Edition 1). The Fan Expo could be thought of as the Canadian edition of the Comic Con. That means a lot of stands with all things Comic/Anime/TV/Movie related, from T-shirts, cushions, actual comics to actual cast members from TV-shows and the first Batmobile (There was a guy who would take a picture of you and the car for 20 dollars.)
So here we were, on this Expo, knowing that in mere hours we’d be acting like a group of political radicals that walked straight out of a TV show.
Our first part of the day we spent looking around bewildered at the amount of people, and also the costumes people had made. Some silly, some sexy and some really awesomely great. By far, the best costume we saw that day was Master Chief (of Halo fame). The guy who made it had spent 1000 hours making the suit. And it sure looked the part.
Then came the time we’d been waiting for. We had to wait a while in the panel area, we spread out across the empty seats to be mingled with the general public. Slowly but surely the seats filled up. Luckily a few colleagues were there aswell, so I had some people to talk to. I, and my nerves, liked that a lot. So after a very short intro came the cue for one of the other actors that was playing member of this political group to rise up and go against the lies that were being told about this organization. So when she walked out it was our time to rise up and liberate.
The actual motive for this whole setup was to hand out flyers to people, convincing them to play ARG that will be accompanying the launch of the TV show. This did ment we had to try and convince people we were from this organization. At a Fan Expo like this, that was completely the wrong way to go about it. Visitors at a Fan Expo are not there to hear about political ramblings. They are there to hear about nerdy stuff: TV shows, Anime, Movies, Games, etc. So after a few futile attempts we went on with just being us, selling people a gaming experience. That worked really well. The visitors want to play things, want to be submerged. Especially the cosplayers – the people in costumes.
In that category I was really amazed. There was a group of people that had Game of Thrones costumes: Daenerys Stormborn, John Snow and Jamie Lannister. These characters were so well done that they had to go separate to move around, otherwise they could not even walk a meter. Of course there are the standard Links, Pokemon, Dragonball Z and the mandatory Stormtroopers plus all that kind of things. Also not to be excluded: the sexified female Links (although Link in the games is male there are a lot of female Links at a convention like this). Also, there was this guy running around in a deer pelt and deer head. (I think its from Street fighter or something). A lot of things I did not recognise; I am not even close to nerd enough to know all these characters. Luckily I had Isaak as my walking character guide. Not to be forgotten is the Female Shepard (Mass Effect) with a quite impressive costume. There were actually two Female Shepards. One actually looked more like Shepard – renegade scars included – and the other sported a better looking costume. Both were interesting in their own right. Later I learned that Jennifer Hale, the voice actor that did Female Shepard, was actually at the Fan Expo. That is someone I would have liked to talk to as I am kinda curious what she normally sounds like and if her voice even resembles Shepard’s voice or that it’s completely different.
After that we had seen enough people, cosplayers and flyers we went our seperate ways. Isaak went on some pony quest to see a screening of “My Little Pony, Friendship Is Magic” This scene has an idiotically big cult following, which is quite impressive. There were a lot of cosplayers in Pony costumes. Though they are a little harder to recognise since, well, converting a four-legged animal to a human does not go over all that well. At Least, my eyes aren’t trained to recognise them. Sinne and I decided to explore the city some more.
As we walked out of the Convention Center, we saw a Swat van and a lot of people surrounding it. Normally I am not really the disaster tourist. Though there was something fishy going on and something caught our eyes. Walking there I could imagine how Vancouver could pass off as a city like New York. Just like New York, Vancouver is completely filled with big glass skyscrapers and Art Deco buildings. Beside the Swat van were a few bored looking office workers staring at a tall building, and Sinne inquired what was going on. Lo and behold, it turned out to be a film set. But nobody was as surprised about this as we were. They all acted like it was normal. “Happens a lot here. You’d be surprised at how much was taped here.” That’s the general remark on that subject.
We walked on, as the filmset seemed rather quiet. Suddenly I realised that the Yellow Cabs being parked outside of the building were not Priuses (Most cabs in Vancouver are a Toyota Prius). They were New York Yellow Cabs. And, as it turned out, the film set was indeed meant for some location in New York. Around this time we ran into a few people from the crew of the film set. There the whole situation got even better. It wasn’t just any film set. It was Uwe Bolls film set. (He’s done flicks like Bloodrayne, Alone in the Dark, Far Cry, etc.) We got the most amazing imitation of the German director of one of the crew members. It would seem he is actually insanely comedic to work with. The crew liked him, since every first take was fine with him. Less work for them.
After getting some Must-See-While-In-Vancouver tips from the crew we moved on. We ended up on a building’s roof with a garden and an epic amount of stairs. This was when we realised what made this city so amazing: It has space. You have a chance to do these strange architectural structures. Though fun, a building like this doesn’t have much of a function. In The Netherlands there isn’t any room for these kind of idiotic things. Especially not in the middle of a city center. Underneath the structure was an ice court. Well, it is in the winter. Now, it was ust a slap of concrete where people were practicing Capoeira and Breakdancing.
Our tour let us back to Trees, a coffee place we visited the first day, since we were told that they have the best cheesecake in Vancouver. And they sure have. I can say that. What an awesome cheesecake that was. Not that I have had a lot of cheesecake experiences, but this one was really good. Also, the people working there really like their work. I guess that always helps with these kinds of shops. Interesting note: on this very saturday three people actually guessed we are from the Netherlands. You’d think that Dutch isn’t quite as recognizable as German or French accents. Most people are totally clueless as to our origin, but these people guessed it right the first time.
The next day we split up to have some time of our own. Well, Isaak went to the Fan Expo again (we had free passes so why not). Sinne and I went looking for shoes for Sinne and some other things. One of the most idiotic things we found out was that we some places have four coffee (just regular coffee shops not the ones we have) packed together in a corner. That’s insane. And after that went I went on to the Fan Expo as well and Sinne went looking for a public library, though that ended up in Stanley park (which is about 1.5 hours away.). I found Isaak just walking out of the Convention Center, so I talked him into giving me his camera and I went in to see if I’d be capable of taking some nice pictures. It turned out not to go that well because of the insane amount of people and the bad lighting conditions. Most of the night we just spent in the hostel enjoying our
first month first three days.
That should account for our whereabouts for the first week. The next week will be detailed – though a little less adventurous - later.