So the time had finally come for London Film and Comic Con with a stellar line-up announced which included Michael J Fox, Christopher Lyoyd, Sigourney Weaver, Neve Campbell, Robert Englund and more.
Naturally the Back to the Future cast sold my interest immediately and I was on the first train down there. My driver (get me eh) dropped me off at the event and I opened the car door to find a queue that consisted of around 10,000 people (no exaggeration) scattered as far as the eye could see and this was 1 hour before opening time. My first photoshoot with Christopher Lyoyd was at 9:30am and here I was at 8:00am wondering if I was ever going to make-it inside.
Two hours later and I still hadn’t made it into the event and thus missed my first photo-shoot with the option to come again in the afternoon and try again. Shoddy organising of the queues with so many people trying to look for staff in line when they were no where to be seen. It was clear to see that Saturday was well and truly over-booked. There was no space in the event to even shuffle around let alone get past the various attendees. The stalls were over-crowded and with such big names at the event you can only imagine what the photo-shoot queues were like. Just take a look.
Now with every photoshoot on the Saturday it seemed as thou the Showmasters staff had ran off and left one poor staff memeber called Luke to try to keep control of a horde of 3000 people. Luke had no option but resorting to shouting and being mobbed by various people asking him every question under the sun. Luke was running around like a headless chicken and it was clear to see organisation and common sense from Showmasters was thrown out of the window in quite a disgusting fashion. Full credit to Luke as he seemed to be the only staff member working Photo booth A on the Saturday. That guy deserved a medal or a round of beers from EVERYONE standing in line that day.
They can attract the big guests, they can book the nice venues but as far as accomodating fans and organising autographs and photo’s they couldn’t organise a piss up in a brewery.
People were already complaining left right and centre, it was an absolute shambles. After two hours of waiting I FINALLY got to meet Michael J. Fox. People were being turned away who couldn’t make the afternoon shoots. People were getting agitated, angry and it just wasn’t a nice atmosphere to be in. The silver lining was the admiration and inspiration of Michael J. Fox as he was patient and really went above and beyond to make sure ever fan had their picture / moment with him. The fact still remained thou however that I had to meet Christopher Lyoyd in the afternoon and without my guardian angel I would have been in another 2 hour+ queue.
I went to meet someone (not to be named) who I had the pleasure of meeting and working with on a movie out in the states. I sat my stuff down at their stall so already I had the luxury of not needing to carry my heavy bags around all day, said celebrity’s assistant showed me their VIP pass and that’s when the weekend changed for the better.
We got rushed to the front of Christopher Lyoyd’s queue before the public even got in the photoshoots to meet him and just like that two hours of standing around waiting had vanished, I can’t thank them enough for letting me use the VIP privileges and I had a taste of the high life for all of ten minutes. Every passing second was wiping the sour taste out of my mouth that I’d had from the morning’s experiences.
Without this VIP pass I’m pretty sure I’d be complaining to Showmasters as it was so badly done that I imagine a few people’s weekends were ruined. Aside from photoshoot queues, the autograph queues weren’t as bad, they moved pretty quickly and everything else seemed to be running fine. Saturday was a running riot but Sunday was much more relaxed with photoshoots going smoothly and autograph queues at their usual length.
Now as you all know I worked with Robert Englund on Fear Clinic so once again the VIP pass came into good use as I got green-room access to sit amongst the stars and went to see Robert Englund being put into Freddy Krueger make-up for his shoot. My inner geek was going into overdrive as not only was I about to see Robert in his makeup room, but i’m also in a greenroom with Neve Campbell, quite a few Power Rangers and many other big names from the con. I maintained full composure, this experience may never happen again and even if it did there are only a small, select few people in the world who have seen Robert’s make-up appliance in person and I was so honoured to be a part of that.
Full credit to Showmasters for booking such wonderful guests and putting on a wonderful event in terms of the stalls and an attractive venue, but it would be nice to have that event organised properly in the near future. God bless the VIP pass for saving my weekend but my heart goes out to the many people who’s experience may have been tainted due to the Showmasters shambles.