Thursday, December 1, 2016

Supanova Brisbane 2016, Recon Report Part 1 - Event Hall & Cosplay Sightings

The Outpost Movie Recon Team (M.R.T.) recently trekked down under for Supanova Brisbane over from 11 to 13 November 2016 at the Brisbane Convention & Exhibition Centre. The roadtrip crew comprised our commander and the event team to look into the content and culture differences of a western pop culture convention compared to equivalent events in our native shores and Asian counterparts.

Our Commander who has attended conventions in 4 continents told the team to highlight experiences from the Supanova panels and the hallmark activities. Boy has it been a blast with great exhibits, vendors and activities for all.

What is Supanova you ask? It’s Australia's biggest pop culture expo which tours major cities across the country. Our convention roadtrip brought us to Brisbane, the capital city of Queensland in the east coast of Australia. Brisbane was the penultimate location for Supanova this year located on the eastern seaboard of the continent in late-spring with temperatures around 25 degrees on sunny days. 

We started our adventure on a quiet Friday and we were somewhat dumbfounded by the relaxed atmosphere on the convention. Nonetheless popular panels were well attended and needed to queue early to get a good seat. Come Saturday, the convention was flooded with thousands more attendees building up lively traffic jams that we are so used to in Malaysia.

Facebook Live videos while we were there:

Live from Supernova Brisbane 2016!
Posted by Outpost Productions on Thursday, November 10, 2016

Day 2 @ Supanova Brisbane. Let's go!
Posted by Outpost Productions on Friday, November 11, 2016

Day 2 @ Supanova Brisbane
Posted by Outpost Productions on Friday, November 11, 2016

Day 3 @ Supernova Brisbane!
Posted by Outpost Productions on Saturday, November 12, 2016

Here’s the link to the digital download for the Event Programme.

Western conventions has strong movie and TV influence where else Asian pop culture conventions will bring you more digital content from the Japanese anime. Here are the invited guests for Supanova Brisbane. 

A-list guests

  • Nathan Fillion (Castle,Firefly)
  • Lucy Hale (Pretty Little Liars)
  • Holy Marie Combs(Charmed)
  • Jason Mewes (Jay and Silent Bob)
  • Karen Fukuhara (Katana from Suicide Squad)
  • Greg Grunberg (Heroes,Star Trek, Star Wars)

Creative Workshop

  • Weta Workshop
  • Artemis & Wirru as Cosplay Ambassadors

Voice Actors

  • John Dimaggio (Futurama Bender, Adventure Time Jake)
  • Billy West (Futurama Frye, Dr. Zoidberg)
  • Veronica Taylor (Pokemon Ash Ketchum)

Live Concert

  • Jason Hayes (Blizzard Composer) and his band Critical Hit
  • Kaoru Hayano (Japan Pop Idol, AKB48 member)
  • Meri Amber (Australian Geek music composer)

Retail stalls full of pop culture merchandise.

Artist booths.

Token for purchase of autographs and photos with guest celebrities.

Zone for celebrity autographs and photo booths.

Walking in the entrance was  a Ghostbusters Ecto-mobile for photo opportunities. 

The Australian Wrestling Federation with their well narrated Supanova special episodes of wrestling.

High-end PC gaming rigs with VR experience by Origin PC

Laser Tag

Vintage Console Gaming Section

Various photo environments were scattered along the walls of the convention hall brought about by the fan communities. The 501st Legion setup 3 thematic backdrops brought to life by their members in movie-accurate costumes. There was also a huge Dr Who display of the Tardis with Darleks. whilst fan clubs for Star Trek and Lord of The Ring showcased their memorabilia. All the fan clubs encourage donations to charity for photo opportunities.

Songs of Obiwan Saber Academy performed lightsaber duels and conducted beginner training.

The 501st Legion hunt down rebels.

The Lord of the Rings fan community.

Treat for Dr. Who fans to take photo with the Tardis.

Display of Dr. Who fan made costumes.

Star Trek fans share display their memorabilia with Tribbles.

What can be commonly found in Western conventions whilst seemingly scarce in Asian are the variety of costumes and props for medieval LARP (live action role play). The other noticeable difference was the influence of cosplay from classic games from Nintendo and Western Comics. 
While it's not difficult to find cosplay of Japanese high school characters with coloured wigs, at every western con there are frightful cosplay by hairy men cross-dressing as girls like the heroines of Sailor Moon. The artistic styles of fan made products at creative booths also showcase more handcrafting skills compared to the doujin counterparts in Asia.. 

Here are some of the amazing cosplays we’ve spotted:

The Sailor Moon men!

The Supanova Cosplay Competition definitely showcased a different perspective in terms of skit performance and effects used on stage. Most of the cosplayers showcased their craftsmanship in their costumes and props with great passion for the hobby. 

There’s just so much to talk about here at Supanova we’ve decided to break up this recon report into a trilogy. Our next post will cover the Panels & Workshops we attended and then finally the Cosplay Competition plus stage performances. 

Friday, November 4, 2016

Outpost celebrates 10 year Anniversary with Halloween 2016

by contributing writer Nicholas Lai.

A Strange Magical Gathering this  Halloween

The Shire Cafe, Sri Petaling.

Day turned to night rather quickly that Saturday as Outpost Productions celebrated our 10th Anniversary at The Shire Cafe in Sri Petaling; a quaint little joint replete with a themed backdrop and warm music, reminiscent of how Hobbiton was described when Lord of the Rings was first introduced to the world through the silver screen. The dinner guests checked in at 1900 – 1930 hours, and of course many of them would be in costumes as Halloween was just around the corner.

The fanciful guests in their geeky attire.

Magic mustaches.
The Sorceror Supreme kept Bag End safe as we feasted.

I wonder what could we learn from this? Potions? Spells?

Literally Magic. For everyone.
Nestled in between the shoplots, Outpost Productions booked The Shire Cafe in lieu of Marvel Studios' most recent release of Doctor Strange, a mystical Sorceror charged with the duty of protecting the universe against powerful beings beyond the mortal plane, and with that the theme of 'Strange Magical Tales' was settled upon. 

Movie badges up for grabs on Trivia Quiz.

Loot. Glorious loot.

The wizard abides by this loot.
A buffet spread was laid out, and after a short opening speech by Outpost commander (and head sorcerer for the night) Richard Chua the guests took to collecting their first bites of the evening, then tucking into the fun parts of the magical gathering. Shortly then, at several intermissions lucky draws were held and prizes were given out to the guests that bore the themed ticket, and the prizes were as wild and varied as they come, ranging from a full-sized outfit to a brand new (and expensive) LEGO set based off the latest Doctor Strange franchise.

Time to dig in food fresh from Hobbiton.

Galadriel is (very) familiar with the feasts of men.

Time for a history lesson. How time flies...

Lucky draw, and the very first prize goes to, well, me.

A Grievous win, so Grievous the guest sprouted extra arms!

Galadriel is going Into Darkness. In full HD goodness.

Starfire definitely understanding human protocol with prizes.
It was not long into the night as a short presentation happened, and we peeked into the origins of Outpost and what it was long before its 10th anniversary, starting out as a geek cafe in Cineleisure Damansara (now known as e@Curve) as MySciFiFan Outpost during the early years. Many a geek who sat that night recalled what it was as waves of nostalgia came over them. Many of the visitors brought up memories of set lunches, costumes and toys, Outpost certainly had come a long way. But of course, there was more to the night than a history lesson, as more than a few games were thrown into the mix.

The teams are briefed! Who will play out the best act?

Team Comedy, complete with unicorn!

Team Crime. Will the case be closed?

Team Horror, cooking the spook!

Team Romance. Love conquers all!

Then again, only one winner. Team Horror won best skit!
The guests were treated to games of trivia where the questions are as diverse as their prizes until the challenge came for men and women alike to play out an act in teams, which was received among the guests with great amusement. During the latter half of the games, the theme of a switcheroo came into play as costumed guests were told to play out their partners' characters. Could anyone imagine how Galadriel, high queen of the Wood Elves would act if she were to swap minds with Dobby the house elf? Neither could the commander and the guests, and the results were, to the delight of many, hilarious. The final contestants stood to claim their trophies and gave their heartfelt speeches on why they picked their costumes, ending the contests on a warm note.

Harry's a big trivia geek too! He knows Transformers!

Malfoy being smug. He knows trivia too.

Pure geeky joy!

Turns out anyone could be a trivia geek. Even Evil Ryu.

Dobby knows muggle pop culture!

He seems a bit TIEd up.

This item must be possessed or something.

The commander and the weirdo, Pugsley Addams winning the nights Lucky Draw Grand Prize, a LEGO Marvel Doctor Strange Sanctum Sanctorum.

The beginning of the Costume Competition! Let the games begin!

This has got to be the fastest match ever. Literally.

Elves getting to know each other.

Harry and Wednesday Addams. The weirdness doesn't stop.

The final 3 winners and the commander. Many fandoms, one photo.

Hours passed, and after a few photo opportunities with all the guests the hour has come when it was time for cake. The guests gathered round, wishing Outpost its 10th birthday as soon as the candles were placed atop the Star Trek logo. The candles were lit, and the song was sung, marking Outpost's 10th year in passing. Excited, Commander Richard drew the knife down quickly into the side of the cake, before the candles were extinguished.

All together now!

Cake, commander's orders.

Happy Birthday, Outpost Productions!
The wish? Quoting the commander, 'Here's to another ten years.' The night drew to a close, and a new day begins yet again.

P.S.: Yours truly won a Flash(the TV series) outfit, and I did not hear the end of having to wear it that night from the other guests.