Friday, November 25, 2011

So long Hal-Con and thanks for all the pics!

So long Hal-Con and thanks for all the pics!

Just some last little eye candy to share with people about Hal-Con. I was so excited to see this model from Space 1999. I loved that show growing up!

So long Hal-Con and thanks for all the pics!

Lots of people spending time gaming together and quite a few Munchkin players, what a fun game.

So long Hal-Con and thanks for all the pics!

More gaming going on...

So long Hal-Con and thanks for all the pics!

Spooky and creepy displays by Trauma-Sim: Casualty Simulator.

So long Hal-Con and thanks for all the pics!

I just thought this piece of art was ultra-cool.

So long Hal-Con and thanks for all the pics!

Love this witch by Isabelle Pineau

So long Hal-Con and thanks for all the pics!

I am a huge fan of The Crow.

So long Hal-Con and thanks for all the pics!

A model of Robbie the Robot.

So long Hal-Con and thanks for all the pics!

And that's it people! I am done. I can hardly write anymore, I'm exhausted. This is a photo of me on the first day in the resting area. I can't tell you how much it meant to me to have this space. Did I ever need it.

So long Hal-Con and thanks for all the pics!

Me and Reg at closing ceremonies. Time to go home!



And if you are wondering about the quote in this clip I filmed in the parking lot in our car, it comes from Kenzi of Lost Girl, of course.

Thanks Hal-Con! I'm outta here!

Being Human Season 1 (North American) DVD Review (4-Disc Set)

DVD Review of the North American TV series Being Human following a vampire, werewolf & ghost roommates.

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Image courtesy of Alliance Films
Legal Line © 2010 B.H. Productions (Muse) Inc. All rights reserved.

Dirs: Paolo Barzman, Charles Binamé, Adam Kane, Erik Canuel, Jeremiah S. Chechik, Jerry Ciccoritti
Cast: Sam Witwer, Meaghan Rath, Sam Huntington, Mark Pellegrino, Sarah Allen Gianpaolo Venuta, Kristen Hager, Vincent Leclerc, Angela Galuppo
Canada/USA (source), 2011 (TV)

Reason to see: A vampire, werewolf & ghost as roommate = perfect show for me.

Being Human is a TV series that follows a set of new housemates and their struggles from personal to romantic, professional and cultural all of which are complicated by the fact that they are supernatural beings (a vampire, a werewolf and a ghost) but have chosen to do their best and remain and be human.

I was first in line to check out a show that features a vampire, werewolf and ghost as roommates as I'm a huge fan of paranormal TV and this show brings a nice blend of lore, long-term story arc as well as budding friendships between the trio of vampire Aidan (Sam Witwer), werewolf Josh (Sam Huntington) and ghost Sally (Meaghan Rath) who do their best to deal with their supernatural situations. One of the most interesting dynamics of the series is that each of the three main characters is an underdog or outsider within their own supernatural community, none of them chose their fate and each is effected differently. For example, Josh being a werewolf is only out of control on the full moon, but the weight of his actions at that time can stay with him for the entire lunar cycle. Then Aidan is a long-standing vampire who has chosen to abstain from vampire culture and society but it's a continual and challenging position to be in. Then we have Sally, the ghost who’s transparent to the non-supernatural world and mystified at her own mysterious transition. It's three very different perspectives on dealing with a situation that has been pushed upon you and changed each and every one of their natural, but each choose to be, or at least attempt, to maintain their humanity.

Based on the UK series of the same name, Being Human is in a unique situation of running almost con-currently with its across-the-pond counterpart which has three completed seasons in comparison to this North American version (also referred to as SyFy Being Human or Being Human US even though it's and American/Canadian co-production shot in Montreal). They two versions are very aware of each other and they North American version even has a nod to the UK version with vampire Aidan who is a namesake of the actor Aidan Turner who plays the vampire Mitchell in the original UK version of the show. I really enjoyed the UK version therefore was skepitcal but hopeful about this new version, and I admit I went into the series after already seeing the first two seasons of the UK version and it took me quite some time to decide on how I felt about it. The two versions follow many of the same plot lines and characters, but the North American version also adds new plotlines although it does keep to the heart of the original series. I wouldn't necessarily recommend watching the concurrently, but if you pace out the two from each other it's a highly enjoyable series that pulls at the heart strings, shows the power of friendship, the grand struggle to stand apart from the norms and to take a stand for a greater cause.

I really loved both the comedy and the kindness in the series, the struggles of the characters to maintain their humanity and the challenging choice of whether or not to use there supernatural powers for or against humanity. They wrestle with the question if it's possible to remain neutral, when it's time to take a stand and is it better or worse to succumb to your own nature. And somehow in all of that they manage to go through relationship and romantic entanglements as everyday stresses of workplace and tenant/landlord relationships and challenges.

I did find that the series takes a bit to find it's feet, but it's worth giving it a chance because of the great characters and some stand out performances including reoccurring guest star Mark Pellegrino ('Supernatural') as the vampire power player Bishop and series regular Sam Huntington (Fanboys, Dylan Dog: Dead of Night) as the awkward werewolf Josh. The emotional journeys of all of the characters and interesting and overall I say it's a must-see for any fan of paranormal TV fan. I love the friendships and moral questions it portrays and I truly felt for all of the characters.

It's a great time to hop on the Being Human train and if you've not seen it yet you can easily catch up for it's return in Season 2 which will being to air in January 2012. I'll be waiting with baited breath to see where they go next.

If you want to hear about every episode of Season 1 of Being Human?
You can listen to reactions from Suzie & I from each and every episode right here at Hexed: Sisterhood of the Supernatural:
DVD Extras (4-Disc DVD Set):
  • The Making of Being Human (47 minutes) behind the scenes, series clips, interviews with co-execuative producer/director Adam Kane, executive producer/writer Jeremy Carver, actors Meaghan Rath, Sam Huntington, Sam Witwer & Mark Pellegrino, VFX supervisor Mario Rachiele, make-up artist Emilie Gauthier, SFX make-up artist √Črik Gosselin, on reaction/connection the UK series, what drew them to the series, the interweaving of what's the urban setting and mid-20's journey, the genre elements & themes and the connection to real world scenarios, the unique friendship and connection between Sally, Aidan & Josh including the actors talking not only about their own characters but their perspective on the characters and their intermingled relationships; the monster rules for the show and how they've incorporating the traits from different cultures into the show plus discussing the expectations of genre fans regarding rules; discussing each of the types of supernatural creatures in the show with vampires, ghost and werewolves including the creature attributes, characters journey, challenges and connection to their supernatural world as well as the visual effects & make up application to create the visuals for characters including ghost make up and extensive footage on werewolf design creation & transformation.
  • "What Would You Choose" Featurette (3 minutes) show clips & stills from both the North American & UK versions of the shows with actors Meaghan Rath, Sam Huntington, Sam Witwer responding to which supernatural creature they would choose to be plus brief description of the visual effects creation of their characters into their supernatural, plus actor Mark Pelligrino on the deep humanity of the show and his character; as well as response to how much each of the actors watched of the UK version of the show and the connection between the two shows.
  • Interviews with Sam Witwer, Meaghan Rath & Sam Huntington (5 minutes) casual interviews with the cast at a premiere/carpet event chatting about season 1, their characters & journeys, speculation to season 2, reactions from fans. This feature has some really funny moments including casual chatting with some Sam Huntington & Sam Witwer chatting about who in their characters would win in a fight & their impressions of Meaghan Rath. Interviews are interspersed with clips from the show.
  • Being Human Panel at San Diego Comic-Con (39 minutes) panel with actors Sam Witwer, Meaghan Rath & Sam Huntington, executive producer/writer Jeremy Carver and co-executive producer/writer Anne Fricke responding to questions including on how they came to the show, working together, where they want their characters to in season 2, how the team came together, the characters arcs and lots of love for Season 2 scripts and hints/questions/reactions on Season 2. I was a little disappointed in this feature, it's from pretty far away, the audio is pretty low in comparison to the other features, people constantly walking in front of the camera, there are no titles to indicate who is speaking but I enjoyed the casual nature of the discussions and the enthusiastic camaraderie especially between the members of cast.
  • Trailer
Being Human Season 1 (North American) is available on DVD as of November 15, 2011. Check it out over at Amazon.ca & Amazon.com

Shannon's Overall View:
I enjoyed it, and grew to love it as the season progressed
I'll watch it again
I'd strongly recommend it to any paranormal TV fan

Return to Film Reviews or see more DVD Reviews

Originally posted at Movie Moxie on November 24, 2011
© Shannon Ridler, 2011

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Becoming Lost Girl's Kenzi at Hal-Con 2011

Paranormal Investigations with Paul Kimball at Hal-Con 2011

Hal-Con 2011 may have been my second con but it was the first time I ever dressed up for anything other than Halloween. For the day of the costume contest I decided to dress up as witty, wicked and wild Kenzi from Lost Girl.

Shannon and I talk about Kenzi (played by Ksenia Solo) all the time during our Hexed podcasts when discussing Lost Girl, which we LOVE! I adored the idea of going as one of our favourite TV characters that we love to hang out with each week.



I had a goth shirt that I had bought at the store Banshee Clothing on Commercial in Vancouver a decade ago and it still fit so that part of the costume was already done. Then I bought these boots from Payless that would work great with these pants:



These are fantastic yoga pants that I got at Old Navy that fit like a glove. I crammed the bottoms into the boots and the basic costume was done. Next came the accessories!

Ripsters Halloween & Party Shop: Lower Sackville, Nova Scotia

I knew I had to go to Ripsters, the awesome all-year-round costume shop that me and Reg adore. First? I had to pick up a wig. I wanted to go more for a long-haired Cleopatra look but after Halloween... Then I also had to get something for my hands and found fingerless netted gloves that suited Kenzi's look.

Black Wig

I got this wild wavy wig with funky bangs that drove me crazy. Thanks to this video I figured out how to straighten the hair a bit. I put it on my tripod and put not-too-hot water all over it to straighten it. Then I added conditioner and put pots and pots of hot-ish water over it until it finally straightened. The bangs never went right though.

Doesn't this photo remind you of The Grudge? Freaked me out so much I had to move it to another room to let it hang dry.

Suzie Ridler as Lost Girls Kenzi at Hal-Con 2011

So what did I do? I folded the bangs under the wig which worked like a charm. At first the wig drove me so crazy that I did not think I was going to be able to wear it all day. Somehow by the end of the day, I was loving wearing it and thought about buying more wigs.

The night before (photo above) I played around with makeup. I don't wear a lot of makeup so Kenzi's dramatic dark makeup over ice-blue eyes was not easy for me but I think I did a decent job.

Suzie Ridler as Lost Girls Kenzi at Hal-Con 2011

Being Kenzi is not easy. She is an absolute original. She does not use repetitive phrases and is completely original with her own way of speaking and outrageous personal flare. But that is why we adore her!

Hal-Con Sci-Fi, Fantasy & Comic Convention Sponsor and Foodie Hero Boston Pizza

The longer the day got, the hungrier I got and the more exhausted I became... Reg said I started to sound like Kenzi. I became wildly delirious by the time we found food at Boston Pizza, almost drunk from lack of calories and sleep.

Hal-Con Sci-Fi, Fantasy & Comic Convention Sponsor and Foodie Hero Boston Pizza
First Bo, now you! It's always about Bender! What about Kenzi?

I found myself getting a bit out of control and attacked Bender's head which was deeply unsatisfying since it was not attached to his neck. The entire day everyone recognized Bender but very people noticed me, Kenzi. Who was the coolest chick around but only a mere human so she went unnoticed.

Suzie Ridler as Lost Girls Kenzi at Hal-Con 2011

Still, there were a couple of people who knew who my character was which was nice. Perhaps not as radical as going as a robot but I thought the costume was contemporary, original and very comfortable. I had to be considering all the photography equipment I had to lug around to cover the convention while Reg was Becoming Bender.

I feel even more connected to Kenzi than ever. She is the me I secretly want to be. She made be the most physically vulnerable character on the show (like me in real life, with my fibromyalgia) but she is still beloved and strong in her own unique way. She has the coolest clothing, the funniest turns of phrase and is un-tamable.

Kenzi, I adore you! I hope I did your character justice.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Ep 83: Paranormal TV Nov 16 - 22, 2011

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This week on Hexed we are starting to feel the lightness of the season as Suzie's hit with snowmaggeddon and Shannon avoids fire alarms, but real-ness aside we chat our regs that are new with eps of Lost Girl, Supernatural & the pre-holiday hiatus Fringe as well as check in and are unimpressed with American Horror Story plus chat some more shows briefly as well. We are hoping to stay drama-free until next week when we'll be back with more Lost Girl & Supernatural!







MP3 File




Time coding:
0:00 - 3:15 Intro
3:15 - 22:15 News
22:15 - 43:15 Quick check in on: American Horror Story, Grimm, Once Upon a Time, Walking Dead, + Breaking Dawn Part 1
43:15 - 1:00:31 Lost Girl S2 Ep 9 Original Skin
1:00:31 - 1:14:55 Supernatural S7 Ep 8 Season 7, Time for a Wedding!
1:14:55 - 1:39:30 Fringe S4 Ep7 Wallflower
1:39:30 - 1:40:50 Outro

Hexed: Sisterhood of the Supernatural
All Supernatural TV. All the Time.

Hexedpodcast.blogspot.com

Becoming Bender at Hal-Con 2011

Becoming Bender at Hal-Con 2011

Yes, my husband was the one dressed up as Bender at Hal-Con 2011. He put so much time, effort and energy into this transformation I had to share some of the Bender-making experience with you.

Becoming Bender at Hal-Con 2011

Reg had been wanting to make Bender since late spring. The major issue was going to be the head. Reg figured if he could find the right head, everything else could probably work. We went to just about every house and home store you can think of and then, we saw it, at Superstore! The store I spend a ton of time in yet had never noticed it.

Then Reg saw it and we FINALLY had the head!

PUTTING IT TOGETHER

Becoming Bender at Hal-Con 2011

We thought the hard part was over. No way! The eyeballs were brutal. Ping pong balls were too small. Lacrosse balls were too big. Then Reg had an epiphany... Oven lightbulbs! They were perfect. I insisted the mouth-template he had made was too big and I am glad he brought it a bit down to size.

Becoming Bender at Hal-Con 2011

I was surprised to discover Bender's pupils were square! I had never noticed. Reg cut out the mouth and added mesh and drew on Bender's teeth. The ping pong balls we bought weren't a waste, one went on top of the antennae which was made from a door stopper.

Becoming Bender at Hal-Con 2011

When I saw the head was done I told him it was time to get the body. We found only one garbage can that would work, that would fit his body so we brought it home.

Reg got out all his tools and then the madness really started. I gave up trying to clean and especially vacuum the floor. What is the point when you have a mad scientist living in your basement using your Dremel tool?

Becoming Bender at Hal-Con 2011

Reg used 6" duct venting for the arms and it looked almost complete! We scoured everywhere for larger venting for the legs but it did not seem to exist!

Becoming Bender at Hal-Con 2011

Reg used most of the 6" venting to make legs, hoping that would work. This was the night before the convention!

Becoming Bender at Hal-Con 2011

Total and utter wardrobe malfunction. They split right across the leg.

I had been insisting he try these silver disco pants that I wore to disco night on a cruise. Now it looked like they were his only option. We finally found the feet too... at Superstore! We got giant covered plastic mixing bowls that Reg covered with duct tape.

GOING TO THE CON



The morning of the costume party we put all the components into our car and headed downtown.

Becoming Bender at Hal-Con 2011

We unloaded the components of the car and headed towards the convention.

Becoming Bender at Hal-Con 2011

Yes, a surreal moment I just had to capture.

Becoming Bender at Hal-Con 2011

Reg signed up, it was official, Bender was going to be on stage!

Becoming Bender at Hal-Con 2011

Reg put on my tight silver pants and pulled out Bender's head. Then everything went to hell. Everything meaning, my pants.

Becoming Bender at Hal-Con 2011

They started to shred to pieces. All the silver started coming off at once. It was the weirdest thing! Bender was losing his shiny metal ass!

So Reg taped up the pants.

Becoming Bender at Hal-Con 2011

Then I taped Reg into the silver pants!

Becoming Bender at Hal-Con 2011

As soon as he put the head on, that was it, everyone wanted Bender's photo.



Seriously, he captured everyone's attention.

Becoming Bender at Hal-Con 2011

Who knows how many people took a photo with him that day!

Becoming Bender at Hal-Con 2011

It must have been dozens. You know you have a winning costume when Boba Fett wants to have his photo taken with you.

Becoming Bender at Hal-Con 2011

Robots will be robots.



Here I am all nervous about Reg going on stage and talking a little about the convention.




If you haven't seen his performance already, check Bender out!




This was one of my personal favourite moments. Very clever Reg!

Becoming Bender at Hal-Con 2011

Have you ever heard of a tulpa? A tulpa is something you manifest strictly by thinking of it alone. I find it one of the more scary paranormal realities of our world but in this case, it made me laugh.

Through careful planning, cutting, sculpting, glueing, painting, shopping... Reg made Bender come to life out of two garbage cans. In the end he felt very real not just to me, but everyone at Hal-Con. He truly was Bender.

Way to go babe. You are seriously the coolest person I know.

Monday, November 21, 2011

More Hal-Con Venders & some of the incredible treasures I found!

Vendor at Hal-Con 2011

I had no idea just how much fun it was going to be to shop at Hal-Con 2011. I am one of those people who loathes to go to the mall. I never see anything I like and always comes home depressed. I have no interest in buying normal stuff that everyone already owns.

At Hal-Con it was a completely different story. I saw items I would never find anywhere else that were wildly creative and unique. Not only that, the vendors absolutely rocked.


BLACK & BLING

Vendor Seadawg and Black & Bling at Hal-Con 2011

One of the biggest characters we met was at the Black & Bling's custom leatherwork table. The vendor was dressed up and super enthusiastic to see Bender show up at his table.

Vendor Seadawg and Black & Bling at Hal-Con 2011

The workmanship is outstanding. I wanted to hide the silly pleather bracelet I was wearing for my costume and buy a new treasure!

Vendor Seadawg and Black & Bling at Hal-Con 2011

Then I discovered these fuzzy creatures on his table! Beautiful, intricate and absolutely adorable. I loved them all. The vendor said that his friend's wife makes them and he helped her out by bringing them to the show.

He said he was also going to be at Have Yourself a Gothic Little Christmas with some more of her work so I mentioned that if she makes a whimsical but spooky little ghost for the show, I may be the customer for her. I love ghosts! I hope I find one of hers at this ultra-cool crafts show in early December.


NEIL MOLLOY

Vendor Neil Molloy Art & Custom Apparel at Hal-Con 2011

Neil Molloy's Art and Custom Apparel had to be one of Reg's favourite vendors of the entire convention. He makes hand-painted shoes that you can custom order.

Reg immediately thought that he should connect with punk bands. His hand-painted clothing is such a subversive and artistic way to make clothing your own. Damn the man and corporate culture!

He even made the t-shirt he is wearing in the above photograph which I LOVE! He sells some pretty wild wearable art!


SHAWN ORNE

Vendor Shawn Orne of Witherstone Arts & Antiquities

Shawn Orne from Witherstone Gallery was a pleasure to speak to. I was surprised to find out that it is his gallery showcasing my friend Shelagh Duffet's artwork in Lunenburg. What a small world!

Stuff I bought at Hal-Con 2011 Stuff I bought at Hal-Con 2011

I bought these two stunning prints from him that will be going up in my crafts room for inspiration. The intricate detail and whimsical nature of them blow my mind and take me somewhere. My favourite kind of art.


GIANT ROBOT COMICS

Giant Robot Comics & Walking Dead T-Shirt at Hal-Con 2011

This vendor from Giant Robot Comics was kind enough to show off one of their Walking Dead t-shirts for me. I wish I had bought one now! I seem to be in the middle of a love-hate relationship with the show. Right now it's more love than hate. Such a cool t-shirt! Oh well, maybe next year...


WYNSOME CREATIONS

Vendor Wynsome Creations at Hal-Con 2011

These Halloween-inspired penguins by Wynsome Creations' Amanda N. Ramey stole my spooky heart!

Vendor Wynsome Creations at Hal-Con 2011

I had to go back and get more photographs, this time specifically of the vampire penguin that she makes herself for around $15. She has some Christmas-inspired ones on her Etsy site right now, so cute!


JO-ANN SHAW

Vendor Jo-Ann Shaw at Hal-Con 2011

I have an absolute obsession with miniatures. I find them fascinating and when I was speaking with Jo-Ann Shaw from Kilnworks, that fascination grew even more. She customized this castle to make it her own with stunning details.

Vendor Jo-Ann Shaw at Hal-Con 2011 Vendor Jo-Ann Shaw at Hal-Con 2011

From hacking together a miniature crystal ball to creation her own collection of books... This type of artwork is so impressive and fascinating. I could have spoke with her about it all day!


Michelle Poirier of Eternal Elf Creations

Vendor at Hal-Con 2011

While Reg was getting ready to be in the costume contest as Bender, I ran downstairs to a booth in the vendor's room to quickly buy this awesome pendant on a wild hand-made chainmail necklace that Michelle Poirier of Eternal Elf Creations created. Reg has made chainmail so I know how much time and effort went into this amazing necklace.

Stuff I bought at Hal-Con 2011

Michelle told me that the pendant was made by a local woman who can no longer make this style of pendant. Creating with resin is quite tough and toxic so this is one of her last pieces ever to be made and it is mine. It makes me fall in love with this necklace even more.


Erin Glidden

Stuff I bought at Hal-Con 2011

I have written about Erin Glidden before but just had to show off the little cute treats I bought from her and will be turning into my own jewellery. She is so talented I just had to share her work again. I really can't wait to get creative with these adorable charms!.

Me at Hal-Con 2011

I used to make jewellery before I moved to Nova Scotia but the transition from British Colubmia has been so hard. Getting into the creative spirit again has been next to impossible. Talking to the vendors and artists at Hal-Con was fun and incredibly inspiring. I think it might have been exactly what I needed to get me back into my craftsroom and start creating again.

The vendors were so friendly and I had so much fun talking to them about their amazing and unique creations. It has been my pleasure and honour to showcase them here.