<![CDATA[I'm With Geek - TGH]]>Fri, 29 Jan 2016 07:34:03 -0800Weebly<![CDATA[BAFTA Events - July]]>Fri, 03 Jul 2015 17:52:31 GMThttp://imwithgeekarchive.weebly.com/tgh/bafta-events-july1Picture
by Helen Langdon 

You might think July is a summer holiday month, but for BAFTA it’s a time for TV previews, masterclasses and interviews. The BAFTA Learning and Events team aren’t just sitting back to enjoy tennis, Pimms and scones. They’ve set up a range of events across the country for media professionals and members of the public to gain an insight into the inner workings of the media industry. So, let’s see what they’ve got for us this month!

Did you watch the first series of Sky1’s puppet-filled family comedy Yonderland, from the creative team behind Horrible Histories? Because series two is on the way in July, and BAFTA are bringing you a couple of preview screenings across the country. On 4th July in Cardiff, the Family Screening of Yonderland will be previewing the first two episodes of the critically acclaimed series. If you’re in Scotland, you can catch the preview a week later on 11th July in Glasgow.

Also in Cardiff, on 8th July you can catch a screening of the feature-length version of The Marriage of Reason and Squalor. Written and directed by visual artist Jake Chapman, the Mills and Boon parody starring Rhys Ifans and Sophie Kennedy Clark aired in four parts on Sky Arts. The screen will be followed by a Q&A session with Jake Chapman and producer Colin Vaines.

Also on 8th July, this time in London, BAFTA are previewing Melvyn Bragg – Wigton to Westminster. The one-off documentary film collaboration between Storyvault Films and the BBC explores the career and life story of BAFTA Fellow Melvyn Bragg, best known for his work as presenter of The South Bank Show. The night will also feature a Q&A session with Melvyn Bragg and producer and director Olivia Lichtenstein, in conversation with broadcaster and journalist Joan Bakewell.

BAFTA love giving industry professionals a chance to pass on their knowledge to budding media makers. So, on 11th July they’re hosting the Sargent-Disc BAFTA Filmmakers Forum. If you’re an emerging filmmaker who wants to improve your creative and business skills (that all important networking and distribution knowledge), you can’t afford to miss this day crammed full of masterclasses and panels from some of the UK’s major film industry organisations. Speakers will include director Lone Scherfig (An Education) and BAFTA-winning writers Stephen Beresford (Pride) and Jeff Pope (See No Evil: The Moors Murders).

On 21st July, Picturehouse Central in London will be the location for a BAFTA Masterclass with Ben Davis. Discussing the craft of cinematography, Davis will be discussing his career in the field that’s included lots of collaboration with Matthew Vaughn as well as work on recent action blockbusters Wrath of the Titans, Guardians of the Galaxy and Avengers: Age of Ultron.

BAFTA are continuing their Breakfast With... TV Controllers series this month, with Sky1 controller Adam MacDonald in the breakfast interview hotseat on 28th July. Hosted by journalist Benji Wilson, the interview will be delving into the channel’s current roster of programming and its future commissioning needs.

Awards shows aren’t just for people at the absolute pinnacle of their careers – it’s also to celebrate those just beginning. The BAFTA Young Game Designers (YGD) Awards are taking place in London on 25th July. The games creators of the future, young people aged between ten and eighteen, will be receiving 2015’s Game Making and Game Concept Awards at a special ceremony. There’ll also be two new awards this year, YGD Mentor and YGD Hero, recognising those who have inspired young people in games. The shortlist of finalists will be announced on 1st July.

On 28th July, there’s a chance to see a BAFTA Games Showcase of BAFTA-winning British developer Mike Bithell’s latest game, Volume. With a voice cast including Charlie McDonnell, Danny Wallace and Andy Serkis, the stealth game offers a unique modern-day interpretation of the legend of Robin Hood.

Find out more and buy tickets here! 

<![CDATA[The Hunger Games: The Exhibition ]]>Thu, 02 Jul 2015 14:53:06 GMThttp://imwithgeekarchive.weebly.com/tgh/the-hunger-games-the-exhibitionPicture
by Alli Kett 

It’s what you didn’t realise you needed, The Hunger Games theme park attractions. This may seem a tad morbid on the surface, but get do get excited for The Hunger Games exhibit just opened today in New York.

Running until January 2016, you get to see amongst other things, the Girl on Fire dress, Cinna’s sketchbook and play with interactive maps of Panem. There are features about costumes, set recreations and all about District 12, Game Makers, District 13 and other pieces highlighting Katniss’ journey, amongst other things.  This sounds like it’s going to be a lot of fun. A fully immersive experience, with audio-visual and an interactive mobile app, this could be what fans are after.

Lionsgate will be travelling this exhibition to San Francisco afterwards and the world follows it but it begs the question, what do we have to look forward to on our side of the world in the meantime?

Fully legit, Lionsgate, will be launching The Hunger Games live theatrical experience in a specially constructed stadium nearby Wembeley Stadium, UK. Presumably, there will be less murdering of young adults, but they do promise a helleuva fun time. Similarly, Dubai will get The Hunger Games live show at their Motiongate theme park. There will also be Step Up franchise attractions at Motiongate. 

Anyway for a cheeky holiday to Dubai?!

Bring on November 19th for the UK release of The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 2!

<![CDATA[Happy Pride: 20 Amazing LGBT Characters That We Love!]]>Sat, 27 Jun 2015 17:57:44 GMThttp://imwithgeekarchive.weebly.com/tgh/happy-pride-20-amazing-lgbt-characters-that-we-lovePicture
by Cookie N Screen

What a good day to be gay! The sun is beaming down as thousands of LGBT people and supporters take to the streets to show case their sexuality, spirituality and gender in all its fluidity. Today is about love and identity, being true to who you are and expressing it without being persecuted. We are also celebrating America’s legalisation of gay marriage in all fifty states and are feeling just generally gayl.

For many of us, we’re unique and today is about rejoicing away from the backlash we usually get. So to raise our hands up high, marching for our continuous rights and equality that isn’t fully received yet, let’s take a look at some of our favourite LBGT characters in geek culture.

Sherlock Holmes 

If you didn’t know, the most accurate incarnation of the LGBT acronym has an A at the end of it. This doesn’t represent Ally, it’s for asexuality. And for those who don’t know what that means, in a very generalised definition, it’s for people who don’t have any sexual desires. Whilst finding a truly asexual character in fiction is tricky, and certainly the idea of the famed detective being asexual boggles some people so much that he is forced into relationships usually with Irene Adler, Sherlock Holmes is canonically asexual. Instead of repressing his feelings, he doesn’t have them and it is better stated with this quote, “emotions, and that one particularly, were abhorrent to his cold, precise but admirably balanced mind” -which proves unarguably that the icy cool super-sleuth simply doesn’t have those emotions.  

Poussey Washington - Orange is the New Black

Orange is the New Black is one of the best shows that brings us clear and full characters of every gender, race and sexuality. So it’s hard to rich in and pick out just one - but we’re going to try. Poussey Washington, played by the gorgeously talented Samira Wiley, is gifted with the most beautiful smile and energy. Though she has had difficult times on the show, actively against Vee’s reign of terror and feeling alone inside the prison (because apparently the writers haven’t seen Wiley and haven’t hooked her up with someone who deserves her). One of the defining moments for Poussey is when she threatens her father’s boss, who is trying to separate her from her girlfriend. As she is calmed down by her Dad, the boss turns and says, “They can fix her” to which her father replies “There’s nothing wrong with her.”

Jamal Lyon - Empire

Empire is one of the best shows on at the moment and it’s a shame we’re watching it several months after it aired in the USA. Provocative but diverse, Empire’s biggest tragedy is Lucious’ homophobia against his second oldest son Jamal. Bullied by his father’s misunderstanding, Jamal struggles with his identity and pop career but learns to embrace it when his mother Cookie is released from jail and starts managing his career. Jamal comes out during a concert in a massive “fuck you” to his father when he changes the lyrics of Lucious’ song “You’re so Beautiful” to “makes a man love a man.” As his sexuality is accepted by the whole world, it still takes a while for Lucious to accept his son as gay.

Catwoman - Batman 

Of all the recent announcements of characters, Catwoman seemed to piss the entire world off who had spent so long trying to pair up Batman and Catwoman. But the seductive criminal is so complex that it is impossible to see her as anything other than bisexual. It just makes sense. Genevive Valentine pointed out on her blog that Selina Kyle is canon bisexual. And there is literally no more we can say other than her sexuality was pretty obvious by the way she acted and it’s nice to have a famed supervillain (or hero) come out as anything other than straight or gay because bisexuality still matters.

Damien Franzese - Mean Girls

God, this entry is almost too gay to function. Damien is the bitchy drama dork who instantly befriends Cady alongside his best friend Janis. Aspiring, in some ways, to be popular, Damien considers himself to be an active member of the school’s society, helping sort out the prom and the committee. Having some of the funniest lines, especially when he sneaks into the workshop after the entire girl population goes wild (“she doesn’t even go here,”) Damien is an assured character. Confident in his skin and personality, he is hilarious and wonderful to watch.

Tara Maclay - Buffy the Vampire Slayer 

Alongside her long-time girlfriend Willow, Tara became the second part of our favourite witchy lesbians. Kind natured and sweet, her arrival into the world of Sunnydale proved her a natural sorceress and found her a new family after the death of her parents and the abuse of her cousins who took her in. Tara is passionate and despite her “wallflower” nature, she is fiercely determined, especially when standing by her convictions. Unafraid to confront Willow and leave when things get tough in order for Willow to grow without her, we were all full of joy when Tara came back and the pair were reunited. That is until Joss Whedon stripped us away from her again like the soul destroyer he is… 

Sophia Burset - Orange Is The New Black

Ok. Yes. So I’m talking about another Orange is the New Black character. It’s really hard not to talk about Sophia Burset who is played wonderfully by iconic hero Laverne Cox. Being the only trans-woman in Litchfield, it seemed that she was generally accepted and treated with kindness. Veracious and kind but with a fierce nature when confronted, Sophia had issues but generally kept herself in the salon and in the seat of gossip. Only, when she accidently pushes Gloria with more force than expected, the prison turns against her and attacks her in an example of transphobic violence. Hopefully. Sophia will be back and in a better place come season four. 

Nomi Marks -  Sense8

Sense8 had its issues but it wasn’t without it’s fully fleshed diverse characters. Nomi Marks is a trans-woman character played by trans-woman actress Jamie Clayton. And do you know what? Despite the conflict with her awful mother, her transgenderism isn’t the focal point of the character. Neither is her sexuality as she is in one of our favourite couples with Freema Aygeman’s Amanita. Wickedly smart as a political blogger or hacker, Nomi is one of the first to put together what is happening with the cluster and quickly connects with those around her. Incredibly realised, Nomi is a spectacular character that has broken the barrier between audience and their stereotypes with transgenderism.

Ben and George - Love Is Strange 

With the announcement of legal marriage in all fifty states, it feels silly not to look at a film that start off with a long-term relationship getting married. Ben and George are a lot better than a whole bunch of married people - including yours - and are so committed to one another that when Ben is fired from his job in a Catholic school, the pair have to live apart and cannot cope with the separation. Mixing comedy with tragedy, it’s really Ben and George’s love that enthuses this drama with a powerful arc. 

Albus Dumbledore - Harry Potter

Not explicitly said in the books for whatever reason, the world was shocked and thrilled to learn that Albus Dumbledore was homosexual. Announced by JK Rowling after the books had ended, you may have a funny feeling over his sexuality reveal. After all, why didn’t she infuse it somewhere in the books? Why not have some actual representation? Then again, you could look at it in this way - his sexuality was normalised and you had to make an assumption on his revered, if somewhat unhinged, personality rather than whether he was gay or not. And does his homosexuality change his persona or how we feel about him? Hell to the motherfucking no!

Frank - N - Furter  - Rocky Horror Picture Show 

“He’s just a sweet transvestite from transsexual, Transylvania.”

By today’s standards, you could argue that the brilliant Tim Curry strutting around in suspenders and a bra is worrying representation. But Rocky Horror Picture Show  was so much more to the outside community that it’s over the top craziness is a rite of passage for some. The movie sees Frank-N-Furter strut around his home, getting up to all kinds of mischief. Unashamed of who he is, he prefers dressing up in drag and would sleep with both genders because he is attracted to them all. He is the most complex character of the whole show and whilst he does seem like the villain, there is an ache underneath him that Curry unearths. 

Bobby Drake - Iceman

Similarly to Catwoman, Bobby Drake recently came out as a homosexual and, unlike Catwoman, was quickly accepted as such. Though he had past relationships with Rogue and Kitty Pryde, Bobby’s sexuality was confirmed in the All-New X-Men comics. Whilst his “outing” wasn’t as grand as the newspaper rabble afterwards was, Brian Bendis did something important - he made one of the main heroes of a phenomenal franchise gay. And that’s almost as cool as Bobby’s icicle powers. Almost. Hopefully, this will flow into the films. But that is a hope that Marvel probably won’t do, as evidenced in Steve Rogers’ supposed bisexuality. 

Axton - Borderlands

It’s really hard to explicitly splice LGBT characters into games, it seems.  But the creators of Borderlands 2, Anthony Burch, has admitted to creating touch soldier Axton as bisexual. Though there is little evidence in the game, he does eventually admit that he’d spend his money on “guns and ladies and sometimes dude.” Though not explicitly clear, the macho character’s admission is highly real and normalised into the game so youdon’t realise or it doesn’t matter to who Axton is as a person. Which is how most portrayals should be. 

Ellie - The Last Of Us

Ok. So. Ellie’s homosexuality is never really firmly stated within the game but it is definitely“heavily implied.” But creator Neil Druckmann has stated that he wrote Ellie with that certain sexuality in mind. One of the biggest surprises was the closeness between her friend Riley and Ellie including a scene where the girls kiss to an Etta James love song. Without drenching her in stereotypes, the creators still made her a heroine to invest in and her revealed sexuality was just a plus for all the game players. 

Naomily - Skins

Talking about this television show the other day and I remarked that it’s excessive use of drug use was the most unreal aspect. Especially for 17 year old. Or maybe there was a part of the college scene I completely bypassed being the nerd I am. Anyway, regardless of the premise, one of the fiercely evocative and realistic relationships was between Naomi and Emily. As they explored their sexuality together and love for one another, tentative at a young age, it was beautiful captured by the writers and the performers Kathryn Prescott and Lily Loveless. Spectacularly popular, the ladies were definitely favourites and continue to be so. 

Megan Bloomfield - But, I'm a Cheerleader

Natasha Lyonne is a LGBT hero in everything she does. Much more famed now for her sardonic character Nichols in Orange Is The New Black, Lyonne’s Megan has become a cult icon for anyone going through the coming out process. Sent to conversion therapy to cure her lesbianism, Megan actually finds home and acceptance despite her parent’s protests. And she finds love too. I mean, who didn’t weep for joy when she falls in love with Graham (a girl, by the way)? Despite being critically panned, But I’m A Cheerleader is a quirky and tender look at young lesbianism. 

Lexa - The 100

Though not explicitly said, The 100 showrunners have done everything to hint at her sexuality. After seeing someone close to her, a possible girlfriend, brutally killed - she shut down her emotions. That is until The 100 leader Clarke finds her and Lexa rekindles her feelings that Clarke somewhat exploits. Powerful, Lexa is the badass leader of The Grounders who would do anything to save her culture. Whilst they are violent and savage, she is a lot more reasonable but unafraid to do anything to ensure their survival.

Kieren Walker - In The Flesh

In The Flesh was one of the best television shows and breathed (ironically) with originality. It revolved around a cure for zombies that brought people partially back from the disease and, subsequently, from the dead. However, as with most exterior groups, Partially Deceased Syndrome sufferers are fighting against the prejudices they have. Kieren Walker is admittedly a pansexual and the main character of the series played delicately well by Luke Newberry. Though Kieren attempts to hide all of his different identities, he eventually learns to accept them. He is also part of one of the most glorious couples on television with Simon Monroe.

Mark Ashton - Pride

Any figure in the British comedy could be consider for this entry but the real life figure Mark Ashton is definitely the ferociousness of the film. Openly gay and unapologetically so, Ashton leads the charge of Pride marchers and helps raise funds for his community. But his generosity and fighting spirit doesn’t end there as he reaches out to the miners who are currently going through bleak times thanks to the stranglehold of Maggie Thatcher’s parliament. Ashton is an activist and comes to the aid of anyone who he feels is discriminated against - rallying around his team to help. Though he can be spiteful, he is kind-hearted and the film was a testament to Ashton who, unfortunately passed away aged 27.

Captain Jack Harkness - Doctor Who/Torchwood

Perhaps the most famed example of bisexuality though one could actually argue that the character is pansexual because he is basically attracted to everyone and every sex that he comes across. Played by the cheeky John Barrowman, Harkness was introduced in the first season of NuWho and quickly become a fan favourite with his rambunctiousness and flirtation. He was so popular that the BBC ordered a spin off series called Torchwood which explored his bisexuality a lot more than Doctor Who did. Especially with his relationship with Ianto Jones. 

Happy Pride Everyone! 

<![CDATA[James Horner - In Memoriam ]]>Tue, 23 Jun 2015 20:33:44 GMThttp://imwithgeekarchive.weebly.com/tgh/james-horner-in-memoriamPicture
by Cookie N Screen

The film industry has lost a mastermind.

The magician musician James Horner, who crafted some of the biggest scores in the cinema, unfortunately passed away yesterday during a plane crash. The news of the death rippled across the industry as we came to terms with someone taken from us too soon. At the age of 61, James Horner left a legacy but it was still shocking for us to learn of his critical accident.

To honour the man who enhanced our films with his stunning music, we have a look back over an astonishing career.

The music bug had caught him early on when he started playing the piano at the age of five. Flitting between London and Arizona, Horner attended prestigious schools to hone in his crafts such as the Royal College of Music and the University of Southern California. Working on several scoring projects with the American Film Institute, Horner would show his talent for putting music and emotion into different media projects - a skill that would progress into an amazing career.

His first work was the 1979 drama The Lady In Red and he’d continue to strive for composer greatness through the likes of Star Trek II: The Wrath of Kahn and Star Trek II: The Search of Spock, showcasing his contributions to science fiction early on and thrilling geeks everywhere. Throughout the eighties, nineties and now, he’d continue this trend of sci-fi music with Aliens, Krull, Batteries’ Not Included and Cocoon.

Horner also captured our childhood with greatness. He’d score a whole heap of movie music that would be the soundtrack to our lives, especially those growing up in the nineties. From Jumanji to The Land Before Time, Mighty Joe Young to Casper, Pagemaster to How The Grinch Stole Christmas, the music is glorious - full of hope and danger, everything that encompasses childhood and filling our little hearts with tones of glee. As the crescendo rises, the strings collide and Horner’s powerful way of catching the poignancy in the films. His work on An American Tail, especially with Somewhere Out There, was a critical and commercial hit as he win a Grammy for Song of the Year and Best Song Written Specifically for a Motion Picture of Television. He’d be nominated for a Golden Globe and Academy Award too.

Furthermore, Horner would become one of the greats in dramatic films too. Field of Dreams, Apollo 13, A Beautiful Mind, Enemy At The Gates and more, Horner would tell stories and emotions with his provocative and emotional compositions. Of course, his triumphant success was with the blockbuster Titanic. Working alongside friend James Cameron, his work on one of the biggest films of all time would, Horner would score two Oscars for My Heart Will Go On and the overall score. I can guarantee that just the mention of Titanic has the melodies swimming through your mind. He managed to capture the tragedy and the love with a seeming ease that will echo in generations after his death. He’d also continue working with Cameron in Avatar, earning more nominations for I See You.
In later years, he’d score the likes of The Boy In The Striped Pyjamas, The Amazing Spider-Man and Apocalypto. His final film score would be Southpaw, which comes out later this year. As tributes pour out for this powerhouse of a composer who was taken from us far too soon and under tragic circumstances, his body of work is testament to how truly remarkable James Horner was. For over thirty years, he has inspired us aurally and that is something that’ll echo through the ages.

Rest in Peace, James Horner. And thank you for the music. 

<![CDATA[BAFTA and Rocliffe present Children's TV and Film Writing Competition ]]>Tue, 23 Jun 2015 16:47:08 GMThttp://imwithgeekarchive.weebly.com/tgh/bafta-and-rocliffe-present-childrens-tv-and-film-writing-competitionPicture
by Cookie N Screen

Films and television are hard to write, right?

I mean, ignoring the mindless carbon copies of the films that have come before it, art will always be more difficult than it seems. Just look at films such as Adaptation, Sunset Boulevard and Barton Fink - the aspect of writing sends the creator into the depths of their mind like Alice falling down the rabbit hole. Only weirder. 

So imagine how hard writing adult media is. Then double it for writing for children

Picture2014 Finalists
Many believe that it should be simpler. After all, the audience may seem younger and of lesser intelligence, but really you have to curtail to a bunch of little people who have short attention spans and a will to be entertained. And it’s not just the children, parents and guardians are often looking for a vital children’s show that will both educated and amuse.

So to celebrate people who are gifted at finding this balance, those who can write children’s films and television, BAFTA Rocliffe New Writing Forum, in partnership with The London Book Fair, are looking for brand new writers as part of their Children’s Film and Television Showcase.

For a chance to present their work to influential members of film and television industries, the writers must submit scripts focussing on content for children and families across a range of forms including feature film, single drama, mini-series, sitcom, comedy-drama and animation. From Nickelodeon to Heyday Films, there will be a whole range of production companies there to give you support, if you are the lucky winner.

Helen Blakeman who created the BAFTA award winning script for Dustbin Baby says “The UK has a proud history of children’s TV and film, both live-action and animation, which is celebrated around the world.” And you can be a part of it! All you have to do is submit a ten page extract from your idea and send it to the link below. Deadline is July 27th. What are you waiting for? Get writing! 

For full application details and terms and conditions, go to:
<![CDATA[A Tribute to Dusty Rhodes]]>Sun, 21 Jun 2015 18:24:36 GMThttp://imwithgeekarchive.weebly.com/tgh/a-tribute-to-dusty-rhodesPicture
by Jacob Baxter

He was just a working man, working hard with his hands. But, alas, no longer. The final ring bell has rang, and the lights are out. When “The American Dream” Dusty Rhodes passed away last week, it echoed across the globe. 

 I will always look back fondly upon this man. I know it sounds like a highly Southern cliché. But, in all complete honesty, some of my earliest memories were sitting on my Daddy's knee watching professional wrestling. One of the most highly recognizable people from that time was Dusty Rhodes.

He was a man like none other, and in some instances, there will likely never be again. Few people could captivate an audience the way he could with his Dusty-isms. I know down here in the Deep South, most people think we have our own language. But, the son of a Dallas plumber created his own sub-dialect within that language. A victory will always be “Going to the pay window.” Indiscriminately beating someone with no real technique, rhyme, or reason will always be “clobbering” with “fisticuffs.” Professional wrestling is well known for it's prolific use of that most iconic of weapons, the dreaded steel chair. But, Rhodes was the man who coined the term “plundering” to mean looking for one, or any other plunder (foreign object) under the ring. Finally, after all of these years, I still haven't discerned the exact denotation of the term “getting funky like a monkey.” But, I'm fairly sure it is pretty awesome!

However, as with everyone else that eventually passed this mortal plane, I tend not to sorrow over their passing and the things we lose as a result. I'd rather concentrate my efforts on celebrating the things the left behind for us. Dusty revolutionized the promo skits between matches. He was one of the all-time greats. He also proved to us that a less than chiseled man could be sexy and attractive. As a fairly padded man myself, I salute him. Also of note, he gave us his progeny Dustin and Cody; better known as Stardust and Goldust. I always wanted to see Dusty with them dressed up in the style of makeup and costume they use and called “Old Dust.” But, that shall never come to be. I reckon I can't hold that against him.

 All in all, Dream had a good life. He was well loved and respected by many, both as a man and a practitioner of his craft. At the end of the day, I don't think there is much more to ask for. He certainly made his mark and will not be forgotten. I know I certainly never will. 

Thanks for the memories, American Dream.

<![CDATA[I'm With Geek at Collectormania 23!]]>Wed, 17 Jun 2015 20:28:54 GMThttp://imwithgeekarchive.weebly.com/tgh/im-with-geek-at-collectormania-23http://www.showmastersevents.com/images/EventButtons/C23NEW.jpg
by Jennifer Drewett

There are many different aspects to conventions that make it appealing for people from all walks of life whether it's a chance for a family day out, an opportunity to buy unique merchandise or a chance to meet someone from a film or tv show long adored. For a lot of cosplayers, the simple prospect of going somewhere to cosplay is enticing enough but some like to take it one step further by entering competitions and community masquerade contests. Community masquerades are an open house show for any cosplayer wishing to show off their costume to an audience and judges who'll judge on the basis of the costume and performance. The more competitive championship contests are usually for those who construct their own outfits and their craftmanship can be shown and judged. I took a look at some of the performances at Collectormania 23 but also had a chat with Sharon of I Cosplay, an anti-bullying cosplay charity.

<![CDATA[In the Wings: Ron Moody]]>Sat, 13 Jun 2015 21:46:44 GMThttp://imwithgeekarchive.weebly.com/tgh/in-the-wings-ron-moodyPicture
by Laura W

Earlier in the week, we lost Ron Moody. He was and will forever be known to many as portraying Fagin in both the screen and stage versions of Oliver! But he graced the stage with his epic talent in so many more roles.

Ron was born in January 1924, in Tottenham England, to Jewish immigrants. His father, Bernard, was a studio executive. When he was young, Bernard and Ron’s mother, Kate, gave Ron a legal name change so that he could Anglicize it; his bproper name was Ronald Moodnick. Ron knew he wanted to act from a young age; at the age of five, he knew, but was held back by a lack of confidence. 

Ron would, at the age of 18, serve in the RAF as a radar technician. He would then go on to study at the London School of Economics. During his time there, he was dragged into taking part in a revue put on by students. It was here that he was bitten by the stage bug. By 1952, Ron made his professional stage debut in Intimacy at Eight, a revue. Over the course of the next several years, he did other revues, both of his own and other’s doing.

Ron’s biggest stage break would come in 1960. Ron would create the role of Fagin in Lionel Bart’s stage version of Charles Dickens’ Oliver Twist. He originated the role in the 1960 original West End production. At one point, Lionel took Ron aside and told him to stick to his first night performance, as Ron kept changing his lines and annoying the other performers.  Ron spoke openly about how he preferred the US to England, when it came to the stage. He mentioned of how the RSC and the National Theatre had both shunned him. After a year of playing the role, he would travel to Italy to write a stage musical about Joseph Grimaldi, a Regency entertainer. He wrote the words and music for the show, entitled Joey Joey. By the time the show hit the Saville theatre in London in 1962, the book accompanied. Sadly, the show failed. 

In 1973, he would also play the role in both Los Angeles and San Francisco. A London revival was brought to the Aldwych Theatre on Broadway in 1984. Other roles would include Captain Hook, Polonius in Keith Mitchell’s Hamlet (1972), and as Sherlock in Sherlock Holmes – The Musical (1989).

Over the course of his career as Fagin, Ron had to tone down his accent, both for the film and stage, as concern was expressed over the American audiences not being able to understand him. The 1984 role on Broadway garnered Ron a Tony nomination. He would lose the award to George Hearn, for George’s role in La Cage aux Folles.

Ron was not the first choice for the film role of Fagin, nor was he the second. At one point, Dick Van Dyke was considered to play Fagin. Only when the first two actors turned the role down was Ron asked to reprise the role in the 1968 film. Ron was had no idea whether or not he had actually been cast in the film until the very first day of filming. He would eventually be nominated for an Oscar for this role.
It was due to the stage that he made his professional career, and many are grateful towards that; many consider Ron the best, and true, portrayer of Fagin.  Over the span of his career, Ron had written more than a dozen musicals, which went mostly unperformed. He had also written a handful of novels. Ron considered himself, above all, a writer and composer. The rest of the world may not agree. He’ll be sorely missed. 

<![CDATA[In Memoriam: Sir Christopher Lee ]]>Thu, 11 Jun 2015 21:05:47 GMThttp://imwithgeekarchive.weebly.com/tgh/in-memoriam-sir-christopher-leePicture
Today, people all over the world will be reading in the news or via posts on social media of truly tragic news. The British actor and screen icon Sir Christopher Lee has died at the age of 93. Lee passed away of respiratory problems and heart failure shortly after celebrating his 93rd Birthday. Easily recognisable for his incredible voice, acting presence as well as imposing statue, at six foot five he was often described as a giant of the screen both, physically and emotionally. The actor will be remembered for over two hundred screen appearances, in a career that spans over sixty years. 

His first major screen role was in The Curse of Frankenstein as Frankenstein’s Monster. Starring opposite Peter Cushing the role gained Lee attention by the producing studio Hammer Horror. This led to Lee being cast as The Prince of Darkness himself Dracula, a role that would truly place young Lee on the map. As Dracula, he managed to make the Vampire Prince his own and a truly horrific yet tormented creation. His striking looks and commanding voice were put to perfect use as Hammer Horror’s greatest villain.

Lee reprised the role in a number of sequels and had a long career with the British Horror studio until its demise in the late 70’s. Lee often portrayed dark or tortured characters on screen yet played them with intelligence and charm. He played a Bond villain to Roger Moore’s 007 in The Man with the Golden Gun and played alternating roles in a number of Sherlock Holmes adaptations, (playing Sherlock, Mycroft as well as Sir Henry Baskerville)

Another role that Lee would become synonymous with would be cult classic The Wicker Man. Described by Lee as his best film, it followed detective Sergeant Howie as he journeys to a remote Island to investigate the disappearance of a young girl. The film is remembered for its eerie tone, creepy characters and shock ending. Lee played island leader, Lord Summerisle in a film that is remembered as a British staple of Horror.

Despite the success he had in Britain, Lee feared long term typecasting and moved to America in search of varied work. Here Lee was able to demonstrate his comedic side with roles that showcased he could be funny as well as menacing. With roles in films such as 1941 and Police Academy, the move gave Lee a chance to extend his film presence.   

For many actors the transitions from The Golden Age of Hollywood was a difficult one. Some were merely remembered for their past iconic role whereas Lee moved with the times. From Dracula to Bond Villain he starred in roles that reintroduced him to a new generation. Lee not only played a major role in Peter Jackson’s Lord of the Rings Trilogy but starred as Count Dooku in the Star Wars prequels. The roles made Lee a truly multi-generational actor, appreciated by the young and old alike 

Even in his later smaller roles his presence was strong. Most notable perhaps is the work he did with friend and director Tim Burton. He had a small role in the opening of Sleepy Hollow and also played Willy Wonka’s father in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. He lent his voice to Burton’s comedic Pastor Galswells in Corpse Bride as well as Wonderland’s fiercest being The Jabberwocky in Alice in Wonderland. Despite small screen time his ability to dominate his scenes is stronger than ever.

Despite not receiving many acting accolades during his career his contribution and commitment to the arts was never questioned. He received the honour of The BAFTA Academy Fellowship back in 2011 which was presented to him by Tim Burton. He received a BFI Fellowship back in 2013 and of course was knighted in 2009 for his work.

The respect and admiration that he and his work commanded is obvious in the wake of his death. Sir Christopher Lee will not just be remembered for his illustrious film, (and singing) career but as a true gentleman of the screen. Described by those who meet him as simply a lovely man who was generous and humble. It is not merely his work we remember but the loss of a great man.

At 93, he may have led a full and long life but it still feels as if he was taken from us too soon. You will be missed Mr Lee. Rest in Peace.

<![CDATA[In Memoriam: Ron Moody]]>Thu, 11 Jun 2015 20:36:15 GMThttp://imwithgeekarchive.weebly.com/tgh/in-memoriam-ron-moodyPicture
Consistently capturing generations’ and their wide-eyed imaginations is a tricky fete for most actors and hardly any actor has come close to playing iconic roles. When one comes along, who is able to thrill and delight us, they are treasured forever more. And when we lose that person, we can’t help but feel the loss at it ripples across the globe with complete sadness. Today, at a ripe age of 91, the excellent Ron Moody past away. 

Born in Tottenham in 1924, Moody had started as a theatre actor and portrayed many different roles. His lanky figure and nature for satirical comedy, he translated his skill for astute humorous awareness would gift audiences with cabaret, stage shows and dramas that caught us in his brilliant talent.  

Audiences everywhere would recognise Ron Moody for his most acclaimed role as Fagin from Lionel Bart’s Oliver! Appearing in both the stage and the movie version of the musical, Moody encompassed something unique and special about the character that hasn’t been matched. Self-professedly giving all to the role, the determination and skill comes beaming out of him as the slimy thief who runs a pickpocket gang around the streets of London. Whilst he has a few songs that he fulfils greatly such as Pick A Pocket or Two and he is able to devilishly flesh out the Dickens’ character with flare and seediness, it’s really Moody’s performance of Reviewing the Situation, both the original and the reprise that excels. Bobbing along with this seedy nature whilst extrapolating answers and fun at the same time, his performance as Fagin is unparalleled.  

Moody continued on from the success of Oliver!, which scored him a Golden Globe Award and a Tony and Oscar nomination, with roles on several children’s television shows. The Animals of Farthing Wood, Into the Labyrinth and the Discworld series were all under his belt of TV adaptations. He was perhaps best known for Rupert Mountjoy, the Prime Minister, in The Mouse on the Moon whilst he’d also star in other shows such as Murder Most Foul and The Great Orlando. He would also do some stellar turns as eccentric Uncles and brilliant companions in films such as The Flight of the Doves and brilliantly captured Iago in a TV version of Othello.

Apparently Moody’s biggest regret would be turning down the role of The Doctor in science fiction television series Doctor Who, with Peter Troughton taking his place. As much as we love Troughton, we cannot help but imagine Moody travelling through time and space, that would’ve been amazing.

It’s with great sorrow that Ron Moody left our lives today and his cinematic, theatrical and television escapades will live on in our memory. He was also a graduate of London of Economics, a gifted writer and had a personality that transcended art forms and enthralled us all.  May he rest in peace.