The Establishing Shot: EMPIRE BIG SCREEN - LIVE QUARTER, STUDIO STANDS & GOODY BAG


Posted by Craig Grobler on Google+ On Monday, August 22, 2011

EMPIRE BIG SCREEN Day 1 LIVE QUARTER, STUDIO STANDS & GOODY BAGA fter the 20th Century Fox Showcase. I decided to take a break and have a walk around as I had been in sessions since I arrived early in the morning. I thought I would head to the Live Quarter and check out Hollywood Boulevard and Studio City.

     BIG SCREEN is the first film convention that schedules and maps were supplied at the entrance as well as in my press pack (thank you it was noticed and appreciated) which didn’t help me as I left my pack in the press room.

     No worries as there were large maps located where footfall traffic converged. I left the Cineworld and made my way to the Live Quarter - once there I was surprised how busy it was, this was after all a regular weekday.

     You can watch my video walkthrough of Empire BIG SCREEN’s Live Quarter, Hollywood Boulevard and Studio City below.

     The Establishing Shot: Walk through of Empire BIG SCREEN Hollywood Boulevard & Studio City  

     Or watch the surprisingly far more popular 3D version.

     The Establishing Shot: 3D Walk through of Empire BIG SCREEN Hollywood Boulevard & Studio City Test  

     At this point I could either head left and follow the large stars down Hollywood Boulevard or right into Studio City. I decided to follow the stars and head down:

Empire BIG SCREEN: Crowd free Hollywood Boulevard and Studio City before the gates open


Hollywood Boulevard
     On the left there was a bank of stalls offering up American Candy, Film paraphernalia & memorabilia, Posters, T-Shirts, Autographs, Comics, Books pretty much all the stuff we have come to expect from these type of conventions but the difference with BIG SCREEN is that it was all clean, shiny, new and purpose built.

     It also appeared that the stalls had been quality checked and there was a high standard of goods on offer. Looking at the shiny white structures in the Live Quarter under the large curved roof of the O2 I couldn’t help feel like I was in a George Lucas designed spaceship, the groups of Imperial Stormtroopers from the 501st UK Garrison keeping order did nothing to dispel the illusion.

     Running smack dab in the middle of Hollywood Boulevard was the:

London Film Museum Showcase
     Full of outstanding pieces and props from their collection. I noticed that a lot of these pieces were not usually on display at the museum so I spent a fair amount of time browsing the collection. Some of the pieces on display were rather special like; the original Tartan tunic worn by Connor MacLeod (Christopher Lambert) in Russel Mulcahy's The Highlander, Merlin's (Nicol Williamson) staff from John Boorman's Excalibur, seeing Pinhead and Puzzle Box prop from Clive Barker's Hellraiser together - usually the Puzzlebox is stored safely in a cabinet, outfits from Marcus Nispel's Conan The Barbarian, Christian Bale's Bat Suit from Christopher Nolan's Batman Begins which always impresses and a full size battle damaged NS-5 Android from Alex Proyas' I, Robot making this another highlight of BIG SCREEN.


The Establishing Shot: EMPIRE BIG SCREEN - LONDON FILM MUSEUM EXHIBITION - CHRISTIAN BALE'S BAT SUIT FROM CHRISTOPHER NOLAN'S BATMAN BEGINS
The Establishing Shot: EMPIRE BIG SCREEN - LONDON FILM MUSEUM EXHIBITION - CHRISTIAN BALE'S BAT SUIT FROM CHRISTOPHER NOLAN'S BATMAN BEGINS
Empire BIG SCREEN : London Film Museum exhibition - The original Tartan tunic worn by Connor MacLeod (Christopher Lambert) from Russel Mulcahy's The Highlander
Empire BIG SCREEN : London Film Museum exhibition - The original Tartan tunic worn by Connor MacLeod (Christopher Lambert) from Russel Mulcahy's The Highlander
Empire BIG SCREEN : London Film Museum exhibition - Battle damaged NS-5 Android from Alex Proyas' I, Robot
Empire BIG SCREEN : London Film Museum exhibition - Battle damaged NS-5 Android from Alex Proyas' I, Robot

Empire BIG SCREEN : London Film Museum exhibition - Merlin's (Nicol Williamson) staff from John Boorman's Excalibur
Empire BIG SCREEN : London Film Museum exhibition - Merlin's (Nicol Williamson) staff from John Boorman's Excalibur
     For more information head over to: http://www.londonfilmmuseum.com/

     Along the furthest side the white stalls continued with a break in between them where Author and Ray Harryhausen biographer Tony Dalton was signing copies of his book Ray Harryhausen: An Animated Life and alongside him the gorgeous Bond Girl and Harryhausen collaborator Caroline Munro was also signing.

     In front of them was another highlight of BIG SCREEN The Bond in Motion the cars of James Bond exhibition.

Bond in Motion
     I had seen a large part of the collection but what a thrill to see Goldfinger’s 1937 Rolls Royce Phantom III, James Bond’s Aston Martin DB5 from Goldeneye, Zao’s Jaguar XKR Convertible with his full armoury of gadgets from Die Another Day and James Bond’s Aston Martin DBS V12 from Quantum of Solace.

The Establishing Shot: Empire BIG SCREEN - Bond in Motion the cars of James Bond Exhibition - James Bond (Pierce Brosnan) Aston Martin DB5 from Goldeneye

Empire BIG SCREEN : Bond in Motion the cars of James Bond Exhibition - Auric Goldfinger's (Gert Frobe) 1937 Rolls Royce Phantom III from Goldfinger

The Establishing Shot: Empire BIG SCREEN : Bond in Motion the cars of James Bond Exhibition - James Bond (Daniel Craig) Aston Martin DBS V12 from Quantum of Solace

Empire BIG SCREEN : Bond in Motion the cars of James Bond Exhibition - Zao (Rick Yune) Jaguar XKR Convertible Rockets in fascia grill from Die Another Day

     There was more good news to follow, I was aware that the Bond Museum in Keswick had closed down and the collection was moving to the USA. Disappointed that I never got a chance to get to Keswick and see the Bond Museum

     I was delighted to find out that the Bond in Motion exhibition featuring fifty vehicles to celebrate fifty years of 007 movies would be opening at The National Motor Museum, Beaulieu, Hampshire in February 2012.

     For more information head over to: http://www.bondinmotion.com/

     But Bond cars were not the only vehicles on display because Momentum Pictures rolled out their battle hardened Troll Hunting Land Rover from TrollHunter. And next to that Disney had brought along Lightning McQueen to represent Cars 2.

Empire BIG SCREEN : Troll Hunter required! The Troll Hunter's Landrover on display in Studio City

The Establishing Shot: EMPIRE BIG SCREEN -  LIGHTNING MCQUEEN ON THE DISNEY/PIXAR’S CARS 2 DISPLAY IN STUDIO CITY

Empire BIG SCREEN : Get your photo taken with Atom the robot from Real Steel in Studio City

Empire BIG SCREEN : Win in Paramount's Cowboys and Aliens Saloon in Studio City


Studio City
     The busiest part of the Live Quarter was Studio City where several studios had set up their stands showing off their forthcoming attractions. Paramount had set up the Paramount Saloon, which was all about Cowboys and Aliens, so you could play games for prizes or have a drink, a soft drink that is, while watching trailers from their upcoming films.

     Next to the Paramount Saloon Empire Magazine had transplanted their offices to BIG SCREEN resplendent with working computers, staff, some very cool film paraphernalia and more importantly the originally Movieconners goody bags. There was some cool stuff in the bag but nothing as cool as the Drive Tooth Pick dispenser. Possibly the greatest piece of film promotion paraphernalia ever.

Empire BIG SCREEN : BIG SCREEN Goody Bag - Drive toothpick dispenser

Empire BIG SCREEN : BIG SCREEN Goody Bag - Patrick Bateman business card on American Psycho Dark Bunnys T Shirt

Empire BIG SCREEN : BIG SCREEN Goody Bag


     Universal Pictures built a mini circular stone hedge with seating in the middle so one could watch a display on each of the stones and watch trailers for; Battleships, Immortals, One Day, The Thing, Johnny English Reborn.

     Further back 20th Century Fox had constructed a wall panel with displays showing trailers for In Time, Rise of the Planet of the Apes, The Darkest Hour.

      The Warner Bros. stand was pretty cool, having divided a large room structure into 4 rooms that you could explore each representing one of their big upcoming films. Warner had recreated Guy Ritchie’s Sherlock Homes’ 221 Baker Street residence for Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows.

     For Happy Feet 2 you could get your picture taken with furry characters from Happy Feet 2 in a winter wonderland in the snow. Disappointingly the Chris Nolan The Dark Knight Rises Cave was fairly sparse and teasing, the interior was made up of imagery of dark buildings of Gotham City, a bat signal shining on the inside of the roof.

     Whilst a monitor showed The Dark Knight Rises teaser trailer. My analysis of the teaser can be read here!

Empire BIG SCREEN : Back of the Sony stand, by far the most impressive in Studio City

Empire BIG SCREEN :  A contamination clinic in Studio City for Warner Bros' Contagion with BIGSCREEN team in-situ

The Establishing Shot: EMPIRE BIG SCREEN -  SHERLOCK HOLMES' 221B BAKER ST RESIDENCE IN STUDIO CITY FOR WARNER BROS SHERLOCK HOLMES: A GAME OF SHADOWS

Empire BIG SCREEN : Photo opportunity on London Film Museum's Replica Star Wars set, complete with C-3P0 and R2-D2

     Finally Steven Soderbergh’s Contagion got the most interesting of the Warner display - a full medical contamination clinic. A while back I was lucky enough to chat with Ms. Josie Ho about Dream Home, where I got first got wind of her starring in Contagion and have been waiting for it since.

     The Sony Pictures stand was by far the best on the day and another highlight of BIG SCREEN for me. Shaped like a large wavy white “L” Sony had built the display to maximize the space and was showing off a lot. Starting on the one side there was an impressive display cases full of props from MIB3 Men in Black 3, some sort of photo opportunity which may have had something to do with pirates and may have been for The Pirates In An Adventure With Scientists, around the corner you could sign up for the Sony newsletter and claim a poster, pin and T-Shirt. There were a couple of T-Shirts including a cool Green Hornet T Shirt and an exclusive BIG SCREEN The Amazing Spider-man T-shirt.

     The queue for this was around the block. On the inside of the L shape was another impressive prop from Men In Black 3 – a life size Alien Motorcycle, above it a huge Men in Black Neutralizer.

The Establishing Shot: EMPIRE BIG SCREEN - PROPS FROM SONY PICTURES MEN IN BLACK 3 - MIB3 ALIEN MOTORCYCLE

Empire BIG SCREEN : Props from Sony Pictures Men In Black 3 - MIB3 The Neutralizer

Empire BIG SCREEN : Props from Sony Pictures Men In Black 3 - MIB3 1969 Standard issue gun


     On the upper half of the L there were monitors showing trailers from upcoming films including the aurally addictive The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, The Amazing Spider-man, Bad Teacher, Anonymous and 30 Minutes or Less.

     Top marks for Sony it felt like they really pushed the boat out for fans.

     Next to the Sony Pictures stand Sony Computer Entertainment UK had set up their stand with PlayStation Access with demonstrations from upcoming games including; Uncharted 3, Resistance 3 – both of which were fun to play particularly Resistance 3 which seems to move the Resistance series to more accessible game play with better weapons control. I also noticed some sort of dance controlled game demo as well.

     Continuing my browse I came across a pretty cool Disney Real Steel photo opportunity with Atom the boxing robot and a Hugh Jackman standee. As well as the always cool London Film Museum Star Wars photo opportunity where you could get your photo with C-3P0 and R2-D2 in a replica corridor of Princess Leia’s Diplomatic Cruiser the Tantive IV a Corellian Corvette.

     Then a complete surprise highlight of Empire BIG SCREEN. In fact when Empire first announced that you could Meet the Animal Stars of Harry Potter - I thought it was completely lame. How wrong I was.

Empire BIG SCREEN : Meet the animal stars of the movies! - Ron Weasley's pet owl Pigwidgeon (also known as Pig)

Empire BIG SCREEN : Meet the animal stars of the movies! - Hedwig Harry Potter's pet Snowy Owl from the Harry Potter films

Empire BIG SCREEN : Meet the animal stars of the movies! - Fang Rubeus Hagrid's a Large Boarhound (Neapolitan Mastiff) from the Harry Potter films

The Establishing Shot: EMPIRE BIG SCREEN - MEET THE ANIMAL STARS OF THE MOVIES! - CROOKSHANKS HERMIONE GRANGER'S PET CAT AND MAGICAL FAMILIAR. HALF CAT HALF KNEAZLE

     After spending a little time with these cute little guys I was totally besotted. They are so cute they would melt the most jaded and cynical heart. We are talking about Pigwidgeon, Crookshanks, Hedwig and Fang the whole menagerie.

     A little later in the day I also popped into the Panasonic Star Wars Blu-ray Lounge and watched some of Star Wars The Complete Saga in eye cracking high resolution detail on some giant Panasonic screens.

     On my way out along Hollywood Boulevard I spotted Doctor Emmett Brown’s time travelling DMC-12 DeLorean from Back To The Future. It was actually a replica but still pretty damn amazing.

Empire BIG SCREEN :  Replica Back to the Future Doc. Brown's time travelling DeLorean DMC-12

     For more information head over to: www.BTTFCAR.co.uk

     I really enjoyed the clean well laid out Live Quarter but over the 2 days I was at BIG SCREEN the Live Quarter seemed to get smaller and smaller as I became familiar with it. Bigger next year with more of the same please.

     I needed a break and just as I sat down to have a drink and start going through my goody bay, @Big_Pants gave me a heads up that the New Universal Pictures showcase was about to start.

The Establishing Shot: EMPIRE BIG SCREEN - LIVE QUARTER, STUDIO STANDS & GOODY BAG

EMPIRE BIG SCREEN - LIVE QUARTER, STUDIO STANDS & GOODY BAG
Craig is a retired superhero, an obsessive hobbyist, comics fan, gadget lover & flâneur who knows an unhealthy amount about Ian Fleming's James Bond.

When not watching or making films he takes pictures, eats, drinks, dives, mentally storyboards the greatest film ever made & sometimes utilises owl-themed gadgets to fight crime. 

A list of his 133 favourite films can be found hereIf you would still like to contact Craig please use any of the buttons below: 


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