First off, let me just say forgive me for the length of time it’s been between the 2nd day and the 3rd. Due to some technical difficulties, I couldn’t get the post out until today. That being said, I want to dive right into the final day without any further wait!
We woke Sunday morning, and strolled towards the main room having bittersweet feelings. On one hand, it was another amazing day filled with talks, videos, photographs, autographs, and lots of laughter and good feelings. On the other hand, it was the final day of Vanctuary. Only a few short hours stood between us and the end of an amazing experience. As everyone shuffled into the main convention hall and took their seats, we were greeted by a video that got us psyched up for the beginning of the talks. I’m not sure how other conventions do it, but I always love how Gabit seems to rev us up with amazing images and songs surrounding Sanctuary. As the video died down, Chuck Campbell and Robert Lawrenson took the stage, and we settled in to listen.
First off, let me just say that Chuck Campbell is absolutely hilarious and quite a character. I felt like my sides were going to burst from laughing so hard along with everyone in the audience as he talked. And the repartee between Robert and Chuck was great. They were smooth, and collected, and they seemed to bounce energy off from one another, as they talked amongst themselves before the Q&As started
The fans asked a lot of great questions, and we learned some interesting things about the two guys. For instance, at first Robert was intimidated by the green screen. However, apparently Amanda told him to think of it like stage and he said that one piece of advice set it up perfectly, and he said he now embraces the green screen.
We also learned that Martin Wood (nicknamed apparently Major Wood during his times on SGA) brought in an ex-military training group to help the actors get training on how to properly use guns. Interestingly enough though, the way actors hold a gun on TV is not quite how you would think a person would hold a gun, because of camera angles. Apparently this was one of the trickier parts of learning the roles for the two guys. Another interesting point about Sanctuary is that a normal film will shoot about a maximum of 2 pages a day. Sanctuary apparently shoots a minimum of 8 pages a day! Both of the guys told us that it’s fast paced, but the best show they’ve worked on.
At the end of the panel, we broke out and went to our respective photograph and autograph sessions. Some people had bought at least one of each for each of the stars there, and some people only had a few, but one of the most amazing things to me was that all of the money benefited Sanctuary for Kids. So, while you were buying a memory of a quick moment with one of your favorite actors, directors, or writers, you were also giving money to a very worthwhile charity. Maybe I’ve been sheltered and haven’t really expanded too far out into the world of fandoms, but that to me is something that is so unique to Sanctuary.
After the sessions died down, we all filed back into the auditorium for a special presentation by Lee Wilson from Anthem. I wish I could share with you the video that he showed us, but unfortunately no cameras were allowed in the auditorium. Let me just say that we were shown a video that even people at Comic Con didn’t get a chance to see. Half-way through it I had goosebumps. Even as I write this today, as I saw some of the shots go from the final product to the green screen, and back to the final product, I’m getting goosebumps. If they ever do release it on the web, I’ll definitely point you guys in the right direction. But here’s saying that the first two episodes of Season 3 are going to blow your mind! Oh, and randomly, do you remember this scene in Sleepers from Season 2? That’s entirely green screen!
After Lee left the stage, Agam Darshi and Robin Dunne came up. Robin had the crowd giggling as he tried to imitate Lee’s sultry deep voice. At one point, he said “This is the Lee Wilson talk show.” And what got everyone laughing the hardest was the sound of Lee’s voice piping up over the crowd and saying “I’m right here you know!”
During the panel, we learned that Robin was completely taken out of his comfort zone during the “Kali-Dance“. Apparently he read the script, and really thought that it was a joke. (As we all know, there are a lot of practical jokers on the Sanctuary set, but none as legendary as Robin and Holden MacPhillips). So he ultimately assumed that they were just getting back at him for all the jokes he’d played on people. (In my interview I learned about an interesting practical joke that had to do with Nutella, but you’ll learn that soon when those come out!) However, as time went on, he realized it wasn’t a joke, and he had to actually do the dance and perform.
Agam said that she loved that day on set, and apparently people from all over Sanctuary, came out to see Robin shake his groove thing. Apparently it was funny for Agam to watch Robin, trying to keep up with the extras/dancers who actually knew what they were doing. But, enough about Season 2, here are some Season 3 spoilers straight from Agam’s mouth! In Season 3, Agam’s favorite episode is one where we get to see Kate Freelander’s first kiss *gasp!*, and the Adjustor comes back, and Kate gets to wear lots of spandex.
It seemed like Agam and Robin’s panel went by way too quickly. One fan asked about how they feel about the green screen, and both answered that it’s intimidating at first, mostly because you have to imagine things are there when they’re not. And Robin said when he saw what Lee and the Anthem team did, he couldn’t believe it. Even in his wildest imagination, the things he thought he was looking at were nothing compared to the things that the artistic genius of the Anthem team came up with. Another interesting question was around Robin and Agam playing the only “normals” on this show of abnormals.
When asked how they feel about that, Robin said that he likes that Will has this connection to the audience, and Agam said she loves it because the writer’s often take pity on the normals and give them really cool things to do. All in all, the panel was awesome, and Agam and Robin seemed to really enjoy answering all of our questions. At the end of the talk, we even did a collect “HOO-AH!” with Robin. Oh and did I mention, Robin Dunne dropped his pants? (I think the best part is the screen to Robin’s left.)
After Agam and Robin, we, the fans, shuffled out and went back to some more photograph and autograph sessions, vaguely realizing that the Christopher Heyerdahl and Amanda Tapping panel (which honestly I loved that we began and ended with Amanda) was the next and last panel. As we headed back into the auditorium for the final panel (grabbing some blue jello on our way in, made by some awesome fans), it was an interesting atmosphere. True, we were all a twitter and excited for what Amanda and Chris would talk about, and what kind of questions would be asked, but it was also a heavy-sad feeling that we were coming very close to the end. Thankfully, Amanda and Chris got up on the stage, and we all settled in. The chemistry between those two actors is awesome, both on screen and off.
Within the first couple of minutes, Amanda made reference to Helen kissing boys or girls in her past, which had quite a few of the people in the room cheering, and others giggling. And just to keep the giggling going, Chris demonstrated being Biggie and washing laundry. It got a lot of us thinking about what Biggie would actually look like, doing the laundry, and putting it up on the line.
But, getting to some more meatier Season 3 spoilery stuff, Amanda told us about an idea she had and went to Damian Kindler and Martin Wood to discuss it, and they ran with it. Apparently, in the episode that Lee Wilson directs, called “For King and Country” (Episode 8), there is a moment of incredible intimacy between John Druitt (Christopher Heyerdahl) and Helen Magnus, and it all happens while Druitt is knocked out.
I know I can’t wait to see what that is, especially since it was Amanda’s original idea, and it’s been carried out to fruition. Moving on, a fan asked about Ashley, and whether or not Helen will have any more kids. Amanda immediately said that there will probably not be any more children for Helen, and then she went on to discuss Ashley, and the fact that she will not be coming back. Apparently they had discussed the options for Season 3, and how they could do it. She went on to say that Ashley died a heroic death, and to bring her back by some means of some scifi trick would be somewhat cheap, and I have to agree 100%.
Now, in the memorabilia room is one of Amanda’s Helen costumes, and a fan brought that up and asked about the period wear. Apparently nearly all of Helen’s costumes were made for her. Amanda said that as she puts on the clothing, it’s amazing how it changes your posture and the look on your face. You suddenly stand more upright. She said there are layers of bustle, to which Chris retold a great little quip about how he once said he liked her bustle, and she hadn’t yet put it on. This got everyone in the crowd laughing. We also, quickly learned that we will meet Nigel Griffin, who apparently also had an amazing wardrobe.
As Becky Preen walked up to the stage, and we all realized that the Chris and Amanda panel were finished, the crowd erupted in a collective sad sigh. As the gabit-events pros everyone passed out tissues to each other, Chris and Amanda waved goodbye and went to sit down, while Becky and Julia Hague from Gabit Events came up on the stage. Julia’s closing speech is notorious for making even the strongest person get teary eyed. And, as promised, her closing speech was eloquent, emotional, and left me with tears in my eyes.
After the speech by the two Gabit ladies, the Sanctuary for Kids team (Damian Kindler, Amanda Tapping, and Jill Bodie) came on stage. It was heartwarming to hear about how Sanctuary for Kids started. Apparently, back in the day, Jill had said to Damian that when he did make it in the industry, that he’d do something good for the world (ie, use his power for good). Then, Amanda and Jill got together, and the magic happened. Sanctuary for Kids started.
They spoke about the joy it brings them to see all the fans gathered there, and how we, as a collective, are a blessing to them, because they couldn’t do it without us. Well, I have to say this to the Sanctuary team. You are truly an inspiration, and I do hope that other shows take the challenge that Damian gave at Comic Con. I do hope that other shows see how one little show that went from web series to an international phenomenon, can use that power and that fanbase to generate hope for other people in the world. As the check was presented, Amanda, Jill, and Damian all made incredulous faces, and we the fans sat in our seats watching the number that was on the check come up slowly on the screens on either side. I was blown away when I saw the number $87,040.00 come up. Not to mention that Legends Memorabilia announced that a fan wanted to round that number up to $88K.
At the very end, Becky Preen summed up the entire experience with an amazing quote, that I still keep with me to this day. “Instead of Sanctuary coming home. We’ve come home to Sanctuary.” And with that, The Sanctuary Experience was over, and later we found out that that $88K had actually increased to over $90K. It’s an amazing feeling to be part of something so incredible. Thank you Sanctuary. Thank you Gabit. And thank you fans and readers!