|Schedule of Events:|
|Saturday's Events||Sunday's Events|
|11:00||Expo Opens||12:00||Expo Opens|
|11:45||Introduction & Video Presentation||12:30||Introduction & Video Presentation|
|12:00||Steven Williams (Autographs at 1:30)||12:45||Mitch Pileggi (Autographs at 2:30)|
|12:45||Paul Rabwin (Autographs at 1:30)||1:30||Steven Williams (Autographs at 2:30)|
|1:30||"Truth or Fiction" - on stage trivia game||2:15||X-Files Auction|
|2:00||X-Files Auction||2:45||Dean Haglund (Autographs at 5:00)|
|2:45||Nicholas Lea (Autographs at 5:00)||3:30||Paul Rabwin (Autographs at 5:00)|
|3:30||Dean Haglund (Autographs at 5:00)||4:15||Nicholas Lea (Autographs at 5:00)|
|4:15||Mitch Pileggi (Autographs at 5:00)||5:00||Mulderisms/Scullyisms Video|
|5:00||Mulderisms/Scullyisms Video||5:30||Prize Announcements|
|5:30||Prize Announcements||5:45||Fans Trivia Contest|
|5:45||Fans Trivia Contest|
Where do I begin...
Let me begin by saying that we had a rather unique thing to deal with during this Expo -- my husband was wheelchair bound. He had foot surgery the week before the Expo, and when he told his doctor we were going to the Expo the doctor sternly told him that he was not to be on his feet (not even his good one) for the entire weekend. The doctor told him that he *must* stay in a wheelchair for the duration of the Expo. So we headed out, hoping the Expo would be wheelchair accessible. Please forgive me if a take a moment to thank my husband for refusing to stay at home (which is probably what he should have done). I am sooooo glad I got to experience the Expo with him.
On the plus side, we did get an excellent parking spot at the Expo -- however I would have gladly accepted a distant parking space in exchange for my husband's health!
I was glad to see that the "International Ballroom" is actually not what most people consider a ballroom. It is actually a warehouse that is now used for concerts (we have something similar in Nashville -- I like it better than the usual stadium shows because of the up-close & personal feel you get at concerts there). It actually was a pretty cool place to have the Expo.
Before you get in line...
I had ordered my tickets for both Saturday and Sunday on the day the tickets went on sale, but I only received Saturday's tickets in the mail (even after repeated calls to Ticketmaster). Because my Sunday's tickets never arrived, I had to pick them up at the will call window. A word of advice if you must pick up your tickets or if you purchase them there -- you can purchase/pickup your tickets before getting in the big, long line! The line to get into the Expo on both days was quite long (we arrived 30 minutes early on both days). On Sunday Jerry & I were heading to the back of the line when a kind security person (who wanted to make sure Jerry stayed in the shade) told us that you could go straight in if you needed to purchase or pick up tickets, then come back out and get in line. I know that a lot of people didn't know this on Saturday. We placed Jerry in the line while I went in to pick up our tickets from the will call window. This really saved us a lot of time when they started letting people into the Expo.
Also worth mentioning -- no bags were checked on Saturday, but they did check them on Sunday and a lot of people lost film and batteries. I did sneak a camera into the Expo on Saturday, but I only used it outside the building, mainly because of guilt, but also because I got the people with the digital cameras to take quite a few pictures for me (more on that later).
Getting in & getting pictures
Once they started letting people in, the line went very quickly. We missed the maze of "lots and lots of files" because the workers allowed us to go in one of their entrances (due to the wheelchair). It was rather fun, because we got to enter through a the door that was marked like the door Cancerman uses every so often at the Pentagon.
One major difference between the Atlanta Expo and the previous three Expos -- we were allowed to leave! This was actually because the "Mobile Theater" (where you see the movie preview) was outside (I'm guessing there was not enough room for everything inside). We got our hands stamped as we went in, so you only had to show your hand stamp to get back in after leaving. We never really left because we came prepared to stay the whole day, but it was rather nice to know that we could if we needed to.
The staff handed us evidence bags as we entered, and I noticed that they no longer put the disks you can use for pictures in the bags with the magnets. You now get the disks from the people who take your picture (and they were warning people to not store their disks in their evidence bags). The picture to the right is of Jerry and myself -- and that is what happens when the flash does not go off (in fact the actual picture was worse and I enhanced it at home). I had read advice from previous Expos to make sure the flash goes off, so we told the guy that it didn't flash and he said that sometimes that happens and that everything is okay. Don't let them tell you this -- make sure the flash goes off!
Our plan of attack was to spend Saturday getting autographs, then spend Sunday listening to the speakers. More later on how well this plan turned out!
What was there
Merchandise - at our Expo the merchandise was broken into 3 different areas. One area had scripts, videotapes, clothing (t-shirts, jackets), pins, the "Unrestricted Access" game, and the statues. The scripts that were for sale here were "The Pilot", "The Post-Modern Prometheus", "Small Potatoes", "Leonard Betts", and "Home". They sold-out of "Small Potatoes" on Saturday. I did get the scripts, since each of them contains footage that was cut or altered when the episode was aired ("The Pilot" contains the dialogue between Scully and her boyfriend, Ethan, "Home" has a very flirtatious scene between Mulder & Scully before she autopsies the baby, etc). A word of advice -- the computer game is being sold in stores much cheaper than it was selling for at the Expo. The other "official" merchandise area was selling photos, the music CDs, film cells, books (including the long-awaited guide to season 4!) and the Video Trivia Game! This was the first time I had seen the trivia game for VHS format (I had only heard of its release in Australia previously). The sales lady said that the game wouldn't be available in stores for a while, so we picked up the game and the new book. The third section (which was upstairs and inaccessible to my husband) was the non-X-Files and non-official items. They sold parody t-shirts, sci-fi photos, plush-stuffed alien dolls, alien fetuses in bottles, etc. Since Jerry could not go there, I didn't spend much time in that area.
The Movie Trailer - The trailer really was excellent (especially Mulder's little diatribe in the bar). It was great to see it in a darkened theater. Other sites already have the entire transcript of the trailer & behind-the-scenes footage, so I won't repeat it all here. If you are interested, go to the movie page on the PA X-Files Site -- the movie news page contains a complete transcript. While outside, I did take a picture of the mobile theater (it was cute) but I will have to get the film developed before placing the image on this page.
|Memorabilia - the center of the warehouse had a lot of props from different X-Files episodes. It was all quite interesting to view. They had clothing worn by Scully and various other characters, the doll from "Chinga", the ice core samples from "Ice", the baseball bat from "Home", and many, many other things. They had a lot of the paperwork and newspaper articles that are used on the show, and it was amazing to see all of the detail and work that goes into creating something that you really can't even see in the episode. I had a picture-taker-person take one of the masks from "Young at Heart", "EBE" (and the 1st season blooper reel), and "Hell Money". They also had the passenger manifest from "Little Green Men" -- so I finally did get to see names of other X-Philes who didn't make it into the episode (Sarah Stegall, Paula Vitaris). There was a lot to see!|
|Photo Opportunities - I know everyone has already heard of this, but it is still pretty cool. There are two "green-screen" pictures available, one inserts you into Mulder's office, the other into a scene from the movie where you stand behind Mulder & Scully's car (the sponsor of the Expo - Infinity). Jerry and I did not do the car one (mainly because of the wheelchair) but we did do the desk. We got our pictures here on Sunday, when the lines were much smaller. They did have two different green-screen desks set up (I don't remember if the other sites only had one desk set-up or two) but I'm sure that aided in keeping the lines a bit shorter.|
|Archives Trivia Game - To play this game you put on headgear where they play a snippit from an X-Files episode, then ask you a question about that episode. You answer by selecting the correct number from a key pad on the bar in front of you. You not only had to get the answer right, but you also had to get it right faster than your opponents (in other words, you got a higher score the faster you answered). The prize was a comic book and a chance to win an Aptiva computer.|
The main stage & the autograph line
This is probably the section you have all been waiting for. The speakers were all totally wonderful! After reading about the other Expos, I was awaiting tons of lame and/or repeat questions from the audience, and there were some, but for the most part the questions were good and the quests answered them expertly. I was impressed with both the guests AND the audience.
Since Jerry and I would be attending both Saturday and Sunday, we decided to get autographs on Saturday (that way if we missed someone, we could try again on Sunday). As it turned out, the autograph line was right next to the stage, so you actually could stand in line and watch the action at the same time (until later when it got more crowded -- I could still see, but Jerry couldn't see anything but the backs of the people in front of him... I felt so bad). Unfortunately, sometimes loud conversations started in the autograph line, and we were totally unable to keep up with what was going on on stage. This is where my husband has just achieved angel status in my eyes. He offered to remain in line while I left to stand in the crowd and watch the questions & answers (just a few feet away). That is how we managed Saturday -- he stayed in line and I alternated between taking notes on the speakers, getting Jerry drinks and food, and standing in line with him.
On Sunday we didn't attempt to get autographs at all. We sat on the bleachers and listened to the speakers. Saturday was definitely more crowded and lively, Sunday was calmer and perhaps more personal. I was not able to get all of the questions on Saturday for a few reasons. I left the stage area to get drinks a few times (it was very hot in the autograph line -- especially for Jerry, who couldn't get his head up above all of the body heat around us), and I lost track of Jerry once and had to search for him through the crowds. The picture-takers were kind enough to take pictures for me on Saturday (so I didn't get to write down the questions asked as I was tracking a picture-taker down), but on Sunday they had been instructed to not take pictures of actors, so after the oh-so-kind picture-taker took one more of Mitch Pileggi for me I didn't bother them anymore.
What follows are the events that occurred on stage. I have listed the speakers in the order they appeared in on Saturday (on Sunday the order changed completely). This pictures below (and on the summary pages) were taken using the digital cameras. Unfortunately, some of them came out rather blurry (the photo-takers were standing rather far away from their subjects, they used the zoom feature on their cameras to get as close as they did.) There are some other photos in the summary sections, so be sure to check them out.
|Steven Williams - Steven Williams was full of energy as he bounded onto the stage after a montage of Mr.X clips were aired on the screens. After speaking for a moment, he collapsed on stage as if he had been shot! The crowd went wild. I'm not sure what he did on Saturday, but on Sunday he rolled over and started spelling out a word on the floor (much like he spelled out SRSG in "Herrenvolk") -- this time he spelled out "DAMN". He got up to many cheers and asked "Didn't you just hate to see that?" He then started taking questions from the audience. Steven Williams - Question & Answer Session|
|Paul Rabwin - A surprise guest (at least to me), Paul was an excellent speaker! He is one of the producers of the X-Files (and he also works on Millennium). Rabwin spent the first part of his time with more of a video presentation -- displaying what goes on in post-production on the show (and he even showed clips of inside jokes!! Imagine that!). I found it fascinating, but unfortunately a lot of the people in the autograph line (and a few people in the seats) didn't appear to be interested, since Rabwin was not an actor on the show. Still, quite a few people were interested and asked him some very good questions. Paul Rabwin - Question & Answer Session|
|Nicholas Lea - After his video montage, Nick Lea appeared to the screams and adoration of his many female fans. I wasn't able to hear his introduction on Saturday, but Sunday's was quite humorous. On Sunday, he stood behind the screen a couple of times as the video montage was being played (we could see him in shadow). During one scene he reached up and scratched his own nose (the nose on the screen). When the scene where he kisses Covarrubias was shown, he cheered and jumped for joy in the background. On Sunday, he also explained that he had convinced Mitch Pileggi to go out on the town with him the night before, and they had stayed out very late and did not feel very well that morning. Nicholas Lea - Question & Answer Session|
|Dean Haglund - Dean Haglund does not do a normal question and answer session, he does an interactive stand-up comedy routine (if you like "Whose Line is it Anyway" on Comedy Central, you will LOVE Dean's routine). He did, however, answer what he says are the three most asked questions: 1) Yes, the Lone Gunmen are in the movie 2) The Lone Gunmen apparently do appear in the season finale, and 3) Yes, that is his real hair. He also said that if you wish to ask him questions, e-mail him or visit his web site at www.deanx.com. He then proceeded to do his routine, with much help from the audience. Dean Haglund - Quick Summary of his stand-up routine|
|Mitch Pileggi - Fans went wild as the "This is where you pucker up and kiss my ass" scene was played during the pre-speaker video montage. Skinner came out on stage to thunderous applause and loud screams. He seemed almost shy and really quite sweet. On Saturday he launched right into the question & answer session, but on Sunday he explained how Nick Lea had prodded and pleaded until Mitch agreed to go out on the town with him Saturday night. Needless to say, Mitch admitted to not feeling very well that morning. Mitch Pileggi - Question & Answer Session|
The long wait in the autograph line eventually did pay off. Jerry managed to get everyone's signature on the inside cover of our Season 4 Guide to the X-Files. I had the guys sign individual pictures (and Nick Lea signed the most recent edition of the Official X-Files magazine with himself on the cover). I really didn't want to gush all over them or take up too much of their time, so we didn't attempt to hang out with them or get hugs from them. They were all *extremely* nice to Jerry, who was almost too short to see them from the wheelchair. I congratulated Nick Lea on his new contract, and said we were all glad to hear that he would be around for a while longer. He really does look quite excellent in person. I complimented Dean Haglund on his routine and on his web page. He made me promise to write him an e-mail. Jerry asked him if he was Geddy Lee's long lost twin (Rush joke), to which Dean replied that he gets that all the time! Steven Williams was great -- still bounding with energy even after signing autographs for a while. He gave us all pre-signed photos and fan club information to go with the stuff we were currently getting signed. I complimented Paul Rabwin on his presentation (which I loved) and added that I had a web site on the Inside Jokes (since he had made such an issue out of it during his presentation). He seemed pleased that we had discovered so many in-jokes on our own. Mitch Pileggi was great as always (unfortunately I didn't really get to say anything other than thanks at the time because Jerry, who was going before me, was having difficulty navigating the ramp in his wheelchair). Still, it was great to see him in person, and he was truly a great guy. It was rather surreal to speak up-close and personal with someone you watch on television all the time.
I personally had a great time at the Expo. It was nice to see how much the Expo had improved since the first Expo in San Francisco. The lines were not absolutely horrible (except for the autograph line, which was hideous). The guests were truly excellent and were far-and-away the best thing at the event. They were all very gracious and friendly. I also wanted to compliment the staff of the Expo. They were also very friendly and accommodating, and were very concerned about Jerry's wheelchair difficulties.
The X-Files In-Jokes List © 1996-2003
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