Saturday - 10 hours in uniform
Sunday - 5 hours in uniform
A week before the LFCC was about to start, a certain bit of news broke. Old Stoney Face himself was gonna be there, yes folks Karl Urban was going to be on show on both Saturday and Sunday, along with Alex Garland and Jock (on the Sat). Drokk! What was I supposed to do and how was I going to get there. Luckily for me I know the director of Judge Minty and he helped me join the Galactic Knights (the costuming group he is with) and all systems were go!
There was going to be one killer on the first day, by the time I would have arrived at Olympia I would have been up for 18 hours. There was no way I could get time off work that late in the day but I did finish early, which helped a lot.
I rushed home, showered, kissed my sleeping wife and son goodbye and speed marched to the train station with my Judge uniform all boxed up and on my camping trolley. Amazingly the town was quite busy at 05:30 but I think Snoop Dogg had something to do with that (or not as the case may be). Anyway I caught the train and could relax but I relaxed a bit to much and zonked out so much that I had a lovely watch imprint on my right forearm for ages afterwards.
I arrived in London and decided to grab a taxi over to the venue (flash git) and soon I was outside and looking for other members of the Galactic Knights. Soon one arrived and I was ushered in and we made our way over to the display tables. Sadly there wasn't anywhere to change (this was rectified later), so I changed in a stairwell, seeing as it was quiet.
During this time my fellow Judge had arrived, David Court and he quickly changed and we had a quick wander round to scope the layout. During this period we bought our tickets for our inevitable pictures with Karl and picked up our tickets for the DREDD panel. Now we could relax and start our patrols proper.
The place soon filled up and we were stopped hundreds of times by members of the public for pictures. Obviously we obliged and commenced with the Judicial beatings and shootings, which everyone enjoyed.
We hit the streets!
Also during this elongated patrol outside with David I heard a voice call my name out. It was only one of Thargs droids. We wandered over and enquired as to why he wasn't in San Diego and he informed us that he was here to see one of the films PR people with reference to something or other. Within seconds Adam Farina, the PR man arrived and had a quick chat with the droid and then said that he loved the uniforms and would it be possible if we could help out during the panel and that we'd get some signed stuff. After a nanosecond we said yes! We then continued our patrols.
The Karl Urban shoot was at 14:15, so we headed on over to the staging area and waited till they called the first 50 numbers out. Me and David didn't have long to wait, seeing as we were numbers 42 and 43. Once on the conveyor belt we shuffled forward like kids in a candy store until it was time for our pics. I kept my helmet on and David decided to take his off, I was having one in civvies on Sunday, so I wasn't too bothered, plus it looks quite cool.
After this it was patrol time again. Steve was with us and said he had seen the throne from the Game of Thrones and it would be a good photo opportunity and I didn't bother with the sword but kept with the trusty Lawgiver MKII.
Patrolling again and this is when I met Alex Garland (the screenwriter of Dredd) and what a polite man he was. He came up to me and asked if I was COMMANDO FORCES (that's my name on the 2000 AD forum) and I said yes and away we chatted. Steve Green was there as well, that's why we have some pics of us both. I mentioned Steve filmed Judge Minty and Alex was very interested in how it was coming along. They then chatted about certain aspects of that!
Showing Alex my chin audition for the sequel
I was asked if I enjoyed seeing my forum name on screen in the trailer and I mentioned how surprised I was and it was only because of PJ Holden that I had any idea it was there. I had to ask if the great Pete Wells had a city block in the film but alas for Pete, there isn't but who knows what the future holds. When I mentioned Pete, Alex asked what is it between us two and I told him it's a bit of a joke we have with each other that I have to destroy his block but that we have a chat each week about all things 2000 AD and Dredd. I mentioned Pete's work teaching children with special needs and due to my son having autism we have more in common than we thought!
I also mentioned about the Stallone lookalike in one of the clips and he said that it was unintentional and he doesn't look anything like him in real life, so that's that conspiracy laid to rest.
By the way, Alex did mention a couple of other forum names that are name checked in the film but we haven't let on who, although Pete now knows! We parted with Alex asking for my feedback when we saw the exclusive clip from the panel later on.
As I wandered about this time I met another Dredd fan from the forum, who sadly hadn't managed to grab a free ticket for the panel. After laughing at the poor devil I gave him mine out of one of my pouches, seeing as me a David were going into the talk to help out I thought it would be nice to help someone out.
The ladies love to be judged!
Even Judges need the toilet now and again!
After that it was more patrolling until the panel came along. Me and David made our way down to the main stage and helped out with a bit of crowd control. Once everyone was seated Adam told us what he wanted to do. We had to stand next to the screens for the showing of the clip, face the audience and not move. I asked if we could turn around when the clip came on and he said NO, that was the price of fame!
I could see the forum now, having a great laugh at how I couldn't watch the thing I so desperately wanted to see, so be it! My military training kicked in and I just stood there, visor quickly misting up and watching all the flashes as the stars took the stage.
It came to the clip and Alex popped up at my side and said "Have a look at the clip John!"
To which I had to reply, "I can't, I've been told to face the audience!"
Alex replied, "Don't worry just have a look"
Sadly, I couldn't override my main orders and so I stood watching the audience and heard the clip play out less than a foot to my right.
The panel flew by and was extremely well received and if you click on the links below, you'll see all three parts. That is, apart from the film clip, as any recording of that was forbidden!
This was a much more relaxed day for me (only 5 hours in the uniform) even though I seemed to do even more in a shorter time.
This time I had a wander about to see what everything looked like without people asking for pictures all the time, very weird. I could get used to that fame bollocks! I checked my uniform was still boxed up at the Galactic Knight display. I was NOT looking forward to putting the leathers on today!
Now it was time for my civvie pic with Karl, number 18 ensured I was in the first batch. While I was waiting in the queue I saw Steven Sterlacchini, the director of Judge Minty and his son dressed as Dredd posing for photo's. I couldn't shout over to say hi, as I didn't want to disturb the pictures being taken ahead of me with Karl. I would find them later!
Now it was my turn for my pic. I was wearing my yellow Dredd t-shirt with a pic by McMahon on it, as it is nice and distinctive (the missus calls it the yellow duster, I have no idea why!) I asked Karl to do the chin and he obliged with a growl.
Here are a few perps!
By now Edmund Dehn (Judge Minty) had arrived and spent a couple of hours with us, chatting about many a thing. During this period we did a quick pose near one of the Dredd posters!
After that Steven and his son Joe came out from their signing session with Karl and so we grabbed a pic of us both together. Once I had kneeled down beside Joe and looked up I noticed dozens of people taking pics of us. I wonder where all those photos are now!
After this I wandered about again only to be asked by a repoirter from the Times Educational Supplement if I could do a video piece for them. This was quite fun as I played it up for the camera.
I was asked about the Law in the future for the younger generation. I mentioned that it would be the ISO cube for lesser crimes with Death as the ultimate punishment! I talked about the Lawgiver and a few of it's rounds. The reporter mentioned what would I do if someone stole a loaf of bread due to being hungry and I came back with "The state will provide"
I finished with "Obey your teachers. Obey your parents but above all OBEY THE LAW!"
I now await a link for this to see how it all turned out.
Now it was back on patrol but by myself this time as David had to depart. During this period I managed to buy a Mean Machine model and that's now on display in the 'Cellar'.
Now it was back to crowd control for the DREDD panel and as I was doing this two ladies from the movie PR dept came up to me and asked me a few questions. I gave them my email and so who knows what may come of that!
I went into the panel and was stood in a better place this time, as you can see from below!
I found the panel to be very enjoyable, now that I could see it! The best bit was the small sequence we were shown. Just before this was screened the panel all rushed off stage and stood near me. I had Alex on the left and Karl 2ft in front, how surreal.
Once the panel had finished Alex spent 10 minutes easily chatting to myself, Steve Green, Ashley Beeching and Steve Longdon from the 2000 AD forum. This involved talk about how certain shots were filmed, the clip shown and numerous other things!
After this I enquired about the signed pics that me and David were going to be given. Alex said come along to the Green Room and he'll sort that out. This was an experience in itself. Once in there I was handed two small posters for me and David and then someone produced a large 40"x30" poster and Alex and Karl signed that for me as well.
After some more chatting it was time to leave, so I headed over to the Galactic Knights tables to collect my items and make my way with Steve to the changing room, where I told him what had happened in the room. I then went home, stinking again but on cloud 9
And here is the video!
I must add that the both Karl and Alex knew their Dredd and this film will put to bed the horror that was Stallone's mess, that nearly destroyed the character in '95