(FYI: Sorry I don't have more pictures yet; they have to be approved for use and whatnot. I'll add them when I am able to :)
Well the Vampire Baseball event was yesterday in Portland, and it was brilliant. I was contacted by the organizers of Fan Trips to do some filming and photography for the event, so I've been inundated with planning, details, media stuff and seeing how all of these bits go together to make a very successful event. I was working for media planner Leigh Trapp, and with her son, Tyler; they were incredible. Seriously. If you were there, Tyler was the one running around, getting people screaming, doing the moonwalk on the dugout, and then organizing all of the actors, setting up the effects, running water to the players...he was all over!
Anywho, the event was a lot of fun. There were fourteen members, I think, of the Twilight cast and crew, there were fan games, autographs, coffees, a podcast, etc.
I got there a little after 7am and there was already a line at the front gate and music pumping from the inside (sadly that music kept pumping for the next ten hours; it was good music, but there were only about 10 songs... you can only listen to 'Can't Fight the Moonlight' so many times before you want to rip a speaker off the wall). All of the website owners were there, prepping for the podcast (Mugglenet/Twilight Source, His Golden Eyes, Twilight Live, etc.), the food was being organized (I walked through the basement of the stadium, past 17 million hot dog rolls, to get inside), and we were going through the plan of the day.
The fans started filing in, and they were awesome. So many homemade tshirts, Cullen Baseball shirts, painted faces, baseball socks, and lots of books. People were breaking into chants and cheers, and waving their books in the air (talk about a funny moment for me as a student of adaptation... at a baseball game, watching the actors, and seeing the books in the stadium... ahh the power of a book on fan mania and merchandising!).
Around 8:30 the actors started arriving and I was sent down to the field suites where they were having coffee sessions with fans. That was a lot of fun. Edi Gathegi was chatting with a couple of women about the relationships in Twilight, Rachelle Lefevre was twittering with some fans and taking pictures to post on their accounts, Peter Facinelli was wooing a big group and being his normal, comic-savvy self, and the room at the end was a fun fest. Solomon Trimble, Christian Serratos, Logan Welch, Michael Welch, Sean McGrath (frat boy), Catherine Grimme (young Bella), Ayanna Berkshire (Cora, the waitress), Alex Meraz (Paul in New Moon), and Kiowa Gordon (Embry) were in there with a big group of ladies completely enjoying themselves; hamming it up for their cameras, chatting with each other (you could definitely see the camraderie of the gang), and getting pumped for the game.
The fan games started during the coffees, and so did the heat! It was a scorcher! I felt bad for Rachelle's security in their suits! I was as hot as anything in a sundress, and I wish I had counted how many times I ran up and down the stadium steps in that heat; I definitely got my workout in! The cast took to the field to warm up, and I was rather floored at how good they were. It wasn't just connecting with the ball, they were hitting them way out, catching and throwing like pros... dang these people and their multiple talents!
The players were split into two teams: The Veggie Vampires Dances with Wolves (Peter's team), and Portland Purple People Eaters (Rachelle's team)...they came up with their own names. You'd have to ask them. The game was great. Everyone was having a good time, but obviously still competitive, and played wicked well. I was most impressed with Catherine Grimme... that girl is good!
There were lots of antics- a mock fight between the boys over a bad call, Rachelle replacing Peter with another pitcher as she didn't like his throws- and some fun effects too. There was a bit in the second inning where Catherine took a hit and immeidately was called 'safe', seemingly without running around the bases, so she looked like she had vampire speed! Really we filmed it the day before and Tyler sped it up with effects, but it looked great!
Peter's team won, and they were gracious about it... to an extent :) There may have been a few tossed gloves and well-intended tackles to the ground! Throughout the game there were pictionary games on the big screen, music, and all sorts of shenanigans. It was a lot of fun! I pretty much had access everywhere which was certainly a good time. I was on the field, in the boxes, taking hundreds of pictures of the actors, games, crew, and fans all day long.
It was neat to have a clear purpose through the day; to see the big picture and keep in mind that this was a fun, exciting and beneficial event, but still manage all of the small fires that exploded through the day. It was great, and not a shabby way to spend the fourth of July!
After the game there were autograph sessions where people could purchase autographs from each of the actors. I was with Christian Serratos and she was very cool. Friendly and happy to chat with everyone, and she enjoyed soaking JD on the field with a hose, he was another volunteer at her table. It was a nice, ridiculous way to end the ridiculous day... watching her tackle JD with a hose... haha.
I liked the laid back feel of the day; we were constantly running all over the place, and I think I subsisted on a handful of almonds and water until about 4pm, but it was still such a holiday/enjoyment atmosphere. I found it kind of disheartening to see the funds and particulars involved in doing an event like this, but I certainly understand the business aspects of the job, even if the job is playing ball on the fourth of July!
It's now just three weeks to TwiCon, and I think everything is lining up pretty darn well! Until then I'm de-Twilighting a smidge and focusing on chapters for my PhD...right. I tend to forget that I've this other giant project to do at the same time...
Pictures soon, I hope :)