2015 was one of the most incredible years for our project. (I have been remiss in updating all of you. I will speak more about my absence at the end.) Each year that we have worked on the film, I look back and think “well…it can’t get any more amazing!” This past year, the film’s themes became clearer, we shot more incredible interviews in awesome settings (like the Enterprise), and I felt the most emotionally connected to the project than I ever have. We found our focus in 2015. When we first began Chasing Atlantis, the film was a story about going to see a space shuttle launch and understanding the shuttle’s technological legacy. Now, four years and change later, I see that the film is really a story about WHY I wanted to see a space shuttle launch. Outside the facility where Atlantis now resides is a quote by Carl Sagan “The Sky Calls to Us.” But how? Why do those shimmering lights in the night captivate us? This is what Chasing Atlantis has become for me; a journey to understand that call and to connect with those that hear it as well.
We’re heading to Polar Chill in Toronto this weekend and will be presenting at this year’s Constellation Awards
We have had an awesome time with the TCON Promotional Society, a non-profit group in Toronto that organizes a host of conventions and acts as a rally point for the Toronto Sci-Fi/Fantasy Community. We first connected with them in July of 2012 for Polaris 26. Polaris was the first event we ever screened any of Chasing Atlantis’ footage, interviewed a dalek, and learned how to sing Klingon Opera. TCON also helped us out by introducing us to Wil Wheaton which is where we secured our interview with him.
Last year, in June of 2013, TCON invited us back as presenters for the Constellation Awards, Canada’s awards for science fiction film and television. I believe that last year I said it was like the Oscars, but with pointed ears. We met some awesome people, including Trenna Keating of Defiance and Judith and Garfield Reeve-Stevens who have written several Trek novels and worked on Star Trek Enterprise. (They are also rebooting Captain Power…I wonder if my XT-7 jet will still work with this series. It’s totally still in my parents’ basement somewhere)
This past October of 2013, we were back in Toronto for TCON’s “Reversed Polarity”, a Doctor Who convention. Paul and I had a booth setup and ran a session that was basically “Everything I Need to Know I Learned from the Doctor” It was awesome.
This Summer, we are not only back to present at Constellations, but to hang out for the whole weekend of TCON’s “Polar Chill.” Polar Chill is a thoughtful diversion from the typical con. Chill is completely community based. Rather than a focus on big name actors and autograph lines, Polar Chill is rather about connecting with other fans. It is awesome to have an interaction with a favourite actor, writer or artist. But what really makes a convention memorable are the fans and community members in attendance. The fans are what creates the community that is like no other; accepting, open to an array of political ideas, views on technology, wildly creative, artistic, and who can turn a powered wheelchair into a dalek costume. That community motivates me when it comes to Chasing Atlantis as so many of you have inspired us so much and we want to be able to do the same for you; make something that you are all proud of.
We are really looking forward to connecting with you at Polar Chill and Constellations this weekend in Toronto. We’ll also have a camera out so be sure to come find us and tell us why you’re into what you’re into. ALSO, this year the Constellation Awards are going to be hosted by Rick Green (Commander Rick) from TVOntario’s classic science fiction news series “Prisoners of Gravity.” I LOVED Prisoners of Gravity when I was a kid. AND, I had always kinda hoped we would bump into Rick when making Chasing Atlantis. In fact, on several occasions, we streamed episodes of Prisoners from the TVO archive while on the road doing film shoots. Unfortunately, Prisoners of Gravity is no longer available to stream from TVO but you can find the odd episode online on YouTube. Prisoners of Gravity ran 5 seasons from 1989 to 1994. Arguably it was the precursor to any sci-fi blog/webcast/tv show you now watch.
If you’re in the area or coming into T-Dot for the event, here are all the deets!
This coming July 5th, the annual Constellation Awards: Canada’s Awards for Excellence in Science Fiction Film and Television will be hosted at the Holiday Inn: Toronto International Airport.
Not in the Toronto area? That’s okay because you can still participate by going online and voting for this year’s awards in categories such as Best Performances in a 2013 Science Fiction Television Episode, technical accomplishments in science fiction or film, best scripts, and overall outstanding Canadian contribution to science fiction. Were you amazed by Billie Piper’s portrayal of the “Bad Wolf” in Day of the Doctor? Were you in awe as Sandra Bullock plummeted to Earth in Gravity? Were you shocked when Trenna Keating “protected the greater good” in “The Bride Wore Black” in Defiance? If so, have your say by voting online
You can participate in the Constellation Award’s online voting system here: Part of the voting includes a $5 fee which helps to support the awards ceremony run by the TCON promotional society, a not-for-profit organization dedicated to celebrating Science Fiction and Fantasy.
In addition to voting, you can attend the award ceremony in person. We had an absolute blast at the the constellation awards last year…like literally some of the most fun we’ve ever had on our Chasing Atlantis adventure with the opportunity to meet up with like-minded fans and meet some of our heroes of Sci-Fi (Like Judy and Garfield Reeve-Stevens below)
I highly recommend that you go…and bring your awesome, geeky, nerdy, LARPY, Whoovian, Elvish, Trekkie, Cylon, friends too! Registration can be found here.
The TCON Promotional Society is hosting Reversed Polarity this weekend! This is the same group of folk who had us out for Polaris 26 in July of 2012, and the Constellation Awards this past Summer. We are hosting two panels at the show called Allons-Y Filmmaking. We are examining how values such as courage, sacrifice, exploration and companionship that are celebrated in Doctor Who helped us in the creation of Chasing Atlantis. The Doctor always focuses on the journey rather than the destination and keeping the journey in mind over a fixed end point is certainly necessary in the creation of a documentary. I guess, in a sense, Doctor Who is really a travel documentary of sorts.
If you’re in the Toronto area, you should really check out the convention. Reversed Polarity is essentially a relaunched Polaris with a Doctor Who focus. I didn’t get into the DW reboot when it first launched in 2005. I did recall watching the 4th Doctor portrayed by Tom Baker in syndication on TV Ontario with my grandmother when she looked after me some evenings.
The Constellation Awards are tomorrow!! (Saturday June 22nd)
Paul and I will be at the award ceremony tomorrow night. Not only will we be presenting one of the awards for the evening, but we will be giving a short presentation about Chasing Atlantis.
If you’re planning at being at the event, be sure to come find us and talk to us about the film. If you’re not planning at being there, YOU SHOULD BE. Last year we were at Constellation when it was hosted parallel with Polaris 26 and we had an amazing time. Constellation is a fantastic union and celebration of geek culture. It’s a great chance to meet some awesome geeks, creative minds, and see some brilliant costumes. It’s basically the Oscars…with pointed ears.
Tickets are still available at the door. The event is being held at The Holiday Inn Hotel & Suites Toronto-Markham
The 2013 Constellation Awards are this Saturday, June 22nd, at the Holiday Inn Hotel and Suites Toronto-Markham…and we are going to be there…presenting!!!
The Constellation Award’s are Canada’s annual science fiction awards focused on rewarding excellence in science fiction film and television. This year marks the 7th anniversary of the awards to honour the actors, writers and artists who create all the cool sci-fi film and TV that is currently out there. The great part about it is that the awards are selected by the viewers.