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!
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.
Universe Today writer Elizabeth Howell contacted us a few weeks ago about doing an article in Universe Today. I was super stoked because I follow Universe Today and our team was honored to make a contribution. Elizabeth also writes about subject material we are into such as thoughts on Star Trek and SPAAAAAACE!! We are definitely down with exploring both the science as well as the fiction.
And a huge thank you to Elizabeth for taking the time to talk with us. Take the time to visit her site!
43 years ago yesterday, on July 20th of 1969, humanity set foot for the first time on another world.
1 year ago today, July 21st, Atlantis’ mission, STS135, came to a close with the Shuttle’s safe return to Earth and subsequent finale of the Shuttle Program.
During our presentation at Fantasy and Sci-Fi Convention Polaris in Toronto earlier this month, we had the opportunity to meet several individuals who recalled being woken up by their parents in the early hours of the morning to watch as Neil Armstrong stepped off of the Lunar Lander. This moment in history would go on to be known when the whole world “looked up.” As we talked about Chasing Atlantis, the conversations at Polaris shifted to an expression of disappointment. Since Apollo, we have yet to visit other worlds. After watching the Moon Landing at age 10, one audience member relayed, it seemed reasonable that over 40 years later we’d have planted foot prints on other planets, asteroids, or moons at least within our own solar system.
At the Kennedy Space Center it is clear that the Apollo era is still dominant in how NASA brands itself. One of the largest displays is a Saturn V rocket. Tour guides, many of whom are retired NASA staff who worked during Apollo, recall how NASA’s share of the American GDP was close to 5% during the Space Race. NASA’s budget is now 1/10th that figure. Why? Some would argue politics. The Space Race was about beating the Russians to the Moon. When that was accomplished, there was no further impetus for pouring tax dollars into missions beyond the confines of Low Earth Orbit.
What’s next? Asteroid Mining with Planetary Resources? Mars? Whatever the mission, its success will demand public engagement. Lack of public support for NASA was what many of our interviewees cited as a reason why public funding has waned considerably. Why fund something if it won’t bring in votes? So the debate continues surrounding private entrepreneurship and whether the private entry into space exploration, with the advent of companies like Space X, and Planetary Resources, and space tourism companies such as Virgin Galactic, will bring a new push against the final frontier. Public engagement was a key focus of our documentary. We were excited to connect with both the Apollo generation as well as the current generation of sci-fi and space enthusiasts at Polaris to talk about shuttle; an icon that we realized was not as well recognized by today’s youth as by the previous generation. Perhaps that lack of resonance is partly due to the stagnation of space exploration over the last decades; something we continue to explore in our interviews.
Looking ahead, I am personally hopeful for a future where the next 4 decades see more giant leaps for humankind. The journey outward is about more than the curiosity of what’s beyond our planet, but also seeking a better understanding of ourselves in the process.
Today is the final day of Polaris which also coincides with the first anniversary of the final flight of Atlantis.
We have had an absolutely amazing weekend. Polaris was even cooler than I imagined it would be. We have had the privilege to talk to and interview dozens if convention goers who shared amazing stories of past shuttle launches, their amazing passion for science fiction, and celebrate the community they have formed. We also met Chancellor Gowron (Robert O’Reilly) and General Martok (J.G. Hertzler) with whom we got pictures while they were in costume, shared a drink with Stargate’s Tony Amendola (who was kind enough to also visit us at the Chasing Booth and check in) and do a private interview with actor and fan Will Wheaton.
I’ve been to cons before, but there is something very special about Polaris. It is rare to find such a gelled congregation. Piecing up to leave today will be difficult.
But before we leave, we have one last panel to give sharing previews from Chasing. Yesterday’s panel was amazing asking compelling questions and reflecting on their own fascination with the stars. Really looking forward to today, especially in-light of Atlantis’ anniversary.
To those of you who came to visit us at our booth, did an interview, danced Saturday night away with us, and shared your passion we offer our sincerest gratitude!
Chris and Paul at our booth during Polaris 26.
On the one year anniversary of Atlantis’ final flight, Chasing Atlantis is going to be at Polaris 26 this weekend. Chasing Atlantis is going to be at Polaris 26 this weekend. Polaris is a Science Fiction and Fantasy Convention held annually in Toronto. The guest line-up is pretty amazing including Star Trek actor and social media authority Wil Wheaton, J.G. Hertzler (Martok from DS9) and Robert O’Reilly (Gowron from DS9). We have a few interview requests out to see if we can sit down with some of the guests. Still waiting to hear back. Might be a shot in the dark, but then again, we figured it would be a long shot to interview astronauts as well. (Hertzler and O’Reilly are also doing photos IN COSTUME. Definitely going to get in on that. No pain sticks though Qapla!)
If you’re coming to Polaris, we hope that you’ll stop by to see one of our three presentations that will include a series of segments we’ve put together from the footage that will give you a sense of what the documentary will be about. We are also doing a Q/A to talk about the making of the movie and how it all came to life.
If you’re in the Toronto area and not attending Polaris; why aren’t you? Here is the registration page!
Some news has been brewing for a while that I am excited we are sharing with all of you. The Chasing Atlantis team will be participating in Polaris 26, Canada’s longest-running media event by fans for fans. This year, Polaris features guests of the science fiction world like Star Trek’s J.G. Hertzler, Wil Wheaton, and Robert O’Reilly, as well as Stargate’s Tony Amendola and Dollhouse’s Dichen Lachman.
BUT, among all the sci-fi fascination, comic book creativity and even Klingon Karaoke, Polaris will be hosting the Chasing Atlantis team in our first opportunity to share about our filmmaking adventure to see the Final Flight of the Space Shuttle one year ago to the day of the convention. Furthermore, Polaris itself is going to become part of Chasing Atlantis. We will be filming that day and talking with some of you about your love of things space and adding your stories to our film.
Personally, this is a chased dream in and of itself. I truly feel at home when I’m at cons. Shared interests, common values, a place where you can wear your passion completely on your sleeve (or on your face depending on what you’re dressed up as) and it’s totally cool. In fact, I often wonder how much our world would change if everybody treated one another as they do at a science fiction/fantasy convention. Cons have given me so much over the years, and I have wanted to make a tangible contribution in return. In the back of my mind, I had always hoped that Chasing would lead to an opportunity like this; our own booth, or display or presentation where I could share something unique and help truly celebrate the creative efforts that inspire all of us. Inspiration is, after all, why conventions exist.
We hope to see you at Polaris. If you come across us, please stop by to say hello and feel free to share your love of all things geek on camera. Or just hang out and chat. Connection is what Chasing Atlantis was all about.
In advance of Polaris, we are going to be populating chasingatlantis.com with more about our project with you. Stay tuned over the next few weeks for special clips, featurettes, and new photos about our adventures (and misadventures) while on the road.
We are listed under the Professional Participants Section