Mark and I arrived at the Marriott Friday afternoon. We set up our lights, camera and backdrop in our room and were ready to begin interviewing people for the documentaries! We then hit the convention floor to touch base with everyone we were scheduled to interview as well as a few people we hadn’t been able to reach prior to the convention.
I was immediately impressed with the size and quality of the show. The layout included two large autograph areas where you could meet everyone from Janet Ann Gallow who appeared in The Ghost of Frankenstein in 1942 to Hammer actresses Caroline Munro and Veronica Carlson to Michael Berryman from The Hills Have Eyes.
There were also two museum areas that contained some incredible sculptures and horror film props as well as several display cases of classic Monster merchandise, which was a lot of fun to see – particularly the Dracula items.
The show’s theme was “The Art of Monsters, ” so in addition to numerous vendors, the main convention floor contained cinema makeup exhibits featuring some impressive work. The convention was dedicated to Universal’s legendary makeup artist Jack Pierce. We missed the Jack Pierce panel unfortunately, but saw this extremely lifelike Pierce/Karloff piece.
Thankfuly, we were able to attend one panel – The Return of Mighty Joe Young. This event was hosted by suit actor/collector Bob Burns, who brought along one of the original Mighty Joe Young armatures used in the making of the film. It was a thrill to see this piece of film history up close and to hear what Mr. Burns had to say about the model and the film. Apparently there were four armatures used in Mighty Joe Young. The one in Burns’ collection is the first one that was built and was affectionately known as “Jennifer.”
After the panel, with interviews with Sara Karloff, Terry Moore and Terry Castle confirmed for Saturday, we left the convention to get some sleep. Look for our Day 2 report soon!