Last Monday (August 31), Warner Bros Home Entertainment held a Fringe
DVD release party in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada to celebrate the release of the first season on September 8
. Why hold a party up in Canada? The show, which spent the first season shooting in and around New York City, moved production to Vancouver for the second season (the pilot was shot in Canada as well - Toronto). This meant that the cast and crew were able to attend the party, along with various journalists invited to cover the event. Vancouver is a short (1 hour, 10 min) flight from my home city of Edmonton, so I jumped at the opportunity to attend the only TV-DVD premiere party I know of that's been held in Canada.
I arrived at The Venue on Granville St. before the official time of 7:00, and watched as everyone scurried around finalizing some last-minute details. The red carpet was out, the backdrop was in place, and several large men stood ready to deny entry to those not on "the list." I ran into Jeff Brown (Executive VP/GM) from Warner Home Video who flew in from LA for the event, and we spent a few minutes talking about Fringe
, the Disney/Marvel merger announced earlier in the day, and the awesome Batman game that just came out on the PS3/360 (pick it up, it's very, very good). I managed to talk to some of the other LA Warner folks in for the party, and they were all excited to be there to launch the show on DVD and Blu-ray.
7:00 rolled around, and the big beefy man at the rope let us inside. The club had a number of large screens playing episodes and bonus features from the set. Lights were shining through the smoke-filled room, and the space really captured the eerie feel of the show. There was an area in the back of the club where you could get a mug shot taken (you can see my photo at the end of the article). I started chatting with Rosemary Markson (VP at Warner Home Video) as servers interrupted our conversation with crab cakes (bad choice, they were on trays for far too long), chicken skewers, and other things that made me wish I hadn't just eaten dinner. David Naylor and Karolyne Oak from The DVD Group (the company responsible for the bonus material on the set) arrived, and then the party really started. I met David a number of years ago in Vegas where he sat on a panel of DVD producers. He had already worked on a number of TV-DVD titles (Simpsons, Buffy, Felicity
), so we had a lot to talk about (he also did those killer James Bond Special Edition DVDs, which vaulted him into the "#1 DVD Producer ever!" spot). He's continued working on great TV titles (Criminal Minds
... too many to count), and apparently had a lot of fun working on Fringe
. Not only is he a producer of excellent bonus material, but he's also a great guy, so it was great seeing him at the party. I also ran into director Jon Cassar, whom I haven't seen in a number of years. Probably best known for his work on La Femme Nikita
, Jon was shooting the current episode of Fringe
, and running into him at the party was a very pleasant surprise.
The first cast member I saw was the beautiful Anna Torv, who made the rounds chatting with various people at the party after spending time on the red carpet. I briefly chatted with her later in the evening; it was nice to hear her Australian accent (I'm always amazed by actors that have thick accents, yet hide them so well when they act). I saw John Noble, Jasika Nicole and Blair Brown walking around, but didn't get a chance to speak to them. Joshua Jackson showed up in a nice suit, and I asked him how it was being back in Canada, which he said he loved because he hasn't shot up in Canada since before Dawson's Creek
. I managed to have a great conversation with Lance Reddick, an actor whose work I've enjoyed for a number of years. I first caught him in Oz
, the gritty prison drama on HBO, and then again on The Wire
. His characters on the shows were pretty intense, but he's very laid back in person. We talked about his previous work, shows he enjoys (he's bummed about Brotherhood
being canceled), and TV-DVDs. If you enjoy his work on the show then you really need to check out The Wire
- it's an exceptional show. Executive producer J.J. Abrams was also at the event, along with many of the other producers of the series. It was great to see such a turnout at the party, and support for the series.
Here are a few photos taken at the event, along with my mug shot. One thing about the mug shot - yes, I'm tall, but I'm not over 7', I was just standing a bit too far from the wall. Expect a full review of the set coming soon.
Joshua Jackson with J.J. Abrams
John Noble, Joshua Jackson, J.J. Abrams and Anna Torv
Roberto Orci, Blair Brown, Lance Reddick, Jasika Nicole, John Noble, Joshua Jackson, J.J. Abrams and Anna Torv
Me (Gord Lacey), busted (and not really over 7')