Great Scott! HollyCon Tokyo 5 took place recently and Tokyo Fox was lucky enough to be invited to the Grand Palace Hotel in Iidabashi for Tokyo’s version of San Diego ComicCon. This years event was very heavy on ‘Back To The Future‘ stuff which was rather apt given that it’s 30 years since the original was released and of course 2015 is “the future” that they visit in ‘Back To The Future Part II’ (1989).
Special guests were the legendary Christopher Lloyd a.k.a. Dr Emmett Brown and Claudia Wells, who played Marty McFly’s girlfriend Jennifer Parker in the original 1985 movie. She didn’t return for the sequels with Elizabeth Shue taking the role not that I even realised this for many, many years!
About 100 of us were ushered into the Diamond Room in ticket number order (I was #70) where there was a clock tower set prop on one side and some seats were laid out for us either side of a red carpet running down the middle of the room. Many of the people in attendance chose to stand behind the seating areas to get a better view of the special guests when they entered. I was getting very excited but there were a few false-starts as the first person to enter through the smoke machine and walk down the red carpet was the Japanese MC who came out dressed as Marty McFly and we had to subsequently do some silly group chant shouting ni-sen-jyu-go (2015) and punching the air.
A pretty cool ‘Back To The Future‘ Lego version featured on the large projector screen showing the story of the 1985 film in a couple of minutes! After that, a couple from Team Fox; the Michael J Fox foundation for Parkinson’s research, came out and unveiled what was obviously going to be a Delorean from under its cover. The anticipation was building and moments later Claudia Wells came out looking great for someone who is now 49.
The main man though who most people came to see was Christopher Lloyd and everybody in the place was poised with their cameras and mobile phones to snap away as he emerged from the smoke. A little sad in some ways as very few people had their hands free to clap them on meaning that both stars were introduced in silence but for the sound of camera clicks!
Now I know I’m in Japan and the language is Japanese but for an English speaker (the one and only foreigner in attendance!) the constant silences and pauses for translation really does affect the flow of such interviews which often come across as being slightly awkward. This one was no different, not that it can really be helped!
It did feel a bit amateur in places and the person in charge of the computer was so inept that they kept clicking on the wrong files and playing the wrong video clips on the big projector screen. Also, I’m not sure why we were all sat so far back from the stage!
The questions were nothing original but still made for some interesting answers like Lloyd saying ‘Back To The Future Part III‘ (1990) was his favourite as it involved his character in a romantic love story. They were asked about what they’d be doing on the all important October 21st 2015 date (when they arrived in the “future” in ‘Back To The Future Part II‘). Lloyd, who looked a little bored at times (jet-lag maybe or just getting old!), said he didn’t have anything on his agenda yet but was sure something would come up. He said it was his 77th birthday the day after that (October 22nd) but I think this got mis-interpreted by the interviewer as being the day after this event and so he got the audience to sing happy birthday to him.
Both Lloyd and Wells were asked about Michael J. Fox regarding how often they see him and they talked about his Parkinson’s disease and how he has dealt with it so well which was quite touching. I was hoping it wouldn’t come but inevitably the interviewer did ask about there being a fourth film which was dismissed by Lloyd. I’m a huge fan of the franchise but in no way do I think it’s right for there to be another sequel! Mind you, I said that about the new Star Wars film when it was first announced a couple of years ago!
The Welcome Party interview concluded and there was then a half an hour gap whilst the organisers set up the cameras, screens and so on before we could line up and get our pictures taken with Christopher and Claudia. Most people swarmed round the two merchandise stalls on either side of the room and I eventually did too but not before I had taken pictures of some of the cosplayers including a couple of great Marty’s, one Jennifer and one Emmett-Brown from “the future” which is of course now!
The process of taking our pictures was fairly efficient and fast moving, faster than I wanted as we really were just shuffled through to say a few words, shake their hands and pose for the picture. We were then moved on to collect the photo which was printed off instantly and presented in a plastic sheet. That wasn’t quite the end of it though as other than scanning the picture the only way to get it was via a QR reader on the smart phone which I’d never done before and took me a few days to work out how to do!!
I was pretty much last to have my picture taken and hung around for a bit afterwards. I was a bit disappointed to not have had more than a few seconds of chat with them as the crowd were shuffled through in no time. Lloyd left immediately after but by chance I met Wells next to the lift and had a short conversation with her.
Two days later I returned with my wife for a regular day at the convention and got some pictures taken in the Delorean and on the hoverboard provided by Team Fox.
Though predominantly ‘Back To The Future‘ stuff, this years event did include a few other things from other popular Sci-fi franchises like Star Wars and Marvel.
There was also a room with merchandise stalls and in the lobby area a few cosplayers were lurking around such as Emmett-Brown, Clara from BTTF 3, Chewbacca, Obi-Wan Kenobi and a few others.
As this is my favourite film, I loved almost every moment of the weekend. It was a shame that Lea Thompson (Lorraine McFly) pulled out in advance of the occurrence but was still a great event and I look forward to seeing who will be on the bill for next years Hollywood Collectors Convention.
Click here to see my ‘Back To The Future‘ L.A. filming locations
Click here to read about the 2014 ‘Back To The Future‘ Secret Cinema in London
Click here to see my collection of ‘Back To The Future‘ trilogy props