Empire’s Big Screen Weekend, London’s O2 Centre

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Empire magazine, essential reading of the British cineaste and reputedly the world’s biggest movie periodical is branching out this summer with the launch of its BIG SCREEN extravaganza at the O2 conference and entertainment centre in London’s Docklands.  Taking place from 12-14 August 2011, BIG SCREEN is an enticing prospect for movie fans, appealing to all ages and spanning all genres.  Spanning no less than 9 screens over 3 days in the local Cineworld and spanning out to incorporate both the Hollywood Boulevard and Studio City installations where props and memorabilia will be on display.

The lucky attendees will be amongst the first to see the studios showcase footage from the most anticipated films for 2011/2012, with guest appearances, panel discussions and general movie discussions from directors and A-list stars. Over an exhaustive 3 sessions per morning each covering an average of 5-6 films per studio, the major players in the industry have all confirmed their involvement, including Paramount Pictures on Friday morning; Sony Pictures, Momentum Pictures, Optimum Film and Icon Films on Saturday morning and Disney on Sunday morning. Universal Pictures, Warner Brothers and Twentieth Century Fox will also be present.

Top directors, producers and A-list stars are scheduled to discuss and present scenes and exclusive footage from their unreleased movies from the year ahead and 2012. These highly anticipated sessions will include Q&A’s and panel debates and interviews with previously unseen footage from highly anticipated projects such as The Amazing Spider-Man, Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol, Real Steel, to The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo and many, many more.

Away from the exclusives a number of new films will be showcased alongside a series of Empire classics (Dark Star, Don’t Look Now, Stand By Me, Hardware, Clerks, Apocalypse Now and the initial Scream trilogy), whilst one screen is exclusively devoted to celebrating 25 years of Pixar Animation Studios with sequential screenings of their beloved oeuvre. Horror fans should also delight in Kim Newman’s curation of another screen under the gruesome sounding Chamber of Horror sobriquet. The Live Special FX Performances offers the chance to see exciting live theatrical shows providing behind the scenes insight and technical know-how on how the latest visual effects, technical tricks and exciting stunts are produced. Both the ILM boffins and the frenetic Muppets will be causing mischief.

Entertainment of a more static nature will be present in the form of the Hollywood Boulevard which hosts the London Film Museum Showcase – a fabulous display of original props and costumes from Highlander, Batman Begins and The Golden Compass. Fellow nerds can be photographed on part of a replica Star Wars set, get autographs at the autograph stage and indulging the delegates passion for film a fabulous array of movie merchandise and memorabilia. This inaugural event promises global firsts and never-before-seen access to front-of-camera stars and behind-the-scenes talent who produce the magical movies we all love….

John McEntee

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