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Vault Exclusive: Fan Experience at the True Blood S4 Premiere

Vault Exclusive: Fan Experience at the True Blood S4 Premiere

I moved to California last year at this time and because I was such a newbie to LA, and didn’t have a clue of even where to go, I wasn’t able to attend the Season 3 Premiere of True Blood. I was very disappointed that I couldn’t go, so I made up my mind, then and there, that I wasn’t going to miss it this year! Therefore, on Tuesday, June 21, I went to the Arclight Theater in Hollywood to participate in the “fan experience” at the True Blood Season 4 Premiere.

I had arranged to go with some friends and we were originally planning to arrive at the Arclight Theater around 2pm, but when I woke up on Tuesday morning, there was a text telling me to get there double quick because the line of fans had already started. I quickly got all my supplies together, Sharpies – check, 3 magazines to have Alex, Ryan and Stephen sign for charity – check, cameras (video and still) – check, as well as, all the other stuff I would need. Once I had all I needed packed up, I headed to the theater in downtown Hollywood.  I was there to meet up with the cast of True Blood and get Alexander Skarsgard, Ryan Kwanten and Stephen Moyer to sign magazines for our 2011 Fundraiser.

When I arrived at the theater, I was OK because there weren’t a lot of people there yet and we were first in line.  Also, neither the red carpet nor the barricades had yet been set up. My friends were all anxious for that to happen because they wanted to insure a prime spot and they couldn’t do that until things got set up. They had arrived well before me (they were kind enough to save me a spot), and weren’t going to give up first in line to anyone. I was glad to be with them; they are pros at attending these sort of events.

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Trucks getting ready to set up the red carpet area

At about noon, the trucks arrived with all of the equipment, and the first thing they did was set up the fan section. It was very close to the red carpet this year and therefore, much easier for the cast members to see the fans and come over to sign autographs and say. “hello.” Yea, a real piece of good luck!

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All the gear being unloaded to set up the red carpet area. This is the view we had of the Red Carpet.

It was a beautiful sunny day and everyone was excited that things were finally beginning to happen. It wasn’t very hot, probably about 80 degrees (26c), but when you are standing in the sun with no shade for 10 hours, and smashed up against a lot of hot fans, it really was stifling, in our spot behind the barricades. This was where the fans were to be contained, as I later started referring to as, “the cage“.  It was about four people wide and produced a long line that extended around the corner. We got right up front in the most “prime” spot which enabled us to see all the action and to attract the most attention. While we were waiting I must have consumed two bottles of water, but yet was still thirsty. As the day wore on, the technology really started to appear with lots of lighting and camera equipment needed for the event.  Also, more and more fans began to show up.

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Equipment being set up for the Red Carpet

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The fans in “The Cage”

It seemed like the sun would never stop shining on us, and we wilted more and more, but when the press arrived, even-though we knew they would block our view of the Red Carpet, our spirits perked up. At least now that the press were in attendance, we knew that the True Blood Cast couldn’t be far behind. And about 6pm or so, the cast did begin to arrive. The first one on the red carpet was Tara Buck, who plays Ginger in the show. I know Tara and she is the sweetest and nicest, not to mention a really talented person. When she came up to me, she gave me a big hug and said she loved the Vault. Jim Parrack, also came directly to me first and gave a big hug and a hello.

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The crowds on the Red Carpet

Tara Buck the first to arrive signing autographs

That was the way for me, most of the time, many cast members thanking me for the work that Shadaliza and I do on The Vault. I’d like to send a special “thank you for stopping by and saying, Hi to the Vault” to Alexander Skarsgård, Jim Parrack, Kristin Bauer, Chris Bauer, Deborah Ann Woll, Anna Paquin, Stephen Moyer, Tara Buck, Ryan Kwanten, Lauren Bowles, Nelsan Ellis, and Sam Trammell. There were lots of new cast members that I met at the event, and it was nice to see them, too. I have nothing but wonderful things to say about all the cast and crew of True Blood; they are the nicest bunch of people you could ever meet.

Then things started to really pick up and lots of cast members began arriving quickly. We could see them from our location, but there were so many cameras and press people in front of us, it was difficult to get any really good photos while they were on the red carpet.

Below are some photos from fan side of the event.  More photos can be found in the Photo Gallery.

Below are several videos of the cast documenting the experience of them among the fans to sign autographs.

Anna Paquin, Stephen Moyer, Ryan Kwanten and Nelsan

Alexander Skarsgård

True Blood Cast sign autographs at True Blood S4 Premiere #1 – Kristin Bauer, Marshall Allman, Jim Parrack, Carrie Preston, Brit Morgan, Fiona Dourif and new cast members.

True Blood Cast sign autographs at True Blood S4 Premiere #2 – Tara Buck, Joe Manganiello, Deborah Ann Woll, Chris Bauer Sam Trammell, Todd Lowe and new cast members.

True Blood Cast sign autographs at True Blood S4 Premiere #3 – Lauren Bowles and True Blood newbies, Fiona Shaw, Annie Fitzgerald, Stephanie Erb, Courtney Ford, and Dean Chekvala

Once the cast went into the theater, the fan experience was over for me. However, some of the fans decided to stay until the screening of Episode 1 ended in hopes of seeing the cast’s departure to the after party. I wasn’t up for that, so I went home. If you want to see some “departure and arrival videos”, we have them on the Vault that you can see by clicking here.

Thanks to all the cast for being so generous to their loyal and devoted fans!

My final thoughts about the event:

While it was an utter joy to see Steve, I have to say, that I’m not sure I will be doing this sort of event again. For me, it was an exhausting and somewhat humiliating experience. Since I know most of the cast, to be corraled behind a barricade and squashed like a sardine while waiting in the hot sun for over 8 hours, was embarrassing when they stopped by to say hello to me.

And, one final comment. While the True Blood people, (cast, crew, etc.) and most of the security people were very nice to the fans, there were two security men who were just the worst. They referred to us as “animals” and they told us that we were lucky that they even let us be there on the street. This is to a group of fans who were doing everything they were told and were behaving themselves. One thing I have never been made to feel by HBO or anyone associated with True Blood is that I was unimportant, but these two men managed to insult me and the whole throng of fans that were doing their best to show their devotion to their favorite show.

Thanks to Shadaliza for her help in producing the videos. And Thanks to Filmchick for the bulk of the photos.

Lynnpd
Lynnpd has an avid interest in the entertainment industry from classic movies to all things True Blood. With a background in art, she enjoys creating in Photoshop, running web sites and finds the internet an exciting place to be. Lynn lives in the LA area and attends as many Hollywood related events as she can. She has covered events for the both websites in the LA area; read all about it at http://lynnpdexclusives.com.
Lynnpd
Lynnpd
Lynnpd
Written by Lynnpd

Lynnpd has an avid interest in the entertainment industry from classic movies to all things True Blood. With a background in art, she enjoys creating in Photoshop, running web sites and finds the internet an exciting place to be. Lynn lives in the LA area and attends as many Hollywood related events as she can. She has covered events for the both websites in the LA area; read all about it at http://lynnpdexclusives.com.

25 Comment responses

  1. Avatar
    June 25, 2011

    What a day it was! Incredible what the fans had to go through that day under the burning sun for hours and hours. It was so heart warming to see how appreciative the cast is of what we as a fansite do. This is not a hobby, this is a full time job and the pay sucks :)

    thanks for taking one for the team, Lynn! what an experience indeed!

    Reply

    • Avatar
      June 26, 2011

      So Shad, how can we get you guys some pay? We really appreciate what you guys do and maybe there is a way that you can start making the sites pay … advertising perhaps?

      Reply

      • Avatar
        June 26, 2011

        We run the websites out of love and not for financial gain. With the various ads we have on the Vault we can pay for the hosting and other costs of both our websites. And with what is left after paying the bills we buy the items that we give away or auction off for charity.

        We are at the max amount of ads that we want to place on the websites. We want don’t to turn it into an ad farm like some other websites.

  2. Avatar
    June 25, 2011

    That was a really interesting article Lynn. I give you credit (tons of it) for what you endured, all in the name of The Vault! You have obviously gained the respect and friendship of the cast, as well you should. Again, props to you. With the new season of TB just a day away (A DAY AWAY!) it seems like the perfect time to thank you and Shadaliza for all the hard work,talent and love that you both put into these very very special websites. You ladies have made the time between season 3 & 4 suck soooo much less. THANK YOU and please know how much you are appreciated. Oh and Lynn the next time you see Stephen…give him a big kiss from me! JUST KIDDING (I’d like to do that myself..someday LOL)
    (thanks too to Filmchick,Parise,Life & all the great people that use their skills to make this a heavenly place to visit)

    Reply

  3. Avatar
    June 25, 2011

    Great write-up Lynn, well done for not battering the douchebag security guards with your purse!

    Reply

  4. Avatar
    June 25, 2011

    A whale of a story! Thank you for detailed and beautiful coverage of the evening.

    Reply

  5. Avatar
    June 25, 2011

    Lynn, thank you so much for this detailed and thoughtful account of your day at the TB premiere! You always go above and beyond, and this is no exception. I’m so glad the TB cast is overall so welcoming and engaging.

    Again, thank you for braving the heat and the maddening crowds to bring us this account, pics, clips, etc. Wonderful job!!

    Reply

  6. Avatar
    June 25, 2011

    Wow … just WOW!! Lynn, thank you so much. Fantastic job. And kudos to Shad and Filmchick as well. You had a prime spot, and suffered sunburn and exhaustion on our behalf. Delighted that so many of the cast stopped by. They are so appreciative of the fans, and from all I could hear the fans profusely thanked the cast members for autographs and photo ops. I don’t think I’d have the stamina to handle a scene like that, but am profoundly grateful that you and Filmchick went the distance for us fans.

    P.S. Sure wish I could have had the sharpie concession. “Whose pen is this?” and requests for a pen were frequent cries.

    Reply

  7. Avatar
    June 25, 2011

    Thanks Lynn. You did a wonderful job bringing this to all of us.

    I think the big brass at HBO should look into those two security guys. Don’t know if they were hired by HBO or by Arclight Theatre but someone should be addressing them. The fans of this show are the reason this show is such a success. To call fans that have been waiting in line all day “animals” is just horrific.

    Also, you would think that HBO would look into giving invites to the premiere and after party to people like you who run these websites. I know there are several people that run the websites for the actors on TB. It wouldn’t hurt HBO to give you and others a little recognition and thanks for all you do for their show. The actors of TB should also push for this since you guys get so much money donated to their causes by running these websites. Things like invites to the premiere, after party, wrap party, and ComicCon would go a long way in saying thanks for having to stand in the sun and long lines each time one of these events happens. You shouldn’t be in the “cage” with the rest of the fans.

    Reply

  8. Avatar
    June 25, 2011

    Thank you Lynn for sharing a great story of your day! I felt like i was with you guys in the heat! The cast is sooooooooooooo Nice! Stephen just goes way and beyond ! I am in awe of him from this even more! what a really friendly down to earth man! Thank you for the great videos , pictures and FB groups!!

    Reply

  9. Avatar
    June 25, 2011

    Thank you, girls ! Lynn , you are my hero!!!!!

    Reply

  10. Avatar
    June 25, 2011

    Lynn – You and Shad, as executives of The Vault, should definitely have special consideration when it comes to this type of event. You should have an ID, and should be permitted access to the lobby of the theater for video and charity signatures, etc.

    The regular cast members, or Alan Ball, should lobby HBO for this access. I realize Shad is not normally here, so someone else (Filmchick, Parise, etc.) should be able to use her ID to go with you in that case. And you should NEVER have to deal with rude, stupid security guards!

    With all the wonderful work you ladies do for TrueBlood, this is the least they can do, IMHO. Frankly, I am a little annoyed they haven’t done it so far!

    As far as standing in “the cage” for hours and hours in the heat, I don’t blame you one bit if you never do it again. But I want to thank you for all your exhaustion, dehydration, hunger, and sunburn, and say how great the videos are, and how great it is to see the cast members recognize you and thank you. Chris Bauer was especially lovely!

    This is the best fansite ever, and we are so lucky to have you all!

    Reply

    • Avatar
      June 25, 2011

      Darling, Parise lives in Sweden…..

      Reply

  11. Avatar
    June 25, 2011

    First let me say if we do not thank both Lynn and Shad enough for all the hard work they do to make The Vault and AllStephenMoyer the best TrueBlood related sites online then shame on us. I have no idea how you girls do it.
    Lynn I agree with iamtrue2bill, The Vault should absolutely have special consideration when it comes to this type of event . You and Shad (or an assigned representative if she is not able to attend) should be recognized and rewarded for the lengths you have gone to promote this show and it’s cast and their charities. Obviously several of the cast members like and recognize you and think highly of your work. What harm and how difficult could it be to set up an area in the lobby for a select few deserving websites?
    A few canopies over that small area for the fans would have been a nice touch as well.

    Reply

  12. Avatar
    June 25, 2011

    Wow….I totally get being exhausted. Standing in the heat and being pressed almost to the point of emulsification. I get it….but why were you humiliated? Wasn’t the article called “The fan experience”? So why shouldnt you experience the premier as a fan? Isn’t that what you are? I am always amazed how you are insulted at not to being given exclusivity to the cast. WE ARE FANS!!! We are not a legitimate news agency. Anderson Cooper and Wolf Blitzer do not stand behind a fence to see actors walk into a premier, fans do. We are not in possession of press passes, we are not professional journalists. Professional journalists are paid for their education and have proved themselves often in battle situations. Being forced to stand in the heat and not eat or drink sufficiently doesnt qualify for you a merit badge. Bring a bottle of water and power bar, for Pete’s sake Live the experience WITH the fans or have you achieved some extraordinary status because some of the cast are kind enough to wave and say hello to you?

    They are kind and gracious because they are courteous and polite people. There seem to somne major entitled issues going on here. The cast owe us entertainment and autographs. Not much else. We are not their friends nor are we their confidantes. Acquiantances maybe and that’s stecthing it a bit. They dont call us to be invited to family events or birthday parties. You are assuming a familiarity that you are not entitled to.

    I have my stopwatch ready to see how long you will keep this post up.

    Reply

    • Avatar
      June 26, 2011

      Feel better? Not one word about all the coverage provided but a protracted commentary on entitlement and matters you have no knowledge of. Are you privy to what contact Lynn
      or Shad have with cast members? Your sense of entitlement to give Lynn instruction where none is needed or solicited seems to have escaped your notice. As has the fact that neither Lynn or Shad suggested they should receive special consideration when covering events. That was the opinion of a number of fans of the show as well of the two well regarded sites these ladies work very hard to maintain .
      The intent of your post is obviously meant to belittle or possibly embarrass, to what end, is irrelevant.
      One thing I will agree with you on is that the cast is very kind and gracious because they are courteous and polite people which is more than can be said of some “fans”. Ticktock…

      Reply

  13. Avatar
    June 25, 2011

    Congrats Lynn and Shad on such awesome coverage of another True Blood event! You gals are non stop 24/7 with all the reporting of the activities surrounding the S4 premiere. Lynn, you put the energizer bunny to shame! I’m sure I speak on behalf of all the fans of The Vault in saying that all your efforts and time certainly do not go unnoticed and we appreciate ALL that you do! I’m sure its rewarding to know that the cast members recognize how much this website does to promote the show and various charities that they support. I also agree with iam in that The Vault should get VIP treatment at these TB events!

    Reply

  14. Avatar
    June 26, 2011

    They are lucky because fans give them a job to do! Shame on them!

    Reply

  15. Avatar
    June 26, 2011

    I don’t feel better or worse willkill4Bill. My intent was not to embarrass or belittle anyone. The coverage was fine. Just that the post seems to be self-congratulatory and narcissitic. By the way there is a section at the bottom of every article that says “comments”, I actually think that is by definition, a solicition for an opinion. That what I was doing…leaving a comment/opinion, not giving instruction.

    I don’t say I am humiliated to have to stand with other fans. I am quite proud to stand with my fellow fans. We all love the show. I just got the feeling the reporter wrote the piece with the inference that just having to stand among other fans is a humiliation, like she is part of the legitimaste press. Because the reporter is SOOO close to the cast personally. Any contacts I have are irrelevant. That’s how they stay contacts…so you don’t burn your bridges or wear them out from over use.

    I do heartily agree that Lynn and Shad both work VERY hard. All the websites do. It really is a 24/7 job.

    I am always amazed that some people feel one website should be given special consideration over another? Why would anyone want the actors that we all love and enjoy be put in the uncomfortable position of having to choose one site over another, or the people that represent them for that matter?

    There is a saying from Shakespeare that “discretion is the better part of valor” Discretion does not include blowing your own horn like Miles Davis.

    Reply

    • Avatar
      June 26, 2011

      If you read the article carefully you will understand that Lynn was not humiliated because she was standing with her fellow fans but because of the way the fans were treated by 2 security guards:

      “They referred to us as “animals” and they told us that we were lucky that they even let us be there on the street.”

      We are not asking for any special treatment from anybody, we love our work and will continue to give it all we got. We have personal contact with many cast members, but we have never pretended that we are in their “inner circle”. Their appreciation for the hard work of the fansites is heartwarming and genuine.

      Reply

    • Avatar
      June 26, 2011

      You might consider rereading your original comment taking into account that you did not respond to the topic of discussion in the offered comment section but rather to how you perceived and took umbrage to the writer’s personal experience. You further made the erroneous assumption and proceeded to inform said writer felt a sense of entitlement and has no clear understanding of hers and this sites association with cast members. Neither of which you have any knowledge in which to base your statements on.
      Instruct you did or if you prefer unsolicited you advised her to
      ” Bring a bottle of water and power bar, for Pete’s sake Live the experience WITH the fans” and by all means do not expect an elevated status. Again neither Lynn or Shad expressed any hint they expected or feel entitled to special consideration when covering events. Readers and frequent posters here voiced they feel HBO should recognize and reward this site by allowing them access to certain events. No one is saying this is the only site that should be allowed access, that was another of your assumptions. Perhaps other sites have readers that feel the same about the TB site of their choice. As far as “legitimate press” goes they wish they could be as thorough, well informed and consistently accurate as this site has been in reporting on TB, the cast and associated stories . Frankly I am surprised many “legit reporters” have paying jobs for some of the tripe they have reported. Perhaps it is food for thought that you alone felt the need to post a negative unfounded accusatory response and take it upon yourself to school the writer and this site though they seem to be very well respected by many cast members and readers alike. I’ll leave you with those thoughts as the new season starts shortly and after a long wait I’d rather focus on the positive and from my perspective we have covered this sufficiently.

      Reply

  16. Avatar
    June 26, 2011

    I believe you Shad when you say your appreciation is genuine. I believe Lynnpd’s appreciation is genuine as well. That is obvious. All the websites are VERY hardworking. But Lynn’s statement below speaks for itself.

    “While it was an utter joy to see Steve, I have to say, that I’m not sure I will be doing this sort of event again. For me, it was an exhausting and somewhat humiliating experience. Since I know most of the cast, to be corraled behind a barricade and squashed like a sardine while waiting in the hot sun for over 8 hours, was embarrassing when they stopped by to say hello to me”

    It’s sad some security guards are cop wannabees a good part of the time. Not all of course. They shouldnt use their badges as an excuse to be rude.

    Reply

  17. Avatar
    June 26, 2011

    Wonderful write-up with pics and videos. Love it, love ya and love TB.

    Thank you again Lynn and Shad.

    Reply

  18. Avatar
    June 27, 2011

    Well, Lynn…I felt like I was there with you, sweating and dry mouthed. Very nice, all around. So many of the cast really understand the importance of the fans. I’ll bet Nelsan will be using the “I signed a prosthetic boob” story for quite a while- LOL!

    Reply

  19. Avatar
    August 18, 2011

    I’ve been watching TB for years, but I’ve only recently become obsessed with it. I’m not sure what tipped me from loving it to wanting to live it. But I would have pooped my pants to have been there and seen the cast like that. Seeing Andy Bellefleur look so Hollywood is weird though; I’m glad his cousin Terry still keeps the wild hair going year-round. And Eric and Jason and Jessica . . . they look great. And Pam . . . Pam! If she ever strayed from being a lesbian, I’d let her feed from my inner thigh whenever she wanted. Love her. Thanks for sharing all this!

    Reply

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