A couple of weeks ago, several women from the Southern California Outlander group got an exciting, unique opportunity – to come into a studio, invited by Sony, and view extra features, deleted scenes, and pieces of this week’s BluRay release. (disclaimer: I had just a little bit to do with this – I’ve been chatting with Kerry Kendall, Sony’s Digital Marketing Manager for Outlander, and he asked me for the name of someone in SoCal that he could contact for “some kind of promotional deal.” I was happy to introduce him to Heather Insley, and at that point, my involvement ended. But that’s how I ended up with this story.)
The ladies’ reactions and opinions were videotaped, and Sony released this promo video today. Here, in their own words, are their stories of what happened that day – and their reaction to the day’s surprise guest, Sam Heughan!
I met Sam Heughan. We met Sam Heughan. We did not know this was going to happen which made it much more dream-like.
We arrived at Sony promptly at 1:15 pm as instructed. We checked in through security, rode an elevator up many floors and were whisked into a conference room where we were asked to sign confidentiality agreements. Sure – why not? We’re just talking about product right??
*Side note – We were invited by Sony to look at, touch, discuss and review the upcoming DVD set that is now currently released. We were SO excited! Little did we know…… ☺ ….back to the story.
After being separated into three groups of three we just sat and watched some of the deleted scenes and BTS extras on the DVD. Again – super excited! We were getting first peeks of the not-yet-released DVD. Who wouldn’t be excited?! <fyi – keep an eye at for a quick, simple moment with Ron Moore that has started a new hashtag for us #OutlandersDoEpicShit>
First group goes – I’m in the second group – so we keep watching some DVD extras. Fun!!
Next, my group goes. We head down a few floors on the elevator. Walk down a long hall. Get all mic’d up. ‘Ladies, please leave your purses in this room. We promise they’ll be safe’. –Why do I remember this stuff??- Walk into the room. Simple – nothing super exciting. Table with the DVD set, black curtain back-drop and cameras. Oh – and boom mic! Sweet! This is legit!
We three – Traci, Lauren and I – gather around the table. Start talking. This is where things start getting fuzzy. I think I was talking. Was I talking? I don’t know. Thank goodness for Traci. Spoke eloquently and represented Outlander SoCal brilliantly. All of a sudden I hear this voice, this Scottish whisper. I turn to my left and lose it. I believe my eyes blew-up and my mouth fell to the floor. I turned and walked the other way. Why? I have no idea. Self preservation to collect my thoughts? My breath? Ugh! Finally turned around and gave him a hug. I don’t remember much after that. He talked. He asked questions. I think I answered. I think. I could not stop staring at his eyes! So Blue!! Again – Traci talked and answered the questions. Thank goodness for Traci. Lauren and I talked hiking. And jumping. We’re the ones who jump! that was said. Totally said. And then me – ya know, the peak posse. *hangshead #dork
Fast forward to the lobby. Waiting for group three to come down after their surprise. I know Sam will be down shortly. This is the only way out of the building – the lobby. THERE HE IS! I dash across the lobby and stand about five feet from him. He’s on his phone. He turns and looks at me – I give a quick smile and small wave – he winks at me! – HE WINKS AT ME! – *THUD . He’s off his phone and I ask for a quick selfie. Then I ask if he can take it, he says sure and I hand him my phone. DYING! I tell him he has nice long arms – ‘we always talk about your long arms.’ <are you kidding me? Who says that?? Obviously me. DORK> He takes the picture, I tell him he smells divine, he says thank you – again, DORK. I have lost all ability to think clear thoughts around this man. Ugh.
Now the whole group has arrived and we all gather for a group photo with our Sam. He is nothing but gracious and patient for these lucky 9. And he smelled DIVINE.
Thank you Sony for hosting. Thank you Sam for surprising. Thank you Erin for recommending our group. #forevergrateful xo
From Heather Insley:
You know how it all began. Kerry emails and wonders if I can get some fans together to shoot a video for the Outlander dvd. “Sure, I can get 750.” Maybe not that many, he says. Well cut to Feb 16, and 8 ladies are in my tiny apartment primping. I don’t do makeup, so hair and makeup came to me. 🙂 I looked kinda cute that day. lol.
Jana described getting there. Leona is already upstairs chatting with Kerry when the rest of us arrive. the first thing we do is run to the bathroom. We’re excited. We’ve had champagne (at my apartment). We need to pee. We get in to the conference room and Jess (lovely gal at Sony, also an Outlander fan) sets the dvd up and asks us what we want to watch. Of course, what we want is on the second dvd and it’s not in the room! Anyway, we watch for about an hour – deleted scenes, the extras and we’re talking and commenting and squeeing. There’s also a flask going around. How do you experience Outlander without whisky? I dinna ken. 😉 They call up group one – that’s Leona, Patrice, and me.
We’ve been practicing what we’re going to say for a couple days. We were told they want to know what Outlander means to us and what we think about the packaging. Packaging?! Ok. We’ll figure something out. We get mic’d and head into the room. There’s a round table with the boxes that have been opened and all the contents are haphazardly thrown and displayed. And honestly, I really do just want to touch them. Then Kerry says, “What does Outlander mean to you?” Oh crap! That’s right, there are cameras! I look at Leona and say, “Go ahead.” I can’t even look at the camera. She starts saying something just lovely about… I don’t even know… when something catches my eye. I look to the left, and Sam is peeking his head out from behind the curtain we just walked through. I cuss like a sailor, but for whatever reason none of those words escape my lips at that moment. However, I’m sure the sound guy is not happy with me yelling “SHUT THE FRONT DOOR!” I‘m not even done yelling when I’m jumping up and down like a 14 year old fangirl. I lost my shit. (I work with industry people. I do not lose my cool. Ever.) From then on, it’s a bit of a blur. We’re hugging Sam and each other and talking all at once and barely looking at the dvd. Sorry Target.
At one point, I introduce Leona to Sam. What?! Patrice is talking about single malt single cask whisky. Leona just smiles. Then they start taking pictures with Sam, and I’m like I am hugging this man (3rd time’s a charm? I have 2 other pics with him – taken a year apart). Sorry, Sam – really I’m harmless. He was so great and put his arms around me and even gave me a squeeze. I remember looking at Kerry and saying, “Do you still want us to talk about packaging?” He just smiles and says no. Then I’m thinking, “You sneaky bastard”. Sam leaves. We leave. And Kerry takes us downstairs. The long way. So we don’t pass by group 2. We can’t stop giggling and asking if that really happened. I mean you can imagine what we sounded like. Trying to be quiet because we’re passing by offices, but not really doing a vey good job. They must be used to it. We’re also wondering if they got anything they could use. We are assured they have something. Before we are dropped off downstairs I get a selfie with Kerry – because that’s what I do – and we wait for the other groups to come down. We wait at a table in the lobby and all we can say is, “The girls are going to effin flip out.”
10 minutes go by and group 2 comes out of the elevator. I can’t get my camera out fast enough to video them. Traci is running at me just giddy! They all look like what we must have looked like. The video is terrible, by the way. And the excitement overtakes us again. As we’re waiting for group 3 to come down, Sam and his people enter the lobby. Jana takes off and then you have her story. He winked at her.
You just never know what can happen in a fandom.
The last 18 months have been a whirlwind and for a longtime Outlander fan (a mere 14 years), this show has meant quite a lot. Many of us identify with the characters and the production so strongly that it’s become more than just a story. We touch base with the fandom MULTIPLE times a day and heaven forbid if our smart phone isn’t in our hands! For some of us, it’s honed our social media skills and for others it has given new meaning to technologically challenged. We’re all just moving along in this juggernaut of a fandom that is Outlander.
Several of us were asked recently to give our opinions on what we thought of the packaging for the upcoming release of the DVD/Bluray for the 1st half of Season 1 of Outlander. When I was asked to join, it was an immediate, “YES!” No regard for how my kids would get home from school, whether or not I had clients to cater to, or what dinner the family would have. I didn’t even know a date, time, or location. None of that mattered. My hand was in the air and I would absolutely be available to tell the world what I thought, with not a clue as to what I would be looking at or what I was supposed to do. I was told that we would be taped and that we would be looking at the packaging and answering questions on what Outlander meant to us.
The day finally came when we were to visit Sony. The emotions were high. It definitely was an exciting time. Some had slept, some had not. Makeup and what we were wearing were of the utmost importance. Mimosas and breakfast definitely in the mix. I had to make the furthest journey and maneuvered through the horrendous morning commute and eventually made it to our gathering spot with time to spare. The group was definitely excited, after all, we would be talking about what we all love so dearly to people who weren’t necessarily from our fandom, but who might understand!
We made the short journey to Sony. I’ll be quick to note: I KNOW I should be a NASCAR driver. Just ask Jana or Kristen. That “oh, shit” handle definitely got some use!
After meeting checking in with security and meeting Kerry on the 7th floor, we were shown to a conference room and asked to sign a pretty legal-looking document. I don’t recall all that was written, but it was a standard “KEEP YOUR MOUTH SHUT” form. Jessica, Kerry and Annie explained how the day would go down. Three groups of three would be taken back to be mic’d up and they’d be videotaping our reactions. We would get to see the Special Features before anyone else and they wanted our opinion on the packaging. Seriously, this. was. awesome. I’d been DYING to see the ALL the deleted scenes. My Pre-ordered Special Edition Bluray wasn’t coming for weeks and I could see it RIGHT AT THAT MOMENT?!? Holy. Smokes!!!
We went through random BTS vignettes, including one we consider our favorite, the BTS of Ron D. Moore on set discussing the set motto: “Do Epic Shit.” That line was perfect and we KNEW this was to be our mantra!
We continued to talk with Jessica and other Sony personnel as the groups were taken back. I happened to be in the last group with Cara and Kristen. We had some great discussions about our group (Outlander SoCal) and the many gatherings we host. We also discussed our past meetings with cast members and showed off the pictures we had, reliving our experiences.
Eventually our group made it to the room where we met more Sony people. We were mic’d up and then led into a room with lights, cameras, and a crew of people! So not what this mom of 3 is used to! There was a table with the goodies: Bluray discs, boxes, holographic image, note cards, stickers. They had a guy with the little clapper thingy and Cara, Kristen, and I just went to town oooh-ing and ahhh-ing over the merchandise. Someone asked us what we thought and we made some inane comments about the holographic picture, the box, and the and the damn note cards. We were just rambling when in walks Sam Heughan! The exclamations may have run along the lines of “Oh, shit” to “Holy crap” to “OMG!” This is all from memory, so it’s hard to say without seeing any of the footage of that day.
Sam is incredibly gracious, funny, and just downright likeable. He has a way of making you feel like he’s only speaking to YOU. My partners-in-crime twittered about the most random things: kilts, the notecards, hair/ makeup, how he smelled good, skinny suits…Me? STUNNED SILENT. It was one of those moments where I didn’t have anything clever to say and having been surprised and shocked at HUGGING SAM-FREAKING-HEUGHAN?!? there wasn’t a whole heck of a lot for me to say! Sam did notice my, “I’d rather be in Lallybroch” t-shirt and after someone pointed out that I was the leather-cuff maker, he did tell me that the Outlander Drivers wore theirs all the time.
We got pics and more hugs and then Sam was hustled out by Robyn Harney. We waved and thanked EVERYONE around us profusely.
We were giddy going down the elevator. Kerry was told a number of times that we were thankful, but thought he was just devilishly sneaky! It was great!
We couldn’t wait to recall the experience with our friends. We knew they’d be waiting for us. Who knew, though, that they’d be with SAM in the Sony Lobby?!? More pictures, more hugs, selfies, more hugs and then he really was off…
It’s one of those experiences you’ll never forget, but it’s also one that’s really difficult to describe to someone else. The photos are fantastic and I’m sure the video will be great – I’m hoping the magic of editing will make me look good, but I’m not holding out hope. To get that close was just fantastic!
This is what should blow everyone’s minds: We had to keep that to ourselves for over 2 weeks!?! The only people we could share it with were the other 8 people with us that day. Anyone who could really appreciate it was on FB or Twitter, the places where we were forbidden to discuss the visit. It was a lesson in patience and trust in those other women. We have some memories to last for quite some time! We feel, without any doubt that #OutlandersDoEpicShit!
Thanks, @SoCalEdition, for sharing all your stories! The video is priceless. And while I didn’t get to participate in the event, I did get this photo by email yesterday:
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