I have a friend in Australia looking to promote a new wargame. Lucy Bridges has a friend who is a photographer looking to expand his portfolio to include some 'fantasy shots taken in a woodland setting'. I also have a load of friends who are camera whores who like to dress up in armour... It seemed inevitable that these things should be brought together for mutual fun and profit.
Basically, we are trying to organise a photoshoot day where the photographer can get the shots he wants for his portfolio. We are multitasking this by using the wargame background I have written to stage the shots in. This includes the conflation of some classic fantasy races with some real world cultures, some of them in expected ways, others in a less obvious manner. For example, we have the elves being very much based on classic Roman and Greek concepts while the Halflings are sailors, pirates and wreckers and the goblins are mythical middle eastern.
Models - Preferably a wide variety of appearance and body types are needed for this. I would like to see people who can effectively phys rep particular fantasy races such as elves, dwarves, halflings, goblins, trolls. So anything from very tall and thin to very short and stout and anywhere inbetween. Please don't get offended if you are picked to be a halfling because you are short or picked to be a troll because you are large and feel free to refuse to be cast in this way if you are not comfortable with it. I will try to discuss all potential roles with each model as they apply and, trust me, we intend to pick people who will look AWESOME in every role they are picked for.
Assistants - The photographer will need some people (2 or 3) to help him carry stuff around the locations and do set up and other basic tasks. This could also be some of the models working on a rota basis (i.e. when they are not being photographed). I do (like Peter Jackson when filming Lord of the Rings) expect all involved to help with the heavy lifting and so you all need to be good little Viggo Mortensons rather than Stuart Townsends (if the rumour are true...) and help out where needed. Unless, of course, you have some damned good reason not to (like a disability or long term injury).
Make up and special effects team - I rang WETA workshop but they said they were busy so we need a make up team and people to think about things like 'how can we make it look as if that person has had their arm ripped off and make it look realistic?'. The make up artist needs to be able to make normal humans like you or me look like a number of fantasy races, be able to do convincing wounds and scars and other cool stuff like that.
Photographers - We have a professional on site who is bringing all his kit and it is, effectively, his show with regards to who gets to call the shots (he is doing us a massive favour here, working for free). I know there are a few of you out there who have offered to come along and bring a camera (I'm one of them) and do some shots of your own. At the present time I am not sure how cool the photographer will be with that so give me a bit of time to find out his feelings (or he may post here to express them). At the very least any amateurs are welcome to come along and see a pro at work and help set up the equipment and the shots and so on (I'd count that as CVable for any of you serious about photography as a career). You may even be allowed to take some shots of your own but I consider that to be entirely at the discretion of the photographer.
Costume - This is time to raid the costume boxes for anything potentially useful. I am especially looking for the following bits of kit:
- Roman style tunics, togas and armour.
- Persian looking robes and armour
- Chinese style robes and other similar cultural costume
- Japanese clothing and armour
- Standard western medieval kit (possibly the easiest to get hold of)
- Pirate kit as well as anything from Tudor style right up to Regency looking kit
- Norse kit
I want these to look as authentic as possible (so no horned Viking helmets :) ) and some of it may have to get muddy or splashed in fake blood (though no more than a standard LRP event and I don't intend to spoil and of the real nice kit).
Weapons - I have a bit of a dilemma with this one. I want this to look realistic. While I know we can all get hold of oodles of cool looking LRP weapons I am not sure how they will look on the photos... so ideally we want any replica weapons we can get our hands on. The same cultural requirements as above for preference and hopefully enough variety so that every shot of undead samurai we see doesn't end up with them all using the same katana.
Unless of course some technical genius out there has some way to make LRP weapons look more realistic on photos?
Props - Again, the same cultural requirements as above. There is one particular thing I would like to get hold of - a full length mirror, preferably in an ornate frame. This is for one shot I have in mind which is a little experimental but may work (it involves a magic mirror).
This, like date and time (see below) is open for debate. The requirements are a woodland area, preferably with some interesting other features which can be used as backdrops and very little in the way of modern stuff to get into shot. It also needs to have a carpark within reasonable walking distance (bearing in mind the potential for carrying loads of costume and camera equipment from the car to the site).
My current favourite (because it is so close to me :) ) is the set of woods and parkland in Prestwich - Drinkwater, Clifton, Phillips etc. There is a lot of woodland there to choose from (may be worth an initial visit to any site to scout it out) and things like lakes and bridges and rivers. The downside of this is that we are likely to be shooting on a weekend and the car parks are usually full and the edges of the woods are usually heavily populated (especially Drinkwater which has several football matches running). We can avoid them by going deep into the woods but thats more of a walk... I'll post photos of this place later...
Open to negotiation. However, I would advise we wait for a bit as we are still seeing trees in their winter forms. The leaves are starting to bud now but it will be a few weeks before we get nice greenery.
The Photographer has stated he would prefer an early start and that light levels are not an issue. The earlier we can all get to the location the better so the more time we have to shoot.