Woodland Photoshoot - cast and crew call

I posted about this on facebook a week or so ago and got a lot of response to what was a casual, possibly not happening event. I have since talked with my guy in Australia (yes, I have a 'guy in Australia', how cool is that?) and conflabbed with the photographer and determined that we can actually do this thing... So, I include here details of what is intended so that you may all decide if, when and how you can get involved.

The Premise

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.

People needed

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.

Then everything happened at once...

I have no idea what it is about today. It seems as if the stars are right or something because today everything is literally happening at once.

Well, not all at once but all happening today.

So far (and bear in mind we have several hours of the day still to go here...)

 - Deadline for one of the jobs I have been interested in applying for at one of the schools I visited on Friday (application in and sent off, so only waiting for responses from that now and the interview date is before the end of this month).

 - An e-mail from another job I sort of started applying for and then realised it wasn't for me for various complicated reasons (I discovered it was actually a teacher training on the job role and since I am already qualified...) asking why I hadn't completed the application form yet.

 - An e-mail from one of the NQT pools I applied for saying I had been shortlisted and to expect calls from schools for interviews and for references to be contacted etc. I read the term 'shortlisted' in this context as 'we have looked at your application form and established that your PGCE is not from the Mickey Mouse School of Purchased Online Degrees (good old MMSPOD, the Alma Mater of so many deluded morons) therefore you are a real teacher and can apply for NQT posts' rather than any actual testement to my great achievements as a teacher but it is still cool.

 - Two text messages and a missed phone call from a supply agency (I forgot my phone was on silent after Friday's school visits) about a long term (until the end of summer term) supply job that I could be right for. Only issue... its in Oldham. Time to check the Transport Greater Manchester website for whatever convoluted and trans-spatial warp hole related means of transport I will need to use to get there on time every morning...

 - Finally, I also got an e-mail from 'da Boss' who is in charge of 'Secret Project of Secretness'. Not only am I getting paid soon (yay!) but the secretproject of secretness website is now live and I spent some of this morning ogling over it and seeing my writing in situ (and spotting all the mistakes but I am sure Russ will correct them on his trawl) with the art and everything to make it look pretty. The site officially goes live on Friday along with a Kickstarter project being launched to fund more art and writing. I will post the link as soon as it goes officially live so you too can ogle. And I can also tell you all about it without the secretness to stop me.

So, yes... a lot of stuff happening at the moment and feeling a lot more confident about being employed and not bankrupt in the next few months.

Weird few days....

It seems like the jobs are now starting to sniff around like shy puppies emerging from a kennel to say hello to a new person... Not only are there more jobs being posted to job sites that are actually teaching jobs and not agencies pretending to be teaching jobs to get more sign ups (I wouldn't mind so much if any of the agencies I have signed up for from these adverts actually found me some work...) but I am also being chased...

On Friday I was on my way to a tutoring appointment in the city centre (I quite like tutoring in Starbucks, they have a little quiet room upstairs where all the students seem to hang out and there is tea to drink) and was checking my e-mail on the bus. There was an email from Salford City College inviting me for an interview on Wednesday. As I was getting off the bus, I got a phone call from them checking that I got the mail because they were concerned it was short notice, especially as there is a microteach to prep for. I assured them I'd got it and confirmed attendance. So, on Wednesday I am going to a morning long interview, round the corner from Nev and Rich's house, where I will be talking to a group of students about BSE and Prions.

Today, just as I was finishing up prepping for that, I get another phone call from the one agency who didn't send fake ads to Jobsite. Can I teach GCSE science in Bolton? Not a lot of hours but money is money. I told them that I was interested and if the college wanted to meet me, I'd go along to the meeting. Of course, if I get the job I am interviewing for on Wednesday I'll have to tell them no but it is nice to have a back up plan.

There have been a few other bites as well which may be promising and I am fully expecting the shy puppies to turn into big, exuberant dogs that just want to lick all over my face. So here is hoping for reasonable employment sometime in the next few weeks and maybe something full time, permanent and NQTish by September!