Sorry for the delay folks. I’ve been incommunicado for some time. It’s been a weird couple of months. That being said, I’m back and ready to go.
So a few months back, if you recall, I started doing a lot of collaborations with April V. Skyee – model and photography starting with Deadpool and Domino which was an incredible experience shooting on location in a completely destroyed radio station in the middle of nowhere and ,to spite the fact that I suffer from vertigo, climbing on a 20 foot high I-beam just to get the right shot. Corey Graham was very patient and took a ton of stellar shots and April…as always…was stunning.
After that, we did another cosplay shoot with April as Jubilee and the incomparable Jean Baptist as Wolverine. My favorite Ottawa photographer Mike Giovinazzo shot this one in Swizzles on Queen street with a bar full of regulars who no doubt thought we were nuts. But, again the end result speaks for itself and serves to further credit the statement that mike really can’t take a bad picture. ;)
After that April got behind the camera and managed to talk me onto a friggin horse. That’s right….a horse. A stupid way to travel but all in all it was a great experience. We shot the custom Roman Centurian armour on the back of cantankerous old black steed outside Alexandria. Although I’m not really a proficient model, certainly not on horseback, the pics came out quite well. The client was very happy with them to say the least.
Then we moved on to a meet up shoot with the oh so man-pretty Mike Giovinazzo wherein we degraded a nun from pious straight through demonic. April modeled in fine form, adapting to not only the time constraints but also overlapping fields of fire from a very talented groups of photographers under Mike’s guidance. It was a nerve wracking but all in all very challenging experience for me as i had to adjust the fx, switch the costumes and completely redo facepaint and blood applications between sets. But the results defied expectation.
Most recently however, I got the chance to really play in terms of body paint. There is honestly nothing harder than doing full head to toe body paint that looks good. April came to me with a geek concept, which blew my mind by the way as she is merely a Geek In Training so the fact that she stumbled across such a perfect character for her to portray is amazing. So she sat through three hours of body paint and makeup and tried her damnedest not to sweat it off for a sold out group of easily the most talented photographers I’ve met to date including the photo ninja known as John Wenzell who took a from the hip shot of the two of us in a cage that absolutely blew my mind.
Since we seem to be on a roll, as she would say, my partner in crime and have planned a series of meetup and group shoots in the coming months. Some fetish shoots, vampire shoots, pirate shoots perhaps we’ll even get down to Montreal for some one site shots and then straight into an upcoming horror shoot that will pay homage to the man that haunted my dreams as a child and made me the twisted fx and costume designer that I am today. **cough cough** Pinhead **cough cough** ;)
In any event, the next few months we will be hosting many photographer invitationals to give everyone the opportunity to shoot something fun and bizarre and as far outside the box as possible. So stay tuned! And sign up. Volunteer to model if you wish….and by all means, if you have an idea in mind for a shoot feel free to contact April V. Skyee to organize it for you and if you need costumes, or fx feel free to drop me a line. I love meeting and working with Ottawa’s new talent.
An argument can easily be made that putting heavy plate armour on a man with the dimensions of Gregore Cligane is beyond ludacrice however the suit that was constructed for this character in Game of Thrones was not only well suited, but it also one of the most practical suits of armour on the show.
Ser Gregor Clegane aka: the Mountain tops out at 6 foot 7 feet tall and easily 300 lbs solid. He is an imposing landmass of a man. He could be wearing his pyjamas and still make you shit your pants. However, they have designed and built for him suit of armour that offers maximum protection and maneuverability. The base, depending on which you look at as the two primary suits are very similar, consists of a heavy 6 into 1 chainmaille tunic and battle skirt with leather and cold forged steel plating. The breast plating is sectional allowing for added range of motion. The yolk and gorget are triple layered and hardened solid. An impressive 4 layer folded steel spaulder tops each arm with chainmaille and leather sleeves lay under the equally impressive layered gauntlets. The grieves are the only plate armour pieces on his legs but the battle skirt, being so hefty, offers not only the ability to block any hit but it being loose from the body makes it highly unlikely that he would even feel the hit.
His helmet may leave something to be desired esthetically as it is merely the old English bucket style with slit narrow visors but it is padded. It is solid and the curves and cold riveting have the natural ability to deflect any blow. No weapon would be capable of finding a surface to strike evenly. It would simply find an angle and glance off.
The overall finish of the piece is something rarely seen in cinematic ventures such as this in that it’s not new. It is not shiny and perfect. It is black over cobalt steel and it is battle damaged and aged beautifully indicating that this man loves to fight. A terrifying prospect.
Overall, the functionality of this armour completely out weighs the esthetic. This is a true testament to function over form to spite the fact that no one other than the actor playing Ser Gregor could possibly move in the damn thing with it being so heavy.
Who wears your favorite armour on the show? The crows? Ned Stark? Tywin Lanister perhaps?
As a big fan of Game of Thrones I find my self in awe of some of the armour that’s been displayed on the show. Some of which is less than practical as in the case of The Lord of Bones and even the Hound’s helmet. I’ve brought up the necessary balance between detail and practicality and form over function before and to his credit the late Ned Stark even made reference to it in the show. He made this reference while admiring jamie Lanister’s armour stating that “it’s very pretty. Not a scratch on it’. While that maybe true of Ser Jamie’s armour I genuinely believe that not quite enough ridicule has been directed where it should be. With that in mind I speak the following words to Ser Loras Tyrel…..What the fuck?!?!?!?
Outside of this armour, which was first displayed in a jousting match against the mountain, Ser Gregor Cligane for King Robert barathian’s amusement, being ridiculously over kill for a man his size in that the triple plating overlaps offering a grand total of zero mobility. This armour is so far beyond ornate it’s laughable. From the triple gorget which is wrapped in hand forged Tyrell rose vines to the tripled up spaulder falls which collapse one atop the next which are also littered in Tyrell rose vines this thing is a shiny and for some reason nickel plated mess.
The helmet in particular is absolutely appalling. The narrow split eye sockets are surrounded by carvings and a mess or more aptly a rat’s nest of, again ,Tyrell rose vines. This helmet offers no visibility to speak of and if you look at the shark pitch from the breach guard to the chin, this helmet hooks back leaving it very…VERY close to the face meaning it offers zero protection against a hit to the face. The rose vine wrapped spire at the top of this helmet serves no purpose other than to add weight to an already combersome and impractically dangerous suit of armour.
Personally, I find this entire concept to be rather offensive. I understand that the character of Ser Loras Tyrell is meant to be a “sword swallower through and through” as his grandmother states in the show but I think representing his sexual orientation by designing such an effeminate and needlessly decorated suit of armour is intentionally insulting. If anything given the fact that the character is gay should really take a back seat to the fact that he is renowned throughout the seven kingdoms as one of the greatest warriors in history and the protector of the Tyrel house. A warrior of such acclaim would never risk his life for the sake of this needless fashion over protection.
All in all, this armour is a fail for me. This is the best and certainly the most public example of ludicrous form over function. What do you guys think?
I promise no spoilers but leading up to the new season i will be critiquing a new suit of armour from Game of Thrones every week. If there are any in particular that you’d like to see me tear apart don’t hesitate to bring it up.