Wednesday, 31 October 2012

The Fence

Well, this certainly changes everything... And nothing.

I'm not a huge fan of Disney, but Marvel's certainly not suffering. Episode 7, 8 & 9 could be great... Or could be as disposable as the Prequels. Either way, it's a clear page turn in the Star Wars story.

What won't change are my copies of the OT on VHS. What won't change are my memories of the best film trilogy I've seen (sorry Nolan; you're close but nostalgia edges it). What won't change is the profound influence George Lucas has had on my life as a film-maker and as a person. I know what Star Wars means to me, and I'm happy with that. Besides, more product means more cool stuff for me to photograph... :)

It's going to be interesting!

Monday, 29 October 2012

Point of Comparisons

Probably the best Star Wars shots I get are the ones that I directly base on stills from the films, and the best place to go for these are production or promo stills, because they might show a slightly different angle to what we're used to seeing. This is interesting in itself, but also because when you're not enslaving yourself to exact screen accuracy, you can roll with the picture a little bit more. Case in point...

I wanted to get some shots of my new Boba Fett figure in action, and I've also wanted to do something Bespin related for a while - an easy two birds with one stone. After a quick Google and a shifty through several images, I settled for this one:

Hardly accurate, I'm sure you'll agree. But the point is, I got my inspiration for the shoot; and after trying several unsuccessful times this morning to get decent pictures of Boba in the bag, it's nice to finally get him up here!

Anyway, there'll be more pictures and a review of Boba Fett and the rest of the ESB Blu Ray pack up soon, before I crack into ROTJ. Exciting times!

Saturday, 27 October 2012

Cutting It Down to Size

As it's the beginning of study week, I've been able to take an hour or so and crack open the ESB Blu Ray pack. Well, I say crack open the pack; so far I've only punched Snowspeeder Luke out of the blister! That's not for any negative reasons though; in fact it's quite the opposite - this guy is awesome! Further to that, when POTF2 was released, this Luke was the first figure I bought, closely followed by R2 D2, and they became the focal point of most of my adventures. As such, it was nice to re-create the feeling for a little while before getting overwhelmed with Boba Fetts and Princess Leias...

Anyway, I made a little set, messed around with the lighting and got a few shots. There weren't any where I thought straight away 'that's it!', which is normally a troubling sign, but there were enough maybes to work with, so I got the images onto my computer and produced the picture above. Now, I like it - the pose works, the shadows on Luke are nice, the composition is solid - but I was just bugged by the shadow on the wall. And that's the problem: because of that shadow, you know that's a wall. Instant scene killer. The solution?

Well, how about a drastic crop?

By re-centering and trimming the image, I turned a flawed scene into what I think is a decent portrait. It may not be what I had in mind when I broke Luke out tonight, but it's still the best shot I think I could've got, and highlights the detail of this excellent figure.

Tuesday, 23 October 2012

Striking Back!

It's the OTC Luke and Yoda again! But deservedly so I say, because if ever a day warranted some Dagobah shots, it's today - misty, damp; it's Autumn hitting full speed, that's for sure...

Fond as I am of these two figures, there's another reason I'm getting all Empire on you:

This is one of the five Blu Ray Commemorative Packs that finally arrived yesterday after a hold-up in customs. In one bargain purchase, I've doubled my Star Wars figure collection; exciting times indeed! I'll probably sell off the prequel sets to recoup the cost, but I sure am excited about these guys now. Looking at the figures above, I find myself thinking the unthinkable: Roll on winter, roll on...

Saturday, 6 October 2012

The Autobot Spy

It's the turn of Episode One: The Phantom Menace to be on TV today; however as I critically re-appraised that for myself the other week, I have no inclination to watch it again. Instead, let's try a little Jazz, hmm?

This is the Reveal the Shield Special Ops Jazz, released by Hasbro in 2010. It's the most recent of my Transformers purchases, and goes some way to healing the wound opened by this same character some decades before...

Light-piping in Action
Back in the late 80's/early 90's, my family tended to go shopping in Milton Keynes as much as Northampton. The highlight of these trips to the new city for me was always John Lewis. The huge department store was in the centre of the MK shopping centre, and provided a toy perusing experience like no other. I remember the excitement of taking the escalator to the first floor, and seeing the boxes and boxes of Transformers piled up. Sure, there was other stuff like Lego, Dino Riders, Zoids and whatever else was popular with us kids then, but the Transformers were it for me.

Yeah, Prowl was alright. But this guy!
I was at a point where more than anything, I wanted an Autobot car. I had a Grimlock, many hand me downs and a few newer robots for Christmas and birthday presents, but it was one of the iconic Autobot-mobiles I wanted more than anything. I saved up my £6 a month pocket money, which would have seemed like an eternity back then, and eventually, one glorious day, went back to John Lewis with my parents and bought the G1 Autobot Spy.

Exhibit A
Now, sad to say, the original Transformers weren't always the most sturdy of toys. And I wasn't the least clumsy of kids in my family. Or street. Or most likely town, actually, so you can probably guess where this is going. Within about two hours of being home, I'd already lost the missiles for his shoulder cannon, but then, whilst trying to transform him, I broke the arm off. I remember my feeling of shocked disbelief, and going to my brother to see if he could fix it. He couldn't, and I ended up getting a scolding for breaking my new toy. Jazz ended up in the bin, and the whole experience was like a terrible, terrible dream.

And... Relax.
So, finally having gotten a newer, sturdier version of the Autobot that caused so much trauma before, am I over it? Am I a happier, more well-adjusted person? Owning this guy definitely makes me happy, but all the same - I still exhibit insane amounts of caution when transforming him...

As always, thanks for reading. Any similar nightmare toy stories out there?

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