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Cosplay Friday: Skyrim

Fri Feb 20, 2015, 4:55 PM
Img-01 by techgnotic














Dragons, Magic and Never Ending Quests.
Welcome To Skyrim.


Hailed by many as one of the greatest games of all time, “The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim” may soon have its successor on store shelves. Rumors are flooding the web that “The Elder Scrolls 6” release date is drawing closer with speculation placing the drop date sometime between 2015 and 2016.


Now for those of you who wish to own a piece from the world of Skyrim, you’re in luck! Bethesda will be publishing the in-game stories from the books found throughout “The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim” game as a stand-alone series of hardcover books for you to read to your heart’s content. The series will be three books, the first volume titled The Skyrim Library Vol. I: The Histories, which will indeed contain all the histories found in the Skyrim books. This first edition will be available for sale on May 19th via Amazon. Details around the other two volumes have yet to be released though fans can most likely expect the very popular The Lusty Argonian Maid tale to be included in one of the upcoming volumes.



Beyond Skyrim.


The latest news in the world of Skyrim mods brings us to Beyond Skyrim, a new mod currently being developed that will give players access to all of Tamriel along with parts of Morrowind. The team aims to create a whole game inside of Skyrim adding new characters and main quests along with the new landscapes. The best part is that you can help create this new continent! The group is currently recruiting for new members to help with development. You can find more info at www.darkcreations.org.


We’ve got just the thing to help you pass the time as you patiently wait in anticipation of scoring the newest series installment, or the Skyrim histories or the new mod.


Warriors, mages and thieves have all gathered for a cosplay adventure celebrating all things Skyrim. Get your Dragonborn on as we head to frigid lands to marvel at the deviants who’ve brought the characters of Tamriel to life.
















I used to be an adventurer like you, then I took an arrow in the knee.”


— Guard










Some people call this junk. Me? I call it treasure.”


— Merchant










I’m not a man, I’m a weapon in human form. Just unsheathe me and point me at the enemy.”


— Hrongar










Perhaps we should find a random stranger to murder. Practice does make perfect.”


— Lucien Lachance, the Spectral Assassin










My favorite drinking buddy! Let's get some mead.”


— Village Drunkard










I will eat your heart!”


— Dremora










You NEVER should have come here."


— Everyone












Your Thoughts


  1. How many hours a day do you play Skyrim and why?
  2. Have you taken an arrow to the knee yet?
  3. What would you like to see in future editions of Cosplay Friday?













Dragons, Magic, and Never Ending Quests. Welcome To Skyrim. Hailed by many as one of the greatest games of all time, “The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim” may soon have its successor on store shelves. Rumors are flooding the web that “The Elder Scrolls 6” release date is drawing closer with speculation placing the drop date sometime between 2015 and 2016.

Author: spotted


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April, 5 was International Pillow Fight Day. It was the first time I went to see it and didn't expect it would be such a fun! Next year I'll bring a pillow instead of camera :)





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STREET RACK : Vol. 3

Sun Apr 13, 2014, 1:18 PM


"For me photographs are taken in the eye before you've even thought what they mean. 
That’s the reality I'm interested in capturing." 
- Daido Moriyama -



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94-img-og by techgnotic














Scavenger Hunt Challenge Wrap-Up


We asked if you would help Paul Tobin find inspiration for his vision of the lost world of Atlantis and your response was, as usual, near overwhelming.






But Paul has been able to make his choices of the most imaginative and inspiring visions of the mythic (?) continent of Atlantis, as conceived and created by the artists of DeviantArt.  Both the actual artists who created Paul’s favorite Atlantis pieces and the deviants who submitted those pieces for the contest will receive either Volume One or Volume Two of Paul’s coffee table collections, “White Cloud Worlds.”  With forewords and introductions from Guillermo Del Toro, Richard Taylor, Iain Craig and Wayne Barlow, these two lavish volumes represent the finest fantasy work from New Zealand artists.


Here are the curators and the incredible works of art that Paul chose.















Scavenger Hunt Challenge Wrap-Up. We asked if you would help Paul Tobin in his conceptualization of the lost world of Atlantis and your response was, as usual, near overwhelming.


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A budding new talent in the realm of ASOIAF fanart, the gothic style of IrenHorrors brings a delightfully macabre sensibility to familiar scenes and characters. Citing the inspiration of greats like Tim Burton and Arthur Rackham, the artist is well on the way to establishing an enthusiastic following all of her own. 


A Song of Ice and Fire by IrenHorrors
Daenerys Portrait by IrenHorrorsMelisandre by IrenHorrors
Winterfell by IrenHorrors Daenerys Targaryen by IrenHorrors


Welcome to Illustrating Westeros, IrenHorrors. To begin, tell us how you became an artist, and the influences that have shaped your style.

 

Hello! I am honored to be invited! In my gallery there aren’t a lot of artworks related to the ASOIAF book series, so I am very pleased that you paid attention to me.

I am fond of painting and drawing since I can remember myself; at first I spent a lot of years in art school, then I entered the Moscow State University of Printing Arts and graduated from it this summer. But I seriously and thoroughly started painting free themes only about a year ago, and all of my work to this moment that you can see in my gallery was made during this period. The idea to become an illustrator arose when I first got acquainted with Tove Jansson and her glorious Moomintroll, and ever since I’ve wanted to make an author’s book, where the text and illustrations would be my creations. The style, in which I work recently, was inspired by several artists: Abigail Larson, Kmye Chan, Gris Grimly, Līga Kļaviņa, Anna Ignatieva, Virginia Mori, Arthur Rackham, Alan Lee, Edmund Dulac, Chris Riddell, John Bauer, Kay Nielsen, Tony DiTerlizzi, Joseph Vargo. And, of course, I love the creativity of Tim Burton.

 

 

You are an outstanding illustrator of George R. R. Martin's works. When did you read the A Song of Ice and Fire books for the first time, and what was your initial impression?

 

I read all the books during the summer last year, so you could say that I'm a newcomer. At the time, all around me talked about the series Game of Thrones, and before I watched it, I decided to read the books. I could not tear myself away, it was an interesting and exciting story! Now I'm again going crazy waiting for the next part of the books. The world that Martin created is cruel and realistic, despite the fact that this is a fantasy novel. I really love things like that! It is very interesting to observe the development of characters, his artful design for the fate of each of them.

Who are some of your favourite characters in the series, and is there a scene that is particularly memorable to you?

 

Oh, there are so many of them! My favorite character is Tyrion Lannister, I would like to see him on the Iron Throne. Also, I like so many female characters that I even find it difficult to say which of them is my favorite one! It is much easier to say who I do not like: I always feel  reluctant to read the chapters about Sam, and even more did he annoy me in the TV series. The greatest inspiration I always find in scenes in which the female characters showed their strength, such as when Daenerys helped dragons to be born or when she was able to subdue Drogon. During the reading, I felt shivers down my spine. Like many others, I was struck by the scene of the Red Wedding. Oh God, why?!  Certainly, there were so many scenes that touched me a lot.

 

After HBO’s Game of Thrones came out, many readers’ inner pictures of characters and scenes have been replaced by actors and settings from the show. Can you tell us about your own mental images of the characters, and if this has been influenced by the show?

 

I think that the characters and the environment were perfectly chosen in the series, HBO has done an excellent job! In addition, while I was reading the books I already knew how most of the main characters in the series looked like to me. I imagine Daenerys a little differently; she is much younger than Emilia Clarke, and her hair is short.

       


You show an evident preference for depicting female characters in your paintings, particularly those associated with fire like Daenerys and Melisandre. What is it about these women and the roles they play in ASOIAF that you find compelling?

 

Female characters are my passion! I love strong women. Melisandre is an example for me to follow. Despite the fact that many people consider her an insane fanatic, I am of the opinion that she is a very wise, cunning woman; she has enormous power and successfully copes with her tasks. Daenerys is still very young, and her power over people and the dragons was greatly weakened by the end of the fifth book . . . but she has a clean, kind heart, and how she was able to overcome many of life's complexities speaks of her as a strong woman. I certainly do their portraits, and of other female characters, to reveal all of my favorite ASOIAF women.

In keeping with your largely female-centred focus, Stark Family: Ladies portrays the three women of House Stark: Sansa, Arya, and their mother Catelyn, along with the direwolves. How do you view these characters as represented in the text and what motivated you to create this heart-warming portrait of them?

Stark Family: Ladies by IrenHorrors

Of the variety of characters in Martin’s universe, House Stark will always hold a special place in my heart. Starks are the embodiment of family values, love and warmth, with the background of the beautiful nature of the North. In my dreams, I'll always connect all family members together. For me, House Stark is an example of ideal relationships, perhaps I would like to have a similar family too.

You have a characteristic art style that distinguishes you amongst ASOIAF artists. Do you foresee experimenting with new techniques and styles or prefer keeping to your established ones?

 

I found myself recently, so it’s difficult for me to say what will happen next. But I love what I do now, it fits my inner perceptions, and I hope at the same time to maintain my style and hone my skills, complicating the composition and working on the details and the anatomy of the characters. I would like to do more full illustrations, not just portraits of characters. If I work a lot, the progress will be evident.

Is there an ASOIAF artist whose work you admire? And/or a piece of ASOIAF art that you have as a personal favourite?

There are actually a huge number of them! It’s always difficult for me to choose a favorite from such a variety of delightful artwork. For example, I really like this particular work by Quirkilicious that has exquisite colors and perfect composition! I like the works by Dejan Delic for their stunning style and the variety of characters, I can spend hours looking at them. Also, another of my favorite artworks is The Lannister Family by Bubug, in my opinion it is a very witty, interesting and cool painting. I love this style!

 

Stormborn by Quirkilicious

Stormborn by Quirkilicious

Please, give us a link or thumbnail from your gallery of:

a) An ASOIAF illustration you are most proud of?

 

I am very proud of this work, it seems to me that I got a successful composition, and I like the colors.

Mother of Dragons by IrenHorrors

b) A piece that was the hardest to draw or paint?


This was the most difficult task. As you can see, male characters are not my forte. But I'm working on it!

Jon Snow by IrenHorrors


We know Martin has employed subverted fairy tale elements in the books, and looking at your wider gallery, we find that you love paintings of classic fairy tale scenes and characters which made us wonder if you would create an ASOIAF/fairy tale crossover piece, and what would you depict?

 

I always imagine Beauty and the Beast, which serve as Sansa Stark and Sandor Clegane! Someday I will draw a similar artwork. This story has always been one of my favorites. Also, I see a beautiful fairy tale based on the story of Bran Stark. In my opinion, this is one of the most mystical and fantasy storylines.

  

Is there a plotline, whether in the North, the Vale, King’s Landing or Essos that you're anxious to see resolved in the next book?

 

I'm terribly curious about what will happen next with Arya, Sansa, Daenerys and Tyrion! Though . . . perhaps I'm wondering more about the development of each storyline—what an incredible batch happened at the end of the fifth book! The storyline of House Greyjoy, for example, is very impressive.

 

And lastly, can the fandom expect more ASOIAF art from you in the future?

 

Yes, of course! It will undoubtedly be a lot of artwork, as I said before, I began making fan art pieces not so long ago. It can be also said that I have marked only the beginning of my collection of works based on the ASOIAF universe. I have big plans, and I hope I will have time for it.


Thank you for talking to us, IrenHorrors! You can see more of her art at: 

 irenhorrors.deviantart.com 




Cosplay Friday: The Powerpuff Girls

Fri Apr 17, 2015, 12:09 PM
Img-00 by techgnotic














What Are Little Whoopass Girls Made Of?



It was back in the early 90’s while attending California Institute of the Arts that creator Craig McCracken (CMcC) first dreamed up three crime fighting female superheroes for his student short film. The super powered girls Blossom, Bubbles, and Buttercup were the result of Professor Utonium’s experimental attempt to create the perfect little girls using "sugar, spice, and everything nice", but a can of “Whoopass” accidentally made it’s way into the mixture and the Whoopass Girls were born. Armed with super strength, speed, flight, and a few more tricks the girls used their powers to fight crime and save the world all before bedtime.


Once Cartoon Network picked up the show they decided to change the name to something more appropriate for younger audience and replaced “whoopass’ with “powerpuff’. Here’s the short film that started it all.






















The Artistic Lifestyle Of Townsville


Dripping pop art and pop culture, the animation style used in The Powerpuff Girls is highly stylized and shows influences from the 1950s, 60s, 70s and 80s art scene. The minimalistic look of the show is reminiscent of British artist David Hockney’s work conveying “1950s futuristic pizazz” according to movie critic Bob Longino. Longion went on to add that The Powerpuff Girls was "one of the few American creations that is both gleeful pop culture and exquisite high art." The character of Ms. Keane, the girls kindergarten teacher, is named after American artist Margaret Keane whose artwork features children with unusually large eyes. Her art inspired the drawing style of many of the characters in The Powerpuff Girls including the girls themselves.



The retro era influences don’t stop at the artwork — the opening credits pay homage to the 1960’s live-action Batman series animated intro which pans across a handful of Gotham villains and shows Batman and Robin giving them a one-two punch. The storyline in one episode is loosely based on the Beatles career with the majority of the dialogue being taken from their song lyrics and some of the villains appearing in roles that were a nod to the band members. The characters’ dialogue in many episodes references classic rock and pop songs from those earlier eras, there’s even references to Star Wars in a few episodes.


Is It The End For The Powerpuff Girls?


The Powerpuff Girls ran for 78 episodes ending in 2005 and featured the voice talent of Tara Strong, Elizabeth Daily, and Cathy Cavadini in the sweet superhero roles. Its popularity generated an anime version Powerpuff Girls Z which debuted in Japan in 2005 and ran for 52 episodes until 2007. So is that it? Are we never to see the girls battling against the crossdressing devil HIM or setting people like misguided feminist Femme Fatale right? Fear not! Cartoon Network is rebooting The Powerpuff Girls who are making their return to the small screen in 2016 on its 18th anniversary of the show’s debut.


For now you can enjoy this sugar-coated cosplay collection full of girl powered whoopass as deviants bust out their best Blossom, Bubbles, and Buttercup creations. This is a Powerpuff Girls collection even HIM would approve of.
















Sugar, Spice, and everything nice. These are the ingredients to make the perfect little girls.”


— Narrator










And, like Ben Franklin always said … Early to bed, early to wake, makes a lady smart, pretty, and great.”


— Blossom










Yeah. Mojo did a very silly thing, he did, blowing a hole in his house. Boy, was he mad. There was steam coming out of his ears, but I knew that deep down inside he was a sad, poor, little monkey.”


— Bubbles










We’re not keeping that stinky fleabag. Because I’m gonna end up feeding it, and cleaning it, and loving it.”


— Buttercup










No! Not my priceless, very rare, one-of-a-kind porcelain poodle! Anything! Anything but my priceless, very rare, one-of-a-kind porcelain poodle!”


— Mayor










Hey you kids, get out of my moat, it was not meant to be played in. I must remember to destroy those kids after my breakfast has been eaten.”


— Mojo Jojo












Your Thoughts


  1. Who is you favorite Powerpuff Girls character and why?
  2. What would you like to see in future editions of Cosplay Friday?













What are little whoopass girls made of? It was back in the early 90’s while attending California Institute of the Arts that creator Craig McCracken (CMcC) first dreamed up three crime fighting female superheroes for his student short film. The super powered girls Blossom, Bubbles, and Buttercup were the result of Professor Utonium’s experimental attempt to create the perfect little girls using "sugar, spice, and everything nice", but a can of “Whoopass” accidentally made it’s way into the mixture and the Whoopass Girls were born.

Author/Curator: spotted
Designer: seoul-child

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I just spent an hour right outside my home watching northern lights for the first time. Potentially the most beautiful and fascinating thing I've ever seen. :faint: Not that I've seen much in my life but this was hands down worth all the superlatives. It was like a living and breathing magical light painting all over the sky. Silent ambient green fireworks against a cloudless night sky with all the stars visible. I had hard time deciding which way to look because it was everywhere and constantly moving and changing in every direction. It made me smile more than anything in ages, it made time and place vanish, and I never wanted it to end. Maybe I really should move somewhere where I can see them more often than once in 30 years. I might be a far happier person. With a very sore neck.

[I live in southern Finland and I've always wanted to be in the northern parts of the country because they get to see northern lights so often there, but I've never even travelled there. I've been repeating over and over again all my life that I want to see northern lights, even once, and absolutely unexpectedly, tonight was that time. They were not as bright as they probably are in the north but still mind-blowing and absolutely impossible to miss. And that's more than good enough for me. I'm thrilled I finally got to see them with my own eyes, without needing to just imagine for the rest of my life what they'd actually look like. It's so rare here in the south to have a chance to see them and it's already been said in the news that tonight was probably as good as it's going to get here.] 

Fore those who enjoy this sort of thing, here's the best video I've seen of northern lights: vimeo.com/flatlightfilms/auror…

  • Mood: Excited
  • Listening to: Nightwish - Élan
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Collection: Message in a Bottle

Wed Jan 28, 2015, 6:04 PM
75-img-og by techgnotic







Whether it’s the sole survivor of a plane crash, stranded on a fly–speck Pacific island or the forlorn deserted lover standing alone in the early morning fog at mid–span of Waterloo Bridge, there is nothing sadder, and nothing more defining of the human spirit, than the tossing into the sea of the “message in a bottle.” The idea, more than the actual execution, of this desperate measure, has come to symbolize an eternal act of human faith — that somehow Divine Providence will guide this message through the shifting seven seas to be found on a beach by the one who needs to read it. Human faith is heartbreaking… but wonderful.









Whether it’s the sole survivor of a plane crash, stranded on a fly–speck Pacific island or the forlorn deserted lover standing alone in the early morning fog at mid–span of Waterloo Bridge, there is nothing sadder, and nothing more defining of the human spirit, than the tossing into the sea of the “message in a bottle.” The idea, more than the actual execution, of this desperate measure, has come to symbolize an eternal act of human faith — that somehow Divine Providence will guide this message through the shifting seven seas to be found on a beach by the one who needs to read it. Human faith is heartbreaking… but wonderful.


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Disney Buys Star Trek

Tue Mar 31, 2015, 3:00 PM
Img-00 by techgnotic
















To:

DeviantArt Today’s Page News Desk



From:

“Gary Seven” (Reporter Without Portfolio)



I just received a call from “Gary Seven.”


DeviantArt has many surprisingly well-connected members and one of them, a top Paramount executive, contacted us two days ago with a rumor so powerful that we wanted to be 100% certain before publishing it. We now know: Disney just bought all television rights to Star Trek.


Bob Iger, the current chairman and CEO of Disney, bought Star Trek from CBS Television, which had acquired the television rights when it split off from Paramount. Paramount has kept the motion picture rights.


Our contact, who wants to be known as “Gary Seven,” found out about this purchase — needless to say one of the biggest secrets imaginable — when Iger visited Paramount two days ago to let them know what Disney planned to do with their new franchise. Because Paramount is still making Star Trek movies, we guess there must be some sort of clause in the contracts that requires some kind of cooperation between television and motion picture versions.










Gary is on the Paramount Star Trek motion picture team and their heads started spinning when Iger laid out his plans.


What we know from that meeting is this:


  • Disney is rebooting the television series Star Trek as a fast track project. JJ Abrams had been in talks with Disney before it closed on Star Trek. Iger asked Abrams to secretly set the reboot of Star Trek in the Star Wars universe and in return he would be rewarded by directing the first of the Star Wars movies.
  • Star Wars 7: The Force Awakens, now being edited for December release, will plant suggestions that the Federation, Klingons and Romulans were connected to the Star Wars universe. They are dubbing references along those lines into the dialogue now. (Tribbles?) This will set up additional storylines in the television reboot of Star Trek. But Iger assured the meeting that the Star Trek characters would not actually appear in the Star Wars films unless Paramount agreed.
  • Disney will blend Star Trek into their Marvel Universe by placing Marvel characters like Iron Man and a future version of The Guardians of the Galaxy into worlds visited by the Starship Enterprise and its crew in the reboot. Disney also wants a unified backstory that Stark Industries designed the Starship Enterprise and is the go-to contractor for Starships to the Federation. Iger said he would consider licensing the same characters to Paramount for its Star Trek films if the scripts are made compatible.
  • The Disney Channel will be producing an entire series in which the Star Trek characters and more importantly the moral lessons and “humanistic” messages of the franchise will be directed at pre-school and K-6 children. Iger said this was a “passion project” for him because he has learned so much to guide his own life from Star Trek.
  • Disney’s Imagineering division has started plans for the Starship Enterprise Holodeck attraction for all its theme parks as part of TomorrowLand and will easter egg the attraction in the TomorrowLand film coming this summer.
  • Iger showed mock ups of Star Trek merchandise that will start selling at all Disney outlets this summer. In a dramatic gesture he ended his talk by opening up his shirt to display a T-shirt that read “Disney’s Star Trek Coming Soon!”









We are told by Gary that the response was icy while Iger and his team were making their presentation.


As soon as they left the room on the Paramount lot in Hollywood, Brad Grey, the Chairman of Paramount, turned to his executives and said: “Don’t worry. We’ve sued Disney before and we will do it again. They will not f**kup Star Trek like they did with so many other cherished properties. Not on my watch.”


We learned from another source that Paramount’s law firm took over a whole floor in its Century City offices as a “war room” and is pulling in copyright lawyers from all over the country (we guess that includes the one who works here at HQ because he’s been gone for three days and used to be General Counsel at Paramount).


We also learned that Paramount is furiously negotiating with 20th Century Fox Chairman, Jim Gianopulous (who used to work at Paramount on the Star Trek franchise), to use the X-Men or Aliens or Predator characters in the next Star Trek movie.


It’s all great stuff for the press and the critics. But watching this war will be a sad coda and will close the door on the legacy of Gene Rodenberry. At least cyberspace holds the original series intact even if Disney tries to withdraw it and only release it every seven years, as they have done in the past with animation titles.


We may have reached the Final Frontier.
















Your Thoughts


  1. Do you think Disney will eventually own and control a single universal science-fiction narrative based on Star Wars, with all the characters from Star Trek as well as the Marvel and DC Universes fully subsumed and utilized per relative timeline?
  2. Do you think the world’s leaders should get involved to protect the integrity of franchises like Star Trek and Star Wars?
  3. Do you foresee the possibility of a lethal conflict arising between the Vulcans and Jedis different philosophies?  Will the undying spirits of Spock and Obi-Wan Kenobi become the political and religious leaders of the two “unified” but contentious factions?
  4. Is it now possible that Gary Mitchell actually tapped into the Dark Side of the Force in “Where No Man Has Gone Before”?
  5. Do you think Scotty and Tony Stark could get along together in the Enterprise’s engine room?













DeviantArt has many surprisingly well-connected members and one of them, a top Paramount executive, contacted us two days ago with a rumor so powerful that we wanted to be 100% certain before publishing it. We now know: Disney just bought all television rights to Star Trek.

Author: DeevElliott, makepictures
Curator: DeevElliott
Designer: seoul-child

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Img-got-og by techgnotic










The current popularity of the bloody and salacious Game of Thrones and a host of paler imitators may have roots in Cate Blanchett’s Oscar-worthy performance as the historical Elizabeth (1998), the Queen who was perhaps the most important ruling Royal, King or Queen, in British history.







The politics and imputed romances of her reign embroiled both her throne and bedchambers. Released from her half-sister’s dungeon to go on to successfully stabilize a country wracked by religious war, all the while being threatened by Spanish invasion from without and overthrow by the plots of her male “suitors” from within, her life was epic and an intimate human drama rarely captured in fiction.


Then the British import The Tudors (2007–10), brought us an updated lusty beautiful/horrifying portrayal of King Henry VIII, this time focusing on the athleticism of his youth—before he was gravely injured (crushed under a horse while jousting) and became the iconic morbidly obese figure we’re more familiar with.



The Tudors casting of the svelte and smolderingly sexual Jonathan Rhys Meyers (as well as the alluring Natalie Dormer as Anne Boleyn) marks one of those important departures from the collective story we all carry in our heads, created from childhood on through college and beyond. We call this general narrative “history.” We become incensed over what we feel are profane depictions of our heroes and their beliefs and intentions—as if we could ever know what roiled the mind of a monarch in 1532. Protestants are understandably upset when the Reformation is de-emphasized as “back story,” the better to focus on a King maneuvering wickedly and recklessly in order to secure a divorce both secularly legal and religiously Hell-free, the better to pursue the super hot girl of his dreams.


There is Jeremy Irons in The Borgias as Pope Alexander VI in the late 15th Century committing every possible sin and debauchery that moderns minds could project or imagine for any man of power, much less a Pope surrounded by a family and College of Cardinals just as ruthless with privilege and wealth. Watching this re-casting of the past you need to pinch yourself to remember that the action is set within the Roman Catholic Church which was then and apparently still may be a political and social quagmire. The critics favor a modern French production of this story, Borgias, where they cavort and garrote in the same fashion. This version’s episodes are still in production.
















The Nixon Presidency (1969-74) has long been held in the collective American consciousness as the high-level mark in Presidential criminality. But only fringe conspiracy theorists believe that the Nixon ninjas actually murdered political opponents and witnesses. Yet that’s currently accepted as “believable” plotting in popular dramas like Scandal and especially the American remake of House of Cards, in which Kevin Spacey’s deranged politician, Frank Underwood, has no problem with assassination as a method to attain his vengeance and promote his personal advance.


And that’s what it is all about on these current shows: politics as a means to personal revenge, enrichment, and power for sheer power’s sake. The good ol’ days of Henry’s romancing of Anne, let the world burn, seem naïve now.




Do viewers really accept this current storytelling as credible, that this stuff is really going on in the White House, in the royal court of the Tudors or at the Vatican or is this just “political science fiction” grounded in reality but played out into another world altogether?




Game of Thrones, adapted from a series of novels still being completed by fantasy writer George R.R. Martin, might just be the craziest-ever mash-up of wildly divergent time periods, some actual historical events, dragons, mysticism, warring Kingdoms of tangled bloodlines, political marriages, incest among the nobles all soaked in the blood of a thousand traitorous sword-thrusts and festooned with heaving bosoms in (and often out of) designer silks and satins. The interior and architectural decoration of the times of this tale seems to have been informed equally by combinations of ancient Babylon, Egyptian archeology, Conan the Barbarian and Victoria’s Secret. Ruminations by grizzled older warriors trudging toward the next battle touch upon the great themes of crime & punishment, political corruption, religion, loyalty and true brotherhood—but never rise above standard wooly maxims. Never has so much superlative acting and massive production value been expended on comic book level human drama.


















“Thrones” is a new extension of Hollywood storytelling nonsense with every scene crafted to push my buttons in some pleasurably cathartic manner.







Worries over what conservative or liberal or sexist or pro—or anti-gay messaging is going on here must be laid aside as there is no algorithm detailed enough to explain what any of this story really “means.” It really is just a “game” to be won or lost by its ever-shifting rules. Being naked in its intent to be no more than sheer entertainment makes the series immune from serious academic, philosophic, historical or literary criticism. Game of Thrones frees us to enjoy it for what it is: a feast for the senses on the way to the next big lunatic lunge on the narrative rollercoaster. A sampling of tributes to the show as imagined by its many deviant fans is a testament to what will go down as one of the most marvelous box of chocolates one could ever hope to have opened. It’s undoubtedly not good for us—but it’s just oh, so good.


I wait every Sunday here in Los Angeles, attending screening parties when I can, for this glorious, masterfully crafted, and richly creative tour de force which acts as a deliciously sweet nightcap after another in an endless series of 80 hour work weeks.


How about you?
















withWilliam Simpson






1.



What is the most important information that needs to be expressed on storyboards at this point in production? This information usually flows from who (director/editor) to whom (set designer, etc)?





William Simpson:

In prep, the storyboards are full of the essential camera movements and green screen CGI elements. As always, Storytelling is the essential element, something that will be understood by the various departments, from Director of Photography and the camera dept, through the VFX green screen CGI dept for visual composites through to producers, determining what can be afforded to be shot.


I work directly with the director, interpreting his/her ideas, and sometimes with the line producer, working out the logic of the storytelling to give us a 'heads up' as to what may cause problems for the actual shoot.


The information flow, is usually from Director, to me, then on to production, before they distribute the sequences to all others who may need them.









2.



Is there much "pre-editing" being done in the sequencing and layout of scenes? And if so, what is usually being emphasized by directors, editors and others in their input?





William Simpson:

There's quite a bit of pre-editing being achieved in the sequences, the process enabling a ' nailing down' of shots, especially for the cost constraints. Part of what we determine in prep, is what is logical and artistic to film, and then combine it with the shot list allowance of what we feasibly can actually have, What can be practical live filming, and what has to be an VFX shot.










Bio



William Simpson is an international artist, whose career began in comicstrip art, working on a range of character icons: Judge Dredd, Rogue Trooper, Batman, Transformers, Hellblazer, Tyranny Rex, Aliens, and Vamps. Now he's primarily in movies.


In recent years he has developed his work in the film industry providing conceptual art and storyboards for a variety of feature films, such as: Reign of Fire, directed by Rob Bowman, Freeze Frame, directed by John Simpson, Neil Jordan's Breakfast on Pluto, and most recently, Game of Thrones for HBO, David Gordon Green and Danny McBride's Your Highness for Universal, Lord Richard Attenborough's 2006 production, Closing The Ring and the Tom Hanks produced, City Of Ember. Currently on Game of Thrones for HBO.












3.



Is there a tremendous amount of detail on storyboards on a big production like Game of Thrones that wouldn't exist with a more modest production—or is the functionality of deciding how a narrative is going to be told the key consideration always in any production?





William Simpson:

I think functionality of narrative is pretty essential, but, there's a lot of storytelling, good directors know, and don't need to be visualised in a board first, but on a show like Game of Thrones, the details in what will have to have CGI elements, a primary concern for compositing real with unreal. We’re creating Westeros here, and we have to see what can be achieved by drawing it first. It must be considered worthwhile as I've been there for 5 years already.









4.



Is there a special feeling you get from being so deeply involved in the internal "DNA" of what is obviously going to be an important landmark series?





William Simpson:

I think the delight is in watching so much of what you've done, realised on screen. Game of Thrones is a vast production and requires quite a lot of prep over the ten episodes in a season, and so many drawn sequences turned into film footage is always a buzz. It's definitely great to be an essential part of fandom's fav series.











We’re creating Westeros here, and we have to see what can be achieved by drawing it first.













5.



How did you come to get your job doing storyboards for Game of Thrones? Is this the usual pathway to being considered for such jobs, or are there others for interested deviants to pursue? What can you tell artists who want to do storyboarding as a dream job? What should they be doing?





William Simpson:

This is a really big question and there is a massively convoluted answer to it. You see, there's a lot of being in the right place at the right time, and having 20 years of comic strip experience doesn't hurt!


I was brought in to do some concepts, while I was working on Your Highness. I wasn't told what the project was, just given a few key pages of script, and asked could I come up with some castle images and knights and a few interesting location shots, one being the beheading scene at the beginning of the story. These images were then sent in a package to HBO, and they seemed to help them decide on coming to N.Ireland to film with their production base. When I was told we had the series, while still on Your Highness I asked my producer friend Mark Huffam, " do I have a job then" haha, to which he said "of course".











I asked my producer friend Mark Huffam, “do I have a job then” haha, to which he said “of course.”
















William Simpson:

After I finished my concept art on "Your Highness" ad did a day of 2nd unit directing for it, I then moved on into Game of Thrones and started conceptualising weaponry. I created the designs for all the hero weapons, at that time, 'Ice', 'Needle', 'long claw', etc, were mine, as well as developing the very first set of images of the "White Walkers", "The Godswood Tree", "Cersei's" carriage, and "The Three Eyed Ravens". I helped on some of the armour and helmet elements for Costume. I did a pretty neat version of the 'Hound', pretty close to what was made. After that, I went on to Storyboarding.


The comic side of me has generated a diverse artist, so having been recognised as such, I was used properly to generate ideas in the beginning. I've since storyboarded all four seasons, and will be getting into the fifth, coming this year.


It's not been the usual pathway, but then I don't think there actually is a 'usual'. Sometimes, I pitch myself at films, if I know in advance they're happening, though now, most of my time, I'm called up and asked, when am I available. It's nice when you get a call, which has a value on what you do as an artist with experience.


For anybody wanting to do any form of art, including storyboarding, you have to be in love with drawing, and storytelling. You have to have a perverse nature that allows you to work long hours drawing as a job, and then finding yourself also drawing for fun. You have to love this pursuit. No half measures. I try to bring all the sensitivity I had in comic strips, into what I do in storyboarding, though some may do it as a job, I tend to come at it as a solver of problems in storytelling and somebody who says, 'great, I'm going to be drawing all day!' No fear! It's another great mode of self expression.











For anybody wanting to do any form of art... You have to love this pursuit. No half measures.















For The Reader





1.

Would you assign world class literary and philosophical value to Game of Thrones? If so, why?




2.

Is there an unspoken “agreement” between film producer and film consumer as to the intended “pure entertainment” vs. “think” purpose of a film experience?




3.

Are you annoyed when historical figures are portrayed in ways that greatly diverge from the picture of them you have always had in your head? Or do you find this refreshing and creative, even if involving massive “poetic license?”




4.

Do you think moviemakers have a duty to portray historical figures as they were, or is it enough that their life events are accurately recorded, as well as their beliefs and words. Is it OK to cast Peter O’Toole as Lawrence of Arabia when the real Lawrence was only 5 feet tall? Is it OK to give the young Henry VIII six-pack abs?




5.

Do you think fantasy and science fiction stories should steer clear of politics generally and stick to common human questions of love, loyalty, valor as motivators for characters? Does the feeling that the author is subtly pushing his or her political or social beliefs on the reader, no matter how delicately, a turn-off for you? Or is this something writers should never hide in their art?




6.

Do you think all the elements of Game of Thrones that could be found by individual viewers to be offensive, sexist, racist, homophobic, pro-violence, are “forgiven” by the utter outrageousness of the story in general? Should there always be a place for politically incorrect fun?









The current popularity of the bloody and salacious Game of Thrones and a host of paler imitators may have roots in Cate Blanchett’s Oscar-worthy performance as the historical Elizabeth (1998), the Queen who was perhaps the most important ruling Royal, King or Queen, in British history. The politics and imputed romances of her reign embroiled both her throne and bedchambers. Released from her half-sister’s dungeon to go on to successfully stabilize a country wracked by religious war, all the while being threatened by Spanish invasion from without and overthrow by the plots of her male “suitors” from within, her life was epic and an intimate human drama rarely captured in fiction.

Writers: techgnotic 
Designers: marioluevanos 

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