Mandalorian Costume At Shoreleave

I love it when not only are there great costumes but the cosplay to go along with it. These two introduced themselves with blasters pointing and "Have you seen an R2 unit go by."
After checking my credentials for making a holovid of them only the stormtrooper would reveal his identity TK6441. As expected the Mandalorian was surly and silent.
Not in the picture is a real nice mic unit set up in the armor for the trooper inside to speak through.

Starscream and his followers

Otakon Pool on Flickr, and kind of fell in love with it.  They don't say if it was a costume or not, but based on the arms, I presume it is someone on stilts.  Too bad he is about to die.  I mean everyone knows that Starscream donned the crown moments before Galvatron showed up and killed him.  Poor Starscream.

Horrorfest III: Tales of Terror

Horrorfest III: Tales of Terror

A Second Life Convention presented by Bookstacks

Notice By Kghia Gherardi, Organizer

This month on the thirteenth, Bookstacks will commence Horrorfest III: Tales of Terror. You might not live to see the Ides of March this year! We will have a full schedule of events with numerous authors reading their works, including Mike Stackpole. The survivors will continue on the fourteenth when, amongst other events, Tobias Buckell will make one of his rare appearances in-world to read “Spurn Babylon.”

In other events you will be able to swap poetry with author Emerian Rich in the graveyard. Or learn about real life horrors with Mark Eller. Find out how to incorporate horror sound effects to your own shows. Sample Crap Mariner’s short shorts. Participate in a costume contest and attend a fashion show for the fashionably undead. And that’s not all! Bookstacks will be running all its normal events, usually with a twist…a twist of Terror.

Saturday, March 13 •9:00 am – Horrorfest opens with new and classic tales read by West of Ireland storyteller Gyro Muggins. •10:00 am - Emerian Rich, author and host of the Horror Addicts podcast, hosts a workshop on creating horror sounds for podcasts…or simply to scare your friends next Halloween. •11:00 am - Simeon Beresford serves as quiz master for a horrific game of Book Trivia. The winner of the game will take home 500 lindens, and the person in the best costume in the theme will also win 500 lindens. •1:00 pm – Emerain Rich reads from the sequel to Night’s Knights •2:00 pm - Science Fiction Saturday •3:00 pm – NYT bestselling author Michael A. Stackpole will give you nightmares when he reads one of his scary tales •4:00 pm - Join Emerian Rich for the annual sharing of scary poetry in the graveyard. There is more out there than “The Raven” •5:00 pm – Crap Mariner offers his own take on terror with his 100 word stories and scary shorts •6:00 pm – Author and host of the Hell Hole Tavern podcast, Mark Eller, will remind us that not all horror is fictional with his real life tales. •7:00 pm – Live performance by Scream Machine*

Sunday, March 14 (please note: Daylight Savings Time begins in the US) •11:00 am – Henry Snider reads from one of his stories about occult, parapsychology and esoteric studies •1:00 pm – Off the Shelf interviews Mark Eller, author and host of the Hell Hole Tavern podcast •3:00 pm – Poetry Libre’s Open Mic •4:00 pm – Award-winning author Tobias Buckell reads “Spurn Babylon” •5:00 pm – “Twenty Ten Horror and Chills Couture Event” – Fashion Show for the Fashionably Undead from the Infinite Focus Fashion Agency * Scream Machine is brought to us by Grave Concerns Ezine

Interview: Ryan Copple from Riese the Series

Riese6I recently interviewed Ryan Copple from Riese the Series: Is this your first video series?

Yes, this is our first foray into a serialized media. We've all worked on smaller projects, such as pilots and short films. It's been good practice to prepare for something as big as Riese.
That sounds interesting.   Most of the best series have a rich story arc knitting all the episodes together.  This is a good sign for the series.

Why did you decide to make a steampunk series?

It's funny, people have really taken to branding us a "steampunk series", which I don't 100% agree with. Don't misunderstand, I love the steampunk genre, and there are lot of elements we drew from it for the show. I love all the anachronisms in steampunk and the way you can meld eras together to create an entirely new world. We are, however, not having this story take place in a Victorian-era, which is more typical of steampunk. That's why we always try to say steampunk-inspired - we were heavily influenced by the story elements and aesthetics of it, but it would be unfair to the genre itself to say we were totally steampunk.
I've often felt that genre is more of a trap than an aid to marketing.  Creators should always feel free to transcend the genre labels applied to them.

What other steampunk books/series/comics do you like?

[reus name="Last Exile"]I haven't read that many steampunk books yet, though people have been giving me a list that I need to get through. I'm more familiar with the film and television aesthetic. My personal favorite is 'Last Exile', an anime series that people often put with steampunk. The story is great, and the designs and aesthetic is wonderful.
Last Exile is a great series.  The story is brilliant and the show is truly well designed.  I have to say the same about Riese.  While I haven't seen the your show yet, the materials you have made available exhibit those same qualities of design and aesthetic.  The look and feel of your site and trailer have only added to the excitement around the series.

If you had to compare Riese to another series/movie, what would you compare it to?

If I had to pick, I'd say it's a cross between.
The emergence of the Webseries allows the return of the serial: a singular story told over multiple installments.  As a fan of the format, I cannot wait to see what you are going to do with it.

How did you decide to make an Alternative Reality Game (ARG)?

We wanted to create an adventure that would help draw viewers into the world of Riese before we launched. By immersing them in the story even before the show began, we thought it might make players feel more connected to the show as they've been introduced to many of the elements already.

What was the ARG creation experience like?

Well, it's still going on, and it's both exciting and daunting at the same time. I'd say the biggest challenge is keeping up with everyone. You can spend days and days creating puzzles that you think will be challenging, only to have them solved in 15 minutes.
I feel your pain.  We have been toying around with the idea of building an ARG for my next book.  There is a lot to consider and too many variable to consider before release.

What has the response to the ARG been?

Positive so far. My biggest regret is that we lack the resources to make it as expansive as we would have liked. We've kept it pretty small in scope this time, but I know that we have another one planned for down the road that'll be even bigger, assuming the show succeeds.
It would be a great thing if there were an open source ARG engine to make construction easier for everyone.

What tech are you using to make the series?

One big technological asset has been shooting with the RED One. It's an amazing digital camera that has absolutely revolutionized film. It also makes more sense to use for us, as a webseries, because our content is going straight to computers. Shooting on film, while beautiful, would be overkill for a project such as this where the picture quality won't translate to streaming as it does on HD television screens or movies. With the RED we can optimize our media platform and do it economically.
The RED cameras produce wonderful video.  It should set you up for multiple versions of the video.

How many people are involved in making the series?

Too many to count off the top of my head - we've got the creators, producers, costumers, set designers, writers... the list goes on and on! We're incredibly blessed to have each and every one of them on our team though, as we couldn't do it without them.

Do you have plans for merchandising the series? (t-shirts, statuettes, dvds)

When we launch we'll also be rolling out our merchandise store, which will feature apparel and other smaller accessories. Eventually we plan on selling episodes digitally and DVDs. In addition, we're also developing an iPhone card battle game to tie-in with the show.

Sounds interesting.  I cannot wait to see the series.

How Do You Know If You Love SF

batman-blue-grey When asked "Do I love Speculative Fiction?"  The answer is yes I know in my heart that I love Speculative Fiction and would consider myself a fan.  If that question is followed up with "How do you know?"  Then the answer is more difficult and involves a man in a batman suit playing guitar at a street light but more on that latter. One could just claim "I know because that is how I feel."  It is my first answer to this question but people feel many different things throughout the day and even have feelings that contradict previous feelings or their own believed position.  This does not belittle the gut check but it does reduce it's value to one method of discerning one which should be tempered with something else.

Actions speak louder than words.  A phrase that has so much truth to it and is very applicable to this process of discovery.  Our actions toward Speculative Fiction gives us evidence of our true feelings toward it.  Take this real life experience as an example.

Friday, traveling in my car through town I noticed a man standing in the grass near a three way intersection.  This was not ordinary man for he was wearing a Batman costume and jamming away on a guitar with a smile of joy on his face.  I realized by my own thoughts that this is the moment of truth, what are your thoughts about this man?

My thoughts first went toward protection of Speculative Fiction by discerning if the man was doing this out of mockery.  Satisfied that he was not, my mind turned toward fraternal thoughts.  I celebrated in his expression, became excited, thought about which Batman suit he chose and found myself wishing he could have a catwoman singer and a robin playing drums.  If your thoughts turned destructive, toward mocking this man tearing him down and robbing him of his joyous moment then your feelings are in question because your actions say your  not a fan.

How Do You Know If You Love SF?  You know that you love Speculative Fiction if you celebrate it, cherish it and express those feelings in fraternal /constructive actions.  If your actions are hateful, mocking and destructive than you do not love SF.  You are not a fan.

By the way his Batman costume was blue and grey 1960’s style Batman costume.