Help from the Heavens
Neither the game nor the photos from it serve to promote any movement that aims to suppress human rights and freedoms; on the contrary, its goal is to raise social awareness and make a moral appeal..
I’ve made the first photographs of this year during a weekend in Jeseníky, but these are the first pictures I’ve made this year at a larp – Help from the Heavens (Pomoc z nebes). It was already the fourth run of this game, so everything ran smoothly. Although it’s true that most of the costumes would make some living history enthusiasts mad, but this wasn’t historical reenactment, so we didn’t care about these details so much…
This larp took place in a mill close to Lovosice. For the game purposes the mill portrayed a small guesthouse somewhere in Sudetenland at New Year’s Eve 1938. Around thirty guests arrived at the guesthouse, but the New Year’s celebrations weren’t to anyone’s expectations. It wasn’t even dusk yet and it was already very hard to find a smile on anyone’s face. Later the mood became even worse when the first dead body was found. And the dead bodies kept piling up. Although the game started positively, the atmosphere thickened over time.
The New Year’s Eve atmosphere was heavily supported by the snow outside and early dusk. On the other hand, it somewhat complicated the photography – there wasn’t enough light for most of the moments. I was shooting on much higher ISO than I would like to, however after I’ve added some postproduction filters to make the pictures more period like most of the digital noise vanished.
There are three sorts of pictures here. Photographs from the game itself and staged portraits are in the period like form. Colored photographs are from the off the game moments and workshops before the game. In most cases I let the players stage the portraits because they knew their characters better than I did, but I couldn’t resist the need to stage the portrait in one case; based on a scene I’ve seen during the game and was stunned by it.
To say this was the best game of this year yet would have no weight, due to the fact that so far it’s the only one. But I can say it was one of the three best larps I’ve seen in last 365 days.
The next big thing for me will be the international run of Legions, which I’ll be documenting this weekend.