Sierra Studios Manifesto

Part 2 of 6

They're off to kill the wizardDon’t dream it, see it, is my motto.

Is anything more unreal than a brick and mortar box with decorative plants in porcelain containers to remind us of a natural environment we’ve chosen to ignore and destroy?

As with the great movie studios of yesteryear, some pictures are designed specifically to showcase the strength of an actor… Others are based on completely different scenarios from unexplored personal unreality.

The Bride of Frankenstein piloting a spaceship in battle? Why not? Do you mean to imply that a woman made from dead body parts in the days of black-and-white can’t pilot a cargo cruiser through an asteroid field as well as Chewie? Drop your sexist/ageist tendencies right now, mister. This is a new world where anything is possible.

Yutani battles Xenomorph

Today, my most often used actor/figures come from Diamond Select Toys and NECA, the best “casting” agencies in the business, if you ask me. Sometimes they come from Mezco Toys… They include... Dracula, Frankenstein, the Bride of Frankenstein, Van Helsing, Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde, the Creature from the Black Lagoon, various Xenomorphs and many others.

It may have started with The Creature from The Black Lagoon figure sculpted by Rudy Garcia. I had discovered the movie as a child and re-discovered it as a young man (at a revival house) and again later as a grown-up on DVD. At each stage I found different levels of complexity and simplicity in the story, and eventually the creature came to symbolize Cuba and her struggles for independence.

And so you don’t think of me exclusively as some Universal-Monsters-fan-boy, I’m also fond of Sin City figures such as Marv and Gail... the cast of Breaking Bad and Lord of The Rings, at one time or another Star Trek figures, Iron men, Bat men and Bat foes, storm-troopers and others, have faced the cameras at Sierra Studios.

My monsters also include Xenomorphs and giant indescribable freaks of nature that destroyed cities (Ymir) and challenged mankind’s role at the top of the food chain (Gojira).

Eventually I learned not to rely solely on Photoshop for backgrounds. I learned to do as much as I could “on camera” to minimize the need for software intervention and Photoshop deal-making. I began to look at old films for inspiration... Do the stars of Sierra Studios productions deserve any less?

The research is more than pleasurable.


NEXT: On Capturing Larger-Than-Life Personalities

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