Unreality Studios manifesto

Part 3 of A Photo-Illusionist’s Declaration by Jerry A. Sierra


On Capturing Larger-Than-Life Personalities

Gail with Machine GunSometimes the images tell stories… the process of making them gets away from me and I fall into their world… however temporarily… other times they start out as stories, or as simply portraits… the idea of making a formal portrait of Dracula in daylight is fascinating to me, as is photographing The Bride of Frankenstein in a designer dress, or beach-wear.

Sometimes these stories don’t make much sense to anyone not living in my brain or able to read my mind. It’s my challenge to make them accessible. Or to even think that I should. Or to try to care about this at all… because I really don’t. I want what I want. For example;

Van Helsing has gone insane

When asked about his brutality, Van Helsing goes all Colonel Kurtz; “Let he who is without sin stay out of my way…” and then he smiles.

"But you killed Silent Bob!" I say to him… WITH AN AXE!

“I never liked that guy!” he says violently, showing me a recently-sharpened axe that’s seen a lot of action lately. “How could you not like Silent Bob?” I snap back, embracing the advantage of the real over the unreal to lose all fear of his insane stare…

He seems to think. Then, “I don’t trust ANYONE named… Silent.”

Van Helsing with weapons

I don’t respond, mostly because he’s nuts, (obviously), heavily armed and pre-forgiven by “the church” for any crimes or mistakes he might commit in his battle against evil… and I know that the only way this story could end, if it were to continue, is with my head on a stick and Van Helsing uttering the word… “moron!”

Some projects are unnecessarily serious… like this new series based on the books by Carlos Castaneda, which I loved. Somehow this series is different from all the other monster projects… is it because I started re-reading the Castaneda books out of chronological order? Is there a deeper, more serious dysfunction that attracts me to Castaneda? Probably.

But while most Unreality productions are a celebration of the great movies and characters that help us escape reality, “The Tonal and The Nagual” is a more serious exploration of the mythical and spiritual reality that could be ours if only…

Van Helsing insane setup


NEXT: My Kitchen Studio Space

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