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Arms Race - steampunk short film

Posted: Thu, 21st Oct 2010, 7:13pm

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Simon K Jones

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Rating: +1

Time to jump onto the production topic bandwagon! Well, I say 'production' but this film is almost out the door already, as I finished final editing tweaks a couple of nights ago.

Arms Race is something I've been working on for a while, having handled camerawork during the shoot and then editing, VFX, sound and grading in post. It's described as 'a nostalgic action adventure set during the Crimean War'.

The premiere is scheduled for November 13th and it'll be going up on YouTube shortly afterwards.

There's a website over at armsracemovie.com and we even have one of those fancy new Facebook pages, so please do 'like' it, if you're so inclined.

Will reveal some more info over the next couple of weeks. In the meantime, here's a nice little poster:

Last edited Mon, 15th Nov 2010, 10:07am; edited 2 times in total.

Posted: Thu, 21st Oct 2010, 7:38pm

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The Strider

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Nice! High quality stuff as always, Tarn. Don't stop making us all jealous.
Posted: Thu, 21st Oct 2010, 7:56pm

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Serpent

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Oohoo, looks interesting. Consider it "liked." I look forward to updates and the film.

Great poster by the way.
Posted: Thu, 21st Oct 2010, 9:22pm

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Axeman

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I want more steampunkishness in the poster image. The title graphics are great, with the banding and rivets and whatnot, but the image you selected is less dynamic that I would like. There is nothing in it to grab my attention.

But, the poster image notwithstanding, I am looking forward to this.
Posted: Thu, 21st Oct 2010, 10:51pm

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Serpent

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Personally, I like the "classic" appeal of the poster. Like a modernized take on an older minimalist design style. That's just me though.

One thing that throws me off though, is "IT'S A TRAP!," specifically the one at the top. That phrase is so recognizable and internet memeish to me, and my eye is so drawn to it like it's a logo, that it takes me out of that classic feeling for a bit. Who is "It's a Trap!"? It doesn't make or break the poster, but it's one thing I noticed about it even at a glance.
Posted: Fri, 22nd Oct 2010, 7:28am

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Simon K Jones

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Axeman wrote:

I want more steampunkishness in the poster image. The title graphics are great, with the banding and rivets and whatnot, but the image you selected is less dynamic that I would like. There is nothing in it to grab my attention.
This is just the first poster. smile I wanted to present it as a more 'standard' war picture at first, before revealing more about the film over the next two weeks.

Serpent wrote:

One thing that throws me off though, is "IT'S A TRAP!," specifically the one at the top. That phrase is so recognizable and internet memeish to me, and my eye is so drawn to it like it's a logo, that it takes me out of that classic feeling for a bit. Who is "It's a Trap!"? It doesn't make or break the poster, but it's one thing I noticed about it even at a glance.
It's the name of the team that produce the film. I'm not part of It's A Trap, but know them all well and helped out on this short film. The name is indeed a bit incongruous, but it's the same name they've had for a decade-or-so, so was unlikely to change. smile
Posted: Fri, 22nd Oct 2010, 7:35am

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Sollthar

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Lovely! A production topic after the production. smile

Having had insight into this, I'm really looking forward to seeing the final thing. It's becoming increasingly good fun!

And I do love the posters for it! cool
Posted: Fri, 22nd Oct 2010, 1:09pm

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mercianfilm

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This looks really good! I like the poster also, it looks really vibrant (The uniform and logo) and as people have said it looks quite classic. I think it's about time someone did something about this era, even if it is just a short, it was one of the most important eras in medical history as well as militarily. Good luck with the premiere .
Posted: Mon, 25th Oct 2010, 7:20am

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Simon K Jones

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And here's the second poster:

Last edited Fri, 29th Oct 2010, 1:04pm; edited 1 times in total.

Posted: Mon, 25th Oct 2010, 8:08am

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Axeman

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Even better than the first!
Posted: Mon, 25th Oct 2010, 8:14am

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Aculag

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That's awesome.
Posted: Mon, 25th Oct 2010, 8:20am

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Simon K Jones

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Nothing better than a photo of a shouty man on a Monday morning, right?
Posted: Tue, 26th Oct 2010, 12:50pm

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mercianfilm

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I'm really can't wait for the next update now- it's getting very exciting. By the way, just wondering where you got your costumes? have you had them commisioned or loaned from a shop?
Posted: Tue, 26th Oct 2010, 12:54pm

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Simon K Jones

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I'm hoping to do a blog post tonight with some background to the people that made the movie, to give the project some context.

I'm not sure about the costumes, mercian - I'll check with the production designer (who just so happens to be sitting at the desk on the other side of the room to me). smile
Posted: Tue, 26th Oct 2010, 1:13pm

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mercianfilm

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I think a blog would be excellent! Like i said in the fractured memories post i always find blogs and posts about behind the scenes very interesting, i always seem to learn something new about film making- even if it's something simple like making sure you have a games console and plenty of cake on hand if the shoot gets lengthy.
Also i noticed it said after the premiere the film would be available online, i don't know if you've mentioned it earlier but do you know how it's becoming available, if it's youtube or similar that'd be great but i wouldn't mind paying to see it to be honest!
Posted: Tue, 26th Oct 2010, 1:53pm

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Leeloo

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just wondering where you got your costumes? have you had them commisioned or loaned from a shop?
Production design was actually very much a team effort, though all had a good feel for the style of the piece so it was rare anyone was far from the look the director wanted.

The costumes came from an army and navy surplus store and they were purchased, as we knew they might get quite damaged through the process of filming. Perfect authenticity wasn't a factor luckily, or we'd have had more trouble getting the right costumes. The choice was more about setting the right tone. The heavy wool uniforms were really uncomfortable in summer so some of the sweat was very authentic.

In addition we've used this store for costumes and props for a variety of productions so over time they've gotten in the habit of spotting and holding on to something usual we might use!
Posted: Tue, 26th Oct 2010, 4:07pm

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Simon K Jones

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mercianfilm wrote:

Also i noticed it said after the premiere the film would be available online, i don't know if you've mentioned it earlier but do you know how it's becoming available, if it's youtube or similar that'd be great but i wouldn't mind paying to see it to be honest!
The current plan is to put it up on YouTube for free. Although a lot of time and effort has gone into the production, it is still a (very!) low budget, very short film and isn't really the kind of thing for which we'd want to charge.

Thanks for the offer though. smile
Posted: Tue, 26th Oct 2010, 5:24pm

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Pooky

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WHAT BUDGET U HAVE TO MAK IT???
Posted: Tue, 26th Oct 2010, 8:56pm

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Simon K Jones

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mercianfilm wrote:

I think a blog would be excellent! Like i said in the fractured memories post i always find blogs and posts about behind the scenes very interesting
Well, hopefully you'll find something of interest in this, then:

http://armsracemovie.com/2010/10/26/who-made-arms-race/

smile

Pooky wrote:

WHAT BUDGET U HAVE TO MAK IT???
Do you want that in blood, sweat, or tears?
Posted: Thu, 28th Oct 2010, 11:37am

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mercianfilm

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It was interesting! And it seemed like you had a lot of work on your hands during production and post, i wouldn't be surprised if you were the tea-maker as well!
Posted: Fri, 29th Oct 2010, 1:06pm

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Simon K Jones

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Here's poster #3!



I have a rather packed weekend due to my 30th birthday, but will be posting some more behind-the-scenes stuff next week.
Posted: Fri, 29th Oct 2010, 1:41pm

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Rockfilmers

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Looks really nice and Happy Birthday! smile
Posted: Fri, 29th Oct 2010, 3:15pm

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Biblmac

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Yeah, it does look nice! and happy birthday to you!
Posted: Fri, 29th Oct 2010, 3:56pm

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swintonmaximilian

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Looking good, and happy birthday Simon.

Max
Posted: Fri, 29th Oct 2010, 4:49pm

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Serpent

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Best one yet. Really badass. Have a great birthday.
Posted: Mon, 1st Nov 2010, 7:49am

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Simon K Jones

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Thanks for the birthday wishes guys! It was a good one. smile

Meanwhile, back in posterville...

Posted: Mon, 1st Nov 2010, 8:32am

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danielgwood

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That looks like it is made of win. Quite excited.
Posted: Mon, 1st Nov 2010, 8:41am

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Sollthar

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Yup, that's my favorite one. smile

Oh, and a belated happy birthday from me too!
Posted: Mon, 1st Nov 2010, 1:17pm

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Biblmac

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The most recent one, yeah pretty much my favorite. Awesome stuff Tarn!
Posted: Mon, 1st Nov 2010, 3:25pm

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Axeman

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Now we're talking! That's what I was waiting to see on a poster. Now I'm very excited to see this. Methinks it will be rad.
Posted: Mon, 1st Nov 2010, 3:27pm

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rogolo

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Enough with the pictures - let's see some motion! smile

Any ETA on a teaser?
Posted: Mon, 1st Nov 2010, 4:03pm

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Simon K Jones

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No plans for a teaser, as the film itself is only about 4 minutes long. smile

There will be some more behind-the-scenes blog posts and a few more posters - it's only a couple of weeks now until the movie itself is released.

If anybody is in/nearby Norwich, the premiere is the 13th and details are on the Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Arms-Race/155668571135198
Posted: Mon, 1st Nov 2010, 4:39pm

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rogolo

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Hehe, gotcha. Must've missed that...will definitely be looking forward to it's internet-based premiere, then wink

Last edited Thu, 4th Nov 2010, 8:13am; edited 1 times in total.

Posted: Thu, 4th Nov 2010, 7:56am

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Simon K Jones

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Posted: Thu, 4th Nov 2010, 11:15pm

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Simon K Jones

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New blog post, going behind-the-scenes on the shoot:

http://armsracemovie.com/2010/11/04/shooting-arms-race/
Posted: Fri, 5th Nov 2010, 3:57am

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Biblmac

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Awesome stuff Tarn! Very cool blog!
Posted: Mon, 8th Nov 2010, 8:06am

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Simon K Jones

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One last poster:

Posted: Tue, 9th Nov 2010, 5:24pm

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mercianfilm

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' With Robots' and i thought this project couldn't get cooler! biggrin it's getting incredibly close to release date and i can't wait! This one was my favourite poster - you definately saved the best one for last in my opinion! I like the debris and mud blown about in that shot, very cool!

Not long till the premiere are you all excited?
Posted: Wed, 10th Nov 2010, 12:49pm

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Simon K Jones

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Thanks mercian! Given your interest in the actual Crimean War I thought the steampunk angle might put you off a bit, so I'm glad to hear it hasn't! smile

The premiere is this Saturday which is very exciting! It'll be a relatively small crowd but most of the cast and crew will be seeing it for the first time. Fingers crossed they all like it.

I will of course post here once the film itself is online, and we'll also be updating armsracemovie.com and the Facebook page.

Thanks again for your interest, I hope you like the movie when you see it. smile
Posted: Mon, 15th Nov 2010, 8:43am

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Simon K Jones

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Rating: +2

I'll be putting this in the cinema shortly, but in the meantime:

Posted: Mon, 15th Nov 2010, 10:14am

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Atom

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A 4 minute 'scene' of a movie with a 1 minute of opening titles and 1:15 of closing credits.

Yikes.

The editing and visual effects are both really top notch though, Tarn. So congrats, in that aspect, truthfully. The rest, I didn't really care for. Felt too long and same-y for how ironically short it was, without being clever or stylish enough to pull that sort of mood off. Not really that explainable past that, sadly. But again, I've got no complaint on your end of the work on the project. All very top notch there.

Last edited Mon, 15th Nov 2010, 10:18am; edited 1 times in total.

Posted: Mon, 15th Nov 2010, 10:17am

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Simon K Jones

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Atom wrote:

A 4 minute video with a 1 minute of opening titles and 1:30 of closing credits.

Yikes.
Well, the opening titles are part of the film itself, and nobody was forcing you to watch the end credits. razz

Glad you liked some aspects of the film - it's certainly a quirky little thing and aimed at a very particular type of genre fan, but I'm very pleased with how it came out overall.

Last edited Mon, 15th Nov 2010, 10:36am; edited 1 times in total.

Posted: Mon, 15th Nov 2010, 10:18am

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danielgwood

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Atom wrote:

A 4 minute video with a 1 minute of opening titles and 1:30 of closing credits.

Yikes.
If we're going to get picky, its 5:32 long, has 1:10 of openers, and 1:00 of closing.
Posted: Mon, 15th Nov 2010, 11:28am

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Sollthar

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Hehe, nice to see this in completion. It's a fun little thing - allthough I agree it's a bit random storywise. But the technicals are definately fun! And that new cut definately made a difference!
There's still a couple of shots in you decided to not cut down in length and I don't think the project profits from that decision, but I'm picky. smile

For what it is, it's great fun! biggrin
Posted: Mon, 15th Nov 2010, 2:36pm

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mercianfilm

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Finally! I've been waiting ages for this and i've got to say i'm not disappointed! This short film was amazing- i've never come across steam punk before but i think it's a brilliant idea- it reminds me a bit of wild wild west with will smith (I hope you don't take that as an insult- a few critics have been quite savage fo their reviews of that film, i however enjoyed it!)
This was very original and in quite a unique setting as well i think, the vfx were amazing, the location was a very good choice as well- i don't know how much you dressed it but it suited a battlefield very well i feel.
I shouldn't have really watched this in the library- i nearly let out a tiny squeal of delight when he pulled that chaingun out it's case!

A very enjoyable film and i think you deserve a lot of the praise for it Tarn- seeign as you did the camera and the visuals which i think are the biggest selling points for this film (Even though it's free! )Very well done and i think you might have converted me to the steam punkish-ness...thing.

Sam

P.s how did the premiere go?
Posted: Mon, 15th Nov 2010, 3:48pm

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Simon K Jones

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mercianfilm wrote:

Finally! I've been waiting ages for this and i've got to say i'm not disappointed!
Hooray! Given your enthusiasm and support over the last few weeks I was particularly hopeful that you'd like it, so that's great to hear.

This short film was amazing- i've never come across steam punk before but i think it's a brilliant idea- it reminds me a bit of wild wild west with will smith
I've not seen WWW myself, although I hear it isn't great. It is indeed in the steampunk genre - it's a strangely underused genre in movies, despite the visual potential. Obviously in our short we were limited in what we could show, but a big Hollywood blockbuster could really do some amazing stuff.

I think Ron Moore (who did the Battlestar Galactica remake) is trying to put together a new Wild Wild West movie, so that could be worth keeping an eye on.

This was very original and in quite a unique setting as well i think, the vfx were amazing, the location was a very good choice as well- i don't know how much you dressed it but it suited a battlefield very well i feel.
Thanks! The art team did a great job with very little time and few resources. Now that the film is out I'll be doing some more behind-the-scenes blogging with some photos from the set, and I hope to do some before/after type stuff on the VFX at some point.

A very enjoyable film and i think you deserve a lot of the praise for it Tarn- seeign as you did the camera and the visuals which i think are the biggest selling points for this film
Thanks very much, that's very kind! This was very much a team effort, though, and I wouldn't have had a chance to have fun with the visuals without the hard work of everybody else. I think the costumes and props are particularly cool in Arms Race - partly because they seem so natural in the setting.

P.s how did the premiere go?
Really well! I'll be blogging about that too. The main thing was that the film was very well received, with lots of laughter in the right places. The main thing for me was that the cast and crew all seemed pleased - so vital when you're working for free, as a satisfying end product hopefully means that they'll come back to help on future projects. smile
Posted: Mon, 15th Nov 2010, 5:40pm

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Pooky

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Really, Tarn, you haven't seen Wild Wild West? That's one of the best bad movies to come out of the 90s! Also, it had a giant mechanical steam-powered spider.
Posted: Mon, 15th Nov 2010, 6:24pm

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mercianfilm

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yeah that's one of the reasons i enjoyed it biggrin I'd check it out just for that really.

Tarn- all those blogs would be great! something else to look forward to biggrin
Posted: Mon, 15th Nov 2010, 8:08pm

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Aculag

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Nicely done! I must admit, I was expecting something longer, but I really liked the style. I'm planning on shooting a steampunk-style Jane Austen parody early next year, and the costumes and props here really gave me some inspiration. Excellent!