Not too long ago, in this very galaxy, I wrote a song about that pivotal moment in gaming where it all comes down to the final toss of the dice. In old skool Dungeons & Dragons, Save or Die was a term used for extreme situations where a character’s life depended on a single roll. Those moments can be extremely intense, and the song is a tribute to that intensity.
The video was shot on an iPhone using a mix of normal video and timelapse. Shooting it was unplanned – I was feeling distracted after a night of very little sleep, and thought I’d play around with shooting timelapse stop motion, pushing a few dice around. After watching the first clip I got the idea of turning it into something else… I toned and processed it to match the mood of the tune and added floaty lyrics for cheese (and for bonus cheese, I used avQest aka “the Diablo font”).
On the 24th of June, I was asked to document an important night for entertainer Molly Lewis. She had recently graduated college and had decided to throw a celebratory concert, inviting some of her friends and fellow performers to share the stage with her at Seattle’s awesome venue, The Triple Door. There is nothing I love more than documenting an event like this, and I was extremely excited to be asked.
Shooting a concert like this one, is akin to shooting a wedding. It’s a once-in-a-lifetime event, hugely important to the client, and there is definitely a pressure to deliver some memorable results. There is no do-over if you fail, but if you deliver good work, the client will be forever thankful. I brought an extra camera, so I could go back and forth between my favorite lenses without having to waste time switching. Missing some fantastic moment is easy when there are so many talented people together in one spot. Granted, most of the gold happens on stage, but there are always a few hidden diamonds behind the scenes as well. Those are the shots I live for!
I arrived at the venue around 3.30pm, so I could cover all the last minute prep that goes into something like this. The band hastily rehearsing a few songs, harmonies being perfected, monitors being adjusted, jokes being made. Lots of ideas are still being thrown around at this point, and during downtime artists are candidly discussing their work and dreams – or passing time playing a game. The four and half hours between my arrival and official show start went by fast.
It was after 11pm when I left the venue, happy and exhausted, knowing I had at least another 10 hours of solid work, sorting and post-processing the images. I walked out on the streets of Seattle, caught a cab home and collapsed on the couch.
Below is a gallery of photos I took at the event. Of the 1,100 frames I shot before sorting away all the misfires, and frames badly out of focus (which happens a lot in such low light, and with people moving around), a grand total of 444 images survived the culling, were post-processed and sent off to a hopefully happy Molly Lewis.
I urge you to check out the performers present at the concert:
Deepest Dungeon is a song about crawling around in dungeons, killing monsters and collecting loot. Or what some people call “a great way to spend the weekend”. It’s my second song inspired by gaming, and probably not the last…
I’m crowdsourcing, kind of.
After I wrote Save or Die, I decided to let “the crowd” (that’s you) decide whether the world needed more nerd rock songs by yours truly. I am humbled and happy to report, that there were people out there who wanted that to happen. If you’re one of them, thank you for helping me overcome my own insecurities!
Anyway, here is it, download Deepest Dungeon from Bandcamp. You get to name your own price, starting at free. Again, thank you for the support and encouragement.