Week 23 – Christopher Lee

For this week of #SiPgoes53, we’re starting the month of June with another movie celebrity, Christopher Lee.

The actor

Christopher Lee has a cinematic career spanning almost 7 decades. He is best known for his iconic roles as a villain. Most notably, Dracula for the oldest ones, Count Dooku and Saruman for the youngest ones. In addition, he’s also known for playing other villains such as the Creature of Frankenstein, Lord Summerisle, Sir Henry Baskerville or Francisco Scaramanga.

One key feature of Christopher Lee such was his iconic strong deep voice which led him to also to voice acting. I can only recommend listening to the beautiful original poem of the Nightmare Before Christmas he narrated.

Although limited by his age, Christopher Lee continued acting until passing away 4 years ago (on Friday) at the age of 93.

I always ask myself ‘well, what else could I do?’. Making films has never just been a job to me, it is my life. I have some interests outside of acting – I sing and I’ve written books, for instance – but acting is what keeps me going, it’s what I do, it gives life purpose.

Christopher Lee

The singer

To me, Christopher Lee is also of importance for his work as a music singer and narrator, and in particular as the oldest Heavy Metal singer. Having grown up with French dubs of Star Wars and the Lord of the Rings, I actually heard Christopher Lee’s true voice for the first time as a teenager while listening to Rhapsody’s Magic of the Wizard’s Dream.

Following this first collaboration with a Heavy Metal band, he continued to do narration work for Rhapsody. (I can only warmly recommend the wonderful 16-minute long “Mystic Prophecy of the Demon Knight” which ends with Lee’s beautiful narration.) Later he also replaced Orson Welles as the narrator of Manowar’s re-recording of their first album. His last musical appearance was as the narrator on the opening track of Hollywood Vampires, a rock band formed of Alice Cooper, Johnny Depp, and Joe Perry.

But next to these collaborations with existing bands, Christopher Lee also ended up with his own personal project and released two concept albums about Charlemagne. He even became the oldest person to enter the Billboard Hot 100 chart with his heavy metal version of Jingle Bell.

My Elven Charlemagne, inspired by the cheesy but never tiresome video clip of the Bloody Verdict of Verden.

Your image

What will you create for this week? Which aspect, or role, of Christopher’s Lee life will you reuse? Let us know and don’t forget to tag your photos on social media with #SiPgoes53 and #SiP_Christopher_Lee.

Week 18 – Carrie Fisher

This week, our human being is no one else than Carrie Fisher, the big screen incarnation of Leia Organa. If you’re a Star Wars fan, you might notice that assigning this week to her might not have been a coincidence.

The Hollywood Star

Carrie Fisher is most well known for her iconic role as Princess Leia in Star Wars movies. Daughter of a famous singer and a famous actress, it’s no surprise that she made her Broadway debut at the age of 17 and a year later in Hollywood.

Besides Star Wars, she never really had any other leading role as an actress. She had a few other major appearances, including one as the wife of Tom Hanks and one with Billy Crystal and Meg Ryan. She also appeared in the cult movie the Blues Brothers.

In addition to acting, she was also involved in scripts of movies such as Hook and Sister Act (we will probably talk later in the year about that one).

The woman

But Carrie Fisher is a prime example that the life of a Hollywood star isn’t always all glamorous. She was suffering from bipolar disorder and was relying on drugs to medicate its effects and feel “normal”.

Although traces of cocaine and heroin were found in her body, the exact cause of her death, which occurred in December 2016 after losing consciousness in a plane, couldn’t be exactly determined. But it reminds us how mental disorders and social pressure can have a terrible impact on someone’s life.

May the 4th be with you Carrie.

PS: We are planning to do a group blog post featuring photos from different toy photographers to celebrate Carrie Fisher on Saturday. Whether you are a Star Wars fan or not, if you have a toy photo (about Carrie Fisher or Princess Leia), old or new, you can leave a comment to be part of it.

Toy Photography, Hype, and Pop Culture Overdose

Does too much hype kills the hype?

Every time a new CMF series is released, my IG feed is flooded with pictures of the new Minifigures. While some people manage to buy them in stores before the official release date, I’m usually in the category of people who have to wait a few weeks to get them. Indeed, Finnish toy stores (and supermarkets) can be slow getting newly released LEGO sets.

I’m rarely in a hurry when it comes to getting something new, so it’s fine with me. But with the CMF, I noticed that by the time I can buy them, I’ve seen so many pictures that I don’t have any inspiration left to take pictures.

Getting from LEGO a couple of CMF to review for the blog has one advantage: I can play with the new minifigs before Instagram is invaded with pictures of them. It’s how I fell in love with Aria. Without the great opportunity to play earlier with her, I would probably have had very little interest in photographing her. She’s still today one of my favorite Minifigures, always accompanying me outside and still going out in front of my camera regularly.

My latest photo of Aria.

Sometimes, I can experience the same feeling of tiredness with “regular” sets. Lately, it was the LEGO Movie 2 Space Squad. It’s undoubtedly an amazing set. As soon as I saw the first official images, I couldn’t wait to buy it. But by the time I got my own copy in late December, I was already fed up with seeing pictures of the pink spaceman everywhere. So I gave up the idea of using the spaceman for any photo.

Pop Culture Overdose

But besides the more occasional hype coming with the release of new toys, I’m experiencing more and more that feeling on a whole new level. I’m getting tired of pop culture.

Continue reading “Toy Photography, Hype, and Pop Culture Overdose”

A look back at a year on the Death Star

That’s it!
My #SiPgoes52 project is finished.
1 year, 12 months, 52 weeks, 52 pictures.

At the time, I am writing these words, I have just finished editing my last picture in the series giving it its final name “32_Humility.jpg”. (Yes, I had to get back on the horse with this project after a long summer break. So I did not make them in order at the end.)
It’s a bitter-sweet moment…
On the one end, I am really happy with what I accomplished. I am proud of my pictures. I am relieved that I was able to finish in time.
But on the other end, making the 52nd picture, the last one, means that it’s over. And I hate things that end. I hate saying goodbye.

The full project

So, to help me with cope with “Post Project Depression”, let me share my feelings about this past year, my ideas for the future with this project, my “best something” pictures and show you the big picture to discover a secret hidden story.

Continue reading “A look back at a year on the Death Star”

Gold Leader or A Long Time Ago…

The story so far

A long time ago there was a young boy whose friends at school had told him about a galaxy far, far away. The little boy told his father about that galaxy, too. So one day they went to the movies to find out all about it. The boy and his father both enjoyed the film as well as the galaxy. The father didn’t have too much time to dive into this new universe as he had to work a lot. But the boy sure did. And soon the characters, stories, heroes, and villains were a big part of his life.

The young son in his own far away galaxy

Continue reading “Gold Leader or A Long Time Ago…”

Life on the Death Star

We are now 7 weeks into this year challenge, here on Stuck In Plastic. A new word (value or emotion) every week with a picture to illustrate it.

I am glad to see that many people are participating with us, taking and posting pictures on social media using the hashtag #SiPgoes52 . Continue reading “Life on the Death Star”

Security begets Confidence

Leading on from one of last month’s words, confidence, is security.

So I asked myself “Where do we find security?”

It's in routines, in friendships, and in the familiar. Security begets Confidence.Click To Tweet

When I picked security as a word to tackle this month, I thought it would be pretty easy to come up with an idea. However, as I delved deeper, and asked a few friends for their interpretations, I realised it wasn’t such a simple task.

So when I eventually came up with this shot I, felt it encompassed the word on different levels. Vader feels emotionally secure surrounded by friends, confident in his own abilities, but also physically safe and sound in his own bed.

Let me tell you something… in confidence

Confidence…
I am looking at a blank page with the word “Confidence” written in capital letters in a corner. And nothing comes to mind.

That was me a few days ago starting to think about this week’s picture: “confidence”.
Creativity”  seemed easier to me and with the rules I set myself for this project (more on that later in another blog post), I had difficulties to find a proper idea.
Looking at the whole list, I know that I will get this blank feeling again in the next weeks.

So, I looked at myself, at my past, my feelings and the first idea arrived. Continue reading “Let me tell you something… in confidence”

The Last Winner

The Last Jedi

With The Last Jedi in full force in a theatre near you, it is time for us to share the last winners of twenty seventeen in our creative competitions.
Don’t worry, the Force will be with us in twenty eighteen, and a new challenge is just around the corner. But first, we need to take a look at all the awesomeness you threw at us with our latest creative toy photography challenge,  #SiPgoesJedi.

The Council came together and looked at all the pictures, and had a very hard time to decide. So many fun entries and creative toy photography ahead of The Last Jedi. And before we head into the nominees and final winners of twenty seventeen, we want to thank every single one of you for joining in the fun. Continue reading “The Last Winner”