Oh, I remember the good ol’ days of collecting trading cards. Among my collection one would find: baseball, basketball, comic book and even boxing cards! But, my favorite kind of card to collect was of the horror variety!
Parlor of Horror has nominated me for the Versatile Blogger Award! Now, although I have no idea what this means or what it’s all about I have to say that I am pretty honored. I have never participated in such an event but thought I’d give it a shot.
Apparently I have to nominate 10 other blogs and participation is not necessarily “mandatory”. So, your mission, should you choose to accept it is listed below. And, if you choose not to participate, your DEAD to me! Kidding – no hard feelings whatsoever! If I don’t nominate you, don’t worry as this is all new to me and probably don’t really know what the hell I’m doing anyway
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Ok, so maybe it’s not mine, but I’m on board as AD (Assistant Director for those who didn’t know – was that too posh?) as well as casting director and set designer (more like assistant set designer)! Pretty exciting stuff – but in order to make this happen we are calling on the public, friends and family to show their support and lend a helping hand in order to get the funds.
So it’s a fake “bootleg” trailer for the upcoming horror remake, The Evil Dead. As much as I was not happy with the announcement of the remake, I have to admit that this fan-made horror trailer for the film almost gave me some goosebumps (almost!) Pretty impressive, to say the least.
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Browsing the web for good examples of dark photography, I stumbled upon photographer Amanda Norman, who is based out of the UK. Starting out as an amateur photographer, Amanda has taken her love for photography and blossomed it into a major talent who, I believe, is only getting started with her craft.
I found myself immersed in her photos as they capture the essence of both dark and Gothic and was compelled to reach out and talk to her. And so, I did.
To my surprise, she responded and a conversation ensued. I got to know her a little and thought it would be a good idea for others to get to know her as well as to help spread her fantastic work. Hence, this interview was conducted.
ReelyBored: When did you decide to become a photographer?
Amanda Norman: I’ve never made a conscious decision to become a photographer.
I just started taking photographs. At first they were snap shots and that’s when I decided that I wanted to capture the atmosphere and emotion of my subjects, which isn’t that easy to do. I’m still learning, but I’ve always had a creative mind.
ReelyBored: Can you recall the first photo you took that made you go WOW!?
Amanda Norman: This is a hard question.
Like I said in my previous answer, my first shots were just snaps and I wasn’t happy with the photos I took of an angel in the local cemetery as it didn’t have no atmosphere about it. I wanted to portray the eerie feeling I sensed when walking past these life sized statues. Remember the scene in Interview with the Vampire when the eyes of that statue follow Louis? This is the feeling I get and the first photograph of an angel that made me go WOW is this one due to the dark shape against a brooding sky.
ReelyBored: Define the word “beauty”!
Amanda Norman: You like asking hard questions don’t you?
I find beauty in objects or places that inspire my creativity. It’s usually something that has taken many hours or years to have been created.
ReelyBored: How does your personality change when you look through the camera?
Amanda Norman: I wouldn’t say that my personality changes other than I possibly become a loner as I don’t have anyone in my personal life who understands my passion for creating Gothic or horror photography.
ReelyBored: What is your favorite image, either your own or someone else’s or both? Describe its creation or meaning to you?
Amanda Norman: The first image that had me awe struck was Salvador Dali’s ‘Spain’. On first impression, it looks like a battle scene in a desert, but when viewed carefully, you can clearly see a woman known as ‘Mother Spain’ leaning on a chest of draws. This painting tells a story about the Spanish Civil War. Other images of Dali’s that excite me are ‘Swans Reflecting Elephants’ and ‘The Face of War’ as I find that particular one creepy.
I believe that Salvador Dali taught me that every picture should have a meaning to it. You need to draw the viewer in and let their imagination take over. If someone just glances at a photo, what’s the point in taking it to present to the world?
ReelyBored: What are your favorite subjects to photograph?
Amanda Norman: Favourite subjects to photograph are usually old and eerie. I like taking photographs of Gothic architecture especially if it’s in a decayed state as I find it a shame and a challenge to portray the beauty it once held.
I also like taking photographs of gargoyles and grotesques as there can be some hideous faces. These are hard to photograph as they’re usually high on a building.
I also like taking photographs of cemetery angels and other monuments and my favourite subject to photograph are people for my dark portrait collection.
My dark portrait collection started quite accidentally when I took a photograph of my ‘Uncle Terry’. He likes to pull creepy faces.
ReelyBored: Why horror photography?
Amanda Norman: Well it’s the old Gothic horror films that inspire my photography. Back in the days before CGI, directors relied on music and the effects of lighting to provoke the intensity to scare the audience. My best example is the hideous shadow of Nosferatu climbing the stairs as everyone must have seen this. It’s so iconic!
ReelyBored: Do you sometimes freak yourself out while on a shoot?
Amanda Norman: There was only one occasion that freaked me out and it was within the local cemetery. I was alone and had the strong impression that I was being watched. I scanned the headstones and could see no one so I returned to taking photographs. All of a sudden, I got the STRONG urge to turn around quickly and I seen what I can only describe as a heat haze shimmer pass me at a very fast speed. That was freaky and I decided to call it a day and leave although I must stress that I wasn’t terrified.
ReelyBored: Tell me your funniest, scariest, most bizarre, most touching story from a photo shoot!
Amanda Norman: I have a friend who is also called Mandy and she is a dark artist in her own right and her work can be viewed on Zazzle at http://www.zazzle.com/amandaryanstudios
She features in a lot of my dark portraits simply because she looks so evil in them. Now in real life she doesn’t look evil or bad, but once she gets in front of my lens, it’s like her true soul of a witch is revealed. Her own family excluding her husband, can’t look at the portraits and some of her friends don’t believe that it is her face.
Portraits of Mandy include:
The Hag The Witch Evil Mandy Amanda Ryan
ReelyBored: Who or what would you love to shoot that you haven’t already?
Amanda Norman: I would love to do more dark portraits especially for people who would use them to promote themselves while I gain recognition for my work. Such people can include musicians, actors, the list is endless really. I would love to photograph Marilyn Manson and Christopher Lee. That would be totally awesome!
ReelyBored: How do you feel about digital manipulation and to what extent do you utilize it?
Amanda Norman: I don’t have a problem with digital manipulation as I use it sparingly on mainly my dark portraits. None of my subjects use makeup to create the effect, they simply pull a face and I do the rest by playing with digital effects, mainly the lighting.
ReelyBored: Any advice for aspiring photographers?
Amanda Norman: Yes! Don’t be told that you can’t do that! I was told that I shouldn’t take close up shots of faces as it’s not the ‘done’ thing. Screw normality!
If you’re creative, go out and explore your creativity and don’t be held back.
ReelyBored: Any plugs?
Amanda Norman: Of course!
Gothic & Horror Collection
My Zazzle store features my photography on products that you can add your own text to like Birthday cards, business cards, invitation cards and it also features prints and posters that are for sale.
Features my gallery and blog titled ‘Inside the Mind of a Horror Photographer’.
You can also find me on Twitter at http://twitter.com/AmandaNorman
Thank you, Amanda, for your time and for allowing me and my readers the opportunity to get to know you a little better!
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Say it isn’t is so! Some of you may know that I am not a fan of the remake/re-imagining/re-boot of many films that do not deem worthy of another sequel, or as some film makers would say, an updated version. The concept may be without malice but… egh, I take that back. With the recent success of remakes in the $$$ front and the lack of honest to God film making, it is obvious that there is little to no effort being put forth into these movies and their main “objective” is one simple thing… money. Hence, my dislike of the decisions being made into financing said movies.
Enter the possibility of a potential reboot of the Mortal Kombat series. Now, this is certainly one that I would be interested and excited about. Why? Well, because I don’t think the film makers had it right the first time around. Being based on a video game, the film makers seemed to want to make sure that that point came across and, in my opinion, it did! Only it was a little too much. Sure, it is one of the better adaptations from a video game into a movie but, still, there is certainly room for improvement.
The only question I have is, is this clip real? Or is it someone’s way of generating interest to see if there is any? I don’t know, see for yourself.
For some further news on this and its confirmation, click HERE!
After putting my intentions of watching Fringe to the side with the usual, “Egh, I’ll watch it eventually.” Well that turned into two full seasons missed. No longer the case as I have officially finished Episode 1 of Season 1. Even prior to the conclusion of this episode and only about 5 minutes into the show, I was already digging this new show. I said the same thing at the episode’s conclusion as I did in the first 5 minutes of the show, and that is, “Wow!”
With the near conclusion of Lost I can only thank my lucky stars for finally giving this show a shot as I intended so long ago. Truly, and only judging after only watching one episode, I think it is safe to say that this show is a gem and listed in that rare list of good television. Not surprisingly, J.J. Abrams name is attached to the show which only heightened my excitement.
Of course, watching this show was very reminiscent of watching Chris Carter’s X-Files, only this seems to be much better and action packed, not to mention greatly written.
The only I that I can ask myself is, what the hell took me so long to jump on this wagon!? I’ll try and figure that out some other time. Right now, on to episode 2!