Friday, 19 February 2010

A few weeks back one follower 5thstate asked a few questions, so at long last here are a few answers.He asked

Q. "How you go about shooting your videos--do you run around all over the place or just follow your mates into action? Do you have a steadicam rig? How much do you think about framing and how the end result will look, or is that all taken care of in editing?"

A. I don't have a steadicam rig, I only recently looked at getting one but decided against it for now,but I might get one in the near future, a lot of the time I am flat down on the ground with the camera pointing up and I could not get as low as that with the steady-cam and that's why I have never bought one so far.I do think about the framing a lot when filming, I am always looking at whats going on in the background of the frame, trying to get the people behind the main shot into the frame or watching for fingers of sunlight beaming like lasers through the woods, all kinds of things, I am never just focused on the main person in the frame.

Q. "Who owns the Minigun and for goodness sake WHY?"

A. That would be Rab, he probably has every big Airsoft gun I can think of, all the expensive versions of M60s, 249s, Miniguns you name it, he must have spent thousands on Airsoft guns. I dont see him so much now as his favourite site "The Fort" which is owned and ran by local retailer "Airsoft World" its closed just now, but hopefully it should reopen in spring. I think Rab sometimes goes to a CQB site which I will not mention but I have filmed at,but they saw fit to ban me from their forums when questions about safety were mentioned by another player, the questions were removed their forum by a moderator and I simply asked why they were removed which got me a ban from their forums and so I am taking that as a ban from their site, silly people.I have to say that many players warned me not to get involved with CQB here, I thought they were all exaggerating, but they were right.

Q. "Do non-Airsoft-players ('civilians') think you are all weird?

A. I would imagine many think we are weird, but I really do not care what anyone thinks, as I often say to my non Airsofting friends who try to make a remarks about Airsoft players being odd I point out that I and all the other people on our sites actually do something which involves going out, getting good exercise and meeting lots people who will soon become friends. Where as they my so called "normal" friends who mostly like Football (Soccer) sit alone on the couch in their lounge where they shout and talk to their TV usually while getting very drunk and munching big bags of potato chips, after the football is finished they ramble on for days, weeks even years as if they were actually playing in the games when in fact they more often than not sat alone, drunk talking to an inanimate object...So who's the weird ones? And talking of weird the closest village to the POW site is called High Bonnybridge, where over 600 UFOs sightings were reported in recent years and where the local councillor (Talking of weirdos) is said to have the biggest collection of human hair in the world. If that is whats considered "Normal" then I would rather be weird.

Q. Do they know what you all get up to in the woods?

A. Well I guess they have an idea, POW is sited in a private forest, but there is a public right of way through the forest which is used my horse riders and walkers, its interesting to see the faces of people going through for the first time in a peaceful woodland only to stumble upon 80-100 people standing in the forest with a lot of them wearing SS uniforms, US WWII marines etc and many armed to the teeth

Q. How much awareness of Airsoft IS there in the general public?

A. Not a great deal, most think its paintball, I seldom bother to correct anyone who says "oh you play Paintball"

Q. Have the numbers of participants at Bonny bridge increased much?

A. Yes the numbers at POW are fantastic, I think POW has over five hundred members now, players bring friends and we get a real domino effect so player numbers go up all the time, I don't think I have ever met anyone who came here, played and did not like it.



  1. I'm rather hoping that our new local indoor field will get a good following like POW, which I've mentioned on the Forums. It's opening in late early April, all things equal, and I'm hoping to not only play there, but shoot video on par with yours. Whether I'll post it to YouTube and suffer the flow of constant comments, "FIRST!"s, and questions is yet to be seen.

  2. Hello again John,

    I particularly enjoyed your response to the ‘weird’ question, and quite right you are too—imagining oneself to be Wayne Rooney certainly does not qualify as exercise.

    Also the thought of some rambling couple trying to ‘get away from it all’ suddenly being confronted with the last 100 protagonists of WWII still fighting the heretofore secret “Battle of Scotland” is a hilarious vision (the lads in the Fallschirmjager kit would make it all the more convincing).
    “Never in the field of human conflict have so few been ‘pwning’ each other for so long…” :D

    It doesn’t appear you need a steadicam rig at all, but if we never get to see the jiggly bits and jerky whip-pans due to your editing then I imagine having one might reduce your editing time and give you more flexibility in your shooting—though of course it might also get in the way of your playing.

    Speaking of video-making, I’ve watched many other Airsoft videos besides your own and I think I’ve stumbled onto a distinct ‘school’ of moviemaking in the genre of the Airsoft loadout video that you might want to explore and perhaps attempt yourself. The salient characteristic of this ‘school’ appear to be as follows:

    When the camera is fixed the ‘actor’ or ‘talent’ injects action into the scene by frequently approaching the camera to show off important details of their kit in extreme close-up, out of focus and with mood-enhancing utterly inadequate lighting.

    When the camera is being operated independently, the zoom function is ignored in favor of what the professionals would call a ‘dolly-shot’, only very jerky, and again all close-ups are extreme in order to force the viewer to really think about what they are actually looking at.

    The ‘talent’ also has a cold, to elicit emotion, or wears a face mask to add mystery and to force the audience to really listen to whatever the hell it is that’s being said.

    Descriptions of the various bits of kit are mundane and obvious or meaninglessly praiseworthy----again the viewer isn’t expected to be merely entertained or practically informed, but is being challenged by the director to ask themselves why, and what-for, and other such universal questions that have plagued mankind since the dawn of time.

    A brief shot of the ‘talent’s’ ordinary white tube-socks in provocative counterpoint to the full-on camouflage BDUs with plate carrier and ammo pouches also seems to be a signature of the genre.

    Equally characteristic is the display (on a bed or on the floor) of no less than 14 Airsoft weapons of which at least 5 must be pistols, one must be an AK-47, one a shotgun, one a rifle and one an MP5. At least two of the weapons must be broken and at least two others declared to be crap and no longer used. Whichever weapon was most recently bought must be declared awesome.

    If you search Google Video using “airsoft loadout” and just sample a random few, I think you’ll find that my research quite valid.

    I’m thinking this ‘school’ of airsoft video-making might be called “post-ironic” because…why not? Besides, I’d hate to think I've just been wasting my time with this. :D