A couple of days ago Elin Dalstal posted some great coverage on Google+ regarding a film made of the recent and highly covered Battlestar Galactica Nordic LARP game ‘Monitor Celestra’; held aboard a retired destroyer in Gothenburg. That event which ran through March and is very regarded, but what I did not know was that 2 of the players were film makers and they portrayed video journalists during the game. The result isan excellent fly on the wall short film that captures the game in action quite beautifully.
Here it is;
This got me thinking about the how to best record a LARP. There are 2 main problems. The first one is filming the game in an immersive way that does not detract from the play; the other is editing what can be quite a considerable amount of footage down to something that captures either the story or feeling of the game. After all a weekend long LARP could result in more hours of video than a whole series of Game of Thrones.
This video wins on 2 scores. The videographers were players looking to record key moments as part of their role. They didn’t have to record everything. They had to make on the spot decisions as to what was and what was news worthy. It also helped that those players were professional film makers with the skills and equipment to realise a great short film.
But what about other games how do you do that. I’ve seen use of on body and head mounted cameras – these help a lot. I’ve also seen video recording as part of the game itself. Most memorably in a game set up to be a reality TV show were everything was recorded (the crew had access to a CCTV system decided for use in a store and it used to put camera’s everywhere with everything going to a DVR). Both these solutions resulted in the problem of great footage – but too much of it to be practical.
Perhaps the best solution outside of the Celestra approach is to have someone shadow the game and carefully take photographs and recordings. At least then one person or a team can collect and collate a workable amount of footage. They can also work with the game organisers to make sure they are in the right place at the right time to capture important moments and set pieces.
One thing is for sure though – as camera’s continue to get cheaper, smaller and easier to use we are going to see more good LARP Videos.
The photo for this piece is from the puuikibeach photostream on Flickr. Here’s a link to full photo information: http://www.flickr.com/photos/puuikibeach/4949937857/