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pombagira's got talent! - Tactical Ninja

Jun. 9th, 2014

10:29 am - pombagira's got talent!

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This will be the last Cullen post for a while. I realise I've been spamming you with this but as the culmination of a hell of a lot of work and also a happy thing that makes me feel good, I feel the need to share it. Normal programming may resume shortly.



I particularly like the way Cullen/Dr Wheel manages to make skirts look manly.


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More pics and links to tutorials can be found here

You wouldn't know it, but one of the photos above was taken at Parliament. Parliament in Wellington has large stone buildings with impressive stairways and ostentatious statuary - in other words, parts of it resemble Kirkwall. The statues are of pompous white guys instead of chained Tevinter slaves, but other than that it's pretty similar. I thought it would make a fantastic location to give the backgrounds some authenticity. And it did.

There was a group of politicians there and they were really nice, they thought what we were doing was cool, and we were about to offer a photo-op with them because they were getting a kick out of our fun. But then, along came a security guard.

Apparently, you aren't allowed to take commercial pictures at Parliament. "That's ok," we said, "This isn't a commercial thing, we're doing it for fun."

"Well you can't do it. It's not for personal use."

To which we were a bit taken aback, because if having an amateur photographer who is also your friend, taking pictures of an amateur costume you made yourself, being modelled by your partner who's in it for the laughs, so you can show your friends on the internet what you made and go "Aren't I clever?" is not personal use then I'm not sure what is.

Anyway, the guy talked over the top of us and then shouted over the top of us, and did not listen when we tried to explain what we were doing. He gave us the impression that it was ok to do it if we moved away from the buildings, so we did. But then he brought another guy over and told us we couldn't do it there either and we had to leave. The new guard, who appeared to be a supervisor, took three goes of me asking him if he knew what cosplay was before he'd even acknowledge that I was trying to have a dialogue with him.

Things escalated - I am not at my best in those situations because I get adrenaline from being yelled at, and when someone asks me questions and then interrupts me while I'm trying to answer I get angry. Never mind that they had made incorrect assumptions about what we were doing and were treating us badly based on that without giving us a chance to explain ourselves. Actually, I think they didn't believe us.

Eventually we left because it was obvious they weren't listening, and they had completely ruined our fun anyway. When I got home, I checked the parliamentary website, and sure enough it says "Personal filming or photography within the parliamentary grounds does not generally require permission. Filming or photography within the parliamentary grounds for business/commercial purposes does require prior approval by, or under the authority, of the Speaker."

You also have to get permission for weddings. Now, that makes sense to me because wedding parties are large and invasive, and there's usually someone making money out of it. But for us, we were three people quietly taking a few pics for personal use, and these goons came and kicked us out for no good reason, and were extremely rude about it. I have made a complaint about this because if security is going to be kicking the public out of public places in this country, they should a) have a very good reason and b) be non-confrontational about it. These guys were wrong, and they were rude. So yeah, I complained.

In hindsight, I think that what happened is they'd already made up their minds about what we were doing before talking to us, so they approached us with a "You can't do that here" attitude. And then because they'd come on so strong to start with, they didn't want to lose face by backing down. Which is useful to understand but it doesn't make their behaviour right. I asked in my complaint that the men be given non-confrontational conflict resolution training.


Apparently there is fear of a thing called 'location stealing' - I think it's a film industry thing where people use locations and make money off movies without acknowledgement or compensation to the owner of the location. A friend of mine suggested this is what the Parliament thing is about. But I have questions:

1. Since Parliament belongs to the public of NZ and we are the public of NZ, exactly who are we stealing from? Ourselves?
2. Given that we weren't doing it for financial gain, exactly what were we stealing? Happiness?

Well actually, the security guards did that. It took me ages to calm down and it cast a damper on us for a while. Luckily Dr Wheel and pombagira are awesome and we got some great shots despite the guards' best efforts to fuck it up for no good reason.

And the best bit? In the majority of the pics, you can't tell that it's Parliament in the background anyway. That was the whole point, it's supposed to be Kirkwall.

Fucking idiots.

PS the title of this post is because pombagira took the photos. She's taken all of my cosplay shots and she's got a real knack for catching beautiful candid portraits as well as creating mood through framing. <3

Comments:

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From:fbhjr
Date:June 8th, 2014 11:04 pm (UTC)
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If there is a good side to the problem with the guards it is that your costumes were so good they couldn't believe they weren't part of a professional photo/video/movie shoot.

And, they are really, really cool.
So, I can understand why they thought them professional.

Doesn't make it right. But, it does show how great the costumes were.
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From:tatjna
Date:June 8th, 2014 11:08 pm (UTC)
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Yeah, it is kind of flattering, but I have a serious issue with people not believing me when I'm telling the truth - why is their assumption of more value than my word?

I've had it all my life and despite my best efforts, I still take a very negative attitude to that kind of treatment.

But thank you. It does feel good to think people might mistake my cosplay for professional work.
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From:saltdawg
Date:June 9th, 2014 04:30 am (UTC)
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Word.
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From:pombagira
Date:June 8th, 2014 11:11 pm (UTC)
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and the scintillating verbal skills of say 'the camera loves you' *coughs*

but the security guards were very shitty and i have to say i am embarrassed that we have these kind of people 'gurading' parliment, it pretty much turns Parliament security into a huge, very rude joke.. awsome! *coughs*..

i did enjoy taking the photos, yay obliging models.. whee.. and looking forward to seeing the others of what i took.. :D




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From:tatjna
Date:June 8th, 2014 11:15 pm (UTC)
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Most excellent. There are quite a lot of really good shots, it was hard to pic the ones on the website.

I will bring the card round on Wednesday and you can giggle at the one where Cullen is *ROAR* at the camera and it looks like he's yawning... ;-)
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From:adam_0oo
Date:June 8th, 2014 11:31 pm (UTC)
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You look awesome and sorry for the dicks.
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From:tatjna
Date:June 9th, 2014 12:13 am (UTC)
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Aww, thanks! And yeah, it's a shame when someone wields power so pointlessly. Why can't everyone just be nice to each other?
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From:morbid_curious
Date:June 8th, 2014 11:44 pm (UTC)
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I love your work. And your romance option is awesome, also :-)
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From:tatjna
Date:June 9th, 2014 12:12 am (UTC)
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I'm quite a fan of this romance option - he is versatile!
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From:dianavilliers
Date:June 9th, 2014 12:10 am (UTC)
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For future reference, the old Dominion Museum building behind the Cenotaph also has awesome massive stonework for taking photos in front of.
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From:tatjna
Date:June 9th, 2014 12:11 am (UTC)
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Yeah, that's where we went after Parliament, and where that shot on the steps was taken.
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From:dragonvyxn
Date:June 9th, 2014 03:27 am (UTC)
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that is a really sucky thing that those security morons did. i hope that your complaint is responded to in a satisfactory way.

the pictures and the costumes are just amazing... absolutely love them, and the posts about how they are made!
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From:tatjna
Date:June 9th, 2014 04:44 am (UTC)
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It certainly didn't endear them to me. Although, I have had a response saying they are looking into it and will let me know the outcome.
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From:pombagira
Date:June 9th, 2014 08:33 pm (UTC)
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i sent my complaint this morning.. all 800 words of it, complete with recommendation for training and website updating.. *coughs*.. waiting for a reply..

:D

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From:saltdawg
Date:June 9th, 2014 04:35 am (UTC)
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I can totally relate with your explanation of your reaction to the fuzz. I have the exact same problem. It's no secret that I have a "record" of getting into scuffles with the Policia, but the thing is it's ONLY the Policia. I mean, if I see an injustice, I've been known to step up. But the only times I've been in trouble with the "law" its because I was being mistreated by the "Law". I'm afraid to think about what would have happened if they were hassling me while I was holding your overly impressive Mace...
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From:tatjna
Date:June 9th, 2014 04:44 am (UTC)
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Haha, true. Although probably not a lot would have happened, because it's larpsafe so made from foam. ;-)
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From:saltdawg
Date:June 9th, 2014 04:50 am (UTC)
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Damn.
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From:edm
Date:June 9th, 2014 08:50 am (UTC)

You can't photograph 'round here

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Oh joy, the overseas "You can't photograph here"/"Why?"/"Because we said so" security response has reached New Zealand (it's been a big thing especially in the USA and UK for the last decade or so) :-(

I agree with others that the Professional Looking costuming, the Professional Looking camera and the "crew" was probably what caused their initial response. And I doubt they believed you when you said it was just for your friends (although I empathise with how annoying that is -- it's a big part of the photographer angst over such security response being handled as if it were a prelude to an attack). But good on you for officially complaining about it. Even given what the security guards apparently believed they could have handled it so much better.

Awesome costuming BTW. And congratulations on doing so well at Armageddon.

Ewen
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From:phd_fan
Date:June 10th, 2014 03:12 am (UTC)
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Love the pics and the outfits! Those big stone blocks really do make it look like Kirkwall! Stoopid security grunts who ruin your fun!
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From:pundigrion
Date:June 10th, 2014 06:11 pm (UTC)
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Awesome pictures! Sucky guards :-(

I say come to Canada, loads of people were taking pictures on the grounds of Parliament with all sorts of camera kit (and fancy dress although no costumes as such) and no one bats an eye.
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From:meathiel
Date:June 11th, 2014 11:59 am (UTC)
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That sucks that they were so ... awful ... about you using Parliament for the photos. I mean - they could at least have been more friendly? Or whatever?
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From:tatjna
Date:June 11th, 2014 08:57 pm (UTC)
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Yeah - the antagonistic approach didn't help anything, and I don't know how they expect people to behave reasonably when they are being yelled at and interrupted and generally disempowered. That's almost guaranteed to set people off.

I recommended they receive some training in this.
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