Shoot the Wicked Witch: Blog https://www.shootthewickedwitch.com/blog en-us (C) Shoot the Wicked Witch (Shoot the Wicked Witch) Wed, 21 Sep 2022 20:38:00 GMT Wed, 21 Sep 2022 20:38:00 GMT https://www.shootthewickedwitch.com/img/s/v-12/u472984124-o285418543-50.jpg Shoot the Wicked Witch: Blog https://www.shootthewickedwitch.com/blog 120 80 TOP 10 musicians influenced by Stephen King https://www.shootthewickedwitch.com/blog/2022/9/top-10-musicians-influenced-by-stephen-king It’s a right of passage that with your tween years comes horror movies, unless you were born in the 80’s then it probably started when you were a toddler because parents just didn't give a shit how they raised you, but I really feel like it would be tough to find someone who hasn’t read or watched at least one Stephen King related story at some point in their life. Everyone has their favourite whether it’s watching some guy have his ankles shattered in Misery or something a little less grisly like The Green Mile which has been known to make the most hardened cry like babies. For me, it's probably hard to pick a fav but It [2017] is definitely up there. As a former bullied kid I'm Team Carrie and Silver Bullet is a classic too. So in honour of Stephen King’s 75th birthday I wanted to look at some musicians who were inspired by the King of Horror.

10. PENNYWISE – Pennywise

There’s a song to my favourite dancing clown and it’s super lame but in a catchy, head-banging kinda way.
9. ICE NINE KILLS – Hell In The Hallways

Not only is the song about Carrie and features a school dance, the video clip also has characters named Christine, Torrance and the mention of a “Coach King” before getting into the song itself. I'm not a fan of the band but credit where credit is due - they love their horror films.
8. BLACK SABBATH – The Shining

Allegedly, this is an era of Black Sabbath that people don’t talk about because it’s not Ozzy Osbourne behind the microphone, but track 1 from the album The Eternal Idol was about one spooky hotel.
7. KORN – You’ll Never Find Me

The video clip is inspired by Stephen King’s segment on Creepshow called ‘Weeds’. It’s about a guy who finds a meteorite and becomes infected and quite quickly turns into a human plant.

6. METALLICA – Ride The Lightning

The song and album title of the same name were inspired by a line from Stephen King’s novel ‘The Stand’ in which a guy on death row says he’s waiting to ride the lightning.

5. 30 SECONDS TO MARS – The Kill

While the song itself has nothing to do with anything, the film clip is basically a remake of The Shining but instead of a creepy Jack Torrance, we’ve got a saucy boy with eyeliner stalking the hallways. He can feel free to chase me with an axe.
4. CHAINSAW HOOKERS – Christine

Perth band Chainsaw Hookers broke up in 2016 but with a discography filled with horror-movie themed rock songs, I have to include their song Christine to the list!
3. ANTHRAX – A Skeleton In The Closet

Two songs on Anthrax’s 3rd album ‘Among the Living’ are based on Stephen King’s work. Among The Living is based on the book The Stand and A Skeleton In The Closet is based on Apt Pupil.

2. AC/DC – Who Made Who

The album of the same name was the soundtrack to Stephen King’s one and only attempt at directing a feature film. The album consisted of 3 new songs and a bunch of tracks from previous albums. I hadn’t heard of Maximum Overdrive until tonight but after reading that King has since disowned the film I really feel the need to watch it. A horror-comedy with Emilio Estevez, how bad can it really be?

1. RAMONES – Pet Sematary

This is quite possibly the best song ever written for a horror movie but that’s an argument for another day. I love the line "I don't want to be buried in a Pet Sematary, I don't want to live my life again". If only Louis Creed had considered this before resurrecting his family! The Pet Sematary soundtrack also features another Ramones track...a certain truck driver can be seen rocking out to Sheena Is A Punk Rocker.

Are there any songs I missed or should know about? Leave a comment!

 

 

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(Shoot the Wicked Witch) Horror Music https://www.shootthewickedwitch.com/blog/2022/9/top-10-musicians-influenced-by-stephen-king Wed, 21 Sep 2022 16:06:18 GMT
Movie Review: They/Them [2022] https://www.shootthewickedwitch.com/blog/2022/8/movie-review-they/them-2022 theythemtheythem Director/Writer: John Logan
Starring: Kevin Bacon, Theo Germaine, Anna Chlumsky

They/Them just came out and I've been pretty keen to see it since I first heard about it. First up it's just cool to have a movie that's not the standard group of mostly white straight kids doing dumb shit and dying. I didn't know anything about They/Them but knowing it's a film about LGBTQ+ kids going to conversion therapy I was expecting some pretty shitty things to happen to them and was kind of surprised in the direction the film went in.

At first I wondered if I'm entitled to have an opinion on They/Them - a film about LGBTQ+ youths being sent to a conversion therapy camp - then I decided fuck it, yes I am. Firstly I love horror and this is a horror movie. Secondly, there are days where I'm not even sure where my sexuality fits in the world and I'll wonder "am I asexual or are men just crap?" or "am I asexual or is it the depression?". Either way, I have zero interest and the few times I have it's been with someone I had known for a long time before anything happened. Anyone who identifies as asexual or demisexual have all faced the same issue where we're not "queer" enough for the LGBT crowd but we're not "straight" enough for everyone else. Thankfully decent friends don't give a shit either way (I'm also not interested in being labelled) but I did have a friend who felt the need to tell me her sexcapades one night and then seemed to be personally offended when I wasn't offering any stories back and told her I don't have any interest in sex. She told me "you're just inexperienced". Experience really has nothing to do with having a sex drive or not. You have one, or you don't. It's reverse slut shaming. Anyways, I decided I'd write about the film... 

The film opens with a woman travelling alone at night listening to some creepy podcast about dead bodies in the woods and just as she's decided nope and turns it off, her tyres blow out. Stranded on the side of the road with no phone service she notices tyre spikes laying on the road and heads back to her car but not before hearing rustling in the woods. It's just a big ass Stag but right behind her is the killer. The stag runs off, the woman gets into her car and realises someone is behind the car with a hatchet. Needless to say, she dies. 

Next day, a bus with a group of teenagers arrives at Whistlers Camp for conversion therapy. Camp leader Owen Whistler makes an entrance and starts his speech with "I can't make you straight, I don't want to make you straight"(so why are they here?!) and continues on about how there's nothing wrong with being gay and basically sounding like he's a really cool guy and introduces the team: his wife Cora, nurse Molly, Zane the athletics instructor and former conversion therapy kid and Zane's fiance Sarah. Everyone has to hand over their phones, computers and medications and he concludes with there being a boys and girls cabin and for everyone to get settled in. As everyone separates to head to their designated cabins, Jordan stands still and announces their pronouns are "They" and where should they be sleeping? There's no communal sleeping arrangements and if this is a camp to deter people from being gay, wouldn't that be a smart idea? 

Their first activity is a group therapy session where everyone discusses why they are at conversion therapy and we see a mix of kids who are 100% comfortable with who they are and the ones who aren't. Toby made a deal with his parents that if he spent a week here, in exchange he gets to see Moulin Rouge in New York. Kim wants to be straight and give her parents grandkids just like her sister. Alexandra has no desire to change and loves the ladies. Stu is a swimmer and likely to get a scholarship but doesn't want to be gay. Lastly, Jordan made a deal with their super religious family that if they spend a week here they can legally get emancipated from their family.

The following day we find out how unchill Owen Whistler really is when it's discovered Alexandra is also trans and is sent to stay in the boys cabin for allegedly lying about it. Owen leaves telling them to dress appropriately which distresses Alexandra who only has girls clothes. The boys lend her some things but we see Jordan's brain ticking over and as they all line up outside for the days activities we see Jordan wearing Alexandra's dress just to make a point. 

The activities themselves are kind of odd. Like how does making a friendship bracelet stop you from being gay? The boys are taken outdoors where nothing says toxic masculinity faster than shooting guns and the girls are sent off to bake a pie because that's what straight women do. In the 1950's maybe. I gotta tell you, I don't step into the kitchen if I don't have too. I'm even super lazy making toasties now. I use the actual toaster and then the microwave just so I don't have to use a frying pan because then I'd have to wash it. 

About an hour into the film you've forgotten you even turned a horror movie on because there's been a Pink sing-a-long and the only creep factor is Zane who is giving off repressed-gay-man-serial-killer vibes. And maybe Cora. She got her therapist degree out of a weeties box. She reminded me of my stepdad really. His idea of an intervention (I was so depressed I was crying all the time, wanted to die and somewhat agoraphobic) was to sit me down and scream abuse at me. I'm not a therapist but I'm pretty sure telling someone how much of a loser they are isn't the way to fix them.

Things start to take a turn in the film when Stu hooks up with Gabriel and Owen and Zane arrive to do some serious therapy...that involves a slideshow and electrocution. Soon after, one by one the camp counsellors are being bumped off. 

The Verdict?

It's a decent film but I had the killer picked within minutes and I'd completely forgotten about the opening scene by the time anything finally started happening. A few death glares and a shitty psych session don't even qualify this to be a psychological horror. 

Theo Germaine was great as Jordan. This was a character who knew who they were, had compassion for others and wasn't going to take shit from anybody. Alexandra as a character bugged me, whether intentional or not the way they'd say "hunny" felt so condescending but to be fair I do feel that way about literally any person who says that. Lastly, the character Gabriel kinda creeped me out and I feel horrible saying this but I did think of Angela from Sleepaway Camp. While clearly a man, Gabriel has a very feminine face so maybe that was on purpose? We've got Kevin Bacon reliving his camp counsellor days and Kim mentions Jason Voorhees in one scene. Nothing is more 80's than a kids camp by a lake. 

Overall I think the movie could have been a lot cooler if there had been some dark undertones to at least build up some tension throughout the film before the big ending but I did think the killer's mask was really cool. 

 

 

 

 

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(Shoot the Wicked Witch) Horror Horror Movie Review https://www.shootthewickedwitch.com/blog/2022/8/movie-review-they/them-2022 Wed, 10 Aug 2022 18:00:00 GMT
Movie Review: The Black Phone https://www.shootthewickedwitch.com/blog/2022/7/movie-review-the-black-phone The_Black_PhoneThe_Black_Phone The Black Phone was a great lesson on how little attention I pay to movie posters. I heard it was a Joe Hill story and involved Ethan Hawke in what looked like one hell of a badass mask and that was all I needed to know. I saw one trailer and then I muted everything on Twitter and made a point of not educating myself on a single thing about this movie. I learned from Horns not to read the book before watching the film (Don't get me wrong, I enjoy Horns as a movie but I LOVED the way that book was written so the first time view of the film I felt let down) so I haven't even worked out where I can read The Black Phone yet. The hardest part was the wait because Australia didn't get the film until July 21st - a problem with films in general this year. So many movies are coming out a month+ after the US and it's hard trying to avoid spoilers. 

The Black Phone is about a young teen named Finney and his younger sister Gwen. They're growing up in a hostile home environment with an alcoholic father who growls at them for making any form of noise and is all too happy to beat them with his belt. At school Finney is also tormented by three bullies but he has the protection of his friend Robin who has already proven himself not to be someone to mess with. He will kick your ass into a bloody mess but when Robin becomes the latest boy to go missing, that leaves Finney wide open. Meanwhile, Gwen is having visits from the police because she's having dreams about the missing boys which include a vital clue the police haven't told anyone. A skill Gwen inherited from her mother and something her father is far from happy about it. When Finney becomes the latest target of 'The Grabber', Gwen tries her hardest to come up with clues to help her and the police find her brother. 

The Grabber (Ethan Hawke) kidnaps Finney, luring him with a magic trick and taking him home to his basement. Despite the fact Finney technically saw his face already, albeit in makeup, The Grabber only enters the basement wearing a mask to conceal his identity. The room is bare except for a mattress, a black phone on the wall and a toilet around the corner with a couple of rolled up carpets. When the phone rings, The Grabber tells him it's simply static and the phone doesn't work. When the phone rings again later, Finney answers it and hears the voice of Bruce, a boy he knew from playing baseball that went missing. Bruce tells him that the other boys heard the phone ring too but nobody heard anything, only Finney can hear their voices. Every time the phone rings it's a different missing boy, none of them remember their names but they help Finney on how to survive the ordeal and possibly escape.

I've watched The Black Phone twice now and I absolutely loved everything about it! Both Mason Thames (Finney) and Madeleine McGraw (Gwen) were outstanding in their roles, especially Madeleine. She stole every scene she was in. Nothing gets your attention faster than hearing a young girl calling two policeman "dumb fucking fartknockers". 

While not knowing the story itself and how indepth it might be, I appreciated the lack of detail about the missing boys in the film. We only know that they were kidnapped and now they're dead. We don't know what happened to them so hearing The Grabber say "I will never make you do anything that you won't....like" seem so much creepier, nothing is scarier than your own imagination. Another scene where The Grabber has laid out a trap for Finney, we see him waiting upstairs shirtless and holding a belt and the scene itself is so simple but also so much more sinister than just seeing him beat on a kid. It leaves you feeling uneasy.

While watching it though, a few little things felt familiar: the creepy line that went around the basement, the Super8 style footage, the dead tree...I spent parts of the film thinking of Sinister, which isn't a bad thing because Sinister is a fucking fantastic film and one of those rare movies that really creeps you out, but this is where my 'great lesson on how little attention I pay to movie posters' comes into it. A day or 2 after watching The Black Phone I saw the movie poster pop up somewhere and it very clearly states "From Blumhouse AND THE DIRECTOR OF SINISTER". If there was a dumbass award, I might win it. 

Personally, I can't wait to add this film to my collection. 

 

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(Shoot the Wicked Witch) Horror Horror Movie Review https://www.shootthewickedwitch.com/blog/2022/7/movie-review-the-black-phone Fri, 22 Jul 2022 15:45:00 GMT
Happy Birthday 2 Me - Birthday themed horror movies for your viewing! https://www.shootthewickedwitch.com/blog/2022/7/happy-birthday-2-me I'm at an age now where if someone asks me how old I am I need to use my calculator to double check which number I'm meant to say and while I no longer really want to acknowledge being born (except to make annual posts celebrating Robin Williams, Chester Bennington and Neil Armstrong because I think I'm funny) it doesn't stop me from watching horror movies about birthdays. I've had my share of shit birthdays but none have topped the following.

happydeathdayhappydeathday HAPPY DEATH DAY [2017]
Dir: Christopher Landon
Cast: Jessica Rothe, Israel Broussard, Ruby Modine

It's Tree Gelbman's birthday and no matter what she does, she finds herself in a 'Groundhog Day' situation where she ends up murdered by someone wearing a giant baby mask and waking up in Carter's dorm room every day. The only way to end the cycle is to work out who is killing her and the list of suspects is fairly long because she's far from pleasant. It might not sound like the deepest of plot lines but it sure does give horror a twist to see just how many ways you can kill off one character.

I love this movie. It's a fun horror-comedy with some great character development as Tree goes from the epic bitch frustrated by what's happening to her to actually having some fun with reliving the day without consequence and eventually becoming a real human being. The sequel is solid as well as the saga continues only this time it takes on more of a sci-fi twist. I really hope we get a 3rd installment! 

alisonsbirthdayalisonsbirthday Alison's Birthday [1981]
Dir: Ian Coughlan
Cast: Joanne Samuel, Bunney Brooke, John Bluthal

16 year old Alison is playing what I can only assume is the Australian budget version of a ouija board using scrabble tiles and a glass with two of her school friends. Suddenly her friend is taken over by a spirit warning Alison to avoid her family on her 19th birthday. It's all very theatrical as the glass smashes into the wall, the windows coming flying across the room and the bookcase falls on top of the friend killing her. Fast forward a few years and its days before Alison's 19th birthday where she's trying to get out of visiting her aunt and uncle but her aunt has lured her in with the "your uncle is sick and doesn't have long" line. Nobody is more manipulative than family. While there, she finds some weird Stonehenge type rocks in the back paddock, her aunt is giving her weird drinks that make her sick and she wakes up in the middle of the night to see a creepy as fuck old lady staring at her and finds out she has a 103 year old great grandmother that nobody told her about. It doesn't take too many guesses to work out what's going to happen at Alison's birthday party. Meanwhile Alison's boyfriend is playing detective and finds out Alison was kidnapped as a baby by this lunatic cult who also murdered her parents all because of the time she was born. 

Despite being Australian, I am a huge snob when it comes to our movies but this one wasn't bad. There was a nice bit of Cold Chisel advertisement and I lol'd at the boyfriend tripping on some grass and proclaiming "I wrecked my ankle". He's the hero every girls deserves. 

61Jt2A5HyqL._AC_SY1000_61Jt2A5HyqL._AC_SY1000_ Bloody Birthday [1981]
Dir: Ed Hunt
Cast: K.C Martel, Elizabeth Hoy, Billy Jayne, Andrew Freeman

On June 9th, 1970, in Meadowvale, California, three women have gone into labor during an eclipse. Two boys and a girl are born: Debbie, Steven and Curtis. Ten years later these three kids have grown up to be a pack of wannabe serial killers. 

Everyone is fair game as they kill teenagers, their teacher, parents, and try really hard to kill their classmate Timmy. It's debatable who is the worst of the three but Curtis definitely doesn't hide the fact he's enjoying what he's doing and he's got the bigger kill count thanks to his gun obsession. Debbie on the other hand has the smarts in the group. She's got a side hustle making money off the local boys, letting them watch her sister get dressed through a peephole in her wardrobe plus she's also great at manipulating her mother. 

It's definitely a movie that makes you want to get a hysterectomy. It would have been cool if there was a little more plot line into how an eclipse creates three homicidal maniacs other than a birth chart. Timmy's older sister is into astrology and explains how the sun and moon blocked Saturn so there's something missing from her personality. Saturn controls your emotions and the way that you treat people so not having it in your chart means you're a psychopath. The more you know.

b1684c6e-c859-f36a.b1684c6e-c859-f36a. Happy Birthday To Me [1981]
Dir: J. Lee Thompson
Cast: Melissa Sue Anderson, Glenn Ford, Matt Craven

Happy Birthday To Me is set at Crawford Academy with a group of students who think so highly of themselves they call themselves the 'Top 10'. 

The film opens with Bernadette heading off to meet the rest of the Top 10 at the inn. As she gets into her car, someone in the backseat starts to strangle her and while she puts up a hell of a fight and escapes from the back seat, that's where her smarts end. She runs about two cars away and stands by a pillar to cry. A hand grabs out at her and still the most she manages is to squeeze past the pillar and stand on the other side of the van. It's like she wants to be murdered and she gets her wish. Meanwhile at The Silent Woman Inn the rest of the Top 10 have met up for a night of shenanigans which ends with them all seeing if they can make it over the bridge before it rises. One loser willingly trashes his car just to win a $20 bet. Must be nice being a trust-fund kid. New-kid Virginia freaks out so bad from the experience she runs into the bushes in hysterics.

Over the next few days Virginia's new friends go missing one by one and there's a few red herrings including Virginia herself as we find out she's struggling with suppressed memories and black outs. Is she killing her friends, or is it someone else?

1981 was a busy year for birthday horror movies but this is definitely the best of the 3. The writers have really put a lot of thought into the storyline so it's not as one-dimensional as the other films, and delivered an ending I never saw coming. It has a creepy score throughout, there's some creative kills and the makeup effects are really well done.

So there you have it. Some birthday viewing options for whenever your big day is. If you know a birthday horror I should check out leave me a comment! 

 

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(Shoot the Wicked Witch) Horror Horror Movie Review https://www.shootthewickedwitch.com/blog/2022/7/happy-birthday-2-me Thu, 21 Jul 2022 15:45:00 GMT
Movie Review: Gutterballs [spoilers] https://www.shootthewickedwitch.com/blog/2022/7/movie-review-gutterballs-spoilers "A bowling night will turn into a bloody death match for a team of teenagers, as a deranged serial killer is taking them down one by one."

That's the description found on most sites for Gutterballs. Sounds like a silly but possibly fun slasher film right? It's not.

TRIGGER WARNING: This film contains sexual assault and homophobia.

gutterballs-movie-covergutterballs-movie-cover

The movie opens with two groups of young people in a darkly lit bowling alley playing. Somehow they're allowed in after hours to play, allegedly as part of a league yet not one of them is dressed in any kind of bowling team uniform. One group consists of four males leering and being abusive at the four females in the lane next to them. As Lisa goes to take her turn, she's dressed in the shortest skirt possible with half of her ass exposed. Literally her ass, she's not wearing underwear. Apparently she's not too bright either as we see her holding a lawn-bowl before her friends point out she's got the wrong bowl. This apparently allows the males, specifically Steve, to call out "stupid fucking cunt" and later "nice skirt you fucking skank". We find out Steve is bitter because Lisa didn't fuck him at the senior prom and went off with his best friend instead. Lisa informs us she didn't want to go with Steve anyway, she was using him to get to Jamie and it worked. 

In walks Jamie with two of his friends followed by some fog, I guess to let us know these guys are a big deal making their grand entrance? This really is a strange bunch of random individuals. We have one guy in a rattan hat and suit jacket covered in pins and another guy that looks like a metal dude with long hair and a cowboy hat. Then BAM there's a vagina filling my screen. If I didn't know better I'd think I was on the Pornhub channel. They definitely ransacked their wardrobe for Lisa's outfit. 

While Team Toxic Masculinity discuss what kind of balls Lisa needs in her life, Lisa's trans-friend Sam attempts to stand up for her asking them what their area of expertise is. Apparently the answer to that is "bashing queers" and they threaten to shove something up Sam's ass as they start to manhandle her roughly to the point Sam's wig falls off. This kicks off a fight between all the males in the room and while Steve kicks the shit out of Jamie, Lisa throws a bowling ball on his foot to try and stop him. It works. The janitor comes in with his rifle telling them all to piss off before he calls the police. 

As they all leave, Lisa realises she's forgot her purse and heads back inside. She tells her friends they can leave and that she'll be ok because the janitor is her bodyguard. She sneaks around looking for her purse to avoid his attention then heads upstairs to the arcade to look around. It's upstairs that she runs into Steve and his friends. Steve has her purse and starts to choke her, then we get an 8 minute gang rape scene. Steve rapes her on the pinball machine, then the other 2 have a go on the pool table and lastly the geek is told by Steve to rape her with a bowling pin or it's going up his ass. So of course he does that rather than commit to his alleged morals of how wrong this all is. I mean he really didn't fight them very hard.

This is just the first 20 minutes of the film. 

The following night they're all back for another after-hours night of bowling including Steve on crutches with a cast on his leg escorted by two blondes making all kinds of sound effects at the counter. One of the blondes gets friendly with one of the other guys at the bar and follows him into the bathroom where we find out her favourite number is 69 and they just go for it on the floor. Somehow they miss the fact someone walks in on them and they become murder victims #1 and 2. One by one they're murdered in various ways until we reach the ending which might have been interesting if I didn't have some serious questions about what's going on. 

VERDICT?

This is quite possibly one of the worst films I have ever seen. Listed as a horror comedy, I'm not sure where the comedy was exactly. Unless you're a racist, transphobic, slut-shaming asshole then there's just nothing to laugh about in this movie.

To go back to my Pornhub comment - but I really stand by it. We've got extreme close ups of vaginas, blow jobs and even the rape scene focuses mostly on the victim's breasts which really made me uncomfortable. I avoid rape films as a general rule so I would never have watched Gutterballs if I'd known what was coming, but that scene doesn't come across like a violent act we should be appalled by. Rape isn't entertainment and it's unsettling watching it from a perverted gaze. Who was that scene even intended for? This movie was only made in 2008 so it isn't that old really, but putting a retro vibe on your film shouldn't be a free pass to be offensive. 

Had the kill scenes that followed only focussed on Steve and his friends, the film would have made sense but instead everyone was murdered including Lisa's friends. I couldn't understand why Sam was murdered so violently when she was a victim herself the night before, and the way she was murdered - a close up of her penis being sliced in half - leads you to believe Steve might be the killer since he has such disgust for trans/gay people. 

The big reveal comes at the end when Jamie and Sarah seem to be the last two standing with two killers on the loose. So who are the killers? Jamie and the Janitor. Apparently the plan meant not killing the "good guys" but the janitor decided to just off everybody. Oh yeah and the janitor is Lisa's father which leaves me with one big question: why was Lisa happily flashing the entire room including her father the night before? That's fucking weird right? Sure our parents see everything when changing our nappies but it's a bit different when you're in your 20's. Not to mention Lisa and her "I've never seen balls that big before", your father works in a bowling alley and you've never seen a bowling ball before? Make it make sense! Then we find out the other killer is the nerd boy from Steve's friend group. There's something insane about a man claiming to be in love with you after he penetrates you with a pin the night before. 

All that aside the poster is a rip off of Maniac [1980] and the makeup effects were well done. Really gross, but well done. They definitely didn't hold back on the blood and guts. 

Now that this experience is over I'm going to do my best to forget it ever happened.

 

 

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(Shoot the Wicked Witch) Horror Horror Movie Review https://www.shootthewickedwitch.com/blog/2022/7/movie-review-gutterballs-spoilers Tue, 19 Jul 2022 15:30:00 GMT
Movie Review: Dashcam [2022] https://www.shootthewickedwitch.com/blog/2022/7/movie-review-dashcam-2022 DashcamrobsavageDashcamrobsavage Director: Rob Savage
Writers: Gemma Hurley, Savage, Jed Shepard
Actors: Annie Hardy, Amar Chadha-Patel

Have you ever watched a movie and then suddenly the title is on the screen and you're sitting here like "that's it?" because this is the best way to describe Dashcam. 

Dashcam is about Annie, a millennial who broadcasts her entire life singing awful songs she makes up while driving. Think Tyler from The Visit with his improv rapping only a thousand times worse. Annie is a covid denier, anti vaxxer and thinks wearing a mask is oppression. It comes as no huge shock that she also owns the red "Make America Great Again" cap. She's one of the "why are we in lockdown when there's a 90blahblah percent survival rate" people. I don't know Annie, maybe because some people will fucking die if you don't. 

She travels to England to see an old friend named Stretch and we get a glimpse of just how self-entitled she is. As she arrives at his home she disses the "All lives don't matter until black lives do" sign in the window then uses the hidden key to let herself in. She walks into his bedroom where he's asleep, spits into her hand and slaps him with full force. No huge shock that Stretch and his girlfriend Gemma react badly to the sudden invasion. The following morning, Gemma gives Annie some hand sanitizer and rather than just rub that shit into her hands and be a half decent house guest, she rubs it on her clothes instead like the juvenile she is. Annie decides to hang out with Stretch while he goes to work and trashes him for trying to survive life during a pandemic doing some kind of UberEats work and then goes full 'Karen' when asked to wear a mask by a restaurant. 

Later on she overhears Stretch and Gemma talking about her so she decides to do the only thing a respectful human would do: finds a hotel room. LOL just kidding, this bitch steals their car for a joyride. Who cares that Stretch can't work today. Who needs to pay for rent or electricity anyways?!  

While out and about there's a notification that Stretch has some food to deliver so she heads to the restaurant to score herself a free meal and instead ends up with some old lady and a location to drive her too. This is basically where the plot line ends. Stretch wants his car back and we have Annie driving this old woman around who has an Arianna Grande tattoo and shits her pants. The most horrorific scenes in this movie involve dodgy coloured poop. Include some running around in a forest, crashing cars, rubber duckies and some levitating and that's the rest of Dashcam.

Stretch: *steps on a needle*

Annie: Don't be a little bitch

It's called AIDS Annie.

There's another character in this film who keeps trying to shoot them as well. I guess a point can be given for breaking her arm. That looked nasty. Her role was there to tell us that this little old lady was her 16 year old daughter. I know I was really bored watching this but I am 100% certain there was no explanation for why this 16 year old looks like she's in he 70's, why she was lying on the floor of a diner in the first place, why her mouth is stapled shut or whatever the fuck she turned into at the end. So like I said, no plot.

Knowing this was by the same team who made Host back in 2020 I had very little expectations of this movie being interesting to watch and somehow I'm still sitting here deeply unimpressed. How can a movie have three writers and they still can't put a plot line together? This movie is straight up fucking horrible. In under five minutes I hated this woman and didn't care if she lived or died by the end of the film, in fact I really hoped she was going to die some horrible gruesome death but no such luck. Generally speaking, a horror film is meant to give us a protagonist that we're rooting for to survive. As for the film quality itself - it's so shaky in parts you don't know what you're looking at and I just don't know how this became a subgenre. The sound quality was amazing though for something allegedly filmed on a tiny portable camera. Also she has incredible battery life on that thing, she was broadcasting the entire time. I don't even know why this is called Dashcam, it's her iPhone.

So to finish up. Walk outside and turn on the video setting. Shake it solidly for 90 minutes and go back indoors. You just made your own horror movie. 

 

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(Shoot the Wicked Witch) Horror Horror Movie Review https://www.shootthewickedwitch.com/blog/2022/7/movie-review-dashcam-2022 Tue, 05 Jul 2022 15:30:00 GMT
Movie Review: Superhost [2021] https://www.shootthewickedwitch.com/blog/2022/6/movie-review-superhost-2021 superhostsuperhost Director/Writer: Brandon Christensen
Cast: Gracie Gillam, Sara Canning, Osric Chau, Barbara Crampton

One day I'm going to make a list of movies on why you shouldn't rent Air BNB's and this one will be going on the list. 

Superhost is about two millennial youtube star wannabe's, Claire and Teddy, who spend all their money on adventures for their travel vlog rather than paying their own rent. Apparently buying an engagement ring also trumps paying your own bills. Who said potentially being homeless can't be romantic? 

Teddy and Claire arrive at their latest vacation spot and without hesitation the video camera is out to record their thoughts. I'm not sure just how many thoughts you can have from pulling into a driveway, most at least unpack their bags first. Right after they realise they're unable to get into the house. Enter BettyLou52 - real name Rebecca - she's seen them on the security cameras and come to say hello. The fact she's got there so quick on foot is obviously not a red flag at all. Once inside, Teddy uses the bathroom and returns to tell Rebecca the toilet isn't flushing. Rebecca is all concerned about the review they'll leave and says she'll be back tomorrow to fix it. 

The bad times continue the following morning when they discover their YouTube channel has been demonitized. Rebecca arrives to fix the toilet and drops the "I hope this doesn't affect your review" line again. Honestly, this could be a drinking game. Later that night they're woken up to noises coming from downstairs. Teddy goes down to investigate with the noise coming from the broken toilet where he finds a set of false teeth. Seemingly unfazed he goes back to bed. The next morning their channel is restored and all is right with the world. That is until Teddy goes downstairs and finds Rebecca in the kitchen making them pancakes. She's so stressed about them having a bad time that she wanted to do something nice for them. You know, so she gets a good review. Later while the couple eat at the table, Claire looks up to the security camera and says "thanks for breakfast". The security cameras reply "You are so welcome". You'd think this might be a good time to realise you should watch what you say in the house but not Claire, nope she goes on camera to start talking about how insane their host is. She's that person in a horror movie where you wonder if they'd still all be alive at the end if she just knew when to keep her mouth shut.

The serenity is smashed by a rock to the window. They rush outside to find Vera (Barbara Crampton) who in her completely rational state has followed them here for a confrontation. They gave her home a shitty review and allegedly ruined her business so it makes perfect sense to enact revenge on someone else's home. Rebecca arrives on the scene and scares Vera off. Suddenly Claire has had a change of heart and has decided Rebecca is a badass and they all go inside to do the host interview where Rebecca tells them a charming story of some old couple that stayed at her house. There were smiles, there were tears, there was screaming. She covered the entire emotional range.  

It's the day of the proposal and that goes about as well as expected when you're proposing to a woman whose brain only functions as far as what should be on video or not. She's not actually living in the moment and it's proven in this scene. She's unable to enjoy the scenery for 30 seconds without filming it with commentary and you feel sorry for Teddy because here he is proposing to her and she thinks it's a gimmick for their channel. To be fair though, I'm not sure Teddy can read the room because nothing has suggested this is a romantic getaway. They've butted heads a few times while away.

After that disaster, they return to the house to find mail at their door including a letter for 'Betty and Lou'. Apparently it took a letter for them to decide this is a bad situation (and you know, not the false teeth in the toilet) and they pack their bags and get out of there. They don't get far down the street before seeing Rebecca standing in the middle of the road. She insists they need to get their camera out because she has a surprise for them. Proving yet again that Claire only thinks as a video camera, she thinks this is a great idea whereas anyone else with a few functioning brain cells would be getting the fuck out of there. Everything that happens during the last 30 minutes can most definitely be considered her fault. 

SUPERHOST is a horror/thriller but I'm not sure I'd call it much of either. Maybe I'm not the right target audience because I'm too old to care about YouTubers or to understand why so many act like their life depends on having thousands of followers. Honestly this couple have over 132k followers and Claire is talking about quitting because "nobody is watching". It actually pisses me off because it shows how entitled they are and I see it a lot on social media too. People with huge followings who then complain because they lost followers while still having 100's of 1000's of followers, they just aren't grateful for those who are following them. They focus on who left or how many aren't liking their posts. They're too busy creating content they think will get them followers rather than creating content that actually makes them happy. My instagram hasn't budged from 1400 followers in a couple years. I'd love more followers. I'd have a better chance of selling my art if I could reach more people!

One upside to this film is there's no use of jumpscares anywhere. There's no scary dramatic music or loud sounds to manipulate you into jumping but there's no tension build up either. There's a couple weird bits with Rebecca but nothing to have you on the edge of your seat wondering what's going to happen next and Teddy and Claire never give an impression of being scared by anything going on. It doesn't mean I'm not invested in the film, in fact if I didn't know better I'd think this was a comedy. The horror element kicks in during the last 20 minutes and it sucks because one scene is cool but it's over in seconds. Real blink and you'll miss it stuff. Would have been cool if they lingered just a little bit since the horror is why we're watching this movie in the first place.

The character Rebecca was my favourite part of the entire film. Gracie Gillam really nailed being an over the top nutter and she made me laugh quite a few times. She just had these huge psycho eyes, her smile is robotic and there's moments when she's talking that she just freezes, completely unmoving like when you're computer has lag before she starts up again. It's unnerving. Towards the end of the film I decided if there was ever a cross over that needed to happen - It's Superhost and Creep. I need to see Rebecca and Josef in a room together. 

 

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(Shoot the Wicked Witch) Horror Horror Movie Review https://www.shootthewickedwitch.com/blog/2022/6/movie-review-superhost-2021 Sat, 04 Jun 2022 15:15:00 GMT
Sony Fail: Morbius https://www.shootthewickedwitch.com/blog/2022/5/sony-fail-morbius morbiusmorbius

I enjoyed Morbius. I know many didn't but I did. I was all for seeing more disability representation in the superhero world and given a chance I would let a bat bite me if it meant no more spine pain. Sure the film is a little meh in the storyline department but intro films sometimes are. Look at Hulk [2003] and every Captain America film. I'm not sorry. He bores me stupid. However Morbius did have some nice special effects and I was a big fan of all the coloured motion blur going on. I spent almost 10 years doing that with my gig photos so I had huge appreciation there.

The biggest issue with Morbius was the fact that every single thing shown in the trailer wasn't in the movie. Let me break it down:

  1. Outside the bat cave when Michael says "If you're going to run, do it now" - he doesn't say that in the movie.
  2. Still outside the cave, we see Michael scream as he's surrounded by bats...that didn't happen either.
  3. That scene where he's in his prison jumpsuit, wrapped in a blanket and walking past the Spiderman mural - not in the film.
  4. The scene with Michael Keaton didn't happen. In fact we don't see Michael Keaton until the end credit scenes and it's still not related to the scene in the trailer. Generally speaking, the end credit's scene is the "OMG WOW" moment of the movie watching experience of what's coming next. Not something a movie company spoils with their own trailer. 
  5. "I am Venom...just kidding" doesn't happen either. He says "I am Venom" but it's followed up with some instructions about ibuprofen.

Do Sony know how to make movie trailers? It's normal to sometimes have a couple seconds that don't turn up in the film but to have the entire trailer so way-off takes some talent. 

Rant over.

 

 

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(Shoot the Wicked Witch) Horror Horror Movie Review https://www.shootthewickedwitch.com/blog/2022/5/sony-fail-morbius Sat, 28 May 2022 00:30:00 GMT
Movie Review: Firestarter [2022] https://www.shootthewickedwitch.com/blog/2022/5/movie-review-firestarter-2022 Firestarter-Hollywood-Movies-Releasing-in-May-2022Firestarter-Hollywood-Movies-Releasing-in-May-2022

Director: Keith Thomas
Writer: Scott Teems
Starring: Zac Efron, Ryan Kiera Armstrong, Sydney Lemmon, Gloria Reuben, Michael Greyeyes

The best part of watching the new Firestarter movie is that it's been so long since I've seen the Drew Barrymore version, I didn't have to worry about making comparisons the entire way through. The worst part is that Zac Efron couldn't even save this movie. 

The story centres on the McGee family. Andy [Zac Efron] wakes up from a nightmare and finds his daughter Charlie in the kitchen playing with a lighter. After a bit of a chat about how Charlie feels different to normal, he gets up to make pancakes. Here the credits role and we see glimpses of Andy and Victoria being questioned for a medical study in all of its glitchy video glory. There's a quick glimpse of a patient dying and another has ripped out his eyes and sadly this is the most thrilling part of the entire movie. 

Back to modern day and Andy has a business helping people and has a client wanting to quit smoking. After a quick session with her, she leaves and he doubles over in pain with blood coming from his eyes. His ability is starting to kill him. Meanwhile Charlie is at school being bullied by the ginger kid. They're in science class and he's carrying on because she stabbed the dead frog in front of her. Why give kids dead animals if they don't have to do in-class autopsies anymore? Anyways, he's such a little dickweed I may have told her to "burn the ginger!". She didn't. Later while they're playing dodgeball the ginger strikes again and rather than turn him into crispy bacon she runs to the bathroom trying to stop herself hurting anyone. Her teacher follows finding the girls bathroom filled with steam from the running taps and Charlie in the end toilet cubicle with a slamming door that "explodes". That's the teachers word later after the fire department and police are called. Talk about dramatic. This stunt however has gotten the attention of DSI who ring Rainbird telling him she's reactivating him.

Andy and Victoria are butting heads over how to deal with Charlie's powers but after this incident at school he decides it's time to move but not before pissing off his kid into trying to set her mother on fire. Andy bandaged Victoria's arms up and him and Charlie go for ice cream. While they're out, Rainbird arrives (he really moves fast!) wanting to know where the girl is. By the time Andy and Charlie get home, Victoria is dead and now they're on the run.

Most of my excitement for seeing this film revolved around Zac Efron. I loved his work in Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile (worst movie title ever. It's so long I can never remember it and always need to check Google) and hoped to see him get some more serious roles. Not that I don't like his other movies: Dirty Grandpa, Bad Neighbours, Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates are all ridiculously funny, but youcan'tmakemewritethatmovietitleagain really showed he's more than some hot guy with chiseled abs. Can't really pinpoint why I feel letdown here but I don't think they got his full potential with this character.

As for the film, I don't mind the odd slow burn but this burns so slow it fizzles out. There's no build up and the ending itself is lacklustre. The glitchy opening credits was an interesting choice considering that scene would have been around the year 2012 so there's just no reason for anything from that era to look so bad, especially from some big deal scientific company. It's just a damn shame they didn't have that level of intensity throughout the rest of the movie. The SFX are pretty cool for what we do see and the makeup work looked gnarly. I think I'll watch the original now. 

 

 

 

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(Shoot the Wicked Witch) https://www.shootthewickedwitch.com/blog/2022/5/movie-review-firestarter-2022 Thu, 19 May 2022 00:30:00 GMT
Must Watch Movies For Mother's Day https://www.shootthewickedwitch.com/blog/2022/5/must-watch-movies-for-mothers-day I don't do the parental themed days mostly because I don't have parents. My mum died in 2006 from Non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma so I do my best to dodge all advertising every year because it's depressing, but in the last couple years I decided to celebrate the day with horror movies about Mums, which would either impress my own mum or have her severely disappointed in me right now. 

You see, it's technically her own fault I like horror or that it became some kind of coping mechanism for life. Anyone that was a kid in the 80's can vouch that our parents just didn't give a crap about what we watched. Ratings were just random letters on the sides of video boxes. So at the ripe old age of 2 years old, there I was watching Friday the 13th on the lounge room floor of her aunt's house. From age 5-10 we lived with her boyfriend and because my mum worked nights, it meant he was the one picking me up from the babysitter's after school and letting me watch every single movie he rented from the video store. The fun part here though is I've blocked everything before my 10th birthday BUT I remember vividly killer pineal glands and how he let me watch Igor And The Lunatics when I was 8. When the internet became a thing I joined all these forums and chatrooms trying to find out what the film was and nobody had a clue what I was talking about, then in the last 8 years it was finally released on DVD and this guy let me borrow his copy. Within 5 minutes I could see why it had imprinted on my brain. The opening scene is some woman being chased by a group of men in some warehouse, caught and tied to a bench saw, her shirt ripped open and she's sawn straight up the middle - Art the clown style. My child brain also warped another scene where they pick up a hitchhiker. I always remembered that as them killing and eating her. Turns out they had a bucket of KFC or some shit with them. So here I was, now a 10 year old and completely desensitised to horror. At the most Freddy kind of freaked me out but The Omen was my all time favourite movie series, so much so that I told my mum when she died I wanted her The Omen book series. That was it. Granted my 13 year old brain thought that was going to be a long way off. In another fun anecdote, my stepdad brought home Bloodsucking Freaks and in no universe is this casual daytime viewing for a 10 year old but a year later he really took offence to how much I loved The Stepfather movies. 

The first film I really remember my mum sitting me down with was The Exorcist. She had seen it at the drive-in's back in the day and talked about how scary it was so she rented it for me to watch. This was at a time when I discovered Point Horror books and serial killers so I proceeded to spend the next two hours on the floor pissing myself laughing. Fast forward to my 20's and my mum was convinced one day I'd end up on some FBI watch list or snap and turn into a serial killer. 

Horror movies keep me out of jail.

So in honour of mother's everywhere, here is a pile of movies just for Mother's Day!


1200px-Psycho_(1960)_theatrical_poster_(retouched)1200px-Psycho_(1960)_theatrical_poster_(retouched) PSYCHO

Released 1960
Director: Alfred Hitchcock
Starring: Anthony Perkins, Janet Leigh
Streaming: STAN

"A boy's best friend is his mother"

Unless that boy is Norman Bates. His mother was a screeching, over baring banshee that drove him to needing a much required mental health diagnosis.

This isn't a movie that needs a plot description. It's 62 years old, surely we all know what it's about by now? Even Scream referenced an Anthony Perkins quote from the film. It's a horror classic that everyone should have watched. 

The sequels are decent, I particularly liked Psycho 4 as far as some character development goes, but I could have lived without the remake. A so-called colour 'shot by shot' recreation but I don't recall seeing Perkins masturbate behind a wall. He might have been a bit of a pervert but he was a gentlemen about it. Vince Vaughn just doesn't look like a timid mommy's boy either. I'd accept a sandwich from Anthony Perkins, but if I saw Vince there I'd keep driving down the road. 

If you want something more Mum-friendly you can watch Hitchcock [2012] instead. That stars Anthony Hopkins as the title character and focuses on what an asshat he was while making the film.

 

rosemarybabyrosemarybaby


ROSEMARY'S BABY

Released: 1968
Director/Writer: Some asshole who skipped the country to avoid jail time
Starring: Mia Farrow, John Cassavettes, Charles Grodin
Streaming: STAN

"Awful things happen in every apartment house."

The joys of pregnancy, when you're not quite convinced your husband is the father and your unborn baby might be trying to kill you. This movie is also a good ad for never living in apartments. I always thought it would be cool until I moved to this block of units and now I realise it's actually awful. The walls are too thin but thankfully my neighbours are too fucked up on drugs to know about witchcraft.

I've noticed recently a lot of people have no idea there was a sequel to the book. Rosemary's Baby was written by Ira Levin in 1967. This was the first adult horror book I read when I was 13-14 and it terrified me so much I refused to read the last page for a couple of weeks. In 1997 Ira Levin published a sequel titled Son Of Rosemary. I found it purely by accident on some cheapo bookstand at the newsagents for about $5 and grabbed it. It was an interesting read but I remember not being a big fan of the ending. I definitely need to revisit these books to see how I feel about them now but I'm surprised nobody ever thought about making it into a movie. Mia Farrow could have easily reprised her role had she wanted too. 

 

Screen Shot 2022-05-02 at 10.53.21 pmScreen Shot 2022-05-02 at 10.53.21 pm

THE BABY

Released: 1973
Director: Ted Post
Writer: Abe Polsky
Starring: Anjanette Comer, Ruth Roman
Streaming on Tubi

"Nothing happened? With your damn tit in his mouth, and you call that nothing?"

I put this on tonight to watch while I was painting. I hadn't seen it before and figured it would do as some background noise but ended up somewhat invested by the end. 

A young social worker named Anne is assigned to work with a new family that includes a 21 year old man who thinks he's a baby. He doesn't even have a name and his mother and two adult sisters just call him 'Baby'. They don't much care for social workers and prefer to be left alone to care for Baby themselves and cash the disability payments. Anne has a special interest in the case so basically demands to see him and takes an interest in his welfare. During her time with him she realises Baby is a 'baby' because of the abuse and neglect from the hands of his family. He's been conditioned into not speaking or walking with the help of an electric cattle prod and one scene even hints at incest. 

Unable to deal with the fact a social worker actually wants to do her job, the family try to get her fired, then at the fear of losing Baby through the courts, invite Anne over for Baby's birthday party so she can see him in a different environment. While there they attempt to drug her and tie her up in the basement. Anne manages to break free and escapes with Baby and takes him home with her. There she dresses him up in suits and encourages him to stand where she takes photos to send to his family, which provokes crazy pretty fast because they all get in the car to go cut a bitch. In true dead-beat parent fashion, Baby's mother suddenly cares about what's going to happen to her son.

For a horror it's pretty tame and at times strange but I do love a movie with a score that's not there to manipulate you and an ending I didn't see coming. 

serialmomserialmom

 

SERIAL MOM

Released: 1995
Director/Writer: John Waters
Starring: Kathleen Turner, Matthew Lillard, Ricki Lake

"Chip, you know how I hate the brown word"

Says the woman who will say cocksucker, pussy, fuckface, motherfucker, whore and she'll happily stab a bitch...but 'shit' is where she draws the line. Apart from that, Beverly Sutphin is a doting mother and housewife. 

Back in my Fine Art days, lecturers must have caught a vibe about me because I kept getting told how much I'd love John Waters films, especially Pink Flamingoes. I do like some of what I've watched: Cry Baby, Pecker, Hairspray and Serial Mom. Have not watched Pink Flamingo because I'm not ready to watch a person eat a poop. 

I love the fact that Serial Mom was made in the 90's but could still be relevant today. A mother who cares deeply for her kids safety, education, and recycling...because too many still don't and we just need more women like this in the world. Beverly Sutphin would be the face of Climate Change. She'd also be stoked about DVD's.

 

 

villagevillage

VILLAGE OF THE DAMNED

Released: 1995
Director: John Carpenter
Writer: Sergio G. Sanchez
Starring: Linda Koslowski, Christopher Reeve, Mark Hamill, Thomas Dekker

"There's no need for you to become emotional"

Some weird phenomenon makes an entire town pass out, including the animals. 10 months later and ten women are going into labour at the exact same time with all but one giving birth to a freaky little white-haired demon spawn. As they grow they begin to show their abilities, generally at the detriment of their "parents" with the exception of Jill [Linda Kozlowski] who somehow has managed to teach her son what emotions are. That surely has to win her the title of Mother Of The Year right?

While normally I hate on remakes, this one is pretty good but I haven't seen the original for comparison. It has Christopher Reeves though, so I'm pretty content.

Random fact nobody asked for: In 2006 when Heroes hit our TV screens, I sat there thinking how one of the characters looked just like the kid from The Village Of The Damned. Thanks to the internet I found out I was right. Sometimes my facial recognition skills impress me so much that I think I could work for the FBI.

 

 

theorphanagetheorphanage THE ORPHANAGE

Released: 2007
Director: J.A. Bayona
Writer: Sergio G. Sanchez
Starring: Belen Rueda, Fernando Cayo, Roger Princep

"You won't find an exorcist in the yellow pages"

This one is a Spanish film about a family that move into an old orphanage wanting to turn it into a home for disabled children. The whole film centres on the mother, Laura, who grew up in the orphanage until she was adopted. Soon after moving in to their new home, her son Simon claims to have made a friend named Tomas who likes to play games. Things take a turn when a social worker comes to visit enquiring about Simon and we find out he's adopted and has HIV. Later while playing one of Tomas's games, Simon and Laura are led to where Simon's adoption papers are and he angrily tells her that Tomas told him she's not his biological mother and that he's going to die soon. During their open day, Laura and Simon argue resulting in Laura slapping his face. Later she realises he's missing and it's presumed he was kidnapped by the social worker. 

The Orphanage depicts Laura's dedication to finding her son and along the way discovers the truth about Tomas and what happened at the orphanage after she was adopted. 

It's a very moody film and while considered a horror movie it definitely hits you right in the feels.

 

 

momanddadmomanddad MOM AND DAD

Released: 2017
Director/Writer: Brian Taylor
Starring: Nicholas Cage, Selma Blair, Lance Henriksen
Streaming on Stan

"I used to think my parents getting divorced was the hugest tragedy of my life, but ironically, that shit doubled my chance of survival"

Parents across America are killing their children and nobody knows why. The movie opens with a mum listening to static in her car, she then climbs out and lets a train hit the car with her infant in the backseat. We see parents lining up at schools waiting for their kids to come out just so they can attack them. Meanwhile Brent [Nicholas Cage] looks like he's got some homicidal tendencies before this event takes full effect on him. He's been raging for the past 3 weeks. His wife Kendall [Selma Blair] has been out most of the day and seems unaffected. She's there while her sister Jeanie has her baby but soon after it's delivered there's static coming from one of the monitors and she tries to kill her newborn. As if a scene like this isn't tragic enough, the director really fucks with our feelings by playing 'It Must've Been Love' by Roxette over the top. Once the need to kill their offspring hits the couple at home, Kendall turns out to be the brains of the duo. While dear ol' dad got his ass beat by a plastic toy truck, she's trying to cut a door down with a saw she definitely bought off a TV commercial, then she decides to fill the basement with gas. Never underestimate a 'stay at home' mum. It's one epic crazy ride from start to finish! 

 

hereditaryhereditary

HEREDITARY

Released: 2018
Director/Writer: Ari Aster
Starring: Toni Collette, Gabriel Byrne, Alex Wolff

..and all I get back is that fucking face on your face

That line cracks me up every time.

Hereditary gives us two generations of exceptional mothers.

Firstly we have Ellen. She's the mother of Annie and she just died. For anyone who has a toxic family themselves you might think this is a win but no, even from the dead she's causing problems for Annie's family. When Annie gave birth to Peter she had to cut her mother off for being a weirdo but when her daughter Charlie came along for some stupid reason she let the woman back into their lives. If Charlie seems like a really strange child it's because her grandmother had some ancient demon-king spirit put into her body. 

Then there's Annie. She's mostly functional except for the bit where she lies to her husband and goes to grief counselling groups to bitch about her mum. While she's there we find out her brother killed himself and blamed their mother for trying to put people inside his body, so Mummy Dearest has been at this for a while now. After Charlie's death, Annie goes back to the meeting and she meets Joan. Joan is played by that woman who plays Aunt Lydia in The Handmaid's Tale so straight up we know she's not going to be a good person. Does anyone else think that way when they see actors on screen or is it just me? Anyways, Joan shows her this cool magic trick where she can talk to her dead grandson so Annie goes home to show her family what she learned and basically opens the door to the coven and kills her family. 

I saw this at the cinema and it was one of the rare times where a horror movie had a decent audience. They were also blind going by some of the reactions because during one scene we had two women in front of us scream and a bunch of others gasping. You could see the person clearly on the screen, I don't know how they didn't see them! This is also worth watching for Toni Collette, that woman is amazing and so expressive! 

 

Well that's the list. Is there a movie you think is a must watch for Mother's Day? Let me know in the comments!

 

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(Shoot the Wicked Witch) Horror Horror Movie Review Movie List https://www.shootthewickedwitch.com/blog/2022/5/must-watch-movies-for-mothers-day Tue, 03 May 2022 09:45:00 GMT
Movie Review: X [2022] https://www.shootthewickedwitch.com/blog/2022/4/movie-review-x-2022 xx Director/Writer: Ti West
Starring: Mia Goth, Brittany Murphy, Martin Henderson, Jenna Ortega

When X came out it was on my 'must watch' list but I was also kind of hesitant to go to the cinema. Mostly because too many people were saying X and Scream 5 were the best horrors ever and I detest Scream 5 so I didn't trust their opinions. There were a few comparisons to The Texas Chain Saw Massacre which is fine but I didn't want to sit through 90 minutes of a movie with no plot either. I've finally seen it now and wow...that happened!

The movie starts off with a group of people driving in a van into the country to make a porno. Apparently, this is going to make them all rich and famous because they're being cinematic about it. They've rented a farm house to film at but haven't told the owner, who looks like he's at least 90 years old and near death, what they're planning on doing. His wife, who looks just as old and even more frail, is lurking around and seems to develop a bit of a girl crush on Maxine Minx (Mia Goth) because after one interaction she's also sporting some blue eye shadow and going down to see what they're up to....and finds Maxine having sex with Jackson in the barn. Later that night all hell breaks loose and it's the wildest motive I think I've ever witnessed! 

Straight up I was impressed with the attention to detail to create the 70's vibe: the hair styles, the bold eye shadow, clothes, cars, the warm colour grading all felt like we stepped back in time. Honestly all they needed was a few dust and scratch marks to really make me believe this was some old forgotten film.

I laughed a fair bit through the movie, it's not funny but some things in horror movies just make me laugh. Like exploding heads. I can't really explain it, let's call it an unhealthy coping mechanism to life. I cringed a few times too, especially the scene that involves a foot and a large nail. I practically had my hands covering my face. Back when I was at TAFE we were meant to take our shoes off in the studio so we didn't dirty the white paint work, it was always dirty but it kind of became a habit that I took my shoes off even in the non-studio studio. It was essentially a classroom we could use. Anyways, the shoot went fine until the end during clean up when I stood on a thumb tack. You know those little gold tinted pins you use on pin boards? I can't tell you how much that fucking hurt. It just went straight into my heel. There was another guy in the room offering to take it out for me and I'm there like "DON'T TOUCH ME!". So yeah, I'm a sook but I have extreme empathy now for characters in movies that stand on huge nails they can't see on the ground. The amount of gore was just right too which is also where inappropriate laughing came out of me. 

From the photo-nerd perspective I really liked the use of light and shadows in some scenes like with the old lady in the barn - her shadow shows her as a looming menacing presence when she looks so frail in person, plus there's a scene with Jackson standing in the door way which shows us he's well-hung without actually showing us. That's what us ladies would call a tasteful dick pic. 

According to the internet this is coming out on DVD/Blu-Ray on May 24 so I'll definitely be adding this one to the collection!

 

 

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(Shoot the Wicked Witch) Horror Horror Movie Review https://www.shootthewickedwitch.com/blog/2022/4/movie-review-x-2022 Mon, 25 Apr 2022 23:00:00 GMT
Movie Review: The Cellar https://www.shootthewickedwitch.com/blog/2022/4/movie-review-the-cellar thecellarthecellar Released: April 2022
Director/Writer: Brendan Muldowney
Starring: Elisha Cuthbert, Eoin Macken

The Cellar has the makings of a decent horror movie: family buy a house in a picturesque countryside with no visible neighbours and a creepy ass cellar. 

What makes this movie different? They added maths. 

The Woods family bought a house in an auction for a bargain and being your typical white family in a horror movie it never occurs to them to find out why the house is so cheap. If a house for sale seems to good to be true it's probably because someone died there but I don't know a single person who would even buy a house without inspecting it first. 

Straight up there's tension between Kiera and her teenage daughter Ellie, presumably just your average asshole teen but she hates the house and wants no part of it so of course it thrills her no end to hear the parentals are going in to work and leaving her home alone with her little brother on their first night. The work that just couldn't wait until the next day? Discussing hiring an actress to pretend to be a vlogger to sell their product to teenagers on social media. This is everything that's wrong with the world and I hate them already. 

While Ellie is on the phone with a friend, her younger brother Steven sneaks up behind her in a black cloak and a rams skull that he found in a secret room which also happens to have an abacus and a gramophone. Amazingly, Ellie actually knew how to turn it on without the help of Google, and it played a recording of some math equation and counting 1..2..3..4..5 until 10 when she turns it off and sends Steven to bed. 

While watching a movie, a gust of wind comes from the cellar down and the lights all go out. Scared, Ellie rings her mum who bluntly tells her she needs to go into the cellar to check the fuze box. Her hot tip to fight the fear - count. There's 10 steps so count until she reaches the bottom. Simple enough unless you're in the cellar of doom. So with each step Ellie counts 1...2...3...4 until 10 when something changes and she continues counting. Finally the parentals head home and Ellie is nowhere to be found. 

From there Kiera starts noticing things around the house, things she would have noticed had she checked the damn house out before buying it. Things like roman numerals on the cellar steps with an equation at the bottom, weird symbols above all of the doors and on the painting in the main room - symbols that turn out to be Hebrew glyphs that when put in a certain order spell Leviathan, and when the cellar is dark and you drop a thing, its definitely falling much further than 10 steps. Even while listening to the gramophone counting and hearing her son start to count in the next room, it doesn't seem to make much of a connection in her brain because she does it again later in the film as we watch her son count his way into the cellar. Seriously, one kid has already gone missing and it's amazing how often the other is out of her sight.

During all this Kiera makes a quick visit to the local college of mathematics where she meets a maths genius who tells her the guy who owned their house was also a math genius and was a colleague of Schrodinger and we get the "the cat is in the box but it's neither dead or alive til we see inside" talk and I'm 100% convinced this was thrown in just to sound smarter. The guy does let her know the equation seems to be a representation of a dimension and that he'll get back to her. 

Back at home Kiera is trying to convince her husband of everything and he's all like "it's decorative". Dude, wallpaper is decorative. 

The verdict? 

Maths is confusing and so is this movie. 

The ending baffled me. I'm just not going to lie about it. I don't get it. I need one of those YouTube "ending explained" videos pronto. I even watched this twice thinking maybe I missed something but now I'm pretty sure I'm just stupid. So apparently a math equation opens us up to another dimension. Ok cool. How? Why? Why is it in the cellar? Why would anyone put this in their family home? Are those symbols just decoration after all? Why does some old lady live most of her life there just fine but some family moves in and they're instantly going missing? You should know I barely passed math in school. It's an actual Christmas miracle that I know how to budget.  

Other than that, I enjoyed the ambience of the film and the score was nice and creepy without ever overpowering a scene. Any movie needing to make the score deafening loud to make you jump is an epic fail in my books. Even just the shot of the cellar - a few steps and then total darkness - that's enough to creep me out. Nyctophobia is an extreme fear of the dark and you have no idea how hard it was studying photography and having to stand in pitch black rooms to develop film. Anxiety was real. It's like the room is trying to swallow you whole and you're not entirely convinced you're alone in there.

The acting was pretty stiff. The film really centres on Elisha Cuthbert and she spends the whole movie like she's just in a foul mood. It doesn't matter what's happening in the movie, she never seems the slightest bit concerned or even frightened. Not even finding out there's some link to Baphomet gets much of a reaction out of her. On that note, we only get a couple quick shots of him but he looked pretty cool. 

You can check out The Cellar yourself on SHUDDER.

 

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(Shoot the Wicked Witch) Horror Horror Movie Review https://www.shootthewickedwitch.com/blog/2022/4/movie-review-the-cellar Fri, 22 Apr 2022 23:00:00 GMT
Movie Review: Night's End [2021] https://www.shootthewickedwitch.com/blog/2022/4/movie-review-nights-end-2021 nightsendnightsend

Released: 31st March, 2022 on SHUDDER
Starring: Geno Walker, Felonius Munk, Kate Arrington, Michael Shannon
Director: Jennifer Reeder
Writer: Brett Neveu

Ken Barber has just moved into a new apartment. He lives with anxiety and agoraphobia so his only social interactions are via FaceTime with his ex-wife Kelsey and best friend Terry. Currently jobless, Ken decides to create his own YouTube channel offering advice on different topics hoping that eventually it will gain him an income, but with his latest video only having 10 views that's probably going to take him a while. 

During one of his FaceTime chats, Terry points out that something falls in the background of his latest video. It's one of Ken's taxidermy birds. This leads into a whole thing that maybe his place is haunted and he should find out if anyone died in the apartment. He buys a book online about spirits and makes himself a spirit jar with a mishmash of symbols from the book and from a site his friend sent him too. What could possibly go wrong?! He reads the incantation, which is naturally in Latin, and we have bright lights, flickering screens, screaming and Ken falls out of his chair. As Terry asks him what happened and if he's ok, Ken has no idea what he's talking about.

Ken gains more of a following as he continues to post about his haunted apartment which gets the attention of Colin Albertson, the author of the book he bought, and a popular online ghost-hunting show Dark Corners.

Ok so I have some thoughts..

Night's End has an interesting premise I could get behind. I found the main character relatable because I live alone, I have severe social anxiety and I too love food that can be cooked in under 3 minutes. I also had super weird unexplainable things happen in the last house I was in. This movie just couldn't decide which sub-genre it wanted to be. 

It starts off all sombre and delivers a desolate environment. Ken's apartment is dark and lacks personality, it's creepy without much effort involved. He's taped newspaper articles to his windows and the doorways have sheets of plastic hanging from them. At first I figured he's renovating but there's no explanation for them. They're just hanging there. His kitchen emphasises his loneliness with the cupboards only holding canned soup. Though to be fair, canned soup is pretty good. What this movie never plays on is Ken's anxiety levels. He actually deals with this whole ghost situation incredibly well whereas anyone with anxiety could tell you the slightest thing turns you into a paranoid insomniac. Every little noise has you jumping out of your skin and banging on your door has you hiding like you don't live there. It's a shame the writers didn't have Ken on the internet trying to find information on who lived in the house before him. It's 2022 so it's pretty easy to get information now, especially for shut-in's who can't leave the house to find a library. We have plenty of movies around these days dealing with computers or zoom calls, they could have included at least a few minutes of him searching through websites and finding out any grisly details on his own. In fact, this is one thing that makes the ending so irritating.

The ending killed the movie for me for a few reasons. The entire mood of the film changes. It's like the director suddenly decided they wanted this to be a horror-comedy because this has some of the worst acting I've ever seen, but in front of the right eyes it would seem amusing. Another reason being that Ken just takes everyone's word on everything. He doesn't take any initiative to find things out on his own and considering he's at home all day/every day and doesn't work, just what exactly is he doing with his day? On top of that, all of this is appearing on a show called Dark Corners and apparently the host doesn't do any investigating himself to verify anything. This is the very definition of clout chasing - Millennials being popular for doing the bare minimum. Lastly, the ending overall was an interesting idea but it felt rushed and I know horror is generally far-fetched but sometimes it helps if it feels a little plausible. We've seen similar endings with The Invitation and Halloween: Season Of The Witch but whereas it's logical that an entire nation that bought Silver Shamrock masks are at home watching their televisions for the big giveaway, is it really believable that everyone is at home watching a YouTube channel? 

Rating 5/10

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(Shoot the Wicked Witch) Horror Horror Movie Review https://www.shootthewickedwitch.com/blog/2022/4/movie-review-nights-end-2021 Tue, 12 Apr 2022 22:45:00 GMT
Movie Review: The Stylist [2021] https://www.shootthewickedwitch.com/blog/2022/4/movie-review-the-stylist-2021 thestylistthestylist

Released: 1st March 2021
Starring: Najarra Townsend, Brea Grant
Director: Jill Gevargizan

I hate going to the hairdressers. If you have severe social anxiety this one activity is literally your worst nightmare. For starters, they insist on talking to you. Then then they "need" to wash your hair that you washed the night before and now you're Manic Panic hair dye has just been flushed down the drain. No two hairdressers cuts your hair the same way either so when you go in asking for layers you might get what you asked for, and you might not, and if you're really having a good day you'll get some hair dresser who half way through announces she doesn't know how to cut curly hair and proceeds to straighten and cut it too short. Thankfully, I have never once had to worry about my hairdresser scalping me. 

Claire [Najarra Townsend] is a seemingly friendly, demure hair stylist that is until she drugs you and steals your hair which happens in the opening scene. There's no real motive behind it. The client is in town on work and she was drugged before she had even started talking about how she's cheating on her husband. 

Claire goes home to her basement with a beautiful antique vanity and chandeliers and other scalped hair pieces where she sits down, becomes visibly upset and tries the hair pieces on reciting things the clients had said to her. A lonely girl wanting to pretend to be someone else for five minutes, it's a shame she didn't know about wigs and cosplay. Same thing, no jail time included. 

The next morning she receives a txt message from Olivia, one of her regular customers, to style her hair for her upcoming wedding. Claire doesn't do weddings and rightly so because she's insane, but she gives in and agrees to take on the job. Olivia comes to the salon for a trial run and invites Claire to her home that night for dinner and to see her in her wedding dress. Completely normal behaviour. From here Claire is invited to her hen's party and is asked if she likes to go jogging. Claire says yes which is a lie and I'm pretty sure the only cardio she does is dragging dead bodies around. 

The crazy goes up a notch after Claire overhears Olivia's friends in the bathroom talking about how much of a freak she is, so she proves them wrong by following one of them home and breaking in to her house. Somehow this girl is so drunk she doesn't notice someone sitting in her bath tub. Also it's cool to see that two years into a pandemic a grown woman still doesn't know how to flush the toilet or wash her hands. Nasty.

This is a feature length version of the short film 'The Stylist' also starring Najarra Townsend. Some short horror films tend to lose their essence when turned into a full length movie (perfect examples are Lights Out and Selfie From Hell) but this one has definitely done a great job on expanding the story. The only differences between the two are Claire no longer has a scar on her neck and she doesn't seem as awkward. The Stylist is a slow burn, isn't heavy on the dialogue, has a moody score that never overpowers the scene and delivers a WTF ending. I did spend most of the film feeling like this was the female version of Frank Zito [Maniac] but the only thing that could have made this film better is a bit more background on what made Claire this way.

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(Shoot the Wicked Witch) https://www.shootthewickedwitch.com/blog/2022/4/movie-review-the-stylist-2021 Wed, 06 Apr 2022 20:00:00 GMT
Movie Review: The Boy Behind The Door https://www.shootthewickedwitch.com/blog/2022/4/movie-review-the-boy-behind-the-door the-boy-behind-the-door-shudder-reviewthe-boy-behind-the-door-shudder-review

Released: July 2021
Starring: Lonnie Davis, Ezra Dewey
Directors/Writers: Justin Powell, David Charbonier

I got an email last week about the Chainsaw Award Nominations so I checked it to cast my votes and saw some movies listed I'd never heard of. The Boy Behind The Door was one of them so I found it online and gave it a watch last night. Just wow!! 

The movie begins with a car driving through the middle of nowhere. It pulls up at a house, the driver opens the boot and there we see two young boys tied up.

We're then taken back to 6 hours earlier with best friends Bobby and Kevin fooling around before their baseball game. While throwing a ball back and forth, the ball goes down the hill and Kevin reluctantly goes down looking for it. When he doesn't return, Bobby starts to look for him and finds the baseball by a tree. Hands come from behind and bash Bobby into the tree knocking him out.

Back to the present, the boot slams shut on Bobby as the kidnapped carries Kevin away and we see Bobby thrashing about in the boot of the car. He manages to rip the tape from his mouth, breaks the cable tie from his wrists and kicks the shit out of the boot until it finally opens. He starts to run when he hears Kevin screaming for help and realises he needs to do the right thing and help his friend. He finds a way to break into the house and sneaks around finding the kidnapper watching TV and drinking a beer. Soon after there's a knock at a door. A man is handing over a wad of cash and is handed a watch with a timer set for 1 hour. The kidnapper leaves and the man heads upstairs. It's at this point where my stomach turned because we're only 12 minutes into the film and we know exactly why these boys were kidnapped and I remember how much I really hate humans. They're scum. 

Lonnie Chavis who plays Bobby does a really good job of carrying the entire film. There are times where I was so completely frustrated with this kid for not being smarter, I was yelling at the television as if he could possibly hear me telling him to "KEEP LOOKING FOR THE DAMN KEYS" but reminding myself he's about 12 years old and not Macgyver. Not every child actor can be like Mckenna Grace who I am convinced is really a 50 year old woman trapped in a child's body. Dumb luck was definitely on his side for one scene and I may have got a little too excited for him because between clapping and yelling HA! I started having an asthma attack. Watching Bobby find an old analogue telephone (you know those ones from the 80's with the dial) and having to ask his friend how to use it amused me, but also we have failed the next generation. 

For half of the film the kidnapper's face is hidden. We're shown a hand, their shoes, or a low-lit full length that gives no real details of who it is and I figured this is either a choice by the director because kidnappers are faceless monsters that blend in with the scenery so the focus is only on the boys, or they're aiming for a reveal later on. The reveal happens during a scene straight out of The Shining and shouldn't come as much of a shock if you've been paying attention.

I put this movie on not knowing a single thing about it. Overall it keeps a steady pace throughout and I spent half of the film on the edge of my couch, hands gripping my face with anxiety on if Bobby is actually going to make it out of here alive or if his lack of common sense will get in the way. By the end of the film I felt proud of him for trying his best. 

FINAL THOUGHT: In Australia this can be found on Shudder. It's rated MA15+ but I feel like a tween could handle watching this if you want to put the fear of "Stranger Danger" into them. 

 

 

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(Shoot the Wicked Witch) Horror Horror Movie Review https://www.shootthewickedwitch.com/blog/2022/4/movie-review-the-boy-behind-the-door Sat, 02 Apr 2022 19:45:00 GMT
Movie Review: Scre5m Sucks [spoilers] https://www.shootthewickedwitch.com/blog/2022/4/scre5m-sucks-spoilers Scream-2022-Scream-5-Creepy-Duck-Design-Retro-PosterScream-2022-Scream-5-Creepy-Duck-Design-Retro-Poster

It's been 11 weeks since Scream [2022] was released at the cinema and I'm still pissed off. It's not the worst film ever made but it sure is hell is the worst Scream film in the franchise. I don't trust a single person who thinks Scream 5 is better than Scream 2-4. 

I saw this at the cinema. I try to see most horrors that are released because Australia is really good at not giving us movies - like for some reason they never released Krampus (even New Zealand had screenings!) despite it having an Aussie actress in it and they are really good at spending 6 months advertising film and then just not showing it - so by seeing what I can I like to hope my contribution shows cinemas us Aussies do actually love horror!

The opening scene is the same-old thing we except from a Scream film with someone getting a phone call and dying horribly. In this case it's Tara (Jenna Ortega) and this is probably the only scene in the film I do actually like. It gave me a chuckle the way she looked at the ringing telephone with disdain, I mean who has the audacity to RING a phone these days? The phone app locking/unlocking her doors was a nice nod to modern technology and Ghostface himself was brutal. Obviously any scene with someone being stabbed is brutal but this killer - especially that leg breaking scene - is taking it up a notch and you can sense Ghostface is actually enjoying inflicting pain. From there on it's just a big old mess. 

We're introduced to Sam and her boyfriend Richie and she's getting a phone call that her sister Tara was attacked the night before. They jump in a car and head to Woodsboro. The film thinks we don't need any concept of time in the storyline. We have two sisters who haven't seen each other in what sounds like years and we know Sam is living in another town but with no concept of time we have no idea if it took them 30 minutes to get to Woodsboro or 5 hours. 

We flash to a scene of teenagers sitting outside of a high school. Apparently they're all friends but you don't really get a sense of who they are and they don't seem to like each other that much. At this point you're wondering is it morning, their lunch break, or is it 3pm? Who the fuck knows because they all just left and now everyone is at the hospital. Now they're at a bar where some rando - who was earlier loitering in the school carpark like a total sex predator - is now at the bar picking a fight within 0.5 seconds of entering the room, showing us what a big man he is with his little knife and getting kicked of the bar. We'll never know who he is or what his actual problem is because that would require character development. This is also where my next gripe comes into play: In all 4 Scream movies Ghostface has been all about the cat and mouse game. The taunting phone calls, chasing/fighting etc it's all part of the fun. It builds the tension with the victim not knowing where Ghostface is and if this is a prank or if they're actually about to die. Nah this Ghostface just straight up comes out of nowhere and stabs this guy in the neck. If you blink, you may miss the scene. 

Back at the hospital we find out Sam has 'visits' from Billy Loomis in his bloody shirt from his last night on Earth. Rightio. Not weird at all. This is another one of those character development moments we could benefit from. Like what medication is she on, and how long has she been on them? Why is she seeing Billy specifically in his bloody tshirt? Sam also gets a visit from Ghostface and seriously the break room is like 3 feet from the nurses station, it's literally the other side of the wall and somehow neither the nurse or security guard heard her screaming or shoving furniture around until she was practically at the nurses station? Sheriff Judy Hicks arrives on the scene where we get a lovely glimpse of Sam, the ever grateful final girl. She's just so thankful to be alive. Also, Amber is now there. Do American hospitals not have visiting hours? Speaking of hours, what time is it?

Then we get "legacy character" cameo #1: Dewey. The trailer gave his entire part of the film away: he now lives in a trailer, he's divorced, clearly not the sheriff anymore and he dies. We all knew this because we see Gale visibly distraught and no offence to Sidney but they aren't THAT close. I'm not even sure why people were surprised to find out Dewey and Gale were divorced now. The movies have kind of followed their relationship so I was expecting them to be divorced now, I was just expecting Gale to be a podcaster. It seemed like a natural progression from the video blogger in Scream 4. While I bring up Gale's career - the writers couldn't have given her the much desired Pulitzer? It sure would have made up for the terrible dialogue they gave her. 

The REQUEL scene. What the actual fuck is this nonsense? Everyone arrives at the Meeks-Martin household where there is a gaudy shrine to Randy and we get our next cameo from Martha Meeks. Straight up I need to know what her husband looks like to have created two very attractive children. This is no offence to Martha, but Martha and Randy clearly shared the same gene pool and these kids do not. Back to "requels". I've never heard this word in my entire life until this very moment and I wish I still hadn't. 

Scream 5 quoteScream 5 quote

I agree with this sentiment because Scream 5 fucked with my special memories. I was 17-18 when Scream was released and seeing Scream 2 at the cinema is one of my top cinema memories. The cinema was packed out so we sat in the front row on the floor. Stabbings just sit different when there's a 10ft knife coming down at you. I also avoided public toilets for about six months after this. When Scre4m was being released I was so excited I dedicated a gig to the movie with metal bands and horror-themed burlesque. At the cinema I remember laughing at Officer (Anthony) Perkins and I still seem to be the only person who finds that funny.

So while Mindy over-excitedly tells us about 'requels' and what worked and what didn't work - the fact she disses Child's Play and praises the Halloween reboot is enough reason for her to die. Nobody should love a franchise that has it's own Choose Your Own Adventure theme because that's the very definition of shitting on the fans - she also adds "nobody cares about the shitty inferior sequels Wes, you're safe"...except he isn't because Wes and his mum die in the next scene. Congratulations on not sticking to your own rules!  

The Dewey scene. I'm not talking about it. We all know the writers fucked this one up but here we have another case not knowing how much time has passed between scenes. Sidney has gone from never coming to Woodsboro ever again to being on the screen letting us know she came as soon as she heard. Who told her? So does Sidney live 5 minutes from the hospital or is this the next day? There's no coherent flow to this movie at all. 

Stu Macher's house finally gets its cameo and I swear they only killed Wes so they could have the FOR WES banner at the party. We get it guys, you made the movie For Wes but also imagine dedicating a character in Wes Craven's honour and then giving him a really lame death. This is all very clever. The problem with the end is literally everything. We have Sid and Gail having a moment in their car ride where Gale says none of this would have ever happened if she never wrote the book about Maureen. Sidney tells her no, "Billy Loomis started this". My blood boiled. ROMAN STARTED THIS!!!! You can't pick and choose when a sequel is going to be relevant. 

The killers motive is basically 'my parents bought a house and then I met a boy on the internet and now we're killing people'. The movie starts like it's going to be linked to Stu because nobody remembers he's the killer and then for the rest of the film we forget about Stu...again. It's all about Billy. It would have been better if it was Vincent running around killing people like some sort of vengeance for his dead uncle's memory. He clearly had some psycho vibes. We're given some lazy writing in the form of a re-enactment of a re-enactment of Randy on the couch, and we see the girl with chronic asthma with duct tape over her mouth. Let me stop you right here: asthmatics are mouth breathers. If the dentist doesn't stab a whole in the latex crap he puts over my teeth, I can't breathe. Add this to the fact she desperately needed her inhaler then the tape over her mouth should have killed her or at the very least had her unconscious. Not wanting to make that the only medical faux pas in the film, Sam stabs Richie 22 times including once straight through his cheeks and somehow Richie still has the ability to ask "what about my ending?" Ugh.

When the movie ended, I turned to my friend and said "Scream 6 best be Wes Craven back from the dead seeking revenge for this movie".

Scream 5 lacks any kind of character development and I can't decide if that's thanks to the script, the acting or both. None of the characters have much of a personality so that doesn't help either. Vincent is just sort of there and then he isn't, but we find out Stu suddenly has a sister and this is her offspring. So he's a character for the sake of having a character. He serves no purpose to the plot other than to make it seem like the killer's have a purpose - which also makes no sense considering the killings are all about the first Scream film and Stu didn't have a sibling. 

Sam is just awful. In any other horror movie Sam would have had her ass handed to her for being an entitled brat. She's rude to the sheriff, she's obnoxious to Gale and Sidney. I honestly hoped Gale would punch her. A man dies saving your life and the best you've got to offer is attitude? Nope. She is not Final Girl material. One of the killers I picked the moment they were on the screen, they didn't even try to hide the fact they're a sociopath. Also I know everybody loves Mindy and I want to like her but she's irritating. Randy was the knowledgable film geek without being an ass about it. Mindy is all "I am so smart and you peasants are on my suspect list" except she's not very smart at all because even at that last moment she hadn't narrowed down her suspect list. In fact she followed one of the killers into a basement. 

The script definitely failed the OG3. Gale comes on the screen and she's instantly all caring and sympathetic to Sam? When in four movies has Gale EVER been nice and empathetic to anybody? Nobody suddenly wakes up on their 57th birthday and has a personality change. Will Scream 6 have us finding out Gale is a pod person? The dialogue between Gale and Dewey is a total cringefest that belongs in a daytime television movie. Then we've got Sheriff Judy who suddenly has a teenage son. Where was he in Scre4m? He would have been 6-7 years old then so sure not really relevant to the storyline but she was busy lusting after Dewey and baking him gifts. Remember her "you're not cheating on your wife if you eat my lemon square". Maybe not Judy but are you cheating on your husband? Where is he? Why give us any details when you can just dedicate 10 minutes to Wes setting the table for dinner instead. The only character arc I liked was finding out Sidney and Mark Kincaid made babies - but why reference Scream 3 if we apparently don't like the sequels? MAKE IT MAKE SENSE!!

The Kills. After the opening scene they really aren't that interesting but also I don't believe at all that Richie is even a killer in this movie. Hear me out:

1. Tara - it's Amber's phone and what teenager isn't so self involved they make videos of themselves getting ready? 
2. Vince in the bar carpark - seeing as Amber just left the bar as well and Rich is at the hospital this one is just blatantly obvious. 
2. Judy - Sam drove off leaving Richie at the Meeks house, since he doesn't know anyone else except Dewey, he would have driven him back to the hotel since we know he's at the there watching YouTube videos. But being logical, do we really think Ghostface is catching an Uber to his next kill site? So it has to be Amber again. 
3. Wes - this felt like the longest, most pointless scene in the film. Wes in the shower, Wes setting the table, all those dramatic "OMG THE KILLER IS BEHIND THE DOOR!" which was done to death. Seriously, horror hasn't used that trope in over a decade. What got me was the fact he walks out to find the front door open, goes up to it, just stands there and then closes it. Sorry but if I just found my front door open I'd be looking outside before closing it! Still Amber.
4. Security Guard and Dewey - Amber
5. Chad - Amber because Richie was driving a car to the house.
6. Mindy - this is the only time Richie actually does something...and he stabs her in the shoulder or some shit.
7. Pink haired girl - again with the award-winning dialogue - Amber is all "ermagerd I was with Tara so one of you is the killer" then milliseconds later "we know you're not the killer BANG". Amber really can't commit to pretending to be normal can she?

So there you have it. Richie isn't a killer. All he did was fail at attacking Mindy and then he failed us by stabbing Sam in the gut instead of in her face to end our misery.

scream5memescream5meme

On the upside, some of the cinematography wasn't bad. As much as that hospital scene with Dewey sucked, a couple of the ways they framed Ghostface did make it seem menacing, I just wish the story matched the visuals energy. The fact Scream 6 is coming out so fast doesn't give me much hope of it being any better. It sucks because Ready Or Not is such a great movie but Scream 5 really could have used a few more script revisions. It feels like they threw all their ideas on paper and hoped for the best. 

 

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(Shoot the Wicked Witch) Horror Horror Movie Review https://www.shootthewickedwitch.com/blog/2022/4/scre5m-sucks-spoilers Fri, 01 Apr 2022 17:45:00 GMT
Dastardly Demelza https://www.shootthewickedwitch.com/blog/2022/3/dastardly-demelza DAS.TARD.LY origin: mid-16th Century
Definition:
1. dull or stupid
2. cowardly
3. characterised by underhandedness or treachery

DEMELZA
1. English origins.
2. Popular in Australia.
3. I don't know what it means, it just sounded cool, old timey and started with a D.

The first few years after deciding I wanted to be a photographer, I was collecting costumes. Made sense since I started out shooting pinup/character portraits but the problem is I haven't used most of them and they're taking up half of my wardrobe. That doesn't even include all of the random crap I've hoarded for props. Last year I decided I should really use them at least once before I die and hit up Lamia Emilia to see if she had done a pirate shoot yet. 

The night before I had everything ready to go: the dress, the pirate hat, gun, jewellery, gold coins (I told you I owned a lot of crap)...and then I decided I really needed a pirate map and made one staining it with some old tea bags in the cupboard. I thought it would be funny to put a 'google maps' in the corner since printed maps basically don't exist anymore.

This shoot itself was bittersweet for me and also why I took so long to edit the photos. We did this photoshoot last September and here we are six months later and I've finally finished them. This isn't the longest I've taken to edit photos though - my Space Girl shoot took me about 3 years and there's photos from my Tafe days I still haven't looked at and probably never will because some of them are just BAD.

Unlike my past beach shoots I wanted to try using my light modifiers. I only own two but I was really keen to see how an octobox and beauty dish worked in that environment. Until now I've only ever used them at the pine plantation. Ideally I wanted to try late afternoon but 11am on Father's Day was the only time we could do it. Knowing me, I wanted to do it for Pirate's Day and didn't deliver. I got a friend to help me out so I could get all my gear to the beach and had someone to hold the light stand, we did the shoot, got home, checkout out the photos and they all looked pretty good so project successful. This was immediately followed with "what was the point of this project, it's not like I can ever do it again?". The reality hit hard that I already struggle physically with things so really what was the point of doing something I can't go and do again. I definitely can't carry this stuff around, let alone on public transport, and I can't afford to hire someone to assistant. It really dampened the entire shoot and I didn't want to look at the photos. 

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Luckily for me Lamia Emilia is totally cool with me taking my time because she knows she'll get the photos eventually. She also knows where I live if she really wanted to hunt me down. 

The goal for the shoot was to get a few pinup/playful style shots and some more serious ones as a homage to Johnny Depp but it's so hard trying to see the back of the camera in daylight that I spent more time trying to make sure I wasn't failing with the lighting instead. I know histograms exist but I also don't know histograms exist. I've never looked at one in my life so not really any point starting now.

EDITING

I wanted to do two types of edits but ended up having three different ones. I liked the idea of having different 'sets' within the set so when shared on social media it's not just 10 photos that look identical. 

For the 'pinup' I wanted bright colours and clouds but Perth didn't understand the assignment and gave us a clear blue sky. Easily fixed, I stood out on my balcony for 2 minutes and snapped some clouds when they did come out.

For the others, I really love the Pirates Of The Caribbean artwork and wanted to see what I could do myself. I have so much respect for digital artists. I didn't even do that much to my photos but it really tested my patience. I added some moody clouds, a bit more landscape to the horizon and played around with colours and gradients. One image I took further and tried to fix up some bad lighting effects. The flash didn't fire a few times so one photo (below) had unflattering light on her face and random shadows.  For a couple of images I wanted to include a destroyed ship of some kind. There was a few around but this one ship stood out so I settled for trying to make it look like it was on fire. After all, if we're going to have a clumsy useless Jack Sparrow type pirate...we need a disaster in the background! IMG_4948IMG_4948

For anyone new to stock photos - PEXELS has the most amazing selection of images and they're free to use - just credit the photographers!

These are the photos used. 

stockstock 1. My photo

2. Photo by Moritz Böing from Pexel

3. Photo by Brendon Becker from Pexel

4. Photo by Pixabay from Pexels

"The problem is not the problem. The problem is your attitude about the problem. Do you understand?"

- Jack Sparrow
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Um… And is it just me, or do pirates need to take a little bit better care of their fuckin’ maps? You know, when I find a pirate’s map, it’s… it’s always tea-stained, and the edges are burnt, and it’s like if you’re a pirate, all right, and you’re gonna make this map and expect me to carry it around the globe as I search for your treasure, then laminate it.

- Bo Burnham

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Why is the rum always gone?

- Jack Sparrow

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"Aye, tough mermaids are, the lot of them" 

- Blackbeard

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You can follow my wonderful model Lamia Emilia on social media as well Facebook / Instagram

Feel free to leave a comment below and let us know what you think!

 

 

 

 

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(Shoot the Wicked Witch) Portrait https://www.shootthewickedwitch.com/blog/2022/3/dastardly-demelza Fri, 18 Mar 2022 09:38:11 GMT
Darkly Dreaming Dexter https://www.shootthewickedwitch.com/blog/2022/1/darkly-dreaming-dexter I'm a die-hard Dexter Morgan fan. From the very first episode I was hooked on the show but for the first couple years I was still on dialup and would have to wait for someone to give me the episodes which would result in me spending 12 hours hiding in my bedroom to watch it uninterrupted. I have all the books as well but my brain is stupid so I haven't actually finished the 2nd book. I have this issue where I'm reading and my brain is somewhere else entirely. My mum made me read The Secret Of NIMH when I was 11 and afterwards she quizzed me. I couldn't answer a single question so as far as she was concerned I lied and didn't read it. I literally did. Then I bought the Dexter headknocker. The Dexter action figure. At Christmas I went to get my friend a coaster and she wondered wtf I was doing and tells me she figured I was being extra with getting her a drink. I have the Dexter coaster set which comes in a wooden box and the coasters are glass slides with blood splatter on them. I guess it's a little extra. FYI if you make it to the end of this blog you'll see my thoughts on Dexter: New Blood but if you don't want spoilers don't read past the final photo.

I always wanted to do a Dexter themed photoshoot and like most photo shoot ideas I have, I didn't do it. Hearing there was going to be a Season 9 of Dexter got me thinking about it again but I hadn't put any actual effort into it until my 2nd casting call for my Candyman idea. I asked for a POC and got a whole lot of white girls answering which either told me they have never seen Candyman or they missed the entire plot line to the movie since it's about racism but I don't know how you could. One person who did message me had vibrant red hair and it got me thinking about the Dexter idea again and how cool her hair would look against my backdrop, so I asked her if she'd be interested in that instead. I hadn't been this excited by a project in so long. This shoot would be the 3rd time I picked up camera up in 2021. The first time was a gig I was paid for and the 2nd camera adventure was a shoot idea I wanted to try but it was followed by a depression spell when I asked myself why I even bothered because sure I wanted to see if I could pull it off (and I did), it's not like I can go and do it again so I felt like I just wasted my time and everyone else's. It's been five months and I'm still trying to edit those photos. With the Dexter shoot concept I even got excited about prep even though it ended with me having an asthma attack from painting so many stick-on nails. My hands are small so the nails didn't fit my fingers properly so I wasn't sure which nail was meant for which fingers and painted extras depending on the models finger size, then painted extras incase any fell off and we needed them so a lot of nail polish was inhaled. Also my kettle and part of my kitchen counter is covered in red nail polish. I really committed to this job.

The plan for the shoot was fairly simple: Dexter's kill-room. The colour scheme was red and white. I was going to use my old DIY bloody backdrop, wrap the model in glad-wrap and just tell her to go crazy with poses. Murder victim but make it vogue. She nailed it! I showed Emma a couple of poses I'd seen on Pinterest and that was it, I didn't really have to guide her through the rest of the shoot. For the look I told the makeup artist that Emma needed a cut on her cheek but anything else was up to her. I wanted to have all the small details relating to the show so I even included a dodgy hand drawing so they knew which finger each nail needed to go on. One set was just white with blood splatter but the left hand was in reference to the prosthetic arm from season 1 with the painted fingernails, which later we find out goes back to Dexter's mum. I was concerned the backdrop might look tacky but as soon as I saw the first photo on the back of the camera I knew we were onto a winner! 

The shoot was amusing and involved me having no filter like usual. Straight up I'm telling Emma how generally when I work with new people I always regret it so we'll see how this goes. I told my psych and the conversation went a bit like this...  

MomMom

My brain and mouth have never cooperated. For all the things I say and friends tell me I'm awful I do get some kind of weird pride letting them know they should hear what I keep to myself. Like they should be happy I do have some self control at times. So after that foot in mouth disaster I tried to turn the aircon on and couldn't work out how. Asked the owner for a hand and ended up with a small fan instead. This got a bit awkward because Emma was freezing because of the fan, I guess that'll happen when you're just in your underwear, but I have a heart thing now so I was overheating like crazy and needed the fan. I know the artist is meant to suffer for their work but I seem to make everyone else do it instead. The upside to all this is nobody hated me by the time our 3 hours were up and I'm pretty excited to work with them again later this year. I also bought myself a handheld fan. I haven't tried it yet but I will duct tape it to my camera if I need too. 

Darkly Dreaming Dexter

Model: Emma Brown insta
Makeup Artist: Chloe insta/facebook

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I wanted to give some long exposure a go and try using gels. I didn't really consider the white walls and the fact the room was small so light was going to bounce a fair bit. I tried putting a black board behind her which worked a bit, but I still thought these came out pretty cool. It's definitely something I'd love to experiment with some more.

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I LOVE these two screaming photos. Being a 'victim' I really wanted to try and get that vibe going and Emma 100% understood the assignment.

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Dexter: New Blood

I loved this season. It didn't bother me at all how different it was to the previous seasons. It's been 8 years since we've seen Dexter Morgan and people change so why shouldn't he? Dexter changed his name to Jim Lindsay which gave me a giggle because that's surely a nod to author Jeff Lindsay, he's living in a small town covered in snow, he's got a terrible haircut, his girlfriend happens to be the Sheriff and he works in some sporting store. Amazingly he's not killed anyone in all this time and the sad part of knowing this detail is that if he'd known he could keep the urges at bay, he could have kept Harrison around and been a father. This is 100% Harry's fault for not sending him to a therapist as a child. He should have been sent to one straight away. We know child psychologists existed in the 80's thanks to the shitshow that was the McMartin trial. 

In the first episode we see Jim hunting a deer, which my first assumption was this is his new way of killing living creatures but he's unable to shoot the animal. He does however kill a guy later on who DOES shoot the deer and that sets off the series of the events for this season. We've got the police force and the town trying to find this missing guy because he's some rich kid and everyone knows his dad Kurt who lives in town and runs the local diner, Jim has the body hidden on his property which is covered in police and Harrison suddenly turns up in town. He's all broody teenage asshole and I mean rightly so, most of us don't deal to well being the child of a deadbeat dad and his pretended to be dead. That's gotta sting. We find out Hannah died and Harrison was sent back to Miami where he was in foster care before he tracked down Dexter and travelled to confront him. This adds to Dexter's guilt because he tried to give his son a better life and failed but with that in mind, that was a huge issue for me in season 8: Dexter has a brainfart that for Harrison to grow up and have a normal life then he can't be raised by a serial killer....SO HE LEAVES HARRISON IN THE CARE OF A SERIAL KILLER! Seriously where's the logic? Harrison had grandparents plus a brother and sister he could have lived with. Then we find out Harrison went back to Miami and still there's no mention of his relatives. Why was he put in foster care when he had grandparents?! Even Cody and Astor would have been old enough for him to live with. It made no sense that Harrison remembered his Aunt Deb but not that he has siblings?

It didn't take long to realise Jim was going to get taken down by a small town cop and honestly I was annoyed by that. He worked in the Miami police department and only one person knew he was off and he was dead. You can't hide in a small town. Everybody knows everybody so why did Dexter think that was the best place to live out the rest of his days? Why did he even think dating the sheriff was a good idea? At least in a big city you can be anonymous. I can go out and never run into people I know. It's fantastic! Jim had his first slip over the deer but things were escalating because of Harrison and Kurt who happens to be the local serial killer. Jim's protector mode kicked in and he was sloppy. Harrison almost died at a party from drugs so Dexter thinks it's smart to try and take out the drug dealer. That fails because the police arrive so he starts punching him, then Jim decides to go after the ringleader and almost gets caught by the cops while trying to kill him too. His technique hasn't changed so he's also leaving a trail that's going to bite him in the ass. Kurt knows Jim killed his son as well  so there's a lot of tension building as Kurt takes a special interest in Harrison which almost gets him killed a 2nd time. It's at this moment Dexter opens up to Harrison about his "Dark Passenger" and that they were "born in blood" and we see them actually start to bond. Harrison has already seriously harmed two students at his high school and he takes it extremely well hearing his father killed people. He compares Dexter to Batman which you can see amused Dexter because of the Dark Defender comic book. Harrison isn't the first to make that comparison. We also find out he remembers Rita dying. Seems implausible honestly. Harrison was 6-7 months old when Rita was murdered. He was sitting up but he couldn't crawl yet and here he is remembering Trinity leaning over tho speak to him? Dexter it makes sense that he had an imprint of his mother's death - he was three years old when that happened. This brings me to my earlier point as well - Harrison remembers Trinity but not Astor and Cody?

Angela was like a mosquito - super fucking annoying. She couldn't let anything go. I guess that's her job but this could also be a small town problem since she didn't have any other cases to work on. Kurt tells her his son is alive and living it up in some New York hotel so does she get over it and close the case? Of course not. She travels to New York for a conference just so she can drop by the hotel and check surveillance footage which proves it wasn't Kurt's son. Then at the conference she meets Angel Batista, who hasn't changed one bit, and she talks to him about a case that nobody takes her seriously on (a series of missing women, alleged runaways) so Batista tells her about the Trinity case. Angela wants to talk to the detective on that case but of course Deb is dead and Batista brings up Dexter dying and how he had a cute kid named Harrison. Obviously there can only be one Harrison in all of America because she goes home and with one google search has brought up Dexter's obituary, so now she's got something else firmly shoved up her ass since that's her boyfriend Jim. You do have to question how far Angela would have got if it weren't for some wannabe detective podcaster following her around. I groaned so hard at her character. Am I the only person on Earth who doesn't listen to podcasts? I watched that Don't Fuck With Cats show and it just proved how crazy 'couch detectives' are. They were as frightening as the guy they were hunting. The podcaster was in town over Kurt's son going missing so everyone seemed to be listening to her podcasts on Trinity and the Bay Harbour Butcher - that particular podcast seems to be enough for Angela to want to arrest Dexter. Like get some actual evidence maybe? For all of her cases she had no actual evidence or leads of her own. 

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One of the other old characters to return was Deb. She's replaced Harry as Dexter's subconscious and she's an asshole. I just really hated her and I had to keep reminding myself this isn't Deb, this is just Dexter's subconscious with Deb's face there to constantly reminding him how much of a fuck-up he is and that everyone close to him dies. She's quite volatile. 

The big finale didn't shock me much. In the teaser you see Dexter up against a mugshot wall and sure enough, he was arrested. The show creators said from the get-go this season was to fix up what happened in season 8 and bring closure and in reality that meant Dexter was going to end up in jail or die. Some obviously hated that and think the writers failed yet again. I compared this ending to that of Promising Young Woman - yes we're rooting for her because she's acting like some kind of anti-hero and attempting to get justice for her friend but the moment she walks into that bachelor party you know there's only one way that can end. It's tragic but it makes sense. She was on a dark path she wasn't coming back from. The same goes for Dexter. 

Only one thing could have really made that finale better and that involves Angel Batista. Angela calls him and emails a photo of her with Jim to prove Dexter has been alive this entire time. She also drops that he's the Bay Harbour Butcher and we see Batista holding a folder and that he's coming to them. That was it. One extra episode would have been awesome to see Batista confronting Dexter. That relationship was the closest thing Dexter had to a best friend and Batista was such an emotional guy it would have been interesting to see his reaction to finding out his friend is not only alive but also a serial killer that's responsible for the death of his ex-wife. It's a Miami case so it would have made sense to give the man some closure. I really feel like Angela can't take any credit for this arrest because it's circumstancial. She listened to a podcast and knows Dexter bought ketamine and stabbed a guy in the neck with a needle. I'm not sure that's enough to send a guy to death row. She can't prove he did that to the other drug dealer and there's literally no other evidence pinning him to the crimes in Miami.

My other gripe also involves Angela. She somehow manages to know where Dexter and Harrison are at and gets there shortly after Dexter is shot. After watching her refuse to give up on literally anything because she's a cop and that's her job, she drops the ball here and suddenly instead of caring about the welfare of this underage child who just shot his own father (which he wasn't that upset over), she gives him $20 and tells him where the freeway is. Yet again this kid is being screwed over by the adults in his life. It's literally part of her job description to make sure his welfare is sorted and she sends him packing. He's a smart kid but without family support and therapy, what are his future prospects? 

If there's any future shows it will centre on Harrison but hopefully they leave it here. It might not be the ending some people wanted, but Dexter couldn't get away with murder yet again. 

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(Shoot the Wicked Witch) Horror Portrait https://www.shootthewickedwitch.com/blog/2022/1/darkly-dreaming-dexter Tue, 18 Jan 2022 16:28:33 GMT
Movie Review: Halloween Kills https://www.shootthewickedwitch.com/blog/2022/1/halloween-kills fLVxdkURY1MbnXOigi1vciFo5pYfLVxdkURY1MbnXOigi1vciFo5pY

This movie is so fucking dumb. I watched the extended cut last night and wow, those last 10 seconds really made no difference at all.

Some thoughts:

  1. We know it's been 40 years since Halloween, we don't need reminding every 5 minutes.
  2. "Evil Dies Tonight" could be a drinking game but you'd probably put yourself in the hospital with alcohol poisoning.
  3. That entire hospital riot scene is ridiculous. Tommy asking "He's always worn a mask, Leigh. How do you know it's not him?" Well Tommy, unless you're visually impaired, this guy is about 4 foot tall and fat. 
  4. The town comes together to kill Michael and some woman brings her IRON? What you gonna do, iron his jumpsuit for him when they're done? This is about as intelligent as that chick who brought a SLEIGH to a fight in Black Christmas. 
  5. Speaking of the fight scene, not one person thought to themselves "I should bring an axe and decapitate this mother fucker". Nah they take golf clubs. They all deserve to die.
  6. Lori just casually strolls out of the hospital after major stomach surgery. Anyone who has had stomach surgery knows how bullshit this is. It's like filmmakers aren't even trying anymore. It's just an insult to our intelligence.

I can't wait for Halloween Ends. Such a creative title but I hope Michael wipes out the entire town.

 

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(Shoot the Wicked Witch) Horror Horror Movie Review https://www.shootthewickedwitch.com/blog/2022/1/halloween-kills Fri, 14 Jan 2022 17:45:00 GMT
Facebook Meltdown - SAVE YOUR PHOTOS! https://www.shootthewickedwitch.com/blog/2021/10/facebook-meltdown---save-your-photos During the great internet fail of October 2021 I watched for about 4 hours while people flocked to Twitter to cry that Facebook, Instagram and Whatsapp weren't working. It was just a flood of posts to let us know a different social media platform wasn't working. We didn't care but also why does anyone even use Whatsapp? We all get free txts. 

What REALLY stood out amongst the posts though, was one person freaking everyone out with a screenshot of coding telling everyone Facebook was dead and seeing women replying on how many years worth of photos they'll lose of their children if Facebook doesn't return. It blew my mind that people are really using Facebook to 'store' photos.

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There are so many reasons why you shouldn't do this...

1. If the site does ever crash and burn, that's the end of your photos.

I know everyone likes to show off what they've been up to on social media but is it really worth risking all of your memories to leave them only on Facebook? Years ago Myspace crashed and permanently lost data which is why if you log into your old account now you'll see a whole lot of broken photo links. Your emo past is gone. Maybe that's an era you want to forget anyway, but there's no walk down memory lane now. It's one thing to leave that photo of your dinner from last Friday on Facebook but photos of your family and friends deserve to be treated better.

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[You in your home of no photos - photo by Zachary Kadolph]

2. Facebook compresses your photos.

Lets say you don't back up your photos anywhere because they're on Facebook. What you aren't realising is that Facebook dramatically compresses your photos when you upload them or send them via messenger.

Example 1: A lady recently sent me a photo to restore that was 1500x2100 PPI 1000 DPI but Facebook compressed it to 280x427 72 DPI.
Example 2: If I upload a high-res photo that has 3497x5238 PPI 300 DPI, Facebook has shrunk that down to 1312x1985 72 DPI.

What does this even mean? It drastically affects the print quality of the image.

DPI (Dots Per Inch) refers to the output resolution of a printer. Professional printers and photo kiosks need you to have 300DPI (some can use 150-200 but 300 is recommended for best quality) but you also need the pixel length of the image to be at least 1200x800 for a standard 6x4" print. As the DPI shrinks, so does the pixel length of the image. So using my example above - it's taken a file size that could print to poster size and shrunk it so I can only print it as a 6x4" print.

When I upload photos to my Facebook page I purposely make them small and at 72DPI to avoid what compression might do. While working at Camera House though I accidentally printed one of my low-res files instead of a proper sized photo and it came out a blurry mess. It was good to know that the average person couldn't just steal my photo and print it out at the shops.

On the other hand it can have little effect on the 'document size' which is why photos can be printed at home ok, but I hate home printers so I'm not talking about them. I had one years ago that I printed old photos out for my mum and 15 years later they're faded looking and they've been sitting inside of a photo album protected. Going to a proper photo printer is so cheap (10-50 cents depending on where you go) that I just don't see the point in compromising quality.

3. Facebook is not a backup for your phone

As much as I cringe, I know everyone uses their smartphones to document every little detail of their life and nobody seems to ever back the photos up onto their home computers or the cloud which Apple has for people to use. I don't use the Cloud myself but I suck at remembering my own passwords. Phones are probably as reliable as Facebook for storing photos. Phones end up stolen, smashed, inside toilets..if you really cherish those photos of your kids, your friends wedding or those holidays we got to have in BC (Before Covid), print them. Get rid of the LIVE LAUGH LOVE sign, print your photos and display them!

WHY YOU SHOULD PRINT YOUR PHOTOS

laura-fuhrman-73OJLcahQHg-unsplashlaura-fuhrman-73OJLcahQHg-unsplashPhoto if of a child holding an old family photo album - Photography by Laura Fuhrman from Unsplash

[Photograph by Laura Fuhrman]

Your parents printed photos. Your grandparents did it, your great grandparents, your great great parents.. You know all those old photos you probably have stored in photo albums and family trees? That's because your relatives treasured their families and wanted to keep their memories safe which future generations can look at. By leaving your photos on Facebook, what is your child going to look at 20 years from now? If Facebook ever dies or you lose your account then you just erased their entire childhood.

When I started studying photography back in 2004 we learned about archiving and the importance of Acid-Free photo albums. I went home and told my mum and we started to redo all the old family albums to better store our photos and keepsakes. We had all those 70-80's style albums where your photo stuck to the page and was covered in plastic and sure they worked but we had a hard time getting some of those photos out. A scalpel was used for some and we just had to admit defeat. Even the 90's style slip-in albums seemed to like sticking to the photos making them hard to get out. We bought some large albums with plain black pages and white tissue paper between each page - that stops the photos rubbing together. How you stick your photos into the album is up to you with choices of acid-free glue sticks or double-sided tape but using sticky photo corners makes photos easily removable if you ever need to scan one. You can be as boring or as creative as you want with your photo album too thanks to scrapbooking. There's endless choices every year for themed papers and embellishments. My mum liked including ticket stubs and things she picked up on holidays into her albums. 

HARD DRIVES

Storing your photos on a hard drive is a good move but it also shouldn't be your only backup option. Hard drives can die too. Anything electronic can and will but for a good tip - buy a desktop hard drive. They last so well! I've got one here that's over 10 years old and still going. 'Plug N Play' drives are garbage though. I've had at least 3 crash on me as soon as the warranty is up. They look compact and cute but they just cause you grief. One was just random movies so not the end of the world but losing photos makes me wish I was dead. I had one fail while I was in the process of backing it up to my main hard drive to make it even worse. I had just emptied my Macbook to the plug-n-play to transfer over and suddenly it was broken. I lost every photo taken in 2015-2016. Some were photos I was still working on and others were concert photos that I wanted to print my favs out to make a gallery wall but I hadn't had the time yet. From those 2 years I have 2 physical prints to show for it. It's also really easy to accidentally delete a folder without meaning too and if they aren't backed up properly then that's another box of tissues you're going to need. While finishing off my Frank Carter and the Rattlesnakes gig photos back in 2018 I realised I saved them wrong and deleted the files. Due to how little room I had on my Macbook at the time I instantly emptied the trash can. I went back into Lightroom to realise I also deleted the raw files by accident. Just like that EVERY photo was gone. A few months later I realised I had the last few photos from that concert still sitting on an SD card. I'd used 2 that night, the first one I'd wiped but somehow I hadn't used the 2nd card since that night. They aren't the best photos but I at least have a couple saved now. During backups I also managed to deleted a folder with 10 years worth of photos of my nephew. I was completely devastated because I thought they were on my external hard drive BUT I had a huge stash of photos printed that I haven't put into an album yet and because I had done this it means I can scan them and make new backups. This is why its important to print your photos. 

My mum was into her family history so I now have a collection of random old photos dating back 100 years. So while you can lose your photos electronically in 0.05 seconds, this is how long a printed photo can last when looked after! But even in cases where photos haven't been cared for well, they can still be saved. 

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Honestly this is all a good advertisement for film photography. I've never lost a negative. 
 

 

 

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(Shoot the Wicked Witch) Opinion Piece Photo Restoration https://www.shootthewickedwitch.com/blog/2021/10/facebook-meltdown---save-your-photos Mon, 11 Oct 2021 08:44:49 GMT
Movie Review: Candyman [2021] https://www.shootthewickedwitch.com/blog/2021/9/candyman-review You’re probably wondering why I’m writing a film review but I have a valid reason. I was pretty excited to hear about the new Candyman film that was coming out and last year I had planned to do a Candyman themed photoshoot for Halloween. It didn’t happen for various reasons. Then with the film being pushed back a few times I decided ok I have until August 2021 to get it done - I still haven’t. Winter and a really cold apartment makes it hard to work with plaster. It's also my first time using plaster so I'm now just waiting for warmer weather to try again. It just wouldn’t dry. It was also tricky to find a model. My first casting call I added a photo of Candyman and said I wanted a female horror fan - and then I got a whole lot of white girls applying. It baffled me seeing as Candyman is obviously a black man and the film involves the topic of racism. My 2nd casting call I added POC (Person Of Colour) and still got white girls applying and replying to them that I have no interest in white-washing this character. As it stands, I have 2 people interested and one of them I’m pretty sure hasn’t even heard of the movie. So as of this week, I realised Candyman turns 30 next year and that is now my new deadline. 

CANDYMAN

Date released 26th August 2021
Director: Nia DaCosta
Writers: Jordan Peele, Win Rosenfeld, Nia DaCosta
Cast:
Yahya Abdul-Mateen II as Anthony McCoy
Teyonah Parris as Brianna Cartwright
Nathan Stewart-Jarr as Troy Cartwright
Colman Domingo as William Burke

Candyman follows visual artist Anthony McCoy and his girlfriend Brianna. One evening Brianna’s brother Troy and his boyfriend are over when Troy brings up Anthony’s artist block and insists on telling them a scary story about Helen Lyle, but like all urban legend tales the stories details have changed quite a bit in the last 29 years. The story peaks Anthony's interest and he sets out exploring the old neighbourhood where he meets laundromat owner William Burke. William tells him the story of the Candyman he knew as a child - Sherman Fields. Back in the 70’s, Sherman Fields was a man with a hook for a hand that liked to give the local children candy. The problem was some kids found a razor blade in theirs and the police were on the hunt for Sherman. "The police come around. That's when I saw the true face of fear." Williams screams brought the police running which led to Sherman's death. A couple of weeks later more children fell victim to a razor blade in their candy and everyone realised Sherman was in fact innocent. This spurs Anthony to create an installation called "Say My Name" for his next art show, a mirror that welcomes people to say Candyman five times and which sets the rest of the film in motion.

The first thing I noticed when the film started was the opening credits scene. The cinematography choices here were quite striking. Looking upwards at skyscrapers with dark and ominous clouds and I wondered if this was a nod to the original where the opening credits were bleak aerial views of the city. There were some interesting visual choices made throughout the movie using reflections in mirrors and glass windows to show us Candyman with many scenes opting not to directly show us the killer which made the film feel more supernatural.

There were plenty of subtle connections to the original without it feeling forced. An example is while Helen Lyle is taking photos in the empty apartment she finds a stash of candy wrapped with razor blades, the same candy we hear about in the story of Sherman Fields. Vanessa William’s cameo is linked to a main character and can I just say - I feel so dumb I never made that connection before today, also she hasn’t aged in almost 30 years! 

For the most part I liked that there weren’t any main white characters - in fact the white people in this film were mostly dumb and let’s face facts, white people do dumb shit in horror movies. They’re the ones calling Bloody Mary or playing with ouija boards or it's some Incel running around slashing people because he got turned down for a date. It’s a big reason I have enjoyed movies by Jordan Peele, they feel more intelligent and I’ve seen many online complain about his using race as plot lines but seriously who cares? Racism is a worldwide issue and anyone who has a problem about a black director making a film about black people probably has some bigger issues to be worrying about. 

The kill scenes were pretty cool, plenty of blood and cool sfx makeup. Personally I would say there were no jump scares (I never notice them anyway) but if I'm going to be completely honest the only time my skin crawled involved a scene with Anthony's hand. I'm not saying what scene, but if you've seen the movie then you will probably know what I'm talking about. 

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Art is a theme that is throughout the film. The whole film involves artists, art gallery owners, art critics and the use of shadow puppets felt like a perfect addition to the film as another visual art form. I loved the use of the puppets to tell the story of Daniel Robitaille, the original Candyman, rather than getting in actors to re-enact the scene we’ve already seen before in past sequels. Even ignoring the other films, I thought this was a respectful way to acknowledge Tony Todd’s portrayal of Candyman. Adding on to that, the 1992 version ended with Helen being the new ‘Candyman’ and the sequels never explored that further. Rather than just make a carbon copy film, the writers have taken that element and elaborated on the legend giving us a new Candyman in Sherman Fields. He wears a similar costume but his story is his own. 

As Anthony becomes more psychologically affected it reflects in his paintings. His first painting is simple, there's no room for interpretation. He's taken the topic and gone completely literal with it. The further along he goes the more chaotic his paintings become turning into abstract undead portraits. To be honest I loved them. For me they really told us where he's at mentally. They're unsettling and I sat there wondering why I haven't set my own easel up yet. 

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“They love what we make, but not us.”
- William Burke

This line hit hard but it’s true. Everyone loves black music, black sportsmen, black actors…but somehow they still aren’t seen as equal to white people. The subject of racism has been modernised in the sequel and it’s interesting to note the differences over time. The OG Candyman was the son of a slave who had a talent for painting and was hired to paint the portrait of some rich dude’s daughter. They fell in love and she became pregnant which ended with Daniel being tortured and murdered. He’s good enough to paint their portraits but not good enough to be one of them. In the 90’s when the original film was made, interracial couples were still considered taboo and sadly in my family it’s somehow shocking even now, but in 2021 the film features a gay interracial couple - a sign of what’s more socially (to a degree) acceptable now. This modern version also looks at police brutality - something that became a huge focus of 2020 with the Black Lives Matter movement. 

candyman-2021candyman-2021 Despite having to wait an extra year for Candyman to be released, I wasn’t disappointed. The lack of hype might have helped, Candyman didn’t follow movies like Halloween Kills with their constant need to remind us on a weekly basis why it’s going to be the best movie we’ve ever seen. Yes I’m dissing Halloween here but we do seem to live in an age now where TV shows and movies feel the need to tell us EVERYTHING before it’s come out. Just look at the upcoming Dexter series. It leaves nothing to be surprised about anymore. In the week since this film has been out I've not seen a single spoiler or review of it and I’m actually amazed. 

What I always loved about Candyman and probably why he's a character that always stood out to me is that he is not a villain in the traditional sense like Michael Myers or Freddy Krueger, he's a man that had bad things done to him. He's a brutal killer but at the same time you have empathy for him and these are qualities that have followed through to this sequel. 

Overall I thought the general tone of the film was comparable to the original, making this a movie that will be easy to watch back to back with the 1992 version. The kill scenes are memorable and the changes to Candyman’s lore worked well. I wish more reboot-sequels could be like this *looks at The Craft: Legacy*.

 

 

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(Shoot the Wicked Witch) Horror Horror Movie Review https://www.shootthewickedwitch.com/blog/2021/9/candyman-review Tue, 31 Aug 2021 19:17:30 GMT
World Photography Day: 26 songs about photography https://www.shootthewickedwitch.com/blog/2021/8/world-photography-day-songs-about-photography  

26 SONGS ABOUT PHOTOGRAPHY!

August 19th is World Photography Day. I started working on a blog idea two weeks ago and the past few days the pain has been so intense and I'd been waiting on results about a lump that I just couldn't concentrate. I wasn't in the mood to be listening to random songs I'd curated to see if I even liked them or not. So here it is late. Nothing quite like finding out it's THE day to make you finish something. I hope you enjoy it!

These are songs about photos, maybe they mention cameras..it's all relevant.

 

JON BON JOVI - Ugly
Album: Destination Anywhere [1997]

"And I wish I was a camera sometimes, so I could take your picture with my mind. I'd put it in a frame for you to see, how beautiful you really are to me."

Ok this is a total sap fest but the sentiment is nice so I'm including it in my list. I'm sure many of us have had someone say something similar to us and if you're like me who doesn't know what a compliment is, has scoffed at it. I was telling a friend only yesterday how I've been so concerned about if I'm catfishing the world or not that I took one photo with the app I use and one normal photo and really the difference was subtle. But then I told her about me saying all of this to my psychologist who looks at the photo and says "This looks nothing like you!" so obviously my brain is all "OMG I WAS RIGHT! IM CATFISHING EVERYONE! I AM A LIAR!" and then she says "you're much prettier in person". Give me a break lady. 

NICKLEBACK - Look At This Photograph
Album: All The Right Reasons [2005]

"Look at this photograph. Every time I do, it makes me laugh. How did our eyes get so red and what the hell is on Joey's head?"

I feel dirty for including them but this song spawned the meme. It's the 2000's rickroll. However, he's reminiscing while flicking through a photo album and I'm going to harp on about the importance of photos, printing them and displaying them whether it's in a photo album or framed on your walls. The moment you lose a person you'll cherish the photos and regret all the ones you didn't take because they are all you have left. 

CAKE - Sick Of You
Album: Showroom Of Compassion [2011]

"Every camera, every phone, all the music that you own won't change the fact you're all alone"

Just sitting here feeling called out by a song while eating cake...

BLONDIE - Picture This
Album: Parallel Lines [1978]

"All I want is a photo in my wallet, a small remembrance of something more solid, all I want is a picture of you."

If you watch the video How Debbie Harry Owned Her Sexuality, producer Mike Chapman says "When Debbie showed me the lyrics, I thought, "Woah." This was something she'd obviously lived through. She was singing about an event in her life. I guess she was watching Chris [Stein] shower! I wouldn't have wanted to watch Chris shower, but obviously Debbie enjoyed it!

DAVID BOWIE  - Everyone Says Hi
Album: Heathen [2002]

"Should've took a picture, something I could keep. Buy a little frame, something cheap."

A song about wondering how an old acquaintance is and wishing they had a picture to remember them by. The song was written for his late father Haywood Stenton Jones. David explains "When my father died in 1969, I couldn’t actually believe that he was not going to come back again. I kind of thought that he’d just put his raincoat and his cap on, and that he’d be back in a few weeks or something. And I felt like that for years. It really took a long time for me to be able to take in the fact that I wouldn’t see him again. So this one was just a little simplistic reference to that, about how it always feels like somebody has gone on a holiday of some kind. And there’s something sad about ships as well. That’s why this person in this song doesn’t go on a plane. A ship took them away – I guess that’s the boat that took people over the river Styx, isn’t it?"

DEF LEPARD - Photograph
Album: Pyromania [1983]

"I see your face ever time I read, on every page, every magazine"

Lead singer Joe Elliott wrote this song about his big ol' crush on Marilyn Monroe.

LITTLE STEVEN - UNDEFEATED (Everybody Goes Home)
Album: Voice Of America [1983]

"I got your picture close to me, I touch it when I'm scared at night. I want your picture to be the last thing I ever see in my life."

MADNESS - I Am Michael Caine
Album: Keep Moving [1984]

"And all I wanted was a word or photograph to keep at home and all I wanted was a word or photograph to keep."

Superficially you could listen to the chorus and assume it’s about wanting an autograph or photo with someone famous you met on the street but the song is much deeper. The song is about an informer during The Troubles – an ethno-nationalist conflict in Northern Ireland that lasted about 30 years – and uses the film The Ipcress File, starring Michael Caine, as inspiration for the video clip. Michael Caine initially declined to be part of the song but eventually recorded his line “My name is Michael Caine’ that features frequently in the song.

INCUBUS - Monuments and Melodies
Album: Monuments and Melodies [2009]

"You make me happy, you magnify my better half. You make me certain, though all I have today is your photograph."

THEY MIGHT BE GIANTS - Birdhouse In Your Soul
Album: Flood [1990]

"There's a picture opposite me, of my primitive ancestory, which stood on rocky shores and kept the beaches shipwreck free. Though I respect that a lot, I'd be fired if that were my job."

This was one of those bands I discovered while in art school. Something happened when I turned 18, suddenly everything I owned was black and I loved anything peculiar that made no sense at all like David Lynch and peculiar 100% describes this song about a NIGHTLIGHT and the line above? He's singing about a photo of a Lighthouse.

GOLDFINGER - Pictures
Album: Goldfinger [1996]

u're not there." "So here I am and you're not. Here I am alone. All I want is a picture for me to look at and all I need, for me to look at you when yo

RICHARD MARX - Angelia
Album: Repeat Offender [1989]

"Tried to be what you wanted, I gave you all I had. You left me with nothing, nothing but a photograph."

PVRIS - White Noise
Album: White Noise [2014]

"Day by day, I'm slowly replaced in your picture frames. A brand new face on your pillowcase."

BLINK 182- The Rock Show
Album: Take Off Your Pants And Jacket [2001]

"Black and white picture of her on my wall, I waited for her call, she always kept me waiting."

This was around the time I decided Blink 182 went emo thanks to everyone's fav song Stay Together For The Kids and I couldn't deal and I don't think I've listened to a song of their since. On this album though I did like this one, First Date and Happy Holidays, You Bastard is a December playlist must have.

OUTKAST - Hey Ya
Album: Speakerboxxx/The Love Below [2003]

"Shake it like a polaroid picture"

The phrase seems to have no real connection to the song itself, which is about relationships but I can't even look at a polaroid now without this playing in my head. For anyone who has used an old polaroid camera before, shaking the photo helps spread the dye out to develop the picture. I even do it with insta photos out of habit and they don’t even need you to shake them. The video clip is iconic though with 8 Andre 3000’s performing to a lot of screaming girls. Either way, if I see a polaroid I instantly hear this song in my head.

THE CURE - Pictures Of You
Album: Disintegration [1990]

"I've been looking so long at these pictures of you that I almost believe that they're real"

According to interviews Robert Smith came up with this song after a fire broke loose in his home and when going through the remains he found his wallet with a photograph of his wife inside.

MY CHEMICAL ROMANCE - I'm Not Okay (I promise)
Album: Three Cheers For Sweet Revenge [2004]

"Forget about the dirty looks, the photographs your boyfriend took, you said you read me like a book but the pages are all torn and frayed"

Honestly, if you haven't heard this song I'm just going to assume you're lying or just landed on Earth.

J GEILS BAND - Centrefold
Album: Freeze Frame [1981]

"Years go by I'm lookin' through a girly magazine and there's my homeroom angel on the pages in-between"

These days you'd think a pop-punk had written a song about finding their high school crush inside a copy of Playboy. The 80's were a time.

LADY GAGA - Paparazzi
Album: The Fame [2008]

"I'm your biggest fan, I'll follow you until you love me, papa-paparazzi"

Lady Gaga describes the song as “It’s also about wooing the paparazzi to fall in love with me. It’s about the media whoring, if you will, watching ersatzes make fools of themselves to their station. It’s a love song for the cameras, but it’s also a love song about fame or love–can you have both, or can you only have one?

THE VAPORS - Turning Japanese
Album: New Clear Days [1980]

"I've got your picture of me and you. You wrote I love you, I love you too. I sit and stare at it, there's nothing else to do."

I miss the 80's. The music was so good! I actually have this song on vinyl somewhere but most of my vinyl collection is from the 80's so probably no real shock. The song is fairly self explanatory, he misses his girl and stares at photographs of her all day long. So much so he'd even look at x-rays. Weird flex, but ok. But for real, I have an x-ray of my breast on my phone for the next time some douchebag asks me for a nude, so who knows, it may get guys off. Songwriter David Fenton describes the song as "Turning Japanese is all the clichés about angst and youth and turning into something you didn't expect to."

30 SECONDS TO MARS - Was It A Dream?
Album: A Beautiful Lie [2005]

"Was it a dream? Is this the only evidence that proves it, a photograph of you and I?"

This is in the 'right in the feels' basket. I guess part of the joy of songs, much like art, is it can mean different things to different people. Studying Fine Arts was an eye opener to this - a drawing I did for class which meant literally nothing but my lecturer was seeing all this meaning behind it. We all interpret things differently. I see this song as being estranged from someone you once felt close too and the only evidence that something ever existed between you both is a photograph.

DEPECHE MODE - Photographic
Album: Speak & Spell [1981]

"I take pictures, photographic pictures, bright light, dark room."

DURAN DURAN - Girls On Film
Album: Duran Duran [1981]

It's actually funny reading the history of this song's video clip compared to the videos we see today. Girls On Film is about the exploitation of fashion models and the clip features girls in various outfits and nothing too outrageous but back in 1981 MTV refused to air the clip unless they removed the nudity and it was banned on BBC. Fast forward 40 years and now we have WAP but we haven't quite free'd the nipple yet. Click here for the uncensored clip

REM - Photograph (Featuring Natalie Merchant)
Album: Automatic For The People 25th Anniversary Edition

"I found this photograph underneath the broken picture glass, tender face of black and white. Beautiful, a haunting sight."

This song makes me think of urban exploring, if you look at photographs people take of abandoned homes it's always fascinating to see what people leave behind, including photographs. There's a lot of sellers that sell old photographs too. People collect them. I found some on sale a few years ago at the 3in1 markets and bought one I could use as a restoration sample.

This almost wasn’t a song. Michael Stipe had given up halfway through writing it when the band was invited to be part of the charity event Born To Choose and Buck suggested they give the song to someone they know to finish the song. That person was Natalie Merchant (former singer of 10,000 Maniacs) and they basically had the song finished and recorded in a day.

FILTER - Take A Picture
Album: Title Of Record [1999]

"Could you wanna take my picture? 'Cause I won't remember."

That line sits with me for a couple of reasons: firstly because so many see a camera and see it as an annoyance but photos help us remember times in life we might forget, but on the other hand they can be a reminder of how much you've blocked out from your life. For Filter singer Richard Patrick it's about being so intoxicated you don't remember a single thing you did the night before. He wouldn't have this problem anymore thanks to smartphone culture where even our lunch gets photographed. 

NINA HAGEN - Du Hast Den Farbilm Vergessen (You Forgot The Colour Film)
Single released: 1974

"You've forgotten the colour film, my michael! No one will believe us how beautiful is was here hahahahaha You've forgotten the colour film, by my soul! It's all blue and white and green but soon no longer true."

I discovered this song while compiling songs for this list and it cracks me up. The song is about Nina and her holiday with Michael. They've gone to some beautiful location and she's completely outraged that he didn't pack colour film. "Now I'm back at your and my home and choose the photos for our photo album, me in a bikini and me at the nudist beach, me in a flirty mini and there's landscape too but how gruesome, the tears are rolling hotly, landscape and Nina and everything black and white!" Pretty sure he's going to need a good divorce lawyer.

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(Shoot the Wicked Witch) Music Opinion Piece https://www.shootthewickedwitch.com/blog/2021/8/world-photography-day-songs-about-photography Thu, 19 Aug 2021 20:33:28 GMT
Album Review: Bodies https://www.shootthewickedwitch.com/blog/2021/6/album-review-bodies

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I thought I'd do something different here and talk about AFI's new album (I've talked about movies here, may as well talk about music!) because I love AFI but also it's another shameless excuse to share photos. I peaked in 2017 and I'm milking it. I had planned to post this last Friday when it came out but I wanted to reference a video and then couldn't find it. So now it's late and nobody cares but I'm posting it anyway!

BODIES - released June 11th 2021
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For me, the joy of AFI is that each album has it’s own vibe. There’s an album for every mood. If I need a dose of punk rock I can blast Answer That And Stay Fashionable, if I need something moodier there’s Decemberunderground and if I’m in one of my anti-people moods there’s always Burials because nothing makes me happier than blasting 'I Hope You Suffer'. Their new offering Bodies is no exception, it’s AFI if AFI were teleported to the New Wave era. 

'Twisted Tongues' was the first single released and there’s some chaotic drumming going on. It was all I noticed the first few times I listened to it until a friend pointed out it reminded them of Adam and the Ants and I couldn’t believe I missed it. Adam Ant was my first musician crush at the ripe old age of 6. I’m going to take it once step further…Adam Ant even had a rats tail. Are we sure Davey didn’t spend lockdown just listening to old records? A video I saw around the time of the single release showed Adam Carson drumming during soundcheck then turning to whoever was holding the camera to say he was too old to play the fast songs now, he was wiped. How on earth is he going to manage playing this live?! Maybe it's a good thing the world is in a pandemic. I lol'd.

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The 80’s sounds continue with hints of Depeche Mode in ‘Back From The Flesh’ and ‘Dulceria' gives me huge Duran Duran vibes with the deep bass lines, but once that chorus kicks in there’s just no missing it, Davey has channeled Simon Le Bon. You could probably be here all day listing bands these songs remind you of. The Cure is another one but what self-respecting adult doesn't listen to The Cure on a regular basis?

'Tied To A Tree' just gives me deja vu. It's quite sombre but I feel like I've heard something like it before. I couldn't pinpoint it and talked to my only AFI obsessed friend about it. I was thinking Decemberunderground but she was thinking it sounded more like their Black Sails era. Now I'm just convinced there's some Nine Inch Nails influence going on.

The one song that stands out is 'Escape From Los Angeles'. It’s such a completely different sound to anything I’ve heard from AFI before. I know they started out punk but this is more pop-punk compared to their original style. It doesn’t even sound like Davey singing. It’s not a bad thing though, it’s definitely the song that makes you want to get up and dance around the house.

The one thing with this album is there's absolutely no flow to it or to quote Davey quoting Adam "Man it's weird". This is definitely not an album I would play start to finish. This album can be best summed up as a mixtape (have to get in one final 80's reference!), a love letter to the 80's.

 

 

FAVOURITE SONGS: Far Too Near / Looking Tragic
LEAST FAVOURITE SONGS: On Your Back

 

 

Listen to the album on Spotify now!

 

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(Shoot the Wicked Witch) Music Review https://www.shootthewickedwitch.com/blog/2021/6/album-review-bodies Fri, 18 Jun 2021 18:16:56 GMT
The Self-Iso Diaries: Freddy Gets A Makeover https://www.shootthewickedwitch.com/blog/2021/3/the-covid-diaries-freddy-gets-a-makeover I don't know about anyone else, but when Covid hit last year I went into full self isolate mode and started randomly putting paint on things out of boredom. I painted the wall next to my doorway blue just because I could. Honestly I need this to just be my life because while I'm quite happy to never leave the house again or ever speak to another human for as long as I live, I'm back to no motivation to pick up a pencil. For whatever reason I never shared the few projects I got up to last year so decided I'm going to randomly share them on here starting with Freddy. 

 

 

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I bought this about 10 years ago at Gone Bazaar. Pretty sure I paid around $15 for it and no shock, it didn't work. The packaging wasn't even clear on what it was he was meant to do but I gathered it was meant to be noise related. According to the internet - where he sells from $16-$40 - his eyes are meant to light up and there are sounds. No clarification on what the sounds are, just sounds. Super informative.

Either way, he didn't do anything. I never bothered taking it back to the shop because I figured this is probably one of those 'you get what you paid for' moments. It didn't even have a good paint job. It really looks like crap for what online stores are charging for him. So you're probably wondering why I bought something I thought looked like crap? It looks like Freddy and I needed it. 

So last year I decided I'd try paint pouring him. I couldn't possibly make him look worse and you can only paint so many canvases before getting bored. I don't know how people do it professionally. Prep isn't that involved and 30 seconds later you've got a painting. I spend more time trying to wash the paint off me than anything else.

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STEP 1

Straight up you can see just how bad it's original paint work is and the saddest part of it all is that somebody is paid to do this. I can't get a job interview to hand sandwiches across a counter, but someone out there in the world is being paid to deliver this kind of quality.  My self-esteem is fine. Really. 

I spent about half the day trying to find my screwdriver because putting it in my toolbox is too much like hard work. I need to make my life as difficult as possible at all times. I can guarantee that right now, it's nowhere logical. Why does everything that uses batteries even need to be screwed into place anyway? Who out there is licking batteries?

Eventually he's open and I can see inside his head. Unlike Freddy's Dead, there wasn't a lot going on inside his skull. A couple loose wires attached to his eyeballs that were linked to a tiny chipboard thing.

The wiring inside I just cut out and then I spent about an hour trying to pop his eyes out.

 

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STEP 2

 

Paint Pouring time. I used Global Colour High Flow Acrylic paints in 'Dawn' and 'Metallic Fuschia'. It's that or I used 'Naphthol Red'. They're the only red/pinks I have. The first attempt I guess I made it a bit too runny because you could still see quite a bit of yellow so I waited for it to dry and gave it a 2nd coat. That one worked much better, you could still see some yellow but it didn't bother me. Freddy is meant to look like a pizza so a bit of "skin" showing wasn't all bad. The paint pour I thought looked cool, really gives that "melted" look. 

STEP 3

 

He needed a bit more definition so I filled in the scar marks with Art Culture acrylic paint in 'Cool Red'. The final step was to clean up his teeth (I used old house paint to paint them an off-white) and pop his eyes back in. 

 

THE FINISHED PRODUCT

 

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So Freddy is still completely useless but at least he looks cool while collecting dust now.

 

 

 

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(Shoot the Wicked Witch) Art Painting https://www.shootthewickedwitch.com/blog/2021/3/the-covid-diaries-freddy-gets-a-makeover Sun, 28 Mar 2021 18:04:35 GMT
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At the time I did the shoot I only needed one photo for TAFE and I don't really remember sharing many online. One was published in Alternative Revolution magazine #21 so it was cool to give the photos a new edit anyway while staying faithful to the main photo. It was also a good exercise in remembering that an interesting photo doesn't need to be 100% focussed. 

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Like my work? You can show support by buying me a "coffee" on Ko-fi. Photography is helping me stay sane while I wait for medical appointments and money goes towards studio fees, costumes, and buying and making props. 

Buy Me a Coffee at ko-fi.com

Feel free to leave a comment below and let us know what you think!

Crow stock photos are by Frank and Cary Stock / FairieGoodMother

 

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(Shoot the Wicked Witch) Horror Portrait Witch https://www.shootthewickedwitch.com/blog/2020/11/witch2016 Mon, 23 Nov 2020 15:06:18 GMT
Amor Cucurbita https://www.shootthewickedwitch.com/blog/2020/10/amor-cucurbita Halloween-5 fill lightHalloween-5 fill light Halloween-73Halloween-73 Halloween-84Halloween-84 Bec recommended taking some photos at the blue boat shed which was just down the road, it's the most over photographed landmark in Perth (is it REALLY a landmark? Is Perth that dull this is a landmark?) and I think every wedding in Perth has had photos taken there. I've managed to never photograph that place so I joked I'll be a real professional photographer now. So we go to the blue boat shed and at first we think there's a photoshoot happening so figure that's fine I can wait my turn. We get closer and realise it's just two girls with an iPhone. 5000 selfies later they left. It was so windy at this spot the light was hard to manage - not that I had to because I asked Kelly to hold it - but it wasn't working out anyway. Every photo my pumpkin couple were really dark. At first I thought it wasn't firing but even when it did it wasn't helping. Not sure why. This is why I'm not a master of Fill Flash. I got some better photos without it. I don't like sunlight. It's evil. That said I want to try a beach shoot with it just as soon as I'm ready to burst into flames. 

Halloween-137Halloween-137

"Amor Cucurbita"

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Like my work? You can show support by buying me a "coffee" on Ko-fi. Photography is helping me stay sane while I wait for medical appointments and money goes towards studio fees, costumes, and buying and making props. 

Buy Me a Coffee at ko-fi.com

You can follow my wonderful model Lamia Emilia on social media as well Facebook / Instagram

Feel free to leave a comment below and let us know what you think!
 

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(Shoot the Wicked Witch) Halloween Horror Portrait https://www.shootthewickedwitch.com/blog/2020/10/amor-cucurbita Fri, 30 Oct 2020 14:55:41 GMT
Bathory https://www.shootthewickedwitch.com/blog/2020/10/bathory THE BEFORE SHOT
I shot this video just as Kelly lay down in the water because I knew I wouldn't remember once I was taking actual photos, you also get to hear her complaining about the cold while the rest of us laughed.

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THE PHOTOS

Bathory (148 of 107)Bathory (148 of 107) Bathory (152 of 107)Bathory (152 of 107) Bathory (172 of 107)Bathory (172 of 107) Bathory (174 of 107)Bathory (174 of 107) Bathory (180 of 107)Bathory (180 of 107) Bathory (190 of 107)Bathory (190 of 107) Bathory (194 of 107)Bathory (194 of 107) Bathory (195 of 107)Bathory (195 of 107) Bathory (206 of 107)Bathory (206 of 107) Bathory (210 of 107)Bathory (210 of 107) Bathory (225 of 107)Bathory (225 of 107) Bathory (234 of 107)Bathory (234 of 107)

I wanted another excuse to muck around with double exposures

Bathory (237 of 107)Bathory (237 of 107) Bathory (238 of 107)Bathory (238 of 107) Bathory (239 of 107)Bathory (239 of 107) Bathory (240 of 107)Bathory (240 of 107) I think I spent a whole 20 minutes taking photos and I love these so much more than the other ones I took. I'm really glad I redid them! In hindsight the only thing I'd do differently would be to add more water, Penny Purr might not have been as cold had she been submerged a bit more. I was in so much pain from the whole day I didn't bother bringing anything in other than my studio light and left the backdrop over the balcony railing. I didn't bring it in the next day either. The following day I got up to find out it fell on the side of the pool and half of the water drained downstairs. Now obviously that makes me a terrible neighbour but it's actually pretty funny because the last time this happened (I was trying to wash the back door and water went over the edge) she lost her mind and accused me of poisoning her plants, like lady it's water. Literal plant food. No idea if she was up to witness this one but it would have been gushing pink water and the thought of it makes me laugh. No fucks given.

LINKS!

Penny Purr - Facebook / instagram / Spotify

Kylie (makeup) - Instagram / Tiktok - kylielou82

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(Shoot the Wicked Witch) Horror Music Portrait https://www.shootthewickedwitch.com/blog/2020/10/bathory Thu, 15 Oct 2020 04:59:31 GMT
Seeing Double #2 https://www.shootthewickedwitch.com/blog/2020/10/seeing-double-2 OHM RUNE

These shots from last night surprise me because I made a metal band look festive. This gives me christmas light vibes and I'm digging it!

OhmRuneLaunch-73OhmRuneLaunch-73 First time ever where I think I actually got better photos of the drummer than the singer. Obviously that's up for debate.

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Nankasi

This shot I put on Facebook straight away because it made me laugh. Who needs a watermark when you can just insert LED lights into people's faces?

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Desert Dogs

DesertDogs-71DesertDogs-71 DesertDogs-73DesertDogs-73 DesertDogs-72DesertDogs-72 The next gig I'll be attempting to survive is Punktoberfest. I'm not sure how I'll go because I barely made it through these shows and I wasn't putting that much effort in, but there will be photos like these last few! Lucy's surprisingly has the best lighting in Perth...as long as bands don't decide on a floor show. There's no light there. 

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(Shoot the Wicked Witch) Music https://www.shootthewickedwitch.com/blog/2020/10/seeing-double-2 Sat, 03 Oct 2020 14:17:27 GMT
Seeing Double https://www.shootthewickedwitch.com/blog/2020/9/seeing-double This is going to be a rambling mashup of Saturday night and all about my shit spine. You've been warned.

Saturday night was full on. Firstly, lots of people. SO MANY PEOPLE. When you've only seen 2-3 people a handful of times in 7 months the idea of being in a room of over 250 people is overwhelming. 2020 has really taken it's toll on my mental health which I'm sure many can relate too. It's also the first time since January I've shot a gig and I apparently forgot how to use my flash. Personally I'm preferring to blame the lack of back lighting and big LED screen for my failures. I lost the ability to compose a shot too because I think I took about 80 identical photos. I also thought I'd see how far I could push myself since I'm going to pester the spine surgeon yet again for a better report and that didn't go so well. My back hurt before I started the night simply because I washed my hair. After the 2nd band finished I was really starting to feel bad, during the 3rd band someone hit me right in the back as I tried to cross the room and I contemplated just quitting for the night while I quite obviously sulked at the back of the room. It's hard faking it when you know you're close to crying and I even thought about pulling the hoodie over my head but thought that would just make it more obvious. I took photos of the next act and knew at that point I definitely shouldn't push it further, but then I went and tripped on the floor and the jolt through my body was too much.

I'm still waiting on Pain Management so I'm still getting through life with no pain relief. Thanks to Covid hospitals weren't seeing patients for a few months so my first appointment was by phone. I got sent a weeks worth of pain killers to try but the problem is they affected my short-sightedness. I mean it's not the worse side effect, but it's super inconvenient. I had my first in person appointment in July and sadly he contradicted what the spine surgeon said about the severity of my scans and asked if I'm been diagnosed with PTSD. Anyone who doesn't know anything about Scheuermann's Disease likes to just palm us off as having mental problems, and like sure maybe I do but that's not why my back hurts! The rheumatologist I saw back in March wrote in his report that Scheuermann's is a childhood disease and therefore can't be why I'm having problems now - it's a childhood disease in that it's developmental. Your vertebrae don't magically return to their natural shape when you turn 18 though. The support group I'm on I see so many people who didn't even know they had Scheuermann's Disease until their 30's when debilitating back pain took over their lives out of nowhere and they had scans done which picked it up. Everyone has a very similar story. It's just proof of how little research has been done about this disease. Pain Management wants to try cortisone injections, something the spine surgeon felt wouldn't help me, but I have to wait for a hospital appointment to come up before that happens. I'll be getting one in my neck and one in my spine. FUN! Then it's wait and see if that even works and if it does I'll need them redone every 3-4 months. How fun does that sound? I hate needles but right now i'll try anything because I should be able to survive a 4 hour show.

Everyone kept asking me how I am and what's new and it's really hard to answer. It just makes me even more awkward because I don't know what to say that doesn't sound depressing and settle for scrunching my face and shrugging. HOWEVER, despite the sulking and epic pain I had fun experimenting with double exposures. 2018-2019 was the year of DIY filters so I wanted to try something different and I liked the effect I got for a lot of the images. These were all done in-camera and to begin with I was trying line up what I was doing but ended up just taking photos and stopped looking at the end product. I found by making sure the first photo was blurry, when the 2nd photo was taken it basically added a cool lens flare effect in some photos. The photos below are few of my favs but you can see the full gallery over on the Breaking Punk page on Facebook.

 

BPCovers-2BPCovers-2 BPCovers-21BPCovers-21 BPCovers-23BPCovers-23 BPCovers-24BPCovers-24 BPCovers-48BPCovers-48 BPCovers-88BPCovers-88 BPCovers-90BPCovers-90 BPCovers-113BPCovers-113 BPCovers-116BPCovers-116

 

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(Shoot the Wicked Witch) Health Music Scheuermann's Disease https://www.shootthewickedwitch.com/blog/2020/9/seeing-double Mon, 21 Sep 2020 15:26:37 GMT
Who owns copyright of an image? https://www.shootthewickedwitch.com/blog/2020/8/who-owns-copyright-of-an-image Desert Highways (record label in Melbourne) and Wall Of Sound. Thanks to them I got to photograph some of my fav bands but with working for publications comes certain copyright laws.

If you work for a newspaper/magazine/publication then photos taken before 1st May 1969 are owned by the publisher. Photos taken between 1st May 1969 - 30th July 1998 the publishers own the rights for newspaper and magazine publication and the photographer owns all other rights including the right to publish photos on the internet or in a book. From 30th July 1998 the laws changed again so photographers have the right to photocopy photo or include them in books and publishers own all other rights to the image. If you're a Freelance photographer though these rules don't apply. Freelance photographers fall under the general rule of "the person who took the photo owns copyright". HOWEVER - to make it more complicated, when you start photographing the big touring acts they have contracts with the can and can-not list but they all say THEY own the copyright of our images. I'm not even sure if this is even really legal but given how over-saturated music photography actually is thanks to digital photography and there being so many music news outlets on the internet, good luck to anyone monitoring photo usage. A good example here was the AFI photography contract. It stated we could only shoot the band on stage and no crowd photos. That seemed really strange to me because AFI are all about their fans. I followed the guidelines though, did my 3 songs in the pit then stood by the side because that's the 2nd best seat in the house. Another photographer shot from the back of the room and got some cool shots with the crowd and band - which AFI later shared on instagram. I actually wonder if bands even know what contracts are going out in their name. 

COMMISSIONED PHOTOS
aka you hired a photographer to take some family photos, maybe some pet photos, maybe your wedding. If it's domestic in nature it goes here. 

Up until July 30th 1998 the general rule was the person who hired the photographer was the copyright owner of the photos taken unless agreed otherwise. After this date the rules changed depending on the purpose of the photos: if it's just for domestic purposes (family photos) the client owns the copyright of the photos, if the photos being taken are for commercial purposes then the photographer is the first owner of copyright. In these instances though it all depends on what has been agreed upon at the time of organising the photo session. Many photographers use contracts which states they own copyright of the images no matter if it's a commercial shoot, family portraits or a wedding. This allows a photographer to then use photographs on their websites, photography competitions or in their advertising.

Being the copyright owner means you have the right to reproduce a photo, make copies, publish it, put it on a website. While working at Camera House though, this became a huge problem whenever those kiddy photography companies had been through with their free photoshoots offers. Parents would come in with their token print and want us to scan and print copies. So if I wasn't already knowledgeable about copyright thanks to TAFE, I definitely would have after working there because I had to give them the copyright law talk every other month. Companies like this either make you sign something or the back of the photo states it's a professional image. Buying a print doesn't give you ownership of an image. If we were to scan and print the photo, the store would have copped a hefty fine and it can include jail time. It was always super fun dealing with hostile parents after telling them this. I'm not doing jail time just because you don't want to buy a 2nd print or didn't read the fine print. 

Lastly..all those arty TFP photo shoots I do: I own the photos. I like to feel there's a mutual understanding among us though (because I got lazy with contracts) that everyone is free to share photos online but we all credit each other but don't go getting it published somewhere without everyone's permission. This is also why I work with the same 3 models. 

Owners of copyright have the exclusive rights of reproducing their work, posting it online, making photo books and they can sell their images. Copyright owners can assign (sell) or licence (permit others to use) their rights with or without limitations for a fee. An example for limitations: a client emails me wanting to use one of my photos commercially. I can give them a one-year licence of use for $500. Once that year is up they have to stop using the image or renew the licence. They don't own the image, I'm just giving them rights to use it. 

Moral Rights

Creators of copyright works (photographers, artists, writers, musicians, film makers..) have moral rights in relation to their work. These are separate from copyright. Moral rights impose certain obligations on people who use a copyrighted work. As a photographer I have the right to:

  1. Be attributed as creator of my photos/art
  2. Take action if my work is falsely attributed
  3. Take action if my work is distorted or treated in a way that is prejudicial to my honour or reputation

In other words: CREDIT THE FUCKING PHOTOGRAPHER! I can't tell you how many times I've seen a band share a photo I've taken and they can't manage giving credit but they will slap some shitty filter over it as if I didn't just spend a couple hours editing these photos. It's mostly local bands too. I'm not even going to sugar coat this: If bigger bands like Frank Carter and the Rattlesnakes, The Dandy Warhols, Il Nino and AFI know how to add a photo credit then so can you. Just to make a point..Davey Havok wasn't even an instagram genius when he posted this back in 2017, he had to do it twice, but he posted the photo with my watermark still showing, credited me in the caption AND tagged me. The trifecta! Screen Shot 2020-08-09 at 1.22.20 amScreen Shot 2020-08-09 at 1.22.20 am
I've shot bands while in Sydney and Melbourne and they all gave credit when sharing photos. It's just not that hard to add a tag to a photo. If they wanted to use a photo somewhere they'd write to me and ask first. Some even asked me how much would it cost to buy a high-res file whether it be for skateboards, CD covers or because it might be used commercially. Up until this year I had a 'social media download' option on my website so bands could download files for social media use. Asking for a $1 was apparently highway robbery. I think about 3-4 people used the option over 2 years and to those people I'm thankful. One guy DM'd me one night to ask if he could use a photo I'd taken as his facebook profile picture and how he screenshot my website. The balls on some of these guys are huge. By comparison I've had bands down south and in Adelaide pay up to $100 for a high-res photo and none of them complained about the price either. 

Another fun fact about copyright: A persons likeness is not protected by copyright. 

I lived with a musician who was also a law student and that alone I thought would make them smarter but I was so wrong. He 100% believed that if a photo was of him then he could do whatever he wanted to do with it. I told him he was wrong but he wouldn't hear about it - right up until he finally had the copyright class at Uni and he came home and told me I was right. Well duh. This is common though. The Creptter Children used one of my photographs on a tshirt without asking permission with the belief 'its my face I can do whatever'. I had a few people tell me "you better be getting royalties" and being the first time I was in this situation I didn't even think of it. I had only been back into shooting bands a year at that point (there was a break between 2001-2009 where I didn't photograph anything) and didn't care too much because I didn't think they would actually sell any...at least not at that price.

Screen Shot 2020-08-08 at 8.19.04 pmScreen Shot 2020-08-08 at 8.19.04 pm Back in 2014, one of my photos was used on bootleg merchandise in Bali as well. You hear of cases like this a lot with really well known photographers and unless you know who made it or where it's sold you can't do much about it. But local band Medicine (now known as The Light The Dark) were on tour and found bootleg merch AT THEIR SHOW! Lee who was bassist at the time uploaded this photo and I recognised my photo instantly. It was taken at the Rocket Room when Ebolagoldfish were in town. I actually regret not telling them to buy me one because whoever made these shirts ripped my photo off of Facebook so the quality must have been awful. Back then I was posting really small photos! Like 500 pixels high. You can't even print a photo off Facebook at the photo lab - it will be super pixellated. I know this from my Camera House days because this one woman would come in regularly printing out memes. Yes, memes. 

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The photo was about this size on facebook..so not that big.

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The case that prompted this blog also falls under Moral Rights. I got bored and looked up #PerthMusic on instagram one night. As I was scrolling I stopped when I saw my photo from one of the Breaking Punk shows I've covered, used in an artwork promoting a radio station. I messaged Leigh about it and neither of us had been contacted about using the image. 

BPMIllencolin-19BPMIllencolin-19

Photo taken during the Breaking Punk "Millencolin" night, 2018

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There's no mistaking whose photo it is here.

Their instagram post credited the guy who made the collage and that was it so I left a comment (and I'm paraphrasing) telling them perhaps they can tell him to seek permission before using other people's work as it's image theft. A week later I checked back and they deleted the comment. No reply or message. Just ignored it. That pissed me off. So I submitted an Intellectual property report to instagram and sent them a message. 

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IMG_2964IMG_2964 This went back and forth while they insisted they were allowed to use my photo without permission because of "Fair Use" while I argued they've ripped off a local event's photo (and my photo) for commercial purposes - this is advertising plain and simple. Fair Use doesn't exist in Australia. That's an American term. We have Fair Dealing and they are not the same thing. I'll discuss that a bit further down. They later claimed they got the photo from the artists socials (whereas they started out saying they were sent it) and the photo has not featured on Nervous Now or Mitch's instagram accounts. The photo is on my instagram, my Facebook page and on the Breaking Punk Facebook page. I have a pretty short fuse and being lied too isn't going to help the situation. Eventually the photo was removed but they still argued they had every right to do this to my photo and that they'll never use my photos again. That's literally not a problem for me. 

So I wrote to the Copyright Council's legal team.

I sent them an email of what happened and copies of my photograph and the image it was used in. I knew my photography copyright laws already but read up on Fair Dealing and just wanted them to clarify it all to me so if I was allegedly wrong they could tell me so I know for future reference. The short version is I was right. 

Screen Shot 2020-08-08 at 10.26.34 pmScreen Shot 2020-08-08 at 10.26.34 pm Screen Shot 2020-08-08 at 10.26.10 pmScreen Shot 2020-08-08 at 10.26.10 pm So like I mentioned earlier, as copyright owner I have the exclusive right to reproduce photos to make prints, to photocopy, to digitize, to publish or any other which way. They don't. This is a straight forward copyright infringement.

So what is Fair Dealing?

This is also a pretty simple. The Copyright Act has set defences or exemptions to infringement which allow some uses of copyright material without permission. There is no general exception for using copyright material simply because you think it's fair or because you are not making a profit. The Copyright Act allows copyright material to be used without permission only if your use is fair dealing for one of the following purposes:

  • research or study
  • criticism or review
  • parody or satire
  • reporting news
  • enabling a person with a disability to access the material
  • professional advice by a lawyer, patent attorney or trade mark attorney

Fair Dealing is use of the material in a way that is reserved for the copyright owner BUT there are limitations. Fairness is objective. For instance you can photocopy parts of a book (I think it's about 30% max) for study or research but you can't photocopy the entire book because you can just go buy it. Another factor is if copyrighted material has been used for commercial purposes and if the copyright owner is out of pocket from the use - eg where a person copies a work that is available for sale. I sell prints to bands/fans and digital files of my music photography to bands directly. This is how music photographers make any money. I've been doing so for about 5 years now but also both the Breaking Punk page and my instagram post where the image is located clearly states "Prints available". The fact that the person using the material is not making a profit does not make it fair.

Examples of Fair Dealing
My work has been used in both newspapers and on Channel 7 news so I'm no stranger to how Fair Dealing works. In 2014, Channel 7 used one of my photos (and photos by others) on a news story about a local musician who was king hit and in a coma. My watermark had been removed but I didn't particularly care, this wasn't a time to cry about copyright infringement when the guy I knew was in critical condition. The photo wasn't used for any commercial purposes, the photos were used to show what kind of character this man was to the viewer to emphasise their story. 

Below are two examples where I've been credited as photographer and both are also used to report news: Beerfridge had an article below the photo (I cropped it just to make a point and so you could see my name) and the Scalphunter clipping is part of a gig guide. The reporter even emailed me to seek permission to use the Scalphunter photo before putting it online. Neither photo has been edited in any way.

Beerfridge newspaper cropBeerfridge newspaper crop Screen Shot 2020-08-08 at 8.30.48 pmScreen Shot 2020-08-08 at 8.30.48 pm So you get the idea, right?

So in summary...

  1. Whoever created the work is the copyright owner.
  2. Just because you found a photo online doesn't mean it's free for use. There's literally sites filled with free photos you can download. Use one of them. Pexels.com is amazing.
  3. Buying a print doesn't give you rights to the image. 
  4. Uploading a photo to a website or blog does not mean you lose copyright protection. Social media has it's own sets of rules but that doesn't give the users any rights, only the organisation themselves and even then, have you seen Facebook use any of your friends photos? I doubt it. 
  5. Did you make the photo? If the answer is yes then carry on and have a nice day. If the answer is no, don't use it. Ask the author first and if you don't know who that is Google Image Reverse can help you 99% of the time. Still don't know who the author is? DON'T USE IT. 
  6. You are OBLIGATED to credit the photographer as well as ask permission before use.
     

 

 

 

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(Shoot the Wicked Witch) Copyright Music Portrait https://www.shootthewickedwitch.com/blog/2020/8/who-owns-copyright-of-an-image Sat, 08 Aug 2020 22:09:08 GMT
Killstar https://www.shootthewickedwitch.com/blog/2020/7/killstar Killstar-2Killstar-2Killstar photoshoot with Perth models Olivia Simpson, Claire Lara and Mickey Montella Killstar-8Killstar-8Killstar photoshoot with Perth models Olivia Simpson, Claire Lara and Mickey Montella Killstar-9Killstar-9Killstar photoshoot with Perth models Olivia Simpson, Claire Lara and Mickey Montella Killstar-14Killstar-14Killstar photoshoot with Perth models Olivia Simpson, Claire Lara and Mickey Montella Killstar-17Killstar-17Killstar photoshoot with Perth models Olivia Simpson, Claire Lara and Mickey Montella Killstar-19Killstar-19Killstar photoshoot with Perth models Olivia Simpson, Claire Lara and Mickey Montella Killstar-22Killstar-22Killstar photoshoot with Perth models Olivia Simpson, Claire Lara and Mickey Montella Killstar-24Killstar-24Killstar photoshoot with Perth models Olivia Simpson, Claire Lara and Mickey Montella Killstar-27Killstar-27Killstar photoshoot with Perth models Olivia Simpson, Claire Lara and Mickey Montella Killstar-29Killstar-29Killstar photoshoot with Perth models Olivia Simpson, Claire Lara and Mickey Montella Killstar-32Killstar-32Killstar photoshoot with Perth models Olivia Simpson, Claire Lara and Mickey Montella Killstar-43Killstar-43Killstar photoshoot with Perth models Olivia Simpson, Claire Lara and Mickey Montella Killstar-46Killstar-46Killstar photoshoot with Perth models Olivia Simpson, Claire Lara and Mickey Montella Killstar-49Killstar-49Killstar photoshoot with Perth models Olivia Simpson, Claire Lara and Mickey Montella

Killstar-53Killstar-53Killstar photoshoot with Perth models Olivia Simpson, Claire Lara and Mickey Montella Since the shoot was a witchy theme I wanted to have a go at adding some sfx to the photos and hopefully not make them look too tacky. This is where the smoke stock photos came in - I wanted to create my own shapes to use rather than find stock photos online. I spent about 12 hours on one photo trying out a few things and by the time I finished it looked like I spent 20 minutes on it. I hated myself for wasting so much time.

Killstar-6flareKillstar-6flareKillstar photoshoot with Perth models Olivia Simpson, Claire Lara and Mickey Montella Killstar-36 moons2Killstar-36 moons2Killstar photoshoot with Perth models Olivia Simpson, Claire Lara and Mickey Montella Killstar-37Killstar-37Killstar photoshoot with Perth models Olivia Simpson, Claire Lara and Mickey Montella Killstar-41Killstar-41Killstar photoshoot with Perth models Olivia Simpson, Claire Lara and Mickey Montella Killstar-42Killstar-42Killstar photoshoot with Perth models Olivia Simpson, Claire Lara and Mickey Montella Killstar-50Killstar-50Killstar photoshoot with Perth models Olivia Simpson, Claire Lara and Mickey Montella

And that's it. What do you think? Feel free to leave some comments below! 

MODELS
Olivia Simpson - instagram / facebook
Mickey Montella - instagram / facebook
Claire Lara - instagram

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(Shoot the Wicked Witch) Fashion Portrait https://www.shootthewickedwitch.com/blog/2020/7/killstar Mon, 13 Jul 2020 18:23:18 GMT
Hello From The Outside https://www.shootthewickedwitch.com/blog/2020/7/hello-from-the-outside Guys, exciting news....I GOT TO LEAVE THE HOUSE!!! 

Not to be confused with all the times in the last 3 months where I left the house for plants, doctors or food, yesterday I got to go on an actual adventure! Plus I have pain management next week and I thought I'd push myself just so I can make a point when I'm in their office.

First up. I survived the hour train trip. That's always hit and miss depending on seating options. A fun fact of living with Scheuermann's Disease is it hurts sitting straight against rigid seats. I met up with my friend and we drove to the location we were going to check out. It was 2 buildings, each with 3 levels. It turned out not to be very exciting.

Block 1

The first building was mostly unlocked so you could just walk straight in to everything. To look at I'm not sure the buildings have been abandoned for long. The outside had a decent amount of graffiti but inside the units were pretty clean except for the trash jobs on the bathrooms. The cupboards didn't look that old but the bathroom set ups were dated. The bedrooms were quite small and some didn't even have wardrobes. It's sad seeing such a waste of two buildings when you know so many struggle to find rentals or are homeless, one unit was definitely being inhabited by someone. On the ground floor you didn't realise just how large the backyards were until you were on the 2nd floor looking out over the balcony. It was huge! They all had high fences for privacy from ground floor neighbours too.

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The kitchen windows I thought were pretty cool. I've never seen unit windows like this. A great way to give some light but also privacy because they aren't the easiest to look through. I don't have that at mine. My kitchen window has a fantastic view of a brick wall so I covered it in funky contact from Wish. Most importantly I can have the curtains open to let the light in now without my psycho neighbours peering in!

UrbexJuly (20 of 70)UrbexJuly (20 of 70) Even covered in graffiti the windows just look like cool art pieces.

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Did you even explore if you didn't take an obligatory unflattering mirror selfie?

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Block 2

The 2nd building someone has gone to the trouble of painting one wall in black and silver. Like that's A LOT of paint! The building itself was all locked up and most of the windows were boarded up. Only one unit was accessible to walk through and the interior was more minimalist compared to the block opposite. One window was open so we could see inside and that was about it. We walked around and they were just very empty units. UrbexJuly (32 of 70)UrbexJuly (32 of 70)

UrbexJuly (43 of 70)UrbexJuly (43 of 70) UrbexJuly (44 of 70)UrbexJuly (44 of 70) Whoever lived here covered their front door in stickers.

UrbexJuly (45 of 70)UrbexJuly (45 of 70) UrbexJuly (46 of 70)UrbexJuly (46 of 70) UrbexJuly (50 of 70)UrbexJuly (50 of 70) UrbexJuly (52 of 70)UrbexJuly (52 of 70) UrbexJuly (53 of 70)UrbexJuly (53 of 70) And just to prove the coronavirus has made me plant mad, as we were leaving I spotted a huge succulent bush in the first backyard of Block 1. In my excitement I stole some cuttings and I have no regrets. Unless they die.

There were a couple more abandoned buildings near by but being next to a main road with so much traffic we didn't want to risk entering. Shame because they looked like they would have been better to explore. By the time we left there my back was starting to hurt a bit from carrying my backpack, I forgot how heavy it gets. We decided to go visit the Fremantle Prison.

Fremantle Prison

Last time (actually probably the only time) I went on a tour of this place was easily 20 years ago, definitely late 90's, and other than that I went there once in 2006 for some descendants thing. We have a convict in the family. Depending on reports he was either sent here for stealing bread or arson. 

We booked two tours but during the first one I started going downhill fast with my back and knew there was no way I could do the 2nd tour. I packed my camera away during the first tour because I just couldn't hold it anymore. I was struggling just with my bag and leaning on everything while trying to be subtle that my body is an absolute failure. I was having that much of a hard time I left the bag in my friends car and told her I'll get it on the weekend. It's been 8 hours since I was there and my back still hurts. Never take your spine for granted!

The tour was enlightening though. I didn't remember anything from the first tour other than it being at night and not seeing any ghosts. But finding out how few showers prisoners were allowed and that they were still using buckets as toilets until it closed is nasty. One prisoners' cell had the most amazing paintings on the walls. I didn't get a decent photo though, by then I was over it. you'll just have to take my word on it. I could have photographed the walls for days though. I love textured walls! 

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If you want to find out more about Fremantle Prison check out their website https://fremantleprison.com.au/

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(Shoot the Wicked Witch) Scheuermann's Disease Urban Exploring Urbex https://www.shootthewickedwitch.com/blog/2020/7/hello-from-the-outside Thu, 09 Jul 2020 16:14:06 GMT
Tarantino Top 15 https://www.shootthewickedwitch.com/blog/2020/3/tarantino-top-15 8c4f2ac4f51947aee74867ceebe556bad1e9f7af3d5e614803c605cc2e8a5af48c4f2ac4f51947aee74867ceebe556bad1e9f7af3d5e614803c605cc2e8a5af4

14. Once Upon A Time In Hollywood [2019]
Director/Writer
Another unpopular opinion but I thought this was boring. The best scene was right at the end which was the first I felt like I was finally watching a Tarantino flick. I didn't find the storyline all that interesting, didn't really give a shit about the characters, zoned out regularly and I didn't understand the point of using the Charles Manson storyline just to fuck it up. Honestly, I bitch about American Horror Story for the same reason. If you want to use a serial killer then fine, but don't glamourise him or create a storyline that didn't exist. 

13. Inglourious Basterds [2009]
Director/Writer
I hate war movies for the most part but I liked that this is more of a revenge film. This one has an interesting enough storyline and characters but I really have to be in the mood to sit through it. Also, Eli Roth (Tarantino made him a household name among horror fans when he produced Roth's first film Hostel) is as creepy as his movies. Honestly there's just something about him where I'd cross the street if I saw him coming. 

12. Natural Born Killers [1994]
Writer
Tarantino isn't credited for this one because of how much Oliver Stone and co changed the story. He totally dismisses the film and fair enough. The film itself is a trip and my favourite part of the film is Robert Downey Jnr's awful attempt at an Australian accent. That said, still better than John Lithgow's idea of an Australian accent in Pitch Perfect 3. That man should never be allowed in the country for that abomination. I'd love to know what Tarantino's version of a serial killing couple were like though. It's a shame we'll never know.

11. Destiny Turns On The Radio [1995]
Actor
This is one of those movies that doesn't have much of a plot but it's crazy enough to keep you entertained. Tarantino has a small part as Johnny Destiny and he randomly pops up here and there throughout the film. It's set in Vegas and centres around Julian who just escaped jail, his ex girlfriend is a cabaret singer who is somehow recently pregnant with his baby despite living with another man this whole time and an empty motel pool that's a portal to god knows where. I can't even explain why I like this movie, probably just because it's not your average rom com. It's a bit like a dodgy soap opera, like that one with that little guy who died. You know the one. 

10. Curdled [1996]
Producer / Gecko Bros News Report
This is a rare gem that's impossible to find these days. If you're lucky you might find it online on some random website. The film is about a young immigrant woman with an obsession of violent crimes. Don't we all? She also keeps a scrapbook of true crime clippings. Also maybe a little bit relatable. So what does a girl with an obsession for violent crime do as a job? Clean crime scenes of course! Which keeps her busy since there's a serial killer around at the moment. It's 100% quirky good fun. This film has a clip on a crime tv show featuring the Gecko Bros from From Dusk Til Dawn.

9. The H8tful Eight [2015]
Director/Writer
Many called this the Western version of Reservoir Dogs. Maybe it is but is that a bad thing? Similar premise, bunch of randoms in a cabin waiting for a storm to pass. Lots of talking. Some shooting. People die. Another awful Australian accent, this time provided by Tarantino but he gets what he deserves. Ok It's Reservoir Dogs with Samuel L Jackson. 

8. Django Unchained [2012]
Director/Writer/Actor
Dr Shultz, a German bounty hunter, frees a slave to help him track some bounties and in exchange he helps him find his wife who was sold off. Samuel L Jackson is a scene stealer as Stephen the house servant.
Movie connections: Shultz is rumoured to be linked to the grave of Paula Shultz in the Kill Bill movies, we'll never know for sure but it's a safe bet. It's not exactly a common surname!

7. True Romance [1993]
Writer
This was probably the last movie Christian Slater made where he was still desirable to women everywhere. In the quickest romance ever, boy meets girl at a cinema one night, they go eat pie, they sleep together, girl tells boy she's a hooker hired by his boss for his birthday which he takes incredibly well and the next morning they're Mr and Mrs! You can't even get a guy to go on a date these days, romance sure has changed since the 90's! 

6. Grindhouse: Death Proof / Planet Terror [2007]
Director/Writer/Actor/Producer
I was so excited when this was coming out, especially knowing he'd teamed up with Robert Rodriguez again, then was completely gutted that because American's didn't know it was a double feature and were walking out after the first film, so we didn't even get it. There were a couple screenings of Death Proof at one cinema and that was it. We had to wait for DVD. Damn shame because these are some cool movies and I loved the way they connected despite being quite different in theme/genre. Death Proof is probably in my Top 3 Kurt Russell performances and also the ultimate "Girl Power" movie. Stuntman Mike is like that creepy guy that superlikes you on Tinder. He's middle aged, not ugly but not attractive, he's somewhat self entitled but also hates females and likes murdering them in gruesome fashion with his stunt car. It has serious 70's vibes with the music and fashion and the death scenes are brutal. In Planet Terror where everyone is becoming infected with a virus and turning into zombies, Tarantino plays Rapist #1. Thankfully no rape takes place because what happens to him is the grossest fucking scene ever. If anything I'd call that karma. 

5. Four Rooms [1995]
Director/Writer for segment The Man From Hollywood
This is the best collaboration film ever! 4 directors teamed up to write and direct their own segments. The film also has an amazing cast with Tim Roth, Antonio Banderas, Madonna and Bruce Willis. The film centres around a new hotel employee (Tim Roth) and the hotel guests he has to deal with on New Years Eve. There's witches, deranged married couples and god awful children. Then you have the penthouse which is where Quentin is. Yes, he also acts in his segment too. Of course. Duh!

4. Kill Bill Vol 1/Vol 2 [2003-2004]
Director/Writer
I have fond memories of when I saw this at the cinema. I went with my mum but we got to the cinema a bit late so as we're walking into the room it's completely dark because the film had just started. So there I was with a coke in one hand, some form of a munchie in the other, watching the screen as I walked and next thing I'm yelling out in pain because I tried to sit on the plastic cup holder. I had a huge black bruise on my thigh by the end of the film. How often can you say you scored a bruise from an action film?

I'm lumping these two films together because I can. Both films have different vibes but you can't have one without the other. The first film is more of an action film with a killer opening fight scene and the entire scene with the Crazy 88's is insane. I love the subtle connection with other Tarantino films as well with Sheriff Earl McGraw making an appearance (he first appeared in From Dusk Til Dawn and later in the Grindhouse films) during the flashbacks of the wedding rehearsal massacre. This film came with a great set of action figures by McFarlane Toys including a Quentin Tarantino Crazy 88 figure which came with a squirty thing of fake blood. Back in the days when horror toys were cool didn't cost $50+

3. From Dusk Til Dawn 1996
Writer
Honestly I wish Tarantino would make another horror movie because this film is badass. It has vampires, the Titty Twister which looks like the coolest bar on earth and this was the movie when I realised why all the women in the world thought George Clooney was hot...I think it was the tattoos. That said, the scene with Salma Hayek has you questioning your own sexuality too. Props have to go to Robert Rodriguez though for making the film. A decent script can only go so far. I didn't like any of the film sequels though and the tv show they made I didn't get past episode 1 - why do we need the first five minutes of the film dragged out into an hour? YAWNFEST!

2. Pulp Fiction [1994]
Director/Writer/Actor
This was the movie that introduced me to Samuel L Jackson and ever since then I've taken great delight in hearing him say "motherfucker" in everything. Movie highlights including the infamous dance sequence with Mia and Vincent, "Say 'what' again. Say 'what' again, I dare you, I double dare you motherfucker, say what one more Goddamn time!" and Christopher Walken. Actually any scene with Samuel L Jackson is brilliant. The whole movie is just one thing after another leaving you wondering just how fucked up things can get.
Movie connections: Vincent Vega is Mr Blonde's brother. 

1. Reservoir Dogs [1992]
Director/Writer/Actor
There is so much talking in this movie that normally I'd zone out and be lost forever, but it works. Tarantino knows how to write a script that keeps you entertained. It's fast paced and interesting even if a little bit nuts at times (re that diner scene talking about "Like A Virgin") and even though scenes go back and forth between now and the past you're not getting lost in what's happening. It's impossible not be invested in the characters because they're actually interesting and not just a bunch of guys with similar bland personalities. Mr Orange is the undercover cop trying to win over everyone's trust, Mr White is the no nonsense crime veteran who actually seems to be a decent bloke, Mr Blonde is an absolute psychopath, Mr Pink was my introduction to Steve Buscemi and I was sort of on his side during the whole tipping argument, Mr Blue was forgettable because I don't actually remember him right now and Mr "that's a little too close to Mr. Shit" Brown was Tarantino. It's got a great soundtrack but "Stuck In The Middle With You" by Stealers Wheel will forever be known as the "ear song".

So now that you've made it this far, what would be your #1 Tarantino film? Leave a comment below!

 

 

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(Shoot the Wicked Witch) Horror Lists Movies Music https://www.shootthewickedwitch.com/blog/2020/3/tarantino-top-15 Thu, 26 Mar 2020 17:33:52 GMT
Netflix & kill and other ways to survive self isolation in 2020 https://www.shootthewickedwitch.com/blog/2020/3/netflix-kill-and-other-ways-to-survive-self-isolation-in-2020 OPTION 1: AUTUMN CLEAN. 
Well it's not Spring but if we're lucky we'll be allowed to resume normal activities by Spring and who wants to stay home and clean then? Not me..I can't say I've been bored enough to do this yet but maybe in a couple weeks. Given how the shops are lacking cleaning supplies I can only assume most of you are already doing this. If you need to declutter I highly recommend watching one episode of Marie Kondo. You only need one, last year I watched one episode of Marie Kondo and next thing I had 4 large boxes and two bags of clothes ready for Good Sammy's. Don't feel the need to thank your clothing though. That's weird. I still look like a hoarder but I'm a hoarder surrounded by things that spark joy. Except my desk. My current goal is to find it because it's hiding. It's the first thing you see when I open my front door and it's just a mountain of half-done projects without a home or anywhere for me to complete them. It's an epic eye sore. Yesterday I scored a desk chair for $2 thanks to Facebook. I can't find my desk yet but I can now sit on a chair and spin for hours. Baby steps. 

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OPTION 2: READ A BOOK
The best part about reading, assuming you can concentrate long enough to do so, is that this activity doesn't require another human being at all. If you're like me and struggle to concentrate on reading you get the added joy of reading the same page (or chapter) at least 5 times before it finally sinks in. Those six months of self isolation will fly by but you may have only read one book!

Three books I couldn't put down though: Horns by Joe Hill, Stardust by Neil Gaiman and I Am Not A Serial Killer by Dan Wells. Fantastic reads that are better than the movies, but that said only I Am Not A Serial Killer is bloody terrible. The other two are at least watchable even if elements annoy me.

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If picture books are more your thing I understand. I've got a stash here I need to catch up on! I still haven't read the latest edition of The Umbrella Academy (I'm still salty over the show), I never read the Killjoys comic that came out and that's being rereleased, I think I only read one section of iZombie and I have Hack/Slash sitting here. My psychologist has told me I need structure in my week (because that's so easy with this condition when you don't know how you'll be on any given day or week). Think I'll tell her I'm setting aside an hour a day to reading comics. 

OPTION 3: "MAKE ART NOT KIDS"
A friend of mine posted this on instagram and I lol'd pretty hard! It also included a list of obvious things that aren't cancelled that we can still do. I'm not going to list them all because personally "singing: not cancelled" doesn't need to be encouraged in my neighbourhood. My neighbour sings in her backyard (to clarify her backyard is like 2x2 metres and right next to the fence which is only 2-3 metres from my front door) and sounds like a dying cat and I don't see why I should have to suffer. Just sing in the shower like a normal person.  bob-ross-memes-032bob-ross-memes-032

BUT ARTS. It doesn't matter if you lack artistic skill of any kind, none of us had any when we first started, but the good news is you've got a solid 6 months to get good at something. If crafts are more your thing Riot Art & Craft currently has a 50% off sale until April 1st and they have a lot of kits of all kinds of things that's sure to grab your interest. If you miss the sale no big deal, join their VIP club because there's always awesome sales happening!

For those who want to try sculpture here's an easy recipe for Play Dough.

1 cup of plain flour
1/2 cup of salt
1 cup of water
1 teaspoon of oil
2 teaspoons of Cream of Tartar
Food colouring of your choice
Few drops of disinfectant

Blend all of the ingredients in a saucepan over low heat 3-5 minutes until the mixture congeals.

That's it. You're welcome.

Myself, I have no idea where I'm going to begin because I have zero inspiration right now but I did tell a friend I may just paint my descent into madness. Watch this space. Like I'm only one week into No Concerts And Chill and I painted the entrance wall blue. 

OPTION 4: LISTEN TO SOME MUSIC
Just because you're stuck at home is no excuse to not find some new music to listen too on Spotify and it doesn't cost anything. My neighbours all own one CD, one neighbour likes to torture us regularly with Jamiroquai so I like to try and educate them with literally anything else. I just wish I could make mine sound as loud! There's a few good songs out this month though starting with German's sexiest man Dero Goi (from Oomph!) who has a new band called Die Kreatur with a song of the same name that came out in the last couple of days. I'm also hanging to hear the new album from The Birthday Massacre out on the 27th. While I'm here, because Eurovision isn't happening this year (not that I've ever watched it but this year I would have) I'm going to pretend Little Big won with their Eurovision submission 'UNO'

OPTION 5: NETFLIX AND KILL
I got rid of Netflix to try and save $10 a month as part of my "I need to save for Pain Management" scheme but with the stimulus package coming through I guess I could get it again. I mean, I leech my mate's STAN account but there's only so many hours I can watch The Golden Girls and I'm not ready to commit to another TV show just yet. I need some more options for movies. Tubitv and Amazon Prime are 99% garbage. Disney+ won't load shows, or will restart shows you're half way through watching or it buffers like it's 1997 so I'm not wasting money on them until they get their shit together. I haven't tried Apple TV yet. Another option is to watch all of your DVD's unless you're one of these weirdo's who doesn't own any. Awkward. You know how girls stand in front of their wardrobe saying they have nothing to wear? That's me with my DVD collection. I have a better horror collection than Blockbuster had and I can still struggle to find something to watch. Maybe I should watch something other than horror? LOL as if. But while talking about movies maybe I can suggest some great self isolation flicks to watch..

Top 15 Isolation Movies

15. The People Under The Stairs [1991]
This Wes Craven classic is about a family who are self isolated from the rest of the suburb. They don't really go out and nobody gets inside, short of breaking in which one kid does and the households secrets are quickly exposed. For those of you who've never done the isolation thing before this is your future. *insert picture of boys here*

14. April Fools Day [1986]
Muffy St John invites her college mates back to a little island to stay at her family home. Then people start disappearing. There's no cops and no way off the island.

13. Crimson Peak [2016]
You should know, I like Tom Hiddleston. I just like Tom's from England really. Not so much that Hardy guy but he was cool in Venom. This Tom makes a pretty blonde girl fall in love with him, marries her and lures her away to a decrepit mansion in the middle of nowhere with his sister. Speaking of, you should probably add The Woman In Black to your list too if you like Victorian era scary mansion movies.

12. The Cabin In The Woods [2012]
Out of all the cabin movies this is the one where everyone is REALLY stuck there with no escape. I could include Cabin Fever but their self isolation on holiday got them a nasty infection. They would have been better off back in the city. I should probably rewatch it because I don't even remember why they didn't just get back in their car and drive to a hospital. Actually every cabin movie is a good ad for not going into the country. For this one, Five college kids go to a cabin and of course touch EVERYTHING they shouldn't and unleash some demonic activity. Unknown to them a corporation is behind it all and it's all pretty funny really. I've also got just one word for this movie: Merman.

11. The Belko Experiment [2017]
Imagine if your isolation meant you were stuck at work with your work mates? Now imagine you're told you have to kill each other..if you want some more office building style movies you can add Mayhem [2017] and Bloodsucking Bastards[2015] to the list. 

10. High-Rise [2015]
Set in 1975, we see Tom Hiddleston (told you I like Tom) move into the latest social experiment - an apartment block with levels dedicated to certain social classes. The lower levels are for the lower class/family types, middle class and then the filthy rich are at the very top. The block even has a swimming pool and it's own shopping centre. Things go downhill fast (the film start to finish covers 3 months) with power outages, restrictions, the shops aren't being restocked and all out war breaks out between all of the social classes. Depravity ensues. Tom does his best to self isolate. Might be handy for some tips. 

9. The Purge [2013]
If you live under a rock and haven't seen any of the 4 movies or the tv series (there's been 2 seasons) then here's a quick explanation - Purge Night is on March 21st and everyone in the USA gets 12 hours to commit crimes without any repercussions. Most kill off the poor and homeless for not contributing to society, one of the sequels has some teen girls purging because she got caught trying to steal a chocolate bar. Those who don't want to purge, barricade themselves indoors and hope to keep everything and everyone out. The first film is about one family locked inside their house and the shit that goes down during those 12 hours. While watching it the other night I sat here thinking how if Purge Night was a real thing, people would just be going around shooting up their neighbours to steal their toilet paper. 

8. REC [2007]
If you're anti subtitles because I know some people are illiterate or can't multi task, there's an average American remake called QUARANTINE. If you want to stick to the original source then track down REC! JB HiFi sell the films in a boxset. Film 1 is about an apartment block on lock down with a virus. The virus obviously gets out because there's 3 sequels. The 3rd one is about a wedding - and we all know to avoid gatherings of more than 100 people. 

7. Disturbia [2007]
Shia LeBeouf plays a teen who is sentenced with house arrest and spends his time spying on his neighbours and becomes convinced one guy is a serial killer. I can relate to this movie. 

6. Psycho [1960]
You can't go past a classic like loner Norman Bates. Poor boy is stuck at home with his lunatic mother running a vacant motel. All he wants is a friend. I personally like to watch this on Mother's Day which is coming up soon. 

5. Cube [1997]
I haven't watched this in years but it's about six people waking up in a cube and if the idea of being trapped in a small space doesn't sound hellish enough they have to be super brainy at math to try and get out of there without being killed. They just go from one cube to the next, to the next..

4. 10 Cloverfield Lane [2016]
Girl has car accident and wakes up locked in a room of a bunker of some random old dude who also has another random guy held hostage. He's supposedly saving them for the apocalypse that's outside in the real world but is he really? If you've seen Cloverfield then you know the gist of what's happening outdoors. Personally, I'd rather take on the real world than his creepy bunker. 

3. Gravity [2013]
Sandra Bullock plays an astronaut stuck in space alone. So while you're stuck in your house and able to do get groceries still just remember it could be worse. Watching this was anxiety inducing. I didn't realise I was claustrophobic until I got stuck in a lift one day. Despite the fact she's in outer space which goes on for infinity, it still felt claustrophobic to me. 

2. 30 Days Of Night [2007]
A small town in Alaska is preparing for its '30 days of night' where they get a whole month of darkness - honestly this is my top 3 holiday destinations list. I HATE the sun. So do vampires. Movie starts out on the very last day of sunlight which is their last chance to leave by plane if they want too and that night the vampires arrive. Buffet time!

1. The Shining [1980]
Honestly this is the ultimate self isolation film. Jack wants some peace and quiet to work on his new book and takes a job in a massive hotel with his wife and kid where they'll be completely alone. Allegedly. I'm glad I live alone because I can't handle most people for a couple hours let alone being stuck at home with them for days, weeks, months... This movie is absolutely brilliant though, the score is haunting and Jack Nicholson is one creepy fucking dude. He is the King of the Resting Bitch Face. He's also funny, but my sense of humour isn't like regular people's (Adam Sandler is awful guys) so you might disagree. I love this movie so much my website bio used to be two paragraphs of "all work and no play makes Kim a dull girl" and nobody ever questioned it. The sequel Doctor Sleep is a great follow up too with Ewan McGregor playing Danny "REDRUM" Torrance. One scene involves my favourite child actor, Jacob Tremblay. He's only 13 but he's such an incredible actor I can't wait to see what he does as an adult (seriously check out "Wonder" on STAN and "Room" on Netflix!) but his scene in Doctor Sleep is so brutal that I came close to crying. I don't cry in movies unless a dog died or there's someone dying of cancer. The only downside to this movie was the guy they brought in to play Jack. He looked the part but he just didn't have the voice/attitude needed. He was the Walmart version of Jack Nicholson. A shame really because the actress they got to play Wendy was spot on. So out of all of these films, if you do decide on a marathon definitely watch these two!

OPTION 6: PUZZLES
Be like Tom Holland (oh look another Tom!) and buy some jigsaw puzzles. It's the closest thing to a board game you can play solo but don't let that deter you from upending the table in gamer rage when you can't work out where that one piece is meant to go. I could suggest online gaming but our internet probably won't last long with everyone home and that's when the real apocalypse will hit Australia.

OPTION 7: GARDENING
I don't have a garden but I have a balcony with random succulents. There's heaps of sellers on Facebook selling succulents for $2-3. Go buy an Aloe Vera. Plant it in your garden. At the end of the quarantine go count how many you have (or do it monthly). Seriously, Aloe Vera is like the Gremlins of the plant world. Turn your back and they multiple! Some use Aloe Vera to make hand sanitizer and lotion. I don't, I just get some kick from being assaulted by plants because I dared to move a pot. If you've got some old garden gnomes lying around they're probably pretty faded and you can give them a makeover with your painting skills you've acquired from earlier. 

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OPTION 8: TINDER
I hate Tinder. I'm only suggesting this as a last ditch effort to stop yourself turning into Jack Torrance because let's be honest - nobody knows how to be social on Facebook. I have better chat sessions on instagram of all places. Anyways, my cousin told me to download Tinder 5 years ago when I had my knee surgery and I haven't met one single person on it. If you've seen the profiles men have on there you'll understand why. Dodgy AF. There's men with photos blurrier than Bigfoot, men using stock photos thinking we wont question it, then there's the men holding fish/holding guns/flipping the camera off..and then there's the gym junkies and guys showing off all the places they travelled as if that makes them interesting. All that tells me is you hate fun (aka carbs) and you have money. I too could travel if I had some cash laying around. Then just as you think MAYBE you found someone normal it turns out they're racist. SO...what I'm saying is, use Tinder to be a jerk. We can't go out anywhere to meet people anyway and hooking up with a stranger probably isn't the safest idea right now so if you feel the need for some human interaction this works and you don't have to worry about the consequences. My favourite thing to do is to make accounts of horror characters and then I tell my psychologist about how psychotic men are that they'll superlike a clown (like really, will you have sex with literally anything?) while disregarding the fact I made the clown account in the first place. 

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Well that's it! I hope that's given all you anti social peeps some ideas on what to do over the coming months. If nothing else I gave you something to watch for about 30 hours give or take. Enjoy!

 

 

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(Shoot the Wicked Witch) Art Health Horror Lists Music https://www.shootthewickedwitch.com/blog/2020/3/netflix-kill-and-other-ways-to-survive-self-isolation-in-2020 Mon, 23 Mar 2020 10:22:04 GMT
Rare Disease Day '20 https://www.shootthewickedwitch.com/blog/2020/3/rare-disease-day-20 Rare Disease Day.

Firstly - this isn't a rare disease post because whiplash is common BUT it's atlanto-axial-dislocation-and-fractureatlanto-axial-dislocation-and-fracture
relevant because the area affected is rare.

So most know that 3 years ago I was assaulted
at a gig and scored epic neck pain for life. Right before Christmas I was sent for a SPECT CT scan on my spine (I've had xray, CT and an MRI so far) from the base of the head down to my hip area to look for "hot spots". Basically the results from that were going to determine if I would have injections for pain relief or just medication.

Last fortnight I got the results, injections are out. You know things aren't particularly good when the spine surgeon is sitting there confused on how you have so much activity in an area of your neck that's rare for injury. Told him two weeks after I saw him last someone felt the need to shake me violently and I almost hit the ground as he let go of me..and here we are. My neck is the worst section of the entire scan - so I'm not actually lying or being dramatic when I say the neck pain overshadows back pain after all!

The atlanto-occipital joint is the area that is causing me the most pain. It's the joint between your skull and your neck (Cervical Spine). This is the best diagram I could find online because I don't have fancy scan images this time around. The atlanto-occipital joint controls most of your neck movement so you can move your head forward/backward/sideways. This is why I get so much pain looking up (gigs/doing laundry), looking down (like at my laptop or painting), turning my head..

Whiplash typically occurs when your head is thrown backwards and forward and the motion can injure bones, discs between the bones, ligaments, muscles...basically everything. Normally you should be better after a few weeks but some of us are super lucky and have to deal with it for life. This is somewhat determined by how you were at the time of the injury. If your injury caused intense pain that came on quickly you're more likely to deal with chronic pain problems. When I was shaken I left the venue an hour later because I couldn't hide the fact I was in tears from how much pain I was in. Flood-Law-Firm-Whiplash-Injury car accidentFlood-Law-Firm-Whiplash-Injury car accident

Whiplash can be caused by car accidents which it's commonly associated with, contact sports like football (tackling) and physical assault - whiplash can occur if you're punched or shaken and is one of the injuries seen in Shaken Baby Syndrome. 

Symptoms of whiplash include

  • Neck pain and stiffness
  • Worsening of pain with neck movement
  • Loss of range of motion in the neck
  • Headaches starting at the base of the skull
  • Tenderness or pain in the shoulder area
  • Tingling and numbness in arms
  • Fatigue and dizziness
  • Tinnitus
  • Blurred vision
  • Memory loss
  • Depression

Since this injury I've had random mornings where I've woken up to a dead arm and if you're lucky it's back to normal the next day, I can be fine and turn my head and get the sharpest pain imaginable in my neck, I can have a week at a time of neck pain so intense I literally can't do anything. To be blunt - it's fucked. I spent the first year while visiting physio every other week thinking these were issues with Scheuermann's Disease but in reality it's my neck. 

Most articles on the topic are about dislocation but my GP said that's definitely not it and on further investigation I'd be dead if it was. Dislocation of that joint is also known as internal decapitation but can still be caused by similar accidents.

The surgeon told me to go see a Rheumatologist while I wait for Pain Management and that between the two they can get me onto disability. That was the basically the point where it hit me and I spent the next hour in shock just walking around the shopping centre waiting to go home. This injury is what can get me onto disability..not the spine deformity. 

So now I get to spend more money I don't have on specialists and at some point I have to try and put money aside for Pain Management. I'm hoping that won't be many appointments because the first one is $330 and appointments after that are $185. Medicare doesn't cover much of it despite popular belief. My psychologist asked me how do I afford to pay for all of these appointments on Newstart. I lol'd. Told her I learned budgeting off my mum but it only gets me so far. $430 a fortnight just doesn't stretch far when $170+ of that goes to one appointment. I don't have a social life (though a friend actually came over recently and it was awesome just chilling in my loungeroom and chatting and watching the BROS documentary for a few hours) and my pay goes towards appointments, bills, then I work out what's left for food. She asked me what my vice is - I said Coke assuming I can afford that. Quick, someone tell the Prime Minister I use newstart to buy soft drink!

The upside to all of this was I had my first group photo shoot. Normally I hate the idea of working with other photographers because I do have a superiority complex at times where photography is concerned. I also really hate being watched because anxiety will take over and I'll screw up. I'll suddenly look like I don't know what the fuck I'm doing in the studio. 

Coffin-47Coffin-47

I was given a coffin in 2017 but I never got to use it and it's been sitting in my storeroom since giving up the studio space. Meeting Olivia last year was great because being a goth queen she loved the idea of a coffin shoot. You have no idea how hard it is finding models who aren't scared off by most of my ideas. From here this is just going to sound super selfish really. Initially I thought doing a group shoot would help in regards to moving the coffin around, there was no way in hell I could carry it anywhere so I wondered who might be interested in shooting with it and helping us move it. Turned out the group shoot idea was better in more ways than one. At the shoot itself I lost my shit a couple times at the lights which thankfully the others just found my tantrums funny. I don't think anyone takes a short person seriously. Having another photographer meant help with lighting because they know what they're doing but my back started to hurt early on - left overs from the day before's shoot in my bedroom I guess where all I did was step up and down a 2 foot ladder but I was in pain for HOURS later - so I had to sit down. I was just scared to move any more because I've gone out of my way the past year to avoid any situation where my back locks up. Having an extra photographer meant I could just pass something off onto them. I didn't have to feel like I was letting the model down because there was still someone there to take her photo when I couldn't anymore. It also put me in a situation to work with a new model I wouldn't have necessarily done on my own. I always work with the same two people because I hate wasting time on new people just to find out they can't even strike one decent pose. I met a lot of those in my tafe days. I like models that know how to move and you don't have to direct every single pose and movement and you can just offer some suggestions. I also hate models who refuse to take direction..like you're the model that's literally your job! So meeting Chantelle was great, we only did a few shots and I didn't say shit to her (also common trait of mine during shoots) but I didn't have too. She knew how to pose. I even took Frank along for some photos. Frank is a skeleton and he loved it, though to be fair he always looks happy. I think he has Resting Happy Face. So what I'm saying is, group shoots might save the day on some occasions. Definitely keen to do more with this group. I'll never do photography professionally again but I'm still trying to do some personal projects as my body permits. Watch this space! 

 

 

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(Shoot the Wicked Witch) Health Scheuermann's Disease https://www.shootthewickedwitch.com/blog/2020/3/rare-disease-day-20 Sun, 01 Mar 2020 08:19:30 GMT
Goodbye 2019 https://www.shootthewickedwitch.com/blog/2019/12/2019-is-over 2019 is basically over and I'm kinda happy because this year dragged on. So I thought I'd do my final blog on the year about spine things. The short version is don't bother going through the public health system. It's a huge waste of time. 

So just to refresh: all of this stuff has been going on since the end of 2015. Two referrals were sent out. It was taking so long I paid to see the first specialist (thanks to gofundme and some generous people!) in April 2017. He told me if I was still having issues in a year I could come back. 2018 I finally had my referrals picked up but I never saw an actor doctor for either of those appointments - I saw the doctor's physio. 2019 I saw Pain Management (also public system) who deemed me completely normal. So I paid to see a Rheumatologist thinking I'll just save time and see someone who directly deals with arthritis. Also a waste of time. The best he had to offer was sending me to a sleep clinic because I've slept badly (or not at all) since 2006.

And now we're here. 

I've reached a point now where I'm physio isn't even helping me and I was so frustrated I decided to go back to Spine West as my last ditch effort for a miracle. I'd just had my 2nd week of not being able to walk or stand in a month so I sent them an email and got offered an appointment a week later. I was shocked at how quick that was but couldn't take that one, but still managed to get an appointment for this year. I saw him two weeks ago. I wasn't in his office long, I gave the condensed version of everyone I've seen, handed him my MRI and CT Scan of my neck and he wrote up a form straight away before I'd even got to how bad the pain was getting for me to get a specialist CT scan at the hospital. I had the scan on Monday. That was a bit tricky, they inject you with this stuff that basically makes you radioactive and I was meant to go away for 3 hours and drinks heaps of fluids while also avoiding children and mothers - do you know how hard that is on Christmas holidays? I won't find out the scan results until February but I got home to find an email from Spine West to let me know they had already referred me to Pain Science at Royal Perth Hospital that morning (before my scan took place). I should have gone back to him so much sooner instead of wasting two years in the public health system. 

But back to the public system...I had the Sleep Clinic appointment too. As it turns out they can't help you if you don't sleep. LOL right? They can however let me loan a watch for $250 that's like a fitbit and can monitor when I do sleep at home. I'm meant to come up with $250 by January 10th. More LOL. My whole like is a LOL moment. For those into astrology, I was born on The Day Of Tragicomic Controversy. More lolz. I see doctors more than literally anyone else I know. I felt like maybe I should get my GP a xmas present for dealing with my shit on a regular basis. I didn't, I don't have any money. 

life is a comedylife is a comedy

I am meant to come up with a plan for my life so I'm not just sitting at home doing nothing everyday and that I need a goal to achieve and structure. I get her point but you have no idea how hard that is. For one thing, me in high school didn't think I would be alive past 30 so I never aimed that high to begin with and my 20's were spent sociophobic and then caring for my mum. All I really wanted in life was to be like Andy Warhol. I LOVE him. I wanted a warehouse I could work in and have exhibitions with maybe bands and fun times. Which is a wild goal to have when you have severe social anxiety. The main goal was I wanted a studio space where I could paint the walls or create sets for photo shoots and I wanted to have an exhibition when I had enough photos I liked. I did try at one point and contacted a couple galleries but one wasn't happy with an exhibition of only 3 people. I have no idea why. Between the 3 of us we had enough work to fill the small space. So that didn't happen. 2016 I finally had my first studio space, which was too small for what I really wanted to do but it was a step in the right direction only I had to give up a year later because neck pain was too much to be able to work in there. Photography has decreased rapidly since then. Any goal I had is dead. My goal now is to get through each week. Between no money and pain I don't know what I'm meant to do with my life. It's hard making plans when any given day/week you're in severe pain or can't walk for no reason. I've spent the last two months trying to get back into drawing and it's hard. It's been so long since I've done anything and it's all pretty mediocre.

I told my psych that and she said great, set a goal - how? Firstly, I have to be happy with what I'm doing. I don't have a style of my own and I'm just trying to practice for now so I can get to the point of developing a style and coming up with my own ideas and not using prompts found on instagram. I'm a long way off achieving anything! The most I know is eventually I want to get back into printmaking but right now I don't have any ideas yet. I looked at drawing classes to maybe kickstart something but they're $300 for 6 weeks through TAFE. Something Art Therapy related could be cool too because I don't know how to express myself. 

So 2020 shall be interesting. I'm never going to have money between psych, spine west and the private pain specialist (but really what else is new?) but I might get to be pain free so I don't care! If anyone has any suggestions on how to have a functional life while living with chronic pain please leave a comment or message me. I'd love to hear other people's stories! 

 

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(Shoot the Wicked Witch) Health Scheuermann's Disease https://www.shootthewickedwitch.com/blog/2019/12/2019-is-over Sun, 22 Dec 2019 12:13:21 GMT
2009 vs 2019 https://www.shootthewickedwitch.com/blog/2019/11/2009-vs-2019 Everyone is doing that "omg look how much I changed!" posts with portraits from 2009 and 2019 because it's almost the end of another decade. For the most part nobody looks any different unless they were a child in 2009 and I tried looking but I couldn't find a single photo of me. I'm always behind the camera. So instead I'm doing a "omg look how much I changed!" in regards to my photography.

2009 was the year I started Shoot the Wicked Witch as a business and 2019 was the year I decided to quit. Maybe poor choice of wording but I had to get a firm grip on reality that being a photographer just isn't in my future anymore. I'm just in too much pain to do it regularly and I'm lucky if I pick my camera up monthly now. There's been a few times I thought about selling it. 

To give a clue on how much my neck/back problems have affected my life as a photographer:

In 2017 when things started going downhill I photographed 30 gigs.
In 2018 I photographed 15.
In 2019 I photographed 5. 

It's super fucking depressing but at the same time I don't miss shooting or really even attending local music shows. I noticed a massive energy shift after my neck injury with how people treated me and now I just find most gigs awkward to be at. Which is hard to deal with when you've been photographing the same people for 10 years and the moment you aren't holding a camera apparently your value as a human drops. It's borderline amusing watching people you used to be friends with completely ignore you (we're talking glaring/huge stick up their ass) as if my personal health problems somehow insulted them. Gigs just aren't fun anymore. So in the last couple months I decided I'm only photographing mates bands should I feel so inclined or bands I really love for Wall Of Sound. I'm not putting myself through hell for anyone else. 

Which is also why I'm trying to get back into art. I'm out of practice but I'm telling myself that I really should put my Fine Art degree to use. I'm just not completely comfortable sharing them but I need to get over that and just do it. So as of 2020 you may notice a huge change over on my instagram! The biggest problem with drawing is looking down hurts my neck too. I keep telling myself that if Frida Kahlo could paint while lying in bed for months surely I can find a way to manage this!

First up - MUSIC PHOTOGRAPHY
2009 was my first go at music photography in 9 years and it was a small charity gig at Mojo's. There was hardly anyone there and I was too anxious to go near the stage so I spent the gig sitting at a table taking photos. Jump to 2019 and the anxiety isn't quite as bad now that I get to stand in photo pits. I've got to photograph some of my all time favs (Green Day/AFI) and I've had photos used on CD covers. One of my photos was used on The Superjesus latest vinyl release. That's probably the highlight of my career honestly.

2009_12009_1

It wouldn't be a Decade piece without featuring my most photographed local musician - Alex Cotton! First gig was 2010's WA Roller Derby album launch with Chainsaw Hookers, AAAGH Bats! and Project Mayhem. 9 years, 3 bands, and a guitar to the face later...here we are. Did my photos of him improve over the years? Barely but it's always a fun time shooting Scalphunter and he's one of the best peeps I've met in the local music scene!

2009Alex2009Alex

Portrait Photography

When I started out I was all about pinup and horror themes...and an extreme overuse of textures. I'm pretty sure for 2009-2010 all shoots were in a studio. I avoided going on location as much as possible. The horror themes are still going. I'd love to do so much more though. Sometimes I think about doing more pinup because it was always so much fun! I tried to incorporate pinup with music for a calendar idea but I only ended up doing a couple of photoshoots because getting guys involved is really hard. I have 2 awesome photos though (well to be honest the entire photo set of Scotty from Nerdlinger are winners) so I'd really like to do something with them at some stage before I die. Maybe I should just make a coffee table book of random photos?

2009_22009_2

To complete my 2009 vs 2019 I decided to look back at photos taken with my two fav models. In the last 10 years I've barely shot with anyone else. Ashayla and Bec are the first two I always go to for all of my ideas!

2009Shay2009Shay

2019Bec2019Bec

Well that's it. Fascinating right? 2019 ended on a bit of a sour note with my last photoshoot having to be taken down because I wasn't aware you couldn't take photos in a cemetery. They were my most liked photos in a long time so it was really sad for both of us but I'm going to use one or two as references for some art ideas so they aren't a total waste. I'm not sure what 2020 will bring where my camera is concerned. Frank Carter and the Rattlesnakes are up first and I really need to redo my White Violin photoshoot (which considering I don't even like my photos it's my most read blog to date!) but so far that's it. I've been talking about doing a Pennywise shoot for two years so maybe I'll get that done. One day I really hope to use my coffin here. Who knows. My only plan for now is to get through all the latest doctors appointments and survive Christmas. Then I'll worry!

To end this properly I need to thank the following people:

  • Alex for letting me photograph all of his bands over the years. Best bands to practice music photography with!
  • Desert Highways for giving me my start in photographing bigger shows and letting me photograph Frank Iero even though it didn't fit your demographic.
  • Wall Of Sound/Browny for letting me live out my dream of photographing Green Day and basically letting me stick around even though I don't contribute anything other than Pennywise gifs to group chats and watching my one-hit-wonder of an article keep floating around.
  • Shay and Bec for modelling my random ideas, including adult smash cakes! You can check out more of what they get up to on instagram - Ashayla Webster / Lamia Emilia

Still reading? If you like my art and want to show support I have a Gofundme going to try and fundraise for a new computer. Mine died last year and being unemployed and sick means it's ridiculously hard to afford anything let alone a computer! If you would like to donate click HERE!
 

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(Shoot the Wicked Witch) Cosplay Health Horror Music Portrait https://www.shootthewickedwitch.com/blog/2019/11/2009-vs-2019 Mon, 25 Nov 2019 09:38:47 GMT
Best songs to listen to for Halloweek! https://www.shootthewickedwitch.com/blog/2019/10/best-songs-to-listen-to-for-halloweek Welcome to Halloweek! Halloweek is for those of us who love Halloween so much we need a full week to enjoy it. Some think we’re freaks but we’re not the ones who need four months to buy their Christmas trees. October is a time where horror freaks unite to share their love of all things ghoulish and pumpkins, some take part in Drawlloween (a Halloween inspired drawing challenge by the incredible artist Mab Graves!), some put up Halloween trees because Christmas Trees should be spooky and basic bitches share their list of much-watch horror movies for October – and not a single one is set on Halloween. There’s a horror movie for literally every occasion (except maybe Father's Day), do it right! So I have made this list of top quality songs you should listen to this Halloweek. I’ve been listing to these for the past week already, for research, obviously! 

  1. Keepin’ Halloween Alive - Alice Cooper 
    It would be wrong not to put the King of Spooky as #1. He’s Freddy Kreuger’s foster dad, he was a bum in Prince Of Darkness, he wrote a song for Jason Voorhees and if you’ve seen him live then you know Feed My Frankenstein is a winner. It was really hard picking just one song! 
  2. Monster Mash - Misfits
    Misfits are the ultimate band for Halloween, you’ve really got your pick for song choices but I’m sticking with Monster Mash because it sounds so much better than the original. 
  3. Halloween – AFI
    I'm a bit of a Davey Havok fangirl so I have to include at least two songs here to make up for the fact I've listed them 3rd in something. This one is a Misfits cover but Fall Children is also a must listen too! Both feature on their All Hallows Ep
  4. Ghostbusters – Ray Parker Jr
    Ray is constantly asking us who we’re gonna call but does he give us the phone number? No he doesn’t. Ray wants you to die folks but at least the song is catchy.
  5. Never Sleep Again - Chainsaw Hookers
    If you like your songs about horror movies you need to check out Chainsaw Hookers on Spotify. They shit all over that Nine Ice Whatever band.
  6. Werewolves Of London – Warren Zevon
    Released in 1978 this song featured quite a bit in my childhood (thanks Mum!). The song was apparently inspired by the movie Werewolf Of London (1935). I haven't seen it because despite having the body of a 90yr old I'm not actually that old.
  7. House of 1000 Corpses - Rob Zombie
    Picking Living Dead Girl or Dragula felt like lazy choices and honestly Zombie’s entire discography could be your Halloween playlist as well but I’m a fan of this track which features in the opening credits of Zombie’s debut film of the same name (which is set on Halloween. BONUS!)
  8. Bad Moon Rising – Mourning Ritual
    Originally sung by Creedence Clear Water Revival and forever associated with An American Werewolf In London, I found this super fucking creepy version by accident. I have no clue who this band is but this is their only recording and it featured in The Walking Dead season 4 promo and Teen Wolf.  
  9. Come To Daddy – Aphex Twin
    Back when I was a youngen I would sit up late watching RAGE like all cool kids did and this song came on. The song is just some creepy ass voice singing I WANT YOUR SOUL/I WILL EAT YOUR SOUL and the video has a bunch of creepy AF children running around with his face. Fun fact: I used this song in my presentation video for my final project at TAFE. It was a series of photos based on the 7 Deadly Sins but I edited it too short so it was like a 60 second assault of the senses with this song just blasting in everyone’s face. If you enjoy movie references - this song featured in 8mm which is the only good film Nicholas Cage made.
  10. Pet Sematary – Ramones
    'I don't want to be buried in a Pet Sematary / I don't want to live my life again'
    It’s a bad joke that all Ramones songs I know are from soundtracks and half the time they’ve been sung by other people. This is one of maybe 3 songs I like by them and was really glad there wasn’t some shitty Fall Out Boy version on the Pet Sematary remake that came out earlier this year FYI: don’t watch it!

  11. Thriller – Michael Jackson
    This is probably one of the coolest videos ever. Also, Vincent Price.
  12. Baby You’re A Haunted House – Gerard Way
    I know many didn’t like this song when it came out last year and I may have been one of them but I’ve changed my mind. I'm also convinced everyone in this clip is wearing a mask so Gerard didn't actually have to be in it.
  13. Beheaded – The Offspring
    The Offspring appeared in the movie Idle Hands singing this song and Ramones song I Wanna Be Sedated..During Beheaded their interrupted and Dexter gets himself scalped. Best scene.
  14. Lullaby – The Cure
    I was 11 when I first saw this video clip and I blame Robert Smith for my irrational fear of spiders. This video clip is also kind of my life. I too lay awake all night listening to my neighbours. 
  15. Bruja – Rick Dangerous and the Silkie Bantams
    Any song about a witch is ok with me. I fucking love this band. I got to see them live the last time I was in Melbourne and their one of the best live acts I've ever seen. I came close to changing my biz name to Bruja after hearing this song just so I didn't have to keep typing out 'shootthewickedwitch' on everything. It was a ridiculously long email.
  16. Augen Auf – OOMPH!
    Everything automatically sounds creepier when it’s in German, moreso with kids counting. Not even sure why this band hasn't been as big in Australia as Rammstein.
  17. Rosemary’s Baby – Fantomas
    It was a hard choice between this track and their rendition of a score from The Omen soundtrack, which is basically Ave Satan on speed.
  18. (Don’t Fear) The Reaper – Blue Oyster Cult
    You can’t beat a classic but if you need to feel depressed I recommend listening to the cover by HIM.
  19. Halloween – Siouxsie and the Banshees
    There’s a lot of 18 year old girls on instagram who claim you aren’t goth unless you listen to Siouxie and the Banshees because makeup. This is for them.
  20. Walk Like A Zombie - Horrorpops
  21. Season Of The Witch – John 5 and The Creatures
    I don't normally do the instrumental thing but this is pretty kick ass. Has some creepy laughing for good measure. 
  22. I Put A Spell On You – Marilyn Manson
    Marilyn Manson manages to make most things sinister without much effort. You can also include Sweet Dreams here.
  23. Walking With A Ghost – Tegan and Sara
    I've had this song stuck in my heads for days. 
  24. Billie Jean – The Bates
    Is this song creepy? No, unless the idea of having an illegitimate child freaks you out. Is the video creepy? Yes in a sexy German Norman Bates kinda way. These guys put a punk rock spin on Michael Jackson's song and made it 1000x better.
  25. How Soon Is Now – The Smiths
    I know we all hate Morrissey but there are other guys in that band and they made one decent song that became associated with witchcraft thanks to The Craft and Charmed. 
  26. Where The Wild Roses Grow – Nick Cave & Kylie Minogue
    Just a nice little song about a girl who meets a boy who kills her.
  27. Psycho Killer – Talking Heads
    This song is forever ruined for me by someone who appeared on Red Faces singing PSYCHO CHICKEN when I was a child but the song is about Norman Bates so in effect it’s really a song about Ed Gein. Actually I found the clip for Psycho Chicken so you can get your daily laugh.

  28. Halloween 13-13 – Wednesday 13
    Hey little girl don't be scared / Just take this candy from my hand
    Tonight is the night the dead rises from their graves / Don't be afraid, girl, don't be afraid

  29. Vampires Will Never Hurt You – My Chemical Romance
    And if the sun comes up will it tear the skin right off our bones / And then as razor sharp white teeth rip out our necks I saw you there


  30. Somebody’s Watching Me – Rockwell
    I asked around a couple of Halloween groups what their must-listen-to-Halloween songs are and everyone pretty much listed this song. Also features Michael Jackson singing the chorus.
  31. Bela Lugosi’s Dead – CHVRCHES
    If you don’t know who Bela Lugosi is you might want to find another article to read.
  32. Fashion Zombies – The Aquabats!
  33. Little Red Riding Hood – Sam the Sham and the Pharoahs
    "Hey there Little Red Riding Hood, You sure are lookin' good, You're everything a big, bad wolf could want...
    Like all good songs, this one was completely innocent but some movie came along and made it the calling card of a serial killer and now here we are…this song was covered by Bowling For Soup if you want a more upbeat pop punk version but to be honest it feels a bit date-rapey. 

     
  34. Addams Groove – MC Hammer
    Whose your favourite horror family? The Addams or the Munsters? I’ll wait.

     
  35. Jack The Ripper – The Horrors
  36. Season Of The Witch - Donovan
  37. Cold – Static-X
    I don't know about you but I can't hear this song and not picture Lestat (Queen of the Damned..not that Tom Cruise shit)
  38. Forsaken - Jonathon Davis
    Speaking of...
  39. Horror Movie – Skyhooks
  40. Halloween – Dead Kennedys
    Whatcha gonna be? / Babe, you better know / And you better plan / Better plan all day 
    Better plan all week, better plan all month, better plan all year


  41. Michael Myers – The Meteors
  42. I’m Not A Vampire – Falling In Reverse
  43. Halloween (John Carpenter) – Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross
    This is one of the best horror scores of all time (Change my mind..). This starts out faithful to John Carpenter's version then goes off on it's own.
  44. Time Warp – Rocky Horror Picture Show
    Not a Halloween film but spooky all the same and it's not a party unless this plays! 
  45. Hellraiser – Motorhead
    Look I'll admit when Lemmy died I had no idea who the hell everyone on Facebook was talking about. I somehow had never heard of the band until that moment. I came across this song in my hunt for quality songs for Oct 31st. 
  46. Halloween II – Cradle Of Filth
    A friend of mine is a Cradle Of Filth fan so I'm adding this for her. It's a cover but this one is kind of ridiculous. Cradle of Filth are listed as covering Samhain. Who are Samhain? Fuck knows so I googled them and it's some band Danzig made up after he left Misfits then covered his own song …..then Cradle of Filth covered it. 
  47. A Nightmare On My Street – DJ Jazzy Jeff & Fresh Prince
    This track samples A Nightmare On Elm Street and the killer looks like a jacked-up Billy Idol. 

     
  48. Halloween – Mastodon

     
  49. All Hallows Eve – Type O Negative
  50. Everybody (Backstreet's Back) - Backstreet boys
    I need to include this one for having the best horror themed music video. Everyone loves this song. Anyone who says they don't is lying.

And that's it! What did you think? Are there any songs you would have added to a Halloween playlist? Let me know in the comments!

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(Shoot the Wicked Witch) Blog Halloween Horror Lists Music https://www.shootthewickedwitch.com/blog/2019/10/best-songs-to-listen-to-for-halloweek Tue, 29 Oct 2019 00:25:50 GMT
World Spine Day - Oct 16th https://www.shootthewickedwitch.com/blog/2019/10/world-spine-day---oct-16th It's World Spine Day and I thought maybe it was time for an update that is the ridiculousness of my life. I've also added some fun bits throughout like a video about Scheuermann's Disease, the first time in my life where I was all SCIENCE BITCH! and some article links to general spine health related news on how vitamins and medications (like anti depressants) can affect your bone health.

For those who somehow don't know, I have Scheuermann's Disease (You can check out my blog for Rare Disease Day here on the subject). I was diagnosed officially at 14 (was misdiagnosed at 8-9 years old but was left untreated), tried a back brace, scored a shit load of bullying from literally everyone in my life (my favourite being "she'd be pretty if it wasn't for her back"), developed a nice list of mental health issues and grew up to be the ray of sunshine I am today. I was deemed unemployable because I was seen as a risk and didn't get my first actual job until 2012. The end of 2015 I thought I was looking worse than normal and saw my doctor about it. Referrals were sent out and things got worse at the beginning of 2017 and have steadily progressed since. 

If unsolicited advice has taught me anything it's that most don't know how a spine works. We all know a broken spine can lead to you becoming quadraplegic at the very worst, yet this information is forgotten when it comes to advice. I've been told to get a shower chair when I mention that standing in the shower some days is hard. My legs work, it's being vertical in general that's the problem. The spine protects your spinal cord, the nerves and several of your organs. It's what helps keep you upright and functional. The spinal cord and nerve system make up your entire Nervous System. A pinched nerve anywhere in your spine can affect feeling or cause pain in your legs and arms. I've woken up a few times to a dead arm thanks to a pinched nerve and it can take a day for medication to fix it. This is also why spinal surgery is so risky - the slightest accident can leave you paralysed in numerous ways.

The spine consists of 4 regions: cervical, thoracic, lumbar, and sacral.

Cervical Spine

The neck region is the Cervical Spine. This region consists of seven vertebrae, which are abbreviated C1 through C7 (top to bottom). These vertebrae protect the brain stem and the spinal cord, support the skull, and allow for a wide range of head movement.

The first cervical vertebra (C1) is called the Atlas. The Atlas is ring-shaped and supports the skull. C2 is called the Axis. It is circular in shape with a blunt tooth-like structure (called the Odontoid Process or dens) that projects upward into the Atlas. Together, the Atlas and Axis enable the head to rotate and turn. The other cervical vertebrae (C3-C7) are shaped like boxes with small spinous processes (finger-like projections) that extend from the back of the vertebrae.

Thoracic Spine

Beneath the last cervical vertebra are 12 Thoracic vertebrae abbreviated T1-T12 (top to bottom). T1 is the smallest and T12 is the largest thoracic. The thoracic vertebrae are larger than the cervical bones and have longer spinous processes.

Rib attachments add to strength and stability of the thoracic spine. The rib cage and ligaments limit range of motion and protect many vital organs.

Lumbar Spine

The Lumbar Spine consists of 5 vertebrae abbreviated L1-L5. The lumbar vertebrae are the largest and carry most of the body’s weight. This region allows more range of motion than the thoracic spine, but less than the cervical. Lumbar facet joints enable significant flexion and extension movement, but limits rotation.

Sacral Spine

The Sacrum is located behind the pelvis. Five bones, abbreviated S1-S5, fused into a triangular shape, form the sacrum. The sacrum fits between the two hip bones connecting the spine to the pelvis. The last lumbar vertebra (L5) articulates (moves) with the sacrum. Immediately below the sacrum are five additional bones, fused together to form the Coccyx (tailbone).

The Skull and Pelvis

Although not typically viewed as part of the spine, the skull and pelvis inter-relate with the spinal column and impact balance.

How The Spine Looks

Everyone's spine is curved naturally but with diseases like Scoliosis and Sheuermann's Disease our curves are more extreme or go in the wrong direction. Normally a healthy spine viewed from the front is straight up and down. Viewed from the side, a spine has four distinct curves. Curves are described as being either kyphotic or lordotic.

  • kyphotic curve is a convex curve in the spine (i.e. convexity towards the back of the spine). The curves in the thoracic and sacral spine are kyphotic.
  • lordotic curve is concave (i.e. concavity towards the back of the spine), and is found in the cervical and lumbar levels of the spine.

The MRI on the left is one of a normal spine I pinched off Google, the one on the right is mine. IMG_5485IMG_5485 Another important area of the spine are the Facet Joints. These are in the back of each vertebral body and work like a hinge helping you to be able to bend, twist and extend your body in different directions. 

Scheuermann's Disease?

It's some stupidly rare disease that's hard to spell. No joke it took me a good 20 years to remember how too or maybe I'm just slightly special because it took me a long time to remember how to spell my middle name too. Scheuermann's Disease effects the way our vertebrae develop in childhood. Instead of being rectangular in shape our vertebrae are wedge shaped which causes the spine's curve to exaggerate from the norm. Nobody is really sure on why it happens though. Some believe it's hereditary but a lot of us are the first in our families to have it.  

The only people who have heard of it are the 2-4% who have it and about 10 doctors and whoever has been reading my blog posts in the last 2 years. Ok that's an under-exaggeration but the reality is unless they're an actual spine surgeon of some description nobody has heard of it or knows what it is and even then they aren't much help to you (refer to my last blog Surrounded By Idiots on just how great Pain Management was!). However people who have heard of it just 3 seconds after you've told them why you're in pain all of the time magically know what you're doing wrong in life and how to help you. The first rule of Fight Club is DON'T OFFER UNSOLICITED ADVICE! If you want to be helpful to a person with chronic pain/illness offer them help with shopping, lifts to the doctor, an outing to literally anywhere even that coffee shop 5 minutes from their house..things you might be good at yourself because your back works and you take it for granted. Back to the point, not everyone with Sheuermann's Disease looks the same. Our spines are kind of like fingerprints in that we all present differently. My spine is one big curve starting from my neck so it's like a large C shape. Others have a more prominent S shape. Others have a "hump" right up the top, other's might look normal standing up straight but when they bend over there's a noticeable hump in the middle of their back and others have a mix of kyphosis and scoliosis.

I found a video on Scheuermann's Disease on youtube. It's about 20 minutes long but the lecture covers quite a bit. If you don't want to watch it all the first 10 minutes is the most informative, the rest focuses on surgery. At 6:45 minutes they talk about treatment options. Now when I was 14 and seeing the specialist the guy was awful and I felt like I was being told off every visit but my 14 year old brain remembers him saying that surgery was barbaric (he literally used that word) and involved opening me up from the front and back to realign me and screwing in some rods. I never heard of anyone being opened both ways until this video and always wondered if he was just being overly dramatic to scare me but where this guy references surgery options as being Posterior correction, Anterior Correction and combined (opening front and back). The surgeon I saw in 2017 also brought up surgery but that he would never ever recommend it which was fine with me because what I knew of it at that point I wasn't keen on. He told me there's a 1 in 10,000 chance of ending up with some kind of paralysis because it's a risky surgery, for me I'd have to have the entire length of my spine fused, the surgery involves breaking your spine to correct it (in some cases they use cadaver bone in the correction), that it wouldn't help my pain because that's inflammation and it would just restrict my movement. So if it's not going to help pain I don't see the point in it at all plus being a photographer - even one who uses her camera once a month - you need to be able to get into random positions. At least that's what I thought at the time. I'm not nearly as energetic as I was but sometimes you need to get on the ground or climb on a chair to get the shot. I do always regret it later though and you can read about that on my blog Anatomy Of A Photoshoot where I discussed how a photoshoot affects me physically on the day and the days after. Surgery is considered cosmetic unless you have a curve of 75 degrees and over, constant pain, or it's life threatening - your curve is so severe it's affecting your breathing.

The video then talks about non-surgery treatment and the bottom picture is pretty close to the brace I had to wear in high school for 23 hours a day. For some reason braces are a fetish for some people and I'll never really understand why but they hurt to wear. Like ALOT. I would be in the school nurses office daily crying I wanted it off, my hips would be red from it rubbing against me. The only time I could take it off was to shower. Bracing really only works if you catch it early on. My parents were told it was too late for me because at my age I'd stopped growing but put me through it anyway. I think I wore it for about 6-7 months and it did nothing. 

I'm on a Facebook group for Scheuermann's Disease which means randomly I get to see articles about spine health. Lately some interesting ones have come up in regards to medicines and vitamins affect on your bone density. For instance Vitamin D - it's important for skeletal health but like most vitamins there's no real effect by taking more than the recommended daily dose but taking a higher dose of Vitamin D can actually cause bone density loss. On the other hand being Vitamin D deficient can be a problem if you have decide to have kids. In the article Bone Condition Kyphosis Linked To Maternal Vitamin D Deficiency it means that a US research group accidentally forgot to add vitamin D to a food mix for pigs which resulted in piglets being born with kyphosis. A study was then done on 37 pigs in 3 groups: one with no Vitamin D, one with low Vitamin D and one with high Vitamin D to see what happened. After the piglets were born they were put on various diets as well. The study showed that the piglets diet had no real effect on them but the mothers diet was what caused the birth defects. The piglets born to low and high Vitamin D pigs were up to 3 kilos heavier than the piglets born to no-Vitamin D pigs. The study isn't 100% but it gives researchers more to work with on what causes kyphosis and spine deformities. Many in the facebook group themselves are Vitamin D deficient or had family that were. It got me curious about my own but I never got an answer from the relative I asked and I can't ask my mum since she's dead. I don't own a ouija board yet. I've considered asking my doctor to test me just out of curiosity but I'll wait until my next blood test since they're regular enough. Another article Medications Can Harm Bones lists the ways certain medications can harm your bone health even if you're taking them because of spine issues. Most medications have nasty side effects with prolonged use. I try to limit how often I take an anti inflammatory because they can cause stomach ulcers. The idiot at Pain Management wanted me on anti depressants (it's their answer to all chronic pain) which mixed with anti inflammatories can cause internal bleeding. This article looks at what can be damaging to your spine/general bone health. Oral Steroids are prescribed for asthma problems (been on them quite a few times) and can also be prescribed for arthritis pain relief because it's a strong anti-inflammatory medication, the downside is prolonged use of steroids over 5mg a day means boss loss. I've wondered about asking my doctor to try it out and see if it helps with pain because it would mean I'd have no asthma problems too. Two birds. One stone. Some anti depressants can cause bone density loss and increase your risk of fractures. The article also includes medications taken for diabetes, hormones and anticonvulsants.

Doctor Updates

Over the last three years I've seen a spine surgeon, two neurology teams (technically the physio attached), Pain Management, physio, exercise physio and as of August added Rheumatologist to the list. I had this dumb idea that maybe they could help me since words like arthritis, facet joint arthritis and bilateral facet arthroscopy (aka facet joint osteoarthritis) appeared on my reports so what better than to see a doctor specialising in arthritis. HOW FUCKING WRONG WAS I?! The upside was I got my money's worth in that appointment (yes I paid for the appointment for those playing at home who believe Medicare means free doctors) because I was in his office for an hour unlike the 10 minutes I was in the offices for neurology appointments. For some context at what's coming next - when I saw Pain Management she did a good job of shaming me for the entire appointment making me remove my shirt and telling me my back looks normal and EVERYONE has a curved spine, EVERYONE has kyphosis and how EVERYONE has arthritis it all means nothing. So sitting in the Rheumatologist's office it was a bit like being on trial where he'd ask a question and I had to specifically answer and not go off tangent...even if going off tangent was pointing out I have pain/stiffness in my neck and knee - my neck being the worst body part for pain. He only wanted to hear about my back which was disappointing because even my GP was wondering if I had Fibromigsomethingorother I don't know how to say or spell it but it's means you have chronic pain everywhere. He got me to half lift my shirt while he felt a couple of areas to see if it hurt or not, then rang up the hospital to get them to send through my MRI report from last year BUT he did say my pain is structural and because of the shape my spine is in. Like how can everyone see this except that idiot at Pain Management?! He had no advice for pain relief other than "lay horizontally" when I have a flare up - which I already do so it was cool to have a doctor tell me to do that unlike Pain Managements 'your lazy' attitude. Fun fact: On twitter I bitched about back pain and that I wondered if zero gravity would help since you're weightless and that I'd sign up to NASA to be an astronaut. A friend jumped on there that you shrink in space but he couldn't quite remember. I wasn't much of a fan of being shorter (I should be a foot taller but my spine had other plans) so I jumped on Google and Nasa's website has the BEST analogy for why lying down helps with back pain!! 

"Did you know that astronauts are up to 2 inches taller while they're in space? As soon as they come back to Earth, though, they return to their normal height. What happens in space is not an optical illusion, but one more example of how microgravity affects our bodies.

Imagine that the vertebrae in your back form a giant spring. Pushing down on the spring keeps it coiled tightly. When the force is released, the spring stretches out. In the same way, the spine elongates by up to three percent while humans travel in space. There is less gravity pushing down on the vertebrae, so they can stretch out - up to 7.6 centimeters (3 inches).

To some degree, a similar stretching of the spine happens to you every night. When you lie down, gravity isn't pushing down on your vertebrae. You can do your own experiments with a meterstick. Measure your height carefully as soon as you get up or while you are still lying down. You will find that you're about a centimeter or two taller. That's not as much as astronauts change in space. The idea, however, is the same. As the day passes, your vertebrae compress through normal activities, and you'll lose those few centimeters you "grew" overnight.
"

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For all the specialists I've seen not one has mentioned this but the Rheumatologist was the first to recommend it. He did refer me to a sleep clinic though because of how bad my sleep is and apparently bad sleep patterns can make your pain worse. I've always been a night owl but my insomnia kicked in when my mum died. That year my sleep patterns were really bad and it kept up. They got worse when I moved to where I am now because I'm living in a block of psychopaths. Like right now it's 5:30am and I haven't slept yet. If I'm lucky I'll get 1 or 2 hours in before I have to leave the house later. So for now I have sleeping pills (which I forgot to take tonight) until I can get into the sleep study next year.

Since then I've had some fun new developments. Like not being able to walk properly..again. This one particular day about a month ago now I went into the city to get a comic book (took over an hour to get there), back to Joondalup and spent maybe an hour at the shops, then headed home went to the food shop and walked home. In all honesty I didn't do much at all but I stupidly took it one step further by painting my tv stand at 1am. I couldn't sleep (this was before I got the sleeping pills) and figured I'd do something remotely constructive. Council cleanup was coming up in a few days so I was finishing off some stuff for that and two days later it's suddenly hurting to walk and I'm leaning on a trolley walking around Bunnings with a friend. The next day I went to walk to the shop and didn't even make it 5 minutes up the road. To be honest I didn't even make it around to the other side of my apartment block when the pain kicked in hard. I was in so much pain that I sat outside someone's house for 10 minutes before trying again. What's normally a 25 minute trip became 45 minutes. Two weeks later and I still had a couple of issues. No amount of breathing exercises and happy thoughts was making it go away. In the last week I started having hip pain after another trip to Joondalup and randomly getting sharp pain in my foot. The foot pain I'm assuming is a pinched nerve, at least I'm hoping it is, because the first thing the spine guy asked me was if I had leg pain and checked my hip out. All of this is just the joy of having Scheuermann's and osteoarthritis and I need to learn to live with it. It's really fucking hard though when you have to do everything on your own so I basically have to go back to the psychologist (exercise physio told me I needed to any way because I need to talk to someone about my pain) just so I can bitch about my spine at her. I guess it will make a change, I spent half of last year crying in her office. Now I'll just be angry all the time.

Well that's it for World Spine Day. I hope it was at least somewhat educational for everyone! 

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(Shoot the Wicked Witch) Health Mental Health Scheuermann's Disease https://www.shootthewickedwitch.com/blog/2019/10/world-spine-day---oct-16th Tue, 15 Oct 2019 21:38:04 GMT
Pet Sematary https://www.shootthewickedwitch.com/blog/2019/9/pet-sematary "I don't want to be buried, in a pet sematary. I don't want to live my life again"
The Ramones

Fun Fact: Around 2006 I was dubbed the "Stephen King of TAFE" by the lady we hired photography equipment from. I was seriously amused because I didn't think I'd done anything particularly bad yet. I mean there was this one assignment in first year for "High Key" where I took a photo of a Living Dead Doll (I refused to photograph people for almost two years) but she's over exposed so as the slide came up covering the wall it freaked out the lecturer with these huge pink eyes staring at the class. Then there might have been a time in 2nd year where I did my history assignment on Forensics where I got to show photos of Jack the Ripper's victims and Ted Bundy's bite marks, and a certain kitchen assignment where all we were told was to photograph a kitchen utensil so I photographed my brother lying on the kitchen floor next to the carving knife with a trail of tomato sauce. When it came to marking we all had to put our photographs at the front of the class and as the lecturer walked along he stops at mine and asked whose it was and when he realised it was me said "I should have known". Another assignment I photoshopped a screaming face onto Barbie and thought I was hilarious. I like to think I'm personally responsible for assignments being a whole lot clearer the following year. Then there was the time I did a school shooting photo as part of my main project...so maybe I deserved it. I don't know. 

Event Cinemas (Innaloo) have Fright Night sessions of horror movies and they're basically the coolest thing ever. They have a Tunnel of Terror with members of Perth Horror Fans making things creepy, not for me personally but I find it adds something cool to the atmosphere of the night and I do get a laugh when basic bitches scream in fright. This particular night had a few tombstones and people in animal masks and drumming but we were all handed a gift as we walked in - a Pet Sematary cat mask. Decided right away I was using this in a photo shoot! That was about where the excitement ended for that night. The movie was crap. I did have some high hopes for it because the 80's version is quite stiff, the adults are like walking stiffs, the little girl is completely over the top with drama and Gage is the best actor in the whole film. I figured it wouldn't take much to top it and being 2019 expected good things. The remake screwed the storyline (but we knew the main detail thanks to trailers), the entire story is disjointed, the "scary" parts look like they were filmed in a studio and the best actor in the whole film is the cat and then there was that ending. Just no.

Fast forward to September and I did the photo shoot! I decided I should be adventurous and not shoot in the woods near my house despite how much I love them so we went to a spot near Kings Park. I grabbed myself some McDonalds on the way because I was starving and I alawys end up regretting this choice because somehow they managed to burn a mcmuffin. How do you burn a muffin and make it hard as a brick? So by the time i'm arriving I'm also doing a great impression of a dying person while I choke on my food. We started out walking around to have a look and there's a really steep - it's not a stair case but it had stairs - but after a few steps my lungs were collapsing and while trying to look like I'm totally fine was like nah let's not go further. Also there were a lot of people showing off how athletic they were by walking past us. Freaks. 

Lucky for me Lamia Emilia has her own dead animal zoo happening and brought along a bird and a dog. The bird got lost in the background but the puppy was quite cute and this is about as close as I get to animals not in a zoo behind glass or a fence or some contraption that keeps them far enough away that I won't have an allergic reaction.

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Most of the shoot was spent convinced I would eventually lose my footing and go tumbling down the hill. The location is spectacular with all the leaves on the ground but it also meant it was luck on what you were going to stand on. One step the ground would be firm, the next step soft dirt, the next step you've found a hole (I'm a super klutz so this was all terrifying. I once managed to have one foot fall in a hole while walking on a footpath and by walking on a footpath I was walking half on the footpath and half on grass. I went from walking on the ground. My brother only noticed because of the sudden shocked expressions on the girls faces across the street. Not embarrassing at all.)..it was quite the work out. 

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This shoot was also an opportunity to use some smoke bombs I bought last year. I bought them for a shoot with someone who then flaked and I was pretty pissed off but these were really cheap on eBay so I considered it a cheap lesson. I got exactly what I paid for with these. They are about the size of 10 cent pieces and hard to light up but by the time I did and turned to get my camera, turned back around and it was over. The smoke was done. I think it lasted a whole 10 seconds. Not sure it was even that long. I was going to film it but forgot and I'm glad really, it would be the shortest video ever.

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I bought a cat skull on eBay a couple months earlier and it was dud looking but thought I'd try it anyway. I wanted to try recreating at least one shot to be similar from the film but overall it didn't work too well. In the movie you see the kids all wearing animal masks, walking in a row to the sematary with a girl holding a pillow with a dog collar on it, another kid has some toy drums he's banging and another pushing a wheelbarrow.  Not sure if it's a combo of the pillow being too big, the skull too small but it just looked weird.

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PetSematary-82PetSematary-82 The idea for some of the photos was I wanted to make her look dead. Like SURPRISE there's a dead girl under the mask. So some photos she's normal and some she is not. 

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So about the one idea I had for this shoot was I wanted to have an "unmasking" shot where she takes the mask off and you realise she's dead herself...also because the kid that dies in the remake is a girl so may as well use the idea!

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And that is that. I definitely want to do more horror themed shoots though. Horror is life. Horror is my happy place.

If there was a Top 5 horror movie songs this would be on there. It's also been in my head the entire time I was editing the photos.

Model Lamia Emilia Facebook / Instagram
Still reading? If you like my art and want to show support I have a Gofundme going to try and fundraise for a new computer. Mine died last year and being unemployed and sick means it's ridiculously hard to afford anything let alone a computer! If you would like to donate click HERE!

 

 

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(Shoot the Wicked Witch) Horror Portrait https://www.shootthewickedwitch.com/blog/2019/9/pet-sematary Tue, 24 Sep 2019 21:25:57 GMT
Dapper Deaf Gentlemen https://www.shootthewickedwitch.com/blog/2019/9/dapper-deaf-gentlemen A few weeks back I got hit up for a photo shoot by Josh. You might know him as one of the models from The Light The Dark. We go way back because I used to invade his party house after gigs rather than go home at 2am. Some interesting times were had. Interestingly enough he thought of me because of my photoshoot with The Bob Gordons and one of them also lived in the party house. Ok that probably wasn't that interesting. ANYHOO the shoot was for his podcast The Deaf Penalty and they had a cool idea so I was totally keen and because I literally have no life I helped out with where to find costumes and tried to find somewhere interesting to do the shoot. One place would have been epic but none of us had a grand laying around so I booked the boudoir room at Huzzard's Studio. My only conditions for the shoot were they had to pick me and my gear up (including lights) and they were paying for the studio - and honestly I have to say my back didn't hurt that much at the end of the day compared to other shoots. The lift there and back made such a huge difference! 

THE DAY OF THE SHOOT...

There's a couple of things you probably shouldn't do and this is one of them: I didn't realise we were running as late as we were. Once I was picked up I didn't pay attention to the time. We get to Josh's to grab the guys before heading to the studio just up the road and my phone goes off. I have a missed call from an unknown number and I've been bombarded from asshole telemarketers for months I didn't think twice and responded. 

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So that got awkward real fast. I also realised then we were 30 minutes late.

We get there and I rush inside and basically just hope any of the other 4 people with me noticed which door I went into because telling them was obviously too hard and I get met by Chris (the owner) and ask if he was the one I txt'd, no of course not...I txt'd the nice older lady who works there, but he heard about it. Once upstairs setting up was fairly easy. I rearranged the furniture, set my light up and found out one of the "1800's styled gentleman" was actually channelling his inner Pimp Daddy. He will be referred to as Pimp Daddy for the duration of this blog. The other guy has no name (to be fair I'm a useless human being who forgets names as soon as she's told them), he was pretty quiet other than pointing out to Josh while he talked about how he's never watched any Harry Potter movie that I'm standing there in a Slytherin jumper.

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I brought in some books, pipe and hats for extra props (not Josh's though his came with his costume and involved velcro(?). I haven't seen anything like it.) and I kind of wish I filmed making Josh read the book because I didn't actually pay attention to what they were, but everyone was laughing and I had to stop and ask if he was actually reading the page because it sounded ridiculous. Turned out he was and it was from Charles Dickens 'A Christmas Carol And Other Short Stories'. My mum had these really old books from the 1920's-1950's and after she died I kept them because they looked cool. Somewhere during all of the laughing I blurted out "you're more fun to photograph than your brother" (I probably need some kind of a filter) and when asked who I mentioned the Them Sharks photo shoot from a couple years ago where 2/3's of the band were chill, chatting and laughing and the 3rd (his brother) was all "NO, We have to be serious!". It was really surprising because I've seen that guy drunk many times and never thought he'd be that serious. By the end of the shoot he realised the rest of us were right and the chilled out photos were the best ones. Nobody ever listens to the photographer. Candid is always best. I just really fucking hate posing people. This shoot had very little structure it was just "sit there", "read that", "talk amongst yourselves", "Now change seats", "Take your glasses off" "put your hands in your jackets like you're having a heart attack because that was a thing back then" etc Totes exciting stuff. Pimp Daddy's girlfriend as it turned out is a model so she even jumped in and told them what to do. 

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I took this at the end of the shoot and it was later when I got home I remembered there was a cool old looking frame near the bed that could have been a good prop which pretty much sums up every photo shoot I have..remembering the things I was going to do but forgot or what would have made it better. 

AFTER THE SHOOT

The next day I woke up dead. I'd been feeling off since Friday but I was ODing on Vitamin C, taking cold & flu tablets and apparently it didn't do a damn thing because come Monday I had some kind of monster chest infection. Happens 1-2 times a year when the weather becomes bipolar and can't make up it's mind on if it's Winter or Summer (let's face facts we don't have Spring. We just have Summer with pollen.) and I sound like that chick from The Exorcist just without the potty mouth and the vomit. I found some random anti-biotics from last time and took them and hoped for the best. I finally felt up to editing by the following weekend. Making the photos look old was easy because I used to do that for pinup photos back when I was doing them in 2009. I've got a whole folder full of textures to use. The colour ones look like they're from the 70's but that's ok because that's how I visualise Pimp Daddies and really everyone needed to experience that slipper/sock combo. 

Josh-25bwJosh-25bw

Josh-38bwJosh-38bw

Josh-54bwJosh-54bw

Josh-82Josh-82

Josh-85Josh-85

Josh-98Josh-98

Josh-103Josh-103

Josh-106bwJosh-106bw

Josh-110Josh-110

You should check out their Facebook page because it's got photos everywhere. It's cool doing a photoshoot and people use more than one photo! 

You can follow The Deaf Penalty on Facebook / Instagram / Twitter and you can hear the podcast on Spotify and iTunes. They mostly dribble shit but it's entertaining!

 

 

 

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(Shoot the Wicked Witch) Music Podcast Portrait https://www.shootthewickedwitch.com/blog/2019/9/dapper-deaf-gentlemen Thu, 19 Sep 2019 23:28:33 GMT
RUOK? Day https://www.shootthewickedwitch.com/blog/2019/9/ruok-day 15655580819891565558081989 Artwork by Zombie Teeth Clothing

“How many times had I let myself connect with someone only to have it thrown back in my face?” 
Jay Asher

It's RUOK? Day again and I'm not going to repeat my rant about the mental health version of valentine's day (you can read that here) but it seems like a good a day as any to write this. STOP PUTTING THE PRESSURE ON OTHERS TO CONTACT YOU. Show some initiative yourself. Your life is not more important than anyone else's. Which is pretty much the entire point of this blog. People suck. It's no secret that 13 Reasons Why really speaks to me for a few reasons but rewatching it a few weeks ago this quote hit hard and I started to write a pretty heated blog post about life and then stopped myself because I figured nobody even cares so why waste my time but now I'm back to writing it. I've been losing my shit the last few months and I don't care what people think because I'm not forcing anyone to read this but this is my reality. Then I worried this would alienate people or piss people off but then I laughed because the very people I'm talking about aren't in my life anyway, or barely, and why should I constantly be censoring myself so I don't hurt someones feelings when they don't care if they hurt mine? So really why am I even worried, I literally have nothing to lose.

So while I get inundated with messages about RUOK? (lol just kidding) here's my answer: I don't care about anything. I have no feelings about anything anymore. I'm definitely not happy, I'm not really sad either. I'm just meh. My sleep is so bad I only just realised it's Thursday 10 minutes ago. One day blurs into the next.

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Artwork by Zombie Teeth Clothing
 

Four weeks ago I deleted Facebook. A week after that I deleted Twitter. I almost deleted Instagram too but I'm having way too much fun following nihilist memes. The thing is you can only try reaching out so many times and being ignored before you give up on everything. What's the point in having social media if nobody is social? There was no constant crying or wanting to die like last year, I mean death would be great but I'm not going too but I'll talk about that in a bit, I just don't feel anything. Nobody cares so why should I? I'd use Facebook as a diary in a way because the 'memories' feature comes in handy for keeping track of things. I'd just write what the latest was or how I was feeling as a status update figuring if anyone was available to talk maybe they'd say something, this was due to how many times I've tried to message someone and getting no reply or watching them go offline and taking it personally that they don't want to speak to me. The sad react feature was the worst thing to ever happen to facebook because it looks like people are sad for you but not enough to say hey do you need a chat or some help with anything? I feel like the car wreck on the side of the freeway that everyone is watching as they drive by but nobody wants to stop to help, which is fine but why are you here? After the rheumatologist appointment things have just been crap and I tried reaching out to people. Every single person left me on *seen*. I waited a week and not one reply. I suddenly had some understanding to why this guy I knew killed himself a few years ago. Nobody replied to him either. I gave up and deleted Facebook. The problem is with how health-related issues have been the last couple of years I relied on Facebook to stay in touch with people but the real problem is people don't understand how much you actually rely on something as trivial as a message to make you feel like you matter and instead claim to know how I feel and how they don't see anyone either and it's bullshit. You have jobs you see people at every day, you have band practice every week, photo shoots, makeup jobs, cosplay conventions, families, husbands/wives/boyfriends/girlfriends/kids/pets... I don't have any of that and you all know that, you just don't care. I can't work (and I really wish I could because being in debt constantly isn't fun), I have two relatives I hear from about three times a year. My social activity involves seeing my GP every 2-3 months and the Coles delivery person. I can go a month without seeing anyone. You don't have a clue what this is like. You don't understand how fortunate you actually are. You aren't alone. Being home alone at the end of the day is not the same thing at all. You have no fucking idea. 

It was three weeks before I heard from anyone that I would consider a close friend and she apologised for being distant and invited me out. Which brings me to another point - if I'm not the one asking people if they want to do anything I don't get asked except for her and I'm not sure what's going to happen when she leaves the country. I'll cease to exist entirely I guess. I might ask her to send me postcards. My psychologist asked me if if I've ever tried to catch up with people and I lol'd because yes I do but as I mention later on there's only so many times you can do that and have it thrown in your face. Then there are other people who I have never asked because to be honest I don't know if they would even want too so rather than deal with any other possible rejection I don't. You want to know what I do get from people? "We don't invite you out anymore because you're too hard to find food for" - I can eat anywhere unless it's some Japanese place. If the menu is all dumplings you're just being a dick. I went to some meat themed restaurant for a friend's birthday and still managed to get a vegetarian food. It was just a shitty excuse on their part. Another friend tells me he doesn't invite me to BBQ's because I don't like *insert name here* as if I have some completely irrational reason for not liking this person. I mean this person almost ruined a wedding job I had by not doing the one thing I asked on the day because I can't be in two places at once (hence why wedding photographers hire 2nd shooters) and then not giving me the photos but sure I'm the one with the problem here and can't be invited over. It's like it doesn't even occur to them to invite me over even once and not the other person. Then there are the people who suddenly declare they want to catch up but I have to come to them. Everyone knows I struggle with travelling but sure I'll travel for 2+ hours on public transport just to make your life easier. My life isn't important. Message received loud and clear. My favourite line is "you live too far away" and again it's on me to go to them. The distance isn't shorter by me travelling instead of you. This is still just saying your time is more important than mine and I have to make the compromises. I talked about this with my psychologist last year how everyone has their best friends they can't live without and I'm not that person for anyone. I could die tomorrow and nobody would even know. I'm nobodies first choice for someone to hang out with ever. She kept trying to tell me that some people just don't know how to be good friends. I know she has a point but I'm still the common denominator here. Surely there's something wrong with me then? When people make it so clear you aren't that important why would you reach out when you really need help? 

“Rejection always hurts but having it come from my best friend was the worst”
Jay Asher

The biggest joke of all is somehow it's always my fault when somebody hasn't spoken to me in ages. Don't blame another person because you suck at communicating. That person is already feeling rejected by you, you don't then get to blame them because you never contacted them. You don't get to tell them that what they're feeling is wrong either. We feel rejected. I've had this happen so many times that you'd think I'd stop being surprised yet I always am, but with each time I just close off more. One psychologist told me I need to break down my walls but only let the right people in but how are you supposed to know who the right people are? They don't exactly have big neon signs on their heads to let you know.

I had a friend have an attitude change while out one night and on the way to her place she decided I needed to leave. I was fine with that, I'm no stranger to mood swings but it was how it all happened that was the problem. We got to her place and she went straight to her room. I was left just standing there with no idea how to leave like she wanted me too because her front door was locked and I couldn't get out. It's humilating having to ask the person who has told you to leave that they need to let you out. It's super fucking awkward. I figured when she was ready to talk she would since I had no idea if the problem was me or not but three months passed with nothing until I got a txt on my birthday. I almost didn't reply but in her mind I was the reason we stopped talking. I had to remind her what happened the last time we hung out. Months passed and we didn't talk again until we were at the same gig. I thought things went ok and the next day I psyched myself up to send a txt to say if she ever wants to hang out to let me know. I never got a reply. Now she just glares at me when we're in the same room together. I have no idea why and I'm not asking. I'm just done trying to please people.

When my back first started really playing up I could barely walk around my home and my two best friends just stopped talking to me. The moment when I needed my friends the most they weren't there. I'm the person who will ask how a friend is when they have a cold but here I was struggling to walk and not once did I get asked how I was doing or if I needed help with anything. Three months later and I was on my 2nd lot of medication. I posted on Facebook about feeling better, I could finally do something like laundry without crying. Suddenly one of them messaged me but instantly started talking about herself. I lost my shit. You can't just be friends with someone only when they're healthy and it suits you. What it basically came down to was she couldn't talk about herself so she had nothing else to say to me this whole time. But after that I spent the rest of the year asking if she wanted to do things, inviting her out and all I got was rejection after rejection. I've even found myself apologising to some people for being in pain and I hated myself for that. I can't help it if I'm in pain and if I start bitching about it it means it's pretty bad but here I was apologising constantly yet nobody has ever told me to NOT apologise which only made me feel like I had too more. I was so sick one night I didn't even feel like I could ask this friend to drop me off at the ER on the way home. Instead she dropped me home and I called 000 as soon as I walked through the door and spent the next 5 hours at the hospital. 

Another person I hadn't spoken to in months because the last time I reached out they found my message amusing. I didn't. I was barely holding it together emotionally at the time and after being humilated at the hospital I didn't feel like repeating that minutes later with a friend when what I needed was someone to have a serious conversation with. Then my birthday came along and I invited a bunch of people and twice she left it on seen. I took that as a sign to stop trying because they're clearly are not interested in socialising with me. But suddenly a month later I'm getting a message how she misses talking to me. Well I'm not stopping anyone from saying hello. I'm right here, easy to find, literally going nowhere but if you've been ignoring the person for months you can't be surprised when they aren't opening up to you later. 

"If someone asks you how you are, you are meant to say FINE. You are not meant to say that you cried yourself to sleep
last night because you hadn't spoken to another person for two consecutive days. FINE is what you say." 
— Gail Honeyman (Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine)
 

It's just one after another after another. I'm sorry if my problems are too heavy for you, imagine what it must be like being the person dealing with them all? I know nobody understands what I'm going through with my spine and that's cool but if you listened you'd get an understanding but it's like nobody is actually listening most of the time. But don't sit someone down to tell them you don't empathise with them (or change that to sympathise as if that's a better word choice) unless your goal is to push them over the edge. None of this is going to stop me writing about it on here though because Scheuermann's Disease is rare and if I can create some awareness I will. I was always there if someone needed someone to talk too but nobody is ever there for me. I don't feel like I can really have a serious conversation with anyone most of the time. There's one person I have randomly messaged out of the blue but I feel weird doing that when they're in another state and I've only ever met them for 5 minutes. Only once have I been out in public with someone and just candidly talked about depression and suicide and they were totally cool with it. She's also an Arts Therapist so maybe that's why. If someone asks how you are while out they don't actually want to hear the answer to that. Nobody wants to hear you're depressed. Nobody wants to know you have suicidal thoughts. They just want to hear the words "I'm fine". This is something I know plenty of people deal with. Instagram has been amazing for finding people who understand what you're going through whether it's depression or chronic illness. We all have the same stories, we all have the same kinds of friends who just don't understand and think we're being melodramatic/hypochondriac/attention seekers. We all feel alone but through this community we realise we aren't alone in our feelings or what we're going through. 

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Through all of this there's only one person who seems to actually be interested in helping me. I've never asked her too but she does things because she can. At Christmas she bought me a muscle pain relief cream to see if that would help with my back, then expensive anti-inflammatory tea and for my birthday she bought me a diffuser to see if it would help me sleep. She even drives all the way to my place just to come have a coffee and say hello. No motivates anywhere. I have no idea what I did to deserve this woman's kindness but I'm always worried of when that friendship will end and how I will screw it up because allegedly I always seem too. 



The last thing I'm going to talk about is suicide. I've had suicidal thoughts since I was 15. When things are super bad the thoughts come back but they've always been thoughts. I've never done anything despite wanting too. One time I hit a really low point I sat on the kitchen floor for hours trying to think of any reason why I shouldn't and I couldn't. I couldn't think of a single reason why life is worth living and honestly I still don't. What I have found over the years though is you can't talk about having these thoughts with anyone. The moment anyone knows you're in that place they vacate your life - which is precisely what all suicidal people need is for everyone to leave them. December 28th 2017 I was going to do it. It was the first time I was so deadly serious about doing it. I even googled how much I needed to take to be fatal but I didn't have enough pills. Due to how many panadiene forte I was taking per fortnight my GP arranged it so I could get 3 boxes at a time which was just the right amount apparently. I had a box and a half. A week later I saw my GP and told him I needed to see a psychologist again and why. At the time I didn't tell him these thoughts involved my medication because I didn't want my pain killers taken off me but I ended up not taking them for most of the year so I didn't have the temptation in the house. The irony though is now I get severe side effects taking them, one time had me hooked up to an EKG machine. I saw the psychologist from February to October last year and during that time I didn't try to do it again but I had a plan.

IMG_0216IMG_0216Screenshot
The first page of I Am Not A Serial Killer is about Mrs Anderson who died but wasn't found for a few weeks and the indignity of it all and I felt personally attacked reading it that I needed to take a moment turning to page 2. Turns out it was a great book but that first page still haunts me. That would be me. If I killed myself it would be weeks, maybe even months before I was found. Nobody would even notice I was missing until there's suddenly some smell assuming my crackhead neighbours can smell anything still. So the plan was to be an asshole and do it in a hotel because then I'll be found because I haven't checked out the next morning and I won't be some rotting slimy mess that can't be identified. I used to read about serial killers and forensics a lot as a kid, I know how these things go. Then that became a "If I keep my house messy I won't do it because I don't want people to see this place". Failed logic but welcome to my brain. It's also easy to maintain since my place doesn't believe in storage and if you start an art project on the floor that's half of your place covered in crap.

Since deleting Facebook though it changed again but what I never expected was what happened next.

IMG_7257IMG_7257 I follow an account on my personal instagram that's for people with Chronic Illness. Lots of memes and quotes we all relate to and every single one of us has had the "have you tried yoga" line thrown at us. I commented underneath this particular post and if I said this to a normie they'd lose their mind or shut down completely because the word suicide is taboo let alone saying you have a suicide plan. Saying suicide is the muggle world's version of saying Voldemort. Based on past experiences I was expecting to be attacked or even have my comment removed yet people were writing back their own experiences and how they understand completely but one person stood out - she told me I gave her a reason to live. That threw me completely but if my morose views of the world helps another person then that's great. We got talking after that and we have similar issues in life, multiple health problems and people who don't understand and doctors who can't/won't help. 

Next time I'm opening up to someone is my autopsy

So now I'm at the end and what's my point after all of this? My point is people suck. The only person you can rely on is the person you have to pay $100 an hour for an unbiased opinion. If you're an asshole your psychologist is going to tell you and you paid them for the privilege. So don't sit back waiting for someone to come to you if they have a problem because they won't. If someone is seeing a psychologist/psychiatrist that doesn't mean you don't have to ask them how they're doing either. You have no idea what has happened in their lives. People are icebergs and you probably barely know what's on the surface. I sure as hell haven't shared that much here, I've just given a glimpse into why I (and others like me) don't come to you when we need someone to talk too. You don't know what made them become the person they are today and yes EVERYTHING in our lives shapes who we are, you're ignorant to think otherwise. You don't know how many times they've been let down in life so it makes it hard for them to trust people or come forward. They probably came forward and you left them on seen not thinking it's anything important. Have I asked anyone today? Also no, because I'm trying to deal with my own problems and for a change I'm choosing to be selfish. I'm not reactivating Facebook anytime soon either. Life is so much easier when you make the choice not to see people. If you're going to be ignored anyway it may as well be on your terms. 

Other things to look at:

Last year I put together a Top 50 list of songs about Mental Health with the help of two others (because I don't do heavy metal). #3 is pretty much my theme song.

I want to give a big thank you to Zombie Teeth Clothing for letting me use his artwork on my post. This guy is an absolute legend and supporter of mental health and women's rights. You can follow him on instagram here and if you click on either of the artworks it will take you to his website. 

 

 

 

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(Shoot the Wicked Witch) Health Mental Health RUOK? Day https://www.shootthewickedwitch.com/blog/2019/9/ruok-day Thu, 12 Sep 2019 10:36:00 GMT
Anatomy of a Photoshoot https://www.shootthewickedwitch.com/blog/2019/8/anatomy-of-a-photoshoot I'm averaging using my camera about once a month this year. Twice if I'm really pushing my luck. You just don't have any idea just how depressing it is opening up Lightroom and realising you've only attended five gigs this year. It's August. I used to be at a gig at least fortnightly but now it's not even once a month. Making my calendar would have me spending a good week or two trying to narrow it down to just 12 photos, this year I don't even have enough photos to worry about pretending to make one. People always seem surprised I have severe chronic depression but a week ago I finally got to do an adult smash cake shoot. I always thought it would be fun to do and have tried for the last 8 years to do one without much luck. People are always keen until it actually comes down to doing it. I always thought it would have been a great concept to use in my business as something new and fun to offer clients. Earlier this year my model friend Bec turned 30 and when I saw her post about wanting to do a photoshoot for her birthday I jumped in with SMASHCAKE! I didn't actually think she'd be interested but she was and to be fair a large part of me put it off for so long (other than never having money to do things) was simply because I would have loved to use this as a photography service and I know I can't now. I had a "why bother?" attitude. Then I saw someone else was looking for one and decided fuck it let's do this and I booked the studio for 2 hours for two smash cake shoots. 

Where does the anatomy part come in? Here...

SATURDAY

11am - Fun fact but just getting ready to go out triggers back pain. Leaning over the bathroom counter to apply mascara actually hurts. Sure I could not wear makeup but I hadn't slept yet again that night and wanted to at least try to look like a functioning human and preferably not like a sleep deprived serial killer. If I put a t-shirt on and decide nope that's not working out, lifting my arms up continuously also triggers pain pretty quickly (which is only going to happen later with my camera). I've considered just buying everything with buttons. It's also why I tell myself it's ok to own around 100 t-shirts so I don't have to do my laundry often. I'll avoid arm lifting as much as possible. From there I've packed up my backpack and caught an Uber to the train station. Normally I try to avoid that because $$ but it decided to pour down with rain as I was about to leave for the bus. Then it stopped and it didn't rain again all day. Typical. My backpack is around 5-7 kilos but if I wear it properly it's not too bad. When I take it off though it's a whole different matter since the bag brings your shoulders back into a position that's unnatural for mine. I noticed that when I went urbexing with a friend last year. I wore the backpack the entire time and didn't feel any problems until I took it off to get into the car. That was a whole lot of awkward trying to act like I'm totally fine when I wasn't. So my point is backpacks are cool, but don't wear them too long.

1pm - I'm hopping on the train which if I'm lucky has regular seating so I can sit sideways. I didn't realise I did this until I attempted driving lessons a couple years ago and it hit me fast I don't sit straight in seats ever or if I do (like in a car if I'm in the front seat) it's for a very short time. I struggle with long trips and a long car ride can simply be from one side of Perth to the other. Sitting against chairs is just seriously uncomfortable.

2pm - I'm at the studio waiting for the others to arrive. I take this moment to have a sit down for 10+ mins. Things aren't too bad but I've learned the hard way to take any break I can along the way. Pain Management refer to this as pacing. The studio I had booked was upstairs and honestly I was expecting to have epic knee problems but despite the 5+ trips up and down them my knee held up. Even now my knee is fine. Actually amazed. On a normal day it doesn't like having to walk down the 11 steps outside my front door. Back pain was kicking in though so I took a panadiene forte and crossed my fingers today wouldn't include chest pains which is a fabulous side effect of my painkiller medication - MORE PAIN. 

2:30-4pm Smashcake Oli-3Smashcake Oli-3

 

5pm - Officially finished cleaning up and leaving. It wasn't like there was a lot to clean up, I was just moving pretty slow because of my back. Backpack was back on and I realised the trip home is really going to suck. Things hurt more than I realised now that I've stopped. I walked back towards the mall and got on the train. I avoid sitting on the "disabled/pregnant" people seating due to the fact people love to be judgemental because they have this belief that if they can't see a problem then one doesn't exist. I sat close to them though, up against a rail to avoid the back of the seat and spent the next 30 minutes trying not to cry from how much pain I was in. I was scared to move too much because past experiences have shown severe pain and sudden movements can cause my spine to lock up. I spent the train trip with the amazing medical advice I've received over the last two years: "avoid triggers" and "lay down horizontally when you're in pain". You can't lie down on a train..or during a trip to the shops..at a concert.

6:30pm - I was finally home. I felt it was socially acceptable to lose my shit at that point and wished I owned a bath. This is the part where people love to tell me I need a shower chair and I want to punch them for being stupid. My legs work. My legs are not the problem. Being upright is the problem. My back muscles are struggling to keep me upright any longer. Everyone knows a bath means soaking your muscles and relaxing your body yet common sense goes flying out the window for most when it comes to offering advice to issues they know nothing about. I guess I should go snort a crystal and chill the fuck out. So I took the specialists advice and I had a hot shower and went to bed with a heat pack. An hour later I'm like well that was fun but it didn't work. I didn't want to take more codiene because if I'm going to be honest I just don't think it works or maybe I'd just be in more pain if I hadn't. I don't know. 

8pm - I remembered I had this deep-heat style rub I was given back at Christmas by model-friend Amanda. I'm not sure what I did to deserve this woman in my life but she gave me this cream to try for back pain, an anti-inflammatory tea which tastes awful (I'm not a tea or coffee person) but I saw you could use the tea in biscuit recipes so I did that instead and for my birthday a diffuser to see if it would help with my insomnia problems. She's more helpful than the five "specialists" I've seen. I used to shares all the chronic pain memes about crystals/oils/yoga but I have to take oils off of there. Lavender makes me super tired, apparently not tired enough to sleep because I'm broken but it's doing something! So anyway, I used the cream and that worked enough that I could swap my pain score from 8 to an uncomfortable 4. The thing with chronic pain is what had you a crying mess 2-3 years ago doesn't anymore because you're used to it. If someone asks how you are I say fine because this is what fine is now. I don't remember what life was like prior to this. The only problem was I became aware of my neck being sore now. As my physio pointed out - your brain can only process one pain at a time. The rest of the night was just netflix and no chill while I didn't get any sleep again.

SUNDAY

I managed a couple of hours sleep but not much. I still felt like shit when I got up. My neck was stiff, my lower back hurt and my quadriceps hurt. Leg pain I'm ok with because it's the only pain that makes me feel normal as dumb as that sounds. The day after any photo shoot that part of my thighs would always hurt. It's not about being unfit or anything, but it's like having done 5000 squats in an hour. I guess it's my version of "leg day". I have been described as a monkey during a shoot because I'm up-down-up-down-on the floor-on the couch-down-back up again... It's the one pain that feels normal and like it should be there. Sunday was a write-off.

MONDAY

Neck is STILL sore. It's like I've been assaulted (again. It's like having permanent whiplash), like someone has hit me at the base of my neck. This is what pisses me off the most. Had some asshole not felt the need to treat me like a ragdoll (like seriously DON'T FUCKING TOUCH A PERSON WITHOUT PERMISSION!!) I probably wouldn't have half of my problems but I'll never know for sure. A friend likes to remind me I'm a juvenile for hating this person but I think I have a pretty valid reason. But again, until someones life has been turned upside down or they spend a week in my shoes they're never going to understand what I'm dealing with. Another friend gets uncomfortable if I bitch about this and bitching is a side affect of being in huge amounts of pain. I'm not going to be sorry for that. I actually tried to make peace with the guy for my friends sake but he seems to prefer to act like the victim here because I told him I hate him. Whatever but I look back at that moment now and think why the hell should I be the one trying to make the peace anyway? It's not my fault this happened. Nobody should be making me feel guilty for the actions of another person who has no remorse. They don't care that I'm in pain every week, that I had to give up my studio because of him, my business.. That's why I write these blogs, so maybe someone out there will get an idea of what it's like living with this. I will never know if my medications would have helped my back enough to continue doing things because this neck injury came along and ruined everything. It hurts to turn my head, it feels like everything in my neck is straining, the crunching sounds are spectacular and my head feels like a bowling ball, just this huge dead weight my neck struggles to support. When your only back pain relief is to lie down but your neck hurts so much you have to get the pillow angle just right or you'll inflict more pain is ridiculous. I'm pretty sure this is why my sleep is so bad too, trying to get comfortable can be hard during flare ups but not enough sleep can make pain worse. It's a vicious cycle. Then there's the obvious mental health issues because of the frustration of what your life has become.

So if you see I've done a shoot or see me standing at a gig don't make assumptions about my health. It took me 3 days to completely recover from a 2 hour photoshoot. This is what life is like now dealing with Scheuermann's Disease and a neck injury for daring to try and be productive. I'm using my camera because I've got cabin fever and paying for it for days afterwards. I'm still struggling with the concept of going back to drawing and art. I feel like I'm giving up by doing so but if I'm going to be honest I think I gave up mentally months ago. I just don't care about anything. My motivation to do anything is long gone. The upside to this tale is I remembered I had some number collages I bought a while back for smashcake shoots but I never got to use them. I got to have one photoshoot before having to give up my studio space and haven't done one since. So I decided despite these lovely girls being grown adults you can't say you've had a smashcake shoot without some kind of dorky collage to prove it. So thank you to Bec and Olivia for finally helping me cross off another shoot theme from my list and your patience that day!

Bec 30th CollageBec 30th Collage

 

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(Shoot the Wicked Witch) Health Mental Health Portrait Scheuermann's Disease Smash Cake https://www.shootthewickedwitch.com/blog/2019/8/anatomy-of-a-photoshoot Mon, 26 Aug 2019 12:18:03 GMT
Stay Loyal to the Royals https://www.shootthewickedwitch.com/blog/2019/8/stay-loyal-to-the-royals I was in dire need of an outing and decided to gatecrash my friends show (well it's not HER show, it's Liam's, but she's part of it and that's how I got in there!) and take some photos. It came at a great time because this week was more shitty news (more medical related crap I don't want to talk about) and I needed to see a friendly face but I also scored that night by getting to watch one of the funniest performances I've ever seen. My face hurt from laughing.

The plan was to take some behind the scenes shots as well as the show so I took a few during "sound check" then headed off to grab an OJ before the show began. Ok so I'm at an alcoholic establishment right but I was on a "no caffiene/no fizzy" anything ban for the weekend after my trip to the GP the night before for heart related things. I'm fine, my heart just felt like it was trying to escape my ribcage all week and like my chest was vibrating. I'm not a big fan of water so I asked the bartender if they had Orange Juice and asked for a glass. The bartender ask's "vodka or tequila". The question threw me, am I the only person to ever just order straight juice at a bar? I headed back upstairs and shoved the glass under my claimed seat but anxiety kicked in once the crowd arrived and seats started filling, particularly the seats in front of me because apparently they were all on growth hormones and I realised my short ass was never going to see the right side of the stage even if I moved my seat into the middle of the aisle. I wasn't prepared to sit on the floor because I have the knees of a grumpy 90yr old man and I'd never get back up. So for whatever reason, half of the front row was empty and I made it mine. For the whole show I was thinking yeah this is fine because I took photos during the soundcheck for better angles except there was one big problem there and it looks like this...

Queen-70Queen-70 The Queen was missing her wig.

Insert face palming here. 

I realised once I was home and trying to load them on my laptop. I. Am. A. Dumb. Ass.

The show however was hilarious, there was singing, dancing, royal tales and just non stop laughter. Stay Loyal To The Royals is heading to the Edinburgh Festival and everyone is in for a treat! Liam and Larissa - I hope your shows are a massive success!

Queen-1Queen-1 Queen-5Queen-5 Queen-6Queen-6 Queen-8Queen-8 Queen-10Queen-10 Queen-32Queen-32 Queen-58Queen-58 Queen-94Queen-94 Queen-99Queen-99 Queen-101Queen-101 Queen-106Queen-106 Queen-178Queen-178 Queen-266Queen-266 Stay Loyal To The Royals - Facebook / instagram / Buy TIX to see the Queen here!

Larissa Moran - The Soundtrack Of Life / Instagram / Buy TIX to her show here!

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(Shoot the Wicked Witch) Comedy Events Fringe Music https://www.shootthewickedwitch.com/blog/2019/8/stay-loyal-to-the-royals Mon, 05 Aug 2019 12:11:28 GMT
10 Years Of Scalphunter https://www.shootthewickedwitch.com/blog/2019/6/10-years-of-scalphunter This year is a big year for a lot of people apparently. This year marks 10 years of being "Shoot the Wicked Witch", Scalphunter turned 10, and I found out on Friday night so have The Bob Gordons! Seeing as I have some new pain killers I thought I'd test them out and went out two nights in a row to see my fav band play. I know, crazy times! Friday night I took my polaroid down, which is legit the most expensive hobby ever at $15 per pack of film but it's fun just waving a photo around for 5 minutes waiting to see if it even worked only you're standing in the dark so you really can't tell. Good news: I got one decent photo out of 10! I know people with digital cameras who can't claim those odds.

CE9E91C2-3C86-4572-AA26-5467C685753FCE9E91C2-3C86-4572-AA26-5467C685753F

The other cool part of the night was seeing people crowd surf at Joe's Juice Joint. Like that place is small. Best gig atmosphere I've seen in a while!

Saturday I decided to take my actual camera and see how I go but thanks to Alex I had a lift there and back so that was half of the torture gone from the night. I live about 15 minutes from the Sixty30 but it's actually easier for me to get into the city (which takes me an hour) then to go to that pub via public transport. First thing I noticed walking into the gig side of the building was all of the smoke. We got there for what we thought was the first band, apparently there was one before them, but the room was just filled with smoke. Decided then and there if I was going to be anxious about anything (RE: previous blog where allegedly I don't have pain I have depression and anxiety) it was potential asthma attacks. It was just so hazy.

IMG_5488IMG_5488

Smoke machines at gigs can be cool, especially when backlit because it spreads the colours out and looks wicked in photos. With how much smoke was coming out of this thing you couldn't see the band until it disappeared. 

How a smoke machine should work...

Grinspoon-376Grinspoon-376
How a smoke machine shouldn't look unless your plan is to kill people...

What sucked the most was for a chunk of their set I was sitting in front of Alex (near the feet to the left) and I watched as the guy looked right at me as he held the switch down to let off smoke. STRAIGHT. IN. MY. FACE. And Scalphunters obviously, but I'm just talking about me here.  

I didn't go too nuts with the photo taking, but I got a few shots of most of the bands. My neck held up pretty well til the end but I gotta say my knees made me feel like I was about 90 years old. Like my Nan is 80-something and likes to comment how I'm older than her. How great are Nan's right? Most grandmas bake cookies, mine bakes insults. I'm used to one of them being stiff since surgery a couple years ago but this was on a whole different level. A couple of times I sat on the ground/knelt and I regretted it every single time. I was self conscious trying to get up because I was having issues but you do feel sort of ridiculous being in a room of drunk bogans and you're the one staggering to stand up. 

The Wolfbats

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Blindspot

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Everytime I photograph Steve he looks like he's asleep.

Scalphunter

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It wasn't the best lighting for it but I thought I'd give my new DIY filter a go. This is from my DIY Filter blog last month but I glued some more glass onto it. Best comment of the night came from Swainy while I was holding it: "Kim I didn't know you did meth..". Can someone please have a gig at Amps or The Boston so I can use this filter properly please?

Sixty30-205Sixty30-205 All up a successful night and my back didn't start hurting til it was over. Seats at gigs sure do make a difference! I always laughed at people who sat at a show but sometimes you just need a stool, or a speaker, or the floor...there's nothing I won't sit on. I have to say the pain killers aren't doing a damn thing except fucking with my sleep (I don't need help with that), making me super itchy and giving me a migraine. At this rate I'll stick to the panadiene forte, at least with that it's just a game of Russian Roulette on if I'll have epic chest pains and nausea. WAY easier to deal with! 

You can check out the full gallery here..

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(Shoot the Wicked Witch) DIY Health Music Scheuermann's Disease https://www.shootthewickedwitch.com/blog/2019/6/10-years-of-scalphunter Mon, 10 Jun 2019 11:31:34 GMT
Surrounded By Idiots - A Health Update https://www.shootthewickedwitch.com/blog/2019/6/surrounded-by-idiots---a-health-update image19image19

They were talking to us all as if we'd all had some injury/surgery we're all recovering from and will be fine in a couple of months and how the pain receivers in our brains are the same ones for depression so anti depressants cure chronic pain. Which I guess is cool if that's what your problem is. Four hours in and the guy in the front row asks "What about arthritis?" and the doctor says "oh no that's different". Insert more Samuel L Jackson monologue here. At the end we're given a form where we can request who we want to see so I just ticked all of the boxes: Doctor because I'd like some pain killers I don't have severe reactions too, Physio incase they know something my physio doesn't, OT because they can help me move and Psychologist because why not. The problem here was there was allegedly a minimum 3 month wait for physio and a minimum 9 month wait for OT. 

Yesterday I had my appointment with the doctor. My appointment was almost an hour late even though I was the only person there and then I didn't even see the doctor listed on my letter. I get a woman who just smiled and had her condescending pants on. She had her mind made up before I even entered the room - I DON'T HAVE PAIN, I HAVE DEPRESSION.

What. The. Fuck. 

This was followed with "Everyone has arthritis" and "Everyone has kyphosis" and my favourite "Everyone has a curved spine, it means nothing". I stood there telling her the doctor at the induction said anti depressants don't help arthritis. She just smiled and shook her head no. Made me take off my shirt where she informed me my back looks just like X, Y and Z's (meanwhile other specialists have commented straight away they can tell I have a problem just looking at me with all my clothes on!) and how everyone's spine has a curve. I'm fully aware of how a spine looks. I've seen enough of them. I even did a project on spines during my fine arts course and my GP at the time let me borrow some anatomy posters. The photo below is an MRI of a completely healthy spine on the left with mine on the right. They are SO SIMILIAR (please tell me you caught the sarcasm there?).

IMG_5485IMG_5485  

While technically Scheuermann's Disease is discussed as Kyphosis/Lordosis because at the end of the day these are very different conditions. I shouldn't have to explain this to a person who allegedly went over my files and checked my MRI's (which apparently look totally normal). Kyphosis is generally from slouching or being overweight and some physio or weight training can correct it. We have a whole generation that slouched over computers, playstations and now smart phones. Sit on a train and everyone is looking down at their phones. It's really no surprise that kyphosis would be something common. Scheuermann's is a growth defect where the vertebrae grow incorrectly forming the curve but not everyone with Scheuermann's looks alike either. There are people who look completely normal standing up but if they bend over there's a strange hump just randomly in the middle of their spine. Others have a prominent 'hump' right at the top. I suppose I'm lucky that from the outside it's just one big curve but I'm super self conscious of it. I notice it when I see my reflection and it's the first thing on my mind when choosing what to wear if I leave the house. I'm not even comfortable taking a photo of myself and I've considered it for the purpose of my blogs. 

So with my shirt off she got me to raise my arms while asking where things hurt. Pain doesn't kick in within a second of doing something but I felt like a circus monkey and completely exposed. Then I had to take my shoes and socks off while she got me to walk to the door and back, then again but this time on my toes, then again on my heels..what this has to do with my spine I don't know. Then I had to lay on the bed and raise each leg and her big evaluation was "you're just unfit". Move over Sherlock..it's a bit hard to stay fit when you can't exercise properly. I'd love nothing more to resume to normal activities and lose weight!

The entire appointment was just her harping on that I don't have pain, I'm depressed and unfit and I need medication. She even pointed out my fidgeting as if that proved her case. Who isn't nervous seeing a new doctor, especially when they haven't had the best luck with them? That literally proves nothing. I was also pissy but she wasn't picking that up at all. She then randomly asks me if I had a traumatic childhood, not sure what that has to do with anything but said yes and randomly threw out one particular thing. She then asked me if I was abused. This must have been the first time in my life my poker face was on because she wasn't picking up the fact I was biting my tongue from snapping, I've been told I look like I want to punch someone over less. I actually have an aunt who firmly believes I was, she let me know this when I was 29. I was just dumbstruck, what do you do with that kind of information just blurted at you? I've blanked a large part of my childhood and only remember bad things so I'm pretty sure I'd remember that if it happened. But mostly I wondered if she REALLY thought that why didn't she do something? I mean she helped have my stepdad arrested because she thought she saw him on Australia's Most Wanted when I was 11. Clearly she has no problem dobbing people into authorities. Nope, this doctor is dead set that I could be wrong on that too. She wouldn't listen to anything I said including how I was very fit before everything suddenly got worse. I was walking at least an hour a day, I was out photographing concerts and events, even just a normal photoshoot would have me looking like I might be on speed between being on the floor to being on the furniture. Then in the space of a month I was struggling to walk around my own unit. That improved but I still couldn't walk more than 10 minutes on the treadmill after that. Walking now is dependent on the surface and if I'm carrying anything or how I woke up. Then around mid last year problems started increasing and the last few months my back would lock up. Until then it had only happened once at my first go of hydrotherapy. Since cutting right back on how much I do I have managed to avoid that since January but the area that locks up was also the area that the MRI picked up osteoarthritis etc so I had an answer for what was going on there. As far as she was concerned nope thats not a physical problem something clearly happened in my life to trigger my depression off. Literally NOTHING happened in my life. It was same shit different day. I was super excited to have a space to work in and working on project ideas. I guess I just couldn't handle the excitement of it all.  This woman literally believes I need a psychiatrist and anti depressants. I gave up talking. She asked me if I had anything to say and shook my head no. I'd have a better conversation with the wall. Not only was I irritated that she wasn't helping me with my pain, but my GP and psychologists I've seen have all respected my decision to not want to take anti depressants. I was put on them when I was 20 and I barely remember that year. I know they work for some people and that's great, but I know what works for me. I know when I'm hitting a low point and I'll get someone to talk too. I have severe depression but it's manageable and doesn't stop me from working or anything else. 

She eventually gave me a script for pain killers and emphasised how this is just a bandaid on my situation and won't actually help me...and not to abuse them and wants to see me in 3-4 weeks. I've NEVER abused a drug in my life. I've had multiple occasions where the pain has been severe and I forget I have pain relief in the house, plus you also don't want to move to get them. If I'm at home I'll avoid them as much as possible because at home I can rest til it passes and I have heatpacks. I don't even remember I have alcohol in the house. I have a bottle of vodka I was given 4 years ago untouched. Wait, 2..addiction is clearly something I never have to worry about. 

AND NOW WE'RE HERE...

So next Monday I get to see my GP again. That guy is a total legend except he has a tendency to forget how old I am and will think he has the wrong records up which is just amusing. Previously when I saw him for something and I'd told him about the Pain Management induction, all of the "it's in your head" talk and how long the wait times were he sat back in his chair with his arms crossed, scowled and asked which hospital it was again. I tell him and what left his mouth almost had me laughing because not once in roughly five years I've been seeing him have I heard him swear - and on Monday I get to tell him he's right. They are wankers who can't do their jobs. 

 

 

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(Shoot the Wicked Witch) Health Mental Health Scheuermann's Disease https://www.shootthewickedwitch.com/blog/2019/6/surrounded-by-idiots---a-health-update Fri, 07 Jun 2019 21:33:05 GMT
Photography + Horror Movies = One Very Happy Girl https://www.shootthewickedwitch.com/blog/2019/5/photography-horror-movies-one-very-happy-girl A year ago I heard about a new photography related horror movie called Polaroid that was coming out and I got super excited because my two favourite things were coming together. Only it didn't. I was beginning to think it was never coming out but last night by chance I came across it on the internet and thankfully for me it didn't suck. I am a huge snob where horror movies are concerned, I prefer a decent storyline and script over just gore. Anyone can put together 90 minutes of someone just killing people for no reason. There's no real talent there - and that also defines most of the 80's. Thank Wes (lol as if I'm going to say God..but Wes is) for Freddy Krueger seriously. I'm also that girl who will bitch hard through a movie if something is inaccurate - in my case obviously that's photography. Every movie featuring a dark room fucks it up royally. You can't stand there and watch your photo develop and hang it up straight away or turn the light on unless you want a black piece of paper because that's how you get a black piece of paper. There's a process - developer - stop bath - fixer - wash. For those unsure, developer is the stage where the photo appears. THEN YOU CAN TURN THE LIGHT ON! When I came across Camera Obscura [2017] I got excited about a haunted camera movie. Most of us grew up watching Amityville Horror and all of the awful sequels about haunted items from the house or if you're like me you read the books too, so why not a haunted camera movie? The movie sucked ass all because of one very big technical problem. The movie might have been fine (though rewatching it now it definitely sucks as a movie in general and turned it off) but that ruined it for me. The movie is about a guy suffering PTSD after a 6 month stint in the war and refuses to pick up a camera ever again. His girlfriend is over his shit and wants him to get a job already and buys him an antique camera thats "like 80 years old". To be exact it's a Kine Exakta 1 made in Germany in 1936 which uses 35mm film (previous model used 127 film same as Box Brownies). This was the world's first 35mm SLR camera. The problem here though is he takes it out around town and shoots 10 rolls of film that he takes to get developed. Firstly I don't know a single person who would waste 10 rolls on an antique camera (or any new camera really), generally one roll to make sure it works or to see if it has any quirks like light leaks. Secondly the guy doesn't have a job and he can afford to get 10 rolls of film developed? His girlfriend's going to be super impressed later. Lucky for him a fire breaks out and he only ends up with 4 rolls - which are all black & white and not colour (which reminds me of a conversation I had while working in a camera shop where a woman couldn't grasp why her black and white negatives couldn't print as colour photos), showed dead bodies and were all stamped with the time and date they were taken which isn't even possible because that feature didn't turn up in cameras until the 90's. I mean seriously how can you screw such a huge detail like that? I don't even remember how this film ends, I just remember how much it annoyed me with that small detail. The other movie that left me wondering was Are You Afraid Of The Dark where a young girl is given a polaroid camera which seems to take endless photos. A cartridge only holds 10 frames...

So now that I've told you what NOT to watch, here's three movies you should check out...

SHUTTER 

Horror ShutterHorror Shutter There's two versions of this film - the original Thai version made in 2004 and the US remake made in 2008 - watch either of them. The differences between them aren't dramatic enough to worry about unlike films such as The Ring and Let The Right One In where America ruined the one amazing scene that leaves you stunned in your seat or how they completely shat on A Tale Of Two Sisters (The US version is called The Uninvited) they managed to stay fairly faithful to Shutter. The small differences are one version the main characters are boyfriend/girlfriend attending his friends wedding and the US version it's their wedding day and the guy has a different name because everybody in the US is called Ben so they'd relate better to than than Tun (I don't know, just a theory since every US movie has a guy called Ben in it). The main difference in the storylines involve Tun/Ben. In the Thai version he's being haunted by the girls ghost and seeing things whereas in the US version it's mostly Jane trying to convince Ben they're being haunted and Ben being the King of gaslighting. The big reveal has also been slightly changed, not enough to start a riot but it does change your views somewhat on his character. 

I've watched the US version the most simply because I like doing multiple things at once (sitting still is beyond me) and I don't have to read the screen that way. The movie centres around a couple who are in a hit and run incident late at night. After the accident the guy who is a professional photographer has persistent neck pain with no explanation other than weight gain according to some scales and every photo taken has some wicked lens flare happening. This also happens with Jane's camera so you know it's not a camera glitch because it's happening on film and digital and later a polaroid camera. The movie focusses on spirit photography (the original film actually features real spirit photos) and eventually Jane discovers the spirit in the photos is someone from Tun/Ben's past while all his friends are dying one by one. Despite the film being 15 years old I won't spoil the ending but if you've ever seen a Japanese/Korean type horror film before you'll have an idea where it's all headed. I have jokingly used an image from the end of the film as my Facebook display photo for my own chronic neck pain. As for spirit photography, I don't know a whole lot about it but I do know people go crazy about "orbs" appearing in their digital photos. Orbs are considered to be balls of spiritual energy. Dust in the air can create orb effects in photos. I don't think it means a whole lot seriously. I've had them a few times in photos and while there's only one been occasion where one photo has nothing and the next has multiple "orbs" I don't really believe in haunted buildings to think it's anything to make a big deal about.  

Both versions are on Netflix so definitely watch both!

POLAROID

Horror PolaroidHorror Polaroid

Ok so I watched this last night and it was decent. Movie starts out like all good horrors do - with some pretty girl (who has no relevance to the rest of the film) dying abruptly for no apparent reason other than that's a great way to start a film, you know, just incase you forgot you put a horror film on five minutes ago. Next thing we have some girl who loves scarves and is given an SX-70 from the guy she works with that he found at a yard sale. A YARD SALE. I have never seen anything that cool at a garage sale or swap meet before. One time I found a Super 8 camera for $30, but that's it. Even opshops price cameras pretty high for what is effectively a shitty point and shoot digital camera that probably won't even work now. Who is going to spend $80 on a chance something works when you can get one brand new for around $100? This is honestly dumb luck in movieland because you can't get any polaroid camera cheap thanks to lomography bringing it all back a few years ago. Polaroid is basically the most expensive hobby you can take up. He lets her know there's a photo still in the camera if she wants to test it and she takes a photo of him. Now what we don't see in this movie is her buying a packet of film for the camera which is the true torture of owning a Polaroid camera. If you have a new camera then no problem but if you have an oldie like this or a Polaroid 600 it's going to take more effort than going to your local shopping centre but somehow she got a packet without any problem after work. Believable. Later that night while she's at a party her co-worker winds up dead and there starts the point of the film - every time a photo of someone is taken they wind up dead.  It's like It Follows but with polaroid photos where each new photo passes the spirit on but once they've killed that person it backtracks to the photo before that. So the next person who dies is this obnoxious girl who is butt-hurt she wasn't in a group photo and takes a selfie. Considering each photo is around $4.50 I'm ok with her dying for a stupid selfie. Like that selfie had want to be an award winning masterpiece and not just a duck face staring back at me. 

Unlike the spirit photography in Shutter this movie the camera itself is possessed as well as the photos. If you do something to the photos it will happen to the person and that would have been cool to have seen more of in this movie. This is also one of the few short horrors (below) that benefited from a feature length film, many like Lights Out just weren't necessary and it some way killed the scare-factor of the story because they were perfect even if only five minutes long. If horror movies freak you out this one is pretty tame. You don't see kill scenes so it's all off-screen except for one minor part and it's more just about the suspense/mystery of it all. 

P O L A R O I D (Norwegian horror short) from Lars Klevberg on Vimeo.

THE GIRL IN THE PHOTOGRAPHS

Horror Girl InHorror Girl In

"I'll tell you what it is kids. It's that every fucker in the country thinks they're a photographer now, okay? Any everyone can share an image, and it's awful. It's awful, because it makes everything just like watery piss."

And here we have my spirit animal in the form of Peter Hemmings. 

This is seriously one of my favourite movies and Peter Hemmings has to be one of the best characters ever created. He cracks me up, he just has some of the best lines but it's probably because I can relate as a photographer with a chip on her shoulder. He just comes out with shit without a care in the world and he's so deadpan you would never know if he was joking or not and admittedly I do that myself (so many people think I hate them for this reason and that's just my personality. I don't help people work it out either. Sarcasm is life.) during shoots but it's with my makeup artist buddy Nicola and she's ok with me talking crap....this is also why I will never film a photoshoot for a "behind the scenes" look or I'd have to cover the whole thing with music to block out what we're saying. 

The plot line to this movie is fairly simple: cute girl keeps finding photos of dead people and the police aren't taking it seriously (Fun Fact: the sheriff in this film is played by Mitch Pileggi who is also the sheriff in Polaroid), well-known photographer Peter Hemmings reads about it online and declares he's inspired by "any nut that takes pictures of dead people and posts them online",  decides it's a homage to him and goes on a road trip back to his home town where this is all happening with his assistant, girlfriend and a couple of vapid models. They have a party where all the local girls attend wanting a chance to be a model (where the dialog below takes place and I've had this convo in my head during shoots) and by the next night most of the cast is dead. 
 

Horror Girl In The PhotographsHorror Girl In The Photographs

The other thing that really stands out is a lot of horror films rely on using dark and gloomy rooms a lot to build up tension and for jump scares which are overdone seriously, like that "lets have her open the fridge then when she closes it there's someone standing there.." - cos we haven't seen that a 1000x already - that's like the weak way of making something scary, and there's none of that here. The film is mostly bright and full of colour. No idea if that's on purpose or not but it's a detail that stood out for me. My only issue photographically is early in the movie we have the killer taking photos through a car window with his flash popping, I mean I haven't tried anything like that in a really long time but I can't imagine you'd get much of a photo other than a big flash spot in your photo from the reflection. Could be wrong, I'll give it a go sometime and test it out. You also see the killer printing his photos at home which kinda goes to show how easy it is to be a killer these days. Between 99-02 it was really easy to find messed up stories on the internet and a friend found one about a woman and her boyfriend being arrested after getting photos developed showing them killing her husband. No idea if it was true or not but I had to laugh at the sheer stupidity of these people. Back then digital photography was just really starting to be a thing so unless you had a home darkroom you had to go to the shops to get photos developed. I got my first digital camera as part of a competition in 2000 and it used floppy discs, yes FLOPPY DISCS, so I was still using my 35mm camera and visiting the photo lab regularly until 2007. Now EVERYTHING is digital so you don't need to be a genius in a darkroom and all your photos and nasty little secrets can be stored on your computer where nobody will ever see it! Frightening huh? 

Well that's it. If you know of any horror-photography related films let me know! 

 

 

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(Shoot the Wicked Witch) Horror https://www.shootthewickedwitch.com/blog/2019/5/photography-horror-movies-one-very-happy-girl Mon, 27 May 2019 08:55:16 GMT
Movie Review: Camera Obscura https://www.shootthewickedwitch.com/blog/2019/5/movie-review-camera-obscura cameraobscuracameraobscura

Straight up I hate this movie. If you're going to make a movie specifically about a camera, then maybe get the technical information correct.

The movie is about a guy suffering PTSD after a six month stint in the war and refuses to pick up a camera ever again. His girlfriend is over his shit and wants him to get a job already so she buys him an antique camera that's "like 80 years old" figuring it will motivate him. To be exact it's a 'Kine Exakta 1' made in Germany in 1936. The previous version of this camera used 127 film (the same as Box Brownies) but this was the world's first 35mm film SLR camera. The problem here though is he takes it out around town and shoots 10 rolls of film that he then takes to get developed. Firstly I don't know a single person who would waste 10 rolls on an antique camera (or any new camera really), everyone that's an actual photographer uses one roll of film to make sure the camera even works and to see if it has any quirks like light leaks. It's just in the common sense handbook. Secondly, film developing is really expensive and the guy doesn't have a job but he can afford to get 10 rolls of film developed? His girlfriend's going to be super impressed later. 

Lucky for him, a fire breaks out at the lab and he only ends up with 4 rolls - which are all black and white and not colour like he used, the photos showed dead bodies at the locations he visited and they are all stamped with the time/date in the corner which isn't even possible because that feature didn't turn up in cameras until the end of the 1980's. I mean seriously how can you screw up such a huge detail like that? I don't even remember how the film ends. Like they had one job and they fucked it up. There's no coming back from that. 

 

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(Shoot the Wicked Witch) Horror Horror Movie Review https://www.shootthewickedwitch.com/blog/2019/5/movie-review-camera-obscura Sun, 26 May 2019 17:30:00 GMT
DIY Filters https://www.shootthewickedwitch.com/blog/2019/5/diy-filters About a month ago I came across an article on Twitter about some new arty filters (pictured below) that were going to be for sale for US$195 (or around US$75 each sold through PrismLensFX). Firstly I lol'd but then I cringed. The last big trend in camera filters were prisms which look cool but were expensive (and also hard to get in Australia because customs think they're weapons) but everyone who uses them basically has similar looking photos...which is what's going to happen here. 

lens-filterlens-filter So why is this a problem? I guess it isn't but I've known plenty of people who smash a filter and their first thought is to toss it, not see if they can use it creatively in any way. UV filters are generally used just to prevent scratches on the lens itself. For the past 12 months I've been shooting gigs with filters I've altered which give me some pretty cool effects. I loved the fact that my photos didn't look like everyone else's and depending on the lighting to what kind of effects I was getting. For the most part though I was getting some pretty intense lens flare. The downside to this though was how many times I had some guy look at me like I don't know how to use my camera because it's "broken", or like maybe I didn't know and would just stand their pointing at it until my attention was on them and not the band I'm trying to take photos of. I even had some guy in the city during the week lean forward looking at my camera strangely while I tried to test mine out.

Offspring-062Offspring-062 Basically I was bored and one day and took a hammer to filter #1 which did a good job shattering it. Filter #2 I can't remember if I used the hammer or just threw it at the ground but I ended up gluing the 2nd piece of glass in place. Filter #3 I decided to create after seeing the filters above. I just couldn't fathom who would pay $75 for a filter that would take you less than 2 minutes to create at home. My suburb is pretty much covered in broken glass, so on one of my walks to the shops I just collected a bunch of different coloured glass shards, bought some super glue and took it all home. That filter I haven't used at a gig but it's super subtle so it really needs glass to be more central to be effective. 

IMG_4995IMG_4995Processed with Rookie Cam

I took them into the city during the week thinking that would be a good spot for street lights but I really overestimated Perth's brightness on a Thursday night. Northbridge may have been better but after walking around Perth I'd had enough and got the train home. These have the same exposures and have been edited identically to show the difference between each one.

Filter #1 lens flare love

Filters-9-2Filters-9-2 Filter #2 almost looks foggy. It really blows out the lighting.

Filters-10-2Filters-10-2 Filter #3 this one is hit and miss to if it works in it's current state. You can see the effects along the bottom of the photo and around the street lights though. Filters-11Filters-11

I decided I'd try them out on my skeleton model Frank too and got some cool effects so I decided I wanted to try this with a person and roped in Bec (model Lamia Emilia) and Nicola (makeup artist Quinn.tessential Effects) for some randomness at my place. We had to wait for it to be dark before I could take any photos so the afternoon ended with us playing Cards Against Disney and I have to say there is just way too much emphasis on Ariel's ladyparts for my liking. When it came to the shoot part itself I got frustrated pretty fast because it wasn't working out like it did with the skeleton and blamed Bec for not being see-through. That's the kind of photographer I am. In hindsight I think I had the kitchen light turned on when I shot Frank, but I didn't take notes. This was all purely experimental though so I could see what would happen with the string lights and my filters and I have a much better idea of what to do next time! It will involve a studio because my place is ridiculously tiny and more lights.

First up - let's all applaud Nicola's amazing makeup work here because you won't see it in the rest of the photos! 

Light Shoot-73Light Shoot-73 I was certain I used all three filters during this exercise but filter 3 had zero effect and for the most part it seems I only used the first filter. Another note for next time is to photograph the filter before I use it to make sure I DID actually use it. 

Light Shoot-8Light Shoot-8

Light Shoot-13Light Shoot-13 Light Shoot-27Light Shoot-27 Light Shoot-39Light Shoot-39 Light Shoot-56Light Shoot-56 Light Shoot-64Light Shoot-64 So that's it. My next trick is to use sparklers. Watch this space!

 

 

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(Shoot the Wicked Witch) Experimental Music Portrait https://www.shootthewickedwitch.com/blog/2019/5/diy-filters Fri, 10 May 2019 15:55:38 GMT
Transformation Tuesday https://www.shootthewickedwitch.com/blog/2019/3/transformation-thursday I recently asked my group what sort of things they'd like to see on my blog. Someone suggested I do some "how-to" blogs. This isn't going to be a very good one but it might keep you amused for 2 minutes. 

A couple of years ago I had this really dumb idea to go back to tafe to do the post grad course and soon decided it wasn't for me, half because I thought I was better than everyone else and half due to depression kicking in hard. When my anxiety and that gets bad is seriously affects my sleep, and I already have insomnia so I just consider myself lucky if I can go to sleep while it's still dark outside. One of the cool things I did learn though was frequency separation. I'd heard of it before then but not looked at what it actually was. The "for dummies" version (because I don't know how else to explain it) is it creates two layers of your photo - one is a big ol' blurry mess and the other has been sharpened so much it starts to look like something from a horror movie but together they make your photo look normal. Together with showing us how to add makeup to a photo we had to use this technique on a portrait and edit it 4 different ways. This got funny fast. For one thing I was going to be lazy and use an old photo but realised pretty quickly I couldn't because I haven't taken a basic portrait since around 2006 (also for tafe) and they were all on film and no use to me. Everything else I've taken has included full makeup or glitter, fake blood, spaghetti, paint..and all completely unusable. So I roped Kelly (aka Penny Purr) into modelling for me one afternoon so I'd have something to use only this "normal" portrait shoot lasted about 5 minutes before we noticed these Blair Witch style huts and went a bit nuts. I was amused so much I made a meme.

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Sadly I can't show the normal photos because I lost two years worth of work when my hard drive died so these are all I have left. I do have the photo I used for the assignment though!

This is SOOC (Straight Out Of Camera), completely unedited and as is. The only makeup Kelly has on is eyeliner because there was no way in hell I was going to try and figure that out in photoshop. 

Penny in the Woods-006 OriginalPenny in the Woods-006 Original Edit 1 I kept it very simple. I used the frequency separation to lighten the bags under her eyes and any possible blemishes, adjusted the colour balance to be less orange, adjusted the curves for a bit of contrast and added "lipstick". The lipstick was pretty simple, you just pick a colour and use the paintbrush to paint over the lips (on a new layer!! Never edit on the actual photo!!). I set that layer to Multiply 60%. Done!

Penny in the Woods-006 attempt 1Penny in the Woods-006 attempt 1 My next edit was when I came to this realisation..

Screen Shot 2019-03-14 at 11.24.36 pmScreen Shot 2019-03-14 at 11.24.36 pm This is made funnier by the fact my crazy aunt (some people in the family tree are certifiable) let me know I was the "worst nazi I've ever met". Honestly I wanted to ask her how many she knew. I mean that's a pretty bold statement considering she's the homophobe-racist. I had someone who wanted to hire me when I was finishing tafe, that person happened to be transgender and just wanted photos in their clothes. Nothing major. She tells me "You don't want to work with those people". What people, people with money? So I ended up shooting bands where I don't get paid anything. I guess that worked out for the best! 

Edit 2 I continued on with Edit 1. At first I made her hair this cool blue/green colour but I wasn't sure they'd appreciate my alternative take of portrait editing so went back to natural (I did send that edit to Kelly though to let her know she'd rock that colour if she ever decided to go crazy). Her eyes I did the exact same thing I did with the lips, painted blue over them then changed the opacity to Multiply 50%. Adding blush was a bit trickier to do because you had to get the brush stroke right that it didn't end up looking like a hard streak across her cheeks. I almost completely gave up on doing that. This layer was set to Darken 30%. For hair I made a duplicate layer of the photo and screwed around the colour settings so the whole photo was heavy on the orange. I added a layer mask to hide everything but the hair and from there I played with levels to lighten the hair, vibrance for the colour and brightness/contrast to make it look somewhat natural. Other than that I just edited the "dimples" in her cheeks from piercings. Done!

Penny in the Woods-006 attempt 2Penny in the Woods-006 attempt 2 Edit 3 was a continuation from Edit 2. I removed her freckles, added a texture over the background and added a 50% grey layer to do some dodging and burning. I prefer to do this compared to using the dodge and burn tools on the photo directly. For one thing this is way more subtle and if you make a mistake it's easier to fix up. It's great for adding more depth to photos and some shape to faces but it can also make faces look completely different (eg the nose). By the end you'd never know Kelly was a kiwi! 

Penny in the Woods-006 attempt 3Penny in the Woods-006 attempt 3 Looking back at these now I'm still impressed I pulled this off and it isn't something I've done again. The only area I realise I didn't fix properly was the small patch of hair on the right side of her face by her eye. I should have cleaned that up better but I probably didn't notice it then. 

Links
Model - Penny Purr - Facebook / Instagram

If you like my work and would like to show support I currently have a Gofundme going to help
me raise money to get a new computer so I can keep doing editing. If you'd like to check it our or donate click the link here.

 

 

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(Shoot the Wicked Witch) Editing Portrait https://www.shootthewickedwitch.com/blog/2019/3/transformation-thursday Mon, 18 Mar 2019 16:00:00 GMT
Rare Disease Day https://www.shootthewickedwitch.com/blog/2019/3/rare-disease-day Screen Shot 2019-03-01 at 5.17.48 pmScreen Shot 2019-03-01 at 5.17.48 pm

Fast forward to the end of 2015, after spending that year in and out of hospital with knee surgery and gallbladder related dramas I noticed my back looked worse than normal. I saw my GP and took in my original x-ray results so I didn't have to try explaining what I have (a lot of doctors haven't heard of SD) and watched as his mouth hit the floor that I hadn't had a check up in almost 20 years. The specialist I saw while I was in high school told me I didn't have to unless I started having pains, so I didn't. I was sent for x-rays and referrals were sent out. The first referral was picked up by Fiona Stanley and I was told there'd be a 12 month wait because I wasn't serious enough to be seen sooner. During the wait my back slowly started having problems and then one night at a gig I had a guy make out like I was being a hyperchondriac, the usual well I can't see anything wrong with you and you've been running around all night so you're clearly fine attitude. For one thing, I wasn't running around. Gig photography is more pacing back and forth a few times, and if I get on stage to try and get a photo of the drummer that's still no running involved. It's standing in a corner out of everyone's way and getting down again. I spend chunks of time either standing around or sitting somewhere and not even holding my camera. It was then I decided fuck this and I got on Facebook about what's wrong with my spine. I've always kept it to myself because I was embarrassed by it and spent years working out how to cover it up. Growing up I was bullied relentlessly over it from school kids (I ended up suicidal) to family friends (my favourite line I'll never forget was hearing "she'd be pretty if it wasn't for her back") that I grew up convinced I looked like the Elephant Man and anything with a hood attached became my best friend.

Early 2017 was when things really took a turn for the worse. Suddenly I was struggling just to walk around my own unit, doing laundry was something that would have me in tears almost instantly and the studio space I'd barely had for 3 months was going to waste and the cherry on top was my two best friends stopped talking to me. I had no idea why at the time, I just knew I was going through a really difficult time and I had nobody for support. I later had other friends ask why I don't talk and as I told them if you're best friend doesn't care what's going on why would you assume anyone else would? The 12 months was well and truely up so I rang Fiona Stanley to find out how much longer my wait would be. They couldn't tell me but recommended I get my GP to send in another referral to speed things along. I started seeing physio then as well to see if that would help in the meantime. After two months of physio and being on Tramadol (which is as effective for pain relief as eating sand) I was told to stop doing my own food shopping because carrying two small bags was killing me, he recommended I see someone privately just to get seen sooner. I found one that had an office in Joondalup and did a gofundme so I could afford to see him. Newstart doesn't cover very much, let alone a $250 visit to a specialist. I was blown away by the few individuals who helped me raise the amount in a day, I actually raised more than I was asking. The downside to this was suddenly everyone was an expert about a disease they hadn't heard of until right then, they couldn't even pronounce it yet they knew what I should and shouldn't be doing. If people weren't telling me "get the surgery" without actually knowing WHAT the surgery entailed I was being told I should get a granny trolley to do my food shopping, because somewhere there's apparently logic that one huge dense weight is going to be less of a burden on my spine than 1-2 plastic bags, especially when you live upstairs and have to lift it up and down buses? Someone else told me I need a bicycle, I lack balance as it is without having to lean over something I'm riding on while balancing bags of shopping off of it. That's a ridiculous amount of strain. Then someone recommended I get a chair for the shower and by then it's like I'm talking to a brick wall. My legs work, my spine doesn't. A chair isn't going to help when it's being upright in general that sucks. You couldn't point out how wrong they were though because then you're just an asshole who doesn't want help. I mean we all have spines, how can so many people not understand how they work?

Specialist Appointment #1

First off I wish I had become a doctor because getting $250 for a 10 minute appointment is pretty sweet. I was told my bone density was fine but overall I have the spine of a 60 year old. He told me to not bother with pain killers and physio but rememdial massage might help give some relief because the pain is from inflammation of the spine and what I need are anti inflammatories. I was told to take panandol and nurofen daily and if they don't help get something stronger. As for surgery he said that was an option but he will never recommend it and said it would be as useful to me as a breast enlargement, which was fine because I don't want it. Surgery involves breaking your spine, in most cases removing part of it (in some cases cadaver spines are used to replace areas), you're fused together and a metal rod is screwed into place. On top of that there's a 1 in 10,000 chance of being paralysed or leaving with nerve damage to one or more areas of your body. I've read so many surgery horror stories on the support groups as well including how people have needed up to 10 surgeries to fix things, some have had to have the hardware removed altogether, one had the hardware break, some have had screws come loose and you can see them bulging through their skin, for many it didn't help the pain and they actually had worse pain afterwards and then there were others who needed their neck fused afterwards when they didn't have a neck problem to begin with. 

I was told my options were to lose weight - now he wasn't saying I was overweight (I did gain weight after the gallbladder surgery but my gallbladder affected my liver and thyroid so weight loss is just REALLY hard) as such but losing weight could help and that he has other patients who are obese and come back a year later complaining they still have pain but never bothered trying to lose even one kilo. I've also seen this in the groups where people will scoff at any doctor telling them to lose weight but it's just common sense, which granted a lot of people don't have, but extra weight around your stomach area is putting pressure on your spine to stay upright. Have you ever seen an obese person who didn't look like they were slouching? I was told to never try a back brace because that will weaken my muscles, try pilates/yoga and do hydrotherapy 3-4 times a week. Apparently walking laps in the pool would be good exercise because the water is covering your spine and making you weightless. I tried pilates but honestly I mostly became aware of how much I needed anger management classes every time I put that DVD on. Hydrotherapy was a tricky one because again, Newstart doesn't cover such luxuries. I'd be looking at $50 a fortnight just to go to the pool and that doesn't cover the travel costs. Anyone who thinks being on jobsearch payments is having some kind of a holiday is sadly mistaken. I went once with my brother and the walking lane was only waist deep and that wasn't going to help so spent an hour floating around with my nephew. I got dropped off at the train station and within minutes my entire spine locked up and I couldn't move. So I haven't been back since.. I'm not saying I need a babysitter, but I also don't want to be stuck on my own dealing with that. It's painful, you can't move and in some cases you aren't sure how long it's going to last. At least with a friend along for the ride you have someone to help you take your mind off things and it's some kind of twisted excuse to sit around and have a coffee. 

About two weeks after this appointment I was at a gig where some drunk idiot decided it would be a great idea to get rough and shake me back and forth. As he let go I almost hit the ground. I left about an hour later from intense neck pain. Physio started being less about my back and more about my neck. My neck pain would be so severe I wouldn't even know my back was hurting. My birthday gig I spent half of it on the floor with an ice pack and then spent a couple of hours in the ER at Fiona Stanley being treated like the Friday night drug addict until she finally looked up their computer system and saw I was telling the truth and waiting to see their specialists. Like if you're dying maybe pick another hospital. That night I was given panadiene forte. I had enough for two weeks which went pretty fast and then I was back at the GP's (not my normal one) asking for a new script. You'd think I just asked him for heroin for the reaction I got. My normal GP sorted it so I could get 3 boxes at a time. At the Royal Show the pavillion had all kinds of crap for sale and I felt like an old person testing out the pain relief stands. The first one was heat packs in different sizes for your back/neck etc My neck was hurting so I tried it. It felt like it helped some but then my back was in pain instead. Then I found a guy selling TENS machines and he commented on how I needed it 3x the level of a regular person so I wasn't wasting my money on that. The next time I saw physio I told him about it all and he told me the brain can only focus on one pain at a time, so it will focus on the one that's worst. In my case that's my neck, so yes the heatpack worked but then that just allowed my brain to realise my back was in a heap of pain too. It's not that my back wasn't in pain it's just that your brain can't multi task. Due to the fact my neck was getting worse and not better he told me to go and get a CT scan which picked up I had arthritis. I made a joke about being old and my GP very sternly said "no, it takes a serious injury to cause that".

The hardest part of dealing with the neck pain was having to give up my studio space when I hadn't even had it a year yet. I had so many plans and shoot ideas and I didn't get to do any of them. 

Specialist Appointment #2

I finally got to see Fiona Stanley almost two years after the referrals were sent out and for the amount of time it took to travel there and back I was in that place for maybe 10 minutes. If that. I didn't even get to see the doctor, I saw some woman who went back and forth a couple of times because apparently their doctors are too good to see patients themselves. All I got told was surgery isn't an option, to stop taking my anti inflammatories because there's no way I'm inflamed every day (despite the fact they're the only thing helping me do the most basic of activities) and when I asked what to do in regards to Centrelink/work I got told to lie. Literally. She told me that if a potential employer asks just tell them the pain is intermittent, except it isn't. As soon as I'm on my feet for an hour (or walking) the pain kicks in, just standing at a gig and I'll end up with either back pain or neck pain. I can't turn my head properly. I can't sit normally as I discovered attempting driving lessons, that was when I realised I always sit sideways in car rides or on public transport so my back isn't actually against the seat and given I can't handle carrying a 1.5kg camera obviously any form of lifting is out..i'd be fired before the end of my first day! 

Specialist Appointment #3

My 2nd referral was picked up by Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital a few months later in September 2018. A woman came out to get me and commented that I looked familiar, I was so tired I didn't really think much of it. Her and another lady took me into an office and asked how they could help me. So, maybe slightly agressively, started saying how unhappy I was with my last appointment that I wanted another opinion. She looked something up on her computer and sure enough, it was the same woman from Fiona Stanley. The upside was after putting my foot in it, this appointment was taken more seriously. The actually physically looked at me and tested my reflexes and discovered I have hyper reflexes and I had to not laugh when the other lady wanted to check and as she crouched in front of me to tap my knee she suddenly moved sideways so she didn't get kicked in the face. She also explained that the reasons I have pain lifting my arms (taking photos, laundry etc) is because as you raise your arms your spine moves with it and because of the shape of mine it's restricted in the movement and straining - that's the dumbed down version because I don't know how else to explain it. Basically Hills Hoists are under appreciated in this country. So I left there with some better information and due to my reflexes I was sent for an MRI to make sure I didn't have a compressed spinal cord.

The MRI was on Grand Final day. I know this because that was on the TV in the waiting room. The MRI itself was meant to take 30 minutes but because I coughed briefly for like a whole minute at one point it took an hour. By the end I felt like I was lying on a knife's edge, it was just so sharp and painful. I don't lie on my back ever, if I do it isn't for long or on a mattress which has some give, so lying on my back for an hour on a hard surface was awful. The MRI results had a heap of big words thrown in there. Basically I have prominent thoracic kyphosis which we already knew, early disc degeneration in the mid-lower thoracic spine, minimal posterior disc bulge at a number of levels, bilateral facet arthropathy (aka arthritis) at a number of levels in the mid-lower thoracic spine with some osteophytosis (more commonly known as "bone spurs", are outgrowths of bone tissue that form around damaged joints. This bone growth is thought to be a compensatory response to bone and ligament damage, and is meant to restrict movement of the joint to protect from further damage. These can cause muscle weakness and spasms, pain, stiffness and numbness/tingling if it presses on a nerve) or sclerosis. From these results I was then referred to the pain management department. This was the first in two years where I felt like there was actually some progress.

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Pain Management Department

I saw them a couple of weeks ago and honestly it was a joke. Now prior to this appointment I landed in the ER with severe reactions to codiene and was told to stop taking it but that nobody can give me anything else and that the PMD will be able to help with that. So now I'm on Panadol Osteo which is affective as Tramadol. PMD make you attend a sort of induction where you're introduced to all the different doctors but you have to attend that to get an appointment. It went from 9am - 3pm and for most of the day listened to how "pain is in your head" and "rewiring your brain" until half way through the day a guy in the front row asked "what about arthritis?". The doctor says oh that doesn't count that's different. Like wtf?! So by the end of it all I knew was there was a minimum 3 month wait to see their physio and all I want to know is if they possibly know something my current physio doesn't, minimum 8-9 month wait to see the occupational therapist, no idea how long before you see the doctor/psychologist etc. I asked a nurse at the end about pain relief and she tells me to tell my doctor that he can call their doctor for advice. I saw my GP yesterday and told him, he looked sceptical and asked me which hospital this was with then proceeded to call them useless wankers who can't do their jobs and said "when did I send your referrals through, like 30 years ago?". I wanted to laugh, I've never seen this side of him before! So 2019 looks like being another wasted year of waiting for medical professionals to do anything remotely useful. 

Everything Else

So in the space of three months in 2017 I went from being able to walk an hour a day on the treadmill at a decent pace to not being able to walk around my unit. Once I was getting better I still couldn't manage more than 15 minutes so I sold the treadmill. Over the couple of years this covers I've gone from being active to not being able to do a whole lot of anything. I went from 1-2 every fortnight and seeing friends to cutting right back and finding that people I thought I was friends with I'm not because I just don't exist anymore. Sadly that became abundantly clear two weeks ago that if I'm not taking photos I'm nothing, I didn't even get a hello from some. I had to give up my studio space which is something I always wanted and despite it being small and a sauna at the best of times it was still a space I could do whatever I wanted in and now that's over. 2018 was a right off for my mental health dealing with this disease, neck pain, friends disappearing, and just feeling worthless. I saw a psychologist for 11 months and most of that was dealing with suicidal thoughts, I never did anything but I had a plan and that was enough to freak a couple of people out. When you're dealing with chronic pain on a daily basis and your entire quality of life has disappeared that's going to happen. As of last December I declared I quit photography until further notice. In the last couple of months my spine has been locking up after being at a gig or just going out and the pain is so severe and lasts for hours that I reached a point that photography isn't worth the pain I have to deal with. Since then I've picked my camera up twice: one for a shoot in my bedroom for a bit of fun where I got to sit on the floor for most of it so it was really easy, and a gig where I spent 90% of it sitting outside. I even used xmas money to buy a polaroid camera because they're super light and in some way I can still pretend to be a photographer. I mean it's still a camera.

In between all of this I've also been dealing with Centrelink. Trying to let them know what I can/can't do (and the can't list being a whole lot longer) I started with one person getting me to fill in a form to see if I need a disability job provider or not. Months pass and I get a job network appointment only they have no idea what i'm talking about and I get sent back to Centrelink. The woman I see tells me to apply for disability and gave me the paperwork. A couple months later I get an email from them at 1am to tell me it's been rejected and to call for more info. I ring up the next day and a woman tells me I'm not "stabilised" and that I can appeal it. I tell her I want to and she lets me know I have 13 weeks to provide more evidence. I wasn't really sure what else I could provide in evidence when I have x-rays that you can't really argue with and specialists letters. Physio gave me all of his notes to hand in so when I did that one woman I spoke to let me know that Centrelink reject all new applications whether the person is worthy or not but also explained that stabilised means you have an official diagnosis and careplan which I do. The next woman told me there's 4 levels of appeals and each appeal a new group of people are looking at it. So basically each time it's going further up the food chain. A couple more months pass and I call up to see how its going and a guy lets me know that I should have heard something by now but has requested they speed it up. Next thing it's almost Christmas and I'm calling up yet again only this time i've got some really rude woman on the phone telling me that I'm wrong and I didn't lodge an appeal and I lodged a request for why I was declined (like that's a pretty big difference and I know what was said!), then telling me my medical certificates say I'll be better within 2 years so I'm not even eligible without knowing WHY I've applied and then when I point out i'm currently waiting to see the pain management department she goes to full bitch tone asking why. I mean you can't just sign yourself up to these things because you're bored but it's always nice to know that someone in a phone call centre knows better than a Neurologist. Allegedly it's in appeal now and I'll probably hear about that in March. I'm not holding my breathe but disability would sure make life easier being able to afford physio, hydrotherapy, joining a gym (weights are meant to help with my back muscles but I can't afford a personal trainer to tell me what's safe exercises or not), getting around (so much of my money goes on Uber or having things delivered)...and just my mental health in general not having to stress every single fortnight about how far I can't make money stretch.

At the moment I'm trying to work out how to stay creative and not repeat 2018 mental health crisis. I'm trying to paint but my brain is having this conflict that if I take up painting again (I studied Fine Arts years ago) that it's admitting defeat with photography. I have enough bits here to do things, I just need to work on actually doing them. My other issue is Centrelink and if they reject my disability claim again it means I have to work. The biggest problem here, other than I wouldn't keep the job very long, is people would see me at a gig and assume I'm fine but the reality is I needed pain killers just getting ready, took more while I was there, and took more when I got home. I was taking 6-8 pills a day if I left the house and that wasn't even that active. I made a point to try and avoid taking them at home because at least here I can lie down and rest until however long it takes to pass. Working would mean taking that many pills every single day, if not more, and I recently found out that apparently 35mg of codiene is a large dose..and I was taking 280mg every outing. To be fair that was the max I could take a day, but I was taking that within about 6-8 hours. On top of that you don't know how you're going to wake up in the morning. Some days I wake up and I can't turn my head properly, twice last year I woke up with a dead arm from a pinched nerve. It's just all very unpredictable and doesn't help the motivation levels to want to do anything. Supposedly once you're in with the Pain Management Department they help you reclaim some of your life to get your back into doing things, but I have no idea how long that's going to take. Maybe 2020 will be my year?

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(Shoot the Wicked Witch) Health Mental Health Scheuermann's Disease https://www.shootthewickedwitch.com/blog/2019/3/rare-disease-day Fri, 01 Mar 2019 13:14:29 GMT
Captain Marvel..who the hell is she? https://www.shootthewickedwitch.com/blog/2019/3/captain-marvel-who-the-hell-is-she Back in December Quinn.tessential Effects and I booked Huzzard's studio for some body painting shoots where we also threw in a quick couple of cosplay Christmas shoots and smack in the middle I shot Donald Trumpet. I knew the day was going to hurt but I didn't realise how much. That day KILLED me. Literally. I'm not even talking write now it's my snarky ghost typing this out. I'd just past the half way mark and I was lying on the chair things (I don't know what you call them they weren't chairs exactly) because my body had admitted defeat and wasn't moving anymore. My spine does this awesome thing over the last several months where it locks up and I can't move and the pain is unbareable. It did that. I couldn't stand up properly for about half an hour while I tried to walk it off and basically demanded someones phone for Uber Eats (mine wouldn't load) so I could take some pain killers. This meant that I made Ashayla Webster stand around for some time in full bodypaint while I tried to become functional again. This is also why I quit photography until further notice. I just can't cope anymore. The gig I shot in January I spent about 95% of it sitting outside and still ended the night in the green room lying all over the couch because I was done being upright. That's also a problem with Scheuermann's Disease/Osteoarthritis pain - sitting doesn't even really help. Being upright in general is just hard work at times and you just really need to be horizontal. The pain management department on Monday kept going on about pacing and how they can help with getting you to build up how long/far you can walk or sit..how about being upright in general?

Eventually we got back into it and I was told off for dragging a stool over instead of asking someone to get it for me (I'm also incredibly stubborn because I'm used to doing things on my own) but as I was about to shoot I told Ashayla "I hope you know what to do here because I don't even know who Captain Marvel is!". Unlike my Death Note shoot, this was completely Quinn.tessential Effects concept. I never heard of Captain Marvel until the end scene of that last Avengers film. I have no idea what she does other than apparently have a killer Resting Bitch Face problem (I've seen photos) or anything so for the first time ever it was all on the cosplay model to pull this off, though if you're a cosplayer/cosplay model I would assume you'd know who you are cosplaying as or why are you even bothering? The worst part about these shoots is the shoot itself is done in about 10 minutes, despite the hours it took to paint it. Next time I need to do some behind the scenes/time lapse photos. For some of the shots I just cleaned up the background a bit but didn't alter the painting itself. I didn't even clone out the nipple covers because I didn't want to disrupt the brushstrokes. I did however remove them from the pictures below this!

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So with all this free time on my hands now I thought I'd get a bit fancy with my editing. I'm no digital artist but I wanted to have a go at using flames in the photos. I looked up promo photos and posters for the Captain Marvel movie to get some ideas on what to do and hit up some stock sites.

This was the first one I did. I wanted to put some fireballs in her hands and give it a background. Tutorials made it look pretty easy but I spent way longer than I'm going to admit on them. With the background I put a blue/red gradient over it and added one of my astrophotography photos over the sky to give it a bit of a star effect. It's super subtle. The biggest pain in the ass with this photo was the wig, where the seam runs at the back there was a lump and it was just horribly weird looking so I darkened the edges to try and hide it more and blend in with the background.

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Credits: Fire 1 by Adonyi Gabor / Fire 2 by Skitterphoto / Fire 3 by Moein Moradi / Ottawa by Marc-Olivier Jodoin

This next one I figured would be easier because I know what I'm doing, but nope. When I shot this I had Zac hold the fan closer and on an angle so we could get her hair moving. Great in theory but it made working around the edges harder. There are ways in photoshop to do selections for this kind of thing but I hate them so I end up doing some things the hard way but for me it's quicker and less frustration. I accidentally left off one of the photos used to make this, but the background is clouds with a fire layer over the top which gave the sky it's colour and contrast and just overall made it look more superheroey/apocalyptic. The fire around the edges was quite a few layers that I manipulated the shape of.  

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Credits - Fire credits same as above / Clouds by Billy Huynh / Solar Flare (used over the clouds) by Pixabay

This one I kept more basic. I played with the colour settings so she blended with the background more then added a couple of duplicate layers to create movement blur.

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Credits: Cityscape by Jiarong Deng

Lucky last, this pose was just asking to be turned into the iconic "We Can Do It!" poster! I spent ages looking for a template when I realised I could have made it ten times in photoshop by myself and I'm just lazy. 

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The movie is out on March 8th so I'll see it at some point and finally find out who she is and why she's so important.

If you like the photos you can grab prints through the store here.

Here's some links to finish this off!

Like my work? You can show support either from sharing this post, buying a print (link above) or donating to my
Gofundme to help me get a new computer which will help me continue creating photos like this and more!
Model Ashayla Webster - Facebook / Instagram
Bodypainting Quinn.tessential Effects - Facebook / Instagram

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(Shoot the Wicked Witch) Cosplay Editing Portrait https://www.shootthewickedwitch.com/blog/2019/3/captain-marvel-who-the-hell-is-she Fri, 01 Mar 2019 03:00:00 GMT
Death Note https://www.shootthewickedwitch.com/blog/2019/2/death-note After watching IT in 2017 I decided I wanted to try a project doing my favourite characters but with a fashion spin. This was basically a spin-off of an idea I had back in 2012 that I'm still yet to do but I have all the masks ready to do it. I have until I die so it's all good, they'll get done! I'm not a cosplayer but I do like edgy fashion portraits and I like creating characters for photoshoots or telling some kind of a story so I wanted to combine all of those elements into one shoot. I didn't get very far with this because such projects require money and I don't have any. Every time I thought I had some spare cash something would come up and it's something that's become more difficult with my back deteriorating so quickly. My first photo shoot was the character Ryuk from Death Note. Death Note is an awesome anime about a book that if you write someone's name in it they'll die. You can get creative with their deaths but it has to be feasible, so for the most part everyone dies of a heart attack. The books belong to Shinigami's, in this case Ryuk whose bored one day and drops his book so a human will find it. When Ryuk isn't bored he's obsessed with apples. He chucks full tantrums about getting one. This was probably the only anime I really got into but when they killed off L I stopped watching it about two episodes later (like me, L loves all things sugar), I think I have around 4 episodes left to watch and in the 8-9 years since I originally watched it I still haven't finished it. When Netflix announced they were doing a live action adaptation I took that as a great time to do this. By the time I was doing the shoot though it had just aired on Netflix and it was a massive disappointment. In the anime Light is an A-grade student, everybody loves him but he's a psychopath then you have Misa who is this adorable goth girl who also finds a book and is madly in love with Light. In the Netflix version Light is a complete loser that gets punched in the first 5 minutes and you're kinda glad about it. I was hoping he'd get punched again when he started screaming like a little girl. The whole movie is him using the book trying to impress some cheerleader (the Misa equivalent) and it's just one huge cringe-fest. After watching that I decided whatever I did with my photo shoot can not be worse than that movie. Even Ryuk was a let down. There was a lot of Ryuk sneak peek articles before the movie was released to get people excited and in the film you don't see much of him and when you do he's in the dark. They really wasted his character as far as I'm concerned.

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I love styling photo shoots! I like being in control of outfits and props and making my photo look how I want it to as much as possible. It's actually amazing I let makeup artists have their own say but I do give them examples of the sort of style I'd be thinking of. I'm not quite a control freak with photo shoots, but I'm close. I had a lecturer tell me once I should consider being an Art Director. Honestly if I had my own studio space I would go full nuts. I want nothing more than a space large enough to build set designs. I was going to keep the outfit looking somewhat close to Ryuk but with my spin on it. Some bits were easy because I already owned the Death Note, the heart earring was easy to copy because I had a pair of dangly silver hearts, and probably a 1/3 of my wardrobe is on the goth side. I went opshopping for some extra bits and bought a shirt, belt and a big chunky ring and asked a designer friend if she wanted to help with it. It got to about 2 weeks before the shoot but nothing eventuated so I got her to send me back the shirt so I could work on it myself but then one of my neighbours decided they needed my mail more than I did so I never got it. This left me with a few days before my shoot in a mass panic on what on earth I'm going to do for a costume. I raided my wardrobe and found my Punkrave dress I bought a couple years ago through Beserk but never got to wear it because it was 1cm too small (then to add insult to injury I gained 12 kilos after my gallbladder surgery from complications). Decided it would be perfect because it's black, sexy and has skulls on the waistband and just crossed my fingers that the model would fit in it. I'd bought a feather garland (I don't think that's the right word but I'm using it) from WISH which turned up in time and I hit the art store for foam sheeting and shoulder pads. I remembered hearing cosplayer's use foam for their costumes so decided it was worth a go.

IMG_7919IMG_7919 I cut the foam so it was the right size to glue onto the shoulder pads and shaped the ends to be like feathers. I painted them black and glued wire unto the underside so I could shape them to be on random angles and attached the feathers (above) along the edging. I'm not crafty in the slightest so knowing how to attach these properly as shoulder pads was beyond me but I ended up using ribbon and on the day just a couple of safety to pins to hold it in place better on the dress.

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The Shoot

We did the shoot at my short-lived studio space. This was around the time I realised it was honestly too small for projects where I want to try and get the whole body in it. I'm no digital artist so I try to get as much done in camera as possible. The studio was part of some old office building so you walked through a door into a small area which had two rooms coming of it, one was mine. The guy using the space we had to walk through wasn't there and since my room couldn't fit 4 people we invaded the common area to do the makeup. This was my 2nd time working with Quinn.tessential Effects and I gave her creative licence on the makeup and she made some kick ass eyelashes for it. They were huge! I didn't bother doing a casting call for this shoot and just asked Ashayla Webster straight up if she was keen. I wanted someone competent for this shoot and I've worked with Ashayla a couple of times before and knew how prepared she would be for shoots even turning up to one with a notebook of pose ideas. She was also tall and slim like Ryuk, but if i'm going to real for a moment I'm 5'1" so everyone is super tall by comparison. It's possible I exaggerate how tall people really are in my mind. 

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Death Note-270Death Note-270 Obligatory 'take a photo of the model while she takes a selfie'. This is also the only full photo of Ashayla Webster.

IMG_8999IMG_8999 The shoot itself was super easy, take photos with book, take photos with apple...pretty much done! The editing I photoshopped her eyes to look like Ryuk's. His are yellow and red. I was worried they made the photos look like crap but people assured me they looked fine. Other than that I desaturated the yellow/magentas to make the skin whiter. Lighting was just a light in the back corner with a blue gel and a light from the front with a beauty dish - that's my most used photography accessory! 

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We tried to write Netflix in the book, but couldn't see it very well so I added it in Photoshop. Netflix wasn't harmed so clearly my book is a sham. This photo I added a cloud layer to the background trying to make it look dark and gloomy. I tried to make the blue light in the background into a moon for a couple but it looked really awful so I only kept it in one photo.

Death Note-147Death Note-147 Death Note-150Death Note-150 Death Note-157Death Note-157 We switched it up for some shots and used my feature wall. This had been covered in newspaper for my last shoot but when I went to paint it red the paper bubbled really badly so I was trying to take it off. It was so time consuming and a royal pain in the ass that this was as far as I had got with it before this shoot but overall I quite liked the grungy effect. The photo below was as close as I got to a full length photo. The room was only 3 metres wide and I was trying to avoid using the wide angle lens because I either got everything in frame or moving closer would just exaggerate the size of body parts which I didn't want.

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LINKS

Model Ashayla Webster - Instagram / Facebook

Makeup Quinn.tessential Effects Instagram / Facebook

Dress Punk Rave - Facebook

 

 

 

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(Shoot the Wicked Witch) Cosplay Portrait https://www.shootthewickedwitch.com/blog/2019/2/death-note Tue, 26 Feb 2019 01:15:00 GMT
Off With Her Head! https://www.shootthewickedwitch.com/blog/2019/2/off-with-her-head Death to Alice

2009-2010 I bought myself an Alice in Wonderland costume for a photoshoot on Ebay. I had a Snow White costume so I wanted to work my way through my fav Disney princesses. Not that Alice is a princess..but let's not get technical ok? When it showed up it didn't take too long to realise it didn't look like the picture shown and the bodice area was a thin material that you could see through, thankfully that wasn't obvious with the photos! I was aiming to make the character more alternative anyways with a corset etc so I figured I'd just go with it and see how it goes.

I put out a casting call on Facebook for a model interested to be Alice. One model was keen but then she went and did the shoot with another photographer and wrote publicly that I was "jealous" because she jumped ship, also apparently I'm not very good. Sure thing. That pretty much summed up Perth in that time, it was just so petty it was ridiculous. If people weren't talking crap about each other they were stealing each others ideas right from the networking groups then using the "nothing is original anymore" as an argument. I stopped giving too much away in my casting calls after that and still managed to end up at the top of someone's shitlist after my Red Riding photoshoot. That was another costume I was keen to use and the only person who knew what we were doing was the makeup artist, I don't think I even really told the model until right before it, yet somehow someone allegedly had told this photographer who I hadn't heard of until that day that I was stealing her idea (literally didn't: we had different costumes, different models, different locations. Not one thing in common other than the character) but she made sure to tell the world I plagiarised her so everyone would bomb my page with horrible comments. I love that the only insult people have on the internet is by saying "your photos suck". Oh man, sick burn! Watching people argue over who "owns" Red Riding Hood was hilarious. You can't lay claim to a story written by the Grimm Brothers back in the 17th Century! So back to Alice, the Tim Burton film came out that year and next minute every camera owner in Perth was doing an Alice shoot. There was overkill on girls all wearing the same costumes, all sitting in parks (or studios) with the exact same props all doing tea parties (because apparently nothing else happens in that book)..it was so monotonous I declared I was killing off Alice. No fucks given. Until then I had no real concept other than to make Alice 'goth' looking but Perth helped inspire me to make it gruesome.

I found myself a model (Zoe Lovage) and makeup artist (Eclectic Styles) keen on the idea and we met up in the city one night to do it. The general idea was Alice was being hunted by the Queen Of Hearts (unseen) and attacked with cards. I got my friend to help assist which translates to "watch my bag". With how often I move around or turn my back to my gear I didn't want it just laying around in the CBD at night unwatched. Styling was a mix of elements from myself and Zoe. I brought the dress, the gloves and the hair clips are by Leg Avenue. Zoe owned the corset, and shoes. To be honest I can't remember who owned the stockings, I know I own them but pretty sure she did too.

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At the time I was ok with my photos but I wasn't "OMG WOW" over them either. This was 100% on me though because I hate myself if think I failed the team and I didn't really know how to use my flash. I was using a super basic one that didn't really have much in the way of settings other than the on/off switch. These were taken with my Canon 400D as well where the highest ISO setting is 1600. With the way my health has been and the lack of being able to shoot I decided last year to revisit them and see how my editing has changed since then and I'm so much happier with the photos! I kept the editing to a minimum in Lightroom just doing the basics like adjusting exposure/contrast then used the frequency separation technique in Photoshop I learned at tafe a couple years ago.

This example shows the RAW image, my original edit and my edit from 2018. This photo I had bounced the flash off the wall in the alley way trying to avoid it being flat lighting. 

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The Series..

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For this shot we were both lying in the alley way on god knows what. I'm always lying down at some point in a shoot (I like getting different angles) but I love it when models get into the spirit of the shoot and are cool with getting down and dirty too!

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Links

Model Zoe - instagram 
Eclectic Styles (now a hairdresser) - Facebook / instagam

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(Shoot the Wicked Witch) Cosplay Horror Portrait https://www.shootthewickedwitch.com/blog/2019/2/off-with-her-head Fri, 22 Feb 2019 13:40:13 GMT
The White Violin https://www.shootthewickedwitch.com/blog/2019/2/the-white-violin It's cliche but everyone has been told at some point that "music saves lives" or helps people through hard times. For me that was My Chemical Romance. My mum had died of cancer in November 2006 and around that time The Black Parade was a big deal. February(?) 2007 they were in Australia for the Big Day Out and did a side show in Perth and my younger brother and I went and saw them. Probably the only concert where I remember nothing because there were so many kids there we stayed by the bar. HOWEVER I became a pretty big fan of theirs and got the CD's (I got my high school friend who was living in Canada to help me out with one because I couldn't find it anywhere) and the dvd....and then in September MCR singer Gerard Way brought out his first comic The Umbrella Academy, so obviously I had to get that too. Six issues later and I was completely fascinated by Vanya, the "ordinary" Hargreaves child. She's the black sheep of the family, seems to have no (or few) friends, is ok but nothing special with her violin and basically nobody wants her around. She's prayed upon by an evil troupe wanting to end the world using her and she becomes The White Violin. I could somewhat related to her, only I'm still waiting to find out what my supervillan power is other than an intense resting bitch face that tells people I want to punch them. 

I loved this character this much I wanted to do a homage to the character. In 2015 I found a violin on Gumtree for sale for $15. I couldn't pass this up and got a friend to go collect it for me. It then sat collecting dust for a few years while I pretended to find a model who was going to be ok with posing nude. Technically they aren't even nude, paint is a covering of sorts.

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Now years ago there was talk of an Umbrella Academy movie which never happened, then suddenly Netflix was making a show. This made me want to get my photo shoot done before the show came out. I'd been sitting on it so long I didn't want people thinking I was only doing it because of the show. I found a model in late 2018 and in December we had a go at it. It didn't go as planned but we were close. I forgot to bring some stuff to try styling the wig, the lighting is far from perfect because the studio lights were awful. The big one gave enough light for the whole area, but I could play around with anything else because the stands wouldn't hold the lights in position so I just felt rushed and limited at the time with what I could do and when I get stressed I internally shut down. I don't talk much about what I'm thinking and just stress out about everything following what I'm doing instead. So the plan is to redo it at a later date where I won't be so rushed and can do it properly. I do have to give big shoutouts though to my model Amanda who was a champ getting completely painted up and unable to shower before leaving because the shower was in the building next door, and to Quinn.tessential Effects for doing the painting.  I've shared a couple of shots on instagram last week but now that I've just spent the last 10 hours binge watching the show (I may have been refreshing Netflix all day impatiently waiting) I thought I'd write a blog about it because...I have thoughts.

WARNING: If you don't want spoilers don't read on.

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The problem is I don't read much because I have a hard time concentrating. I always have done since I was a kid. My brain will quite literally go off in five different tangents and it can take me an hour to read one page depending on the day, so for most things like Harry Potter I don't know how bad the movies are from the books and I plan on staying ignorant to how much they left out of the movies BUT then there's stuff like this which I've read about 4 times and became a diehard fan of the character that I'm sitting here super shitty at 3:30am because of what they have done. 

The short version is The Umbrella Academy is about a whole heap of babies born at the exact same time to women who weren't pregnant earlier that day. Sir Reginald Hargreaves goes about adopting the ones he can find and ends up with seven children. Some babies died, some didn't so god knows how many are still out there in the world. All but one has super powers (all different so one can say "I heard a rumour.." and it will come true, another can talk with the dead, one can suddenly have octopus legs..) and in the comics you see them as 10 yr olds fighting the Eiffel Tower and other cool things. 

The tv show itself is fine, it's entertaining and I had alot of laughs and it has an awesome soundtrack but it also went WAY OFF COURSE!!!! I get comics don't have a huge amount of material to work with and they need to embellish to make it movie/tv show length but why do they need to completely change everything about the storyline? They fully merged Apocalypse Suite and Dallas together and gave two villains Hazel and Cha Cha much bigger parts than their comic counterparts. This was a bit of a red flag for me because everyone on instagram was losing their shit over these guys and they really aren't in the comic that much and I wondered if they were going to skip the entire Vanya storyline. Apocalypse Suite is solely about their dad dying, Number 5 suddenly reappearing after being missing for like 17 years, everyone reuniting at the funeral (except Vanya), Number 5 announcing the world will end in a few days and they have to stop it, Vanya being dismissed by her siblings and she's manipulated into joining an evil troupe who do some science to bring out her powers in full force which turns her into The White Violin so she can play the Apocalypse Suite and end the world. The sequel Dallas takes place afterwards where she's in hospital with amnesia after being shot and the main focus is on Number 5 and his time travelling and what happened in his time away which includes how he's meant to assassinate JFK - which is where Hazel and Cha Cha come into it. They're sent to find him and are completely sugar-crazed, 100%  psychotic and torture/kill people. Hotel Oblivion is the 3rd part of the tale but I haven't read that yet. I'm waiting for it to be in a compilation format. 

While watching the show though with particular scenes that are quite violent in the comics the scenes in the show didn't even make me blink, like nothing happened, that I wondered if this was actually rated PG. It's not, it's an MA15+ but it's definitely been tamed a lot. One particular element of the show I was quite happy with involves Number 6 who dies at a young age in the comics and you don't know a whole lot about him which they elaborated on. You have Number 1 (aka Luther) who has an ape's body and it was great to see they actually showed him without a shirt on, I wondered from promos if he was just going to walk around with his coat on the whole time (All faith in Netflix adaptations was lost after Death Note). Number 5 who is a time traveller was spot on. I thought Aidan Gallagher did an awesome job bringing him to life, as did Robert Sheehan as Klaus (aka Seance), he pretty much steals every single scene he is in but in the comics he looks more like a corpse/vampire he's so pale like I would have expected an albino for this role! Diego wasn't nearly snarky enough, Allison wasn't all that interesting but they made her into an overly-caring sister and that threw me way off because in the comics nobody gives a shit about Vanya, not even her sister. Then there's Vanya. Her storyline was so completely different. It all comes down to a guy. Why do these things need a love interest? Why can't it just be her family sucks and she turned to the bad guys, you know..like Darth Vader. Oh wait..So a guy came along, she misses taking her medication because she slept on his couch and realises she's run out of her prescription which seems to have been suppressing her powers because now she's feeling things, said guy helps her develop her powers but he's a bit of a psycho himself, cut to the end and there's no special musical number, no evil gang out to end the world, and Vanya sure as hell doesn't look like a human violin. WTF?! 

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So in the end I didn't have to worry about when my photoshoot came out because the show went so far off tangent she looks nothing like this. I have however joked that The White Violin is so much more cosplay friendly now but my entire wardrobe is black and I have a thing about putting things in my eyes. I've never worn contacts, I'm scared of ripping my cornea out. I'm that level of clumsy that it could happen. 
 

/End Rant

Editing: Since these aren't how I want them exactly I did decide to try playing around with editing so I have a better idea when I do it again. For the most part I kept it super basic just trying to keep the white to one shade but this one below ended up more green than the others. I'm trying to keep it somewhat faithful to the comics where I can and use music notes in the photo. I found some stock photos of sheet music and planted that into the backgrounds. I want to have a go at having floating music but that will be a later challenge!

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(Shoot the Wicked Witch) Cosplay Music Portrait https://www.shootthewickedwitch.com/blog/2019/2/the-white-violin Fri, 15 Feb 2019 20:22:47 GMT
Love Sick https://www.shootthewickedwitch.com/blog/2019/2/love-sick So it's that day of the year where us singletons are meant to feel shitty about being alone on Valentines Day. Not me though, it means I get to sit on my couch watching Valentine-related horror movies and eating chocolates while not being judged for not wearing pants (or for choosing horror movies over an actual date) or having to listen to someone talk. I HATE people who talk through movies. Things you needed to know right?

I haven't really picked up my camera since December because my spine is a jerk and it was driving me mental so I decided to try doing a Valentine shoot at home because why not. Back in the Dark Ages when I was doing my 7 Sins project one of the concepts for Lust was a teen crush. There were a couple ideas but I ended up doing some Cupid shoot instead which I really failed at to be honest. So here we are now, 50,000 years later doing one of my other concepts "Love Sick". The whole idea was to treat being in love like having a case of Chicken Pox. I had chicken pox in my 20's and I can tell you it sucked. Sucked doesn't even begin to describe it really. I woke up one day looking like one of Frankenstein's lab experiments gone wrong and it was itchy and painful and I have scars now...and basically exactly like catching feelings. Thankfully Nicola of Quinn.tessential Effects was up for it because I love working with her, it's always guaranteed fun times. Only this particular time we (by we I mean me) were dehydrated because I lost all ability to remember where I put anything, the constant turning back and forth made me dizzy and I couldn't stop laughing but I couldn't actually laugh properly at the same time and spent maybe half of the shoot lying on my bedroom floor so she couldn't see me. This is not how I normally am, just to clarify. Normally I just walk out on shoots if I'm laughing. I've done that before. I am very professional, obviously, just look at this blog! 

Stage 1: Denial
Here we have the beginning of the affliction where things kind of suck because you're in love with a guy and he doesn't even know your name even though you sit next to him in science class but it's not all bad. You have hope for a speedy recovery (or that he'll learn your name soon despite the fact you've never spoken to him ever) from this crush thing you have going on and it's nothing a day of rest in bed can't fix!

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Part 2: Anger
Oh no, you looked up his social media. How dare he like another girls photo!! Life is officially over. OVER I TELL YOU!!

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Stage 3: Bargaining

Ok so maybe we overreacted just a little bit. Hormones, amiright?

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Stage 4: Depression
*Am I Not Pretty Enough plays in the background on loop and Kleenex sales go up*

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Stage 5: Acceptance

The fever is broken! You can move on with your life back to the days before you turned into Fatal Attraction. You're a strong independent black woman who don't need no man (or woman/whatever). 

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HAPPY DAYS!!!!!

And there is my Ode to Valentines Schmalentines. 

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(Shoot the Wicked Witch) Portrait Valentine's Day https://www.shootthewickedwitch.com/blog/2019/2/love-sick Wed, 13 Feb 2019 23:13:39 GMT
A long time ago, in a galaxy far far away... https://www.shootthewickedwitch.com/blog/2019/1/space-girl-photo-shoot A long time ago, in a galaxy far far away...

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Episode 1

It was January 2013, summer time, and I went to Rockingham to meet Bridget for a space themed photoshoot. Bridget had a space girl costume and I had turned a small water pistol into a raygun. It was going to be epic! The problem was neither of us considered how bright a salt lake would be at midday and were blinded. I was stupidly trying to use my Lensbaby which is hard to focus as is without the glare coming through the lens making my eyes water as well.  We eventually gave up and I left there looking like a human capsicum. Super attractive!

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Episode 2

Bridget and I rescheduled the photo shoot for another day and later in the afternoon thinking we would be smarter this time to avoid the harsh sunlight but we took a bit too long getting ready then we got lost and next thing it was dark and we still hadn't found the salt lake. In hindsight clearly we were idiots (or I am because I can't do maps) because it's right near the train station. Literally RIGHT NEXT TO THE TRAIN STATION!

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Episode 3

For the third attempt it was a "go large or go home" mood. We had gone opshopping for boots to go with the costume rather than the costumes leg wraparounds that looked daggy which Bridget painted silver and purple, Bridget also bought some earrings and painted them to go with the outfit which has just now occurred to me that you can't see them except for one photo. I painted a nerf gun so it would look much more impressive (aka larger) than the original gun I had. We even got ourselves a makeup artist. All was going well until it started to look like it was going to rain. I obviously started to freak out, this was the first shoot I've ever done multiple times and felt like it just wasn't meant to happen. Thankfully it held off and the overcast sky made it easier to shoot on the lake. The photos were a total success and we had a laugh at the fact all of my photoshoots end in someone dying but if you're stranded on a strange planet with no water you're going to die of dehydration, amiright?

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The Bonus Extras Nobody Really Cares About...

This shoot happened back in 2013 and is probably (with the exception of everything I did at Tafe) the longest I've ever taken to edit photos. At the time I didn't really know what I wanted to do with them but I loved the poster for Man Of Steel where Superman was on a blue planet of some kind and wanted to do something similar. I got as far as making the salt lake blue but it still felt like it was lacking. In 2015 a couple of friends send me a couple of astro photos they'd taken to play with and one became the sky. 2015-2016 were full on personally and I lacked the patience involved to finish these photos. 

The editing process: First up I used an action called Vanilla Pop which was a free download years ago from Paint The Moon. I just really like what it does to skin tones, then I adjust the opacity to where I want it and in this case used a layer mask so it didn't alter the ground as it was already white enough. I then added a colour balance layer with a layer mask to make the ground blue. I adjusted Curves to add a bit more contrast to the model and then added a 50% gray layer for dodging/burning. This is a trick I learned at Tafe so you can dodge and burn areas without altering the photo itself. I find dodging and burning directly onto images can have a more harsh affect so I avoid doing it that way and using the gray layer it makes it easier to go backwards if you decide you've overdone it. I made a group to create the sky. I used one of the astrophotography images then mucked around with the levels, colour balance and hue/saturation so it fit in with the rest of the image.

BEFORE

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AFTER

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This video is a sped-up version of my live editing. This was done slightly different as I was trying out high frequency separation which I'd just learned but I didn't use it on all of the photos. I didn't feel they really needed it. 

CREDITS

Model: Bridget Moore [Facebook]
Makeup: Lauren Ranger [Facebook / Instagram ]
If you would like to try out Paint The Moon actions they have a free download available here.

 

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(Shoot the Wicked Witch) Astrophotography Portrait https://www.shootthewickedwitch.com/blog/2019/1/space-girl-photo-shoot Mon, 28 Jan 2019 16:33:23 GMT
Punks Against Poverty Minifest https://www.shootthewickedwitch.com/blog/2018/12/punks-against-poverty-minifest For the last couple of years I've been running an event called Punks Against Poverty. The idea came after reading an article via Share the Dignity on how homeless women struggle dealing with their periods when they can't afford pads/tampons. For whatever reason that was something that never occurred to me. Some months I might look at my pack and wonder if I can get away without having to buy another pack, let alone ever having to wonder what I'd do if I couldn't afford them at all. It's one of those items women NEED in life. I love what Share the Dignity do to help women but I wanted to do something myself locally. Each show I've tried to have a different lineup, some have had raffles and others not (the first one had so many donations for raffles it was ridiculous) and my last one was Christmas themed (where I've never seen so many bands raise their hands to playing the show and singing a Christmas song, only to complain about having to sing a Christmas song!) and included a limited Christmas PAP t-shirt. This year I decided I wanted to try and make it bigger and it became a minifest featuring 9 awesome Perth bands. I also picked a new charity to fundraise for - Perth Homeless Support Group - who help the homeless with food, clothes, toiletries and support. They also hold regular fundraiser movie night fundraisers and stalls so check them out on Facebook to keep up to date with what's happening if you'd like to support them!

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This is where I thank everyone...
Thanks to Owen for the awesome zombie punk artwork and making my gig poster look freakin' cool!! 
Thanks to Leeches, Scalphunter, The Donald Trumpets, The Shakeys, Dead End Brawler, Priority One, Lo-Fire and Castle Bravo for playing!
Special thanks goes to The Wolfbats for filling in on extreme short notice as the opening act. Lifesavers!
Thanks to Shayne who is the awesome door girl at The Boston. The last couple shows she's been prepared with boxes for any donations and this time around handed out chocolates to anyone who donated spare change! She also insisted on driving me home after the show and given that I'm just about a cripple these days after a gig it was muchly appreciated.
Big thanks to The Boston who have let me have all of these shows at their venue and unlike other venues don't want an essay and your first born because you had shit attendance one night!! Some gigs are great, some gigs are not, you just never know how a gig is going to go or what you might be up against that night.
Lastly thank you to everyone who bought an online ticket and everyone who attended the show. Your support helps make a difference and that night we raised $1145!!

Now I'll give it at least six months so I can forget how much gig organising stresses me out and I might think about doing another. 
 

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(Shoot the Wicked Witch) Music Punks Against Poverty https://www.shootthewickedwitch.com/blog/2018/12/punks-against-poverty-minifest Sat, 01 Dec 2018 03:41:02 GMT
The Murderballs came to Perth! https://www.shootthewickedwitch.com/blog/2018/11/the-murderballs-came-to-perth Back in 2016 I made a stupid choice to go to Melbourne but that dumb choice led me to meet some rad peeps and see some cool bands I hadn't seen before. Two of those bands were The Murderballs and Udder Ubductees and nothing excited me more a couple months ago than hearing they were headed to Perth, I just wasn't thrilled by the venue so I sort of harassed one of them about if they'd be doing any other shows here. Lucky for me they did! That day I met up with Craig from The Donald Trumpets and drove to Freo for a "BBQ in the park" that was pizza by the beach. Amongst the gang were Brad who is also from Melbourne so that was pretty cool too. It was like a reunion. I met him when I saw his band Dixon Cider play at the Cherry Bar around 2014. Told him he had to bring his band to Perth and every time I got a facebook invite to a show I'd just casually throw in they forgot Perth. So I sort of got my wish I guess? On the drive to the venue Craig lets a couple of the guys know how I talk about them a lot. I just want to clarify that no I don't. He's lying. I did tell him more than once that he should do a sideshow with them when they were in Perth so hey look that's another wish granted! One day people will listen to me when I tell them I know cool bands. 

I've never been to the Railway Hotel but that place is actually kinda cool. I always got told it's out of the way and hard to get too and discovered its inbetween the train station and Swan Hotel. It's literally easier to get too. I don't know why people bag it other than the fact it's a bloody long trip from where I live (South Geraldton) and the eftpos machine didn't work. The girls toilets even had fancy bowls to wash your hands in. Apparently the boys toilets sucked. The stage lighting is super shit (I counted - there's 11 lights and it was still pretty dark for most of the time) and normally this wouldn't bother me but I forgot to pack my flash. Otherwise it's a great size venue and the outdoors section looked pretty cool too. They even serve real coke! That's important info right there because I don't drink alcohol and the syrupy stuff most bars have is fine, until you're onto your 3rd and feel like you might throw up from sugar overdose. 

I'm not going to say anything about the bands. You should have gone yourself but have some photos. 

The Donald Trumpets

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Udder Ubductees

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Roach Bones

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The Murderballs

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Check out the full photo gallery here 

You can find all the bands on Facebook - here's the links if you're the lazy type: The Donald Trumpets, Udder Ubductees, Roach Bones, The Murderballs.

 

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(Shoot the Wicked Witch) Music https://www.shootthewickedwitch.com/blog/2018/11/the-murderballs-came-to-perth Tue, 27 Nov 2018 08:58:45 GMT
Ghosted https://www.shootthewickedwitch.com/blog/2018/11/ghosted I really wanted to do a ghost photo shoot for Halloween. Well really I just wanted to do any Halloween shoot for Halloween, but a ghost was on the list.

This is not that shoot. 

I got to the cemetery early and felt a little bit awkward being in my usual black attire, resting bitch face set on 100% but not actually attending any of the 2-3 funerals apparently happening at that time.  

Everyone else rocked up and we walked to the older section to take some photos. Problem with this idea is it's not a simple click and shoot and WOW I have photos kind of shoot. There's a lot of trial and error trying to work out what angles would work, getting the tripod to be level (In the 3-4 years i've owned it I've only ever used it for astrophotography, I actually find tripods bloody frustrating because I like to think I'm a gymnast who can bounce off walls and furniture and I'm constantly moving so using a tripod just slows me down.) and spent more time concerned about time management than much else. I really wanted to make the most of the double exposure feature in the camera but in typical Kim style forgot how to use that feature (I've used it twice in...like 3-4 years and my brain needed that space clearly for new song lyrics) and jumped on Google because nothing I was doing was making it work. 10 minutes later and it turned out I just needed to turn off "live view". Story of my life. I only got to try the one angle here, I set it up and tried to get a variety of 'ghost' shots so I could try a double exposure later. 

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The one above was done in photoshop, the one below was done in camera. 

Ghost-33Ghost-33 Then we moved on to the mausoleum. I love saying mausoleum because it always makes me think of the movie Phantasm which is set at a mausoleum and features a tall scary dude with flying silver balls and it literally makes not one ounce of sense but somehow spawned like 4 movies. Yes I watched them all. No I couldn't work out what's going on. 

I tried some in camera double exposures here as well but they didn't work out as well as I'd hoped. Way too much movement for them to be successful. I'm not showing them but you can see these ones I took instead which show the makeup and styling a lot better. 

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While we headed back towards the entrance we passed one of my other fav spots to grab a photo. This pathway is just too pretty to not stop at!  Ghost-89Ghost-89 Lastly I thought ghosts might stop to smell the roses. I mean I might consider it when I'm dead because I will no longer have to worry about death by allergies..so you know, it could happen.

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Now for the important info:

Model Lily Sobieralski [Instagram]

Makeup by Total Beauty And Beyond [Facebook]

Styling by Waisted Lace Corsets & Couture [Facebook]

 

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(Shoot the Wicked Witch) Horror Portrait https://www.shootthewickedwitch.com/blog/2018/11/ghosted Sun, 04 Nov 2018 17:52:27 GMT
Australian International Tattoo Expo 2018 https://www.shootthewickedwitch.com/blog/2018/10/australian-international-tattoo-expo-2018 Last weekend the Australian Tattoo Expo hit Perth and while I had every intention of checking out the activities over the weekend, unfortunately I ended up only going on Sunday. Shoulder injuries and camera bags don’t go so great together.

I got there in time for the Shittest Tattoo Competition which had an interesting array of tattoos including a fish that looked like it was done by a five year old and a “We didn’t come here to fuck spiders mate” tattoo, complete with a penis. I thought for sure that would be the winner but a very late entrant proved us all wrong with his polka dot g-string tattoo!

A few of the stalls we spoke to about how their weekend had gone ranged from great, to Friday being the worst day, to just shrugging their shoulders. I really don’t know if that meant it was a let down or by Day 3 they were just over it and wanted to go home. We grabbed ourselves some food and scored some seats down the front for the Fuel Girls. I got to see them two years ago and left with a massive girlcrush on one of them so I was pretty excited to see what the girls had to offer this time. It was mostly a let down. The first act looked seriously depressed and it just reminded me of the The Bloodhound Gang’s ‘A Lap Dance Is So Much Better When The Stripper Is Cryin’. The next act was a feisty catwoman with a large bowl of milk that went EVERYWHERE at the front of the stage and the third act came out looking a bit like that chick from The Fifth Element. Between the three there wasn’t much pyrotechnics.

Walking around the tattoo artists stands some weren’t doing tattoos that day, but it got me thinking how great it would be if tattoo artists had Afterpay. I definitely would have got one that day if it existed. So many great little astronaut tattoos! One lady let me know some artists over east do already use Afterpay which is awesome to hear, maybe it will catch on and more will use it. All up the day wasn’t too bad. There were a lot of talented artists in the room and I left there with an A3 print of Freddy Kreuger for my walls. Probably the weirdest part of the day was finding an ice cream truck amongst it all and somehow I managed to not go and buy fairy floss.

Australian Tattoo Expo: Site // Facebook // Instagram // Twitter.


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(Shoot the Wicked Witch) Events Tattoo Expo https://www.shootthewickedwitch.com/blog/2018/10/australian-international-tattoo-expo-2018 Mon, 15 Oct 2018 16:00:00 GMT
Mental Health Awareness Month https://www.shootthewickedwitch.com/blog/2018/10/mental-health-awareness-month I figured since it's Mental Health Awareness Month it's a perfect time to revisit an old photo shoot at an abandoned mental hospital.

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Did you even urbex if you didn't take a selfie in a broken mirror?

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The Patient

The whole idea behind this shoot was "oooooh abandoned mental asylum" and someone owning a straight jacket. That's it. I did a bit of a re-edit on them. There was nothing particularly wrong with the originals, they were just super yellow-orangey because I didn't know how to colour correct photos properly back then. Not that you can tell here, they're all black and white, but I figured a super old building such as this should have super old looking photos...so they're black and white. Colour photography wasn't really accessible to everyone until the 1970's so it makes sense to me!

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"No Offence But You're Fucked In The Head, Right?" prints are available in the store.

 

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(Shoot the Wicked Witch) Horror Mental Health Mental Health Day Portrait Urban Exploring Urbex https://www.shootthewickedwitch.com/blog/2018/10/mental-health-awareness-month Thu, 11 Oct 2018 07:16:35 GMT
Whoa-o I Went To A Beer Party! https://www.shootthewickedwitch.com/blog/2018/8/i-went-to-a-beer-party Last Friday Perth's coolest band The Donald Trumpets had a beer party for some gang vocals for their song Beer Party. Not me though. I insisted I was drinking Coke. Then I insisted they needed to buy ice because nobody in their right mind drinks coke warm (this argument was won when they realised someone didn't buy cider so there was another bottle-o run). Gross! I also wasn't joining in on the gang vocals. If I didn't sing on the Chainsaw Hookers album (I won't even talk at the best of times) I sure as hell wasn't singing that night either. I was sticking to what I'm good at - photos!

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Check out The Donald Trumpets on Facebook!

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(Shoot the Wicked Witch) Events Music Portrait The Donald Trumpets https://www.shootthewickedwitch.com/blog/2018/8/i-went-to-a-beer-party Sun, 19 Aug 2018 07:52:49 GMT
Breaking Punk Presents Blind Man Death Stare And Forgets My Camera https://www.shootthewickedwitch.com/blog/2018/7/breaking-punk-presents-blind-man-death-stare-and-forgets-my-camera I thought I was being super clever the last time I caught up with Leigh for our bro date by giving him my camera bag so I had one less thing to carry the day of the Blind Man Death Stare gig. Turns out we're dumb and dumber. He left my bag at his house so I was left with my Lensbaby (which I almost didn't bring). Problem was I had two ciders before the show (because my birthday was the next day and I figured if there's no camera I'll let loose) and I was too messed up to focus it. I mean I tried, but I gave up pretty fast too. To be fair, the lens is pretty hard to focus on bands when sober (which for the record is most times, I haven't touched alcohol since before xmas so things hit fast and everything was hilarious). It's hard to focus in general.. 

Dead End Brawler

Before the gig I'd posted on Facebook how I was going to try redeeming myself with the photos I'd taken of them at the last Breaking Punk shows.

I didn't.

They wanted to see the photos afterwards and not only were they deeply offended I took fuck all photos, they were further offended I didn't keep the really bad photos from the last gig. I'm so used to prima donnas in the music scene I think I might love these fellas. Keep an eye out for future bad photos of them by me!

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Blindspot

I did slightly better here because there's 3 photos for them.

I also maybe added to the argument that only the singer matters in a band. Or as I said to Ben before the show "I'm only excited to see Dead End Brawler tonight. Nothing against you, i've just seen you a million times".

I'm not sure why I don't have more friends. I'm delightful. 

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Blind Man Death Stare

Then things went to shit...I'm not sure how I reached a point of being worse but it happened #skilled

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Before they started one of the guys (the one above who I so very clearly documented) said they weren't starting til 'the two girls up the back come up front'. That was directed at my cousin and I. I moved forward and he realised I had a camera and asked something about if I was going to take photos. I just stood there and shook my head no. According to Karen I followed this up with how the camera is just for decoration. I don't recall saying this at all but to be honest it does sound like something I'd say because I don't know how not to be a smartass. After two photos I realised this wasn't working. Then Karen decided to have a go. She took this...I mean I was drunk, what's her excuse?

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Just kidding. Well I'm not, she DID take that photo but she did do ok on the others! She also hates my Lensbaby and now i'm not sure we can really be friends. 

So here's Karen's photos edited by me..and yes they have my watermark because I batch saved and I don't care and I edited them so whatever.

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Is it just me or is this the most erotic gig photo of all time?

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The Decline

You could probably say my photography Declined that night. See what I did there? After BMDS I recall going outside, but then wanting to go downstairs because downstairs has couches and less noise but I didn't know The Decline were in there and that kind of ruined my plans. I decided I didn't care and just aimed straight at a couch. I like couches. You can nap on them. Or you can try too but people are like "no Kim don't lie down!". From here on in I just took interesting photos of The Decline's t-shirts. 

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Next gig is in a week and hopefully Leigh brings my camera along to that one or he's paying me anyway. 

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(Shoot the Wicked Witch) Breaking Punk Lensbaby Music https://www.shootthewickedwitch.com/blog/2018/7/breaking-punk-presents-blind-man-death-stare-and-forgets-my-camera Mon, 23 Jul 2018 18:35:22 GMT
Urbex #1 https://www.shootthewickedwitch.com/blog/2018/6/urbex-1 On Tuesday I got to go on a bit of urban exploring with a friend, something I haven't had a chance to do since my last adventure to Melbourne, and we checked out a place just south of Perth. It was like a garbage tip. There were two huge piles of just everything imaginable outside from clothes, wardrobes, mirrors, chairs, couches, underwear.. inside the floors were seriously disgusting due to a mix of insulation (the roof for the most part didn't exist) and rain and it had the cleanest walls I've ever seen in an abandoned building. There was a major lack of graffiti however there was a feminine hygiene product just randomly stuck to a window. I guess this suburb only has classy vandals. A couple of rooms inside were filed with roof tiles and another room (which had a sign saying "no cooking in the loungerooms" was packed with handmade bookcases.Whoever filled that room is good at Tetris!

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Check out the full gallery here 

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(Shoot the Wicked Witch) Urban Exploring Urbex https://www.shootthewickedwitch.com/blog/2018/6/urbex-1 Sat, 30 Jun 2018 08:17:22 GMT
13 Reasons Why & Mental Health https://www.shootthewickedwitch.com/blog/2018/5/13-reasons-why-mental-health The so-called ‘psychotically depressed’ person who tries to kill herself doesn’t do so out of quote ‘hopelessness’ or any abstract conviction that life’s assets and debits do not square. And surely not because death seems suddenly appealing. The person in whom Its invisible agony reaches a certain unendurable level will kill herself the same way a trapped person will eventually jump from the window of a burning high-rise. Make no mistake about people who leap from burning windows. Their terror of falling from a great height is still just as great as it would be for you or me standing speculatively at the same window just checking out the view; i.e. the fear of falling remains a constant. The variable here is the other terror, the fire’s flames: when the flames get close enough, falling to death becomes the slightly less terrible of two terrors. It’s not desiring the fall; it’s terror of the flames. And yet nobody down on the sidewalk, looking up and yelling ‘Don’t!’ and ‘Hang on!’, can understand the jump. Not really. You’d have to have personally been trapped and felt flames to really understand a terror way beyond falling.
- David Foster Wallace

On Friday, season 2 of 13 Reasons Why hit Netflix. This is a show that people seemed to either love or hate. 13_reasons_why_character_poster_alex_standall13_reasons_why_character_poster_alex_standall
Hate because it was too in their face and "glorified" suicide. I don't think it does at all. It is very in your face and blunt, which is what we need as a society to wake up to ourselves, but let's not kid ourselves that this show is going to be responsible for a string of suicides. We all knew how to slit our wrists before this showed aired last year. The point of this show is to be more observant of how you treat others and to look out for your friends. Reach out if they look like they need help. I rewatched 13 Reasons Whyfrom the
beginning and I'm currently half way through the second season (how great is binge watching?) and it got me thinking of my own battle with mental illness and the problem with social media. A couple of days ago I logged on and was faced with a giant pop up window from Facebook asking me if I'm ok. The only way to get out of this window was to click the button below which provided me with a list of services and phone numbers I could use. It made me laugh that people on Facebook don’t give a shit about what happens to you, people will go as far as to tell you not to write your problems on Facebook and how it’s personal and should stay that way, but Facebook felt I needed help over my last post which wasn’t even the worst I’ve ever written. I was bitching about Centrelink and used the phrase "suicidal ideation". All of this got me thinking about writing about mental health issues but the biggest problem I’m facing is I fear the backlash from this post. There’s always backlash. How much should I share? How much is acceptable and who determines what is acceptable? But how are we going to get over the stigma if we aren’t allowed to open up and talk about it? I don’t know why I’m really writing this other than to make a point that many of us go through it undetected. Many people think depression is “you’re just a bit sad, have you tried not being sad?” or "you need to get some sunlight". It’s not a chemical imbalance for everybody. Pills don’t work for everybody.

I’ve been battling depression, insomnia, anxiety and body dysmorphia since I was a teenager. Just before New Years I decided I was going to kill myself. I obviously didn’t since I’m writing this but I went to my GP and asked for a psych referral and why I needed one. My first visit with the psychologist she asked me why I didn’t go through with it and my answer was simply “I didn’t have enough pills”. It wasn’t that I had a change of heart, I just didn’t have enough to do it that night. I actually googled how much I’d need I was that set on doing it. I was a box short. My “rational” thinking for why I don’t do it now is quite morbid and I’m not going into that. Since then though I haven’t gone to the doctor to get any more pain killers which I actually need just so I don’t have the temptation lying around the house because the thoughts are still there, just some days they aren’t so loud.

Over the years I’ve met people who think depression is just a made up term by doctors for people who are “too weak” and can’t handle life but now it’s 2018 and not much has changed. Either people think you’re weak or they don’t want you talking about it. Either way you should just keep your problems to yourself because nobody wants to hear about them. That is until you kill yourself and these same people can stand there and say you should have come to them for help.


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The problem I find with Facebook is that everyone loves to share the RUOK? Day posts and the suicide hotline posts so they can feel
like a supporter for 30 seconds and everyone likes their post and they get a virtual pat on the back. But where are these people when someone clearly is having problems? They’re nowhere to be found. The problem with these posts is that they always seem to have the focus on the person reaching out to others for help.

The whole point of RUOK? Day is for YOU to ask someone else how they’re doing. There's even a section on their website all about it - https://www.ruok.org.au/how-to-ask. Not to share a generic post to your Facebook wall. A person with depression, especially when they are at their darkest, doesn’t feel like they have anyone they can talk too. They feel like a burden or abandoned depending on how their friends treat them during that time. Why would they ask you for help if they don’t feel like you’re there for them in the first place? The first time I made any sort of a remark about depression was back around February on Facebook and I was met with a joke. It wasn’t even a good joke. I’d made a completely serious question of “Do depression and suicidal tendencies come under the same category?” I was trying to fill in disability paperwork and I didn’t know if they were separate illnesses. With how many people like to openly talk about being depressed on Facebook I figured someone might have an answer. That was my first mistake. Thankfully someone who was studying psychology private messaged me to give me an adult answer. Not everyone depressed is suicidal. That was when I decided I’d had enough of Facebook and deleted my account. It’s fake. Nobody really cares about anything. Nobody knows how to communicate anymore. People feel like they don’t have to speak to you because they saw you make a status update so they think they know what’s happening in your life. It’s just a great way to feel like you have a heap of friends or pretend your life is perfect. Nobody even notices when you leave Facebook. How to feel like you made no impact at all on people!

For all the years I've dealt with depression it's been in the last two years that I have found out it actually goes further than that. That’s just when my suicidal ideation – which is the fancy doctor term for it – kicked in. I’ve had friends over the last 10 years all convinced I’m some undiagnosed ADHD kid because I can’t concentrate on anything and for other reasons. All of my primary school reports say the same thing – that it looks like I’m 100% paying attention but really I’m somewhere else. Turns out that’s also a sign of depression because you’re so anxious about what’s waiting for you when you get home you can’t concentrate at school, which makes me wonder how many kids are misdiagnosed with ADHD each year.

In under three years I’ve seen two psychologists that have come to the same conclusion: I’ve had depression since I was a little kid. I was bullied at school and at home. Home life had it’s own box of issues with domestic violence and emotional/mental abuse lasting 17 years but relatives would let me know constantly I was fat as well. Then it was all about how I didn’t stand up straight because I allegedly made a conscious decision to slouch at the age of 8 (this was when I was misdiagnosed as having scoliosis which isn’t a self inflicted disease). I overheard a family friend one night say “She’d be pretty if it wasn’t for her back”. This is why I don’t accept compliments for those who have ever wondered. They are always followed by “if”. By year 11 and 12 I had a borderline eating disorder and was self harming. I was bullied relentlessly because of my spine. I honestly believed I looked like the elephant man from the constant narration of my appearance. I was quite obviously hideous, everyone kept saying so. The next three years my depression and anxiety escalated so much I ended up sociophobic and all I did was stay locked in my room or cry. My anxiety was so bad I wouldn’t even walk to the letterbox and back if I saw a neighbor outside. I only started to overcome that after the death of my mum. It was thanks to her that I loved music and getting into the local punk scene was the first time in my life where I felt comfortable around people and could be myself and enjoyed going out. I loved taking photos of all the bands. It took a while for it to sink in that these people saw me as a friend and not just the girl who takes photos but in the last two years I just feel like a stranger in the room. Someone felt the need to start some rumours and with a string of health issues at the time I’ve just never bounced back. I’ve tried. Last year was the hardest dealing with my back problems and thanks to an injury at a gig not 2 weeks after I had seen the spine specialist I now have arthritis in my neck which fucked everything up. To be blunt: he ruined my life. I’ll never know if these anti-inflammatories would have helped me get on with life because the arthritis killed my ability to do anything. Doctors have told me there's nothing that can be done. I had to cut back on gigs I shot per month because I couldn’t physically do it, I had to give up my studio space as well that I had barely a year. I was so excited to get that space and had so many plans for it and I never even got to use it properly because of how much pain my neck would have me in. That is how I ended up on codeine. This is how I ended up in my current headspace. Do you have any idea how hard it is to give up the one thing that gives you any joy or purpose in life? It was the one thing that kept me sane and it’s gone and suddenly so were the people I talked too. People were starting to act strangely around me and I wasn’t sure if it was something I was doing or if they just didn’t want to be near me. When people ask you how you are they don’t really want to hear anything other than “fine” and my life is far from being fine but I say it just to get the small talk over with. If you dare to say life is crap they just look awkward and walk away. I try to limit how crap I have to feel in any given situation.

screen-shot-2018-05-06-at-9-49-13-pmscreen-shot-2018-05-06-at-9-49-13-pm My psychologist asked me if I pull away from people and maybe I do, but I don’t see anybody else trying either. Why is it again on the depressed person to have to reach out to people? I tried to talk to a friend about suicide and was met with total silence and a topic change. You’re left feeling like an attention seeker when you really just want to be able to talk about what’s going on inside your head. What god are friends if you can't have a serious conversation once and a while? It makes me feel weird talking to my psychologist about it for that very reason but at the same time I feel like she shouldn’t be the only person I can talk to about this. Who do I talk too once my sessions are over? My last session she stopped me to ask if I’d been hurting myself, so clearly I’m nowhere near ready to stop sessions yet. But that’s the other stigma of mental health issues, if you haven’t actually attempted suicide are you even that serious about it? Obviously you just want attention, but what attention am I getting if nobody is around to hear it?

Wrath_bad copyWrath_bad copy This is why I love 13 Reasons Why as a show. It perfectly depicts how the most trivial of things to some people can set off an avalanche for another. A few small things start going wrong and I fall apart. It feels like the entire universe is against you every day. Nobody anywhere at school or at home sees the pain you are going through. You’re invisible (or the world’s greatest actress) and it’s a daily event. There’s no escaping it. My final two years in high school were spent being bullied every single day and I was self harming, thinking about killing myself and thinking about how I could kill my school bullies. I admit if my parents owned a gun I probably would have used it. This is why I used the Columbine school shooting as inspiration for my “Wrath” photograph for my 7 Deadly Sins series because it was something I could relate too. This is probably the one and only time I’ve put something of myself into my artwork. I even saw the school councellor one day who didn’t take anything seriously and rang my mum as soon as I left the office. I got yelled out when I got home for trying to get out of class. Over the years not much has changed, I’ve just watched friends come and go when all they’ve noticed is “you talk less” or if I can't focus on only them anymore. I can understand that it’s hard for some people to deal with the topic of depression and suicide but do you really think ditching the person is the best answer to this? How is that really going to help a person who clearly needs help and is on the edge already? So all these years later, somehow I’ve managed to trust psychologists more but no I won’t ask friends for help. Why would I? People love to tell me how strong I am but what choice do I have? It’s not like anyone is around to help. Despite how many people try to talk about it on social media there are more people who don’t want to hear it. A person shouldn’t have to pay someone to care about them and listen to them, especially when those sessions are limited. Medicare only covers 12 sessions a year and not everyone can afford $160 per visit. I honestly believe people have forgotten how to be decent human beings to other people. If someone needs to talk they’re not necessarily after advice, then just need to get it off their chest. They need to know somebody cares about them. If you care just sit and listen. If its hard for you to hear, think about how much harder it is for the person trying to reach out and share their problems.

I won't be sharing a whole bunch of links or hotlines on here because let's be honest, we've all seen them multiple times a week on social media. We know how to look up a phone number.

 

 

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(Shoot the Wicked Witch) 13 reasons why Mental Health RUOK? Day https://www.shootthewickedwitch.com/blog/2018/5/13-reasons-why-mental-health Tue, 22 May 2018 03:30:00 GMT
Hey Stud! - Ashaylerella https://www.shootthewickedwitch.com/blog/2018/5/hey-stud---ashaylerella HeyStudJewellery-034 1 webHeyStudJewellery-034 1 web

The first look we did using the Hey Stud! accessories was a kitsch space girl. While makeup was happening I decided to stick alfoil over half of my balcony screen/wall/thing because I thought it would be a cool backdrop. This was the beginning of my inner frustration because apparently half way through the roll it stops coming off like it should and tearing at weird angles. It did this on both rolls of alfoil paper. Then I chose to have an epic brain leak for the first 30 minutes of the shoot using my own equipment. No matter what I did every photo was half dark which also happened to be the side the light was standing on. I know right, makes no sense! I was suddenly thinking I'd forgotten how to do photography. In frustration I went to change the light to my softbox but couldn't find the cover for it, ran downstairs when it hits me my shutter speed is probably wrong. Sure enough...it was. Now for those of you sitting there wondering what the fuck I'm even talking about: Your shutter speed needs to be at 125/second for flash photography, you can't shoot at a faster shutter speed unless you're doing high-speed sync somethingorother which I don't know how to do, otherwise generally it's too fast and you only capture half of the light which was happening in my photos. I'm really explaining this badly. I should have saved a photo but how was I to know I'd out myself as sometimes incompetent in my own blog?!

set upset up

Worlds Greatest Backdrop Set-Up vs Actual Photo

Once I had that brain fart over with it was all systems go! The alfoil worked really well with Ashayla's silver getup and it's all super shiny and awesome. I bought myself some lens-flare presets because I'm addicted to an app on my phone that can create them and I came close to just editing the photos on my phone. I've quite literally hurt my left arm from playing with lens flare presets. They're adjustable so I can move them to different areas of the photo (some have like 20 dots I can move around) and I can change their size/shape/exposure. It's all very exciting trust me. Basically I sat at the laptop WAAAAAAAYYYYYY too long yesterday and got some sort of laptop elbow weirdness going on. Worth it.

LINKS!!!!

You can find Hey Stud! on Facebookinstagram and you can buy their goodies on Etsy.

You can follow Quinn.tessential Effects on Facebook and instagram.

You can find model Ashayla Webster on Facebook and instagram as well!

 

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(Shoot the Wicked Witch) Behind The Scenes Fashion Portrait https://www.shootthewickedwitch.com/blog/2018/5/hey-stud---ashaylerella Tue, 08 May 2018 15:45:00 GMT
Hey Stud! - Ms Kreuger https://www.shootthewickedwitch.com/blog/2018/5/hey-stud---ms-kreuger Idea 1Idea 1 Last weekend I had a day of shooting on my balcony because we've declared my balcony a makeshit (haha where's Freud right now?) I mean makeshift studio. Somehow I fit 6 people, 3 flamingos, a tree and my studio gear out there.

We were shooting some super cute accessories by Hey Stud!, a melbourne biz making acrylic and wood earrings and brooches. I came across them on instagram and tried my luck at doing a collab. I was pretty happy when they said yes and once the stuff turned up at my place myself and Nic from Quinn.tessential Effects worked on ideas for shoots.

The first photos I'm sharing I've dubbed "Ms Krueger" and you'll see why here...

HeyStudJewellery-088HeyStudJewellery-088 There were some Jack-o-lantern earrings and a "I love horror" badge so obviously the only idea I had was horror girl - with my skeleton - some popcorn - and one of my t-shirts. Thanks to Horror Block and Teevillain I have a collection to choose from. Thanks to my obsession with horror and halloween in general my home is one huge prop. I left the makeup completely up to Quinn.tessential Effects.

I didn't know how I wanted to shoot it (the cinema would have been cool but I've done that once before and didn't want to ask to do it again) so decided to try doing the shoot so it looked like they were watching tv and the photos are ok but it was hard to see the jewellery because arms or hair were in the way. We did some more shots on the balcony for clearer closeups and then pretended that I work for Vogue magazine and made a layout. Obviously, graphic design isn't my strong point..

idea 2 webidea 2 web You can find Hey Stud! on Facebookinstagram and you can buy their goodies on Etsy.

Chucky t-shirt is from teeVillain. teeVillain is a t-shirt site where you’ll find a killer limited edition shirt being sold for $11 for only 24 hours. The following 24 hours will feature a new design and so on and so forth. We choose the most ingenious designs that reflect everything eVil & Villainy, as well as works pertaining to anything Artistic, Pulp Style, Low-Brow, Pop Culture, TV, Movies, Music, Video Games, Comics, etc… all things cool & eVil basically. Tshirt design is by Paula Garcia.

You can follow Quinn.tessential Effects on Facebook and instagram.

You can find model Lamia Emilia on Facebook and instagram as well!

 

 

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(Shoot the Wicked Witch) Fashion Halloween Horror Portrait https://www.shootthewickedwitch.com/blog/2018/5/hey-stud---ms-kreuger Sun, 06 May 2018 09:45:00 GMT
Thanks for the mansplaining, I've got this. https://www.shootthewickedwitch.com/blog/2018/4/thanks-for-the-mansplaining-ive-got-this It seems 2018 is carrying on the strong tradition of crapping on music photographers which is super cool but I'm getting over it fast. I'm definitely reaching a point where if I never photograph a gig again I just wouldn't care because the attitudes from all corners of the industry suck and any fun in it is long gone. In the past three weeks I've had some guy photographer be faux-concerned over my camera while I'm busy taking photos because apparently I don't know what I'm doing, someone dumped their glass in my camera bag - yes IN my bag - so I came back to find it wet from the ice that melted in it freaking out over the state of my gear inside it, got slammed so hard that I almost dropped my camera and last night some ass stuck his cigarette butt in my camera bag. I'm pretty sure we're going backwards as a society because who the fuck does this?! Just how little respect do you have for other people and their belongings that you think this is ok behaviour?

Thankfully it's not too often compared to the general crap us girls get off guys at gigs (You might have seen this Wall Of Sound article 'Don't Be The Scum Disrespecting Women At Gigs..') like egomaniac security, bitchy doormen and arrogant promoters who think it's ok to yell at the photographer (he didn't want to have a go at the reviewer who also wasn't on the door) but not the people responsible for screwing up the media passes or the fact that most guys see a girl at a show and just assume you're the girlfriend of someone or want to be (because girls can't possibly like music, what nonsense!), but men need to stop telling me how to take photos. This probably pisses me off the most out of everything. Fun Fact: Girls can do more than photograph babies. I'm pretty sure I know what I'm doing, I've been taking photos of bands since 1997. I've won things. Girls don't feel the need to tell me what I'm doing (until they want a photo of themselves and 20 photos later they still aren't happy..it's not me, it's your face) so why do men?

Pitch Perfect 3 sums everything up nicely

I've had this for years online from male photographers who felt the need to belittle everyone else so they feel good about themselves. Whatever gets you through the day but maybe try another hobby. I had a guy tell me my airbrushing was "shit" and so were my lecturers. My lecturers were all ex medical/cinematic/photo journalists and one is still a wedding photographer...but yes, they are terrible. It was my first ever go at airbrushing and she didn't look like Barbie so I wasn't sure what the problem was, but this was coming from a guy who thought buying an L lens made you a better photographer and proudly proclaimed it took him 20 hours to edit one photo. If a portrait needs that much work sell your camera dude. You clearly don't know what you're doing with it.

So you tend to expect it from male photographers because any forum has at least a few with their heads so firmly wedged up their own asses they need to remind everyone how much work they get and let you know how crap you are, when everyone started that way. It took me six months to grasp the point of the aperture just in time for my final assessment at tafe. Fine Arts is not the place to learn photography in case you're wondering. At gigs it happens and at most men there should only be discussing the music and which beer is the best. I've had men tell me where I should stand to get "the shot" after having done just that, how to take photos while grabbing my lens (by the front) attached to my camera IN my hands! Fellas you aren't a 3 year old in a toy store that needs to press all the buttons that makes all the noises and shiny things happen. Keep your fucking hands to yourself! This is up there with touching a girls ass uninvited in my opinion, don't touch what isn't yours. It's really simple!  My favourite is when they look at my gear like I don't possibly have the first clue what I'm doing and the prime example of that was just recently where some guy stopped taking photos to let me know mid-set my lens had a shattered filter as if I possibly had no idea. I smashed that thing with a hammer on purpose. I'll have you know it makes for epic photos. Amazingly nobody has questioned when I'm using the Lensbaby but I figure it's only a matter of time.