01. How long am I doing this? Since 2002 (an egyptian jackal with hooves). Faulty construction, but looked ok. As everything in life you get better at things the more often you do them. And fear not: after every finished project one has already plans for the next ones- including improvements of the last.
02. How long does a project take? To achieve an ok- look I calculate (depending on the design) between 40 and 100 hours. There is no upper limit, only deadlines and budgets. At some time one declares the project finished. Weeeelll- during the next maintenance perhaps a few details....
03. Do I sell the creatures? No. One reason is that there are no one-size-fits-all-monsters; they have to be tailormade to function properly. They must - like film-props -constantly be maintained which I couldnīt warrant. And third: Appropriate to the outrageous number of hours going into the production (not to mention material) the price for a fullsize- outfit would be something with four numbers. Only few people who are not movie- producers are willing to spend so much money (and, by the gods- they get real value for it) and it would certainly blow the budget of most game organizers.
And last: Iīve got no illusions about the fact that for so much money you get better guys than me (see also 05).
04. Do I take commissions? I know exactly what will happen when I say “yes” here, but who reads the captions will find that I do it now and then. Please keep in mind that in any case I spend about 2+ months per year with my own stuff - in addition to my job, girlfriend, other hobbies (yes, there are a few) and of course
05. How much is a monster? Again- theoretically no upper limit. For an ok- result I calculate 50 - 100 € for material. The time needed falls under “thatīs the hobby”.
But letīs calculate a price for a potential customer: 250 hours are one and a half months- and theyīre absolutlety realistic for a monster I build over the winter. So a creature like that should earn one and a half monthīs wages plus calculated material. And how much would one charge for one hour?
In other words: weīre not talking about a heap of cheap foam, but a creation of value (thereīs tax and such) of 3.500,- to 4.000,- €. Iīve recently seen a tv-report about a professional mask artist who builds superdetailed human masks for films: 6 weeks production time and 6.000,- € - per mask.
Thatīs why building monsters only makes sense for film- productions- and I am not good enough for that.
06. Could I make a living from building monsters ? No. See 03. and 05.
07. Do I lend my creatures? No; wouldnīt work. Mine are all taylormade and therefore fit only 1,9m/100kg- guys. And the others are no longer with me: I build them, the convention- organisers pay the for material and store them (or not). But I am not averse to guest- appearences...
08 Who shoots the pictures on your website? Most of mine are made by my girlfriend- thanks, Iīll pass on the compliments. My cameras are cheap ones not over 150,- €. Pictures are cut, improved, exif- stripped and attribute- harmonised. The attributes you see are from the upload. Pics are between 20 and 120 Mb (I know thatīs too big and am working on it).
My Photos are not atmospheric pictures- I want to see. Therefore I light up dark areas.
When you send me photos the only requirement is “sharp”. Be they as dark as they want- if there are pixels I will find them.
09. Why are there no labels from “beginner” to “advanced”? Because I donīt know what criteria to apply. Basically can be said: If you want something very much, youīll get satisfying results- not only when building things for larp.
But if youīd like to see real pros at work: take any Lord- of- the-Rings- special- edition and have a look at the making-ofs concerning weta workshop. After that one again knows oneīs place in the world.
10. Why all the larp- stories? Supposedly this is a collection of monster- making- ofs and not your memoirs. In your e-mails I am frequently reminded that big G also leads non-larpers to this website. And the kindergarten teacher who is looking for a proper christmas decoration for the dear kiddies (and finds Nicodemus...) has perhaps never been attacked by orks. Thatīs why Iīm telling stuff now and then. Insiders should just read over the passages. Donīt be too angry, ok? I very well know that polluting the environment with oneīs larp stories counts as an infringement in most countries.
11. Your pictures are ok but should be darker. Problems with the illumination? Well, sort of... in most cases... how should I phrase it... it might be your monitor. Most of them - especially laptops- are adjusted way too light because of most people working in clear daylight. Find a picture with something you know is black. If you see it grey or even light grey, try calbrating or adjusting the “gamma” of your monitor.
The advantage of a proper calibrated monitor is that youīll get a whole new photo-viewing-experience. The disadvantage is that most photos in the net are too dark, because they have been edited with a too-light monitor.
As so much in life itīs a question of philosophy...