What's the story behind the (Photo) Story?

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Thread: What's the story behind the (Photo) Story?

  1. #1
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    What's the story behind the (Photo) Story?

    I was looking at the cool stuff posted on Deering productions recently and was wondering about this awesome story called Jupiter Island:

    http://www.deeringproductions.com/Jupiterisland/JI.htm. It looks like part of it is missing.

    It also got me thinking about other dio-stories that have kind of disappeared. Does anyone remember the following stories?

    A photo-story posted on Small Blue Planet's website that revolved around a missing scientist. It featured Max Steel figs as the bad guy's clone army and the end featured the scientist as a Neo-Henshin cyborg with an elite force Asian head. Trippy stuff.

    There also was funny one that featured an adventure team joe getting into all sorts of trouble in a house. He is even captured by Dragon WWII Germans on top of the refrigerator.

    I also lost a recent one called tales from the Crossroads or something like that, which takes place at an out of the way lodge that seems to have more going on then meets the eye. I was just viewing it a few weeks ago and can't find it anywhere. It's notable for a few pages of two figs...well...getting it on.

    Anyone remember other ones?
    Clay Quartermain: "Freeze! I'm an agent of SHIELD!"

    Rhino: "REALLY?!?! WOW, I've never killed one of those before!"

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  3. #2
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    Not really for the ones there, but I remember the Jupiter Island ones. Photostories are one of my favourite things in this hobby. I remember getting really into this hobby back in 2001 because of a photo story about SEALS and Spetznaz over at GreenLeader's board. Set 961, I think.

    I remember the one about the Max Steel one - that was really good stuff man. Those were the days pre-cable connection, and I remembered opening a few windows so that the storyboards could load simultaneously! That one was good, and they made use of quite abit of the CY girls, who were then just released (and ALOT more affordable).

    The others, not so much, but there was one about a pair's crazy adventures in space. I can't remember who the cretor was, but there was this character called Rusty (using DML Chow's head) who always cracked me up!

    A little off-topic: Correct me if I am wrong please (and I would love to be in this case), but it seems that photostories were most popular back in 2000 to 2003, and they sort of like faded away, in the sense that people just stopped making them. Or maybe I have just been looking in the wrong places. I think being able to create storylines out of your figures is really one of the most enjoyable aspects of the hobby. I myself did a few before, but I haven't really had time for 1:6 per se, much less a photostory.
    History repeats itself, first as tragedy, then as farce. - Karl Marx

  4. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by jcast View Post
    There also was funny one that featured an adventure team joe getting into all sorts of trouble in a house. He is even captured by Dragon WWII Germans on top of the refrigerator.
    That kind of sounds like one of Sean Huxter's early stories. I'm sorry but I've long since lost the link to his site, although I think it's still up and running.
    OK, so where are we going and why are we in this handbasket?

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  6. #4
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    I know only the crossroads story : http://www.cheridoll.com/
    I love photostories. In the German AFD forum we're sending around a figure called Tom, so every member can take some pics with Tom in his hometown.
    When Tom comes to my town, I will try to do my first little photostory.

  7. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Yujin View Post
    The others, not so much, but there was one about a pair's crazy adventures in space. I can't remember who the cretor was, but there was this character called Rusty (using DML Chow's head) who always cracked me up!
    I don't remember the name of the story but that was also done by Dan Burke, aka "danartman", the creator of Jupiter Island. Dan DiBiase now hosts Jupiter Island at his Deering Productions site but I don't know if any of Dan Burke's other stories are still hosted anywhere.

    A little off-topic: Correct me if I am wrong please (and I would love to be in this case), but it seems that photostories were most popular back in 2000 to 2003, and they sort of like faded away, in the sense that people just stopped making them. Or maybe I have just been looking in the wrong places. I think being able to create storylines out of your figures is really one of the most enjoyable aspects of the hobby. I myself did a few before, but I haven't really had time for 1:6 per se, much less a photostory.
    I think a lot of the reason you see fewer photostories, at least the "big production" kind from the era you mentioned, is because of the metric butt-load of work and financial commitment needed to pull them off. Add to that the demands of daily life and the fact that some of these guys had lives and marriages fall apart during production work, you can see why it's often hard to make photostories happen.

    I had one "in the works" about a year and a half ago and just about every thing that could go wrong did go wrong. I shot and posted three or four episodes before realizing that I wasn't going to be able to make it happen with the limited number of figures and uniforms I had chosen. Then the photohost died. Then my camera died and a series of other financial issues kept me from buying a replacement. Nowadays, I'm in to a major, on-going repair and renovation project on my house that consumes most of my "free time" and extra money.

    I decided not to re-post the original chapters of my story because I didn't think they were all that great and I couldn't readily tie them in to the changes I had since made. I have managed to put together enough figures and parts to create squads of the two opposing forces and I've done a number of changes to the back story. I've decided that if I ever start work on it again, I will probably do short, self-contained stories rather than a continuing saga.
    OK, so where are we going and why are we in this handbasket?

  8. #6
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    Green Leader's board is chock-full of ongoing photostories, with no end in sight.

    Imho, I think it's a bit disheartening for a person (s) to go through all the effort of a photostory, and have it receive luke-warm attention. It seems like those who appreciate the work most are those who've attempted it.

    With all the attention showered on basic figures that have had the weapon changed out or a groundbreaking ballcap switchout, while scratchbuilt items and many vehicle modifications/builds often garner faccacta in comparison, I'm sure alot of people don't find it worth the effort anymore to undertake something that can be as daunting as a photoproduction. Figures can be bashed and tagged with the "I do this for me" line...photostories are done precisely for an audience. When the audience reaction is mediocre, the future of such efforts by that individual(s) is in question.

    It's likely that those who focus on the figure buy-and-redress aspect simply have no frame of reference for the difficulties and/or hurdles faced in the other facets of the hobby that they don't seem to appreciate the results as much. It's only someone who has played baseball that can appreciate the homerun. Just trying to construct a building facade to photograph a fig in front of, rather than a computer monitor or kitchen counter, would impress upon many a basic understanding of even the construction aspect of a big production.

    I have a couple photostories in the works. As soon as all other commitments are taken care of, I will begin on them. They aren't popular eras or genres, but I stopped trying to please everybody long ago and just do the eras and shoots that I like while ignoring the "you should do thises..." from those who don't ever do a damned thing. If just one person gets a kick out of it, I'm happy.

    Far as I'm concerned, the photostory isn't dead.

  9. #7
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    Mlatch, thanks for the name. Yup, that's who I was I talking about. Also, those that you refer to would be "big-budget" ones, so to speak? I often wondered about the amount of time and effort that goes into these mega production. Now knowing the difficulty of a production such as those in the past, I can appreciate them even more.

    LG, good points there, especially on the audience bit. I reckon that this is a dimension of the hobby that is less seen, less appreciated, and hence, kinda ignored, which I think is most unfortunate. Indeed, the amount of time and energy that goes into just a simple story is tiring enough, much less the construction of an entire set. I wonder if newcomers to the hobby have any notion if these exists. Just in case anyone would like to know what a photostory is like, here's the link to my favourite one:

    Part 1: http://greenldr.bossig.com/photost/photo961.html
    Part 2: http://greenldr.bossig.com/photost/photo989.html
    History repeats itself, first as tragedy, then as farce. - Karl Marx

  10. #8
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    For those who enjoy fantasy stories, there are plenty at FantasyNet.com. Go to the Red Lantern Theatre District or Bashalot's Fantasy Tales there, and you'll find lots to entertain you. (including my own humble offering, DOORWAY TO TERROR.)
    "It's better to be hated for who you are, than loved for who you're not." -Van Zant.

  11. #9
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    Anyone who's interested in doing photos stories for Figures.com is more than welcome to coordinate with me - though pay is pretty much out of the question, free samples from possible story sponsors is a probability as long as you can deliver on bi-weekly or monthly deadlines -

    In the past, we've had a few issues with potential story tellers, but we're working to remedy that situation -

    Contact me at [email protected] or PM me here for more information!

  12. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Broadsword 6 View Post
    For those who enjoy fantasy stories, there are plenty at FantasyNet.com. Go to the Red Lantern Theatre District or Bashalot's Fantasy Tales there, and you'll find lots to entertain you. (including my own humble offering, DOORWAY TO TERROR.)
    D'oh! That was a ridiculously stupid oversight on my part. Of course, FantasyNet is bursting with photostories, with Broadsword being a major contributor. My apologies for zoning out, there.

  13. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by laughinggravy2 View Post
    D'oh! That was a ridiculously stupid oversight on my part. Of course, FantasyNet is bursting with photostories, with Broadsword being a major contributor. My apologies for zoning out, there.
    No biggee, LG2.
    Oh, and there's not an Orc with a huge hammer standing behind you....
    "It's better to be hated for who you are, than loved for who you're not." -Van Zant.

  14. #12
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    A obvious one I completely forgot about...

    AESOP:

    http://www.regularjoes.com/AESOP_Pages/AESOP.htm

    Of course this is still available, unlike the other ones.
    Clay Quartermain: "Freeze! I'm an agent of SHIELD!"

    Rhino: "REALLY?!?! WOW, I've never killed one of those before!"

  15. #13
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    I am a huge fan of AESOP going back to the magazine days. Even got to meet the guys and see the figures in person. They were all pretty cool and I was sad to hear that the stories wouldn't be in the Action Figure magazine anymore. Anyone know what happened to AESOP? From reading the posts here I would not be surprised if the financial burden caused production to stop. If I remember correctly they did not live in the same state so that was already a roadblock.

  16. #14
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    I only ever got to see the first part of AESOP, so thanks for the link jcast!
    History repeats itself, first as tragedy, then as farce. - Karl Marx

  17. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by cathayone View Post
    I am a huge fan of AESOP going back to the magazine days. Even got to meet the guys and see the figures in person. They were all pretty cool and I was sad to hear that the stories wouldn't be in the Action Figure magazine anymore. Anyone know what happened to AESOP? From reading the posts here I would not be surprised if the financial burden caused production to stop. If I remember correctly they did not live in the same state so that was already a roadblock.
    I heard a different story from that. I heard that Lee's received a bunch of complaints from Hot Wheels collectors that AESOP was taking space away from the guides and Lee's decided to cancel the series. There was a span of six months where the AESOP stories disappeared from view. They came back and ran for three more "episodes", if you will, and then disappeared again (The last episode was never even published). I'm not sure how true it is, but I remember this was reported on the now non-existent realamericanhero.com.
    Clay Quartermain: "Freeze! I'm an agent of SHIELD!"

    Rhino: "REALLY?!?! WOW, I've never killed one of those before!"

  18. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by jcast View Post
    I heard a different story from that. I heard that Lee's received a bunch of complaints from Hot Wheels collectors that AESOP was taking space away from the guides and Lee's decided to cancel the series. There was a span of six months where the AESOP stories disappeared from view. They came back and ran for three more "episodes", if you will, and then disappeared again (The last episode was never even published). I'm not sure how true it is, but I remember this was reported on the now non-existent realamericanhero.com.
    I heard the same story and whether it is true or not I can't tell but after they left Lee's I heard they were supposed to be going into stop motion but last I heard that also fell through. Oh well, it was nice while it lasted.

  19. #17
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    Man, there is so much I'd like to add to this post. Instead I will thank laughinggravy2 because this was the voice of photo story tellers:
    Imho, I think it's a bit disheartening for a person (s) to go through all the effort of a photostory, and have it receive luke-warm attention. It seems like those who appreciate the work most are those who've attempted it.

    With all the attention showered on basic figures that have had the weapon changed out or a groundbreaking ballcap switchout, while scratchbuilt items and many vehicle modifications/builds often garner faccacta in comparison, I'm sure alot of people don't find it worth the effort anymore to undertake something that can be as daunting as a photoproduction. Figures can be bashed and tagged with the "I do this for me" line...photostories are done precisely for an audience. When the audience reaction is mediocre, the future of such efforts by that individual(s) is in question.

    It's likely that those who focus on the figure buy-and-redress aspect simply have no frame of reference for the difficulties and/or hurdles faced in the other facets of the hobby that they don't seem to appreciate the results as much. It's only someone who has played baseball that can appreciate the homerun. Just trying to construct a building facade to photograph a fig in front of, rather than a computer monitor or kitchen counter, would impress upon many a basic understanding of even the construction aspect of a big production.

    I have a couple photostories in the works. As soon as all other commitments are taken care of, I will begin on them. They aren't popular eras or genres, but I stopped trying to please everybody long ago and just do the eras and shoots that I like while ignoring the "you should do thises..." from those who don't ever do a damned thing. If just one person gets a kick out of it, I'm happy.

    Far as I'm concerned, the photostory isn't dead.
    I so agree with you, LG2. In the end, it really is about having fun.



    Thanks for the voice.

  20. #18
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    Titan, I just want to say that I hope you didn't take anything I said in previous threads as a swipe or a criticism. I really like the stuff you do and am genuinely impressed that you have the space and funds to do what you do. There is no way I would be able to afford a vehicle like the ones you posted.
    Clay Quartermain: "Freeze! I'm an agent of SHIELD!"

    Rhino: "REALLY?!?! WOW, I've never killed one of those before!"

  21. #19
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    Hey jcast. Not at all. Thanks for asking. But I did not get any negativity from your post and I appreciate your concern. I really valued you starting this post on Photo stories. It is a topic seldom discussed. For me, it is informative to read the opinion of other people in this hobby.

    jcast, I have another one for you HERE

  22. #20
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    Well, I'm not dead! I'm still around. The last year and a half have been pretty eventful. I have some stories to make, although I have to admit I thought about getting out all together. I'm hoping... that I can sart doing stories again this summer... hoping...

    The plans are for an AT story, and finishing the Star Trek story.

    As to Jupiter Island. When Dan Burke decided to get out of story telling, I didn't want his stories to disappear so he allowed me to post them on my site. I have more to put up. I'll do so ASAP.

    Anyone who builds dioramas knows how much time and $$ it takes. Many of us do it by ourselves. Without taking a poll I don't have an answer to the decline. All I can do is speak for myself. As I said earlier, Life has gotten in the way.

    I can say the traffic to my site has never dwindled.

    Thanks to all who continually visit!

    Dan
    Dan DiBiase
    Deering Productions
    www.DeeringProductions.com

  23. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mlatch221 View Post
    That kind of sounds like one of Sean Huxter's early stories. I'm sorry but I've long since lost the link to his site, although I think it's still up and running.

    Sean Huxter's homepage

    I recommend The Second Key. Great Doctor Who photo story.
    Plastic Panic! - my collecting blog

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    I am in complete awe of anyone who has the time, money and skills to put the diorama sets and stories together. I find them entertaining and inspirational...a sincere thanks for your efforts.
    Last edited by TurboProp; 03-05-2008 at 12:33.

  25. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Darth Sheba View Post
    Sean Huxter's homepage

    I recommend The Second Key. Great Doctor Who photo story.
    I remember that the story about the AT Joe adventuring through the house was called "The Dangerous assignment of Hazardous retrieval of Maximum peril and danger" or something to that effect.
    Clay Quartermain: "Freeze! I'm an agent of SHIELD!"

    Rhino: "REALLY?!?! WOW, I've never killed one of those before!"

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  27. #25
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    You can also find 1;6th fotostories here:http://the16actionfigureboard.yuku.com
    "It's better to be hated for who you are, than loved for who you're not." -Van Zant.

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