Imagination Connoisseur, Adam Blue, loves Star Wars, Gungdam and Power Rangers and collects/builds models. Combine that interest with an interest in photography and passion for storytelling, and something special can result.
I wanted to talk about healthy obsession – I would think most imagination connoisseurs are familiar with this:
You get into something, then you collect, watch, and consume it all. But can I get something out of it other than spending time and money? For outsiders, of course this seems odd and some people don’t get it, but by now I really think if these obsessions are groomed correctly, they can really improve your life goals.
For instance, I’m obsessed with Star Wars. After STAR WARS: EPISODE VIII – THE LAST JEDI (SW:TLJ), I was disappointed in how it turned out, but I saw the joy in my youngest son’s eyes when it came to Luke Skywalker toys. So, I bought a few of the modern toys. But, I wasn’t impressed.
They didn’t seem any better than the Power of the Force 2 figures from the 90’s. Then I found out Hasbro had a line called The Vintage Collection, making them highly detailed and articulated.
After starting to collect these, I was motivated to take photos of them in a diorama-like environment, as if I was making movie stills. I already had a camera I used for my film making and photography hobby, but now I was shooting things daily, throwing them into Photoshop, and digitally altering minor bits to add the right amount of verisimilitude.
I would post these on Instagram to be a reminder of my creative achievements. This helped me become a better photographer, digital artist, and how to light scenes. But after a while, I would definitely notice how some figures were not movie-accurate, so I started some customizing and modding. But I wasn’t really good at this aspect. Though, my love of Star Wars, it’s sci-fi verisimilitude and its messages of balance and looking inward kept me going.
Sometime after that, I bought a model kit at Gamestop. It turned out to be Gundam, and then lo and behold, I became obsessed. Watching the series, I wanted to make sure the models had all the accurate detail.
This was more organically successful than my Star Wars photos on Instagram, which is an interesting observation. After building over 40 models between July 2018 and Jan 2020, I noticed the gap in quality between high grades, real grades, and master grades, that slowed down the ‘action figure’ part of my Gundam obsession, but the themes of peace and younger generations taking responsibility, including the overall ‘verisimilitude’, has kept me obsessed. But, this leveled-up my customizing and painting skills, which I was able to use with my Star Wars figures to improve their accuracy even more than before.
And most recently, I bought a White Power Ranger figure made by Hasbro, now that Hasbro has the Power Rangers license. They make their figures look show accurate, with high articulation and even wrinkles in the clothing. They also come with heads of the actors, using a new face-paint technology for an accurate look. This even more so improved my photography game.
This time, since Power Rangers is about martial arts, it was imperative that the poses I would set up for the figures looked like a pose an actual human could do. Focusing on this, I was able to provide ‘movie-still’ accurate verisimilitude for martial arts posing. The lighting techniques, digital augmentation, and customizing I learned from my previous obsessions were put into full-force here.
And while the Power Rangers series story lines are aimed for kids, it does so in an honest way. Where JJ Abrams uses unexplained conveniences to move from plot-point to plot-point, the Power Rangers series uses unexplained conveniences to share messages of teamwork, unity, and caring for others.
So, with these three recent obsessions that span a couple years, I always told myself to try and integrate it with my hobbies and goals. My hobbies and goals intersect when it comes to film making, so from that perspective I learned so much about lighting, verisimilitude, digital augmentation, and storytelling. In fact, during this time I fully completed my first screenplay, and it has nothing to do with these properties. Not only that, but I’m working on yet another screenplay.
I think there is something about finding meaning and verisimilitude in properties you love, and to use that meaning to integrate into your life goals. I think this has helped me understand that I do want to be a filmmaker. I’m obsessed with verisimilitude and sharing a greater meaning. But this also makes it easy to see the faults when a property isn’t treated with the same vision – it’s like a curse!
I’m sure humanity went thousands of years having to be story-tellers, with meaning and verisimilitude being the most important component. It has brought us together, and seems to still be in our DNA to this day.
Thanks for reading! And I hope the other imagination connoisseurs may get some good ideas out of this.
– Adam B.