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New movie "Role Models" features LARPing...

Haroshia

Retired User
...and apparently doesn't do it just to make fun of it. According to what some people have been saying, it treats the topic with surprising affection and makes it seem pretty awesome. The climax of the movie is apparently a massive boffer LARP battle.

From an interview at http://www.aintitcool.com/node/38959

Beaks: (Laughing) Fair enough. Now, bringing something like the LARP culture into a movie like this, there's an expectation that you're going to ridicule it. But you treat it with a commendable level of affection.

Wain: Thank you. That was definitely what we were trying to do. When I first heard the idea, I was like, "Oh, my god, we can make fun of this!" But like Paul's character, I went through a journey where the more I learned about it, the more awesome it was. I grew an enormous amount of affection for these people and this pursuit, and I tried to communicate that in the movie.

Beaks: Did you have a LARP technical advisor?

Wain: We did. We had a woman named Adrian who was a major role player. She was on set during those scenes, and she helped us with learning about it. We also went to some LARP-related events, and researched, researched, researched.
Boffer LARP presented positively in pop culture? Totally awesome...
 

David Artman

Designer and Producer
Validated User
"Ever heard the one about the little boy and the Zen Master?"

We'll see. "Affection" can be seen by some as "pandering" or even "pitying."
 

RobMcDiarmid

P6: I know what I like
What I know is this:

They did, in fact, have a larp technical advisor and listened quite a bit to her input. Adrienne is a friend of mine and very involved in the Southern California larp scene. She worked quite hard on making the portrayal of larp as realistic as she could manage.

They have a handful of actual larpers mixed in with the extras during some of the big fighting scenes. I know, cause I was one of them. But I haven't seen the movie yet, so I don't know how much screen time I got. I've heard from Adrienne that my friend Chris shows up a lot in the background in his red leather armor and headwrap. They called quite a few larpers to work as background, but most couldn't do it because it was shot midweek in October and most folks didn't take the time off work or school.

When they were doing auditions for larper extras, the director was there, as well as the actor who plays the king. They were chatting with people and asking lots of questions and getting a sense of what the larp community is about.

All the weapons (except a couple brought by the actual larpers like myself) were made by Iron Liege, one of the only latex-quality weapon manufacturers in the US. He even made the ugly duct tape ones they used. So there's some very pretty blades being used.

The style of game they are playing is based off of Darkon more than anything else. So it's a little different from most FRP larp games. Almost all the play centers around factions brawling with each other over and over again, with death being a minor inconvenience. And while that's different from most larps, it is easier to explain when doing a side plot for a movie than a game where everyone has 6 year story arcs. So I totally approve of their choice to portray that style of larp, even though it's not the most typical example.

However, it's an gross-out comedy of the American Pie school of filmaking. So I expect there to be a generous amount of nerd ridicule. Oggie (or however the larper character's name is spelled) isn't a suave sophisticated young man. He's a nerdy misfit who even gets bullied around by the other nerds. So larpers should approach it with a strong sense of humility.

That being said, I haven't seen the finished product. I'm looking forward to seeing what they did with it.

I just hope there aren't any glaring errors, like the 15 times the characters in Failure to Launch raise their masks while playing paintball. That drove me nuts.
 

Haroshia

Retired User
See I just knew if I posted something here there'd be somebody who was involved in it. Being able to laugh at yourself is a good thing...I mean on the surface LARP looks and is extremely geeky...but it's so damn fun. I hope they can convey that through the movie.
 

JustinCognito

Crepuscular
Validated User
One of the things that leads me to think positively about the direction this movie's going is that the character who's paired with the LARPer is the one who's going through a rough patch. So, it's probably not one of those, "Oh, God, this is dorky, let me show you how real people do things"-type stories, but more like a, "Huh, people can find common ground and solace in the strangest of places"-type stories.

But then again, I'm still a little wary. I remember the last time someone tried to make an "anthropological" documentary about LARPing, and it looked like a 90-minute version of the "Lightning bolt!" video.
 

DistinctlyBenign

Retired User
I just saw the movie.

And I just registered to these forums... because I saw the movie, and was interested in its portrayal of LARPing.

I've never LARPed and, no offense intended, always considered LARPing to be an extremely nerdy hobby. But this movie made it look really fun.

Sure, there was a bit of ridicule, as you will get if you put any nerdy hobby in popular spotlight, especially if that spotlight is a comedy film. But most of it came out of the one mentors initial rejection of the hobby, or the main LARPers parents who are sort of seen as bad guys in the film because they look down on their sons hobby.

As I said, I've never tried to LARP. So the possibility of a dead outright betrayal of what a LARP is all about, or any errors of any kind would be missed by me. I can't tell you from a LARPers point of view how they did at portraying it. But I can tell you that from a non-LARPers point of view they did make this hobby seem a lot less nerdy, and possibly worth looking into.
 

Peter Svensson

Reads Too Many Comics
Validated User
I was contacted by Universal to see an advanced screening and also because they wanted to use my game as a cross-promotional stunt. (I had to decline, since I run a MET Larp and it's not the same thing.)

I didn't get to see the film due to schedule issues, but from what I've heard, it's not bad.
 

Haroshia

Retired User
I saw the movie and loved it. It was good. I don't know if the message of the movie was lost on people, but it was funny and showed LARP as being hella fun.

As for what you asked Benign, there were a few issues in the movie, but they weren't terribly off at all. The LARP they portrayed looked like a common combat focused LARP. There are quite a few of those around, and they generally focus on the fighting and less on the roleplaying side of things. They are a hell of a lot of fun.

Probably the biggest inaccuracy in the movie was with the physical combat. Almost every LARP is very focused on safety, so no kicking/pommel to the face/bitchsmacking people. The King guy in the movie was an extremely unsafe fighter...but from what I've heard he was one of the actors brought in and not an actual LARPer. Other than that, it was pretty dead on. I found myself relating a lot to it...it was pretty cool.
 

DistinctlyBenign

Retired User
As for what you asked Benign, there were a few issues in the movie, but they weren't terribly off at all. The LARP they portrayed looked like a common combat focused LARP. There are quite a few of those around, and they generally focus on the fighting and less on the roleplaying side of things. They are a hell of a lot of fun.
Well as I said I don't LARP, but I have played D&D. I figured there would be alot more role playing and less combat in an actual LARP, but I took it that the movie took some creative liberty and left those parts out to be more appealing to a general audience.

Other than the the fights involving the King I didn't notice anything I would call unsafe in the fight scenes, and you kind of got the impressing that the king wasn't playing by the same rules... he didn't care about safety, he cared about winning.
 
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