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Media Blackout Productions
 
 

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Castle Conquest XXI DVD
Review by Bill Mills - Dec 2006

paintballEMR Paintball in Pennsylvania started out surrounded by controversy, under the name Wolf's Lair. Despite the imagery used in its advertising, it was quite ground breaking as a true destination paintball field. At a time when most fields were merely woods with a boundary tape, Wolf's Lair had wooden catwalks, fortresses and multi-level structures as well as bunkhouses for traveling players.

paintballIn the late 1990s, Mike “Blue” Hanse took ownership of the park and re-opened the 100+ acre facility under the name EMR Paintball Park, an abbreviation for Endless Mountain Rogues. The new focus at EMR was simple – have fun playing paintball. This has been reflected in the field's motto – ANT – Attitudes Not Tolerated. EMR now is used for more than just paintball, it's trails are also host to ATV enthusiasts, and airsoft players.

paintballWith its bunkhouses and camping facilities, combined with being the host field for the well known scenario and big game team Blue's Crew, EMR naturally is host to some large events, and the biggie each year is Castle Conquest.

In 2006, players came together to play Castle Conquest XXI in honor of EMR Paintball Park's 10th anniversary. The weekend's activities were captured on video by Media Blackout Productions.

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The result of Media Blackout's efforts was a DVD with an hour and a half long video documenting the game, as well as several additional clips around five minutes each, interviewing players, and providing a travelogue of EMR Paintball Park.

paintballThe main program on the DVD is hosted by Rayan Lawrence who provides the background for the event. Narration over the video, combined with cameras at the pre-game teams strategy briefings explain the format of the conquest.

A team of a couple hundred players (many notables from the paintball industry) has the job of defending Castle Arrrrrrrrgh, while the remaining forces of several hundred must storm the castle in search of 10 (in honor of the park's anniversary) relics. If they capture a minimum number of relics in the first hours, the game continues, as they go for all ten. If they fail the game starts all over again after a lunch break.

3D map graphics are used to relate locations on the field, as well as on-screen graphics of the relics that serve as the objectives of the attacking team's quest.

paintballWith the process of the game clearly explained, the DVD jumps straight into the action. Interspersed with indie rock, the video uses graphics, rather than narration to provide commentary during the game. Lower third graphics pop in and out, explaining the location of a shot, or how a particular move is of a tactical advantage. At times they are combined with arrows, pointing out items not to be missed in a scene, such as airsmith Glenn Palmer shaking his unpowered loader (with a mysterious player wearing dark cat-ears nearby) or another player dumping five shots into his barrel blocker.

Helmet cameras on “Magoo” and “Blue” also provide interesting player eye views through the game.

With a big game or scenario, catching the feel and following the game in a video is a difficult task – because the action is so spread out. By utilizing a crew of eight camera operators, and providing plenty of information on-screen, the Media Blackout crew was able to present the game in a way that could be followed and understood.


Illustrating images captured from DVD, Copyright Media Blackout Productions, use courtesy of EMR Paintball Park


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