Fair warning, if you haven’t seen or finished Picture Me, Loving You yet, stop reading now. No really… I’m about to ruin the thrill of figuring it all out for yourself. Seriously… click here and start from the beginning if you haven’t done so already.
If you’re sure…
Okay, so at the very beginning of the project I said that some viewers may not understand this, and I’m okay with that. For those that want to understand though, and just don’t get it, or even for those of you who loved it and just want to make sure you didn’t miss anything, I wanted to take a minute and explain the whole thing. So without further adieu, I give you the Picture Me, Loving You explanation.
Super Short Version
For the tl;dr crowd (that means too long; didn’t read, mom), the story is this; Starlite (the white horse) and Bridezilla (the dragon in the wedding dress) used to be lovers. She moved on, he didn’t. Starlight gets mad and kills her and her new husband (the chicken) and then is later killed himself by a monster (black thing with the blue teeth) who was hired by the pastor (the racoon). The end.
The first clue of the project actually came on, what we called, the poster image. The shadow is that of Starlite, the central character in the story. We knew no one would get this until after the fact, but thought it was fun anyway. Kind of a spoiler, without being a spoiler.
Their big day
The first two images were intentionally misleading. The story with these images wasn’t so much the wedding, though that was important, but rather what was happening elsewhere in the photos. In scene one, Starlight was standing outside the church looking at something. We later find out that he was looking at a picture of himself with Bridezilla, from when they were dating (get it… Picture Me Loving You). We positioned Thøm (the Reindeer) to be looking out the door at Starlite, to draw further attention to him.
What have we here?
Won’t hurt me again
Alone in the mourning
If it wasn’t for you
This scene was an “ah ha” scene for a lot of people. The chicken has been murdered, and Starlite is seen leaving the scene. Even though Starlite is a little hard to make out in the picture, his golden shoes are clear, and clearly visible in the lineup scene that follows.The title is meant to imply that had it not been for the Chicken, maybe Bridezilla would have never left him (maybe we should do a prequel to tell that story??)
It wasn’t me
The lineup scene is meant to accomplish a few things. First, since there is a police lineup, people can feel justified in their assumptions that a crime has indeed taken place (and not two suicides). Secondly we establish who the possible suspects are. As noted above, Starlite’s golden shoes tie him to the crime scene, and the star on his head was visible in the very first scene, tying him to the wedding. In the scene, Starlite and others are apparently having an argument. From the title we can assume that he is declaring his innocence.
Seriously, it wasn’t me!!
This scene was somewhat meant to throw people a curve ball, and to setup the next scene. The horse going to jail is in fact innocent, and the title suggests that the horse is stating this fact while it is being taken down the hallway.
This particular scene is a direct tie-in to the previous, and is a “reveal” scene. From the lineup scene we know there was a crime committed, from the jail scene we know that brown horse didn’t do it… and whomever did do it got away with it. As the title suggest, this scene is Starlite declaring that he did in fact do it, and got away with it all.
This proves nothing
In search of justice
There is nothing hidden here, but a few things worth noting. First is that the Raccoon is in a cave, which flows to the next image. Also, the overall color of the image. I tried to use the same light sources for both this image, and the one that follows, to help the viewer understand that this is the same cave. From the title we can surmise that the Raccoon is taking matters into his own hands, and has gone looking for something (or someone).
To stop a monster, you need a bigger monster
In this scene we meet an entirely new character, the Monster. For those that weren’t sure, his mouth glows blue… VERY brightly I might add. Earlier revisions of this scene were a lot darker with a lot more blue in them, but our test group got lost because they couldn’t tell that the light down the tunnel was the Raccoon, and they couldn’t make out what the monster was exactly. After we lit the tunnel up enough to see the Monster well, most of the blue glow was lost. As I mentioned above though, I really hoped the viewer would put two and two together and understand that the light down the tunnel, and the figure holding it, is in fact the Raccoon, and that this is the same tunnel as before, just further down.
From the title, I hoped that the viewer would assume the Raccoon is hiring, or asking, the Monster to go get Starlite.
An eye for an eye
Picture me loving you… still.
In the end, the memento that Starlite had kept of their relationship, and then subsequently abandoned at the wedding, is what got him caught.
What’s the spiritual significance of the story?
Confession time; there isn’t one. I think a lot of my friends who only know me (or mostly know me) in a church setting assumed that there was some sort of spiritual take-away, and were a little confused. While I’m sure we could come up with a “moral to the story” moment, there wasn’t one. It’s just a silly idea I had.
Did Bridezilla kill herself?
Nope! See the images above for a more thorough explanation, but she was killed by Starlite
How do the Raccoon and the Monster know each other?
Great question! We don’t really know from the story. Chris and I had tossed around the idea of some other images around that, and perhaps an image showing how the monster caught Starlite, but in the end we wanted to keep it relatively short. It’s hard to carry the momentum of a story like this for a long time!
Will there be a sequel?
Great question as well. I’d be lying if I said I hadn’t already been tossing around plot ideas. I think we could do some cool stuff with a prequel to help color in more of the details, but at this point, nothing has been planned out. To be totally honest, this whole thing took a lot of effort and rather dominated all my creative time. I’m ready for a break so I can focus on my nature photography some more. I will say though that this whole thing really pushed me creatively, and that’s a good thing!
I don’t understand the people dressed up in costumes part.
Not a question, but okay. There are a few reasons for the costumes. First and foremost I just thought it was kind of funny. As I mentioned in the introductory post, I was inspired by a picture I saw and then it just went from there. Secondly, by mixing the costumes and actual people, it gave the story a very fictional feel to it. I wanted an almost Where the Wild Things Are vibe to it. I also felt like we could get away with a little more violence if the characters weren’t real, and the whole thing still be PG / PG-13.
But… isn’t the whole thing still a little strange?
Yeah, maybe a little.
Okay… I still don’t get it
It’s cool, don’t sweat it.