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Steampunk Digest - June 22, 2018

Our weekly roundup of news and other happenings in the steampunk world

Friday, June 22, 2018

Steampunk Digest brings you news and other info from around the web. Sign up to get it by email before it's posted on the website. The email version also includes summaries of recent stories posted on The Steampunk Explorer.

Nikola Tesla

Sactown Magazine has a Q&A with Sacramento native Julie Ochipinti, a Hollywood set decorator who received an Oscar nomination for her work on “The Prestige.” The 2006 movie, about a rivalry between two 19th century stage magicians, featured a notable performance by David Bowie as Nikola Tesla. Ochipinti’s other credits include “Batman Begins” and HBO’s “Westworld.”

She explains that she works much like an interior decorator. “I don’t build the set, I don’t find the location, but I [fill] the set with stuff, with all the furniture and all the character props,” she says. She has an affinity for period films and TV shows, describing contemporary settings as “dull.” The Q&A reveals that she gained much of her knowledge about set decorating by visiting Sacramento-area thrift stores. That “definitely turned on my interest in weird furniture,” she says. Read the full Q&A here.

The photo above, via Wikimedia Commons, is the real Nikola Tesla in his Colorado Springs laboratory.

In an interview with Carly Lane on Syfy Wire, costume designer Giovanni Lipari discusses his work for AMC’s “Into the Badlands,” a post-apocalyptic adventure series. One challenge is that each group of characters has a different look, some historical and others more futuristic. “We need to blend history, future, Asian elements, steampunk, and so we play,” he says. Lipari also must consider the show’s elaborate fight scenes. At first, he says, he added elastic materials in spots, but now he incorporates them into the designs. “The amount of movement that you need to allow [for] is something that you’ve never seen before,” he says.

If you visit downtown Lewiston, Maine, you’re likely to see the work of brothers Corey and Jason DuFour, who transform found and scavenged objects into steampunk or dieselpunk works. “They’re making tables, chairs and lamps out of wrenches, gears and braided wires,” writes Kathryn Skelton in the Sun Journal. “They’re electrifying ax handles and wooden bowls to create oddly beautiful effects, and they’re turning Grandma’s vintage silverware into wearables.” The brothers do business as DuForge Studio, tagline “Trans-Atlantic Steam Art.” Corey is the steampunk of the duo, whereas “I’m more the diesel punk,” Jason tells the reporter. Read the story here.

Steampunks and Victorians joined forces last week for a five-day celebration in Ilfracombe on England’s North Devon coast. Activities included a Time Travellers Ball, a Victorian paranormal evening, and the “Sherlock in Fairycombeland” art competition. The North Devon Gazette has a story with photos, and you can also find photos on the event’s Facebook page.

Blists Hill Victorian Town

Blists Hill Victorian Town near Birmingham, England, is the site of the second Steampunk Weekend Festival June 23 and 24. “The town will be filled with eclectic market stalls, unusual exhibitions, talks and shows celebrating all things steampunk,” writes Amy Wall in the Shropshire Star. “There will also be a mystical treasure hunt, and the chance to watch the Belly Fusion Dance Collective. Other highlights include a programme of talks and presentations, while all ages can go along to Cogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.” Blists Hill is part of the Ironbridge Gorge Museums, a group of museums and historical sites in an area that played an important role in the birth of the Industrial Revolution.

Photo credit: By CrossCountryTrains CC BY 3.0, from Wikimedia Commons.

Factory One in Dexter, Maine (near Bangor) is the venue for back-to-back steampunk events later this month. MAPS Steampunk Costume Ball on Friday, June 29 will feature a dance contest and “hits from your favorite Steampunk artists.” Drinks are served, so attendance is limited to ages 21 or older. The outdoor Steampunk Craft Fair and Festival on Saturday, June 30 is an all-ages event that will include carnival games, live entertainment, a fashion show, tea dueling, beard contest, vendors and more. The events garnered coverage from local country music station Q106.5 and Bangor CBS affiliate WABI-TV.

New on Kickstarter

Grumpy Man Productions is seeking Kickstarter funding — and a production crew — for “The Lady Is Strange,” a “Steampunk vampire mystery web series” based on a story by Vancouver writer Judi Lewinson. The Kickstarter campaign launched on June 6 and the producers have set an August 5 deadline to raise $7500. From the description: “Victoria Strange is the daughter of a Duke and a well-known mystery author. After a life-altering encounter Victoria has taken to living aboard The Zeppelin Chanteuse. The airship, which is the size of a small floating city, is a cheeky playground for adults where many mysteries, romances and curiosities abound.”

It’s set to shoot this summer in Denver, and the producers are seeking “current film, art, animation, fashion, and hair & make-up students or recent graduates” to work on the series. Learn more from the Kickstarter page and the Grumpy Man Productions website.

“ElectroMagnetic” is a “steampunk adventure comic set in an alternative history where Britain is at war with steam-powered India.” It’s written by Colin Maxwell, best known for stories about Scottish history. This campaign launched June 7 and has a goal of raising $921 by July 8. As of June 20, it had raised $909 in pledges from 58 backers. Learn more from the Kickstarter page and Maxwell’s website.

Caos Hero is described as a “steampunk role-playing game with an explosive mix of action and personalization.” The creator is Riccardo Bonaccorsi of Catania, Italy, who has been working on the project for more than 10 years. This Kickstarter campaign launched on June 1 and seeks to raise $23,149 by July 11.

Llod’s Carnival Playing Cards is described as a “custom set of playing cards with a theme based on steampunk, sci-fi, and ancient alien technology.” The Kickstarter campaign launched on June 20 and seeks to raise $6500 by August 15.

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