fire in the hole

FB_paintballThe photo of filmmakers Michael DeChant Jr., SOC/MFA ’05, and Doug Gritzmacher, SOC/MFA ’05, in the current issue of American looks pretty simple. The duo behind the documentary, Soldiers of Paint, about the world’s largest paintball game—a restaging of D-Day in tiny Wyandotte, Oklahoma—are posed with their camera gear in front of a wall splattered with paint.

Truth is, hours of planning, three trips to the Ranger Surplus store, and lots of heavy lifting went into that single shot.

wall-before-paintball_iphoneMaria knew she wanted to photograph Doug and Mike outdoors, covered in paint. (No easy task, given the nasty weather we endured this winter.) Since we couldn’t shoot up a wall—fun as that would’ve been—we stripped and painted two of the 10’x5′ boards from AU’s holiday card shoot in our parking garage (special thanks to our work study, Tiffany Wong, for all the elbow grease), then transported them to Maria’s house in upper Montgomery County where we could paintball without scaring the neighbors. There we met up with Doug and Mike to have a little fun.

paintball_2_iphonepaintball-wall_iphoneMike-propping_D14_387_010group_D14_387_097xThis was a particularly enjoyable shoot; not only were our subjects game for anything, the final image is fantastic. Also, I love when I have the opportunity to work with Maria, Mike, and Jeff all at once, as they’re incredibly creative and talented.

Oh, and it turns out, firing a paintball gun is great way to relieve stress.