SKYRIM: To Lydia with Love

After 80+ hours of playing my favorite video game, I decided to make a fan film dedicated to the companion I love to hate: Lydia! Also included are replica costume designs.

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Below you’ll find the making of this parody, cast/crew, costumes, photos and press.

How This Parody Came to Be

For those of you who play SKYRIM, I don’t have to explain my inspiration for this—you get it. I do, however, want to share how I got this made. That’s probably a far more interesting story, eh? Oh and this is merely one story… my experience. As a fan, not a studio with a gazillion dollar budget. (This all came out of my own pocket.)

SKYRIM fans feel my pain

I had the idea around the holidays, and started working on the storyboards (see the pic below). I wanted this to mirror not only my experience when playing, but everyone else’s as well. I was laughing my ass off when I drew the pic of Lydia, lying dead, surrounded by all my shit. My FAVORITE shot. (I also tortured my DP by making him shoot this angle 20 times to get it perfect).

Lydia, dead... again! Yes my boards are quick-n-dirty.

The final shot of Lydia with all of my goods scattered

I called my buddy (and PUCKER co-creator) Ty Huffer, and offered to buy him a plane ticket to LA if he’d shoot and edit this for me. Deal! I was able to borrow the green screen and lights from another pal… because we all gotta trade services on no budget, right? For the role of Lydia, I immediately thought of my Think Hero co-host Lauren McFall because she’s hilarious, and OMG she looks exactly like Lydia! A few weeks later, the story was locked, costumes were finished (my moi, see pics below), and we were ready to rock.

THEN SH*T HIT THE FAN.

The day before the shoot, my pal’s flight was cancelled due to a huge ice storm in Seattle. I spent the entire day calling every DP I knew, and Dennis Tzeng (CEO of Think Hero) came through for me at the last minute. Plus, he’s played the game. I was also sick, so I had zero voice to talk (during the shoot too!), so I had to do production meetings via messenger.

We finally made it to shoot day though! We set up the green screen in my living room and shot this all in one day. I directed my special FX dude (and hubby) Dane Storrusten on what I wanted to see in the acting, so he could direct Lauren and myself. To all producers/directors who are also on camera, you know this is the most difficult thing to do to get your vision across! It was perfect! Side note: If you are ever on my set, you will get treated like royalty.

SKYRIM babes! Lauren and I on set.

Once the footage was complete, I spent hours editing it together—to the SKYRIM theme song (an mp3 I found online)—and recording sounds off the actual game to make this as realistic to the world of SKYRIM as possible. Then I ran into a huge snag: I couldn’t get screen captures off my game to my Mac! So I posted my issue on Twitter, and my pal Chase Emory came to the rescue. I sent him pictures (from my phone) of the exact location and angles, and he send me HD backgrounds. Whew!

Then I handed the cut to Dane (who is the most brilliant artist I know), and magic happened! He added the coloring, backgrounds, focus, burns, dragon fire, glowing effects, and all that jazz. When I got the final cut back I was so happy!

Dane's special FX were amazing!

Then I added in all of the game sound exactly where I wanted it, and sent the final cut to my pal Dave Green of Houdini’s Tree to do a sound clean-up and add the effects I was missing… like the huge armor collision! Snag #2: While we were shooting, I had no voice, so I couldn’t do the battle cry. When I went to ADR this later on, my audio system went tits up on me. So Dave’s wife Ann’s voice is the one you hear yelling. Craziness!

I got the final cut back late, and while adding the audio track, I realized crap! We forgot the Lydia is Dead UI. Dane made me a quick graphic, went to sleep, and I didn’t end up tossing it it in—or looking at it—until about 3am. Once it was rendered, I noticed it was an ”E” (yes, Ps3 is an “X” like the image above), but I said, ya know what? It’s late, I’m pooped and I had to get the end screens from the PC anyway, so who cares. This is about the concept of Lydia. I’m OK with it.

I made some final tweaks and posted it online for you all to enjoy! And that’s how SKYRIM: To Lydia with Love this got made.

Credits

Kristen Nedopak — Writer, Director, Producer, Editor, Costumes, Lead

@Nedopak

Lauren McFall — LydiaLauren is a hilarious comedian and co-host of “Ink Hero“.

@CLOSETGEEK1

Dane Storrusten — Art Direction & Special FXDane is the CEO/Creative Director of Soulcake Creative.

@SoulcakeDesign

Dennis Tzeng — Director of PhotographyDennis is the CEO of Think Hero.

@ThinkHero

Dave Green, Houdini’s Tree — Sound Design

Special thanks to: Krishna Devine / Zach Baker (green screen), Josh Fuss (lighting), Academy of Theatrical Combat (weapons and my co-creators on Fight Class) and Chase Emory (backgrounds).

And a SUPER DUPER thanks to all of of my Twitter followers for posting and RTing!

Press

Thank you for the outlets that covered this for me! If you want to cover this or post the video, let me know and I’ll add you to this page!

Click the pics to read each article.

Girl Gamer

Think Hero

The Mary Sue

Pop Culture Monster

Pop Galaxy

After posting this on-set pic, we made it on Twitter’s “Top images for #SKYRIM!”

Then after bitching… I mean tweeting about Lydia, she found me! I laughed my ass off at over this one.

Costumes

9 Responses to “SKYRIM: To Lydia with Love”

  1. [...] = "7812810375"; google_ad_width = 468; google_ad_height = 60; A SKYRIM parody created by Kristen Nedopak. An Ode to her favorite game and to Lydia, the companion she loves to hate.This is a great parody [...]

  2. [...] A SKYRIM parody created by Kristen Nedopak. An Ode to my favorite game and to Lydia, the companion I love to hate. Read about the making of this film including why my screen captures are from a PC: http://www.nedopak.com/skyrim-to-lydia-with-love [...]

  3. [...] super talented and funny friend, Kristen Nedopak, produced a short accurately portraying the relationship most Skyrim players have for Lydia.  In [...]

  4. Ashley says:

    I can’t play Skyrim for this exact reason. It’s obviously just too good. This was brilliant Kristen. This is geek-tastic.

  5. José Ramón says:

    Great video and great idea. I’m so identified with the hero especially at the end when silly not let you pass the gate.

    Best regards from Spain.

  6. Daedric Lord Squiddy-Squidface says:

    You got the lightening in a bottle and I loved it!

  7. Vincent Gaudet says:

    I love watching that video on Youtube, when I feel a sad mood coming I know I have a video I can go look and feel better :)
    As for my Lydia well she is a stay at home lady now ( tired of swearing at her to move out of the way ( when going in narrow areas in dungeons ) or swearing cause she jumps in the way during combat, not proud of that cause I am not a womanizer.
    Thanks to you and everyone that participate on your video for the laughs it helps keep my mind sane ;)

  8. [...] we love to hate, and my ode to an incredible video game. As a geeky creator, I had a lot of fun making the first film, from writing the script to building my own costumes to shooting to post-production. I was very [...]

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