Awesome I Know: theOneCam / by Randy Ortiz

AIK_WGM_tOCA while ago I mentioned on Twitter that I wanted to start interviewing the talented folks I knew personally, to bring more light on my brother creatives and give an insider glimpse into their world. Today is the start of the series 'Awesome I Know', I hope you all enjoy and keep reading!

TOC_MOW After millions of hits, features on sites, toy manufacturer recognition and the recent awesome showcase on Kotaku my OneCam carrying friend has seen much shine, let's have a chat with theOneCam and see who's behind those awesome toys shots and Creepy Woody.

So how does it feel to be the memory warping mastermind behind the creepy Woody shots? You know you've (surprisingly) messed up some people out there with those shots! Ha! It was never my intention to ruin childhood memories as it was intended for mature audiences who can separate a parody photo from an animated fictional film. And I'm pretty sure I'm not the first person who did a "creepy" Woody photo with this particular figure because as soon as I saw the prototype I knew I'm going to do something out-worldly with it. I even mentioned the idea way back when at the now defunct Spawn forums (rest in peace) when the protos were first released.

Oh you're not the first but you made it the best overall haha.

I know the feedback on your work has been amazing but there are always ones that prefer to hate or pass on as their own. What are the most outlandish comments or copycats you've seen? The worst one was some person who really thinks he embodies the personality and plays the character of "crazy Woody." Which was... okay... He created an account at DeviantArt and was uploading photos and passing it as his because, as he says, he's "crazy Woody." I think that was weird.

Yeah his covering watermark skills just weren't there yet!

Now I've been to your house and I STILL can't put a number to how many figures you have. I know you have like 4+ (big) storage containers with just accessories haha. Have you ever tried to do a figure count? I also can't put a number on how many figures I have, I'm actually scared to count it! Hahaha! I don't really take pleasure on how much I have but more on how I can use them that's why I never bother counting. That is also why you don't and won't see me showing a photo of my collection display hehehe.

Figures... you have a ton but imagine trying to count all those tiny accessories!!!

I know folks are always curious about your set-up and have asked you several times to explain it. I won't do that but I will ask you to say one thing about it that you haven't said before! As in most things. always think ahead of time when you do set-ups no matter how minor it is. The angles, the action, if you're going to convey a narrative shot, the tone, etc. And most importantly — play with the figure! So you'll be able to maximize its capability and know it's limitations.

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Being that you are always looking into detail, articulation and paint jobs on toys, what do you think is the usual culprit when it comes to Western and Eastern quality issues? There really isn't much issue when it comes to import toys because they usually set their goals and most of the time they get what they try to achieve. With US companies, it's the inconsistent paint jobs and sometimes over all quality control. So sometimes you will figures with crossed eyes, or lopsided faces. At least they're getting better. Ish.

That's what everyone looks for, figures with lopsided faces and crossed eyes no?!

We've been to Toy Fair and Comic Con and have seen tons of toy booths, what company always brings a smile to your face? Before it was Hasbro, but now they decided to pull away from NYCC, I would have to say the company that puts a smile on my face, is the company that literally has a "smile" in their name — Good Smile Company!

Yeah I can remember a certain someone going back a few times and purchasing items JUST for a Good Smile bag. I wonder who that was? Ha!

I've always said you should work with toy companies for their product photography. What do you think of the current promo shots toy companies take for packaging and showcasing their new figures? Japanese or Hong Kong based companies usually gets it right in terms of promo shots to packaging and they really follow good schedule. US-based on the other hand falls a bit flat. Sometimes you don't even see any promo shots up until a month before it's release date. I think some companies are showing digital prototype images of what the figures would look like, rather than a sculpted prototype.

I never understood why companies here stopped creating cool scenery and shots, it would just make kids (both big and small) imagination run even wilder which would equal more green for them.

What inspires you to do all of this work and awesomeness? Is it something that you can attribute to the fans or more for self? Why thank you very much sir! I get the inspiration from the figures themselves and its source material. You have to love or be interested at least on what you photograph. If you like the figure but have no idea where it came from, do a bit of research. At least you give justice to the figure and the fans who are familiar with it will enjoy it more.

In the end it's all about truly loving what you do and it's very apparent in theOneCam's work, you can scroll thru his entire site and instantly tell it's a true labor of love. I'd like to thank my best friend for taking the time out of his toy filled days to answer some questions for WGM. Hope you all enjoyed the interview and be sure to visit theOneCam's site.

Oh yeah, there are no images of theOneCam because he is... well, he's a camera. LONG LIVE CREEPY WOODY!