Joey Phoenix Media
Photographer • Videographer


Salem, MA Portrait and Event Photographer

If They're a Benefit, They're Not My Problem: A Story of Replicants and Blade Runners

It all started with a post. I stated on social media that I wanted to be IN more photos this year (which I will be), and my friend the light expert Joey Nicotera commented: "Let's do something with lights!"

And thus, an idea was born. Or more truthfully, a series of ideas. And this was the first of them.


Joey Nicotera is the illustrious owner of an event and specialized lighting business known as Retonica (an anagram of his last name, clever clever.) We met at the Hawthorne Masquerade Ball this past January, and I was instantly impressed by his ability to transform a space into a constantly shifting multi-colored masterpiece. I was doing video, he was doing lights. A collaboration was forthcoming.

So when he mentioned using lights as one of the central parts of a concept series, all I had to do was nail down an idea, find some willing participants, and then find a suitable space.

I've always been fascinated, and slightly horrified, by Ridley Scott movies. Something about the way he doesn't shy away from graphic visual storytelling equally gripped and repulsed me...and there are few films of his which do this better than Blade Runner.

Which would be our theme for series part 1.

(If you haven't seen it, seriously, watch it. At the moment it's available for streaming on Netflix so you have little excuse.) ;)

From top left: Aspen Ridge, Kate Eppers, Sarah Arg, Matt Wolf
From top left: Aspen Ridge, Kate Eppers, Sarah Arg, Matt Wolf

I had the cast figured out almost immediately. Aspen Ridge would portray Roy, Kate Eppers the banshee-esque Pris, Sarah Arg (it was yet undecided whether they would be Rachel or Zhora), and Matt Wolf as Deckard. All that remained was to pick a space.

Photo by John Andrews
Photo by John Andrews

When Joey mentioned the existence Dom Paragon in Manchester-by-the-Sea, the stage was set. Here are couple of images I snapped before the lights were setup, just so you can get some idea of the immense beauty and sheer enormity of the space. It's a luxury event venue perfect for swanky events, weddings, or film shoots. It's one of those hidden gems that once you see it, you can never get it out of your head. I feel privileged to have been able to shoot there.

The night of the shoot, it was pouring down rain. It was like Ridley Scott himself had blessed our endeavor. In addition to Joey, myself, and the four players, we also had John Andrews of Social Palates (soon to be John Andrews Photography) on hand for extra lighting assistance and behind the scenes photos, as well as Dylan Dosch of At my inkstaind fingertips to do some EPIC makeup.

After makeup and light setup, the magic commenced. I will bore you no further with details. Except that the gun you see in these images, Deckard's gun, was made by Matt Wolf. Not an exact replica, but so close you'll have to ask it 100 questions to determine the truth.

Thank you to Joey, John, Aspen, Kate, Dylan, Sarah, Matt, and Dom Paragon for making this shoot a possibility. Such an incredible experience.





Behind the Scenes Shots by John Andrews Photography


Stay tuned for the next part of the series...but until then, we leave you with this, courtesy of John's GIF fascination.


© 2016 Joey Phoenix