For most of us, loving a television series means talking about it with friends, listening to or making podcasts, or scouring the interwebs for theories. Every expression of fandom is rad, but photographer and director Michael Smiy turned his appreciation for The Twilight Zone up to 11 by creating and executing a striking photo series homage to the spooky show.
“Nightmare at 20,000 Feet”
Smiy thinks Rod Serling was a man ahead of his time. He told Nerdist he was inspired while watching “Eye of the Beholder” recently. “[I] thought, how cool would it be to bring these characters back to life in full color. A sort of reimagining with the resources I had in the modern era, while still remaining true to Serling’s original vision,” explained Smiy.As you can see, each photo is connected to a specific episode of The Twilight Zone. Smiy found the right backgrounds for the shots around Los Angeles. Then, he gathered about 25 friends to dress up as Twilight Zone characters (hence where the cosplay angle comes in) and shot them all over a weekend against a gray background in his apartment. He spent months compositing the pictures to get the final shots you see here.
“Eye of the Beholder”
Smiy’s photos have so much atmosphere and that came from careful consideration. “I aimed to capture a moment from each episode that had the most emotion/intensity to it — how can I convey the core feeling of the episode in a single image, essentially. The paranoia of ‘The Invaders.’ The doomed curiosity in ‘Nick of Time.’ Or the paralysis and confusion of ‘Where is Everybody?’ It was a balance of pose, form, composition, and performance from my many friends in costumes,” he said.
You can view more photos from the haunting series in the gallery below. Hop over to Imgur to see the complete Twilight Zone portfolio and keep up with all of Smiy’s projects by visiting his website and following him on Instagram.
Do you cosplay or take photographs of cosplayers? Then I want to see your work so we can talk about highlighting your creations in a future Cosplay Friday gallery. If you’re a photographer, maybe we could focus on your images from a single convention. If you’re interested, please get in touch with me at [email protected] and send photos you’d like me to feature–the more high-res the photos, the better. Be sure to provide credits for the cosplayers or photographers for each image because giving credit is good manners–bonus points if you include links to relevant Facebook pages or websites. Though I wish I knew all the nerdy franchises, I don’t, so please let me know who or what is being cosplayed.
Special thanks to Nerdist reader Nick T. for bringing this photo series to our attention.
Images: Michael Smiy