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Conan the Barbarian

Growing up my brothers and I were all obsessed by the original Conan the Barbarian movie. Directed by the legendary John Milius, and featuring the first real debut for Arnold Schwarzenegger (not withstanding "Hercules in New York"), and not to mention an awesome acting performance by surfing god, Gerry Lopez, the movie also included a host of other greats. This film captivated us completely. And not just because of all the amazing characters in it, but also because it wasnt silly or childish we thought, but rather it was as serious of a Barbarian movie that anyone could have imagined or made. So many years later once I had begun my photography career, I thought wouldnt it be cool to do a Conan the Barbarian themed shoot. I pitched the idea to my stylist friend, and fellow Frank Frazetta fan, JJ Farrer. He loved the idea, and so did his good friend Jeremy Scott. The three of us all agreed that Dazed and Confused magazine would love it too. So I proposed the idea to them and they agreed to commission this shoot. I tried to approached this subject with the same seriousness as the movie had, I even managed through my friend Amanda Milius to get her dad John involved. So I got to meet John Milius! And he got us many of the original weapons for the shoot including the Conan sword its self, and biggest of all, original cast member Sven-Ole Thorsen ( who had played the hammer wielding, Thorgrim) who re-played his role for this shoot. Having all this involved, I really put alot of effort into making sure that I did justice to this story, and poured myself and most of the money I had at the time, into it. Shooting it all on 4x5 film, etc, etc. Insane? Maybe. Probably. But at the end I had some really unique, weird, and beautiful images, well at least I thought so. When the magazine got the film and did their edit of my story, they of course, cut most of my favorite images out. And in the end, ran a much watered down, 8 page version of it. I called them to complain, and was told by one of the editors that they preferred the images that were more humorous and not so serious. I explained that I was not trying to doing a parody of Conan, but an homage to something that I had always loved. I guess the folks at the magazine werent ready for a real attempt at a barbarian fashion story. Well ten years later, putting all these images together, Im not sure that they will be received much differently, but I still love them, in fact, more than ever! Photography by Sasha Eisenman Styling by JJ Farrer & Jeremy Scott Swords courtusy of John Milius