WHY LASER TAG
Our aim is to inspire young people who do not play traditional sports to stay active and healthy by playing Laser Tag
WHAT WE PLAN TO DO
... Laser Tag...? That's not a sport is it..?
Well if your talking about the general punter off the street, probably not, but when you see Laser Tag the way these guys play, you just want to go straight down your local site and start whipping around the arena like a modern day ninja. Laser Tag is a surprisingly athletic and skillful game with a unique strategical twist, 3 teams at once.
Not only is Laser Tag an incredible sport that no one knows anything about, it is recognised from within Laser Tag circles, that it provides an important sense of community and an important physical outlet for those that do not play traditional sports. Laser Tag has incredible potential, not only as an entertaining, technologically advanced sporting activity, but in the bigger picture of our battle with keeping our young people active and healthy.
We seek to present the game, the people, the conflicts, the comradery, the potential and the ultimate prize, the 2014 Laser Tag World Titles on the Sunshine Coast, Australia. This is a historical event that is held only once every 2 or 3 years, and will be held in Australia for the first time in history during the first week of September 2014.
For the first time ever we look to document the very unique and exciting game of indoor Laser Tag. Historical challenges with spectating and filming in tight, darkened environments has limited the opportunities for Laser Tag to be viewed on a mainstream level. With technological advancements in sports camera technology, things are changing, and Laser Tag looks to become some what of a significant niche sport. This will be the first serious attempt to document Laser Tag from inside and outside the playing arena.
ABOUT THE EVENT
The tournament will span a full a full 5 days, with the 5 man team event and 5 man Elimination event being the blue ribbon competitions. Other events that will be played during the week are Solos, Triples and Lord of the Rings.
5 MAN TEAMS
The 5 man team concept is recognised as a standard across nearly all competition Laser Tag playing countries. What makes the Team game so incredibly interesting and unpredictable is the concept of having 3 teams in the arena at once. The dynamics of how 3 teams interact in the arena, makes for fascinating scoreboard and arena viewing.
The foundation of the Team game is the concept of each team having their own Base Target to protect whilst simultaneously attempting to destroy the opposition teams base. Each player can destroy the opposition bases once only, so a team can destroy 10 bases for the game (5 players all destroying 2 bases each). The team captain will coordinate players to move between attack and defence positions depending on the situation of the game and what base targets they still need to destroy. What adds to the challenge is the fact that it takes 3 consecutive shots in to a base to destroy it. If you are tagged mid-way through destroying a base you actually lose points for being 'denied' attempting to destroy the base. Team work, communication and skill are all part of a winning strategy.
The other main difference between playing public Laser Tag and competitive Laser Tag is the base evacuation concept. Each team has a protected area around their base that you can only enter when active (ie if tagged you must leave this area). This creates a battle between the attacking and defending players over key positions that are required to attack or defend a base. During the tournament we will have camera's around these key area's in the arena so you can see how the pro's use the arena cover and position their bodies perfectly to avoid being tagged and take out those players holding key posts.
The Team Elimination competition is one of the main events at the USA and Scandinavian National tournaments, however it is a relatively new game to the Australians. Its very different in that it is typically less frantic and has a strong focus on strategy and communication. Players only have a limited number of lives to accumulate the highest score possible for their team. If a player loses all their lives they are eliminated from the game and their score no longer counts.
Team Elimination (or 'Elim' as its could by insiders), is a game with a big focus on field position and teamwork. The USA and Finland teams will be strong favourites in this event, given their wealth of experience. It is an event that is more entertaining to the experienced watcher (a bit like cricket or baseball) so will have limited air time on the doco, but will feature strongly in the commentary, results and interviews we have with players.
LORD OF THE RINGS (LOR)
Another tournament format that has a rich history with USA and Fin players is the LOR event. LOR is the only game format played outside the arena in the full view of the spectators. There are no partitions, just a 4m(13 feet) diameter circle that 3 players battle in to see who is the master of the 'stand off'. 'Standing Off' is the skill in Laser Tag of having a 1 on 1 battle with another player without using arena cover. The art of dodging another player's shot whilst simultaneously firing back at them and attempting to tag that player. Watching the USA and Finland players dodge, weave and dance is a spectacle unto itself.
Players attempt to get deactivated the LEAST no of times in a 5 min round to win. Players can also get 'stunned'. A stun occurs when tagged in the shoulders or phasor and has a players pack flash like a Christmas tree. During the stun, a player can still be tagged but cannot fire their laser. A stun is only a couple of seconds, so skilled players can dodge fire from opposition players during a stun, and then reactivate to tag the player. A real spectacle to watch.
Check out the video below to see one of the LOR games at the 2009 World Titles in Finland between Pun (USA), Sevron (USA) and 1-jor (Finland). Please excuse the lighting, lights are deliberately dimmed in LOR to increase visibility of the pack lights.
The 2014 World Titles event on the Sunshine Coast will have 5 rings running, and there will be plenty of footage of some of the Worlds most talented dodging artists in the LOR event. Australia has been running LOR as part of their Nationals format for around 3 years now, so it will be interesting to see how far we have come compared to the International players.
The Solo event is a very simple, individual format. Around 20 players at a time play an 'every man for themselves' game in the arena for 8 min to see who can accumulate the highest score. There are no Base Targets, so players gain points ONLY by tagging opposition players.
There are so many talented players at this event, there could be as many as 20 possible contenders to take out this event. Home team players will have a slight advantage in their home arena, but expect to see players from various teams and countries in the Solo Final.
Triples is a 3 man team game where players destroy Base Stations and have no Base Station of their own to protect. Yes, an all out attack game, where talented trio's flex their muscle by demonstrating their tactical work around the arena and pack on pack skills. Possibly less strategical than the 5 man Teams and Elimination events, but incredibly frantic and enjoyable to watch.
There will be 3 Base Stations available to be destroyed by each player (ie teams can destroy 9 bases for the game). There will be up to 8 triples teams in any game meaning that there is often 2 or 3 teams battling for the 1 Base Station. Crazy, loud, frantic and fun to watch.
THE PROJECT TEAM
Project Directors Annette Lasek and Benjamin Baker have 28 years combined experience in the Laser Tag business as center operators. Benjamin is an accomplished Australian representative and National player with 15 appearances in Australasian and International competitions to his name. Annette and Benjamin have assembled an amazingly talented team to film, direct and produce the documentary.
The production of the project is being managed by the highly experienced and incredibly talented Joel Devereux and Romesh De Silva from Trema Entertainment™ Australia. Trema Entertainment™ Australia have worked with the likes of Silverchair, Wolfmother, Regurgitator, The Cat Empire and the list goes on. Their unique style is edgy, impactful and forward thinking, and will be a perfect fit for demonstrating our unique sport.
The cast in this case is 70 of the worlds best Laser Tag players from Australia, New Zealand, USA and Finland. And yes, they have history. In a rare occurrence in Laser Tag, the home teams have lost each of the first 2 World Title events in 2009 and 2011. In 2009 in Tampere Finland, the USA Legends team took an amazing win against the odds. The Fin's did not like that at all and returned to the USA in 2011 with the most well oiled powerhouse Laser Tag team the world has seen. They didn't really look like they would lose the competition at any stage. The Aussies have finished 4th and 6th of 12 teams in previous World Titles events but will have access to a much deeper pool of players this time around, and will be playing on home soil which is a significant advantage in Laser Tag.
Laser Tag has the most interesting mix of people that play. There is everything from very athletic, to not very athletic people who play. You get old people and you get young people. You get boys and you get girls. There is a quality in Laser Tag of openness and acceptance of all people from all backgrounds. This quality is catalised by the nature of the game. Because it is a sport that is relatively non-contact and doesn't require a particular body type or strength to play, it can be played by anyone. This creates a potential in Laser Tag to help us, at a social level, overcome issues with weight and social anxieties around playing traditional sports. Our friendly cast of players will tell you there stories of how they started playing, what Laser Tag has meant to them and how it changed their lives.
HOW ARE WE GOING TO PULL THIS OFF
In the first week of September in 2014 the worlds best Laser Tag players will play off in a week long tournament on the Sunshine Coast in Australia. The blue chip event is the 5 man teams event. We will be there ready to capture every moment from the perspective of the referees, the players and the environment. Players will be interviewed after game and between games to get an insight in to what goes on, in and out of the arena. Gain exclusive insight behind the scenes as the teams experience the flows and challenges of the tournament. Our intention will be to present both the sporting aspect of Laser Tag from within the arena, and the story behind the tournament and the players.
The climax of the documentary will be the presentation dinner where teams find out for the first time the results of the events. Only in Laser Tag can the results be kept private and announced at a later time. This makes for an incredible climax.
Trema Entertainment™ Australia will post produce the documentary and make it available to Kickstarter supporters by October 2014. The documentary will be made public 6 months after this.
Risks and challenges
With Trema Entertainment™ Australia handling the production, and all the cast and crew booked, there is little that could go awry at this stage other than major technical meltdown of equipment or holding the tournament and nothing exciting happening <chuckle> :).
We are confident the technical scope of the project does not stretch any financial or human resources. Our overheads are really only basic production costs and we have a great script. Its the script of life. Out of every one of these rare Laser Tag World Titles events, amazing stories have emerged. For the first time we get to capture the essence of what it is to play among the worlds best of this unique, athletic and technologically advanced sporting activity.
One of our incredible strengths is the depth and quality of the people in the Laser Tag community. As this is a rare event, there will be an abundance of support to help the production crew if required, and the intention of the Laser Tag community to make itself known to the world will mean players are likely to make this production as lively as possible.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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