When we started to combine the passion for Games with the passion for Cosplay here on 365Gaming last year I already talked to many about who they wanted to see appear in the interviews and 1 name kept popping up: Rick Boer, also a personal favorite of mine.

It was no secret that when Liza and Sophie from Team Paraluna I was very exited! And that happiness grew after receiving his mail! The people around me saw this huge smile appear on my face like a child on Christmas morning. Reading his enthusiasm with reference to the upcoming interview made it even more perfect…sometimes life is just awesome 🙂

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Introduction

Hi there!!! First of, thanks for the interview!! And thanks to Liza and Sophie for mentioning me to you!!! My name is Rick Boer. 26 years old, married and father of 1 daughter. I’m a teacher during the week and I study biology. Besides my family, there’s one passion that’s pretty dominant in my life; the so called cosplay hobby 🙂

Even though there’s been some awesome adventures with companies like Ubisoft, I do not consider myself a “professional” (if that is even possible with this hobby). The whole costuming is more like a hobby that has grown out of proportions! Take a look here at my DeviantART page if you like.

Many know you from the Assassins Creed Cosplay at several Ubisoft events & specials. But when did the cosplay virus originally start?

I have always been creative, but what started as a drawing and painting hobby toke on the proportions of costuming when I decided to recreate my favorite Star Wars character; Boba Fett. He toke me 3 to 4 years… I don’t think it would take me that long now, but being 16 and on a tight budget made it a comprehensive adventure.

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You share the passion of Cosplay with your beautiful wife Dominique as well, does this mean you house & life are dedicated to Cosplay? 🙂

Thank you 🙂 Ha ha, well Do has been coming with me to events for years now. Even though friends and family always asked when she would join the frenzy she’d always decline. She used to dance and do theater but even so… she doesn’t like the spotlight very much. In spring 2012 however, I almost finished Connor for Ubi when they showed us pictures of Aveline. We looked at the screen and then at each-other; is this a joke? Did they do this on purpose?! Aveline was spot on with Do 🙂 If we were ever going to jump into this hobby together, now would be the time.

Our house is… well the hobby is present. Not that the household revolves around cosplay but there’s pics here and there 🙂

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We have see the behind the costumes video for Black Flag, are all your cosplay costumes & props DIY?

Most of the props are DIY. Boba Fett contains multiple kits, but assembly and painting is still quite a bit of work to do (such as the helmet… and again… I was 16). I usually make everything myself though, from clothing to armor and weaponry. Sometimes I do buy say a flintlock pistol or rifle replica. These however are always modified and painted to match with the rest of the outfit.

Your Assassin’s Creed costumes have been voted as ‘best in the world’ on Kotaku, did this change much for you?

Ha ha ha! You could say that… Views and comments skyrocketed and the interest is amazing! It’s so great to get such positive feedback and to hear that people really like what we do. Even from the companies that makes these games. Of course you can’t please everyone and it is sometimes very strange to see some people blurting out there opinions or trolling around on the net without as much as a seconds thought that we are actually real people… with real feelings. That toke some getting used to. It still does actually 😛 Luckily the extreme amount of supportive comments and cheers are far more abundant and mean a lot more to us!

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You have been invited to several events already but where did you have your most awesome experience cosplay-wise?

I have been to several charity events with the 501st legion and some of those were quite… intense. Of course it’s AMAZING to go on stage for Ubi and shout ”aye!” as Edward and then hundreds of people go nuts! But getting a smile on the face of a 6 year old suffering from cancer is something quite amazing, especially when the parents smile with them.

We also paid a visit in costume to a hospital where one of our 501st friends was fighting cancer, to cheer him on in his fight against it. That was…. very moving to say the least. He didn’t make it, so the memory of that day is very precious to us and goes far beyond just a “cosplay hobby”  experience of course.

Another shocker was a stunt UbisoftNL did. They called out on Facebook to people to come to Utrecht CS to come and get a pirate flag after saying the codeword to Edward Kenway… me, that is. Well… we expected about 3 people to show up.. Look what happened here:

That was… intense!

The photo shoot with Edward under water was also… memorable 😛 I nearly drowned, but the result was allright! My wife toke some awesome shots!

Metal Gear Solid: Ground Zeroes is now spinning in many Xboxes and Playstations. You did amazing Cosplays as Snake! Your tattoo is a real one, but what about the awesome make-up? Did you also do the make-up yourself?

Thank you!!! 🙂 Yes, I do the make-up myself. It’s a bit like painting and drawing… but then on your face 😉

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It seems that the Metal Gear Solid & Assassins Creed are just tailored to fit you in both physic and profile, and we know Metal Gear Solid is also a favorite for you game-wise. Do you consider that an essential, that you must share a passion with the character to really do a good Cosplay?

Thank you 🙂 Well for me it’s a pre-request. If my heart isn’t into it… as with everything in life… it just isn’t the same. When I really, really like a franchise or a character I can immerse myself into the franchise via this hobby. I get into a creative flow and I am able to express my love for the franchise and experience a game for instance, as much more then just a game. I live it, without being a computer addict or a no-lifer… I can spend hours and hours in my head and though the process of creating a costume or a prop within the franchise that I love. And then when the game is finally here…. It’s almost like a reward for the work you’ve done…. How weird is that? Ha ha ha!

How do you pick the locations and settings for the amazing photo-shoots & video’s? Is this a cooperation between you and photographer or do keep control over it?

It depends on the character where I want to shoot. I work a lot with photographer Cynthia Veekens from Merdahn.com photography. She does amazing work, but above all… she listens very well. I already have pictures in my head before embarking on a shoot, or even trying to find a location. I explain this to Cynthia and then either I or she comes up with a location and then she offers her insight or she alters the idea to practical limits etc.

We go there and then I can see what is there and we start to work out the ideas we have plus everything that springs to mind there. I applaud her for still wanting to work with me because I can be very precise and strict about what I want 😀 😛

For instance, this project here

I wrote a script, Cynthia and I went to the location and then we follow the script. I come up with ideas for angles etc, as does the photgrapher but here also, I really want to have my say in it. It’s a little tricky to both act and direct something silly like this and I can be adamant about wanting a certain shot or angle… but again… I can see it in my head pretty clearly before we even start filming. And then it’s not over yet, because I also want to be involved in the editing process a lot… seriously…. How do people keep wanting to work with me 😛 😀

Quite a few shots and ideas for the Ubi spots with Altair, Connor and Edward came from me. Luckily Ubi is always interested and supportive of these ideas and the whole thing always feels like a true joined effort.
So yeah… I’m a control freak.

About the clip itself: Within 2 hours of uploading, David Hayter himself saw our little video and put the clip on his twitter stating it was the best impression he ever saw… that was such an enormous compliment. I still feel very flattered about that and I really miss him as Big Boss in MGS V. I still hope that a remake of the original Metal Gear is in order… with Sutherland as Big Boss and Hayter as Solid Snake. Both are awesome voice actors 🙂 (although Sutherland’s voice is easier to do in character then Hayter’s when cosplaying Snake… ha ha ha!)

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In the Netherlands you are considered as a well known cosplayer, does that also effect your daily life?

Well some pupils in my classroom are AC fans and they somehow… idolize me in that sense…. Must be stranger for them then for me though 😛 Can you imagine getting homework from Edward Kenway? Not to mention him getting angry when you haven’t done it… Ha ha ha ha! In general it doesn’t effect my life at all.

This whole… cosplay “fame” consists mostly of digital awareness and then only towards a very specific group of people.  In my direct environment I do not even know people who also cosplay. (of course I have met many of them and I call some of them very good friends, but they usually live quite a bit from here) So no… I’m just silly old me. I’m a pretty average guy with a very average life style. I like it that way.

If you would win a lottery what costume would be your dream?

Well I’ve always wanted to make a convincing dinosaur cosplay… weird huh? But I want to push boundaries and the Walking with dinosaurs arena spectacular really blew my mind! I also like a lot of heavy armored dudes and they can be expansive: Garrus, Gray Fox, Master Chief etc. They are all fun to do I imagin!!

No joke, but doing a Buzz Lightyear costume would also be a dream!!!

If you would get the opportunity to make Cosplay your sole income as a profession instead of teaching, would you do that?

As with any other job, yes…. As long as it stays fun and the benefits outweigh personal input. I’m a bit scared of losing a very, very special hobby if I would turn it into a profession though.

To pass on the joy of Cosplay: who would you like to nominate for the next interview?

Well I’m still in contact with a person I met on the net when working on Boba Fett all those years ago and we share a number of costumes. His name is Brent Roberts aka Forcebewithya cosplay. I do not speak to him regularly but I love his work! Hopefully you can put him in here somehow, if he’s interested!

365Gaming likes to thank Rick for the interview and awesome pictures and video’s. Stay tuned for more great Cosplayers here @365Gaming!

PS: share your love for Rick by voting for him in the Men vs Cosplay contest by liking his picture!

 

 

(Copyright photo’s: we always do our best to mention all copyrights and encourage the Cosplayers to provide pictures with watermarks of the photographers. If you feel that your copyright is neglected, please inform us and we correct this right away.)

Pictures by Cynthia Veekens, Philip van Ees, Jolien-Rosanne, Rick & Dominique Boer, Ruben Terlouw.
Video’s by Anne-Fleur Boortman, Ubisoft & Cynthia Veekens