By Antonela Pounder
on March 31, 2023 8:01am

In our third #DSPorterSpotlight of the year, we’re celebrating the amazing work of Ray Reynolds, a fan who is no stranger to the 505 Games community. Ray’s creativity within the DEATH STRANDING community is inspiring and today, we’re taking a deep dive into how Ray goes about creating those amazing cinemagraphs and fan posters which have caught our attention in recent months.


Hi Ray! Great to have you on board for this month’s #DSPorterSpotlight piece! We’ve been fans of your DEATH STRANDING DIRECTOR’S CUT cinemagraphs and your fan posters for a while. Can you tell us a bit more about yourself and what makes you a DEATH STRANDING super fan?

Hiya! Thank you very much for having me. I’m Ray, I’m a virtual photographer, artist and writer from Ireland. In the last few years I’ve battled with cancer and serious illness, but as silly as it sounds since my diagnosis coincided with the release of DEATH STRANDING. I’ve lived my life by one motto. “Keep On Keeping On” and it’s actually helped me in more ways than I can explain.


What drew you to play DEATH STRANDING DIRECTOR’S CUT in the first place?

To be completely honest, I was always going to play DEATH STRANDING. If it’s a KOJIMA PRODUCTIONS game, I’m there on day one. What amazed me was how much I fell in love with it.

DEATH STRANDING launched at a very much needed time in my life. In the span of two years I was diagnosed with cancer, lost two brothers in the space of 8 weeks, lost our home and lost our dog. Things were dark. I couldn’t get out of bed due to my illness but I could play, and that’s where DEATH STRANDING came in.

It sounds silly when I say it, but for a man who couldn’t get out of bed and has faced so much darkness, when that landscape opened up on the hills above CAPITOL KNOT CITY I had an escape from it all, with one foot in front of the other I could escape and in that journey I dealt with my grief, my pain and my loss. With one foot in front of the other, with each strand, each knot, I walked my way out of the darkest time in my life, when I wasn’t able to walk the length of my home. DEATH STRANDING gave me an escape I didn’t know I needed.


Can you talk us through the process of putting together your cinemagraphs and fan posters?

DEATH STRANDING is so visually stunning, it makes my job editing incredibly easy if I’m honest. With each fan poster I create, I like to imagine each chapter of the game like its own mini movie, and how the residents and preppers of the UCA would tell stories about Sam Bridge’s journey west. He’s the first celebrity of the new world. What if they made movies about his journey? He is THE action star of the UCA so I tried to imagine what UCA movie posters would look like.

For my cinemagraphs I first find the image I feel will work best, luckily DEATH STRANDING isn’t short on both serene and action packed moments. Once I find my shot I use an animation tool called MoviePic to first make the skies move. You find this automatically brings the image to life.

I then draw in smaller details like lens flares to make BB pods glow or small waves in the Tar to add depth to the scene. I then add movement to the frame with an overlay of Timefall (rain or snow) What really brings it together towards the end is the addition of a small amount of sway to the image itself, so the viewer feels like they can step right into the frame or like the frame is about to step right out at them.


When playing DEATH STRANDING DIRECTOR’S CUT, how do you go about capturing that perfect shot that can be used for your cinemagraphs and fan posters?

Sometimes I’ll begin a play session with a photo in mind. Maybe I want to see Sam’s boots approaching the weather station, or capture a cool shot of Higgs doing his best villain pose. The real beauty of DEATH STRANDING’s photo mode is at any point in your journey you can activate it. Thanks to the incredibly detailed world, characters and photo mode settings, you’re going to find a shot you like.

The game does all the hard work, I’m just the lucky Porter who gets to capture it.


Do you have any advice for new Porters who might be about to play DEATH STRANDING DIRECTOR’S CUT for the first time?

You don’t need that many hermetic grenades. Save the space for more cargo!

Also, just take your time. The wonderful thing about DEATH STRANDING is the destination is always going to be there, but the journey is what makes it so special. Five star those Preppers, play BB a song, climb to that peak just to say you did it, build that road just to say you made it, but most of all, take the long way round and have fun.

My Grandad used to say with two feet and heartbeat you can get past most problems. Never has it been as true as with DEATH STRANDING.

Keep on keeping on! I know I will for as long as I can.


Follow Ray Reynolds on Twitter: