Yesterday, Oct 9th 2011, I was invited to assist and digitech on a shoot with Will Taylor in Down town L.A. We arrived at Off Pico Studios(http://www.offpicostudios.com/) to meet with the Client , who wishes to remain Anonymous, So that Will could shoot their 5 chosen actors for an editorial.
I immediately started setting up four lights that would eventually be bounced into white V-flats for projection onto the freshly painted white Cyclorama. Once those were in place I put together the Large octobox that would be the main Light, Off shooters left and above head. The next step was to set up the tethered work station so that we could preview the in coming and well Lit images.
For the men the lighting was more dramatic and for the women we had a large white foam core to move into the set to make them a little more creamy on the shadow side of the look. Its a fairly basic setup with an amazing light ratio. Many times we prefer to adjust our lights by sight and not meter them. When you do it enough it starts to come naturally and is less technically designed looking. I love the art of painting with light that is not about specific ratios.
After a couple of tests, we were ready for or first actor. You may know him as Dawson from Dawsons Creek. James Van Der Beek. Quite the looker ladies! James, with some Frank Sinatra playing in the background smacked a home-run and brought it home. Two Looks done and we are now waiting for the next celebrity while I do a back up. Below is Photographer: William Taylor, Celeb: James Van Der Beek, Stylist: Lyndzi Trang, Art Director: Lucia Tran
An actress by the name of Anabelle Wallis, best known for her role as Jane Seymour in Showtime’s hit period drama The Tudors. Wow… what a looker and yes she can model. Her million dollar smile scratched the back of my eyeballs indefinitely.
Next was a ball of fire who came all the way back to L.A. from Arizona where he comfortably lives and plays drums in a band. Frankie Muniz from the famed Malcom in the Middle. What a great kid and well adjusted adult he has become. It was a pleasure watching him have fun with the chosen props. I was Hoping to get them to rock some Kid and Play but we must keep it moving!
The temperature started rising and it was no wonder. This next guy played a fictitious fashion designer in The Devil Wears Prada. He also had a short role on Sex and The City. Daniel Sunjata , in some Taylor made suits, pulled off an amazing GQ look and showed his moves off to the Large team involved in this shoot.
Technical: By this time we were rolling and started experiencing some computer glitches and for a couple minutes we were forced to shoot to card while I did a reboot and clean start of the computer… With actors you are on a schedule like no other in the universe. It’s very important to remain calm and focused. Within minutes I had a new session open and we were right back into the rhythm and moving forward. As a technician it would benefit you to have a second computer on hand and ready to plug into. Unfortunately budgets these days don’t always accommodate that need. Without a backup you Move on by instructing the Photographer that a reboot is needed in a gentle and low-key manner. He will Shoot to card so that things keep moving.
Our last Lil Cutie was cast as Titania in its production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Gillian Jacobs showed up with her own Team of makeup and hair , was quickly transformed and did this quirky lil stage show that had us all mesmerized…. all I could think of was the scene in ‘Mars Attacks” where the alien dresses up as a hot women with bubblegum. The way she moved was like she was wearing roller-skates swaying effortlessly across the floor.
I can’t give away anymore but it was a really fun day. That’s a wrap!