So the year turned and the Scottish Creative Network managed to pull together another day at the Radisson Blu hotel. Last year's shoot, with bridal gowns and clothes from Obscure Couture and Dom and Emily, was a pretty good day for me. I got some great pictures, including 6 that appeared in the recent exhbition.
This time though, I'd decided to do something different. Still creeping at the edge of fashion, but with a strong story element.
The basic premise echoes touches of Mr and Mrs Smith (spy's fall in love, have a fight etc.) but I decided to throw in a random curveball or two, by making my spies a little more than human and throwing in a laser burn, instead of bullet holes. The full piece will be presented as a kind of photo story/graphic novel.
Following a recent fashion show at the Corinthian, I had recruited Neal Alexander and Leeann McCall as my two leads in the piece. They were both quite enthusiastic to be trying something new and a little off kilter from the usual fashion norm.
I also managed to draw in Aileen Wallace for her makeup skills. Some further casting about and a recommendation brought on Jay Campbell to help out with hair.
The hardest part was in fact finding suitable extras for the two additional roles in the piece. My friend, Benita Jonsson, was helping and assisting with the shoot and just happened to bring her husband along for the first part of the shoot, hey presto a star was born in the shape of Marco, and promptly shot in the head with a laser!
Glynis and I have been FB pals for a while and I met her at one of the Baby Blues Club nights. She's an actress and a dancer and had the ability to create the severe look I needed for a boss handing across assassination orders.
We actually started the shoot off the day before the Radisson hotel shoot. We shot near Shields Road, using the West Street industrial estate and some fabulous graffitti around the side of Cotterell Lighting, We managed to persuade a fireplace showroom to loan us a corner for the initial hair and makeup, Though by the time we wrapped at 5:30 pm, Neal was reduced to getting changed back into normal clothes in the back of a car.
So that was two scenes in the bag for the story.
I was already having continuity meltdown after only 2 scenes, so I spent that night sketching out the various steps for the next day.
The day at the Radisson did start remarkably well, everybody turned up! The fact that the organisers had to delay the start due to the need to wait for a room worked in our favour. It gave us a few extra minutes (an hour) for hair and makeup and for Leeann to try on some of her outfits.
Leeann was the clothes horse for the day, sporting a dress from Psychomoda, 2 corsets from Crikey Aphrodite and a couple of outfits from C.Watson. Neal got to wear a tux and his casual clothes and different shades of boxer shorts. He did seem deeply enamoured with the laser gun he got to play with, in between eating every scrap in sight.
The organisers had gained us access to the corner bar, 3 rooms, the public areas of the hotel and the restaurant. We were able to mostly shoot in the order of the scenes in the story, though Leeann had to be remade up for the restaurant scene and de bruised.
All should hopefully become clearer when the final piece is ready.
I was very impressed by my two main models for the day, both relatively new to the experience and being thrust together in a story of love, betrayal and sad farewells. We managed to keep the mood light and comfortable and still be very professional when the camera was clicking. Aileen and Jay did spectacularly well with hair and makeup and Benita was a very patient assistant throughout the day. Glynis was a trooper, arriving in time for her makeup call and waiting being cold until her short scene at the end of the day's shooting. A special mention should also be made for Alison Campbell of Crikey Aphrodite, who turned up with a rotten cough and none too well, but managed to fashion up some great looks from her Crikey Aphrodite wardrobe.
The SCN crew provided light relief by filling a coffee machine that had no water tank in it and scattering a waterfall over their prized camera kit, but were otherwise the pictures of efficiency in getting us all round the place.
It was a very different experience to the previous year. Because I knew what scenes I needed for my story, I wasn't trying anything and everything with each location and once I had the shots I needed I was stumped for additional pictures to take. The advantage of this was that we did have the extra time for hair and makeup changes, food and other interruptions which made the day a bit more civilised and less frenetic.
So, for now, here is the "cast" in full graphic novel mode, they will be more photographically inclined in the final piece: