Friday, 14 October 2011

On walking around with a bottle, your possessions in a bag, saying Goodnight to people who have just started their day and why it is never a good idea to steal more than twenty tiny marmalades from the breakfast buffet...


...and that's Croatia over there, across the rail-o-tracks...

Well. Here I am again. In the bright misty morning, in the cold, alone and waiting for the world to shift so I could be in my den again... :)) It's a beautiful day, sun is up shy and symbolic and with a little luck a train will arrive soon and I will be putting this night behind. Not that it was another nightmare; it was just another one of those nights. Luckily I am being paid very little, so I am not even a little bit nervous about the results. I would have probably slept with the data cards in my bra otherwise.
Last night we arrived (General drove another model and myself) at eight thirty and waited and waited for the concert and suchlike to go away, so we could start getting down to business. The site is, light wise, akin to a crematorium and the customers are of the sort that take you do a discretely illuminated chamber and say I can start there as this room is very bright already. The make-up artists worked in the dark. The costume people worked in the dark. At times you needed – I am not fucking with you – to use your cell phone as a torch to navigate around the premises. I forgot to ask the technician how bright would he call that first room in technical terms, but until then let's just go with discretely dim. The models were of course all wearing black.
The shoot was for the spa promotional party organizers, the ones I worked with once before and am very, super very unlikely to work for again. It's not that they are bad people, not at all, they are kind of naive and nice, but working with amateurs has a price and it's not what they are offering. Not just the models, some of which were moody and unfocused at best, a bunch of silly little silicone girls at the worst (and when I say little I mean ANTM The Petit Addition) – though of course some were also very very pleasant to work with - but also the lack of communication between the customer and me, which mostly went among the lines of: ''Okay, now please tell me what message is you are aiming for with this shot and how would you like me to do it...' Response:  'Well, that's why we hired a professional, we like your photos and we want you to do whatever you want...' and half an hour later: 'Is this all you are planning to make out of this setting? We didn't spend the previous three hours waiting for everything to be ready so you wouldn't also take this and this and this and also that and that and that, plus some of other...'

Yeah. That's why I asked before we began. Telepathy is severely overrated.
 An amateur will not understand why you need studio lights, softboxes and the like, and a technician - and I am only glad they actually did find someone who can work the lights, because the man was then stretched between four different locations sometimes. The amateur will say we did only this and this? They were hoping we would do also several other photoshoots at the same time with the same crew. An amateur will hire amateur models who giggle, can't work their bodies, can't work their hair and refuse to take direction. At three fucking a.m.. An amateur will expect good will and energy from models who have been wearing heavy make-up for the last seven hours and can barely see straight anymore. Towards the end of the shoot the male models were falling asleep, portraying corpses washed ashore. I was sorry Tamy left among some of the first (General had to go to work, so he drove the first wave back to Celje at half past two.) She is becoming so much of a pro, easy to work with. Albeit the fact she refused to take off her jeans for the better part of the shoot. Then again some would insist on wearing their hair all over the place, would not wear wigs, would complain constantly to everyone around how fat and ugly they are, would know better than me, would loiter around so we had to look for them… This is what amateurs would do. And this is what you get when you can’t afford, can just demand, the top notch quality. Certainly, anyone is entitled to demand the best from everyone, but just because the photographer arrives thoroughly committed, it doesn’t mean people will listen t what she has to say. Or they will get tired and cranky. My guess a very strict make-up artist is also great because she plasters their hair and face where it has to be and that's final. But we didn’t really have that. I won’t even start on the nervous and lost little student that took two and a half hours to do a smoky eye on ONE model. (Out of ten.) Telling people "Please don't waste time powdering their faces because I want their skin natural, just bronze them up a bit." just never ever seems to hit fertile ground. Thank GOD we weren't shooting during daylight, cause that would really be a depressing.
         If anyone though we will be finished by midnight, we were finished at six. I never said it was not an excellent experience and I pray to get many more of the sort, but that's why I was dragging my stuff around the premises in the old army bag, that's why I was a zombie despite my bottle of Coke and that's why I was saying goodnight to the confused and sympathetic cleaning crews.

The sleeping arrangements this time around weren't as lovely, though for the three hours I actually slept, hitting the bed and passing out, it made little matter. At least there WERE sleeping arrangements. At nine the alarm rang to wake me, I made myself go get the breakfast and made myself drink. How much I dehydrate during these sessions is not even funny. Kimi would kick my arse if she knew. How much I am yawning is also a hazard. 
But I am on a train now and in half an hour I will crawl under the General's mighty wing, cuddle up and snore away the afternoon while the only yapping will be coming from my crazy, attention seeking dog... :D
Oh, and in case anyone was wondering why it's not a good idea to steal more than twenty marmalades? Because it's never the missing numbers that catch people's attention - someone may see some other person taking the handful of marmalades and think Whatever, they obviously just really like marmalade. But if you do that again and again still, it is not your technique but greed that always undoes you in the end. People are subconsciously always cautious around patterns and repetition. That's the bit you have to be the MOST cautious about. Also, if you steal more than twenty, the old army bag will start to bulk and you'll look ridiculous and your butt will hurt from having to carry it around, looking for the miniscule train station. ;) 

 Making the costumes for the pretty girls...
 Make-up people, making use of whatever little light there was...
 The light-tech, in the first room that we chose because it was the only one "brightly lit"
The dancers were willing to pose while we waited for things to move forwards...

 The mermaids, getting ready to eat the hottie fishermen...

 Tamara, doing some dramatic posing in between takes...


Špela, goofing around with a blow-dryer..



... aaaaaand it's a wrap, people. 6 a.m. Go the fuck home.


1 comments:

Claire. said...

Ahaha! You made my day. :)