ACT1 Strikes Again!
When you got a good thing going, you tend to stick with it, right? Well, apparently that’s the deal with one of my, now consistent, clients, ACT1 Theater Group. I’ve done their publicity photos for three different shows, and was summoned again for their latest performance about a story-telling grandfather and his suitcase of $540,000 dollars randomly hidden for his relatives to find. Unlike previous shoots with this group, the day went very quickly, was pretty well organized, and was very smooth. I think our working relationship has gotten to a good place!
I wanted to share this shoot because of how much fun I had with it. With every show I do these kinds of images for, I always request a copy of the script prior to the shoot so I can read it, understand the story and characters, and thus help create images that tell the tale. Right off the bat I got excited because this show is hysterical. I was getting stares from the patrons of my local Starbucks as I was rolling whilst reading this script. Pure genius! Obviously this got me revved for the shoot itself and made coming up with ideas rather simple. When two of your jobs, engineering and photography, are based on coming up with fresh ideas, it’s always a wonderful day when the inspiration is flowing full force.
When I arrived on set, it was like clockwork. I set up my lights and the director had everyone lining up for headshots. Boom, quick and easy. Next came the actual publicity images, which is usually where some head-butting comes in. After three previous shoots, the level of trust established between the artistic team and myself really allowed for a lot of flexibility and tolerance in coming up with shots and making them work. It was also helpful that the cast was incredibly lax and fun to work with. We were telling jokes and having a superb time, and that translated into a really productive shoot. Photoshoots should always be fun, even if the subject is serious because it makes the day that much better. It also allows for hiccups and no one gets terribly peeved or impatient.
This was my favorite image of the day. The inspiration came from Katniss and the Hunger Games cover image. Both of these actors were a hoot and had a fantastic “grandfather/granddaughter” character relationship established, which made the process of this shot really fun. A lot of time was spent getting the proper angle with my wide angle lens, and at short distances, that meant predicting distortion. The grandfather’s hand is a little bigger than I would like, which would have been solved by “cheating,” and having him pointing almost at the granddaughter’s forearm. Lesson learned!
The Money in Uncle George’s Suitcase runs March 7-30, with tickets available at www.ACT1theater.com.