Photographer, Educator, Artistic Explorer
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Little Edie Poses For Macy's

Little Edie Poses For Macy's

In the film Grey Gardens, Drew Barrymore portrays Edith Bouvier Beale. In one scene she poses as a model for Macy's, a move that outrages her father. I had to photograph that model shoot and realizing that she was a method actor, I asked "Little Edie" what was the particular pose that so angered her father. It was the right thing to do as the images were spectacular and it cemented an opportunity to work with her throughout the rest of the film.

Almost The Perfect Poster

Almost The Perfect Poster

Drew Barrymore portraying Little Edie in the Poster for Grey Gardens. We attempted to copy the original as closely as possible from point of view, perspective, lighting and so on, only to be told that the pose would have to differ due to concerns over copyright. Regardless, it was what Drew brought to the shoot tirelessly every day that really sold the look.

Barry as Bobby

Barry as Bobby

The joy of shooting for the art department lies in being part of the creative process. The Kennedys offered this opportunity daily. Working closely with Barry Pepper, the brilliant actor portraying Bobby Kennedy, was both demanding and creatively rewarding. A consummate professional, he was never content to accept 95%. So when it came to recreating original material with his likeness, including a portrait by Karsh, my lighting and the pose had to be exact. The lighting proved very interesting to mimic as Karsh used tungsten hot lights and I use strobes, both of which exhibit very different qualities. I was pleased to nail it. As to the pose, Barry was his own toughest critic but having seen the originals, I can assure you that he got to his 100%.

Art Department in Action - Godsend

Art Department in Action - Godsend

The image on the left shows the Art Department in one of their many roles, in this case providing background images within the film. Many thanks to Kerry Hayes, Stills Photographer and Lion's Gate Films for providing this image. (Kerry Hayes © 2003) The photographs on the wall are all mine and if you look at the piece hanging in the upper left you can make out that it is the image shown at the right. The film stars Rebecca Romijn and she plays a photographer in the film. The brilliant production designer, Arv Grewal and I proposed to Director Nick Hamm that the images used as her work would be mine and many images, like this one came directly from my portfolio. A number though were shot with the young boy in the film, Cameron Bright and those as much as possible would make use of reflections. I suggested that the reflection of Cameron in shiny surfaces would emphasize the notion of cloning, the sinister subject of the film. The images may have been of the same person but I shot them so that they seemed iconic and were metaphors celebrating that which is universal in all children.

The Golf Lesson

The Golf Lesson

Did this really happen? Well, sort of. Shooting Eugene Levy on green screen in the perfect position and then using the superb Photoshop skills of Graphic Designer John Moran to blend the public domain photo of the president with my shot, we arrive with a fabulous image for the set of "Cheaper By The Dozen 2." Watching the different poses and expressions Eugene came up with was hysterical and one of the gifts I receive when working with the many talented people our industry supports. We actually did a number of different scenarios but I have to admit that this is my fave.

Mrs. B. is Dead

Mrs. B. is Dead

Crime scene photos always present challenges but this one involved keeping the blood on our prop carpet and off the real antique underneath it that was absolutely priceless and irreplaceable. Shot for the television pilot L.A. Confidential

The Surveillance Shot

The Surveillance Shot

If ever there was a classic art department shot in television dramas it would have to be the surveillance shot of the bad guy. They are great fun to shoot and typically the longer the lens, the better. In this case, just a 200mm with a bit of foreground smash although I have often done similar images with a 600mm.

The I.D. Badge

The I.D. Badge

Another essential image with the Art Department is the I.D. Badge, the Mug Shot, the Business Portrait. These mainstays of prop imagery are used all the time and despite an assertion that a quick snap of a cell phone is good enough, there is no question that when the image is properly lit, when the mood and personality of the character is brought out by some subtle direction, that the final photograph, no matter how fleetingly seen on the screen is better for having been captured by the Stills Photographer and real gear.

The Translight

The Translight

The Translight image makes such a convincing background that when watching the film, one could swear the location was real and not a studio set. Such is the case with the top image, a still (someone else's) from The Time Travelor's Wife; I was sent to Chicago to shoot multiple digital images that were stitched together to form the panorama you see behind the gentleman's head. In the case of Cheaper By The Dozen 2, I shot twelve different images on 8X10 inch film and they were stitched together to make a 20 X 120 foot Translight. Today, I use a robotic device called a Gigapan and shoot hundreds of images that get stitched together with highly specialized software that I use that comes from Sweden. The multi gigabyte files are flawless, look like they were shot in a single image and can be output into truly massive prints.

Little Edie Poses For Macy's

In the film Grey Gardens, Drew Barrymore portrays Edith Bouvier Beale. In one scene she poses as a model for Macy's, a move that outrages her father. I had to photograph that model shoot and realizing that she was a method actor, I asked "Little Edie" what was the particular pose that so angered her father. It was the right thing to do as the images were spectacular and it cemented an opportunity to work with her throughout the rest of the film.

Almost The Perfect Poster

Drew Barrymore portraying Little Edie in the Poster for Grey Gardens. We attempted to copy the original as closely as possible from point of view, perspective, lighting and so on, only to be told that the pose would have to differ due to concerns over copyright. Regardless, it was what Drew brought to the shoot tirelessly every day that really sold the look.

Barry as Bobby

The joy of shooting for the art department lies in being part of the creative process. The Kennedys offered this opportunity daily. Working closely with Barry Pepper, the brilliant actor portraying Bobby Kennedy, was both demanding and creatively rewarding. A consummate professional, he was never content to accept 95%. So when it came to recreating original material with his likeness, including a portrait by Karsh, my lighting and the pose had to be exact. The lighting proved very interesting to mimic as Karsh used tungsten hot lights and I use strobes, both of which exhibit very different qualities. I was pleased to nail it. As to the pose, Barry was his own toughest critic but having seen the originals, I can assure you that he got to his 100%.

Art Department in Action - Godsend

The image on the left shows the Art Department in one of their many roles, in this case providing background images within the film. Many thanks to Kerry Hayes, Stills Photographer and Lion's Gate Films for providing this image. (Kerry Hayes © 2003) The photographs on the wall are all mine and if you look at the piece hanging in the upper left you can make out that it is the image shown at the right. The film stars Rebecca Romijn and she plays a photographer in the film. The brilliant production designer, Arv Grewal and I proposed to Director Nick Hamm that the images used as her work would be mine and many images, like this one came directly from my portfolio. A number though were shot with the young boy in the film, Cameron Bright and those as much as possible would make use of reflections. I suggested that the reflection of Cameron in shiny surfaces would emphasize the notion of cloning, the sinister subject of the film. The images may have been of the same person but I shot them so that they seemed iconic and were metaphors celebrating that which is universal in all children.

The Golf Lesson

Did this really happen? Well, sort of. Shooting Eugene Levy on green screen in the perfect position and then using the superb Photoshop skills of Graphic Designer John Moran to blend the public domain photo of the president with my shot, we arrive with a fabulous image for the set of "Cheaper By The Dozen 2." Watching the different poses and expressions Eugene came up with was hysterical and one of the gifts I receive when working with the many talented people our industry supports. We actually did a number of different scenarios but I have to admit that this is my fave.

Mrs. B. is Dead

Crime scene photos always present challenges but this one involved keeping the blood on our prop carpet and off the real antique underneath it that was absolutely priceless and irreplaceable. Shot for the television pilot L.A. Confidential

The Surveillance Shot

If ever there was a classic art department shot in television dramas it would have to be the surveillance shot of the bad guy. They are great fun to shoot and typically the longer the lens, the better. In this case, just a 200mm with a bit of foreground smash although I have often done similar images with a 600mm.

The I.D. Badge

Another essential image with the Art Department is the I.D. Badge, the Mug Shot, the Business Portrait. These mainstays of prop imagery are used all the time and despite an assertion that a quick snap of a cell phone is good enough, there is no question that when the image is properly lit, when the mood and personality of the character is brought out by some subtle direction, that the final photograph, no matter how fleetingly seen on the screen is better for having been captured by the Stills Photographer and real gear.

The Translight

The Translight image makes such a convincing background that when watching the film, one could swear the location was real and not a studio set. Such is the case with the top image, a still (someone else's) from The Time Travelor's Wife; I was sent to Chicago to shoot multiple digital images that were stitched together to form the panorama you see behind the gentleman's head. In the case of Cheaper By The Dozen 2, I shot twelve different images on 8X10 inch film and they were stitched together to make a 20 X 120 foot Translight. Today, I use a robotic device called a Gigapan and shoot hundreds of images that get stitched together with highly specialized software that I use that comes from Sweden. The multi gigabyte files are flawless, look like they were shot in a single image and can be output into truly massive prints.

Little Edie Poses For Macy's
Almost The Perfect Poster
Barry as Bobby
Art Department in Action - Godsend
The Golf Lesson
Mrs. B. is Dead
The Surveillance Shot
The I.D. Badge
The Translight