Wednesday, January 21, 2004

art directing the great old one

Having completed preliminaries for a photo shoot I'm art directing tomorrow, my mind was still locked in terms of frames, lighting and composition. This is a relatively new discipline I'm offering as a service to clients - new as in two years new. I've always had an eye for what looks good and it was just natural progression to capitalize on it. Besides, I realized that I was art directing for more than two years - I just didn't know it was called that and I did it for free.

I jumped into deep waters at the start (what else is new?) by art directing various annual report's Board of Directors shots - which was great training because you cannot fuck around with powerful people (but a little charm, professional level English and a sense of humor go a long way) - and progressed to models, product shots, interiors and crowds and all sorts of engaging stuff.

I like the challenge of coming up with a concept to be executed in visual terms, because one of my greatest frustrations is being unable to create anything visual by hand (using computers is cheating and I have no patience to learn how to be a real photographer). I talk to the client to get a firm grasp of expectations; to the models (if were shooting live people) to get a feel of their personality; muck around with the subject (psuedo-food styling, if it's food); move things around to create a better atmosphere. It takes time, but I find that, incredibly, I'm a very patient art director.

Anyway, I had always wanted to shoot Vin's plush Cthulhu at his store and I happened to have my Canon digital camera with me.

I ended up shooting a series of pictures of The Great Old One in various angles, wings closed and opened, though I was a bit distressed that "his" expression hardly changed. A hard one to motivate indeed. Until I gave him a cigarette and "he" loosened up.

Yes, even the Unspeakable Ones Beyond The Stars need a ciggie break.

cheers, buddy

Tomorrow, my best bud celebrates his forceps-assisted arrival into this mad world (and he has the indentations to prove it).

As the years roll on by, it becomes more and more amazing to me how long our friendship has endured - almost two decades, in fact.

It began with comics, moving on to games, blossoming because of similar interests like writing, weathering false friends and clockwork happenstances, growing through art and endless conversations, until he became more than just my bosom friend - my beloved brother beyond blood ties, co-conspirator, godfather to my daughter and optimistic beacon of Happy Land.

It's a day early, but I wanted to be among the first to say "Happy Birthday".

Happy Birthday, Vin!

Dinner's on me.


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