Wednesday, October 10, 2018

Photo-Novel Vs. Film

After a few months hiatus from Isness to produce my next short film "Execution", I'm back with Isness and I'm happy to say that it feels like coming home.  But before updating about that, here's a shout out to my dedicated cast. I put these amazing women through three months of prep so I could gradually mold them into an outlandish band of renegades. There are more pics from the production here.

Photo by Matylda Kawka

Volume Two is roughly laid out -as are all the rest - and I'm digging into the body of each spread tossing and turning the images, seeking the best way to tell the each event. Here are some samples of the work in progress:

Two cover options for Volume Two. One is based on Life magazine (as is Volume One) and with the other I'm toying with the idea of using Popular Science Magazine as my inspiration. This would mean that each volume's cover could be based on a different magazine. More fun for me, perhaps a little confusing to the reader.

Below the following spreads I placed an image that shows something of the production process it took to get there:

The darkroom is the most recently added miniature. It's situated in a triangular space under the staircase in the kitchen and serves as Lars' real, functioning darkroom but also as his hideout when things in the family get too intense.

In this scene, Petro (the father figure, played by Tom Regan) negotiates for a back-scratch in return for some of his precious, home made beer. His daughter, Pachouli, played by Stephanie De Latour, agrees reluctantly. In the pic below, it's Lelo Lourenzo behind the 2nd camera and Kimberly Boldrini shot this image.

This home-repair tutorial is supposed to tell the story of how Hunter installed the new, white french doors in the front of the house. I captured stills from various Youtube how-to videos and changed the skin tone of the hands. The house is the miniature with some 1960s house segments collaged from a design magazine.

The mother figure, Nanna, played by Christine Osterman is a riot of female survival instincts mixed with a mid-century housewife ideal. In the spread above she unveils after prolonged onion chopping to answer Petro's love-call.

Making a shopping list for an analphabetic by cutting and pasting product images from magazines. In this scene, Nanna dictates to Lars what to put on the list, which will then be given to Hunter for when he goes to the mainland to "shop". Lars hands are actually Rachel Hahn's, who interned on the project and did some body-double work for Lars' character.

After Petro accidentally broke lars' photo frame, Pachouli finds it and attempts to return it to Lars. One thing I noticed after years of editing the images, is that the eye gets tired of seeing the room background in every single image on a page, particularly if it is in focus. Cutting out the background helps to focus the eye and move the action along.

...And last, I finally have the courage to speak about the loss of Zoola, our beloved super-smart, spicy dog, who died almost 2 years ago in a freak accident. Zoola got herself a part in Isness by crashing one of our early shoots and nailing it with every move. (Our other dog, Ziggy, not so much...) Later during shoots, she would place herself at the epicenter of the action and give us a 100% authentic post-apocalyptic dog behavior. Zoola appears in many scenes and represents the raw survival instincts of an animal in symbiosis with humans.

With Catriona Plesnarski

With Toby Levin

 With Lee Sebastiany

With Stephanie DeLatour and Alexandra Ceribelli

 With James Allerdyce and Catriona Plesranski

And that does it for now. This winter is dedicated to going back and forth between editing Isness Volume Two and editing my short film, Execution. Who would have guessed that a photo novel would take so much longer to make, than a film?