"Would have loved to shot a Peter Lindberg type of gig with old Maxwells, black and white, dusty backgrounds, huge crews, but the world doesn't allow much of this anymore. --- BC"
That's an interesting statement.
I've seen a lot of P.L. fashion work, and also his Pirelli(s) (I think he did two: one desert and one movie lot?) and your comment raises a sense of disbelief in my mind. How on Earth does it take a big budget and crew to do what he's known for doing, in the way you described? I've done a lot of location fashion in my career, in many different countries, and I always travelled very light: at the most, apart from the model(s) my wife came along (much as does yours) and helped out in all the different ways a person can. Being alone was the single greatest advantage that I thought that I had: I was left to get along with it and make the best of what I'd been given to shoot. Rarely, I had a client along too - very rarely.
My wonder is this: why should shooting basic, which is what the style tries to emulate, be anything but what it is at face value? If you have the models, the clothes, where's the problem? It seems to me that the key to these sorts of shoot are to be found in access to the interesting locations. Those deserted factories are everywhere in the industrialised world; the snag is having someone let you in to do your thing. I really believe that photography has become a bloated experience that appears to have gathered unto itself an overweight production system about which many complain but few appear to do anything about to reduce. Does the size of crew bear some imaginary relationship to status or ability in client minds? I only ask because I've been out of it for a helluva long time now, and it strikes me as pretty much insane.
P.L's work (in that particular style you referred to) looks simple and can be done simply. Why should it be any more expensive than any other location shoot?
Note: I'm not referring here to you own shoot, by the way, but to the concept of simplicity having to be super-expensive relative to anything else.
I hate taking this section of the thread off topic, but maybe that's just the way it goes.
You may not have had client's on set but PL did. Plus knowing celebs, about a million directives thrown at his producer. Ever deal with a star's agent, manager, personal assistant? That hair and makeup person you would hire for ___fill in the blanks___ will triple because they usually want their special person flown in at their special person's rate.
Look at that IWC Schaffhausen watch spread with Kevin Spacey and Kate Blanchett. Those two are expensive and powerful. Every prop from cars, to boats, to vintage cameras have to be sourced, found and placed. Then add the catering for the talent and for that type of talent is about double the day unless they're normal folk and most stars are not normal folk.
Rob, you've shot with models on location, done it well, had a lot of latitude, but when you get that level of involvement from that many people, managers, agents, just the wardrobe truck is probably larger than 90% off any lighting truck in Hollywood.
The good news is having that talent to toss the names out gets you a lot of free wardrobe, but it takes a a lot of pressers and seamstress to get it ready.
I might be wrong, I wasn't there, but I can tell you what nearly everything in this business costs and that watch project he shot costs a bunch, or his producer pulled some amazingly good favors.
All that talent has brands to protect and the retouching, regardless of what was really paid and regardless of how real it looks at retail value is higher than 99.99999% of any shoot shown on this forum.
The only thing that would lower the price is if it was a movie set and he was allowed a day or so just to use anything they had on set and shoot what he wanted, but advertising rarely works that way.
I'm not excusing the shoot I did, I like it and I have almost free run of the Sony Lot due to a great business relationship, but that doesn't allow me to go onto any sound stage and start shooting, or grab someone's arriflex and use it as a prop.
Everything we shoot we have to bring in. Hell the errors and omissions insurance and liability riders, city permits (yes you sometimes have to cut permits in culver city even on a movie lot) on our shoot can be as much as a small crew.
This is now a very expensive business.
P.S. One note, Europe usually is a lot easier and cheaper to shoot this style of project than America. People will let yo use a restaurant without 22 waivers and a letter from the marketing department.
Police don't hassel you on every corner like in the U.S. and there is usually a respect for the art that I don't see in L.A.