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bcooter

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Re: Recent Professional Works 2
« Reply #960 on: December 13, 2013, 04:06:54 PM »

A friend did the corner set wall Penn thing recently but he had the subject trying to break out of it, climbing the wall, smashed into it.  

He said he was running out of ideas and then went to the corner, feeling shitty about the Penn-esque nature of it and he wanted to break it all down, so he directed teh subject to do just that.  I'll find a link and post it up.  It actually works.

Now the Hopper thing, well, its a vibe and people take it literally and try to find a diner with that mood, which is a scene that hasn't existed in Manhattan for years.  They even try to find THE diner, which was a composit of places and moods, and light it up with strobes and it looks like shit, or rather, it looks cheap.




When photographers look at work from the past, they tend to forget that a lot of the "style" is just the period of the time.  Robert Kennedy in Manhattan with a white shirt, small collar and skinny tie and everyone around him is in suits and  white shirts with khaki pants makes for an amazing photography regardless of who shoots it with any camera.

Today if you step out on broadway, everybody is wearing sweats with Jet's logos and orange knee socks which is fine, but doesn't make for a cohesive simple, background.

Alsoi people in America have grown really wide, which isn't that pretty.

We were shooting motion in the London Tube and had a simple shot of the talent walking onto a escalator and riding it down, with me tracking in front.  Talent was great, lighting was good given the budget, but wrangling civilians was impossible, due to permits and it's almost impossible to find a cut where someone doesn't have a sweatshirt on that says I heart something, but even if you have total control sometimes crazy s--t happens.

The best story I have is when I started this biz I was hired to shoot the advertising and a book for a movie.  It was a 4 month project.   Getting to the end the production was way over budget and time and we needed a sunny day on a restaurant patio and of course it was a trillion degrees below zero.

Everything was going wrong and it was a big scene where the murder scene happens.  

We'd shoot, get close, someone would knock over a light, the director would yell keep rolling and of course we'd run out of film.
This went on and on for hours until at one moment, one very special moment, everything was going perfect.  You could feel it and I just knew in thirty minutes I'd be out of there doing something a lot more fun.

The moment the lead actor pulls out the prop gun, points it and is ready to shoot, one of the extras, right in the left center of the camera view pulls out a point and shoot with a flash and fires it.

The director (who was brilliant but insane) goes postal.  He leaps over the table, slides across it, grabs the extra by the throat, tumbles to the floor and is choking him to death.  Seriously.

Being camera and being at the end of what felt like a tour of occupied Germany,  we really had no respect for anything, so when security tried to jump in to stop the real murder, we kept yelling leave them alone, we've bet serious money on this.  

BC
« Last Edit: December 13, 2013, 04:11:12 PM by bcooter »
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TMARK

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Re: Recent Professional Works 2
« Reply #961 on: December 13, 2013, 09:48:41 PM »

Violence at the end of an ordeal like that can be very gratifying.  Sounds like a wild ride.

You'll like this.  Bridgeport Connecticut.  They want films shot there.  They offer incentives, discounts on police, easy permiting, tax breaks etc.  Its an interesting looking place as well, lots of 30's and 40's facades, lots of deco.  Reflects the money the place had before it went rust belt, before the ships stopped coming to the port.

So my ex-partner, who is from Fairfield, is all hot on shooting in Bridgeport.  I'm not convinced.  The local film/tv commission are out of it, and teh cops are not enthused.  So we agree to shoot a music video as a test case.  Its 17F outside.  We had a few streets blocked off.  We had a hot rod and driver, pulling brodies and burning rubber.  We had a fight and a shoot out with squibs.  It was a difficult shoot, made harder by:  1. a drunk woman in a Lexis runs up a curb, knocks over an Ari Sun.  She gets out, in our shot, mind you, and bottles fall out of her car.  She vomits.  Its 8:00AM.  2. The local drug dealer saunters over and offers us coke.  The cop chases him off and tells us about the guy and how he killed two people.  Its 10:00AM, really behind schedule.  At 1:30PM said drug dealer was stabbed.  Cops come in force, we were shut down for the day.  The next day we shot exteriors, no sound, natural light, just the Red on a steady cam, got out of there ASAP.  I'm glad our first try in Bridgeport was a pro bono video.  A paying client would have been pissed.


When photographers look at work from the past, they tend to forget that a lot of the "style" is just the period of the time.  Robert Kennedy in Manhattan with a white shirt, small collar and skinny tie and everyone around him is in suits and  white shirts with khaki pants makes for an amazing photography regardless of who shoots it with any camera.

Today if you step out on broadway, everybody is wearing sweats with Jet's logos and orange knee socks which is fine, but doesn't make for a cohesive simple, background.

Alsoi people in America have grown really wide, which isn't that pretty.

We were shooting motion in the London Tube and had a simple shot of the talent walking onto a escalator and riding it down, with me tracking in front.  Talent was great, lighting was good given the budget, but wrangling civilians was impossible, due to permits and it's almost impossible to find a cut where someone doesn't have a sweatshirt on that says I heart something, but even if you have total control sometimes crazy s--t happens.

The best story I have is when I started this biz I was hired to shoot the advertising and a book for a movie.  It was a 4 month project.   Getting to the end the production was way over budget and time and we needed a sunny day on a restaurant patio and of course it was a trillion degrees below zero.

Everything was going wrong and it was a big scene where the murder scene happens.  

We'd shoot, get close, someone would knock over a light, the director would yell keep rolling and of course we'd run out of film.
This went on and on for hours until at one moment, one very special moment, everything was going perfect.  You could feel it and I just knew in thirty minutes I'd be out of there doing something a lot more fun.

The moment the lead actor pulls out the prop gun, points it and is ready to shoot, one of the extras, right in the left center of the camera view pulls out a point and shoot with a flash and fires it.

The director (who was brilliant but insane) goes postal.  He leaps over the table, slides across it, grabs the extra by the throat, tumbles to the floor and is choking him to death.  Seriously.

Being camera and being at the end of what felt like a tour of occupied Germany,  we really had no respect for anything, so when security tried to jump in to stop the real murder, we kept yelling leave them alone, we've bet serious money on this.  

BC

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Rob C

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Re: Recent Professional Works 2
« Reply #962 on: December 14, 2013, 04:11:30 AM »

A friend did the corner set wall Penn thing recently but he had the subject trying to break out of it, climbing the wall, smashed into it. 

He said he was running out of ideas and then went to the corner, feeling shitty about the Penn-esque nature of it and he wanted to break it all down, so he directed teh subject to do just that.  I'll find a link and post it up.  It actually works.

Now the Hopper thing, well, its a vibe and people take it literally and try to find a diner with that mood, which is a scene that hasn't existed in Manhattan for years.  They even try to find THE diner, which was a composit of places and moods, and light it up with strobes and it looks like shit, or rather, it looks cheap.




Isn't that supposed to be the spirit of the concept of 'diner'?

Rob C

Rob C

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Re: Recent Professional Works 2
« Reply #963 on: December 14, 2013, 04:18:29 AM »

Hopper depresses me.


But isn't he wanting to? That's what happens when there's no tit 'n' ass in your life! I used to be a very happy photographer.

Rob C

bcooter

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Re: Recent Professional Works 2
« Reply #964 on: December 14, 2013, 04:28:40 AM »


But isn't he wanting to? That's what happens when there's no tit 'n' ass in your life! I used to be a very happy photographer.

Rob C

Well, you know he answer to that.

Break open the wallet Rob.

BC

bcooter

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Re: Recent Professional Works 2
« Reply #965 on: December 14, 2013, 04:40:03 AM »

T

That's the problem with small markets.  The don't know s__t or how to spin it professionally.

When we bought the Dallas studio, we did a lot of work there (not local as I don't do much local anywhere) but anyway made use of it.   Most of my crew came in from NY a few from LA and a few local pick ups.

The locals wanted more money than the NY crews, (of course), so one night one of the third assistants we called Mr. cheese (you can guess why) wouldn't leave so we invited him to dinner.

He ate the most expensive entree on the menu (though I really didn't care) parked in valet and didn't have any cash(at this point I'm starting to care)  and then a week later I get an invoice where he bills me overtime for the dinner.

When I got the invoice I laughed and had to give him a call.  I said you know, I've seem so stupid stuff in my life and I'm not cheap, but what possessed you to bill me for eating dinner,especially charing overtime?

His reply "I thought that's the way you new york guys work".

My reply, you need to intern for Seleger, Klinko or T-bone, then get back to me.

BC
« Last Edit: December 14, 2013, 05:44:21 AM by bcooter »
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MrSmith

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Re: Recent Professional Works 2
« Reply #966 on: December 14, 2013, 05:50:36 AM »

Lol. Assistants always order the lobster but then billing you for the time to eat it??
I know an assistant (now photographer) who was given £4 by the photographer "to get me a sandwich".
 "What about lunch for me? "
"Oh you can get your own"
He handed the money back and said "see you in an hour, I'm off for my lunch".
 I learned quickly to never take any crap from photographers when assisting and just worked with ones who you could have a laugh with but also happy to pull out the stops for because they paid you well and appreciated your efforts.
Apart from the time a photographer I had never worked with before suddenly put his jacket on to leave and told me to finish the shoot and put the studio key back through the door... ??? I was just left with a load of product, film and Polaroid and a late evening. I didn't work for him again.
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Rob C

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Re: Recent Professional Works 2
« Reply #967 on: December 14, 2013, 06:46:58 AM »

Well, you know he answer to that.

Break open the wallet Rob.
BC


It wouldn't work BC; even when I did stock I couldn't make it work if I shot for myself - there simply had to be a client to provide both the money and the motivation. On the very rare occasion when I paid for the shoot myself, I was worried about everything; when it was on a client, I mostly enjoyed it and brought back what he wanted and then I used the extras (with permission) for stock.

I'm not sure why - maybe a deep insecurity about money, maybe just that I needed the affirmation that an assignment brought with it.

The exception to that rule was in my early photographic life, when I had a muse/model who was as into and informed about fashion photography and photographers of the day as was I. We often went off together for a day and just shot whatever she picked up from the boutiques, which being from a very notable Glasgow family, she was easily able to do. There was no money involved in those shoots, just the happiness of a mutual learning process and no sex, honestly, just an slight undercurrent that kept it all alive and fresh. I suppose, in a way, she was my local Penelope Tree or Marisa Berenson to my David Bailey, because at the time, even he needed the money and the ladies didn't.

I suppose muses are thin on the ground today. As are David Baileys.

A shot from the period, below, and with Twiggy eyelashes...

Rob C
« Last Edit: December 14, 2013, 09:04:31 AM by Rob C »
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Chris Barrett

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Re: Recent Professional Works 2
« Reply #968 on: December 14, 2013, 07:19:03 AM »

Cewdson, Freidlander, Gowin, Sugimoto, Abelardo Morell.... but no Hopper on the shelves.

TMARK

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Re: Recent Professional Works 2
« Reply #969 on: December 14, 2013, 04:31:42 PM »

T-Bone would not have handled that situation well, at all, especially in the old days.  Things could get ugly very quickly back then, in the Mars Bar days.



T

That's the problem with small markets.  The don't know s__t or how to spin it professionally.

When we bought the Dallas studio, we did a lot of work there (not local as I don't do much local anywhere) but anyway made use of it.   Most of my crew came in from NY a few from LA and a few local pick ups.

The locals wanted more money than the NY crews, (of course), so one night one of the third assistants we called Mr. cheese (you can guess why) wouldn't leave so we invited him to dinner.

He ate the most expensive entree on the menu (though I really didn't care) parked in valet and didn't have any cash(at this point I'm starting to care)  and then a week later I get an invoice where he bills me overtime for the dinner.

When I got the invoice I laughed and had to give him a call.  I said you know, I've seem so stupid stuff in my life and I'm not cheap, but what possessed you to bill me for eating dinner,especially charing overtime?

His reply "I thought that's the way you new york guys work".

My reply, you need to intern for Seleger, Klinko or T-bone, then get back to me.

BC
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TMARK

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Re: Recent Professional Works 2
« Reply #970 on: December 14, 2013, 04:32:20 PM »

GREAT SHOT ROB!!



It wouldn't work BC; even when I did stock I couldn't make it work if I shot for myself - there simply had to be a client to provide both the money and the motivation. On the very rare occasion when I paid for the shoot myself, I was worried about everything; when it was on a client, I mostly enjoyed it and brought back what he wanted and then I used the extras (with permission) for stock.

I'm not sure why - maybe a deep insecurity about money, maybe just that I needed the affirmation that an assignment brought with it.

The exception to that rule was in my early photographic life, when I had a muse/model who was as into and informed about fashion photography and photographers of the day as was I. We often went off together for a day and just shot whatever she picked up from the boutiques, which being from a very notable Glasgow family, she was easily able to do. There was no money involved in those shoots, just the happiness of a mutual learning process and no sex, honestly, just an slight undercurrent that kept it all alive and fresh. I suppose, in a way, she was my local Penelope Tree or Marisa Berenson to my David Bailey, because at the time, even he needed the money and the ladies didn't.

I suppose muses are thin on the ground today. As are David Baileys.

A shot from the period, below, and with Twiggy eyelashes...

Rob C
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MrSmith

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Re: Recent Professional Works 2
« Reply #971 on: December 14, 2013, 06:11:21 PM »

^ get wordpress theme/blog take pics of girls then publish in seconds.
Just get a 22yr old to show you how the wordpress/blog works (it's easy)

Tempted to shoot that way myself but I'm shy with the ladies, you have no excuses.
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TMARK

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Re: Recent Professional Works 2
« Reply #972 on: December 14, 2013, 08:06:32 PM »

Rob,

What Mr. Smith and Cooter said.
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Christoph C. Feldhaim

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Re: AW: Re: Recent Professional Works 2
« Reply #973 on: December 14, 2013, 08:12:56 PM »

Rob, I'm going to hit you with a cushion to get you out shooting in about 1.5 weeks. ;)

Rob C

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Re: Recent Professional Works 2
« Reply #974 on: December 15, 2013, 04:58:02 AM »



"But this isn't about me, it's you. There are dozens of aspiring models, agents, assistants and interns that would love to work with someone of your talent and our style doesn't cost that much to do.

Let them put it on line for you on insticrap, facebook and tumbler. Just send them everything with a water mark so everyone will know you shot it."..... BC.


BC, I have no argument with what you write, but you miss the point, which I'd imagined had already been made clear: were I living in the UK that's exactly what I'd be doing; I had all the model agency contacts I needed, gave them business, and I'm sure we would have continued happily for as long as suited us both. I used to get sick of requests to do model tests etc. and I know the hunger is out there, and no, I haven't lost my desire to do stuff at all. I have tried to wean myself off that particular diet with a little success, but pangs still come now and again.

The trouble is the place where I live and can't escape. The housing market has sunk below its own knees. Many estate agents have collapsed, nothing sells; neighbours trying to sell have dropped their prices to around 2/3rds of what their places were worth five years ago, but no viewers, never mind buyers, ring their bells. So, geographically, I'm on St Helena along with Napololeon. As the property represents most of what’s left to show for my life, I don’t intend to trade it for peanuts!

Models. I have been to see the only model agency I think exists here, appeared to impress the agent with the book, and then nothing happened. I contacted them a couple of times again, but still zero. I chatted up a few local girls and even ran an ad for a while in my website both in Spanish and English, and zilch. One girl did get in touch via a guy I know; she sent a vimeo of her 'working' with a male model... no, thanks, not my bag at all. I tried to look the agency up again a couple of weeks or so ago, and either they are bust or have changed their name - the site's no longer there.

Yes, I can understand that it all sounds like excuses from someone who doesn't really want to do anything, especially when you live in London, Paris, NY, Rome, Milan, Madrid, Barcelona or even Glasgow, but it's the unvarnished and inescapable truth of life where I am. I'm sure that were I to cruise the bars in Palma or Ibiza something would turn up, but it's not my style at all: I like straightforward relationships with models.

You say you too are trapped, in front of computers etc, and I understand what you mean, but the thing is, you are still working, and that's the vital difference: it's all part of the creative process. I'd love to be trapped in front of a computer if it meant I was working and turning a buck! As it is, my trap only leads to another empty Coke bottle. Which is still better than no bottle at all.

Several friendly souls have tried to lift me back to something suitable, but none realises or believes the basic facts as I've outlined them here; it's one of those things where you have to be there - with or without f8!

So yes, thanks for the concern and advice, and I can promise you, were this the UK I wouldn't be needing any friendly prod/advice at all, but it's not: it's a little Mediterranean island that, but a scratch below the skin, is still the 1800s.

;-)

Rob C
« Last Edit: December 15, 2013, 05:00:35 AM by Rob C »
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MrSmith

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Re: Recent Professional Works 2
« Reply #975 on: December 15, 2013, 06:22:46 AM »

Living where you do would be seen as a gift by some photographers, I know a photographer who spends his precious time off wandering around places similar to where you live shooting portraits of everyday people.
They will probably want to keep their clothes on though. :-)
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Justinr

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Re: Recent Professional Works 2
« Reply #976 on: December 15, 2013, 06:43:22 AM »

Living where you do would be seen as a gift by some photographers, I know a photographer who spends his precious time off wandering around places similar to where you live shooting portraits of everyday people.
They will probably want to keep their clothes on though. :-)

Well I can't speak for Mr C but I find that familiarity brings insensitivity. For  a year, maybe two, after moving to Ireland I still saw the country as a different place and noticed what the Irish perhaps didn't but now there is little that excites me enough to want to capture it. The upside is that I see my old country in a different light which is good from a photographic point of view but politically and emotionally I doubt that I could ever return.
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MrSmith

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Re: Recent Professional Works 2
« Reply #977 on: December 15, 2013, 06:58:42 AM »

I know where you are coming from, it's not always easy to be motivated to shoot tests and ones own landscape becomes too familiar.
Same for a working photographer shooting still life/people, I need a germ of an idea or an approach to think about before wanting to create something, plus a little head-space which modern life doesn't always allow.
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Rob C

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Re: Recent Professional Works 2
« Reply #978 on: December 15, 2013, 12:21:46 PM »

Rob, what you have is too good to waste. I'm sure many of those "friendly souls" do understand that it's unlikely that you will ever take up exactly where you left off. What I and others over the years have been trying to do is to encourage you to move on, find a new passion and purpose.

Given the encouraging signs of late I'm sure we all still live in eternal hope ;-)

Best

Keith
 


I thank you for that, Keith, and it's true that I have found a new outlet - at least until the head runs dry or bored - with the green lady. It's also something that plays at my rpm: when an idea comes to call I just have to figure how to do it, or where, and that's it - no pain, no tantrums, no client breathing over my shoulder or watching the clock. And better yet: I actually enjoy shooting it!

Apart from the situation re. availability of local models, there's another angle to the thing: I had the very good fortune to end up working with the best girls that money could buy in London. Pretty much every one of them got to the casting because she'd already worked with Lichfield or Lategan (Lich for Unipart and Lategan for Mintex or similar) - I don't think there's a single one on my website's pro section that hadn't been through the process of working for those guys. The chances of landing a dummy were well weeded before I began. And having said that, I realise that it's exactly the problem novice snappers face too: people (clients) are comfortable working with others that they know have the mileage. So basically, anything I would find here has to be judged against that level of alternative, and it's a tough call. In a nutshell, why shoot stuff that you know isn't going to be what it could have been in different circumstances? I think I eventually came to terms with that reality, but I shall never like it!

Mr Smith and Justin,

Yes, you both have a point. I came to live here because my wife and I were doing a lot of travel, I was designing and producing the calendars as well as shooting them, and it seemed to make sense to live in a place that had the beaches etc. and so that's what we did. It saved a lot of travel, and the non-model opportunities got me holiday brochure work and in that, apart from hotels and apartments, I had a place to sell a lot of stock outwith what I already had with Tony Stone (Getty-to-be). I also had a separate, rep contract with him. However, as with most everything, bubbles have a habit of bursting, and those did too, in time. Frankly, I've had experience of both most enjoyable highs and depths to which I wouldn't wish anyone. In retrospect, I think it's just the photographic life.

As for getting blind to where you live: absolutely. That was why location work was so good for fashion, too, where nobody ever asked me for beaches. New places stir your juices and that, in turn, gives you ideas and enthusiasm that pretty much dies after a week with a white roll of Colorama. Then it comes full circle: your home island/town/village is just another roll of paper and new alternatives cost money and it's not a holiday: it has to bring profit.

Further, it has never been my interest to shoot people and cultures just because they are different. I leave that to National Geographic!

Regarding the snap of the 'Real 60s' that I posted above: it was actually an Ektachrome, 'scanned' on my D700, and one of the last I shot on a Mamiya C33, or whatever it was coded, using a 180mm. It ran as buddy to my new 500C with 80mm for which I couldn't, at the time, afford a long lens. As soon as I could, I bought the 150mm and almost immediately wished I hadn't. The 150mm was great in itself, but too short: the 180mm gave me bigger heads further away, so no distortion, and the hassy coudn't. They didn't have a 180mm in the hassy range at that time, and 250mm was too long.

To illustrate how shoestrings worked in pro life: the shot was done with two heads. The 'brolly front one was a black, gent's umbrella with multiple coatings of white Dulux emulsion - obviously, you couldn't fold it! - and the modelling light was a bare hundred watt domestic bulb in a socket lashed to the wooden handle of the 'brolly. The electronic head? That was a battery Braun shoulder flash - I think an F700 (though it might have been a Metz)- and the rear light was a tiny grey Braun I'd had forever. Synch. was via a splitter plug that went into the camera socket. There were several cables lying around the place... And you know what? When the main flash eventually blew up - literally burst - and I bought a proper monobloc, I found I'd been better off with the F700: it was far faster a flash, could stop motion where the mono had such a long flash duration that it was pretty much hopeless for any leaping about. Not that I encouraged that sort of thing much: Colorama rolls cost money. Mine! Don't believe what they lied about in Blow-Up.

What was also very much of the time was makeup. Twiggy was the first time any of us came across the accentuated lower lashes. Lipstick was another product that was used rather dramatically - the false lip lines were usually done with a brush and filled in, and it didn't matter that the real, natural line was visible: that was part of the game, showing the artifice. Hard to understand today, I suppose, but it was about yesterday, when yesterday was indeed today.

Frankly, I can't know, but I think it might have been more fun back then.

;-)

Rob C
« Last Edit: December 15, 2013, 03:10:37 PM by Rob C »
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Rob C

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Re: Recent Professional Works 2
« Reply #979 on: December 15, 2013, 03:13:00 PM »

The only thing I have to say about any of this (and I promise to stop because all of this is just words about the past and I care zip about the past) is . . .  to each his own and we're all different.

I never had plans to stop, hell I'm just getting good at this.

We have too much we plan and want to do, God willin' and the creek don't rise.


BC


That's the bit that gets you sometimes. But not always!

;-)

Rob C
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