SHOOTING MEDUSA by JAMES
Working with Dita Von Teese was one of my bucket list items. Since seeing her in all publications she had the retro look which I liked. Today I was meeting her for the first time and a little anxious. Funny though you imagine that the person you respect to be someone else when you meet them but Dita was a lovely lady, very polite and gracious but knew exactly what she needed to do and above all what she was only going to do. As a brand she is very careful to make sure all is just so.
Logistically this was quite challenging
The location was hot and very windy and this was the VERY FIRST time where Dita would be working outside under these circumstances. This was good for me as it would allow the shots to go down as a first for her, however the pressure was on to deliver. Animals and Children I hear you say! This was the case as getting the horse to the location and on set was the most difficult.
Dita was patient as we prepped all with light checks but all went well and we captured one of the most striking shots of the Calendar. It was a great vote of confidence to be given a business card by Ditas agent with the instructions to contact her should we wish to shoot her again and thanking us for respecting her brand and ensuring the shoot went smoothly..
How it all mapped out.
The horse was the biggest challenge for us as was the weather for working with Dita. Her hair is set in a precise way which is her known look we had to battle in between gusts and with a horse that had been doped up to keep him relaxed. If you look at the pre post work you can see the horses ears and face looking a little bit worse for wear.
Production was beautifully laid on for us and included a slap up feast of fruit, cheeses, hams and nuts with so much to scoff on all day. It was a little difficult to indulge until the shoot was complete. Apart from our own camera and video kit plus the Broncolour Move pack we had everything else provided by the local Ibiza production crew.
Prior to this at the hotel Phil and I insisted that production be on site to make sure that Dita was catered for and that full production be laid on. Despite Marcos reassurance that as they ‘knew her’ all would be fine. We at Teamnader thought otherwise and remained professional throughout.
Production was beautifully laid on for us and included a slap up feast of fruit, cheeses, hams and nuts with so much to scoff on all day. It was a little difficult to indulge until the shoot was complete. Apart from our own camera and video kit plus the Broncolour Move pack we had everything else provided by the local Ibiza production crewe.
The previous day at the hotel I and Phil insisted that production be on site to make sure that Dita was catered for and that we looked professional to her. The thinking by Marco was that as they knew her all would be fine. We at Teamnader thought otherwise.
The location for the shoot was scouted by us early on with an hour to shoot. We were on the edge of a 100 ft high cliff with a straight drop to the sea. We found this location about 1 hour away from our hotel in Sant Josep de Sa Talaia. We had tried a few beaches however most of these were full of camper vans and people.
The criteria laid down by Dita and her management was privacy and no snapping by the crew and hardly any behind the scenes images. We found the privacy we needed at Santa Eulalia del Rio.
In the video
Dita and Teamnader work together with Lambertz producer Marco to get the most out of the 2 hours we had been given. It shows the direction given to Dita and how the shot was crafted to create the stunning final Goddess image MEDUSA
Lighting used to create the look was two lights in the Broncolor pack, one used to light the model and the other to illuminate the side of the horse. It was also cranked up to underexpose the background slightly and allow for fast shots with depth of field.
We needed 3 looks from the two hours with Dita, she was not too happy about shot three with the red plastic dress, the original idea given to us by the client was that Dita was to sit on the horse and lie forward. I was not prepared to shoot this as Dita was very uncomfortable with it and the fact that the horse had been given something to relax and that it was to be shot on the edge of a 100ft cliff.
Sometimes its important for us to work with the client to suggest that the initial idea may not work but also then to find a suitable solution which we did.
I did manage to shoot some of my own editorial head shots which the client decided later to use.
Some other shots used in the making of the Lambertz Calendar 2014
The shoot in IBIZA was a very quick shoot. Dita could only give us 2 hours from her day and lambertz wanted us to cover potentially 3 looks. One of which would be post produced with a background shot in Hintertux for the goddess IRIS
BELOW IS A GALLERY OF BEHIND THE SCENES IMAGES RELATED TO the shoot creating images for the Goddess Iris, Goddess Europe and the Goddess Medusa.