Preparation for John Hodgeman
23.07.2008 - 23.07.2008
Today is the big drive to Boston to photograph John Hodgeman for GQ Magazine. It is a pretty big shoot.
I drove again with Chris in the passenger seat and the prop stylist Joey in the back with all our props. We had a ton of props for this shoot because it was such a big production.
Chris had hired two assistants from Boston to help so we wouldn't have to get another car to fill with NY assistants.
We arrived in Boston after a long drive and went directly to the location in which the shoot was going to take place. We were photographing John at a local movie theater. It was very old and actually John had worked there as a teen. John is actually from Boston. It was a great piece because it was so personal to him.
After scouting out the theater and the surrounding areas for good places to photograph, we decided we need more props. We actually needed orange construction cones to flag off a few parking spaces out in front of the theater. We would be photographing John on a huge ladder putting up the marque letters for the theater. This was the main shot of the story for GQ. The marque would read, "Hello, I'm Famous Starring John Hodgman".
So Joey (prop man) and I made a trip to Home Depot. (Small note that you need to know: I had only 3 hours of sleep since the last stressful photo shoot, I had just driven all the way to Boston, and had finished a full day of scouting and preparation for the shoot) The ride to Home Depot was successful, we managed to find orange cones just fine. The ride back...not so successful, and full of rage on my part. Joey had decided to not look up directions back home and just figured we could figure it out. It was pushing 10 PM and all I wanted to do was go back to the hotel and sleep. But instead I drove around all of Boston trying to find our way home. Not fun. I have to say it was the WORST part of my internship. Wow we were so lost.
But after pulling over and asking for directions about 4 times we finally made it back to our hotel. Chris wanted to meet us for dinner, there was no way! I ended up eating cheese and crackers from room service for dinner and falling into bed.
Even though it was a pretty horrible night, I have to say my hotel room made up for it. It was just about the nicest hotel room I've ever seen. I have to take a minute here and describe it.
It was a room just for little ol' me it had two rooms! One for the bed, the other was like an office. Complete with two tvs and a very stocked minibar (that I couldn't touch because I was only conscious enough to take a few photos and than drop dead tired into bed). I had to wake up early the next morning and head off to the shoot, no time for lounging in my great hotel room.
Here are some photos of the place.
The next day was the photo shoot. We had quite a stressful day. Not only was it supposed to be an outdoor shoot, but it rained, and we were trying to shoot out on the sidewalk with tons of people walking by. Pretty wild!
Everyone walking by was screaming, "Hi I'm a PC" as John stood tall on the 8 foot ladder.
Chris almost canceled the shoot because of the rain, but we powered through.
Most of my day was spent holding an umbrella over Chris and the camera. Chris was dry as the desert, but I on the other hand, was totally soaked! I have never been so drenched in my life. It made the shoot much more interesting.
Along with the rain, many other obstacles occurred during the day, including running out of film and trouble with the talent. John actually ended up leaving early because of problems with his family.
We did at least 3 different set ups. One of my favorites that I don't think appeared in the magazine was John with a little boy that was cast to look exactly like him. Same suit, same glasses. It was so cute. They were both holding scripts and looking a little confused. During the shoot, Chris positioned the little boy directly in front of John so they looked stacked. Chris looked over at me and said, "Thanks Jess!" I just nodded and continued helping with the shoot. At the time I had no idea why he was thanking me. Strange.
Later after the shoot was finished I asked him why he thanked me and he said, "Because your 'Stacked Heads' series inspired me to put the little boy in front of John and stack them." I thought that was just about the coolest thing ever. Chris thought of my work and used it in his work! It was pretty great.
The shoot ended after a very long day and a lot of rain.
Here is the final product as used in GQ magazine along with the article.
(Photograph by Chris Buck)
I can tell you so many little funny things about this photograph:
1st off, that little piece of window you see in the bottom left hand corner. That was a pretty famous pizza shop that we had to pay to get red curtains up in their windows. They wouldn't let us block their windows for more than an hour because that's what brought them business, you could watch your pizza be cooked threw those windows. I guess we paid them a good chunk to put up curtains. (We ended up eating their yummy pizza after the shoot )
2nd, those little Hollywood stars that you see hanging from the building are really cheap funny props from a party store. But they ended up looking really good in the photo.
3rd, I bet if you look really closely at John's jacket you can see many little rain drops all over it. Those might have been photoshoped out, but they were there. He got lightly rained on the whole shoot.
Over all it was a very exciting photo shoot.