I was very excited to come into possession of a Canon EOS-1D Mark IV. It is a toy that I did not imagine would ever come my way… but as I progress, learn and evolve as an artist; I know that I am going to have to push myself harder, and get my head around some decent kit… and this new addition to my equipment was a complete joy.
I just needed the right project to practice and play with it, which was very kindly offered by a friend – having taken a piece of their music to interpret, I created a short film where the master and ‘King of the Marionettes’ wielded his power, status and symbolism over his spellbound and unquestioning live puppets, in a decadent toy theatre.
It was challenging to find a couturier, a model and a make-up artist who would be willing to work for no remuneration (TFP) other than artistic merit and it proved rather difficult, probably due in part to the fact that I kept the concept vague (because I knew it would be an entirely private and personal project), but difficult mainly -because most people that I encountered just didn’t ‘get’ my vision… but what’s new!?
However, after months of numerous failed meetings, unanswered emails and dead ends – I finally found a perfect trio. All of whom are Liverpool based. I absolutely LOVE Liverpool and its art scene and I have always wanted to collaborate with Liverpool designer Mark Melia because he just gets the process, he is so talented and is a true gentleman, so that was a tick in the box.
Then along came the strapping Daniel Burke, who responded very warmly to my concept and with his 6’3’’ built up frame – he was just perfect to cast as a King. He has little modelling experience but I loved his calm and clean energy on set and aside from this shoot, I managed to get some very nice, generic shots and I also filmed a fitness video for him, amongst other more artistic content. Busy, productive day !!
With Daniel came Shannon Keegan, MUA who did an absolutely wonderful job of adorning him in real gold leaf and body paints and I was very impressed with how generously she threw herself into the project, 100% for arts sake and I would love to work with her again… we all had such fun.
I could not be happier with the end result – as usual my budget was inexpensive and most of the footage was filmed against green screen which I haven’t quite mastered yet… but I do think it is the best video I have made so far, and that is quite the point of the journey – to grow, learn and evolve and keep on keep’n on.
Technically this video could be ripped apart. I know that, and I am my own critic. There’s a halo around Daniel at times that I could not key out in chroma key editing and the video looks a disappointing hue on some devises and when I watch the finished video I see only faults and a myriad of limitations that I couldn’t overcome and so this video will remain in a private archive and I will learn an evolve further from this project.
I do hope to shed that feeling one day, a feeling of not being polished enough and I hope to learn not to place such pressure on myself… but right now… with those around me believing in my abilities and encouraging me and inspiring me in the way that they, I don’t question myself any more… I just create, it is the process, that is what I live for and that is how I will continue.
I have learned a great deal in a short period of time, not least to keep my own council, share less and less with the world wide web and trust very few people when it comes to creativity (or any matter in fact) but I know for certain that I am on the right path, I am following my heart, I am following a circle of creativity and expression that will lead me home, and that is all that matters.
Oh, and something to tick off my list is working with an all bells and whistles camera, and finding out that the most basic DSLR, or an iPhone can do just as well as top spec expense… because it is NOT the camera kids, it is the person behind the lens.
Thank you for reading.