A few months ago I found myself 2 metres up a ladder, my entire weight suspended precariously above one of the most loved bands in Australia. One wrong move, and that would be that. I would be the most hated photographer alive. Gen y kids would put a price on my head. I mean, what would a festival be without jumping up and down like a maniac to Magic Fountain? Well, I did fall, but somehow, the 3 gents below me were saved. Art Vs Science lived to see another day. Meanwhile, i was bruised, and vowed NEVER to climb another 3 meter ladder again. This is the result. An up tight and intimate cover for my pals at Jmag.
Perhaps because they could see I was willing to risk my life for them, I was asked to shoot their press shots for their 2011 release, The Experiment. Being such a fun and creative band, they were really keen to talk about ideas; they wanted to get some cool shots, and were more than willing to be a bit experimental, create some shots that were more than your standard band on a wall press shot. Don’t get me wrong, there is a time and a place for such shots, but with a band like AVS, it’s important to get some of their idiosyncratic energy across.
I’m going to start with our last shot of the day first. Now, if you know Sydney, you know Coogee is the second most southern/distant beach in the eastern suburbs. I wanted seagulls and lots of them, for a take on Hitchcock’s eminent film Birds. One (unnamed) member of the band said there were ALWAYS THOUSANDS of seagulls at Coogee cricket fields, GUARANTEED. So, we went down there, the sun rapidly making its daily routine towards the horizon, time was ticking and we were after birds. Lots of them. So, there we were, for our last shot, exhausted, frustrated by Friday afternoon traffic, standing in Coogee cricket field. There were lots of big guys playing sport, and a couple mangy pigeons, not a seagull in sight. Moments later, the whole crew ran to the cliff tops, me at the front, cheering them all to hurry up, to beat the sunset, in a desperate search for seagulls. This was the most ambitious shot, and I was determined to make it happen. Groups of tourists watched on as 3 wonderfully dapper men screamed and squealed relentlessly at one or two stray seagulls diligently eating the bread crumbs we threw at them. My voice disappeared without a trace for an week, after laughing hysterically at this farcical scene. Once the job was done, and we had scared away all willing seagulls and tourists, it was a wrap. I shot some flying gulls down at the beach, and dropped them in post production. Ah photoshop. And ah Art Vs Science. Happy to risk my life and my voice anytime for you guys.
For our 3d cinema extraordinaire setup we went to the Enmore Theatre, one of the few remaining old school theaters left in Sydney. The amazing Angela Cheung styled this; I showed her a reference of some cool 1960s contraption, combining white goggles and huge headphones. She made replicas. It was rather amusing, the goggles were spray painted white, the boys couldn’t see a thing. Interestingly, it was very difficult to communicate directions to them, I must normally use a lot of body language! There are some unreleased shots from this setup still to be revealed at a later date.
There are heaps more pics to see, click to view them. Enjoy!