The mission of my Concept Photography book (upcoming), is to describe my process for going from concept to completed photograph. It’s also an introduction to the wonderful group of people who were an important part of the process.
While there are many ways to get from A to B, I hope you’ll find this book valuable for inspiration and as a reference. It’s intended for photographers and artists working in a variety of fields (Examples: Music, painting, and sculpture).
For a behind-the-scenes journey of avant-garde photography, set in locations including Peter Gabriel’s studio in England (Real World), I’ll be sharing excerpts from the upcoming book here.
To learn more about my books and classes and to receive a discount, you’re invited to subscribe to my List by clicking HERE.
Null Paradox rock opera photography
Concept and Character Evolution of Victoria
Once I had completed the outline for book 2 (Victoria & Seth) of the Null Paradox trilogy, I started writing lyrics and music to the songs that would accompany the book. The final step in the writing process was to translate it all into the live rock opera. Just as with book 1 Gertrude & Grace, each chapter title is the name of a song. Song lyrics add to the story contained within the book and vice versa.
For book 1, we released an entire album of music at the same time as the book was published. But for book 2, we’re releasing music as we complete each song. A compilation album of the singles will be released when the book is published.
As you can imagine, during the writing of the book, the character of Victoria evolved. Her backstory has always been that of a rebellious, strong-willed child growing up in a well-off family. As I continued to develop her character, she became seemingly fearless because she had to persevere through the end of her relationship with Seth, the love of her life, and increase her involvement in a revolution–one in which she grows to play a significant role.
This photo shoot represented two turning points for the Null Paradox book trilogy:
- Changing the characters into a more extreme version, and;
- Casting the actor/singer for live performances of the interactive rock opera of the same name.
I used these photographs as references during revisions to the book Victoria & Seth.
Photography Process Overview–Casting
In my first article, I talked about the overall photography process. For this article, let’s take a look at the challenging process of casting.
There are a variety of ways to announce a casting call and search for actors/models and singers. But to find a person that excels at both takes a lot of time.
- Reach out to people and organizations who you’ve worked with for referrals.
- Reach out through social media platforms, particularly LinkedIn, YouTube, and Instagram for referrals.
- LinkedIn is becoming a go-to place for finding actors, models, singers, and other types of artists. It doesn’t seem like it should be, but artists have recognized that they’re a one-person business and have begun to embrace the platform.
- Announce the casting call and search for talent through Backstage, Internet Movie Database (IMDb), ModelMayhem, Vocalizer, BandMix, and similar organizations.
- Review biographies and photographs.
- Watch and listen to videos or demo reels.
- Narrow the list to 50.
- Phone or video interviews will tell you if the person is potentially suitable for the part. In particular: their work ethic (preparedness) and if they seem like the type of person you’ll want to have a working relationship with.
- Narrow the list to 10.
- In-person auditions are the final step in the process.
- Make sure you have at least three judges who are fully briefed about the project and character.
- Send an e-mail with the expectations, schedule, and location information to each actor at least four weeks before the audition. This will give them time to prepare material (in our case, singing to a music backing track and an acting scene with another actor). They’ll also need time to arrange for transportation and overnight accommodations.
- Prepare with the judges by distributing a briefing and scorecard well in advance of auditions. Review and revise the briefing and scorecard with your judges on two occasions before the audition.
- Retain a location that’s free of distraction for the audition. If people are traveling from out-of-state or out-of-the-country to the audition location, ensure that it’s convenient to travel hubs (airports, train stations, highways).
- Ensure that if your audition includes an acting scene, the auditioning talent has an actor from your team to work with for the scene.
- Always have a small stage, comfortable tables, seating, food, and drinks for everyone.
- Schedule the audition so that you have time to talk to each artist following the formal part of the audition.
Although this process isn’t perfect, I’ve had success with it on all occasions except one. It’s helped me to find talented actors, models, singers, musicians, and members of our crew.
- Design your process.
- Communicate it to everyone involved.
- Budget plenty of time (measured in weeks).
Here’s the story of how our team successfully cast Analise Rios as Victoria and here’s how great she sounds singing Null Paradox music:
This story is an excerpt from my upcoming book on Concept | Photography. To learn more about my books and classes and to receive a discount, you’re invited to subscribe to my List by clicking HERE.
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