We did a series of shoots most of the day Friday and then again Saturday at John and Sandy's house. John was working on some Very Important Stuff and Brian and I would set up lights in some part of the house, and then I'd go grab John who'd amiably trot along and stand on the X and I'd snap and then he'd go back to the Very Important Stuff and Brian and I would break down and move to a different place. I wanted to have about ten portraits to choose from and I ended up with six, which is fine.
At around 8:00 we took a break and Sandy made a fabulous dinner which was steak for some people and grilled portabellos for me with salad and a baked potato with, really the most amazing salad bowl I'd ever seen, carved from a huge block of walnut. We talked about John Wayne movies mostly and then after dinner we did one more setup with the whole of Los Angeles splashed out in the background and lit up like four million dreams. John went to bed and Brian and Sandy and I sat up talking about comic books and eventually I went off to the guest cottage (which is sort of like a luxury hotel) to sleep.
Your humble narrator actually in the process of photographing John Carpenter.
Photo by Brian C Janes.
You may clickenzee to embiggen
I had two lights set up on this one, one you can just see at the bottom of the stairs, it's a bare flash head about six inches behind a gobo made out of a tree branch -- the light hits the leaves and makes interesting shadows which then get splashed along the wall. The other light is a gridded spot right behind Brian's camera here so you can't see it -- it focuses a really tight beam of light on John's face to isolate him and give something a bit more atmospheric, so you can see there's a big difference between what it more or less actually looked like in the hallway and my final photo from this setup.
The final shot from this setup
Sandy King Carpenter is very easy to like and very easy to get along with. She's generous with her time and one of those people who -- as I assume producers should naturally -- is an epicenter of swirling people. She knows everybody's name, she knows what their kids are doing, their past successes, their current projects -- all the things that make it pleasant to be around someone. In the morning Sandy and I went to the Hollywood farmers market where she introduced me to everyone who sold beans or custard or had baby goats that could be petted -- I stocked up on peaches (and a salad bowl, made by the same guy who'd made theirs) and in the afternoon headed over to Glenndale to visit some friends from college. I'd planned an extra day in L.A. on the off chance that Fairuza Balk might have some time to work on our Top Sekret Projekt but she was busy and it was just as well, after going full blast for however many hours with jet lag and whatnot I was happy to have twelve with nothing to do but wander along the Santa Monica pier and talk about guitars.
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