Friday, April 30, 2010

Creepy Aliens on top of buildings

by Brittany Geragotelis

So, I was at a photo shoot all day today for American Cheerleader. We were shooting back-to-school fashion, as well as having a test shoot for a possible cover girl. I'm usually the one who starts the morning off and today was no exception: I had to work with the girls on their poses, coach them on what kinds of shots we want and talk to the photographer (the lovely and always fun Matthew Karas; if you need great photos and like low-maintenance, easy-going people, he's your guy!) about what we're looking for.

photo credit: The CW/ANTM
Shoots are a lot of fun, but they're also a TON of work. Watch "America's Next Top Model" and you'll get a little taste of what shoots are like...minus the judging panel, of course (unless you count us picking through the photos as a sort of judging session) and super-high drama. There's so much more that goes into a shoot then you'd think. There's the hour, hour and a half that it takes to do hair and makeup. Then, there needs to be a stylist figuring out what the girls are going to wear and keeping track of all the clothing credits. Then there's my job which is usually working with the girls (which can sometimes be tough because for the most part, we only use real cheerleaders for our shoots and not professional models). Then there's, of course, dealing with the unexpected: running short on time, finding out that a pose we'd wanted to try doesn't work, finding out the clothing we LOVED on the hanger doesn't look as good on the person and having to switch things up at the last minute.

Today, our shoot was outside in NYC in the Madison Sq Park area (around 23rd and Broadway). And that posed its own problems. First, when you're doing a location shoot, you're at the mercy of the elements. It was a little breezy out, so we had a few hair issues, and the temp was a very nice 77 degrees, which meant we had to deal with sweat and makeup running off the models' faces. Also, when you're outside, you have to find public bathrooms for the models to change in, because there's just not enough time to run back to the studio after each shot.

And then there was the crowd control. I'm always amazed at how cool and sometimes oblivious New Yorkers are. For the most part, when people see lights, a photographer and models all done up, they may glance at you, but then tend to move on, completely unfazed. However, there always seems to be that one skeevy guy standing right next to us taking pictures and leering. Can you say uncomfortable?

But today, I think the creep award definitely goes to the 31 statues standing on top of the buildings in the area we were shooting in. I know, I know, the figures are all a part of an "art" intallation called "Event Horizon." But when you first see them (they're in the shape of a naked man...and yes, you can see ALL of him hanging out there) standing on the edge of super-tall buildings, it's a little unnerving. I couldn't help but envision them as aliens who were sent from planet Creepyonia to look down on us until it was time for them to obliterate the human race. Seriously. It's that creepy. Either that or it looks like someone's about to jump, which is also frightening. And once you notice one, you see them everywhere. Ick.

Anyway, the day is nearly over and I'm looking forward to a quiet night of writing at home. I'm up to page 196 in Painless and need to finish a few blog projects, one of which is an interview I recently did with the authors of the really cute book The Geek Girl's Guide to Cheerleading. Check back in on Monday for the full scoop on this awesome book and how the authors (yes, there are two) came up with the idea.