Magazine Cover Photo shoot…

Posted: March 30, 2011 in Media

Well, after choosing the design idea for my magazine I realised I needed the actress playing Kitty to help me create the initial photos.

So, when I knew she had some free time we met up and I discussed and explained to her what I needed for the front cover of my magazine. I showed her the design and talked about the various ideas I wanted to get across in the photo- thus telling her the facial expressions I needed and body language also. She also gave her own advice and ideas on what the photo should look like, therefore we ended up having a lot of varying pictures to help me with my front cover of my magazine so that I am not limited in terms of its image.

The Setting/Costume…

The photo shoot occurred in the school, but against a plain brick wall so that this wasn’t too obvious and with quite good lighting and nothing else in the background to distract the eye or take away from the picture. As it was in the trailer, I wrote ‘do it’ on the actress’ arms and a dotted line across her wrists (leading audiences’ wonder what this means, who wrote it, why it’s there etc). I also asked the actress to dress in white to help reinforce her apparent ‘vulnerability’ to the reader and enhance the deceit I am trying to carry on through the magazine’s front cover- that kitty is a victim in the film, when in reality, she’s quite the opposite. This ultimately leading to audiences’ being overall more shocked/moved etc and would also show how I have tried to keep the promotion of my film mysterious instead of giving too much away (as I believe it makes audiences’ more likely to want to see the film if they know less about it or only have hints to it).

The Actual Photos…

My Thoughts…

This was my initial idea- as I wanted a direct mode address to directly capture the audiences’ attention as soon as they even just glance over the cover. The fact she is looking at the audience directly also makes it appear as though this character, clearly in trouble, is asking for their help- thus audiences’ will become connected by the feelings of sympathy they have towards the character and will want to know why she appears in need of help. All of her costume and general qualities- the white shirt, blue eyes and blonde hair all help to build up connotations of her to be a victim- a vulnerable character being preyed on by villains and in need of help. Thus it’ll help carry on the idea that Kitty is a victim whereas in the film itself, she’s (or I planned her to be rather) quite a horrific villain and that really, this torture she’s going through, she deserves all of it (but the audiences’ don’t know this of course, because they haven’t seen the film itself yet and they’ll only have the trailer, poster and magazine cover to build their assumptions on). The only thing I don’t really like on this photo in particular is how her arms are kind of ‘sticking out’. Although this was the only way we could read the vital words ‘do it’ that linked to the trailer and conveyed ideas of suic*de and torture to the audience, it doesn’t really look ‘right’. It looks like it’s a bit artificial and not, like the chosen images on other magazine covers, as if it could have been directly taken from the movie itself (although 9/10 it has been created using a photo shoot, just like mine). I also view the more successful photo as the second one as the others don’t really work (especially the first one, where we had lighting issues…).

My Thoughts…

Then, I changed the idea of having the character looking directly (losing the direct mode of address but, that didn’t matter as such) to the audience by having the actress tilt her head down a little. I liked this a lot better as it gets across the mental torment and torture the character is going through a lot better than the other photos. By looking down it is easier to see how the character is holding her hair in anger/stress/fear and it almost looks as if she is trying to conceal from the audience too. It could lead to audiences’ wondering why she is trying to hide her emotions, who from and what this could lead to in the film itself. As well as this the writing on her wrists are still easy to read and thus the main message still is getting through. I think I like these pictures more because it looks more natural- it looks as if could have been taken straight out of the film (like a still) whereas some of the others look a little too ‘put on’ or artificial. I put both of the photos above as I thought they looked too similar to explain individually without repeating myself. The only difference I’d note is that in the first photo the actress is looking up a little, which is in my opinion more effective (as you can just see a hint of her blue eyes and thus connotes fear and seclusion perhaps), although is most likely to be overlooked by audiences’.

My Thoughts…

I think it was good to experiment with the characters’ pose, and I liked these series’ of photos as they were quite different to the others. I think, with her arms in the air instead of by her side, reinforces her feelings of desperation and fear that I’m trying to portray to the audience through the main image. It also, although I was afraid it would, didn’t cover up the ‘do it’ on her wrists as we got the perfect position so that both her arms in the air and the writing clear would be possible. I think it looks quite interesting and professional- as in some photos she even appears to be looking at the writing on her arm- and thus we could wonder what significance it has to her and the film itself. However, I do think it is a bit dramatic and graceful a picture to promote a gritty thriller, which is what my film is, and what I think the trailer also portrays, so I probably wouldn’t choose this photo, although I did like it and the effect it had.

My Thoughts…

We then thought of having the character on the side, so as to experiment with the photos a bit. Thus, to show the importance of the writing on her wrist, I asked the actress to act as if she was trying to get rid of it, or was merely contemplating what it meant. This conveys how perhaps she did not write this herself and has been written on her by another character- leading audiences to wonder who did it and to what purpose. The fact she looks as if she is trying to scratch it off also conveys her anger/fear/inner torment and could make audiences’ wonder why she is doing this and what effect the writing is having on her. I prefer the photo where she is looking at the writing and not directly at the audience. This is because it is mid shot and thus we can see her emotions clearer, but also because if she is looking at the writing it could signify how, in the film, the torment consumes her life and eventually leads to her death. So she is too consumed by the writing to look anywhere else. However, I think the fact we only see the side of her face (because it’s covered mostly by shadow) could steer me away from chosing this photo as my main image, as it isn’t as clear as the others and it’s meaning could be a little too complex (and not simple enough for any audience member to instantly understand…or rather think they understand).

So….in conclusion (and having analysed the photos taken at the photo shoot) my chosen image is the following…

Why? Because I think this gets all of the ideas and messages about my film that I wanted to get across on my magazine cover very clearly and in a simple manner. It’s not a complicated photo- yet the combination of her costume, the writing on her arms, facial expression etc all help give off the idea that she is a troubled character- and thus will lead the audiences’ onto the idea that she is a victim within the film itself. Which is exactly my purpose (as it was in the trailer also). I also think it is the best photo as it, unlike some of the others, looks as though it could easily have been taken from the film itself and doesn’t look to artificial or forced even- thus adding to a professional feel of the image. So, I will take this image and experiment with it on the front cover of my magazine to see what works best. And if I don’t like it after all, at least I have plenty of photos, because of the photo shoot, to choose from.

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