I haven’t posted a blog for a while as I have been blessed with being quite busy which I certainly can’t complain about. I couldn’t NOT post about this job though. I was invited to shoot Scarlett Gowing’s Spring Summer 2010 collection, and as I shot her SS09 collection and had a blast, I was all too eager to work with her again. Amazing garments and Scarlett knows exactly what she wants to achieve. It’s just up to me to make sure I interpret and capture her vision. This collection is called TMRRWS WRLD 10 and the imagery wanted to evoke feelings of a post apocalyptic existence. Mad Max crossed with Italian Vogue.
The location was far from run of the mill. I can safely say that it was the most challenging and complicated place I have ever shot a fashion story in. It was on an old abandoned building off the shores of a little town called Grain approx 600m into the North Sea. With 11 people on set, getting over there and back proved tricky in itself. At high tide the building was surrounded by 10ft deep waters. Ideally getting out there and back needed to be at low tide. On arrival, thankfully the water had receded, but was coming in very quickly. A quick scramble with as much gear as we could muster (including a portable toilet and the worlds heaviest portable generator) walking over the mossy, muddy track to the building. By the time most of us had reached the destination, the tide had come in enough to cover the remaining 20m of pathway. Being one with wellingtons on, I carried both the make-up artist and the hair stylist the final part to save their shoes getting completely soaked. But we still had more gear to come! A few of us went as quick as we could back to the cars to retrieve the rest, but by the time we were back, over half the path was covered with water. We were prepared though. Josh (Scarlett’s husband) had bought a boat and we quickly loaded everything into the boat and raced down to the water. With 40km winds coming straight off the North Sea, rowing out there was going to be quite the task. I had thankfully brought a complete change of clothes and volunteered to drag the boat with Josh & one of my assistants Pete back over to building. With the wind lashing and the water getting deeper and deeper, we finally managed to get over to the location in one piece. It was then up a rope ladder to the shelter of this amazing abandoned building. Before I had even taken a single frame I was knackered! After a dry off and quick change of clothes though, I was ready explore this building.
Hair by Kunio Kohzaki and the crew had to brave a freezing cold windy room with limited natural light and a generator that wanted to surge and made using the hair dryer and curling irons (which blew up in the end) more than difficult. Caroline was from IMG and Mecia is from Models 1. She also was this years winner of Britain’s Next Top Model for those who watch it. It’s a guilty pleasure of mine, what can I say! Both Mecia and Caroline were fantastic, smiling all day despite being freezing for most of it. I was ably assisted by the fabulous Andras & Pete who worked like 1,000 men to make sure we got the best possible shots.
Anyway… we managed to have a great shoot. Never enough time of course and not without its technical difficulties in a place like that, but we got some great stuff which we are still working on to be ready for Scarlett’s launch of the collection in February. In the meantime click on the image above or click here to see a sneak preview of the collection via a fantastic Video montage put together by Josh.
I think I will have to get very far to ever be on a shoot as hardcore as that again. It wasn’t so much a fashion shoot as an adventure! OH&S went completely out the window for a day and we all pulled together to create some cool imagery. My personal thanks goes out to everyone there on the day who sucked it up, got on with it and did the best they could with the extreme circumstances.
Let’s do it all again next season!