Friday, January 9, 2009

When Everything Goes Wrong!

So I briefly mentioned in another post an editorial I did earlier in the wk. It's been a few days since that shoot and I think I purposely didn't write about it right away just so I could recover lol.

Man I hope I get at least one good pic out of that shoot b/c it was seriously one of the longest, coldest, most miserable days I've ever spent on set. In truth everyone overall was really nice but the weather was just awful and it was one of those shoots where if it could go wrong it did!

Basically right off the top it started rough. There was some kind of confusion on the one model's part and she was AN HOUR late!! Something about her agency giving her the wrong address I don't know. This is one of the problems when you speak two different languages it's always hard to figure out what's really going on. Unlike North America it's really common in Asia for models and everyone for that matter to be late ALL THE TIME!! But an hr is just ridiculous. The craziest thing is that the agency will always say things like 5 more mins and then after the 5 mins when you call again it turns out they have no idea how long the model will be b/c they never even actually called her in the first place!

So once the model gets there we get to problem #2...her hair colour is very different then her comp cards. She has it dyed some artificial reddish brown tone and I have to blend in my dark brown extensions b/c the mag wants her to have fuller, longer hair for the shoot. It ended up blending okay but the photographer will definitely have to do some retouch on that part.

What was great about this shoot was that I got to have a lot of freedom in my makeup concept which is always nice as a makeup artist. The model had really interesting features and amazing cheekbones so I really wanted to highlight and acentuate that w/ my makeup. The only difference of opinion was on the hair. I wanted it up again to show off the cheekbones and the bold cheek work I was doing but the photographer (Norbert) wanted it down b/c the mag wanted it down. I still think mine would have been better esp. with the weather.

So overall the makeup application went smoothly other than the model talking on her phone while I was doing the makeup. I find in China it's pretty much just a given that they will do this. But one thing I couldn't believe was right before I was done and doing my finally touches she actually lit a cigarette and smoked while I was right up in her face. The photographer was standing right there too! I mean he's the one that gave her the cigarette!

So anyway, I mentioned before that one of the probs was that this was a location shoot - 7 locations around China as a matter of fact. Now locations shoots always have there probs and 7 is a lot esp. since we started an hr later and it's lightly raining. The first location was in probably the most ghetto area of China I have actually ever stepped foot in. It was this super old lane house area that reeked fo urine and literally you could see it places so gross. Well at least you can say it was authentic. It's so weird to go to these places b/c I by no means live a fancy life in China but it's just so far removed from where these ppl live it's crazy. I mean they don't have indoor plumbing or probably even running water or heat and it can get cold in Shanghai. Like the little things in life I take for granted like say a latte at Starbucks is something these ppl will never even experience. We definitely got quite an audience at this location I'm sure it was the only time a fashion shoot has been shot in their area lol.

Okay another thing that went wrong on the shoot and really it was kind of a stupid move on the photographers part. The day before the shoot he decided to sell his camera b/c he could never get a price that high in Germany where he is from. So he was renting a camera from the production company we were working w/. I don't know any photographer who would think this is smart. I mean their camera is an extension of their arm and this one was soooo slow that he couldn't shoot fast at all add to that the late start time and all the locations and the rain and you begin to see where some problems come into play.

So after about 3 locations the rain started to get a little heavier and it started to get colder and windier outside. Btw the models (guy and girl) are not wearing overly warm clothes so I did feel for them. I think the most interesting location was the dead chicken stall. We shot at this butcher stall where there was all these dead chickens hanging all around and her outfit had feathers on it so I'm really hoping there is a good pic in that one b/c after that location it was almost a lost cause.

So the next thing that went wrong was our van driver was an idiot and he got lost and this ended up costing the photographer the last bit of sunlight that he needed. The next location was suppose to be his opener but then it ended up having to be shot at night so I don't know I guess the whole story is going to change. By this point it's really starting to rain too and the female model is litterally shaking. I have to admit by the last look her hair was definitely not looking fresh anymore...overall I am impressed w/ how her makeup held up in the spitting rain!

This is where things really started to get miserable though b/c my jeans are really baggy on me and therefore they were dragging on the groud. They ended up getting soaked like up to my knees, my shoes and socks were soaked through too. I can deal w/ the cold alright I mean I am Canadian afterall but when you have to stand in freezing cold wet shoes and socks for the next 4 hrs you begin to get a little miserable. Plus the fact that the production ppl fed us some breakfast type pastries and breads for breakfast but that was it! We didn't stop to eat any other time during the shoot! This shoot ended up being over 12hrs and I get bitchy and irritable when my blood sugar drops. We did still have some of the cookies in the car but you can't eat cookies for 12 hrs and feel good. They were these weird salty, sweet cookies too.

By then end I have to admit I just wanted it over and done w/. I think everyone felt the same way. I just wanted to go home and literally thaw my feet. Although even me getting home became a huge dilemma b/c after the van driver dropped everyone but me off he decided he wasn't going to drive anymore. I just wanted to get dropped off at a metro stop that would have been fine. So trying to argue w/ this guy when we don't even speak the same language was beyond frustrating. I was so tired, cold and hungry I literally almost started crying begging him to take me to a metro b/c it's impossible to get a cab in the rain. This guy was a major idiot too and I don't know if he was faking it or what but literally he couldn't find a metro stop. They are everywhere!! Once he realized though that he would have to wait w/ me in the rain until I got a cab he was miracuoulsy able to find one...Shocking!! So after it was all said and done the shoot w/ travel time ended up being like 15 hrs urrggghh! For really crap editorial money double urrgghh! Man I better at least get 1 or 2 pics from this one!

Below are some pics from the shoot...btw the makeup looked way better then the pics I'm showing as it was hard to take behind the scenes pics b/c of the crowds.

Norbert and Paulo (Brazilian/Korean mix model - super nice)

Ghetto lane houses at first location

Very common looking living area in China just weird when you're actually there and seeing just how the ppl live. It's like 1C and they still have to hang dry their clothes outside.

Cool chicken stall location - Really great except stopping every 2 secs for ppl to walk by

And now it's night lol! Great location just wish it wasn't raining and so cold!


M said...

the shoot sounds like a hell but i like the pictures! esp the chicken one.

did you go to suzhou or hang zhou by any chance? it looks familiar.

every time i go to china i cringe in locations you mentioned. i know exactly what smell you're talking about. ughhh

hope you're having a greeeatt weekend!

Jessica Jean Myers - Makeup Artist said...

No it was all shot in Shanghai on the Puxi side. We were suppose to go over to Pudong but it just got too late!

what the pros do... said...

Awww Jessica this sounds awful.

You should link to this post next time these is a 'i wanna get into makeup' thread on mm. Lets see how many want to do mu when they see what a glamourous career we really

Jaimie said...

That's awful that you had so many problems on the shoot. I'm sure that the pictures will be amazing though!

ashley said...

That breaks my heart darling! i'm glad to hear the following shoot was so much better!