I recently had the pleasure of photographing the band “Metric” for a unique iTunes session, at East West Studios in Hollywood, CA.
We met at the studio around 8pm and went to work immediately in getting set up for the shots. The band had already been there recording for most of the day, and were just finishing up a few bits and pieces, so it gave us a little extra window of time to get everything just right.
(Normally we are only allocated around 45 minutes to shoot a minimum of 3-4 unique setups of the bands, because the recording schedules are so intense (8-10 complete tracks in a day)…but, when everything goes well, we can usually squeeze about 5 or 6 setups…and sometimes behind-the-scenes and video footage as well.) Luckily, EastWest is probably one of the MOST unique and photogenic recording studios in the world…so that makes it almost like cheating ;-).
My crew and I had just come directly from shooting for over 10 hours at 5th and Sunset Studios in West Los Angeles, completing the first of a
2-day Ad-Campaign shoot for Bare Escentuals Cosmetics. I had also been shooting every day for a week prior to that, so needless to say…we were all a bit worked, but our energy level was still peaking, and the adrenaline was still flowing strong enough to keep us going.
I’ve been a pretty big fan of Metric for quite a while, and if you’d ever been to our old studio in Hollywood (STUDIO 1444),
you probably would have heard something by the band playing over the sound system at some point in the day. So…I was both excited and disappointed when I first got the call to photograph them. I was already shooting that day, as well as the rest of the following week…and did not think that I would possibly be able to pull off a 10hr advertising shoot in West L.A. and still make it to Central Hollywood in time to get 4 looks completed. I had to turn the job down, unless the shoot somehow happened to push until 8pm…which, somehow it did…and there we were.
We were greeted by a few members of the band when we first arrived, and Emily described
a few locations within the studio that she was getting a good vibe from, and thought might look good in pics (one of these spots, being the mirrored hallway in the back of the studio). One of my assistants, Errisson Lawrence, had also
asked me, earlier, if I had seen the “mirrored room”. I did, and thought that was a great start as well. I have to give credit to all those creative & inspirational people I find myself working with, because…seriously…my brain synapses were already beyond zapped when I got there, could barely see out of one eye any longer, and none of my crew (including myself) had eaten anything for the last 8 hrs…(except I kinda ate part of my cigarette while driving, by accident, and that was just nasty). So…thank you!
…and now that collaborative shot is gracing not only the iTunes site, but the cover of Rolling Stone Magazine online as well! Kudos to y’all.
Working with Metric, even if only briefly, was great…and the band actually took the time to give very useful honest feedback on the shots we were creating…as well as took the time to do a couple of wardrobe changes, to help mix it up a bit. Usually, the bands don’t have time for either (because the recording schedule is so tight)…so it was very cool to get their input and collaborate with artists I have admired for years. For me, it was the equivalent of collaborating on the last track of the night…but instead of recording sound, we recorded light. And to add the the overall amazing eve…our friends, and old studio neighbors (Wally and Xandy at WAX LTD.) were there recording all the original tracks for iTunes. Sweet!
So, in short…we came, we shot, we laughed, and we left…
And you better DAMN believe that we DID hit Roscoe’s House Of Chicken And Waffles at exactly 15 minutes to closing, and finally got the dinner we deserved that night!!! (To-go, of course!)
“photo from Grub Street Chicago for Roscoe’s chicken and waffles”…I ate mine before I had a chance to take a pic.