On a recent trip to Los Angeles I got called about an editorial shoot with actor Ryan McCartan. Ryan is playing the role of Brad Majors in the Rocky Horror Picture Show remake premiering on FOX.
I've worked with TheWRAP on several shoots in the past and one of my favorite things about working with them is that they're open to hearing fun and weird ideas for shoots and collaborating to make fun conceptual portraits.
When I accepted the shoot the first thing I did was text my dad and then my friend Barb to ask "What is the first thing that pops into your head when you think Rocky Horror?" It's been a long time since I'd seen the movie and I knew it was a flick my dad had seen many times when it was in theaters.
They both came back with "red lips" and "fishnet"! Those were the two things I had in mind as well so I knew we were onto something!
I've heard many different technique and strategies photographers use to pitch crazy or potentially uncomfortable concepts to celebrities that in the end have the final say so of if they want to participate. One thing I like to do is have your extreme ideas that would just be absolutely wonderful to do if the subject is in a good mood and then working down the scale from crazy to surefire ideas that are easy and hard to say no to.
The idea of fishnet was pitched the day prior to the shoot and that night we got the green light! The other ideas that weren't as extreme were easy to request in person.
Lucky for us, Ryan is a total stud and team player who took every idea in stride and totally got in character. Best case scenario for sure!
Now one thing I admit I had never heard of before, or at least that I can remember, was that the audience would throw toilet paper in the theater. When Dr.Scott enters the lab, Brad Majors yells out "Great Scott!" and at that point everyone would throw paper into the air! LOVE IT! Ada, our Creative Director, brought that up and said we should use TP in a shot, so of course I was all about playing with toilet paper!
From the get-go I wanted to play on the fact that Brad Majors is such a multifaceted character and also keep with the weird and almost crude vision of the movie. To do that I decided on doing a table top portrait, but shooting from the center of the table where you can see his legs........
The idea being that you were seeing something you weren't supposed to, you were getting a glimpse of the other side of Brad Majors!
I'm very happy with the images we got and I think I can speak for the whole crew when I say it was both a greatly enjoyable and memorable shoot!