Thanks to my friend Michele, i got invited this week to the premiere of Dennis Quaid’s new movie ‘Beneath the Darkness’. Kind of a fun movie, a teenager high- school horror flick, similar in vain to the ‘Scream’ movies. I gotta admit though, Quaid is good as the bad guy. He’s got a good crazy eyes look, and plays the psycho killer pretty well. But even more fun was the after party at the House of Blues. That dude got some talent.
This shoot had all the ingredients for a real Hollywood moment…..yes, she’s the daughter of Patti, great-granddaughter William Randolph Hearst, the shoot was done at The famed Chateau Marmont Hotel in the actual bungalow where John Belushi overdosed……. and finally halfway through the shoot actor Jeff Goldblum casually walks in to say hi! Just another day at the office.
Ryan Reynolds & Jason Bateman shot for Empire magazine
Last month we did a fun shoot with former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, on the golf course, obviously! I have to say she was great to work with and quite malleable. I use that expression in terms of how open a subject is to ideas. Sometimes, with high profile people, you just never know. It can go either way. But i think after having been doing this for twenty years or so, that’s where the experience comes in. Knowing when and how to open your big mouth. This is in itself the art of portrait photography if you ask me. Anyway, the other personally gratifying aspect of this shoot, is that i was in effect backing up a personal photo- hero of mine, none other than the great Walter Iooss jr, who i believe was originally slated for this shoot. It feels great to be in such good company. You can read the full article here: http://www.golfdigest.com/magazine/2011-06/condoleeza-rice-interview
Did you happen to catch the Oscar’s last night? I know, stupid question. Well, if you were paying attention you might have noticed some of our handy-work as they announced the nominees in ‘best adapated screenplay’ category. Basically, the idea was to show the original work in the form of a novel ( except ‘The Social Network’ shown on an iPad), shot in an environment relative to the story. As the book opens, the pages morph into a screenplay, which then fades into the movie. Voila! We worked alongside our longtime collaborators at T- stop inc., namely the extremely talented DP Thomas Hencz, and Prologue Films. Oh, by the way, that iPad you saw for ‘The Social Network’, yep, that was mine! So i kind of made it to the Oscars! Well, sort of.
Earlier this year we did a fun shoot with a new upstart in the golfing world, a punky little O.C. skate-dude by the name of Rickie Fowler. Now, any time a magazine spends the time, effort and resourses to focus on a ‘hot, new thing’, then you know they’ve probably got their finger on the pulse enough more than me, to know what they’re actually talking about. But when i met Rickie, i kind of had a feeling this kid’s gonna be something special. Guess what, he was just named PGA Rookie of the Year, and that’s after having been a key player on the US Ryder Cup team this summer! Oh, and by the way, he’s a kick- ass motocross rider too…. and has a bit of that Zac Efron/ Justin Bieber thing going on. Can’t you just hear Nike and MTV swooning?
Here’s a great post blog post from my rep Wonderful Machine on our recent adventure-filled shoot with John Mellencamp.
Thursday November 11th, 2010
Robert Gallagher has risked his life for rock n’ roll. The LA-based WM photographer recently had a potentially jarring experience involving famed rock star John Mellencamp and a three-foot blade pulled from the top of a walking cane. According to the profile in Q Magazine, Mellencamp started the photo session by “swishing about” said blade, declaring, “alright, you’ve got 30 f***ing minutes!”
Mellencamp, apparently, is not fond of photo shoots. But where a lesser photographer may have faltered, Robert, undeterred, rose to the occasion. “That pretty much set the tone for the afternoon,” Robert told me. “But to be perfectly honest, it didn’t bother me. I didn’t feel he was really trying to threaten or scare me.” Though Robert wasn’t scared, the article describes Mellencamp delivering a knockout punch to a previous photographer, who invaded the temperamental rocker’s personal space to make adjustments. Nevertheless, Robert had a strategy:
“I was confident that if I just focused on my thing, to capture the devil-may-care artist, then he’d get it and be on board with me creatively. And that’s pretty much what happened. In fact, the 30 minutes turned into 50, which his manager pointed out never happens, with a quick jaunt around the area in his little bone-jarring ATV to shoot some artworks he’s collected.”
I caught up with Q photo editor Russ O’Connell to hear a little bit about why Robert was such a good fit for this assignment. “I knew that I could depend on Robert to shoot him in his natural environment, his home,” Russ explained. “We were lucky to have unrestricted access to John at his home and Robert’s work fits perfectly with the type of images I was looking for, nice raw uncomplicated portraiture. He’s also great at that important reportage angle that I needed for the feature… what you see is what you get with his work, and that’s down to his skill in camera.”
Robert is “particularly proud” of this shoot. First of all, he admires Mellencamp for “his political beliefs, despite the negative attention he draws. He is someone I greatly respect for standing up and being counted.” The wider reason is that he sees Mellencamp as an “outspoken cultural icon, a driven creative spirit, and someone whose sounds represented the freedom of the American spirit, which we’d crank full blast out of a convertible Triumph Spitfire back in our college days in North East England.”
The writer Bret Easton Ellis, shot at his home in West Hollywood. He challenged me “I’m so bored with all the photo shoots done in this house, every conceivable angle has been shot to death. I defy you to shoot an original picture”. Allrighty then! I think it works quite well, particularly the shape of the legs in the frame.
One of the greatest pleasures in this celebrity photography game has to be the time we went to Las Vegas to shoot Tony Curtis. In my opinion, one of the all- time greats, and star of one of the all- time great movies ‘Some Like it Hot’. An absolute classic. But what was even better was discovering what a great guy he was to shoot. Up for anything, as long as it ends in a laugh. He even wanted to take me and my assistant Thomas out on the town to the casinos. Just a great pleasure in this world full of over- inflated ego’s. When I told him he was my mum’s version of Brad Pitt, he insisted I mail some pictures back to him to sign for her. What a guy, and what a sad loss. Rest in Peace Tony.