Last Monday I headed back into the studio to build the third and final set for my FMP series. the shoot was based on the book 'Bringing Down The Moon' by Jonathan Emmett.
It was a simple set design; grass, a blossom branch, a puddle and the moon. What could go wrong?
For a start, the background I had originally planned to use just didn't work in the setting of the story. Once projected I quickly realised that the image was wrong for this book so I went back to the drawing board (the internet).
The next hurdle came by way of missing film. It had been ordered well in advance but on Monday afternoon there was still no sign of it. A phone call later and I found out that it was due for delivery on Tuesday (the day of the shoot) but no one could tell me the time. Thankfully it wasn't coming to my house but rather a fellow student's who lives close to the college.
When Tuesday (shoot date) rolled around I returned to the studio (without film but with a background image) to find the heat from the building had decimated the blossom. I looked at it hanging limply from the prop rail and knew that this shoot was going to challenge me, so I decide right then and there to roll with the punches.
As I sat waiting for my model and watching the hands of the clock move further and further away from our agreed meet-up time I couldn't help but think the universe was telling me something. My phone rang a moment later and a very apologetic model informed me she was stuck in traffic but was only ten minutes away.
"It's fine," I told her, "no rush, I don't have any film yet!"
After hanging up I messaged my makeup artist - not wanting to cause her any stress as she's so heavily pregnant - to let her know we were running late. That's when the next hiccup almost derailed me. My Makeup Artist was too unwell to make it in.
Cue model walking through the door. Wilted blossom hanging in the studio. No make up artist. Still no film.
With a wry smile I explained the situation to my wonderfully patient model and we agreed to regroup with a cup of tea.
Many hours later, after much running around and some shameless begging I had some fresh blossom, a new make up artist and finally, the film was in hand.
With only two hours of studio time left I loaded the dark slides and hoped for the best.
The first two shots were a rightoff. The Rollei 400 5x4 film sheets are so thin they can have a tendency to fall out of the dark slide and into the back of the camera. I don't know why I was at all surprised it happened (though it does only seem to occur with one particular darkslide) but shots one and two ended up sat in the bellows.
However, from that point onwards things went well. Maybe because I had resigned myself to the fact that I wouldn't be getting any useable frames or perhaps the universe just decided to be kind. What ever the reason, when I developed the film I was more than pleasantly surprised.
Six negatives, exposed well and portraying my version of the story. Who'd have thought it the day before? Not me that's for sure but here they are in all their contact-print glory.
This week I'm going to attempt to wrestle the prints of these negatives into submission before I once again, pull out my dyes and get to colouring.