Wednesday, October 22, 2008

The Nightmare Before... er... Halloween

This is the second post in part of a series featuring Brady Rowell’s’ photography projects for Jake’s of Second Life.

The set was spooky, the characters ghoulish, and according to Brady… composing this shot was pure torture. Few people realize how much thought and work goes into a photo shoot (be it RL or SL) to achieve a certain artistic look and also communicate the advertising message you are tasked with incorporating. In this case, communicate the theme of Halloween and present it in a sexy way. Leave it to Brady and the Boys of Jake’s to eventually pull it all off – the photography task that is, they don’t pull their clothes off 'till the after party.

First, the costumes. Everyone who is going to be in the shoot needs to be notified of the theme a couple days before the shoot and conversations about who is going to wear what take place so that each person doesn’t show up wearing the same thing. Not to mention making sure that everyone’s costumes make sense for the shoot. Generally several group shopping trips evolve out of this process each week.

Second, find a set or location fir the shoot. Sounds easy enough, right? Wrong. Imagine finding that perfect location - perfect look, all the elements are spaced right and in the right proportion for the models. Now you realize that you can’t rez a posing stand cause there is no building or scripts allowed and the land owner is not around to contact. Or in the case of this shoot, I helped Brady and found a great cemetery site complete with fog rezzers, crypts and grave stones. Building was turned on and it looked like it would all be a go until I got attacked by flesh eating zombies. Well, that will certainly mess with a shoot… Run Baz Run! BTW - I only got bitten once. Eventually, Brady opted to have me build him a set for this shoot. (If you happen to be interested in running with the zombies, visit the Hauted Cemetary Shop and Treasure Hunt, then use the teleporter to the cemetary)

Third, shoot everyone! At least take their picture, although with all the unsolicited advice Brady gets from his models, I wonder if he ever considers the alternative. Brady was now faced with arranging seven models in such a way to balance color, accommodate wing spans, hide flaws in the back ground, minimize alpha channel conflicts (invisibles that fight) keep the shot tight enough to get close and also manage to keep the look and feel of the set in the shot... this is no small task. But on top of that, the models all need lighting. Ritch’s dark panther skin needs a brilliant lighting source, but that can also wash out the rest of the models and the set. A yellow light on another model will make the black of someone else’s costume look green. This whole process can take a couple hours to get just right – bet you had no idea. Rarely do the first-time models realize this process and they can get cranky till they finally get told the torture is over.

Ok, so no Brady has his shot... but is still just a raw screen capture, saved in high resolution to his hard drive. This is where Brady now works his magic. He applies various filters and does color adjusting. Oh, and a little Photoshop work to get rid of that darn lighting orb that was lost in the fog but showed up in the finished shot... damn, I hate it when that happens.

Now the finished shot, after hours of work invested gets set to Jake to be placed into the next weeks event poster and sent out to the metaverse so that all who are interested will know where, when and how to dress for the next big party. The next time you come across a poster for Jake’s (or any ad in SL really) take a minute to appreciate what when into the creation of those images. If you are a patron of Jake’s theme parties, maybe consider tipping the guys a little extra too – after all they only get paid tips. They do this each week out of love for the club and a desire to put on a great party!

Halloween Party at Jake’s Club

Jake’s Club (temporary location)

Click here for the SLURL to Jake's


9:00 SLT – Midnight

DJ Syriana Paine will be spinning her amazing tunes and taking requests

Costume Contest for Best Halloween Costume with a minimum L$1,000 prize

And then of course, the after party…

1 comment:

  1. Much easier when just as you log in Brady asks you to come over and take off your clothes for a while. Man is he good at getting people naked! I at least gotta provide foreplay!