Bendy girls with ropes and chains! Final pictures at imageworkshop.com/projects/damaged-duo
Behind-the-scenes look at an Image Workshop photoshoot creating promo portraits for alternative circus company the Damaged Duo in an industrial warehouse in Christchurch, New Zealand.
These two talented circoarts performers perform things in their acts usually not attempted by women: intensely demanding physical stunts hanging from straps and chains that push the limits of strength and pain.
We were completely stoked with the results - you can check out all the final photographs (extras not shown in the video plus photos from a second shoot of contortion and juggling) over at our website imageworkshop.com/projects/damaged-duo
BACKSTORY - THWARTED BY EARTHQUAKES
This shoot almost didn't happen - we struggled to find a riggable location because the Christchurch earthquakes had destroyed the local Circo Arts performing space as well as closing down other potential performance spaces.
We wanted a plain-yet-industrial background so after much searching found a warehouse location that would work, with a one-week window that we could use it for. But then the June aftershocks hit just before the shoot day and we had to postpone for safety reasons and then we lost that location.
It's hard enough finding a large, open plan industrial looking space with a 7m high beam rated to a 2-tonne load - made harder after constant earthquakes had rendered half the commercial space in town out of action and the other half in hot demand by displaced companies from the first half!
We finally found a second workable location after searching all over town - a new warehouse under construction that had a tenant moving in in a few weeks. Everything was rescheduled and fingers firmly crossed for no more hiccups or natural disasters until the shoot was in the bag!
The whole thing was a team effort and our huge thanks go out to everyone involved.
PHOTOGRAPHY - Image Workshop
Sharon Blance and Brence Coghill planned and executed the project: concept development, location scouting/arranging, lighting design, principal photograpy, logistics and final image post-pro.
TALENT - Damaged Duo
Mim Conyers and Neisha Murphy
Circo-arts performers extraordinaire! These two girls are the epitome of professional. They rocked the set all day, going through multiple hair & makeup changes, doing difficult, exhausting and bruise-inducing stunts for camera, and maintaining a totally upbeat attitude and sense of humour the whole time. We would work with these two on any project, any time.
HAIR & MAKEUP - Bonita Monique
Moonlighting as burlesque queen Bonita Danger Doll, Bonita brought real theatrical flair to the day. Being heavily involved in the world of alternative performance herself, she perfectly interpreted the 'not just pretty but weird' looks required - especially the 'geeky glam' look which was freaking awesome!
RUNNER/ASSISTANT TO THE TALENT - Kerry Truman
Also a fantastic circoarts performer and acrobat, Kerry was a huge help during the day, doing everything from fetching coffees to 'basing' the performers to doing impromptu backflips for camera.
VIDEOGRAPHY - Paul Sparkes
We borrowed a Canon 60D and our good friend Paul came along for a few hours in the morning to film a bunch of BTS footage for us - including a fun incident when Neisha's pants split open while she was up the rope. Sadly that footage had to hit the editing room floor, but I'm sure Paul will never forget it.
...and Brence Coghill
Paul couldn't be there all day so Brence filmed a ton of stuff in the early morning and afternoon/evening, both on the 60D and a little point-and-shoot.
EDITING & POST-PRODUCTION - Image Workshop
Sharon and Brence did the entire BTS video edit. The phrase 'labour of love' springs to mind. The whole shebang was done in Adobe Premiere CS5 with some voiceover stuff recorded on a crappy headset microphone using Adobe Soundbooth. We realised after this project that we need to get a better microphone...
ADDITIONAL GEAR HIRE - Lightworkx
We hired 3x Broncolour head and pack kits from Lightworkx photography in Christchurch for the shoot cos we needed more grunt and a faster flash duration that our own gear would give us - big thanks to Diederik at Lightworkx for letting us play with his fancy gear.
...we also borrowed stuff from numerous friends to make this shoot happen - everything from ladders to extension cables and some builder's lights so we could see when it got dark because the warehouse didn't have any lighting installed.
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