Saturday, May 19, 2007

All in the image

OK, so I kind of glossed over my hair-raising experience of getting an image for The Processing Room. Well, I'd decided what image I wanted - Dave Slack had warned us that we needed to be thinking about it - but I still had a mad panicked rush to achieve it in the end. Last weekend I went to London, and got back late on Monday to a packet from 24:7 which must have arrived on the Saturday, and the news that we had one week to submit our festival image! This meant that in fact I had 4 days to get the photo taken and - without training - successfully manipulate it on the computer before getting it to them in time! And I was due out all day Tuesday, and Mary-Ann was coming over Wednesday to help me go through actors' and directors' CVs, and meanwhile the correspondence from both was still coming through and had to be dealt with.

Tuesday night. John and I have waited for dark, and then there I am dressed up in some semblance of a nurse's uniform (and freezing bloody cold, since the boiler's bust and the weather's like February), trailing round the house with John behind me holding a camera, trying to find a doorway he can stand far enough back from to get enough black space around it. We choose his study, which is at the end of the landing. We want a silhouette, so we've set up a light behind me.

'Further back, John.'

He almost steps back in the dark, before realising the stairwell is right behind him.

I look at his efforts. He doesn't know what's in my head, of course, and I haven't managed to explain, so we have to start again. By the time we finish, he's very fed up and I'm frozen to the door frame.

Next day, with Mary-Ann, I take a look at them properly. They're hopeless. Too dark - there wasn't enough light behind me after all - and all John's study junk behind me is far too distracting, and most unethereal... We'll have to wait for dark once more and clear the room and adjust the lighting and do it all over again...

Thursday I'm at my computer working on the chosen shot. It's OK, I can do it, but I'm so slow, it's taking all day, and there's so little time left... And then Ben, my website designer and saviour, comes through on Messenger and takes over, whisking different colour versions of the image back to me over and over, and helps me to choose.

And guess, what, I did it: emailed the image off a day early and had a hard copy printed just in time! I'd have had a celebratory glass of wine if I hadn't already ended up with a migraine...

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