Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Horse Play and Horror Shows

Clydesdale; Horse; Grooming; Opening Day; Cincinnati
©David Sorcher 2015

So i'm suffering a bit from self-imposed guilt and shame. It's not even the middle of April and i have already broken one of my New Year's resolutions. I fell off my promise to post at least one blog weekly. Yes, i do feel bad about this, but i will just have to forgive myself because i've had a very busy and interesting week. Unfortunately i can't show you any of the photographs at this time. Instead i hope you will accept the humble offering of the above image, a post-Opening Day Clydesdale at the end of the parade route...c'mon, it could be worse you know. 
Last week a good buddy gave me a foot-in-the-door to shoot production stills on a Hollywood horror film that is being shot locally. It's not a big budget affair, though it does have some recognizable talent (Robert Englund, Jere Burns, Clint Howard). More importantly it's a great opportunity for someone like me who has been looking to break into this business for some time. It is especially fortuitous timing given a sudden drop in my journalistic opportunities. My work from the local paper has been down by at least two thirds this year. Photojournalism may not be dead, but its transitional stages are just killing me. I am constantly trying to find other ways to make my living with my camera. Production stills seems a natural shift, much of it being essentially documentary in approach and style. Some of my favorite documentary photographers have also done this type of work. Mary Ellen Mark, for instance, has worked on hundreds of movie sets in her day. I figure those seem like reasonable footprints to follow in. 
Of course beyond some similar shooting approaches, production stills work is an entirely different animal. I find myself on a steep learning curve, figuring out what to shoot, when to shoot and how to stay out of the way on a crowded and fast-paced movie set. Watching the way films are made from the behind the scenes has been quite the education for me. I'd love to share more of this, but i would rather wait until i have the permission to use some of the images i have been making to illustrate my experience more clearly.
Anyway, i've been working 12 hour days, or rather, nights (7pm-7am). Switching my body clock to full-blown vampire mode has been challenging to say the least. Add an hour drive each way to the set and you can perhaps see why i have forgiven myself so easily for my lapse in blog posting, especially since i can't post any of the work i'm doing at the present time.  
Which, of course, brings us back to the Clydesdale. After all, i have to post some kind of photo in a photography blog, don't i? I got to play a small part on Monday as a stringer on the Enquirer's photographic team, though my role coving the bar scene near the stadium was certainly not the most exciting aspect of the day. But on my way back to process and upload images i passed by this scene of a freshly unharnessed Clydesdale at the end of the parade. Seemed like a good scene for a photograph though i had to wonder if these positions are assigned or if they actually take turns on butt detail. :-)

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