`A Models Life in `One Day`
When a producer telephones and says that he wants to produce a 30 second video for his client then you start asking questions. Like what product or service is it for and what would I have to do?
It`s difficult to discuss things like this on the telephone and at the end of the brief conversation I was asked if I am free on a certain day. `Yes` I said and then it was said that I would get all the details via mail. OK I am used to that, terms and conditions, gage, expenses etc. The problem is in this business the confirmation mails often arrive just two days before the shooting. We all trust one another thank goodness and things always work out positive in the end.
So I had agreed to do the job, I was to be the main and only character in the video, the rest I would find out about on site by the shoot. What I did know was that it was a four hour journey from my home and the train route is particularly busy all day, many passengers and few seats. I decided to travel first class and hoped the customer would pay for it! Accommodation for the night before had already been arranged and I had the address.
Well it`s time to go, my heavy model bag had been packed with various types of clothes, according to the productions wishes. So I planned my route and started off. Jumped on the local bus to the next train station, but the bus got stuck in a traffic jam and that`s when I knew I would miss my train and the connections that would take me to my target. I arrived at the station, took another train after an half an hour wait, arrived in Zurich main station and then started looking for another connection. I found one, I would have to change twice but it would get me there, a little late but not to worry!
Yes I got there, in what was for me an unknown town, so then I started looking for a restaurant. Well I thought it might be better to eat dinner before going to my accomodation, eventually I found somewhere in this `gost town`, ate and then started the long journey to my bed!! I`d studied the Google Map but didn`t realise that I was going to have a long long walk and all of which went up hill. Pulling my heavy model bag, sweating like mad because the evening sun had decided to wait before going down. So to cut a long story short, and that`s difficult to do with this trip! I arrived, slept, showered in the morning making myself fresh for the shooting, and got picked up by the crew.
The crew were a great band of three guys, the producer/director, the camera man and his assistant. All asking questions, all wanting to know how I became a model and why. Where I come from and how is it that I speak Swiss German. We exchanged lots of information on route to the job, had some good laughs and we realised that we had the necessary sympathy to understand and work with one another. The `chemi` was good.
We arrived in a really large chemist store, one of a big group, and then I started listening, I was told in rough detail how we were going to shoot the 30 second video, of course we`d need a little longer! 5 Hours to be exact. A lot will depend on my mimics, showing various feelings, more to this later.
I showed my clothing collection of to the client, two charming young and very qualified marketing women from the Group Head Office. They made their choice and that`s how it stayed for the entire shooting.
I made my own make up and did my hair!! .....and dressed.
OK I was ready and we started, it was great because I understood the directors ideas and with his corrections and with many re-takes we achieved his wishes. Creative filming is not easy, ideas
come during the process and team work is essential. Camera, lighting, direction and the models interpretation. Of course the clients make their observations and comments to the director who then passes on their wishes to the crew and model.
This video was to be somewhat humorous at the same time showing a vast sortiment of products
and services. Beauty products galore, weird plastic items made to satisfy ladies desires, mens requirements also in many colours and forms! Sport creams and dozens of other creams, even hair products that make your hair thicker (that interested me!), and so on . Quick quick was the order, taking products from here and there and at the end being confused because I had chosen so many great products, I wasn`t even sure that I could pay for them. My arms were full of some 20 items and I made my way to the attractive young lady at the cash desk.
I had to show my feelings - mimicking confusion,embarrassment,shyness, helplessness etc. and all in one long take. The clients were standing in the background watching me and they seemed amused at my performance, that encouraged me. This was all to be edited at a later date in the studio. and the video editing work was to be done the following week, a lot of very fine detail work that had to tell a story based on 2 second video cuts. A difficult job, but these guys are experts ,they will do it.
Some weeks later and I haven`t even seen a photo or video, but that`s normal in this business. Sure I love to see the finished work when it comes and sometimes it arrives at an unexpected moment. Like last week I visited a neighbour and the first thing he did was to give me page from a Swiss Sunday Newspaper the NZZ. Half page photo of me in a bank advert. Wow.
After the shooting and all the goodbyes the guys took me to the main station and I was able to take a train home after only 2 minutes waiting, got home safe and sound and happy having completed my part in a difficult creative video production. A few days later I received a mail from the owner of the production company saying how much fun the crew had with me and with a special thank you and congratulations from her. They kindly Paid my 1st.Class Ticket - Whoopee.
Modelling is hard,creative,fun and always a challenge - I look forward to the next one.