Thursday, July 21, 2011

A Day At The Circus World With Max

Max Wendt is a phenomenal photographer.  He has done our last two promotional posters, featuring Emily Morrison-Weeks and Dominick Carmine Giannattasio (I call them Em and Dom to make things easier for me).  Fresco receives a lot of positive feedback about these posters, due to the artistry of Max.                                                                                      

Print from "Ding Dong The Divas Dead" - by Max Wendt
Dueling Divas and Ding Dong The Divas Dead were solo shots - single posters.  And they were in studio.  We knew with Fresco's Big Top Opera we had an opportunity from an artistic standpoint to really stretch out creatively when it came to shooting promotional shots.  The characters of a circus lend themselves to interesting pictures.  The fact we have a U.S. National Landmark in Circus World Museum practically in our backyard was also a bonus.

Melanie and Frank Cain, along with Max, went to Circus World Museum to scope out the potential shoot.

The first thing that hits you as you walk through the doors of Circus World is history, with all of the vintage posters and props that surround you.  Our challenge was choosing among the many elements to use for a backdrop.  The trio found some very suitable shot sites.

Another element that makes our Big Top promotional pictures interesting is the costuming.  Melanie has a specific vision of the show in terms of the look.  After the day at Circus World, she came away knowing exactly the look she was after.  I won't spoil anything here by describing it.  We want you to see for yourself when the time comes.  But I will say without hesitation, that the costumes Melanie has chosen are the most interesting Fresco has ever displayed.

Dueling Divas II - Promo By Max Wendt
On a hot Tuesday in early July, Em, Dom, Frank, Melanie, Max and myself ventured to Circus World for "the shoot."  It was a very sunny day, which created tons of "hot spots" for Max to contend with, which can be very challenging for any photographer.

There is no "Auto-Shoot" with Max.  Everything he does - the lighting and settings - is manual.  I was in awe of all the gear he had in the back of his Subaru hatch back... multiple lights, cameras, lenses, filters, stands, batteries, more cameras.  It was really incredible!  I say this because even with all of that gear, he knew what he needed, when he needed it and how to use it.  Sure, we could have used our iPhones and snapped a few shots, done some photo shop work and made a poster.  But his pictures have a depth to them you don't see in a typical promotional poster.  They themselves are works of art.  You don't want to open them and say like any other posting and say "yep," only to close them and go on to looking at other posts from your friends on FB.

Max working his magic at Circus World
 Max's work pops out at you - and you have to look at his images.  I know a lot of people who have permanently "borrowed" our posters to hang up in their houses.

We spent the entire day taking hundreds of pictures.  We will most likely use only a few - the best - for our formal promotion.  These pictures capture the mood of what will be Fresco's Big Top Opera, and we could not achieve that without the tremendous talents of someone we are proud to call the official Fresco photographer - Max Wendt.

Jeff Turk
Fresco Opera Theatre

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