On my last blog, we talked about the conceptualizing process of "Childhood Wasteland." I also mentioned that we almost had to cancel everything! Let me tell you what happened.
As some of you might know, I am a Wing Chun practitioner for many years. One month before the shoot, I attended a martial art event and had an accident. It was nothing major, but I got a swollen nose and a black eye.
Luckily, the bruises went away after three weeks; my nose bridge was still swollen during the shoot though, I hope it wasn't too noticeable.
Then we have a shipment delay. While the Half Empty sweatshirts were finished and shipped, they got stuck during transit. *Sigh* How could you do a product shoot without the product itself?! I called the mail carrier, refreshed the tracking status like a maniac...nothing worked.
To make things worse, the day before our shoot, we experienced what seemed to be the heaviest rainfall of the whole season (I could be exaggerating, I was desperate). Since all of the planned locations were outdoor, there's no way we could proceed in the rain. Still, I spent the day running around making sure everything was ready.
I came home soaked, tired, and trying my best to remain hopeful. Guess what I found at my front door? MY PACKAGES!! My sweatshirts had finally arrived, 9 hours before the shoot! Phew, everything fitted perfectly, THANK GOD!! However, it was still raining when I went to bed, all I could do was pray...
The day we've all been waiting for was finally here! We planned to shoot at sunrise, so I got up at 3 am to get ready. When I stepped out of the house, the sky was still pitch black. Thankfully, the rain stopped.
Aaron, Jonathan, Reni, and I met up at around 5:30 am. The sky was a perfect shade of purple. We began our shoot by the train track, where our protagonist found her mask.
"The girl grew attached to the mask, at the same time, she was unsure of her path. She walked back and forth on the track, she's hopeful, but also nervous. Shortly after that, the sun came out."
It was a chilly day, good thing I wore two layers of Heattech underneath my sweatshirt. Still, I was shivering the whole time. Anything for art!
What I should be wearing vs. What I'm wearing
It took us about an hour to get all the shots at the first location. Then, Aaron asked, "Shall we warm up in my car?" Oh man, if only you could see the joy in our eyes! We ran back to Aaron's car, Jonathan and Aaron sorted out their gear, while Reni and I prepared for the next scene.
Can I have a car every time we shoot?
After a much-needed break, we drove to the next location. This area had plenty of painted walls with interesting textures. Time to bring out our next prop, a circular mirror with metal chains.
The girl looked into the mirror, startled by what she saw. She no longer recognized herself. "Who am I?" She asked.
Shooting with a mirror was a fun challenge. We had to find the perfect angle to capture my expression, pose, and hide the camera at the same time. I had to pay attention to where I look in real life and inside the mirror. I guess it's good that my face is not symmetrical, sometimes my reflection looked nothing like myself!
Speaking of seeing double, after the mirror, we came to my favorite part of the day! Our art director, Reni took on an extra role - my evil twin.
What happened when the other you came out of the shadow? Do you consume it or be consumed? Is there a third option?
Working with two models allowed us to play with compositions and dig deeper into the story. I love how all these shots came out! Reni and I had to squeeze tightly together for certain poses; it was so hard to keep a straight face!
At around noon, we took one more break in Aaron's car, then headed out for the final scene. While we were location scouting a while ago, Jonathan and Reni found the cutest drawing of a door, right next to an actual door! We had since decided that it would be the perfect place to end our story.
With the mask on her head and the mirror on her hand, the girl thought to herself, "Why can't the two exist alongside each other?" It was then she made up her mind, and her journey continued.
Aaaannnd, it's a wrap! This project had taught me so much. The saying "hope for the best, prepare for the worst" is very true. The obstacles had challenged me to be more patient and flexible. And the dedications from my friends had pushed me to reach even further! None of these would have happened without Aaron, Jonathan, and Reni, I cannot thank all of you enough! I'm incredibly proud of all the things we have achieved!
Until next time!
Watch the "Childhood Wasteland" visual narrative, and let's continue our conversation on Instagram♥︎