- August 30th, 2014
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I shot The Odd Couple at Summerset Theatre in late July. It was the finale production for this summer season.
Neil Simon comedies are always interesting, and I tend to think of them as a day-in-the-life style. We have a single set – Oscar’s apartment – in which all the happenings happen.
The general story is familiar to anyone of my generation since it formed the basis for a TV show of the same name. The TV show brought with it some of the characters from the play.
Many scenes feature the whole gang of friends as they try to deal with Felix and his angst. This made for some cool photographic compositions with everyone leaning in and reacting together.
Sometimes it’s difficult to find an angle that shows all the faces, but that’s often a problem shooting live. Still, it’s not usually something to get hung up about.
Other times, everyone just comes together and make the photo for you.
Lighting was not particularly challenging here, as most such plays are more dialog driven and don’t really need – or want – a fancy lighting design. As the photographer, I can pretty well set my exposure and go. There are some hot and cold spots on the set to be aware of, though.
Being dialog driven, you have to look for the interesting photos. You find a lot of time folks are sitting and talking. But the moments are there. Some happen quickly and you might or might not catch them. Others, like the guys surrounding Felix, holding a wet towel to his head, all looking, offering their support and concern, just build in front of you. You see it, frame it up, and you have a favorite shot from the evening.
I mentioned the leaning in. That can make such a difference in a still photo. Our brains interpret this for the interaction it represents. We sort of feel it. Lean them back and the energy totally washes away from the image. It’s really remarkable.
I can’t believe summer is nearly gone. Another season of Summerset shows is done, the Fridays on the patio at RCT are done, and Labor Day is two days away. But, that means RCT’s season is about to begin (the first show is RENT, and it opens soon), and Riverland will be working on their fall semester shows soon. I have all that to look forward to!