The Conception
The Plan
Shooting the Project
The Controversy
The Media
The Media
The Participants and Project Photographs
Final Notes
The Project Poster
 
a short film

Since I am the photographer of this project, it was automatically assumed by some that I came up with the "film" idea but this concept belongs 100% to Kimberly Ann. From the very beginning, Kimberly Ann envisioned a long negative strip of images reminiscent of a film contact sheet suspended and flowing freely through her shop. She wanted to use the catch phrase "a short film".

On a creative level, I felt Kimberly Ann's idea worked but for very different reasons. We had decided early on that all images would be black and white. The concept wouldn't have worked if the images were in color. We had a group of very different images in terms of color and tonality. Having them displayed so closely together would have caused visual havoc to anyone looking at it. I felt the "film" idea bound the images together creatively as a true "collection". Additionally it saved cost associated with mounting and framing.

I could make Kimberly Ann's idea a reality only because I do all my own printing and graphic work. Her idea also appealed to me for practical purposes. A fact of the matter is that if a creative and cost effective way to deal with these images was not thought of, I wouldn't have done the project. Framing/mounting individual prints was cost prohibitive and I would have found it unacceptable to simply tape unframed individual prints up on a wall. The "film" idea made it possible for me to print and hang the exhibit in an acceptable fashion.

fundraiser

Taking the lead from the Ashland project, I wanted to connect this project to a fundraiser for a local non-profit. In my mind, this gave a "reason" when people asked "why?". It would also be a "reason" that may motivate people to want to take part. I was inhibited to simply go up to people and simply say "hey..... will you pose nearly naked for me so I can have a photo exhibit". I wanted a solid "reason".

Kimberly Ann and I decided we could have a silent auction selling individual prints of the project's images as well as have a project poster to raise money. All monies would go directly to the non-profit from the person who made the purchase. The non-profit had to be able to accept credit cards, etc and be agreeable to be charged back for the actual printing cost of each print produced/sold.

I never anticipated we could raise a lot of money for a non-profit but the project could give a non-profit great exposure and publicity if Kimberly Ann's past marketing efforts were any indication. Finding a non-profit that we could raise money for was another matter. I did have a non-profit in mind from the start but the project but early on, I got the impression that this was a little bit too "unusual" for them. I was told unofficially that one of the directors on the board would never go for it so I did not push things.

We did have a newly formed non-profit waiting in the wings wanting to be a part of this project and be the recipient of the proceeds. The non-profit was headed by Carole Matthews and was the "Petersburg Animal Welfare Society" (PAWS). Carole would also be a participant in the project. This selection was enthusiastically received by a number of the participants who are animal lovers

creative control

Early on in the planning I told Kimberly Ann that since it was my photography that would be out there and judged, I would have to have the final say on any image that would be shot and ultimately displayed. I wanted to be able to say "no" when ideas for photographs were given if the idea really did not fit in with the vision I had for the project.

This control however did not extend to who would be allowed to participate. While Kimberly and I targeted individuals that we wanted to be a part of the project, all who wanted to jump on this bus to indeed come along for the ride were allowed to if they had a solid presense in old town. I simply had to deal with what was presented to me to shoot. A point came that the bus was full and we could not accept anyone else. Even up to the week before we were going to display, people were still calling Kimberly Ann with an "I want to do it".

Additionally, like other projects I have done of this scope (i.e. a lot of people), I also did not want to go through a proofing process with the individuals that took part in this project. I simply did not have the time to do this. I would be the one to decide which images would ultimately be used. The participants would simply have to trust my judgment.

displaying the work

In general, I spend a great deal of time and effort when it comes to my photography and producing prints from the images I capture. Actually some would say that I am far too obsessive with good cause. The same amount of effort goes into the presentation of my prints when I do have an exhibit. A primary concern I always have is the lighting of prints that are to be exhibited publicly. I have politely turned down numerous requests in the past to exhibit because the venue wanting me to exhibit simply did not have adequate lighting.

Kimberly Ann was well aware of my concerns about lighting and how the "film" will be hung. Her response to me was "it will get figured out". I left it in her hands and put my efforts into producing the images.

Kimberly Ann thought up various ways the exhibit could be hung and lit. While creative in nature, some ideas were not practical because of the fragile nature of the paper that the "film" would be printed on and/or cost to light properly would be prohibitive. She went to Randy Haase, a local contractor who specializes in the restoration of historic buildings, with one of her ideas but then the wheels started turning in Randy's head and he remarked to her that he would get back with her.

Randy had previously agreed to be a participant in the project. While visiting with him to get ideas with regards to his photograph, he discussed with us an ingenious plan of using doors to display the project. We both thought it sounded fantastic.

Randy wasted absolutely no time constructing the future "Haase Open Door Gallery" in Kimberly Ann's store. In fact, it was ready a full month before the display was to be hung. What was amazing was that the display alone, with nothing hung on it, got people talking when they first saw it during the April "Friday for the Arts". It was unlike anything they have ever seen with a common reaction simply being "wow".

Kimberly Ann had an electrician come in and put in a series of clip lights on Randy's creation. I dropped by early one evening and Kimberly Ann flipped on the lights on the display. I immediately knew that "lighting" was not going to be an issue for what we were doing. I was more then pleased with the whole setup. I cannot write adequate words to describe Randy's creation but you can see it in the "Virginia Currents" video I have posted and hear Randy describe the inspiration for his creation.

Well we had a project planned that was "different" as well as a very "different" way to hang the exhibit. With the method of hanging taken care of by Randy and the lighting taken care of by Kimberly Ann, the pressure was on me to produce some decent photography that was "different".

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