4.8.17 – the first discussion with Grace Harrison about the concept of Foul Play magazine and me possibly helping with some of the photography.
29.8.17 – test shots in Arles – identified issues over colour temperature for night shots.
29.9.17 – further discussion with the ‘client’ to get more of a sense of the brand identity for Foul Play. I have always been wary about the sensationalism around crime, particularly serial killers, but I am starting to understand why this might be intriguing to women and how they are using it for self-empowerment and to build supportive communities.
6.10.17 – mooted the idea to my tutor. Jesse said it sounded interesting and to have fun with it.
20.10.17 – first sight of the galleys for the magazine. The imagery currently used doesn’t feature people much but this seems to be practical/logistical rather than deliberate.
24.10.17 – test shots in Sidmouth. Aiming for a Nordic Noir feel with some Edward Hopper isolationism thrown in.
17.11.17 – researching the true crime phenomenon more and discovering how some women find it to be a very empowering genre, allowing them to confront and take control of fears. Re-scanned Over Her Dead Body to see if there are any links. Not really.
22.11.17 – researching creative approaches to calendar production on Pinterest (eg using bulldog clips to bind or even a trouser-hanger, clipboard, small wooden stands. A reminder that the images do not have to be square or rectangular, can bleed into the date part of the calendar, the dates could be printed on part of the image (CSI feel) or on tracing paper and overlaid or designed as a pattern (maze? or streets).
24.11.17 – search for props, police crime scene tape, masks etc. Resisted temptation to go down the zombie bride route. Silver shock blanket?
25.11.17 – test shots from 17.30 to 19.00 in Shoreditch. Definitely too dark already.
1.12.17 – interviewed one of the founders of Foul Play to flesh out the company profile and brand identity. Promotion is currently via word of mouth and social media. This will be ramped up as the brand develops and could extend to merchandising. The Foul Play Instagram account shows some of the associated imagery. I have set up a Foul Play Pinterest board to capture some images which may be inspiring or discouraging…
2.12.17 – more confident now in my decision to anonymise all the people in the images. It will help to imply the ambiguity and nuances of so many criminal situations. Anyone – everyone – could commit a crime or be a victim or both. This also removes the idea of personality cults which often grow around serial killers or other ‘interesting’ criminals.
9.12.17 – shoot in Allen Gardens using the shovel, pig and evil duck masks. Freezing cold so time pressures and interruptions from tourists. Luckily more ambient light than previously. Decided to be relaxed about motion blur and let it add to the atmosphere.
16.12.17 – planning to keep the design very simple; not cluttered or clever. I had toyed with including the yellow markers for crime scenes as numbers in the calendar but I think it is a bit too low-end for the Foul Play brand and would distract from the images.
21.12.17 – Grace has written an article about how women are ‘reclaiming true crime’, explaining that part of the interest seems to be around self-preservation.
22.12.17 – thinking about size. The assignment brief specifies A3 but for my previous assignment, Jesse thought the portrait images looked amateur at A4 (which was in accordance with the brief) and suggested smaller, so it seems there is leeway. I definitely don’t want an A3 landscape calendar – too corporate somehow. The target audience is made up of digital natives used to looking at things on their smartphones so small should be fine. Plus they are likely to have small flats or houses with limited wall space. A5 would be cool but will make the date boxes tiny and non-functional. If it is just decorative, what is the point of the dates? It has to be functional or it will reflect badly on the brand.
26.12.17 – shoot with my Dad brandishing various threatening tools. I was worried that axes and saws are rather associated with ‘slasher’ movie. Tried a meat fork but too small to catch in car headlines. Settled for a large and heavy spanner in the end.
27.12.17 – shoot with my niece to add a female presence. Wanted to avoid her looking too much like a passive victim so directed her to run. This also hopefully leaves some ambiguity over whether she is victim or perpetrator. Not an eerie image in itself but should work within the overall concept.
28.12.17 – decided not to include a ‘cybercrime’ image (Matt on his laptop in the dark, shot through the window). This wouldn’t fit with the other scenes and could be jarring. Plus it would require the use of a mask to continue the motif of anonymity which could be confusing. The actual ‘Anonymous’ mask symbolises a hacktivist movement and any association with ‘true crime’ would be controversial and tenuous.
29.12.17 – assembly time!
30.12.17 – final notes ready for my last minute submission before the hard deadline of close of today…