Thursday, April 30, 2009

Hello Moto...

Is the photo soon to be replaced by the ‘moto’?

Well if the success of the self claimed pioneer in the field, Greg Williams, is anything to go by, then ‘motos’ are probably the way forward. In fact May’s issue of Esquire magazine will be showcasing perhaps the worlds first deliberate magazine cover 'moto' featuring the actress Megan Fox.

I wonder if that makes it a ‘motoshoot’?

I’m a big fan of Greg’s work (fantastic name by the way), he’s been working in the film industry for quite a few years now – shooting stills on the sets of big Hollywood blockbusters – in fact the posters you may have seen for Quantum of Solace, and the Bourne Ultimatum (which I think is a great poster) were both shot by Greg. He basically excels in creating a beautiful reportage look out of staged on-set situations, whilst at the same time capturing amazing off guard moments.

But recently he has been shooting a lot more advertising and editorial work, including 'motoshoots' for the lingerie giant Agent Provocateur (a very sexy shoot that you can see here) and of the Bond girl Olga Kurylenko for Italian Vogue.
…So what is a 'moto' I hear you ask?

Well ‘motos’ are the word coined by Greg for moving photos. He currently shoots them on the RED digital cinema camera. The stills frames from this beast are good enough for double page spreads – so not only does the client get a video of the shoot but also the stills images. One way in which Greg has been using this to great effect, especially with the Quantum of Solace was to use new interactive billboards to their full advantage to great small clips that at first look like still images but then the subject will blink or move – see some examples here. It reminded very much of art installation I saw last year called The Casting by the Israeli born video artist Omer Fast – it involved a series of still moving images – in other words what appeared to be photographs but were in fact long film shots where the actors just stayed very still – their small movements such as breathing and blinking giving it an eerie quality. In terms of advertising I can’t see the trick lasting that long – don’t get me wrong it’s worked incredibly well for the Quantum of Solace but that's because it hasn’t really been seen before – but it’s kind of a gimmick of new technology and imagine like all new tricks its 'wow factor' will where off eventually.
Nevertheless the technology is very much here to stay and as it gets more advanced, smaller and cheaper it will become far more accessible to other areas of the imaging industry as I’ve mentioned before on this blog. But does this mean that the in the future celebs will come stumbling out of the clubs in the wee small hours, screaming drunkenly at the paps ' No Moto's please!’. It also begs me to ask the question did Motorola predict all this years back with their phrase ‘Hello Moto’?! (well maybe that’s stretching it). Regardless this whole moto thing is pretty fascinating and it’s going to be interesting to see where Greg Williams takes it.

In other news check out another one of Andrew Hethrington’s studio tours, this time with the photographer Chris McPherson. Incidentally you can see McPherson's printed portfolio over at APE.

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