Bulldog Reading Dylan Thomas (remake)

Some time ago the original bulldog reading poetry that I posted in 2007 on YouTube reached over 30K views. Not really spectacular if you consider the fact that it took 10 years to get there. Still the clip is very dear to me, because it was my second animation.

Celebrating the clip’s 10th Anniversary I decided to do a remake based on the 207 original. The reason for that was that I wanted to have a version in a higher resolution in a 16:9 aspect ratio, today’s standard.

You know what happens to remakes. In most cases they cannot outshine in the original and that is exactly what happened to this particular clip.

In case you are interested in the original, I am posting it right here:

In the Studio (1)

My partner Eveline is a real Paparazzi when it comes to documenting my work in the small studio at Nieuwmarkt 221. This raw clip is about two of my favorite models: Tess and Lena.

In general it is a good setup if you have two people coming over to be photographed in the same time slot. It is a lot better than the situation where a model takes somebody with him or her, because he or she is feeling uncertain about being photographed. The uncertainty I can handle, that is part of the job. If I could not deal with models feeling insecure or even nervous I would be a lousy photographer of people.

As a rule the person being brought to the studio as a chaperone of some sort is my biggest problem. I take my time photographing people, so a photo shoot can take up to four hours depending of how many ideas there are and how much time it takes to create just the right mood. All this time the chaperone has to just sit there with nothing do, getting bored or worse getting jealous which puts a lot of stress on the person posing.

So two people coming over who both love to be photographed is a very good situation to create photography. That is if you don’t get assistance in directing one model by the other. Still this was one of the happiest shoots of 2017.

The Horror Doll

For quite a stretch I worked for a site called The Kinky Web. I was writing columns in Dutch about Kink. The owner of the site was submissive at heart so his whole concept of ‘Kink’ was shrunk into promoting commercial Dominatrixes. Going to this site would make a person believe that love is a state of mind that can be bought by the hour if you just followed the links on his site.

I had many conversations with him on that subject over a few beers and wodka, but his strategy stayed the same. He was madly in love with a commercial Dominatrix, so he really had a hard time fighting his own tunnel vision about kinky sex.

In a way he paid me for the kinky part in a site that was dominated by his own lengthy and often poorly written aubades to his Dominatrix, loosely mixed with advertorials for her colleagues.

I got bored with writing columns for him pretty fast, because whenever I was not all but gloriously positive about commercial BDSM, or simply wanted to put more emphasis on BDSM without paid services, the whole crowd there came trolling me. So, I suggested to make videos instead. It is way harder to get my lines out of context, if I am converting my ideas into imagery.

He agreed and I went to work with Julia, one of my favorite models and she was basically improvising on several themes. The clip I liked most was about Julia mimicking BDSM play with hot wax, spanking, the whole shebang. A doll substituted for a masochist.

Now the owner of the site was in a divorce and he saw very little of his daughter at the time and you know what happens with parents who have little parenting to do. Yes, they become über parents. A lot like smokers who stopped smoking soon become the most aggressive anti-smoking lobbyists around. So instead of seeing a doll being substituted for a slave, he went on and on about little babies in BDSM movies. He was not censoring me, he was actually threatening me with the possible responses of his own BDSM trolls.

I was not letting go of the clip, so I tried to sweeten the deal by framing the clip into an animation that would sort of represent the moral majority in BDSM.

His comment: You made it even worse than it already was!

Maybe he was right, although I really doubt his objectivity.

That being said, here is the original clip:

WAM – Models having fun

WAM as you may know or may not know stands for Wet and Messy. It is fetish, actually and it can be experienced with all sorts of fluids. In this particular case it is yogurt.

I have done quite a few yogurt shoots. It is simple. We buy 12 liters of yogurt and put it on the heating for a while. Then we poor it over the models or have them poor it onto themselves and the fun starts.

But that is just during the shoot. At the end of the shoot things become tricky. How to get the models to the shower without having them drip yogurt all over the place. An overlooked spot of yogurt can produce an incredible stench once the yogurt turns sour. So we put kitchen paper all over the floor to lead them to the shower. Usually that works. Except for the fact that the studio has a shower cabin with tiny rails for the glass doors. As it turns out there is almost no way to get the yogurt completely cleaned from he corners of the rails. So, exit shower cabin.

This particular shoot was dramatic because suddenly the model on the floor started spanking the model on top of her and yogurt became airborne hitting my face, the camera and even the cameras behind me. The cleaning job took days, but it was fun!

An unforgettable photo shoot.

Shooting fish in a barrel

To me as a photographer who likes to direct a photograph it is almost awkward to photograph a highly professional model like Alicia. It feels like shooting fish in barrel. Every pose she strikes is perfect. There is nothing to do for me but pushing my camera button and worrying if the flashes can keep up with the pace.

The results were perfect of course, but still it felt like a downer for a moment or two.

Of course the flashes kept up with the pace. This was a studio in Moscow, The Sunlight Studios to be precise, with the best Profoto equipment a photographer could wish for and lots of space to work in. My own flashes would have missed every third shot, but not these highly expensive German Profoto flashes. You have got to hand it to the Russians that they won’t economize on German photo equipment or cars, despite the loss of over 30 million people in WWII.

That is one of the oddest things I learned about Russians. They can be highly sentimental people, but they are also quite forgiving by nature it seems. And sentimentality and forgiveness rarely come in pairs. That is a good thing, since half of the world is blaming Russia for just about everything but nine day rain. If the Russians had the same mentality as the Americans I guess we would already be in World War Three.

Burning House by Bára Queenbee and Rowan du Châtenier

Burning House

On my previous site I had no category for film & animation, so I will be posting some older clips in the coming weeks. This particular clip features Bára Queenbee and Rowan du Châtenier.

It was my first music clip. I had to keep it simple because most of efforts were consumed getting the right sound. I remember standing there with a large sheet to soften the sound.

The original Full HD clip got lost in the crash of a hard drive, so this is a YT-rip, reposted on Vimeo.

The original clip on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O5bDayx4X8Q

Behind the scenes

The biggest problem with my kind of photography is to get the right kind of people to pose for me. I am not a fashion photographer working with a stylist and a make up artist. I am a portrait photographer at heart and my work has a certain erotic flair. That makes it even harder to find models who may very well think of me as a dirty old man. A label that suits me fine as long as people understand that they are completely safe on my studio floor.

Especially if people have to travel a long distance to come to my studio for the first time, it is even harder. They don’t know who I am, they have no clue where they going to, etc. etc. Just answering their questions in DM’s or E-mails is not enough.

Luckily most models come through people I have already photographed, but for those who responded to a call for models on social media we edited this video, based on clips shot in the studio during photography. Most of the material was made with compact cameras and cell phones, so the quality is poor, but it really helped some people to set an appointment.

December 21, 2017 update:

The new site going live at January 1, 2018 will not have this clip on the ‘About’ page. We are working on something new and a bit more professional I hope.