Well, not real murders of course. I have been back to Heidelberg Theatre Company to photograph rehearsals for a new play they are doing. The director is Paul King, and for those that have been following me for a long time will remember that I have worked with Paul before and I photographed his play Summer of the Seventeenth Dolls around 2 years ago. He has asked me to come back and do the same thing for his latest production, Little Murders.
I stole this from the website, I’m sure Paul won’t mind. This is what the play is about. Little Murders is a pitch-black comedy about an everyday dysfunctional American family trying to survive in the urban jungle of late 1960s New York. This is a city where random shootings, garbage strikes, air pollution, power failures and obscene phone calls are the norm. When daughter Patsy brings her new boyfriend home to this embattled atmosphere to introduce him to the family, his passivity in the face of danger leads to more conflict – and comedy. The play was written by Jules Feiffer.
It was nice being back and seeing a cast make it’s way through the dialogue and trying to work out where they were going to go or move. The director trying to keep his head as a million ideas are thrown at him. This was taken at the beginning, I think it was the first time they were doing this scene, so Paul was talking to them about what he wanted.
Sometimes the director just has to get up there and talk to them as well. Help explain what he wants them to do. You will notice with most of these images the actors have their noses in their scripts for most of it.
One of the things that I also enjoy is watching the set come together. Slowly over the next few weeks this will evolve into a lounge room with a dining room up the back. Walls will appear, some will have windows in them. The furniture will change. By the time the play starts it will look like a real room,
One of the things I was really excited about when it came to taking photos was getting to see how the Nikon D800 would handle the crap lighting in a theatre. When I’ve photographed plays before I had my D300s, and while it was a good camera, it was terrible at low light and the noise in the images was shocking. I have to say the D800 handled it like a trouper. It was so good. I hardly had to do anything to them to get rid of any noise. I started at ISO4000, but ended up at ISO2000. Now that I have seen the images, I will probably do things a little different next time. The above image stood out so much when I started going through. It was so crisp and sharp, I had a look and saw that I had taken it with the 50mm. I think I love how that lens takes photos. It is fast becoming my new favourite lens, well for some things. Maybe I need to consider getting the 35mm.
I forgot how much fun rehearsals can be. There is a lot to laugh about, especially as some things are done over and over. You do sit there and just laugh. Sometimes I get so caught up in what is happening on the set that I forget to take photos.
Paul wants me to continue going back to get photos of the play. At this stage I’m not sure whether I will do posts on it every week or every second. I will try and include information about photographing the play and how I do it, where I can. Here is a gallery with some of the images I got.