7.18.2012

A celebration of silliness. Jill Blackwood stars in Zach Scott's Presentation of Xanadu.


Zachary Scott Theatre never does anything halfway. When they do a campy musical they pull out all the stops and rev up the camp. This week the Theatre opens their version of Xanadu.  This isn't your 1980's movie version either. This is a magnificent spoof-musical that made me laugh so much the image stabilization in my cameras was working overtime. 

Last night my trusty video producer, Ben Tuck, and I headed over to Zachary Scott Theatre to do some work.  Ben was there scouting locations for a video project. He was also shooting some general "B" roll during the dress rehearsal.  I was there to shoot images for the local newspaper and for Zach Scott's marketing department. I ended up with about 1855 images but many of those are similar shots with different gestures and expressions. That's why shooting people, portraits and events is so frame intensive...you might like one sort of expression and the art director might prefer another.  You shoot both.  And while you're shooting you get the expression in front of you because it might be the best one, until the next one happens and you get that one because it's even better (and on and on).

While I covered all the actors in the show I decided I'd show only Jill Blackwood in this set of blog selections.  Jill is wonderful on stage and her singing and incredible action made the show for me.  In this role she is the team leader of the original Greek muses who ends up falling in love with a mortal artist.  A big, Mount Olympus No-No.  I love the way Zach's Xanadu is propped, lit and costumed.  

Ben shot his video with a Sony a57 with the kit 18-55mm lens and his Gitzo tripod with Manfrotto fluid head.  I shot with two Sony a77s.  I used one with the 16-50mm lens (which, along with the cheap 85mm, is my current favorite optic).  On the other camera I shot with both the 85mm 2.8 and the 70-200mm G 2.8 lens.  The lighting on this production was fairly bright, with lots of follow spots on Jill, so I was able to keep the ISO in the range of 400 to 800.

Everything I shot was handheld. Everything you see here is straight out of camera with no PhotoShop chicanery or lily-gilding.  

I love the musical and all the 1980's music has gone from nostalgic to kitsch and now is just flat out funny.  Yes, I'll line up for tickets.

One more thing.  Shooting theatre with a big, bright, detailed EVF is the only way to go.  Believe me, I've done it both ways....