The Sea Monster Attack is upon us!
After five years of searching for a model to portray Idamante, the hero of the opera “Idomeneo”, I found Bowen, a Heroic looking teenager.
He and his parents liked the idea, and so Lizzie and I put together a shoot just outside of Big Fork Montana at Flathead Lake’s “Wayfarer’s Point”.
Joining us were the avid Geologist and T-Rex building Chantell, as well as my old friend Hallie who returned after five years to reprise her role as Elletra.
Together we staged the awesome Sea Monster attack from the opera “Idomeneo”.
I brought Bowen and Chantell, and Hallie and Lizzie met us in Big Fork. The first thing we did was go to Wayfarer’s Point to look for a good place to take photos. There are a lot of big rocks leading into the water, and a pretty steep drop off into the deep end, so we were looking for a place where we could stand without suddenly dying.
The area was very hot, sunny and crawling with swimmers. Bowen spotted a more secluded spot (though when we arrived in costume there were about 20 people sitting on the rocks observing the shoot in the end.)
Once we found a good place to shoot, we started to get ready.
Lizzie is Music Director at the Big Fork Playhouse this year, and so had a place to stay and to prepare our models — though the place seemed to be made entirely out of plastic wood paneling, and got gradually hotter and hotter as the day wore on.
We decided early on to use hair glue, rather than hair spray, to keep the curls in the model’s hair during the heat and water of the shoot.
Chantell, upon discovering her prop was a real, ornate knife, kept whipping her new weapon out to attack Bowen. Bowen, in turn, refused to go anywhere without his sword, ready at every moment to defend our party.
Once we were in costume, we all traveled to the location as the skies darkened — just divinely perfect for our Sea Monster attack! Our location was over-run with around 20 or so onlookers, who at various points cheered on the models — and a few drunks in the way back who tried to heckle them.
However, one of the onlookers, in particular, a little girl of around four, was convinced Chantell was a real princess, and came to sit with her and chat with her for the entire shoot. At one point the little girl decided that she needed to help Lizzie apply Bowen’s bloody make-up, and joined in the shoot as if she was a member of the team.
Once in the water, and after getting used to the onlookers, Bowen and Hallie crashed around in the waves, pretending to be attacked by a giant Sea Monster that will be added later.
Lizzie, as well, was in the water the entire time, guarding the rock in the background like a Siren, and bearing the standard. She told me I couldn’t add any pictures of her guarding the rock, so you’ll have to take my word for it.
Bowen, at 15, is bright and engaging, and it’s great to see him giving teenagers a good name.
Hallie seemed to be enjoying herself teasing him with all the glee of a Cat toying with a Mouse for the whole shoot, which comes natural to her because she has a younger brother.
At one point it came to a head, and Bowen challenged her to an arm-wrestling match, which, after a while, she agreed to.
After the Sea Monster attack, Bowen changed costumes. This costume involved him getting covered in blood and bruises by Lizzie, who finally got a chance to use her “Bruise-Wheel” Make-up. Our little wayward girl helper wanted to know if the blood was real, why the Standard had an eagle on it, and then took Lizzie’s make-up brush and started helping apply bruises.
Chantell and Bowen took a moment to pose in costume before heading back up the hill for the next set of photos.
Once the costumes were changed, it was Chantell’s turn to join Bowen for a Romantic Knife Battle. For the first time in one of my shoots, the lady got to do the Marathon ab work out, where she sat up in a half-sit up position for around 45 minutes straight. Bowen, meanwhile, had to balance over her, frozen in time. After the shoot they argued about whose abs were stronger.
Hallie and Lizzie took over reflector duty as the sun set.
Chantell was a natural at being a stabby princess, and it’s no wonder that little girl thought she was a real one!
We were visited by a police officer at one point, who was about one of five people who thought that Bowen’s wounds were real. Bowen told them he had gotten into a fight with a bear.
Chantell, Hallie, Bowen and Lizzie all have great personalities, and were really fun to work with, and play with for the whole day!
I have to tell you that this group of people, who would probably never gather under any normal circumstances, when put together produced one of the funnest shoots I have ever done. I enjoyed the travel, the conversation, the work, and I am so glad to have had the opportunity to work with this group of people!
Until next time!