This is a shoot inspired by 1950s Hollywood icon, James Dean. I only discovered Dean a couple of weeks ago when my granddad sent over a dvd of 'Rebel Without A Cause' for me to watch. It is now one of my favourite movies, next to the other Dean classic, 'East Of Eden'. When searching for the right model, I was quite surprised at the amount of people from my generation who had not heard of the movie star so if you are one of these people, here is a short summary:
James Dean embodied the phrase 'live fast, die young'. At the age of 24, he died in a racing car accident. He only ever made three movies before his death: 'Rebel Without A Cause', 'East Of Eden' and 'Giant'. As I've heard it, he was always very anxious about his performances, rigorously perfecting each detail of the character he portrayed until he was satisfied with the result. As directors have said, Dean was very difficult to deal with on set as he had very definite ideas of the character or storyline he was portraying. These often differed from the directors own ideas resulting in frequent clashes. 'Rebel Without A Cause' began a genre of movie dealing with teenage angst and the misunderstandings between parent and teenager. The movie created such an impression that after its release, young people identified with the character Dean played. Everyone wanted his look. They wanted to smoke, to hold 'chickie runs' and to comb their hair back in the classic 'pompadour' style. Young people were rebelling against traditional values and looked to James Dean as their icon.
Initially for this shoot, I wanted to attain the James Dean on-stage 'Rebel' look, but in the end decided to go for the laid-back off-stage 'glasses with jumper' style instead. I then researched various James Dean images to find the right feel on which to base the shoot - these are featured at the end of the post.
On the day of the shoot, it was half an hour before the model and assistant arrived, the weather was looking fine - and then it happened. Rain. A photographer's worst nightmare. So when we went out, not only was I trying unsuccessfully to keep the lens and model dry, but also trying to keep the big light-reflector upright in the gale that was battering us about.
The model in this was also used for the 'Burberry Inspired' post. The assistant was the female model from the 'At Court' post.
If you are a James Dean fan, I would really recommend watching this TV short called 'The Dark, Dark Hours' with Dean performing with Ronald Reagan. Its a very rare piece of footage as it hasn't been seen for 50 years since it was originally aired.