As I write this, my friend of many years Director Pete Henderson has just joined boutique production company Someplace Nice, based in Toronto after a successful run with Steam Films. One of his upcoming projects is a reality TV show, at this stage called Wizard of Ads, being pitched by Fadoo Productions. One of the characters in the show will be Pete's 1970 Chevy Malibu, the pre-souped up version of which he inherited from his grandmother in 1995. (I gather Pete doesn't think his grandmother would approve of the new engine.)
To add to the supporting promotional imagery (I shot Pete in studio for the initial pitch), we thought we'd take some pictures of Pete and the car, ostensibly on one of the road trips which will create the narrative framework for the series. And we thought of this about a week or two too late. Imagining the rich and brilliant fall tableaux we'd find around Caledon and The Forks of The Credit we waited for a perfect weather day, jump-started the Malibu and roared out of the underground parking lot to head off to the countryside. The closer we got, the more clear it became that winter had come, seemingly considerably sooner north of the city than downtown's trees would have suggested.
We searched for a suitable location. But finally, with heaviness in our hearts and a couple of lame pictures in the can, we turned around to head back to Toronto and almost drove right past this lovely hold out. Actually we did drive past it. But Pete spotted it as we whizzed by, and yelled "Is that what you want?!" or something like that. Just in time, I turned my head to his side of the highway and said "Yes!" So we did a safe and legal U-turn and pulled into what looked a lot like an empty lot until we realized that the perfectly leaf covered dirt driveway we were on led straight round to a partially obscured house nestled behind a hedge and a bunch of trees.
Pete bravely and correctly wandered over to the house and called in a friendly voice to see if anyone was home, and decided nobody was. This was true, until the elderly woman who lives there returned from walking her dog and found us doing a photo shoot in her yard. Luckily, I hadn't got my lights out of the car. We chatted a few minutes and told her what we were doing there (sort of, but not really). (Sorry!) I offered to do a portrait of her and her dog but she declined. We took a few more pictures with her permission and got out of there.
And I would have been pretty happy with what we got if Pete hadn't been wearing, as part of his shoot wardrobe, a purple sweatshirt, with white trim. ("Bring mid-tones, nothing too dark, no black, something like what you'd actually wear on one of your trips," I'd said. "Some options would be good.") His t-shirt under the sweatshirt was black. And the only other piece of wardrobe he brought was a black Hugo Boss jacket. Really. There'd better be someone taking care of wardrobe if this show happens.
Anyway, I guess we can always change the colour of the sweatshirt in post if one of these pics is actually needed. I think Pete wants smoke coming out of the engine, too. So we may need to add that. In the meantime, here's hoping the pitches go well and we get to see Pete do his inimitable thing on TV!