[BTSV] Behind the Scenes with The Agonist (Promo '12)

There are only a few days left before Von Wong does Europe. But instead of spending that time ironing, folding and categorizing his underwear for the trip, Ben is doing what any proper photographer would, he shoots. Check out the behind the scenes video and Ben's full commentary as he knocks out a rough and tumble band scene with the sexy hardcore stylings of The Agonist.

Benjamin Von Wong:
Alissa from The Agonist contacted me TWO WEEKS before shoot deadline to ask me if we could put together some sort of crazy shoot. After an hour of crazy brainstorming we managed to pull together an insane fight concept that we put together in one week (leaving one more week for retouching)!

We pulled our resources together and managed to whip up in a week: A garage to shoot in, destructible clothing, and all the random objects you see lying around (fire hydrant, couch, etc…). Alissa did the makeup/rips for all the boys giving me a good three hours to set up a crazy 10 light or so setup.

Oh and that exploding glass behind her head in the shot? Yah, that’s real. We exploded some neon lights for the shoot.
We did two main group shots in addition to a bunch of singles.

The first group shot is the main fight scene where we used a total of 8 flashes to light up the scene. Since I had a whole bunch of time to set up my lights and the scene (close to 2 hours), it really gave me the time to build the shot up like I wanted to!

the final result

For those interested in the technical lighting jargon here are the specs:
On either side of our main subjects (Alissa, Danny) we had some nice strong edge lighting from some massive gridded softboxes. To add a bit of soft fill to lighten the shadows we had a smaller softbox angled 45 degrees upwards on a lower intensity. Grouped with those two main gridded softboxes, we had a pair of speedlights gel’ed blue to give a nice blueish hue to the shadows of the image. From there, we had a pair of monoblocs on either side of the scene, bare, just bringing in a bit of harsh hairlight that was mildly diffused by the smoke spewing out of our glorious smoke machine. And the final killer touch, in my humble opinion that totally makes the shot is the speedlights gel’ed green in the back behind those plastic-textured horizontal flaps. We bounced that one off the back wall to get a nice even distribution coming forward.

In the final shot that is the conclusion of our shoot, we wanted things to be a lot more murky and soft… so we pumped the smoke machine up to full and had an overall haze just overlaid onto the photograph. We tossed things around a littlebit to change the setup and then had them lie around just… relaxing. The shot was created by strapping my camera onto the tripod and taking a nice shot from above.

Once again, the technical stuff aside, the only difference between this setup and the last one was that we basically removed the hair lights from the rear monoblocks and lifted one of the softboxes off the ground to create a semi spotlight effect on Alissa. Here’s what the lighting setup looks like:

BTSV by Five Knights Productions
via [Original Post]

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And now for the final
“killer” technique: smashing fluorescent tubes to release mercury vapor and
phosphors. There’s a reason you can’t just put these tubes in the trash, and it’s
not just because of the glass. The mercury from a couple of tubes might not be highly
hazardous, but it doesn’t seem like a “bright” thing to do.

Exactly what I was thinking of!!!!!!

Von Wong's picture

metalheads ... what did you expect :P

They offered, I said hell yes!

Jeremy Alan Glover's picture

Awesome shoot! I used to skateboard with Kells back when we were younger lol 

Justin Abe's picture

Love the Agonist. Alissa is hot! I saw them live with Epica.

Awesome BEN!

Noam Galai's picture

amazing work!

sandervanderveen's picture

Looks a lot like the work of JoeyL's band cover shoots lol.. even his typography is the same at the end :P