What I like with writing in advance for /NO.NAMES/ project is that it fits with my very psychorigid mind. As a guy who loves to get everything straight, be sure I don’t forget anything, and above all, be sure we share a common understanding with the models I work with, it’s such a relief to be able to communicate in advance about what we’ll do and how I envision it. Also, when shots are planned in advance, it lets a lot more room for creativity on specific aspects during the shoot. So how do I do this?
I can’t say this is the right way to do it, I’m not a professional, nor I did go to photography or film school, but I do know how to plan and organize. On my side, it starts with a mind map: what do I have to say, who are my characters, what is the intent… cause I can’t bare photos without meaning. There are billions of naked girls' photos out there, and for what? Honestly, guuuhhh… no more, justifying this dumb cult for nothing else than atheistic ‘celebration of women’ … nope, can’t do that. That’s also why I’m using traditional means of scenario writing like the standard characters arcs or the 12 steps of the hero's journey to build a story.
Then, ideas are coming from elements of this outline/mind map which I start translating into a scene, into a shot. Then I write a little excerpt of what should happen in the shot and what I want to transmit as an emotion, just a few guidelines. Finally, I insert this in a table (I’m using Notion for this process, which is a pretty flexible tool) which demands adding some more information:
- shot ref
- summary of the shot
- outfit required (including nudity req.)
- accessories required
- light planned
And other specific pieces of information, but those are the basics.
I also tag the shots with models' names when I’m planning a shoot, so I can filter out my table and share the page with the models providing all information at once. This way I’m sure we’re on the same page with the models and when I start shooting, I know what I had in mind when planning. This allows me to focus on the model direction, be sure we translate together with the proper intent and make it grow.
Obviously, I have left out a big part that is preliminary to the writing: research. But that’s another topic. I just wanted to take the opportunity to shout out one of the last books I read on this topic which is a graphic novel called Bagarre érotique, by Klou. I can’t say I’ve learned anything new on my side since it’s a topic I have dug into a lot already, but It’s great to be comforted in one’s opinion by somebody who actually knows what she’s talking about. Honestly worth the read, you might learn some stuff :)