Monday, December 1, 2008

Mike & Pat's 30th Yearbook

No, it's not yet another Yearbook Yourself entry. This time, we actually really dressed up in oldskool uniforms and took pictures.

Kelly has a group of friends who love playing dress up. Really. They're modern day loopy hippies (I think they call them Bobos these days?) who are all either in advertising or production and love themed parties. The last one we went to was themed around the '30s Great Depression, since we're going through similar tough economic times now. Yeah, they have a wicked sense of humour.

Anyways, Mike & Pat are going to celebrate their 30th birthdays in the middle of December and are holding a joint celebration. Mike's superstar girlfriend, Candice, is a Casting Director and the Queen of Dress Up. Needless to say, she came up with the idea of getting the bunch of friends together in oldskool uniforms and taking a shot of all of us together and giving it to the boys to commemorate the occasion (turning 30 is a HUGE deal here. This is just ONE of the gifts for them, mind you). Everyone thought it was a great idea and chipped in for the equipment & gear hire - she even pulled favours from the wardrobe house all the way to the photographer, down to the location.

So yesterday, we all turned up at a local school for the shoot - it had a brilliant school hall, complete with little tiered bleacher stands in front of a velvet red stage curtain.

Kelly & I thought it would be a simple shoot - just snap and go... But when we turned up there, we were absolutely gobsmacked at the effort Candice had put into this. It was a production and a half. First came the photographer and an assistant with proper gear:

Then the photographer pulls out this HUGE diffuser flash-light thing that looked like an UFO:

WOW. And then! Candice even sorted out a mini Craft table with snacks like chocolate croissants, apples and beer!

One by one, the friends all start to show up... Some partially dressed in costume already, and others waiting for wardrobe (like me - I've got no S.African school uniform!) Kelly finally shaved off his handlebar moustache (breaking the electric razor while doing this), and parted his hair to the side like a dweeby nerd:

Here's Peri starting to get dressed:

Then Pat's girlfriend, Kristen, rocks up with a whole bunch of antique props - oldskool satchels, encyclopedias, musical instruments... all from her personal collection. Mark's a production Art Director, so he was in his element "set dressing" everything.

Then Mandy brought the girls behind the stage curtains where she was playing wardrobe stylist - everyone had specific outfits assigned to them, with our names marked on each hanger. It was like being on a real, proper shoot!

Kelly was assigned SHORTS, and couldn't quite fit into them.

He couldn't zip it all the way up, so had to mask the bulging tight side pockets and unbuttoned shorts with a blazer thrown over. Here's the work-in-progress:

While waiting for everyone else to either show up or get dressed, we were fooling around with the instruments.

Mary was watching the madness too.

It seemed like it would be quite a mission at first, but it was actually great fun getting dressed up.

Finally, it was time to put the finishing touches to the set.

And then the group decided that it wouldn't be right to go through this whole trouble without involving either of the Birthday Boys in the shoot. They had to be in the shot too! So at the last minute, we decided we had to call both Mike & Pat to come to the shoot. Since we still wanted to maintain an element of surprise, a couple people went to go pick them up and blindfolded them on the car ride to the school. We decided to also get them dressed up while they were blindfolded and put them in the middle of the shot, still blindfolded, so they'd have no clue what we were up to. It was hysterical (what was also funny was Mike had been calling all his friends to see who wanted to go to the beach with him, but no one was picking up their phones. He thought he was Johnny-No-Mates that day.)

This is us waiting for the Birthday Boys to show up:

So we decided to get everyone lined up for the picture in the meantime:

Finally, they made their appearance, blindfolds and all.

They had absolutely NO CLUE what we were doing.

In the end, we got them to take off their blindfolds as well; we had to get a proper shot of them not looking silly! They were completely floored at the effort that had gone into their gift. Yay! (and since it's no longer a "surprise", I thought it'd be OK to post it up here).

Once we've got the shots back from the photographer, I'll post the final picture here too. What a great way to spend a Sunday. :)

Check out the online web album here:
(Email subscribers download the attached link)

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