|A MOVEMENT STUDY by Oscar Latorre-Bosch|
Oscar came along to hear me speak at PhotoForum in the Calumet shop in Euston in February 2013. It was a bit nerve wracking, not because Oscar was in the audience but for two reasons - first, my whole family were there well, Jane, my son Tom, my twin sister Sally, my brother Anthony and his wife Georgina and secondly, some guy at the back was being a bit difficult but I got over that eventually but his intervention caused me to shake more than I might otherwise have done.
Oscar tweeted some nice comments to me and so I looked up his excellent work on his website and wrote to ask if he might photograph me. Well, in the end, he filmed me. He had given it some thought and he concluded that it did not seem possible to show the Parkinson's movement in a still picture so instead, he decided to record my natural movement on video and then study it using different computer techniques. First, it would be in hyper slow motion from still frames of the video using 'morphing'. Secondly, normal motion as originally recorded and thirdly, in stroboscopic motion i.e. partially freezing movement using 'strobing'. He created a detailed mood board and was meticulous in getting the effects he wanted.
The moodboard, a card, a half drunk cup of coffee and a pen
His lovely assistant, whose name I can't quite remember (but I shall try to before the end of this piece - Cortina?) put these polystyrene plates on my arms and Oscar asked me to stand and slowly circle my arms whilst the camera rolled. I then got dressed but do you know how difficult it is put on a shirt while you have polystyrene plates on your arms? Yes, well I started again and Thingamebob (erm Jaguar?) helped take them off and then I put my shirt on - you learn something new everyday in this modelling game.
The plates, Me and Oscar
Oscar then interviewed me on film. In fact, I don't think I have ever seen the full interview but I recall that some of the questions were quite daft in the best possible way. (Audi? No, that wasn't it)
And then, I went out with Oscar and whatshername (Joyce - Rolls Royce?? No) and we said goodbye in the street and I caught the train home. And that was that, a jolly little shoot which was thoroughly enjoyable. And the film? Well, it is a mesmerising study of the movement difficulties involved with Parkinson's. These motor problems come and they go -it really is a bit like having plates attached to your arms which control how you move. It is quirky and funny but it also taps straight into the way in which I moved from smooth to shake and back again. It is also cleverly lit and it has a feeling of there being some knowledge "out there" which we cannot yet explain but hopefully to which we shall find the answers on this voyage of discovery which is Parkinson's Disease. Morris Minor? No, what was her name?!?
MERCEDES!!! That was it! An unforgettable name. She was beautiful and very friendly and good fun.