Show: Working with Front of House
Working with front of house you need another management overseeing the front of house you need someone who I mean in theory it could be the same person who's seeing the big picture but you want someone who's concentrating on front of house and knows all the elements in play um and every logistic and be prepared for someone who's comfortable with it the tech check um you don't want to gloss over this because I've had people show up with what they think is music and it's a black a blank fund drive you know that they thought their music was on and they excellently erased it or whatever on I air on the on the side of duplication of everything I have redundancies on my redundancy so I will make you know I'll put it on ipod I'll email it to myself you know like to all these different versions so I put it on a cd and make sure I have it so that if anything goes wrong we have an alternate the key to this too is to remember a cz I mentioned before the importance of lighting and besides the clea...
n light that I usually recommend you want to think about a strategy for the light that works for you most the ideal runways sort of brightly lit so that its evenly lit all the way down and people looking at it from both directions and both sides get a nice experience but what if you're on a budget and can afford a big lighting setup? I've seen great shows where there are spotlights on different stages of the runway and the models walk in and out of light very intentionally so you take you know a negative and make it the cool part of the show and that show became really memorable because it was like a magic trick when the model just and then she would pose there for a minute and then disappear and it became this great little moment and you were waiting for them to walk in so that's a great way to do a very simple, you know, fashion show with mean lighting wise um and then sound we talked a little bit about that earlier staging I I think besides what we talked about in terms of do we want elevated do we want floor level? I think the other key is how clean is the surface behind and under the model? Um I know with us at the school we do our show's in a hotel often and the big ballrooms used have these ornate rugs and if you're doing a show that doesn't have an elevated runway and they're using the rug you have to ask yourself, how can I use the rug right? Because how can I let it be the setting and often that will sort of dictate how you shoot the show so instead of trying to shoot a runway, show the way we see in the pictures, you know, where its head on and it's white and and, you know, I would love to do that, but the reality is that this is, you know, the framework we have, so then I shoot it mohr editorially, like about that happening, like, I'll shoot behind rows of seats so you see heads and you see just this model, you know, and it's the essence of a fashion show, or I'll let the rug be a part of the look, you know, as long as it doesn't conflict too much with the the outfit, so you want to ask yourself this will inform all your decisions about how you record the content arrivals? I call it the step and repeat, even if you don't have a step and repeat, but that essence of what is that experience when someone shows up so it could be that step and repeat like you see in hollywood parties and openings where, you know, there are logo's on a white backdrop and on your guest actually stop have their photo taken and go in now they're doing it at weddings, and they're doing it it's, sweet sixteens so so it's a common thing, and it's it's it's basically getting your your client or your audience into the spirit of it it's also if you're working on a big sort of bigger show and you want to thank people who are, you know, sponsors and things like that it's a great place to put logos that isn't in the event you know, that isn't in the space for the event and you're saying thank you, you're getting photo ops that again our branding, those sponsors all that good stuff, but beyond that, when they walk into the space, you want to take that walk first, like you want to go through that experience, like when they get here, they're going to stop and have their picture taken. Another thing you might want to consider it. Some people don't want their picture taken, so you might want to come up with a way for them to bypass it if they want teo because you don't want a lot of times they will be standing there for a long time trying to get past while picture's being taken. So you want to ask yourself, how can you allow that? So always respect your audience in that way when they walk into the room, are there ushers? Is there a seating plan? Is it open seating isat zone seating? I recommend zone seating because it kind of gives you that first come first served but you say oh you're in zone a or the green zone it's in that you know you break up the audience into four and it's a b, c d or orange green blue yellow and they have a place to go it feels special because it's been designated you've blocked off your audience and you can just let them take care of it for more intense shows where you have to have certain seated people seated front row that kind of stuff you can have ushers you can have names on seats you can do all that control stuff if you want if that's important but don't feel like you have to because e I would say the only thing that you usually want to save in terms of seating at a show is the front row mainly for the people you need to think and also you know, like I've had you know a tar shows we make sure moms have front rows you know because all the kids in their show is like no we're putting every mom in the front row so especially graduates so you want to think about how you want to manage that because that will be very important you also don't want to keep people waiting too long and if you do make sure that they're having a good time and whatever that means to your audience it could be there's a way to get a drink there's other entertainment you know there's something engaging them if there's going to be a lag time between the time they arrive and the time they start the show, okay? And then, uh finally working with front of house, um, we have the extras or the takeaways, the gift bag, the program, those kinds of things like what do you want to share with them? The one thing I would highly recommend I mentioned the program earlier about not making it just, you know, a list of thank you's like putting some content or something special in there, maybe it's artwork by the designer, you know, sketches that feel like, oh, I'm goingto going to save that because they're going to be famous, you know, r I want to support them wherever it is and then also thinking about, like, when you think about gift bags because people will say, oh, I'm going to get a lot of stuff for the gift bag and what they normally get our coupons and things like that. Lots of paper, those bags get left behind like the bad programs. So ask yourself if you had, if you could do one thing and actually make it a gift like make it something that's special and you know, this is the difference, but I'll give you example, a hair company might say, I'll give you samples right, like little little samples say I'd rather have one bottle of something for every bag like one full sized bottle it it's it's an actual gift it's actually something that they can't they're not it's getting going away and and most companies will go that route because they could be the star of the back and then it gets very competitive then you can start to go. Well, they're giving us I think you should hope your auntie so you know, so you can play that a little bit, but but you want that give back to have value it should really be a gift. All right, so now, uh, where we there we go. Okay, so now I'm gonna turn it over on you guys, but we're not gonna talk necessarily about you worrying about how to do it, but we've all been to events we've all been to shows what are some of your best experiences as a guest? Like, can you think of one show or an event? I mean that's the reason I wanted to think of it as an experience like what? What was really special that you have said I I would love to do that on if I do an event, can anyone think of anything in particular like a fashion show? It could be a wedding, it could be a party you know a great event a charity event but something that falls along the lines of the things we talked about in terms of that experience what made you feel special? What made you feel like you were part of it? So the photo booth actually think has been a re occurring a re occurring thing and I think it's nice just cause we've even brought it in and creative live and it just gets a lot of hype I think people like that extra step of having the option to be involved and have that like proof like, oh, I was here in a part of this like big event and big deal and it's been used weddings and like, you know, new year's parties and especially our way events to real connection and for the designer this is a way of we'll talk a little bit about extending the experience but like, you know, having that source of content where you've created all these images you put them online and you let people tag themselves and repost you're you're taking that event into a hole of the realm um so that's a great example for the fashion show that I last worked on we ended up getting one like really last minute and it's kind of stressful and I remember being in this kind of like humbug spirit about it like we're going through all these hoops to get this like silly thing andi it was just that like kind of social media wise like marketed itself just because people people love it people of documenting what they're doing today and that's it's a great gift for you as a creative person or the event person because they are helping you get the word out there and they're doing it again in a really authentic way they're having fun you're seeing them have fun so and even if you didn't have a photo booth, maybe you could do set upa little space where people could do their selfie selfie stick available for them to use it so they get teo take their own pictures of them post it I was just at the peabody essex museum and they have this wonderful art exhibit and you're not allowed to take pictures but they took one of the paintings actually two of the painting ls and had them printed on the wall and you can put yourself in the painting and take a selfie so they gave into that need and that desire that so many people have tio need the selfie or I need the snapshot so but they decided and they control it so that could be something really fun like steam pumped for instance, you know, I keep thinking about that cause I love it too is, you know, having some sort of environment that you could take a selfie in and really fun so anybody else? You are put on one of your hats exactly very experiential. So all right, so and the next one is what air? Maybe some of the fun takeaways like a great gift bag that you remember, or or something that you've taken away physically from an event. Hey, we had a good gift bags no, see that's a sign I was right. Um, not actually what was in the bag for, say, but the actual bag itself was, like, an actual, like, reusable tote like kind of almost the size for like, grocery bags, please use it all the time that that's a perfect example, the even the bag itself was a useful item and, you know, and again it has a memory attached to it. So that's really, really important. It's a question for you, uh, wondering folks are wondering who comes up the ideas these days for about boston fashion week for those bags? And are there any fun things that us have done well? It's very event specific and I think that's the key you don't want to be generic across the board, so I mean the very fact that that event that you went to the tote wass this you no usable item that you can use for shopping afterwards that's a very conscious decision associated with that event it's not gonna work for everything else I mean for everything it could be the tiniest little thing you know it could be a pin it could be something like a little you know if you do jewelry that you're teaming up with the jeweler it could be this one little item that they do as a promotional item but that person can actually where that night so the choices are endless and and I think but you do want teo realized that fashion week is that you want it to be specific and reflect all the hard work you put into the event it can't just be a gn ad on like for instance even the choice of the bag not even if you go with a regular paper bag the color the finish the size and also is it something that you all into events is this something that you actually want to carry around you know like that bag that we had sort of you know the large scale hair samples I mean hair care products those were those actually turned into these big hefty bags you know of like actual product and I spoke to all different people because I was worried about it afterwards as you know was that cumbersome was like no I just went back to my car and got my haul in the trunk and then I went back to the party it was like that was that valuable to them so you want to you know, sometimes figure out like you know is that it's that it's going to be that valuable they're going to go to the trouble of keeping in and saving it yes we've been going to an event every year for about the last for five years and I I keep wanting to go back every year because it's a fun event but also because I get it tiffany wine glass I well I'm working on a collection of eight there we go but it keeps really investment in time and it keeps me going back and then I really you know I said I enjoy the event but I also really like the wine glasses too well when it's funny when I used to shoot the new york shows like in the early years one of the best things was the editors bag it was this incredible bag that was actually a bag from a company like you know a knapsack or a tote or or a messenger bag it had the logo of seventh on six which it was called at the time and it was full of heavy duty product you know, for photographers there was film at the time that kind of dates me if there was you know, all sorts of accessories things like that so yeah I mean there are things that you say I'm going to go back you know, because this is a great great time so this is just a shot from one of the fashion week events you've got to remember everybody involved like if you have that white runway that runway you scott and you have multiple shows, you want to make sure that runway's stays beautiful and you can never forget that team that sort of on the ground, literally taking care of your stuff and making sure you anticipated because ah lot of the new york shows, for instance, the runways will actually be covered with plastic or paper when guests come in and it looks kind of like, you know, they're painting or something, but the minute the show happens, it just gets pulled off and revealed, other than that, you have to have a serious control over your audience so that you don't step on it ruin it for the show because the key to a good show in this respect in terms of staging is to make sure that every photograph and every bit of video is great. Another quick thing with the rose like this there's not a whole lot of room between that chair and the runway because we were in a tighter environment I little tip have whoever's introducing the show are, you know, announcing the event to have everyone uncross their legs if you're if their legs are near the runway, like if you sometimes have the luxury of pulling the seats away but when people cross their legs they do things one the leg or the foot juts into the photograph so you have a beautiful gown with this foot sticking out or even worse for video you have the bouncing leg you know someone you know is a balancing and it's perfectly natural but for the photograph that's a big thing and you'll find a tte new york shows it's hysterical the photographers in the pit right before the show starts yelling at audience members it's like uncross your legs and then they do it in unison I mean it it's so because it's going to ruin all of their shots so you want to think in those terms making sure you have an end product that's clean and beautiful off one side is on one side is off I'm I'm thinking about it yeah that that's a nice circle but you guys you know have girls colliding into each other but they're all different formulas the one thing I would say like an easy formula that works is if you have one at a girl one girl at a time because you could do multiples and all that but the general rule of thumb for me like what I'm doing a really super simple show is head of the runway sort of like I mean are at the entrance at the stage take a pause not necessarily oppose walk on halfway depending on the garment a turn, but not like a stop in turn. But like as you're walking, turn again, depending on no, why the runway is walk down to the end, posed for the photographers and then on dh. Then start walking back, and you can either keep the turning back or not. You leave, and when she reaches halfway up the runway, that's the time to send out the next girl. Because if there's just a tiny little overlap, it feels like there's more flow. So the minute the girl is halfway back and that's, where that feeder comes in, she's, seeing it or hearing it, she says, the next girl and you have a nice little crossover, it's, great for photographs, because get this energy going.