My first steps upon creating this film noir recreation was location, casting and lighting study of the project and scenes.
The location in "Memento" was a motel room that was based at the time of the film (2002). My idea to keep this true to the recreation would be to find a motel/hotel that has been in fairly poor condition in which can give the essence of the motel from the film. From this I immediately thought back to my hometown of Canton, Ohio as it's been in somewhat of a time-warp and mimics the set of the 90's very well. I lived in Canton for 17 years and there's a set of motels near the Football Hall of Fame in which i've actually scouted in the area and it's safe to say they do a very good job of holding true to a 90s motel. The next step from here is getting permissions from the owners to set up lighting equipment and recreating the scenes. I plan on shooting this Sunday the 21st.
Finding an Actor
The next step in the process was to find an actor that not only matched the stature of Guy Pierce in "Memento", but someone who also had tattoos that I could be able to seamlessly give the vibe of Guy Pierce as well. I began thinking about friends in the Canton area as it would be tedious to transport someone along with equipment 2 hours solely for a shoot.
I chose fellow photographer Schyler Ames to play the role. Schyler collaborated with me and played the part of a fellow mobster in a shoot about a year ago I did. He's on the left in the above pictures.
My reasoning for choosing Schyler is a combination of his stature, tattoos and ability to light as it may come in handy for our day where he can assist in lighting set up. He's got an entire sleeve of tattoos on his right arm as well as stomach tattoos. I may end up drawing a few extra on him around the collarbones and hands just as the character from "Memento" had.
Lighting Study and Shoot Day
The final objectives I set for myself were putting together a list of equipment needs for shoot day and setting forth a parameter of how to handle the entire process.
Canon 5D MK II, 50MM 1.4, 24MM 1.4, Zoom H4N, Telephoto Lens, Manfroto Tripod, 2 Alien Bee Strobes, Paul C Buff Large Softbox, C Stand, Mole Light Kit from CCAD, Interview Light Kit from CCAD, Light Stands, Extension Cords, Rotary Telephone, Various light diffusers such as vellum to soften light, Black boards and White boards to reflect and block light, light reflector.
I'll be bringing Strobes and hot lights simply for the fact that in some situations we'll be unable to use the hot lights. Inside the motel we'll be fine, but when it comes to any outdoor shooting and pictures the strobes will come in handy.
There are 4 different composed shots from the scene. One wide angle of the entire room, one of the tattoo/it being pulled, a close shot crop of him on the phone and an even closer one of his reaction to the tattoo. EDIT::: After reviewing the scene it seems as if the shots of his face are actually a pan forward. So i'll be looking to get access to a dolly system for the shoot to recreate.
My plans for the next few days are to elaborately study the scene and it's lighting and work with Schyler onto properly deliver lines and actions. I'll also be thinking up potential narrative images to work along with the project if time allows.