Before the game started, I found Sirens skater, RegulateHer to see if she would allow me to take a video portrait of her. She's a veteran in the league and this bout would mark the end her career with the LADD. I thought this would be a good reason to have her be a subject, it's good context for a thing like this.
Recently, I have been chipping my way through, "The Story of Film: An Odyssey" by Mark Cousins. It's a fifteen-hour documentary that chronicles the history of film. It is streaming on Netflix, and if you're a film buff, I highly recommend it. It gets a lot of flack for excluding many films, but it's a documentary, not a book, so he obviously doesn't have the time to mention everything. It really does a good job of balancing American/Hollywood film history with world cinema. Really, check it out if you have time.
Anyway, in the documentary, Cousins brings up that Japanese director Yasujio Ozu was the first to use the foreground of the frame in film. This was a technique later adopted by Orson Welles. While I was watching, this foreground technique really stuck in my head. His examples in the documentary really made me rethink how to utilize the foreground in my own work. Long after viewing this foreground segment, I thought, 'this technique would be something cool to try out in a video portrait.'
I kept that thought positioned in my front burner of my mind, and soon I realized that the banked track at the Doll Factory would be the ideal place to tryout the foreground video portrait. Flash forward to early last week, and the fast approaching LADD Championship bout. I figured the Championship bout would be a great opportunity to try the video portrait, because of the context.
So, from that moment, I had the portrait image floating around in my mind of how it would look, framing-wise. Then, when I found out it was RegulateHers' last bout, I knew I wanted to get her as a subject, as it would add another layer to the context. Plus, given one of RegulateHers' trademarks is her skull mask, I thought this would make the image even more striking. I'm sure the mask is meant to intimidate, because RegulateHer is one of the nicest people rolling around the Doll Factory.
Besides the context of the portrait, I wanted to visually communicate the mental state of mind of a player before a game. There she is, in the middle of madness on the track, solitary, focused, trying to meditate on the task at hand. In this moment, nothing on the outside is important, except, focusing on making sure she is ready to play. I picture this is what is looks like in the mind of someone before they take the field or stage.
I like to think that maybe it was this moment of meditation that helped RegulateHer focus on victory and help her team win the trophy. But in reality, it was probably a season of hard work and well-executed team strategy. Either way, congrats to RegulateHer and the Sirens for being the 2014 LA Derby Dolls Champions.