It’s Sunday afternoon and I’m sitting in a coffee shop in Chester waiting for the rain to pass off so as I can do some street photography. Cheshire features in my show Ian Fox Exposes Himself because that’s where I’m from. While I wait this is the artwork I’ve done so far for the 2011 fringe.
I’ve only taken the photos for Mick’s show someone has designed the posters. I’ve photographed Mick last year for this show and I’m pleased to say this year he kept his clothes on . At one point last year shooting his show the Missing Chippendale he was start bollock naked sitting Christine Keeler style on a chair in my house that was wiped down at least three times afterwards.
This year I met Mick in Manchester and we went wandering around the Northern Quarter. The main image for his poster was shot here and I think the B-side image was done about here. Not much more to say really, we weren’t escorted out of the Arndale centre by a 6 foot 2 Polish security guard for using a video camera in a sports shop (we were making this video), we didn’t discover that EMO kids aren’t allowed in another shopping centre because they kept trying to top themselves in the toilets (we were making this video when we found that out), we didn’t end up paying a pub cleaner £10 to race Mick down Canal Street with his trousers round his ankles . The only curious thing that happened was when I nipped into a bar to use the loo and the bar man thought I’d gone in there to take a photo of the toilet (?).
Details of Mick’s show.
In the same week last year as Mick Ferry was naked in front of my camera lens, I was also involved in another excruciatingly awkward shoot in Seymour’s flat.
The full story is that last year Seymour’s show was going to be called “Lonely Joking”, but after some discussion about how we could shoot a poster that went along with that it got changed. Seymour is perfectly happy living on his own and this was essentially the theme of the show, so another idea was a show called “Seymour Mace is his own best friend” with a photo-shopped image of Seymour with his arm around himself. I’m not that comfortable doing that amount of manipulation in Photoshop, so that idea got shelved.
In a moment of childishness Seymour doodled a stick figure with its nob out, and the idea emerged of doing a poster of Seymour in his lounge wearing nothing but a t-shirt, cup of tea in hand with clackers on full display to the world. From that moment on the show was called “Hanging out with Seymour Mace”. We both thought the idea was funny, so did Seymour’s agent so we scheduled a photo shoot and set about doing it a few days later.
We knew the fringe office wouldn’t print a picture of Seymour’s privates so the plan was to pixelate the image in post production. Seymour didn’t quite understand what the term meant so I did a Google search for censored images and we noticed quite a few nudie mags put black stars over breasts on the cover. As someone who doesn’t really like technology that much Seymour decided rather than use Photoshop he’d make his own low-fi version by cutting out a black star from paper and attaching it to his nob with some Elastoplast.
The twenty or so minutes we took the photo in was easily the most uncomfortable shoot I’ve ever done. Two thirty-something blokes in a small flat in Manchester (one naked except for a t-shirt and paper black star), neither trying to make eye contact with each other, the deafening silence only punctuated by the sound of the camera clicking and the flash unit firing.
A day or so later someone pointed that as Seymour was also doing a children’s show last, in the same venue as “Hanging Out…” that maybe a poster of him with c**k out might not be a good idea. Particularly as there would be a good chance that in the same venue the posters could end up next to each other. If you had kids I’m pretty sure that would put you off going. We had to shoot another image a day or so later with Seymour Hanging upside down on some scaffolding on the side of my house.
This year Seymour used a cropped version of the original hanging out shot as the thumbnail image in the fringe guide. Use your imagination as to what the rest of the shot looks like.
This year Seymour wanted to have a go at doing his own poster this year. I inadvertently called around to his flat while he was trying to get Dave Turquoise to take his photo and ended up doing it anyway with Dave’s crappy camera. The reason I’ve included the posters from 2009, and 2010 is because all three of them have been shot in the exact same place using Seymour’s front door as a background.
Details of the show are here.
Ian Fox Exposes Himself.
Due to being ill in March I wasn’t able to get round to shooting a new image so have had to reuse one of the arrest shots from last year’s Picnic posters. I’m thinking of replacing the Free Festival tabloid banner at the top with one that says News of the World. They’re not going to be using any more what could they do?
The Great Big Comedy Picnic
Again not quite got round to this yet. First shoot is scheduled for 19th July. Hopefully by then I’ll have knocked up the poster and the photo will just drop in. I do know it’s going to have the tag line “Homemade Heroes of Comedy” which is why the fringe guide has that photo of the frog.
The Free Festival Programme.
More a timetable than a programme the 2011 version is 14 pages and contains basic information of about 346 shows. I’ve laid it all out as well designing the cover and creating a new map from scratch using Photoshop. I stated adding layout for the booklet in March and then finally got all the live information from the database at the beginning of July. There will be 60,000 of these printed out and distributed around Edinburgh in August but in the meantime you can download the full version here.
The rain is passing off so I’m going to carry on shooting photos that may or may not appear in my show. Some photos that do appear in my show can be found here.
“Ian Fox Exposes Himself” a stand up show about photos is on the Edinburgh Fringe 2:30PM, Mata Hari Room, Espionage. 4th to 28th August 2011. Part of the Free Festival.