Monday, January 18, 2010
Wednesday, December 9, 2009
A few years ago a friend of mine and I had the privilege of shooting Chuck Norris.
Photographing him that is, at his home in Tarzana, California. I was the art director on Against All Odds, which is Norris's autobiography. When I found out the publisher and editor on the book were going to visit Mr. Norris at his home, I jumped at the unique chance to get some custom photography for the jacket.
I had the privilege of working with my long time friend and amazing portrait photographer Forrest MacCormack on this project.
At this point in my "career" I'd art directed several shoots involving celebrities, but never a Hollywood "star" not to mention a martial arts bad ass like Mr. Norris. Needless to say the morning of the shoot I was sweating in my hotel room at LAX. Would he be easy to work with? Would take one look at me and my photographer and say, "Who the hell are you? I've got my own people."?
As the metal gates at the entrance of the Norris's driveway creaked open, the sight of the Norris's manicured lawn brought to mind the saying "The grass is always greener on the other side...unless Chuck Norris has been there in which case it's covered with blood and tears."
I'm happy to say that my fears were never realized. As soon as I walked into the house and saw a floor littered with toddler toys I felt right at home. Chuck, or Carlos as I was told to call him was such a great guy and totally professional. Probably the most gracious celebrity I've ever come into contact with besides Johnny Cash, but that's another story.
For the shoot, we tried to capture a more vulnerable side of Mr. Norris while still maintaining the Walker Texas Ranger vibe. The show was (and still is) extremely popular with his fans.
Actually the book is pretty fascinating read too, with stories involving Mr. Norris's struggle to make it as an actor and film maker as well wonderfully anecdotal tales involving Bruce Lee and Steve McQueen.
Art Direction: Greg Pope
Photography: Forrest MacCormack
Design: Roy Roper
Art Direction: Greg Pope
Design: Brand Navigation
This is probably my favorite of all the fiction projects I've worked on, mainly because the content was so great. If you haven't read these to your kids, do yourself a favor and pick them up (especially if your kids are boys). Mine loved the series (it's a trilogy but I only worked on the first two).
My friend and the amazing writer Jonathan Rogers dreamed these wonderful stories up and I hear he's about to write more of them.
On the second book I did the interior illustrations as well, which I thoroughly enjoyed. I did these in the month of December and I have great memories of sitting at my drawing table by the fire visualizing Jonathan's wonderful scenes. I know that's irrelevant, but this is a my blog entry so I get to reminisce a bit don't I?
To see 'em larger just click 'em.