16 Apr Bellingham T’nite Production Photos
Everyone, to the time machine! Today we are headed back to July 2012. Unfortunately, the Delorian is in the shop, so we won’t get to make any cool fiery tire trails as we go along for the ride, but we will get to enjoy the never-bef0re-released photos from years past which were made for a pilot production called ‘Bellingham T’nite.’ There will actually be three stops on this time capsule-like adventure (as in three separate posts), ensuring we have plenty of layover time to share all the awesome photos and a little bit of background about the production. We’ll be looking at Production Photos (this post), Behind The Scenes, and then Live Filming Production.
“Wait, Matt, what am I looking at here?” Fantastic question, I’m glad you asked. A couple summers ago, Bellingham resident and famous comedian, Ryan Stiles, paired a group of local comedians with a group of local production artists (film, photo, wardrobe, etc) to form one big talented and fun team – all in the hopes of creating a TV show. This specific project being the proof-of-concept pilot. This concept would then be pitched to the larger studios down in the hub of entertainment – LA. If everything went swimmingly, it’d get picked up for a true series/season production.
To answer your second question, yes, the set and characters are supposed to look silly as hell. The idea behind the show is that Ryan (who plays himself), gets a gig hosting a show in a small town area (you know, like Bellingham). He then has to host/endure a bunch of oddball characters. It’s like taking Ryan and plopping him into the Napoleon Dynamite universe. All of the cast and guest characters on this pilot are improv artists, so the foundation of the content is roughly planned but much of the interactions are improvised. And like improv artists love to do, you’ll see them continually push each other, generating very funny question and answer dialog between one another that is a treat to watch unfold.
I was brought on to create the stills for both production use and behind the scenes action. The stills you see in this post were created with the intent to be used as headliner images, promos, assorted ad designs, etc. This meant everything was captured in fun detail – from the headshots of the main cast to the Sasquatch coffee mug Ryan sipped from during the filming of the show. All of these were shot the day before the live audience show, during a costume run-thru and a finalizing of the program details. We set aside a couples hours to make these images.
I have shot marketing photography for Ryan’s local improv comedy theatre, The Upfront, for 6-7 years now, so I was already well-acquinted with the cast. They are always a joy to work with. Very talented and funny, all I have to do is setup my concept, light it, and let them loose – magic happens. If you area Bellingham resident and have not been to an Upfront show, well, you are missing out on great, weekly entertainment. If you are ever in Bellingham during the later half of the week, you should have one of your evenings reserved to see a show.
We ran through a couple looks, however, our main compositional focus was with the ghetto fabulous crushed velvet curtain backdrop. I could only imagine what the curtain sales person was thinking when they took that order over the phone. “I’m sorry, can you say that again? It sounded like you said you needed a hundred-foot run of purple crushed velvet.”
It was a very quick, very funny couple hours spent making these. As far as the status of the project, it is up in the air right now, with other projects on Ryan’s plate taking precedence. But, you never now, you could see a Bellingham T’nite series run down the road! You can view the pilot HERE. Keep your eyes on the blog for the other two posts featuring the other series’ of photos, giving you a BTS look at the production and the crew responsible for making this all happen! I’m also accumulating a cast and crew member list and will include it in the live production photos post.
All photography is copyright of Matty Photography and may not be copied, redistributed, or altered without permission.