Interview with Helen Sloan – Part 1

published 19 January 2009
written by

Helen Sloan, Stills Photographer for Cherrybomb was nice enough to open up the entire floor to questions. We decided to break this up into a two part interview so that way you could first digest the information about the photography. The second part will explain particular shots of Malachy and Michelle and more tidbits about Rupert and the movie as a whole. We hope you throughly enjoy this so stay tuned for more. For those of us clueless, can you enlighten us on what a stills photographer’s job is?
Helen: The stills photographer photographs the movie’s action and setups of the cast, they also shoot all the crew photography aka “behind the scenes”.
They provide the photographs for posters, web sites, newspapers and magazines, and other media. All the professional photos released from The Little Film Company were shot by the stills photographer, in this case, yours truly.
The Blood covered photo of Rupert looking at the camera, the shot of Robbie Sheehan swinging the pole and the shot of Kimberley and James Nesbitt were shot by a newspaper photographer and released with articles earlier in the year. Click here to view.
I am sure you can see yourself the difference in style there between the two types of photography.
Usually the promotional “STILLS PHOTOGRAPHY” does not feature the actor looking directly at the camera, like those three journalistic shots.
Having a stills photographer on set means that when it comes to publicizing the movie, high quality images of cast and crew can be used.
If it wasn’t for the stills photographer, the company would have to use something called “grabs”.
For example: The tiny picture of the kids far away in the pool is a “grab” of a frame from the film itself, and you can see the difference if you compare it to my aerial promotional shot of the main characters in the pool.
A lot of people think that the promotional images (ie. the “shirtless” one that everyone loves so much!!) are just “grabs” from the movie itself, but in fact the stills photographer is on the set sneaking around with a large camera in a soundproof box called a “blimp”.
I hope this explains the role of a stills photographer for you! Exciting. I am glad you explained this to us because we now will be able to tell the difference when we get promo shots! So what are your initial thoughts of the movie?
Helen: The film is great, and it is very exciting that it premieres so soon at Berlinale. The directors Glenn Leyburn and Lisa Barros D’Sa did a wonderful job, and the cinematography by Damien Elliott is really stunning. Cherrybomb had a great cast and crew and was a lot of fun to work on. We have heard wonderful things about everybody involved but can you tell us specifically what was it like working with Rupert?
Helen: Rupert was really lovely to work with, as were Kim and Robbie. He is really down to Earth and a real cool cat. One of the most pleasant actors I have photographed, truly. A genuine nice guy.
There will be more of my Cherrybomb photographs released soon, so keep your eyes peeled for those. Great work you guys running the site.
Hats off to you, really!

Read Part Two of our interview with Helen Sloan!

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