Friday, December 30, 2016

The End of the Party: Norm by New Manhattan Studios

The Night Before:

No more champagne
And the fireworks are through
Here we are, me and you
Feeling lost and feeling blue
It's the end of the party

It isn’t a Going Out on New Year’s Eve story. It doesn’t end with the confetti...

By the time the confetti floats slowly down from above, New Year's Eve has already reached it's climax. The confetti at most parties is released at the stroke of midnight marking the end of both the year, and the night. New Years is one of those holidays that, depending on what kind of year you've come through, evokes a range of emotions from excitement hope to sadness and regret. It is a night of looking forward and reflecting back over the last 12 months, and for some, the many years that preceded it.

The Morning After:

This visual story, begins at midnight, just after the confetti came down. Norm is alone on the dance floor. Norm's waltz partner exited the party, not waiting for a midnight kiss. The story then quickly flashes forwards, to the morning after. Norm is now home, thinking back on the emotional roller coaster that was the night before.

The details are a bit hazy, the noises and music from the party were still ringing faintly in his ears. The many glasses of wine, followed by a few glasses of champagne had left a thick grey haze over his memories of those hours leading up to midnight. His memory of the early part of the night however remained clear. The beef tenderloin, the roasted potatoes. The strawberries they fed each other as those around them in the restaurant looked on. Their jaunt back to his apartment to tear off their New Year's formal wear, have lightening fast, but incredibly intense sex, only to have to get dressed all over again before heading to the party.

This is where Norm's memory really gets foggy. He remembers the laughing, the drinking, the dancing. He remembers bit of a conversation that turned quickly into a confrontation. He remembers seeing a flash of a red heading out the door just before the witching hour as he stood alone in the middle of the room. He looks down and glances at the white mask on the couch, thrown there with his jacket and tie the night before.

The mask was not the one he had worn last night, nor the mask worn by the one in red. They both had on black masks. This mask was white, a significant detail that Norm remembered. The white mask was worn by third person. The inciter, the provocateur whose words had led to how his evening had progressed and how his New Year's Eve ultimately ended.

As his memories began to slowly piece together, his feelings of confusion and of the sadness of an ending began to dissipate. A slightly hesitant, but sly smile began to form on Norm's face. The sound of the shower being turned on in the next room brought on a dangerous wave of excitement as Norm headed into the bathroom to discover and identify, the face and body of the person behind the white mask.

Behind the Scenes:

Visual storytelling is often a collaborative effort. For Norm's New Year's Eve, the story came together with the work of 3 photographers, one model, one owner of NMS and the over active imagination of one blog writer. Some of you remember the model. Norm made his debut this past February, helping FH readers celebrate another holiday, Valentines Day. (The Red Session & Heart Throb) The photographers included; Tim, FH favorite Alex Corso, (pictured with Norm above) and of course Wes, also owner and storyteller of New Manhattan Studios.

That confetti, so important in the stories beginning, was also responsible for how the story ultimately unfolded. Wes originally organized a New Year's shoot with FH in mind. Norm was also enthusiastic about returning to help celebrate another holiday on the site. But... during that first shoot, Wes struggled to get the confetti and streamers to work for the effect Wes was going for so he, along with Tim who was also shooting, gave up trying to control the unruly props after about 25 minutes. 'The “wall” of silver streamers tore in two before we could get started and the confetti was appearing as large noise on the images.'

But... Wes is not one to give up... ever. His motto is if at first we don't succeed, schedule a second shoot! Wes was committed to the New Year's theme, and to working again with Norm who quickly has become one of the studio's favorite models. When Norm return for the re-shoot, it was now Alex working with Wes on the shoot. This time, they shot in one of Wes's favorite locations, a friends studio/office on Madison Avenue. Without the confetti and streamers, this time the focus was on the morning after, and emotional fall out of the night before. Wes and Alex got some great shots from the second session, some of the best, Wes is planning on using in a future issue of Captured Shadows. You can check out more of Wes' thoughts on Norm's New Year's Eve on the NMS blog HERE:

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