As passionate I was about Buffy the Vampire Slayer, the TV show, I never was too interested in check out the movie that inspired it. Although I know the brilliant Joss Whedon wrote both, the movie seemed a little light, and silly compared to the television version.
Silly and light might seem like ironic adjectives to use given the show was about a high school attending vampire slayer, but fans of the show know how dark could get, and how serious it was taken. I now however, want to catch that original film. It was on last weekend and I caught about five minutes before having to head out for the day. I caught enough to hear the writing was witty and crisp and that actor Randall Batinkoff has a supporting role.
I first began crushing over Batinkoff after seeing him in 1992's School Ties. The actor played the very ivy leagued sounding character Rip Van Kelt, one of the many hot guys occupying the dorms of St. Matthew's, an exclusive Massachusetts prep school. Although Batinkoff again took on a supporting role, that handsome and distinctive face of his had him standing out whenever he was on screen.
It was that adorable face that brought New York born actor into show business. After an agent saw the six year old Batinkoff in a toy store, he began getting work in commercials, followed by roles in film and on television.
The Stepford Children (1987)
Although Batinkoff played his share of lead roles, including the 1988 film For Keeps?, (below) his film career was made up of mostly supporting roles, some in big films (As Good As It Gets) but most often in smaller and independent films throughout the late 1990's and 2000's. The actor has continued to work steadily and has a series of projects coming out including re-teaming with his School Ties co-star Cole Hauser in the upcoming The Last Champion.
For Keeps? (1988)
Although Batinkoff had his fair share of shirtless scenes, he doesn't have any scenes I could say were officially a nude scene. He did have a 'tame' shower scene in For Keeps? however, where the main topic of conversation was focused on his character Stan's penis.
If you're a fan of Batinkoff, or were impacted as much as I was by his 1992 film, School Ties, check out part 2 of my piece on Batinkoff with a brief look back at School Ties on Page 2 HERE:
Dead Man's Curve (1998)
On the set with Matthew Lillard in Dead Man's Curve
'I instinctively get curious about what's on the other side of the window. What the model is looking at, and who might be on the other side, looking back in...'
'We dream what awaits us at the top of the stars. At the bottom however, is a terrifying blend of our most terrifying nightmares'.
Long time readers of FH are aware of my passion for the use of windows and staircases within photography. I have written about those reason in dozens of previous stories and if I had to describe why in just one word, I think it would be mystery.
Solving mysteries is one of my goals with the site. My passion for certain artists and certain images peaks my curiosity, leading to questions I want to have answered. It is one of the reasons I hate just posting images without story. It is those answers I seek to find and the stories behind the creative process that motivates me to continue to spotlight and explore artists and images that I love.
Most photographers use windows for practical reasons. The natural light means less equipment is required. This is especially true for photographers without their ow studio, artists who often travel to work, shooting on location, in motel rooms and make shift studios they encounter along the way the road.
Windows have the ability to reflect not only light, but emotion and story. Windows can also act as a balancing point, a way to give depth and perspective to their images. Other artists have mentioned windows can be a great distraction, especially for a new, or nervous model. This can be especially important with nude shoots. The model can use the window, and what's on the other side, as a way to focus on something outside of the room, creating a bit of distance from their feelings of uncomfortably.
Like windows, staircases also make me wonder. I am always imagining what's at the top, or sometimes bottom of those stairs. The purpose of most staircases is to take you somewhere, to change your view from one room, and one floor, to another. I love using this space, usually meant for transition and movement, for a quieter purpose. A place for a model to be still, not heading up, nor heading down anywhere at all.
Window's and staircases all often provide a wonder vehicle to explore relationships. Not the relationships often explored, the the usual ones you might think of, the ones between a model and photographer, or a model's relationship with their body and with themselves. Windows and stairs often stimulate models to also relate to space, not just the space within studio, and the space outside of it as well.
Staircases, and especially windows, also add the element of voyeurism. There is always the possibility that someone is looking in on the process and the shoot. One can never really be sure they're alone, even when they think they are. I explored this theme a few years ago in a piece from 2015. (Third Floor Window)
Many artists create images that are complete. Images that visually unveil everything a viewer needs to know. Images that don't leave a viewer wondering about things beyond the four sides of the final cropped images. I love that images with staircases and windows aren't complete, nor provide answers to all of one's quesetions.
Ohio photographer Richard Jackson (The Third Eye) always creates images that have me curious to learn and see more. Richard is usually great at filling in story about his work, and the models he chooses to shoot. One of Richard's stories that I've explored a little over the last year was his moving away from photography and ending his lease to the studio he'd been working in.
That studio holds the stories of many models that I featured over the last year and half, and many more, that I have not. At one point or another during their session, almost all of those models stood, or sat, on the green staircase, located n front of the large multi-paned window. I love the sense of longing Richard captured as windows often lead to deep thoughts as we're staring out at whatever might be on the other side. Richard has shot models in front of many windows over the years, but this location is one of the most dynamic providing a great space to capture an endless variety of visuals.
Richard sent on a large selection of images from the location from models both clothed and shirtless through full nudes. I decided to separate them shots as I felt there were some distinct differences in between the images with clothing, and without. Although the nude images were obviously more revealing and erotically intimate, the clothed shots however, felt a bit more more personal.
When dressed, especially when wearing their own clothing, there were subtle clues about the model and who they were and image of themselves they wanted to portray. Sans clothing, the there was more of a feeling of anonymity and erotic enigma. Don't worry however, I didn't leave out the nudes, just separated them into their own section on Page 2 HERE: