Marc Hom Finds The Beginning of Everything
Everyone knows ‘The Great Gatsby’ and not just because of Leonardo DiCaprio’s opulent film, but because the book by F. Scott Fitzgerald has had a wild life since its publishing in the 1920s. But not everyone knows about Fitzgerald’s wife and muse: Zelda. Until now. Amazon’s newest streaming show is ‘Z: The Beginning of Everything’ that acts as a bio-series about Zelda and her husband, who despite his historical impact plays a supporting role. Amazon invited Marc Hom to photograph their poster art, connecting with the two stars Christina Ricci and David Hoflin to create an image that brings the whole feeling of the series into one shot.
Photographers create images like this in different ways, often taking a few photographs and combining all the best aspects of each photo into one final composite. It makes it easier to get every actor’s best face, along with the perfect arm movement and lighting angles. But Marc goes for something more natural. “I always do everything in one. I always try to achieve everything in one shot,” Marc says. “I don’t even remember the last time I comp’d anything. So I’m trying to create the image in the camera, and at the same time playing that scene around them and really putting them into character and trying to capture those emotions from the series.” Instead of creating poses and then puzzling everything together, Marc sets reality in motion in front of the camera and then captures everything he sees.
Telling the story in a single image is more than just getting Ricci and Hoflin right, but its also about composition, movement inside the frame (or lack thereof), placement of each actor. Each of those considerations tells a part of the story, and Marc has to balance all of it. “We play around with different croppings, different placement of the man, but this whole thing was about him always being in the shadow of her,” Marc explains. “This is the time for her to shine. So there was a subduedness of making him fall off in the back and not being the center of attention.” The image Marc created is a microcosm of the entire series, which is a reflection of history. It’s a lot to put into one picture, but Marc’s mastery of his craft makes it an achievable goal.