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MICK GLEISSNER RELEASES SPECTACULAR CALENDAR
Alternative Form of Photography in Underwater Setting
September 2005 – Fashion photographer Mick Gleissner, releases Nautical Angels Underwater Calendar 2006, which features an array of breathtaking surreal pictures shot underwater.
Fascinated by diving and photography, Gleissner decided to push the envelope by combining them for an underwater fashion shoot, which is a challenge only for the intrepid. Based on the theme of sports, the dreamlike spread showcases beautiful women slugging it out in a boxing ring, slam-dunking and even taking pitches –- amidst colourful coral reefs and sea animals.
Most of the photo shoot took place in the pristine waters of Cebu, the Philippines, with stunning models from the world over.
Achieving the unique shots involved an extensive production process. The large production crew comprised prop masters, set designers, engineers and dive masters; and an 84-foot catamaran that served as the production facility. According to Gleissner, “Cebu is a fantastic destination for this kind of photography. Not only is the water crystal clear, the temperature also allows the models to stay underwater for an extended period of time.” Some models had to stay underwater for as long as three hours, a feat which required extensive training. Gleissner also had to tackle other problems such as visibility in the water and currents.
Despite the rigorous process, Gleissner enjoyed the test, saying: “Posing underwater produces some of the most visually stunning and surreal images. The many obstacles that the photographer and models face in such a challenging setting are what make these images all the more unique and remarkable.”
A SNEAK PEEK AT BEHIND THE SCENES
The Models: It’s Tough to Look Good
The models, who hail from Southeast Asia, Europe and the United States, underwent training to slow their heart rates and consumption of air underwater, so they can hold their breath for a longer period of time. They also learnt to keep their eyes open in salt water without the protection of goggles, and even how to exhale bubbles at the precise moment.
Special waterproof makeup was used, and the models wore custom-made shoes built with lead soles to achieve negative buoyancy.
The Production Set: Sweating the Small Stuff for the Big Picture
Since underwater communication was limited to hand signals, the production team conducted numerous briefing sessions prior to the shoot. A storyboard describing the models’ positions and set design was prepared for every shot.
Chief set designer, Alfred Alesna, had to spend days of trial and error for some shots to ensure the sets were realistic and sustainable underwater. His greatest challenges were “stamina of the crew, the set up and disassembling of the sets, and stability of the set”.
He described the process, saying: “Lead weights were used to anchor objects underwater and camouflaged with sand. We had to use the thinnest fishing line available to make a tennis ball look suspended in water. Water was injected into a basketball for it to be neutrally buoyant.”
However Gleissner affirmed that despite the elaborate process, “every diver was to respect and protect the environment”. The perfectionist believed that the ultimate goal was to achieve an ideal balance of aesthetics, poise and realism.
A glossy limited edition of Nautical Angels Underwater Calendar 2006 can be purchased online at www.underwatercalendar.com.
ABOUT MICK GLEISSNER
Antwerp-based photographer Mick Gleissner has travelled around the world but it was Asia that captured his imagination and heart. The diving enthusiast has spent over ten years in Southeast Asia where he has been immortalizing the beauty of its underwater world through photography. When Gleissner combined his interests with his passion for fashion, the results were stunning. Nautical Angels Underwater Calendar 2006 is a testament. Gleissner has also directed a series of music videos that were shot underwater.
ABOUT BIGFOOT ENTERTAINMENT
Bigfoot Entertainment is the parent company of Bigfoot Productions, Bigfoot Productions Services, the International Academy of Film and Television (IAFT), and Bigfoot Partners.
Based in Hollywood and Asia, Bigfoot Entertainment produces quality independent feature films, television programming, as well as educational and corporate content for an international audience. Our team of award-winning producers, directors and writers from Hollywood and other film capitals of the world, operate from world-class production facilities based in Southeast Asia. For more information on Bigfoot Entertainment, visit www.bigfootentertainment.com.
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