A piece of cake
Posted by Everyman Playhouse on 13th Feb 2013 at 12:00 | 1 comment
The brief was to create a photo of a 17th Century foot threatening to stamp on the most decadent, frilly and luxurious cake. After researching elaborate cakes of this kind I concluded the only way to achieve this in a cost effective and logistically efficient way was to build an artificial version. As a cake lover I was also happy that waste would be minimised this way!
The only edible aspects of the cake (to begin with) were the chocolate cigarettes and the fruit you can see flying off in the finished version. The day before the shoot we (I had some Box Office help!) prepared by covering 3 tiers of cake tins in chocolate cigarettes building in a ledge at the top of each tier for the fruit to rest on. I wrapped an elastic band around the cigarettes to keep them in place and covered with ribbon.
The following morning the delicate cargo was loaded into our designer's car and we headed off to Geoff Lloyd's studio in Manchester, we chose Geoff because as a specialist food photographer he would have tricks of the trade to ensure our cake looked ultra realistic. We arrived at Geoff's and whilst our leg model Harry changed into his period costume, fruit (and cotton wool) were added to the tiers to form something that looked good enough to eat. With one final brush of olive oil over the fruit to make it shine we were ready for the main course.
The model experimented with multiple angles of his threat to stamp on the cake until finally we came to the conclusion that we wanted him to destroy the cake for real.
In order to create the desired effect we substituted the top tin for a real Victoria sponge and built the fruit up on top of this. Then the moment of truth arrived, Harry would get one go at the perfect stamp and Geoff would get one go at capturing it. Tension filled the room as Geoff began to countdown from 5 but Harry interrupted to establish if the shutter would be going off on 1 or on zero… Once clarified he was stamping on zero, the countdown began again…
We'd been asking ourselves all day... ‘Would our bad tempered misanthrope actually go through with it and stamp on such a beautiful cake?’ the answer to this question makes an impressive photograph; he would, he did.
Click play to see more photos from the shoot:
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