Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Urban Republic's Peter Rhima Calling the Shots

By Laura Medina
"Behind the Video Lookbook Shoot"

Peter Rhima, Urban Republic's Creative Director calling the shots.

Fortunate enough to gain full, all-day access of Urban Republic's video and still Fall 2010 Lookbook for this month's PROJECT, Las Vega's premium fashion tradeshow, this article is the behind-the-scenes of the lookbook, the company's own documentary of the shoot (this scribe included) and most importantly,what it takes to do a top-shelf production.

The day started early. The morning alone was building and decorating the set from scratch in a desirable studio/loft apartment in the newly cleaned-up Toy Factory of Downtown Los Angeles. Downtown studio real estate a Manhattanite photographer would kill for. Another production was filming a movie outside. The loft neighborhood was buzzing with action but the hip residents treated this as a typical day in 'hood.

Stylists primped and dressed the models. The models fixed last minute details. Mr. Rhima greeted and welcomed the local culturati-your's included-the Beautiful People who really add something to the mix, not just in attitude; but each and every one of us are photographers or photojournalists participating in this rare moment in time.

Urban Republic's Brand Manager, Enrico Moses, wanted to add something and not make this a typical studio shoot with still photographs.

He knows there are colonies of intellectuals and artists and designers in the City of Angels dotted here, there, and everywhere. The problem is pulling them together like Manhattan did back in the day or what Brooklyn does now.

By using this shoot, Mr. Moses and Mr. Rhima are available to pool the coolest talents they know collectively, proving that Los Angeles does has its league of the culturally aware and innovative.

They are attempting to revive Andy Warhol's Factory days of the mid-Sixities, where Mr. Warhol would invite his closest and hippest friends to relax and hang out during photography shoots while they later collaborate on ideas they generated while the session was going on.

For this session, Mr. Moses and Mr. Rhima are trying to bring back the ethos of the Factory but for the new century with a new generation.

As Creative Director, Mr. Rhima, like Andy Warhol, was the ringmaster as well as the host.

He was directing the cinematographer, the photographer, and the models seamlessly.

Their own documentary of the shoot is an extra bonus as an electronic lookbook and press kit but also an historical archive of how the brand is growing and developing.

The shots that are going to be included in the Fall 2010 Lookbook for PROJECT Las Vegas.

It wasn't all business. In between the takes, the crew and models kid around with props or fan themselves under the hot lights, patiently waiting their turn.

As part of the electronic/video press kit, Mr. Rhima sat down to discuss about the history of Urban Republic, what is it all about, and where it is going.
Doing an on-camera interview is not as easy as it looks but Mr. Rhima keeps his cool throughout.
Photographer Mark Sacro goofing around between takes then he and his assistant congratulating on the "martini shot" of the day. Photographer/Model, Derek Pratt chatting with fellow photographer.
As the day wears onto evening and the models were done posing, the folks are ready for that last shoot of the day-the martini shot. Some goofed around. Some took time to get know each other, after hanging out and working together for a whole day.
On that very last model shot, photographer, Mark Sacro and his assistant toasted with nice, cold beer for a job well done.
However, this isn't the end of the story. The electronic/video lookbook is going to take it out on the streets this Saturday, August fourteenth, in Downtown Los Angeles, from 9:30am to 3:30pm. For this shoot, the models will be posing in a urban, obviously downtown setting emphasizing the functional but global aesthetics of Urban Republic's jet-setting city dweller.
The story continues...

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