PHOTOGASM | …literally.

by Matt on November 22, 2011

From the moment he joined the Westside team, I have been wanting to share this series of images from our newest shooter Jean Malek. Shot earlier in 2011 for Snap! magazine, the series is a wonderful showcase of Jean’s abilities as both a photographer and creative mind. Featuring a cast and subject matter reminiscent of a well endowed P.T. Anderson film, it is my absolute pleasure to present Jean Malek‘s series:
Dirty Dogs.

I asked Jean to share some background on the shoot, and Monsieur Malek came through in a big way.

One day I got a call from Shayl at Snap asking if I would participate in their 14th issue. I would have to tell a story with a title starting with 2 D’s (example: Dirt Devil, Ding Dong, etc.). After giving it some thought I picked Dirty Dogs as my title and decided to do a shoot about a retro porn crew filming a scene.

Initially casting the shoot was a challenge. When it comes to choosing my models I’m very picky, and I almost never choose my friends as talent because they are too close to me and I have difficulty imagining them as characters. Eventually I started to picture some colleagues with moustaches, it was really funny AND worked perfectly for my vision.

The most specific look I had for a character was my idea for The Director. I surfed through hundreds of casting agency images until finally finding the right guy. The most difficult part of the shoot was explaining that yes, c’est un tournage porno, mais pas un vrai. Tu comprends?

Our location was a big room at a Montreal hotel, nothing classy, a bit kitsch. There was almost 20 people on set that day: hair and makeup stylist, set stylist, coordinator, producer, art director, client, 2 assistants, storyboard artist, and a big talent pool. We shot the entire series over the course of one very long day, finishing up around 12:30am.

I wanted a very cinematic look and feel to the images and used continuous light for the entire project. Overall it was a great day on set, nobody was too uncomfortable, and we were able to do each shot I had planned.

The soundman is my assistant Julien. He is definitely gross in the images. It’s so fun to be able to imagine someone in a character and make it come to life.

PS. Just for the record there was no real sex involved in the shoot ;)

All Images © Jean Malek

The storyboards from the second image were drawn by a Montreal artist by the name of Olivier Gourde. In addition to The Director’s illustrations, Olivier sketched shot layouts for Jean which he was nice enough to provide for your viewing.


Big ups to Jean for droppin’ the skinny on his series.
If you haven’t yet done so, go take a further look at Jean Malek’s portfolio.

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