On Facebook, trying to whip myself up a following, I sent round a message to all those that I hoped would take part in my work, and received mostly enthusiastic acceptances. Of course there were a few who declined or couldn't take part for logistical/geographical reasons, but on the whole I am glad of the somewhat motely crew I've put together. I feel that they represent both the new and the classic looks I enjoy in models.
There are four roles that I knew from the beginning who would play what. Kit as the Virgin Mary. I always knew this would work. She's tall, unapproachable, untouchable, otherworldly, superhuman, yet also vulnerable and real. GODESS. Also, having used her before, I knew that she would be able to deliver.
Another girl who I knew was guaranteed a role as Gabriel was Grace. At the beginning of the course, when I first met everyone, and was eyeing up who I might or might not want to take pictures of later in the year, Grace always stood out to me. She has the exact kind of beauty that I look for, tall, broad shoulders, at the time, a shaved head, muscular, androgynous. Tilda Swinton is just a general idol of mine, and I knew that I wanted my Gabriel to me androgynous, similar to the angel Swinton played in Constantine. I had some studio test shots of Grace from a few months ago, and I knew she could photograph exceptionally well.
The coveted role of Jesus was harder to cast, but in a way, easy. I narrowed it down to two different potentials, Joe and Em. Whichever one didn't play Jesus would be St Peter. Both these boys are from what I would call my new school of aesthetic. Both are slender, smoke copious cigarettes, come with actual artistic perspectives and both have distinctive, unique faces. These would in fact be some of the first boys I would shoot who aren't members of a sports team, or who aren't aspiring actors. Both stand out from the homogenous blob of muscle, low brows and cheekbones that are my beloved rugby boys, and are 100 miles away from the skeletal, frail young ingenue that is Sammy Nunn. Another reason I have selected these two for their roles is not purely for their looks, but for their relationship to each other. It's that comfortable initmacy between heterosexual young men that is so delicious, and makes them so interesting to watch.
There is another girl whose looks have captivated for quite a long time now, a girl who is so far from the kind that I think of as my type; and this girl is Rachel. In my mind, she is a far prettier version of Edith Head, the 50s stylist. She is fairly shot, with a razor black bob and startling, stylish clothes and a completely unique face. I have done studio tests of Rachel before, and I find the results captivating. She is so utterly photogenic, perhaps not in a fashion model kind of a way, which is what I suppose I've always aimed for, but in a new photographic way. She's an incredible find, and I know I will want to use her. I may even create a whole new role for her.
So far, these are the roles I have already mentally cast. I shall now get deep into my planning and drawings, and try to find people within the roles. I don't necessarily want to chop and change a role just to fit a model, I would like to search deep within a character, find an element that I can match with a model. Of course, I have no problem reinterpreting characters, every religious artist in existence have given their own understanding of the famous figures, but I want mine to make sense, at least to me.