Making a Dream

by Noel Pattani

As you know from last week’s story, Mara Reinstein is a kick-ass movie critic who tells you how it is no matter the possible backlash. If you missed it, don’t worry. You can read about Mara if you scroll down

I first met Mara when she was my teacher at a Gotham Writers Workshop. Quickly I saw her passion for writing about movies. I knew she would be an amazing addition to Women’s Work and after sharing just a few of Chris’s stunning photos she was on board.

Lisa Calvo for the Women’s Work project

One of the goals with the Women’s Work project is to depict our subjects in a moment that is contextual to their work. However, Mara spends most of her day either in a dark theater or screening room. That environment would not create the most dynamic picture and we felt Mara deserved a little bit more glamour. Then it came to Chris, he wanted to create a quiet and pensive moment in time amongst a well populated 1950’s drive-in theatre. He envisioned the movie light pouring onto the field of cars, but the center front stage would be our hero,  Mara Reinstein.

Chris had a vision but how could we perfectly transport her to this time and place? First, I began reaching out to local drive-in theaters. Luckily, there are still drive-ins operational in the Tri-State area but unfortunately, they are not open in December.

Since traveling to a warmer climate wasn’t in the budget, the only option was to create a composite photograph. I began the search for the perfect background plate.

After weeding through many options and confirming with George McCardle, our trusted retoucher, we finally landed on a background plate that fit our needs perfectly.

To create a picture where Mara is placed seamlessly in our dreamy drive-in would require a car she could interact with. We wanted to find one from the ’50s and after asking around I discovered Klassy Karz. We knew that somewhere in his collection was the right car and after carefully reviewing the inventory we chose a playful light mint and white 1955 Studebaker as Mara’s co-star.

Now that we had the plate and the car it was time to turn our attention to hair, makeup, and wardrobe. The 1950’s is jammed packed with style icons like Sophia Loren, Brigitte Bardot, and Grace Kelly. We wanted to create a look that could have been plucked right out of the postwar era. When I think of timeless style icons, Audrey Hepburn and Marilyn Monroe are just the bee’s knees. Both women during their time defined femininity and continue to do so today. After discussing options with the talented Dawn Episcopo, who shared many styling options for us, we all agreed on the stunning look below.

For Wardrobe, we opted to utilize Mara’s personal garments. After deciding on the perfect pink fuzzy sweater and ideal circle skirt, pre-production was done and we were ready for our shoot. Next week we will get a little insight on how Chris created this shot in Bud’s Studio on December 3rd, 2018.