BTS of Nighthawks // FCAD

Here is a behind-the-scenes look at making "Nighthawks", our Edward Hopper inspired editorial. Find the full series in Issue 06 of RADmag, on stands in Toronto!

Take a look at the set and hear from the creative team, with big thanks to FCAD for making it all possible! 

Q&A with Nighthawk's Producer/Stylist, Photographer and Art Director:

Q: What was the inspiration for Nighthawks?

Sasha (Producer/Stylist): My inspiration for Nighthawks was realist painter Edward Hopper. I have an old Edward Hopper calendar from 1994 framed above my bed, and one day I looked at it and thought to myself "hey that would make a really cool editorial". From there I started looking into the styles and narratives behind his artworks. Ultimately, my goal was to recreate the emotions behind his work, specifically the eerieness and almost disconcerting feeling his work often portrays. I wanted to create an editorial that truly represented a work of art and got our viewers to question the story and motives behind each shot, like they would in an art gallery. 

Q: How did you take this concept and achieve it with photography?

Connor (Photographer): As a photographer I took the idea of Nighthawks and researched it thoroughly, and I noticed that most of his paintings had a tendency to be very moody and ominous. So I really wanted to play off of that and once we saw the venue, it really fit the style and theme of photos we were aiming for. My main goal walking into it was to shoot it underexposed and dimly lit. To do so I took an almost Annie Leibovitz approach to it and shot with one big soft-box light coming from different angles, and instead of using fill lights I used reflectors. I was then able to overlay different shots together and used warm tones and different colour balances to juxtaposed the stylization of the shots. 

Q: How did this influence your art direction with the room and model? 

Sarah (Art Director): For art direction, like Connor was saying I took a lot of inspiration from Edward Hopper as well, and I tried to really reflect the ominous feeling from his artworks. Our model Kyrah was amazing, she really took the mood on very well and was able to reflect that in her poses and facial expressions. She really mastered the mood that is so essential to Edward Hopper paintings. 

Q: How did you decide location for Nighthawks?

Sasha: We chose to go with the Gladstone Hotel, it took a very long time to find a location that perfectly captured what I was envisioning in my head. But we ended up choosing the room designed by artist Allyson Mitchell, which was called “Faux Naturelle”. It kind of looked like an old motel room that had this beautiful wooden wall on one side and an almost woven tapestry on the other. We really loved the woven wall - there was so much colour and texture in it, and we definitely played with that in one of our shots. We were extremely lucky in finding that room because it really embodied what we were going for. 

Q: Were there any challenges?

Sasha: … definitely (haha). When Sarah and I got to the room it was a lot smaller than we thought it would be. “A LOT smaller” (Sarah). We both just looked at each other and thought… how are we going to do this. So on the day we really had to change a lot of our shots so that they would fit in with the room. We wanted a full shot of the room with Kyrah on the floor -  but there really wasn’t any room on the floor, so we had to completely change that. Connor actually ended up lying on the floor at the back of the washroom to create an illusion that there was more space. He also leaned out of the window at one point to get a shot of Kyrah looking out at the street! True dedication! 

Q: How was it working in collaboration with FCAD? 

Connor: I think the benefits of working with FCAD in conjunction with RADmag to pull off this shoot was really important. Working with FCAD really allowed us to take it to a new level - having access to more funding, and being to shoot on location at The Gladstone was really incredible. We look forward to working with FCAD in the future!

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