A year ago last June I was looking for a new location to shoot a video. I had the idea that I wanted a beach setting, which is something I had never done before. So I went about contacting some vacation rental spots. My first attempt led me to a property that was up on the shore, but overlooking a steep incline. It was not exactly right on the water. Nevertheless, I was making arrangements with the owner when he had me run the whole thing by his wife. I explained that I would be doing photography, both video and still, and would be working with models who would be nude. Suddenly, she did not think it was such a good idea.
It is interesting how things always work out in the long run. The next location I looked into, would prove to be far superior, and in fact was outstanding. The owner was very easygoing and understanding, and she was delighted to have me shoot there. This was a beachfront home, very close to the water. We scheduled to book the property on a Monday morning.
Inspired by the beach area, I looked to inspiration for the story from some online writings by Jenna Burlinski. Over at her Embarrassing Situations group, she had once given an account about the time her friends took her to a hotel for her birthday. I believe this can be found in the archives, in May of 2006. Using the incident as a springboard, I drafted a script for Jenna at the Beach.
Now at the time, I was just coming off my previous video with Amy Starr, who I had already cast in the role of “Jenna” in my production, Lunch Lady. I intended to do so again. Unfortunately, this was right when Amy left town, and she would not be back for a while. So I started to go about casting for the parts of Jenna and her friend Andrea.
I was first contacted by Tara Rose, who explained that she was friends with and worked with Lydia Lael. Shortly afterward, I was also contacted by Lydia expressing an interest in the project. She had just done some work with Dragonfire Productions, so I was somewhat familiar with Lydia. I decided I would have Tara play the part of “Jenna” due to her roundish bottom and dark hair.
Here is a little nugget of trivia. Also responding to my casting call was Kerri Taylor. It was another attempt for us to try to coordinate our schedules for a video shoot. If I could have made this happen, it would have been a three girl production. Likely I would have cast Kerri as the title character and made both Tara and Lydia her friends. But Kerri was not available on the Monday, after I had already booked the location. Again, I think it all probably worked out for the best.
I picked up Tara and Lydia from the train station on what would be a beautiful, warm sunny morning. We drove out to the location, and I had the pleasure of listening to them chatting away the whole ride. There would be no trouble with chemistry between these two.
As a matter of fact, I found it very easy to work with both ladies. They goofed around and joked a lot and had fun, but when it was time to do a take, they were intent on the script and what they needed to do, and then some. This video featured a lot of adlibbing and improvisation, off of the prepared dialogue, which is exactly what I was looking for. The girls were quick on their feet, and captured the personalities of their respective characters; Tara as an awkward and shy young woman, while Lydia was the more adventurous one, having some fun at her friend’s expense.
The beach itself was a little more crowded than I would have liked, which surprised me for a Monday morning. But we managed to pull off the bikini snatching scene outdoors without causing a disturbance. The second half of the video moves into the beach house, which had a lot of room for the girls to scamper around, especially once Lydia loses her bikini as well. As enjoyable as it is to watch Tara and Lydia in their bare birthday suits, the highlight was the comedic dialogue delivered as the two friends bickered back and forth.
One of the things that made this video special is that I had just upgraded to a new computer, one using Windows 7. This allowed me to start working with Windows Live Movie Maker, editing software that I could import the HD video files directly from my camera. The result is the sharpest quality I had produced up to that point, and have been using ever since.
For the music soundtrack, I picked J.S. Bach’s Brandenburg Concerto No. 4 at the beginning of the video, and for an interlude where Lydia is playing in the shallow waves.
I have to say, this is one of my personal favorites as far as videos I’ve made. It was one of those projects where everything just clicked and I was very happy with the finished production. I am still amazed that after more than a year of working with Amy Starr, I had had the good fortune to book Lydia and Tara together who would go on to deliver wonder performances in this, and subsequent videos.
Below is a link to download the Outtakes video for Jenna at the Beach. The full video is about 17 minutes, and is available in two parts at my Clips4Sale store.