The first impression is telling. My first impression was that this was a boy, not a man and that his character was too completely based in his sexuality. It wasn’t that I didn’t like him; there was too little of substance for me to make an opinion.
I asked Joey to bring in some gloves. I don’t know why, but I had Pony “palpate” the boy’s torso. “Like a doctor,” I kept saying. No passion, no desire; purely examination.
I don’t know that the coyness was all his; it might have been equally mine. But I had him cover himself as we shot what felt like medical illustrations.
After the medical shots, I tried to gain some purchase on his character, however elusive it might have been. “The key,” I asked,”What’s it about?” He responded “It’s the key to my boysfriend’s heart.” And at that point I nearly walked out.
Maybe disinterest is a productive thing, but I’m not used to it. Usually the snapshots I take are of men I can barely stand not to touch. In this case, I was perfectly detached. He was sculpture.
In my mind I’d already left the room. I shaped his poses, asked for lights here and there, but I was really already gone.
I don’t mean to say that he wasn’t nice. He was perfectly nice, very easy to be around. But his soul seemed filled with helium, and I prefer the savage to the silly. – Paul Morris