Friday, June 25, 2010

Is Tyler Shields The Mario Testino of New Media?

Videotorial is huge right now. If you're wondering what videotorial is, my friend then I will answer that for you. Videotorial = Video + Pictorial. So you see it's basically a piece of photography that is captured via video and it's a moving picture. But it's not exactly a photography or a pictorial, hence Videotorial.

I first stumbled upon this piece about a couple of years ago when I was looking for promo videos for 90210 on Youtube and I found this cool 1-minute-videos of Jessica Stroup and Ryan Eggold where they were being filmed posing or acting like in a photoshoot. The artist responsible was Tyler Shields. Since then there were numerous other videotorials from him feature a lot of up and coming Hollywood actors such as Jayma Mays (Glee), Sean Farris (Never Back Down), Rainn Wilson (The Office), Deborah-Ann Woll (True Blood), Matt Dallas (Kyle XY), Hayden Panettiere (Heroes), Zachary Quinto (Star Trek); Anna Kendrick, Ashley Greene, and Kellan Lutz (Twilight). So I guess videotorial is what the cool kids do these days and apparently, head shot is so 2009.

The artist, Tyler Shields, is an american professional photographer residing in Los Angeles. You can find more about him and his works on his website or search tylershieldsvideos on Youtube. He uses many varying styles and is quite controversial in producing his art. Shields was arrested for disorderly conduct on August 22, 2009 in Smarr, Georgia, during a photo shoot with Candice Accola, Sara Canning, Nina Dobrev, and Kayla Ewell, cast members of The Vampire Diaries. In 2010, Shields photographed actress Lindsay Lohan in studio portraits brandishing a gun, which became a matter of controversy. Also that year, at the release party for his book Collisions, Shields appeared to shoot a partygoer with a gun, as a piece of performance art. I watched a behind-the-scene video of Matt Dallas' Videotorial and it was quite rough. Tyler Shields dragged the guy around on dirt, shirtless, sprayed him with cold water at night until he was shivering, and then proceed to bury him alive. Nice, huh?

Also, check out Nicolas Valois, a professional photographer who also dabbles in videotorial, although his subjects are mostly models rather than actors. Find out more about him on The website design is pretty damn good with snippets of the videotorial on the homescreen that take out your whole screen featuring close-up shots of his models, making you feel that models are staring right at you from your computer screen. Nifty!

More and more we see modeling agencies, fashion designers, and online magazines turning to video in lieu of the old-fashioned photo editorial. And when done right it could be a beattiful, dynamic statement. It's the snippets of actions-lips curling into a smile, hair blowing in the wind, the glint of the sun briefly obscuring the face-that created the beautiful, dream-like collage. And instead of thinking about how awkwardly the models may move, we just find ourselves thinking damn, it's pretty.

Tyler Shields Collection

Tyler Shields 2008

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