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Watch Your Back!

MARCH 22, 2007
The Surgeon General warns that smoking cigars MIGHT get you whacked.
Are you excited yet? Did you forget what happened last season, did it already jump the shark? I know I'm pumped for this final season. Final season means ANYONE can get whacked. The Sopranos has been the best drama on television for years now, and I was thrilled when Cigar Aficionado magazine asked me to do this cover. They could not get the gang all together for a final cover but had shots from a previous shoot that I could use. I mixed and matched to get this grouping and did the cover; a fairly easy gig apart from making they seem together and lit alike. The twist on this assignment was the request for me to do the BACK cover. Yes, the back. The same group but in reverse. I balked because I knew how hard that would be. I had to think of how I would do it before saying yes. Finally I thought of a way. In Photoshop, I took each character and turned them all into silhouettes of grey. I then reassembled them into the right sizes. I printed out the 'reference shot' I created. Tony would be farther away and Paulie up front. I would model for Paulie and Christopher and fake Sil and Tony. I shot a friend for his handsome tony-like head and put it all together. Cassius marveled as I crafted guns out of black foam core. No tears here, these guys are TOUGH!
The back of the magazine. See the guns?
Here is the rough I did to convince me that I could draw these guys without reference. No likeness other than the shapes of their heads and hairstyles was needed.
Reference. Note to self; clean ears.
Note the PJ's!
For a long time now, when I need a shot of me in a suit jacket, army gear or some other reference, Elizabeth, my wife is the photographer. Still, each time she holds the camera it's as if I placed a French horn in her hands. I have learned to calmly and kindly point out the features of this strange device and patiently await the shots. Seriously though, she has been my reference photographer for years.