Hyperion books recently commissioned me to photograph Stephen Glover (AKA Steve-O of “Jackass” fame) for the cover portrait of his new memoir. Conscientious photographer that I am, I decided to do my homework by buying two tickets to see Jackass 3D. That weekend I was visiting my 86 year old father, who, sadly, is suffering from early stages of Alzheimer’s. I wanted to get him out of the house for a memorable experience and decided that Jackass 3D might do the trick. In his earlier years, this is not the kind of movie to which I would have considered taking him. Now he seemed to find the antics of Johnny Knoxville, Steve-O and friends to be interesting enough, viewed through the first 3D glasses he’d ever worn. Fortunately, I think he’s forgotten the experience and inadvertently forgiven me.
I photographed Steve-O on a studio cyclorama with nothing more than a loaded staple gun and a piece of paper for props. The graphics on the paper were added later in post to give us some flexibility. A dedicated performer, Steve-O actually shot about a dozen large staples into his chest for our shoot. Over the course of our two hour shoot we tried a lot of pretty crazy poses. He’s fit, extremely flexible and a great physical comedian. As a result we got far more hilarious photos than we could possibly use and editing it down to one cover image was not easy.
Fortunately, we found a way to use a few more of those photos in the animated version of Steve-O’s book cover intended for use on the iPad. . My very talented video editor, Aaron Wolfe, created some unique action combined with music to bring my still photos to life.
Click here to see and hear a 13 second version of a groundbreaking experiment in electronic publishing. You’ll can also see a very short clip of Steve-O talking about this shoot while he removes those staples.
Here are the images used for our animation: