Friday, June 22, 2018

Zach Braff

Zach Braff, Toronto, Sept. 11, 2006

WHILE RESEARCHING THIS POST, I LEARNED THAT ZACH BRAFF HAS OBSESSIVE COMPULSIVE DISORDER. This is not the sort of information about a living celebrity that would have been anywhere in their biography when I was a boy; I am not certain, in fact, that I would have known what OCD was before I was in my thirties. Knowing it now, however, makes me retroactively apply the information to my (scant) memory of this shoot.

Braff was nervous. I don't know why - it was the end of a press day and I can't have been his only photo shoot and, besides, Scrubs had made him a star five years earlier and he should have been at least a bit at ease in front of cameras by then. But he wasn't. His immediate urge was to mug, but I'd had enough of that at the festival by that point, so I did my best to try and channel his urge to make faces into something a little more focused.

Zach Braff, Toronto, Sept. 11, 2006

The light was terrible. I'm not even sure there was a daylight window in the room where I was shooting; the colour files are certainly a mess for colour temperature, which - now, years after I took these photos, and with much more experience in Photoshop than I had at the time - means abandoning realistic colour and playing with the sliders until something interesting happens. Or converting to black and white.

Braff was at the festival to promote The Last Kiss, a film he'd co-written (with Paul Haggis) in addition to starring in, alongside Rachel Bilson and Jacinda Barrett. Braff's career is full of multiple credits on films, writing, directing and producing in addition to acting. (He even produced the soundtrack compilation of his film Garden State a couple of years previously.) I imagine that being OCD would probably be an advantage for someone exercising that much control over a project, but this is a level of psychoanalyzing that I'm only tempted to do with shoots like this, where I never really clicked with my subject.

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