Friday, 11 June 2010

First shoot! Imran Khan

It was our first shoot last Tuesday. The location was the Campaign for Science and Engineering (CaSE) offices, just at the side of UCL. Our "geek" was Imran Khan. No, not that Imran Khan (or this one). The UK science policy Imran Khan. The new Director of CaSE.

Imran and lolly

Imran's not the most famous of our geeks, but he is one of the coolest we know. We are keen that this calendar show off some of the most interesting members of the UK's nerd life, whether they are well known or not.

Imran's job is to act as a political advocate for science and engineering in the UK. He works with politicians and civil servants, industrialists, educationalists, the media and academics to keep science policy at the forefront of the public agenda. You might have read some of his recent posts on the New Scientist's S-Word blog. Up until the election, he was Evan Harris' researcher, and we had some fun hacking his computer desktop image, trying to make out Imran had pasted his face onto pictures of Evan to make out they were friends. We also surrounded filled the CaSE desks with photos of Evan, so Imran could look onto him adoringly.

Imran's secret desktop pic

Imran's also one of the younger subjects in our calendar, so we had a lot of fun hiding toys and children's books in his office surrounding. You might be able to spot "Everybody Poos" behind Imran in the shot below. That belongs to me, Imran's office library is much more serious. The child theme was also behind the giant lollipop in his pocket (sourced at the Natural History Museum's giftshop). Although I do like the way it looks like a rosette, very appropriate for all the policy connections.

Imran peeking

I think it's fair to say we were all a bit nervous for the first shoot. We soon got into the swing of things though. After dragging the equipment to CaSE's offices at the top of the building, Barry and Greg, our film-makers, took some behind-the-scenes footage while Ben, the photographer, set up. Greg quizzed Imran about his favourite geeks and views on libel reform while Louise, the art director, pulled out her assortment of props. Everyone was soon giggling and/ or hard at work.

Don't you love that Greg's notebook matches his watch?

Greg and Barry work out a shot

As everyone else worked away, Mun-Keat and I hid in the corridor to plot our next steps (ok, MK made lots of efficient notes about admin for future shoots. I nosed about the CaSE offices because I'm a giant science policy nerd).

We won't be showing the calendar images till we launch, but I got a sneak peek of Imran's photos on Wednesday, and they are amazing. Ben's done a brilliant job. We have a busy few weeks ahead of us, with shoots in all sorts of exciting places, with all sorts of exciting people (and a giant rabbit costume). The next shoot should be space-themed. Possibly with an alien. Watch this space.

Keat takes notes