DANNY HASTINGS @ THE MoMA

www..dannyhastingsphotography.com

Questions by Michael Connors
Answers by Danny Hastings

How did you get hired to do this?
I was hired through the Label by Jackie Murphy, Creative director of RCA records.

Did the label contact you after seeing your previous work?
Yes

What was the day like?
We waited a long time because the Wu-Tang was late. 2 members didn't show up. Which gave me the idea cover their faces.

How long did it take?
I took an entire day. All my photo shoots do.

Who was involved in the shoot?
3 Assitants, Prop Stylist, Creative Director, two Drivers, Equipment Van + Win O Bago

Who came up with the concept?
I met with the producer RZA prior to the shoot and all he told me was that he wanted a Monastery looking feel. Creatively, I choose the location, props and everything else.

How did you pick the shot that was used for the album cover?
I did many shots. But this one in particular stuck to me because I shot it with a slow shutter and was shaking the camera intentionally to get a blur on the candles and it was perfect. It was way b4 Photo shop, so we had to do effects on camera. I also put vaseline over the lens to get a blur edge effect and crossed processed the film to get that high contrast.  I usually send the client my favorites, the final decision is ultimately to the client. But as soon as they saw the shot - automatically became the cover.

Did you design the set? Who helped you?
Yes. Richard Bravo helped me. Richard Bravo. I had a company named Cartel - Now I have Atomicus Films which is a Film Production Company.



Where was it shot?
At Angel Orentzans foundation.

Did you run into any problems?
Besides Old Dirty Bastard sexually harrasing the art director and make up artist. No..

Who is actually in the photo since the faces are covered?
RZA, Genius, Inspector Dek, Ghost, Old Dirty, Raekwon, Master Killah.

What kind of blunts were they smoking?
All kinds.

Did the artists like the way it came out?
Love it. Till this day this Wu-Tang image remains classic and unmatched.

Did the success of this shoot help get you more work with other record companies / clients? (I know you have worked with Ghost and Rae after this?
That was my 8th or so album cover. I've done 150 album covers till date.  This image is the cover of one of the 100 most influential records of our century per Rolling Stone publication. I'm truly blessed that I was given the shot. I thank RZA for ultimately giving me the respect and freedom of creativity to execute his vision. I also thank Jackie Murphy for giving me the opportunity, Richard Bravo, Joseph and Ana La Cruz for working with me in this magical day.

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