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Thursday
Sep102009

Photo Pollinating With Robyn Von Swank - By: Keith Huang

Welcome to Photo Pollinating -- a newish Apiary feature in which we briefly interview a professional photographer who has shot some crazygood photos of comedic personalities.

For this second edition of Photo Pollinating, we chose Robyn Von Swank's photo of Rob Huebel of Human Giant fame, old school Respecto Montalban member and one of the many reasons we sorely miss Best Week Ever. Huebel has been featured in numerous movies, and has played Dr. Owen Maestro on the Rob Corddry-produced "Children's Hospital" on TheWB.com.

Rob Huebel | Photo: Robyn Von Swank
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That's an incredible set. Where is that?
All Sets in Los Angeles built it for me. They are the most amazing set shop in all the universe.

How did you meet Rob?
Long long ago, I met a door to door Snuggie Salesman named Baron Von Snugglesworth. We had a torrid affair that ruined many lives and destroyed four small countries. Then, it was over.... and I did not buy any Snuggies, for I do not need any. But not really. I met Rob because I shot the Comedy Death Ray Calendar last year. If you do not know what CDR is, check it out at the Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre in LA. Of course, Rob has a show there too called Crash Test which is also highly amazing. What else can I sell here? Is this like Craigslist?

Was it his idea to shoot at that location or yours?
I can't quite remember who's idea it was actually. All I know is that putting Rob Huebel in a castle is always a good idea, except for when he started slaughtering peasants. That part was kind of uncool.

Since he's an improviser, he must have started doing bits immediately
Rob is real fun to work with, and always finding different characters for different poses. At one point, I remember him in a nice suit being a Castle real estate salesman who was attempting to sell me on the haunted castle. Much fun was had. I almost bought it.

He also got done up in a white tuxedo. What's up with that fly-ass tux?
The White Tux was actually the original inspiration for wardrobe for the castle set. I just figured the two went together. Come on, don't they?

"I look like some lonely wizard that has no friends or probably just murdered someone" --Rob Huebel
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I'm gonna ask Rob what he thought of the shoot. Can you predict what he thought?
I think he will say nice things because he is a nice man. But be careful, he might try to sell you a Snuggie.

 

—◊—

 

Rob Huebel: Robyn's the best. She had this access to this insane castle set that she had used for a heavy metal music video, I think. So I just came in and brought dumb clothes and tried to look like some kind of guy either trapped in that world or maybe the sad, barbarian owner of the castle. A guy that's gone insane perhaps.

My favorite is with one where I'm wearing some gross, blonde fur and I have a crow on my shoulder. I look like some lonely wizard that has no friends or probably just murdered someone. She is a big comedy fan and has a bizarre, dark side as do many comedians, so she has great ideas that tend to stand out from other comedians' photos.

She's developed her own style that's funny but also visually cool and stark. Shooting with her is easy, because she knows what she wants and doesn't fuck around. She likes to collaborate and shoot a bunch of ideas and if it doesn't work, it's just on to the next idea. I've shot with her a few times and always had a blast.

--Robyn Von Swank is a Los Angeles-based photographer. She also directs, designs and creates Cabinets of Curiosities. Her focuses include shorts, music videos, documentaries, art/history books and taking pictures of interesting people.

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