Archive for February, 2011

“Hi my name is Mary-Kei and I am a Ninjaholic!”

Last month my friend introduced me to Fruit Ninja, a game on his ipad. It is a ipad/iphone game by Australian developers Halbrick Studios. Well, of course he had no idea what an addictive personality I have but I was instantly hooked. Unfortunately he would only let me use his ipad for the occasional 30 mins here or 20 mins there which was a little frustrating but I then realized I could download it to my iphone. Yeay! This of course has now led to hours of wasted time! At one point I was setting my alarm early so I could play Fruit Ninja before going to a shoot! As if waking up at 5 isn’t early enough!!!

I don’t know what the attraction is, whether is the vibrant coloured apples, pears, watermelons etc, or the delicious splatting noise and mess they all make when you slice them with your finger, I particularly like the “phfffutt” noise you get when slicing the banana! It could be the changing of pace throughout the game or the constant encouragement and well-dones, who knows. I am not a huge computer game fan and to be honest have never really seen the attraction but something about Fruit Ninja has got to me..

I play the Classic version where my high score is 479, this version can get a little stressful as if you hit a bomb it is all over and you are blinded by the ridiculously bright light of the exploding bomb. It’s quite charming in that it gives you little fruit facts, “an apple tree is able to produce fruit for up to 100 years” or ” mangoes belong to the same family of plant as poison ivy”. Fascinating! I do prefer the Arcade version as it is quick and a little more fast-paced. My current high score is 769. I was told that the world top score is a crazy 17,000. I’m not sure I believe that, that person must really have no life!

I am pleased to say my addiction is a little more controlled now. I do still play a few games everyday but it’s not at the expense of not talking to a friend I haven’t seen for a week and I am certainly not setting my alarm early anymore. As I have wasted countless hours on this I decided I needed to do something constructive so I decided on a Fruit Ninja food shoot. This was shot by Mike McKelvie www.bareface.com and I love the results. Who would have thought all those wasted hours could lead to a beautiful food shoot! Please note the ”50 bonus point” dragon fruit, my favourite!

Styling tips: All fruit was cleaned and polished. A little oil was added to some of the fruit ie apples and pears but not bananas as they immediately start to go brown. The cut fruit was sprayed with oil to stop the oxygen from turning them brown. In these cases you have to work quite quickly as fruit does degenerated fast. Fruit was held in place with skewers and tooth picks which were then skillfully retouched out afterwards.


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Every now and again you get booked on a fabulous shoot. Last week was exactly that, as we shot a five day fashion influenced lifestyle shoot at the Burj Al Arab, Dubai’s 7 star hotel.  It is my favourite building (from the outside) in Dubai. Not only is it amazing to be able to walk freely around the entire hotel, but to get to see service elevators, kitchens and staff areas is always fascinating to me. There are 1540 staff employed at the Burj and over 300 chefs! They have 6 restaurants and 2 bars. We had to shoot in all of them!

I love shooting at the Burj (we have done several shoots for them ) because, dare I say it we get to enjoy a fantastic lunch! As any good producer knows, lunch is of utmost importance to a crew. And although I am always content with our sandwiches and salads you cannot compare it to a sit down lunch with smiling waiters and chefs. At Bab al Yam, the poolside restaurant where we were invited to eat, the sashimi is on tap and the choice of salads, cakes and cheese just make you feel spoilt. Also unlike some of the hotels we have long shoots in the main course changed daily, that deserves two extra stars any day! Lunch at Bab AL Yam…

The food…..

The team included photographer Martin Beck www.martinbeckphotography.com, our “on it” producer Neha, hair and make-up by Toni and photographer’s assistants Jay and Sharif as well as my lovely assistant Dina. These are a little peep into what we shot…

Of course all this cannot be done with the help of certain people so a huge thanks to Dana at Saks, Burjuman www.burjuman.com,  and Michael Cinco Couture, www.michaelcinco.com who were so helpful. Also to Emma and of course the wonderful Marco, marketing and communications manager at the Burj.

Can’t wait until the next one….

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