Marc Hom Keeps the Empire Fresh
Marc Hom is no stranger to shootings stars. Whether it’s Oscar Winner Lupita Nyong’o for People Magazine, Benedict Cumberbatch for the cover of ELLE, or Lauren Cohan for GQ, working with well-established actors is a well trod path for him. A major part of his job during those shoots is to connect with them in personal and intimate ways to draw out sides of these familiar faces we’ve never seen before. But most recently, when he shot the cast of FOX’s break out hit Empire for Entertainment Weekly, he had a completely unique experience.
The unexpected rapid success of the show is very exciting for everyone involved, and that was something that Marc got to play off of in the shoot. “It’s a phenomenal success,” says Marc about the show. “It’s a big thing for them. In that sense they were super happy. You can almost feel them being a family even if you saw them off set.” These are actors that work with one another every day, acting in circumstances that are incredibly heightened and emotional. The stakes are high on screen, but when they’re together off set it’s a totally different energy.
That energy, combined with the fresh excitement for the success of the show changes the way Marc gets to work with the actors. It becomes a fun experience for everyone involved. “It just gives a positive energy,” says Marc. “They’re really into it. So it’s not like you have to force people to do certain things. It’s nice to enter a shoot where things are fresh.” It becomes a much more collaborative, relaxed experience while the actors work off one another with no added drama.
When it came to the aesthetics of the shoot, Marc wanted to reflect these faces in a familiar setting. “The whole thing was to recreate the atmosphere of the show, I kind of wanted to elevate it a little bit up in terms of the styling,” says Marc. “It reminds me very much of an eighties show. It has this bitchy element to it which is quite entertaining.” By bringing the actors out in a way that reflected their success gave them a platform to express themselves. Marc was able to show off these famous figures in a way that emphesized their accomplishements while keeping it comfortable and familiar.