When legendary photographer David Bailey discovered his then-unknown muse Jean Shrimpton had never been on an airplane when they were preparing for a now-famous shoot in New York, Bailey promised a frightened Shrimpton, at the very least we’ll take Manhattan, hence the title of the soon-to-be-released short film from director John McKay.
During this behind the scenes glimpse of We’ll Take Manhattan, McKay discusses the focus and precision it took to recreate the famous shoot—shot more than 40 years ago. As McKay talks, it becomes apparent that, like any great city, Manhattan has a certain nostalgia about it—nestled in the parks, hotels and roof tops McKay and his team were able locate from the original shoot to use as the background for the new film.
The film itself carefully follows the shoot as it was in 1962 as Bailey and Shrimpton, armed with a single camera and an old teddy bear, embark on the streets of Manhattan before commencing a passionate love affair. Like any revolutionary artist of the sixties, Bailey had an addictive rebelliousness about him, famously refusing to take off his leather jacket in the St Regis Hotel. During the film it can be seen how he chose to ignore the request of then Vogue Fashion Editor, Clare Rendlesham for photographs shot against Manhattan’s elegant landmarks. Instead shooting Shrimpton amongst the noise, the homeless and that famous twist sign, in a rather, for its time, controversial street style. A decision that once published in a 14-page spread for British Vogue, marked the beginning of the boundary pushing, sex driven youth culture of the sixties.
We’ll Take Manhattan airs on the 11th of February .