Sunday, July 31, 2011

Go Behind Your Back

Another weekend, another Witch shoot. And another set of problems. While today was our most productive day of Witch photography so far, it was still not everything we were aiming for. I feel like we prepared ourselves to combat everything that we'd come up against in our other two days in make-up, but it seemed to make little difference.

The day started out on a positive enough note. Sean and I got the car packed with no difficulty, made it out to Norm's ex-house on time. Norm was already there, setting up his make-up station and letting the air conditioning cool down our make-shift studio. Marie showed up shortly thereafter, and we got started as quickly as we could.

White M&M's melt in your eye, not in your hands.
We got the contact lens in alright. Wasn't any easier than it'd been on previous occasions, but it wasn't any harder, either. Norm then painted up Marie's face with his new adhesive, the name of which I don't know how to spell and am too lazy to look up. He and Sean then rolled the mask down over Marie's face, and it seemed to sit on there really nice. She adjusted it some herself to get a better fit, and as she explained to Norm how to help her get it where it needed to be, it was moving REALLY well with her face.

Sean and Norm fend off Ted Turner's attack JELLYFISH!!!
But it was tight, much tighter than previous occasions. Tighter than O.J. Simpson's alibi. But if the mask too tight, it don't feel right. Marie was starting to feel a little claustrophobic. To her credit, she didn't ask us to take her out of the mask or anything. She expressed her discomfort, and then quickly pushed it to the back of her mind.

Norm had cut the chin piece off the rest of the mask, believing that having it separate from the rest would allow it to move more realistically with Marie's own bottom lip. He glued it to her bottom lip, glued up a few additional areas of the mask, and then he was ready to blend all the seams.

Can we kill the background action please? You're messing up my shot of this studio light...
Seemly seams seen to, Norm then did some painting to further blend it all, as you do. And it looked fantastic. She slipped into her newly-gloved hands, which seemed like they were going to work out great. Sean got her into her hat, with a little knot difficulty. He did some quite necessary still image work, and then it was time to shoot video. That's where I actually get to do something...

We figured we'd start with dialogue while the lips were nice and tight. But it didn't take many takes before that damned bottom lip started slipping down again. Norm reapplied or touched up the work many times, but it just wouldn't stay put. While the air conditioned space was much cooler than shooting outside, those studio lights put out some heat. Anyone who's seen this video knows we're aware of the phenomenon, but we didn't anticipate the extent of it. Marie was still sweating, and it was still interfering with the make-up.

It's getting HOT in here! Oh look, and there's a light, too...
While it was clear that dialogue was not happening today, with the Witch stuff being so oft-delayed, we wanted to make sure we got as much done as we could this afternoon. This meant a couple of hours of behind-the-back shots. We first got that troublesome chin-piece off Marie and removed the pesky contact, trying to make her a little more comfortable, then put Ms. Rizza through her paces. Switching hats, using umbrellas, standing on one leg (apparently that's like a thing with her)...

At what point did Rihanna's stylist just totally give up?
And it is in the realm of these behind the back shots that I'm able to present to you the happy epilogue to the cabinet saga of long ago. While we scrambled so to have that cabinet ready two weeks ago, we only just got a chance to film it today. And it was better than we had ever planned for it to be, thanks to Norm. For some reason, he had this bizarre fez-monkey bowl thing at home that we were able to use as a stand for the cabinet, creating a pretty unique, subject appropriate piece of furniture.

Old Mother Hubbard's house is WEIRD...
When we wrapped shooting for the day, Norm was tremendously apologetic, even though he had no reason to be. In the end, this is the first project of this kind for pretty much everybody involved, and part of the point for us is to push ourselves into new territory. They (some of they, anyway) say that the best film school is to just make a film, and that's something we've clearly taken to heart.

We may not have accomplished as much as we wanted to today, but we did make progress, we learned plenty, and we're honing our technique for the next shoot. Which won't be for two weeks, given the fact that Sean, Marie, and I will be in North Carolina sharing some footage next weekend. In the mean-time I'll keep going with the raw frames of the day, and maybe fill you guys in on some effects progress that's being made.

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