Sunday, July 22, 2012

Klip Art

So this is... really kind of a weird one. Our book fans will know the origin story of the Tin Woodman, wherein he began as a human man and then cut himself into little pieces with an enchanted axe. Fans who have read a little further in the series will know that the tinsmith who put him back together is a fellow called Ku Klip. Well our most recent bit of shooting was getting Ku Klip into the movie, and there's kind of a bizarre story behind it.
Could any OTHER kind of story have yielded these results?
Last summer, when I was down here in Virginia for our previous photography, I'd joked with Sean that it'd be cool to have a cut-away to Ku Klip in the Woodman's flashback. It would just be Jamie Hyneman of Mythbusters standing there, with his arms crossed. We both laughed it off, but I kind of really wanted to do it, and Sean actually did too. But of course we would never be able to rope Jamie Hyneman into this.

Strangely enough, an internet friend of Sean's named Jay Greenfield, who Sean's known for years, went as Jamie Hyneman for Halloween last October. Sean saw the pictures on Facebook, and shared one with me, and we both laughed over the striking resemblance. But then as we were planning to shoot this summer, Sean figured, "why not ask Jay if he'd be willing to do it?". So he did.

We were expecting him to politely decline. Best case scenario, he'd be willing to come do it but we'd have to fly him out. Both assumptions proved totally incorrect. Apparently Jay likes to travel and thought this might be a bit of fun, so he flew out for the weekend, from California, mind you, to be a small part in our movie and see all the spectacular sights one can find in the King George, VA area.
Spoiler alert: There are none.
He flew in Thursday with a full head of hair and a rather nice beard. When we saw him on Friday both were gone. We actually shot his part yesterday morning, but I didn't update because after that we were out until midnight trying to show him a good time. We failed, but he was a good sport about it. This morning we went down to Richmond to deposit him at the airport, and he thanked us for the ride, like it was totally not a big deal to fly thousands of miles from home, shave his head, and stand around under hot lights while we filmed what amounts to a cameo.
Just another typical vacation destination...
Even the filming was a little unconventional for us. I knew from the start that they were pretty simple shots that I wanted a black background for, so rather than get him up on the green-screen we cut out the middle man and hung some black behind him. These shots were all about the lighting, so we carefully set up two of our studios lights to get him looking the way we wanted. Then I had Sean off screen with a third that I would have him flicker on and off so we could create sort of the general ambience of a tin smith's workshop.
Two amateurs can luck their way into some pretty awesome shots? Totally Plausible.
I'm pretty satisfied with how the whole thing worked out, and I can't believe how nice Jay was about it all. I mean, Sean may have known him for years, but he and I had never so much as exchanged an e-mail. Hopefully he enjoyed the experience, and maybe having an IMDb page is enough to make up for the next few months he'll be spending without hair...

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