Sunday, 11 April 2010

Day 1 of filming on location....

We had planned to start the make up at 2.15am as we needed to get into Central London before sunrise I researched would to be at approx 6.15 am. I had 6 characters to make up so I would have to complete each make up in 25 minutes, however I aimed to complete each one in 20 to give me extra time if I needed it at the end. I managed to do this in the time frame as I had been practicing methods and techniques that would reduce time. For example using a hair dryer to dry the latex and gelatine; applying the parts that need to dry first; leaving one lot of gelatine/latex to dry whilst I'm applying someone elses. I had organised my make up kit the night before with just the equipment I would need on the day, this worked well and saved time.

I woke up at 2am, Jodie had stayed at my house so that it would be easier to make a quick start. The others arrived promptly at their call times, in 20 minute slots. I asked them to arrive with clean faces, which they did, and whilst they waited for their make up, they could relax with a cup of coffee and have a look at the script. I made up 6 zombies in two and a half hours, and was very glad I had practiced, and timed the practice in advance.

We left the house at 4.45am to head up to Waterloo which was our first location. There were a few locations around Waterloo we wanted to use for filming but we went straight to the South Bank as we were going to film the main zombie chase there, and we wanted to film it before anyone else was around, to create the illusion of a 'frozen city'. We also picked this first as the other locations were much quieter as they weren't as picturesque and touristy, without a great deal of natural light anyway, so it wouldn't matter what time we filmed. We began with the zombie chase. My co-directer Anthony, also plays the main character, the boy who gets chased by zombies, so in this scene I had to direct and operate the camera!! Anthony had previously given me a couple of lessons on how I should hold the camera, how to focus, zoom and what angles are good to use. Bearing all this in mind I used my creative camera skills to film the first scene. Although I'd had a little practice we had to do a few takes as it took a while for me to get used to filming and I wanted to make sure I got the shots that complemented each make up - I am a perfectionist! I used different camera angles and ways of filming such as from behind corners and statues, to bring the atmosphere of the city into focus. I made sure that I had a great deal of footage showing the Houses of Parliament and the London Eye, as this is important to help identify the fact that I'm an up and coming young British make up artist; as well as juxtaposing the surreal aspect of zombies roaming central London with everyday life in the City.

I took with me a set bag of essential make up for touching up such as: powder, spirit gum, greasepaint palette, brushes, eyeliner, congealed blood, running blood, wound filler, hairspray and a comb. Because we were filming outside, the wind was constantly blowing the hair out of place which frequently needed sorting out. There was a lot of running involved which caused the actors to get sweaty so I had to powder their make up so that it didn't look shiny and I had to re- apply the blood and re-attach the thread with spirit gum after each shot. I made sure I kept a close eye on everyone's make up before each shot.

We chose to film on a Sunday so that it would be quieter, however at about 7.30 it started to get busy on the bridge. Therefore, we had to wait until there were no vehicles in view before we started recording which made filming slow. Eventually the traffic built up and we had to move on. We managed to film plenty in the time slot we had allocated ourselves, however next time I would manage my time more effectively and visit the location myself before hand (I had left the recky to Anthony as I was in Southampton) and plan exactly what we were doing in each scene at each location, as I only had a rough idea.

We had to keep to the time schedule and finish filming at that location at 7.45am. We moved on to the second location which was in a tunnel under Waterloo station, the walls were covered in graffiti. The secluded graffiti tunnel was an excellent choice of location as the bright painted walls added a sense of urban decay, often associated with violence, and apart from a few vagrants we were pretty much alone. In this scene Anthony gets chased by the zombies into the tunnel where he gets bitten by one of them, and zoomes into each character to show off the make up. I recognized after filming a few shots that the lighting was too dark so it was hard to see the make up so I placed a marker about 6 meters into the tunnel where they had to stop so that it was light enough to get a clear focus of their faces.

Whilst we were filming we came across the woman who broke the Guiness World Record for the most piercings and asked her if she didn't mind us capturing a shot of her which she happily agreed to. I don't know if we will use it but she certainly looked horrific enough to star as a character!

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