Tuesday, 13 April 2010

Off licence/Basement Scenes

Today we filmed two scenes using the same location at a local off licence, McClusky's.

Till Scenes: Stealing money from the till/putting it back.

These two scenes consist of two shots in the same location. First, Anthony casually taking money out of the till as the city is frozen and he can do what he wants. And the second, hurrying to put the money back as he is told that the more he does bad things, the worse it will get and the more zombies will appear.

We all met at 8.00am at Frank McClusky's off licence where Giles Andrews the lighting/camera man had already started setting up the lighting in the shop. We had limited time as it opens at 10am, and would therefore have to finish filming before that to allow time to strike the lighting. For these scenes it was natural make up which I did beforehand. My friend and I played 'extras' that were 'frozen' whilst Anthony came in and took the money.

In the scene, Anthony comes running into the shop in a panic to put the money back and make things right so I added red greasepaint to his face very subtly in the areas that you would naturally get hot like cheeks and ears, and placed glycerin on areas such as the forehead and top lip to look like he was sweating. We got him to run around the block so that was genuinely out of breath to play the part better (method acting). This worked well and improved the quality of the shot. We finished spot on time leaving 5 mins to pack up the lights.

Basement scenes:

Jeremy Gittins

My dad (who is a professional actor) plays the part of the mysterious man who gives Anthony the 'infinity pill' and narrates the trailer. He arrived at 9am for make up, I wanted to make him look gaunt, menacing and supernatural, so I designed a make up that would achieve this using subtle techniques such as:

Bruising under the eye - I followed his natural under eye socket, darkening it slightly by adding bruising colours such as purple, green and a touch of yellow so that it looked extremely realistic on camera. Every time I built it up I would take a photograph to see how it would come out under the light on film so that I could add more as it's easier to build up but harder to remove. I purposefully didn't powder the bruise as they are naturally shiny so didn't want to loose its realism.

I used concealer on a few of his blemishes and powdered quite a lot as the lighting was extremely strong to light up the whole basement. I then created scars on both sides of the face. I wanted the scars to look old but not completely healed. I pinched the loose skin together and then cemented rigid collodion in the middle, once it had dried I patted a touch of concealer over it and with a fine brush added a touch of red/purple greasepaint to create the lasting residue of the wound and set it with powder. I did the same thing for the scar on his neck only in the infinity symbol shape. I placed this on his left side as there is a part in the scene where he moves his head revealing the scar, and it would have to be on the left side to be visible.

Anthony Roberts

Anthony is the co-directer and plays the lead character in the trailer. He thinks life is great when the city is frozen and he can do what he likes after getting tricked into taking an infinity pill. That is until he realises that actually things are getting worse and worse, and if he doesn't put things right, he will become a zombie.

First part of scene: Anthony gets given the infinity pill

Giles Andrews is filming and did a really good job on the lighting. I'm so glad I employed him for these off licence scenes, as particularly here in the basement there is no natural light, and proper film lighting is really necessary.

For this particular shot Anthony only has natural make up on.

Second part of scene: He gets told that he must put things right or he will have to deal with the consequences.

In this part of the scene Anthony is very flushed and sweaty as he is nervous and panic stricken. I showed this by blending in red greasepaint around his cheeks and ears with powder to set it, and then applied glycerin with a pour sponge on his forehead and top lip.

I then had to create an infinity symbol wound on the right side of his neck as had just got bitten by a zombie, after which the infinity symbol appears engraved into the skin. It had to be on his right side as he had to move his neck in sync with Jeremy, and so the scar was visible we chose that shot. I created the wound by drawing the outline with a fine line of red greasepaint, blending it so that it's a soft line. I then followed the guideline with tuplast, placing it on with a hair pin so that it goes tacky and creates a raised texture. Then I sealed some the edges with rigid collodion which pulls the skin tight creating the scar. Once that dried I painted over with red greasepaint filling in the ripples of the scar with a darker red and purple. I then applied wound filler with a hair pin, in lumps all the way round; and finished with congealed blood applied with a stipple brush to create a realistic wound. I finished off the design with a few scratches on his face where he had been fighting off the zombies. I did this using fresh scratch and a stipple sponge.

The whole day went really well and we managed to get everything we wanted. I was very happy with the make up as it looked realistic and went as planned. The only problem we had was when we were filming in the basement - we were literally underneath the shop floor and could hear customers' conversations as the walls were very thin. However we managed to work round it and stopped when it was too loud. We also had to ask if we could turn the fridges off for a while when we were filming as they made a noisy hum. Apart from that I was extremely happy with the footage.

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