The final day for us to shoot our Sky Atlantic posters was Monday 21st May, and Matt had allocated us an all day slot from 10am-4pm. This was more than enough time to get everything shot and filmed as we worked really well as a team and had everything organised.
Emily managed to get all the models there for 9:30am and Rachel got the MUA there for the same time. We felt that 9:30 was early enough so Saffie could quickly do some basic skin makeup on Bryce and Pippa while we were still setting up the studio ready to start shooting at 10am.
On the morning of the shoot, at 9:45am, the model we had planned to act as ‘Hatch’ had some issues with the trains and ended up not being able to make it to Ravensbourne. We were then really stuck with what to do as we didn’t have anyone else to play our character and we didn’t have enough time in the week to book the studio out again. In the end, we got our makeup artist Saffie to play Hatch. She did the makeup on Pippa and Bryce and then started getting herself ready in the alien form of Hatch. This wasn’t an issue to us as Saffie fit the look just as well as Kiera did, if not a bit better, so in a way it was a blessing in disguise to us as she ended up playing the part really well and doing a really good job with the SFX makeup.
When we were in the studio setting up, I thought it would be a good idea to split the studio space we had in half. As we were already sharing the studio with another group on the other side of the curtain, we already had a small amount of space. I thought it would be more practical if we split our small space in half, and have the portraits of the people being taken on one side of the room and then the prop shots being taken on a table on the other side of the room. Emily and Rachel agreed this would work well so thats how we set up our studio space.
We split the image taking fairly so that everyone got an equal chance at taking photos. We assigned each of ourselves two posters each, meaning we would all have an equal amount to do. I took the images for the 2 posters of the 2 scientists, Lucy and Thomas. Emily took the images of Hatch and the petri dishes and then Rachel took the images of the test tube and the egg.
Overall, our shoot day was very successful, we took all of the images we wanted/needed to, managed to set everything up fine, had all of our props and equipment and overall, worked really well as a team. We finished shooting a bit early meaning we had enough time to pack up and be out of the studio just before 4pm.
As Emily managed to get majority of the props from our old secondary school, there weren’t that many left to get. We just needed a whiteboard, scissors and mainly a large egg. Luckily, Emily’s mum had a whiteboard and marker set at home, so she could bring that in.
We weren’t having much luck with the egg. We originally wanted a large ostrich sized egg that we could photograph normally and then crack and photograph too. We wanted to have a larger sized egg so that it looked better in images, the cracks would be bigger and therefore look better on camera. We couldn’t find any online anywhere that were either the right size or shape and none of them would be delivered on time. To overcome this issue, I bought some large eggs, that we could crack on the day of the shoot and then enlarge them even more on Photoshop. I also managed to find green food colouring to change the colour of the liquid from clear to green.
Clothing and Accessories-
As well as extra background props, I was in charge of the styling for the character images. I followed the mood boards I made and looked at the character references and chose to dress each character in the following.
Hatch- hospital gown, nasal canular, electrotherapy sticky head pads
Lucy- white lab coat, clipboard, science goggles, smart looking glasses
Thomas- white lab coat, clipboard, science goggles, smart looking glasses
I supplied these items for the characters as I thought they would look best and really help them get into character.
Finding models for this project was a lot harder than we all anticipated, Emily was really struggling to find people who were willing to take part. Everyone we asked was up for modelling for us, until SFX makeup was mentioned, and people were very put off of the idea. I managed to help Emily find someone to model for our Hatch character and also the female scientist, Lucy.
The girl we found for Hatch was an old school friend and she fit the look we were after with the short hair and androgynous style features and she was up for it when I first messaged her about it. I then passed her details on to Emily so she could sort out the dates and times with Kiera (the model).
Emily found the male model who would play the male scientist Thomas, she managed to find a guy called Bryce, who fit the character profile we had made.
The one character that Emily struggled to find a model for was the female scientist. She came to me and Rachel for help looking for someone as our shoot day was getting closer and we needed someone asap. We all put out various posts on lots of modelling groups and pages and was having no luck. Then a few days later, a girl called Pippa got in touch with me regarding one of the posts I put out and luckily she said yes to modelling for us and was also fine with having special effects makeup applied on her.
Rachel found us a SFX makeup artist who had confirmed she could make it for our shoot right at the start, so we were confident we always had a makeup artist there. We were trying to find a second MUA to speed up the process of getting everyone ready on time, but we couldn’t find anyone else, so we just stuck with just the one MUA.
The SFX MUA that Rachel found was a girl called Saffie Dunlop. Rachel showed us images of the looks and effects she had previously created and we were all really impressed with her skills and knew she’d be perfect to create the SFX looks for our shoot for the alien and bitten scientists.
For the props, all 3 of us were looking on Amazon, eBay and even some theatrical hire places, and it all worked out to be very expensive to purchase or rent them for a few days for our shoot and some of the delivery dates wouldn’t have been in time. With little money between us and little time left before the day of our shoot, we had to result to other resources.
We tried to think of places where we could try and get or borrow the props we needed for free. Emily and I got on well with the technicians at our old secondary school and had the idea of emailing them to ask if we could borrow some equipment. Emily emailed them and very fortunately they responded saying it was perfectly fine for us to borrow as much equipment as we needed. On the day we could collect it, Emily was the only one able to go and get it so she went down and they let her take as much as we needed.
Emily managed to leave our old secondary school with…
2 wooden test tube holders
a bunsen burner, mat and tripod
2 large measuring cylinders
4 medium sized test tubes
2 pairs of protective goggles
2 large beakers
2 small beakers
2 circular based beakers
a metal test tube holder
This was more than enough to create a science lab scene with. We just had to get a few more items from our homes such as scissors. pliers and a whiteboard with pens. Emily also ordered some glass petri dishes from Amazon as we didn’t want to ruin the ones we borrowed form the school, as we were going to be smashing them.
We want our character portrait to look very dramatic and also quite eerie through the use of shadows and lighting. Similar to these images below, we want to try and cast a shadow over half of the face so it is almost hidden and can’t be seen, and then we want half the face to be well lit, having a strong dramatic contrast. Having strong shadow creates an eerie and dramatic effect to pictures, which will look good when our posters transition/morph into the characters being bitten and as an alien.
Portrait Lighting Diagram-
This is a rough sketch of how we will light our portraits on the day of our shoot. We are thinking of having a dark coloured polyboard on one side of the model, a low lit flash head on the opposite side of the model and then also use a ring flash. The ring flash will be used to fully light up half of the face, and the dim flash head and black polyboard will be used to create a shadow over half of their face and body. We still aren’t sure whether to use a white or black backdrop as a white backdrop will make it look more medical/lab like but black will create darker lighting and shadows.
Prop Lighting Idea-
When it comes to lighting our props, we want to have them quite well lit but maybe have a small amount of shadow on some of the props/set up in the background. As long as our main prop featuring in the poster is well lit, then the rest doesn’t matter so much. We are thinking of having quite a small set up and using a big light, or a few flash heads so that we can light the small area well. We want the main prop well lit so that the main focus is on that and that you don’t get distracted by the background props/set up.
Prop Lighting Diagram-
This is another rough sketch of how we will light our prop poster shots. We have decided that the Octalight with an Elinchrom 1200 RX flash head will give us more than enough light and flash to light up the main prop and the set. We are going to have a whiteboard in the background which will also help reflect light and brighten it up.