Wednesday, 14 November 2018

Lizzie Props

I've done a few bits and pieces for Lizzie Props over the last few years, for theatre productions like Wind in the Willows, Big: The Musical, Aladdin, King Lear, Oliver Twist (open air). Here are some of them -

Wind in the Willows, busts as set decoration for Badger's house

Wind in the Willows, drinks for a party at Toady's house! Real colour and green colour champagne, complete with fizz!

Wind in the Willows, cakes for a party at Toady's house! Each has 4 threaded bars running through, connecting it securely to the baseboard.

Multiple layers, easy to carry and very securely fixed together. Body-filler icing, decorations selected.

Lizzie completed the final decorating - they look great!

Aladdin, 'stabbable' / fireproof straw mattress. Inner and outer cover wip. There's a concealed magnetic strip allowing a knife to enter and 'rip'.

Complete mattress. Gold runner was decoration for a set of a different production (last minute, got thrown in with the mattress!)
 Aladdin; this basket had a baggy saggy excess of fabric hanging out and so needed the lining repaired, 
which I was happy to do!

King Lear; this chicken was moulded in resin, cast in silicone, with a hole and empty inside
for Rhys Ifans to put his hand into it and wave it around during the show
The Rocky Horror Show; Narrator's Book 

Wednesday, 17 October 2018

HodgePodge, directed by Ben Aston

Just found this little video on Vimeo, a short comedy I worked on with Ben Aston a few years ago. Look out for the hairdresser-antlers, the inflatable pregnancy belly, and the forehead-ear. I made those.

Sunday, 30 September 2018

Sidekick Books; Birdbook: Saltwater and Shore

Here's a little illustration I did for a beautiful book of poems and drawings based on British birds, published by Sidekick Books. My drawing is one of the spreads shown as a 'peek inside'. Which was a nice surprise! Follow this link to visit the site, see my work, and buy a copy of this lovely book.

Tuesday, 30 January 2018

No updates here for quite a while! This is my new(ish) company. Check out our website by clicking our logo above - lots of fun and interesting things happening over the last couple of years, and definitely more coming up!

Tuesday, 7 March 2017

The Birds

A series of reconstructed-taxidermy birds, created for the Natural History Museum in Saudi Arabia. Each of these birds is either a modified taxidermy specimen, or a full reconstruction. They turned out really nicely.

Yemen Linnet


Arabian Woodepecker

Below is a small selection of 'making of' images from this project. If anyone sees this post and has any questions about this type of reconstruction, please do feel free to get in touch!

 Reconstructing the face of a Collared Kingfisher; rehydrating the skin and pinning it in place to dry.
The skull was moulded, cast in biresin, and then the beak was painted and matte-varnished. 

 Partial face reconstruction, with the skin of the eye now in the right place.

 Wing construction for a Bruce's Green Pigeon - using parts of a pigeon wing to construct the wings for this 
specimen. This bird was actually given to me to fix as someone else on the team had struggled with it.

 Lining up feathers in a natural spread on the left, ready for gluing together

LEFT: Top part of wing made with a wire base; I used a fresh pair of pigeon wings, carefully removing all muscle 
and bones before precisely reconstructing the primary feathers.
RIGHT: Wings of this bird before and after it was given to me to fix. The bottom wing is the one I made, using 
hand dyed feathers, individually glued and laid to create a natural wing position. 

 Rear and top view of near-finished specimen - wing position is beautiful, the hand-dyed feathers look so 
natural. I was really, really happy with how this one was saved!

 Making parts of the Arabian Woodpecker - this bird is endangered, so this specimen was made completely 
from scratch. Here you can see how I put together and shaped the wings, the body core, and how the 
feathers were laid on. All feathers were hand-laid, individually, and it really ended up a thing of beauty!

Thursday, 15 December 2016

Scratches in the Dark

I was approached by director Charlie Bentley in February 2016, and asked if I would like to create a mutilated dead cat (in a likeness of his own cat, Jerry) for his upcoming horror short, 'Scratches in the Dark'. Even before I read the script, obviously, I was more than happy! The concept of the short and the film itself, which is just 5 minutes, is absolutely excellent - I'm so happy to have met Charlie, and to have been a part of this production. Below is a bit of a 'making of', and if you have 5 minutes to spare and want to see the film, you can do so by clicking here.

Starting with a pre-made skeleton, I took it apart, hinged all the joints and rearranged

Roughed out muscle structures/positions with ladies stockings

Glued everything in place, padded with upholstery foam, then began fur transfer

Hairs around the eyes were laid individually, to match Jerry's little under-eye 'highlight'

Completed Jerry, on-set - he was finished using a mix of rabbit fur transfer/punching, plus airbrushed markings, which were painted on last

Inside Jerry's tummy....! This cavity was filled with offal for the camera

And, as an extra nice bonus....! It's nice to know that something I've been involved in has made an impression on an FX great!

Saturday, 9 January 2016

Zara Larsson / MNEK, Never Forget You

I had one week to create a walk-around monster suit for the Zara Larsson / MNEK promo, Never Forget You, directed by the phenomenal Richard Paris-Wilson, released September 2015. The monster also had to be 'flat-pack' so that I could take him on a plane for a shoot in Iceland, which was an interesting part of the brief! Stills below, and video link here.

Wednesday, 12 November 2014

Sebastian and Them

I was asked to create a few props for Benjamin Bee's LFS graduation short 'Sebastian & Them'. A couple of cuddly toys and a severed head.....!

Cuddly toys still

The severed head of Nat Luurtsema still

CU of the severed head of Nat Luurtsema off-camera

 Teddy and bunny toys under construction - the brief was to make the toys look traditional and handmade, not like modern off the shelf cuddlies. The bunny was based closely on a toy made by our director's grandmother.

A Monster Called Charles

Well, I've been pretty quiet since July. I've actually been working SOLIDLY on this little puppy! 'A Monster Called Charles' is the upcoming short from award winning director Richard Paris Wilson (We Are Cowboys). I designed and led the fabrication for an 8ft monster costume, 'Charles', worn by the wonderful Chris Fleming.

  Initial drawn designs for Charles - he was to have blinking eyes that light up, eyebrows with expression, and one working hand. The design was based heavily on a sloth and the construction of Ludo (Labyrinth) - the puppeteer would have one hand inside the head controlling the head and facial expressions, the other hand would control one of the monster hands, whilst the other monster hand would be weighted/sprung so as to hang with movement and not noticeably be unmoving, but effectively it was a dead hand. Scale and weight distribution were key in terms of making a wearable walk around suit at this scale.

Left; scale cardboard mockup, Right; translated into sausages and gaffa tape!

The sausages were really important for working out the exact construction of the whole undersuit. Every piece was cut precisely to size according to the original 3D sausage mockup.

Undersuit translated from sausages to lightweight piping - it was flexible, light and really strong so it was the perfect material to use for this part. Left; Chris Fleming in an early fitting, wearing the stilts and partial undersuit, Right; most of the undersuit trannslated to tubing, with suspension between different parts for weight and natural movement of the facade.

Mechanical hand under construction - the monster has 3 fingers and a wrist flex that are controlled by Chris Fleming from inside the wrist of the costume
Left; Muscle construction, with mechanics of face and jaw, right; beginnings of final facade fabrication

Left; inside the suit, right; close-up of pattern cutting, you can see the red bungee chord used to weight the dead arm
Sneaky pic of Charles on-set, but no more of this until the film is out Feb/March 2015.