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.