Thursday, May 3, 2012

Thursday Thirteen - 246 - 13 Things About Shooting the Book Covers and Trailers for My Upcoming Dark Fantasy Release

1 - Last Saturday I was back on set with Charlie Mac Productions, directing the shoot for the book covers and book trailers of my upcoming dark fantasy release.

L to R: Caroline Ruyle, the Director of Photography with talent Bobby Rossong.

2 - I've been writing my Scorpius tale with Richard Armitage as the model for the character.

As he is rather inconveniently shooting The Hobbit in New Zealand at present, I went in search of a local model who had that certain indefinable something that whispered Scorpius to me.

On The Cassidy Group website, I found a head shot for Bobby Rossong.

I stared at the picture and heard the whisper.

Then I emailed my producer and asked for Bobby. 

3 - My mom asked for his measurements as the wardrobe mistress, which The Cassidy Group provided.

I then scoured the thrift stores for pieces that would start out as one thing and end up as late-medieval / early Renaissance-like costumes.

4 - These are the pieces that make up the costume for the Book 1 cover, when Scorpius is a youth apprenticed to the falconer.

The transformed clothing--now a tunic and rustic jerkin. I designed the costumes, disassembled the clothing and described to my mom in detail what I needed.

She then put the costumes together.

5 - Woo hoo!


Falconer's apprentice, from Book 1, which is set to release at the end of the month.

6 - Since we had Bobby for the shoot, even though books 2 and 3 are works in progress at this point, we shot all three covers and all three book trailers while we had our Scorpius.

Shown above is the 'before' version of the Book 2 costume.

7 - This costume was the most difficult one, with much swearing and pricking of fingers by Mom.

But it's also the coolest one, if you ask me.

For Book 2, Scorpius enters adulthood and serves Lord Thibault as his personal bodyguard.

8 - Notice the completely awesome reproduction Norman sword he's wielding. From Darksword Armory out of Quebec, where the dagger for the Book 1 cover was also sourced.  

9 - The original pieces for the third costume, taking place when Scorpius has matured and serves the Lady Elysande as her Chamberlain.

10 - This one was a bit complicated, but still wasn't as hard to deal with as the faux leather.

Scorpius...moving up in the world.

11 - The shoot began against white screen, for easier manipulation in post production.

As opposed to the green screen live action shoot we did last spring for my debut novel book trailer, we decided to go for a stills shoot this time out.

In a bit of super-fabulous timing, just after wrapping on this year's shoot, my producer Tara MacDonald got word that the book trailer for SAINT SANGUINUS won an Award of Merit in the Best Shorts Competition out of La Jolla, California. 

Here's a look at that one:

Grateful thanks to producer Tara MacDonald, DOP Luke Hudgins, Editor Doug Woods, PA and Stills Photographer Caroline Ruyle, Actors Scott Baker, Stevie Cooper, Bernie Matthew, Brennan Handy and Brad Smith. 

12 - Just because my mom wasn't busy enough during the week leading up to the shoot, she also decided to become craft services, and provided the homemade lunch for cast and crew.


13 - And because it's me, of course there was a need for manacles on this project. This is Tara with the manacle kit: extremely heavy manacles, duct tape to attach the chain to the grip stand, twine to close the manacles and pink scissors to keep it light.


Janet said...

So impressive, Julia - kudos to you for your costume design and your mom for some awesome sewing skills!! And congrats for the Award of Merit! Your love of film and all things related shines through :)

Jennifer Leeland said...

Very cool!!! I love it when you document how all this happens. You're an inspiration as always.

Michael Offutt, Tebow Cult Initiate said...

Very impressive stuff Julia. That guy is sure handsome. I could stare at him forever.

Julia Phillips Smith said...

Janet - Remember when Scorpius was my Weekend Writers' Retreat post? Now look! Wee hee...! Thanks for your costume comments. I LOVE doing costumes.

Jennifer - I can't describe the thrill when your fictional character walks up to you and shakes your hand. It's a mind-blower.

Michael - Please look all you want. He's a model, after all. Not only the freakishly-exact way my character looks, but also incredibly professional, gave us everything we needed in super-speed time, and when I needed him to emote in the still pictures, even though he had no acting experience, he totally stretched and gave me great stuff.

Travis Cody said...

This is great stuff! And congratulations for the recognition of the book trailer. That's a very interesting advertising medium these days for books.