Friday, April 19, 2013

LowLow Bun Costume

This is the making of the LowLow bun. I started on Thursday morning and delivered Sunday afternoon!

Client: Sweetmedia / Kevin Downey
Below is the inital frame of ply. Keeping in mind from the start that weight needed to be at a minimum. I decided the costume wound hang from the performers shoulders, so the ply loops just needed to impart the shape not have any more strenght.

 The top of the bun was made in PU insulation foam. Fast to work, light and easy to find locally. Its very toxic to work with, unfortunatly. Very dusty and difficult to dispose of.

Below is the former being wrapped for the first layer. This was just  to give a cone shape to stick the "paper cup" to.

This is Vanessa Donoso Lopez, my hard working assistant!

The icing was tricky. I did a little test here to see if it would be possible to make it in one piece and curl it into te nice spiral seen on the top on these little cakes. Though the shape in section was fab, the foam didn't have enough give to allow the curve to be formed. Back to the drawing board...

 Here is Vanessa again, working on the hundreds and thousands. You can see them drying in the backgrond.
 Hundreds and thousands applied...
 And a final touch up, Sunday morning.

With a job of this short time scale there are always compromises. Now, in retrospect I would do some things in another way. Even at the time certain choices had to be made, which may not have been my first choice asthetically but were nessasary just to get the job done on time.
At this rate, issues like paint drying times take up a huge portion of the available hours. And as a construction of this nature is a series of events, it is not always possible to do parts in parallel. One must follow the other.

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Tuesday, April 16, 2013

The Butterman Kerrygold Cow

Brief: Build a light weight cow model to be used as a close-up element on an actors shoulders.

Designer: Paki Smith.

This was a challanging job on a few levels. The first issue is weight. Any complex shape needs a structure to maintain its shape (and survive the production!)

But this cow would be on the shoulders of an actor for 2 days so even sculpting in foam would be too heavy. Also, the cow needed articulation in its leg joints to give a bit of realistic movement.

So I decided we should go for a bent ply structure for the rib cage and rope joints for the hips and small hinges for the knee and ankle.

Below is a picture of the ply frame.
We made sold MDF hoofs for a little weight at the end of the legs, hopefully to ad some bounce to the limbs.
After attaching the final shapes to the leg "bones" we  wrapped it all in upolstery foam. With carful application major muscle groups can be roughed out and hints of the anatomy take shape.
The covering: though looking very good, real cow hide was far to ridged to be usable. We went with synthetic fur on a woven backing which allowed a little stretch and play.

After some shaving and painting she was ready for her big scene!

The final advert is below:

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