Friday, November 28, 2008

The Filming of "The King Who Sought Immortality", part one.

We shot all of the live-action material for this film in one single day, most of it indoors in front of a blue screen. It was all a strange mix of strict discipline and a cavalcade of dirty jokes. There were three people in front of the camera; Dag, who played the king of the story, Liz, who portrayed the godess Ishtar, and Rolf, who played the one man in existence who had cracked the secret of immortality. I stayed behind the camera with Björn and Niklas, who were our grips. They later turned into exiled princes during our evening shoot in a deserted sand-pit. More about that in a coming blog.

My costume-maker Liz Matsson, this time IN costume as the godess Ishtar. If she looks a bit shiny here it's because she's covered in fine gold powder. When the film is edited she will have the color of her eyes changed to purple (probably) and a hazy glow will envelope her.

Our very simple set-up. My blue screen is a 4 x 4 meter long / wide cloth and hangs over a big screen, used for making temporary walls during stage plays. The blue cloth is lit by a couple of stage lamps and some lights on the cieling.

Rolf Berg; the man who's been in almost all of my film projects. I realized that this film is our 10th film together! Rolf turns 79 on January 1 2009.

Oh, the joys of adolescent humor! Björn, actor and grip, tries to impress the women with his big tentacle.

I had made a paper "flame drum" for an earlier project and I decided to use it again for a scene in this project. Basically, it's a paper tube with flame-shaped holes covered with red and yellow acetates. You turn the drum and shine light through it, thus achieving the effect of moving "fire" showing against your preferred background. However, we ended up not using it on this film and Dag decided to wear it on his head between takes. Don't really know why.

Dag is holding a tentacle of an attacking octopus. He just chopped it off with his copper sword (actually made out of plastic). He's also holding his breath and pretending he's on the ocean floor. We used a graden leaf-blower to simulate wind in clothes during the filming and we also used it for these faux underwater scenes, to make hair and cloth wave around a bit. It made a hell of a racket while we used it, though.

Niklas is holding the leaf-blower that provided a little wind for us this day. You can stop holding your breath now, Dag. We've stopped filming.


McTodd said...

Fantastic work, as ever!

I really appreciate the way you go into such detail about how you make all your props and puppets. It really inspires people to think, 'Hmmm, I think I'll have a crack at that.'

BTW, love 'The Mewlips' video, and your blog entry on that!

a guy in a gorilla suit said...

Thanks for the idea with the flame-drum thingee. I will use this and nothing else for a long time in my own stop-motion stuff. The leave-blower in combination with the bluescreen to create the illusion of underwater scene will be something to be rememberd.
And as the Dreaded McTodd of old London Town said: It inspires people... Yes it does.

Richard Svensson said...

I'm glad to hear it! If we can achieve nothing else in this world, we may at least strive to inspire others.

a guy in a gorilla suit said...

I just moved from one apartment to the other, what means sleeping on the couch and living out of boxes. What brings me to my point: If being hit by a meteor on my way back home or anything lethal happening to me, there would be 10 big boxes left from me, and a lot of people would be at least a bit confused: "What the hell is this ? Why did he... Oh my - did you also looked into that book ?!" And me sitting somewhere in Limbo and having a good laugh.
No, really, it is all about "that elusive spark of life itself" as Dr. Frank'n Furter pointed so well. The ZAP you sometimes need to get up and things done. Thanks again.