“They all float down here, and when you’re down here, you’ll float too!” To those of you who have never read Stephen King’s “It”, or saw the terrible made for TV movie, those words may not make much sense. To those who have seen the movie you will undoubtedly be reminded of the eight foot tall sewer clown. This project was an obvious tribute to one of the scariest books I’ve ever read. We initially saw a still shot from Stephen King’s “It” and got inspired to recreate it in our own unique way. Stephen King has long been one of my favorite authors, and his book “It” was always my favorite of his. I had originally read it in the sixth grade and it scared me so bad I stayed up for weeks. When I saw we had a chance to pay a little tribute to my favorite book I jumped at the chance!
As explained in our first blog entry one of the ways we keep our creative juices flowing is to take on projects. These projects allow us to take our time and experiment and give us complete control over the final outcome. Since doing extensive experiments on paying clients isn’t ethically feasible for us as a business, these projects are essential for the training we have to do to always assure we are bringing you, the client, a superior product.
To begin a project like this we had to find a scary clown. For most people that would be a problem, but fortunately for us we get to meet some pretty interesting people in this business. Mr. Boyle, our scary clown, had thoroughly victimized us at the Haunted House at the Whidbey Roller Barn, and we knew he would be perfect for this!
Finding a model to fit this role was another matter entirely, in fact we searched for over a month before finally meeting Sharon, (AKA Opposable Model) not only was she eager to participate, but brought a lot of creative ideas to the project as well.
Ashley from “Make-Up Your Mind” brought it all together with her amazing skill, and with the team assembled we were set!
The following account was written by Opposable Model:
Victoria and I started planning, she got a wig from Gothic Lolita, I got some shoes, and it all began to come together. The day we settled on was a Friday and the night before that I was already going to be in Seattle for a shoot with Brady Hall so I stayed there for the night and drove up to Oak Harbor the next morning. When I got to her house, Victoria informed me that her faithful friend Ashley (the wizard behind Make-Up Your Mind) would be over soon with her adorable daughter in tow. She offered me coffee and brownies (both of which were amazing!) and we hit it off right away, chatting, laughing and sorting through the wardrobe items I had brought to figure out what would work out best.
Ashley arrived with the most extensive makeup kit I have ever seen and went to work right away doing all sorts of things to my face I don’t even know how to explain. One of them was an airbrush thing that made me look like I was made out of porcelain, and then there were the false eyelashes (top AND bottom!), lipstick, eyebrows and all sorts of other things that you may never even think of but are important in achieving the desired look.
The make-up looked fantastic, and the wig Victoria had bought just tied it all together. We packed up our bags, loaded everyone up and drove off to the location. On the way there we definitely caused a few heads to turn. Imagine, if you will, a procession of two cars, one of which has a porcelain doll in the front seat and a back seat filled with black and red balloons, and the second of which is being driven by a clown. Definitely one of the weirdest things people saw in Oak Harbor that day.
The location that Victoria had found was perfect for the shoot and even though the day was sunny, the house was so gloomy and old looking that it didn’t really matter. We trotted over to it and started getting set up. Now I’ve really got to hand it to Brian, because there is a huge difference between dressing up as a creepy clown and BEING a creepy clown and he took being a creepy clown to a whole new level. He ran, he jumped, he danced, he lurked, he slunk, he crept, he did everything possible to make himself as terrifying and photo worthy as he could.
Victoria started shooting and after a while gave up being angry at the sunlight and just started being delighted about how the shots were coming out. I remember at one point she looked at her camera and just started laughing and declared, “This is so %$#@^&* amazing!” That was when I knew it was going to turn out fine.
We shot in a couple different locations around the house, including an old outhouse behind the main building and a tree in the side yard. Originally we thought Brian the clown should climb the tree and be up there staring down at me, but it was slippery and the bark wasn’t easy to climb so we changed ideas and he boosted me up onto the limb where I had a ridiculously fun time clinging onto a tree branch for dear life while he jumped up and down on the ground underneath trying to tear my shoes off. Seriously, this is the part of modeling that I love more than the makeup and the beauty and all of that stuff. It’s being able to be lifted up into a tree looking like a doll and have a clown jumping up and down under me trying to grab at my legs knowing that the person behind the camera is going to capture something amazing and that in that moment I am a part of something so cool and so fun that people will see it and think, “I want to do a shoot like that!”
When it was all said and done everybody was happy with the way that it turned out and we parted ways after some hugging and letting our balloons float away into the sky (shhhh, don’t tell anyone we littered!). We drove back to Victoria’s house she took one last head shot of me with the wig and makeup and I changed back into my street clothes and headed back to Bellingham. I had kept the makeup on because it was just so pretty I couldn’t bear to take it off yet and on the way home I got a sudden craving for a sweet, icy coffee drink so I pulled off at a Starbucks and got one. I remember pulling back out onto the freeway; drink in hand, thinking to myself, “This is the life. My face looks fantastic. I’m drinking an expensive drink, driving down the highway (in my friend’s car) and I just got to be a part of one of the funnest shoots I’ve worked on to date.”
~Sharon a.k.a. Opposable Model
The low down on how Ashley did the make up:
I first want to say that I am so excited that I got to be apart of this shoot. I had originally told Victoria that I had a doctors appointment and couldn’t make it. I ended up canceling the appointment 2 hours before the shoot and came to the makeup rescue. (can you tell where my priorities lie?) Of course I had heard a little about the shoot idea, but I didn’t know much else about Victoria’s vision. I can honestly say out of all the shoots I have done with Oni, I was least prepared for this one. (As far as knowing what direction I’m headed in regards to the look and feel of the shoot.) So when I met Sharon I was still trying to piece everything together in my head. In the end, I just let go of trying to plan everything and let the creativity flow. I knew I wanted a dark eye, something exaggerated, beautiful, but verging a little on the creepy side. That is where the white eyeliner came into play on the bottom waterline. It gives the illusion of a larger eye. Then I topped that off by over exaggerating the black liner under the eye, and used a pair of eyelashes on the skin under the liner as well as a pair of upper lashes. The effect turned out amazing! I couldn’t have been happier! Sharon was so paitent and let me do whatever I wanted and took it like a champ! She even let my 2 year old sit in her lap while I was working and managed to keep her occupied while being so easy to work with. I loved everything about this shoot and am so happy with how it all turned out, and look forward to working with Sharon again someday!
~Ashley, Make-Up Your Mind
Thats all for now dear constant reader, I want to say thanks to everyone involved. Sharon for being so versatile and flexible. Brian for being the best damn creepy clown I have ever met. Ashley for being a master of your craft. And of course Johanna for handling that crazy clown and being my right hand at the shoot!
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