Thursday, 25 September 2014

Don't Give up your Day Dream

Do you know another thing I love about living in LA?! It's the fact that they do such things as host all-night outdoor fantasy screenings. Just recently I attended one. I spent a warm summer's night under the stars, drinking wine with 2000 like-minded people and watched The NeverEnding Story (1984), followed by Legend (1985), followed by The Labyrinth (1986). It ended at about 6 am! Scroll to the end of this post to see stills from these fantastic fantasy films.

The event was hosted by Cinespia, and if you're in LA are not on their mailing list then I suggest signing up. Even last Sat they showed Roman Polanski's Rosemary's Baby (1968), which is my all-time favourite horror film.

Back to the fantasy night - they actually brought a unicorn to the affair. I took a photo with my iPhone which you can see below. This all leads me to a post about unicorns... so much has been about unicorns lately, from another variant on a fairytale kitchen I had to make in miniature (with unicorn horns on the table), to watching Legend, to breathing a huge sigh of relief that Scotland is remaining part of the United Kingdom. (Info here) Did you know that the unicorn is their national beast, and that the Scottish coat of arms depicts two crowned and chained unicorns? Brilliant, isn't it? (Another link for you - John Oliver explains it).

Unicorn in LA - photo taken by iPhone at Hollywood Forever Cemetery.

Some photos of another fairytale kitchen piece, including unicorn horns. That's my hand in one of the photos as well. Scale 1:12.

Stills from The NeverEnding Story, Legend and The Labyrinth.

Scottish Coat of Arms.

Thursday, 18 September 2014

Come inside my Fairy Ring

It's been hotter than hot in LA this week. Halfway through September, and for this English girl it's like walking on the surface of the sun. Despite that I managed to get someone's cold this week if you can even believe it!

So, over the weekend I went to a newly discovered treasure trove in Burbank - The Train Shack and found wood and scenic scatters I needed for a section of enchanted forest I've been building. Heading into Burbank was even hotter than my area (Los Feliz), as this iPhone screen-grab shows! (103°F = 39.5°C)

Despite my cold and feeling like I'm dying of the Plague, I've continued to work on my forest and taken a few photos along the way. I made the bluebells based on a method created by brilliant miniaturist Georgina Steeds. You can see some of the process in the photos below. The toadstools, trees, and everything you see was built by me in 1:12 scale. I'll share more on this when it's finished.

Note, that the photo of the forest above and second to last are simply close-ups of the scene I lit and photographed today. They are not Photoshopped. I mention this because people assume a lot happens to my photos in post (light added, colours changed), but actually what's in the photo is what's sitting in my workshop surrounded by a 3-point lighting kit. ;)

Get regular updates by following the Tall Tales Productions Facebook page, where you can ask questions about any of the miniature work there by leaving comments.

This fairy forest project reminds me of a photo shoot I did for a talented New York photographer, Leyla T. Rosario, almost 10 years ago. I dressed as a fairy in Hyde park, London in the wee hours of the morning after a night shift. Photo included below, last.

Items from model shop - The Train Shack.

Me, as a fairy in Hyde Park, London, 2004.

Saturday, 13 September 2014

Creativity... on TV?

Watching TV back in Blighty, I used to feel that besides the odd BBC or Channel Four drama / documentary, the best thing about TV was the adverts (commercials).

Such creativity, imagination and often humour, goes into commercials. I'm not necessarily inspired to go out and buy the product advertised, but I am inspired by the concise and often magical little bit of storytelling that they are.

Today I decided to share a few favourites on this blog. The first few examples are British, followed by two American examples (I don't see enough US TV to have great American examples to hand - but if you can think of something fabulous that I've missed then leave a comment!)

As for what I've been doing lately... I have had to create a number of absolutely tiny fairy shoes for a commissioned project... snapshot of this below. ;)

Lloyds TSB bank commercial (UK). Made by Rainey Kelly Campbell Roalfe Y&R (London).

Click the thumbnail to open the video in a new window.

John Lewis commercial (UK). Made by Adam & Eve /DDB and OMD Manning Gottlieb (London).

Click the thumbnail to open the video in a new window.

Watch the behind-the-scene making of here.

Bacardi Metz commercial (UK). Made by HHCL (London).

My personal favourite. Filmed in Budapest using a hand-cranked Arri camera and inspired by German Expressionist cinema and Grimm fairytales.

W H Samuel commercial (UK). Made by St. Lukes (London).

Click the thumbnail to open the video in a new window.

Marks & Spencer commercial (UK). Made by Rainey Kelly Campbell Roalfe Y&R (London).

Click the thumbnail to open the video in a new window.

National Lottery commercial (UK). Made by Studio AKA (London).

Click the thumbnail to open the video in a new window.

Guinness commercial (UK). Made by AMVBBDO (London).

Click the thumbnail to open the video in a new window.

Cadbury's Dairy Milk commercial (UK). Made by Fallon (London).

Click the thumbnail to open the video in a new window.

And now a couple of American examples of beautiful, creative commercials. The first is one I love for the production design. It was filmed in a real forest in Washington state, and the fairytale characters are CG. The second example below is a behind-the-scenes image from a commercial made by New Deal Studios using miniatures and miniature model sets in 1:24 scale. Naturally this is going to appeal to me!

Fed Ex commercial (USA). Made by BBDO (New York).

Learn about the making-of here.

Click the thumbnail to open the video in a new window.

DirecTV commercial (USA). Made by New Deal Studios (California).

Click the thumbnail to zoom in on the image, or visit the New Deal Studios website to learn about this commercial.
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