Tuesday, 25 February 2014


This week's photos have been drawn from the collection to show a connecting motif.  Keep track and see them all!

Sunday, 23 February 2014

Behind the Scenes; Behind the Masks!

For some time, Hamish and I had talked about using masks in one of our episodes.  The idea of burglars wearing scary masks is common enough in cinema and television, whether it be pig masks, faces of Royalty, clowns or scary rubber masks.  We pondered what might be our own take on this for some time, then Hamish had a flash of genius...

 These paper cut-outs of film-noir heroes seemed like the obvious solution to match our purposes.  The masks were slightly larger-than-life, and being made from paper, distorted somewhat when worn, which suited our purposes even more.  

We shot this in a bedroom.  Rooms in our houses regularly get 'exercised' on a Thursday evening, and this one involved no less furniture-shifting.  I particularly enjoyed playing Cagney as a dog.

Masks reappeared when Laurel and Marty played two bad guys moving the loot, in November '13.  The masks were those of White Heat star James Cagney and the director Raoul Walsh.  It was shot in an attic, and featured a lighting effect that used a cardboard stencil; yes more cardboard! We even had a swag-bag.

 "'Ere, Laurel, reckon we've been spotted!"

The third time masks featured was back in April '13.  This time, they were not physical masks as such, but images projected onto head coverings.  We are often inspired by the work of artists, and this episode paid homage to surreal master Rene Magritte in part.  

The material over our heads created a suitable weird distortion of identity. In July '13, we went for another variation on the mask theme, but this was the more traditional burglar disguise of the stocking over the head.

This episode was entitled 'Reserve Noir Dogs'.  We got some pretty weird distortions out of it, and combined the stockings with projected textures.  (More about projections in another post.)
 Here are the undynamic duo, ready to set off on their next caper.

A more recent use of masks saw Laurel and Marty pay homage to Boris Karloff, in their Halloween special for 2013.  Like other episodes, this was shot in Hamish's sculpture studio, and more about that in another post, too.

The chains here were plastic, and bought from a supermarket earlier that day.  We even made sure the tag remained visible! 

(Above)  Classic monster pose!


It's not all serious in Shadow Laughter, honest!  

Like us on facebook: www.facebook.com/ShadowLaughter

Sunday, 16 February 2014

Behind the Scenes: 'The Man Who Wasn't There, Kinda'

Developing a range of characters helped us to come up with ideas and situations, and has also provided variation for the audience.  Occasionally working with others has also brought an extra dimension, and more about that in another post.  In our early adventures, we once enlisted the help of a mysterious 'third' man.

Here he is, just outside the door, dealing dodgy documents.  We felt that his performance on the night was very two-dimensional, and this was largely down to the fact that he was made out of cardboard.  

In a later episode, we resorted to cardboard once again.  This time, it was to create a sense of location, via a shadow.

We were working in a relatively small space, and so were restricted to where we could stand.  However, the window shape offered us a good framework and seemed to work well. 

In May of 2013, Laurel and Marty found themselves under attack from a large shadowy bird.

The only real threat was having an eye taken out by the edge of a wing; cardboard pointy bits can be sharp!  We joked about calling this episode, 'The Maltese Crow', but saved up that sort of quality gag for a later episode.  

More recently, we made a set of images in a timely reference  to the St Valentine's Day Massacre.  

Can you spot the use of cardboard in these?