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!  

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