The animated rotoscope and motion picture footage were played on a loop while I filmed the interior of the maquette. Around 10 sequences were shot in total. Each sequence being between 15-30 seconds in duration. For continuity purposes, I intended to film all the footage on a tripod. However, difficulties arose with cinematography issues (i.e. framing, filming (blurred vs in focus) and obtrusive light getting into shot). Though filming hand-held gave me more freedom, I wasn’t particularly pleased with the overall tests and as a result, I scraped most of the hand-held test footage.
By filming an area of the bathroom, I could focus on other objects; moving away from the animated/motion picture shower scene. By doing so I could build a tension between object and subject. The inspiration came from Repulsion (Roman Polanski, 1965). The black and white film is predominantly shot in an apartment. Polanski builds psychological tension focusing on inanimated objects for lengthy periods of time. I experimented in similar style using a penetrating buzzing sound to enhance the tension and to create a disturbing fusion with the soft lounge music and the fierce electric saw audio.
Watercolour and Lighting
The watercolour paint and lighting failed (gloriously!). My intention was for the watercolour paint to slowly drip down the cling film. Slow moving slimy liquids are considered a cliché in contemporary horror films. To fulfil my aim without involving digital effects would be something of an achievement. However, while filming I continually kept painting on the cling film. Due to the heat from the monitor, the paint just dried in seconds. Also, the monitor light was too bright that the paint became silhouetted. I had far better results using the PET bottle. When constructing Maquette No 3, I’ll use the same technique again but employ alternative strategies such as a lighter interior, acrylic paints and my daughter as an art assistant perhaps? As for the decoration lights, they were far too weak and didn’t have any overall impact though I was encouraged with subtle gentle flickering.
To make the base sturdy, the wood chipboard and shoji paper are taped onto the polystyrene (Fig 7). The wood chipboard side being the base of the maquette (Fig 8).
Holes are made into each corner of the polystyrene (Fig 9). The wooden sticks are cut 30cms in length (monitor screen height) and are inserted into each hole (Fig 10). The Vinyl decoration sheets are used as partitions. They are measured, cut and placed onto the wooden sticks (Fig 11). The tin foil lid acting as a shower head is taped to the roof of the maquette (Fig 12).
The cling film is painted with watercolour paint (Fig 13). The film is wrapped around a wooden stick 45cms in length (monitor screen length) and is suspended horizontally from each partition. Interior angle views (Fig 14&15). The decoration lights are arranged around the roof of the maquette (Fig 16).
The props are placed inside the maquette interior and the maquette is positioned in front of the monitor, side view angle (Fig 17). Watercolour paint is put into the PET bottle and a little water is added (Fig 18). The PET bottle experimentation process will be filmed later.
Recently I’ve been considering more about the installation aspect of my project. I’d previously constructed a maquette mainly using polystyrene back in October. Looking back and reflecting on this work in my blog has helped me retrace my footsteps. I noted a lot of positives and negatives from the experimentation process. For Maquette No 2, the construction and materials used will be similar but arranged differently. I will include props and emphasize lighting. I will continue to experiment with transparent objects. This time I will use cling film.
Fig 1 = 2 wooden sticks (3.8″ x 0.2″)/ Japanese shoji paper/ miniature toilet, door & dustbin/ white gaffer tape/retro miniature chair/ cling film
Fig 2 = 2 wooden sticks (3.8″ x 0.2″)/ Japanese shoji paper/ scissors/masking tape/0.5 ink pen/decoration lights/ wood chipboard
Fig 3 = Polystyrene boards x 2 (45cms x 30cms)
Fig 4 = Vinyl decoration sheet
Fig 5 = Watercolour paints/ cling film
Fig 6= PET bottle
Last night I drew a few frames and went through the following procedures: Testing the thickness of brushstrokes, determining the %s to magnify areas of the image, considering colours and gradients. All provisional but it gives me a platform to work on. This morning I set up the polystyrene maquette and used the images to continue with my experiments. Each image is clearly marked; the image number is in the bottom right corner. Details of each image are noted below:
1 Maquette with vinyl window decoration as curtain. Ice blue colouration for image.
2 Maquette with empty just washed PET bottles, close up, no curtain. Ice blue colouration for image
3 Maquette with empty just washed PET bottles, and cling film as curtain. Ice blue colouration for image
4 Maquette with cling film as curtain. Ice blue colouration for image.
5 Maquette with just washed PET bottles. Soft grey gradient for image.
6 Maquette with empty just washed PET bottles, and cling film as curtain. Mixed hues of browns, nectarine colouration for image. Lighting effect used.
7 Maquette with empty just washed PET bottles. Mixed hues of browns, nectarine colouration for image. Lighting effect used.
From my experiments, I gained many ideas and different possibilities for future maquettes and images. It was obvious from Fig 1 that I needed to consider softer transparent materials in order to project imagery through layers. Also, I found out that the maquette was too wide so I altered the shape to cube and as a result, the maquette looked more compact and structurally balanced. I thought about abandoning the curtain idea altogether and use transparent objects. PET bottles worked fine but looked a bit flat by appearance so after cleaning them, I got some interesting effects with the drops of water (Fig 2). I thought about a transparent material. Rhiannon’s drawing on cling film and tracing paper gave me the idea to use cling film (Fig 3). I think I’ll use tracing paper next time. I removed the PET bottles but the effect wasn’t particularly interesting visually (Fig 4). Next, I experimented with colours and photography effects. I used greys and blacks and continued with using the PET bottles (Figs 5/6/7). Using multiple layers worked well for me. Next time, I’ll consider glass, tracing paper and other materials for the maquette.