A little while ago I received a phone call from producer Rohan Scully from Squire studios. Was I free to shoot a music video that coming weekend?
'sure' I replied
'great' said Rohan 'There's not a lot for you to do, just bit of styling and a nosebleed'
'Right a nosebleed easy peasy'
'No hold your horses its a nosebleed underwater in a swimming pool and we need the blood to really spurt'.
'Right ok, what on earth is this for?'
'Its the video for a song called drown by indie-folk singer songwriter Marika Hackman we've got these two brilliant Aussie directors on board and basically they want to drown her in a swimming pool'
so I nipped to the shops and brought a turkey baster then went to the cupboard, got my box of blood (everything from thick and clotted to light abrasion I'll have you know) and proceeded to experiment squirting differnt varietys up my nose and blowing them out into beakers of water where mostly they either sank or dissolved, in the only thing that worked was a home made concoction of golden syrup and food colouring (drop me a line if you want the recipe its very handy for halloween)
Anyway on the day in question I made my to the under water studios in Basildon Essex, where I met directors Brian and Karl as well as Marika and the rest of the crew. The studio is basically an enormous tank on the edge of an industrial estate ; a quirky and unpretentious venue which over the years has shot scenes for everything from James Bond to Eastenders.
After a quick safety briefing the crew including chris parkes (the man behind all these beautiful stills) donned wet suites and diving gear and boxed their equipment up into waterproof casing - including one rather nifty bit of kit which had a built in rubber glove for easy underwater button operating! (What will they think of next?)
But I digress. Marika was absolute trooper and cheerfully put with spending a day having her head held underwater as well as several takes of squirting blood out her nose - See below for the full effect.
I hope I'm not just speaking for myself when I say that making this video was a brilliant experience ,'Drown' is a very haunting and melodic song and I think directors Brian and Karl were spot on with their vision for the piece. Please check my 'latest work' section to see the final result.
A collaboration from myself and long time creative partner, photographer Scott Rylander, (you can see what he's saying about it here) based on Hayek's 'road to serfdom' reworked in a modern setting.
In terms of make up and styling it was both fun and challenging to transform the characters from a respectable middle age couple to a pair of hideous vagrants, as we were working in a studio setting and to a tight budget prop and costume changes had to be kept to an absolute minimum, and after much debate we decided to show the path to decay using bags and bottles (note the slide from champagne to white lightening!) However make-up left much more scope for creativity with blood, bruises, black eyes etc...
modelled by Paul Hughes and Katerina Jugati
A few weeks ago I was contacted by a guy called Russell Beck who was involved in the planning of the lord mayors show, he was organising a float for the thames tideway tunnel project which is an organisation planning to build a 25k sewage tunnel through London in order to prevent 200 million tonnes of raw sweage from being dumped in the Thames each year. So with that in mind who better to have as a mascot than Sir Joseph bazalegette (below left) The inventor of the original London sewage system in the 1860's.
David Crawford was the reprentative from Thames tideway who was chosen to be sir Joseph so I had to get him kitted out with a an enormous pair of Victorian style sideburns and a moustache which came courtesy of the wig store in Greenford (The ex BBC wig dept they are the go to people for any sort of hair piece!)
I arrived bright an early at the meeting point and applied David's side burns and moustache since i was going to have to wait around to take it off again the guys at Thames tideway suggested I join them and march in the parade? So I looked at their ever so fetching white boiler suit, hi-vis jacket and clown wig ensemble and said 'why the hell not?!' Having got dressed up for the occasion we walked along the parade route alongside a Chinese dragon (designed by Russell Beck and co.) To represent the 'dragon' tunnel digging equipment being used to construct the tunnel.
I had a great time on the parade and it was really interesting to see some of the other floats who had turned out for the occasion, my particular favourite was the London guild of Pavers who's mascot for some reason was a giant inflatable pig (see below)
The rest of my Halloween was spent working in ultra exclusive members club Annabels, I was lucky enough to get this job through an old acquaintance from my days at greasepaint college, fabulous make-up artist and beautician Andrea Innocenti (pictured below left) and together with another of the greasepaint ladies: Make-up artist and hair-dresser katie Gulley we set to work, first o the staff and then on the punters to create some hideous hammer horror style Halloween gore!
It was a wonderful two night extravaganza, great fun and a great opportunity to have a nosy round one of London's best known private venues, which I have to say does live up to its reputation, if your ever lucky enough to get an invite make sure you go I guarantee you wont be disappointed!
my rogues gallery of wounds!
Halloween is always a busy time for anyone in the make-up world and mine was no exception, this Halloween got off to a flying start when I was asked to worked at a children's creative workshop at South kilburn studios hosted by the very talented Zoe Brewer the event was very well attended 80 kids showed up ALL of whom seemed to want their faces painted - EEK!! It was a bit of a mad scramble to say the least,
I dont think I managed all 80 but I gave it a pretty good go! Besides having their faces painted the kids all enjoyed making pumpkin masks, playing games and drinking hot chocolate with Victoria and her helpers and I hear they are planning to host another event for Christmas find out more at the south kilburn studios website southkilburnstudios.org
Putting make-up on people since 2010