articles about pop culture

Month: March, 2015

PD and CMS – Part Three

The film I’ll be doing PD and CMS for this term is called ‘Bump in the Night’.

It’s a comedy about a bunch of students in a flat, when load shedding strikes. One student begins pranking the others in the darkness, with disastrous consequences.

The tagline: ‘Dark Comedy’.

There are three characters, and they’re all very different. I wanted to show their differences in their looks. Ben (the protagonist) will be dressed in neat, nerdy work clothes; Harriett in floral summer dresses with stylish accessories, and Richard (the antagonist) in black skinny jeans, a reptilian green shirt and snake skin boots.

Because there’s nothing as villainous as snake skin boots.

I’m looking forward to seeing the finished film.

Things I Learned in PD and CMS

  • The meaning of constructive organic history
  • How to make blood
  • How to look beaten up
  • How to look dead
  • How much I like the phrase “spiritual armour”
  • Valuable skills for imagining characters and settings
  • Colour Psychology and Colour Qualities
  • The importance of production design
  • CMS’s great ability to communicate meaning to an audience

Here are some images I took for another assignment, making use of colour psychology:



Movie Review – The Imitation Game


“We’re going to break an unbreakable Nazi code and win the war.”

What a deliciously badass line. And it isn’t even the most powerful one in The Imitation Game, the historical thriller from director Morten Tyldum (Headhunters) and writer Graham Moore.

The Imitation Game is a biopic of Alan Turing, a British codebreaker during World War II who did exactly what the badass line suggests.

Benedict Cumberbatch plays Turing – socially inept, possibly autistic, and with a complete disregard for offending others, even commanding officers. And a genius.

It’s Cumberbatch at his most riveting. He’s even more engaging as an arrogant mathematician than he is when he’s Sherlocking or even Smauging. Because he makes it clear that under the fierce mind is a lot of pain. Turing is a vulnerable hero. And it’s in this – and in Britain’s subsequent treatment of Turing – that we find the sadness (and beauty) of the movie.

A lot of criticism has been leveled at the film for its historcial inaccuracy. I don’t think this is an issue. Biopics that stay too true to the facts tend to feel stale, and often stray from the emotional relevance of the story.

As Moore says, The Imitation Game is more of an Impressionist take on Turing’s life. And this is a good thing.

Some lines do feel a little larger than life, and some plot elements tend toward the melodramatic, but these are small details to an otherwise great accomplishment.

It’s a beautiful film, and worthy of its subject.

PD and CMS – Part Two

For our second CMS assignment, we had to create a CSI drama, replete with protagonist, victims, and serial killer  (why is there such a murderous theme to these lectures?)

I went pretty overboard in creating my characters – I imagined their back stories in obsessive detail, gave them names full of cinematic and metaphorical meaning that probably no one but me will get, and dressed every character so that their clothes were in reality their spiritual armour.

And I made sure the lead detective wore the Sherlock Holmes hat.

Because Sherlock Holmes hat.


I got the script for the movie I’ll be doing PD and CMS for.

Only kind of terrified.

PD/CMS Post – Part One

This is the first in a series of posts about my classes in Production Design and Costume, Make-up and Styling at film school.

Our first assignment for CMS was to stage three murder scenes. We had to create all effects like blood and gore ourselves.


Above is one of my victims. Each of my victims was murdered by a teenage serial killer. The killer was a teenager who was bullied, and set out to murder each of these bullies in the same way that they tormented him.

Victim #2


Here’s my third and final victim:


And, naturally blood messages on the walls.


With my classmates, Blane and Matt, I splattered the bathroom walls and ceiling and floor with huge amounts of blood. When I opened the tap to get water to clean it – they were bone dry. The campus’s water was off.

After scrubbing with roughly 20 000 baby wipes, the bathroom was clean. Kind of.

I made the blood myself.

My Blood Recipe

1) A cap full of yellow food colouring

2) A cap full of blue food colouring

3) Two caps of red food colouring

4) As much honey as is needed

5) Zombify people