Just a General Update

Well… This week’s post was supposed to be Rachel going deep into the poster making process, but unfortunately, her computer is being excessively uncooperative and is in time-out at the Apple Store. Bad computer. The Swets just got back from a long and fun vacation, and have nasty colds to boot, which just leaves me to get y’all up to date. (Not that I mind :D)

IMG_3229Progress has been slow lately as we are all concentrating on getting the script finished and locked down. Last time I talked about the script, we had been through 2 main plotlines. Since then, we have been through at least three more. As we read and discuss each draft as it comes, we always end up with more ideas than we know what to do with and so end up making these dramatic script changes to try and use them all up.

Before, it has been Lizzy, Max, sometimes Josiah, and sometimes myself who have been actually writing with the others giving imput and ideas. Recently though, Micah has joined the ranks of writers and has completely finished the last three different drafts of the script. Way to go, Micah!!

Lately, we are all feeling like it’s time to be done with the script and get on with the other stuff so we’re working hard on not getting carried away with our ideas and focusing on fixing the little things in the script that we already have. Hopefully, after the next couple of secret-movie-project-get-togethers, we will have completely finished the script and moved on to get the rest of pre-production finished and ready for shooting (I can’t wait for that part!).


Also, we have been thinking about locations. At first, we were just gonna be shooting at the location that Max already posted about, but we have been talking about getting another location as well. A field or maybe just more forest. Haven’t actually decided on anything yet, but we’re still talking.

Yesterday, us Polings went on a fun adventure going to look at all the walks and parks around our new area and we found several places that would make awesome movie locations, if not for Evasion, then for some future project maybe.

After reading some of you guys’ comments last time, I realized that we haven’t actually told you guys much about the movie itself, so here are some facts that we can be certain about without having the script locked down and without giving anything away.

  • This will be an Action/Adventure/Explosions/Gun-firing-galore kind of movie. There will be lots of running, fighting, and intense peril. No cliffs though.
  • Max and Lizzy play the two main characters.
  • Phillip will play the bad guy.
  • I’m not quite sure about the weapons, but I can promise you lots of guns, knives, a machete, possibly a couple grenades, and just maybe a bazooka.

After we finish the script, we’ll be working on getting the costumes finished, procuring or making all the props, choreographing fights and other such stuff, and figuring out exactly what goes where at our location(s).

So that’s mainly what’s goin’ on. Not too much.

Thanks for reading and as always, we love hearing from y’all!

Love, Annie


We Plunge into Photoshop – A First Look at ‘Evasion’

I just want to say before all y’all get your socks knocked off that I have been SUPER excited about this post ever since we decided to do it. I think pretty much all of us have. I have just been blown away by the awesomeness that Rachel, Micah, Lizzy, Josiah, and Max have created. Every time I see these, I just get super excited about the movie all over again. I hope that you do too, so without further ado:

By Micah:


Micah~ This is the first poster I made in Photoshop. I got the idea for this one from the Unstoppable poster here. It was not turning out right at first so I started over (that happened about 3 times 😛). I finally got something going that I liked and it went pretty smooth from there. I thought it was finished but it looked like something was missing. I stared at it for awhile and added the forest/helicopter at the top and the map on the bottom. That was the finishing touch it needed. 🙂


Micah~ This is my second and final poster. I first got the idea from this poster, but as you can see, it turned out a lot different than I had in mind 😀. One of the biggest challenges I had was getting the characters’ skin tone to match since half of them were taken at different times of the day. After I put in the people, explosion and helicopter, there was still something missing and then somebody (the Polings, to be exact) suggested I add some clouds and trees. I took the advice and that made it look a lot better. I did some fine tuning, added a faint grunge texture annnnndddddd it’s done! I’m not terribly happy with the look of the title but it works fine. 🙂

By Josiah:


Josiah~ This was just kind of a throw-it-all-together-and-hope-it-turns-out-right kind of thing. I masked out the characters and just kept rearranging them ’til it looked good. I showed it to everybody and they suggested that I change the color grading a bit. Originally, the minion in the background with the gun was facing the other way, but it looked like he was shooting Micah in the head, and everybody preferred him facing the way I have him facing now.

By Lizzy:


Lizzy~ This is my first attempt at making a poster as well as working with Photoshop. I had already kind of used Photoshop before, but I hadn’t really done anything like this. Rachel had already made a poster, basing it off of some tutorial techniques she had found. Seeing her poster, I was immediately inspired. I could see it all in my head, it was just a matter of getting it out of my head and into Photoshop. Rachel gave me some links to some sites and showed me how to assemble a cool looking background. With some pointers from Rachel and some tips about Photoshop from Josiah and Phillip, I had a poster and I’m pretty pleased with it.


Lizzy~ I got inspiration from Micah’s first poster, but not wanting to copy him, I looked around for some other idea’s. I assembled my background, which is really cool, and began looking through the photos we had taken. I wanted some more action-looking poses rather than poses staring epic-ly at the camera, so I used pictures from costume idea’s and makeup tests. After jumbling around the photos in Photoshop, nothing was really working and I wasn’t feeling inspired. I decided to go with my original idea and went through the easy, but tedious job of masking people out. I played around and got kind of what I was seeing, but I wasn’t really happy with it and left it unfinished. But then, for this post, I pulled it out and decided it didn’t look all that bad. So, after doing some work on it, I posted it for everyone’s opinion. After getting some feedback, I tweaked it and I’m done! Now that I look at it, it turned out rather nicely and I’m pretty happy with it.

By Max:


Max~ I based this poster on the one for The Curious Case of Benjamin ButtonIt took me a while to figure out because I hadn’t a clue where to start in Photoshop; I know my way around After Effects but Photoshop was (and still is 🙂) a tough nut to crack for me. I had a hard time getting everything blended in and the colors right. I’m really happy with how it turned out. 🙂

By Rachel:


Rachel~ This is the first poster I’ve ever made. I had no idea where to start, or even what style of poster exactly I wanted to do. My first step was researching how to make posters in Photoshop. I’m kind of a newb with Photoshop and those first few tutorials were a huge learning curve for me. I was so, so, SO pleased with how this one turned out, especially for my first attempt. This was also the first poster any of us had made for our film, so it was interesting hearing everyone else’s initial feedback. I probably did at least 10 different versions of this poster, each a tiny bit different, taking in the advice and feedback from the group.


Rachel~ (Spoiler Alert!) I wanted to make a poster of just the “good guys” using some of the other poses we took. This one was actually harder because I felt like I had too much blank space to fill. Currently, we are going though some major script revisions, and these might not be the good guys at all now! 😉 It still turned out nice, I think.


Rachel~ I took several pictures of Annie during our photo shoot that were just too epic. Even though she is not cast as a main character at this point, her pictures were SO poster-worthy that I had to make her a poster of her own. I also wanted to try a lighter color scheme. Don’t shoot me, Annie!


Rachel~  This is the last one I made, and I think, my favorite. I learned quite a few new Photoshop techniques during the time between making the last one and this one.  I just love the colors and textures!

End of Show and Tell:

Are they amazing or what?! I hope you guys have enjoyed getting your first real peek at what the film will look like. I know I did. Now I’m really motivated to work on the film. Where’d I put that script…

P.S. Coming soon! Rachel is planning on writing an in-depth post about poster-making. 🙂

As always, we love, love, LOVE hearing feedback, so let us know your thoughts in the comments!

Makeup Test #3 – SCARS!!!

I recently got a certain something special in the mail from Amazon, and was very eager to test it out! We’ve been talking about one of our characters having a scar on their face, so I’ve been researching how to do realistic, but simple scars. Whilst doing said research, I came across this product called “Ridgid Collodion”. I watched a couple of tutorials on youtube about using it, and sure enough, it looked to be the product for me!

Here’s some reference pictures I looked at to give me something more than my imagination to go by.

And here is one of the tutorials I watched to learn about how to use it.

So, now it’s my turn! Forgive the quality of the upcoming pictures- I took them with my iPhone in my poorly lit bedroom. 😉

Picture 1: Me, on a bad hair day, with clean skin.

Picture 2: I put on a base- a tiny bit of foundation mixed with moisturizer so that it was really translucent, a little bit of concealer under my eyes, around my nose, and on a couple red spots, a hint of a really light eyeshadow to make my eyelids look less puffy and a really light brown powder lining my eyelash line to give my eyes the slightest bit of definition. A dusting of a very light peach blush and a little bit of mascara completed the base. I was going for a non-made-up look – this is called “no-makeup makeup”-  and I think I succeeded. 🙂

The rest of the pics: I put a little bit of “dirt” around on my face, just like I did with Lizzy and Annie in previous posts, then I began the scarring process.


When I first opened the little bottle of scarring liquid, my first thought was, “WHEW! This stuff smells like the dickens!” And it does! It’s very important not to get it near the eyes, and I was tearing up a little bit just being downwind from the smell when I was working on the scar above my eye.

I tried two different kinds of scars. One with a red base, and one with a white base. Guess which one is which. 😉

For the one on my cheek, I used a red lip liner pencil to draw the line of the scar, then covered it with at least 15-20 coats of the ridgid collodion. Each layer made my skin tighten and depress more and more. It’s really hard to tell from these pictures, but I really had quite a divot in my skin!

For the white-based scar over and under my eye, I used a line of really light foundation, but I accidentally made it too wide to start with. Also, I wasn’t really ready to sacrifice my eyebrow at this point in time for the scar to go all the way through, like it would if it were a real healed wound, so the look of a continued scar over my eye socket just didn’t really pull itself off.

Needless to say, the red one turned out way better, and I will definitely go with a red base, should we use a big scar like this in our film.

I then coerced a couple of siblings to take some photos of me with our dSLR, which is one of the cameras we will be shooting with. I think the scar translated wonderfully!


For those of you who have not met me in person… here is a little introduction into the many faces of me. ^^ 😉 Only kidding! I’m only crazy… half of the time.

Things I learned:

OH MAN. Does this stuff smell. You get used to it after a while, but that first whiff is enough to bring tears to the eyes.

It takes quite a long time to do a large scar. I spent a good hour layering and waiting for it to dry. The bigger and deeper the scar, the longer it takes.

Since the ridgid collodian becomes about the consistency of a toenail when it’s dried, it’s a good idea to not put it in a part of the face that moves a lot (like your smile line, which is right where I put mine 😛 ). Eventually, it’s going to separate from the skin around the edges, and the more movement of your face, the faster it will separate.

In another tutorial I watched, which was rather long-winded and lengthy, I learned that it’s not a good idea to create a scar, peel it off, and make the same scar again the day after. The reason for this being: when you peel the dried collodian off, it takes a bunch of dead skin cells with it, which is fine. BUT, if you apply it too soon after, when you peel it off again, you are ripping off skin cells that your face actually needs. Doing it too often can lead to some weird things like a dry patch, discoloration, or a more permanent slight scarring look than you intended. This is going to be interesting using it in a movie. I shall have to plan carefully.

Let me know if you have any comments or questions. I anxiously await the arrival of comment notifications, so don’t be shy. ;) Until next week! Ciao!

And that’s the way the cookie crumbles.

Costume Concepts for ‘Evasion’ – part 2

Howdydodyday! I hope y’all have had a spectacular Easter!

Another thing I’ve been working on, besides makeup, is costumes. I love planning, shopping for, and building costumes, so I was very excited to get do help with this part of our film.

When we first started talking about our characters and plot line, Lizzy was inspired, and put together this costume with things we had around the house. We all liked it, but once I saw it, I realized that we needed to stay away from too much camo, because we wanted the costumes to feel much more militia-like, rather than army uniforms.


I like to draw costumes because it helps me think through the characters story, and gives me a better idea of what exactly I need to look for when I start looking for the various little pieces.

Here is my costume concept drawing for the character Lizzy will be playing.


Before I drew this, I looked up pictures of characters from movies who’s costumes were similar to the one I was seeing in my head. I posted them to everybody else, so they could see and give their opinion. We all liked this one the best.

This is Trinity, from The Matrix. I really liked the ripped and running knit sweater on top, with the hole-y and worn cuffs.

This is Trinity, from The Matrix. I really liked the ripped and running knit sweater on top, with the hole-y and worn cuffs.

One day, when we had time, us Polings took a trip to the thrift store together to look for some good costume stuff. This is what we came home with for the base of Lizzy’s costume. Later, I took it through a weathering process (to be written about soon!) to make it look more like I was thinking.

Sorry the lighting is so bad. You can't really tell, but the sweater is dark green and the pants are a dark mulberry color. We still aren't sure about having reddish pants, and we might go with different ones.

Sorry the lighting is so bad. You can’t really tell, but the sweater is dark green and the pants are a dark mulberry color. We still aren’t sure about having reddish pants, and we might go with different ones.

Here’s a more finished look for Lizzy. There’s still some pieces missing, but I really like the look of it.


I also drew a concept drawing for one of the other characters (casting yet to be finalized). I was really glad I did this because it helped me think of what we wanted and didn’t want specifically. I got a lot of good feedback from everybody else, and I came to understand what each person was thinking a bit more clearly from their constructive criticism.


Here’s some reference photos I used from Denzel Washington’s costume in The Book of Eli:



We have yet to put this costume all the way together, but it was still really helpful to have something down on paper when we went to the thrift store to look for anything and everything we could find.

Here’s a couple of costumes we put together from our thrift store adventure + some things we already had at our house that we may or may not use.



Aaaaaand finally, Phillip and I worked together to get his costume put together. He looks knee-knocking-shakin’-in-me-boots good and totally deserves several pictures. 🙂




I’m so scared.

Anyway, that’s it for me today! Let me know if you have any comments or questions. I anxiously await the arrival of comment notifications, so don’t be shy. 😉 Until next week!

And that’s the way the cookie crumbles.

Costume Concepts for ‘Evasion’

Another Monday, another post! I’ll be showing you some costume concepts that I’ve been working on.

What we want for the film is a guerrilla-style uniform rather then a military/special-ops look. I did some searching on the Internet but couldn’t find the look I wanted. I knew what items I had, so designing the costume was fairly easy. My process for designing is to think about it in my head for a long time; by the time I try it on, I usually don’t need to change much.

I had some camo pants and an olive green, long sleeve shirt for the base, then added a tactical vest, gloves, hat, and guns (of course 🙂 ).

This is what I have so far:

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I’ve always liked the look of weapons carried on the back (be it guns, bows, or swords) so I added a machete; I’m planning on incorporating it in the film. Mom and Dad gave it to me for my birthday a long time ago and I use it for yard work (time to repurpose it 😀 ).

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And here are some pictures we took a while ago when it was snowing. I was trying a different kind of boot I had, but I’ve decided not to use them.

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I came up with a bad guy ‘minion’ costume. Since we have a limited number of actors, a lot of the minions will need to wear masks so we can play multiple characters.

I think the jacket is a little too short, but other than that I really like this one.




Micah came up with this minion costume.

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Also, Micah came up with the look for the film (just kidding 😛 ).


That’s all for today folks! Please let me know what you think of the costumes. Also, let me know if you want me to go into more detail on a certain area.

Maxwell Swet

Makeup Test #2

I’ve been doing more makeup tests whenever I have the time. I’m learning a lot more about techniques for different kinds of wounds that are a little closer to how they will actually be in our film. I did a test on my sister, Lizzy, soon after my test on Annie. We were also watching the Super Bowl at the same time, and I was going rather slow in between watching the game, and eating pizza, and in the process, we lost our rather small window of time in the afternoon where it’s light outside. (It gets really dark really early in Washington State during the winter.) The pictures from the photo shoot are a little grainy because of how dark it was, but you can still see a bit of what I did. 🙂

The Base


I did a very similar base as I did on Annie. I made a couple mistakes, the most notable of which is picking a powder that was too dark for lining her eyes with. It made her look a bit too “made up”, which is not what I was going for. Woopths.

I also wanted to put on any liquid latex I was planning on using before I put on her foundation. That way, I could make sure the latex was covered with exactly the same color as the rest of Lizzy’s face. I forgot about that, (woopths, again!) so I settled for putting on the latex bits before I set her foundation with transparent powder (notice how she’s just a tad shiny).

Wound Prep


Picture 1: I took a tissue, took it apart so that it was 1 ply instead of 2, ripped off a bit of it and rolled it into a very tiny log. This is going to give some depth- make it look like Lizzy’s skin is separated up near her hairline.

Picture 2: Using liquid latex like glue, I draw a line where I want the cut to be and place the tissue roll I made on her forehead.

Picture 3: On the “downhill side” of the (now stuck) tissue, I put a few layers of latex doing my best to get it super thin at the bottom so that it will blend into her skin.

Pictures 4-5: I dotted liquid latex on her temples and on her cheekbone. I wanted it to seem like she hit her head on a rock, splitting her skin, and also like she fell down or was dragged over something rough like a rock or a tree, scratching and bruising  the side of her face.

After I applied the latex, I powdered her face, setting the foundation, and put on a tiny bit of blush and conturing powder, just like I did with Annie.

Blood and Dirt


For dirt, I burned the end of a wine cork (purchased for a few cents at the thrift store), and when it cooled, I spread a bunch of the charcoal on my fingers and smudged Lizzy’s face. I also used a little makeup sponge with some brown, dark green, and dark purple eye shadows to get more a more textured dirt and bruise look around the “wounded” areas.

I used a very small brush and the same makeup sponge to layer on blood gel and the darker eye shadows to give the cut depth and the scratched areas texture. I really liked the effect!

That bottom picture is me putting on the finishing touches just as a touchdown was scored, so we both were looking at the screen in the next room. 😉


We hurried out during halftime to go do a quick photoshoot outside. Like I said before, we kinda missed our daylight window, so the pictures ended up being a bit grainy and dark. We still got some epic shots though!


There were some things I disliked about what I did with Lizzy’s look, but on the whole, I was really happy with it. I was especially pleased with how well the wound on her cheek turned out, and how well I was able to get the latex for the cut on her forehead to blend in. Her hair covered it up a lot, but it still looked really cool. The one on her chin wasn’t my favorite, but it wasn’t bad! If anything it really made it look like her whole face must be in pain. *hiss of pain* Yowch!

I was kind of thinking I should time how long it takes me so I can start practicing on working faster, but the Superbowl went and ruined that plan. 😉 I’ll have to make a point of doing that one of these days.

More to come!

And that’s how the cookie crumbles. 🙂


IMG_2410Screenwriting is something that I’ve been interested in for a couple years now, and it’s been really exciting to write with everybody else also giving input and words. My most favorite part of screenwriting is definitely writing the dialogue. Dialogue comes naturally to me and I find it relatively easy to get into the flow of what the characters are saying and what the thought process is behind their words.

Movie-scripts actually aren’t that different from stage-scripts. They are both written in the present tense (books are almost always written in the past tense), and they are both separated into two different sections: action, and dialogue.

In stage-plays, the emphases is placed heavily upon the dialogue, the action being delegated to tiny columns along the sides of the script while the dialogue has plenty of elbow room across the entire page.

Screenplays are the opposite. The action has full width and breath while the dialogue is placed in narrow column in the center of the page. This shows the importance that films place on showing what is happening with pictures, rather than the characters talking about it to inform the audience what is happening.

This format of writing, as you may guess, is extremely difficult to implement using a regular writing program. Not to worry! There are several programs that are out there for the sole purpose of screenwriting. The problem? Most of the good ones (you know, the ones that actually work) are extremely expensive. Like, hundreds of dollars expensive. Luckily for us, there’s a really nice one that is free! It’s called Celtx. Celtx is nice because it can handle more that one screenplay within a project, meaning that we could have several different drafts of the same project all linked together in one place.

Talking with Max and Micah via Google+

Talking with Max and Micah via Google+

The first step in writing the script for our movie was making sure we all had a version of Celtx. I think Rachel and I were the only ones who didn’t. Rachel had just gotten a new computer and I inherited her old one, neither of which had Celtx on them. That was soon remedied and we were all set to go.

We went through several phases while talking and thinking through the story for our movie. The original concept was Max’s, inspired when he first saw the location. Everybody really liked his idea, and started talking about ways to fill it out, make it better, and add their own ideas.

It wasn’t until the next time we talked together that we started to discover some of the major problems we would encounter.

One of the biggest problems is the scale of the film we want to make does not match the size of our cast. While neither of our families have ever worked with this many people before, we started to realize that we still didn’t have enough. 2-3 good guys, 2 baddies, and lots of faceless minions is a little too much for 7 people to pull off.

Another big problem is the time constraint. Our vision was a 5-10 min film, but every time we sat down and talked, our ideas would just keep getting longer and more elaborate as we tried to give depth to the characters and motivation to the story. We’d toss ideas back and forth, each saying what they thought was the most important stuff, trying to decide what we could cut out. Sometimes we would veer completely off course, just tossing out random ideas, grasping for something good. We’d always come back to the original idea, but then it just felt like we were going in circles, not accomplishing anything with all our talking.

The third big problem was a story gimmick (that I’m not allowed to reveal) that we all really, really, wanted to keep, but it kept causing problems. We tried to reorder the events, but that just made everything too confusing. We knew where we wanted it. We knew how we wanted it, but couldn’t wrangle the rest of the story to fit around it in a complete, but non-time-consuming way.

As you can see, sometimes things get a little dramatic...

As you can see, sometimes things get a little dramatic…

Several of us wrote draft scripts, giving more detail to how we thought the story could work. Some of it was pretty good. For myself, I was never happy with any of them.

At this point, it had been 3-4 weeks of chasing our ideas around in circles trying to pinpoint the things we liked and the things that didn’t work. It seemed like no matter how far away we roamed, eventually we would always come back to the basic plot that we started with.

Finally, we had a breakthrough.

Micah stepped forward with an alternate plotline that seemed to magically deal with all our problems. It only differed slightly from Max’s original concept but it gave a different motivation behind our characters’ actions. It allowed us to explain things more plainly to the audience, while keeping within the time limit, and allowing our story gimmick to sit in a good and right place.

Unsurprisingly, it didn’t take long for a complete draft to be whipped up. Max spat one out and sent it over to us to take a look at.

Now, a draft is… just that. A draft. It’s not perfect by any means. The first thing I do with a draft is to dance with excitement. Finally! Something whole and tangible that we can set on the table to work on! The next second, I’m hacking it to pieces looking for everything that is wrong with it. (In a loving way, of course.) 😉

After we took a look at Max’s draft, we all talked about it via a Google+ Hangout. Josiah then made some edits and sent it back to Max. Max made some more edits and sent it back to us.

And that is where we are currently in the development of the script. Right now it’s waiting for Lizzy and I to go over it and add our edits. This process of going back and forth, editing and changing, will continue until we get as close as we can to perfection.

Writing this script has been a lot different than every other script I written (or attempted to write). Not just because of all the people involved, but also because the style is very different as well. I tend to write about plots and characters rather than shoot-em-up-action-films like this one. A lot of the story is still rather vague with such lines as ‘They fight for a while’ or ‘They somehow get from here to there’. These types of things will be plotted out later. The fighting will have to be choreographed, which is not really something you want to write out in a script, and the other stuff will be worked out as we are shooting the film where it will be easy to integrate our location into what is happening.

Well, that’s it for updates on the script and my very first blogpost (Yay!). Thanks for reading.


Film Makeup Test, Part 2 – The Blood and Dirt

Continuing on from my last post, I’m now in a position to apply the fun stuff: Blood and dirt! 😀

This is how Annie looked at the end of the last post:


Parents, please be advised that in this post, detailing how I made the wound, may not be appropriate for small children who do not do well with a little blood. Previewing may be in order. 🙂

Blood and Dirt

IMG_2095Now that I have the base ready, it’s time to mess it up. 😉

Liquid Latex

I took a tissue and separated it into one thin sheet, taking it from a two ply tissue to one really thin ply.

I ripped off a little bit and rolled it into a little log.

Taking a small paintbrush I didn’t care about, I drew a line of liquid latex onto Annie’s forehead.

using liquid latex for wounds

Before the latex dried, I put the little rolls of tissue on top of it, sticking them to Annie’s head.


I layered a few more coats of latex over the paper rolls, doing my best to blend it into her skin.


We used a hairdryer to help the latex dry faster. (Impatient us) It’s already starting to look cool and yucky.


When it was dry, I tried to blend it in a bit more by using a sponge to dab some foundation on the latexed area. I realized too late that I should have worked with the latex before I put on her foundation. It was much harder to match the exact shade, plus it did some other goobering I was disappointed about. Nevertheless, I went on and did my best to cover up the little mistakes.


I decided to move on to the dirt next. Taking a wine cork that I had burnt the end of with a lighter, I rubbed the charred end on my fingers and rubbed my fingers on her face putting some streaks on her cheeks and on the sides of her nose. I tried to put more “dirt” in the places on the face where it would naturally accumulate more, like the sides of the nose, by the ears, and on the temples.

I also took a makeup sponge and chopped up the end with scizzors. I then used it to dab eyeshadow in the colors purple, brown, and green in the wound area as well as a few of the other “dirty” places.


Taking that same chopped up sponge, I dipped it in a little blood gel and sponged all around the wound area. This helped cover up the end of the latex-covered area quite a bit!

Taking the smallest brush I have, I traced over the top of the raised bump with several layers of blood gel. At this point it still didn’t look right, so I tried  adding some little spillover veins on the sides. This immediately helped a lot, but I got them a little too widespread and spidery. Max said it looked too “zombie-like”. 😉


I added some scratches on Annie’s cheek by lightly tracing the lines with a red lipliner pencil, then going over it with some brown eyeshadow mixed with the blood gel. I tried to make parts of the scratches thicker and darker than other parts, because I know that scratches like that are not usually even lines. However, I think I got them a little too thick. It still looked pretty good.

I finished everything off with a few more pats of “dirt” with the different dark colors of eyeshadow.


Silly Annie kept giving us her “dead look”. With all her wounds, it was very creepy. 😛


Time for a photoshoot!

Time for a photoshoot! Annie was a very good model. I was scared she was going to attack me with the stunt knife. 😉










In conclusion,

I was very happy with how this first test turned out!

Here are some things I didn’t really like:

1. I mixed the foundation a little too light. In my next test I will not be afraid to go a bit darker.

2. The blood gel is a little too bright red for my taste. I would like to figure out a way to make it a bit darker so that it doesn’t look so fresh and fake.

3. The scratches on Annie’s cheek didn’t look very 3D; they mostly looked like red lines. I need to try some different techniques.

4. I didn’t plan beforehand what kind of wound I wanted to make, and so this wound isn’t really one that could happen in real life (that I know of). It seems to be some sort of a cross between a cut, a scar, and a burn. Next time, plan beforehand.

5. The paper was a bit too thick. Next time I’ll make the paper smaller, if I use it at all.

Another test will be coming soon!

Please let me know your thoughts in the comments below! If you have any questions about the products I used, I’d be more than happy to answer them!

And that’s the way the cookie crumbles.


Film Makeup Test, Part 1 – The Base

Welcome to my first blogpost here on Behind Our Scenes!

I’ve been interested in makeup for a long time, and recently I’ve been taking steps to advance myself in skill, hopefully getting to the place where I can create some fairly good looks for photography and film. I’ve been doing lots of research and buying lots of new tools and more expensive makeup. This movie project with my siblings and friends is providing me with a really cool opportunity to explore the world of film and fx makeup, specifically small wounds and dirt. I’m looking forward to it!


The finished look.

Being as excited as I am about this project, I couldn’t resist doing some tests. I’m still learning a lot and the best way to learn makeup is to practice, practice, and practice some more. I finally have enough supplies to start practicing some of the things I’m going to be doing (or potentially doing) in this film. My lovely sister, Annie, agreed to be my very patient model. She did a wonderful job (hugs sis!). Annie is going to have a part in this film, but her look will probably be very different from the one on the right. This is just a test of various materials, and a learning experience for me.

Without further ado, I present a picture-full documentation of my first foray into facial cuts and dirt.

Parents, please be advised that part 2, detailing how I made the wound, may not be appropriate for small children who do not do well with a little blood. Previewing may be in order. 🙂


A small metal pallet to mix colors. It is easy to sanitize.

A small metal pallet to mix colors. It is easy to sanitize.

I brought up all of my supplies from my dimly-lit room up to the dining room where there is a big sliding glass door that lets in a lot of light. I wanted to make sure I was applying the makeup in the same light that I would be photographing portraits in later.

As part of my new learning process, I’m learning about sanitary makeup practices. When doing makeup for several different people, it’s different than just doing it for yourself. Being sanitary creates a few more steps in the process of putting on normal makeup.

The basic rules are:

1. Sterilize everything after usage

2. No double dipping

There are various new habits I’m learning to abide by these rules, i.e. setting aside used brushes and using a pallet to mix colors and pour liquids onto so I don’t have to dip a brush in a bottle or in a color more than once.

The Base: Clean Face

Here is my lovely model Annie, before any makeup is applied. I had her wipe her face with a cleansing wipe to get rid of any excess oils or leftover makeup.



The first thing I did was work on her eyes. I like to do the eyes first so that if I make any mistakes, or powder gets where I don’t want it, I can easily clean it up without ruining anything else.

I used Urban Decay’s Primer Potion first, then used several colors of matte (not shiny, sparkly, or pearlized) brown in her eye crease to give her eyes more depth. I also dusted her eye lid and browbone with some matte white powder to give them some highlight. Using a dark brown, I lined her eyelash line to make her eye more defined.

At this stage it looks too dramatic;  it looks like I got the colors and the shapes too dark and stylized. While they are a little more dark than I was thinking they would be, once the rest of the makeup was applied, it looked right.

movie makeup test


Using my new Graftobian foundation pallets (which I am LOVING, btw), I start mixing foundation to try and match Annie’s skin tone perfectly. I like to sort of “water down” the foundation with moisturizer. It helps with the “caked” look and makes it more sheer.

movie makeup foundation

I mixed three colors of foundation.

1. An average color matching her skin.

2. One just lighter to give highlights

3. One just darker to put shadows where I wanted them.

The best place to test colors is on the jaw line because I can then make sure that the foundation blends into the neck without creating weird lines. *yikes*

In the picture below you can see the three colors I mixed.


The matching color went on first, starting in the middle of the face and going out, being careful to blend into the neck and ears. NO LINES!

Foundation for movie makeup

Then the darker color went on the areas of the face I wanted to appear more shadowed: the temples, under the cheekbone, down the sides of her nose, and a little on the jawline. This will help her face to appear slimmer, more chiseled, or give it more definition in the camera, whichever way you want to put it. 😉


The lighter color went on the areas I want to stand out a little more. They are mostly the opposites of where I put the shadows: on the top of the cheekbones, down the bridge of the nose, and up into the middle of her forehead. I also used the light color to go over the dark circles under her eyes one more time and over any red spots that the first color didn’t cover all the way.

highlighting with foundation

After blending the colors into each other nicely so it looked natural, with no streaks or lines, I finished off the foundation by taking a big fluffy brush and dusting Annie’s face with finishing powder, or my poor-woman’s version of finishing powder, baby powder (wonderful stuff!).

This step is important because it makes the makeup stay where I put it, and it also takes away the shiny-ness. Cameras make anything shiny extra, extra shiny, so making the model or actor’s face matte is very important (unless you want them to look shiny for the purpose of the scene, i.e. because they are wet).


Finishing Touches

I took a powder foundation that is just darker than her skin tone, and went over the same places I put the darker cream foundation. I just felt it needed a little something extra. 😉


I put a light dusting of blush on the apples of her cheeks and groomed her eyebrows a little bit with the eyebrow brush. This helps to get any loose powder or foundation out of the brows, and in a subtle way, helps make the face look more natural.


The last step for the base was mascara (with a disposable wand, or spoolie, as they are more commonly known). Annie’s eyelashes love to point straight down, which does not bode well for her cheeks staying mascara-free, so I curled them with an eyelash curler first.



The finished product with a tiny bit of lipstick (that was the wrong color so we took it off later).


So far so good, with a few mistakes that I’m nitpicky about but probably nobody else will notice. This is only the second time I’ve mixed foundation, so I’m still learning how to do it. I got it a little lighter than I was hoping for, but it turned out to be a good thing in the end because it helped Annie look cold, hungry, and scared for the final look.

The interesting part with the blooooooood comes in part two, which will be written as soon as I can find some spare brain space. Stay tuned!

Please tell me your thoughts, or ask any questions you have in the comments below. If you would like to know more specifics about the products used, I’d be more than happy to answer your questions.

And that’s the way the cookie crumbles.

~ Rachel

Location Tests


While the script was being written (written = staring into space, listening to music, typing, erasing what you just typed, more staring, etc.), I decided to do a costume/location test. I went to the location in costume and had my brother film me doing some random stuff, which I then cut together as a short trailer:

And these shots are just showing the location:

I had seen the location awhile ago and used it as inspiration for the mood of the film.

And this is a horror test we tried:

On this one my brother wanted me to follow him around as he pretended to run from the Bogeyman: