Thinking outside the…props

I am working on setting up some location shots for this project, now that spring has sprung and the weather is more like the book…In the meantime, I’ve been faking settings in studio. But studio is all about faking the settings anyway, which is fun. One of the main settings for the book is an Edwardian country manor in northern England. Not an easily accessible location, spring or otherwise.

So I fake it as much as possible but it helps that the images are a bit abstract because of the format. In one of the pivotal scenes the heroine leans out one window to feel the breeze, in two others she is seen through the window. While I can pick and choose the scenes I want to illustrate, these three scenes all missing would call more attention to the fact that we aren’t actually at this country manor in Great Britain.

So we need a window, can’t fake not having a window, and if I have a window I can fake the building around it by cropping in. Here is where it gets cool. One of my colleagues, and a dear friend, does these amazing things with repurposed windows. You can see them on the Iris : Photo Agency fan page on FaceBook, while you are there; become a fan of Iris for all the updates! <- shameless plug for my photo agency. At any rate, she has a bunch of spare windows. So I borrowed one. I already had filmy georgette for curtains so we made our manor out of small parts and prop bars like this:

©2010 Jenn LeBlanc

©2010 Jenn LeBlanc

We used gaffer tape to secure the window to one stand, then hung the sheer curtains on the arm of the other. Of course we also used a fan to stir the curtains in the open window scenes. I like to find ways to freeze my models. Getting Derek wet and Cora windy. Sorry guys. But it looked GREAT!

The final images are fantastic, of course, here is an out: Cora waiting for direction. Between the windowpanes, the fan, and music she had a hard time hearing us.

©2010 Jenn LeBlanc

©2010 Jenn LeBlanc

The lighting was designed to resemble moonlight, the blue backlight on the cyc wall which is part of the production design, an overhead light backlighting the sheer panels so they glow and one sidelight to highlight features and cast that sideways moon glow.

That’s it.

Thanks for the window Alisa, and all the hard work (as usual) Cora Kemp, Monika Graf, Elena Brown

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