Here are some of the photos taken today at our actual photoshoot:
I did a trial run of the makeup on a member of my group just to experiment and see how it would look. I used this picture for inspiration:
As you can see, the main feature of this makeup is the eyes, I really like the white contrasting with the black. The only difference is that we are going to do red lipstick on our model to make it more bold. Here are how the images turned out:
Today we decided to do a test photoshoot including the hair, makeup and outfit. Unfortunately we couldn’t have our model there today, but I was the model for the test shots and they still turned out pretty well so hopefully they will be even better with a real model! Here are the photos from our test shot:
I have found this article from http://silverscreenmodes.com/the-look-of-blade-runner/ called ‘THE LOOK OF BLADE RUNNER’ which I found particularly useful and interesting. I have highlighted parts of it which I thought were relevant to our project and that could help us with our styling and lighting choices as seen below:
In the 32 years since its release in 1982, Blade Runner has set the standard of excellence for science fiction films. Its penetrating stylishness and perpetual freshness are qualities that make it almost unique in the genre, and it has influenced not only other science fiction films and music videos but also video-games, architecture, set design, fashion, products, and advertising. Like many of the greatest films, Blade Runner’s production was a long and torturous process that nearly derailed on more than one occasion. Its filming and director Ridley Scott’s single-minded pursuit caused strife among the crew and exhaustion among the cast. It went over-budget and was nearly shut down – in fact at the end of principal photography the financial backers laid everybody off including Scott. Harrison Ford stated it was the worst experience of his career. Yet it is often listed among the greatest films ever made, and was voted first place among 100 science-fiction movies by readers of SFX Magazine. It remains a compelling and obsessive vision that is never forgotten by those that have seen it, and a film that enriches the experience with each new viewing. Blade Runner carries deep themes within its story. What is life? Who created us? What does it mean to be alive, and the search for one’s maker. And it shows what might happen to earth through recklessness and ecological devastation. The look of Blade Runner can tell the story in itself, a contradiction of fascinating imagery within a world of decay, the gloomy vision of baroque futurism.
This post is reprinted from my earlier blog Silver Screen Modiste from June 2012.
Blade Runner is a futuristic film noir, envisioned as such by Philip K. Dick in his book Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep, and by its first screenwriter and film-option holder Hampton Fancher. It carries the film noir tropes of seemingly futile endeavors set in a bleak world, where a “detective” or blade runner is charged with hunting and “retiring” a small group of android “replicants” that have escaped far-off space colonies, where these near-perfect human clones are used as servants and workers, but who now come back to earth to beseech their maker to extend their short programmed life. The lead character Rick Deckard is played by Harrison Ford, a depressed blade runner who seems to care as little about other’s lives as the empathy-less replicants themselves. From the beginning Deckard was envisioned by Fancher as played by Robert Mitchum, complete with trench coat and fedora. Harrison Ford was then cast as Deckard, but his just-completed filming of Indiana Jones in the trademark wide fedora turned Ridley Scott away from any such resemblance. The look and costumes of Sean Young as the replicant Rachael was pointedly borrowed from Joan Crawford as dressed by Gilbert Adrian, wearing wide-shouldered, waist-tapered suits and jackets with pencil skirts. The costume designers Charles Knode and Michael Kaplan, in keeping with the total production design, created inventive costumes that seemed influenced by the past, yet very contemporary and wearable in the future, the same qualities found in the timeless fashions of Adrian. There would be no cliche science-fiction costumes in Blade Runner, no zippered jumpsuits or latex body-suits, but rather a unique melange of 1940s styling, Japanese-inspired fashion, and punk-rock flash.
Photo courtesy Photofest
In the scene above San Young wears a long fur coat of chevron patterns over her suit. The rarity of fur in the brave new world of 2019 signifies her stature as the assistant to Dr. Eldon Tyrell. She is possibly a different order of replicant and her costumes denote her ability to pass as human.
There has been a perceived phenomenon in Hollywood called the “Ridley Scott Exception.” Its premise is that whereas virtually every science-fiction movie is betrayed in time by the limitations of its filmed technology, Scott’s Alien and Blade Runner are as fresh as ever, and when viewed by teenagers are invariably loved by them. The visual aesthetics of the Ridley Scott films are timeless. Every scene in Blade Runner is of a piece, its world is total in itself. It is “layered,” from its sweeping aerial shots to its multi-faceted street scenes. The multitude of objects carries forward the totality of its world, from the very covers of the magazines and newspapers (still around in 2019) that people carry, to the flashing neon signs and the bombarding, sky -scrapper-tall, electronic advertisements.
Blade Runner’s characteristic visual feature is its pervasive night and everlasting rain, with smoke permeating virtually every scene, indoors or out, to give not only a moody atmosphere but to show a world overcome by pollution. The streets are packed with people in a very multi-cultural world, and though set in Los Angeles, an Asian influence is strong. Many artists and designers participated in creating the look, most notably Ridley Scott himself. But the visual genesis of Blade Runner began with the graphic novels or “bandes dessines” of Jean Giraud, working under the pseudonym of Moebius.
Production Design for Blade Runner was accomplished by Lawrence Paull and the Art Direction was handled by David Snyder. Ridley Scott himself drew many of the concept drawings for the film. But one of the most far-reaching steps that Scott took was to hire Syd Mead as the “visual futurist” for Blade Runner. Syd’s job was primarily to design the “spinner” vehicles and other technical gadgets for the film. But Syd started producing background drawings for his vehicles to help visualize the context. This impressed Scott and so resulted in the innovative look being used for many of the sets in the film. Syd also worked on the neon building advertising signs, many in a distinctive cartouche shape.
The street scenes were created at the back lot of Warner Brothers. The New York street standing set was the foundation for a huge makeover into the fantastic visual world of Blade Runner. The construction of the sets was an enormous endeavor. Accomplishing the incredible detail of this project was helped greatly by the actor’s strike of 1980 that gave the designers and crews several extra months of work before shooting began. Ridley Scott admired Stanley Kubrick, and in both their cases attention to every set detail resulted in the heavily textured look of their films.
Ridley Scott believed in “layering” in the design and construction of the sets as well as the set dressing. Each object was endowed with its own back story and its purpose in furthering the story. The interior sets were also smoky, and filmed with flashes of light that served no particular purpose other than giving the visual stimulation that Scott desired. While the sets were very physical, the look of the film was also accomplished through expert model-making, used in the Tyrell building for example, and in the matte paintings used for the aerial views. The construction of the cars and spinners was a huge job in itself, Three shops were used that worked 18 hours a day for their manufacture, with 50 people working on the project for 5 months. $100,000 was spent on neon signs alone (huge in 1980 dollars).
Some notable Los Angeles landmarks were used as filming sets. Downtown LA’s 2nd Street tunnel, similarly built as the Pasadena freeway’s glazed white brick tunnels was used with some exciting lighting results. Especially significant was the Bradbury Building with its open atrium and wrought iron grill work and stairs. It was used as a hotel where character J.F. Sebastian lives. The interior of Deckard’s apartment was fully realized as a live in space. The Frank Loyd Wright designed concrete textile blocks, used for his Ennis House were copied for the cave-like interior. Filming was done inside the Bradbury Building, which was occupied as office space at the time. Thus filming had to be done at night, notably between 6:00 pm and 5:00 am just before clean-up and office day use. began. The building also had to be dressed with litter, and eventually cork was used as depicting debris, which not only looked good but absorbed all the water that flooded the building as rain. After each shoot the building had to be cleaned in time for its occupants. LA’s beautiful Union Train Station was also used, although it served as the Police Station in the film.
The interior of the Bradbury Building in Los Angeles, as it looks today above and was below as the Blade Runner set. Ironically, the Bradbury Building’s design, built in 1893, was influenced by a science fiction novel, Edward Bellamy’s Looking Backward, published in 1887.
Make-up was also a important contributor to the film’s look, as it usually does for every film, although often over-looked. Marvin Westmore was the principal make-up artist, he of the famed Westmore Hollywood make-up family. Below is Joanna Cassidy who plays the sexy replicant Zhora. Joanna Cassidy actually owned the snake as a pet.
Zhora was the first replicant that Deckard hunts in Blade Runner. She is trying to make her escape in the scene below before Deckard shoots her in a later dramatic scene. Her see-through plastic jacket was very novel and eye-catching. Adrian had also used a similar plastic for some show-girl costumes in the 1930s. Charles Knode also designed the black “dominatrix” undergarments and boots of Cassidy’s costume.
Daryl Hannah plays the replicant Pris, described as a “basic pleasure model,” in her police file. Daryl came up with the blacked-out “raccoon”eye make-up herself. Her costume, shown below, was designed by Michael Kaplan as a revealing sexy black outfit, with a dog collar, and high boots over torn hose . The costume set a fashion trend for the sexy punk look. She wears the outfit to draw the attention of Sebastian and to have him reveal the whereabouts of replicant-maker Dr. Tyrell.
One of the eery scenes in the film is that off Pris sitting among the mannequins and marionettes in Sebastian’s apartment. She poses as one of the mannequins as Deckard enters looking for her. The image makes its own statement about the reality of a replicant. It took a few years for the fashion of torn hose to morph into torn jeans, but this fashion influence has had legs.
The continual shooting of Blade Runner, from night through early morning, often with simulated rain, exhausted the cast and crew. Twice as many costumes had to be made since the simulated rain soaked the ones worn by the actors. Friction began early when an unflattering remark made by Ridley Scott about the crew, comparing them negatively to what he was used to in the U.K., was leaked, creating animosity among the crew. Harrison Ford never got along with Scott and was usually irritated. And Ford never had any good chemistry with Sean Young either, as she was new to film acting. Meanwhile the financiers of the movie were threatening Scott, while meddling with the production.
The film was greatly enhanced by the moody synthesized music of Vangelis. The score achieved an other-worldly but totally appropriate sound track. Production artist Tom Southwell actually listened to Vangelis music as he painted set designs for the film.
There has also been controversy over the various versions of Blade Runner. The latest version is the Final Cut from 2007. The voice over narration is eliminated. Harrison Ford had to provide the narration as stipulated in his contract, but to which he objected, finding it unnecessary and even dumb. Some people still enjoy the voice-over, however. The film’s original “happy ending” was also eliminated, it having been forced on Scott by the financial backers.
One crucial scene remains in all versions, the end of life scene for replicant Roy Batty played by Rutger Hauer. He fights Deckard and in a chase sequence ends up saving Deckard’s life. Batty’s final scene was written as a long monologue about the nature of his existence. But Hauer provided his own shortened lines:
“I’ve seen things you people wouldn’t believe. All those moments will be lost in time, like tears in rain. Time to die.”
The Final Cut also reinserted a beautiful Deckard Dream sequence involving a unicorn. Not reinserted was a sex scene between Deckard and Rachael, a shame because it seems to add emotional depth to their relationship, while also emphasizing the likely transition of Rachael to a human. It was always a question mark in the movie whether he would “retire” her as a replicant, or whether some other blade runner would. At the end of the Final Cut they escape the Bradbury Building together, facing an uncertain future.
The future of a Blade Runner II is a little less uncertain. Ridley Scott had confirmed in the fall of 2013 that he is working on this project, although its release is definitely set for the future.
This article talks a lot about how the costumes, lighting, hair and makeup was all used to enhance the mood and themes of the film. I think we need to also use the dark lighting and neon lights in our shoot to make big references to the film and use the hair and makeup as inspiration for our shoot but put a modern twist on it.
For lighting, I am thinking we should either have a red or black background. Due to the dark nature of this film, I think a darker background would help to highlight this theme and make the props and model stand out more. If we decide to go for a black background them we should definitely use red, yellow and blue gels to recreate the ‘busy’ image shown in the streets on the city in the film. For props we are going to use some big barrels and paint them black and then spray paint them with graffiti to give that street style theme that you see in Blade Runner. We can use these props for the model to lean on and interact with, creating a more diverse image with lots going on, just like in the film. We are also looking to source some kind of lights to shoot with a slow shutter speed to almost create an image or neon shapes because I think that really fits in with the overall visual look of the film.
For hair and makeup, we are looking to take inspiration from the film but make it more modern and trending, while also linking it back to that futuristic look. For hair we are thinking of a slicked back ‘wet’ look, either completely down at the back and slicked back at the front or a slicked back, neat bun with spikes of hair coming out at the back for a more edgy look. these ideas are seen in the images below:
For makeup, we are thinking of a dark, smoky eye and a bold red lip with defined cheekbones created with lots of contour. This film gives off a very serious and dark mood so we wanted to show this in the makeup. I think the red lipstick will be very effective because it is bold and creates a statement, just like Blade Runner did when it was first produced.
For the outfit, we are wanting to continue the theme of dark colours and therefore we decided to do an all black look. We want our female model to appear strong and confident, just like the characters in the film. We have looked at leather and blazers and heeled boots, which in my opinion, all run along the theme of female empowerment. One of my ideas for an outfit was leather trousers, heeled shoes, and a plain black top, But as I did more research, I realised we could do a lot more than that and be more experimental. I started to find lots of outfits that I liked which featured items along the lines of office wear mixed with female empowerment, which is currently very trendy and relevant at the moment. I came to the conclusion that I wanted my model in a bodysuit, tights, a blazer and knee high heeled boots. We also found a look where someone had used tights as a top and cut holes in them which gave it an edgy look that I liked and I thought this might take away from the seriousness of the outfit and would give us an opportunity to be creative. For accessories, I really like the look of layered, chunky silver jewellery such as chains. I originally thought a choker might look good too but I thought it might be a bit too much.
The last thing we need to think about is poses that we want our model to do. Following on from the theme of female empowerment, I thought we could do poses that helped to channel this energy too. When looking on Pinterest to find inspiration, I found lots of poses that used chairs as a prop that I liked because I thought they were very dynamic and used the prop in a creative way. There were also some poses without any props but the position of the model and the expression on her face was enough to portray that she felt strong and I thought these were really powerful because sometimes less is more.
Our brief is to imagine we have just secured our dream job as an editorial stylist for our favourite fashion magazine. The editor has decided that the theme is ‘Iconic Movies’. We have been asked to work collectively in a group as the editorial stylists to put a fashion look together for a shoot inspired by our chosen film. Our chosen film is the 1982 version of Blade Runner. Our fashion looks will then be photographed in a studio by a professional.
Our job is to look into history, culture, locations, actors/ directors and stories behind the film. We are going to be looking at the subliminal messages hidden within the film, quotes, music, people, colours and the environment in which it is set.
We will be using the film Blade Runner to inspire a look which is current and desireable today, despite the film being set in 1982. Obviously there is quite a big difference between the fashion then compared with styles today, however we are going to aim to visually communicate it in an interesting, exciting and most importantly, fashionable way!
When watching the film for the first time I tried to pay attention to details such as the year it was set, sets, locations, shapes, patterns, materials, moods and the meaning behind the film. Our looks can be for menswear and womenswear, and there were plenty of female and male actors in the film to take inspiration from.
These are some brief notes I made when watching the film for the first time:
- Set in the future-1982- Traditional Futuristic Style
- Sci Fi
- Red and blue lights- Could use spotlights during the shoot?
- Lots of greys and neutral tones
- Colour palette mostly consist of greys, browns, blue, black, dark red, oranges and white
- Most of the actors/ characters had slicked back hair
- During the filming, there was lots of close ups and focus on the eyes
- Bright neon lights- could be used as a prop?
- Men were wearing mostly shirts, ties and long coats
- Lots of leather and leather jackets
- Lots of characters were smoking cigarettes- could be used as a prop?
- Big, chunky old TVs even though it was set in the future
- Birds (specifically owls) were featured throughout the film to create an ethereal mood
- Some of the women were wearing heels and heeled boots
- The women’s hair was styled with a fringe and was also slicked back in buns
- Women’s makeup was kept quite natural and following the neutral tones with brown eyeshadow
- There was lots of bright orange lights
- The women were not wearing any jewellery or earrings
- One woman had long red nails which I thought were quite iconic and stood out a lot
- The women were portrayed as strong, confident characters and knew what they wanted- The shoot could be inspired by the theme empowering women?
- Lots of cool toned blue lights- could be used for lighting?
- One particular female character stood out to me as very striking because she was dressed very differently to the rest in a punk/ goth style. She was wearing either a blonde wig or had her hair bleached and styled with a fringe, a studded collar for an accessory, and she was wearing stockings/tights, heels/heeled boots, a lace black dress and an over shirt. Her makeup also matched the gothic theme and featured lots of eyeliner and contour and she had dark circles under her eyes.
- There were lots of mannequins around to suit the robotic theme running throughout the film
- Searchlights were featured a lot throughout and would be good to use for lighting inspiration
- There was lots of water on the floor which created reflections
- lots of characters had torches as a prop
This project is all about styling. Styling is described as ‘the way in which something is made, designed, or performed.’ There are lots of different types of styling, for example; fashion, hair, makeup, location, props and many more! We are mainly focusing on fashion styling throughout this project and there are a few different types of that too. Editorial styling is a certain type of styling which is commonly seen in magazines, newspapers and is usually considered to be ‘high fashion’. One particularly successful editorial stylist is Tim Walker. He is a British fashion photographer, who regularly works for Vogue, W and Love magazines. He is based in London and some examples of his work can be seen below: (All photos are taken from the Victoria and albert gallery website)
Commercial is another type of styling which focuses more on what the brand wants and is genrally less creative and has a stricter brief. The end product usually focuses on the garment and the photos are taken to highlight it and to enhance advertising.
Show styling is usually seen on catwalks and live performances for cetain brands. Each model will have to have their own look, including hair and makeup.
Wardrobe and costume styling (also known as commercial styling) is commonly used for music videos and tv.
Part of being a stylist is about being able to work together in a team. This can be difficult at times when each individual has conflicting ideas, however we have experienced that it is best to allocate roles within a group e.g. Model scout, set design, hair and makeup etc.
In order to prepare a shoot there any many things that need to be considered and taken into account. These things are:
- To develop a story ( what is the shoot about? What is the meaning behind it?)
- To select a few different looks fitting within the theme of the shoot.
- To request samples of clothing and garments to ensure you are prepared on the day.
- To source props
- To book your models
- To communicate with the whole team before the shoot! (Including the model and the photographer)
- To provide refreshments for the team such as food and drink and pay for any travel expenses.
When the day of the shoot arrives there are also lots of responsibilites such as:
- Packing and unpacking clothes, accessories and props
- Looking afte items and making sure everyone knows where they are
- Picking up garments from wherever they are being kept before the shoot
- Laying out outfits to help visualise what they will look like together and so that the model and photographer can get a visual idea too
- To steam and iron clothes to ensure they are in perfect condition
- Writing credits after each shot of who was involved
- Ensuring there are enough refreshments and that the team has access to them when needed
- Sourcing and making sure you have runners to ensure the shoot runs smoothly
It is also important to have references at the shoot for both the photographer and model to make sure everyone is on the same page with lighting, poses and hair and makeup. When thinking about props it is also important to take into account the scale and size of props to add dimension and interest to the images. Coloured backdrops can also be simple and effective to add a pop of colour to the shoot.
When sourcing models it is important to take photos of them for refernce to help you come back to to ensure they are right for the style of shoot. These photos should be of the face, head and shoulders and full length to give an indication of height and proportions. You should also take their contact details to make sure you can get in touch with them if needed and to communicate about information about the shoot. It is also inportant to take measurements to ensure the garments you are shooting with are the right size for your models, including shoe sizes!
As a stylist it is also important to carry around a prop kit so that you can make adjustments to the clothes and to ensure they look as they should on the model. The items that a prop kit should consist of are:
- Needle and thread
- Double sided tape
- Lint roller
Some extra useful items are:
- Sillicone bra inserts
- Flesh coloured seamless underwear/thongs
- Baby powder
- Tit tape
- Small notebook, paper and pen
When working in a proffesional environment and in a studio there is also an ettiquette that it is important to be mindful of. This ettiquette consists of:
- Keeping the back drop clean
- Putting tape underneath shoes or wearing shoe covers to make sure there are no footprints on the backdrop
- Always clear up props, especially if they leave a mess for example glitter
- Take out all rubbish
- No food or drink in the studio
- Always step in and make adjustments when necessary
After learning all of this informantion about being a stylist, I realised there is a lot to consider, plan, organise and take into account when preparing for a shoot. Luckily we have managed to source a model, but there are still plenty of things to think about before the day of the shoot. These things are:
- The models nails- decide wether we want them to be natural or painted
- Hair- colour of it, wether we want it to be curly, wavy or straight
- Makeup- do we want her to come in with her usual base makeup?
- Jewelrey including earrings- hoops, studs or none?
- The models clothes and shoe size
- What we want the lighting to be like including colour and intensity
- The poses for the model to do
- The colour of the backdrop
- Props and sourcing them
- What underwear we want the model to wear- nude, bra/ no bra?
- Socks/ tights?
- Accessories?- e.g. hat, scarf, headbands etc
As you can see, we still have a lot to think about and to make this easier we decided to give each group member something to focus on. My job was to focus on hair, makeup and poses. I found some of the images on pineterest and online and in magazines and created a mood board for hair and makeup and poses as seen below: