Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Tintin: Molding

Jan 27, 2009: Had a silicone mold cast today for the helmet, which acts as a camera dolly on the day. Below picture tells the story of the 6 minutes one sits while the gel hardens, creating a mold of the head. This is the work helmet, with the mold acting as a shock absorber. On picture days, a small camera is mounted on the helmet front, capturing the actor's face. The character is then built digitally, as is the background. All information that eventually appears on screen, other than the actor's "motion captured" face, is created digitally. How, or even if, the actors body factors in to the performance remains to be seen, as this is my first encounter with this magnificent technology. For while this manner of film-making even exists is entirely a marvel of science and technical mastery of many brilliant minds, it is the human element: the skillful hands of the 1) helmet farrier and special effects puppeteer -a S.A.G. category- in creating the mold, 2) wardrobe and tailor measuring and altering the black, Spyder like- wet suit; 3) the Trailer of Capture engineer, and finally the range of facial (e)motions captured by the camera that together deliver the information used to tell the story.

The Trailer of Capture (also pictured) is where the 3D facial scan, a procedure similar to that of Lasix Surgery except that you can drive home, renders almost instantly the (my) face, glowingly opaque; a Disneyland Haunted Mansion ghost. Met with my friend Nickolai Stoilov, a fine London-trained Bulgarian actor who appeared in our production of Yeat's The Resurrection last Spring for a coffee and cigar. Had a good actor's day; hope yours was good, too.

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