A month back I was approached by some film students, they were having problems finding a make-up artist as there is an apparent lack of them in Falmouth. As I’ve always had an interest in prosthetics and special effects make-up myself, I’ve experimented with this sort of thing over the years. I designed much of the make-up looks in the performances at school, and would spend many evenings designing gory horror prosthetics on myself inspired by the many horror films I used to watch. The Director of this crew shares my passion for horror and is working on a film adaptation of Dagon by P.H Lovecraft. The story is the testament of a tortured, morphine-addicted man who relates an incident that occurred during his service as an officer during World War I, his cargo ship is captured by an Imperial German sea-raider and he narrowly escapes on a life boat and drifts out to sea. Eventually he finds himself in this hellish landscape, dark, slimy and littered with fish corpses. When exploring the environment he encounters a monstrous creature, half-man half-fish. The title refers to the ancient Sumerian god named Dagon who is the fertility god of grains and fish. He is written to appear as a half-man half-fish deity.
I am tasked with creating looks for wounded soldiers, ghosts, corpses and more interestingly the sea monster. The director had chosen to only party show the creature (e.g. arm and back) so I will be making various fins and scales for those body parts. I wanted to work on this project because I feel it is somewhat relevant to my own practice. I feel as though parts of the story echo my thoughts of why humans find crossing the perceived boundary between human and animal so disgusting and horrific. Much like my own work I will be creating a form that is both human and reflects what is animal. Obviously this is not the focus of the story but it is what installs this sense of fear in the viewer. I am also intrigued by the prospect of working with a large team, as I rarely collaborate. I’ve found it really refreshing so far, as having others contribute their ideas leaves less room for self-doubt. I also would simply like to know more about the medium of film, and I think taking this opportunity might inform my video work.
It is unlikely that I will update every day on set, as it is not directly my own practise however I will summarise my thoughts on the project as a whole when I can.