Sunday, June 1, 2008

The Making of a Mermaid

Or, "The Tide, Sand, and a Plastic Bag Dress at Hug Point".

The final installment of the three-year-long "Who's Your Dancer?" publicity campaign was shot yesterday on the beach at Hug Point. Yuka was the subject of this last poster shoot, and the theme was a variation on Botticelli's painting "The Birth of Venus". There was a giant clam shell (rented from a prop/scenic supplier), the gorgeous sands, rocks, and tide pools of Hug Point were chosen as the setting, and hair, makeup, and costume were designed to evoke a mermaid-goddess image.

A crew of nine people went down to the coast for the shoot. The gang consisted of:

Alica Rose, the photographer, and her assistant; a makeup artist; a hairstylist and her assistant; Roz Barnfield (OBT marketing department, as well as chauffeur, lunch caterer, and all-around event planner); Ansa Deguchi and myself (moral support, artistic advisors, and body doubles); and of course Yuka Iino (Venus).

As incredible as the setting was, shooting at the Oregon coast poses some challenges, especially when pointe shoes are involved. The weather cooperated, it didn't rain, and although we had to relocate the setup three times to escape the swiftly rising tide, no one got soaked and the clam shell didn't get washed out to sea. The wind wasn't too bad, but the temperature (in the high 50s) was cool enough that poor Yuka nearly froze during the shoot. Her dress, made entirely out of plastic shopping bags from Fred Meyer, was not designed for warmth. As you'll see, it looks like a crocheted dress but actually consists of plastic bags twisted up, roped and sewn together. It's quite amazing-looking, but there's not much to it.

We started out at base camp, which was the home of some friends of Roz's who generously lent us their living room to use as makeup and hair studio:
Choosing a color scheme for the makeup:

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