Tag preproduction

11 posts

2013: The year I inevitably become a makeup artist (and have so much fun)

It’s funny how life kinda throws things at you that then propel you into something you kinda wanted to take up, but didn’t have a huge need to. Without spoiling anything – I need to learn how to do a lot more makeup, a lot more things with it, and I need to learn it relatively quickly (okay, not really, but it’s more fun).
During my early teen years, I avoided makeup like the plague because I saw it very much as a mask. I didn’t start wearing it until I was 17 because at that point, psychologically, I felt the need to wear a mask, and I took comfort in it. Although my skill was limited to knowing where things go, and applying blush in a circular motion along the cheek bone whilst smiling, it was enough to use for “every day” wear (in reality, I rarely wear makeup due to my oily skin and feeling lazy). I have a basic knowledge of makeup and application, though doing anything too creative and I wind up with what happened a few posts down.
Fortunately, for filming, I didn’t need to do anything extensive – within the world of hendstrom makeup just needed to accentuate the natural features and not do anything fancy, which is well within my comfort and ability level.
With this episode, I want to be a little more ambitious with one of the new characters we’re introducing, and it’s important that this character looks a certain way.
Last year, I started putting together a rough makeup artist kit, because it’s handy to have better and not 5-year-old cosmetics for filming. I think at this point, I’ve probably spent around $120 on makeup and supplies. E.L.F. is my favorite ever. I discovered that Target carries them, and I’ve been stocking up there because I don’t feel bad about spending money on makeup when it’s good quality and inexpensive.

$22  (2 kinds osfmascara, 1 eye liner, primer, foundation, matte powder, makeup remover)
$22 (2 kinds of mascara, 1 eye liner, primer, foundation, matte powder, makeup remover)

I’m building my kit as I go, buying things I think I’ll need for my specific project – I bought a box, and prior to that I inventoried all of the makeup that I own.
ALL the makeup
ALL the makeup

The majority of the makeup I own is eye focused. I have a full set of brushes (I think) very old lipstick (except for the three in the pen shaped tubes), and all the non-elf foundation is at least 4 years old. It all works still, except for the two really old mascara tubes in the foreground; those are clumpy.
I bought a case, because they had the pretty lace caboodle one at Walmart and sorted everything into it.
Makeup Case
Makeup Case

Today, the book I ordered “A complete guide to Special Effects Makeup” came in along with tattoo pens.

Which brings me to my final point(s). Upon reading and flipping through the book this afternoon I learned something that forever changed my researching. A phrase, a makeup that is commonly used is called greasepaint. And that, my dear friends, was the key to finding all the blogs and tutorials I was looking for this whole time. Upon further reading, I’ve concluded that I don’t need it in my makeup artist kit just yet, so instead I went to eyeslipsface.com and $27 later, I have (hopefully) all the tools I need to complete the new character’s look, plus some red lipstick (to replace the old, going one) and a plum liquid eyeliner just for me because it was like $3 and I couldn’t resist, it just called.

I have decided, that with the discovery of blogs and tutorials, and new makeup coming in, I’m going to attempt to learn how to apply it creatively, try different things, and hopefully get good enough at it so that the new character doesn’t suck. Whether or not I post the pictures on here every day, I don’t know – depends on how much I botch it up in the process, but it’ll probably at least be on instagram.

In which I buy lots more makeup

We’ve been working on preproduction for Hendstrom a lot lately – I’ve drawn out some costume alterations, put together a list of costume thingies I need – and, as you can see in the last post, started trying crazy stuff with eyeliner. I’ve decided to invest in tattoo pens instead, because 10 minutes in the sink isn’t as fun as it sounds. Tonight, we braved the cold and quelled our stir craziness and stopped by Target so I could pick up some more makeup to experiment with.
I ended up with 2 kinds of mascara (well 4, but 2 tubes), eyeliner pen, face primer, foundation that is (hopefully) lighter than my skin tone, and makeup remover cloths – all for $22 because E.L.F. is the best ever and I don’t feel bad buying loads of makeup – because it’s good makeup and way less expensive; perfect for low/no-budget filming and preproduction!
Our notebooks are filling up with pictures and plot lines and rough set designs. Earlier this month, we started a vlog tumblr (vlogblr?) of our preproduction process and what we’ve been working on – we’ll be releasing another one later this week, so if you’re keen, follow hendstrom.tumblr.com because documenting is fun!
Work is ending soon which will give me time to expel some of this creative energy into doing ALL THE SEWING. I’m looking forward to it, honestly. And playing with face makeup. I have a book I’d like to order along with the tattoo pens that should hopefully help with the makeup-artistry.
Interesting thing about being a very very indie filmmaker, is that you have to balance everything that goes into a film yourselves. You have to build the world, write the world, fill the world, film the world, light the world, and dress the world all by yourself with whatever resources you have or can hack together. It makes you realize why exactly there are so many departments on movies: art teams, painting teams, makeup, costume, lighting, DP’s, AD’s, sound, noms, everything. Because it’s hard enough balancing all that for a handful of people, let alone hundreds.
Thing is though, this is an all encompassing art form, and I love it; that’s why I vlog, and draw, and pour everything into preproduction, and act, and watch Alex edit it all together.

KieryGeek Preproduction Note 5: In-between Episodes

I wasn’t sure how the new set up was really going to work until I tried it. As weird as it is not filming and releasing an episode every week (today would have been dedicated to writing and brainstorming) I’ve found that I’ve actually been able to come up with more creative ideas, and more opportunities for new content are presenting themselves. I’m using the creative energy because I know I have time to figure it out instead of burning it because I need to get things done.

In an upcoming episode – not sure if it’ll be the next one or not yet, I’ll have a snippet debuting my (lack of) musical skills. We spent some of Saturday filming it and putting it together and generally having a blast. This evening I edited the warmachine footage we took of a late night game a few weeks ago (note: I’m not generally that irritated while/after playing, it was just late and I hadn’t slept).

I’m really really excited about doing the next episode, and I really like having enough time to be creative with it, and I think that’s going to work out well. I hope it does, anyway.

KieryGeek Preproduction Note 4: I'm Done with Preproduction!

Well, at least the part that involves all the season set up. I’ll have ongoing preproduction forever, and I still need to memorize my script and take some gaming footage, but earlier this week I sent out the emails I needed to send out – which was the last thing on my list of things to line up before filming!
I feel much more relaxed with all of that out of the way. I was really annoyed at myself in July because life happened and I didn’t get to where I wanted in the time frame I dreamed up, that was unfortunately unrealistic. With work starting back up next month, I think the new more flexible timeframe is going to be better for everyone, and with amazing awesome guests every other week, I don’t expect there to be much complaining.
My biggest question right now is: with the youtube channel, and the cafepress store launched, should I make a separate facebook page for KieryGeek, or should I continue to keep all the general updates under Kiery’s Fake Empire?
 

KieryGeek Preproduction Note Three: Organization

Over the last month or so, I’ve been writing down ideas and thoughts for the next season in whatever place I had handy. Last week, I went through and organized all of my notes into several google documents for easy access. I wrote the first script and idea-ized the next 12-15. I put together a list of interview questions and over the weekend figured out how I’d like to proceed with that.
So, I thought I’d share some of the tools I used to make putting all these thoughts together a little easier.

1) Notebooks. I used whatever notebook I had handy, the first batch of notes I put in my Carpe Diem journal of happiness, and the second batch I wrote in my art journal because I had that with me.

Art journal notes

2) Task management. I’ve been alpha-testing a task management and time keeper tool called tasktend. It’s much easier for me to use than google to-do lists, or to-doist because the interface is better and more straight forward. There’s an easy way to delete and close tasks and you can drag the ones that you want to do that day on to your “plate” and you have have multiple projects/lists for specific tasks. For example, I have a KieryGeek list for my preproduction tasks, a Bruce Roberts list for all the integration and things I need to setup before winter – and when I want to know what I should work on for the day, I’ll move items into my plate to keep it organized – but I can also track the tasks within my project if I don’t feel like moving it out. It’s seamless and easy and epic, but it’s not out yet – so I’d suggest finding a tool that works for your work-flow-style until it’s eventually released.

Tasktend interface

3) Google Docs. I use google docs to keep the tentatively finished ideas and information accessible and shareable. I have one for interviews and how I plan on setting them up, I have one for general ideas and direction, and I have another that is basically an episode map. I tried to use the questionnaire template but that didn’t work as well as I’d hoped. Currently, I’m just using the plain doc format.
Episode guide
I decided to write out 13 episodes at once – well 13 episode ideas at once, so I get a sense of what I’m going to need shot wise and I have more flexibility for re-arranging things. I can also line up some episodes to correlate to upcoming events, like The Hobbit.
4) Calendar. I have a repeating event in iCal (synced with my google calendar) occurring every other Friday for several reasons. First, I can go and count the episodes and figure out which day the 4th or 10th episode is going to take place on. Secondly, I can use that information to make sure that I cover anything interesting happening within that two week time frame, and lastly, so I remember to stay on schedule and actually release the episodes.
Calendar
One of the more helpful things I did, and decided early on, was to come up with a tag – one sentence that basically summed up the direction of the show that would also help keep me focused when I needed inspiration.

KieryGeek: Your bi-weekly fix for interesting bits of geekery, gaming, and fangirl-gasm-ing.

I wanted to mix the phrases fangirl and fangasm into one verb, because it seemed to be both more accurate, and more fun.

KieryGeek Preproduction Notes Two: Origin

In April, when we started the show KieryGeek, I didn’t really take the time to give any bit of origin story. Mostly because I wanted to get the show off the ground, but as we make our way into season two, I thought it would be a good idea to start off on the right foot and give what will be a background for the following episodes and the way I react to things.
I didn’t grow up a gamer, and I never read any fantasy until after I got married 3 years ago. I played the PC version of Frogger and a lego racing game. We got a gamecube (which I think was obsolete at the time, but still getting games?) when I was 14ish and I played a little bit of Mario.  I suck at racing games and don’t do well with FPS so I was never able, and never had the time to really get into it. I didn’t see Lord of the Rings or Star Wars until I was 16 or so, and it took me a long time to understand what was going on.  Although, I started Star Wars with Episode 1 instead of Episode 4, which is possibly a crime in itself.
While I didn’t engage in the traditional geekling things growing up, I always identified as one – exhibited the same obsessive qualities (and was on a debate team, so there’s that) and was actively involved in whatever I focused on to the minute detail. If you ever feel like going at something in the constitution and lack the context, I can still dig that out and take you on. That was my obsession in school – history, context, politics, the founding, and how it has changed and relates to us today. Quantum detail – I read everything I could, had several pocket constitutions and my own copy of the federalist and antifederalist papers for context.
Everything I know about traditional geek culture, all the things I completely obsess over now, are things I’ve just really discovered in the last 3 years. Don’t come to me for comic book recommendations, but if you want to implode over Harry Potter, Doctor Who, Firefly, or MMO/RPG video games, I’m your girl.

Rude and not ginger!

Actually, I’m neither of those things, anymore. I generally try my best not to be rude, but after two attempts, I feel confident in calling myself (finally) ginger!

I dyed my hair a few days ago, using Revlon’s bright auburn but it didn’t really stick. I’ve had the hardest time finding a red that came with a bleaching kit. The only one I’ve found locally is Splat, which I love, but I’m not really going for fire-engine red (as truly epic as it is). So I picked up a Garnier “brownish-red” dye kit at Target (yay for no bad smells that give me headaches for two days like the last one!) and left that in my hair for an hour, reapplying at will.
The picture quality is really bad, but the red actually stuck and looks really good. My hair was successfully lightened up a few shades too and has a pleasantly fruity smell. Not quite as nice as my blue dye, but significantly nicer than the last round.
Looks like season two of KieryGeek is going to feature a ginger after all! ^.^

KieryGeek Preproduction Notes: One

When I first started making my web series, I didn’t know what I was doing. Honestly, I still don’t know what I’m doing, but season two is getting a lot more thought put into it than season one did – for good reason. Season one was all about getting myself to actually do the show, and do it regularly. Season two, is going to be about making KieryGeek a little bit closer to epic – which means changes to the set, the format, the frequency, and an introduction to new elements.
I had the idea this afternoon, that in the few weeks I have left of pre-production and with the amount of related thoughts constantly swirling through my mind, I would do a series of blog posts on the preproduction process and things I’m working on.
This month didn’t go as well as I planned for pre-production, but it’s starting to shape back up. I have notes strewn across at least three notebooks, not to mention a to-do list and notes on my computer. I’ve had so many ideas swirling that it’s frustrating and I’ve spent hours trying to figure out how to feasibly have guests on the show without flying them all to my apartment.
Much to my emotional and psychological relief, I finally figured out how I’m going to handle guests – a blend of technology with Google hangouts, individual audio recording, and the magic of editing. At least, that’s what I’m telling myself. Preliminary tests seem to work well enough.
I ironed out a sort of production schedule for the future – realizing that one to two people working on producing a weekly show alone with the types of things I’d like to do is going to wear us down pretty quickly. The production value of the last few episodes and especially the last episode of kierygeek dropped because of burnout and other-life-stress which made it impossible for the two of us to make it into the show that we wanted it to be.
So, a new longer schedule should enable us to make it that much better. I’m entertaining the possibility of releasing a straight-out-of-camera, unedited production video in between episodes, but we’ll see. I may just make this a permanent feature on the blog and write notes and things I have in store.
The Olympics-Opening-Ceremonies-5-Hours-Later are calling my attention, so check back for more production notes over the next few weeks!