Friday, 12 October 2012

String of Pearls - Part 4

String of Pearls 11While Rex was out getting a double-double, I started getting this sense of impending danger. Maybe the photo at the left had something to do with it. Rex, are you ready to pick the story up where we left off yesterday?

Sure. Well, I had a sense about things too. A hunch, you might call it.

String of Pearls 11

I figured Brandy for the job. She was a strawberry blonde and legs that went on for hours. She had bad news written all over her like October of '29. I guessed she tasted the water of insurance fraud and the water tasted sweet. So she jumped in the well.

I called the judge and filled him in.



Just around the corner from the AGNS was a building undergoing renovations.

String of Pearls Set-up #11

I thought it was a great place to have Erin pose in a bit of a "rebel" shot - a leggy blonde ignoring the "construction personnel only" sign while taking her time texting someone. By the way, the location was on the sidewalk outside of the construction zone, not in it.

String of Pearls Set-up #10

The scaffolding was set up to protect the public from any potential debris falling from above. Tara fired off a flash to my right. Nice, crisp lines jumped out at us.

String of Pearls Set-up #9

I needed to see where I could place Erin in the frame as well as see where her shadow would fall, so Erin walked up and down the sidewalk while Tara fired the strobe. It didn't take very long to settle on a composition. Jade pointed another strobe at Erin from close camera right.

All well and good, but I've got a story to tell

I think you've had too much coffee, Rex. Maybe you should switch to herbal tea.

String of Pearls 12

I had no evidence that she was behind it. Just a hunch. But it was hunch bigger than Quasimodo’s. The judge said to confront her with it and see what happened. She turned faster than a man’s head at a beach full of chicks on a hot day. Admitted to it all. She said she wanted the insurance money, but the scam went wrong.

OK, my turn again, briefly. We wanted to have a scene of Rex confronting Brandy, so we did a very quick shoot in the dinning room. I was already familiar with the room's possibilities, having shot it for a vampire dinner the previous year. The setup was pretty simple: two strobes, one left and one right, to light up Stefano's face, but wide enough to create some shadows and also light Erin.

You drink tea, don't you? I don't understand tea drinkers....


String of Pearls 13

She said Candy loved tea. She drank it all the time. Couldn’t go anywhere without a cuppa. She had to have some after the party. What dame comes home from a party and has a cup of tea? But it gave Brandy the perfect chance. A lot of people had seen Candy at the party wearing the String of Pearls. That would make for a lot of suspects.


String of Pearls 14

So Candy got slipped a Mickey Finn special. A little chloral hydrate in her tea and she would sleep until the next morning. Except I figure Brandy didn’t know how much to use. Too much and Candy was in a sleep so sound that not even Prince Charming and the 7 Dwarfs could wake her.

Film noir movies are not typically visually gory, even when there is shooting involved. In our case, we didn't have a make-up artist to help with the visual cues of a gun shot, so we settled on poisoning. Since poisoning doesn't really leave any visual cues, I decided to rely upon a shot of a teapot and some pills. Lighting was done with a strobe on either side of the frame.


String of Pearls 15

Brandy was just going to lift the pearls, pawn them, and then collect the insurance money. But when Brandy realized that her deed was now dirty, and done dirt cheap, she had to get rid of the body, too. She hoped that the cops would think it a robbery gone bad. That should’ve tipped me off, but I wasn’t paying attention.

Of course we needed another "body" shot, since the plot had the body moved to the AGNS. Oddly, this is my second body shot using this couch. Morbid or what? The first one is here (NSFW).

This shot was much harder to take, because I had to keep Erin's creeping shadow nice and crisp, but Jade well exposed. On top of that, Erin's shadow in the right place in the composition. I needed to show enough of her shadow to imply a furtive stance and also include the teapot. Erin did a lot of "dancing around" with some strategic dress hiking in order to get the shadow we needed.


Well, we have a body, a motive, and a means. That should wrap it up, shouldn't it? But it seems not. Rex, as he just said, wasn't paying attention. It was not quite as straightforward as he thought...

More to come.

Part 1 of this story is here.
Part 2 of this story is here.
Part 3 of this story is here.
Part 5 of this story is here.

The conversation about the story and the photos is on my Facebook page here.

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