Here Come the Vampires – August 2011

Over the last few years of working in make up I have made a slasher film, done ghost make up, murder victims, scars, zombies, witches and werewolves. I have worked on make up for the Bride of Dracula. I have read Dracula, seen film and stage productions based on the book and even, in April, visited Transylvania and yet, I have never got to work on a vampire film. Until now.

Me doing make up for the actress Suzanne Roche who plays Sister Agnes in Saint Dracula 3D

Cinema Verite, the team behind ‘The Secret Diaries of Mona Lisa’ are back in town, working on their new production, Saint Dracula 3D
I have never before worked with such a large camera crew. The camera rig itself was huge and took several people to carry it. It’s worth a fortune and I believe there are only a very limited number of these rigs in the world. There were a few of us who did get a little worried when we heard via Twitter, that the rioters, who have decided to smash up the city, were meeting up at St Luke’s Church at 9pm to begin their destruction. We were filming at St Luke’s that day, and were running behind schedule, with an estimated wrap time of 10pm. Oh dear!

Thankfully we needn’t have worried, the rioters decided that day to loot Tesco’s instead, and left us, and our 3/4 of a million pound camera rig alone. Phewee!

Lenses, fangs and lashes

For the first time, on ‘Saint Dracula’, I got to work with fangs. These had to be sterilised, fitted and replaced on a regular basis and I’ve never had to cover so many tattoos on so many actors, and so often. It took two of us make up artists a good 3 hours each day to cover all the tattoos of the two lead actors. I think we became quite expert by the end, despite our reservations. Also, for the first time I had to apply contact lenses to the actors. Most of the cast wore coloured contacts at some point and, although initially I was a bit nervous stroking somebody else’s eyeball to get them in and out, by the end I was an expert, setting a new record in the getting-out-the-green-pair-and-putting-in-the-red-pair race. Go Quinny!

As soon as ‘Saint Dracula’ came to an end I managed to get a good 5 hours sleep (quite a luxury by this point) and then I was back to work with the Violet City crew on a short film they have had commissioned called ‘Part Vampire’. Why is it, you wait several years for a vampire film, then 2 come along at once!

Part Vampire couldn’t be more different to ‘Saint Dracula’, however. Apart from the fact its a short film, its also filmed all in one location, it’s a comedy and was made with a much smaller, much more relaxed crew. Due to the nature of the script, contact lenses were only needed as a prop and fangs were put in in post production, allowing the actors to speak more freely. After the exhaustion and adrenaline of one film, it’s been so nice to work in a completely different style on another.

By the end of August I had finally fulfilled an ambition, twice over, but my ever trusty bottle of blood is running distinctly low!

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