Saint Dracula is a fictional biblical story, telling of a lost love and a misunderstood legend. Through the centuries the eponymous anti-hero has been searching for Clara, his true love. The film is set in modern day, with Clara about to enter the convent to join her sister, Agnes. Can the Count make Clara realise her destiny or will Brother Benjamin, the tormented monk save her?
Saint Dracula was produced by BizTV and filmed entirely on location in North West England and Wales. It was written and directed by Rupesh Paul, a poet and filmmaker from India. Whilst working on this film, there were several make up issues that confronted us. How best to achieve a deathly pallor for Dracula? How best to cover all the actors tattoos and how would our products look on camera.
For Dracula’s face we tried a variety of colours. Firstly the Ben Nye Death Blue Grey, secondly, Ben Nye Death Flesh and finally, the one we decided on, Grimas OA. This enabled us to achieve an old and sickly look without being too obvious whilst also allowing us to save the Ben Nye death colours for Dracula’s victims.
We used MAC blot powder on the other cast members so as to keep a totally matt finish. The female cast were given a base of MAC face and body, which the DOP assured us looked great on camera. There was one day, near the beginning of the shoot when one of the MUA used mineralize make up for the girls. Later that day, the DOP called us discreetly to one side and told us that it just didn’t work on the RED camera; the cast were far too shiny. Lesson learned, that was never used again.
The issue of the tattoos caused us some dilemma. All of us MUA on set have always used Kryolans Dermacolour cream palettes to cover any tattoos but our director told us of a seemingly wonder-product that is used in Indian film making whereby no stippling or skin tone matching is required, one simply runs the crème stick across the skin and the tattoo is instantly covered. Unfortunately, he couldn’t remember the name. We researched this magic product for days, finding nothing. It wasn’t until a month or so later that I discovered that in Indian cinema they tend to use Kryolan Dermacolour in stick form. Days of research wasted researching a product we were already using!
photographs by John Guy